I have to admit that I am shocked by so many negative reviews on this website. I had an unpleasant experience with orchids.com. I am now wishing I had come here first as I would never have ordered through them. I had placed an order through the website and my interpretation was that it was a two day delivery. Right or wrong, I am obviously not the only one who has had trouble interpreting this, please reword your website. The true trouble began when I phoned them to tell them I was unhappy with the delivery date. The man I spoke with would not listen to me, he spoke over me and when I told him I was upset that he would not listen, he hung up on me. I was a bit stunned. I wrote to them and have tried to follow up with phone calls, but they do not answer and their mail boxes are full (of complaints, I am wondering?). In reading all of these reviews and the very unprofessional attacking responses to others' responses, I can see that it is best to take my business elsewhere. I am guessing by so many dissatisfied people that they just don't care. What a shame, my mother-in-law collects orchids and I had hoped I had found a source for gifts. Customer service is very important and they fall quite short.
I greatly regret giving negative feedback, but after 3 poor quality plants on 3 separate orders, I feel I must comment. One, an intergeneric oncidium was infested with scale. The second was a phalaenopsis with broken roots. The last was a species phalaenopsis that turned out to have mites. In all fairness, I admit I did not contact the company partly because of their difficult reputation and partly because I try to fix plant problems myself. I kept thinking I'd give Orchids.com another chance, that perhaps I was just unlucky. After I realized my last orchid had mites, I decided that, unfortunately, I could no longer buy from them no matter how wonderful their orchids look online. To clarify: I am not and cannot comment on their customer service only upon their plants.
I ordered an orchid from Orchids.com, but received a wrong plant. I told Orchids.com that I would like to return the plant sent by mistake and receive a replacement without extra charge. Although Orchids.com admitted that they sent the plant by mistake, they told me that they could send me a replacement, ONLY IF I pay the shipping and handling. They also told me that they could refund me for the price of the plant, but not the shipping and handling in connection with my order. When I asked why I had to pay extra fees because of their mistake, the customer support of this company told me that: "It is our policy."
I rarely complain. But I spent much time and thought into selecting a gift, only to receive an email that would inform me that my gift would not be shipped because it didn't have flowers on it. THEN I was told that if I wanted to ship something without flowers it would take up to seven days.
That said, while trying to understand more about how the website and ordering worked, the first gentle men that I talked to was so unbelievably rude to me that I couldn't even finish a sentence... not sure why I waited on the phone while he transferred me to someone else, only to find that the second person wasn't very kind or had much interest in listening either.
Is this what people in the Oakland area are like normally? Wow.
On Jan 18, 2011, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
The courtesy email below is what RRupe received. The reason that we send these emails is because we get many complaints from gift recipients if they receive a gift that does not have flowers or decorative container. Basically, they will get a plant with no flowers and just leaves. The item that was ordered for gifts going to 2 different recipients was MC69 Mature Size. It states on the website that a Mature Size is capable to bloom within one year and "usually ships 1-7 days." The items in the General Catalog where she ordered from takes that long to fulfill because we have acres of greenhouses to go through to fulfill orders. As the email stated, only the items in the Gift Basket & Arrangement Section ships out the same day if ordered before 1pm PST. We can do this because we only offer about 8 pages of these items rather than the hundreds of pages that our General Catalog has to offer. We feel that we have done everything we can to provide the best customer service and its unfortunate that she was not satisfied.
"Hello Name of Buyer,
The item you chose is not recommended as a gift since it will not come with flowers. The only items that we can guarantee to have flowers are the items from the Gift Baskets and Arrangements section. These items are also the only ones that ship the same day if ordered by 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, and in accordance with FedEx/UPS service rules. Please advise, WE WILL NOT SHIP YOUR ORDER UNLESS YOU CALL US AT 888-467-2443. Mon - Sat 9-5 PM PST. DO NOT E-MAIL, during high volume period, we are inundated with e-mails and can not respond to them in a timely manner.
This is a link that will be blinking for the Gift Baskets and Arrangement Sections in the middle of our home page at http://WWW.Orchids.com if you would like to change your order.
Posted on November 17, 2010, updated November 20, 2010
I never leave feedback, but my experience with them was so atrocious that I feel compelled to do so. I ordered an orchid for my mother's birthday, and it must have frozen during shipment; leaves began to spot and fall off within two days of arrival. She called them twice, and each time the representative was rude, insisted she take a digital picture of the plant and send it to them (she is elderly and does not even own a digital camera), and they refused to send a prepaid shipping label for return. They disputed that the plant could possibly be damaged, and one of the reps, actually hung up on her. I spoke with another rep, a woman, who insisted on talking over me while I tried to explain what had happened, and who also refused to send a shipping label for return. She eventually hung up on me as well! I truly don't understand how this company remains in business with such terrible customer service. A gracious, "I'm sorry you had that issue, we'll send a return label right out" would have earned my return business despite the problem with the plant. Instead, I am disputing the charge with my credit card company and telling everyone who will listen, including my local orchid club, how awful this company is to do business with. STAY AWAY!
On November 20th, 2010, TC13 added the following:
One only needs to read this company's so-called "rebuttals" to know never to do business with them. It certainly proves their terrible attitude and deplorable customer service, and perhaps also that they hire people with serious psychological disorders. And calling out their customers by their full names on a public site? A possible violation of privacy laws, which I intend to fully pursue.On Nov 20, 2010, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
It's unfortunate that happy, satisfied & REASONABLE customers never leave feedback either. If they did, I can guarantee that we have plenty of those.
The buyer's mother called on Nov 10. She claimed that the plant was dying. It is a Company Policy that we ask for photographs as proof of damage. The reason is because we deal with live orchid plants. They all grow differently. There has been many instances when customers thought that they received the wrong product or they thought that they didn't get what they purchased. By recipients sending a photograph, we are able to determine if there is indeed a damage or if there is a real problem or not. By the way, the item that was chosen for the recipient was a plant an In bud/spike item from our Hobby Section. It clearly says on the top of the website that "
If we sent a plant that was dying, obviously she would notice it the same day she received it. It was actually left at her front porch on Nov. 5 at 3:11 pm. Who knows how long it sat outside before the recipient brought it in? We asked the
On Nov 18, 2010 10:10 AM, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) added:
THERE WAS SO MUCH MORE TO SAY BUT THE REBUTTAL WAS POSTED BEFORE I WAS FINISHED SO HERE IS THE REST OF THE TRUTH!
It's unfortunate that happy, satisfied, & REASONABLE customers never leave feedback either. If they did, I can guarantee that we have plenty of those.
The buyer's mother called on Nov. 10. She claimed that the plant was dying. It is a Company Policy that we ask for photographs as proof of damage. The reason is because we deal with live orchid plants. They all grow differently. There has been many instances when customers thought that they received the wrong product or a damaged product. By recipients sending a photograph, we are able to determine if indeed there is damage or if there is a real problem or not. If we determine that there is a real problem, we always send replacements or we refund the buyer. By the way, the item that was chosen was an In bud/spike plant from our Hobby Section. It clearly says on the very top of the website, " NOT RECOMMENDED FOR GIFTS." The reason we say this is that recipients who do know the many different species of orchids will have a hard time taking care of them, getting them to bloom, and keeping them alive.
What she failed to disclose and maybe her mother failed to tell her is that she was asked to take a photo. When she said she couldn't take a photo the representative did not insist. When the mother asked for her to be refunded, she was clearly told that she would have to send the plant back, that is another Company Policy. At the end the representative asked the mother to give it a week and if it does not get better then we will send another one.
Nov. 13, three days later, not a week like we asked, the mother called again demanding that she be refunded, she did not want another one and she refused to send a photograph. Why is it okay for anybody to just demand a refund for no reason? As an example, can anyone just go to a market without the product in hand and say the item I purchased was not good. Give me a refund?! Is that REASONABLE?
Nov. 17, when she called, I who answered the call tried to explain to her that we do have a Company Policy that we ask for photos of damaged products. If we are sent a photo, recipients are not asked to return anything. If something is damaged then we replace it because they sent a photo. If a person cannot send a photo and they want a refund, it needs to be returned and it is a Company Policy that we do not pay for returns. At this point, the buyer started yelling that she is very upset and we need to make things right and do something for her. Then it comes out that she has already disputed the charge with her credit card company. I then told her that there was definitely nothing we can do for her if she has already disputed the charge since she is refusing that we get paid. She started yelling more that we had to do something for her and her mom. At that point, I did say that there was nothing else that we could do for and that we will just have to wait to deal with her credit card company and I did say that I was going to hang up. What is the purpose of me staying on the phone, with her yelling at the top of her lungs, when clearly she is being UNREASONABLE.
The bottom line is she sent a gift that was not recommended. Her mother who I do not know if she is familiar with orchids claims its dead. We do not know if that is the case because she refused to send a picture for proof and she refuses to send it back as another proof. Now she will not pay for her purchase because she already disputed the charged with her credit card company. Yet, she wants us to send another item for free?
Unfortunately, we have to deal with unreasonable customers all the time. We try to do the best we can. Sometimes, customers no matter how hard we try to bend the rules and make them happy are never satisfied!"
I placed a large order ($350+) with orchids.com, only to receive an aggressive phone call in the evening, (during a family dinner) saying that the order could not be processed because one orchid was not available and had to be exchanged. I asked to do it the next day, or online, and was treated so rudely that when I suggested perhaps I would just cancel the order the woman agreed enthusiastically! I sent a complaint the next day to the website, and heard back from that very woman, who was still aggressive and reminded me that she had happily canceled my order with them. Clearly, this is a one person firm and very, very poorly run. I will never order from them again, and have told this story to a group of orchid lovers in the New England area. What an appalling site!
On Sep 22, 2010, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
I find it sad that customers have the ability to complain at websites such as this but there is really no way of knowing if what they say is true. They off course will make themselves look like victims when it is the other way around.
This is how the conversation went: I called and asked for the customer, the female on the other line said right away, this is dinner time, what is this in regards to? I introduced myself and the company I am calling with and stated that one of the items she ordered was sold out. She made a snide remark and claimed that she had gotten a notice that it had shipped already. I informed her that we do create airbills in advance and at times items are sold out, our growers will let us know.
Again she repeated, this is dinner time, can you help me or what can you help me with? Obviously, I was calling to try to resolve an issue. She stated that she will look online later and asked how she can take care of the problem on the website. I notified her there was no way to do that on the website and I would have to change the order manually. She became more irrate and stated, "this is too much of a hassle. Cancel the order!" Since, she had been very short and didnt want to deal with me, I did say, "Will do. Thank you and proceeded to hang up.
Today she wrote an email about how our conversation went: she claims that she explained that it was dinner time in Boston and she had guests, claims I was hostile and suggested I cancel her order. Actually, she did repeat it was dinner time and that was the only truth to what she said. She never said she had guests and she never asked if she can take care of it another time. As a matter of fact, that is exactly what I would have suggested if she had given me the time of day to get a word in. Rather, she was very short, very annoyed with me and downright belittling by the way she spoke.
It is truly sad that companies like ours have to get negative bad reviews because of dishonest customers who make it seem like they are the victims when it is simply not the case. I guess we will just have to be satisfied with the fact that we know everything has been recorded in our system and things did not transpire how she claims they did."
Posted on March 24, 2010, updated March 25, 2010
Posted on March 17, 2010, updated March 24, 2010
Posted on February 20, 2010, updated March 17, 2010
I bought an orchid on this website for my wife as a gift. I was very unsatisfied with what she got, it was unpresentable and looked nothing like the picture from their site. I'm not buying anything from them anymore.
On March 17th, 2010, Golfnation added the following:
I made a follow up call to them last week because some of the spikes and flowers have fall off. The lady looked up my info and asked me if I was the one who wrote a negative comment about them. Not sure why she asked me that but then she said a manager will get back with me soon. Til now, I haven't received any phone calls about this issue and why am I not so surprised!?
Very poor customer service skills that's all I can say! On March 24th, 2010, Golfnation added the following:
We decided to keep the orchid because it was a gift for my wife; she wanted to keep things simple. However the orchid was dying so we needed help. I wasn't complaining the second time; simply wanted to get information on how to take care of our orchid that was purchased on their company's website.
It seems like someone is making false assumptions based on the first phone conversation. Also, why bothered telling me that a manager will get back with me if he/she was not planning on calling me back? Seriously, if they truly care about their clients or orchids sold from their store they should at least make some kind of effort.
This company has completely failed in taking care of a once loyal customer.
On March 25th, 2010, Golfnation added the following:
I think the rep still have our first phone conversation or complaint stuck in his/her head. Like I said in my previous posting, we've decided to keep the plant but now we have a completely separate issue. Also I have never asked for a free plant and I did pay for this one! Sure, I can find all the orchid care there is in the world online, at the same time, I wanted to make them aware of the issue since it was purchased from their company's site.
This is an open forum about orchids.com so I welcome any feedback you may have. Lastly, please don't compare yourself with Nordstrom, I think they have professionalism and great customer service.On Mar 25, 2010, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
There was no mispresentation at all. The item that was purchased was called a Rare Fragrant White Angel Phalaenopsis. The description on the website states, "Perfect for anyone who has very little space but loves an abundance of flowers. Our white angel Phalaenopsis bears multitudes of heavy substance flowers on COMPACT SPIKES. During the warmth of the day, it produces a light fragrance from the flowers that can last for weeks. Beautifully presented in our decorative cache pot and finished with Spanish moss. Comes with 1-2 spikes."
When the buyer called, his complaint was that the orchid arrangement that he purchased was too small. He was told that the description on the website states it is compact and that it is perfect for very little space. The orchid was not mispresented at all. He simply did not read or pay attention to the description. We did offer for him to exchange the plant at our nursery if he drove in since he is local, but he refused. Upon looking at the buyer's history, 2 years ago he did purchase an item called a Premium Double Delight White, this is a 2 spike large phalaenopsis that is about 28-30 inches tall. I believe the buyer thought he was getting something like this and was dissapointed when what he received was a compact orchid with very compact flowers. He was sent exactly what he ordered.
On Mar 24, 2010 10:49 AM, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) added:
Once again, this buyer has posted a review and left out factual details. The facts are: since the buyer was unhappy with the purchase, the Manager did offer to exchange the plant if he returned it by mail or if he drove to our nursery. The buyer refused. Two weeks later, he called again and this time with a different complaint. I am not sure if he was hoping to speak with someone else and accomplish a different end result.
Our company does make notes everytime a representative speaks with a customer. We simply made him aware that we knew who he was and that he had already spoken to a Manager and there was nothing else to discuss. We also did make him aware that we knew he had been on this website writing negative reviews which by the way he left out factual details both times.
On Mar 25, 2010 10:03 AM, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) added:
Our company will no longer post any rebuttals after this one. This is a petty attempt by the buyer to have a he said, she said battle with us and I will choose to be the bigger person.
The fact is during the 1st phone call, the company did offer to replace the plant, if he would return it. He refused, because he wanted another plant for free. There was nothing wrong with the plant. It was just not what he expected. During the 2nd phone call, his attempt for a free plant was once again denied. Honestly, if he was really just trying to get "orchid care" would he really call back a company that he was trying to trash on the web knowing what he had done? Off course not! There are many ways to get orchid care. The fact that he knows about this website and is very familiar with posting in it goes to show that he knows how to get around the web to get orchid tips and orchid care. By the way, these are not assumptions, these are facts because everyone who works in the office has been alerted about this person.
He has purchased 2 orchids from our company. These posts are the results of the 2nd purchase. If every loyal customer was like this person, I think that we would be out of business. We did make an attempt. We were willing to replace the plant. He did not want to return it. He wanted another plant for free. Let's put it this way, if you walked into Nordstroms and purchased a shirt and complained about it, would they give you a new one and say here you go. Here is another one on us! Probably not! "
Posted on March 25, 2010, updated March 25, 2010
Posted on March 23, 2010, updated March 25, 2010
Posted on March 23, 2010, updated March 23, 2010
Tried to place an order for a mature orchid plant (NF1612 Zygo. (Prospect Hill 'Purpl M.S.). I placed the order to be sent to a friend who tends tons of orchids. The email I received (which is filled with typos/English you'd find in a scam email from Nigeria, or the like) told me that they would NOT ship my oder (sic) unless I called them. Then, they wanted to upsell me on gift baskets, and such. The girl, with whom I spoke, was rude and condescending and I will never place an oder...er...order with them again. I would recommend that others do the same.
On March 23rd, 2010, madchad added the following:
I forgot to add that they had already charged my credit card for the purchase, even though they sent an email stating "WE WILL NOT SHIP YOUR ODER UNLESS YOU CALL US".On March 25th, 2010, madchad added the following:
Wow. You modify your email that was sent to me to dispute my claims, while claiming it to be an exact copy of the one that you sent to me. The actual email states "Hello Chad
The item you choose is not recommended as a gift since it will not come with flowers. The only items that we can guarantee to have flowers are the items from the Gift Baskets and Arrangements section. These items are also the only ones that ship the same day if ordered by 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, and in accordance with FedEx/UPS service rules. Please advise, WE WILL NOT SHIP YOUR ODER UNLESS YOU CALL US AT 888-467-2443. Mon - Sat 9-5 PM PST. DO NOT E-MAIL, during high volume period, we are inundated with e-mails and can not respond to them in a timely manner.
This is a link that will be blinking for the Gift Baskets and Arrangement Sections in the middle of our home page at http://WWW.Orchids.com if you would like to change your order.
As for the charge, my card did not show it as pending, however, I cannot dispute this claim as I do not have any access to any more information to do so.
In regards to the "shouting obscenities" and "the representative could not even get a word in edgewise" I would simply state that I remember it quite differently, hence my statement about her being condescending and rude. Going back and forth on this point would seem to be a waste of time, so I will let the factual statements speak for themselves.
In conclusion, in disputing my claims, you use a deceptive/modified version of the email sent to me...claiming that "The template below is the exact email that we send to our customers when they purchase an item that is not recommended for a gift." and that my "accusations are completely untrue and uncalled for." My accusations are not untrue (as I can easily prove) and are not uncalled for. Your company is, in my opinion, shady and should not be trusted. Your response, dishonest as it is, simply lends credibility to my claims and shows people exactly what they can expect should they wish to have the misadventure that I had when attempting to order from your website.On March 25th, 2010, madchad added the following:
"The template below is the exact email that we send"..."We did not say it was the exact email!" These statements are contradictory.
The flashing link in the email (both your corrected and uncorrected versions) and the fact that your representative did try to get me to purchase gift baskets contradict your statement that "We were not trying to up sell. Any normal person can see that.", as well. I stand by my comments that this business seems shady. The fact that you attack me personally, which I will not respond to in kind, demonstrates, at the very least, a lack of professionalism.
The typos were merely proving a point. The email that I received, along with the demand that I call you, are reminiscent of scams that I have seen in emails for some time. Then, you corrected the email so as to dispute my claim to the contrary. Changing it back, or admitting after the fact, does not change my original complaint. I was nervous after receiving the email and the requirement to call, even though we had already agreed to a contracted sale. After your responses in this forum, I do not feel reassured that this is the kind of company that I would do business with, nor is it one that I would recommend that others do business with.
As far as "this buyer has the capability of letting his emotions get the best of him and maybe over reacting before thinking things clearly."... I haven't read anything that I would see as me getting emotionally involved, at all. My comments have lacked the personal attacks, exclamation points, all caps (outside of direct quotes from your emails and comments), and other indications that you would find in a text-only setting which would provide clues as to the inclusion of any emotions. (Unless, you are referring to my screen name. That's "mad" as in crazy...not "mad" as in angry. It has to do with the "Mad Scientist" shows that I have been involved in creating over the years. Sometimes, I get to blow things up and get paid. Not a bad gig, if you can get it.) One might argue that we all have the capability of letting our emotions get the best of us, but I can tell you that I am not emotionally anything, as of yet.
I, also, find it strange that your business has complaints on here, but you seem to believe that everyone else is wrong, or not normal as you alluded to. So...your business has complaints, but your response is to attack the customers. This is evidenced in your previous posts. My advice is to address the cause of these problems and not attack the lifeblood of your business (your customers). Unless, of course, you have more customers than you need. An enviable position, however one that I believe will soon change, if you continue to do business as usual. While it is true that you cannot please all of the people all of the time, you can make an effort.
And, by all means, charge the credit card. I entered into to my part of the agreement in good faith. I will carry out my obligations in the same manner.
I expect that you will respond. I will leave the last word to you. People can read this and form their own opinions as to whether I'm some lunatic or just a customer that felt he was treated very poorly. They'll also have a chance to form their opinions on your company and how you do business. They might like what they see here or they might not. No matter which they decide, I hope that you do look at the way that things are done and decide what amount of customer service is good enough.
Good luck and I yield the forum to you.On Mar 25, 2010, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
We do not charge until after an order has shipped out. The charge that this buyer is referring to is an "authorization or pending charge." I am sure anyone who uses a debit or credit card understands how this works. When a person attempts to make a purchase, the bank needs to make sure that there is money in the account to cover the purchase. They usually set it aside for a few business days until it is collected. In our case, we actually do not collect the funds until the order has shipped out. We do have two sections on our website. The first one is the General Catalog or hobbyist section. There are thousands of orchids to choose from there. They arrive in a nursery container and vary from 2 years away from blooming to already blooming. These items can take up to 7 days before we can ship. The second one is Our Gift Baskets and Arrangements section; these are live orchid plants in decorative containers and are guaranteed to be in bloom when they arrive. They ship out the same day if ordered before 1pm PST. These are the ones that we recommend for gifts.
The buyer did make us aware that he knew exactly what he was sending when he called. The problem that we often come across is that numerous customers are not aware that they have chosen a non-blooming plant. They are under the impression the gift that they are sending will have flowers when it arrives and comes in a decorative container. We send out courtesy emails and sometimes even phone calls because it has been our experience that most gift recipients get upset when they receive orchid plants that are chosen from the General Catalog. It causes many problems for the company and for the buyers as well when gift recipients are unhappy.
Quite honestly, the usual response is to thank us for notifying them. I am amazed that this buyer can claim the girl he spoke with was condescending and rude because the moment someone from the company answered the phone, he was yelling obscenities because he claims the email implied he did not know what he was doing. He was told that it was simply a courtesy email and that we would send out his order as soon as we were able find out what his name was. The representative could not even get a word in edgewise. The template below is the exact email that we send to our customers when they purchase an item that is not recommended for a gift. His accusations are completely untrue and uncalled for.
The item you chose is not recommended as a gift since it will not come with flowers. The only items that we can guarantee to have flowers are the items from the Gift Baskets and Arrangements section. These items are also the only ones that ship the same day if ordered by 1:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, and in accordance with FedEx/UPS service rules. Please advise, WE WILL NOT SHIP YOUR ORDER UNLESS YOU CALL US AT 888-467-2443. Mon - Sat 9-5 PM PST. DO NOT E-MAIL, during high volume period, we are inundated with e-mails and cannot respond to them in a timely manner.
This is a link that will be blinking for the Gift Baskets and Arrangement Sections in the middle of our home page at http://WWW.Orchids.com if you would like to change your order.
On Mar 25, 2010 2:25 PM, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) added:
All this email proves is that this buyer has the capability of letting his emotions get the best of him and maybe over reacting before thinking things clearly.
This is the statement that we used on the post " The template below is the exact email that we send to our customers when they purchase an item that is not recommended for a gift." We said it was the exact template. We did not say it was the exact email! Yes, I do admit that I can see 2 typos. How petty! I showed the template so that I can give the readers an idea of what the email contained. We were not trying to up sell. Any normal person can see that.
The email proves that we were sending a courtesy email. What is shady about sending an email and asking a customer to call us if they want it shipped? The reason we do that is explained in the email. We do not have time to check our emails every second. By asking the buyer to call us if they want their order shipped will ensure that the item can be pulled as soon as possible and shipped out the same day. The item that the buyer purchased was from the general catalog, these items can take up to 7 days before shipping. Since he did call us within minutes of the courtesy email we sent him, we were able to ship out his order right away and was received within 2 days of ordering the item. Our courtesy emails obviously serves a purpose because we were able to get a response within minutes. By the way, we are a little behind on collecting funds so the credit card has not even been charged yet! "
Posted on June 13, 2009, updated February 26, 2010
I just received two orchids that my fiance purchased from Norman's Orchids. I personally would not have ordered from this company, due to the negative comments I have heard about them, both in this forum and elsewhere. However I must say that the two plants I received (two mature Cattleyas) are in fine shape and I am very pleased with them.
I have been growing orchids for ten years, and have had many positive experiences with other mail-order orchid vendors--I had suggested to my fiance that he patronize one of the sellers I have done business with, but he apparently found the Orchids.com website much more user-friendly (at least for someone with limited orchid experience). He spent a great deal of time on this website, in order to carefully select three plants that would be a great gift for me. (What a thoughtful guy!) Unfortunately, we were disappointed to find that only two plants were shipped in the order--the invoice inside the box indicated that the missing plant was "sold out," but my fiance was not informed of this, (neither by phone call nor by email). If he had been, he would certainly have replaced the plant with another selection--it was important to him that I receive three plants and he especially wanted me to receive what he'd worked so hard to pick out.
A minor quibble: One of the orchids I received had visible bugs crawling over it before I even finished unpacking it from the box. I therefore intend to repot (and hose off) this one ASAP, but I will probably repot the other one as well--though both are apparently potted in sphagnum, one is packed tightly with this medium while the other is not. Someone unfamiliar with this medium (or with repotting orchids) could easily under- or over-water orchids potted so differently. (Not to mention that hard-packed sphagnum within a plastic pot is hardly a usual combination for successfully growing a Cattleya).
On February 27th, 2010, claire25 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Update: One of my orchids has just bloomed, and its flower is severely distorted with the "color break" symptoms associated with an advanced virus infection. I'm now thinking back to when I unpacked this plant and it had bugs all over it WHILE STILL IN THE BOX...it seems pretty likely that it was infected long before it came into my care. Viruses happen, I know, but surely its previous blooms showed some symptoms while it was in the grower's greenhouse? And I'm not really pleased to see the extraordinarily rude responses continually posted by this company to customers who complain. Thumbs down.
I dealt with this company last year but did not post my experience. Not only did they misrepresent the description
of the orchid I purchased but the customer service was really
substandard. Yes, they took the orchid in question back, but
their service rep was very negative and unapologetic. You would think that a company that made a mistake on their
website(description) would really want to appease a customer. Not this company. They charge very high prices
and give substandard customer relations.
On Feb 24, 2010, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
If our system remembers correctly, the order was placed on Aug 13, 2007. Our description for the item purchased exactly reads, "Fantastic medium sized coral pink with good flower substance. This clone loves to flower with consistent branching habit. Always a Blue Ribbon Winner at shows." The picture shown on the website was a pink phalaenopsis. Where did we make a mistake on the description? We sent out exactly what she ordered. She received a pink phalaenopsis with medium sized flowers that had two spikes! We did not describe height nor did we guarantee the amount of flowers she would receive. How can the company be blamed for wrong description?
When the buyer called, she complained that she received the incorrect item. We did ask her for a photo so that our head grower can view the plant. When she was informed that she indeed received the correct plant, she disagreed claiming that she has another plant that is identical to what she received so she certainly did not want a duplicate. Even though we sent her the correct item and we can prove this because we still have a copy of the photo she sent on file, we offered to give her a full refund as soon as we received the plant back. We took the plant back even though it was the correct one. She basically did not want it I am assuming because she already has one that looks like it. We did not even charge a restocking fee. We gave her a full refund including shipping. How does a customer service representative begin to apologize for sending the correct item? The company went above and beyond to please a customer that could not be pleased."
I've ordered from them several times. The quality of orchids varies from very good to so bad that I could not even imagine how can one send a plant so obviously sick to a customer (add to that that their prices are not low). Several of the plants were infested with mealybugs. When you buy an orchid "in spike" the spike could be an old one, which might bloom or may dry out sometime in the future. Some plants are mislabeled. And this is the only company which managed to pack the orchids so poorly that one was damaged by frost. I have received 4 shipments from different growers on the same day. Only Norman's Orchids shipment failed to arrive in good condition. Customer support is very bad too. A email has to be supported by a phone call. Without that, even if they get back to you, you are treated as an annoying fly. A response is so inadequate that it is not even signed. Ordering from them is like buying a lottery ticket.
I've been buying orchids from this site for many years without problems.
The most recent order came and I did what I usually do by spraying for pests and fungus before adding the orchids to my collections. All except one plant was sick and died no matter what I tried.
Email was not replied to so I'll never, never purchase anything from them again!
Her daughter purchased her 3 orchids from our general catalog. On our website, it clearly states that they are not recommended for gifts. The reason being, the items in our general catalog vary from the typical phalaenopsis to different species that are for serious hobby growers. Her daughter purchased 3 Mature Size orchids (2 dendrobiums and 1 nodosa), capable to bloom within one year.
When she called, her first words were my orchids are not doing anything. After checking to see what was purchased she was notified that they would not be doing anything for quite some time because it was one year away from blooming. I do not think she was aware of this. Then she said, well their leaves are turning yellow and dropping. She was then informed that 2 of the items that was purchased for her were dendrobiums. They are decidous plants, it is normal for their leaves to turn yellow and drop off. This means that it is actually getting ready to form buds and they will flower soon. Dendrobium leaves also have a habit of looking wrinkled. This is normal. She also did not believe this.
We do try to please and help our customer's the best we can; however, sometimes there is only so much we can do. We send out emails or make phone calls when an item from the general catalog is purchased for a gift letting the buyer know that it is not recommended for gifts. We do this because we know that some gift recipients are not very familiar with plants aside from the typical phalaenopsis and they do get upset when they receive these types of plants, especially when they are not in flower.
The problem is their frustration with their gift falls on the company and the Customer Service Reps and we are blamed for sending out a product that they do not like when we are only sending out exactly what was chosen for them. If the buyer tells the company that they still want the item sent out regardless, what is our company to do except to follow those instructions?"
You know the old saying about customers. If they're happy, they'll tell 3 people, but if they're unhappy, they'll tell 10.
After a week of trying to get a response from someone at Norman's, sending emails, leaving messages, etc, I have gotten nowhere, and no response. I am VERY frustrated at the time I have spent trying to resolve the issue.
I have ordered 3 times from Norman's/Orchids.com. I have been overall pretty happy, really. I called one time about an issue, but was satisfied with the answer I got.
This time, I spent a good amount of money (for a hobby grower), and was happy with 4 out of 5 plants.
The plant I was not happy about arrived with roots that were disintegrating, and scarring on the backs of the leaves. In addition, one leaf was trimmed to cut off what was probably a brown or yellow tip.
The leaf trimming I would not be upset about on an otherwise healthy plant. However, this plant was so obviously unhealthy the day I received it, I called within 5 minutes of opening my package (I was home when I heard the driver drop it off at the door).
I contacted them the day I got my order, and sent 3 photos. I was told that it was forwarded to the grower and they would get back to me. I emailed 5 days later for an update. No response. I called 8 days after receiving my order and left a message - no response. I called again today, and again got nowhere, leaving a message that was not returned. I called a second time, apparently after the customer service people had left, and got someone on the phone who was rude, and said to call back tomorrow to speak to customer service.
I am tired of calling, emailing, sending photos, and getting nowhere. The plant is yellow, and dropping leaves, and is basically dead, despite my best efforts to save it.
I have had my good feelings about this company ruined by this bad experience with lousy customer service. It would have been so simple to help me. If there had even been an email to say "We're working on it," or to let me in on what the status of my issue is, I would be more understanding, and not writing this comment now.
However, at this point, I am tired of this game, and I am disputing the charge. They have wasted too much of my time, and they have not made me whole - by a refund, or a new plant.
I will not order from Normans/Orchids/com again, after spending over $500 over the past 2 years. I guess they don't need the business or my money.
On March 4th, 2009, jal123 added the following:
I've purchased about 20 orchids from Normans over the past 2-3 years. I was always happy with my order. However, the one time I called them with an issue, it was a very, very difficult process. It wasn't even an expensive orchid! I just won the chargeback, so the bank and the card associations agreed with my dispute.
I would have certaintly given Norman's the benefit of the doubt, if they had just reponded to my concerns. I spent a LOT of time gathering the information, taking pictures and documenting the entire thing, at their request, and following up. I always loved the product I got. However, I think that they should stand behind that product, and respond. I called, I emailed, I did everything that was reasonable, and was very patient until I was still not getting any response, over a week later. It's basic customer service.
Maybe I didn't order enough product from them, as Roxanne above does. However, I don't feel that my total should make me less of a customer, since I'm building a greenhouse and I planned on spending a lot more money there over the next few years. It's a real shame. I still have not heard anything from them - not one email saying we apologize, not a phone call, nothing. If they would, I would think of ordering again, but the aweful follow-up has left a really bad taste in my mouth.. On Nov 25, 2008, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
A customer once said that people who posts on these websites to bad mouth and complain about companies can get away with it because readers do not know who they are. If what they are saying is the complete and honest truth that they would post their real name for everyone to see.
Our company knows exactly who this person is. She is a customer from Yardley, PA who after she was notified that she was being given a $28.00 credit for a plant that she was unsatisfied with filed a chargeback with her credit card company for the entire order of $265.00.
I guess she was so unhappy with one plant that she did not want to pay for any of the plants that she received. Not only is it dishonest but also against the law. When people file chargebacks, they have to sign a statement that goes something like this, "I declare under the penalty of perjury that the information stated is correct." Obviously, what she told her credit card company to try to get her money back was not all true.
We do keep records of every order, emails, notes, chargebacks and etc."
On Aug 7, 2008, WestTexasMom Carrollton, TX wrote:
Last month I ordered three orchids from Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids), two phals and a paph. When they arrived, there was no packing slip or invoice. The paph did not arrive, presumably out of stock. The phals were diseased, and as the web site instructs, I sent photographs of the plants in question right away. (This tells me they have lots of experience with such claims.) The Customer Support person, otherwise not identified, said their grower said the blemishes on the leaves were 'age spots.' I know the difference between a healthy leaf and a diseased one, and these were diseased. Then I inquired about why the phal as pictured was coral and the one I received was light violet. Again I sent a picture. This time she said the grower said that they lose their color during the summer heat. I have never heard of an orchid 'losing' color from an intense coral to violet! Now the phals' blooms are dropping, since they were fully opened out upon shipment, not in spike/bud as advertised. It is clear Norman's will do nothing to rectify the issue, and I must chalk this up to an expensive lesson - never purchase anything from Norman's again.
On August 18th, 2008, WestTexasMom added the following:
Last week my 'age spots' turned into mealybugs! It's a good thing I isolated those orchids!
Every year for Mother's day my son sends me an Orchid from Norman's, usually in good condition and they last for a long time. This year the orchid arrived looking wilted but according to directions, I watered the next morning. By the second week blooms were falling, by the third week, blooms were gone and stem is brown. When I called the company the company rep. said "The box sat in the hot Texas sun all day, Not OUR Fault", can't help and hung up on me. It happened to be on a shady carport with temps in the low 80's that day, the roses I received from my other son, in a box also, were still fresh and lasted nearly 3 weeks. I do not think weather was a factor. Either they weren't healthy when they left Norman's or rough packing or shipping.
I will not order, nor will my son, or recommend Norman's again. The service was terrible and the staff was rude.
On Jun 5, 2008, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
On Jun 5, 2008 1:53 PM, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) added:
Our company always sends out the best orchids. It is true that sometimes orchids get damaged in shipment; however, we always send out replacements as long as we are notified of the problem within 7 days. There are some facts missing from this post. The recipient neglected to mention that she claims she was home to receive the box when it was delivered at 4:00 pm. Upon doing some researh with Fedex, the box was left at the side door at 9:36 am. This means that the box was sitting outside in 90 degree weather for possibly 7 hours or more. Extreme heat or cold can cause orchid flowers to wilt. Rough packing or handling will cause the actual bloooms to drop off prematurely, not wilt. The method used to deliver the orchids was priority overnight and was delivered the next morning! The orchid would have been replaced if we were notified within 7 days. We were notified one whole month after it was delivered. Unfortunately, we cannot honor her request for a replacement due to the nature of live orchid plants. She was told that there was nothing we can do."
I recently purchased 6 phals from Norman's. I tested them for virus as soon as they arrived and discovered 3 of the 6 were infected. This prompted me to test the previous shipment of 3 orchids and I discovered that 2 of the 3 were virused. I got in touch with Norman's and was told that they do not guarantee their plants to be virus free. Norman's policy is to refund money for plants only if notified within 7 days. The customer has to pay shipping. By the time I send these diseased plants back, I'll be out about $140 ($80 plants and $60 shipping). I have the capability to test for viruses, but most people don't. Norman's has the potential to single handedly destroy tens of thousands of orchid collections with their careless quality control.
On Mar 31, 2008, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
On Apr 2, 2008 12:12 PM, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) added:
We are not in the business of selling unhealthy plants, we would not ship diseased plants. However, we do not guarantee all our plants to be virus free. No orchid nursery in the US does this. Plants can be perfectly healthy and may test positive for the presence of a virus from tests that may or may not be accurate. As an analogy, 99.99% of the population in the US would test positive for some form of cold virus -- we do not conclude from this that the whole US population is diseased and quarantine this country from the rest of the world.
Our plants are constantly inspected by plant experts at the federal and state level and have always been found disease free. If a customer wishes, we can arrange a phyto sanitary certificate to be issued , this requires an inspection of the plants by an expert from the California Department of Agriculture and provides certification that they are pest and disease free. We often do this for our clients in Puerto Rico and Hawaii, areas that require such certification before plants are allowed to be brought in.
In this particular case, we offered the customer a full refund for any plants that he didn't want as long as he returned them to us. The customer had requested a full refund without returning the plants. We understand he is filing a chargebacck with the credit card company and auctioning off the "diseased" plants on E-bay.
I am writing to express my disappointment and dissatisfaction in my experience on Orchids.com. I recently purchased two orchids to have shipped to my mother for her 62nd birthday (March 9th). When the orchids arrived, my mother called to notify me that one of the plants was infected with melee bugs (Fire Cracker / Blue Martini). She and I were obviously disappointed and needless to say, I was quite embarrassed.
I called the customer service number and spoke with Michelle – I was looking for assistance and interested to see how Orchids.com would remedy the situation. Michelle was quite rude and indicated that it was company policy to require photographs of any bugs be submitted to Orchids.com for review. Basically she called me a liar and was not at all helpful in accommodating a frustrated customer. I was not about to call my mother, several days after her plants arrived, to ask her to take photos of the plant with the bugs – SHE HAD ALREADY SPEND TWO PAINSTAKING HOURS CLEANING THE PLANT OF THE BUGS IN AN EFFORT TO SAVE IT!!
I will never use Orchids.com or Normans Orchids ever again!
A very dissatisfied customer!
On Mar 13, 2008, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
On Mar 13, 2008 12:05 PM, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) added:
Normans orchids/orchids.com does have a Company Policy that if there are any problems with any shipments, we have to ask for a photograph. This is something that we require of our customers if we need to send any replacements or give credits. We do not ask for any plants to be returned. The customer refused to send photos. We cannot remedy a situation if the customer is not willing to meet us halfway.
In April, 2004, I had 2 months experience with orchids and made sure the Norman's staff person at an orchid show knew this. The person said that a Phal lindenii would be easy for a beginner, and I bought the plant.
Soon after, the plant was looking bad and had one good root when I unpotted it. I e-mailed Norman's twice and left 3 voice mail messages, asking them what to do.
No one from Norman's responded, and the plant died. Later, two other growers said they wouldn't have sold a beginner that plant - hard to grow.
Norman's online catalogue has beautiful plants, and many aren't found anywhere else. Its hard to keep from ordering them.
So I was going to pre-order before a show this winter. Norman's Web site didn't seem to have a list of shows they'd be attending, so I e-mailed, asking for a schedule.
It's been over a month with no reply. Probably a favor because pre-ordering doesn't guarantee the right plant.
I used to buy some nice plants from this company. Such is no longer the case.
Quite recently I bought a plant from them which had a very, very poor root system. Within an hour of receiving the plant, I emailed them a photo of the plant, along with a statement of my dissatifaction. I asked them for a replacement.
I was told that the plant was dormant. I was also told that there was no use in replacing the plant, because all the others would look the same way. In order to receive credit for the plant, I was instructed to return the plant to them by 2-day mail. At my expense.
I did not find this an acceptable customer courtesy. I asked them for written proof that a dormancy period would or could cause such a massive loss of root integrity. I have yet to hear from them, and it has been a week or more since last contact.
I had become a satisfied customer of http://www.Orchids.com until recently. I ordered yet another group of 5 advertised orchids for a display. I received very small and non-flowering orchids without any blooms or spikes. I could have gotten better ones at Home Depot! None of them flowering as their add promised and as the photos showed. My first order, for the same price, had been wonderful, as was my second and third order. I thought I had found a superb supplier. Was I wrong! This last order made me feel as if I had been robbed! And worse yet, their customer relations took some time to respond. And worse yet, they did not offer to make it right. They said I could mail it back at my cost, and added that they would charge me a restocking fee. I will never buy from them again and recommend that no one else buy from Norman's or Orchids.com. Their product is very uneven and they do not send what they advertise. I am a frequent orchid buyer now and will never ever buy from Norman's or http://www.orchids.com. It is the same company. Be careful. DO not get robbed like I did. Lari in Arlington VA
On Oct 10, 2005, Orchids.com (Norman's Orchids) responded with:
"I work for Orchids.com as a Customer Service Representative. Mr. Hilarion was disappointed with the October AOS Special that he had just gotten from our company. He mentioned that it was nothing like the first order that he purchased which was the April AOS Special. He complained that only one orchid was in bloom and one particular one was very small. He complained that the package was supposed to consist of 5 flowering orchids. This is where the problem starts.
The October AOS Special does consist of 5 orchids. It does not say anywhere in the advertisement that they will be in bloom when they arrive. Here are some descriptions taken from the advertisement:
MC193 - In spike/buds
MC814 - Mature Size
MC701 - Near Mature Size
MC810 very compact spike - Near Mature Size
MC731 - In spike/buds
These following definitions are also cleary stated on every page of our general catalog.
In bud/in spike ï¿½ not recommended for gifts, can be short spike (4-6 weeks to bloom) or already fully bloomed.
Mature Size ï¿½ Capable to bloom within a year when in season.
Near Mature Size ï¿½ Needs 12-18 months to bloom.
Mr. Hilarion must have assumed that since his April AOS Special came in bloom, that his October AOS Special would come in bloom as well. The fact of the matter is that each AOS Special consists of different specials and different plants. Each advertisement clearly specifies what maturity level the orchids are in. He must not have read the descriptions of each plant. The photos of orchids are showed on the advertisement so that the buyer can see what they will look like when they bloom. We never promised that they will arrive with flowers. I am not saying that we never make mistakes because nobody is perfect but in this case, we really did send him what he purchased. He was not at all robbed!
It is hard for us to make something right when we did not do anything wrong to begin with. He was sent exactly what he ordered in a timely manner. The comment that our product is very uneven and we do not send what we advertise is simply false. We have thousands of different types of orchids with different maturity level and sizes. Sometimes, a customer for whatever reason does not read carefully before they purchase an item. We truly cannot help this and feel that it is unfair for us to be blamed because of this.
Here is proof that we send exactly what we advertise: In April, Mr. Hilarion ordered the April AOS Special, all 5 orchids in that special were advertised as in bud/in spike or first bloom. That is exactly what he received. Our October AOS Special which he recently received consisted of 5 orchids with different maturity. His description of what he received sounds like the October AOS Special, he even mentioned one being small which would be the compact spiking plant in the special.
We value our customer's and always try to make things right as much as possible but it does have to be within reason."
On Aug 22, 2005, bobmarley Milledgeville, GA wrote:
I had saved my pennies for quite a while to be able to afford a particular plant, which was for sale at $50. The plant arrived, a 4-bulb division, the second-from-the-back bulb of which had obviously died and had been removed. That left 3 pseudobulbs, neither of which had a viable eye. Now I have three pseudobulbs which are essentially eunuchs with no hope of any life to come. DEFINITELY not worth the price!
In the Spring 2005 - I e-mailed orchids.com to inquire as to the availability of a certain species -- (not listed on the website) -- time passes - -no answer - I re-send with original attached -- still no answer - I figure - they're not in business anymore, or what ?? nother week or two goes by --
I send ANOTHER E-mail -- it says' I'm INTERESTED in placing an order, but before I do, I have some questions,
could you please contact me (via-e-mail) . This was to
know that they are even in business -- There doesn't seem to be any address or phone number on the web. pages - not that I could find . and at the time I didn't know about THIS site. So....no answer - even when I said I wanted to place an order !!! So I don't think I will.
A friend gave me an orchid which he had ordered from Norman's Orchids (Orchids.com) as part of a test run of potential vendors for a floral website. The orchid I received was not the one that had been pictured, and when I called to report the mistake, I was treated rudely (shouted at and hung up on), told that I was wasting their time, and the only solution they had to offer was that I ship the orchid back at my cost and hope they would refund my friend's purchase. No one offered an apology, and my suggestion that their policies were unclear was ignored. Then, when I reported their poor customer service on a consumer watchdog site, they had the nerve to respond that I was a part of some vast conspiracy at my friend's company to harass them and get a free plant. Shopping at Orchids.com / Norman's Orchids wasn't worth the headache. The plant itself was slightly damaged in shipping, which is understandable with such a delicate item, but appears to be of good health and is in fact quite lovely, as orchids always are. This is my first orchid, but now I will be ordering many more, just not from Orchids.com / Norman's Orchids. Life is too short to deal with such terrible cutomer service.
I ordered two Cattleyas in January. Waited a few weeks; they never showed up. I e-mailed the company and was told that the orchids were beyond their peak bloom period so they did not want to ship them. That's fine, I just wonder if I had not e-mailed them, would I ever have been contacted. They asked if I would like a refund or a replacement. So, I orderd to phal. to replace them. Waited another two weeks--nothing. I called last week and was told my order would ship--and both plants would have spikes. They arrived today, in good shape, but the Sara Gold Peach did not have any spikes! I called today to let them know, and MIchelle, said that she instructed the growers to ship only plants with spikes. Could I please use my digital camera to take a picture and she would show it to the growers! I just think that is totally inappropriate customer service--to put the burden of proof on the customer! I stated this and she said she would go ahead and check with the growers. She also offered me $10 credit--the difference between a mature plant and one with buds. I said I would wait. Right now, I am reserving judgment and will update this forum when the problem is resolved.
On March 2nd, 2005, ElizabethK added the following:
MARCH 3, 2005 NOTE: I DID AS NORMAN'S REQUESTED AND SENT THEM PHOTOS OF THE PLANT W/O SPIKE. IT HAS BEEN OVER A WEEK AND NO ONE FROM THE COMPANY HAS CONTACTED ME. On March 13th, 2005, ElizabethK added the following:
After two weeks, I had to call to find out if this company received the photos of the orchid that I sent to them. I sent the photos at least three times over a period of a week! I was told that they did receive the photos and that they needed a signature from someone who was at a Miami orchid show in order to replace my plant. I was told he would return that same day and sign-off on the replacement. I was also told that I would receive an e-mail (that day) to confirm that my orchid would be replaced. Of course, I have not heard a word and have not received an e-mail of any sort. Also, the orchid that I did receive in bud, Phal. Stars, has begun to bloom nicely. It, however, has NO fragrance. The only reason that I bought it was because it was a Phal. WITH a fragrance. Based on my experience, I would not recommend this company. I placed my original order on January 12th. Here it is March 13th, and the matter is still not resolved.
I have ordered from this company twice, once retail and once wholesale. Not happy---my order arrived frozen, and the replacement plants (sent five months later) were disgusting. One was rotted and I called to complain, was told I would recieve a phone call from the owner-never did. Oh-by the way, I was talked down to on the phone by someone who automatically assumed that I knew nothing about repotting. two phals on the wholesale order got bacterial spots within a couple of days.