The tree I recieved was obviously dead upon arrival. I planted and cared for it anyway hoping for the best. After 2 months I gave up all hope. I called Nature Hills Nursery and they instructed me to scrape some of the trunk off to verify if it was dead and it was. They said they don't offer refunds but would send another tree at 50 percent off the going price. Guess what... the price for the same tree is now three times what it was when I bought this one. So in order to get the same tree I would now pay more than I did in the first place. Sounds like a big scam to me. I'm reporting this company to the Attorney General's office an the Better Business Bureau.
On Jul 17, 2012, chuckcanuck27 Vancouver Canada wrote:
In April of 2012 I ordered a Pluot tree (Flavor Grenade) that I had read about - it sounds like a terrific cultivar. It arrived and when I opened the box I was immediately dismayed. I planted it right away as instructed but it appeared to my eyes (Master Gardener) to be dead. I immediately e-mailed the company and they opened a ticket. I was assured the tree was alive but could take up to 90 days to break into leaf. I waited a while and contacted them again. I received the same info and was told about their pathetic replacement policy. My bad! I should have made sure ahead of time that they stand behind their products. I finally gave up in early July when it was still 'dormant' and pulled the tree out of the ground. It was beginning to rot and had never formed a single root. We have beautiful soil, and I gave it lots of TLC. The plant was just dead from the start - I'm convinced of it. I would never order again from Nature Hills.
On Jul 17, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are certainly sorry to hear that you had an issue with your order. In some cases, trees can take several weeks to break dormancy. We do guarantee the safe delivery of all of our plants and trees. If there was an issue with the tree upon arrival, and you notified us right away, then we would certainly want to review the case. If you are within the recommended planting zones for the tree, then there might be reason to review this order. There is a bit of concern, as it looks like you are signed in from Canada. Pluots are warm climate trees, and we don't ship internationally. Perhaps it was sent somewhere within the states? Please contact our customer service department and we can have another look.
On Jul 10, 2012, ReallyTickedOff Valencia, CA wrote:
Ordered a Scarlet Oak back in February (2012), which they said would ship within a week. After almost a month with no shipment or contact from them, I tried via e-mail and phone to finally get hold of someone, who said the tree was "scheduled" to ship in April, seven months after I bought it. They had already charged my card back in Feb, and were now giving me attitude over the phone as I was requesting the status of my merchandise that they had previously stated would be in my hands long ago.
Tree finally arrived, but was poorly packed and was ALREADY NEARLY DEAD! I planted it anyway to try to save it (about 25 feet away from an existing Scarlet Oak in my yard), but it promptly died and dried up no matter how much I watered and nurtured it.
Sabrina at Nursery Hills told me they didn't guarantee their plants (the first time I've ever encountered a nursery that operates under this policy), and said not only would they charge me for a new replacement tree, but I'd have to wait until July (now) before they could process the order. Well, now it's July, and they won't have any replacements until 2013! Huh??
This is easily in the top five worst online purchasing experiences I've ever had, from a company that operates with rude customer service on the phone and horrible product policy. I lost money dealing with them, and possibly an entire year in the planting spot in my yard since now I'll have to search out a new source for a Scarlet Oak.
STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY! THEY WILL TAKE YOUR MONEY UP FRONT AND THEN LEAVE YOU BY THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.
I ordered a Mandarin-Owari Satsuma Dwarf Orange tree from Nature Hills recently. I was astonished and delighted to receive the beautiful specimen that they sent. It was lush, full, and exactly what I wanted. Out of all the online plant orders I have made in the past few years, this one is the most desirable. After a week, it looks healthy and happy. I will definitely order from them again.
On Jul 7, 2012, lbsaltzman Mission Canyon, CA wrote:
I join the long list of individuals with serious complaints about this company. I received a near dead Mars grape this spring. It was very small for the price and the leaves had yellow veins. I was ignored by the company though I sent numerous emails and phoned them.
A disreputable nursery/company that does not stand behind its products. I recently ordered a white oak tree from Nature Hills. The tree was in-transit for 7 days. When opened, the box contained a "brittle to touch" tree, possessing shriveled brown leaves and bare, dry (to the extreme) roots. I immediately planted the tree, as instructed.and contacted Nature Hills about the condition of the tree - the company representative stated that the tree was shipped in elite, pristine condition and that it would respond favorably within 6 weeks, as it was dormant (are shriveled brown leaves, brittleness and dry roots indicative of a dormant state, I wondered).
Nine weeks later the tree remains completely inert and is obviously dead, just as when it arrived. When I again contacted Nature Hills, I was informed that their unbending replacement policy requires that the customer pay for a second tree, plus shipping and handling, in order to have the defective product replaced with another "guaranteed "shipment. Apparently, while the "shipment" is guaranteed, the purchased product isn't. Avoid doing business with Nature Hills unless you feel that a 50% negative rating (per the recent comments on this website) presents a good and viable service-oriented company.worthy of your trust and business.
After reading all the negative reviews I was very concerned about what I might find. Although the 4 honeysuckle bushes I received looked very sad when I opened the package, I got them started soaking and planted as soon as I got the locates done, a couple of days later. It's been less than a week and I already have strong new growth on all 4 bushes. Having been gardening and planting for most of 40 years, maybe I have an advantage when using bare plantings, but I am very happy with Nature Hills.
Recommended course of action for any potential customer of Nature Hills Nursery: Find a company with better than a B- BBB rating; one that has a reasonable and fair replacement guarantee and whose customer service canít be defined as ďthick as manure and about half as usefulĒ.
I placed a late season order for seven roses totaling just over $300, including shipping. Unfortunately, they were dormant upon receipt with dried buds and branched falling off. I couldnít judge if these were going to be healthy plants and of course two of the seven didnít come back. I spoke w/ Bill in customer service who told me I could have two replacements at half price plus shipping. What a rip off. They wanted to charge me $50 to fix their inability to ship healthy plants. Oh, it is June and I was told they also wouldnít ship until ďmid-fallĒ.
I have to take some of the blame for the problem above. They have an awful replacement policy and I should have gone to one of the many competing operations that will make it right. Based on the poor plants I received, their lousy customer service and self stacked service policies, each order is a potential disaster and I canít advise anyone wait around for the train to jump the tracks.
For the past 5 or 6 years, I have placed between 1-3 orders per year with Nature Hills. They are my 'go-to' site for shrubs, because they are one of the few places online to get BIG shrubs, and I LOVE shrubs, and I do not like to wait for 7 years or so for a tiny shrub to mature. I was quite dismayed to see these negative reviews when all of my experiences with Nature Hills have been great, including the order I received today. I got my Acer ginnala 'Flame,' 'Sem' sorbaria, and a gold physocarpus which were all as big or bigger than stated. Now, I suppose to many, these would appear to be dead sticks...when in fact, they are not!
This is called a BARE ROOT shrub, a shrubbery which is sleeping gently in a dormant state, as they do over a cold winter, which saves tremendously on shipping costs, and allows a company to send a large plant item through the mail at a reasonable cost. Which is why I can usually get a great deal on big shrubs and trees at Nature Hills. I wish I could post pictures of the shrubs I've rec'd over the years, they are gorgeous and huge! and to think that they arrived looking like dead sticks! I feel sorry for this nursery. They SO do not deserve these crappy reviews.
I ordered two trees from this company in April. They sent two 3-foot trees that had clearly been in cold storage since late in the fall. They had very little signs of life. When I opened the package, twigs actually snapped off they were that dry. I immediately contacted the company, something you have to do in order to get a refund, and began "sweating" the trees as they instructed. After a month with no sign of life they finally refunded by money. It appears that they keep their stock bare root in storage far too long. I will probably never order from them again, but if I were to order from them I would order only in winter or early spring.
MY order was placed on May 23 (W) for four Dante Gold's and processed immediately. My charge card reflected an immediate charge on Wednesday, yet, I had to contact the selling business on May 25th to even get a receipt-confirmation of my order, even though my charge card had been charged two-days earlier on the 23rd. Using the internet for years for purchases the standard practice is an immediate e-mail response-confirmation of the buyers order to their e-mail account and in a rare instance there's a delay of fifteen minutes. But this was not the case with Nature Hills and I had to mail a request for it two days later on the 25th.
Nowhere on the receipt-statement does it disclose any details of a 7-day wait on shipping or 10% penalty if the order is canceled. The information on the website indicates that the product was available on 5/23 (W) and there was absolutely no shipping of the product over a period of 6 business days: 5/24 (TH), 5/25 (F), 5/26 (SA), 5/29 (TU), 5/30 (W) or 5/31 (TH). The order was canceled the evening of 5/31 (TH) as it's evident that I was being strung along by a business that didn't have the product I ordered on 5/23 (W) as advertised on their website.
Now there comes a HIDDEN 10% charge for order cancellation from out of the woodwork, which is not disclosed on the company's receipt/statement or during the internet purchasing process that I went through. Nothing more than a 'Den of Thieves' and an inept business with no concept of business civility to customers.
On May 29, 2012, ericlhyman Silver Spring, MD wrote:
I ordered a Salix Flamingo this spring. The plant arrived with upper leaves and stems that were blackened from some disease. I buy all of my plants mail order and this was not the usual minor distress in shipping. In 1-2 week's time, this blackening of the stems and leaves spread all the way down the plant and it was dead.
I brought this attention to the company and their only offer to resolve the problem was to suggest I buy another at 50% with full shipping cost. While that may be a fair policy if a plant arrives healthy and dies over the course of a year due to the gardener's fault or nature's, it is not fair when a diseased plant is received.
My experience has been that the company does NOT live up to their statement in response to a previous customer's complaint -- , "We do guarantee that our products arrive to you safely and in viable condition.... Other than that, we do offer a one year replacement for half price plus shipping and handling if the plant dies after it is transplanted." If I had seen the volume of complaints about diseased plant shipments from this company on this website, I would never have ordered from them.
I purchased a Lavender Twist Redbud tree last spring. It arrived and was nothing but a tall stick. I planted it and it bloomed and then got foliage. Very healthy until I got too close to it with the lawn mower and broke it off at the ground. I purchased a second one and, when it arrived, the box was damaged and the tree was broken in half. I contacted them and they immediately sent me a replacement and told me to keep the broken one.
The third one, like the other two was just a tall stick. I planted it and it did well. I suspected, however, that it was not a weeping redbud despite the tag 'lavender twist' that was on it. This spring it is growing like a weed - bloomed and developed beautiful, huge leaves but it was still growing upright. I took a picture of it and emailed Nature Hills and they immediately emailed me back and confirmed my suspicion that it was just a normal red bud. They then asked me if I wanted one sent now or did I want to wait until next spring.
I have had nothing but very positive experience with this company. Their service has been exceptional and I will always be a customer.
We are certainly sorry to hear that you experienced a loss with your order. We do guarantee that our products arrive to you safely and in viable condition. If there was an issue with the shipment, we would certainly be happy to look into the matter. Other than that, we do offer a one year replacement for half price plus shipping and handling if the plant dies after it is transplanted.
Posted on April 24, 2012, updated April 24, 2012
Long story short. DO NOT BUY from this company. If you still want, read their terms VERY carefully before placing even a 5$ order.
If you place an order then cancel it, they will charge you a 10% fee of the TOTAL ORDER PRICE which includes shipping and handling and handling oversized items (well ... if your order is less than 100.50$ you'll pay a 10$ fee ... calculate their profit if your order is 5$ ). Hmmm... the S&H + HOI is approx 35% of the order... They make a good profit from cancelled orders charging fees for shipping before shipment.
If you place an order at night (I did it at 7 PM ET), then cancel it 3 hours (well, in my case it was 3 hours 45 min - hahahaha) they will recommend you to read their terms and provide you with a statement similar to :
Bill:"All of the plant
material you ordered was removed from inventory when you submitted the order, and so it was no longer for sale on our site. When you submitted the order you had to agree to the terms and conditions to submit the order. Here is the cancellation part that you agreed to.
It's hard to believe someone at Nature Hills was moving twelve 3# and 5# containers (I was that much stupid to order) from inventory last night.
Better Business Bureau B(-minus) is too high for them. I think if everyone submitted the BBB claim against Nature Hills the rating would be less than F
Additionally, they do not just refund your card ... like normal companies do if the order is cancelled ... they want you to give them the credit card details to complete the refund.
On April 24th, 2012, nea2012 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I've changed my review to positive. After exchanging some emails, Bill, the manager I have been contacting to, informed me that I will get a 100% refund. This decision, in my case, makes sense. However I still recommend to read the terms& conditions before placing the order. I take my angry comment back.
Thank you Bill. On Apr 24, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are sorry you had an issue with the order. Our system works in real time, and once the order is placed, it is live in our system. This time of year, we ship thousands of plants, and orders are sent to our warehouse's shipping queue almost immediately so we can ship orders as quickly as possible.
If we can catch an order before it is sent to the warehouse, we certainly can accommodate order changes and cancellation requests, but it isn't always possible when the order goes to shipping. The cancellation fee is charged when we have to pull an order from the shipping department. The fee is 10% of the order total (before shipping and handling), so we apologize if there was a miscommunication / miscalculation of the fee when you initially contacted us.
We were able to catch the order, and complete the cancellation request. Since you did contact us the same day as the order was placed, we issued the full refund. We appreciate you revising your post here, and we are glad that we were able to correct the situation to your satisfaction. We apologize for any inconvenience. We hope you consider us for future purchases.
Posted on March 13, 2012, updated April 9, 2012
Posted on March 4, 2012, updated March 13, 2012
I ordered a Northern Red Oak from this company, was sent a 4.5 foot twig with no branches. I read the return policy before ordering, but was really hoping I would get what was described. Considering I paid almost 40 bucks for this twig all told, I did not.
I did not contact this company, they know what they sent me. I just cut my losses, I didn't not want another tree at half price, I should never have been sent this stick to begin with.
On March 13th, 2012, Citro added the following:
I wish I could take a picture of the BENT twig you sent as a 40 dollar Oak. The branches were not pruned, they were completely dead and just snapped off. I have left it in the ground for almost 2 years now, with only a few very small leaves jutting out of the top. I am now pulling it up and replacing it with a real Oak. Shame on me for ordering it knowing of your ridicules return policy.On April 9th, 2012, Citro added the following:
The two stunted leaves jutting out of the top of the "tree" were not enough to keep the oak alive. I waited, after reading your response, to pull it up. It is dead. I've wasted two growing seasons trying to get this twig with no branches to live. And yes, you keep talking about how all of us knew the return policy, but buying online is a leap of faith, ordering from your company is a leap off a cliff. Shame on you.On Apr 9, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are certainly sorry to hear that you were disappointed with your tree. When planting bareroot trees, it is not uncommon to have a 4 to 5 foot tree that has minimal to no branching. In fact, branching is often pruned on younger trees in order to keep the branches higher on the trunk. This promotes a more upright tree at maturity, which is typically desired when planting what will become large shade trees like an oak. We do send out 4 to 5 foot Red Oak trees, and that is the measurement of the leader above the root system. Typically, it only takes a season or two for significant branching to take place.
Nature Hills Nursery
On Mar 14, 2012 10:01 AM, Nature Hills Nursery added:
We apologize if your order was damaged when it arrived to you. If we are notified within 48 hours of the item arriving damaged, we can submit a damage claim with the shipper and reship the item for you. If you have had the tree for 2 years now, unfortunately, we are unable to start a claim with the shipper at this point as we are past the deadline. Did you notify us of the damage / bend in the tree within the 48 hour time frame? If there was something we missed on this end, we apologize, and we can certainly investigate further (please call customer service at 1-888-864-7663 option 2).
Unfortunately, we don't all returns on live material. Plants can only endure so much time in shipping, too often, they don't survive the trip back when they are returned. That is why all sales are final with plant material. We do state this on the website, and it was part of the terms and conditions that are agreed upon when the order is placed.
As far as the tree goes, if there are leaves jutting out of the top, then the tree certainly sounds like it is alive. Oak trees, by nature, are slow growers. It does take some time for them to get established. Slight bends can be corrected with staking, and we would be happy to offer advise on that if that is an option. We would hate to see a tree be tossed aside if it can be saved. If you decide that you want to replace it with a larger tree, then that is your decision.
Please let us know if we can offer any further assistance.
Nature Hills is overpriced and have poor quality products. You do not get what you pay for. You just pay more and get less.
I bought a peach tree in April. We had plenty of moisture in the spring and summer, but it never took off. The tree may have gotten 4 leaves. It never branched out or did anything. I was very disappointed, since I paid almost twice what I could have gotten the same tree from another company for. When I called the customer service, they said they needed a soil sample. I had one taken just that spring, so I had that. After looking it over, they determined the soil was fine. But I couldn't get a full replacement - they only offered me 50% off if I ordered another one and I had to pay the shipping. The problem I have is that I can get a tree for half their price and that company will give me a full replacement, no questions asked if the tree dies. So why would I pay twice the price to get nothing.
I will never buy anything from them again - even if it is 50% off.
On Jan 10, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
Ordered 4 Hazelnut trees in #2 containers -- trees came well packaged but one of the trees was damaged. Called customer service and was treated very professionally and received more than I expected. Will use them for all my plants in the future. Will reccomend them strongly.
I ordered 250 Honeyo Strawberry plants from these folks the week before last and they came in last Thursday. They were planted in raised beds with shade cloth in this extremely hot weather. I think I have 100% taking. Maybe two per bundle of 25 were a little puny compared to the others and a few had about half of their roots sliced off about 1 1/2" from the crown. Some were still almost dormant upon arrival. They all looked tough, even the puny ones. I had Bill as a customer representative and he was fantastic about all my questions and quite resourceful. As these plants were on sale with free shipping and I had some low expectations, sure glad I took a chance. They look great!
Posted on May 21, 2010, updated June 7, 2011
First time ordering from this company. The live shrub Nature Hills sent me was large and in very good shape upon arrival.
So, I'm very happy with my purchase!
On June 7th, 2011, jim1961 added the following:
Ordered a live plant of a Lo and behold butterfly bush!
Arrived just fine! Planted it and it's growing really good...
I've ordered live plants a few times from these guys with no trouble and received excellent plants!
Posted on June 2, 2011, updated June 6, 2011
Donít buy from Nature Hills catalog company. And donít buy shrubs online.
I repeat, DO NOT BUY FROM NATURE HILLS CATALOG COMPANY. AND DONíT BUY SHRUBS ONLINE.
You still want to take a chance? Go ahead. Plunk down your hard-earned money for inferior products and abysmal customer service. Hey, itís your dough.
But, if you want to listen to me, hereís why. It was April of 2010, youíll find out later why I remember the date so well, and I ordered a double flowering plum and a flowering almond shrub from Nature Hills. I received a crabapple and a flowering almond. *sigh* So I emailed them. They told me to keep the crabapple Ė I later found out why Ė and sent me a double flowering plum. The plum was THE saddest shrub you have ever seen. I planted, and watered, and waited. Nothing. The spring waned, the summer faded, and nothing. I emailed them to tell them of my sad little do-nothing plum and itís only a little better almond. They offered to send me a new plum at 50% of the cost Ė WOW, what a return policy! - but being a schmuck, I said Iíd let it go until spring of this year. MIStake.
Spring comes and the crabapple Ė free, remember? Ė flowered and then promptly went into hibernation. The almond is only doing a little better. The plum? No flowers, no foliage, gone, in the trash. I emailed Nature Hills, IN MAY, to tell them.
OH, they said, your year of Ė get this Ė a 50% replacement on a new shrub has expired and now youíre out of luck.
So, I repeat. Itís your dough. But, my advice:
Donít buy from Nature Hills catalog company. And donít buy shrubs online.
I repeat, DO NOT BUY FROM NATURE HILLS CATALOG COMPANY. AND DONíT BUY SHRUBS ONLINE.
On June 6th, 2011, ignatz713 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
An update to my experience with Nature Hills.
I was contacted by the head of the customer service department, as apparently this site is a live one and my note made a difference. It prompted the result I had hoped for initially, and I have to give credit where it is due. Sadly, whomever was online when I tried to resolve my year-long issue was ill-equipped to handle the matter, and went by the book.
As my conversation with the CS professional revealed, this was an unusual issue and had been ongoing since I first planted the products. I had tried to give the product(s) a chance, but to no avail. One out of the three seems to be growing well.
Ultimately, I will be receiving a refund for the plant which struggled last year and died this, and am duly enough satisfied with Nature Hills to exhort everyone to give them a try but to not go quietly when told to go away.
Thank you to Nature Hills and the head of the CS department.
I live in the Mountains of NM classified as zone 6. At 7300 ft elevation we have a fickle growing season.
I worked with Jeff at Naturehills and bought 44 bare root fruit trees in many varieties that we researched together. We looked at what would pollinate the other and what would do well in the area.
Every single tree has great new growth. Even the tree the dog ate in half before I could get a cage around it.
If you know how to plant and care for bare root trees, Nature hills is a great place to buy them. Great selection, excellent communication and a fair price.
Thank you for such a great tree. I received my 6 ft. Crimson King Maple tree today and it looks absolutely great. The roots were packed nicely, and there are buds all over it. It is much taller than I anticipated too, after planting it I measured it at 6'4". I am very pleased with my purchase from you. I am so excited to watch it grow now.
I received my Hosta's yesterday from Nature Hills Nursery, and was very pleased with them, so Thank You so much for sending the wonderful plants! The plants are nice large plants and the packaging was excellent. I had also ordered 2 hosta's from a different company and they did not compare to the ones that I had ordered from Nature Hills. I will definitely order from them again
Three years ago I ordered from Nature Hills. I just discovered this forum and decided to praise them for their service and quality. I botched my order when I placed it and they were very polite in changing it for me. Everything (small and large fruits) arrived in decent packaging and good condition. Their prices are kind of steep, but their quality is exceptional. Apples fruited last year and everything else is looking to fruit this year if their vigor is any indication, despite the crappy spring we've had. So I'll say that the folks at Nature Hills take some pride, as well they should. The next time I want a special specimen or two, I'll be ordering from them.
On Apr 19, 2011, magicj423 East Petersburg, PA wrote:
I received my Weigela "Fine Wine" today. The plant arrived in excellent condition. It couldn't have been better if I'd have picked it up at a local nursery! Thank you, Nature Hills, for your outstanding service and products! I would recommend you to anyone!
On Apr 13, 2011, irsetter Defuniak Springs, FL wrote:
I ordered a 6 foot Weeping Cherry. Inspection upon arrival revealed the tree was broken in half. This was no fault of Nature Hills. The tree was securely packaged, but the shipping company allowed the container to be bent in half. I contacted Nature Hills, and Bryan answered my email. He made sure another tree was sent out promptly. Imagine my surprise when I opened the new tree to find a larger tree enclosed to prevent breakage AND the tree has blossoms. This is my first time ordering from Nature Hills, and I am impressed. I would highly recommend this company to anyone wanting to order plants and trees! The most amzing thing is that I put the two halves of the first tree together with wound dressing and repair tape, and the tree is doing great. Thanks Nature Hills and Bryan!
I purchased a 5-7 foot tree from Nature Hills. When it arrived it was only 4 feet tall. I called customer service and they immediately mailed me the correct sized tree. They also told me to keep the small one and plant it. Trees are expensive. The new tree was reasonably priced and now I have planted two for the price of one! My trees are already budding. No complaints about this company. Great customer service. I will definitely use them again.
Freaking Amazing. Ordered 2 Flavor Grenade Pluot trees. Ordered in Jan or Feb and they were shipped in March. I freaked out and worried about how many days it was on the UPS truck and checked it's tracking number daily to see if it had moved. When they got here on the 10th I was truly impressed. I did my homework and read the reviews here first but still ordered with this company and I'm glad I did. Now I'm starting to think if you have to read the directions on how to plant bareroot trees ... why the eff are you buying bareroot trees online? These trees were from Dave Wilson nursery. They were 5/8 and ~1/2 cal. Heavily branched and packed with common sense in rotted sawdust and shredded paper all wrapped in plastic. I say common sense because even the way they tied it together with rope had the knot snug but a quick release when you pull on it so I didn't even have to cut it. The roots were out of control. Of the 35 fruit trees I got these two have the best roots upon arrival. I guess my rating would be more for DWN than for natue hills but i purchased from NH so they get the watchdog. Dmail me for Photos.
People ... order at the right time of year. feel free to dig the hole before the plant gets there so you're ready to go asap. It's roots are beat until they grow back ... you need to water it regularly so it doesn't die.
My experience with this company has been good. My Fuji apple tree purchased in spring 2009 is doing fine. My Ginkgo purchased in May 2010 is also doing great. I purchased a Barlett pear at the same time, but it did not survive the summer. I can't blame Nature Hills though -- I knew I was pushing my luck planting a young tree in my front yard (which gets full sun) only about 1 1/2 months before our scorching hot Mississippi summers. I just had to try... In any case, I have ordered another Barlett pear from Nature Hills which due to arrive this spring. I have every reason to expect it to do fine since the tree will have 3-4 months to get established before the summer sun gets its hottest.
I purchased a variety of trees, shrubs and roses from this company in mar 2010, totaling close to $300.00. I now have only three holly tress, still alive. Almost everything I received was bareroot stock, just a brown stick and many months later it was still just a brown stick. I have replaced all of these from a local supplier. I originally wanted to get a few more holly trees with my store credit, so to speak, but they did not have any available of the size I had purchased earlier. I then sent an email to the replacement web site to see if I could get tulip and daffodil bulbs for the credit I supposedly had and I was told NOooooooo, that I still had to purchase brown sticks as I had done the first time. As they say hind sight is alway 20/20 and what do I find when I look at the Better Business Bureau web site, they are listed at a (F). Now why does this not surprise me. I will never do business with this company again and you can believe that I will not have anything good to say for them.
On Nov 2, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are sorry if you do not like our replacement policy, however it was stated in the terms and conditions that you agreed upon when you placed the order online. Any failed items in the first year can be replaced for half the current selling price plus shipping and handling, no questions asked.
As stated before, typically we only replace item for item. When you originally lost 2 trees, we were willing to offer a different "like item" at half price to send in its place. When you e-mailed back 7 months later to report a total loss from the original order, we stuck with our no questions asked policy and again offered to replace the failed items with different species, as long as they were "like items" (so you would have to select bushes and shrubs). This is well above and beyond the standard replacement policy that you agreed to when you placed the order online. Bulbs are in a different category and they can not be sent as replacements for trees and shrubs.
If you no longer have a need for trees and shrubs because you sourced them elsewhere, that is not grounds for Nature Hills Nursery to change the replacement policy that you agreed to when you place your order with us. I assure you are standing with the BBB is not and "F" rating, and we have been more than fair with you regarding this order.
Posted on July 30, 2010, updated October 15, 2010
Posted on July 28, 2010, updated July 30, 2010
Buyer beware! DO NOT BUY FROM THIS COMPANY!!! Do not be fooled by the selection or the free shipping. My complaints are the same as the other 65 negatives: this company is in the business of selling dead plants and then charging you 150% and double shipping. I ordered 6 lilacs; one was dead ( not dormant) upon arrival, the other three had green buds, which immediately wilted and fell off after only 9 days! The customer service people seem to love to spend their whole days either giving or writing lengthy boilerplate defences for their shoddy products and their even worse "guarantee". It's not a guarantee, it's a set-up: if your dead plant stays dead, you can pay an additional 50% plus shipping to get another dead plant. The BBB gives this company a C-, they lost their accredidation on 6/03/2010, and they have had 36 complaints.
Their sacred "terms and conditions" run over 1,000 words and it's purposely misleading and obtuse- the refund policy is hidden in the middle; it's surrounded by lengthy disclaimers and it's a true marvel of legalese to make suckers out of many of us.
Considering the 65 negatives, Nature Hills has had plenty of opportunity to make their terms and conditions transparent and concise: their refusal to do so is a clear indication that the company has no intention of being a reputable business.
On July 30th, 2010, uhw added the following:
Nature Hills made NO OFFER to replace the dead plants other than their standard one of an ADDITIONAL 50% plus shipping to the 100% plus shipping I already paid. Sorry, but that does add up to 150% plus double shipping for dead plants!
The rest of their ranting is pure and simple lies and, again, typical boilerplate. ( My garden has been in TWO garden shows over 25 years, so don't patronize me with the obvious about soil, temperature, blah, blah, blah)
I made two additional phone calls to the very busy and very hard working customer service representative and received no reply
I e-mailed the president and received no reply.
Again: isn't it unbelievable how much time and energy Nature Hills spends trying to defend their inconscionable business practices to scores of dissatisfied customers?
63 negatives on Dave's Garden!!!
36 complaints on Better Business!!!
The company purposely misrepresents their merchandise and makes false claims and promises about their plants. Then they engineer a marvel of legalese to be removed from all liability for false claims and promises because they have only created a hope without making a real pledge. The top of the site states " Buy plants and trees online guaranteed by the Nature Hills Family since 2001"
The real scoop ( guarantee) is: BUYER BEWARE : OUR RECORDS HAVE SHOWN THAT A LOT OF OUR DORMANT PLANTS ARE ACTUALLY DEAD OR DIE A PREMATURE DEATH. BUT, WE WILL MAKE YOU PAY THROUGH THE NOSE ANYWAY.
I am also taking this matter to my credit card company and I urge all the other dissatisfied customers to do the same.On October 15th, 2010, uhw added the following:
I just received my refund from American Express for the 4 dead sticks I received from Nature Hills Nursery. For all of you dissatisfied customers out there; DO NOT GIVE UP!!! Their return policy is illegal; the catch phrase is: Implied Warranty of Merchantability.
An applied warranty of merchantability is an unwritten and unspoken guarantee to the buyer that goods purchased conform to ordinary standards of care and that they are of the same average grade, quality, and value as similar goods sold under similar circumstances. In other words, merchantable goods are goods fit for the ordinary purposes for which they are to be used. The Uniform Commercial Code ( UCC), provides that courts may imply a warranty of merchantability when (1) the seller is the merchant of such goods, and (2), the buyer uses the goods for the ordinary purpose for which such goods are sold ( &2-314)
Thus, a buyer can sue the seller for breaching the implied warranty by selling goods UNFIT for their ordinary purpose.
Dead sticks are unfit for being used as ALIVE garden plants.
Good luck. Don't give up. There is justice out there.
Thank you, American Express!!!On Oct 15, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
This response is longer and more in depth than what we would typically post in this forum. However, there were false statements made in your post that we simply could not leave unanswered. We will start by saying that we are sorry that you felt that your experience with Nature Hills was such a negative one. We have attempted to resolve this matter with you, even to the extent of going well above and beyond the terms and conditions that are stated on our site. We understand that it is your right to post your views on public forums such as this, but we do not appreciate using false information in your post.
We are most certainly not in the business of "selling dead plants and then charging you 150% and double shipping." First and foremost, you stated yourself that all but one of the lilacs from your order arrived with buds (and you stated in a phone conversation with our customer service manager that the one that didn't initially have buds had budded within the first 2 weeks of being planted). Obviously, the material was not dead when it arrived to you. Secondly, our replacement policy states that material can be replaced for half the current selling price plus shipping and handling within the first year. The figures of "150% and double shipping" are absurd, and completely false. We offer a replacement policy as there are many factors, such as soil composition, moisture levels, insects, disease, weather conditions, as well as many other factors, that could lead to the failure of an item(s). We can ensure viable material arrives to your door, but we cannot guarantee growth (especially with such a wide array of variables). Because there is always a risk of loss when working with live material we offer the replacement policy of half price plus shipping and handling.
Nature Hills Nursery, as a company, has been in business since 2001, and has shipped millions of plants (tens of thousands annually). We staff our Customer service department for at least 9 hours a day, with a trained staff to offer assistance to any customers having issues with their products. Within the industry, we offer the longest amount of customer support on the phone than any of our competitors. While it is discouraging to receive negative feedback, 65 comments over nearly a decade of business is relatively low. We have worked in accordance to the BBB guidelines to resolve all issues that were presented to us through their organization. We have taken ownership of the times when mistakes have been made on this end, and offered resolution to several of the posts in this forum.
In regards to this situation, it is clearly an instance where there was loss due to transplant. Our replacement policy is spelled out clearly in our terms and conditions, despite your comments, and you agreed to these terms and conditions when you placed the order online. The terms and conditions, as a whole, is slightly over 1,000 words long. It includes the topics of our guarantee, issues with shipment, returns, cancellations, loss claims / replacements, and information on dormant material. That averages out to less than 200 words per topic, and all of the information included in the terms and conditions is pertinent to placing an online order. Considering your post is close to 250 words, that doesn't seem unreasonable. Furthermore, during our phone conversation you stated yourself that you did not read the terms and conditions when you ordered. It seems to be a stretch to call the terms "obscure and obtuse" and to go on to blame us for making you a "sucker" over something that you didn't even read. And despite all of this, we offered a solution that was well above and beyond of the previously mentioned terms and conditions to resolve the matter (a detail that seems to have been conveniently left out of your post).
We will take this post as you opting not to accept the offer that Nature Hills has extended to resolve the matter. You made good on your threat to post negative comments about Nature Hills Nursery online. Although it is your right to post your thoughts, shame on you for purposefully posting false information and excluding details of our effort to resolve the matter. It is easy to paint our company in a negative light when you don't offer the truth, or the whole story. As a company, we feel strongly about being true to our word. That is why we spell out our policies in our terms and conditions, and why we work within the terms and conditions when issues arise. We expect our customers to work within the terms that they agreed to them when they ordered online. In this case, we even went as far to going above and beyond the said terms, in an effort to mend the relationship with you, our customer. And as a company that stays true to its word (regardless of the nature of your post), we will leave that offer open should you choose to take advantage of it.
I ordered two large shrubs, and received nothing but stellar customer service. I received the order very timely & very well packaged. Both shrubs were in excellent condition, and I intend on placing many orders with this company. Thank you,
Laura Reynolds, Pine Bush NY
I ordered a Mandarin Honeysuckle Vine from Nature Hills Nursery in March 2010. I was assured it would be shipped when it was safe to plant in my area. It arrived in April. I live in western Massachusetts where anything planted before Mother's Day is in danger of frost, so I immediately put it in a pot adequate for the size of the plant, with good potting soil. The plant looked like a dead stick on arrival but that didn't worry me because I was told it would be shipped "dormant". Religiously, I put the plant out on my sunny deck on nice days and brought it back in at night. I did this for 6 weeks, with no sign of life. Not a speck of green. When I contacted Nature Hills, I was told that their policy on "failed" plants was for me to pay half price and full shipping for a replacement. I told them it did not fail, it was dead on arrival. I even sent them a picture of the completely brown, shriveled plant. Now, I already paid $22.95 plus $11.95 shipping for a dead stick, and they were asking me to send them another $23.45 so they could possibly send me another dead stick. I don't think so. I offered to pay full shipping, again, but I felt they owed me a replacement plant. My repeated emails were ignored, but I did still get their advertising emails!! I have since special ordered a Mandarin Honeysuckle Vine with a local nursery (which I should have done in the first place) and it is happy, healthy and about 4 feet tall now. I cannot wait to see it bloom next year! So...I am only adding my entry here in hopes of preventing other gardeners from making the same mistake I made. Nature Hills will never see another order from me.
On Sep 8, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are certainly sorry to hear about the issue from the order. We do offer the one year replacement for half price plus shipping and handling on all failed items. However, if there was an issue from the start, it may qualify for a full replacement. It sounds like you notified us right away about the issue and sent a picture. We would be happy to review the case and see if there was something that was missed ont this end.
Please let us know. Just e-mail email@example.com and mention this post (along with the name on the original order). Again, if it was just that the plant didn't take, it would fall under the standard replacement. If we were notified of issues from the start, then we will review the account and try to resolve the issue.
On Sep 7, 2010, RufousDog New Hyde Park, NY wrote:
Posted on August 31, 2010, updated September 7, 2010
Posted on August 28, 2010, updated August 31, 2010
Everything that was said recently about this company is true. In June I ordered a tree that arrived with virtually no roots. After 6 weeks there was no growth, despite daily watering. Bare root stock is one thing, but dead is another. Their replacement "guarantee" is absurd and it is not a guarantee at all. It is merely a way of selling you another dead plant at half the amount plus the full amount of the inflated shipping (which can be almost as much as the item itself). It is meaningless to the purchaser.
There is no reason to tolerate defective merchandise or such clever "policies" of slick merchants. There is a very simple solution in dealing with a company like this: simply explain it in writing to your credit card company and request a chargeback. I did, and I was refunded the entire purchase price of the tree and the shipping. Needless to say I will never deal with this company again.
On August 31st, 2010, RufousDog added the following:
Here is the relevant legal concept:
Implied Warranty of Merchantability
Implied warranties come in two general types: merchantability and fitness. An implied warranty of merchantability is an unwritten and unspoken guarantee to the buyer that goods purchased conform to ordinary standards of care and that they are of the same average grade, quality, and value as similar goods sold under similar circumstances. In other words, merchantable goods are goods fit for the ordinary purposes for which they are to be used. The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC), adopted by most states, provides that courts may imply a warranty of merchantability when (1) the seller is the merchant of such goods, and (2) the buyer uses the goods for the ordinary purposes for which such goods are sold (ß 2-314). Thus, a buyer can sue a seller for breaching the implied warranty by selling goods unfit for their ordinary purpose.
The merchant is pretending that his 'policy' or 'terms' override this universal, unwritten warranty. It cannot and it does not. Don't let anyone try to fool you. Their imposed, self-serving "guarantee" does not negate your basic legal right to receiving merchandise that is not defective or less than merchantable.On September 7th, 2010, RufousDog added the following:
I notice that your company reps read our reviews and relentlessly respond to all the negative ones in an effort to salvage your now well deserved, poor reputation.
"We are certainly sorry to hear that you experienced a loss from your order. If there is an issue with your plant material upon arrival, we need to be notified within 48 hours so that the appropriate actions can be taken (typically a reshipment)."
Whom are you kidding? You are not "sorry". Nor will I ever be about stating the truth. You do not "need to be notified within 48 hours" so that you can try to shift the blame to a shipping company and never issue any refund for the defective merchandise you sell.
"If we are not notified of any issues, we assume the order arrived in an acceptable conditions and our standard replacement would take place."
Fortunately for us as consumers, a credit card company (unlike your company) does take our complaints more seriously than you do. They make no such assumptions. Only you do that ("assume") in an attempt to intimidate, dominate and bamboozle your customers.
"One thing that is alarming from your post before was your statement saying: "After 6 weeks there was no growth, despite daily watering." There aren't many situations where a tree would require daily watering. In fact, in most cases that would be way too much. Over saturation can cause the soil to compact and the roots will never set (therefore the tree will never break dormancy). I would suspect that was the cause of the failure of your plant / tree, and not the viability of the stock."
Most of us here have successfully planted bare root stock. We are not all idiot as you apparently assume. Most of us are well experienced, despite your grasping at straws to CYA. Your assumption that I watered too much (or had I not mentioned it, you would assume it to be too little?) shows your scheme of always having a ready rationalization to shift the blame to anyone but your own company. It just doesn't work - any more than your dead, worthless merchandise does.
"We are sorry that you felt that you no longer wanted to work with us and contacted your credit card company. We will respond to your credit card company's chargeback with the terms and conditions that were mutually agreed upon at the time of the sale."
You are not "sorry" about how I or anyone else "feels". The only thing you are sorry about is that that the chargeback was granted and you have a lot of backpedaling to do in a public forum. Maybe flooding this board with suddenly glowing positive reviews is your latest strategy. But we are not stupid. Your reputation is largely based upon shipping defective merchandise, and our numerous complaints in response and your strategy of ongoing, elaborate defensive rebuttals speaks for itself.On Sep 7, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are certainly sorry to hear that you experienced a loss from your order. If there is an issue with your plant material upon arrival, we need to be notified within 48 hours so that the appropriate actions can be taken (typically a reshipment). If we are not notified of any issues, we assume the order arrived in an acceptable conditions and our standard replacement would take place.
One thing that is alarming from your post before was your statement saying: "After 6 weeks there was no growth, despite daily watering." There aren't many situations where a tree would require daily watering. In fact, in most cases that would be way too much. Over saturation can cause the soil to compact and the roots will never set (therefore the tree will never break dormancy). I would suspect that was the cause of the failure of your plant / tree, and not the viability of the stock.
If there wasn't an issue with the material on arrival, and the tree didn't just take to the transplant, then it would fall under the standard replacement policy (half price plus shipping and handling). This policy was stated in the terms and conditions that you agreed upon when you placed the order online. However, if you filed with your credit card company we would have to handle the situation according to their processes and resolve the issue in that manor. We are sorry that you felt that you no longer wanted to work with us and contacted your credit card company. We will respond to your credit card company's chargeback with the terms and conditions that were mutually agreed upon at the time of the sale.
On Sep 8, 2010 7:46 AM, Nature Hills Nursery added:
Our terms and conditions are clearly stated on our website and in the order process. Simply put, any time you take a plant from its natural environment and move it to a new location, you have a risk of loss (whether the material is bareroot or otherwise). The material could have been completely viable, and you could have given it the perfect environment. That does not guarantee growth. Unfortunately, there is a chance (although a small one) that in ideal conditions the material won't survive the transplant.
We were not trying to "shift the blame," however no plant in nature receives daily watering. We were offering a suggestion as to a potential issue with the transplant. From our years of experience, daily watering often leads to loss. Logic would suggest that your cause of failure was due to excessive watering, however it could have been other factors.
Regardless of why the material didn't take, our policy for replacement is half of the current selling price plus shipping and handling. It is a no questions asked policy, so it doesn't matter whether the failure was caused by mistreatment or if the plant simply didn't take to the transplant. Plant material is not defective simply because it doesn't take to the transplant.
We do guarantee safe delivery of all our material, and ask that we are notified of any issues within 48 hours of the material arriving (indicated in the terms and conditions and on the front of your packing slip when the order arrived). You stated that you are experienced with bareroot material, and if there was an issues with the material (regarding root structure or any other issues), you should have notified us of the potential problem. Instead, you waited 6 weeks before contacting us to tell us the material was "defective." If the material was viable upon arrival, then you needed to notify us immediately. If the material arrived in acceptable condition, but didn't take after the initial 6 weeks then it would fall under our replacement policy that you confirmed that you read and agreed to when you placed the order online.
Our decision has been made, and we will must abide by the terms and conditions that were agreed upon when the order was placed.