On May 18, 2013, Youknowwhat FRESH MEADOWS, NY wrote:
Last week, I placed an order for 1 ea. White Lady Peach tree. I placed the order on a Sat afternoon and by Sunday morning, after I learned that the tree would be too big for my aunt's garden, I promptly sent them a cancellation notification. Hoping to stop them from processing my order. During my entire ordering and cancellation process, Nature Hills was closed. Yet, when they opened on Monday, knowing full well that my order was cancelled, they still charged my credit card for the tree. When I called them on Tuesday, they agreed to refund my charge, however, they deducted $10 "cancellation" fee for the transaction. I have notified them before they could do any "work" on my order, they still insisted on charging me $10 (which is 17.8% of my order total) for performing no work. I just want to write this experience to warn any potential buyers out there about the hefty cancellation fee. I was not aware of the cancellation fee. Read their fine prints carefully before you placed any order with this store.
My husband ordered three hybrid poplars a few weeks ago and we've heard nothing. We've tried to call, left multiple messages, but no response at all. They have our money, but we can't even get the courtesy of a response. Extremely frustrating!
On May 13, 2013, LaneLandscape Flemington, NJ wrote:
Posted on May 13, 2013, updated May 13, 2013
I have purchased several plants, shrubs and trees online and always received what I expected. I ordered 5 Barberry Crimsons from Nature Hills. They were to be shipped in gallon containers, so I knew they would not be very big, but expected them to be visible and have some form. They arrived and I couldn't have been more disappointed. There was just a few little branches sticking out of each pot. I planted them because I was on a landscape deadline and needed them to finish job. From 20 yards away you cant even see them in the mulch beds, up close they look like a little piece of branch that broke of a tree and landed in the mulch bed.....HORRIBLE!!!..DO NOT ORDER FROM THEM. Im just glad they didn't have the other bush I wanted so I ordered them from another company and received exactly what I expected.
On May 13th, 2013, LaneLandscape added the following:
I also sent an email regarding my disappointment with my order. They never replied back to me.
On May 8, 2013, hankandellen Ellettsville, IN wrote:
Disaster!! We ordered buffalo grass plugs to plant- we made it clear we were planting them today, May 8, so they needed to arrive a day or two before. First problem - the website said 95 plugs/tray. The emailed invoice said 72 plugs/tray. Had to call Sabrina and straighten that out and order a bunch more trays to make up the shortfall. Then received no receipt for the new order. Had to call and get that straightened out. Then Sabrina calls me last week to say they can't get me the plugs in time - that if they leave NE early enough to get to IN, they will have to sit in the dark over the weekend, and we would have no guarantee on the survival of the plugs. I had a volunteer day all set with the help I needed to get >1,000 plugs planted - I asked them to find a way to make this right, as they had promised me I'd have them in time. Nope. Got a 10% price cut from Allison, which is ok but will barely cover the cost of the contractor we have to hire to plant the plugs since we couldn't set up another volunteer day in time. I never got a FedEx tracking number so had to call for that and I was told there were seven boxes and that they might be on different trucks and arrive on different days. Andrea was the one who told me that and was very rude - 'if you have a problem with that, call FedEx'. A really bad experience. Never, ever, again.
On May 8, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are extremely sorry that this customer is so unhappy. We tried very hard to fix what was initially a representative's mistake.
Ms. Jacquart had initially wanted her grass delivered on a Monday. When we realized that her order would be in transit too long if we kept that delivery schedule we contacted her immediately so see how we could handle this for her.
We offered to hold the grass until a more suitable time we also offered Ms. Jacquart simple instructions so she could hold the grass and keep it healthy if she had to arrange for another install date.
Because Ms. Jacquart was a repeat customer we did offer a 10% discount as a courtesy and to help make up for any inconvenience this may have caused her. In this case that was a substantial amount.
I'm sorry we couldn't fix this to Ms. Jacquart's satisfaction. I really thought that we had as we did process the credit and she did accept delivery. Thank you."
Their prices were higher than just about every other online nursery. But in this case high price is not high quality.
I have been building up a small orchard on my property over the last 20 years and I have about 50 different fruit trees. I am not a beginner. I have dealt with several different businesses, buying both bare root and potted trees, so I know how these things should work.
I received a peach tree that was so severely root pruned that the leaves and buds dried out in 4 days, even though 2 of the days had rain. Since there were virtually no roots left, the tree could not get water to the leaves.
I thought that this was so obviously their fault that they would refund my money. All they kept repeating was that they shipped high quality trees and that the tree would recover. The answer is no on both points.
The issue is that the tree was root pruned too much and the entire tree will be shocked for a year or more - if it comes back at all.
Why should I pay a premium tree price for their mistake.
On May 7, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
On Apr 29, 2013, Ilex1888 STATEN ISLAND, NY wrote:
I've ordered plant material from many different mail order nurseries companies, large and small, throughout the country and have had very good experiences with all of them. The plants were exactly as decribed in their catalogs. The quality of the plants was excellent and the packaging as well.
Not the case with Nature Hills. The American holly ordered was far from perfect. The leafs were desiccated and beginning to brown. The plant 'root ball' was tied down in an oversized box with NO other packaging material. Even as bare root, the plant had no fine root structure and barely a tap root. As a grower of holly trees (and have purchased many by mail), I'm quite aware of how the plant would (and should look). The plant was 'gangly' and weak looking with no early structural pruning or shaping. I notified the company upon reciept of plant. I was told to do the 'scratch' test, which i did, despite it still being slightly green, i knew once planted out, the plant would stress further and fail. i even sent photos of the plant as i found it when i opened the package. I inquired about my replacement options. Was told I needed to wait 30 days before requesting a replacement. I was also reminded about the 'half price plus shipping' policy. The plant was bad from the start and really didnt want to start with such a poor quality plant. Ridiculous.
Needless to say I will NOT be ordering any more plants from this company and i urge others to do the same! There are many others companies worth doing business with.
On Apr 29, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
I may be new to website plant shopping but when I received my very expensive "trees" they were nothing but twigs. They secured the money from my credit card approximately one month before shipping my twigs to me. I ordered some springtime plants. The website states that the plants will ship according to my zone. They are now stating that they are in a cold area and the plants will not ship according to my zone but according to their weather conditions. Again the money from my credit card was taken 2 months before the projected shipping date. I am very apprehensive of the plants that I will receive. I have already purchased plants at my home town nursery for cheaper than I paid for these "sale" plants form Nature Hills. I have received very poor customer service from this company also. I called in and when a person answered she put me on hold and then transferred me to her voicemail. Needless to say she never returned my call. The email correspondence to my complaints was very brief and unhelpful. I have spent close to $1000.00 with this company with two orders and they have treated me with much disregard. I will not shop with them again and urge anyone who is smarter than me who researches the company to find someone else to buy the plants from. I could have bought much healthier trees from a local nursery for less money. I am ashamed of myself for trusting Nature Hills Nursery to be all that they claim to me on their website.
On Apr 20, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are very sorry that there was any miscommunication or that you are unhappy with the products you received.
Our sales people do tell customers regularly that their credit card will be charged at the time of the order this information is also found on our website. We do this because we actually remove the items from inventory so the items can be reserved for you.
Our spring shipping does typically start with trees as most are shipped bare root and dormant, potted material ships a little later depending on the weather. You had mentioned that the items would ship according to your zone and this is correct.
However, the nursery manager does consider upcoming temperatures in your area as well as the temperatures the product will be subjected to in transit.
You had also mentioned finding some items locally at a lower price.
Please know that big box stores purchase large quantities of greenhouse grown product very inexpensively. Our items are grown especially for us at outdoor nurseries making them better quality and more hardy.
We are sorry you felt that our customer service was not up to par as we strive to offer great customer service to each one of our customers.
We do hope that you will be pleased with the rest of your order. If not please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you.
I am a beginning gardener. I have ordered a Weeping Cherry along with some other trees and bushes. I am personally not familiar with Flowering Cherries and I never knew they didnít produce cherries. I was looking for a fruit bearing tree, looked at the picture and read the description of "Weeping Cherry" on NH website and was under the assumption this was a real cherry tree as its title suggest. When the order was on its way I found out through a friend that "Weeping Cherry" might not be a fruit bearing cherry at all. I then contacted Nature Hills about it, and told them I would like to return it. Then Iíve got this strict email telling me that if I want to return that their "Terms and Policies" will apply. So to get a return on the "Weeping Cherry" that I bought for $59.98 plus shipping I would have to spend almost half of the price to send it back. What is the use? I contacted the customer service and said that I made a mistake buying this tree but also it didnít say anywhere in the description of the tree that it wasnít fruit bearing. Then I asked if they could be more lenient and if they maybe would pay for the return shipping. They refused and send me this reply:
"Thanks for your inquiry. It is a common practice for nurseries, botanical gardens, and gardening magazines when describing Flowering Cherry trees, to describe the flower color and size but will not list it as a non fruit producing tree. The reason for this is the catagory "Flowering Cherry" refers to deciduous flowering ornamental trees only. Fruit bearing cherry trees will be classified under "Fruit Trees-Cherry" just as you see on our website. Nature Hills Nursery realizes that our customers may not be able to locate the answer to their question(s) on our web site, and we provide a toll free telephone number for this purpose. If you are wanting to return the Weeping Cherry as indicated in your previous E-mails, our return policy will apply and can be found on our web site at the bottom of each page, under "Terms and Conditions". Best Regards, Sabrina"
I am not sure if this is a common practice, but as I said before I am a starter and I didnít know. I also didnít grow up with flowering cherries as my friend who lives in DC, did. I donít think you can expect from anybody to know this unless only nurseries and botanical gardens are buying plants from you?
Now I was stuck with the tree I had no use and place for. Sending it back was even worse, what was the use of losing half the money to return it? Also I had 2 more orders pending (over $200) (that would ship in 2-4 weeks) and I decided to cancel them all and never buy from Nature Hills again. Obviously to cancel my orders was a pain in the *** too. I first wrote them an email and never got a response, then I called and some vague person told me she needs to redirect my request somewhere and then they will cancel it. I waited a day and I, of course, didnít hear anything from them on phone or email. On the website my orders were still processing and not cancelled. I had to call them again. The person on the phone said that the 2 orders will be canceled. Afterward I called my bank and they said that I have already been charged by Nature Hills for those 2 orders.
AVOID NATURE HILLS, THEY ARE NOT IN BUSINESS OF HELPING PEOPLE AND MAKING HAPPY CUSTOMERS.
THEY ARE OUT FOR THEMSELVES AND THE NASTY PROFITS BY SETTING UP THEIR CUSTOMERS.
On Mar 5, 2013, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
I am very sorry this customer feels that we were not supportive or helpful.
We were very sorry to hear that Ms. Orr had ordered the Weeping Cherry by mistake and we truly did try to help by assisting her with a return.
We do understand that she was disappointed as a new gardener to have made such a mistake.
As noted above the the fruiting cherry trees and flowering cherry trees are listed separate on our site. We also have Plant Care Specialists available for our customers that may have any questions.
Nature Hills values each and every one of our customers so we were sorry that she felt her mistake warranted cancelling her other items with us.
We would like to assure her that her orders were cancelled and her credit card credited within 24 hours of her cancellation call. I'm not certain how she felt there was any misunderstanding regarding her cancellation.
In reference to Nature Hills charging her card for her other items, that is done at the time of the order as we had reserved those items for her.
Finally, if Ms. Orr would like to reconsider purchasing the other items we would like to offer her 10% off her next order as a courtesy.
We do hope Ms. Orr can find a place for the Weeping Cherry as it is a beautiful tree that we are sure will bring joy to her family for years to come.
Purchased 5 peach trees from Nature Hills. Planted them all in the same general location and put them all on the same watering schedule. 3 out of the 5 survived. When I contacted the company about getting a replacement for the 2, I was told I would be charged 50% of the retail value plus shipping. Every REPUTABLE nursery in the country offers a 1 year warranty on their plants with proof of purchase. This was the first and LAST time I will ship at Nature Hills!
On Oct 23, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are sorry that two of your trees didn't survive. We do guarantee that all orders for plant material arrive safely, and viable. Even so, when working with live material, there is a chance that a tree will not survive the transplant process. We try to offset that risk of loss by offering a no questions asked replacement policy. Any failed item can be replaced for half the current selling price, plus shipping and handling. We do explain this policy in our terms and conditions, listed on every page on our site and again in the checkout process.
I ordered a tree one month ago. They charged my visa immediately but I have yet to see the tree. When I asked for a refund they said the tree could not be shipped until the fall and that if I wanted to cancel my order they would charge a 10% cancellation fee. They also told me that I should have entered my zip code to get a delivery date. I did that and it still does not give a ship date. Be very careful when doing business with this company and read the "fine Print; I still can't find a reference to a cancellation fee!
On Sep 20, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We apologize if there was any miscommunication with your order. We take care to ship all material at the appropriate time for planting. Some material that we send it shipped bareroot, and weather dictates when the material can be harvested and safely shipped. We like to try and make sure that all material has the best chance for a successful transplant when it is sent.
We do explain the time frame of shipping bareroot material, as well as the cancellation fee in our terms and conditions. These terms are linked to at the bottom of every page on our website, and in the checkout process. An order will not go through until the customer checks that they have read and agree to our terms and conditions for the sale. The shipping time is also listed on the confirmation page once the order is submitted online.
I received ALL ordered 4 peach trees dead without the root system at all. Customer service rep lied about her name (she is Sabrina), was very rude, all the time talked over me and even did not lesten the problems. I suspect there are many upset customers that she is just sending out... They rised prices more than twice this Fall; therefore, if you reordering half price replacement products, you are ending up paying 1.5 times more than originally was paid. Looks like a tipical scam to me. Upset customers, do you want to file class action lawsuit on this NatureHills? I am a lawyer, please contact me if you want to do that
On Sep 7, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are certainly sorry to hear that your trees did not survive. Every tree that we send out goes through rigorous inspection before it is shipped. Our nurserymen and women inspect each tree as it is dug, and when it is checked into our holding facilities. Trees are also inspected again when they are packaged. We check for height, weight, coloration, root structure, and pliability to ensure that every tree is viable when it is shipped.
We guarantee safe delivery of all material, and in the cases where a tree or plant was damaged during transit, we just ask to be notified of any issues within 48 hours. We apologize if you felt your case was mishandled, if we need to revisit the issues, we would be happy to look into the issues again.
If the issue was that the tree didn't survive a transplant, then we do offer a one year replacement for half the current selling price plus shipping and handling. Prices are determined by the type of material and the size of the tree. For many species of trees that we are carrying this fall, the sizes are significantly larger than the ones that we carried last spring. That could be the reason for the price increase. This is also something that we can look at again to be sure. Please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org is you would like us to review your order.
On Aug 20, 2012, gardener1124 Aquia Harbour, VA wrote:
Simple. They sent me a dead plant. I reported it within the allotted 48 hours. They told me it was "dormant". I said "No, it is dead", but they would not listen. So, I planted it. Four months later..still dead. The "customer service" lady who always answers the phone is very rude and condescending. She actually told me that I did not report that I had scracthed the bark in April, so I had not reported it as dead. Of course I would have done that had she asked me to. I have ordered from them multiple times, but they refuse to do the right thing regarding this one plant. Unscrupulous.
On Aug 20, 2012, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We are sorry to hear that you had an issue with your order, and that you felt your experience with our customer service representative was not up to our standards. We pride ourselves on offering excellent customer service.
Our trees are shipped dormant, but if there was an issue with your order when it arrived and you notified us, then we should have a record of that. Perhaps there was a misunderstanding on our end. We would like to review your order, and see if there was something that we missed. Please contact us at email@example.com, and we will see if we can't satisfy the situation. You mentioned that you have ordered multiple times, and we would like to think that is due to our service and our quality plants. We would hate to loose a valued customer because of a shortcoming on our end in this one case. Please let us know.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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:
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 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
I received an order the first part of June and made the following two observations: 1- The flowering pear tree had no roots - it was just a bit of club growth at the base of the tree. I followed the instructions to "sweat" the tree before planting - which I did, but all to no avail. I then planted it anyway to see if the sunshine would help it bud-out, but after 8 weeks it was obvious that it would never leaf-out. 2- I also ordered two varieties of blueberries. The "Northblue" blueberries looked fantastic, and they leafed out right away. The "Northcountry" plants, on the other hand, were so small I almost didn't recognize them as plants - they were more like dry twigs. In good faith, I planted them anyway having full confidence that they would leaf-out, but never did. Once it became evident that the pear and blueberries were defective stock, I called Nature Hills to get replacement stock. They told me if I have defective stock I have 48 hours to notify them. The problem is that there is no way of knowing until you plant something if it will grow or not. So once I knew that these plants were not going to grow, I called customer service and was told that I had to pay half the original price plus shipping to get replacements. I was told there were no exceptions. My perspective is the following: 1- The stock was defective to begin with. 2- There is no way to know if something is going to grow in 48 hours. It appears that their 48 hour notification policy is simply engineered as a method to side-step any fiscal responsibility in "guaranteeing" their stock. In other words, Nature Hills Nursery, simply does not have a viable guarantee - there is really no way for a customer to know if stock is good or not in 48 hours. So the question I have is if something doesn't leaf out within a few weeks of planting, then why won't Nature Hills make good? If I bought an appliance from Wal-Mart and it wouldn't turn on after I unboxed it several weeks later, Wal-Mart would make good and exchange it for a model that works. Why won't Nature Hills do the same?
On Aug 30, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We apologize that there were issues with items from your order. When we spoke yesterday, I explained that we have time frame to work with when submitting a claim for defective plants. We state in our terms and conditions (and state in bold print on the front of your packing slip) that you need to notify us within 48 hours if there are any issues with the material upon arrival. Your yesterday was 10 weeks after the material was delivered.
The argument from our quality control department would be that there is no way that we can verify the condition of the plant upon arrival so long after the time the material was delivered. Unlike your analogy of an appliance, plant material is perishable. We are not trying to "side-step financial responsibility." A plant could dry up within weeks after arrival, even if it arrived in perfect condition. If we are notified right away we can check the remaining plants on this end for any issues, double check with the person that packaged the plants, and potentially could send a return label (should something need to be inspected). After 10 weeks, we don't have that ability. If there was concern with the material from the start, it should have been reported.
With that being said, you stated that one pack of the blueberries was dry and brittle when it arrived. That is not typical of blueberry plants. I will authorize to have them replaced at our cost. In regards to the tree, our crews inspect each root system before the trees are packaged. If they don't meet our standards, the material is discarded. We cannot determine if there was an issue with tree based on your description, so that will fall under the standard replacement policy (half price plus shipping and handling). You call customer service number (1-888-864-7663) so we can reference the original order, arrange delivery of the blueberries, and decide whether or not you would like to replace the tree.
Nature Hills sent me a dead plant too, and I tried to resolve this with one of their rude, sarcastic reps, but the rep claimed that the plant shipped dormant. The plant they sent me never came to life in spite of me babying it and trying to breathe life into it...dead is dead and based on what I've read on this site, this is a common problem with them. Furthermore, I believe the plant was dead when they shipped it instead of "dormant." I will never do business with this company again. They got my money once but never again.
On Aug 15, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We certainly apologize that there was an issue with your order and that you feel you mistreated on the phone. Some of our material does ship dormant, this would be the case with any bareroot material that would be ordered.
If there was an issue with the plant upon arrival, and we were notified within 48 hours of the arrival of the order (as stated in our terms and conditions), we might be able to submit a damage claim and have the item reshipped. If you would like us to look at the order again, feel free to call 1-888-864-7663 or e-mail email@example.com.
If there wasn't an issue with the plant upon arrival, and it simply didn't take to the transplant, it would be eligible for our replacement policy of half price plus the shipping and handling. We still have that to fall back on if there wasn't an issue with the shipment.
Like most people here, I received a dead tree from this company and was not given a refund or even a credit. I bought several other trees and shrubs with this order and they were all of poor quality. I would recommend that you thoroughly explore your local nurseries first.
On Aug 9, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
Thanks for the post, and we are certainly sorry to hear that there was an issue with your order. It looks like you had the same user name in our system, so I was able to pull up your order and look at the notes.
It seems the Tulip Poplar never broke dormancy. You had called a couple weeks after it had arrived, and the rep spoke with had you lightly scratch the bark. At that point, there was a greenish coloration below the bark indicating that the tree was most certainly alive. It looks like in a later note, the tree had never leafed out.
Unfortunately, sometimes tree don't take to the transplant (as was the case here). We do try to offset this risk of loss with a one year replacement policy, as stated in the terms and conditions. Any failed item can be replaced (no questions asked) for half the current selling price plus shipping and handling in the first year. We are offering the Tulip Poplar tree for fall shipping. If you would like to replace the tree at the half price discount, just call our customer service department at 1-888-864-7663. We would be happy to assist you with placing your replacement order.
I ordered three bare-root Japanese Tree Lilacs 6/4/2010. They arrived in a timely manner with some yellow leaves trying to sprout and almost all the roots cut off. The smallest of the three arrived with a split at the base of two branches. I planted them within 48 hours with a mix of the native soil, top soil and organic starter fertilizer and watered regularly. While I wanted a smaller size, 5 foot trees were the only ones available. They all began with the leaves turning green, but one soon began to wilt and now shows no signs of life. The other two still only have the original leaves. When I called about the guarantee, I was told it is half price plus shipping and only 4 ft trees are now available. In addition, they cannot ship until the first or second week of November - too late to plant here in Cedar Rapids. Or I can wait until next spring.
The sad thing is I ordered these to plant as a group of three to break up a large blank side of my house which faces the street as I'm on a corner lot. The one that appears dead is the middle tree so my landscape is looking pretty goofy now. I have no intention of paying more money to put a smaller tree in the center of a group of three which may or may not survive.
At this point, if I can't get another one through a local nursery, I may plant a redbud tree in the center of the group or start from scratch.
It's very disappointing to plan a landscape around an order and end up starting all over. I have seen these Japanese Tree Lilacs planted in groups of three in a mobile home community near me and really was hoping to copy that look for my home.
On Jul 22, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
I remember speaking to you about this order yesterday. When we spoke, you mentioned that the plants started to grow, but one of the plants didn't take. We do offer replacements for half the current selling price plus shipping and handling in the first year (as per our terms and conditions). However, at no time during the conversation there was no mention of any of the plants being split or arriving do you damaged (there was also no record of this being reported prior to yesterday. Is that the one that didn't survive? If so, we may be able to get a damage claim submitted for the item. That would make the plant eligible for replacement at no charge.
In regards to the root system on the plants, in some cases the roots are pruned prior to shipping. However, this is done by professionals with years of experience. Again, this was not communicated to us in any conversations that we have had about your order.
As far as the replacement of the failed item, it was bareroot material which is shipped dormant in either late fall or spring. Because the material is dormant, it could be planted in November in zone 5. Since we have to wait for the material to go dormant before it is harvested, it just isn't available for shipping before that time. If you feel that is too late for planting in your area, the other option would be in the spring.
The 4 foot size of the plant is an estimate, and wouldn't be too far off of the 5 foot size that was sent this year. They would all even out over the next season or so (you could even prune the others to make them similar in size if needed).
We would be happy to happy to continue work on this issue if there are matters that have yet to be resolved. Our phone number is 1-888-864-7663.
Posted on June 26, 2010, updated June 29, 2010
I received a "Harry Lauder's Walking Stick" in early May and planted it according to directions and kept it watered. It has not shown any signs of life so I called last week and explained this to them. I was told there were no more in stock at this time and the only warranty I got with the plant would be a replacement at half price when they get them in stock-possibly this fall. I'm extremely disappointed that for almost $50. there is not a free replacement where it failed to root from the beginning. It's a poor way to do business and was just told when I called "it was in the disclosure". I am one dissatisfied customer who will not be back and will advise my friends to shop where the company stands behind their product...not this company.
On June 29th, 2010, sltza1635 added the following:
Upon reading their last 12 months reviews were 50% negative I'm obviously not the only dissatisfied customer. Having bought plants online for years I've never had any problems until now. This site is great and has taught me a lesson not to put my trust in a new company without doing my homework. It's hard to believe they'll be around a long time with their policies and lack of customer satisfaction.On Jun 29, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
Nature Hills does stand behind their products and we guarantee that material will arrive safely on your doorstep. We inspect our material for weight, coloration, root structure, and pliability to ensure that viable stock is shipped.
However, when working with live material, there is no guarantee how it will adapt to the new environment that it is transplanted in. There are so many factors, such as soil drainage, insects, animals, plant disease, nutrient deficiency, and weather (just to name a few) that can lead to the loss of a plant. We try and offset this risk by offering a no questions asked replacement for half the current selling price plus shipping and handling.
We are sorry that you feel this is "a poor way to do business," as this policy was agreed upon when the order was placed. We state our terms and conditions on every page at naturehills.com, including the confirmation page of the checkout process (that you must read and agree to before ordering). We are upfront about this policy and we would never recommend a customer agreeing to terms that they don't feel comfortable with.
I bought 4 Dakota sunspots for over $100, shipped bareroot. Two had a tiny sign of life and two had none. I planted and watered them with all four going completely brown. I contacted them and received notice of the 50% payment required for replacements, and have elected not to pay more for more questionable plants. Will not do business with them again.
On Jun 27, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
Bareroot material is shipped dormant, and in some cases will start to push new buds in the box durring shipment. However, this is not always the case. Bareroot material can take several weeks to break dormancy after being transplanted. If the plants arrive viable, yet do not survive the transplant, we offer a 1 year (no questions asked) replacement policy. Any failed item can be replaced for half the current selling price plus shipping and handling. We state this policy in the terms and conditions that we have posted throughout our website.
On Jun 3, 2010, pookerella Bellmore, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
Posted on June 11, 2006, updated June 3, 2010
I have ordered many things from Nature Hills. For the most part, I was satisfied. They have a nice selection and the photos on their website are really good. The trees they send are sometimes TOO large! :) I ordered a 3-4 ft tree and got an EIGHT foot tree!
Other than one or two plants, I was satisfied with my purchases. I feel they are a little slow shipping wise. With one order I had to remind them twice that they were past the shipping date and I also have not received replacements or credits on 2 plants that died. Customer service is a little below average. They are nice, but they are very slow to respond.
There were a couple of issues re: their website that were not good. First issue, in order to search you cannot use the enter key (how would you know this!?) you have to press the "go" button. (99.9% of all websites, these 2 things are the same.) Anyway, second issue, many times you will type in a name and it will not find it (even though the page IS there; you can access it via another plant); third issue, their email confirmation is in one continuous line which is almost impossible to read. Fourth issue is that they allow you to create an account, yet it is absolutely meaningless, because you cannot use it for anything and does not store your info when you check out.
I would like to give them a positive because their plants are very good, but they are a bit pricey, their website is difficult to maneuver and they are not the greatest with the customer support.
On June 3rd, 2010, pookerella changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Update: While their plants CAN be nice, and they did replace a plant that arrived dead, they have the worst service for dormant plants. Be careful that you do not order any "select" plants, i.e., ones that do not come with a "pot" size, which is their "code" for a dormant plant. If you plant your dormant plant and doesn't take, they charge you about 50% of the original price PLUS shipping, even if they are running a "free shipping with any purchase" deal. I think that's deplorable service. 99.9% of all other nurseries replace the plant in full, free shipping. I filed a claim with my credit card company to have the amount charged back to them, regardless of what their "policy" is, and I am assured that because the item is faulty, NYS law overrides their policy.
Also, here's a tidbit about them. They're not really a nursery, more like a nursery service. That's why you have to pay them first before they even send you anything (again, DEPLORABLE). You'd be better suited purchasing directly from places like Garden Crossings, an A1 rated nursery, where you will not only get your items shipped to you faster, but they care about their customers and they will replace anything dormant that won't grow. In other words, their intentions, I suppose, are OK, but steer clear of Nature Hills.On Jun 3, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
Let me start by saying that we are indeed a nursery. However, when you offer over 5000 species of plants it is impossible to grow them under one roof. We do work with other nurseries, and we contract them to grow species of plants that thrive in their region.
There are several items that we offer that are shipped bareroot (indicated as a select plant), which will be shipped (and will arrive) dormant. Dormant material is not "faulty," it has been stored in a manor to keep the plant dormant until the time that it ships. This information is stated on our website. Garden Crossings, which is an outstanding nursery, does not offer bareroot material so the comparison is not "apples to apples."
Our replacement policy is also stated on the website, and it was stated in the terms and conditions that you agreed upon when you placed your order online. We can replace any failed item, no questions asked, for half the current selling price plus shipping and handling. Shipping promotions don't apply to replacement orders (and the promo was free shipping on live plant orders over $85, so it wouldn't have applied anyway). We are upfront with this policy from the time the order is placed. We guarantee that our products arrive safely to you. As you mentioned here in your post, we replaced a plant that arrived dead because it was overly stressed from shipping (you reported it right away and we replaced it at our cost).
The plant that was shipped dormant, was one that was grown by one of our contracted nursery that has been in the business of shipping plants since 1897 (they have over 100 years of experience). They inspected the plant for root structure, coloration, height, weight, and pliability to ensure that the material was arrival when it shipped. There were no reports of any issues with the dormant plant when it arrived. If a plant is damaged, or arrives in a fashion that it can be deemed "faulty" from the start, it would be replaced. However, the issue of survival didn't come up until weeks after it was planted in an environment out of our hands.
We feel our policy is one of the best in the industry. It is a no questions asked policy. We don't ask for pictures, we don't ask for you to send back the plant, or for you to return the failed item to our location. There are several factors that can contribute to plant loss (weather, soil conditions, amount of moisture, insects, and plant disease just to name a few). Even if your plant fails because it was run over by a truck it can be replaced under our policy (at half the current selling price plus shipping and handling). We are sorry that you no longer agree with the terms that you agreed to when you placed the order, but there is nothing more we can offer.
Do not use this company! I ordered 1 bush and 3 trees totalling about $150. Didn't hear anything for several days. I was concerned because I had placed several orders with another co., Garden Crossing, and recieved product within the same week. People also answered the phone there. I read through the policy information included with my Nature Hills confirming e-mail. It said customers could cancel before shipment for a 10% fee. I sent an email cancelling and I called and left a message on the main line and with the President. Got an email indicating the product would ship in a few days and I couldn't cancel. I wrote back indicating that I was following their stated policy and that they are not following their policy and that I will dispute the charges if they do not credit my money minus the 10% fee. You can tell from just this brief interaction that no one answers the phone there and that they don't honor their stated policies. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS COMPANY. I know it is a hassle to have a customer cancel an order, but they cover their hardship with the 10% penalty as long as you do it before it ships. However, when it comes down to it, they aren't even honoring their own policy. They need to revise their policy and say no cancellations, no returns, no nothing. Obviously, no one would do business with them and no one should do business with a company that tries to back their customers into a corner. They are a hassle to work with and its not worth it.
On May 7, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We have been in contact through e-mail and I thought I would follow up by responding to this post.
We did maintain an e-mail correspondence with you throughout the day yesterday. There was a note of a voicemail that went unanswered, but that was because an e-mail response had already been sent by the time the message was about to be returned. The president did forward over a message to the customer service department, however somehow the information was taken down wrong and that message was never returned.
We do apologize that the mistake occurred with the phone message, but ultimately we did keep an open line of communication with you. Our records indicate that the e-mails were answered in a timely manor, with no more than two hours of time passing in between each e-mail responses (during our normal office hours).
The spring is our busy season, and even with a staffed call center we are unable to catch every call. However, we do have a policy of returning all voicemails within the same day. When a customer leaves a voicemail and e-mails, a message might not be returned if it was handled by e-mail. In an effort to help all customers with their issues, we try not to do "double duty" by having more than one person work on the same issue.
The main issue at hand seems to be with the cancellation policy. We do state in our terms and conditions that: "Orders CANNOT be cancelled after the order is shipped or if the order is in the packaging process." This is how it is worded verbatim in our terms and conditions. When you placed the order online, you checked off that you read and agreed to the terms stated when you placed your order.
The order was placed on Saturday 5/1/2010, and it was stated that it would ship within 10 to 14 days of the date of the order. Our warehouse ships thousands of orders each week. Each day, our warehouse prints several hundreds of orders and sends crews out to pull and package plants. Once an order has been sent to this packaging process, there is no way to single out one order without first going through hundreds of orders by hand. That is why we are unable to stop an order once it gets to this stage in the order process. Your order was sent to packaging around 6:30 AM on 5/6/2010, which was before you left a voicemail or sent an e-mail regarding cancellation.
You mentioned that the reason you wanted to cancel was that your order from Garden Crossings shipped within the same week you ordered. Garden Crossings is a great company who has great products and a reputation of timely shipping. You stated in your post, that you were concerned with your order from Nature Hills because it wasn't shipped within the same week the order was placed. However, your order was sent to packaging within 4 business days from the time the order was placed, and was in line to ship within one week of the date the order was placed. You then placed a negative comment on this forum because you order was sent to the warehouse for packaging within the first week, which resulted in the inability to cancel the order. In this case, we are not sure what could have been done differently to satisfy you.
We are working on a resolution through our e-mail correspondence. If you do indeed decide to do business with Nature Hills Nursery, we ask that you read our terms and conditions. We value our customers and are upfront with our policies and procedures from the time the order is placed. When issues arise, we will work to satisfy a situation within the parameters of the terms and conditions that are agreed upon when the order is placed.
Posted on March 11, 2010, updated March 12, 2010
(As an attorney, though I have planted over 60 trees since the Tornado of '98), my comment is that Nature Hills intentionally shipped non-conforming merchandise (they advertise 4-5 foot Covey Redbud, the packing slip indicates same, yet shipped 42" (i.e., 3-4 foot)--they (2) have a tag as a 3 Foot tree!!)). Nature Hills is not offering a 3-4 foot Covey Redbud at this time.
Further, perhaps bareroot means 5" clipped roots on a 4-5 foot tree (doubt it)! It was in a bag of material with old tree clippings within the mulch material--one 4" stem was sprouting 2 short but new roots)). I can not introduce this on my property for fear of contamination! The mulch was also sooo dry that it at first floated on the water I put it in, after only 4 days shipping (they wanted to reduce shipping costs).
I also should have caught that this Company charged my credit card in November for something not to be shipped until March. Finally, one of the trees had a clipped leader just above ground. That means a weakened trunk from the start because the shoot was holding on to the side of a dead leader.
Fortunately, the shipment was totally non-conforming (that's legal for it didn't match what was purchased). If a refund is not promptly made, the credit card company will use chargeback, and the Oklahoma consumer protection group will get a well documented complaint complete with color photos!
My experience with another Oklahoma tree farm last week was entirely different. Great product. Yes, the shipping weight was 10 pounds each for 2 gal. plants. This was $49 (free shipping) for bare/dry root, the other place is $69 plus shipping. Guess which one I will go back to?
THANKS, DAVE'S GARDEN! I should have checked out the seller's feedback instead of just clicking on the "for sale" listing.
On March 12th, 2010, Friedman_ATL added the following:
As to the "dead leader," this was a bad graft where there was a notable injury to the graft on one tree and not the other.
I called Brian this morning, explained the situation, and they are arranging a call-tag pickup through UPS. I am to receive a refund thereafter.
I appreciate their prompt response, and this should not have happened in the first place. Perhaps it is a quality-control issue.
Yes, Nature Hills is in NE, the other place is in Oklahoma.On Mar 12, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
I have been working with David to take care of this matter. There was a mistake on our part, as the contracted grower shipped out the wrong size tree. The Lavender Twist Weeping Redbud (PP10328) trees reserved for us are between 4 and 5 feet tall, and the warehouse mistakenly shipped out the 3 foot size.
David attempted to contact us after our normal hours of operation, and unfortunately we were unable to address the situation before a negative comment was posted on this site. I did speak to David first thing in the morning, the day after the trees arrived. He was upset about the size. I apologized for the mistake and said I would have the proper size shipped out immediately, but said that was unacceptable. He had mentioned that he was upset about the packing material and said he was convinced that we would not be able to ship him satisfactory material. It was apparent that the only way to satisfy the situation would be to refund him for the trees, which has since happened.
In regards to the material that was placed in the bag, it is 100% organic material that is comprised of mixture of sphagnum moss and cedar toe. The moss can appear "root like" if one has never worked with that type of material before. The grower that inspected and packed these trees has been in the business of shipping trees and plants for over 100 years. The material used would in no way contain contaminates. They are trained to properly prune any roots (if needed) when the trees are packaged, and inspect the trees thoroughly before they are shipped.
When I did speak with David, he had already outsourced the trees from another supplier. There is quite a difference between bareroot material and potted, as the bareroot material is dormant versus potted material that is not. It would make sense that this species in a 2-gallon container would cost less, as that would mostly likely be a 2 to 3 foot size tree. Larger trees tend to cost more, especially species that are extremely slow growing like the Lavender Twist.
Again, we do apologize for the inconvenience that this has caused David. We wish we could have been able to try and rectify the situation before it led to negative feed back. Maybe one day, we will grow large enough to offer 24 hour customer support to avoid this type of situation.
Posted on July 14, 2009, updated March 3, 2010
I ordered 8 trees from Nature Hills 2 months ago. 2 Japanese Red maples, 2 sourwoods, a tulip poplar, a weeping cherry, a weeping willow, and a red maple.
Both the japanese red maples were completely DOA, Everything else was hard to tell as they are just sticks bound together with twine. I went ahead and put everything in the ground anyway and waited to see. I had my doubts, especially since one of the jap maples was split from root to nearly halfway up the stem. To this day the Jap maples have not done anything, just sticks in the ground. One sourwood has put out a couple of shoots near the bottom, the other has not - just a stick in the ground. The tulip poplar also put out a shoot from the bottom, near the crown, the rest of the "stick" is dead. The weeping willow, weeping cherry, and red maple have put out some foliage, but they seem pretty sickly.
I called customer service shortly after my order arrived and expressed my concern for their health, especially for the jap maple split down the middle. The lady I spoke to assured me that they would grow in time, they are just dormant, etc. So I took the benefit of the doubt and put them in the ground. nearly 2 months later, I have the results above - 8 trees, all of them either dead or very sick. So I called customer service again and told them that I am calling back to report that I wanted a refund or replacement. I was then informed that they do not issue refunds, and that if I wanted a replacement I would have to pay half price for all of them, and I would not get them until next year in the spring. I asked if they would ship in the fall, and they told me no, since I had to have my entire order shipped again to me and they would not replace one tree at a time. I asked them that if they could not replace my order, then they should issue a refund, and they said it was not their policy. I am considering disputing this with my credit card company, since they took my money and gave me a faulty product, and will not do right by its customers.
Seeing from this list that I am not the only one who is recieving dead or nearly-dead trees from this company, and not being offered a refund or a no-cost replacement, it seems as though this is not just a one-time fluke. it's hard also to see how one could ship 8 trees all in this condition - I would expect 1 or 2 not to thrive, but all 8?
Based on this experience I will never buy from Nature Hills again. Very disappinted.
On March 3rd, 2010, Windmills added the following:
Interesting that you would blame the customer instead of your own faulty product and unfriendly policies.
BUYERS BEWARE, you will get this same treatment and worse. They will blame YOU instead of doing the right thing and honoring their customers.On Mar 3, 2010, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
The trees that are listed above (the Weeping Willow, Weeping Cherry, Red Maple, Sourwood, Japanese Red Maple and the Tulip Poplar) are all shipped bareroot and would arrive between 3 and 4 feet tall. Bareroot material is dug in the early spring and they are kept in a cooling facility (kept at 38 degrees) to keep it from leafing out until it is shipped. The species mentioned would arrive with little to no branching at the time that they are shipped, which can make them appear like a "stick." They are inspected for height, weight, coloration, root structure, and pliability before they are shipped to ensure that viable material is sent. We do ship in the spring, and that shipping has concluded as it is too warm to transplant bareroot material this time of year.
With that being said, it sounds like there may have been some inconsistencies with the customer service that you received. For that, we would like to apologize. In regards to the split in the Japanese Red Maple when it arrived, it should have been treated as a damage claim if we were notified right away. This item should have been reshipped right away. At this time, the fall would be the earliest time that we could ship you another one. The other inconsistency is that we can sent up an order with fall and spring items. The material would ship to you at the next available time, even if some items went in the fall and others went in the spring.
We would be more that happy to discuss the option with you if you would like to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information.
Finally, there is concern about a loss of 8 trees. The species that you have mentioned are fairly easy to transplant and we haven't had any issues with those variety of trees. You said that the leaves looked sickly on the Weeping Cherry, Weeping Willow, and the Red Maple. There really isn't a way that a tree could be faulty or sickly when it is shipped dormant. If there is an issue with the leaves on the trees, then it would be an environmental factor. You might want to consult your county extension service to see if they have any thoughts. Loosing 5 out of 8 trees is a significant rate of loss, there might have been an issue in the area that they were planting that caused the issue. We do offer the 1/2 off replacement policy, but you will probably want to assess the area before attempting another transplant.
We were suppose to recive a dormant tree but what we received was a brittle dead stick.
We sent an email and were told no refund or replacement without additional cost. A second email to the company owner went unanswered.
It's too bad there are so many negative comments here that are treated like what people are saying are unreasonable expectations. It seems that each response from Nature Hills in regard to negative feedback is the same canned answer. I looked on the Better Business Bureau site and they have multiple complaints about people receiving dead items. The findings always end in their favor due of their guarantee.
I had a family member send me a tree and it came in the mail dead. Not dormant, dead. The answer we got back was the guarantee copied and pasted in an email. The similar story we got from most negative feedback on this site.
They also mentioned "Our trees are rigorously inspected for height, weight, coloration, pliability and root structure before they are sent out". In another response they said ďDue to the volumes that we do, orders are sent to packaging by the hundredsĒ. It sounds to me like thereís plenty of room for human error.
Iím quite certain they have more success stories with what they do. No doubt they are still getting people to buy from them online. Where they lack is putting themselves in the consumerís shoes. If you order something and it arrives dead and then never comes back to life you should be allowed to get your money back. You should at the very least be afforded a replacement.
Hiding behind a terms and conditions paragraph with no flexibility is not much of a customer service model. In a day when weíre all trying to save money this doesnít fly. Itís their terms and conditions so they can choose to do what they want. I wished the person who sent us our tree read this site first. It seems to me itís a good place to shop as long as you get a live product when it arrives. All I can do now is make sure I let everyone I know what happened and be sure none of them ever shop there.
If you feel lucky go ahead and order from them. Just be darn sure your expectations are set in the event you receive a live tree. You will find yourself feeling like someone who's been duped.
On Sep 22, 2009, Nature Hills Nursery responded with:
We certainly apologize that you had a failure with your order and that you feel that we always responded with "canned answers." There have been a few instances (but only a few instances) where responses are reused. This only happens if the rebuttal fits the comments of multiple posts. We do review each case when issues arise.
As you may have read in our terms and conditions, and in other rebuttals on Garden Watchdog, the trees that we ship are bareroot and will arrive dormant. They are dug in the early spring before any buds sprout and they are kept in cold storage until they are shipped. This ensures that the material remains dormant until it arrives. The inspection process (weight, coloration, root structure, etc.) allows us to verify the viability of the product, even in its dormant state. If product arrives damaged from transit, or there are any other issues with it when it arrives, we ask to be notified within 48 hours so that a claim can be initiated. If you feel that you notified us right away of an issue and something was overlooked, we would be more than happy to review the notes on the order. Just e-mail us at email@example.com with the name used for the billing information and reference this post in the e-mail.
You also referenced the line in our terms about the volumes of orders that we ship. We do package and ship hundreds of trees per day during prime planting times, and we have shipped hundreds of thousands of trees over the years. We pride ourselves on the quality of our material and the packaging that it receives. If a mistake is made, and sometimes they do occur, we will resolve the situation (again if we are notified in a timely manor to do so).
We do try to put ourselves in the shoes of the consumer, and that is why we have constructed the replacement policy that we offer. When transplanting live material, there is always the risk of failure. There are many outside factors (such as temperature, weather conditions, soil types, levels of nutrients in the soil, plant disease, insect, and animals just to name a few) that can have a negative impact on the result of the transplant. Even in perfect conditions, there is a risk of loss when you uproot a tree and try to plant it in a new environment. This is why our replacement policy covers you no matter what. Any failed item can be replaced for half price plus shipping and handling in the first year. This way your are covered if it doesn't take or even if you accidentally run it over with your lawn mower.
This information is stated in our terms and conditions that are clearly posted on the website and stated again in the check out process. We do not hide these terms and conditions. We encourage our customers to read them carefully before they agree to them when placing the order.
Of course, in this instance, the terms would have been agreed upon by the person that purchased the gift for you. Being the recipient of the gift, you may not have been aware of our policies. Again, if you feel that we have missed something and that we need to review this case, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and we will look into it.