On Sep 25, 2010, GQemployee Simi Valley, CA wrote:
Posted on June 19, 2010, updated September 25, 2010
Posted on June 11, 2010, updated June 19, 2010
Posted on June 6, 2010, updated June 11, 2010
Posted on May 28, 2010, updated June 6, 2010
Posted on May 26, 2010, updated May 28, 2010
Posted on May 25, 2010, updated May 26, 2010
Posted on May 25, 2010, updated May 25, 2010
Although I did not purchase anything from Growquest, I RECENTLY worked for Chris and Growquest during the period May 14-20, 2010. I worked for a total of 5 days and left because I could not, in good conscience, work for someone who treated his customers with such irreverence. It made me sick to my stomach and as much as I liked the nursery business, I could not stay.
I have been a international business consultant for the last 10 years and have had many prestigious clients during that time. I finally got burnt out and decided I did not want to work with that kind of pressure anymore.
Side note: Since I know Chris will come on this site and slam me with all kinds of derogatory statements. I will preempt his comments by saying that I was an owner of a medical marijuana co-op during 2008-2009. The dispensary was opened mainly for the benefit of my Grandmother who was dying from spinal cancer and was closed after her death. He will say that I was closed by the city. He will call me a "pot shop dealer" who is using old inventory...LOL!
When I saw an ad on Craigslist for a low pressure office job in Santa Paula, I applied and Chris hired me on a "trial basis" within an hour of that job posting. I started work that very same day (Friday, May 14th).
When I arrived at his "office" he had me start going through HUNDREDS of unanswered emails. What I saw in those emails made me cringe! There were so MANY emails from frustrated customers that just wanted to know the status of their order - especially ladybug orders - but there were many people that ordered and paid for other things as well.
I was hoping that I would be able to answer the emails and let the customers know what was happening with their orders - that was NOT to be the case! I was supposed to look for canceled orders and then cancel the order in Quickbooks. I took it upon myself to respond via email to the people that had canceled their orders confirming their cancellation. Chris told me to just "delete" the email with no response.
As I went through all the open orders, I saw A LOT of orders for ladybugs and other orders for Mother's Days gifts that remained unfilled. When I asked Chris about this he said to, "Just ignore those orders since we have NO LADYBUGS to send them." If that was the case, why not let the customer know????
SOOOOO many orders for unfilled Mother's Days gifts! I could not get those customers out of my mind and it just gnawed at me. I kept wondering how "I" would feel if that was my order!
I worked on Friday and Saturday and was supposed to work on Sunday. However, after I got home on Saturday (60 miles round trip) I decided to do a little background checking on Chris Gilcrest and Growquest.
Imagine my HORROR when I stumbled upon the Garden Watchdog feedback on Growquest! I was speechless and wished I had done my homework on Mr. Gilcrest! I did not go into work on Sunday and I sent a message to Chris telling him that we "needed to talk."
I also found an article that was printed only 5 weeks prior in the Ventura County Star that said he was under investigation and that he was arrested in 2006 for not having Work Comp insurance & for labor code violations....Yikes!!
Let me digress for a moment....
I am an avid gardener and a full service business consultant, so this job seemed like it might be a good fit because I could use my business acumen and link it to my creative gardening side - I KNEW I could help him out of his self created mess....if only he would let me!
When I met him on Monday to discuss things, he pretty much blew me off and put me back to work going through email orders looking for cancellations. Again, I flipped through the open orders seeing ladybug order after ladybug order. I really, really wanted to respond to those of you that were still waiting for your ladybugs and Mother's Day gifts but I was not allowed.
I returned to work on Tuesday and was instructed to go through the open orders again and "up" the pricing on the rose orders and to ADD boxing charges to all unfilled orders for roses and trees.
While I was there, the phone ringers were turned off, but I could see a message box that was full. The phone handsets stayed lit up almost ALL day - meaning there were incoming calls that were not answered. I was instructed to NOT ANSWER ANY PHONE CALLS.
Because there was someone else in the office, Chris made a big show of answering the phone. He was, more often than not, very abrupt with his frustrated customers. He was in and out all day...going to the gym, watching TV, surfing the internet, pontificating about politics, and looking for rental space where he could have an area to box & ship his plants. WHY you might ask? He was evicted from his last nursery space. Why do I now this information? Per his instructions, I was going thru emails and there was one from his previous landlord letting him know when he would be able to pick up his stuff that was left at the space.
For the record...
I was not asked to nor did I sign any Non-Disclosure Agreement. So I am not bound by any agreement NOT share my experience with Growquest and he can't sue me for "defamation" - he can try, but he will not be successful.
When I returned to work on Wednesday, Chris was out of the office and "up in Sonoma" for the day. I went back to my task of up-charging unfilled orders. I was really struggling now and felt sick to my stomach reading the emails and seeing the old and unfilled orders. Around 1pm he sent me a text and asked me to check the mail for checks and to prepare checks and make a bank deposit. Since payments were not posted to the orders, I had NO IDEA whether these orders were filled or not. In good conscience, I could not and would not deposit the checks for fear of being implicated in an ongoing conspiracy to defraud consumers. I left for the day and DID NOT make the bank deposit.
I was terminated the next day via text message at 7:32am. I did not receive my final check for the work I performed and such started the NEW SAGA of trying to get my final check. I will post this next chapter of trying to get paid if anyone is interested.
I will close by saying to those customers that ordered ladybugs and/or preying mantis eggs and have still not received them...you will never get them!
On May 25th, 2010, GQemployee added the following:
As predicted, the text messages from Chris have already started. After reviewing my post in it's entirety, there is one statement that must be corrected as follows:
"I will close by saying to those customers that ordered ladybugs and/or preying mantis eggs and have still not received them...you will never get them!"
Using the word "never" was not correct. You MIGHT get them :-)
Thank you Chris for the correction. On May 26th, 2010, GQemployee added the following:
Update on my earlier post.
Please note that EVERYTHING I have posted is simply MY OPINION of what I observed first hand.
After being given the run around by Chris for 5 days and making 2 trips to Santa Paula (120 miles), I DID get a PORTION of my final check; he still owes me the balance. I have filed a claim with the California Dept of Industrial Relations and I will let them sort it out.
After seeing my post, I got more text messages from him that were kind of funny and just proves how delusional he really is - again in MY opinion.
From Chris...complete with misspellings:
“I saw ur post. To say most of it is fase would under statement”
“U actually helped me mor than u know. The post will be effective for me as long as it stays. U did exactly as expected an planned.”
“Free speech is not free when it is a pack of lies or distortions of the truth to cause harm. Like I said predictable and helpful to a larger picture. Thank u fo doing ur part to prov a point”
“dah retard why do you think u were not given a non disclosure statement in the first place. Because u were the perfect chump to post something as untrue and fase as made it. U went on and on about how pissed about not getting ur $35k twice no doubt more like 35cents…A lot of anger there u just needed a little motivation to make a post so I gav u a little motivation…Played like a puppet good job."
Chris made a comment to me about "restoring his GOOD NAME". I tried hard not to laugh, but all I was thinking was that it was impossible to restore something that never was and that he should spend his time and energy to ESTABLISH a good name!
Ahh...the rantings of Chris. I am sooo scared of you Chris and hope your masterminded plan works out for ya!
On May 28th, 2010, GQemployee added the following:
Here is one that should go down under a Mastercard "Priceless" commercial and should give everyone a nice chuckle before the long weekend.....
Mind you, I am still trying to get $$ he owes me.
Text Message exchange between ME & Chris Gilcrest
Yesterday 27 May 2010
"Even on a good day.... u could not find your way out of a paper bag."
"okay well maybe u just hav better paper bag."
...and I am the "chump"? On June 6th, 2010, GQemployee added the following:
As I was reading through all the postings regarding Growquest , I noticed that contact info for Ventura County DA's office were different. There is a "Russ Robins" AND then there is a "Jeff RobinSON"....this was confusing to me when I tried log my complaint.
Jeff Robinson (805.662.1713) is the head of the DA's "Special Investigation Unit" Yes Chris, you made it to the BIG TIME in Ventura County! If you have a complaint, Jeff would be the person to call.
I hope this clarification is helpful to those of you that wish to log a complaint regarding Growquest and/or Chris GilcrestOn June 11th, 2010, GQemployee added the following:
Bump^^^On June 19th, 2010, GQemployee added the following:
The latest communications to me from Chris/Growquest:
"Dear ratty aging fast an homely looking psycho…if I have an end then it is to start to new challenges opportunities in life and it has nothing to with u but rather the complexities of life. So get ur own mental health treatment an a fashion grooming makeover. And ur constant attempts to harass me an my business service nothing in mind. crawl back into crate close the kennel gate an go back to sleep."
Is this the kind of person you want to do business with?On September 25th, 2010, GQemployee added the following:
On Sep 22, 2010, DisappointedOK Broken Arrow, OK wrote:
I truely wish I could give Chris a positive review, but sadly I can't. I ordered a #5 dwarf bush Rio Red Grapefruit
Item#: Ctr5DbRio July 28, 2010. I've made several calls to Growquest and each time Chris assured me that my order would ship the following Monday and that I would have my order no later than the following Friday, but so far nothing has arrived. I feel very fortunate that Chris never charged my credit card for the shipping and I made arrangements to pay him after I received my order.
I ordered two mulberry trees in July. I kept checking the order status, it said, in progress. I emailed the company to check on the status and I was told they would be mailed in a few weeks. Now (in September), I received a email stating "out of stock." They offered no apologies. Very unprofessional and uncourteous.
Posted on August 26, 2010, updated September 13, 2010
I placed an order for 2 olive trees and a rose bush on 7/4/10. My check for the above was cashed on 8/10/10 by which time I had not received my purchase. I called the company on 8/23/10 at 8 AM local time since I was yet to receive the shipment. Chris told me it was really early in the morning but that he would ship the items the following day. I called the next day 8/24/10 asking for the shipment tracking number. This was at 10 AM. I was told that the day had just started but that he would have his secretary call me with the tracking number the next day (8/25/10). Today is 8/26/10 and so far I have not heard from anyone. Chris does not answer his phone today. I reported the company to the BBB yesterday. I would like to receive my purchase or be refunded my money.
On September 13th, 2010, kaarina added the following:
On 9/10/10, I received an e-mail from Growquest asking for my credit card information although they cashed my check over 2 months ago. No sign of my plants yet! I have reported Growquest to US Mail Fraud.
Posted on August 9, 2010, updated September 3, 2010
I paid for a rose tree in advance on April 12. Growquest initially stalled at sending the item and then ignored further communications including my request for a refund. Since payment was wade thru the mail, today I filed a complaint of mail fraud with the US Inspector General's office.
On September 3rd, 2010, michaelabond added the following:
I received a full refund from Growquest on August 23.
On Aug 15, 2010, GlockLover Centerville, UT wrote:
Posted on July 23, 2010, updated August 15, 2010
Does this guy even read emails sent to him?!
I ordered a Black Bacarra rose from this "company", was charged for the shipping and received a box a few weeks later.
The box was left on my doorstep and looked like it had been kicked around. I opened the box to find a rose bush that had been left in the box so long the branches had grown curved around the inside of the box. When I finally got the rose out of the box I found it had black spot, and a smell of root rot.
At this point I moved the bush to a space far away from my garden and thought I would give it a couple days after pruning and some TLC to see if it would survive. No such luck.
I emailed this "company" and told them what happened and that I was extremely dissatisfied. I got no response back so I just chalked this up to experience after what I read here. Weeks later I start getting emails, then threats, that I need to pay up.
I've just started to ignore them the way they have ignored me. I'm with everyone else who is in complete disbelief that this guy continues to hop from business to business.
On August 15th, 2010, GlockLover added the following:
I've now started getting phone calls saying they will contact a paralegal to file suit against me in my local court. I would say I am astonished, but I'm not. I cannot see anyone, except the desperate, filing suit in a different state over a $40 issue. Even the two judges in my church laughed out loud at this story.
After five months of trying to get
Chris at Growquet to deliver my order he has just quit responding to to my emails. You can't reach him on the phone either. He cashed my check, stole my money, refuses to give a refund and basicly is a thief and scam artist. Chris your turn is coming!
WHY DO PEOPLE KEEP BUYING FROM THIS COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I bought several roses from him over 2 years ago and never received them. He never returned my emails and stopped answering his phones.
A year later I got in touch with him and explained the problem and he promised to find the roses and get them to me. He even called me and told me he found them and was sending them to me. Of course that never happened and I was not able to contact him again.
I thought he was in bankruptcy, but seems he is still selling to people. I wish people would read reviews before buying from him. I think one of the problems is that he seems to put a lot time on his internet site and that is pretty impressive, when so many are so bad that they are hard to order from. He has really nice pictures of his products and his business and seems to give good info on his products, but I am not sure any of this exists, maybe they are just pictures of products and a business that doesn't even exist. Isn't there a way to have him investigated and closed down?
NEVER GOT MY ORDER AFTER FOUR MONTHS. I MISSED THE THE ENTIRE GROWING SEASON. I ordered a anastasia hybrid tea rose online. Despit all the negative reviews I saw on this page, this was the only website I could find that exact rose. The wierd thing about this website is that customers typically wait to recieve the item before they pay. I am guessing that he knows that he doesn't usually send the products and that's why he does it that way.
So I also pre-paid so that he would actually send me my rose. I've waited for four months. He's had my payment for 3 of those months, and I have not seen my plant. I've gotten a couple of short emails from him promising that it's on the way, but he won't even answer the phone.
I should have listened to all the other Dave's Garden users.
I ordered ladybugs and praying mantis as well as food and plants.My check for $12.98 was cashed but after reading all these comments I realize I will not get my order or my refund. I requested my refund and his response was "no charge was made". My credit card has not been charged but my check was cashed. I called the DA today and he has assigned Catherine Mano 805-662-1703 to this case.I know that most web/mail order businesses are honest, but this experience has made me less trustful.
I should have read all the comments before I ordered roses three months ago and still have not received an email confirmation or any plants. When I got hold of someone finally they could not locate my order and never heard back from them again. Chock it up to a lesson learned. I just wrote this bad experience off as a total loss. Will not order again!!!!
I placed and order for 3 patio tree roses on April 18, 2009 and my credit card was charged for over $100.00. After numerous phone calls and emails I have never recieved the roses or a refund of my money.
I wish that I had read these posts before I placed the order. My order # is 01033799. At this point I want this order canceled and my money returned!!!
Long story, that starts over 5 years ago and is still ongoing, but I'll try to hit the highlights to keep it short... Ordered 2 olive trees after speaking directly with Chris about their immediate availability in 2006.
Prepaid for my order and s/h by check (because they were not able to take credit cards...first red flag) in the amount of over $320.
After a full year of no trees and being blown off every time I tried to call/email, I canceled my order and asked for a refund.
After another full year of no refund, I filed in small claims court in San Diego County. Chris was a no show and I was "awarded" my refund. Chris blatantly ignored the ruling, never paying up. A writ of execution was sent to his bank with no luck. Today, 5 years 4 months after my initial contact with Chris Gilcrest I receive a Notice of Dismissal from the US Bankruptcy Court, informing me that he filed Chapter 7.
Chris Gilcrest really is an awful business man, and I can't believe that #1 he is still in business and #2 there doesn't seem to be anything we can do to put him out of business.
If he offers you something that seems to good to be true... it is. Do yourself a favor and spend your money elsewhere.
On May 8th I ordered Monkey Business and Drop Dead Red Roses for a total of $264.90 with my credit card. How I wish I'd found this page first. I received an order number and was informed that my credit card would only be used for shipping and that I would need to send a check before they could be sent. I never received the roses. My father went in for open heart surgery and then had 2 strokes and in all of this I wasn't able to follow up very well. But I have sent him numerous emails and left several phone messages but no answers. I have asked him repeatedly to cancel my order and refund my money. I have been polite in all correspondences. Here's hoping Chris Gilcrest will see this and take action to make this right.
Posted on October 13, 2009, updated June 28, 2010
I am fighting cancer and my husband is building me a greenhouse. I ordered an avocado tree from Growquest, after Chris there patiently answered many of my questions over the phone and through email. He was extremely kind, funny, and helpful. Even after I called him the third time, lol. I finally selected the kind and size tree I wanted, and he sent it to me extremely fast before I even paid for it.
I received it in the most extraodinary packaging I have ever seen. NEVER in all the years I have ordered plants or trees for our homes have I ever gotten such a large, healthy and thriving specimen as this. It even had an avocado nearly ripe on the tree! I was so happy with it.
I have to say, many times I have paid in advance with many places and get slow, tiny sickly looking plants that don't always thrive. I did recently from another grower and mentioned it to Chris and now he sending me a banana plant because the tiny ones I got from another grower were broken and sick when they came. I will come back and leave feedback about my banana plant from grow quest when it arrives too.
I have now read some of these posts that are negative, and am amazed. I wonder if it can be true. Chris has been polite, helpful and kept his word about my tree, and sent it before payment. I am a cops kid that finds it hard to trust people, and can honestly say I will give Chris my business again and will recommend him to my friends. He has treated me fairly and gave GREAT customer service. I recommend this company. How can you go wrong when you get to see your plant in your hands before y ou pay?
On June 28th, 2010, camprunamuk changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I ordered from Growquest in October. My tree arrived in what I thought was a healthy condition but within a couple days it began dying. it was infested with spider mites and when I took it in to a master gardener in our nearby city she said it had a disease. At first we had thought it was a watering issue or shock from transporting for a couple days, but it was inspected at a nursery and confirmed that it was sick. Not having ever seen one before I didn't know until an expert told us.
After several back and forth talks with Chris he told us he would give us a refund, and send me another in the spring. I had another round of chemo this winter so we let it go even though we never got our refund. I emailed him SEVERAL times this spring and let him know we didn't ever get our refund and that it was now warm enough to ship to us. We have not heard from him.
If he gets back to me, and makes good on his promise, I will return my rating to positive and let you all know that he did. If not, I will also come back and let you know that too, and report him. I don't even need both a tree and a refund, I even told him he could just do one. I'd like my money or a tree and am still waiting. I'll keep you all posted.
I am surprised because I felt he was trying to treat me honestly and fairly and now nothing........
The guy makes great videos. I love the website, but did not answer my email regarding making a potential purchase. If you can't respond to a purchase request, I can't buy from you. If he ran his business as much he knows about Avocados, he would be one to buy from.
On Jun 14, 2010, Fraudquest Santa Monica, CA wrote:
Since this company changes it name all the time I thought I would give them a new suggestion. Changing the name to "Fraudquest" would be a more appropriate name for this company and it unsavory business practices.
Same story as everyone else...ordered, got nothing, emails and calls...you all know the drill
In 2009 I ordered a number of roses, and after two months had passed (and many un-returned phone calls) I actually received only two that I had paid for on my credit card, well over $100. The two weren't labeled so I had no idea which roses they were, so they were of no use to me.
I had already figured out that this guy was advertising for sale roses that he didn't have in stock, so I was beginning to worry by this time. Again, emails and phone calls went unanswered, so on the advice of my credit card company I returned those roses by priority mail with tracking and filed a dispute to the charges and filed a complaint with the California BBB.
I still haven't received either the roses or a refund from this guy, and because of multiple deaths in the family shortly after this event, I didn't follow up with my credit card company, so I assume I'm out of luck on that score too.
I checked to see if he was still in business this year, and simply could not believe the crap on his website, pretending to have real products for sale, and telling people to check other businesses on Google Earth to make certain there's a real business. He's the only business online I've EVER encountered that's a total fraud! He stole over $100 from me, and for that he should be in jail!
On Jun 6, 2010, brandywinefran West Chester, PA wrote:
Posted on June 6, 2010, updated June 6, 2010
Posted on June 6, 2010, updated June 6, 2010
Thought the "customers" of this guy would be interested in this from Craig's List. Apparently there is a real nursery somewhere.
On Jun 5, 2010, luv2garden4ever Mill Valey, CA wrote:
Posted on May 24, 2010, updated June 5, 2010
Posted on May 24, 2010, updated May 24, 2010
Posted on May 24, 2010, updated May 24, 2010
Thinking about ordering from Growquest??
As another person stated....step away from your keyboard...step away and RUN!
I actually met Chris back in 2004 on a landscaping project, he probably does not remember me, but he left a lasting impression on me. IMHO....I have never met anyone so rude and filled with hubris! I ordered some hard to find roses from him, but after many, many emails and phone calls they never came EVEN THOUGH HE WAS PAID IN FULL and has had MY MONEY for 6 years!!
It is hard to believe that this man can remain in business. However, he DOES change the name of his company as often as most of us change our underwear. I was SHOCKED to see the article in the Ventura County Star Newspaper in early April 2010 - see link below.
He has been conning people out of their hard earned dollars since 2003 and continues to do so. I thought we had seen the last of him when he was arrested in 2006 for labor code violations. Alas, the Phoenix rises from the ashes of all the people he has BURNED - yes, pun intended!
When I heard through the grapevine that he was up and running again now in Santa Paula, I was shocked and decided to see if he REALLY did have a nursery anywhere since I was making a trip to So Cal anyway. I went over to his office located at 134 Davis Street in Santa Paula, CA. When I arrived I found a house that had been converted into a number of small offices. There was no sign saying "Growquest" ANYWHERE and I was not sure that he actually has an office in that building. There were some dead trees in the back parking lot (about 4 plants). After some investigating/researching I set out to find "his nursery down the street." I stopped at anything that looked like a nursery and asked anyone I could find if this was the Growquest nursery - NO LUCK.
I sincerely doubt that he has ANY nursery space located in Ventura County or anywhere else for that matter! After many years, I have come to the conclusion that Christopher Morgan Gilcrest is NOTHING MORE THAN A (BAD) PLANT BROKER and he runs a stock-less inventory. I often wonder if he buys his plants, trees, roses, etc. from Home Depot and then just re-sells them to unsuspecting customers.
I ordered a few more times from him over the years just to SEE what would happen - small orders of course and I used a prepaid credit card (to keep my losses to a minimum)! No Chris, I WILL NOT give you my order number so you can send me more incoherent and rambling emails. I don't care about your family problems or ADMITTED debilitating mental health issues! Sure, I feel some compassion for your family, but that should not interfere with running a business. If you can't stand the heat, get the H*LL out of the kitchen!!
You continue to BLAME everything and everyone under the sun for your COMPLETE LACK OF CUSTOMER SERVICE IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. The mere fact that YOU personally respond to the complaints on GW tells me a lot. I AM confused as to why you don't respond to the BBB complaints about your biz??? You seem to have all the time in the world to go online for everything else - why not respond to all of your BBB complaints...huh?
You know what Chris? I DON'T CARE ABOUT "your new love" or any of your other problems. I also don't care about your stupid youtube videos - in fact, I find them rather annoying. You seem to have the time to find a new girlfriend, make MANY youtube videos, and to send offensive and rambling emails to your scammed customers. Very unprofessional Chris!
If you spent half the time to respond to your customers instead of making videos, sending bulk emails that have nothing to do with pending orders, suing people for defamation, and the list goes on..you might actually establish a satisfied customer base.
Just for fun, I ordered some Ladybugs from Growquest this year for my niece's birthday party and a tree rose for Mother's Day. Guess what??? Nothing came! Do you feel any remorse when you miss your shipping deadlines for gifts?? Sheesh! I am still waiting for my roses from 2004! Luckily, I double ordered the Ladybugs and tree rose from someone else as to ensure my gifts actually showed up when expected. Fool me once Chris...never again!
Watching your drama unfold over the last 6 years has been mildly entertaining, but I REALLY FEEL BADLY for all the other people you cheated and disappointed over the years!
Posting YOUR PERSONAL drama on your customer service page was jaw dropping and completely inappropriate. What in God's name were you thinking?? I was EMBARRASSED for you! Psst....NO ONE CARES about your personal problems!
On May 24th, 2010, luv2garden4ever added the following:
P.S. My husband is a lawyer Chris...so sue away!!! It won't cost me a dime, but it may put you away for a long time. It might also save a few customers from getting screwed! I actually feel guilty for not posting sooner :(On May 24th, 2010, luv2garden4ever added the following:
This just in......
I checked the growquest.com website and found the below information in the header portion in bright yellow with red type. I have been a longtime buyer of J&P roses so I called them right away to find out what was going on. Despite the GROSSLY inaccurate statement below, J&P is still up and running and ready to take your order for their beautiful roses.
To be fair...
Yes, they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy REORGANIZATION and they are STILL very much in business. Their phones are being answered by "live people" and they have the same quality customer service as they have always had.
From the Growquest.com website:
"May 22, 2010 The Shock An Awe Of Rose Sales.
All J&P Roses & Few Others For $8.99 Each !@%!
This is a liquidation sale of the roses grown for Jackson & Perkins, all roses are tagged and branded. At this time there no branded J&P roses for sale for next 3 years or so. There are J&P Roses in the ground but there is no company and no permission to label the roses. It is nightmare for all of those involved. I have listened to horror stories of the workers and the contractors.
This money is going directly to people harmed by the disaster that is the J&P collapse. I will write more of the gritty details as I have time. Check my Facebook and Twitter feeds also. Why I am involved in this? Well it is just another chapter in my bazaar life.
I am not going to install shopping cart codes, these roses are set to be put in large compost grinder in 14 days from now. Copy and past an email all the items you want, I will try and get a faxable form made up, this is very spur of the moment.
As usual you will pay for the Fed Ex or UPS with your credit and mail a check back to us after you get your order and like it."
Yes, the Growquest prices are GREAT, but it is doubtful you will EVER see the rose you ordered or they will not be up to the standards of J&P if you buy from this company.
When it comes to Growequest - Dave's Garden Watchdog says it all and then some...directly from his customers!On June 5th, 2010, luv2garden4ever added the following:
This is the customary response from Growquest on Dave's Garden Watchdog
"Please call us at (805) 921- 3900, we will do our best to resolve this matter."
LOL! I called the number and there is some nutty message that says "don't leave a voice mail because we won't call you back"
What kind of business puts that kind of message on their outgoing message???
I have just filed a complaint with the BBB and encourage you to do so if you have a complaint/unsatisfactory experience. I am out of $16.49 for 4500 ladybugs that I doubt I will ever receive. I find it deceptive and bad business to encourage ppl to send in payment so their order will be moved up the line and then to have a habit of being so busy that you never get around to shipping paid items. The complaints on this site speak volumes...wished I had found this before dealing w/ growquest.
I don't know what the deal is. . . just cancelled an order for a Meyer lemon tree from this company. Disappointed but I guess I'm lucky. Placed order in late Feb. 10, got a confirming email on April 24, 2 weeks after my fiancee called to ask "what's going on", nothing since then and based on what I see here, that lemon tree only had a 50 percent chance of showing up this year. Credit card has not been charged.
Will look on this site for another grower. Still want a tree!
Despite some of the horrendous-sounding experiences posted by others, I don't believe this company is outright fraudulent (though I have checked my card statements and will continue to do so). I simply think they are incompetent to be a mail order business. I ordered a pair of dwarf citrus trees early in the year (late January 2010). I was prepared for some delay as trees can be tricky to grown and ship. Five months and several waves of communications later, I have received two emailed invoices from them, dated from the time of the order...but no trees. Each time I contacted them, I was sent a terse email: "They will ship in a few days." Each time, I waited several weeks and recontacted them with the same results. On one occasion, they actually called me to ask if I still wanted the trees. That call gave me some hope they were working on the problem so I said yes. Today I emailed them asking them to cancel the order. The fact that they actually called me once, and that they do, more or less respond to emails, and that they haven't tried to charge me for S&H they haven't provided, leads me to believe they are not a scam - but clearly they aren't organized for the task they've set themselves.
After reading everyone's comments, I'm sick to my stomach...I feel violated!!!
I placed an on-line order for a potted rose Oct. 13, 2009...S/H fees were charged to my credit card that same day.
I telephoned for follow-up April 27, 2010 and was told, by Chris himself, to mail the final payment (check) and my order would be processed.
The check was "cashed" April 6, 2010; it's now May 7, 2010...
His voice mailbox is "full" and he has not responded to my e-mails.
Negative, as in zero, zilch, money taken, rose tree not sent, ordered on 4/20/2009, over one year ago now, authorization taken care of lickety-split, that day, money taken out of my bank account, tree never delivered. Online Order number 01033883, for Blue Girl potted rose tree, 36" standard, ready for full bud and bloom. You should have specified that this money would be for paying for nothing at all in return, or that this was to pay for an invisible rose tree. Then at least I could have made a CHOICE to be ripped off, not fraudulently advised on the phone and in two e mails that, oh, we're so busy, you'll get your tree rose... I had to work for that sixty-two dollars and seventy-one cents, and I CHOSE to buy from you because you described excellent healthy rose trees. Next time please preface that with, "Not really, but:" before you print "we send all orders out within five days."
Marta A. Kaufman, RN
p.s. - whoever printed the D.A.'s name and phone number, thank you.
Posted on April 14, 2010, updated April 16, 2010
Had a similar experience to those posted with this seller. Placed order for "buy 2, get 1 free" ladybugs but charge was calculated for all 3 anyway. Could not get a response from the seller to clarify. Did not receive ladybugs. No charge has appeared on my credit card yet but I am planning on canceling the order anyway due to lack of response.
On April 16th, 2010, beckjm changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Posted on April 9, 2010, updated April 10, 2010
Posted on April 9, 2010, updated April 9, 2010
Posted on April 8, 2010, updated April 9, 2010
Posted on April 8, 2010, updated April 8, 2010
I just wanted to add my two cents. I ordered an avocado tree 2/2/2010. After repeated assurances that it was on its way, and had been delayed due to weather, I am now receiving no response. It looks like I've been ripped off along with the other people on this page. I've left a message with the DA indicated on this page, and recommend that other frustrated buyers do the same.
On April 8th, 2010, southtexas added the following:
I received this response after a few hours of my post:
Dear ****** :
You have made a false, defamatory and damaging post about me on the internet. You have 24 hours to have it removed in total, failure to do so will result in legal action against you. Your order is now void.
Chris GilcrestOn April 9th, 2010, southtexas added the following:
and now he's sent 2 new e-mails:
no just a civil suit for defamation, you post was very incorrect and misleading. Since you have already compounded your problems by adding to it and not removing it you expect to be served in the new few weeks and retain legal counsel to defend yourself.
It will be a civil suit and yes it will cost you a bundle. That is all for
chris On April 9th, 2010, southtexas added the following:
just to be completely clear, it appears my credit card was never charged, so there doesn't seem to be any money lost - nonetheless, 2 months of my time was wasted, and I definitely would recommend everyone avoid this so called nurseryOn April 10th, 2010, southtexas added the following:
and the latest (I wonder if the suite has a kitchenette):
> There is no talking about it, remove
> it all or get a civil suite and it is
> that simple.
Posted on March 30, 2010, updated April 5, 2010
Posted on March 23, 2010, updated March 30, 2010
Posted on March 23, 2010, updated March 23, 2010
i called several times and was never able to get anyone on the line. then i got a rather screwy voice message, that they were busy shipping bugs , avocado trees were not shipping due to the weather (nonesense), and to send an email if you wanted a response as they did not return voice mails. i sent a couple emails outlining what i want and did not get a response back as it was only for one large tree. if this grower really exists he does not appear to be willing to let you come out inspect his stock, if he has any, nor answer how many trees he has in stock. i wonder how much of time and how much money he has cost people his parsing orders. a waste of a couple of hours. too bad we can't bill him for wasting our time. most true growers list on line how much stock they have on hand. he does not.
On the upside i was able to find a grower nearby Barons Brothers in Camarillo, California who was able to quote a tree at 1/2 the price Growquest had listed and who is large commercial grower who also serves the retail. and happy to let me have what i wanted and their people were right on top of it. 1/2 the price Chris was listing and not telling me i could not have the tree in some strange voice mail message of his.
there are plenty of high quality avocados in stock that are big as there was no major commercial planting california last year due to the drought and no water allocation is coming this year, so the growers tell me they have lots of big avos for sale and are happy to ship them or deliver them now. I had one guy ready to give me same day delivery. where i live i have to get the tree in the ground before the heat ramp and the end of march is prime planting time.
There is no reason whatsoever to deal with Growquest if you talk to Barons Brothers you will be amazed at the great response and service and prices. Unfortunately if you want great avocado and citrus your going to have to go the big growers or someone that deals with the large commercial growers in Southern California. I would like to highlight the great experience i had with barons brothers in finding me a great plant at a great price and while being pleasant and want to thank Growquest for helping me find the 'hot' nursery that can rock and roll in Southern California.
On March 23rd, 2010, arthurburnss added the following:
he got back the next day after i put 'daves garden' in the heading of the 2nd email but the email was somewhat incoherent and he never answered my question if he had anything in stock or if i could come down and visit and select my own tree . he was the only nursery i called that did not pick up the phone and where i could not get answer on price and availability. but he says he is busy. he did quote some very good pricing on some varieties i was not interested in. On March 30th, 2010, arthurburnss added the following:
I see the real commercial citrus growers in southern california have started their yearly shipments for new commercial orchards and orchard replacements and simultaneously they will ship to the people who don't really grow their own, but just resale to the marks, aka the retail/web crowd.
I suspect if you're waiting on a Citrus you will be able to get it as the real big commercial California growers like LaVerne are shipping this week. There is a lot of quarantine and inspection and repotting that goes on before they ship.
I still cant find out what Growquest actually grows itself. Or if they are just backdooring stock from the big commercial growers in California, most of who have been in business for over 50 years.
Shipping citrus has nothing to do with the weather, nor shipping avocado, but it is synchronized to when the large commercial growers want to do their planting in Southern California. These guys get their plants before the retail nurseries.
Most all of these so called growers don't grow their own but go to the same 'big guys' in Southern California.
They do have good citrus and avocado stock in California, probably the best quality in the world. You just have to find someone 'reasonable' to go out and do your buying for you.
I might suggest Barons Brother Nursery in Camarillo. They do small special orders and get the best plants and have a large commercial growing operation of their own. If you need quality citrus and avocado, they can get it for you and very, very good quality for the price.
if you live in Northern California its probably worth the drive down to southern california to get your crack at this years crop of citrus and avocado.
good planting this spring!!
On April 5th, 2010, arthurburnss added the following:
Good news. The large Commercial avocado growers like LaVerne and Browkaw near Growquest (if they actually have a nursery) have started to ship avocados for commercial growers starting new orchards or replacing trees. This means the small nurseries like Growquest will have access to trees, so If you have been waiting on an order and 'the weather' is being blamed, its likely as the real growers were not releasing plants or a nursery may not have paid them. Demand the best demand a tree from Laverne or Browkaw or Barons Brothers, whom I use as they are a large buyers and growers. Same tree 1/2 the price approximately that Growquest had listed on their website. And they are polite and nice not rude and name calling.
I have had a recent (and ongoing) conversation with Chris regarding an order I placed by mail over two months ago. Since all of his email comments have been an attempt to justify or excuse his business practices, I am including a readout of all of our emails so that others can see what they are up against if they choose to do business with this person. Also they will serve as a record of our actual interactions in case Chris would like to comment as he has done in the past on this forum.
Emails are obviously in current date order to later date. The beginning email is at the end of the list.
To: Sales at Growquest Growers
Sent: Fri 3/26/2010 5:48 PM
You still have not answered my SPECIFIC question. Do you have a tangerine tree to send within
the next week or not? I never received a receipt nor any other kind of order confirmation from
you. And I am beginning to suspect that you do not have the SPECIFIC product I ordered. So
once again, do you have a Satsuma tangerine tree to send to me for delivery by April 2, 2010 or
not? I am not interested in any OTHER comment from you. I don't expect this level of
confrontational conversation from a vendor and I certainly would not have placed an order with
your company if I had known that this is how you treat your customers.
Please only reply to this email if you can answer my SPECIFIC question about the order I placed.
Again, do you have the tangerine tree and will it be delivered to me by April 2? Yes or no. That is
From: Sales at Growquest Growers [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Friday, March 26, 2010 2:32 PM
Subject: Re: Order Placed January 29, 2010
you get a receipt of an order as soon as you make your order, what are talking about not ackowledging the order?
From: Sales at Growquest Growers [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Fri 3/26/2010 2:29 PM
take the money and run? You have not even paid me for anything, how could take and run with something I have not got?
Original Message -----
To: Sales at Growquest Growers
Sent: Thursday, March 25, 2010 5:56 PM
Since I have not heard from you regarding the Satsuma tangerine I ordered, I conclude that you
either don't have the product, don't intend to honor my order with you, or simply don't give a
damn. I am also of the opinion that many, if not most, of the negative reports about you and your
company are, in fact, true.
You have made another dissatisfied customer. I will tell everyone I know (I write a monthly
gardening column for a local newspaper) that you are not to be trusted and that your business is
quite likely fraudulent--you take the money and RUN. Hopefully my readers and friends will avoid
doing business with you and thus not fall victim to your questionable business practices.
----- Original Message -----
To: Sales at Growquest Growers
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 4:05 PM
Subject: RE: Order Placed January 29, 2010
To begin with, I have never dealt with any nursery or grower who failed to acknowledge receipt of
an order. Since I haven't heard from you in nearly two months, I thought it best to do some
research on your company. The site I located offered over three times as many negative reports
than positive ones. Since I have never done business with you before, I find that the personal
experience of others who have had business dealings with you to be of interest. I am uninterested
in your difficulties with dissatisfied customers.
I only wish to purchase a Satsuma tangerine which you offered for sale. Do you have a Satsuma
tangerine available to ship to me in the next week? If not, I will take my business elsewhere. I do
believe that two months is too long to have to wait to receive a product. All of the other nurseries I
have done business with have responded with notification of the order I sent it and have sent the
product within a few weeks. This is what I expect as a consumer from companies that I deal with.
Please let me know if or when to expect delivery of the tangerine tree. Thank you.
From: Sales at Growquest Growers [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 10:07 AM
Subject: Re: Order Placed January 29, 2010
why thank you
is there one more hearsay or defamatory story you think is better than another?
and since you only pay for the plant after you get it, how is it not in your best interest to see get
and approve the plant and then pay for it, and why would we send you a plant you did not like if
we need you to like it to get paid?
----- Original Message -----
To: Sales at Growquest Growers
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 9:15 AM
Subject: RE: Order Placed January 29, 2010
You can find the information at http://davesgarden.com/products/gwd/c/3143/.
From: Sales at Growquest Growers [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 1:47 AM
Subject: Re: Order Placed January 29, 2010
ok, where did you get such hearsay information from?
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, March 22, 2010 11:46 AM
Subject: Order Placed January 29, 2010
I mailed an order to you on 1/29/2010 for a Satsuma tangerine. I have not received anything from
you, either in the way of an order confirmation, or the product. I have since done some research
on your company and discovered that there is an ongoing fraud investigation into your business
practices, as well as numerous complaints and negative reports. Since my VISA card has not
been debited for this order I am requesting that you cancel the order.
Please reply by email so that I will know that you have honored my CANCELLATION request.
I have only very positive comments to make about my experiences with GrowQuest, their plants, and the owner, Chris.
I have been ordering roses through GrowQuest, will only order roses through them, and will continue to do so for the rest of my landscaping needs. I first found GQ several years ago, when I over-hauled old front yard, designed a new one, then proceeded to do all of the work myself. I really wanted roses that would represent, or have a meaning to, my family members. Through the GQ website and emails with Chris, I was able to find such roses! And WHAT roses these are. They are brilliant, beautiful, healthy, and produce incredible flowers! And I have a huge back yard project I am working on, and have all kinds of rose plans.
What I truly appreciate about GQ is Chris' commitment to his plants. While I ordered the 6 rose plants on line at a specific time of year, I had to be ready to wait until the weather in California cooperated for their shipment. That particular year, we had some non-stop, blistering heat, and he was not going to ship the roses and compromise them. I totally understood and respected this decision. I didn't freak out. They are his plants, his business, he knows what he is doing, whereas, I have dealt with other online growers/sellers that would ship whenever, regardless of weather, and the plants suffered for it. In the end, such ordeals only made for more headaches, red tape, delays..
I put a Don Juan in fall '09 and it is doing wonderfully, and guess what, I will be ordering 4 more plus when I can for the back yard project.
Please do not dismiss this nursery! I am very disgusted at all of the negative and petty laundry people are airing through this review site. It sounds like some gardeners did not read the fine print that is all over the website about when he ships, why, how etc.
I ordered ladybugs in December and still have not received them. This is my first time growing a vegetable garden in South Florida. I could have bought ladybugs elsewhere, but held off out of hope that I would finally receive them from Growquest. Now it is months later and my garden is full of aphids and other crazy-looking bugs. This guy is totally bogus. He should not be a businessman and he should be ashamed of himself for misleading people who are trying to do something positive.
After some delays they delivered the wrong tree. I immediately notified them of their mistake both by phone and e-mail. They have made no contact with me and have otherwise refused to correct this situation.
Posted on February 19, 2010, updated February 22, 2010
GARDENERS BEWARE - BIG TIME!!!!
I tried to order from this company last fall, but could not get an understandable communication from them so did not follow through. Unfortunately, I did put in an order for bare root roses a short time ago, but again the communication from the company was not understandable. And phone messages were not returned nor were e-mails in any understandable form. I decided I would cancel the order as I have no desire to purchase anything from a company that cannot comply with SIMPLE REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION, much less any kind of understandable billing policy. I have had to send them countless e-mails requesting cancellation and verification of such. So far all I have gotten is a runaround (and smart-alecky at that). Interesting that I got no response UNTIL I requested a cancellation! Then, I decided to check on the Internet for bad experiences with this company! Should have checked FIRST!!! Immediately cancelled my credit card - I was dumb enough to enter the number on my order.
THANKS to all who have taken the time to enter their negative responses. I should have known better than to order anything from a company I had not checked out first - something I usually always do. I have never had such an experience ordering over the net and certainly not with gardening companies. All others I have ever dealt with have been so polite, easy to work with, and very customer service oriented.
I would say if anyone has had a positive experience they have been very, very fortunate.
I also noted that the owner of the company (same person who has so far refused to cancel my order or send verification of this) has plenty of time to write smart-alecky responses to prospective customers ONLY when they want to cancel an order and to write responses on this site.
What a scary experience - I hope anyone wanting to buy from this company will come here first.
THANKS, Dave's Garden - you are great!
On February 22nd, 2010, fulloffaith added the following:
Feb. 22, 2010
Contacted Ventura County Attorney General's office. who told me NOT TO PURCHASE from this company - there is an ongoing investigation - you can call 1-805-662-1713 (Jeff Robinson) and he will have you talk with the investigator so you can get your complaint entered. I was advised that there are many, many people who have been cheated by this company and, again, NOT TO ORDER FROM THEM NOR GIVE THEM MONEY. I am fortunate that I cancelled my card before GrowQuest got any money from me, but they still refused to cancel my order. I have contacted shipper to note "refuse any order" from this company.
E-mails from Mr. Gilcrest were harassing (now sent to the DA). Very scary experience. There are so many GOOD nurseries to do business with. All my fault for not checking the reputation BEFORE ordering but hopefully this might help someone else.
Posted on September 11, 2009,
I only read some of the comments, but I too have been ripped off by this sorry excuse for a man, Chris Gilcrest of Grow Quest Growers with many other business names as well. Make sure to report Chris Gilcrest's criminal activity to the Deputy District Attorney of Ventura County who is handling this case, Russ Robinson (805) 662-1739. I understand it is just a matter of time before Chris is to be arrested. I ordered ladybugs 08-20-09, still no ladybugs and I don't expect to see any after what I have read. Chris lies and frauds people. The DA was very helpful in his investigation. Chris, I know you read these so you can make the only posative comments about yourself (each postive comment is a 1 day old user), so read this: You're going down for what you have done!
On Feb 14, 2010, Growquest Growers (also dba Olive-Trees.net and Surf & Sierra Wholesale Nurseries, LLC) responded with:
"On Oct 11, 2009 6:37 PM, Growquest Growers (also dba Olive-Trees.net and Surf & Sierra Wholesale Nurseries, LLC) responded with:
Mr. Potty mouth, and his comments were edited by the Watchdog staff, even though they did not indicate it (not their normal practice) got his refund. He would have got it sooner had he not vandalized my Youtube pages and sent extreme profane emails."
Posted on September 24, 2008, updated February 9, 2010
I see that Mr. Gilcrest has added a new blog above including even more excuses, excuses, excuses. That and stealing people's money is all he's good at. At least he has been suspended from PayPal and cannot receive any more monies via that avenue.
I just hope the California Attorney General's Office acts upon his fraud. He's already been arrested for this and you would think he would have learned his lesson. Not so. I would venture to say that he will be sharing a cell with Bubba in the near future. And rightfully so, I might add.
I found it amusing that he would tell us to "stop and smell the roses." How can anyone do that if they ordered them from him? He doesn't send anything except excuses and that's been going on for several years.
On September 28th, 2008, chunx added the following:
Too late now, Gilcrest. It's been over 3 years since you tried to rip me off and I ended up having my credit card company do a charge back. That not only maddened you but you had to pay a fee for the charge back. I received promise after promise, excuse after excuse, and then nothing. I gave you every chance to fill the order but you never did. After the charge back, I saw that you were arrested for fraud. I had a good laugh and thought you would be shut down. Nope, you're right back scamming people again and stealing their money. At least PayPal was smart enough to cut you off this time. I have a feeling you will be arrested again, spend time in jail, and once released you'll do it all over again. Once a scammer, always a scammer. You did not suddenly fall upon hard times and your feedback shows that. You've always been sleazy. On February 10th, 2010, chunx added the following:
I see once again that Chris Gilcrest has left even more excuses on his other former sites and stating that he wasn't the owner. Yeah, I believe that and I also believe a dog can fly. In each and every venture this loser has been involved with, it's failed and he's ripped off many people. So many in fact that he was arrested for fraud. So now he's back and again using the name of a former business that he said was closed a while back.
My guess is that you will continue to have people pad your reviews for a while and then you'll eventually FINALLY end up in prison where you belong. I'm just curious why it's taking so long for them to prosecute you AGAIN. Why do I know we haven't heard the last of you and your misadventures?
Should anyone actually read the reviews and then order from this con artist, scammer, and sleazebucket, you deserve to get ripped off. And it will happen. I can guarantee it. On Feb 10, 2010, Growquest Growers (also dba Olive-Trees.net and Surf & Sierra Wholesale Nurseries, LLC) responded with:
On Sep 26, 2008 10:14 PM, Growquest, A Surf & Sierra Wholesale Nurseries, LLC Company (also dba CA Plant & Floral Wholesale) added:
Sept 26, 2008: TO "CHUNX": email inquiry made to person posting comment. Thank you, Chris Gilcrest"
Although delivery took longer than anticipated, the product received was of superior quality and Chris went to the added trouble of delivering the tree personally and without cost. I would definitely use this vendor again,
What Chris Gilchrist of Growquest did for me: I can't thank him enough. I had about 50 avocado trees and was not pleased with the look/health of the trees or their production. After an extensive search I was recommended Chris. His overall knowledge of horticulture and avocados in particular was immediately apparent. He took soils and water samples and analyzed the leaves. He made comments on our irrigation system, suggested painting branches white for sun-burn protection and even sprayed the trees during a heat wave to protect them. I ended up replacing about 10 "problem" trees and purchasing about 25 new ones from Chris. His avocado knowledge was staggering. We discussed the existing trees that were producing and what additions he thought would work well in our environment. He searched and found types of trees I never knew existed. He would search back/hidden areas of other growers and my typical Haas/Fuerte etc. "normal" types went from 5 varieties to 11. After analyzing the soil and water he recommended, purchased and helped begin the new/proper fertilization program. The bottom line is that my older trees and my new trees are all flourishing. New health, growth and fruit is apparent.
Chris's knowledge doesn't end with avocados. He commented on my overall landscaping. His knowledge of oak trees was amazing - I realized I was overwatering under the oaks because of the wrong plants. With his suggestions several large areas have been redone with low-water, adaptable plants under the ancient oaks.
Then I purchased several citrus trees and he analyzed the condition of the existing trees making the appropriate recommendations.
Next I purchased raspberries, blackberries and blueberries. These are all flourishing.
I thought I knew a bit about plants but I quickly learned that I was the pupil and he was the teacher.
Chris transformed my landscaping and I can't thank him enough. I have referred him to several other clients and they are all incredibly pleased.
You can't go wrong with Chris Gilchrist - he is the doctor.