Posted on July 6, 2011, updated July 23, 2011
I ordered two calamondin plant in April 2011 and I paid 78.00 by check as instructed. It was cash in on May 5. Two months later I have not received the plants. I emailed and called him but all I got was answering machine.
I google it and found out there are hundreds of complaint about this scammer.
I filed a complaint with Better Business Bureau and I am wondering how we can take him down to jail?
I am hoping this will get to right authority.
On July 23rd, 2011, jksee added the following:
please email Ventura County District attorney to complaint about Chris so we can lock him in jail forever.
I did file a complaint with DA. I found out he is being investigated.
Overall, great experience with the purchase of two 15 gallon avocado trees (Hass and Surpize). Chris called me back immediately following my initial questions (on availability, price and rootstock), then gave me some great advice on which trees would be best for our climate and then delivered the trees in a timely manner. All I had to do was write him a check! When he delivered the trees, I asked if if could take a look at a couple of my trees that were not doing so well (previously purchased from another nursery); he did, and had some thoughts on how to get one of the trees going again (soil amendment) and pointed out that the other had some damage from a fungus and would be difficult to" revive". I have recently purchased another tree from him, this time a Lamb Hass, in order to complement my collection. Another easy and reliable transaction. Thanks Chris and I look forward to purchasing more citrus trees over the next few years!
On Jul 17, 2011, DMacGregor Jacksonville, FL wrote:
I ordered 2 green rose bushes from Growquest in Feb. or March of 2010. It took some time,however, I received the roses in April. On Growquest website it states that they will not send out plants if it is not the correct time for planting. In today's world it is nice to see someone care enough about his product to give it a fighting chance. Today the rose bushes are full, healthy, and producing buds weekly. THANK YOU GROWQUEST!
Posted on July 13, 2011, updated July 16, 2011
Posted on July 3, 2011, updated July 13, 2011
Posted on February 10, 2011, updated July 3, 2011
I wonder who wrote this one? I doubt anybody believes somebody would read all these posts and order from this crook anyway. And then take the time to sign up for a new DG account to give this guy a good rating. Don't think anybody believes this to be real
On July 3rd, 2011, nature4life added the following:
Again, I don't believe a real customer would come on here giving a positive review after reading all these horrible experiences. Anyone who actually received their order would consider themselves lucky and reading all this and thanking their lucky stars. Simply, not believable...On July 13th, 2011, nature4life added the following:
Do what the others recommend and file a complaint with the DA and with the BBB. The DA says the investigation is still open and case is not closed.
Other victims of Growquest can contact the Ventura County DA - (805) 654-3110 - to add their information to its fraud investigation.On July 16th, 2011, nature4life added the following:
I'm not buying into any of these positives here...maybe they're just like this one below who changed their positive to negative...
He asked me to give him a good comment and he would send me my trees, but he did not. Here is his message why he wanted good comment.
"thats fine it more for the factI have anew girlfriend nad do not want her family seeing all that lying ass crap up there without some nice things. I had a lot of nice comments and then the crazies went out and buried them with negative shit.
THANK YOU MY LOVE LIFE NEEDED THAT
Amusing though isn't it! Aint dat gramur o hes gr8...
These positives will probably be changing to negatives too.
This particular company was great when I had ask for 2 new roses when the other died in a month. He sent me two new rose bushes and they are doing very well now. I didn't have to send the old ones back. He believed me. I would go back again and purchases more rose bushes from him.
On Jul 16, 2011, fjohn56 Rancho Palos Verdes, CA wrote:
Spent considerable time on there website. Found the videos very helpful. Emailed & spoke to Chris several times before purchase. Trees are beautiful and delivered on time to rancho palos verdes, ca by Chris & his son two weeks ago. Planted as he recommended and they are healty & green. Ordered a hass 24" box which is about 8 feet tall with 80-100 avacados, a 24" reed which is 7 feet tall and very wide bearing about 80-100 avacados, a 24" box washington navel orange which is filled with fruit, and 3 ea 15 gallon citrus (Sir Prize avacado, cara cara, and moro blood orange, all healty and bearing fruit as promised on delivery. The 15 gallon blood orange is exceptional with a 2" stem at base. Wrote Chris a check upon delivery. Chris is a weath of knowledge and gave me lots of tips regarding inproving the trees I currently have planted. Warning-his trees are large and heavy. If you have to move them far you will need several guys to move these. We screwed 2 x 6's onto the 24" boxes and it took 4 guys to move them to the planting sight. Currently talking to Chris about another purchase very soon.
On Jul 14, 2011, foxysplants Greenville, NC wrote:
THIS IS MY EXPERIENCE WITH CHRIS GILCHRIST OF GROW QUEST. PLEASE DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE I DID. UNLESS YOU LIKE TO BE CALLED NAMES, INSULTED AND TOLD HE DIDN'T INTEND TO FILL MY ORDER IN THE FIRST PLACE, HE VOIDED THE ORDER THE SAME DAY HE GOT IT?? SAYS HE SENT EMAIL BUT NEVER RECEIVED. PLEASE KEEP READING...I DELETED MY NAME AND EMAIL FOR CONFIDENTIALITY PURPOSES BUT THIS IS REAL FOLKS.
Re: EmailOrder_10013265 -
Add to contacts
Well excuse me, but you are blathering stupid fool with remarks like that. In between your yellow highlights is this paragraph
“We will email you back
> your invoice for review and approval.
> Payment of this order must be made with a check or your own bank's
> bill pay. We offer payment through Chase Bank Quick Pay, Bank
> of America Bill.”
Now to the very best of my knowledge I have not accepted a check from you for the plant. I know I have not emailed you a quick pay and had totally no interest in filling the order. It was voided the day it came in and notice of that was sent to you from the QB folder, maybe it went into your junk mail, I don’t know.
The voicemail that offended you, is current, and it is very clear I DON’T WANT TO PROCESS ANY SMALL ORDERS, and that is very much the case for roses going to the midwest and east coast.
So open your eyes, clear your ears and pay attention, NO WHERE DOES IT SAY I WANTED YOUR MONEY, WAS ASKING YOU FOR MONEY and my own voice is CLEAR, DON’T SEND ME THE ORDER.
Why? Because I am taking the summer to clear the mistakes of this last winter/ spring.
I INTEND TO REPORT GROWQUEST TO THE BETTER
BUSINESS BUREAU AND ANYWHERE ELSE I CAN
TO LET PEOPLE KNOW NOT TO DO
BUSINESS WITH YOUR COMPANY. I HAVE READ
YOUR MANY, MANY NEGATIVE REVIEWS
AND I SEE WHY YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT
MY ORDER. I WILL BE ADDING TO THOSE
MAYBE ONE DAY THE INTERNET CAN BE REGULATED
ENOUGH TO KEEP THIEVES LIKE YOU FROM OPERATING
ONLINE BUSINESS AND TAKING PEOPLE'S MONEY!!
Payment By: Visa 4XXXXXXXXXXX3499
> Order: EmailOrder_10013265
> Product Name: Blue Girl potted rose bush, ready for full bud
> and bloom
> Item#: PRS0134
> Unit Price: $24.99
> Quantity: 1
> Shipping & Handling: $10.75
> Grand Total: $35.74
ATTENTION: OWNER - GROWQUEST.COM,
I WAS SO EXCITED TO FIND THIS "BLUE GIRL" ROSE BUT NOW I FIND MYSELF WONDERING IF THIS IS JUST A RIP OFF OR WHAT!!
IT PLAINLY STATES BELOW THAT IT TAKES 2 TO 7 DAYS TO PROCESS AND PREPARE FOR SHIPPING!!
I PLACED THIS ORDER ON JUNE 26, 2011, WHICH WAS 16 DAYS AGO AND HAVE NOT HEARD ONE WORD
EXCEPT FOR THIS USELESS EMAIL!! EVERYTIME I CHECK THE STATUS OF THE ORDER IT JUST SAYS "IN PROCESS".
I HAVE CALLED YOUR NUMBER EVERYDAY AND THE ONLY THING I GET IS A RECORDING STATING THAT
TODAY IS JUNE 23RD.....CLEARLY YOU ARE NOT TAKING CARE OF MY ORDER, WHICH IS PRETTY IMPORTANT
TO ME, IF NOT TO YOU. THIS IS NOT WHAT I CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE. I WILL BE CHECKING MY
BANK ACCOUNT TO MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT CHARGE ME UNLESS IT IS SHIPPING RIGHT THEN... AND I WOULD VERY MUCH APPRECIATE
A REPLY FROM SOMEONE IN THIS COMPANY IMMEDIATELY OR I WILL BE CALLING THE BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU
TO MAKE A FORMAL COMPLAINT!! IF YOU ARE GOING TO OPERATE AN ONLINE BUSINESS YOU REALLY SHOULD
KEEP IT UP TO DATE, INCLUDING YOUR VOICEMAIL, AND DO A BETTER JOB OF KEEPING THE CUSTOMER
INFORMED OF THEIR ORDER STATUS....LIKE WHETHER THERE ARE DELAYS DUE TO WEATHER OR SOMETHING!!
ANYTHING THAT LETS ME KNOW THAT YOU CARE ABOUT MY ORDER AND YOU WANT ME TO ORDER FROM
YOU AGAIN OR RECOMMEND YOUR WEBSITE TO ANYONE ELSE!
I'LL PLASTER THIS ALL OVER FACEBOOK IF YOU DON'T LET ME KNOW SOMETHING.......SOON!!
> Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2011 07:55:02 -0600
> From: email@example.com
> To: > Subject: Growquest Nursery Order Receipt
> Updated 6/16/2011
> EXTRA OR FREE LADYBUGS ARE ADDED TO YOUR ORDER AT TIME OF PACKING,
> THEY DO NOT SHOW UP ON THIS CHECK OUT RECEIPT.
> This order will be reviewed any adjustments that may be required
> due too; weather, plant availability, current market prices,
> shipping costs and nursery regulations. We will email you back
> your invoice for review and approval.
> Payment of this order must be made with a check or your own bank's
> bill pay. We offer payment through Chase Bank Quick Pay, Bank
> of America Bill.
> All plants are shipped FOB Ventura County, CA. Nearly all plants
> travel ground freight and take 2 to 7 days in transit. Orders
> take 2 to 7 business days to process and prepare for shipping.
> Bare root season is over. Roses are potted, rooted and ready
> to bloom and most are 29.99 for 1-2 plants, 27.00 for 3 to 4
> and market priced for larger orders. Trees Roses are $48.00 to
> $58.00 each.
> Plant orders are packed & shipped FedEx Ground. Shipping charges
> are billed through FedEx or UPS and are be in addition to any
> boxing fees and done when your order leaves. For more specific
> details look at our shipping page http://www.growquest.com/Growquest Terms Of Purchase.htm
> ========== GENERAL INFORMATION ==========
> Company: Growquest Nursery
> Order date: 6/26/2011
> ========== ORDER INFORMATION ==========
> Payment By: Visa 4XXXXXXXXXXX3499
> Order: EmailOrder_10013265
> Product Name: Blue Girl potted rose bush, ready for full bud
> and bloom
> Item#: PRS0134
> Unit Price: $24.99
> Quantity: 1
> Shipping & Handling: $10.75
> Grand Total: $35.74
> ========== CHECK ORDER STATUS ==========
> ========== SHIPPING/BILLING INFORMATION ==========
> Company: .
> Day Phone:
I should have caught-on when I paid with my credit card and then received an email stating I needed to transfer cash instead. Suffice it to say, as everyone else, the money is gone and the lady bugs, I was told had already shipped, haven't arrived. Daily calls and emails remain unresponded. To those of you who actually received your product....consider yourself lucky! To everyone: NOT WORTH THE RISK!
Chris Gilcrest/Growquest cashed my check and did not ship. They avoided communication until I e-mailed that I was going to the Ventura County DA. Chris Gilcrest then sent me a string of insults by e-mail that avoided the business matter of shipping plants or refunding money. Ventura County sent me paperwork to get me on a "victim's list". I am trying to work with Ventura County now in hopes that enough complaints might get something done.
On May 29, 2011, michaelduncan Simi Valley, CA wrote:
I worked for Chris a couple months ago. Fortunately I googled him first and was warned by a couple growers when I was picking up trees for him. I saw him get handcuffed, taken away and back on the streets in 2 hours. the Ventura County D A is investigating him now, but I am not sure how that is going to get anyones money back. The good news is I am selling trees now and I know where he gets everything. He didnt pay me for the few days I worked for him, but since I was expecting it, I told him the trees and delivery gear in my truck will be my payment. Thats how I started selling trees. If I can help anyone in anyway let me know. Michael
Posted on May 6, 2011, updated May 6, 2011
WARNING!!! Avoid this person Chris Gilcrest and his companies GROWQUEST and Surf & Sierra Nursery. He is a CHEAT and FRAUD. He immediately cashed my check but has not sent my purchase despite his repeated promises to do so. I have telephoned and emailed over 20 times each over 2 months only to be continuously jerked around by him and his assistant, Sandy. WARNING!!!
On May 6th, 2011, Oscar22 added the following:
Other victims of Growquest can contact the Ventura County DA - (805) 654-3110 - to add their information to its fraud investigation.
Posted on May 4, 2011, updated May 4, 2011
Posted on April 14, 2011, updated May 4, 2011
Contact with Chris for months, finely I actually forced him to take my money for fruit trees I desperately need. He took payment and no contact, says he got married. I am surprised he did not take me for more money. He used me to pay by Chase Bill Pay and now Chase says you can not claim fraud..just a police report, a Supena to make Chase give up this guys address and contact information...social...to sue in court. If you initiate payment it is not fraud..I am screwed and if your reading this you already were!
On May 4th, 2011, tropicalnuts added the following:
I GOT MINE, KIND OF. He's new address is 200001 S. Mountain Road . Santa Clara same zip. He was not there it looked like a few (Very maybe 10-15) plants of roses, and fruits trees which seemed to be dehydrated beyond norm. I freaked as the place is deserted and the person in the home did not answer door. I called him repeatedly to which he did not respond to so I sent a text saying I am calling the cops to which he called me back asap. I told him I was there like agreed but I was not sure it is the location. He said it is, I said ok I will pick my plants out and leave.
I met the owner of the ranch, Rick, who helped me gather what I could on my list and exchange what was not. I said I give up and was tired of I will deliver "next week," which Chris still did not want me to leave with the Kafir Lime tree and said while I am there on the phone he will come "next week." I said I am done with this crap and want this out of my hair. Rick said he does not leave there, the house is rented to multiple tenants, and the ranch as other businesses using it for whatever reason. Growquest has only began renting 2 months ago. I told him to be carefull as Chris apparently has 3 addresses to which this one is not known at all.
Anyways...here is the link to what this guys legal problems are. Rick told me his son is a Pastor! Criminal charges in Tulare county..refer these to the Santa Clara Country and file a police report, BBB already has a F rating on it.
On Apr 26, 2011, SabrinaZaman Naperville, IL wrote:
I send recieved an invoce on 7/22/2010 (# F_10009435) form this company for a Kaffir lime plant. I promptply send a check for $62 to cover the price of the plant and shipping cost. Check was promptly cashed but I am still waiting for the plant. Last fall I called the company and was repeatedly promised that it will be shipped the following week. Subsequently the phone became a dead end as nobody answered or replied. Email is also remained unanswered. I tried to contact them agian this year but without any success. I now beleive this company is scam. I am preparing to lodge police report and inform BBB. Is there a way to stop this guy?
I ordered several roses in December, sent my check for $130 which was cashed. I have been promised delivery since mid-January with several email updates and promises of new delivery dates. When I had not received by mid-March, I requested a refund which I have been promised multiple times. To date I have received neither the roses I ordered nor the refund I was promised.
Do not order from this company. As far as I can tell, it is one big scam. I wish I had done more research before ordering to learn about their unreliable reputation. Their website and invoice you received immediately upon placing your order look so professional--that is the end of any professional business dealings as far as I can tell.
I wanted to post my personal experience with Growquest. I have ordered from Growquest twice. Once about 2 to 3 months ago, and again, just this last week. I had not read any of the reviews on Dave's Garden before I placed my first order. I actually contacted Chris directly both times, and told him what I was looking for, since with each order, I was looking for some rather difficult to find items. First time I was looking for a Sir Prize avocado and Koko Loco roses, both of which I was having a very hard time locating in my local area (N. San Diego county). Chris sent me an extremely large Sir Prize (6' tall) and two very nice bare root Koko Locos, which were out of stock or simply not available anywhere (was told by several nurseries that this rose was unable to be procured from the grower at this time.) My Sir Prize is doing extremely well, probably better than just about any of my other 7 avos, and the Koko Locos are established and just now sending out their first buds. Order came right away, and was delivered right to my door. Paid by credit card, which was not charged until the items were delivered.
Second order which I submitted to Growquest on Monday and I received yesterday were for 6 roses, 2 each of Honey Perfume, Honey Dijon, and About Face. They came in 5 gal containers, were very well established, very healthy, with at least 4 to 6 large main canes, and several were blooming. I paid the driver with a check upon delivery. Delivery was free for me because he was able to time it with another larger delivery in my area, and I was able to coordinate meeting the driver at a mid-way point very close to my house, which I really appreciated. And, Chris tossed in free starting fertilizer, which I was not expecting, as well as a free rose, honoring an older sales promotion which I didn't expect, either. And, it's a rose that is no longer in production, which is an added bonus.
My experience with Growquest has been a very good one. Chris has worked hard to fill my pretty difficult orders, and has worked to give me good prices, free or reduced delivery charges and very good service. I'm a Master Gardener, and do some consulting gardening work for my development, and no, I'm not a personal friend of Chris, nor know him in any other capacity other than as a vendor I purchased from. I plan on ordering more roses from Chris in the future, and expect the same level of service I've experienced so far, which has been very good.
Placed my order on 2/20, called on 2/24 and was advised to mail a check. Received an email/invoice as shown below.
I immediately wrote back that I would send a check out.
Mailed check on 3/5, it was cashed on 3/7. Called again on 3/10 and was advised roses would go out the following week. 3/18 - no roses called and Chris advised they would arrive Tues/Weds. 3/25 - no roses - called and again Chris said next week. 3/28 - no roses - called and said specifically what day would they ship, Chris said Wednesday, would arrive on Saturday. Guess what, no roses!
I sincerely hope someone takes this business out -- and soon!
Dear Elizabeth Lee :
Please excuse this message if you have recently mailed in a check or did a Bank of America bill Pay online prepayment, or paid for the items you have already got, it is being sent every order in the system.
For everyone else and that would be about 95 % of my orders pending or shipped I am letting you that I cannot extend anymore credit. While I have told most of you that you may mail a check after you get the roses or plants I have to stop that.
The roses, olive trees have to be bought in large amounts. Too few people are paying for their orders after they have received them fast enough.
If you have a rose or olive tree order you need to mail in check ASAP to get your roses shipped out. If you are in CA, AZ, NV and want to plant this weekend you need to deposit a payment to my Bank America account Growquest Growers 01513 74123. You may deduct 10% from the invoice for doing that. If you just want to mail it no problem. I can also send a Bank of America Bill Pay for you to use a credit card with.
On Mar 5, 2011, cybergarden Spotsylvania, VA wrote:
Whatever you do, do NOT attempt to buy anything from either of these fraudulent companies (Growquest or Surf & Sierra)!
My mother ordered a lemon tree three years ago, and never received it, despite getting innumerable promises (and excuses) from Chris Gilcrest that he would either send it or refund her money. He did neither, and eventually stopped responding to our e-mails.
Apparently, this is his "business;" taking orders that he never fills, and keeping the money.
Gilcrest is an absolute crook who belongs behind bars!!! I only wish that I could travel to his (alleged) nursery in California and pick out a lemon tree for myself, (if he actually carries any plants, which I seriously doubt.)
He stole $50.00 from us, but more importantly, he destroyed our faith in online nurserymen, which had previously been unquestioned.
If anyone is bringing charges against him, and needs an extra witness, count me in!
How is this thief still in business?!! I wrote to the bbb and to the governor of CAL-IF-FOOOOR-NEEEA that they should lock down on allowing these crooks to carry on internet businesses after years and years of cheating people. He should be behind bars.
Hey Everyone - I had a death in my family and decided it would be nice to send my relatives something to plant in memory of my Aunt. Chris from Growquest went above and beyond to help me. He has been honest, responsive and excellent to work with. I had a concern because I read the negative postings but I decided to give Chris a chance and I'm happy that I did. He takes pride in providing excellent customer service and great quality of products. I will definitely do business with Chris in the future. Helen
Posted on November 28, 2010, updated January 20, 2011
I purchased a Yuzu tree and so far have not received anything except sarcasm, lies and aloofness. I was overcharged for shipping and have yet to receive my plant. This business is fraudulent. I am in the process of filing charges with the Ventura County district attorney's office and also exploring filing federal charges for credit card fraud.
This guy is blatantly ripping people off. Do not buy from him.
On January 20th, 2011, cduran added the following:
To add to deann's post:
I too received the same email from Growquest. It is a big fat lie designed to sway us from filing criminal charges of fraud. I no longer care about the money so the bankruptcy is mute. I want him behind bars with a federal criminal record. I want him barred from operating any business. This guy is a con man.
Have you tried the links he forwarded? Neither of them are valid. I had to buy a subscription in order to find the records and guess what...there are none. DO NOT let this guy fool you into thinking you will get your money back let alone any product you have ordered.
He is nothing but a low life transient gypsy who hides behind the obscurity of the internet.
On Dec 20, 2010, deann Au Gres, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on December 12, 2010, updated December 20, 2010
Did ya all know this company and thief are now in bankruptcy?
On December 20th, 2010, deann added the following:
I thought I would let ya all see this email I received from this thief who is now going into Brankruptcy...I know I will never see a refund or a replacement Rose.....but perhaps I can prevent another gardener from falling into the same trap we all did......
I have filed for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy protection, The and your refund or the
shipping of your item(s) will waiting until the conclusion of these
The filing of the Chapter 7 was not or is not an effort to dissolve the
money or obligation I have to you. I have larger issues that have clouded
over myself for many years that needed this resolution. This is not the
first, second or even third attempt to file this Chapter 7 petition. I have
got the process started before only to run into various complications and
issues. There will be no distractions this time
The amount of the money owed to you is not an issue in of itself but the
need to for me to a legal time frame and method to make ALL refunds or ALL
shipments is needed. I can only do all of this from the very large amount of
revenue the late winter and spring sales I have.
If you do desire to go to that length to protect you refund or order, I
would not worry, since your are getting this email as a result of the fact
that I have your information in my obligations folder.
On Nov 19, 2010, Supvkenny619 Levittown, NY wrote:
Posted on November 12, 2010, updated November 19, 2010
Posted on November 10, 2010, updated November 12, 2010
Posted on November 9, 2010, updated November 10, 2010
Like alot of people, I was lied to and still waiting for a refund since August. Long story short, I ordered a rose tree in the beginning of July, and after countless phone calls and e-mails my rose tree was never sent. He sent me an e-mail on August 10th claiming that the money would be refunded, and now we're in November and I'm still waiting. Please do not order from this thief, you'll be sorry. If you want more information on him, go to youtube and type in growquest and you'll see what I'm talking about.
On November 10th, 2010, Supvkenny619 added the following:
As I wrote yesterday I told you to go to youtube.com to see other comments of dissatisfied customers. Just to give you an example of how arrogant he is, type in growquest, then click on packing and shipping.mov. He patronizing comments are distasteful. He explains how there is no such thing as the "shipping fairy". I've been waiting since August 10th for my $40.00. In September I e-mailed him and politely asked for my refund and also in October. He totally ignored me. When I told him that I had his personal information (which I only had half of it) he gave me his full name and SS# and told me to get it straight. After I insulted him via e-mail and told him that I was reported him, he asked me, "please give me your name and order # so I can send you your refund". I printed out all of his e-mails if anybody would like to see them. For everybody that was robbed like I was, don't give up. Keep filing complaints with the Attorney General, consumer affairs, U.S. Postal Inspector, on-line fraud websites etc... It's going to take some time but they will nab him. When you read his advertisement, it sounds wonderful, but it is all a lie. I have proof with all the statements I made. Look how many negative reviews he has compared to the positive ones. Well to all the honest hard working people out there have a great day and God bless.On November 12th, 2010, Supvkenny619 added the following:
Attention hard working people: If you want to see this thief lose his business or get arrested, start off by contacting Catherine Mano. She is the investigator in Ventura County who's investigating this crook. The address is:
Ventura County District Attorney's Office
Bureau of Investigation
Consumer & Environmental Protection
5720 Ralston Street, Suite 300
Ventura, CA 93003
She will be back in her office on November 18. You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire. The more people who get involved the faster he will be prosecuted.
If you want to know more of what kind of person the thief is, just send me an e-mail and I will tell you what I found out. You're not going to believe it. Later...On November 19th, 2010, Supvkenny619 added the following:
FYI: When I first called the Ventura County District Attorney's office, another investigator took my call, and before I could finish my sentence of who I wanted to file a complaint against, he already knew who I was talking about and the company's name. That's how popular this thief is. I can't say this enough, you have to file a complaint. I don't have that much time on my hands to write very often, unlike "Pugsley" I have a full-time job and a part-time job. I actually work for a living. Everybody spread the word about this crook to all your family and friends and tell them to spread the word also. Until the next time...
Oh why did I not do my research prior to dealing with this company?? STUPID ME!!! I guess I'm lucky that they only took me for about $17.00! I purchased ladybugs and was excited about getting these little aphid killers - but never received after many emails - I finally cancelled my order - but, I too have never received ANY kind of refund!
Why is this man allowed to do business in California or the internet?
I've complained to the California AG's office, Washington State AG's office, BBB, and Ventura Co.
Hopefully they will put this guy out of business before he hurts anyone else.
Just like the above statements, I lost my order money as well.
I don't understand why it is so difficult to get Chris Gilcrest out of the business world altogether. I can only imagine how much money he must have stolen over the years. . . . .
Posted on April 23, 2010, updated October 19, 2010
Posted on April 8, 2009, updated April 24, 2010
This feedback pertains to GrowQuest.com as they no longer exist, as they were bought by Olive-Trees.net, I hope to get the attention of Mr. Chris Gilcrest via the following message. He has not responded to multiple messages I have sent him over the past month:
Giving you the benefit of the doubt, I believe your intentions were good but you became overwhelmed with tasks of operating a retail mail order rose nursery. I can understand that. What I can't understand is the fact that you never communicated to me after several requests for an explaination of why I have not received my order. Then, in Garden Watch Dog, you include a message to your customers that we should contact you if we, "AT LEAST have the COURAGE and COURTESY to POST YOUR ORDER NUMBER" so you can get any assistance you need to BLAH, BLAH, BLAH. So, CHRIS, here is my ORDER NUMBER: 01032409 placed on March 2, 2009 for the amount of $163.84. It is now past the window of opportunity to plant roses in the Arizona desert. I had to replace them with local nursery plants. I have no room for them. At this time,
I WANT A REFUND. DO NOT FILL THE ORDER AS IT WILL BE REFUSED.
As I feel you were honestly overwhelmed with the business and maybe your source of undocumented workers dried up, I have not contacted the Ca. Attorney General, Federal Internet Crime Center, the sheriff or any of the other websites that were listed in Gardenwatchdog for getting your attention. If I don't hear from you in 1 WEEK, April 15, 2009, I will contact all of the internet fraud websites listed in the watchdog. So Chris, how about you have the COURAGE and COURTESY to contact me. You can reach me as shown on the GOOGLE feedback website.
I know that you sold the business and it is now known as New Olive-Trees.net. I guess that means that you are out of the rose business. So deal with us that have given you the money.
C. C. Kelsey
On April 23rd, 2010, ccoryk added the following:
As I have made several posts about this (so-called) nursery since making an order for $163.84 on March 2, 2009 (Google Order #370373008025339) for rose plants which I was repeated promised and never received nor did I receive a refund of my money, it is good to know that the Deputy District Attorney of Ventura County-Russ Robinson Telephone # (805) 662-1739 is finally investigating this company and Mr. Chris Gilchrist. It is truly amazing that this fraud has been ongoing for such a long period of time. I do hope he is brought to justice in a timely fashion. On October 19th, 2010, ccoryk added the following:
Again attempted to 'play nice' and request Gilchrist to refund my $163.84 from 3/04/09 but have not nor expect an answer. What is the definition of crazy? Continue to do the same thing but expect a different outcome? Yup, must be me!On Oct 19, 2010, Growquest Growers (also dba Olive-Trees.net and Surf & Sierra Wholesale Nurseries, LLC) responded with:
"On Apr 15, 2009 9:16 PM, Olive-Trees.net (formerly Growquest, A Surf & Sierra Wholesale Nurseries, LLC) responded with:
Please call us at (805) 921- 3900, we will do our best to resolve this matter."
On Oct 13, 2010, SunStream_Farm Jackson, NJ wrote:
On Monday May 24, 2010 I ordered two olive trees and it is now October 13, 2010 have yet to get said trees. With repeated emails and contact with the firm, fully paid for the trees including shipping still no trees. All I get are excuses. It is not the money that concerns me it is the State of California and the possible fraud that this company uses to get money and not deliver the goods. The Attorney General of California needs to get on the stick and investigate why they do not honor their obligation to deliver goods as promised and paid for. I do not recommend to anyone to order from this firm. It is not worth taking that risk.
On Oct 11, 2010, bdruid Truth Or Consequences, NM wrote:
Posted on September 29, 2010, updated October 11, 2010
I KNOW YOU READ THIS CHRIS,YOU WON'T ANSWER MY E-MAILS OR SHIP MY TREE OR REFUND MY MONEY. LETS INFORM EVERYONE ON YOUR LATEST EXPLOIT! I ORDERED A AVACADO TREE ON JUNE 17 2010, YOU DID INFORM OF YOUR POLICY TO SHIP PLANT AND IF I WAS SATISFIED MAKE PAYMENT AND YOU WERE VERY BUSY WITH MANY ORDERS. BEING IMPATIENT I MAILED YOU A CHECK, WHICH YOU CASHED. WELL ITS SEPT 29.2010 NO TREE NO REFUND! I JUST RECIEVED A POST-CARD FROM THE POSTMASTER GENERALS OFFICE IN RESPONSE TO MY MAIL FRAUD COMPLAINT, OH YA VENTURA COUTY DA,S OFFICE TOO. IF ANYONE THINKS THIS GUYS RIPPED YOU OFF, PLEASE FILE CHARGES. BELIEVE ME THEY ARE VERY INTERESTED IN HIM.DID I MENTION I AM RETIRED FROM THE D.E.A. LOL
On October 11th, 2010, bdruid changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
recieved avacado tree after 5 months! I have to admit its one of the best plants I recieved via mail order. I contacted the various law enforcements to let them know I recieved it. [ fair is fair] All I can say is I'm not happy with the process but happy with the result. Growquest, [chris] if you can deliver this quality product to all your customers in a timly fashion you should be succesful. Good -Luck!
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.