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On May 9, 2008, jadecryingwolf Big Bear Lake, CA wrote:
On May 2, 2008, I ordered 2 orchid plants with overnight shipping to my Mom for delivery on May 7. She was going to be out of town at the end of the week and I wanted her to see them at her office before she left, for Mother's Day.
I placed the order, with overnight shipping, for a total of $224.73.
I received a shipping notification from UPS that the plants had been submitted for shipping. On May 7th. Not for delivery on May 7th. Also, the products were shipped UPS Ground, not Overnight, as I ordered (and paid $29.95 for).
I called at 4:15am upon receipt of this shipping notification and spoke to Philip. I was concerned to say the least. I asked why no one had bothered to call me to tell me the shipment would be late, and asked why it was. Philip said, "We're really busy. Sorry."
I asked where the plants were shipping from. He told me they were shipping from Vista, CA. I thought that was pretty funny (NOT REALLY), that I had paid $29.95 for Overnight shipping & delivery (and ON-TIME SHIPPING & DELIVERY), to the same city. I asked if they could just DELIVER THE PLANTS (ie: drive them over to my Mom's office, since they screwed up, and also since the address I now see listed on their website is less than 6 miles away from my Mom's company). Philip said no, but he would credit the shipping.
It's now May 8th, and I have not received a shipping credit.
My Mom also received her shipment today - ONE PLANT, NOT TWO, AS ORDERED.
I called these jerks several times before their posted closing time of 6pm - their voicemail picked up. Surprise, their voicemail box is FULL (I imagine it's full of complaints). I emailed them and have not received a response yet.
I am now going down to Vista tomorrow specifically to see what made its way to my Mom's office. Although she will not be there, I will inspect the one plant she did receive. I have already spoken to someone at the office who said it is substandard at best.
These people are going to have to issue a call tag to pick this plant up, as a start, because I am not paying for their terrible attitude toward me as a customer, nor for their crappy service.
I am issuing a chargeback through my bank tomorrow, first thing. This will not stand with me, as I am an avid orchid buyer, both for myself and as gifts for those I love.
I am disabled and this undertaking to Vista tomorrow is a real inconvenience, and I am furious that these people have been allowed to be in business as long as they have with all the horror stories about them.
I n addition to initiating the chargeback tomorrow, I will be contacting the Better Business Bureau, as well as seeking steps to contact the Merchant Account for 1888Orchids.com since I believe I have been defrauded at the very least, and that it is a common practice for these people, and that they have no intention of keeping their word to me as a valued customer, which is not only exhibited by their heinous actions, but also by their lie of crediting my account.
Do yourself a favor - stay far away from this company and everyone who works for it.
On May 17th, 2008, jadecryingwolf changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
After placing my review here on May 9th, I received an email from 1888orchids.com, subject line: "1888Orchids.com has received a negative rating".
To their credit, 1888orchids.com was eager to fix the problem, even though I told them by email I would neither delete nor rewrite my review; I would only amend it to show they had ultimately chosen to do the right things to fix the problems they had created in the first place. I honestly do not believe that they would have been as eager to do what they did had I not placed my negative review here, so thank you Dave's Garden.
After several emails back and forth, the explanations for the problems I had came out, as well as 1888orchids.com's agreement to do what I asked to make things right.
When they asked what it would take to fix things, I told them:
- Issue a call tag for UPS to pick up the one plant that was delivered (late);
- If the second plant that was not delivered (late) showed up, do the same thing;
- Issue a FULL CREDIT to my card by the end of the business day Friday May 9th, 2008.
- Cancel any existing back-orders (for the mysterious missing plant);
Although they did ultimately issue me a refund for the entire order and allowed my Mom to keep the plant that showed up as a gesture of goodwill, I still consider this a terribly negative experience. The reality of the situation is that I would have received a full refund anyway, from my bank after I initiated the chargeback. 1888orchids.com just happened to get me before I called the chargeback in. I had also replaced the plants through another company already, which I was happy to do for excellent service and quality, although there was no way to have them delivered on time.
To their further detriment, 1888orchids.com decided to email me all the reasons that my order was messed up. The excuses I received from them were simply not satisfactory or acceptable.
1) " ... sorry you had to post on Dave's website before contacting us to resolve this order but we will do whatever we can to make this right. I couldn't reply to this email yesterday as it was very busy
(sorry to have to use that excuse again) ..."
The truth is (as confirmed by this statement, taken directly from the email Philip Estenson at 1888orchids.com sent me) I *did* contact them before posting here. They were "too busy" to respond this time, as they were before as well;
2) "... As I mentioned in our conversation when you called our company that we will be issuing a refund
for the shipping charge since shipments in California can be sent ground as they arrive the next day. Our UPS rep. suggested orders shipped in California can be sent Ground to save customers
money... we sent it ground to save money not for any other reason."
Although it is cheaper to send orders UPS Ground rather than UPS Overnight, they did not and do not do this to "save the customer money". There is no option to choose Ground for California shipments, nor do they email or credit the customer for the substantial difference in price. Their practice of doing this is designed to save *THEIR COMPANY* money, not the customer.
3) Regarding the initial late shipment (one plant shipped on the sate it was supposed to be delivered, 1888orchids.com had this to say:
"We made a mistake and will credit 100% of the shipping charge for the late delivery. You order was placed well in advance that they should have shipped on time and arrived on time. We have
new people working for the holiday and we made a mistake and we will refund 100% of the shipping."
4) Regarding the delivery of only one plant, not two as ordered, 1888orchids.com had this to say:
"The Cymbidium Lunata Suntan is no longer in bloom. Here we made another mistake keeping the plant on the website longer that it should have. The real problem is our farm was very busy
and we sold out of ALL our blooming cymbidiums. We offer many varieties of cymbidiums and many are still available on Mother's Day but this Mother's Day has been very busy and we sold out
of the this orchid. We can send the plant for free or we can refund this portion of the order. I would like to deliver this orchid for free as it is a very special plant when in bloom."
This orchid has been removed from the 1888orchids.com website as of my search at 9:20pm PST on May 16, 2008.
5) Regarding my request that they deliver the plants I ordered ON TIME by driving them to the delivery address, located less than 6 miles away from their listed facility (a residence) on the 1888orchids.com website:
"I remember your phone call and I know you were upset by the tone of your voice when you called and you asked if we can personally deliver the orchid and I said we cannot. It is our not policy to make local deliveries except to our florist customers. Again, I am sorry as we are in Vista and I know the delivery was in Vista but we decided a while back not to make local deliveries."
So again, ultimately everything was corrected to my satisfaction within a few hours on Friday May 9th, 2008, by 1888orchids.com. I received a full credit for the order ($224.73). However, ANY company citing they are "too busy" to provide good customer service is a company that should be avoided in my opinion.
Also, I was contacted by Philip Estenson on May 14, 2008, regarding the amendment to this review I said I would place here when everything was fixed, as evidenced in the email excerpt below:
"----- Original Message ----
From: Philip Estenson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Jade Cryingwolf
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 9:38:29 AM
Subject: Re: 1888Orchids.com has received a negative rating
**If these things are done - as they should be - I will amend the review to reflect that your company has done everything possible to satisfy me, including: accepting the plant (possibly plants) for return; issuing me a full refund by the end of the business day; and showing a general positive attitude and willingness to right the wrongs that have been inflicted upon me and my family with this order**.
-- Dear Mrs. Cryingwolf,
I am respectfully following up on your comment that you would amend the comments you made on Dave's website if things were handled to your satisfaction.
Is there anything else I can do to make this order right?
Here is the reply I sent, which is my last contact with them to date:
"----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Jade Cryingwolf
To: Philip Estenson <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 9:39:58 AM
Subject: Re: 1888Orchids.com has received a negative rating
Thank you for doing the right thing; fixing that review is on my list, but I've been very busy.
I will get to it as soon as possible and email you when it is done.
So I hope this helps potential customers of 1888orchids.com in the future. I apologize for the length of this post, but I believe in full disclosure. I feel it is only fair to show examples of the 1888orchids.com's ultimate willingness to satisfy a customer they have treated poorly as well as cite their efforts to rectify a terrible situation. To his credit, Philip Estenson is a very pleasant person to deal with and I believe he did the best he could to the limits of his abilities. Proceed at your own risk, but if you have a problem with the company, I would recommend taking it to him. Thank you.
This is very interesting. I took a drive to their "headquarters" on Crescent Drive in Vista, CA. That is a residence. The other address listed on Lonnie St. in Oceanside is also a residence.
The BBB says they have 7 employees. I say they hire a call center and no actual employees. I would also venture to say this is a scam and to contact the CA Attorney General's Office. The BBB has given them an unsatisfactory rating. I guess if you get screwed badly enough, you could also go to one or both of the residences and demand your cash back. Something just ain't right here and their ratings indicate that.
On Mar 30, 2008, ilovecarnations El Cajon, CA wrote:
I purchased a cattleya orchid from 1888Orchids Lc. Drumbet "Taida" that I could not find anywhere else online. The orchid arrived fast and the orchid was sent in a 5" inch pot. I am very please with the size and beauty of this orchid and will buy from 1888Orchids.com again. I will recommend your company too.
Note from the Garden Watchdog editors...
It is the policy of the Watchdog that companies cannot create customer reviews. This rating has been changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.
I have dealt with this company for two years, my last order was over $1,500.00 and got everything on time and in perfect condition. the staff was more than helpful. I have recommended this company to many of my staff, and they all love the products. Thank you Mr.Peralta for all your helpfullness in choosing the products I ordered.
Note from the Garden Watchdog editors...
It is the policy of the Watchdog that customers cannot publish multiple reviews under different usernames in order to manipulate a company's rating. The rating of this comment was written by the same user who posed as "juanp" below and has been changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.
I placed an order for several orchids and a couple of gift baskets from 1888Orchids to celebrate a great month for my company. The rather large order was received on time and the product was exactly what I expected. The day the packages arrived I received a call from Steve Peralta to confirm everything was OK. I was impressed by the level of service and overall professionalism.
I will order again and hope to have the same pleasant experience.
Note from the Garden Watchdog editors...
It is the policy of the Watchdog that customers cannot publish multiple reviews under different usernames in order to manipulate a company's rating. The rating of this comment was written by the same user who posed as "backlash4000" above and has been changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.
I ordered a large, white phalaenopsis from 1888Orchids.com on a Saturday and chose to have it delivered on the following Monday via the less expensive 2 day air method. When I submitted the order, I realized it had defaulted to Overnight, which was more expensive, but probably better for the plant and perhaps the only method that was available to get it to me for Monday. Plant did not arrive as scheduled, and when I tracked it via FedEx, I realized it had shipped on Monday for delivery Tuesday. When I called, the woman who handled my questions was poliet, informative, and even apologized for the confusion, hitting all the key customer service points. When my orchid arrived, I was impressed with its size and the fancy stem support clips. Lovely little dragon flies instead of the ugly, boring twisty-ties another orchid site had sent me were a nice surprise. I was surprised that only one bloom was damaged in shipping, since an orchid I ordered from a competitor arrived with several broken flowers. I was, however, slightly disappointed to discover their bamboo support had stained one of the petals -- a waterproof dye or a natural finish would be something for the company to consider. But it was the professionalism of their customer support rep which made ordering from 1888Orchids worth it. Although I am somewhat worried because of the other feedback 1888Orchids.com has received, I will order from them again.