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Comments regarding Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee)

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209 positives
74 neutrals
129 negatives

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RatingAuthorContent
Negative ellenr
(2 reviews)
On May 7, 2013, ellenr Highland Park, NJ wrote:

Ordered for the first time from Burpee.
2 packets of California poppies-
one sup'd to have 350 seeds
the other sup'd to have 100. They cost me 5.00 and 4.00/per packet. Expensive compared to other companies.$6.00 shipping.
The one had (generously) maybe 100-150 seeds. The other had 30 seeds (I have a seed spreader, and I actually counted how many seeds.)
I called and they are going to send me more, but I am burning mad.
1st- my seeding is now another week behind.
2nd- this must be their standard practice. It isn't logical that I order two packets and both have less than have of the number of seeds, unless this is their usual practice. And the reason they keep doing this is bec. they can. I bet most people don't complain. I'll never order from then, and I'll make sure no one I garden with ever does either.


On May 7, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

"On Sep 4, 2013 3:40 PM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

Dear Customer,

After reviewing your comments we reached out to you via direct mail on May 8, 2013. We hope you feel the matter was resolved in just and timely manner.

"


Positive 50Carrots
(9 reviews)
On May 3, 2013, 50Carrots Chesapeake Ranch Estates-Drum Point, MD wrote:

Last year I ordered seeds and plants from Burpee. My seed germination rate was about 99% for quite a variety of flowers and vegetables In fact, last year’s lettuce is once again thriving this spring with no help whatsoever from me. I had a few failures (pink Lily of the Valley and White Calla Lily) which were all refunded when I called the company. (with an apology “I’m sorry it died.”) Great customer service. Excellent packaging and shipping. Some of the tiny flower seeds are shipped in a mini plastic tube in the package and are brightly colored so you can see them. Some items shipped early due to March 2012 being more like summer. I also use quite a few bags of the Burpee Wildflower North American Mix seeds and the results are exceptional. A few of the smaller flowers bloomed all through winter. Last year in August I planted four types of sunflowers with success and this year I planted 15 types starting in mid-March including the Strawberry Blonde Hybrid “The first rose-pink sunflower!” As of mid-April, they are sprouting right on schedule. (direct sow Zone 7b)
The Burpee website is very user friendly – it’s great for planning your flower and vegetable garden. I appreciate all the How To information and customer reviews. I am also impressed by all the new introductions for flowers and vegetables and decided to try planning the On Deck Hybrid Corn – which I planted in the garden and in a large container. I am glad I ordered early as the On Deck Hybrid Corn is listed as “sold out” in mid-April. The printed catalogs and website both feature stunning true-to-life photos that certainly motivate my buying habits.

Negative rmtrout
(2 reviews)
On Apr 26, 2013, rmtrout Hopatcong, NJ wrote:

Ordered two Echinacea Pink Double Delight plants. Paid approx 11.50 each with a discount and had free shipping. For the price, I expected decent sized plants. Plants are very, very small. Very small. They are in 4" containers and one is about 1 1/2" tall and about 3" in circumference. The second is half that size. Packaging was almost non-existent. One container was completely emptied within the box and the plant out of the container. Did I mention that the shipping box has large holes so the dirt which emptied out of the container was also coming out of the box? It looks like both plants were recently repotted into the containers that they were shipped in as the one plant that fell completely out had it's roots in a compact ball. I am certain with TLC I can get the smaller, tramatized plant to grow, but I shouldn't have to. I should be receiving plants in beautiful condition, yes? I am re-doing a bed and have ordered from many places the past few weeks. This is the first situation I have had like this.


On Apr 26, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

"On Sep 4, 2013 3:38 PM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

Dear Customer,

After reviewing your comments we reached out to you via direct mail on April 29, 2013. We hope you feel the matter was resolved in just and timely manner.

"


Negative eyfng
(9 reviews)
On Apr 20, 2013, eyfng San Gabriel, CA wrote:

Order placed on 4/11 for eggplant supports and Hydrangea Everlasting Revolution with free shipping and $10 off. Regular price for Hydrangea is $26.95, it is overpriced. Full payment was charged on 4/12.

On 4/16 contacted customer service to check order status. I was told that:
1) they are in peak season, long delivery date is to be expected.
2) delivery dates posted online are incorrect. Hydrangea won't be delivered until the week of May1. Eggplant supports should be delivered from the warehouse within a couple of days.
3) I can cancel the order if I don't want to wait.

On 4/17, received shipment confirmation for the eggplant supports. Until today 4/20, the UPS tracking # still not showing the expected delivery date, the shipment is still in the orgin scan place, PA state. (I have placed a lot of online orders, I have never seen this happened with UPS.)

Just contacted Burpee customer service. I was told that:
1) they ship UPS the same way as the others. They don't know why the UPS delivery date is still not showing. If I don't see any shipment progress, I can call UPS, there is nothing they can do about it.
2) customer complaints can be seen anywhere on the internet as I mentioned other customer had complainted the tracking problem on Dave's Garden.
3) I can cancel the order if I want to. I can return the eggplant supports at their own shipping cost.

The way their customer representatives answered you is very irritating and so irresponsible. Burpee doesn't care about any customer complaints and doesn't welcome any customers not happy with their shipping problem.

Even though I placed the order mainly because of the Hydrangea, I have decided to cancel out the whole order. I will return the eggplant supports. Thank God that my order is free shipping, so I don't have to waste the shipping charge. NO more business with Burpee. Dump the catalog to trash bin.

God bless me that I will get my full refund without too much problems. Worry about the eggplant supports return.


On Apr 20, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

"On Sep 4, 2013 3:35 PM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

Dear Customer,

After reviewing your comments we reached out to you via direct mail on May 31, 2013. We hope you feel the issue was resolved in just and timely manner.

"


Positive doghill6
(33 reviews)
On Apr 13, 2013, doghill6 Central Point, OR (Zone 8a) wrote:

I placed a small order because they had something I couldn't find from my usual sources. That variety was quite expensive, but even more expensive from another company. The seed count was correct and they were packaged in tubes to avoid crushing, a plus with such expensive seeds. I ordered a couple of other things too and all of them germinated well. Also, they arrived quickly so my experience was quite good.

Negative maranser
(1 review)
On Apr 13, 2013, maranser pittsburgh
United States wrote:

Every year Burpee gets worse! I always tried to figure out a way to take the blame for something I may have done to account for Burpee's poor seed germination and this year answered the question. I planted 8 different kinds of peppers, all in the same seed flat. After a few weeks in the germination incubator, my problem was answered. 7 out of the 8 had the usual Burpee germination rate=2 sprouts out of 20 on average. Every year thier seed packs get smaller(wieght by millionth of a gram now!) and the germination drops another 10 % down to where now only 10 % is the germ. rate. The bad part of that was the one pack out of the eight had over 90% germ. rate in the same flat/enviroment as the others. The Patio Pleaser Peppers had the same germination as my own saved seeds-over 90%. It's pretty bad when Burpee's makes themselves look bad when comparing thier own seeds with each other. I have seeds that are over 15 years old that are NOT Burpee's that have better germ. rates then the 7 out 8 seed packs. I figure Burpee's seeds must be well over twenty years old to be so close to the edge of non-germination besides being brown/black in seed color. If only Burpee would of tested the Patio Pleasers and seen that they out perform by ten fold thier other seeds, they shouldn't of sold them so to have nothing good to compare to. Most of Burpee seeds are raised over seas and few are from the U.S.A. I would love to grow Burpee seeds here in the U.S.A. but the problem is that they too would out-perform thier other seeds and make the rest look bad like the Patio Pleasers did. I was ok when I was only able to compare Burpee's bad seeds with all the other bad seeds of thiers in the past years, and I would of been better off if I never would of got a good seed of theirs to make the rest look so bad and realize its not something wrong that I've been doing.
As far as Burpee's having a nice variety of seeds, that they do! I planted thier Chinese Giants two years ago and I swear no two plants where of the same variety. I would think if thier seeds are over twenty years old, that they would know whats not true to variety by now and not continue selling them. I was always told that a seed variety must breed true for 5 years running to become a variety and if thats the case, they got another 6 more years to go on the Chinese Giants variety. Burpee's reps are always quick to put the blame of poor results on the grower since they claim they have way better results then I do and it s got to be something I've done wrong, well, how is it my fault for the mixed variety? The answer is truely that it IS my fault for buying thier seeds in the first place. When will I ever learn?
To top that off, their seeds are worth more than GOLD! Here's the math! There are 165,000 tomatoe seeds in a pound or 10,312 seeds in an ounce. Burpee's Steak Sandwich Hybrid seed pack (45 mg-about half the size of a baby aspirin!) contains 22 seeds(counting 2-3 half seed pieces!). That works out to 469 seed packs @ $2.49/pack=$1167.81 an ounce! Now if your lucky and get a 50% germination rate, that comes to $2335.62 an ounce for growable seeds!! Yes, Its cheaper to by your wife a gold necklace than one made from Burpee's tomatoe seeds! Good thing Burpee's Steak Sandwich Hybrid seeds come from China with cheap labor because could you imagine how much Burpee would have to charge if they where grown in the U.S.A. and have to pay probably minimum wage at that! No wonder the seeds are so old, at 45 mg. a pack, it probably would take 20 years to sell a bag of seeds big enough to ship here from China!


On Apr 13, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

"On Sep 4, 2013 3:59 PM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

Dear Customer,

We are very sorry for the poor experience you’ve encountered with Burpee. After reviewing your comments we reached out to you on April 16, 2013 via direct mail on Dave’s Garden to resolve this issue.

We hope at this time you feel that this matter has been resolved. Please contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-888-1447 if you require additional assistance or email custserv@burpee.com.

"


Negative SteelCloud
(1 review)
On Apr 10, 2013, SteelCloud Sterling, VA wrote:

I ordered over $50.00 of seeds almost 4 weeks ago. Then I received an email that stated my order had shipped. The email provided a tracking number without stating the actual shipper. I tried tracking the order thru UPS, FedEX and USPS to no avail. The tracking number was never found on any of them.

First: why wasn't the shipper disclosed?
Second: why would it take 2-3 days for the tracking number to be available on the "shipper's tracking system? Our company uses UPS and FedEx to ship our goods and the tracking info is available within hours.

Sadly, we never did find any usable tracking information using the tracking number provided by Burpee.

We eventually contacted Burpee and informed them that we did not receive our seeds. Burpee then cancelled the original order and placed a new order for our seeds. Then several days later, we received a notice of shipment of our seeds. Unfortunately, the same poor information appears on the email. No shipper is disclosed. The tracking number does not work on UPS, FedEx or USPS.

We are very disappointed with this situation. As you certainly know, customers order seeds early to begin the germination process indoors so as to provide a bigger seedlings when the outdoor season begins. Now we are at least 3 weeks behind, IF WE EVER RECEIVE this reorder.

While we have for many, many years used Burpee seeds, we are unlikely to ever order Burpee seeds online again.

I contacted Burpee's customer service. Their sole response was "The package should arrive Friday. Have a nice day."


On Apr 10, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

"On Sep 4, 2013 4:00 PM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

Dear Customer,

We are very sorry for the poor experience you’ve encountered with Burpee. After reviewing your comments we reached out to you on April 10, 2013 via direct mail on Dave’s Garden to resolve this issue.

We hope at this time you feel that this matter has been resolved. Please contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-888-1447 if you require additional assistance or email custserv@burpee.com.

"


Negative quiltergardener
(1 review)
On Apr 1, 2013, quiltergardener Ann Arbor, MI wrote:

Received my order of Double Scoop Raspberry Echinacea. THEY ARE 1.5 INCHES HIGH!! Are they kidding???? Never again. This company has seen better days.


On Apr 1, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

"On Sep 4, 2013 4:01 PM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

Dear Customer,

We are very sorry for the poor experience you’ve encountered with Burpee. After reviewing your comments we reached out to you on April 3, 2013 via direct mail on Dave’s Garden to resolve this issue.

We hope at this time you feel that this matter has been resolved. Please contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-888-1447 if you require additional assistance or email custserv@burpee.com.

"


Negative calandpey
(2 reviews)
On Mar 21, 2013, calandpey Alamo, TN wrote:

Purchased a package of Burpee seeds (Better Boy) at retail store for $1.99. The package was for 50 mg. weight but only contained five seeds. Emailed company concerning disappointment with quantity of seeds in packet. Was told their prices are determined by costs and no offer of compensation made. Dissatisfied with answer I called company and asked to talk to person in authority. That person was the one who answered my email. Again went through spill about costs involved and that since I got five plants up from the five seeds planted I should be satisfied with the 100% germination and that Burpee seeds were superior to other sellers seeds so price was justified. Was told that their catalog had package of thirty seeds selling for $6.50. Looked up on internet and they're listed for $3.95/30 seeds. Asked for refund of price or coupon for another pack of seeds. Would like to see if all retail packages only had five seeds but was refused any compensation. Again told their seeds were superior to others. I've been gardening a long time and know this is not the case. Will never buy Burpee seeds again, either retail or catalog. Apparently customer satisfaction has no priority with them.


On Mar 21, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

"On Sep 4, 2013 4:03 PM, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:

Dear Customer,

We are very sorry for the poor experience you’ve encountered with Burpee. After reviewing your comments we reached out to you on March 21, 2013 via direct mail on Dave’s Garden to resolve this issue.

We hope at this time you feel that this matter has been resolved. Please contact our Customer Service team at 1-800-888-1447 if you require additional assistance or email custserv@burpee.com.

"


Positive lilygrandma
(15 reviews)
On Mar 7, 2013, lilygrandma Ellijay, GA wrote:

Posted on May 12, 2009, updated March 7, 2013
With some trepidation after reading the reports here, I ordered 12 tomato plants at a whopping price of almost 60$ including shipping. They arrived about 2 weeks later (good) but 4 of the 12 (one third!) are completely ruined. They look like they have been through the blender! The others look fair or okay--only a little broken and messed up. Three are iffy; the others should make it. I think their shipper must have used the box for baseball practice and then put it by a heat vent in 90 degree weather. The ruined plants were just SLIME. The packaging appeared to be sturdy and the box was not damaged, so I think the shipper did not take the proper care. For the price of shipping they should have HAND carried to me!

We will see tomorrow what kind of reply I get from customer service, and I will post back here.


On May 15th, 2009, lilygrandma changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

I am changing my rating to neutral. I am pleased to report that Burpee contacted me through this forum quickly. I also (after about 20 minutes on hold) got to speak to someone who promised to refund the money for the ruined plants, and encouraged me to call back if the others, which were not in great shape, did not make it. I am coddling them, but a couple look pretty iffy. I will post back on how long the refund takes.

Unfortunately waiting another 2 or more weeks to get the plants replaced was not feasible, and the service rep could not promise I would ever get some of the plants. So I chose the refund.

I really think Burpee needs to look at their shipping process. It hurts to see plants mistreated so badly. Next year I will get seeds from Totally Tomatoes, probably, and grow my own. I did some this year for plants I could not get, and it worked out pretty well.

My previous experiences with Burpee in years past have been good. I hope they can get some of these bugs (heh heh) worked out.
On March 7th, 2013, lilygrandma changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

Great, quick service. Hate how expensive they have become, but if the seeds are as good as usual I will be molified.
Neutral ladysoth
(2 reviews)
On Feb 3, 2013, ladysoth Alexandria, VA wrote:

I've never had any issues with Burpee customer service or their products, but I am giving them a neutral rating simply because of their outrageous prices - they are one of the highest retailers out there and their prices for most of their seeds is crazy.

Positive redmenace8
(1 review)
On Feb 3, 2013, redmenace8 La Puente, CA wrote:

I have ordered from Burpee from time to time and have no real problems. I tend towards ordering vegetable seeds, and only rarely flower seeds. The seeds have been of good quality, and produced excellent results. While I now look for seeds coming from smaller producers, I have to praise them for what they have done for me. The one time I had problems, sunflower seeds that turned out to be the wrong color and corn seeds with poor germination, the company immediately offered a refund with no problems, which I received quickly.

Positive wufflespring
(12 reviews)
On Jan 17, 2013, wufflespring Yoder, CO (Zone 5a) wrote:

Due to the pretty bad reviews for Burpee here, I've not ordered from them at all. But I got an email from them touting their new hybrid container corn. Who doesn't want to be able to grow sweet corn in a container? So I ordered 2 packets along with 2 packets of tomato seeds. So far so good. I received the full order in a very timely manner, packed well. All that remains is seeing how good the germination rate is and watch some growth. As of right now, I'm rating them positive as they served me well with my order.

Neutral ashleykle
(3 reviews)
On Jan 6, 2013, ashleykle Newton, KS wrote:

Fall 2012 has been my first experience ordering from Burpee.

The bulbs came within acceptable sizes and health. Nothing overly impressive, but not disappointing, either.

My orders from 7/19/12 and 8/7/12 included:
Tulip, Cummins
Tulip, Huis Ten Bosch
Tulip, Barbados
Tulip, Fire Wings
Foxglove, Rose Shades
Columbine, Origami Red & White
Eragrostis, Purple Love Grass
Astilbe, Astary Mix
Echinacea, Purple Double Delight
Columbine, Lime Sorbet
Phlox, David
Lavendar, Lacy Frills
Lily, Checkered Lily
Helleborus, First Cuckoo

The only reason I'm not strictly positive right now is because of customer service. I made a call in to ask about how well their tulips perrenialize. She responded that a supervisor would call me to let me know. They never did. It doesn't matter, now, as I ordered them, anyway. I'll just have to find out from experience. I will probably update it to positive if all of the plants do well or I have good service if they don't.

I will try to remember to update the next few years with how they are doing and anything else I order and how they are doing.

Positive SeniorGardening
(13 reviews)
On Nov 12, 2012, SeniorGardening Sullivan, IN wrote:

I think it’s probably just human nature that we tend to post comments about vendors when we have a problem with them. I certainly have done so here in the past. But when I put together my list of recommended seed suppliers for a Senior Gardening posting this year, I realized that I should make a positive comment here about each of our suppliers that have performed so well over the years.

Burpee was the first mail order seed catalog we used almost forty years ago. Over the years, we got away from using them in favor of other vendors such as Stokes, Johnny’s, and Twilley. But in the last few years, we’ve gotten back to using Burpee for items such as garlic, Mr. Big peas, and several flower varieties.

We’ve not had to make a claim on any seed or supplies ordered from Burpee over the years. That says a lot.

http://www.senior-gardening.com/features/suppliers.html

Negative cabbie
(1 review)
On Sep 14, 2012, cabbie HUNT, NY wrote:

I got a promotional offer from Burpee in my email box today for 20 percent off their berry plants. My birthday is coming up so I thought I'd order a few of their (ridiculously high priced) raspberry bushes. When I went to check out, the message I was given was that I would not finalize my order until all was well. Well, there was no place to enter the discount code, but I kept on going, relying on the promise,and found I'd checked out without the 20 percent off.

I called Burpee, and I was annoyed, because this just seemed so shady, and how many customers just let that go and pay the extra money? I didn't like that. I was going to cancel but decided I'd wait. The rep made the adjustment to the price of my order and said she'd email me with an acknowledgement.

So I got an email telling me that my credit card had been debited for the wrong amount. Furthermore, I was told the order would not ship for another 2 weeks. I order a lot on the Net, and the normal practice is to debit my card when the items are shipped, not at the moment of order, and with all the mixup Burpee has with their ordering, not even providing a place to put in the discount code -- it irked me.

So I called and cancelled the order. I was told they would not refund my money for a week. They get to keep my money for a week after wasting 2 hours of my time and giving me nothing but headaches. I see no reason why I have to wait a week for them to refund my money. With thousands of customers, if this is their normal practice, this gives the owners of this company access to a lot of free money.

I'm sick of dishonest greedy corporates. I filed a complaint against them with the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

Positive Indianagirl57
(1 review)
On Aug 28, 2012, Indianagirl57 Cloverdale, IN wrote:

This year gardening was challenging with dry, extremely hot weather. I planted Big Daddy Tomatoes from Burpee seed. I didn't get them set out until late, but they did well and exceeded my others. Also,I planted their new stringless Italian type pole bean. They did not set beans early because of the weather, but when it began to cool in August they began to set on in abundance. I have never seen more beautiful beans! I am very excited about both varieties! Burpee has always been considered a quality company by me in my many years of gardening experience.

Positive CCPikie
(1 review)
On Aug 24, 2012, CCPikie Elmhurst, IL wrote:

I had a fifteen year old unopened pack of Lobelia Crystal Palace seeds by Burpee. Inside the pack is a smaller "Life Lock" packet. The seeds are very tiny and numerous. I planted all of them in a hanging basket and it seems most germinated! I thinned them down to a few plants which are growing well and blooming.

Positive yousirname
(1 review)
On Aug 23, 2012, yousirname Sellersville, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Burpee was the first garden catalog I ever received as a five-year-old gardener, and I'm from Pennsylvania, so I'm sure nostalgia influences my favorable impressions of this company.

This year, however, I've been impressed with an array of discounted and free shipping (no minimum) offers I've received from their company emails. I had one rare perennial plant I was eying up for a while, and I was able to have it shipped for free, just one plant! It's been growing beautifully. Started small at the end of may and now it's HUGE and happy in a difficult spot in my garden.

In twenty-five years of ordering, I've never been disappointed. I will say that their common plants/seeds are overpriced, but they do have some rarer varieties which are priced fairly. Add free shipping, and you're good to go!

Negative jwrose
(1 review)
On Aug 22, 2012, jwrose Huber Ridge, OH wrote:

I get constant "Service unavailable - DNS failure" errors when using the Burpee website.

Positive Marilyn1335
(2 reviews)
On Aug 11, 2012, Marilyn1335 Westminster, MD wrote:

Last year 2011, I purchased two Echinacea, Double Scoop Raspberry and Pomegranate. I wanted to write to let you know I love those plants and they have bloomed for me for weeks. I have not seen them yet available many places and I am sure glad that I purchased them from your company. They are certainly my favorite of all that I have and I do have many.
Marilyn Chrest







Positive etnredclay
(5 reviews)
On Aug 1, 2012, etnredclay Spring City, TN wrote:

Ordered $50 of perennial flower seeds for winter sowing. Like the selection. Like the prices. Order arrived promptly. Can't wait to get them in the ground.

Negative bmetzger
(1 review)
On Jul 31, 2012, bmetzger Louisville, KY wrote:

I placed a $70 seed order for fall planting on July 19, 2012. On July 26, I had not received the seeds, so I logged onto the site to check the order status. The website indicated that the order had not yet shipped, so I called Burpee for more information. I was told they were doing inventory in the warehouse, but it was nearly complete and the seeds would ship that same day. The next day (July 27), I logged onto the site to check the status again. Still, the site indicated that the order had not shipped. Beginning to get nervous about my fall planting schedule, I called Burpee again. Once again, I was told the seeds would ship "today". The following Monday, July 30, I logged on to the site to find the same message ("Order not yet shipped"). I figured maybe it just hadn't updated, so I would wait another day. On Tuesday, July 31, I logged in again to find the same message.

Now 12 days after I placed the order, I called Burpee to check the status again. I was informed that they were still doing inventory and that it would be complete within the "next few business days", upon which the order would ship. This now being totally unacceptable, that they had strung me along for 12 days leading me to believe the order was on the verge of shipping, I could not afford to lose any more growing days so I cancelled my order.

I placed an order with Pinetree Seeds, as they seem to have great reviews online, not to mention, I got more seeds than my $70 order at Burpee and it only came to $33! A little bit of customer service would have gone a long way in Burpee's case.

Positive parshman
(2 reviews)
On Jul 24, 2012, parshman Oxford, AL wrote:

I ordered several packets of seeds for my Fall planting, and they arrived in 3 business days. They were packed securely and I received what I ordered. I found their website to be very helpful and informative, and their prices to be reasonable. I found the transaction to be pleasant and I suggest purchasing from them.

Neutral Gracye
(7 reviews)
On Jul 23, 2012, Gracye Warrenton, VA wrote:

Posted on July 23, 2012, updated July 23, 2012
Posted on July 19, 2012, updated July 23, 2012
Posted on July 7, 2012, updated July 19, 2012
I moved back into gardening territory two years ago. I remember my Dad ordering from Burpee. He always let me grow something from them. Never any problems.
Now that I am back, I have ordered twice from them (two growing seasons in a row). I like their tomato cages, and accessories. They make sense.
I remember the count of seeds being on the packages (so important with veggies), and this seems a way of the past. They should go back to that system, and of putting MORE into each package. But they are not alone, so I do not cast a negative their way.
I have bought perennials from them in both orders, and they arrived just fine, with proper planting instructions.
All told, I will order from them again. What I really appreciate is their catalog arriving in the dreary winter, giving me allot of time to plan out my vegetable garden.


On July 19th, 2012, Gracye changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

How very sad. Now I MUST cast a negative rating. At the end of placing a recent Internet order, I was given an offer to give feedback with the promise of "free shipping" on a future order. The catch? I had to sign onto Facebook! I found this out after I'd spent time writing supportive words about them.

I do not have, nor will I, create a Facebook account in order to comply. I surely wish this had been stated BEFORE I spent time on behalf of them.

I sent an email to Burpee, stating that this process seemed unfair (totally excluding those without Facebook accounts). I asked Burpee to look at my account to judge my loyalty (and seriousness). Easily, in two years, I have spent over $500.00 with them.

The reply was "this is a one-time offer and will not reappear, and in this day of computerization..." There was no effort to extend another offer. This was new to me, as customer satisfaction certainly was a trademark of the way Burpee answered my father's occasional questions, why he stayed with them, and a fond memory for me. This reply explained company policy and the changing world, so my reaction, and direction, is to change as well.

I will, as my dear father advised, "vote with my money." Thank you, Burpee, for giving me the reason to try other companies, after a lifetime of loyalty. And the catalog? Please don't send me another, for I cannot afford your "free offers."
On July 23rd, 2012, Gracye added the following:

7/23/12: Burpee has refunded my shipping cost on last order. Forwarded my comments to their Marketing Department. The refund is greatly appreciated, but is not the answer to my original question, as others will encounter the same until there is positive change. My rating stays the negative, pending future correction.

I hope that some staffer (or the President) of Burpee will read the negative comments by my fellow Dave Gardeners, many old-time customers of Burpee's, to address the whole of the problem. I read them, after this experience, and realized that I had looked the other way in company loyalty while Dave Gardeners spoke up about problems that I, too, had encountered. No longer!

Too many companies are losing touch with their customers, and I hate to see this "American Institution" do the same.
On July 23rd, 2012, Gracye changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

This is my final comment on this company. Negative is changed to neutral, as the company again contacted me and explained their philosophy. They have different offers that appeal to different customers. Thank you, and I do hope that my effort was to some benefit.
Positive dave12122
(70 reviews)
On Jun 25, 2012, dave12122 East Haddam, CT wrote:

I have only used Burpee over the last 2 months for one item...stainless steel plant markers, which are issued in groups of 25. The markers have been delivered extremely promptly, generally 1 day, and have worked well in my garden. Burpee has also generously included $5.00 and $10.00 off your next order coupons on 3 occasions. I cannot comment on the quality of their plants/seeds, but I am impressed with how they handle their "supply" orders!

Positive TruNorth7
(2 reviews)
On Jun 24, 2012, TruNorth7 Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

I ordered 3 packets of Vigna caracalla seeds and 3 live Vigna caracalla plants from Burpee on May 8th. The seeds arrived quickly, the plants took about 2 weeks. The plants arrived very healthy and happy, despite almost a week in a box, There were multiple plants in each 4 inch pot and the roots were thick and healthy. I was very happy with the plants
.
However, I had a low germination rate with the seeds, despite nicking, soaking, heat mat, etc. Only 6 of the 21 germinated. Of those 6, only 2 survived. I wasn't pleased, so I contacted the company. I received a response in less than 24 hours, they honored the "Burpee Guarantee". and sent me new seeds quickly. The second set germinated better than the first. Still not what I had hoped (around 60%) but considering that this plant is notoriously hard to germinate/grow I'm not surprised.
Overall, the people at Burpee were pleasant to deal with and I'm pretty happy with my experience and would shop with Burpee again.

Positive happymommy11
(2 reviews)
On Jun 20, 2012, happymommy11 Palos Park, IL wrote:

I love Burpee

Any plant I have ordered from the company has done very well. I joke with my husband that Burpee plants are on steroids because they grow so big and fast.

On another note, the seeds on the site are overpriced as are the more common plants you can find at hardware stores. Many of these products are found at retailers and hardware stores so you are better off buying these in stores.

Neutral Old_Gardener
(38 reviews)
On Jun 18, 2012, Old_Gardener Calabasas, CA wrote:

Posted on June 18, 2012, updated June 18, 2012
Posted on June 15, 2012, updated June 18, 2012
I sent this to Burpee today after receiving my order from them:

I received Order #: xxxx Account #: xxxx today and, per my order confirmation, was expecting:

Iris ensata, Fortune (13368 - 1 Bulb) $12.95
Tradescantia, Osprey(13380 - 1 Plant) $12.95
Polygonatum, Variegatum(05498 - 1 plant)$11.95
Tradescantia, Bilberry Ice(13379 - 1 Plant)$12.95

The Iris Ensata and Tradescantia Bilberry Ice were received as described but I did not receive plants for the Polygonatum nor for the Tradescantia Osprey. The Polygonatum that was sent consists of a (1) 2.5" and(1) 1" piece of rhizome (no roots) stuffed in a bag with pine shavings and the Osprey was a small root cluster with a few weak white and yellow 1-2" damaged sprouts stuffed in another plastic bag with shavings. These are not plants! My confusion is further compounded by the fact that the other Tradescantia ordered did arrive as a plant in a pot. These "plants" were not cheap and I would have never ordered either of them at these prices (nor during this time of year) had your website accurately reflected them as bareroot rather than plants in 3.5" pots. Can you please look into this and see if a mistake has occurred? I will gladly send you back this shipment if you will send me the plants that I have ordered in return. Thank you

This pretty much describes my dis-satisfaction. The one plant that actually arrived in a pot is about 6" tall. I purchased other Tradescantia from Bluestone a couple of weeks ago and the smallest one they sent me was 18" tall and very full - all for about $4 during their springtime sale. I will not be purchasing anything else from Burpee's.


On June 18th, 2012, Old_Gardener added the following:

I received an email from Burpee's today. The email just provided me an RMA number and listed the 2 items invoice-style but there is no information regarding whether they will refund or replace these 2 items after I have returned them nor did they provide a mailing address to ship to. They also failed to respond as to whether a mistake had occurred (or a substitution made) in sending me bare-root stock as opposed to potted plants. I have replied to their email requesting clarification and a shipping address but, for now, my review remains "negative" due to inadequate communication.
On June 18th, 2012, Old_Gardener changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

I am upgrading to neutral. Marsha contacted me today and is refunding the 2 plants in question. Thank you, Marsha, for the communications.
Negative hotzenplotz
(1 review)
On Jun 15, 2012, hotzenplotz Billerica, MA wrote:

I am very unhappy with their customer service! I placed an order 3-13 for seeds and 3 plants of ornamental grass. Received the seeds about 10 days later, ok not great but reasonable.

According to the order confirmation, I would receive the plants end of March beginning of April. When that did not happen by end of April I called and was told they will ship it soon since my zone was not being sent out yet (for hardy plants?). After 2 more calls and several emails, each time putting me off with another excuse and" they will be there next week" I was really frustrated!

I just received an email (6-6 Yes, that is 3 months later!) as a return authorization crediting my account. I understand things happen and the quality wasn't to their standards, but how about LETTING ME KNOW? No communication whatsoever, no sorry for the inconvenience, no $5 for next time...which I will never do again.

What's the point of giving me a shipping date and then tell me my zone doesn't ship for another month?

Positive gershwin
(1 review)
On Jun 8, 2012, gershwin Bremerton, WA wrote:

Posted on May 1, 2012, updated June 8, 2012
I placed an order on March 9, 2012 for two "Purple Wonder "Strawberry plants.
After not hearing back about delivery I called and discovered they could not find my web order even though I had a confirmation number. After they corrected the order they said they would send me the plants as soon as they were in stock. Well, I received a box from Burpees on April 30, 2012 and when opened found two
shriveled and dead strawberry plants that had been dislodged from the dirt.
The invoice said these plants were mailed April 10, 2012, although when I called Burpees they said they were mailed April 24, 2012 . The plants certainly look like they had been in transit 20 days. I called Burpees and was told they no longer had the Purple Wonder strawberries this spring and I could wait till fall for additional stock. When asked why they came in such terrible condition they informed me they are not responsible for how UPS handles their shipping. Needless to say I asked for a refund. Still would like to purchase the Purple Wonder strawberry plants only not from Burpees.

I


On June 8th, 2012, gershwin changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

I just received two new Purple Wonder strawberry replacement plants from Burpee. They arrived incredibly well packed and in wonderful condition. I appreciate that they listened to my concerns and acted promptly to resolve my problem. Top class customer service. Thanks Marsha...
Negative jbqjr
(1 review)
On May 30, 2012, jbqjr Walnut Creek, CA wrote:

I ordered 36 Lisianthus plants for my cut flower business. They arrived after a week in transit in two boxes taped together. There were three 6-packs in each box. Unfortunately, in each box one 6-pack had tipped over and spilled both plants and soil mix. The stems were broken and the roots were beginning to dry out. Most of the remaining plants had been pruned, as an enclosed note pointed out, "to better handle the rigors of shipping". Of the 36 plants, only one was intact. I called Burpee right away to complain and was told to wait a day or two and then assess the damage. I did that and then emailed them. A got a quick response asking if I wanted a refund or replacement. I asked for a replacement. Burpee responded that they had no more Lisianthus so I would get a refund.

I've ordered plants from several companies and I know they can be shipped without pruning or spilling. This is the last time I order plants from Burpee.

Positive sandgarden
(11 reviews)
On May 18, 2012, sandgarden Millsboro, DE wrote:

I've always had good luck with their seeds and plants.
This year I ordered their gomphrena fireworks plants, which I grew from seed last year which did extremely well and wanted to try the plants. The plants arrived in beautiful condition...a little too early for our crazy spring this year but held over beautifully and are doing great. Very happy.

Positive charlenenj
(13 reviews)
On May 17, 2012, charlenenj Fanwood, NJ wrote:

Posted on May 11, 2011, updated May 17, 2012
On March 3, I ordered almost $100 worth of plants from Burpee online and relied on the published shipping dates for my area on the Burpee website (which would have all plants delivered to me before April 30, 2011). It is now May 11 and I have received nothing. I emailed the company to complain. One week ago, I received the following email response:

"Hello: I am sorry you are not happy with the delivery date. I thank your [sic] for your feedback and will be sure to pass it on to my supervisor."

Hmmn. I don't think the problem is my personal "happiness" about Burpee's delivery date. I relied on Burpee's own published date (the plants to arrive in time for Mother's Day, which they did not). Anyhow, t's now another week and I still don't have the plants, yet they're thanking me for my "feedback"? Basically....."Hey, sorry you're unhappy about getting swindled, customer, but hey we sure do thank ya for the feedback!"


On May 17th, 2012, charlenenj changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

Last year, I ordered lisianthus plants and the delivery date was a bit longer than originally stated and I got a bit of a "auto" response to my inquiry. However, overall I don't think this was a big deal. And wow....the lisianthus plants were showstoppers. I am ordering another 36 plants of them now and don't care that they are $80 and are only annuals. They are beautiful!
Negative wlj
(11 reviews)
On May 14, 2012, wlj Rochester, MN wrote:

Please do NOT buy Burpee seeds (vegetable primarily). My germination success has been anything from 0% to 10%. It isn't worth waiting for next to nothing.

In all fairness, I bought these Burpee seeds at a Wal-Mart store from the company's display stand. I have no idea what conditions they were subjected to before the stand was put out on the floor.

Just a note...Wal Mart does NOT refund money on seeds purchased at their store.

Neutral Chadnic
(1 review)
On May 12, 2012, Chadnic Las Vegas, NV wrote:

I am really disappointed in Burpee I placed an order on the 4th of May and here it is the 12th of May and my order still hasen't shipped. I contacted them by e-mail through there website and it said wait 48 hours for a response from our customer service department. And guess what nothing heard back from them either and this is a Mother's day present now I am going to look really bad tomorrow on Mother's Day because of Burpee. No way it takes that long to ship 3 different live plants I am kinda wondering what the Burpee shippers do down there. Do they just stare at your order And gaze at it for a week I can't believe that. The Kid that started the company in 1876 probably dosn't deal with the company anymore that's why it seems it is going down hill because if he ran it like this in 1876 it wouldn't be as big as the company is today. Hope I receive my package soon I am really worried about it.

Positive virginiarose
(63 reviews)
On Apr 12, 2012, virginiarose Portsmouth, VA (Zone 8a) wrote:

I ordered some Coneflowers and received dormant plants which are doing very well.

Negative morning4glory
(2 reviews)
On Mar 22, 2012, morning4glory Lynn Haven, FL wrote:

I ordered a pack of 3 tuberose bulbs from Burpee. The package came in a timely fashion, but the bulbs are not in very good shape. I have planted them and will see how they do. They look "old", not what I expected. Never ordered from them before, and may not again.

Negative AntoniaB
(3 reviews)
On Mar 20, 2012, AntoniaB Rockford, IL wrote:

Posted on March 12, 2012, updated March 20, 2012
Last year I ordered seeds and seed potatoes from Burpee's. The seeds arrived within two weeks. One of the packets was empty, but the other seeds germinated adequately.

The real problem was with the potatoes. They arrived the last week in May. I had emailed the company and they said that they sent them according to when I should plant them. They actually arrived the same week that I harvested the potatoes that I bought at a big box store when I got tired of the runaround with Burpee's. Well, I planted them right away, and out of the two lbs of potatoes I ordered I grew four potatoes. It was too hot for them, having been planted two months too late. For how very expensive the potatoes I ordered ended up being with shipping, I was very disappointed.


On March 20th, 2012, AntoniaB added the following:

I received an email from a Burpee representative:
Dear Ms. Barry:

I am not sure if you had received the D-Mail I had sent to you on March 12, 2012; therefore, I am sending this email.

Burpee products are guaranteed for one year from the date of purchase.

Our records show you had placed an order for the potatoes in the year 2010. The order had shipped in early May of 2010. I could not find an order that was placed last year. May I have the order number? We would gladly honor the guarantee for the 2011 order.
Potatoes are cool weather plants. They may be set out 2 weeks prior to the last expected spring frost, when the ground is dry enough to work. Our records show that you live in zone 4. The average last frost date for zone 4 is early June. Do you plant the potatoes in a different location? If so, that address could be listed as the shipping address and the order would ship at the appropriate time for planting in that area.

Please be assured that we do want our customers to have a positive experience with our service and products.

Respectfully,

Marsha

Customer Service Department

I replied:
Hi Marsha,
Thanks for replying. I can't find the order number.
I live in zone 5, according to our county's extension office. Our last frost date is either May 15 or May 21 depending on where in the county we live. I live in town, so I usually go with May 15. I plant potatoes well before that, in April, and keep them covered with dirt until the beginning of May. I also start them sprouting indoors two weeks before I plant them out, so it wouldn't be unusual for me to start sprouting them the first week in April, esp. if they are an early variety.
Here is the Wisconsin extension office's fact sheet about potatoes that also say to start the early ones sprouting in early April, even for zone 4. fyi.uwex.edu/farmersmarkets/files/2009/06/potato.pdf
I usually grow Yukon golds and blue potatoes, both early varieties. Getting them in late May around here means planting them in 80 + degree temps most years, and they just don't grow when they are started in that heat.
Thanks again for responding to my review. I may order from your company again when I need seeds, but since it appears you ship rather late in the season for me, I wouldn't order time sensitive items.
Antonia
----
I am happy that they are willing to honor their guarantee, but I probably will not be ordering potatoes from them again.

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