I have been a customer of this company since the early 1980's, and have always found them to be a good source of seed and and having a very good selection. My problem is, starting about six years ago I noticed their prices rapidly increasing, much more than the other 20 or so companies I order from. It is now at the point where Burpee seed cost is more than double, sometimes triple, the price for the same exact seed varieties from all other sources! I don't see how they can stay in business with this practice, with most of their seeds costing 5 to six dollars a pack!!! I now order the bulk of my seeds from Jung's seed company and several others, who have much more reasonable prices! Check your catalog prices folks, and you will do as I and many of my friends have done, switch!!! Why pay so much more for the same seed?
On Feb 26, 2015, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
Burpee’s prices, as with any business, are determined by our costs. This covers research and plant breeding for new and better varieties, production, warehousing, and catalog and distribution expenses. Some varieties are more expensive to produce, and our prices will reflect this.
Burpee sells seed in retail stores, online and through our catalog. When comparing our prices with those of other seed companies for the identical seed variety, or even our retail with our catalog/website prices, the seed count must also be taken into consideration. Typically our retail seed packets contain fewer seeds than our direct mail seed, to reflect different customer needs. We feel there is a market to offer seed for sale through both channels of distribution. Customers can then choose the method of purchase which is the most convenient and satisfying for them. We hope our customers will look at their total order cost, value, quality and our guarantee for customer satisfaction, and feel our pricing is fair.
Thank you for your feedback, as always we appreciate feedback from our customers."
We are grateful for the kind words about our seeds, but sorry to hear that your seed order took a long time to receive. These items usually ship within a few days from our warehouse if we have the product in stock. Plants are shipped at the proper planting time from our nursery. In addition, we sell a wide range of seed varieties in local retail stores. We have reached out to you so that we can look into what may have caused any delays for you. "
I ordered four different kinds of garlic bulbs for planting to expand my varieties of garlic. One was "Kettle River Giant", which was supposed to have a diameter "up to 4" ". All were 2" or less. In addition, I ordered Burpee's "Best Garlic Collection", which was supposed to be an assortment of three different kinds of garlic. All of the bulbs of the "collection" were lumped into one bag, and were not distinguishable from each other. I E-mailed Burpee these concerns, along with pictures of the bulbs of garlic, and one clove pulled loose from each bulb. The response from Burpee was perfunctory, and ignored most of my questions. I will most likely never order from Burpee again. I am convinced that mistakes were made in packing my order; but no attempt to rectify was made by Burpee customer service. I seriously doubt that anyone even looked at the pictures that we took of the garlic. Obviously, there are better sources for garlic out there!
On Oct 3, 2014, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
We apologize for your experience with our garlic and for how your complaint was handled. We have reached out to you directly to help you identify the garlic varieties, and to offer an adjustment to your order. We appreciate your feedback and are grateful for the chance to address your concerns. "
Apparently, it is always a mixed bag with Burpee. I rated them NEGATIVE because the last two experiences were negative, with another really BIG negative not too long before that. Here's the breakdown of my walk down Burpee Lane:
Positive - Ordered two packets of cucumbers and some gourds. Everything arrived in good shape, and the cukes germinated well. (Gourds not planted yet because I like them fresh and ready for fall, but I'm sure they're fine.)
Positive - Ordered a packet of hot cherry peppers and a packet of pole beans. Again, everything went fine.
BIG Negative - Two successful orders, so I placed a larger order of melons, squash, and a few varieties of tomatoes and peppers. Big mistake. The thin cardboard envelope had no padding. Something in the handling or shipping process squished the larger seeds to bits, and the smaller seeds had come out of their packets and were all muddled together.
Positive - Before receiving the Smashed Seed Surprise, I had ordered a packet of swiss chard and and one of bush beans. Again, smaller order, nice padded envelope, all was well.
Positive - I sent an email about the Seed Mash. Got a very quick response. "Deb" at Burpee offered to replace or refund the melons, squash, tomatoes, and peppers, my choice. I asked for replacements.
Negative - When I got the notification of the reshipment, the Gold Standard Hybrid sweet pepper wasn't available. They didn't make any special mention of that fact. I just noticed it because it was listed as OUT OF STOCK on the credit for the old order, and was missing from the shipping list for the new order. They didn't offer me a different yellow sweet pepper, or offer to notify me when it was back in stock. Just... nothing. No gold peppers for you.
Negative - I still wasn't completely disillusioned with Burpee, so when I received an offer for $2 shipping using the code FLAT136, I decided to place an order. I needed some sunflower seeds, and was intrigued by the "sunflower forest" idea. I got my order together, sunflowers and a few other items, went to check out, and... COUPON CODE EXPIRED. I looked at the fine print, and sure enough, it said "expires 05/19/2014 11:59 p.m. ET." That's 8:59 p.m. here in Arizona. After a very busy day, I finally had time to place my order, and... No discount shipping for you because you live in the Wild West! I can't say that my failure to scrutinize the fine print and the subsequent time wasted is Burpee's fault. I can, however, say that most of their competitors are more considerate of those of us west of the Mississippi, even at the risk of a few East Coast insomniacs getting cheap shipping in the wee hours.
Unknown - Before this latest disappointment, I ordered a packet of radishes and a packet of carrots. I'm sure everything will be skippy-dandy, and just as sure that I believe this is the end of my relationship with Burpee and their time-sucking inconsistency and unreliability.
On May 20, 2014, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
I no longer even consider ordering from Burpee after the headache I went through last year. First they short me half my order, despite the website saying in stock when I bought them. They never notified me, I just opened the box to find items missing with a note saying the were back ordered. I called to find out what the deal was and they told me it was too cold to ship my pineberry & purple wonder strawberries... I checked the weather online and in their area it was high 60's to low70s that week.. They told me they would call back with a shipping eta, but when they did call the customer service rep accused me of lying, saying I had already received all items. I hung up and called back, spoke to a different person who told me they oversold and wouldn't have more ready for another month. So I ended up getting a refund, highly annoyed that the main items I wanted were the ones they shorted me.
Of the other items that did arrive, all the other strawberries and 4 of 5 raspberries died. The only item that was healthy and vigorous was a fig plant, which was a rip off for the size/price paid and a year later still has not yet given me fruit.
After I had already been refunded, they mis-shipped me the strawberries that had been back ordered. I wish I could post a picture, they were the saddest pitiful wilted seedlings I had ever seen. Of the 4 strawberries they sent, the only one which survived wasn't even the right variety.
On May 1, 2014, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
We are so sorry to learn of your unfortunate experience and have contacted you directly to see if we can resolve any outstanding issues. The satisfaction of our customers is very important to us and we appreciate having the opportunity to respond to their concerns."
On Apr 9, 2014, devinevegan Igo, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
Posted on April 4, 2014, updated April 9, 2014
Posted on March 16, 2014, updated April 4, 2014
I ordered seeds and live plants from this company last year and was very disappointed. The seeds are overpriced and come in a plain & ugly thin seed packet that rips when you open it. I did not get good germination or healthy thriving plants from any of the seeds. I ordered a Papaya that was listed for zone 9 but it turned rubbery and was unhealthy anytime the weather was under 60 degrees. It died within a few months even though the temperature was never near 20-30 as zone 9 gets. I tried twice to get off their mailing list but they keep sending catalogs even though they agreed to take me off their list. Many of their seeds are treated because they never say they are not, and most are hybrids and PVP's. Just awful, I cannot believe they are still around!
On April 4th, 2014, devinevegan added the following:
Unbeleivable, I have sent two emails asking to be removed from their mailing list, and got two confirmations they would remove me. BUT, I keep receiving catalogs and just received another one again! TAKE ME OFF YOUR LIST!!!On April 9th, 2014, devinevegan added the following:
I received a reply from Burpee stating their plants and seeds are guaranteed for one year and I could receive a refund or a replacement. I sent them an email about this and will post the results.
They also state it takes 6-8 weeks to be removed from the list but I received 2 catalogs well after 8 weeks of my requests. I will post any updates on this as wellOn Apr 9, 2014, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. We guarantee our products and will reach out to you directly to resolve any issues you have experienced with them. We appreciate your request to be removed from our mailing list, and will honor that request. It does take a number of weeks for this to take effect and it is possible that you will receive a catalogue during this time. We apologize for the inconvenience. "
Ordered a couple of plants, one of which was a passion flower vine for $16.95, from Burpees. When I received the order, most of the soil was out of the passion vine pot with the roots exposed.... since all they did was put packing paper around the plants. Well, the thing looked dead, needless to say.
When I contacted them about a replacement, they asked for a picture of the plant, which I sent. Received an email stating that that was the way the plant was supposed to look....and that if they sent me a replacement plant, it would look exactly the same, so they essentially said "No" to a replacement. And no mention of how badly the plant was packed (roots exposed), of course. That's their idea of customer service?
So I just asked for a refund. Burpees may be ok for over-priced seeds ordering, but apparently they don't "do" plant orders very well. And their 'customer service' ticked me off...since they tout, on their website, a Burpees product "guarantee of satisfaction".
I won't be using them again.
On Mar 14, 2014, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
Thank you for sharing your experience and we apologize that it was not to your satisfaction. Please know that the issues you experienced with the shipping of your Passiflora were sent to our Nursery Team for review. Our Nursery team makes every effort to ensure our plants are in good growing condition when they leave our growing facilities, even dormant plants; and we are disappointed that your vine arrived to you in such poor condition.
Please also accept our apologies for the problems you encountered with our service. Our customers are very important to us and we are working to fix the issues you’ve indicated. We are constantly striving to improve the service experience for all of our customers and value these types of exchange. Thank you, and our apologies, again.
Burpee has the highest price on seeds that I've ever seen, but I ordered from them several years ago and was happy with the germination rate, so when I saw all of the discounts they were offering I decided to give them another try.
They offer $10 off with a coupon in their catalog, 25% off a $100 order with an online coupon and free shipping with a $50 order. None of the coupons say that they can not combined with any other offer - but after spending all the time getting an order together, I find out in check out that only one offer will be accepted. If that is the policy, that's fine - but it would be more honest to say up front that the offers can not be combined, rather than the big surprise at the end. I emailed Customer Service with this complaint, but they replied only that offers can not be combined at this time.
With seed packets as high as 6.95 each and the feeling that I've been misled about the coupons, they can keep their outrageously priced products.
On Feb 8, 2014, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
We apologize for the problems you have encountered with our online & catalog promotions. Please know that Burpee will be making changes to our promotional information in the near future based upon your feedback.
At this time we have reached out to you on via direct mail on Dave’s Garden to resolve this issue.
I placed an order on July 21, 2013 for a variety of tulips, I received my order today 10/16/2013, thinking my order was fulfilled only to find that Mother's Love Tulips was substituted with Red Riding Hood Tulips, which I already had ordered.Now, i figured that by placing my order early Burpee would have at least reserved these Tulips for me or at least let me know, so I had the option of choosing a substitute.Instead they sent order confirmation misleading me to believe I was gonna get Mother's Love Tulips.I am upset to say the least and recommend to my fellow gardeners everywhere to never believe by placing an early order with Burpee, that you will actually get your item.It is a little late now for me to try to find the Tulips I desired, so now I will have to wait till next year but I will never order from Burpee anymore.
On Oct 16, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
Many different factors impact our inventory levels of live goods. Our tulip bulbs are shipped directly from Holland and at times production issues may occur. When these issues occur, we try to substitute a similar variety for the original product selected, and we do apologize your original selection was not available to be sent to you.
After reviewing your comments we reached out to you on via direct mail on Dave’s Garden and via email to resolve this issue.
We hope 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 email@example.com.
Posted on May 26, 2013, updated June 1, 2013
I've ordered from Burpee in the distant past and never had a problem. However, due to their link with Monsanto, I cannot with good conscience order from them again until they sever ties with any company that produces GMO seed. Goodbye Burpee.
On June 1st, 2013, sandwalker added the following:
As long as Burpee is buying seed from Seminis, then Burpee is supporting companies whose main goal is the production and proliferation of GMO seeds. Seminis is a subsidiary of Monsanto.
Burpee implying it is not involved in GMO seeds is preposterous! As long as Burpee is sending money to Seminis, Burpee is sending money to Monsanto and therefore supporting GMO seed production. Until Burpee makes a commitment NOT to do business with any company involved with GMO seed production, then myself and thousands of others will NOT BE DOING BUSINESS WITH BURPEE. We have been trying to tell Burpee that for quite some time now and they just don't seem to get it. On Jun 1, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
Burpee is the nation's leading purveyor of both heirloom and hybrid vegetables seeds and transplants. Burpee purchases seeds from a select list of suppliers throughout the world including Seminis. However, none of the seeds purchased from Seminis or any other supplier are GMO. Burpee has never bred or sold GMO seeds and does not intend to do so in the future.
On May 29, 2013, SpikeDaCat Cedar Hills, UT wrote:
After the experience I've had, I would not recommend Burpee to anyone. If you don't feel like reading the rest, I'll just say that their lousy shipping method killed the live plants they were sending me, and their customer service is lacking. Read below for the full details.
I placed an order on April 14th for three live plants, with the understanding that they would ship around April 29th or so (due to different growing seasons). April 29th came and went, and I received no shipping notice. I finally called on May 12th to ask what was going on, and why my order hadn't shipped. Their brilliant customer service rep kept telling me that it could arrive the next day... even though it hadn't shipped yet. Guess what. It didn't arrive on the 13th. Big surprise.
The shipping notice came on May 16th. Then I waited. And waited. And waited.
I was excited to finally receive the package on May 23rd. Talk about slow shipping, especially for live plants! My spirits were crushed though when I opened the box and discovered that the two little tomato plants were badly, badly wilted, and nearly dead.
I emailed customer service that day to complain and to ask for expedited shipping on replacement plants since I had been waiting so long already. I received a timely, but abrupt reply which lacked appropriate capitalization. It said that they were shipping replacements to me. No mention of shipping type or speed.
I called again today (May 29th) to inquire about the status of my replacements, and to request expedited shipping if they had not been sent yet. I was told that there was no way at all for them to expedite shipping on anything. I finally asked to speak with a supervisor, and the representative said that he would take my number and that she (the supervisor) would call me back as soon as she gets a chance.
Not surprisingly, my phone never rang. However, I did mysteriously get another shipping notification by email not long after I called. Same slow shipping method as last time. So here I am, six weeks after placing my order, waiting for replacements to arrive, and hoping that they don't die en route too. All of our other tomatoes have been in the ground at the garden for two weeks already. My poor tomatoes (if they survive this journey) will be off to a very late start.
I think they owe me an apology and a refund. I didn't pay $22.00+ for dead plants, slow shipping, and lousy customer service. I don't think I'll ever buy from Burpee again.
On May 29, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
Order of 3 tomato plants, with all 3 plants limp with stems unable to support plants upon arrival. As I was in the garden when plants arrived, they were all planted according to the package directions within 10 minutes of arrival, with sun and wind protection; temperature in the upper 60's, a plastic pot with the bottom cut out, placed around the plants at time of planting. 24 hours later, two plants (Big Boy and Brand boy) are barely alive, but with leaves that are not wilted, so I believe they will recover. The sauce tomato hybrid appears dead, with wilted leaves and no support from the main stem). Purchasing tomato plants from the local grocery or hardware store would have been a better choice, even if I would not have gotten the desired hybrids.
On May 24, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
On May 23, 2013, JoParrott Richland, WA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I placed an order online to Burpee on March 30, 2013. It was for a Goji Berry Plant-in a 3" pot. It arrived on April 26, having spent 8 days in transit ! The plant was essentially dead- all the soil was out of the pot, and all the leaves were brown. I took a photo and called Burpee's customer service- the rep. told me that a live plant should NEVER be shipped on a Thursday and spend 8 days in transit. She was very helpful, and reordered the plant for me. This was 5 weeks ago, and after several emails & phone calls by me (none of which were satisfactory) today I got a shipping confirmation from UPS that the plant was being shipped today, and scheduled arrival was May 31-(8 days from now!) I called and voiced my resistance to another 8 day journey- I said I know the plant will be dead-again! I get US Priority packages from FL all the way to here- WA in 2 days. I asked to speak to someone from the nursery that shipped it, but that is not possible. This has all been totally frustrating and I will NEVER do business with Burpee again.
On May 23, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
On May 17, 2013, julianchandler Stillwater, OK wrote:
I ordered three 'Fireworks" Gomphrenas from Burpee's. The plants were wilted and falling out of their pots and most of the dirt was in the bottom of the box. I sent an email to Burpee's customer service and got an immediate reply asking whether I wanted a refund or replacement plants. That doesn't make up for the fact that the plants were in horrible shape to start with, however.
On May 17, 2013, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
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:
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:
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 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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Customer Service Department
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.
I am happy that they are willing to honor their guarantee, but I probably will not be ordering potatoes from them again.
I wanted to buy one pack of tomato seeds from Burpee and they charged me $4.95 for mailing approx. 30 seeds in an envelope. The Big Mama tomato seeds cost me about 33 cents apiece. I will be saving more seeds in the future. I have bought from them for years but that has changed now.
They will definitely not get any more business from me.
On Feb 11, 2012, bar55nelson Fairless Hills, PA wrote:
We have ordered from Burpee online as well as made purchases from the Warminster PA store. Every time we ordered a set of something (grape vines come in sets of two, for instance) one plant was thriving and the other was dead. Even replacements have arrived dead. Customer Service at the store was non-existent. No one could answer basic questions about the plants or the products. I don't even buy their seed packs from the local stores. Too expensive and the seeds don't do any better than other less expensive brands. Bye, Bye, Burpee . . .
On Jul 11, 2011, trishrobinson Old River-Winfree, TX wrote:
I ordered tomato and pepper plants this year and had a horrible experience. Both sets of plants arrived dead or dying, and I emailed Burpee and they said they would send out a replacement order immediately. It took over 2 weeks to get replacement plants, which also arrived shriveled and some were dead. I planted the ones that had a bit of life left but they ended up dying too. I emailed Burpee again and told them what had happened but never got a response. I didn't want any replacement plants anyway because it was too late at that point to transplant anything and the heat would have killed anything new. I won't ever order plants from them again. They just can't survive the shipping and packaging.
I have tried to remain positive about my experiences with Burpee, but I have to say that this year has succeeded in turning me off. When I placed my order in January I was told that all seeds were in stock and would be shipped out as soon as possible. When the order arrived 3 weeks later, 3 of the 9 seeds were not included. I called to inquire and was told that they were sold out and would ship when available. All three of these were things I did not need right away so I thought it was no big deal. Those three seed packets arrived May 10 - 3 months later. I emailed several times and was told that "they will ship soon." I guess soon is a relative concept. One of the three seeds that I was waiting on was a yellow squash. When the packet arrived I saw that there was a white sticker on the bottom of the packet with the "packed for season 2011" info on it. Out of curiousity I peeled it off to see that the date underneath was actually 2010. I called and was told that they occasionally have left over packets and those are used in following years. This sounded ok until I planted them. Out of 12 seeds started in the greenhouse on May 11, 2 have come up. I suspect that these seeds were in fact packed in 2010. I will never order from Burpee again.
Posted on May 23, 2011, updated May 24, 2011
I ordered live plants from Burpee April 29. Within a week I received the free seeds Burpee's offered with my order.
After 2 weeks of no live plants I called Burpee's customer service line. I was told, "we ship within two weeks." Well, obviously not.
When I asked the status of my order the woman on the phone could not tell me as she stated, "I don't know." I finally received an e-mail from UPS on May 18 informing me my merchandise was on the way. I keep checking my tracking info. and have found out my order will arrive May24. Since UPS does not work on the weekend my live plants will sit in a warehouse for two days and then take another two days to arrive. All total, my "live plants" will have been in transit for 6 days. I e-mailed Burpee and asked them, since it took so long to send me my merchandise (almost a month!) why did they not just wait and send it out Monday May 23 or send my order with expedited shipping-at no cost to me- and have heard nothing from them. Tried to call today and was put on hold so long I finally hung up. This is the second time I have had to complain about a mail order gardening site and it really gets me down. No wonder people resort to Lowe's and Home Depot! I will let you know in what shape my live plants arrive.
On May 24th, 2011, BIGjojo added the following:
Well, I have to continue with my negative rating. I received my plants today, minus the horseradish. The whole reason I went with Burpee is to get horseradish in the ground. When I placed my order on April 29 there was horseradish in stock but as it took Burpee so long to send my order apparently they are now out of stock. I am very disappointed. I will now have to scramble around and try to find some horseradish to plant and hopefully someone will have it in stock. As for my "live plants" the hollyhocks are close to dead (yellow leaves and dried and dead leaves on all six of them), even the yarrow has a few yellow leaves. The daylillies are packaged quite well and I am hopeful for them. So, overall Burpee's has failed miserably.
On May 23, 2011, TeacherAmy Fort Mill, SC (Zone 7b) wrote:
I hate writing a negative review and generally am very vocal about the positive experiences I generally have. But after several attempts at Burpee orders, I've finally given up on the company.
I, too, have paid an absurd amount for shipping of small seed packets, and the shipping time is unpredictable to say the least. The final straw was this past month when I ordered seeds and plants for Denim Petunias, and they just seemed to drop off the planet! I waited patiently, kept checking order status, and after several weeks finally attempted to email the company. That in itself is nearly useless, as I get a generic response that does not help me.
When I pointed out the problem in their response (e.g. their two-week window had already come and gone) and still got no help, I finally called and spoke to a pleasant woman who was unable to give me additional information. Apparently, because my zone had begun shipping previously, my order was bumped "to the end". Once the order went to the nursery, they had no idea where it was in the process or when I should be expecting them to arrive. Wonderful. So they could well arrive weeks later when we were out of town.
The plants finally did arrive a few weeks later--surprise--but only a few are doing well after transplanting. And the seeds have a 20% germination rate so far. Needless to say, I'm finished doing business with Burpee.
On Feb 26, 2011, 300_lb_Tomato Fair Lawn, NJ wrote:
I have decided to post to this Dave's Garden website for the first time because for several years when I submit a post to Burpee, they don't upload it.
I have been a regular customer of Burpee seeds for over 35 years and, up until 4 years ago, never had trouble.
I had complained 4 years ago that the Tasty Green Cucumber (formerly Burpless) seeds I had purchased from a local nursery were not packaged correctly. When grown that season (2007), the plants were lifeless and cucumbers were deformed. I had grown this variety since a kid (when it was called Burpless) and it had always been great. The cucmbers looked just like the photo on the packet. In fact the seed packs labeled that they had been grown in Japan usually performed the best with incredible yields.
After not seeing my post that year on the Burpee website, I sent pictures of the poorly performing plants and pictures of healthy plants from previous years, to Burpee via e-mail.
Suspecting a seed mix-up and angered that my post would not appear on their website, I sarcastically commented in the e-mail that perhaps the person that had packaged the seeds was smoking crack in the the cucumber fields. Dispite my rude comments they responded promptly and courteously. They sent me a replacement packet for the next year.
I grew those replacement seeds the next year (2008), and I had the same problem although the yield was a bit better. The cucumbers looked nothing like what I was used to. They were short fat and deformed. Once again I tried to post to the Burpee website with no success. I e-mailed them directly with photos again.
This time a quality control person from Burpee responded and we had a lengthy courteous e-mail exchange. He indicated that there is always variation in any variety of plant.
He suggested that I try another variety. They sent me a check in the mail for the value of the seed packet.
I did not try another variety. Instead, to rule out any issues that may be with my soil, I decided that the next year I would plant seeds from an older packet from 2006 that was grown in Japan. I planted them the next year (2009) and they were great.
Last season (2010), I bought a new packet of Tasty Green from a local nursey. Although the plants were healthy and yield was large, the cucumbers bore no resemblance to what I was accustomed to. They were short fat standard looking cucumbers, with many deformed. Nothing like the original Burpless or Japan grown packet or the picture on the packet.
I've decide to not contact Burpee.
It is clear to me that they have somehow lost the variety of Tasty Green (formerly Burpless cucumber). They most likely have even lost track of how they lost the variety, and probably everything concerning this variety is mixed up.
What makes me angry is they continue to use the old photo on their seed packets of what the cucumber used to look like.
I will grow for the first time a different variety of cucumber.
But I will not purchase the seeds from Burpee.
Now....about the Big Mama tomato blossom end rot problem that I and many fellow gardening friends have had since the variety was introduced.....That post will wait till I do more research on that problem on Dave's Garden...
Posted on February 2, 2011, updated February 2, 2011
Ordered 5 packs of seeds 1/19 at a cost of $6.95 to ship. Just received an email 2/1 that my order had shipped, 13 days after the order was placed and I had not received them. They are outrageously priced for seeds and promised a delivery in 7 to 10 days. I live in Maryland and they are in Pennsylvania! The only reason I ordered from Burpee is I was given a gift certificate from them. I will never purchase from them again!
On February 2nd, 2011, bearcreek10 added the following:
Just checked the tracking number they gave me and it shows no record of it 24 hours after it is supposedly shipped.
On Oct 1, 2010, timonsgirl Mount Prospect, IL wrote:
Posted on June 15, 2010, updated October 1, 2010
Posted on June 9, 2010, updated June 15, 2010
I don't know what has happened to this company but this year is the last time I order from them.
For years I ordered live tomato and pepper plants and they arrived healthy and thriving. Their customer service used to be wonderful too but that has changed also.
The trouble began last year when I ordered 3 salsa tomato plants. The plants arrived extremely shriveled and died within days of being received. They didn't have any more to replace them so I had to settle for a refund.
This year I ordered 3 more salsa tomato plants and 3 zavory pepper plants. All arrived extremely overwatered and unsalvagable. All were dead within about 4 days.
It took Burpee quite a few days to reply to my complaint and when they did they tried blaming it on the weather while the plants were in transit. The weather was the same as it had always been at this time of year when I receive my plants and that had nothing to do with the overwatering issue that I told them about.
They did have replacements this time so they put in another order for me. It took them another 11 days to ship it out and 13 days before I received it.
The plants arrived today and all are extremely overwatered again. They are all drooping and curling horribly and the tomato plants are dropping entire stems, not just leaves. The plastic containers they were in were covered in condensation and the soil was not just damp, it was wet.
I doubt these plants will survive the week.
This year will be the last I purchase from Burpee. They once provided great plants and great customer service and now both have become horrible.
On June 14th, 2010, timonsgirl added the following:
Well, it's now been 6 days since I received the overwatered replacement plants. I contacted Burpee about the problem the day they arrived. I still have yet to hear back from them.
This is the worst customer service that I have ever encountered from a company. On October 1st, 2010, timonsgirl added the following:
Well, I did get a refund and one of the plants survived and I did get a few tomatoes. However, after all that, they weren't the salsa tomatoes I ordered and was told they were. They were a completely different variety.
Dead and dying plants, poor customer service, slow response and shipping and now this. Unreal. On Oct 1, 2010, Burpee (W. Atlee Burpee) responded with:
The Burpee Company is very sorry that the customer’s experience was not as good as it should have been.
Our nursery has been very successful in shipping thousands of orders seasonally. The plants are inspected for health and vigor before they are shipped to the customer. We also package the plants to arrive in good condition.
It is unfortunate that the replacement plants were not the correct variety. This may have been due to either human error, or the label was not correct. We are working to perfect the plant selection and labeling process, as it can be very difficult to identify a tomato variety by looking at its leaves.
With the economy being slow, we have had a surprising, and much appreciated, increase in business. This generated more gardening questions for our customer service division. We do strive to answer every email, letter, and phone call in a timely and thorough manner.
Please be assured that the Burpee Company is committed to providing excellent products and service to our customers.
I had purchased Burpee Seeds many times in the past. This year, I found some Burpee seeds at Wal-mart and Lowes. I purchased them without hesitation. Most seed did not germinate and others produced maybe 1-2 seedlings. Last year, I was successful at growing Coreopsis from Burpee seed that was 2 years old. But, as I said earlier, Burpee seed purchased this year produced disappointing results. I don't know if Burpee purchased from retail outlets is of a lesser quality than that purchased from their catalog. Several emails, and promises of replacement seed or subsitutions if my seed was not available, have resulted in no outcomes.