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I ordered a variety of Azaleas from Greer this spring. I was incredibly disappointed. 2/3 of them died before the end of August. Of the 20 other Azaleas I planted this year, none died. Everything from Greer looked pretty average when it got out of the box, but the test is that it they were so weak they couldn't survive 10 days in the ground. Greer Customer service said they were not responsible at that point.
Of incredibly surprise was when Maryland Agriculture inspectors came to my house to take samples of everything in my gardens. They told me that Greer had a major problem in their gardens last year, and they were monitoring every plant brought into the state. If any infection was found they would have destroyed every plant on my property.
The thought of losing 100's of specimens freaked me out. I won't buy from Greer again.
Called to order 2 dwarf maple fjellheims in early September, and was told they would go out shortly. I explicitly explained (and they had it in their order info) that they needed to arrive before September 21, when we would be leaving town for 10 days. I was assured (this being September 5) that they would go out in "a couple of days" and would arrive "well before the 21st." When I called on September 20th, I was told "we don't know why they didn't go out - we still have the trees sitting here. Do you still want them?" These were supposed to be an anniversary present to my husband. No offer was made to ship them overnight (I was told they couldn't ship them on a Thursday or Friday) or to in any way compensate/fix the situation, even after I explained that these were an anniversary present. Nothing. So in essence, I was left to scramble to find them and pay overnight shipping from someone else.
On Sep 20, 2007, Greer Gardens responded with:
On Sep 28, 2007 4:32 PM, Greer Gardens added:
I can only say we made an honest mistake. For some unknown reason the paperwork just slipped through the cracks and did not get back to the office so the plants could be shipped.
And, yes we should have offered to send the plants next day air. I certainly would have done that, but since we seldom ship next day air the employee she talked to did not realize that was possible, though he does know better.
My apologies for this error. It is not the way we want to run our business. Sorry also I was not around to immediately answer this, as I was out of town chairing the very successful Western Regional Rhododendron Conference.
Thanks to all for being understanding that even in the best of situtations, mistakes do happen."
I have never posted a negative against any garden, and it does not come easily. But I have received 0 satisfaction and I feel I have a right to complain. I ordered a Magnolia "Vulcan" after receiving Greer Gardens Catalog in February. I found this tree very hard to find, so I thought getting my order in early would assure me the best chance of adding this to my collection. So I sent my order in Mid February. In Ohio February is the coldest month of the year with expected temperatures -10 to -20 degrees. The Greer garden order blank gives you two choices for shipping perference. One to state exactly when you want your order shipped. Then there is an additional statment at the bottom of the order blank which states "if you do not choose a specific ship date, your order will be sent at the appropriate planting time for your zone." So I left the specific date blank, knowing that they would ship my tree at a reasonable planting time. Well, almost two weeks after my order was mailed, I came home from work and here was my tree, boxed, sitting at my back door. I could not believe it had been shipped since we had been experiencing blizzard conditions, which was all over the weather reports, and that specific day it was -5 degrees. And February is the coldest month of the year here, which any experienced nursery should be aware of. So I took the tree in the house and unboxed it and not surprisingly, the roots and planting material were frozen solid as a block of ice. And it was a very nice tree. I get distrubed when nice plants get abused, so I was not happy. I called Greer gardens that same evening and spoke with a man in customer service. He pulled up my order and the first thing he noted was "you didn't fill in a ship date". I explained to him the sentence on the order blank that assures the buyer that their order will be shipped at the appropriate planting time. I think he was lost for words, so I asked to talk to his manager. Mr. Greer took the phone and told me that the tree was probably fine, simply keep in inside until planting time and I should have no problem.Not that I relished taking care of a tree in my house for 3 months, but I told him I would. I wanted to think he was right, but experience taught me that this tree might not be able to handle such a shock. "It was cold here this week in Oregon" he went on "it got down to 50 degrees this week." Mr. Greer started to give me instructions for care of the tree. Since I have been gardening for nearly 50 years, I explained that I didn't need to be told how to take care of a tree.Not feeling any better about the outcome, I told Mr. Greer that all I wanted was the guarantee of his word that if my tree didn't live, that I would get a replacement. He didn't sound happy at the prospect but assured me that if my tree didn't live to call the nursery back and he would indeed ship me the 'live' tree I paid for. Well, my tree didn't live, it just shriveled up in the pot. So I called the Nursery, spoke to customer service and my complaint was noted and I was told that they would get a replacment out for me. Three weeks later, no tree. So I called again and again spoke to a man in customer service. He pulled up my order and said, "yes, I see where you have called in, I will check into it and make sure your tree is sent." It is now June 4 and I still have no tree. So this is the reason for my negative post. I think I should be able to take a man at his word. and I don't think I should have to 'shake the tree' several times and still get no result. I would love to hear from this company and be assured that they are going to honor their promise. I would hesitate to recommend them to anyone based on my experience. Bob Faulkner. Dayton, Ohio
On June 8th, 2007, pollinatorbob added the following:
All I can say is Huh?! If all my correspondence is wrong, then why in my private email that Mr. Greer sent, is he sending me my Magolia, finally. I do want to set one thing straight. He is correct in saying that I was wrong about the ship date on the order blank. The statement is actually on page 149 of their catalog and under SHIPPING DATE reads the following: "Unless you give us a specific date to ship your order, we will ship at the appropriate planting time" So I stand corrected even though the point is the same. The remainder of my response I sent in "private" to Mr. Greer. Being an honorable man, I won't fight anyone over the internet. You may belive him if you want, but if I made up this entire story, I should take a job in Hollywood. Mr. Greer, you should be ashamed. BobOn Jun 5, 2007, Greer Gardens responded with:
On Jun 7, 2007 8:34 PM, Greer Gardens added:
I don't want to fight with this person, but his response is so petty. I thought I explained it in the private email to him. We made a mistake sending the plant to him as early as we did, but we were glad to correct the problem, but he gave us no way to contact him. Yes, he called, but left us no number so we could get back to him as to when we could give him another plant. In the end we sent him a 5' plant for the 2' plant he ordered but apparently that is not enough for this man. And remeber all of this for one $29.95 plant.
We try very hard to treat customers fairly, but we ask the same in return. Also, I have to say I received no private response at this writing from this man. Bob, I am not ashamed of trying to help a customer all of which could have been solved if he given as a phone number. And may I again say we provided this man in the end even more than he ordered which we would have done anyway without all his complaint. Harold Greer"
I really want to like this company, but I have to say I'm probably done doing business with them. The two trees I've purchased in the last few years both died. I'm willing to acknowledge both deaths might be my fault, but I'm frustrated at the customer service this latest time. I bought a columnar sargent cherry in the spring. It didn't look very healthy when it arrived and it died over the summer. I have tried to contact customer service -- sending two e-mails and leaving a phone message -- to see what, if anything, they might be willing to do about it. They have not returned my messages. I don't understand that: Perhaps I'm out of luck and just need to eat this loss. If so, I can live with that; such are the hazards of gardening. But to not get a response at all ... this is definitely one of my pet peeves: Companies that promote an e-mail address, but then don't respond to e-mails. Well, like I said, I'm probably done with Greer Gardens and would warn others, too.
On Sep 15, 2005, Greer Gardens responded with:
On Sep 15, 2005 8:47 PM, Greer Gardens added:
We truly want to help this customer, but the emails he says he has sent have not reached us. We have had some difficulty with email, so maybe he sent them, but we have not received them. Email is something that can be lost easily by email programs. We don't promote our email address, but we try to see that we answer any email received. I have also responded to him directly since I heard this complaint. I hope he has the goodness to acknowledge that we did respond.
We try very hard to provide excellent plants. These Prunus sargentii were excellent trees and we have had no complaints whatsoever about one this year, though we will be glad to replace his tree. Any newly planted tree can die even given the best conditions.
We can't solve what we don't know about, but we do solve what we do know about. My apologies if we made any mistake. We do care.
This nursery has an extensive catalog, but their customer service is poor and disorganized. I ordered a 3-4 foot tree from them and was charged a sizeable shipping fee. It came packaged in a fairly flimsy tube, which Fedex had somehow managed to break in half and then taped back together. Inside was the leafless stump of the tree. This isn't entirely their fault, but when I reported the problem, the employee said that they would get back to me and I "might" receive credit. However, no one ever contacted me again nor did I receive credit. This is quite a contrast to my experiences with other mail-order nurseries.
On Oct 31, 2002, Greer Gardens responded with:
On Apr 21, 2005 10:36 PM, Greer Gardens added:
We have asked this customer to respond to the complaint so we could solve the problem, but they never have.
We try very hard to see the plants arrive in good shape, but the shipping companies can destroy anything. We would have gladly responded to his request, though we did not get his complaint.