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I ordered a bunch of Daffodil bulbs last year from John Scheepers and only a few came up this spring. None of them bloomed. I contacted customer service, and was told I needed to answer seven detailed questions first that, as others have mentioned, would be referred to their horticulturalist. I took the time to comply, thinking they must really want to know what went wrong. Their final response was, "It appears that you used compost and other amendments in the soil, as well as planted the bulbs in a mounded bed. The amendments added burned the bulbs and roots. If the bulbs did survive that damage, they rotted due to the mounded bed and irrigation system."
The bulbs did not rot, and I told them so twice before getting their final answer, but I don't think it would have mattered what I said. I dug a number of the bulbs up, and they were not rotted or mushy. I had used well-decomposed homemade compost made from plant matter only (not the manure compost they recommend against). I added a bit of popular garden fertilizer to the soil (not the exact formulation they recommend and I didn't leave it on the surface but mixed it into the soil - apparently a bulb killer from their perspective). I have an irrigation system and some, but not all, of the bulbs were planted in a mounded bed, so I guess it was all my fault. Scheepers said my "improper planting environment" precluded me from any refund. They did offer a partial (less than half of what I paid) "house credit."
Funny thing was, I was about to just write the whole thing off as weird weather this year, when a gardening friend suggested I contact the company and see what they would do for me. I was left more frustrated by Scheeper's response than I was by the non-blooming bulbs.
I order A LOT of plants and bulbs and the like on-line, as I have MANY flower gardens throughout my yard/property. John Scheepers totally did me wrong when several of the Eremurus (desert candles/foxtail lillies) that I ordered - and paid a lot of money for - failed. Even though I made well-drained loamy soil by adding sand and a good humus mixture, covered them with only a few inches of soil and planted them in a very sunny area, I had TWO sets of the rootstock fail on me two years in a row. When I called to complain, I got the run-around. When I wrote e-mails about the problem, they got an poor attitude with me and actually accused me of trying to get over on them just to get some free replacements sent to me! What nerve. I will NEVER deal with this company or its affiliates again. VERY, VERY POOR CUSTOMER "SERVICE".
I ordered 4 peonies - bare root. Today I received my order.
First, the box was damaged. Also it was not the correct size to begin with to ship any bare root plants in and provide packaging to protect the roots. The box was very small and the bare roots were jammed into the box.
I inspected each of them and found that instead of 3 to 5 eyes, they had 1 or 2 eyes. Not acceptable and these should have been inspected before shipping to me.
I've contacted Scheeper's customer service via email to ship these back to them and get a refund.
Bought lily bulbs from Scheepers that were supposed to be fragrant. The website said they are "intoxicatingly fragrant." I planted every single one by my back porch so we could enjoy the fragrance. The lilies have absolutely no fragrance. Called Scheepers and they said that this particular lily has no fragrance. I informed them that their website said that this lily is fragrant. As the website was incorrect (acknowledged by them) I asked for replacement lily bulbs that are fragrant. Even after acknowledging that their website was inaccurate, they refused to give a refund or replacement.
Posted on May 25, 2012, updated June 22, 2012
Last fall we ordered 5 Fritillaria Imperialis bulbs from them, planted taking special care of drainage, black soil, etc. Got one nice plant this spring, no sign of 3 and 1 came up half hearted. Informed John Scheepers by e-mail, got a quick reply asking me to dig down to see what the bulbs looked like. I did, bulb was firm but no sign of roots or growth. Informed the company of that. Todate, no more response. As pricey as these bulbs were, I'd like something more than silence. So no more business from us. btw, Both the bulbs and the one plant really smell like skunk, which was idea, we have trouble with deer and our tulips.
On June 22nd, 2012, Norsk changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
After reading about how other nurseries treat their customers, if bulbs don't sprout, I decided to change my neutral to negative. zprehaps reading the Mass. gardner's comment it it helped?
Placed an order totaling $271.15 three years ago. You need to know that you will have a hard time getting a refund from them for bulbs that don't come up. I will never order expensive bulbs from them again.
Part of the order was for peony bulbs. I planted them in the fall exactly according to their directions. They didn't come up the following summer. I called Scheepers and they said wait another year, sometimes it takes a while. The following year, the peonies still didn't come up, so I called again. They said I must have planted them wrong because otherwise, they would have come up. Would not give a refund or credit or new bulbs.
Quality was not high enough in light of the price. Tulip and daffodil bulbs were OK, but alliums were dehydrated and already sprouting when they arrived. Also, the package of alliums was two short. Customer service said they were in stock and would be sent. Without any further communication, a credit for the missing bulbs appeared on my credit card a few days later. In late fall, credit is not a good substitute for bulbs!
On Sep 3, 2010, CyndeeT Maple Hill, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
AVOID THIS COMPANY
READ their Policy carefully BEFORE spending your Hard earned Money with them... also Known as Van Engelen/JOHN SCHEEPERS.
I spent over $265 on various Allium: ie: GLADIATOR & SCHUBERTII Purple Sensation Pinball Wizard Shearocephalon ,Ambassador, Alopilosum.
I live in Zone 5b/6a. I planted all of the Allium according to the specific guidelines, I am NOT an amateur gardener. Of The Allium that Did perform fine were Purple Sensation Pinball Wizard Shearocephalon ,Ambassador,Alopilosum.
The TWO that did NOT perform were the 25 Gladiator & 25 Schubertii.
After several emails with Customer service Rep CHERIE I was only given a $21 dollar HOUSE CREDIT for $85.00 (part of $265), no offer to reship the NON Performing bulbs or replace with ones that will grow in my zone.
Their guarantee is written carefully and therefore since they say these WILL perform in my zone, her letter stated that they would NOT perform in my zone & that is NOT their problem. SO only buy one or two items and see if they survive you area before purchasing what it says WILL survive your zone only to be told.. TOUGH ..NOT OUR PROBLEM. BOO HISS on them I would prefer to have them replaced with something that will survive, not a peanuts credit. I will have to do business with a more reputable company with a better guarantee. This was a Huge disappointment. I am disgusted with their Customer service. I have never dealt with a company that was not willing to realize a problem and correct the situation. Their solution send me a couple of bucks off my next order.
PLEASE AVOID THEM!!! Do Your Homework =read the Fine print" BOY IT'S FINE" John Sheepers/Van Engelen You are not the business I want to do business with You failed to do the right thing. :(
As a northern gardener, I am unhappy with my experience with Scheepers bulbs. It is mid-Oct and snowing in my growing area. In late Sept, I inquired about a large shipment of bulbs I had ordered during the summer. Scheepers told me the lillies were held up, but agreed to send out the hyacinthoides in advance. I rec'd the hyacinthoides, but then was charged twice for these bulbs. It's been very inconvenient trying to get a refund as they never canceled these bulbs from the original order. I am told I have to wait to receive them and send them back before I am issued a refund. I am already annoyed to have to plant bulbs in the snow. Several years ago I planted Scheepers bulbs that never came up. Other companies sent bulbs to my zone 4 area much earlier. We need time to get bulbs established in cold growing areas.
I have never had such a miserable experience with a company as I have had with John Scheepers.
I believe it was two years ago when I last placed an order with the company. I asked that my debit card be charged immediately as I had had problems the year prior, when the company charged my debit card earlier than the date given. Consequently, a check I had written, was returned due to insufficient funds. I was told by the customer service rep. that they could not charge my card until the time when the bulbs were shipped(months later). I asked her to give me the earliest date that the transaction could possibly take place so that I could mark my day-planner and make certain that the funds would be available. I was given a date with full assurance that the transaction would not take place prior to this. Once again, I incurred several bounced check fees due to the fact that the John Scheepers charge came in early.
It was incredibly frustrating and costly(not to mention embarrassing). I, of course, had to cover not only the costs of the bounced checks with my bank- but with the businesses I had written the checks to. I asked John Scheepers to reimburse me for my bank charges as they had not honored their word, again. They agreed to pay for half the fees.
I have never experienced a company's refusal to charge my card at the time of ordering. Apparently, however, they will accept a check or money order at the time the order is placed. And, in fact, they require it if it is your chosen method of payment. So, this year, I thought I would send a money order to avoid any problems. I hadn't received my annual catalogue so I ordered through their website sometime in June-to no avail. I then left two messages with my request (weeks apart), through their catalogue ordering voice mail. I never received a catalogue or a response. Yesterday morning, I called again to order. I spoke with a human being this time. After confirming all of my information, the customer service rep. asked if she could call me back. I asked her why that would be necessary given that I simply wanted to be sent a catalogue. She told me that they were having computer glitches. I told her I would hold-sensing something was amiss. After putting me on hold several times, finally, another woman came on the line(apparently a supervisor with the company). She told me that it would be better for both of us if I did my bulb buying elsewhere. I asked her why and she told me that it was the president of the company's decision. I requested to speak with the president, but of course her line was busy. I was assured that she would call me right back. I stressed to the supervisor that I would be staying home from work to wait for her call. During the two and a half hours that passed without a return call- I called John Scheepers two other times. The first time I asked for the presidents name and extension, which I was denied, but was forwarded to her voice mail, where I left a message. The second time, I requested to speak with the supervisor who I had originally spoken with. She was "unavailable" so I requested to be forwarded to her voice mail, where I left a message.
Finally, I received a return call from Joanne-apparently the president of the company. The first thing a asked her was why they were unwilling to do business with me. Her response: "You're unhappy and we're unhappy and it would be better for both of us if you did your business elsewhere". This generic mantra was repeated during the conversation. Then I was told that her decision hadn't been final but in light of my "behavior" it was clear that they didn't want to do business with me. When I asked her what "behavior" she was referring to, she said it was my having "demanded" her company cover my bounce check fees and for having "upset" her employees earlier in the morning. She also said that our conversation was the worst she'd ever had.
So this is what I want to say to you President Joanne(who's last name is apparently unavailable to pesky customers):
I didn't "demand" anything. I politely and apologetically requested some compensation for a situation that came out of misinformation from your company-despite my taking every measure to prevent it.
As for my "behavior" yesterday-I was civil, matter of fact, yet persistent with your employees, which I believe, is the only reason I received a return call from you. Perhaps your employees were upset, having been put in the position of having to be dishonest and evasive, in order to do your screening. Especially upsetting given the fact that I didn't simply give up and go away out of complete frustration(which I was tempted to do). Had I not insisted on holding the line yesterday morning, when I called to order a catalogue, I am certain I would have never heard back from you(a computer glitch?).
Had your company had the decency to respond to my catalogue requests(months ago) and at least be honest with me, I could have pursued getting my bulbs elsewhere. But, it's now the middle of August and as past experience proves, it's probably too late to get the bulbs my customers want.
Your expressed trauma of having never had a conversation like ours is something that I'm incredulous to Joanne. If an excitable tone of voice and interruptions constitute the worst conversation of your life-it's because money and power are insulating. But, I don't buy the affected naivety routine. When you treat people the way your company has treated me, it tends to make people angry. I assure you that I was on my best behavior given the circumstances.
I have been professionally gardening for ten years. I deal with many nurseries and businesses and continue to have great relationships with all of them. They are the barometer that I use to measure how I behave and treat people-not you. I have never encountered the poor treatment that I have recieved from your company. And, I will not allow you to manipulate me- the way you attempted to do on the phone yesterday-into making this about me and my "behavior". You should run for public office-you're a natural.
By the way, thanks for reminding me of what a huge successful company you are and how insignificant I am in your whole scheme of things. I think it would behoove you to take a lesson from a company like L.L. Bean-a company that is enormously successful and wealthy, and still manages to make the little guy feel valued and respected. They know it's good for business and it's the right way to treat people.
Good riddance John Scheepers! And thanks to this website for an opportunity to vent.
I placed a very large order, well at least for me, this fall. When the shipment arrived, I was missing 10 blue pearl hyacinth, and several of the other hyacinth bags (all total 20 in all- Pink Pearl, Blue Jacket, and 3 Woodstock)had rotting/moldy bulbs in it. I emailed the company IMMEDIATELY, but I never received any sort of response back.
I just really hate it when companies make it so hard for the customer to be served.
However, all this being said, the other bulbs were in good condition, and I am very excited about seeing them bloom next year.
Last year I ordered 50 scilla peruviana from John Scheepers, mainly because their reputation was listed as extra special on Daves Garden. The plants never came up, and when I called their nursery they said that these plants were a native of South America and normally didnít come up during the normal planting time in the United States, and asked me to wait until this spring to order a replacement. So far nine months these plants have not shown any sign of life, and I have dug in my garden trying to see if perhaps some of these bulbs were still dormant in the ground, but there is nothing there. When I called John Scheepers back to complain they told me that moles had probably eaten up my bulbs, and that I should call an exterminator and re-order in the fall.
On Sep 11, 2003, celeste1 Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:
I had been a satisfied customer with Scheepers for years and they have a good reputation and good products. However, their customer service leaves a lot to be desired. Last year I ordered Casa Rosa lilies. When they bloomed it was obvious that they were not casa rosa. Wrong color, wrong shape for a longi-asiatic lily. When I explained this to them, I was told that since no one else had complained that they received incorrect bulbs for casa rosa, that it must be my soil pH and they would not replace the bulbs. My soil pH has nothing to do with the fact that they packed and sent me the wrong lily bulbs. It is very disappointing that a company of this caliber, who guarantees to send the correct bulbs, does not honor its word and obviously could care less about satisfied customers. This is the first time I've had a problem with them and how very sad that they choose not to correct their mistake.