I placed an order with Van Bourgondien on October 3rd for a poppy, foxtail lilies and hosta, as well as another order October 16th for Bearded Iris (their end of season sale)
Well...Its November 12th now .. I have 2 inches of snow on the ground. The poppy arrived last week but I have no lilies, no iris and no hosta I will plant them when ever they do arrive (I pre-dug the holes and have thawed soil to fill them) but I do not expect much survival
Learned a lesson on this - next time I will check Dave's Garden reviews before ordering.
On Nov 12, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On Nov 16, 2013 2:44 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. Have you received your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check into this for you."
On Oct 26, 2013, DanSpitz_Guitar Bellport, NY wrote:
Awful....I ordered from them....after I ordered from them, the email I received from them mentioned that the items would ship in about 4+ weeks....yet I was already in prime bulb planting season, and 4+ weeks from now is "Frost City" where I live....I realized, after reading reviews of the company, that this was a DUD of a company...I called the company and cancelled out...why wait WEEKS (or more) to have your item shipped, when you can have your item shipped from a different company almost immediately?...this company was giving me flashbacks of another company, Michigan Bulb...they seem to operating in the same bizzarro fashion...find a better company than this one...
On Oct 26, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On Nov 16, 2013 3:21 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
We appreciate your posting. We use the USDA shipping chart so we know the best time to ship our products. I apologize for the delay. "
On Sep 19, 2013, carolmo Olathe, KS (Zone 5a) wrote:
Took a chance and ordered fringed coral lace gladiolus and a lavender daylily. The gladiolus bloomed pink - not coral (had several times before and know what the correct one looks like). Will not know until next year if daylily is also mismarked. Contacted them - they gave me a code to use with another order. Last year, black landini asiatic lily bloomed orange - they also gave me a code to use with next order (but the code did not work, so I did not order then). They do not refund. You must order more and get stuck with a shipping charge. Never, never again. Good grief - why can they not send the correct items? If the daylily is wrong too, I will be screaming.
On Sep 19, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for letting us know about the problem with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and we will take care of these problems for you."
I ordered 12 items in May and they shipped 8 of the items in June.
Today I looked up my Order Status on their website and it said one of the 4 remaining items had been cancelled but made no mention of the other 3 items that I have email confirmation of having ordered in May.
I called Customer Service and the first person I spoke to said she didn't know why the one item was cancelled but the other 3 items were out of stock. I asked why I was able to order out of stock items? Why these items weren't showing up on the Order Status page? And why I hadn't received notice that 4 of my 12 items would not be shipped? She again said she didn't know so I asked to speak to a manager.
The manager (Sheryl) said she doesn't know why 3 of the items were not showing up in my Order Status on their webpage but that she could see them in her system. She also said that they send notices when items are out of stock -- implying that it is somehow a failure on my end in receiving no notice.
I asked how I can have confidence in ordering through them again given that so many items were out of stock, she doesn't know what is wrong with their Order Status webpage or their notification system, and is not communicating an intent to find out? Her response...I don't know.
Enormously unhelpful. I do not recommend this company if you want to receive more than 2/3 of your order or any semblance of customer service.
On Sep 11, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
I was looking for daffodil bulbs to order for the fall and reached this company's page by referral. It was July and they were running July specials. The problem began when i started looking at the different subtitles of the daffodils such as pinks and doubles. I found they had a buyers favorite and had a price and a buy button. When i went to the cart to look at what i had listed to purchase the number of bulbs in the package had changed. with 50 to 75 % fewer bulbs for the price quoted. I emailed the company and they offered me a special offer which was less than what was on the web page. When i called their customer representative offered no explaination or adjustment. This seems to be bait and switch at its worse and completely illegal.
When i checked the web site the next day after not hearing anything back from the company they had changed the pages i had pointed out but there were other pages that still showed this misrepresentation. I have copies of emails that have copies of the pages in question. There is no way i would deal with this company with such shady business practices.
On Aug 19, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On Aug 23, 2013 8:59 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback and I apologize for the confusion over the pricing on the web site. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and make sure this is taken care of."
On Aug 14, 2013, highlassie95 Simi Valley, CA wrote:
My Grandmother, mom and I placed an order together. Here was our order and what happened with each flower/plant:
-BLEEDING HEART - Blooomed nicely
-ORIENTAL LILY CASA BLANCA - Bloomed nicely
-DAHLIA NICK SR. - Bloomed nicely
-HARDY GERANIUM JOHNSON'S - Got Purple instead of Blue flowers when it finally bloomed.
-BLUE HARDY GERANIUM LAVENDER PINWHEEL - Bloomed nicely
-HARDY GERANIUM PRATENSE SPLISH SPLASH - Got plain white flowers when it bloomed
-YELLOW GINGER LILY- Did not bloom at all
So 42% of our order was unsuccessful. I think that is a high percentage. I was disappointed when my geraniums blossomed and were not what I ordered. I will probably order from them in the future because I have had great experience with them in the past with tulips, daffodils, and irises, I guess maybe just stay away from the geraniums. They are unpredictable. Even the ones that blossomed nicely didn't have anywhere near as spectacular a color as shown in the photo.
On Aug 14, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On Aug 15, 2013 11:10 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your feedback we appreciate you letting us know about any problems you have with your orders. The Johnson's Geranium usually bloom a purple/blue color, they are not a true blue. The Splish Splash should have a purple color as well as the white. I will have one of our customer service representatives contact you for your account information and we can reship the items that did not perform as they should have."
I was SO disappointed with this company! I placed two separate orders, both in March the 8th and the 21st. The first was tuberose, summer cheer daffodils. Lord Lieutenant anemones. The second was Lord Lieutenant anemones, purple ranunculus and mixed ranunculus. The ranunculus was for my mother for Mother's Day. Well, Mother's Day came and went with no order arriving. The anticipated delivery date kept getting pushed back every week - finally in mid June I lost my patience because the order for tuberose was cancelled as they were out of stock. Really? You couldn't have figured that out 3 months ago when you put it on sale? So I sent a strongly worded letter letting them know they dropped the ball on the ranunculus, and seeing as I had already paid for the tuberose I wanted my money back. They did respond same day - and my money was refunded to my checking account the next day. My ranunculus order magically appeared in the mail 2 days later. However, they had substituted my anemones I wanted with blue and white anemones.
Never again will I purchase anything from a nursery that claims they have the right to substitute items without notice.
On Jul 30, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On Aug 6, 2013 4:12 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
I apologize for the problems you had with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and see what we can do to rectify the problem."
First, everything charged on credit card upfront, months ago. No one else does this, they charge as they ship. Second, shipping in mid June to St. Louis? It's pushing 100F; lilies in bloom everywhere here. Third, quietly updating statuses to 'cancelled'. No email, no offer of replacements. (Of course I still get a daily junk mail regarding their special deals). Stuff just out of stock, which I had to learn by going back to the catalog. It was not offered up as a cancellation reason. Fourth, $51 worth of elephant ears just dropped off the order. Of course, I was charged for them, but now they've apparently been cancelled along with everything else, not apparent on invoice. So, approximately $240 worth ordered, only $85 shipped. Amount credited back to my card does not match missing stock. Everything else now out of stock, almost all out lilies, and all my elephant ears. Got the beds tilled up and waiting, now too late to find good stock at local nurseries. NEVER AGAIN, I would rate them right there with Michigan Bulb CO, the 'dead stick' people. I don't care how beautiful the catalog is. If you can't provide the product, don't offer it. If indeed they are located in Ohio, I could have driven there in late April/early May and picked the stuff up. It would have gotten a proper start, although it remains to be seen whether the few items that we actually received are going to grow. Hard to say, now that the tender stuff has to face extreme heat. I would suggest a revision of the zones shipping schedule. But I will not be around next year to find out. Absolutely the worst online/mail order experience with a nursery, ever. I wish I had read here first, live and learn.
On Jun 20, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On Jun 20, 2013 11:27 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
I apologize for the problems you have had with your order. We would be happy to check this out for you and make sure you are taken care of. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information."
I ordered from Van Bourgondien for the first time this year. My order was fairly small and late in the season (May 1), but everything was listed as in stock, and my order confirmation said the estimated delivery date was 5/15-6/5. One item, 3 egret flowers, shipped on time, but they failed to grow. Everything else was delayed. I received a couple of geraniums Friday, but I am still waiting for some hostas and irises. I just noticed today that the White Feather hostas which were the primary reason I placed this order were quietly canceled at some point. A refund was issued to my credit card, but since pricing information was not included in my order confirmation, I have no way to verify that it was the correct amount.
I probably won't bother with this company again.
On Jun 17, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On Jun 20, 2013 11:24 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
We appreciate you letting us know about any problem you have with your order. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and check this out for you."
On Jun 12, 2013, AprilsWin24 Bowleys Quarters, MD wrote:
Posted on May 20, 2013, updated June 12, 2013
Last winter, I ordered Forget Me Nots for spring shipping. I kept getting notices that my shipping was going to be delayed. This is understandable since they ship based on the best time for each person's zone, however, when an order did arrive for me, it was a shipment of 36 gladiolus meant for someone else. That person was sent my Forget Me Nots. When I contacted them they told me my plant was no longer available and I should just keep the gladiolus as a consolation prize- their words. No refund offered or given. This winter, I ordered pagan dance reblooming bearded iris- probably should have learned my lesson the first time. When the fans arrived they were tagged as Pagan Dance. Now, that they have started blooming it is obvious they sent the wrong flower. Pagan Dance is a black and deep purple iris. The iris I have is Let's Boogie- a purple and white/yellow bearded iris that doesn't rebloom. No apology or offer of a solution from them.
On June 12th, 2013, AprilsWin24 added the following:
Update: I was promised a refund was being processed and would be seen in 2-3 weeks. Well, its been 3 weeks and the refund hasn't shown up. I also just found out the lily's I ordered are also incorrect. They were supposed to be a lime green Trebbiano Lily and are instead a pale yellow lily. On Jun 12, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On May 22, 2013 11:30 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your post. I apologize for the mix up with your order and there should have been a refund for the items you received incorrect. Also a reship should be processed for the wrong iris. One of our customer service representatives will contact you for your account information and take care of this."
Posted on August 23, 2012, updated March 27, 2013
Posted on August 13, 2012, updated August 23, 2012
Posted on June 29, 2012, updated August 13, 2012
I agree with many of the negative comments noted on the forum already although they have been pretty reasonable with replacements. I bought from them years ago and then this spring with two significant orders. I've called them 5 or 6 times already regarding the first order because of wrong shipments and wrong # of items. Most calls I was put on hold for 15-40 min. (They don't respond to emails -- you immediately get a ticket # but nothing happens). Now I have to call them because of problems with plant growth : I bought 3 types of trumpet lilies (5 bulbs ea) and for each type, only 2 or 3 of the 5 have buds on them. I bought 18 oriental lilies, 15 sprouted and of the ones that are growing it looks like very few have buds on them. I bought 40 lily of the valley and less than a quarter have sprouted (almost 2 mo). I bought 6 Virginia bluebells -- one was rotten on arrival, 2 of the 5 sprouted but never made it past the one-leaf stage. Only 1 of 4 ostrich ferns sprouted ; hoping they are just slow. A tree peony I planted 6 weeks ago hasn't sprouted (hopefully it's just slow because it is bare-root). It is curious that in contrast to other companies which ship bare roots in the fall, Van Bourgondien shipped them in the spring-early summer.
After much debate (because I didn't want to be put on hold) I called them about the tree peony, to my surprise the customer rep says they have no record of my purchases. After a bit of back and forth, I got a little annoyed (the rep kept saying "let me tell you...ma'am) and asked to speak to her supervisor, which is when I learned of the changing of hands and they have NO records of orders. Additionally all of their catalog#s have changed - no wonder the rep has no idea what I am talking about (but instead of 'fessing up about the new ownership, she kept ma'amming me).
I also agree with someone's point about the company charging our credit cards for the full order even when half the shipment isn't planned for several months. I don't know of any other online company that does that.
Since half of my order is still pending (fall shipment), I hope this changing of hands isn't going to derail that order.
On August 13th, 2012, Lee21 added the following:
Still maintaining a negative rating. The company rep sent me an email to which I responded but never heard back.
I was supposed to get a refund for a plant when I called on 5-28 that has not come through. I got an email confirmation on 6-18 and called again on 7-19 at which point they said it's coming. Now 2.5 months later, still nothing.
Still have to deal with them regarding a second large order (many plants never even sprouted or were rotten on arrival).On August 23rd, 2012, Lee21 added the following:
I dreaded having to call van B regarding my second order but finally had to bite the bullet. Half of the plants I ordered either did not produce buds (lilium), did not sprout at all (lily of the valley) or were DOA (Virginia blue bells). I thought now it is the end of August, surely they have their records straightened out (WRONG!) and that they can send replacement plants for fall planting (WRONG!). As far as I can tell, they are not making any attempt to transfer old orders (the last one I placed was in 5-2012 so that should have been under new management already!) and they are not honoring their warranty. So I was told today that they will not be sending replacements (even though the items are in stock for fall planting) and the only recourse is refund. But the refund is not fair exchange! First of all the prices have all gone up considerably. For example lily of the valley was $7.5 for 10 plants when I ordered them in 5-2012, now its $14.99, a 200% increase. So a refund will not buy me the same number of plants that I paid for. Second, the refund doesn't cover the shipping cost. Since I want to sever my relationship with van B ASAP, I opted for refund. We'll see if they actually post the refund this time.
Bottom line, I will NEVER buy from van B again.On March 27th, 2013, Lee21 added the following:
It's spring and I am finally ready to use the credit that they issued me for $50.97. First I found I cannot use it online, so I had to call and waited for 10 min before someone picked up. Then they couldn't find the credit memo and put me on hold for another 10 min or so. Came back and said yes they found it but it was for $50.79. I said, it's a small amount but it should be $50.97 (it's the principle of the matter) - I can email them a photo of the postcard they send. The customer service person was a bit rude and said "if it is such a big deal, I'll take 18cents off". Well 18 cents here and there could amount to quite a bit. Besides, a company has to be honest to generate loyal customers. The customer service rep was a bit huffy for the remainder of the phone call (e.g. asking her if I will receive a confirmation via email... etc).
Bottom line, I am done with this company, new management or not. Plenty of other companies around.On Mar 27, 2013, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your posting and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are now under new ownership and a customer service representative will contact you for more information. Or if you prefer you can call us at 800-622-9997 and of our of customer service representatives will be happy to help."
On Aug 14, 2012, pyracantha San Francisco, CA wrote:
I know it's tempting to order from them with their discount incentives and I have been guilty of purchasing from them when I knew that I would be taking a chance but this year I have put myself on a K Van B. ban.
I've ordered from both their wholesale and regular sites for years and for years had mixed results with the quality of the bulbs and their service. The biggest problem was always delayed shipping or completely lost orders. I order for my clients so I spend a lot of money here and place my orders very, very early but still 75% of the time they failed me.
Last year they simply broke the camel's back which ended up costing me a lot of money and delayed planting which made work look less than what my clients had come to expect. I consistently called to check on my order and was told they would be shipped "any day now" for weeks and weeks. Then finally they said they lost my order so I ended up frantically buying from retail places in town that had limited quantities and selection. They said I should put a new order in so I did put in a new but smaller order for the items I couldn't find in town and when the bulbs did finally arrive late they were shriveled and moldy. I was unable to get them to do anything about it while being put on hold for 20 minutes at a time.
So just bite the bullet and don't be tempted by the prices and pictures. Just don't do it.
On Aug 14, 2012, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On Aug 16, 2012 1:03 PM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Thank you for your posting and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are now under new ownership and a customer service representative will contact you for more information. Or if you prefer you can call us at 800-622-9997 and of our of customer service representatives will be happy to help.
Wouldn't be surprised if they go bankrupt - lousy customer service. I had ordered in the past but this last year, a small order in the Fall 2011 didn't arrive until after Thanksgiving! Some of the tulips were rather small and a lot had mold. I planted them anyway and lo and behold, they were almost all mislabeled - lavender and purples tulips came up red with yellow edges, a purple mixture sported such a range of variety it was obviously the wrong bulbs. And some of the flowers were about 1 1/2" while others were normal 4" tulips. I sent photos this Spring in an email, pics from their catalogue and pics of what came up - and my auto response from the complaint was supposed to be answered in 3 days, 3 weeks later nothing has happened. So just avoid, shop instead at Brent and Becky's bulbs!
On May 11, 2012, StacyP9 somewherein, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
Horrible experience. I ordered three plants, a blue poppy, a canna and ranunculus. Shipping was delayed repeatedly. When the plants finally arrived I was shocked that someone would have the gall to pack them up to fill an order. There were two leaves on the tiny poppy. Both were gray black and rotting. They canna was a tiny shoot, also with two tiny leaves,with mold and rot. I've ordered plants on line for 20 years and I can honestly say this is the worst experience I have ever had.
On May 4, 2012, WVsusie Corporation of Ranson, WV wrote:
I have ordered from this company for years, with mixed results. In early March, I ordered dahlias for a cutting garden and rhubarb among other things. I asked if the dahlias could be shipped soon as I wanted to start them indoors for earlier blooms. They assured me, yes. The were not received until 4/27. Same day, I got an email saying rhubarb no longer available. I noticed the refund was not posted to my CC. I googled the company for the ph# to call them and found all the bankruptcy info!!! Called them....on hold for 40 minutes....and when I politely explained that I was looking for a refund....CSR hemmed and hawed....and disconnected me!!! Called CC and they gave me a credit for the appropriate amount. I guess I won't be ordering 500 paperwhites for Christmas from them this year!
I have read many of the most recent reviews and I thank those who took the time to type with such detail! I have had the same experience! I placed a rather large order, several of the items never came up, some even had mold when they arrived, and ever since I have been battling with "Mike" to get a simple replacement! They insist, rather "HE" insists that I am only entitled to an $8 credit (it should be more than $30) and then no matter what I choose for that $8, the shipping and handling is $8.75! I chose a $5 item and it's $8.75 for S&H even though the "postage" was only $3.10 on a box full that arrived! They're making you pay for the cost of the plant again yet they advertise full free replacement! I've written back and for at least 20 e-mails now and this "Mike" person lies and lies and lies. First he says he WILL refund the S&H then nothing for a month. Then he sent an e-mail stating "you will receive a letter with a pin number to be used for your credit in the mail." 2 months later, nothing came. I wrote again. He responded, "Sorry, I was really busy and had to work to get this resolved." Really? Another month and I finally wrote, "Just send me the pin in an e-mail!" He wrote back with a credit and pin and after I asked for the S&H credit because it's only fair, he wrote that he agreed and would. Three more weeks, nothing. I wrote again asking for the credit(S). He wrote back that my original $8 was there and another $2.55 for S&H! I asked where that number came from he wrote, "I had to beg to get that!"
This company lost my business for good along with many of my bloggers who have been waiting to see how this gets resolved! I asked for escalation many times but he does nothing, only refuses! I hope they do go out of business because with customer service like I got, no one deserves to be issuing paychecks to anyone! :-( TWO GREEN THUMBS DOWN for this one!
On Apr 30, 2012, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On May 15, 2012 9:51 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
Where I come from stating company policies is not considered lying. I could publish the entire email string for you to see, I will not though, I know what it says and my manager knows what it says, that's enough for me to sleep well at night. This customer did get what she wanted in the end and then some; I don't see a follow-up from her though, funny eh? It's just another case of the squeaky wheel get’s the grease. Too bad customers that have good and positive things to say, rarely take the time to post them (I do see a couple of nice ones here, thank you); I guess they are content to wake up and smell the garden's fresh aromas and enjoy the blooms."
Last year, 2011, I ordered a number of dahlia bulbs and other plants from this company. Although the dahlias did grow except for one, out of the 5 that did grow, 4 were mislabeled and ended up being the wrong color, hot pink instead of shades of orange. This year, I placed an order on February 10, 2012 for some phlox and hibiscus, and just now received an email stating that the hibiscus was out of stock and that part of the order cancelled. (on April 26, 2012) I believe in 2nd chances, but this company will not get my business again.
Posted on November 29, 2011, updated April 26, 2012
Posted on June 8, 2009, updated November 29, 2011
I ordered peony and 6 lily bulbs this spring.
The packing is not that good. The box is a bit oversized. One root of peony broke when I got the shipment.
The peony is growing fast at the beginning. Now the leaves are getting thicker and bigger, but growing slowly.
The 3 gold stargazer lilies are healthy and producing bubs.
2 elodie asiatic lilies are growing healthy. One didn't grow, but I got the replacement within a week, They sent me a bag of 3 bulbs. One replacement is shooting out.
I have to call them for replacement because they didn't reply my emails.
The shipping charge is so high, so I only order when it provides special offer.
On November 29th, 2011, eyfng changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
Based on my shopping experience with this shop in the last few years, I have noticed that the quality of bulbs are not good. Sometimes, they are not true to name.
I ordered serveral Glamini gladious on 2009, received initial shippment in 3/2010. The naomi and zoe didn't grow well, none of the naomi produced flower. Received replacement in 3/2011. Naomi turned out to be misty red instead of purple and white. Zoe turned out to be 9 in orange red and 1 in pale pink instead of peach and yellow.
Requested for second replacement. The sales representative Toni gave me the hard time for the replacement. She said they don't carry these colors. The items were already replaced once. The company is losing money for second replacement. The internet doesn't reflect the true stock of merchandize, they sometimes may still have stock in the shop, ...
Zoe is out of stock, I don't want to wait for another year to get the replacement, so I changed the color to Charlotte. Received replacement on 6/2011.
Naomi turned out to be pink, only 3 produced flower, but only one bloomed. The subsititution Charlotte have only 5 produced flower, but they didn't grow well.
So, I have neve seen the real Naomi. I totally waste time and money on Glamini gladious. I give up on them. I am good at planting gladious.
The first shipment of Charlotte on 3/2011 didn't grow well on the second year.
The German breaded Iris Pink Perfection, one turned out to be Edith Wolford in purple and yellow, the other one has not produced flower yet after one and half year planting. The Motherearth Iris, one produced a flower on the first year, the other one has not produced any flower yet after one and half year planting.
I usually made an order when it is 50% off, because their original price is almost double the regular price in the other places. Their shipping charge is always based on the original price which is very high.
I will not dare to place new orders with this place in future. Too much time on replacement or mjerchandize credit, it is not worth it. On April 26th, 2012, eyfng added the following:
As the other said, STAY AWAY from DB due the following reasons:
1) payment in full before shipping
2) keep on delaying delivery date for spring items without notifying customers
3) products not true to name
4) refuse for replacements
5) NO response to customer email
6) long waiting time for telephone service
7) customer representative not honest, some are very rude
8) previously mentioned, high charges on products and shipping
9) previously mentioned, weak products take long time to develop
I ordered the Hosta White Feather last year; it is supposed to be shipped to zone 8 where I am living now in March this year. DB kept delaying the delivery date from 3/5 to 3/25, then to 4/25.
I emailed them in early April; the reply was that item will be shipped once they got it from the supplier in Holland. I emailed back to say that I don’t want to receive my spring item in summer.
Two days later, I received the shipment confirmation for the Hosta White Feature via USPS. How come suddenly they have the stock to ship to me?
I received one with ¼” of sprout and one with roots only with no sprout. I planted them in the self-watering container with new planter mix from Gardeners Supply to make sure that they will grow first.
I emailed DB to ask whether the one without sprout will grow or not, NO RESPONSE so far. However, it is producing sprouts now; I hope that it will be true to name.
The one with sprout is growing to an inch tall now. The young leaves are in green with darker green in the center instead of WHITE. The leaves are smooth without veins showing as the picture on the internet. Yesterday I checked the online product description on DB’s website, Dave’s Garden’s panfile and the other places that carry this product.
Dutch Bulbs online description:
“As it appears the leaves are completely white. With maturity, streaks of green begin to appear and lavender flowers rise from the top.”
Customer Comments and Reviews
Romi October 6, 2011
Hosta White Feather
My plant started out with white leaves now their green. Will they go back to white next spring?
The Bulb Lady Reply October 7, 2011
Hosta White Feather
Yes, each season the leaves start out white but as they mature they turn green.
Pictures showing in Dave’s Garden panfile are white first when just grow.
Breck’s online description:
White Feather Hosta: Unique white leaves are a welcoming surprise as they emerge in spring. As it matures, the leaves transform into a blend of green and cream. Lavender flowers illuminate your garden in midsummer.
I called DB yesterday 3 times to ask for replacement. After waiting for almost 10 minutes I hung up the phone for the 2 times. I called the third time, after waiting for 10 minutes, I was able to talk to a female representative.
Her answer was:
1) I don’t know when the leaves will turn white.
2) I can not give you the replacement because you have just received the items not long ago. (Item was received on 4/13/2012.)
3) We may not have the item in stock. You call back in June. We will send you the replacement if it is really not true to name by then.
I then emailed DB to complaint about this with NO RESPONSE yet.
I suspect that DB has never had Hosta White Feather in stock this spring; DB just shipped me another hosta. If the company is going bankruptcy, I don’t think that I will get the replacement next year.
As mentioned previously, the German Iris “Pink Attraction” ordered from DB took 2 years to produce flowers in purple with yellow instead of soft pink. The wrong color spoils my color arrangement for my German Iris flower bed. It is wasting my money and the time to grow the product. How can I ask for replacement after 1 year guarantee?
I will never have business with DB. Dear gardeners, please be smart to stay away from Dutch Bulbs.
I order 2 kinds of bulbs for my wife for Christmas 2011 and was told that the items wouldn't be shipped until January. I have since been in contact with them twice and still not delivery and its almost May.
I urge people to stay away because it's obvious that there's a problem with the company and that they're either out of inventory of they're just plan bad at business.
Either way, I will never purchase anything from them again.
On Apr 16, 2012, smitty1931 Suncoast Estates, FL wrote:
Ordered dahlia tubers on Jan. 4th . As of April 16th have not received tubers. Terrible customer service! It appears the Dutch Bulb Co. has taken over. I wonder if they will honor my order? I ordered dahlias from Eden Bros at the same time and they were delivered March 21 and are up and growing.
On Feb 25, 2012, HeidiNH Brentwood, NH (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on July 19, 2011, updated February 25, 2012
At first I was hopeful, but I should have known that holding up my order for one fall bulb was a bad sign. Of all of the things I ordered, there isn't much that has lived or thrived. The foxtail lilies had only one sprout which has subsequently died. The 12 Blue and White Windflowers were planted and only 4 white ones came up. The iris has yet to even think about blooming. I contacted the company about the foxtails and the windflowers, the windflowers were out of stock so they issued a store credit. The foxtail lilies were replaced (but only four bulbs, not five, which was in the original order), and none of THOSE have surfaced either. I contacted them about the missing bulb and was sarcastically and condescendingly lectured, I was told told that they usually only replace what didn't work, so even by sending me four instead of five, I actually got more than I paid for because I had said that two out of the five had shown 'signs of life', when in fact not one of them has grown beyond a few inches. BTW I am not a beginner gardener, this isn't any mistake on my end. I think when the customer contacts the company about THEIR bad merchandise, they have no room to be snarky, condescending, or rude. I asked for the name of Harold's supervisor, meaning I wanted to communicate with her, he said "Her name is Beverly and she'll tell you exactly the same thing". I'll tell you something, Harold, good job losing a customer, you can bet this is the last time I will ever bother with this place. Customer Service training, anyone?
On February 25th, 2012, HeidiNH added the following:
Whoo. Bankruptcy, big surprise. So much for that merchandise credit I was offered for the anemones that never sprouted.
On Feb 24, 2012, Scepter72 Casco, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:
They charge as much or more for their perennials than what I can purchase locally or on other websites. Their plants are extremely small, poorly packaged, and most don't survive the first 6 months. I would never purchase from this company again.
Well, I see from this site that they are filing for bankruptcy, and I'm not surprised. I guess I'm out my $83.
I ordered plants and bulbs in July of 2011. I asked that they be shipped before the end of September, as our average first frost date in Cheyenne, WY is 9/30. Their acknowledgement stated ship dates on/before 9/14 and 9/27. My first shipment was packed 10/17, and I received it 10/28. The poppies were back-ordered, and I received them on 11/1 in 8" of snow. In addition, one supposed pkg of 3 Black-eyed Susans only had one plant, and all 7 plants in the three "pkgs of 3" were about 1/2" x 1". I wrote to them in complaint on 11/1 and received an e-mail stating that I would hear from them in 3 business days. I heard nothing further. I wrote again on 11/8 and they e-mailed back that they were behind, and would get to me in 4-5 days. As of February I have heard nothing from them.
I rather doubt that poppies, camassia, and black-eyed Susans are going to survive being planted in half-frozen ground in the snow.
I had been ordering from them for years, but obviously I'm done with them. I'm entering this comment on the chance that they restructure and try again. At the very least, make small orders so when you have to write them off you aren't out a lot of money.
Have ordered numerous times from van Bourgondein. I don't remember a single shipment which did not contain dead plants. We ordered several well known daylilies. If alive, plants were so small (new seedling) that they took 2 sometimes 3 years to bloom. When they finally bloom, rarely are they the varietiey purchased. Classic example: 3 years after planting seedling size Night Embers, it bloomed last summer and was variety Night Beacon, which we already had in our garden. Same thing with 2 other daylilies. The catalog looks beautiful. The company needs to invest more and focus on quality control. When plants are received that are mushy or fungus covered, those conditions existed at the time of shipment and should have been culled out. I've written this company off my list as has everyone in our local daylily club based on similar experiences.
I recently ordered tulip bulbs from Dutch Bulbs. When they arrived, over half of them were mildewed. Since it was December,heat was not the cause of the problem. I am still waiting for a call back from them.
On Dec 9, 2011, HouseofFlowers ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:
I was initially very excited when I received a catalog and visited the website. This is my first purchase experience with Van Bourgondien.
I have a specific and limited budget for my gardening. I placed an online order after hours, and shortly after I hit the confirmation button, I realized I had erred twice in my selections. (example: I ordered purple Sensation Alliums instead of Giant Purple Sensation Alliums). The company was having a very limited buy one get two free sale. I ordered several items other than the alliums.
As soon as I realized my mistakes which was shortly after placing my order, I sent the company an email requesting the changes to my order.
Later the next morning, I received a response indicating that my order would be cancelled because they cannot make changes to the "buy one get two free sale" items. I was okay with that. I figured I would simply re-order my selections.
Just to make sure my order was cancelled (nothing had yet been shipped) I called Van Bourgondien.
To my astonishment, I was told that my credit card had been billed, that my order was not cancelled as the email had indicated, but had been placed on hold. I then asked that the order be cancelled and my money refunded but I was told that if I wanted a refund it would take a couple of days to refund money to my credit card because they were busy. I have no idea if the sale prices would be in effect by the time the refund goes through (If it goes through).
While on the phone, I explained that I really didn't want to miss the sale, and that my credit card could not accommodate a second order. I then provided my phone number, requesting a call back. (I was not given a time frame for the call back....but I did ask for one.) Two days later, no callback, no refund.
This does not amount to good customer service. I do not like that I was told my order had been cancelled when it was not. Additionally, I have already had my credit card billed although nothing is being shipped, yet refunding my card in a timely fashion seems problematic.
I wish I had read the feedback on this board before ordering, I could have avoided all of this trouble.
On Aug 8, 2011, loveplantsalot Bear Valley Springs, CA wrote:
I originally ordered about $300 worth of bulbs and plants. Bulbs arrived looking ok, but the other plants were minscule and dried out. Most disappointing was the Echinacea (Coneflower) collection-$152.00 for 18 plants. Each came the size of a toothpick and 2/3 were dead.
I notified the company, they sent replacements. Same thing! Two were about 3" high, the rest teeny-tiny and dried up. Of course none thrived, no matter how much TLC I gave the (almost invisible) plants.
I also ordered four collections of Re-blooming German Irises. "Pink Attraction" (supposed to be baby pink but was peach colored when it bloomed)."Victoria Falls" supposed to be blue-bird blue, but the bulbs they sent bloomed a variety of purples, some bi-color. Obviously NOT the colors I ordered. "Pass the Wine" (burgundy) turned out pale lavender, and only ONE of the "Orange Harvest" bulbs bloomed orange! It's as if they kept all the iris bulbs in a barrel and just send you whatever they grab.
I sent them a letter about what happened, they issued a store credit for about $32, not anywhere near what I had spent. And wouldn't you know? A minimum order is $50, so I had to order more plants, PLUS shipping! What a rip-off. I'll never buy from k.van Bourgondien & sons (KVBWholesale) again.
Posted on May 28, 2011, updated July 28, 2011
Last yeart I ordered 2 plants--an amaryllis which was supposed to bloom in December, but did not bloom until March. and an echinacea. The latter was a scrawny plant which did not grow, nor survive the winter. Last week I received a replacement plant which was dead--leaves completely wilted with the root ball totally dried out. It was soaaked in water then planted, but has no signs of new growth. For what I paid, I would expect better quality plants than that.
On July 28th, 2011, Buster2 added the following:
They are now offering a credit toward my "next" order, which I won't do because it won't even begin cover the cost for a replacement plant. I will not do business with this company ever again.
Oh how I wished I had checked the Watchdog before I ordered last year, but I was desperate to get bulbs late in the fall season for my newly planted garden! I placed 3 separate orders in fall of 2010.
The first order arrived and most of the bulbs were mush, having obviously been frozen. When I called CS, they were pleasant and agreed to send replacements immediately. Placed a second order of mostly perennials, and while they arrived unfrozen, they looked distinctly substandard. Planted them anyway and then placed a 3rd order of bulbs, taking advantage of the 2-day shipping special for the price of regular shipping so I could get them in the ground before Christmas. I am in zone 8, so I can plant late. I didn't receive them in 3 days, by which time they had closed for the holidays and there was no way to contact them and they don't answer e-mails. My order finally arrived more than a week later.
Since then, of the 32 items I ordered (bulb sets and perennials) only 17 either came up or were the correct variety. I requested credit on June 8, 2011 and when I sent a follow-up message on the 28th, I got a reply saying they were very busy and would get to it as soon as they could, and then requested that when making claims in the future (!) that I not combine the orders. Apparently the table I sent listing the item number, name, and associated order numbers was too much for them.
It is now more than 6 weeks since I requested credit and have heard nothing. Don't be suckered in by their low prices, unless you really don't care what you get or by when. When I get my credit I am going to use it up on cheap and disposable bulbs and then be done with them.
A substantial number of irises ordered in August arrived last week of October - too late for planting in my area - and they were all completely dried out, brown, totally dead. Contacted customer services immediately, who suggested that I plant them anyway and if they did not come up in the spring they would replace them. Anyone who provides such poor merchandise and then treats me like a fool no longer gets my business.
I bought lily Monte Negro last fall and planted it. Out of 5 lilies, I got two (2) 7" lily instead of 48" tall so I called the CS and they replace the 3 that did not grow. I received the replacement planted it and now they bloom, ( WRONG COLOR ) Instead of deep red lilies, these are orange lilies. I called the CS and they said that ---WE ALREADY REPLACE THIS WITH OUR WARRANTY--- WE CANNOT HELP ANYMORE. Just because I bought the flowers with coupon, ($10) when I sign up for newsletter, they will not give me a credit...I DO NOT WANT CREDIT, I WANT WHAT I BOUGHT 5 MONTE NEGRO RED LILIES not orange not pink. Yes they replaced the lily but it's the wrong color and they want me to just shut up because THEY ALREADY REPLACED IT (WITH THE WRONG COLOR). Bottom line they want you to buy their product BUT when you need replacement they want you to just be happy that they replace it, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHETHER IT'S THE RIGHT ONE they replace it so JUST SHUT UP. THAT IS JUST PLAIN BS. STAY AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY.
I ordered a canna. It arrived rotten. I contacted the company and they did replace the roots. One of the replacement plants was rotten and one has grown but the living plant is NOT a Red Furturity canna. Additionally quite some time ago I ordered Little Business day lillies. They are diseased with LEAF STREAK. Now my healthy day lillies are diseased. Stay away from these guys.
Beware of purchasing clearance plants!!! You will only receive a merchandise credit if the plants do not survive.
I purchased 6 Himalayan Blue Poppies and 3 Pulmonaria Raspberry Splash. The plants were packed well but upon opening the Himalayan Poppies all six appeared quite dead. The leaves look like they were freeze dried. A document came with the items indicating that if they look dead, they are only dormant. I should have sent them back but I would have had to pay the postage and would have still received a merchandise credit. I called the company and they were scheduled to send me 6 new plants. I was later e-mailed that they were sold out. I called again and was advised that I could not get a refund, only a merchandise credit. I asked if anyone inspected the plant before they are shipped. I was advised that when you buy clearance plants that some of them don't live. So basically, I felt that they intentionally shipped me 6 dead plants.
Don't be lured in by low prices.
On Jun 15, 2011, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
"On Jun 16, 2011 8:36 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) responded with:
If you were to read the terms of sale on our website you would have saw that we do state that if clearance items do not grow then you will receive a refund. Also if you wanted a refund, you should have returned the items, dead or alive. You cannot expect us to issue you a refund and you do not return our product. I feel that is not fair.
On Jun 16, 2011 8:37 AM, Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com) added:
Sorry for the last comment, I meant to states that if clearance items do not grow then you will receive a store credit. Sorry for the typo."
On Jun 10, 2011, blueberrypatch Mansfield, OH wrote:
Attention all buyers!
If you have purchased or received any blueberry plants from Van Bourgondien, Dutch Bulbs, or Simple Pleasures this season, then we have news for you! Van Bourgondien has chosen not to pay for the plants received. Van Bourgondien does not grow any of their own plants; they just buy from growers and resell to you, collecting your money in the process. But this year, they have chosen not to pay for the plants, and simply keep the money you have given them. Several companies from growers, to trucking firms and even the widows of growers recently passed away are now suffering the losses of their time and hard work at the hands of Van Bourgondien. Here is a link to the Better Business Bureau complaint against them, http://norfolk.app.bbb.org/complaint/view/48027658/c/3c982f , and also a copy of the letter sent to us threatening bankruptcy, http://www.theblueberrypatch.org/Van_Bourgondien_letter.pdf .