Posted on April 26, 2010, updated May 21, 2010
Posted on April 19, 2010, updated April 26, 2010
It seems like there are no "medium" internet companies. Either they're great, or they suck.
This one falls into the latter category.
Granted, my order was small, ($9), but that's no excuse to still not have shipped after three weeks with no explanation. Even after two contacts, I can't get these people to move.
Soon, it will be too hot for the lettuce I ordered. "Thanks a lot Thompson & Morgan"
Yeah, I know...I know. You strive for "100% customer satisfaction" And I wanted to be an astronaut when I was a kid.
On April 26th, 2010, pgitta added the following:
Update: I have received my seeds after getting responses from at least four different people AFTER placing this review here.
They claimed "Spring, busy", etc, etc and I may give them another chance, but for now I will not change my assessment from "Negative" until I see a smooth prompt transaction.
I took me almost a month to get my order, and I believe I'd still be waiting had I not posted my comments here.
Note to T&M:
Most people are understanding. Emails are still free. If you are behind, a few kind words and explanations would make all the difference! Your silence is killing your reputation. Hire a teenager in the spring to do nothing but make polite excuses. At least people would feel someone gives a crap, even if you don't.
After the fact, "We strive for 100% satisfaction" comments makes it even worse!!!On May 21st, 2010, pgitta changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
On May 21, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Apr 23, 2010 8:41 AM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
Thank you for taking the time to post. A customer service representative will be contacting you for you account information to locate your order and have it shipped as soon as possible."
Posted on April 20, 2010, updated May 3, 2010
In the last 8 months, I've spent over $250 with T&M and watched their delivery times get longer and longer and their web ordering system get worse and worse. Their average shipment time is 13.8 days (the longest being 24), and that doesn't include the actual time in transit. I guess they weren't kidding last September 17 when they said to plan for next year! I should have ordered then to get things on time.
Orders are taken for out of stock items, but you have trouble finding that out until you get a slip in the mail. Why not email *right away*? Why even advertise the item or add it to the cart? You can't even tell what you ordered in some cases because their order status page is next to useless. It won't list items that weren't shipped. It won't even email you telling you what you ordered or how much you're going to pay, so unless you recorded it somewhere before hitting confirm, you just get to wait and see.
Calling their customer service is an exercise in futility, as they are pretty much only allowed to answer phones and apologize that they can't help because *another department* has to handle serious inquiries... and they're probably gone for the day.
Beyond that, the germination rate of some seeds is nil. Some of these seeds should be able to germinate in space, literally. (i.e., Nigella damascena) I understand that others are more difficult to get going and that's fine, but this is just the icing on the cake.
I was never overcharged or overtly mistreated, but the whole waiting game, worst technology implementation ever, and dismal germination rates on enough of the seeds has pretty much made the decision to focus on other providers in the future clear. It's unfortunate, because T&M does have a great selection (when it is available.) Maybe that whole acquisition by Gardens Alive! last September put the last nail in... (By the way, if you're wondering why you're being not intuitively at all being charged by Michigan Bulb Co., that's why.)
On May 3rd, 2010, derp added the following:
Reiterating the part about T&M not knowing which orifice their head is in, another order was silently canceled. This is fine, but I'd prefer to know beforehand. If that's not possible, I'd like to know ASAFP. I expect a little card in the mail explaining this to me, but email is practically free and immediate. I did get a refund in the mail for shipping charges ($1.43 or something) in the past, so they're not thieves. They're just incompetent.
"Donna" did contact me to ply me with a refund or a reshipment. I don't care about either. I want the seeds that I order in a timely fashion. That's all. If you don't have them, don't sell them. If you have problems, let me know as soon as you know. If you have supply chain problems or overall "spring slowness", let me know. If the delivered seeds are not viable, then it is a different story. Work on the delivery part first, because your dead seeds don't even get here. Really, you're trading possible attrition for definite hate. Which is worse?
Also, I too have a few packets of completely worthless nasturtiums. How the hell does that happen? Did you microwave them in vinegar or something?On May 3, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Apr 23, 2010 9:00 AM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
We appreciate your feedback. Your feedback is taken seriously and used to help provide better service to our customers. A customer service representative will be contacting you for more information."
I have ordered catalog seeds for 20 years, and T&M has been a consistant disappointment. I go through all of the other companies' catalogs and if NO ONE else has the seeds I want, I will order from T&M. But this year 2010 has been the worst. I live in Alaska and no one I know even got a catalog. This year I went on their web-site, and it was a train wreck. As usual their prices were higher, their shipping was high and my order from them showed up weeks after all the others. As usual their packages of seeds had less than anyone elses. Will I order from them again...probably. But only if they are the only ones that have a particular kind of seed. I hope that new ownership will improve things in the future.
On Apr 26, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Apr 27, 2010 10:24 AM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
We as the new owners of T&M appreciate you taking the time to post. We are always here to answer any questions you may have or assist in any way we can. "
On Apr 26, 2010, AndyUK winchester United Kingdom wrote:
I'm from the UK and the Cobra nasturtium appears to have some problems with germination,
I sowed over forty seeds and only one seed germinated. I must say however that T.M do appear to accept there is some problem with these seeds as they had no hesitation in replacing all the packets I had purchased,
However as yet these have not germinated either, but will give then another week.
On Apr 26, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Apr 26, 2010 4:30 PM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
We appreciate your feedback. We apologize for the problem with the seed. We do our best to ship quality products and your feedback helps to make sure we do just that."
On Apr 23, 2010, warrennj Great Meadows, NJ wrote:
Posted on February 2, 2010, updated April 23, 2010
Was very surprised to see a charge from Michigan Bulb on my CC when I would NEVER order from them, even more surprised to find out that the charge was for my T&M order. I guess they have now joined forces, I don't see this turning out well for T&M.
On April 23rd, 2010, warrennj changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I have ordered from T&M for many years despite the somewhat low germination rates that seem to be the norm for this company. They usually have some very unusual seeds so I am willing to deal with low germination rates. Well, this year we have gone from low germination rates to 0% germination. I realize that some of the "exotic" seeds require extra skill and care to germinate but seeds like Nasturtiums can be grown by children. Of the 10 varieties of Nasturtium I ordered from various companies, ONLY the 'Cobra' from T&M had a 0% germination. In fact this year not a single seed of any of the items I ordered from this company germinated. I grow hundreds of seedlings from the common to the exotic each spring without a problem, but the T&M seed is just JUNK! A shame to see a once quality company go to pot.On Apr 23, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Apr 23, 2010 9:13 AM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
We appreciate your feedback. We apologize for the problem with the seed. A customer service representative will be contacting you for more information."
Posted on April 6, 2010, updated April 13, 2010
I don't know yet about the germination of the seeds, but I paid by check and at least one packet in my order was not available. I received a postcard note assuring me that "I have not been charged." However, the check was cashed, and there has been no note about a refund or that I have credit with the company for a later seed purchase.
On April 13th, 2010, Rozscent changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I changed my comment to neutral because I received a refund check for the items that were not available.On Apr 13, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Apr 9, 2010 2:18 PM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to post. A customer service representative will be contacting you about your order and refund."
I am not happy about the seeds I got from this company either. They did not send out the seeds to me as the shipping times stated. Took too long to get the seeds. Of the seeds I ordered only one has done anything. Never again!
On Apr 6, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Apr 9, 2010 2:17 PM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to post. We strive for 100% Customer Satisfaction. We are always here to answer any questions you may have or assist in any way we can. A customer service representative will be contacting you about your order."
On Mar 29, 2010, DRH2 Brunswick, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on March 1, 2005, updated March 29, 2010
The company offers an extensive variety of seeds and the customer service is relatively good - all of which is a plus. However, I've had problems with the viability/germination rates of their seed and find their prices to be a bit high relative to other suppliers of the same varieties. Just recently finished growing out two varieties of Sweet William from them with germination of approximately 50-70%. Seed for the same plants from three other sources gave germination rates of 85-95%. While I may go back to them I will only do so if there is no other provider available.
On March 29th, 2010, DRH2 added the following:
I should have known better but I did it anyway. I’d ordered seeds several years ago from T & M with disappointing results (see earlier comment). I hadn’t ordered for some time and knew about the comments here in Garden Watchdog. However, there was a particular color Salpiglossis - “Kew Blue” - that I wanted and also ordered a packet of double Impatiens. The results were more than “disappointing” ! I got ZERO germination from either packet. I could be willing to say I didn’t know what I was doing but I’ve been gardening for 40+ years; secondly, I planted both packets in the same germination flat where I was germinating Salpiglossis (mixed colors from FEDCO) and New Guinea Impatiens (from Harris Seed). In those two cases I had germination results greater than 90%...same soil, same container, same light, same watering, same degree of bottom heat, etc. But NOTHING from the seed from Thompson & Morgan. Yes I’ve called and will be getting reimbursed for the cost of the seed but that doesn’t help anyone trying to plan their planting schedule if they have to order seed from somewhere else to compensate for an incompetent company. I know I was warned..... I should have listened! Do yourself a favor: DO NOT ORDER FROM THIS COMPANY! I’ve also requested that my name be removed from their mailing list so I won’t be tempted into more stupidity sometime later.On Mar 29, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Apr 9, 2010 2:16 PM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to post. We strive for 100% Customer Satisfaction. We are always here to answer any questions you may have or assist in any way we can. A customer service representative will be contacting you."
Posted on March 24, 2010, updated March 26, 2010
Posted on March 2, 2010, updated March 24, 2010
I ordered numerous seeds almost 3 weeks ago. The order was said be shipped in a week. The shipment date was listed, later than a week but I hoped for it to come. 2 days after 2/26, when the order was overdue, I checked the status to see the new shipment date is 3/8 with no explanation!!! Many of the things I ordered were annuals I wanted to get started earlier. I am tempted at this time to call and cancel the order, esp. after reading similar recent experiences. Orders placed EARLY are done for a reason. When a company claims to ship within X days, they must do that.
On March 24th, 2010, greyandamy added the following:
It's been a nightmare with this company. I can't say they are fraudulant b/c they did immediately give me a refund on the seeds I returned (That I had canceled!). However, they've promised-I have specific names- at least 6 times to give me a refund of the overdraft charges. As the order was not expected and somehow magically arrived over 3 weeks out of the blue, I wasn't expecting it (having given up) and received 2 overdraft charges plus an insufficient funds charge one on 3/3 and 2 on 3/4 from my bank. This would not have happened if T&M had kept their "written" promise. They claimed the copies of the statements I MAILED customer service twice were never received (how strange?) and the 4 people from C.Service who emailed me promising me a full refund if I just emailed the info never replied. $99 they owed me, I am going to the Better Business Bureau and anywhere else I need to go. DURING ALL THIS, another large delivery was received from them. I have no idea WHAT it was, or how, I immediately returned. I don't know anything about that. During all this I'm very very ill and can't get around, let alone fight this well. This is a BAD company, it stuns me. WORD WILL GET OUT. On March 26th, 2010, greyandamy added the following:
THERE NEEDS to be a way to make these people hold true to their promises. They have made NO EFFORTS to contact me to RECTIFY the situation, none. They lose or don't reply to all my contacts to them. They are LYING TO ALL BY PUBLISHING REPEATEDLY THIS MESSAGE ABOUT RECTIFYING PROBLEMS, 100% SATISFACTION, ETC. WHAT CAN BE DONE TO GET THEM TO ACT ON THEIR PROMISES? BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU, DEFINITELY. THERE NEEDS TO BE A WAY TO GET WORD OUT MORE VIA THE WEB AND OF COURSE PERSON TO PERSON.On Mar 26, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Mar 10, 2010 9:14 AM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to post this. We strive for 100% Customer Satisfaction. We are always here to answer any questions you may have or assist in any way we can. A customer service representative has contacted you to rectify the problem. We look forward to serving you in the future. Happy Gardening!
On Mar 29, 2010 6:29 PM, Thompson and Morgan (US) added:
We have contacted the customer twice via her Garden Watch Dog email and they have not replied to us here. I am not sure how the customer is tyring to contact us. I have replyed to the customer and ask that they respond to us here."
On Mar 25, 2010, shushinggrasses Thousand Oaks, CA wrote:
When they can't even get the right name on the plant selected for the cover of their current catalogue, and their customer service is 100% useless, it's time to write them off as unreliable, unresponsive, and no longer a worthwhile source for seeds.
Maybe they will respond to this message with their meaningless auto-response claiming to strive for 100% customer satisfaction. Not sure if they're striving for much of anything these days. They've turned me into an ex-customer.
On Mar 8, 2010, 4cornersgarden Farmington, NM wrote:
Thompson and Morgan is now being operated by Gardens Alive out of Lawrenceburg, IN, and the change is obviously not a good one. I have ordered from Thompson and Morgan a few times in the past, and have been neither wildly impressed nor unimpressed with their service--though their Roottrainers (with the humidity dome) are better than those available through Parks Seeds. I ordered from them this year on February 15th. I ordered from a number of seed companies at the same time. On February 28th I received an email from T & M saying that my order had finally shipped. By this time I had received some of the seeds from the other companies, and they had already sprouted. My order wasn't shipped the 28th--it wasn't shipped until the 2nd of March, and didn't arrive until the 8th of March. When it arrived it only contained one of the dozen or so items I had ordered--a pair of gloves, which were the wrong size. Two additional items (seed packets) were listed, with shipping dates of September 15th, 2010!
I called T & M, and was on the phone with them for 36 minutes. The customer service rep was unable to determine the status of the two seed packets with the September shipment date--one system says that they will ship the end of March, the other says that they will ship in September. In either case, they will be too late to be of much use to me. She was completely unable to tell me which was correct--my only option is to "wait and see."
Trying to sort out the gloves became a whole other 15-minute saga. Apparently the new "Gardens Alive" version of T & M's computer system has one set of numbers, the old T & M system has another set of numbers, and the catalogue has a THIRD set of numbers--and none of them correspond. She said that was probably how I was sent the wrong size--it was entered with the old T & M number correctly, but the computer converted it to the new GA number incorrectly. There was no way for her to pull up the correct number for the size and colour of gloves that I wanted--all she could do was randomly enter numbers until the correct item popped up. I felt sorry for the woman, and admired her patience--If I'd had to deal with that all day I would have thrown something by 9:30 am. Then she placed the order for the correct glove, rushed the order, and waived the shipping and handling. (We'll see what I get this time.) All of this took extensive poking around in her computer to find the right codes to do all of this.
I also inquired about the rest of my order, which wasn't shown on my invoice at all, not even as "shipped separately" (though there is a column for a code for that--that same column should have shown "BO" for "backordered" for those two seed packets whose arrival dates remain a mystery.) I was informed that they WERE shipped on February 28th, though they have never arrived. Her system showed that they were still in transit (10 days later), apparently somewhere in my small hometown. By now the seeds that I ordered from other companies already have two sets of "true" leaves. Heaven only knows when the T & M seeds will arrive--or what they will be when they get here. I anticipate another long phone call to T & M, if this is an example of their conversion from one computer system to another.
In sum, kudos to the incredibly patient T&M customer service rep (unfortunately, I didn't get her name), but I wouldn't recommend ordering anything from T & M until they have had plenty of time to sort out their computer issues, unless you like to play "Russian roulette" with your order--and their items are too expensive for most people to indulge in that.
On Mar 8, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Mar 10, 2010 9:17 AM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to post this. We strive for 100% Customer Satisfaction and thank you for the kudos for our customer service agent that assisted you. We are always here to answer any questions you may have or assist in any way we can. A customer service representative has contacted you to rectify the problem. We look forward to serving you in the future. Happy Gardening!"
On Mar 8, 2010, quaintcharm NW/Central , IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Once again, I ordered from Thompson & Morgan, and an item is "not available." This time it is nasturtium "Cobra." If they don't have enough seeds for their customers, they should not offer them. Their prices and shipping are way too high. I have purchased seeds from them for many years, and overlooked the high prices and "this item not available" syndrome at T &M. There are many more vendors now to choose T & M is obsolete for me. Not worth the yearly disappointment.I have requested that they no longer send catalogs from T & M or any satellite companies they own. Good riddance!
On Mar 8, 2010, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Mar 10, 2010 9:15 AM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
We appreciate you taking the time to post this. We strive for 100% Customer Satisfaction. We are always here to answer any questions you may have or assist in any way we can. A customer service representative has contacted you to rectify the problem. "
I got my first catalog from them with a free shipping offer code. I placed my order for almost $80 but couldn't get the free shipping code to work. After reading their online help about such things and not getting anywhere I rang them up. The person that answered had such a heavy accent I had to ask her to repeat herself several times, which only added to my frustration. We went round & round about the free shipping code. She didn't believe that what was printed in the offer box was actually printed there. But she eventually offered to set up an account for me, take my order and apply the free shipping code. I give her my name & shipping details and credit card number. Several times I tried to give her the item number for the first item I wanted to order. She finally tells me that the item numbers that are in the catalog and on the website can't be used for phone orders and she'll send me another catalog that should arrive in four to six weeks (which is too late!) and *might* have another code for free shipping. I was so flabbergasted by not being able to use the item numbers that were given to me, both in the print catalog & online, that I could only hang up. I did email them about it and a few days later I got a response saying I could just place my order online and if I'd include a note about the free shipping in the 'special instructions' (or whatever it is) area, I'd get the free shipping.
I made my order, made the comment about the shipping and hoped for the best. The bulk of my order was mailed almost two weeks after being processed. The order detail on their site said it was shipped via UPS When I clicked on the tracking link they included on the order detail page, it took me to the UPS website which always said no information was available. Much later I found out they actually sent it via USPS and the seeds had been sitting for I don't know how long in my mailbox. My mailbox isn't on my property & so doesn't get checked very often UNLESS I'm expecting something. And since I thought it was coming UPS I didn't check the mailbox everyday.
Two of my items were on back order. I wasn't sure if I'd get one of them since they were clearancing them out out. I did end up getting it a few days ago. The last thing supposedly shipped today but I have no idea if it's coming UPS or USPS since they didn't update the order detail page. It's not a huge deal to check the mailbox, it would just be nice to know one way or the other.
Seeds ordered January 30th, all except one received February 16th.
There was one mistake - I received gherkins instead of monarda - which I received 4 days later after calling.
I had my doubts as I had heard about the change of ownership, however they were easy and pleasant to deal with, even happily correcting a mistake which I had made on my original order.
The seeds are still from Thompson & Morgan in the UK, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
Will report back in late spring on germination.
This has been a good year for me, seeds ordered from 10 companies and everything now received.
On Feb 17, 2010, Karldan Norfolk, VA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Posted on May 21, 2009, updated February 16, 2010
As usual, I had a very good experience with T & M. I HAD to have the "Cherry Brandy" rudbeckia. Germination about 50%, still got over 30 healthy plants for about 10 cents each.
Morning Glory "Carnivale de Venice", 100% germ. "Crunchy mini bells" peppers, 100% germ. Bonus seeds of cactus zinnia and marigold "boy o boy" (My favorite french marigold) most welcomed.
On July 21st, 2009, Karldan added the following:
The Cherry Brandy Rudbeckia plants are awesome in bloom. Stocky, well branched, and the blooms are true cherry red, none of the "rust or mahogany" shades normally seen in this flower. Shame, shame on the American breeders for ignoring this native plant. T & M has developed beautiful double and quill flowered forms, some top award winners. The bonus seeds of cactus flowered Zinnia are beautiful. Very large clear colored beauties, and for free. T & M remains my favorite of the seed catalogs, mainly for the ecletic and exotic seeds unavailable elsewhere. Oh, and the Crunchy Mini Belles peppers started blooming while still in the jiffy cubes. Needless to say, they are now loaded with sweet delectible peppers. I have a hard time growing the large blocky bells, and this is a perfect solution. On February 17th, 2010, Karldan added the following:
Initially I was wary having learned here that T & M sold their US business. The catalog arrived full of their unusual and ecclectic seed offers, and FREE POSTAGE. I took the chance with a seed order. I reordered several varieties that did well last year, Cherry Brandy Rudbeckia, Chunchy Mini Belles Peppers, and Mystic Merlin Malva. Also some new things, Streptocarpus, Iris, Primulas, and others. The entire order came in 10 days with no backorders. I can only describe my experience, I AM WELL PLEASED again with T & M.
I ordered on Jan 5th 2010, they say orders are shipped in 3 working days unless they are listed as back orders. 2 weeks later I phoned to see why it had not arrived and was told "they " had just taken over TM seeds and had nothing the the warehouse, but my order should be out soon. I phoned Jan 28th and was told all items were in stock and should arrive the first week of feb. (I reminded them that the first week of Feb was NEXT week!!!) I then phoned feb 1st and asked if it had been shipped and was told that it was not shipped and should arrive by feb 26th!!!!! I told them that if it was not shipped that day I wanted it canceled. then I phoned today Feb 2 and asked if it went out yet and was told ' no but I see it has a rush on it, would you take a 10% discount instead of canceling the order?' so I canceled the order. my order included geranium seeds and in my area you need to plant them in Jan to get a good summer show, that is why I needed the seeds to ship early. I ordered because they said orders ship in 3 days.
I attempted to place an order on their website for several packets of seeds and intended to use the FREE SHIPPING offered on the front page of the 2010 catalog. Oddly, the offer code listed did not work; my "cart" showed that I was still going to be charged for shipping. After frustratingly re-attempting the order several times, I decided to call and speak to someone directly.
The customer service rep did not seem to understand me, but could tell I was irritated and finally agreed to give me free shipping. The thing that really upset me however, was that once he agreed to this, he took my personal information but the connection mysteriously went bad, and we had been disconnected!
Angered at this point, I called back and tried to explain what had happened, this time to a new service representative. Needless to say, it was a fruitless attempt, and I angrily hung up without having place an order.
The following day, I emailed the company, explaining what had happened. They did respond roughly a day later, but did not seem to care. Their response was essentially, "sorry, but try your order again." No explanation given. No incentive provided. To which I replied, "No thanks."
Since I do all my shopping online, I am checking cc online every morning before I go to work for irregularities.
Saw a credit card charge for Michigan Bulb and had to call , a non toll free number, to find out why, since I had not ordered anything from them. Turns out after 5 minutes that it was for this T/M seed order.
$8.95 spg/handling for 11 pks of seeds and a bird feeder brush. and the seeds arrived today in a brown, non padded envelope that is damaged w/ 2 pks seeds spilled out. Brush on b/o.
Too early to plant them so I can not comment on germination.
I placed my order with this company Jan 4 and am still waiting to receive my seeds. When I asked the company why I have not received the order seeds they said they send them when they are available, but the online ordering site did not say that any of the seeds were not in stock. I don't think I will order from them again. Also their prices are somewhat higher that others companies.
Thompson & Morgan Seedsmen, Inc. U. S. operations was acquired by none other than Gardens Alive as of Sept. 25, 2009 (according to businessweek.com). It appears to be a larger format printed catalog but it seems as though there are less varieties to choose from(?)...speculation on my part. As many printed catalogs do now, there are special boxes bringing attention to more listed items on the web. The website in my opinion is a little less user friendly and is missing the convenient master index that could be searched by separate letter of the alphabet. The website search feature is also not complete: a search of "papaver" or "poppy" only comes up with two items on the website yet the print catalog lists thirteen under "poppy".
On May 20, 2009, thegladiator Pottstown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I ordered some Cherry Brandy Rudbeckia seeds and some Lavender seeds and a soil thermometer on 4/14/09. I didn't keep track of how long it took to get my order but it did arrive fairly promptly. My issue is that none of my lavender seeds have germinated. However, the Cherry Rudbeckia have germinated quite nicely. The Rudbeckiaare very small and don't seem to be getting larger but I could be a little impatient. Since I only paid 2.95 for the lavender seeds its not much of a loss. However, all my work to get them up and growing has gone down the drain. Luckily I didn't create the flower bed in which I was going to plant the lavender. I gave the company a neutral but it should be closer to a negative because what's the point of getting seeds from a company if all you end up with is peat pots full of dirt. I think I might just opt to buy grown pants from a local nursery. As for the company, I would say the service is good but the product is low quality and you may not get any plants from the seeds (50/50 chance). The thermometer was just an overpriced meat thermometer. It wasn't a special designed thermometer just for dirt. Don't waste your money, go to a local kitchen supply store and get a cheap one, save the S/H
On May 20, 2009, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On May 20, 2009 12:34 PM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
I am so pleased you liked the Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy, I am sure they will look great this summer, but I am sorry for your disappointment with the Lavender seeds - and I completely understand! I tried these myself and did not realize at first how much patience and care I would need for these seeds. I was determined to have my Lavender plants though and now have a nice row in my yard, all from seed! Please contact us and we can send you another packet of Lavender seeds to try. These can take up to 140 days to germinate and need alternate periods of cool and warm. Whilst challenging to get started, they are very easy to care for once going. Email our horticulturist, Susan, at firstname.lastname@example.org - she can give you full details. The soil thermometer is actually a really neat gadget, specially graduated to monitor soil temperatures (from -40F thru 120F). Meat thermometers unfortunately can't monitor this range. This is a great purchase to help you get the right temperatures for your Lavender seeds to germinate and will last a lifetime. Hope to hear from you soon."
I ordered 2 items, both of which I could not find at the same place. Response to the online order was quick, shipment was quick and I received within a few days. My "free" packet was EGGPLANT (not a favorite of mine....anyone want them?) Everything was packaged nicely and received in great condition. I haven't started the seeds yet, so I can't speak as to germination, but I'm confident!
I have historically ordered from T&M nearly every year. I place my order early so I can get geranium and onions going from seed. I made the mistake of ordering quite a few items from their sale list this year (including the geraniums). Two weeks later I get my package of seeds lacking most of the sale items (including the geraniums). A company rep says I should have called instead of placing an on line order because the sale stuff sells out so quickly...well I think they should have emailed me to let me know over 1/2 my order couldn't be sent! I would have selected things that were in stock. So much for geraniums from seed this year. Boo to you T & M.
On Jan 2, 2009, qterhrs Friedens, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:
I love the selection from this company and have never had a problem with germination of seeds. As a matter of fact because the pkts. have so many seeds I have been able to replant with success for years from the same pkt. flowers and vegetables. I look forward to seeing the beautiful catalog each year.
On Oct 10, 2008, compostuser Bremerton, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:
Each year, I place and order with this company. I select plants not available at my local nursery. I agree, some seeds DO NOT germinate or die weeks after germination, but I simply send the empty seed packet and receive a replacement. If I choose, I can also request a complete refund.
The FALL catalog has a coupon $10 off your order. Hence, you are only paying for the S&H charges - which $3.95. You can't beat that price.
You can also get FREE S&H if you know the code.
in 2007 The code was VC2007
in 2008 The code was VC2008
On Sep 26, 2008, lilaclily Lombard, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I'm really surprised to see so many negative reviews here. I have had nothing but the most positive experiences ordering from Thompson and Morgan.
Sure, I have had a few instances where the seed packets were empty or contained less seeds than advertised. I've also had extremely poor germination rates. But T&M customer service has always, ALWAYS been top-notch for me. Emails were always returned quickly and courteously, and replacements have always been quick to be shipped out at no charge.
I consider myself to be an experienced gardener with a dislike of the common plants you see everywhere else. From perennials to annuals, herbs to vegetables, Thompson and Morgan is my #1 choice for seeds, followed by their sister site, Value Seeds.
On Jun 18, 2008, missmyrnaloy Duluth, MN (Zone 3a) wrote:
DO NOT BUY FROM THIS COMPANY... unless it is the last resort.
I had placed an order from this company's WEBSITE - for "sale" items two weeks ago, received my order along with an order form for Free Shipping. NO where on the order form does it state that you can't buy sale items with the Free Shipping offer.
I go to the website where I had placed my first order of "sale" items and where I had earned a Free Shipping coupon.
I bought a few "sale" items, put them in the cart put my code in and it "applied"... no problem. Paid for it last night.
THIS MORNING, received a phone call at 9:00 a.m. and on the other end is THOMPSON AND MORGAN chirping rudely in my ear that the WEBSITE states that you can not use FREE SHIPPING coupon with "sale" items.
I explained about receiving their Free Shipping coupon and read her the Free Shipping coupon and no where does it state that. She said it was in the Newsletter. WHAT NEWSLETTER? She was trying her best, she really was... she then esclated it to the supervisor and I was pretty upset by then. Lucky her.
Supervisor very, very, very RUDE stated that "you ordered on website and it states it clearly on website etc, etc. etc" When I tried to explain the Free Shipping coupon code and how I received and what I bought to receive it; she talked right over me like I wasn't there.
I told her either to honor the order or cancel it, she said she would honor this time but wouldn't in the future. I said ok, and that I probably wouldn't buy there again in the future so that wouldn't be a problem.
Now after reading all the negatives and neutrals, it looks like I am wasting my money. Why didn't I read this first before ordering from that company?
I bought the paintbox nemisa and to find out that most of their seeds has poor germination rates. Oh great. I now have over $70.00 worth of useless seeds. I will try them out next February.
I want to make sure that no one else gets treated like this from this company. If you are going to send a Free Shipping coupon then why not put a disclaimer stating you can't use it on Sale items?
Give me a break!
On Jun 18, 2008, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
"On Jul 13, 2009 8:58 AM, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
I'm sorry you had confusing information about the terms of our sale and thank you for bringing this to our attention. Whilst we do point out on our website that offers may not be combined, I agree, it did not say so on your order form. Please accept my sincere apologies for this error.
With regard to the poor germination of your Nemesia seeds, please contact us as we do stand behind our money back guarantee and will replace or refund as you wish. Please contact me and I will sort this out for you.
On Jun 18, 2008, LiliMerci North of Atlanta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Last week I placed an order with TM for $35 and used their $10 off coupon. Later a rep called me at home to let me know that the coupon was not good because the seeds are on sale. I am OK with that. I felt that their sale prices were good and they have a very nice selection. I cancelled the original order because I had to make modification to the seeds selection w/o the $10 off. I did re-order and waiting for the order to make my final decision. I am upset to read about the germination rate below, but since they guarantee their seeds, we will see. May be the guarantee won't apply because I bought the seeds on sale. I thought their customer service was excellent and all my email complaints were promplty answered. I feel the 7.00 shipping was excessive but the price is probably still pretty average for most online company. Heck, gas price is at $4 a gallon, it will cost me more to go out and buy seeds. So, I will wait and see when the seeds arrive and what kind of germination rate before making my final decision.
On June 18th, 2008, LiliMerci added the following:
I forgot to mention but when you are buying TM seeds, they do indicate what kind of 'experience' you need to germinate those seeds. It thought that was very good because it kept me from trying to buy too many seeds that I may be too hard to germinate.On July 10th, 2008, LiliMerci changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:
My seeds did not come after 10 business days and I contacted TM about it. TM assured me that my seeds were sent. I do not blame them if mail service did not deliver the products. My email were answered promptly and replacement seeds were sent. I received seeds today. From the shipment, I can not tell if these were seeds that were originally sent or the replacement package. I can not say enough what EXCELLENT customer service they have. I have not dealt with many companies with prompt service as TM. My highest recommendation to them.
I received most of my order promptly, and the rest as soon as it was available. The hosta seeds were supposed to have 50+- seeds, but only had 32. I called and was given new seeds immediately. It turned out that the first packet were not hostas at all, but some sort of tomato. I now have 2 mystery tomato plants flowering, as I let the rest go since they were not hostas. None of the Silver Fox Foxglove seeds that I sowed germinated. I felt that I had bothered them enough already and it was becoming too late in the season try again. Plus, I was already getting overloaded with seedlings. They have a wonderful selection of seeds, many of which are hard to find elsewhere. Considering that, and the excellent customer service, their prices are fair.
I ordered some Cowslips seeds from T&M back in early March. The price and shipping were reasonable and they were shipped promptly with adequate planting information, however I have tried plating them inside outside and everyway possible with no luck getting them to grow. Overall it was not a bad experience but the seeds didn't grow, whether it was me or the seeds I can't say for certain but I have had many other seeds grow perfectly.
On Apr 12, 2008, hortulaninobili St. Louis, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
I ordered nearly $300 worth seed 2007 spring. Many of the varietals I attempted to grow did not. Germination was overall poor, not consistent, erratic and less than probably 60% on many varietals. Of course I followed their directions and also consulted other online and published sources for information. Below are the main points I would like to make light of . . .
(1) nice selection of many harder-to-find and not run-of-the-mill seeds
(2) very good cultural information that is accurate and valuable
(3) easy to use and organized paper and online catalog
(4) my order was processed, delivered, and received in a relatively short amount of time
(5) seed packaging was hermetically sealed (perhaps the reason for $$$?); always good to keep the seed in stable environment
(1) the occasional out-dated or incorrect information concerning names of various species
(2) poor germination due to possibly any of the following (age, viability, environmental factors, improper storage, etc)
(3) customer service was inept, rude, and apparently, no matter with whom I spoke to, not one seemed very willing or concerned
(4) email and catalog inquiries returned in an unprofessionally slow manner
(5) seed quantities fairly low for the price paid - granted some seed should be expected to be high (i.e. new cvs. just introduced to market)
Overall, I would say the experience was neutral but with more positive weight. Scale 1 - 5, 1=excellent and 5=very poor, I would assign a 2.5
On Apr 12, 2008, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
On Apr 15, 2008 10:01 AM, Thompson and Morgan (US) added:
I thank you for your constructive comments, but I am very concerned about the comments about the speed of response times, quality of customer service and the poor germination issues you have experienced, and apologize wholeheartedly for these. Please contact me on 1-800-274-7333 or email email@example.com. Sincerely, Claire Watson, Vice President."
I was really on the fence about a neutral or negative, but with the lack of communication from T&M, the extremely poor germination, and the high prices, I'm going for a negative.
I ordered 11 different packets of seeds, all of which arrived promptly. The first problem was with the cucumber seeds which stated contained 15 seeds (in the catalog and online). The packet actually contains 5 seeds. I emailed and a week and a half later I had 3 packages of the seeds, so it was nice to get an extra package. However, they never answered my email and the website still shows 15 seeds per packet. The packet states 5. All of the cucumber seeds I planted germinated.
Not so with most of the others. Less than 25% of the asarina seeds germinated, about 60% of the marigold seeds germinated, and only 4 out of 22 double impatiens seeds germinated. I emailed again and told them of the poor germination rates. I found it strange that the same species, different variety of these seeds I purchased at Lowe's all germinated. I asked for an email confirmation and received nothing. Two weeks later I received replacement seeds for the marigolds and impatiens. This set me back in planting the seedlings outdoors.
With the time and effort I put into these seeds, I expected much better. Although T&M did honor their guarantee and replace the seeds, the customer service is dismal, the germination poor, and for the price, I feel the negative outweighs the positive (or neutral). I will not be purchasing from T&M again unless it's a last resort.
On Apr 11, 2008, Thompson and Morgan (US) responded with:
On Apr 11, 2008 8:39 AM, Thompson and Morgan (US) added:
I am the Vice President here at Thompson & Morgan and I am very unhappy to hear about your poor experiences with us - the products and the customer service. Please can you contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can sort this out to your satisfaction. Sincerely, Claire Watson."
On Mar 17, 2008, gessiegail Taft, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
I have ordered garden flowers many times from T&M with good results. This time I ordered 25 seeds in each package of Dibley's Hybrid streptocarpus seed. Having been used to just popping the pod open and getting literally hundreds and hundreds of seeds I was a little shocked to see that 25 fine dust seeds looks like nothing I have ever seen. However, if I get good germination I won't be upset that I paid 5.00 for each package and 4.75 for mailing them to me.
Be back and hope to change neutral to positive.
On June 10th, 2008, gessiegail changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Not a single seed germinated! I am good at growing from seed I want you to know. From now on I am only ordering from The Gesneriad Society for 2 bucks a package of seed or from Mauro in Brazil for 3.50 a package. That was a throwaway of 15.00 for supposedly 50 seeds.
A great selection of hard-to find species and unusual varieties. I placed my first order in Jan. '07. The order was confirmed and arrived quickly. Everything was correct, and some nice freebies were included. I see a lot of complaints in this forum about low germination of T&M's seeds, but I have not found their seed deficient. I start many perennials from seed---some are a challenge to grow and require patience and/or special conditions to grow. So far I have had good germination rates for all the T&M seeds I've planted thus far, some of which have required stratification, heat or light for germination. For $1 T&M offers a very useful seed-starting guide: given the number of negatives appearing here from people having trouble germinating their seeds, it would probably be good if they gave free copies of the guide with each order and kept the free seeds...
In short, I feel this is a great source. There is a trend toward many seed retailers offering choice perennial varieties only as plants, this is an expensive, and in my opinion less fulfilling way to fill a perennial garden. Regarding prices---there are some eyebrow raising seed prices in the T&M catalog (one Verbascum I bought was nearly $1/seed), but if it's an unusual variety I'd rather it be offered at a high price than not at all, which is after all very likely the only other alternative. It isn't really fair to fault a company for its prices---nobody is holding a gun to your head making you purchase overpriced seeds, if someone is willing to pay their asking price for a particular seed, then by definition it is not overpriced.
On Jan 19, 2008, starlight1153 Seale, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:
I have been buying from T&M for quite awhile now. I buy some, and then go back and buy more and repeat the proces s over.
I love the sales they have and have always have recieved my seeds within just a few days.
Usually I have always recieved a fre e packet of some sort of seed with my order. it is great because it give sme a chance to try new cultivars and if those grow here than I can expand my flower buying fromthem to other types of seed they carry that similar.
I was a little dissapointe dthis time thought to find that while online it said I was goign to receive a free packet of white eggplant seeds and it showed up on line, but when i got my email confirmation and order is was not there.
I am going back to place another order already and excited about being abe to get $10 off on orders over $35 bucks.
Hope the coupon works. Figure the missing freebie was some computer glitch on my part this time.
On Jan 19, 2008, lovesroses New Hartford, CT (Zone 5b) wrote:
I see a lot of whining going on but I have to fly in the face of it and say that I LOVE Thompson and Morgan! As a Master Gardener who has worked for White Flower Farm and given a couple of Seed Starting talks there, I know the pitfalls that can beset gardeners, especially if they are new at it. (Use the best materials available! DON'T go cheap for starting mix! REALLY make sure you have the right lighting!) Yes, Thompson and Morgan (a company that originated in England) offers seeds that may be a little trickier to start. But these seeds are treasures from around the world, most are rare, and they are offering us A HUGE BUFFET of fabulous choices!! (Aren't we Americans just a little bit spoiled? And demanding?)
That all has to figure into their costs, and after working in the business, I know that the profit is small and hardwon when you are selling little packets of seeds for a few dollars (think of how many they have to shuffle, pack, and sell to make any real money, folks!!) They offer rarities and delights that could so easily disappear from a tough marketplace...many garden business are stumbling or folding in recent years!
Think bigger picture - anyone want to go back to limp offerings of a few Marigolds, Petunias and tomatoes again? Hoping everyone will appreciate that seed starting is an adventure, see what you can get to grow, instead of acting like Nature should arrive on our doorstep wearing a guarantee.......
and that if you want the romance of gardening to continue, Thompson and Morgan deserves and needs our support!
P.S. Try their Eschscholzia 'Champagne and Roses' - Easy to plant outside, and absolutely mesmerizing in the garden, plus - I'll bet none of your neighbors will have it!!!!!