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Comments regarding David Austin Roses (US)

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106 positives
13 neutrals
25 negatives


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Positive dawn83
(1 review)
On Mar 30, 2011, dawn83 Covington, LA wrote:

Absolutely wonderful experience with this company. Super friendly and helpful customer service. I planted my David Austins 2 weeks ago and they are already getting huge. Best quality roses I've ever bought!!!!!

(5 reviews)
On Mar 24, 2011, ATLGARDEN Atlanta, GA wrote:

I 2nd the comment from the earlier review about finding it hard to believe anyone could have a negative opinion about David Austin roses. While I have gardened for many years it was always shade gardening. I finally have a sunny yard and last year I purchased 18 roses from DA. These were my first roses ever! I received these bare root "sticks with roots" that I thought they would take a whole growing season to get established. Was I wrong! I planted them just as DA suggests and all of the roses took off like fireworks. Very very vigorous and they all bloomed well the first season and grew several feet. This year all 18 have come back more vigorous then ever and several already have buds in MArch! David Austin Roses made me a rose fan. They are a first class company and Mr. Austin is a rose patriarch in my humble opinion. I appreciate what he has done with these plants. I will definitely order again.

Positive tweeterrabbit
(1 review)
On Mar 5, 2011, tweeterrabbit San Angelo, TX wrote:

I have ordered from David Austin for several years now and have always recieved very nice roses. If ever there is a problem, they are more than happy to solve it. The roses grow very well, and are as described. I highly recommend this company!

Positive JonSchneider
(12 reviews)
On Sep 30, 2010, JonSchneider Fleming Island, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

It is hard to imagine that there would be any negative ratings for this company. I have had nothing but complete success with both their bare root plants and their container plants. The plants are generous in size and come well packaged. The other huge plus is the excellent customer service I have had from Angela Fossie. Angie has assisted me with a special order on short notice and her concern would tell you she has genuine/ excellent skills in customer relations. I would rate my experience with David Austin "right up there' with Chamblee's (another top rose nursery)

Negative emerrick
(3 reviews)
On Sep 5, 2010, emerrick Selden, NY wrote:

I received 5 roses from david austin and 5 roses from chamblees the five rose from chamblees within two weeks, are all thriving 3 from chamblees came budded 3 of the david austin roses were fine . pat ausin rose was puny and half dead with two small canes i called they replaced it the other which was the most expensive 25 dollars! was the smallest dead with again two small canes . it died and I called they sent me a form and want a pitcher theyll get a pitcher and they see a 1 dollar rose that i could have got at kmart.the problem is you excpect to get what you pay for and like rolls royce . or chamblees they have a reputation . take my advice buy from chamblees and if youre buying perenials buy from sooners never had to return from these companys they are the rolls royce of the online nurserys.and buy the way kept all my roses moist planted in top soil and black compost with 6 hrs of sun.

Positive 67red1
(2 reviews)
On Aug 30, 2010, 67red1 Porterville, CA wrote:

I have had orders from several companies over the past 10 years and my experiences have been totally disappointing. But then I tried ordering from DA. I could not believe the large rose bushes I recieved from DA. They have been in the ground for over a year and I have just convinced my wife to pull about five department store roses and replace them with DA roses, because their roses were the only plants to go throughout the year without any pest or disease problems and they really look good!! I also, proved to my wife that you might spend more than you would at Target or Wal-Mart, but it is worth a lot more, too.

Positive rfsk
(1 review)
On Jun 21, 2010, rfsk Stanfordville, NY wrote:

Posted on April 19, 2010, updated June 21, 2010
Quality: The most robust roots, the thickest and healthiest stems. I planted the numerous (over 30) roses I ordered this year and most have already sprouted leaves! By contrast, the other rose bushes from other companies are struggling and I do hope they will survive. The weather has been erratic this year... in the 70's earlier this month (unheard of in zone 5) and now down in the 50's so it is comforting to see that the Austins are doing so well.

Service: Incredibly patient. As I was planning the garden, I changed my mind a few times. Each time, the representative did not flinch and continued top roll with the punches. Moreover, there was never a mix up on any of the orders. She was also incredibly responsive. By speaking virtually several times a week, we were able to precisely coordinate the shipping of the roses so that I could plan the timely completion of the plantings.

On June 21st, 2010, rfsk added the following:

It is now mid June and every David Austin I had planted earlier this season is covered in an array of beautiful blooms. I am certainly looking forward to ordering more next year.
Positive mickeyj1
(2 reviews)
On Jun 16, 2010, mickeyj1 Ringtown, PA wrote:

i just made my first purchase from DA roses and i couldn't be happier. being impatient to plant my mothers rose garden i went against the advice of the CS representative as to the correct planting time for my area. nonetheless they shipped my roses except for two of one variety that would not be ready until the spring. what follows gets even better. my roses arrived shortly after our conversation very well packed with plenty of moisture on the roots.after following all included instructions i heeled the bushes in for a week until final bed preparations were complete and then proceeded to plant. new growth on all 6 roses within two days and progressing nicely. mom stated she never saw such nice robust plants as these anywhere else. cannot wait until spring to order many more as soon as the rose bed is increased in size to accomodate many more. i am one extremely satisfied customer. i will continue to update my roses progress.

Positive MorsisX
(27 reviews)
On May 26, 2010, MorsisX Lockport, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Posted on June 10, 2008, updated May 26, 2010
Simply put, Superb!

The climbers I ordered are far and away the most vigorous I have ever seen. Your customer service was exemplary in assisting me. The planting guide has proven invaluable.

I will absolutely return for more of your signature English Roses!

On May 26th, 2010, MorsisX added the following:

Needed to chime in again as this company has more than impressed me with the quality of their bare root roses, their customer service, and value.

They have worked with me to find the right roses for my area (zone 4 climbers are not the most common...). And their recommendations have been spot on!

This company sticks to their product. After having a few roses fail (my zone 4 issues, my fault really), they were more than happy to replace them with roses that are more cold hardy.

When ordering, please call them, they will walk you through your selections and help you out immensely!
Positive artcats1
(3 reviews)
On May 1, 2010, artcats1 Salt Lake City, UT wrote:

Last spring I ordered about 12 climbers and one bush fl from Dave Austin. Here in Utah the weather is pretty brutal. Strong winds, dry air, hot hot summers and freezing winters- oh and late spring freezes. Mildew is the only thing we don't have. I expected loss of about 1/4 of the bareroot I put in. They all survived and are doing great! My orders were available and they arrived quickly and in fine condition. Second the plants rooted in well last year and I had flowers- which I did not expect. The winter freezes did only minor damage to the climbing canes so I will have a rose hedge much faster than I had thought. This spring these roses are already growing very vigorously and the last three nights of freezing temps/dry winds hasn't seemed to bother them. I am very very happy. The only downside I can say is that one of my chickens loves to eat the leaves off of one of the bushes so I will have to fence it. I am ordering more bushes this year.

Positive treesmoocher
(9 reviews)
On Apr 24, 2010, treesmoocher Spencer, WV wrote:

I ordered two roses this year--they arrived at a reasonable time, sizable and healthy, and both are growing well. As long as they turn out to be the right roses (they ARE labelled) I have no complaints.

Negative MartBright
(5 reviews)
On Apr 19, 2010, MartBright Centre Hall, PA wrote:

I haven't had the greatest luck with David Austin. The first order I placed this year they had to call me because they lost my order but somehow had some of the information (like my credit card #!). I had to look up what I ordered myself and get back to them. So keep a record of what your order because they don't, it seems. I received my second order today, missing one rose and with a major root on one of them broken. I called them and they didn't know why the one was missing--I had to tell them which one it was and finally they told me it was sold out. And of course that's the one I most wanted and why I placed the order in the first place. They are supposed to substitute and didn't--but they still charged me so I had to go through giving my card # again so I could get a refund. I just hope they can do that right. If a rose is sold out they should put that on their website. They also blew me off about the broken root. The rose only had three roots to begin with. So we'll see how that one does.

They seem to be having trouble with the basics of customer service.

Negative kitsuneneko
(1 review)
On Apr 12, 2010, kitsuneneko Knightdale, NC wrote:

Warning! Do not buy bareroot David Austin roses. The company is not careful about shipping the bareroots dependent on weather.

I fell in love with David Austin roses because I have an Evelyn in my garden. Last fall, I excitedly purchased 5 roses. This winter the east coast had an unusually cold winter. I was very worried when I received an email that the roses had shipped the first week February. I live in 7b and David Austin uses the same ship date for 7b to 10 as Jan/Feb. I can not even find the shipping info on the website now. It snowed after the roses arrived and I could not plant them for 2 weeks. I called David Austin and they told me to soak them overnight which I did twice trying to save them. I have been very hopeful, but it is apparent that the canes have died on four out of the five roses. According to David Austin, It is now too late to send replacements. They say I should have called them in January and asked to postpone the shipping until the end of February. But, I do not understand why they did not keep up with the weather. It was well known that February was unusually cold this year. The David Austin website mentions nothing about calling and asking to postpone the shipment. One of the roses I ordered is available in a container, but David Austin would force me to pay the difference for the rose. I spent over $100 in materials for preparing the site for the roses. The David Austin company only uses broad block dates to determine shipping. The canes of the roses I purchased died and I could not determine this until it was too late to receive replacement for this year. The David Austin company will not provide a refund. The David Austin company will also not provide compensation for lost time and money on materials.

On Apr 12, 2010, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

"On Apr 20, 2010 1:37 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

We do our best to supply roses at the right time for planting and are sorry that, due to this year’s unusual weather conditions, we have failed to do so in your case. When our customer service representative spoke to you recently, we did not realise that a refund would be acceptable to you. We are sorry about this misunderstanding and are happy to refund your purchase if you will contact us again. Please call our freephone number 800 328 8893 and ask to speak to Angie. The shipping zones information can be found on our website by clicking on ‘Deliveries’ on the top menu bar and then on ‘For details of our shipping dates for each state click here’ which is underneath the first paragraph, which is titled ‘When to expect shipment’.


Positive MissGeorgia
(1 review)
On Apr 2, 2010, MissGeorgia Fort Walton Beach, FL wrote:

I ordered 26 David Austin roses last year and was astonished at how healthy and vibrant they were when they arrived; I had an actual bloom within two weeks !!. I planted most of them in large pots and planted eight in the ground. The pots actually did the best and continue to do so. I only had one rose that didn't grow well, but it's putting out much better this year. I have already had a huge bloom from my Abraham Darby this spring. The plants look fabulous. I ordered twelve more a couple of weeks ago and put all of them in pots. I'm spending a fortune on pots, but I love being able to move them and they're doing great in them. I ordered 12 more last night and am going to "color co-ordinate" my yard by putting red, yellow and white in the front and pink, white and fushia in the back. I have underplanted the front pots with red and white Gerber daisies and white petunias and the back pots with pink and white petunias; it's looking great.
On another note, I ordered 5 roses last year from another company and was totally dismayed when they arrived. They were little twigs about 10" long and not much wider than a matchstick ..... and they were EXPENSIVE !! They are all still alive and growing, but still not much over a foot tall. One branch from a David Austin beats them big time.

Positive blueeyeskms
(29 reviews)
On Mar 9, 2010, blueeyeskms Waverly, KS (Zone 5b) wrote:

Wow, I can't believe I haven't posted a review for this company yet. I have ordered for the past two years and just love them. I am so sad to see all of the neutral/negative reviews. I hope I didn't just get lucky with my experiences. Love these roses! I have to find room for more!

Positive MtVernon
(1 review)
On Feb 28, 2010, MtVernon Tomball, TX wrote:

I have grown David Austin roses in the past but moved to a different climate and had no roses. After visiting the gardens at Alnwick rose garden this summer, I knew I had to try them here even though we get very hot summers.

I recently ordered 34 directly from David Austin and they arrived in perfect condition. I can't say the same for the packaging but the roses are absolutely the best barerooted roses I have ever seen! My only complaint will be listening to my helper as we dig the holes deeper to accomodate the very healthy roots.

I had asked for a confirmation as I travel and didn't want to miss the shipment. They graciously accomodated my request and they arrived exactly at the right time.

Thank you David Austin for such good service.

Negative leisure500
(3 reviews)
On Jul 7, 2009, leisure500 Indianapolis, IN wrote:

Got a Lichfield Angel last year from David Austin (US).

I had purchased (6) David Austin roses from Chamblees over the last (3) years and have been very pleased. I saw the Lichfield Angel as a 2008 offering and was very excited about receiving it.

I received a very healthy looking plant from David Austin (US) in the early spring last year (2008) and planted it right away.

The rose grew well ... and bloomed moderately its first year. I was very excited about this year.

However, it didn't take long for me to realize this year that my rose was a victim of Rose Mosaic Disease. Even so, it grew and budded well. Unfortunately, the weak canes wouldn't hold up the blooms ... and its clear that I'm not going to get even minimally adequate performance from the rose.

I hadn't thought about contacting David Austin about this yet.

I should ... they need to know that they sold me a diseased rose.

Positive kat100
(1 review)
On Jul 6, 2009, kat100 Belmont, MA wrote:

My initial order was for 3 bareroot standards in mid-May. I received a phone call from DA asking whether I really wanted to get bareroot as it was late in the season(?) and they couldn't guarantee them. I wasn't worried about getting them to grow so I continued with the order. I received 3 great looking standards that were huge. However, I only noticed two days ago that 2 of the standards were substitutes and I only had authorized one substitute. Oh well, partially my fault for not checking the order. But all 3 standards are doing great and looks like will be blooming this week (7/6/09). Near the end of May, DA sent an email for a sale on bareroot roses (so much for late in the season rules) and I ordered 4 roses. This order was totally correct and are now doing great as well. It helped that MA had a lot of unseasonably cool weather so that the bareroots weren't shocked. My only criticism is that I would like to see real time inventory or notification before the order is finally submitted that my selection is or is not in stock and that the order is placed correctly. Packaging and condition of the roses were wonderful. Definitely would order from them again. Would like them to expand their container rose selections.

Positive NE_Gardener
(1 review)
On Jun 20, 2009, NE_Gardener Oxford, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

Over time I have ordered by mail and planted well over 500 bare root rose bushes. I have replacement knees to show for it! But I must say that upon opening my three David Austin roses all I could do was gaze at them and exclaim, "Wow!" These had to be some of the largest bare root roses I'd ever handled. Their names are William Shakespeare and Louise Odier (2). Like a previous customer, I had to revise my hole depth when I saw them.
They ended up soaking in buckets of water for a week before I could get them in the ground, but seem to be doing well. It has been two weeks and they are breaking dormancy with shoots coming out of their big green canes. I am really pleased, to say the least, with Bill and both Louises.
I was concerned about the shipping situation until I read here that something is put on the roots so they maintain moisture. These roses sat at the UPS center in Syracuse two and a half hours away from me all weekend before being delivered. Yet they were properly moist and almost frighteningly vigorous when I got their box opened and the wrappings off.
I never doubted that David Austin roses would be good, I just didn't know how good!

Positive hocklea
(7 reviews)
On Jun 15, 2009, hocklea Seattle, WA wrote:

I have had many orders with DA roses over the past couple of years. I ordered five more again this spring. One came completely black. I emailed a note attached to my order form, and was answered back straight away. Another plant was mailed out the next day. I have never had anything but good service. I shall order from them again next year.

Neutral CountryRefuge
(3 reviews)
On Jun 15, 2009, CountryRefuge Grinnell, IA wrote:

I have/do/will order roses from David Austin because of the type of roses they carry. With that being said, I placed an order this spring. Like others, I had to post a question on their website asking: 1) if they received the order; 2) if I could get an order number; and 3) if they made note that I wanted the plant delivered the fourth week of May. They replied that they had received the order. I wrote back asking that they please give me the order number; I never got a response. My rose arrived in perfect shape...just 2 weeks earlier than I had asked.

Neutral mieow
(2 reviews)
On Jun 9, 2009, mieow USDA 6A, NY wrote:

Double delight is one of the roses I always want. Last week, I received their email about their half price sale. DD is on the sale list, so I placed my order. I know it was almost the end of the planting season in my zone, but I really wanted to have it and I planned to plant it in a pot. I received the bare roots about five days later. I was so excited until I opened the box. I ordered two totally. One has a big split in the middle among three canes, a break on a major root and some black end canes. Another one has a lot of black spots on two canes. I called right away and could only leave a message. I sent them a email after. Luckily they responded my email right away. They sent out the new roses for replacement right away. Now I only hope they will arrive in an acceptable and better quality condition. Someone already warned me since it is the end of planting season. I may still receive bad roses. I hope not!!

I am very surprised at the quality from such a well-known rose vendor. I thought they were good. This was not my first time order from them, either. I had good experience before. If they think half price sale is equal to cheaper quality, then they should have made it clear. I would not place my order at all.

Now I am hoping I will receive good quality roses and I do not need to fight for refund again.

On June 12th, 2009, mieow changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

I received my replacement yesterday. (No Double Delight available though.) Fortunately, no obvious big splits. However, unfortunately, there are still black spots here and there all over the canes. I emailed them right away and received the response this morning. They told me I was never charged for this order.
On June 12th, 2009, mieow added the following:

I received my replacement yesterday. (No Double Delight available though.) Fortunately, no obvious big splits. However, unfortunately, there are still black spots here and there all over the canes. I emailed them right away and received the response this morning. They told me I was never charged for this order. I would prefer to think this way: I just have bad luck for this order. I do appreciate that they respond my request promptly.
On Jun 9, 2009, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

"On Jun 10, 2009 8:26 AM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

All roses bought direct from David Austin Roses are covered by our guarantee. We are proud of our reputation for high quality and have an exceptionally low level of complaints from our customers overall. We monitor the quality of roses very closely and analyse the reasons for any failures to help improve service, but with living plants, some problems do occasionally occur.

As we have explained, we are happy to replace the roses under our guarantee and are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. We hope that the replacement roses we are promptly sending (which in this case exceed the value of the roses that were unacceptable) will help to restore your faith in our service.

Best Regards,
David Austin Roses"

Positive sammyginni
(1 review)
On May 30, 2009, sammyginni Sacramento, CA wrote:

I have a large garden. I wanted english roses and finally ordered 5 david austin english rose deal for 5 of the most fragrant. They arrived 1 week later in a beautiful rose toile brown and black box and inside the roses were in plastic and moist. They included a beautiful rose catalog and planting instructions. I am keeping the box to use for storage, its so pretty. They are bare root, so there is no foilage or flowers/buds., and they are extremely healthy, completely green with no dead wood and the roots are healthy and established. I Planted them in their own rose garden area in rows with other new roses and used generous amounts of gramulch soil, I know they will do well, will post later if for some reason they spoil.

Negative Rebecca123
(1 review)
On May 26, 2009, Rebecca123 Webster, NY wrote:

Last year I had great success in buying David Austin Roses. This year, not so much. I bought 8 roses, and they came with mold and broken roots. I also live in upstate NY and have had nights of frost as they were delivered at the end of April. (I did cover them.) One died, two are not doing so well. The others I think are going to make it although I am disappointed by the response by DA Roses. I called and all I got was a voicemail. I called, in total, 5 times over a month before I finally got a human. I got two call backs, but it was weeks after my first call. Although they are currently replacing 3 of the roses, I have to admit I am suprised by the slow response. I have read the company's comments and if the main branch corporation cannot supply you with enough help during the busy season then they should not be surprised if they begin to lose customers. (I understand your dilemma, but this is not the way to cut costs so hopefully this will be corrected next year.) Quite frankly it is a shame because I had such good luck last year and I so very much love the roses!!!

Neutral figaro52
(28 reviews)
On May 22, 2009, figaro52 Oak Lawn, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:

Quite frankly I'm not "blown away" by my experience with this company. I expected much, much better. I ordered Port Sunlight. Then, a few weeks later ordered Benjamin Britten. Getting an order confirmation was like pulling teeth. Each time I had to send an email to ask if they had received my order. A company representative has provided an explanation elsewhere in this listing, which I can appreciate.

Now, the roses. I was not overly impressed with the quality of these bareroots. While they were moist upon arrival, many of the roots were badly broken. On Port Sunlight, one of the thicker canes was broken near the crown.

I planted these roses properly by "sweating" them in mulch for about 3 weeks. Benjamin Britten is leafing out nicely, but I fear I could lose Port Sunlight. The new growth that occured during the sweating process is not at all vigorous, and there is evidence of rose canker (may or may not be the fault of DA). I will appy some Neem oil and hope for the best.

Over all, while I love David Austin roses and will continue to grow them in my garden, I will hesitate to order directly from the David Austin Company in the future. I've had better experiences ordering the potted DAs from Chamblees. I'll stick with Witherspoon for the bareroot, as they, too, sell David Austin roses.

On June 5th, 2009, figaro52 added the following:

I would like very much to give this company a positive rating, but at the rate things are going I don't believe that's going to happen. The people at David Austin (US) are wonderful. Amanda graciously offered to replace my ailing Port Sunlight. When I received the replacement earlier this week it was bone dry! Not one bit of moisture in the plastic bag. There was also a bit of white mold on the roots. I had to trim a broken root and part of a cane that was broken. These have been among the worst bareroot roses I've seen. I know I said I'd think twice before ordering directly from DA (US) again, but I was lured by their recent half-price sale. I ordered Shakespeare 2000. While I've not yet received it, I did receive an immediate on-line confirmation. If Shakespeare comes through in perfect condition, and if my Port Sunlight replacement begins to grow, I will seriously consider changing my rating to positive -- since I believe these folks are honestly trying to do their best under current conditions. The Benjamin Britten I planted in April is looking great and will likely set flower buds very soon!
Positive mikekate
(1 review)
On May 21, 2009, mikekate Westminster, MA wrote:

We bought 19 roses and got free design assistance which was great. Then we ordered 6 more to fill in some spaces. Shipping error and we ended up getting 6 more delievered which David Austin let us keep for free. Those went to post office who didnt tell us and let them sit there for a week. Planted them a day or so ago and hoping for the best.

I highly recommend David Austin Roses. Excellent plants. Of the first 19, all are doing well. I cannot wait to see the garden in full bloom.

Way better plants than roses we've bought elsewhere. Very healthy

Positive wyowonder
(3 reviews)
On May 12, 2009, wyowonder Casper, WY wrote:

This was my first time ordering from this company. No problems ordering over the internet, received a confirmation, and received an e-mail telling me roses had been shipped.

Got two large roses with great roots (nice and wet). Appreciated the detailed planting/culture instructions. Roses received Tues., planted Friday, new growth showing today, Monday. Whoopee, can't wait to see the blooms!

Positive marykalice
(1 review)
On May 7, 2009, marykalice Beacon, NY wrote:

Hi! I just received my first purchase from the company and am happy with the results. They roots look healthy, were well packed and not dry in the least.

Positive greekbecky
(2 reviews)
On May 5, 2009, greekbecky Pittsford, NY wrote:

I wanted a David Austin rose for a very long time. This year, my husband ordered two of them for Valentine's Day. Yesterday, I received the beautiful rose-printed box at my door. I opened the box to find two plants (Christopher Marlow and Port Sunlight) that were broken and dry...ugh. I always heard DA roses were supposed to be top of the line, so I was very surprised to see them arrive in this condition. I tried calling DA several times today, but all you get is a recording. I left my name and number regarding the damage for Jo VonBargen, but hadn't heard from him/her yet. Kind of a bad first impression...:(

On May 7th, 2009, greekbecky changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

I changed my rating to positive, because the crew at David Austin acted swiftly to correct the situation. Everyone was so nice and frankly, even though I had a rough start, I would've ordered again...:)
Thanks folks!
On May 5, 2009, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

"On May 6, 2009 1:51 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

We do apologize for the situation, although I understand from my staff that it has all been handled. Shellie said she has taken care of reshipping a rose and Amanda said she had called you back several times about the email and you all had been playing phone tag. Sorry about that, but the phones are extremely heavy right now. I understand Shellie also took care of that for you and that everything is settled. Not the kind of first impression we'd like to leave, but happy that now it's sorted out. Many thanks for your patience.

Best Wishes,
Jo VonBargen
General Manager
800 328 8893"

Neutral heartopensky
(1 review)
On Apr 28, 2009, heartopensky Beacon, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

I ordered $138 worth of roses, with shipping on 4/16 (Thurs). I received an order confirmation immediately, but no notice of shipping in the ensuing days.

Wanting to ensure they went out by Monday 4/20, I e-mailed on 4/19 asking when they would be shipped.

I received NO REPLY until 4/27, six business days later. No apology, just, "Shipped April 24th. Tracking number UPS: XXXXXXXXXXX(etc.) Many thanks!"

WHAT? They shipped bare root roses on 4/24, a Friday?!? So they can sit in a UPS warehouse over a weekend? What responsible nursery does this?! Not to mention they are in Texas (hot) and we are having a heat wave right now in downstate New York (85+ for four days running).

By the time I receive these on 4/30, the Thursday following shipping (according to tracking info), they will have been in transit for *7 days*. I will receive my order *two weeks* to the day that I placed it, having lost a critical week in the northeast's planting window for bare root roses (as an aside, their policy is to only guarantee the roses if you shipment falls within your region's ideal planting window...cutting it a wee bit close here, I'd say).

Regardless of the condition in which they arrive (which I will post upon receipt), the entire experience has been so poor, I had to report it.

I am incredulous; I guess all their operating money went into the glossy, *amazingly* beautiful catalog with a cover almost equivelant to a paperback book!

On May 3rd, 2009, heartopensky changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

What a sad situation, for both company and customer. They clearly made amends, for which I am appreciative.

They are correct - in spite of my incredulity, all five roots arrived still-moist, and with only minor breakage. They clearly know what they are doing; I seems I was premature in critiquing their shipping timing, for which I apologize.

The fact remains that it was an unpleasant experience; however I am changing my rating to neutral, as the US management did the best they could in a bad situation. Hopefully, the UK "home office" will be able to manage whatever business issues drove these budget cuts, restoring/enabling the level of customer service the US team clearly wishes to provide.
On Apr 28, 2009, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

"On Apr 28, 2009 1:33 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

I am indeed sorry for your experience with this order. We do, however, dip our plants in a solution that seals in the moisture for 7-8 days for the shipping process so that no matter what day we ship, they should arrive alive and healthy. We do customarily ship every day of the week as the number of orders we have requires it.

The level of customer service we are able to give is not satisfactory to us, either, believe me. We are on skeleton staff as the home office in England is cutting costs and we are struggling to keep up with hundreds of orders and emails and phone messages and we do apologize.

Your credit card has not yet been charged as we are behind on that as well. We will not charge the card for, as you have noted, less than stellar service.

Again, our apologies.

Best Wishes,

Jo VonBargen
General Manager
800 328 8893

On May 27, 2009 11:18 AM, David Austin Roses (US) added:

I was concerned to learn of Jo’s comments via this forum. Our American business is very close to our hearts. We will take immediate action to make sure the team in our American office have the support they need to enable them to provide a high standard of customer service. If you have any comments, please e-mail

David JC Austin

Positive KylieB
(3 reviews)
On Apr 23, 2009, KylieB Quitman, AR wrote:

The roses from this company perform very well here in Arkansas. We do however get a lot of rain from time to time and have problems with blackspot but the roses smell so good and are so beautiful they are worth it! The customer service is very friendly, a little slow, but friendly. I would recommend them to any rose lover I know. A+

Positive Blackbelt_Lizzy
(25 reviews)
On Apr 22, 2009, Blackbelt_Lizzy La Grange Park, IL wrote:

I ordered 10 David Austin Roses that arrived yesterday. They were large healthy bare roots with several shoots on each one. I have ordered from David Austin before and have never been disappointed. My roses from last year are shooting new growth and all survived a nasty Chicago winter. I also have several, 8 year old Teasing Georgia Austin roses that are going strong. A great company with fabulous roses.

Positive FenwickFarm
(5 reviews)
On Apr 15, 2009, FenwickFarm Williamsport, MD wrote:

I ordered 13 Crocus roses in February and Jo couldn't have been nicer. I was notified Monday that my roses were on the way via UPS and I was able to track the shipment. The roses arrived a day early which was wonderful. I opened the box and I am just amazed at how beautiful these bare root roses are. I think I expected 'twigs', but I am delighted to report these are definitely full grown bushes! I hope I can do right by these roses in my planting. I have had a very positive experience with this company.

On May 6th, 2009, FenwickFarm added the following:

I am thrilled with the growth of these roses. They are growing extraordinarily well. My experience with this company and with Jo could not have been better. I am sorry that some people have not had this great experience. I would try again, since these roses are truly a joy to watch grow.
(4 reviews)
On Apr 14, 2009, BUTTONS_MAMA Mobile, AL wrote:

I ordered over 20 roses from them earlier this year and a few were slower coming up than others so i was worried but they all are up and running now and about 5 to 7 of them are already blooming. They were shipped bareroot and were quite large when i got them. i don't think it will take long for them to make a nice display.
Jo was also helpful in making the decision of which roses would tolerate the heat and humidity in Alabama.

Positive madamdeathstare
(5 reviews)
On Apr 9, 2009, madamdeathstare Owens Cross Roads, AL wrote:

I ordered three climbing roses from David Austin.

They have been in the ground for a month now and are all showing good signs of growth. Although the ground around them has been thoroughly amended with compost and composted manure, the natural soil is a very heavy clay. As we have had about four weeks of rain I expected the poor things to rot off. Instead they are looking healthy with many shoots developing. I am looking forward to seeing the flowers in Summer.

Positive gianetta
(5 reviews)
On Apr 7, 2009, gianetta Charlottesville, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

Order #1 arrived at the appropriate planting time and in good condition - very nice plants.

On April 8th, 2009, gianetta added the following:

Order #2 arrived at the appropriate time and in good condition, but 5 out of the 12 plants were the wrong variety (wrong white climber). I called customer service, spoke to a very nice woman who apologized and said she'd send out the correct roses that day. Assuming they arrive as promised, I'm very pleased with their service.
On Apr 7, 2009, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

"On Apr 7, 2009 9:34 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

Yes, I believe that was me to whom you spoke and those plants are indeed on the way.

I do thank you and all the others here who have posted such lovely comments. We sometimes do accidentally get it right! We're very appreciative of all our customer comments, both good and bad, because the feedback is very helpful in finding ways to improve our service which at the moment is not up to par by any means. We certainly thank all of you for your faithful support and your incredible patience. We love our David Austin're all the BEST! Many thanks, Jo VonBargen (Gen Mgr)"

Positive cherrybelle4
(2 reviews)
On Apr 6, 2009, cherrybelle4 Minneapolis, MN wrote:

I am hoping that I will be able to change this to a positive rating. Yesterday, I ordered 4 roses on the website, which got totally messed up. (I thought everything was ok until I got the confirmation e-mail) I immediately sent an e-mail back, and tried to call the number in the confirmation e-mail, but it was a Sunday, so no luck. They only have hours M-F. The problem is the website. It would not let me change the amount of roses I was ordering, and kept insisting that I was in Alaska for shipping. Well, Minnesota is northern, but not quite that far north! Today, I received an e-mail with the cryptic note "All is done!" All WHAT is done? Order fixed? Order cancelled? Knowing that sometimes even the best companies can have mix-ups, especially at this busy time of year, I called to confirm what "was done". I must say, the young lady that I talked to was very dismissive of my concern, and got very short with me when I had to interrupt her to tell her why I was calling. To top it off, she told me that their computers were not set up to send confirmation e-mails for "fixed" orders. I will get one through the post office in 2-3 weeks. Well, I hope that it won't be too late to fix before my credit card is charged, and the roses are shipped. The attitude with which I was treated is really the reason I am disgusted with the company. There are so many places that sell beautiful plants, I don't feel that I need to give my business to one that thinks customers with questions or concerns are someone to be rude to. I hope that this is the exception, and not the rule, for David Austin Roses.

On April 10th, 2009, cherrybelle4 changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:

Well, thank goodness, I am able to change this to a positive rating. After a bit more communication, Jo was able to understand my point of view, and just as importantly, I was able to understand theirs. I appreciate the effort made to resolve my problem. If their roses are as good as everyone says (and I don't have any doubt that they are) I will be completely happy! However, I would recommend avoiding the website for ordering and would call them instead!
On June 3rd, 2009, cherrybelle4 added the following:

An update on the roses -- I received the roses in mid-May, which I expected. They were well packed and in good condition. Extremely large. I had to wait a week before planting, but they were fine. They have broken dormancy are putting out new growth. A little slow, but that could be due to our cold, dry spring this year. If they fail, it will be due to me, not the roses! After reading other feedback, I really hope that the corporate office will better support the team in the US. They, and their customers, deserve better.
On Apr 6, 2009, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

"On Apr 7, 2009 9:20 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:

I am extremely sorry for your experience with one of my new people and believe me, we will be working on more useful techniques in dealing with frustrated customers. I did see she was having trouble with your call and plugged in to hear it. You were upset with the website and subsequent email and she was extremely harried and overworked; neither of these being your fault, of course, but you were asking questions and then interrupting and not letting her answer. It all made for a very volatile situation. They are indeed working on our website which is in England, and for some time the email confirmation feature was disabled and it took them some time to figure out why.

Our company is growing by leaps and bounds, and training new staff in the middle of a deluge of orders is total chaos. Again, not your problem. I would hope, however, that you would try us again to see if we've improved. We're not happy with our dinosaur order system either, and with impatience on all sides, it makes for a bad experience all around. The harried IT staff in England is trying to get it all sorted, but it's a slow process as they've added Japan as well, which is tied to our website, so they're dealing with a language problem as well. They have promised we will have a brand new order system by December. None of this has anything to do with you, and is certainly no excuse for poor service...I'm simply trying to show the circumstances in which we all find ourselves. Personally, I would like to see DA's stop growing for a moment so staff can catch up! Unfortunately, DA roses are in big demand now and these are the growing pains.

The young lady of which you speak is dealing with 250-300 emails per day and with that volume, all responses have to be abbreviated to get them all done. We will work on wordage that is more informative and less dismissive and again, we do apologize for your negative experience. If you wish to speak to me, you may phone 800 328 8893, or email me at We certainly would like to mend the rift if we can. All the best, Jo VonBargen (Gen Mgr)

On Apr 11, 2009 4:08 PM, David Austin Roses (US) added:

Many thanks again, Ms Cherrybelle. I would like to tell everyone what good ideas you gave me for handling difficult situations in the future, exactly what to say to bring the volume down on both sides, so to speak. That sort of feedback is genuine, real-world, and very valuable. I think we should put you on the payroll! Thanks again....I appreciate the give-and-take very much.

All the best,

Positive Barbwk
(1 review)
On Mar 24, 2009, Barbwk Arrington, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Finally broke down and actually ordered roses as opposed to buying them locally. Beautiful,large roots. Moist upon arrival, well packaged. Loved the "rose" box they are shipped in! If there is one small glitch it would be the lack of an immediate confirmation upon ordering. I never knew if they received my order....I emailed them asking for confirmation but never received a reply. I could have called, but just assumed my order had been lost in cyber space. So, when I saw Jackson and Perkins had some DA at Costco I bought quite a few. Well, not 3 days later, I received an email from David Austin with shipping details of my order! They arrived exactly when they said they would and the difference between the 2 (Costco's J&P and my actual DA) were very noticeable. DA being far superior in all regards.

Positive zhenya
(5 reviews)
On Mar 9, 2009, zhenya Los Lunas, NM (Zone 6b) wrote:

Was pleased with my shipment this week. Some of the roots were so large I had to expand my predug holes. Nice healthy plants. They had quoted me a later ship date, but I am always prepared as my experience over the years with many nurseries is that you might as well expect your order anytime after placing it. My only complaint is that I did not get an automatic return email, but they correpsonded with my quickly when I wrote to follow up. They have a great selection and a beautiful catalog to put under your pillow!

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