On Jul 1, 2013, lilaclily Lombard, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on May 29, 2012, updated July 1, 2013
Posted on June 16, 2004, updated May 29, 2012
Ordered and paid for FOUR, received TWELVE, when I called to let them know they told me to keep them all with their blessings. That was 2 months ago. 7 of the 12 are blooming and 3-4' tall, the others have many buds and about to bloom. The 2 Mary roses are blooming white with only a tinge of pink, which is weird, but for free I cannot complain. No black spot at all. No complaints here.
On May 29th, 2012, lilaclily changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I realize that my follow up review takes place at least 6 years from my last order from DA, but more than 1/2 of the total number of roses that I have placed through several years of ordering from them have reverted to root stock (no warning like suckers, etc) and had to be dug up. I expect this sort of inferior quality from Jackson & Perkins, NOT David Austin.
On July 1st, 2013, lilaclily changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Another year and even more roses reverting to root stock. Out of all the English roses that I have ordered from David Austin, I am left with very few that are still true to what I purchased. On Jul 1, 2013, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
"On May 30, 2012 3:27 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
If you would like to provide a contact phone number, Michael Marriott our Head Rosarian would be happy to call you to explore your individual circumstances. Michael may be able to discover a reason for so many of your roses reverting to the rootstock and can also offer suggestions on planting depth or on winter protection for unusually harsh winters which may be useful in the future with your zone 5a garden.
On Jul 20, 2013 11:27 AM, David Austin Roses (US) added:
We are sorry to hear that you are still experiencing problems with your roses reverting to root stock. If you would like to call our Customer Service department on 800-328-8893 or send an email with some photos to: email@example.com with your contact details, we will be happy to try and help you.
On Jun 13, 2013, GStickler Marshallville, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
The quality of the roses was fine. Customer service is almost non-existent.....they either don't respond to e-mail inquiries or don't follow through with requests. Very unaccommodating...poor, poor way of doing business. I will find my roses elsewhere from now on. You'd think with a brand name like David Austin that they would be top notch in order to protect that brand name.....no way, no how. It doesn't seem to matter to the people in the Texas office one way or the other after they've received your money.
On Jun 13, 2013, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
"On Jun 27, 2013 2:57 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
Please accept our apologies for the upset caused regarding your order and for the poor customer service you received.
Someone outside David Austin Roses posted a David Austin coupon code on the internet this year, without explaining that it required certain varieties to be bought to take effect. This was totally outside our control and has been a big problem for us this year.
Our current ordering system works in such a way that a special offer only becomes active if the conditions of the code are met - i.e. the specified varieties or quantities have been ordered. Our current website assumes that the customer knows the requirements of a coupon code when they select it and order accordingly. Orders placed through our website then feed automatically into our order processing system and we don't see the offer code on the order confirmation to know that the requirements have not been met and alert the customer.
We are in the process of having a new website built which should flag to the customer that the requirements of an offer code have not been met before they proceed to the payment page.
We would like to apologize to all our customers who experienced this problem this season for any upset and inconvenience caused.
Posted on May 29, 2013, updated June 6, 2013
Posted on May 28, 2013, updated May 29, 2013
Posted on May 25, 2013, updated May 28, 2013
Not great service so far. Ordered a container gift rose which was to be delivered on 5/23. No rose and it is now the weekend and I am afraid this rose is sitting in a mailroom somewhere suffering and will be stuck there til Tuesday.. Sent an e-mail yesterday asking about the status and no response so far - most likely they are off for the Memorial day weekend.which is not encouraging. Will update this status when/if the rose arrives.
On May 28th, 2013, Gully changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
No delivery and no response to the e-mail inquiring about the rose which should have been delivered last Thursday. Will call them tomorrow and try to cancel the order. On May 29th, 2013, Gully changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
Received an e-mail from Angie at David Austin Roses today. Here is the exact message I received....
"Thank you for your email.
I am afraid our website may not have been clear in shipping times for container roses, my apologies.
In order for you to recieve the roses in good shape, we will ship so it will not sit over the weekend and you will receive by Friday.
Since it is 4 working days to your area, we did not ship the week we received your order, then the Holiday weekend slowed us as well because we missed a shipping day.
Your order is scheduled to ship on Monday June so you will receive by Friday.
I am very sorry for any misunderstanding or delay and the delay in gettin back with you. For you trouble, I am happy to refund your freight for you, I hope this might help a bit.
I certainly appreciate the offer, but feel that the site needs to state gift container rose shipping information either on the gift container information page or on the order page. The response felt like a form letter, as you can see the dates for when my order will ship are not filled in. "Monday June" is not very helpful.On June 6th, 2013, Gully changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
The rose finally arrived today. The box looked impressive, about 4 feet tall. Too bad the rose was only 10" in height. Nothing to keep it from moving around so one of the two main canes was broken in half. Overall, not a good experience. Will purchase my future roses from Romence Gardens. On Jun 6, 2013, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
"On Jun 27, 2013 2:04 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
We are very sorry for the upset and inconvenience caused. Our container roses are shipped by UPS on Mondays and Tuesdays (and Wednesdays within Texas) so that they are delivered by Friday the same week and do not sit in the UPS warehouse over the weekend or a holiday.
We are in the process of having a new website built, which we hope will be much more informative and user friendly when placing orders.
The container roses that we ship are 2 year old plants that are freshly potted each Spring. Each rose that we ship is selected for having healthy, even foliage and buds. The rose will soon develop and grow once planted. We have also found that the shorter plants generally arrive in better condition as they can be secured into the box to help keep them intact when thrown around in transit. We are very sorry to hear that your rose was not adequately secured and been damaged in transit. We are always happy to replace plants that are damaged in transit."
The roses are gorgeous. I am giving a negative rating based on service. My comments echo many of the previous ones here. I simply cannot understand how this company can continue to have such poor communication and send bare rooted roses so late in the year. I ordered my roses in March hoping to receive them fairly soon. Here in my zone 6 garden existing roses have leafed out and have buds on the day (May 6) when I finally receive finally my David Austin Roses. I am doing my best to keep them alive as the warm weather arrives.
On May 18, 2013, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
"On Jun 27, 2013 3:20 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
We are very sorry for the upset caused by the late shipping of your order.
We ship by zipcode (and 10 day weather forecast for each area) and your area in MA is flagged for shipping in April. I can see that your order was shipped at the very end of the month and I apologize for this.
Our roses come with a 1 year replacement warranty, so if they did not make it, please contact us and we will be happy to arrange replacements for you next season.
In future, if you would like your roses to be delivered by a certain date, please let us know this when you place your order and we will be happy to arrange this for you."
Posted on May 18, 2011, updated June 13, 2012
Last year we ordered 5 DA roses. 2 that we ordered had damages to them when they arrived. 'Teasing Georgia' had a split above the graft line and 'Ebb Tide' had blackened stem tips, that despite sanitized secateurs and repeated treatment, keeps dying back.
3 varieties have suckered freely and keep growing non-sucker canes that are abnormally large and fast growing with huge red thorns.
'Pat Austin' is a "nodding" rose - the description makes no mention of this and the stems do not seem sturdy enough to hold the huge blooms, so often break, especially in the rain.
And now it is looking like 2 of these roses may have Rose Rosette Disease. Odd curling of the new foliage, bright red coloring and abnormal thorn growth. Stunted, malformed blooms with colorless streaks.
We contacted DA and talked to Angie last fall about these roses, and she didn't really have any explanation for any of it, but said that come spring, if we were not happy or they had not improved, they would work with us to replace them.
So I emailed last week, and did not get a reply. I emailed at the beginning of this week, and got no reply. I finally had to call on my day off and they started to give me the run around and told me there wasn't much they could do. I explained that that was not what I had been told by "Angie" nor does that jive with what their website says as far as replacement roses go.
So they are sending a Replacement Form, but say that they won't be able to replace our roses until NEXT YEAR - even though I could go right now and order the roses from their site and have delivery this month. So I feel like I am getting the run around.
Wouldn't answer my emails, won't make good on their roses for a whole year. What sort of customer service is this? Not good service, IMO...
If I ever get healthy replacement roses, I will update this review.
On June 13th, 2012, InsaniD changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Finally received replacement roses at the beginning of May. I had to email them or I really think I would have been forgotten. Of those, only the bare-root 'Strawberry Hill' looked good or healthy. 'Benjamin Britten' had a weeping canker in the graft. 'Ebb Tide' again arrived with blackened end tips that caused the death of the original and there was mottling up and down the stems. Found a few aphids and spider mites on them when they arrived. And they were pruned poorly - 'Benjamin Britten' had two main stems, with "sprays" of growth above (like antenna, with the rose above) and others were bad too.
So I emailed and complained. I said I was destroying these. They were really apologetic and sent me yet another replacement shipment at the end of May.
This time you could tell they had "prepped" the roses. They re-cut the stem tips of all the plants. However this didn't get rid of the issues with the 'Ebb Tide' which is now almost dead - stems are turning black and dying. And the replacement 'Benjamin Britten' is struggling. In part that might be due to shipping and planting these so late in the season. But the pruning of these was bad as well - 'Ebb Tide' had crossed stems that were actually touching! Cuts are level, not at an angle as they should be.
I expect more from DA.
I am sending them an email and asking for my money back.
On Jun 13, 2012, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
"On Aug 16, 2012 1:30 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
This customer ordered 5 roses in 2010. He has since received two sets of replacements. We are sorry for this unhappy experience and can report that, following telephone discussions with Angie from our customer services team, we have made a refund to resolve the issue."
I ordered two roses from this company on 17 February 2012. I received a phone call in late May they were out of the roses I had ordered in February. They wished to sub some other roses. I replied as long as they were fragrant. Needless to say, they were not labeled as such. They were also sent UPS ground which to Alaska is rather a joke. Two weeks in transit. I am still waiting for new sprouts. Am I happy with my $40 each roses? What do you think?
On Jun 9, 2012, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
"On Aug 16, 2012 1:28 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
We have left a phone message for this customer and are also e-mailing to try to resolve the issue. Due to the climate, roses are shipped to Alaska at the end of the bare root season and unfortunately, with live plant material, plants can be rejected during the final quality checks during packing when there is no remaining stock of the same variety. Our roses are shipped by UPS to Alaska and our tracking information shows these roses were eight days in transit. If the roses fail to sprout after an appropriate amount of time, our company policy is to offer replacements. "
On Jan 1, 2012, gardengirlinmd Hagerstown, MD wrote:
I placed an order with David Austin roses, U.S. last winter. I would guess that I ordered in Jan. 2011, or at the latest Feb. I ordered about 15 roses and had plans to start a rose garden using only their roses. I had no special instructions about when I wanted them, just as soon as they could be sent to my area, which is usually mid April. I never bugged them, but when I needed to leave town for a few days in late May, I wondered where the roses were and called to make sure they wouldn't be sent while I was gone. The woman I spoke to said they would be sent after I returned. Weeks went by. I had the area prepared and ready. Finally a box arrived in the last week of June. The bare root plants were dry as a bone in a plastic bag. But the real problem was that I received 3 plants, not the 15 I ordered. Worse still the plants I received were badly damaged. One had a split through the rootstock up into the graft and was totally unsalvageable. The others had broken main roots and were pathetic. I called immediately. I asked where the rest of the roses were and was told they were out of stock. I did ask how that was possible, given when I ordered them, but she had no idea. I told the lady that these plants were unacceptable and that I was not even going to bother planting them. I was told that they dipped the plants in some special solution and that was why they were shipped dry, but there was no explanation of this in the box. I was also told that I would have to wait until next year (spring 2012) to get the rest of my order. She said they had some "production problems" this year. (I want to make it clear that I had checked my email several times between May and the end of June looking to see if I had somehow missed the explanatory emails you might expect in this sort of situation, but had never received even one.) I told her to cancel my 2012 order and to refund me for the plants they sent, which she immediately and politely agreed to do. I can't believe that a company like this would allow this to go on in their name.
If there is someone from DA reading this please make the changes necessary. Why are you based in Texas? How about Oregon and Ohio or Tennessee, like most other companies? Reading the reviews from this year I see that some people received their orders and some had exactly my experience. What really irks me is that several people who got their fabulous roses ordered them long after I did.
I still look wistfully at my beautiful, luscious David Austin catalog. I still have a large area set aside and ready for roses. I keep thinking about whether to give David Austin another chance and can't decide. That's why I came here--looking to see what other people thought. Now I can see that it wasn't just me who had a bad experience. I've thought about calling and asking about whether they've resolved their problems, but what's the use? I might have to wait another year to figure it out. How ridiculous to have to wait a year and a half for roses.
Does anyone know of any other source for these roses? I'd like to buy them in containers so I can see what I'm buying.
On Jan 1, 2012, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
"On Jan 13, 2012 1:18 PM, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
We are very sorry indeed that some of our customers last season were disappointed by the service they received. For some time, alerts from this website have not been received by our management team. Alerts are now coming through correctly and everyone who has left a negative comment on this site should by now have been directly contacted by a senior member of our customer service team.
Following an appearance on a well-known television program, we experienced an unusually high level of demand for our roses last spring. In an attempt to deal with this increased interest in our roses, we appointed extra staff and mid-season, we installed a new computer system, designed to help us improve our level of customer service.
Unfortunately the transfer from our existing computer system to our new system was not as smooth as it should have been. A small number of orders were incorrectly marked as having been shipped on our new system when they were still outstanding. We understand how very disappointing it was for these customers when they did not receive the roses they had ordered last season. We would like to publicly apologize to them and will be rectifying this at the earliest opportunity.
A full review of the issues raised here has also taken place and as a result, several changes have been agreed which will help us to improve our communication with customers going forward. Extra training is being provided to our team in order to help us offer a high level of service to all our customers. We appreciate all the feedback, and encourage any gardener who is not delighted by the service they receive to contact us toll free on 800 328 8893, asking to speak to Angela Folse, our customer services manager.
I've purchased a few times from David Austin Roses and I've never been too impressed with the quality of the bare root roses received. Just today, I called the company about my Christopher Marlow that never really took off last year when I received it. I got a pretty curt customer service rep who told me that there was a one year return policy. Ok, got it in 2010 and now its 2011...isn't that within the one year period? Whatever...I'm done ordering from them and getting 'less than' quality. If I want one of their roses bad enough, I'll just go to the local garden center where I won't get the snippy attitude.
I just got off the phone after asking for advice on how to remedy the persistent black spot on my strawberry hill roses. I have sprayed fungicide and cleaned up leaves below my six bushes but the lower part of the bush is almost defoliated. They are in worse shape than my heirloom roses. The customer service operator's response was go to your local nursery we are in Texas and don't have that problem here. I told her that I purchased the bushes directly from them at the Pennsylvania horticulture society flower show on recommendation from one of their representatives from England.
She kept on repeating the company line that their roses are resistant not immune. She says that they give no technical support and could only advise about roses in Texas. I asked if they were a regional company to which she replied no,so therefore, it is my belief that they should have knowledge about other areas. Very disappointing to find they have done so poorly in fact worse than all my other roses. Will never buy from them again. If you look at the recent ratings 30% of them are negative. Shame on you David Austin.
On Jun 27, 2011, FDHalloran Salt Lake City, UT wrote:
I love David Austin's roses, and have had positive experiences in the past. I sent several roses to a friend as a wedding gift and they're doing great. I also grew four varieties in my California garden successfully.
When we moved into our new house in SLC, I ordered two roses. It was early June, and the company emailed on June 14 to say that they could not fulfill my request because it was "far too late" to send roses to our climate. Never mind that it snowed on May 25 that year.
Angie offered to save the order for this year. I said ok, and waited all winter for my order, which was supposed to ship in late March or early April. In March, nothing. In April, nothing. On May 7 I emailed. No reply. On May 16, I emailed the customer service account through the website. Angie emailed to say they were very busy and she didn't know why my roses failed to arrive.
So they dug up my order and sent me a box with one rose. Here's where it starts to get bizarre.
I ordered: one Graham Thomas (my absolute favorite) and one Constance Spry.
Angie emailed that they could not send Constance Spry, and I replied asking for Jude the Obscure or Graham Thomas. Sure, she said.
Here's what they sent:
On June 1: one Gertrude Jekyll. (What??)
On June 1: one Graham Thomas
On June 8: Another Graham Thomas
[Note that when I originally ordered these roses early June was "far too late" but apparently when DA forgets all about you...it's fine.]
So I got two of one rose I like, plus a rose I didn't order, didn't substitute and don't like (scent and color are wrong). Also, note that I ordered two roses and received three. I don't know yet whether I was charged for three roses.
But wait! There's more! I'm pretty sure they're all dead. Yep, dead. Shipped too late, not in good condition in the box, exactly as others have noted here - dry, no packing material, blackened at the tips. I put them in a nice spot, but I think they were DOA. There's no sign of leafing out.
I love the product, and would plant more David Austin roses in a heartbeat. But I will order my plants from another source because the disorganization at the David Austin (US) distributor is just too much. They're very nice but at some point you want things to be RIGHT.
I am very disappointed in the service I've received...David Austin should be ashamed! I've ordered several roses for my Cape Cod and San Francisco gardens from this place...never had a problem until this year. I ordered several months ago; 1 Mme Alfred Carriere and 3 Claire Austins. The reason for our order with PRIMARY to get the Mme Alfred Carriere, but we had had good luck with Claire Austin in our garden on the Cape and I thought I would get a few more for our cutting garden. Firstbof all, I never received a confirmation of the order, so wondered if it had gone through (this was an order on the Web), I followed up and got confirmation they received it, then come April, I hadn't heard anything about the shipping so followed up via email on May 11th, received an email back the next day telling me they would ship the next day. Fast forward to June 1st, I've still not received my roses..I follow up again via email and received an email response telling me they shipped last week and we should have them tomorrow....but, Ooops, a little problem.....we just don't happen to have the Mme Alfred Carriere..out of stock..we can send you one next year!! The whole reason for my order was to get this rose!....no notice, no nothing...I would have cancelled the whole order had the told me this!
We order from countless antique rose places....Vintage Gardens, High Country Roses, Rouge Valley..all family run businesses and they have always been attentive, and certainly if they find that they are outnof stock, they contact us in plenty of time so we can find other sources in tin me for planting season in the same year...David Sustin ought to be embarrassed that his large operations in the US provide such shoddy service...!!!!
I placed an order on their website for one bare root rose on May 5, 2011.On May 10, 2011 I sent an email inquiring about them sending shipping notices. I then received an email almost immediately from them saying "Your order shipped yesterday. Regards." That would mean my order shipped on May 9, 2011. I checked the UPS website to find out the approximate transit time to try to arrange for someone to be here with me on the delivery date since I am disabled and did not want the rose to just sit until I could arrange help. UPS stated transit time is about three days. On May 17, 2011 I still had no rose or any shipping info. Then late that afternoon I got an email from UPS saying a shipping label had been created and my shipment had a tentative delivery date of May 20, 2011 but that was all the info I could access at that point. So I called the toll free line at David Austin to find out why I am being told by UPS that my rose shipment had just been started today May 17th when I was told by a David Austin representative the rose had shipped out on May 9th. The woman I spoke with could not explain why and told me that the email I got meant the order would ship as soon as possible. How you get asap out of "your order shipped yesterday.Regards" is a mystery to me! She asked if I would like to talk to the woman who sent the initial email,when I said yes I was place on hold for seconds then told she had left. Then I was told if I would like to talk to her tomorrow I have to call her back! This is the first time I have ordered with them and it is now the last order I will ever place.
On May 13, 2011, JacquelynsRose Woodland Hills, CA wrote:
This was my first time ordering roses online. I am starting a new garden and I was hoping to have a positive experience and be able to order the rest of my roses from David Austins collection as they have beautiful roses.
However, my rose (Jude the Obscure) was shipped to me on a very hot week in early May. Because this is my first time I was unaware of timing for shipping bare root roses. I was only told that I would have two weeks from the time of arrival to plant the rose. We were moving in a week and I was planning on planting the rose at our new house in my new garden. Kind of a "garden warming" present.
When I received the rose it was already sprouting new growth all over the 2 canes. Several of the roots were broken and or very small.
I also thought that the rose would have more canes at least 3, (as described and illustrated in the David Austin Rose Cultivation Book) but there were only two small canes.
After immediately soaking the roots in a bucket I called the company to inquire about the condition of the rose and I was told that there is NO Warranty because of the season. I was also told that since it had broken dormancy I needed to plant it immediately. This is very disappointing as this rose was intended to be planted in the ground not a pot.
At this point I only hope it lives or that will just be the cherry on top of this disappointment.
I feel that I was taken advantage of because of my inexperience. Instead of educated and guided to successful roses, the company just took advantage.
The website states two weeks to plant - Not True
Multiple Canes - Not True
Buyer beware, although they speak of a Warranty, there is NO WARRANTY.
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.
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.
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:
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 http://www.davidaustinroses.com 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’.
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.
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!!!
I have grown HUNDREDS of roses over the years (including some DA roses) and even now have over 30 in my 1/3 acre yard. My friend and I ordered 12 DA roses. We asked them to ship earlier than their normal time (May) because here in the Pacific NW that is late to plant roses. They arrived in May (late May? June?) and we planted. Four of our roses did not make it. We asked for replacement and they did not respond, finally I called in late winter and they said they would send replacement next spring. Never arrived. I had to call again and they said they were out, they would send replacement NEXT spring. So we will have to wait another year.
Outside of service, the roses themselves are smaller than I would have thought, very prone to black spot & mildew, smaller flowers and very floppy. Will NOT order more English roses.
On Sep 6, 2006, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
On Sep 6, 2006 11:05 AM, David Austin Roses (US) added:
We’re sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience with David Austin roses, but are puzzled by the dates and details you provide.
David Austin Roses normally ships in late March or early April to your area, with the exact dates depending on the season’s weather conditions.
Shipment outside the delivery window for the area would only be agreed at the customer’s own request, which would normally only occur if a customer placed an order very late. Where a customer specifically requests a late delivery, shipment can only be made at the customer’s own risk, although we do offer advice on the special care which will be required to help their roses establish in their garden during hot spells.
All roses bought direct from us through our mail order services and despatched during the recommended delivery windows are covered by our twelve month guarantee. If you have bought our roses from another source, which does seem to be a possibility given your timing information, you would need to check the terms of their guarantee.
We take great pride in our responsiveness to customer enquiries or requests for information. I have personally looked back through all orders raised for your area since 2002 and have not so far been able to locate your order. If you can contact me toll free on 800 328 8893 with your name and address (and ideally the order number if you still have it) I can respond to you in more detail. This will also enable us to remove your details from our mailing list.
On Jan 15, 2006, WigglyPaw Hastings, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:
I ordered Eglyntyne as an own root grown, and received a grafted model. ugh. I did call and inquire and received nothing but a curt attitude and a fare-thee-well. Sorry Charlie and all that.
What recourse do I have if they deny that anything is wrong?
On Jan 15, 2006, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
On Jan 16, 2006 8:49 AM, David Austin Roses (US) added:
I apologize profusely if staff responded to your complaint in the manner you describe, though I'm hard put to imagine which of them would do this as it is certainly not in line with our high customer service standards. Did you get a name?
Of course something is wrong if you didn't receive what you ordered and weren't even offered an explanation or refund.
We no longer offer own-root varieties as that supplier dropped us for not ordering a high enough quantity and we have not found another supplier to date. If you will phone or email me with your order number or address, I'll be happy to refund the money you paid.
Again, my apologies for the service (or lack of it) you received.
On Jan 26, 2006 10:17 AM, David Austin Roses (US) added:
We first replied on 17th January but as I have not heard from you, I am writing again to clarify and hopefully to encourage you to contact me directly.
We are really sorry that we didn’t make clear to you that we are no longer able to offer own-root roses. All our roses are grafted onto Dr Huey, which is one of the most popular rose rootstocks used in the US. We have added this information on to our home page, it is also in our latest catalogue and our customer service team will take care to advise anyone who tries to order own-root roses in future.
We have had so little demand for own-root roses that it is no longer economic to offer them, but we should have informed you of this before proceeding with shipment. If you’re struggling to find an own root supplier you might like to contact http://www.heirloomroses.com who may be able to help you.
I am very sorry for your poor experience and David Austin Roses will give you an immediate refund. Please contact me directly toll free on 800 328 8893 so I can apologise personally and arrange to send the refund to you. Alternately if you post your customer number on this website, this will allow us to trace you.
I can see from your garden diary that you are planning to create a rose garden over the next few years and hope you can find a corner somewhere in your garden for the grafted Eglantyne, which you can of course keep with our compliments. Hopefully it will flourish and fill a little corner while the garden is still under development. We hope in time you’ll become so attached to it, you won’t be able to dig it up!
I was amazingly disappointed with the customer service this company offered. I eagerly ordered a number of rosebushes to arrive in Spring. I live in Massachusetts. Imagine my dismay when the roses all arrived in the middle of a snowstorm on March 16. The ground was still frozen.
When I called the Tyler, Texas office to protest their early arrival, I was informed that it was the appropriate time for delivery for my area... and I could soak them, repackage them and then plant them in containers or heal them into the ground when it unfroze. I asked to speak to a customer service supervisor, was told none were available...I could ship the plants back at my expense but they couldn't guarantee that I would receive my choices at a later date AND I would have to pay shipping charges again.
I wrote an e-mail the next day to the customer services department asking for contact. No one has ever replied. I nursed the roses for 3 1/2 weeks before I was able to plant them. Lovely product, very poor service.
On Jul 24, 2004, David Austin Roses (US) responded with:
"Gosh, I can certainly understand how you feel if this is indeed the experience you had with our company this past season.
To be honest, we did get caught by that snowstorm in March and many customers had to have replacement orders sent later on.
I do apologize for the way your call was handled and will go over these points with my staff immediately. Unfortunately, I was out of the office quite often during that period as my elderly parents were both very ill. I did have some temporary help here and assume that you probably spoke with one who was not fully trained (my fault, not yours).
As for the email, I always respond personally to email inquiries, so I'm wondering if it maybe didn't come through as we were also experiencing phone and data line problems during the same period. I wouldn't like to appear to be making excuses, but am merely trying to find an explanation for things that occured as this is not typical of the service we strive for here at David Austin's.
I am very, very sorry for your negative experience and perception of our company and would certainly make it right for you if you will email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . We would definitely replace any failed plants at our own expense and there is no charge for the shipping on your part. This is our standard guarantee.
Again, I apologize for the misinformation that apparently came from staff here.
General Manager, US Office
David Austin Roses"
Last spring, I ordered six rose bushes from this company all shown in their beautiful catalog. My bed plantings depended on the placement of these roses. At the same time I ordered roses from two other houses with no problems. The David Austin roses came in plastic bags, all black, moldy, soggy wet and leaking. I immediately called their office in Tyler TX but was told by the customer service people, "That happens all the time; just hose it off and they'll be fine." I couldn't believe it, really, as my grower's instinct said 'these suckers are dead' but she insisted I plant them and if they don't come back, they will refund my money. I wasted my time and did that only to confirm what I already knew. I pulled them out six weeks later, wrote a letter and eventually, they issued a refund but the haughty attitude and reluctance to issue an immediate refund or replacement was a big disappointment as I erroneously assumed this company was a top rated rose house. It's not in my book.