On Mar 17, 2015, Dinglehopp3r Knoxville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:
I do really like this business overall , their website is easy to order from, they have a great selection, and their plants are usually top notch. I have had one dud from them- a crimson glory climber that got pampered along with the rest of my order last year, but it "grew backwards" all last summer to the point that now that there is only about 4" of living green cane left on it, I decided that if it doesn't pull through this spring it just isn't worth putting up a fuss to have it replaced- no biggie, the rest of the plants I have gotten from them are thriving.
All that aside, the experience that drove me to write this today was this, I just had a very disappointing/frustrating phone interaction that made me like this business a little less than I did before I made the call. Just FYI, when you choose your shipping date from the drop down menu when placing an order, those dates are NOT to be taken literally. The date I selected was the earliest available shipping day, which happened to be the day after placing the order, which was 3/16/15 - a Monday, on their site they say they ship only on Mondays so that the roses have a better chance of getting to you before the weekend so that they can avoid unnecessary time in transit, however due to the high volume of orders they have at the moment (a completely understandable scenario) my order won't be going out until Thursday, which obviously since I am in TN & they are in TX, these roses are not getting to me by the weekend, which isn't a huge deal, BUT they sure as heck didn't shipping on 3/16, which was the shipping date listed on the order form as I was placing the order... just a tiny bit misleading since they don't give you the actual shipdate until several days after your order is already placed.... even still all this is very forgivable, I am in the retail business, I understand.
However, the thing that I will remember most from this interaction with ARE was the woman's sour tone on the phone with me. I'm sorry but if you do almost all your business over the internet or phone your phone voice better at least be professional, if not airing on the side of pleasant. I know you are very busy, it is spring, I'm not dumb, & I refuse to be addressed in an aggressive manner by someone whom I have chosen to support with my business. In 2014 I purchased exactly 20 roses from ARE, and at $20 a pop, that is a total of $400 I spent with them last year, NOT including the shipping, as these were spread out over 4 orders, and shipping plants is not cheap no matter where you shop, that shipping added up too. This most recent order of 5 roses cost $100 & $35 to ship, so if I include this years order & last year's total for roses plus shipping, I have spent over $650 dollars with ARE in the last 8 months, I think you could say that I am a good customer.
Just as a comparison, I have had MANY phone conversations with the people over at Roses Unlimited, and they are in the same business, they are just as overwhelmed as any specialty rose retailer at this time of year, yet they always answer the phone in a polite cheerful manner and answer any questions I have with a smile in their voice, even if I have an annoying request to change an already placed order (something I have done more than once this year alone) they are still courteous and polite, as they should be since I have almost 20 roses on order with them for shipment next month. Since I am spending a pretty decent chunk of change with their business, (but even if I wasn't) I expect be treated like a valued customer and not an annoyance; this is how you treat people who chose to spend their money at your establishment, & this is how I treat people every day at my own place of employment and I expect the same service from anyone I spend hundreds of my own hard earned dollars with.
This is not my first order with ARE, and it definitely won't be my last, I won't let one person's bad attitude stand in the way of me purchasing things that I want to purchase from a scource that sells a good product, but next time I might consider waiting until normal business hours to call Roses Unlimited first, even though it is a lot less convenient since you cannot order from the website, I still might choose to give them my business before I check ARE's website since I feel that my business is appreciated there.
I received two plants from Antique Rose Emporium this year, my first time ordering from this company.
I was completely impressed by the excellent packing; the box was left on my doorstep upside down (thanks UPS) and who knows what jostling it received along the way! But the containers were secured by a lay of newpaper, a banded-on shallow plastic bag, and a cardboard lid over the soil, and a carboard grid-frame to keep the plants rigid and intact during shipment. They were little worse for wear after their long journey from Texas.
The plants come in what I believe are called "trade gallon" containers. The roots of one plant (the Sombrueil) almost completely filled the container. However, the other (the Zephirine Drouhin) had a meager root system that would've fit easily into a quart container...not what I was expecting from such a highly regarded company. Having said that, both plants are doing fine so far.
On Apr 21, 2006, berrygirl Braselton, GA (Zone 7b) wrote:
I just rec'd a rose from ARE today via UPS. This is my first time buying from this Co. The rose is slightly damaged as the box seemed to have been turned upside down. All the dirt was at the top of the box and all over the rose leaves. The papers, invoices and catalog were soggy and dirty as well. The rose wasn't too fresh and was wilted- looks like it took a long time to get to me.
Am contacting them ASAP.
I will edit my rating according to how the rose does. I really won't care about this at all if the rose thrives.
On Dec 9, 2005, ladyisle Bohemia, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:
I have ordered a couple of times from ARE. The roses are nice, but I am not impressed with their customer service. I called on several ocassions to ask cultural questions. Not only did I not get a helpful answer, but it appeared that the person on the other end didn't really care. Oh well-there are many other companies to choose from. Another one in the same state as a matter of fact, who are not only less expensive, but offer better service with more helpful staff.
ADVICE: Be sure to ask for your roses to be shipped in bud.
Excellent selection and informational website and catalog. Good service. Good prices for the pot size if not for the plants size. Some problems with some stock.
Try as I might, I just can't bring myself to give these folks a negative rating, even though it might be merited. ARE has done much unselfishly to promote heirloom and old garden roses and they are nice to deal with but I've received some very disappointing stock from them.
I've ordered twice from them, and to be fair only 3 varieties of roses were represented, Lady Banks roses and Zephrine Drouhin. These roses may not be representative of their huge selection. Anyway, the Zephrines were small and lacked vigor. One died quickly while in the nursery pot. A second languished for a year or so never thriving or blooming. The third is surviving, but has had only one bloom in 3 years. It is anything but vigorous, it's been 3 years that I've had it -- so it's probably a 5 year old plant -- and it looks like a a 2-year old plant. The lady Banks never even got to the flowering stage. They were small to begin with , not young so much as lacking vigor -- if you can imagine a wimpy Lady Banks. They succombed in their original nursery pots over the winter despite protection from the elements.
Despite this experience, I wouldn't wipe ARE off the books completely. They seem conscientous and I'd give them a second chance. I'd just make sure I'd ask for roses to be shipped in bud.
If you're mail-ordering roses, I'd suggest using another nursery first -- like Roses Unlimited or High Country roses!
I have had a decent experience with this company. The times Ive bought before the plants were healthy. This year of 2001 the plants had black spot upon arrival. Still, the selection and price are worth it. However Id appreciate not getting roses with black spot the next time I order.
I ordered four roses about eight years ago. Three arrived in perfect shape. They were large and well rooted. Antique Rose Emporium claimed that two of them were shade tolerant, and both have, in fact, done very well in very shady conditions (a few hours of morning sun). The climber took a few years to reach eight feet or so in length, but then it took off. It's now more than 25 feet long and doing better than ARE claimed it would. My only complaint is that they canceled the order for the fourth one. They did not let me know until the others were shipped, which left me no time to pick an alternate selection.
Beautiful catalogue, lots of info. I ordered 10 plants which arrived for fall planting (highly recommended by ARE). All were in pretty good shape, but they were fairly large plants in soil with premium shipping costs. I planted and waited. Three survived, two were replaced, the rest died. The policy is replacement if plant dies in 3 months, however, with a fall planting, you cannot always tell if the plant is dead. I will order again from ARE, but not for fall planting. I have had much better results with smaller plants from other companies.
My local old-roser Sara Glickstein said that she got small plants that needed to be babied the first year. They are newly rooted cutting and cannot be put in a difficult spot in the garden but must be carried on in the nursery. This is a bit impractical in her garden, and the plants died.