Posted on July 3, 2014, updated September 5, 2014
Last fall, I ordered 6 bareroot reblooming lilies. I was shocked how skimpy they were, - just one lonesome root each. I planted them. Three of them did not come up this spring. I called them and they sent 3 new ones. These were better, with between 4 - 8 roots per plant. However, the bag had one sticker on the outside and the tag inside the bag did not match. I called them and they resent again. Same problem. It is impossible to tell which tag is correct. I call AM again and explain there is some type of labeling problem. They said they had to call the grower. It took well over a week and me calling AM every other day. Each time I called, they said no one answers at the growers! Finally, they \'said\' the correct plant was shipped but that there was some kind of mixup. I even ordered an addition 3 roots this spring because I highly doubt those skimpy roots will ever be a full plant. In total, I spent over $50.00 and I still have no blooms. In May, I went to my local Lowes and purchased 5 very healthy pots of \'entrapment lilies\' ($11\'98 per 10 in pot) which are very full, blooming like crazy and showing no sign of stopping soon. Interesting, those blooms are exactly the same color as the ones pictured on the AM site. I tried to post a review on the AM site, but apparently they only allow positive reviews. I wish I could post pics here to show the difference. The lilies from AM still look sick, just a very few green leaves and still have no blooms, even though 3 of them were planted last fall. I cannot recommend AM, nor will I ever waste my money again.
On September 5th, 2014, BHINNJ added the following:
It is now September. I haven not had one single bloom from any of 9 plants. I took Ethans advice and wrote in and asked for a refund. That was several days ago. Have not heard one single word back from them! American Meadows is a scam. On Sep 5, 2014, American Meadows responded with:
"On Jul 4, 2014 8:59 AM, American Meadows responded with:
Sorry for your frustration. Labeling mix-ups are rare but do happen from time to time. We are in constant contact with our growers and always work as quickly as we can to rectify these problems when they occur.
We post all product reviews on our site, regardless of good or bad - as long as they\'re relevant and don\'t include any inappropriate language. That said, reviews must be \"approved\" and during the busy season, that doesn\'t always happen instantly.
As always, we guarantee all of our products and want you to be satisfied.
Ethan Platt | President
On Sep 5, 2014 12:51 PM, American Meadows added:
You have placed 3 orders with us and demanded (and received) 3 replacements and 2 refunds for those orders. As you mention above, you requested a refund via email on 8/30 in the midst of a long holiday weekend. Your refund was issued on 9/4, on the 3rd business day and you were notified via email this morning, before you updated your review.
Our people work very hard and take great pride in what we do. Calling us a "scam" is both inaccurate and inconsiderate. Clearly we are not meeting your expectations and wish you the best of luck in the future.
On May 3, 2014, terriwwjd Hot Springs National Park, AR wrote:
I placed a fairly large order with American Meadows, and waited for the shipment. It was a long time in coming compared to other companies. Of the potted plants, all were severely rootbound in the top half of the pot, as if they were recently stuck in some dirt in a bigger pot. I had ordered 4 delosperma fire spinners and 3 were dead and one almost dead. I called customer service and she sweetly said that replacements were on the way! Several weeks later I get ONE plant and guess what, it's dead too! I didn't bother to contact them for further replacements, I have no confidence in them now. Of the other plants I ordered, the roots of iris's were nice sized but not all have come up yet. Not sure if they will or not. Bottom line for me, there are way too many other mail order nurseries out there to choose from and make purchases...I will NOT buy from them again. Their products are inferior in my opinion!
On May 3, 2014, American Meadows responded with:
"On May 4, 2014 11:57 AM, American Meadows responded with:
Sorry that our plants didn't meet your expectations. I looked at the notes in your order and it only indicated that you'd requested a replacement for the 3 delosperma Jewel of Desert Garnet, which we'd sent out. I apologize if we did not understand your request.
Our focus when producing and shipping live plants is the root system - the roots should be deep in the pots, healthy and ready to withstand transplanting. We have an excellent track record of our plants adapting and thriving. As always, we stand by ready to honor our 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Posted on May 1, 2014, updated May 2, 2014
For my first order I was very impressed with the selection and prices. But, I was never emailed a tracking number, and my account page still said processing. At the end of the week that it was supposed to ship, I called customer service to see when they mite ship, whoever answered the phone quite rudely said, "they may ship out today(Friday), mite ship out Monday, but probably next week sometime, we have been busy."I emailed the company to put in a complaint about the attitude I got when I did call, but their response was " none of our customer service personnel would give a customer an answer like that". I am impressed about most if my order, have had one plant die so far, but the majority of them have grown like crazy. My opinion, I'll spend my money where they respect the customer, not with American meadows!
On May 2nd, 2014, Doublec added the following:
Update, was the fact of being called a liar that I will not use this business again!On May 2, 2014, American Meadows responded with:
"On May 1, 2014 9:14 PM, American Meadows responded with:
Doublec, I'm very sorry for your negative experience with our customer service department. Both myself, and my business partner physically sit in that department to help ensure that our customers are only getting the best information and service. Although we obviously don't hear every call, I can assure you that a response such as you had would be highly unusual from anyone on our team.
We did get a few days behind on orders over the last week or so as it's the absolute peak of our season and the late spring has even further compressed our shipping time frame.
If we were short with you, I sincerely apologize. Please respect the fact that this is a highly, highly stressful time of year for our small team. We field hundreds and hundreds of calls and emails every day and I'm sorry if we didn't treat yours as well as we could have.
On May 24, 2013, elfeik Near Kansas City, MO (Zone 6a) wrote:
Posted on May 23, 2013, updated May 24, 2013
Last year I ordered a set of 3 Dahlias and 6 blood root plants. First the order took a long time to arrive and when it did the Dahlias looked like they had been through the shredder, I had to send AM photos to convince them I wasn't being over picky, so that added another week before I could plant so it was June before they grew growing. They did grow but ran out of time before frost and lost about half of the buds. This year the Blood root didn't grow, I contacted AM again and they sent replacements, 2 look DOA and 4 look like they have been in storage forever, weak spindly twisted growth, they don't look good at all. Should have taken the refund that was offered. Contacted AM 3rd time and told them if they can't provide I want a refund. So that's where it stands now, I'll see what happens next.
On May 24th, 2013, elfeik added the following:
The woman I talked to was telling me plant them and see how they grow until I sent photos. Do you want to see pictures of the Bloodroot?On May 24, 2013, American Meadows responded with:
"On May 23, 2013 12:37 PM, American Meadows responded with:
Sorry you were not happy with your order. I've reviewed your emails, including the photos you sent last year. We do not require photos to honor our guarantee, but we do like to see when things arrive in a poor state so that we can work to improve.
On the bloodroot, that's one of our woodland wildflowers. These are very rare, slow-growing and often small flower varieties. They often take several years to establish and bloom. As you're probably aware, even at full maturity, bloodroot is a small plant. The roots we sell are all 1-2 years old, but they will be small.
We are happy to send replacements, but in reviewing the email you sent us last night, it sounds like you'd prefer a refund. We're always happy to honor our 100% satisfaction guarantee.
President | American Meadows"
On May 6, 2013, Tropicman Bushland, TX (Zone 6a) wrote:
Bought weeping love grass seeds,followed the directions,7 weeks no germination,contacted them,and received a response very quickly ,and was told they had 100% guarantee,or refund,but they would like a picture of proof,which I could understand,so I sent picture,within just a few hours,week has gone by,not a word back,sent another e-mail requesting another try of seeds,still no reply,mind you,I have water twice daily for seven weeks,time and cost of watering,trying to germinate the seeds.Now I know they have had time to read my e-mails,and it would take less than a couple minutes to answer,whether they will send refund or seeds,so I can get on with my project,that I have been working on for over 7 weeks on my landscape,as a greenhouse owner my self return visits is over 50% 0f my business,so prompt response was very much essential for my company,last thing I would want would be to ignore the problem,I have read all the responses here on Garden Watchdog,and it seems they ignore the follow ups on all the cases reported here,I also know this is a busy time for them,but your first costumer is your job to take care fast as possible,if you want repeat customer.
On May 6, 2013, American Meadows responded with:
"On May 6, 2013 1:39 PM, American Meadows responded with:
I'm sorry that you didn't have success with your planting and that you were not satisfied with our responses to your inquiries.
You have been speaking with Mike, one of the owners of American Meadows and an authority on seed for over 20 years. I reviewed your correspondence with him and see that your initial inquiry came in on Tuesday 4/30 at 1:30 in the afternoon. Mike replied at 8:30 that evening, mentioned our guarantee and asked if you could send photos. We do not require photos as proof - Mike simply wanted to see the planting and area so that he could offer more informed advice.
After sending the photos, you requested replacement seed on 5/2 (last Thursday). We entered the replacement order that day and it's due to ship to you today (Monday). That's less than a week from your initial inquiry and your replacement shipment, including the back and forth while Mike tried to assess your situation. I apologize that did not meet your expectations, but as you point out in your post, it is a tremendously busy time of year for us and we make every effort to respond to all of our customers in a timely fashion.
Best of luck with your replacement.
Presiden | American Meadows"
On Apr 4, 2013, girlfeia7 Morrisonville, NY wrote:
I ordered 1 purple shamrock bulbs(10) on march 11, 2013
as of April 4th and now have had to email them. I have not recived the bulbs. also no email from them staying why this order is taking so long to complete Not happy
On Apr 4, 2013, American Meadows responded with:
"On Apr 4, 2013 7:48 PM, American Meadows responded with:
I'm sorry for the confusion with your order. I've looked into it and see that you emailed us today at 3:55PM asking about your order status and we replied within an hour.
To elaborate on what we mentioned in the email, our default shipping schedule is based upon historic spring ground temperatures. Because we guarantee all of our products, we ship bulbs and perennials when it's appropriate to immediately plant them in your area. If you visit http://www.greencastonline.com/tools/soiltempmaps.aspx, you will see that as of today, the ground temperatures in your area are still in the mid-30's - much too cold to plant tender bulbs like purple shamrocks.
Our Shipping Information link (found at the bottom of each page on our website) provides further information and you were presented with the scheduled shipping week of April 22nd in the checkout process and again in your order confirmation email. I asked our customer service department to resend you that email for your reference.
If you would like your order earlier, we're certainly happy to send it, but would strongly advise against planting in your area until the end of April.
I apologize if this wasn't clear when you placed your order. Please let me know if there's anything we can do to better rectify the situation.
President | American Meadows"
On Sep 30, 2012, karenmsmith7 Chicago, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:
I recently received my first order from this company, and I will not order again. The order was for several "bare root" iris cristata plants. What I received was tiny sections of underground runners, 2 to 3 inches long, with one or two very small nodes on each. These little wisps were so small I at first thought they had forgotten to put any plants in the peat-filled plastic bags at all. I often plant bare root plants, and am used to dealing with small starts, but I am highly skeptical that these tiny fragments will produce usable plants.
On Sep 30, 2012, American Meadows responded with:
"On Oct 5, 2012 4:03 PM, American Meadows responded with:
Thank you for your feedback. You purchased one of our woodland wildflower offerings. Some of these are rare, hard-to-find varieties that we offer for those seeking these specific species. The root systems that you received are 2-3 years old and although they may be small, they're 100% guaranteed.
These delicate root structures can sometimes take several seasons to establish themselves, but we have an excellent reputation for our woodland wildflowers.
Our customer service team has called and e-mailed so we look forward to discussing with you further.
Thanks again for choosing American Meadows as we appreciate your business!
President | American Meadows
On Jul 24, 2012, Kraeutertrulla University Place, WA wrote:
I am very disappointed in American Meadow and I will never order anything from them again. First it took almost 4 weeks until the order arrived. I ordered one Forsythia, Hollyhocks and Lavender. The Forsythia was a joke. It was very tiny and half dead. I sent them a picture and told them I want the money back since the plant is way overpriced and it died finally after I planted it. (They wanted $21.42 for it). First they told me, I should wait a few month.They did not want to believe the plant was dead. After threatening them with the Better Business Bureau they finally gave me the money for the Forsythia back. Now, 3 month later, the Hollyhocks and the Lavender did not grow at all. They are still very small and it doesn't look like they ever will grow. It was a big waste of money.My advise: Stay away from this company.
On Jul 24, 2012, American Meadows responded with:
"On Jul 25, 2012 11:45 AM, American Meadows responded with:
Dear Kraeutertrulla, We're sorry that you were not satisfied with your experience with American Meadows. We work diligently every day to meet the needs of our customers and for over 30 years, we've been one of the most trusted names in mail-order gardening due to our quality products and dedication to our customers. In your case, we failed and I apologize.
We ask all of our customers who have concerns with the live plants they receive to plant them anyway, care for them, and give them several weeks. Many of the plants we ship arrive dormant, but we only sell products with proven success records via mail order. Per our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, we've refunded you for your order and wish you the best.
On Jun 17, 2012, virginiarose Portsmouth, VA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Well, I will not go into a lot of detail just so I can be attacked by Lizotte. I have read comments over the past three years where the customer is always the blame, the customer is always mistaken, the customer is always dead wrong.
The point is that no one wants to take a chance on going through this if or when they have a problem. I email you a picture and you send me a refund or a new plant. Simple!
I do not expect to go back and forth with you for three or four weeks about what is a dead plant. I do not wish to be treated like I am stupid and do no recognize a dormant plant.
This whole ordeal was over 13.00. I wonder how you treat people who have a big problem. This should have been a slam dunk, just issue the refund. But this company wants to play the blame game and wants to win, this is more important than good customer service.
I will not do business with this company again, I was happy to finally get a refund but an apology in the beginning would have made all the difference, you do not have to run your customers down like you do here on watchdog, it's rude!!
On Jun 17, 2012, American Meadows responded with:
"On Jun 19, 2012 2:10 PM, American Meadows responded with:
I'm sorry that our hibiscus did not meet your expectations. It's one of the plants that's best shipped trimmed back close to the soil, but quickly thrives when transplanted. Here's one of our customer reviews on the Lady Baltimore that you ordered:
"When I got the plant, it was tiny. Only a few inches high. I was not impressed. However, when I transplanted it into a one gallon pot, I noticed that the root system was very large and dense. Incredibly, it grew to 24 inches high within four weeks, and I had to put it in a 6 gallon pot. Then it grew to 42 inches (about full size) at 7 weeks old and started to flower. I counted 35 flowers over the next 3 weeks or so! Then it rested for a few weeks. Now at 11 weeks old it is 45 inches high and has the start of about 30 more buds showing! (This is August 9.) I've never had a plant do this well so soon. And the blooms are huge. I call it my "plant from outer space." Highly recommended. "
As always, we fully guarantee our customer's satisfaction and our records indicate that we credited your PayPal account on June 14th.
On Jun 13, 2012, suepap1 Montrose-Ghent, OH wrote:
Posted on June 13, 2012, updated June 13, 2012
My advice is DO NOT ORDER from American Meadows. I placed a large order on 5/3/12. They said they would ship in 4-5 business days. 2 weeks later no plants had arrived but I got a call from their company saying many of the plants I ordered were not available. They said they would credit my account and ship the rest that day. By 5/30/12 no credit and no plants so called them again and they said they would do both. By 6/12/12 no plants had arrived and my account had not been credited. I called them and talked to a representative who said that the people who I had talked to just had not put the credit through and did not ship the plants and that it was "human error." She offered to credit my acct. that day and express ship the few plants they did have, from my order but I asked her to credit my acct. for the whole order as I don't want or need to or have the time to have to work hard with a company to see if they are doing what they said they would do, call them back numerous times, etc. I don't know how they stay in business, but they were not reliable in any way, with my order.
On June 13th, 2012, suepap1 added the following:
Follow up to my post. I did receive an apology phone call from one of the owners. He was very nice. He said they would refund the amount of my order and sent me a confirmation e-mail to that effect. Sorry about the mix up in dates. That is because I was having a similar problem with another on-line plant company, too. The problem as listed with American Meadows was accurate, but they appear to be making it right. Will keep checking my on-line banking for the re-fund. I purchased items in good faith. I would love to buy plants on-line, but my recent experiences are leading me to only buy local. I saw that others had a positive experience and I'm glad. I wish I were one of them. On Jun 13, 2012, American Meadows responded with:
"On Jun 13, 2012 2:07 PM, American Meadows responded with:
I dug into this situation and your account is in fact correct. There were items on your order that did not automatically shut-off when we ran out of inventory and and for some reason, our contact and refund systems broke down. Although I haven't been able to pin-point exactly where we went wrong, there's no excuse for not correcting this problem in a timely fashion.
I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I know that my business partner has reached out to you to apologize in person, but I wanted to also assure you that this was a very rare occurrence. We take great pride in making gardeners happy and I'm sorry that in your case, we failed.
Ethan Platt, President, American Meadows
On Jun 13, 2012 2:39 PM, American Meadows added:
Suepap1, just a clarification - our records indicate that you placed your order on Sunday, May 27th (Memorial Day weekend) and not May 3rd, as you indicated. We reached out to you on the 31st (3 business days later) to discuss a course of action for the over sold items. (2 of the 12 items on your order sold out over Memorial Day weekend.)
Although there is still no excuse for your refund to have not been processed immediately, this issue was addressed in a significantly faster time period than you'd indicated in your post.
Bought 3 Annabel Hydrangeas from the company. The plants were packed well. But within 2 weeks of planting, they are all brown. Not sure if they are truly dead yet. I used the recommended planting instructions that came with the plants.
I contacted the company a few days ago and I am not sure of getting an answer. I heard this method of posting a negative answer gets results.
On Jun 3, 2012, American Meadows responded with:
"On Jun 3, 2012 9:46 PM, American Meadows responded with:
Paulng, All of our products are guaranteed. I'm not sure how you contacted us, but during the spring busy season we strive to reply to all contacts within 2 business days.
As for your plants, please don't give up on them - keep watering them regularly - often plants will lose some foliage with the shock of transplanting. That said, we always stand behind our products and will be contacting you to discuss options.
Posted on April 29, 2012, updated May 3, 2012
I ordered from this company and when my hydrangeas arrived, I found them with brown leaves curled up and pretty much DOA.. I emailed the company twice and have yet to hear anything from them, surprised?, not really. I found them to be in great company with Cottage Farms. They promise you anything but if there is a problem, they don't care to know you.
A lesson well learned, buy local people.......
On May 3rd, 2012, catsumrs added the following:
Update: Heard from American Meadows, they did offer to refund or send 4 more plants. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, I agreed to try again.. Shame on me this time... Wish I could show you what they sent. I even took pics this time so they could see the dead, brown sticks, with black curled leaves I opened..... They tried to tell me it was a natural thing for them to be this way,,,"they were waking up".. Then wished me "Happy Gardening".. Wish I could put pictures up.
Save your money people, buy local.......On May 3, 2012, American Meadows responded with:
"On Apr 30, 2012 3:20 PM, American Meadows responded with:
Thank you for your order with American Meadows.
I apologize that your Hydrangea arrived to you in poor condition. It looks as though one of our gardening team members has responded to your emails that you sent on the 28th. As I’m sure you can imagine, April is our busiest month of the year and we strive to return every message within 48 hours.
We have been serving gardeners for over 30 years and pride ourselves on exceptional customer service and 100% customer satisfaction. As stated in the email that was just sent over, we are more than happy to honor our guarantee with healthy replacements or a full refund. Please write back to us at your convenience and we can work together to make sure you have healthy Hydrangeas to plant!
Thank you for your business and feedback. We really appreciate it.
I'm sorry that you are still not happy with replacement plants that we sent you. I've reviewed the photos that you emailed and those plants appear to be vibrant and ready for transplanting. It's not easy sending live plants through the mail, but we've been doing it for many years and have an outstanding reputation. Here are two blog entries that address this concern:
On Apr 27, 2011, reeve1 Plano, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
Posted on April 12, 2011, updated April 27, 2011
Unfortunately, my experience is beginning just as a carbon copy of that from "tucume66" below. Although the top of the box was also not labeled properly and the box was inverted during shipping, I feel that with proper packing the plants should withstand this and arrive in reasonably good condition. All of my Leucanthemum lost most to all of their soil and some were completely out of their containers and lying in the bottom of the box. They were all dry and shriveled and it is certain that 2 of them won't survive while the jury is still out on the others, despite my immediate emergency care. The fact that they were very small, 3-4 inch plants (bottom of roots to top) makes it more difficult for them to recover from such poor handling. How basic is it that plants be packaged so they don't lose their soil during shipping? This just amazes me. I also emailed the company and have yet to receive a response, which is usually not a good clue. A good company responds immediately to customers, even to problems. I also will have no problem reversing the credit card charges if they fail to make this right. Meanwhile, I suggest you avoid these people. There are too many others who offer better service, better plant stock, and most importantly, understand that a good packing system insures that their plants will get to you so that customers don't have to deal with things like this when trying to prepare for a nice garden year. Now I have a big hole in my gardening design to deal with while other plants are already here and planted and will surely have a head start... while I wait...
On April 27th, 2011, reeve1 added the following:
Thank you for the response Mike. Since you were kind enough to respond to each comment, I'll do the same.
As for the plants being outside of their containers, my particular package had none of these specially designed cardboard inserts used in the packing of any of the plants. These were left out completely. So, rather than look at the logistics of the placement or displacement of the cardboard inserts, I suggest that you do periodic checks on the person(s) packing the plants to insure whether these are being included at all.
I think whether the box is marked "this side up" or not was offered as an after thought in case you intended to continue shipping in the manner in which I received my plants. If the plants are going to continue to be packaged in a way that dirt falls out of them when the box is overturned, then it might be a good idea to mark the box so that it is not inverted and the dirt doesn't fall out. This is obviously a moot point if the first issue is resolved. The main point being here, I don't have this problem with other suppliers of seeing the dirt in the bottom of the box and the plants floating loose, all dried out when I open their boxes. Most people that use these cardboard inserts also include couple rubber bands to hold them in place. These were also not used in either shipment. Nonetheless, you said this was resolved. Hopefully, it is now. Because it appears to be a repeating complaint from other customers from years past, and mine was not the first complaint of this.
Next, when I was referring to plants being small, I wasn't speaking in general terms, but speaking in terms of plants of the same Genus, species and variant. These Leucanthemum Fiona Coghill plants that I received from you are approximately half (or less) of the size of oher Leucanthemum Fiona Coghill plants that I purchased from Wayside Gardens and another supplier this year and the year before, and were in the same price range ($6.50 or less). The other supplier's plants were well beyond the boundary of whether or not the plants would be capable of surviving shipment. You are right that these are tough plants. These plants are herbaceous and they take a while to show decline. They also take some time to grow and respond to care as well, so size makes a big difference on getting a head start for the season. It is clear to me that even before they were packed, the ones I first received from you were sent without leaves, they were sparse, they were not good specimens, and they were not previously well watered, if at all. This is obvious from inspecting the ones that did not loose their dirt when I received them. Of course, keeping the dirt in the container is a big help, but I believe that if your plants had been more mature, they would have likely survived this mishap. Either way, when a person makes a side by side comparison of the plants I received from you and the exact same plants I received from another supplier, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out where the best value lies. I tried to share this concept with you in my letter for your future benefit. Again, mine is not the first and only complaint of this.
Lastly, my first response to you was on the evening of the 10th, not the afternoon of the 11th. My email was sent to you on Sunday evening, as can be seen from the dating on the email. So, it would have been there first thing Monday morning. Not a big deal, but this follows the general lack of attention to detail that I experienced with my first order. It wasn't until I posted on Dave's that I got a response from you. I understand that you are busy, but it would be a good idea to have someone dedicated to issues and watching emails as well, especially in busy times. 3 days is not terrible for a response, but I feel like it might have been longer had I not posted a negative message on Dave's, which would have triggered an alert to you to respond rather than someone being more proactive.
The extras arrived without too much dirt out of them and the cardboard inserts were present and in place. I appreciate your sending these without reservation and as soon as you were able to respond. But, these plants were smaller than the ones sent before. These did have leaves on them, which appeared to make them look larger and they looked a bit healthier, although still babies. I also appreciate the effort you made to contact me at home and that you have made to try to make this right. But, the fact remains that I can get plants from other suppliers that are generally healthier, larger and better able to withstand travel and the elements without special initial care to insure their survival. Even after comparing those plants that I received the second time, after dealing with your customer service, at which time you could hand pick your best replacements, they just don't compare. If I use the first ones I received, the ones that did not lose their dirt, there is no comparison.
I thank you, but I believe I will be getting my plants elsewhere from here forward. Good luck to you and your company and may you take these complaints as constructive criticism. If you look at many of them, they are repeating, and not first time complaints. On Apr 27, 2011, American Meadows responded with:
"On Apr 13, 2011 8:59 PM, American Meadows responded with:
Dear Mr. Lewis,
We’re sorry for your negative experience with our plug perennials. I wanted to personally address a few points in your email:
The status of your plants: As both you and tucume66 have unfortunately discovered, we had some acknowledged issues with a few of our plug perennial shipments. It was a problem on our packing line and not an issue with the packaging itself. The specially-designed tabs that hold the dirt in where coming loose in shipping. We fixed this problem shortly after your order shipped and have had no subsequent complaints. We’re sorry for the inconvenience and as always, stand behind everything we sell.
Marking boxes: Ahh, the age-old question, to mark ‘This Side Up’ or not? In the past we did this, but unfortunately, multiple studies have shown this to be counter-productive. From Popular Mechanics, Nov, ’10: ““One disheartening result was that our package received more abuse when marked "Fragile" or "This Side Up." The carriers flipped the package more, and it registered above-average acceleration spikes during trips for which we requested careful treatment.” You’re correct – when packaged properly, this doesn’t matter.
Plant Sizes: All of our products are different, so it’s not easy to generalize, but we ship plants that our experience has shown are at the optimal phase of growth to withstand transporting and transplanting. At the bottom of every page on our website is a link to our How Are Plants Are Shipped guide and the plants stage of growth is listed in the product details.
Email Response: I apologize that we did not respond to your email faster. Our records indicate that you emailed us on Monday afternoon and we replied on Wednesday afternoon. As I’m sure you can imagine, April is our busiest month of the year and we strive to return every message within 48 hours.
As you are aware, we promptly sent you replacements for the damaged plants and again, we’re sorry for the inconvenience.
Posted on April 15, 2011, updated April 23, 2011
Posted on April 10, 2011, updated April 15, 2011
Posted on April 8, 2011, updated April 10, 2011
I received two boxes from this company and they were not marked "this side UP" and were shipped on their sides. A lot of soil in the bottom of the box. I ordered Sedums and Asclepias. To be fair the bare root cuttings were fine but small for the price. The Asclepias were tiny and the soil for each of them was severely dried out, the root ball had loosened and the tiny plants were wilted. Even the sedums had lost too much water and much of the foliage was either wilted or broken. I planted everything within one hour of receipt and watered everything carefully twice a day for the first two days, but it made no difference. All of the Asclepias were toast. Everything above ground is dead. Some of the dragon's blood Sedum that I received were about two inches in length. Compare that to an entire flat that can be purchased from Home Depot for $12.00!
I emailed this company but so far have heard nothing back from them. Having spent $135.00 on all this C**P you can understand that I am very upset. In all fairness to the customer, the entire order needs to be replaced with larger, viable specimens or a total refund needs to be issued. I will be filing a complaint with consumer agencies about this company, as I am convinced that they are total RIP-OFFS!!!!!
On April 10th, 2011, tucume66 added the following:
American Meadows did contact me on Saturday via email and contrary to the comment they posted above, I was NOT offered a COMPLETE REFUND. Instead, their representative Hannah told me that the Asclepias would be replaced and I would be given a tracking number when they were sent. She also said photos would be great.
I stopped my projects, switched to my 90mm macro lens and did take photos of all the Asclepias as well as the Sedums that were along my back patio. I sent them with email message that not only were the Asclepias toast, but also the majority of the Sedums in back and front. I could not take photos of the plants in the front of the house as I had a covey of Quail sleeping under the bushes at that very moment.
They say that they have a "Happy Gardener Guarantee" well...let's see if they will honor that as I am extremely un-happy over this entire situation and now am escalating this to a demand for an entire refund to my credit card to be issued no later than April 13th. This gives them 3 working days from now to complete the refund process. I will be checking with my Credit Card company and if this transaction is not pending, I will at that time file a complaint of fraud against American Meadows. I will also be filing complaints with their local Better Business Bureau and other State and Federal Consumer Protection Agencies.On April 15th, 2011, tucume66 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I did reach Mike Lizotte by phone and he assured me that a full refund would be issued. This he did accomplish as promised and I have confirmed with my credit card company that all is in order and actually has been posted to my account already. I told Mike that I would remove the negative and replace with a NEUTRAL. Unfortunately as all of you know who have worked in any of the service industries (I used to work as a Cat Scan Technologist in a Hospital setting) once the customer has a bad experience, they are convinced that they will not use that service again (unless they are dying and have no further recourse) So it will be with my experience with American Meadows. I lost a full 75% of my order due to mis-handling by shipper and improper packaging as well as extremely small and vulnerable plants to begin with. I stated it before and I will say it again...you can buy FAR SUPERIOR garden specimens at your local Wal-Mart or Home Depot or other Gardening Centers, so why bother with a mail order company for anthing else other than bulbs?On April 23rd, 2011, tucume66 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
In the continuing saga...not only did I get the refund promised, but they also sent more Ascfepias to replace the ones that died. These also arrived wilted, dirt totally out of one of the containers with the root ball entirely exposed and dried beyond salvaging. However, I did plant everything within one hour of receipt of package and one week later, only one shows signs of having survived the transplant. I am thoroughly disgusted with this company. They don't have their problems solved in regards to packing items for long distance shipping. They need to get out of the mail order business anywhere outside of their own state. In short...THIS COMPANY IS NOT ONE YOU SHOULD EVER BUY LIVE PLANTS FROM UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES EVER!!!On Apr 23, 2011, American Meadows responded with:
"On Apr 8, 2011 8:19 PM, American Meadows responded with:
I’m sorry to hear about your disappointment with your recent order you received from us. We strive for 100% customer satisfaction with all products and services. We’ve been working with gardeners all across the country for over 25 years. All our products come with our “Happy Gardener Guarantee” so if you’re not satisfied we’d be more than happy to send you a replacement order or refund your money in full. I’ll personally make sure a customer service representative contacts you immediately to resolve your problems.
I will make sure that you are refunded for your entire purchase first thing Monday morning and I will personally call you to confirm and give you the refund transaction number.
As you can see from our 113 positive ratings to 13 negatives along with being selected as a “Top 5” Garden Watchdog, we take great pride in providing our customers with the best possible experience when shopping at American Meadows.
We’re certainly sorry we couldn’t live up to your expectations.
We wish you the best with all your future gardening endeavors!
Posted on May 26, 2010, updated May 29, 2010
Posted on May 26, 2010, updated May 26, 2010
I received my order after waiting almost a week and they look like C**P! Super small/all brown/dry/almost DEAD! I had to make 3 subs on this one order alone, I was not so upset about that as I love all plants BUT what I got for what I payed was a total RIP OFF! I'm not even going to try to get a refund as it will be more trouble than it's worth to me but I will NOT be a return buyer from this company!!!! AND BUYER BEWARE!!! Use Annie's Annuals, T's flowers and things, or Almost Eden if you want big/lush/beautiful/ALIVE plants...you will get your moneys worth from them but stear clear of American Medows unless you want to get RIPPED OFF too!
On May 26th, 2010, TrixGin changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I have not received it yet but a full refund was offered.On May 29th, 2010, TrixGin changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I was emailed by customer service and told I would receive a FULL REFUND the following day, and that it would be posted yesterday (05/28/10), well it was NOT! I'm changing my rating yet again to NEG and this time I'm not changing it and I will no longer buy anything from this company and advise other not to do so either! Go check out the other vendors I mentioned if you want your moneys worth!On May 29, 2010, American Meadows responded with:
"On May 27, 2010 3:34 PM, American Meadows responded with:
TrixGin, We're very sorry that you were not pleased with the quality of the plants you ordered from us. Although I'm not personally familiar with the other vendors you mentioned, I can assure you that we go to great lengths to try and ensure that our plants exceed expectations. As you can imagine, shipping live plants all across the country to have customer plant them in new surroundings requires that the plants be at their absolute strongest. That is why we ship most plants as either bare roots or as they are emerging from dormancy - it's when they're best suited for shipping and transplanting. The key is that the root systems need to be strong and we maintain and monitor the roots very carefully. As you learned, we want our customers to be happy and if our plants fail to grow, we honor our guaranty. We hope to have a chance to win your business again in the future.
On Jun 2, 2010 9:01 AM, American Meadows added:
TrixGin, Once again, we're sorry that you were not pleased with your experience with American Meadows. We would be happy to provide you with confirmation that your refund was processed on the 28th as promised.
Unfortunately, even though the money has been taken from our account and issued back to your credit card company, card companies often take multiple days before they show those funds as refunded in your account. This is out of our control and is something that you should discuss with your credit card company. If you would like confirmation, please contact our customer service and we can provide that to you. Thank you.
One out of three Wild Blue Indigo plants dead. Five out of six butterfly weed tubers (Asclepias tuberosa) nonviable. Butterfly weed plants I started from seed this winter from another source are growing well and flowering. With such a low viability rates, its not worth my time to call and request replacements.
On Jul 27, 2009, American Meadows responded with:
"On Aug 14, 2009 8:06 AM, American Meadows responded with:
Dear doctrtim, I'm sorry to hear about the poor results with your Wild Blue Indigo and Asclepias tuberose plants. We strive to supply the best stock possible with all our products 100% guaranteed with a full money back refund or replacement.
I’m glad our customer service team was able to contact you and resolve in a timely and satisfactory manner.
We take our role in the gardening community very seriously and always want our customers to be happy with our products and service.
Sincerely, Mike Lizotte, Managing Partner, American Meadows.
Last year I bought wildflower seeds (1/4 pound) and lathrus odoratus (1/4 pound). The wildflower seed did not germinate. Approximately 25% of the lathrus odoratus (sweet pea) germinated. I called the company 7 times between May 30, 2008 to June 20, 2008. I was never able to talk to an actual person. I had to leave a message. No one ever contacted me back. Furthermore, I made several attempts to contact the company by e-mail and regular mail. I STILL DID NOT RECIEVE A RESPONSE BACK! I then left messages via phone for a refund. I NEVER got anybody to call me back. I will not do business with this company again. I spent a total of $38.88 and got nothing for it. Based on this experience, I do not recommend this company to anyone!
On Jun 7, 2009, American Meadows responded with:
"On Jun 9, 2009 8:12 AM, American Meadows responded with:
Dear HerbLady9, We have made several attempts to contact you through you Dave's Garden account, but have not heard back. I'm sorry that you had a negative experience with our company and products. I can assure you that all of our seeds are tested for germination and our satisfaction rating is extremely high.
Your message indicates that you made at least 9 attempts to contact us, without a reply. I find that puzzling as we are here Monday-Friday from 9-5 EST and are in constant contact with customers. We have built our reputation for over 25 years by quickly responding to customer needs. We are always happy to honor our satisfaction guarantee to either replace your product or refund your money. We take our role in the gardening community very seriously and always want our customers to be happy with our products and service.
Please contact us at 877.270.5187 so that we may discuss your concerns. Thank you, Mike Lizotte, Managing Partner, American Meadows."
After placing (and paying for) an order for the first time with American Meadows on March 24, 2009, I reviewed the order status and realized that the items I am most interested in do not ship immediately, they ship in the Fall. I called customer service and asked to have the items shipping in the fall canceled and just keep the ones shipping in the spring. The customer service rep was very friendly and said he would cancel the fall portion of the order immediately.
On March 29, 2009 I checked my credit card account and noticed my credit card has not been credited, I check the order status online. The order is still showing current, not canceled. I call American Meadows once more, I speak with a customer service representative who apologizes profusely and tells me he is canceling the "fall" portion of my order, I should see a credit applied to my credit card in the next couple of days.
On April 3, 2009 - I check with my bank again, no credits from American Meadows have been issued. I call American Meadows, speak with a customer service representative who checks my order and tells me, I'm sorry your order has not been canceled. I explain to him the multiple calls I have made, he apologizes and tells me he is correcting the problem as we speak and issuing my credit card a credit, he offers to email me a confirmation email. I never receive an email. :-(
April 7, 2009 - I check with my bank again, no credits from American Meadows. I call American Meadows, speak with a very annoyed sounding customer service representative (first one that was not cordial of all my phone calls to American Meadows), I explained to her I wanted to cancel the fall shipment and just keep the items that will be received in the fall and that have made multiple calls in regards to my credit card not being credited and the fall items not being canceled. She informs me that my ENTIRE order was canceled and that my credit card was credited. She informs me that if there is no credit on my credit card, it is my banks fault. I asked her about an email confirming the order had been canceled as the previous customer service representative offered. She curtly informed me that if I wanted an email she would "type" one up for me, but it would just say what she is telling me. I said I will take that then. She reiterated, I insisted I was fine with an email from her... Checked my email, never received one.
April 7, 2009 - I call my credit card customer service. My account information was pulled up, the only transaction on my account is the one paying American Meadows on March 24, 2009. The customer service representative at my bank advised me American Meadows has not issued a credit of any kind.... My bank asked if I wanted to start a dispute or contact American Meadows one more time.... Calling again - if not disputing.
On Apr 8, 2009, American Meadows responded with:
"On May 6, 2009 9:29 AM, American Meadows responded with:
4/17/09: Dear Eve6, I’m so sorry that you had such a difficult time interacting with our customer service department. In reviewing the notes in your account and checking our bank transactions, I see that you were fully credited on the 7th of April and notified via email the same day. The fact that this didn’t occur sooner appears to have been a miscommunication - customers frequently call to adjust their orders and this procedure is common. I have reached out to you via phone to personally apologize and would appreciate having the opportunity to assure you that this was an isolated incident. During the busy planting season, we happily serve over two thousand customers per week. I’m very sorry that we failed to meet your customer service expectations. Sincerely, Mike Lizotte, owner, American Meadows."
On Sep 8, 2008, Portland1 (Judi)Portland, OR wrote:
As a new gardener I was enticed by the wildflower and "meadow" seeds available at American Meadows. I did order several varieties, including Queen Anne's Lace. At the time I didn't know that QAL is an invasive species and actually banned in many areas. This plant is not native to North America. I do not think that American Meadows should be selling invasive species!
On Sep 8, 2008, American Meadows responded with:
On Oct 8, 2008 12:33 PM, American Meadows added:
Dear Portland 1: Please revisit our website, and you'll see that we make a special note that Queen Anne's Lace, Daucus carota, the biennial roadside weed, is invasive, and that we DO NOT SELL IT. If customers like the flower for their wild meadows, we suggest Ammi majus, or "Bishop's Flower" which is a benign annual that looks similar, is also often called Queen Anne's Lace, but has none of the bad qualities of Daucus. If you bought QAL at our site, you bought Ammi Majus. You can read our QAL page which explains all this by following this link: http://www.americanmeadows.com/WildflowerSeeds/Species/Queen... PLEASE change your negative posting since it is incorrect. Thank you, Ray Allen, Owner, AmericanMeadows.com "
In Early March I placed a large order from AM, it was shipped in 4 different stages and at no point was i notified that any of these shipments had been sent. So they sat on the front stairs which is practically on my sidewalk until I got home from work, it would have been nice to know they were coming so I could have had someone field the boxes. The first shipment was for seeds which arrived fine and they are growing nicely. The last was for bulbs and they came at the right time for planting, a few of them have started to grow so we will see with the rest. But from here it is downhill, I ordered 4 Shrubs which did arrive ok (shipment #2) which were nothing more than small sticks which was somewhat expected but none of them have done a thing and are DEAD, they claim they are going to issue a refund but as of yet no refund has been issued so we will see. The third shipment included two bareroot plants, poppies and bleeding hearts which looked DOA but I planted them and are as dead as the bushes, they claim to be sending replacements (different poppies as they out of the ones I origiannly ordered) but they also have yet to be seen and the free gift they were to include Hollyhocks were out of stock so I got a different free gift however i wanted the Hollyhocks but the free Iris was the best of the bunch of anything I ordered. If the bulbs grow successfully and I receive replacements and credit I will adjust this appropriately but for now it has not been a positive experience shopping at American Meadows
On May 24th, 2008, WinterStinks added the following:
Soon after leaving this posting (maybe 3 hours), I get a call from AM telling me they are going to issue a credit for the dead bushes (which should have been already done) and for the plants they were to replace (either thay cant replace them or dont want to but that is fine). But what do I find on my statement today they CHARGE me $46.80 then give me a credit for $46.80 so they really gave me nothing. Here is a copy of the statement details
05/21/2008 American Meadows Inc. 802-951-5812 Vt $46.80
05/22/2008 American Meadows Inc. 802-951-5812 Vt
That seems to work out well for them (they pocket my money)but very poorly for me (dead plants and no credit), so now I must call them AGAIN to debate this or just go to the credit card company to have the charge removed. I am now wondering if perhaps they are hiring from Wayside Gardens staff. Less time to plant with all this repeated phone calls to fix more poor customer service.On June 23rd, 2008, WinterStinks added the following:
As a final update after 3 additional calls on June 18th I finally received an actual credit from them for $46.80. As for their bulbs i received maybe 2/3rds to 3/4 are coming up nicely.On July 10th, 2008, WinterStinks added the following:
Well now th bulbs are beginning to flower(I would say that about 3/4 of them grew) I have some beautiful flowers but some of them aren't what they are supposed to be. I shouldn't be suprised but at least they are pretty mystery flowers. Now as I wait for the rest of them to pop open it will be a suprise to see what I ordered since it won't be what i thought !On August 8th, 2008, WinterStinks added the following:
Well here we are in August and now I have seen everything from American Meadows and here are my results. 3 dead oriental poppies, 3 bleeeding hearts 2 of which are hanging on, 4 dead bushes that arrived as pathetic sticks, 4 dinnerplate Dalhia's none of which were what they were supposed to be, 15 French Anemones De Caen some of which grew but never flowered, 4 Double Tuberous Begonia 3 of which grew and are pretty and the color they as supposed to be, 5 Babiana stricta none of which grew and a bag of wildflower seeds which are very pretty. So for my $119.08 (well i did get a $46.80 refund so for $72.28 I got some wildflower seeds and begonias, I guess I should be glad most of this stuff was "on sale" so I didn't spend more. I am really disappointed with AM from the reviews I expected much more but live and learn and hope you do better than me.On May 21, 2008, American Meadows responded with:
On Oct 8, 2008 12:41 PM, American Meadows added:
Dear WinterStinks: I'd like to personally apologize for the problems with your spring order, and want you to know we do all we can to satisfy our customers. If you will send me your personal email, I'll be happy to send you some fall daffodils and/or tulips to make amends. ---Ray Allen, Owner, AmericanMeadows.com "
We ordered several varieties of irises. The specimens were some of the worst I've ever seen. Extremely small and absolutely dried out -- about the quality you'd see at a "bulb clearance" in your typical Walmart store. A waste of money - I would NEVER order from this company again.
On Apr 28, 2008, American Meadows responded with:
On May 8, 2008 1:23 PM, American Meadows added:
So sorry your irises were unsatisfactory. This is rare for our irises, but we are anxious to replace them for you or issue a complete refund including shipping. Please let us know which type of iris you ordered.....Ray Allen, Pres. of AmericanMeadows.com."
I ordered three lily bulbs and one Dahlia (2-pack) from American Meadows. Of the four items only one item did not have an issue.
Of the three lily:
One died within a week.
The second arrived completely moldy - I called them and they replaced it. The replacement lily came in packaging that stated the correct name, red tiger lily, but when it bloomed it was orange. So you can't rely on the bulb matching with the labeling/packaging.
The third has not bloomed, has not even set buds, so I don't know if it is the correct color, but it was the only healthy bulb of the whole order.
They sent me the wrong Dahlia. I called them back and they sent me the correct one. The Dahlia come packaged two per package. I now had two incorrect Dahlia and two correct Dahlia. Of the four Dahlia, only two grew, two never even sprouted any growth at all. The Dahlia have not flowered so I don't know if they are the correct color.
American Meadow's customer service was very nice and helpful when I called them twice. Not only did they replace the moldy bulb and the incorrect Dahlia, they also refunded my money for the entire order.
Though I received my money back, I am very disappointed with my order from American Meadows. Only one out of the four did not have an issue – that I currently know of (some have not yet bloomed). To receive moldy bulbs, mislabeled bulbs, and two out of four Dahlia not grow at all ... I will not be ordering from American Meadows.
On Jul 8, 2007, American Meadows responded with:
On Aug 4, 2007 8:06 PM, American Meadows added:
I have tried to contact this customer on August 4th to address the problem....Ray Allen, Owner, AmericanMeadows.com
My expewrience with American Meadows has not been a good one. They always have an excuse for item being shipped late and its always the carrier that damages their products. I have not received anything on time yet.
On May 24, 2006, beaker_ch Columbia Heights, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:
I made several orders with AM, but when I received the first one, I immediately cancelled the others. They didn't send the correct plants, and the ones they did send were near death. I thought they had a really good rating, but this was awful. I won't be ordering from them again.
On May 24, 2006, American Meadows responded with:
On May 28, 2006 8:52 AM, American Meadows added:
Apology and full refund including shipping has been offered. After 25 years of successfully shipping seeds and bulbs, this spring was our first year shipping live plants, due to many customer requests. The plants sold out quickly, and most people were happy with their shipments, but some were not. The plants all began in great shape, but some serious mistakes were made in shipping. We are truly sorry, and if we handle perennials again, our system of shipping will be completely revamped. "
I agree with the last post. I order 2 clematis from this company and both of the plants I recieved were dried out, broken and looked dead. I am hoping that maybe I can coax some life out of them. What makes me sick, is 2 weeks ago, I bought a clematis from the grocery store that was 1000% better (it even had flowers) for half the price of these.
On May 23, 2006, American Meadows responded with:
On May 28, 2006 8:53 AM, American Meadows added:
Apology and full refund including shipping has been offered. After 25 years of successfully shipping seeds and bulbs, this spring was our first year shipping live plants, due to many customer requests. The plants sold out quickly, and most people were happy with their shipments, but some were not. The plants all began in great shape, but some serious mistakes were made in shipping. We are truly sorry, and if we handle perennials again, our system of shipping will be completely revamped. "
About Vermont Wildflower Farm -- I was disturbed to see how many of their "wildflower" seeds are actually alien plants. Some of these are considered invasive weeds in wild areas, where they displace native wildflowers. Of the twelve annuals and perennials listed in my invasive plants book, this company sells five of them! (For reference, the book is "Invasive Plants: Weeds of the Global Garden", put out by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The five plants are cornflower, birdsfoot trefoil, crown vetch, foxglove, and dame's rocket.) It's not that I think people should never grow cornflower, etc, in their gardens. I just object to a company encouraging people to spread around invasive alien plants in large numbers. It suggests that this company either doesn't know much about wildflowers, or doesn't care.
On Feb 1, 1999, American Meadows responded with:
On May 2, 2006 12:44 PM, American Meadows responded:
Vermont Wildflower Farm is no longer owned by American Meadows. This is a very old posting, and I have searched high and low for this customer, but she must no longer use this email. I'd like her to know that our current website lists the native area of every seed we sell, and we now have All-Native Wildflower Mixtures for each region in North America. She needs to know that a species that may be considered invasive in one region, may not be a problem in another. Our site now has extensive original information on how plants are regulated in the US, which are invasive, endangered, etc. --Ray Allen, Owner, AmericanMeadows.com"