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On May 20, 2014, TheRectory Stanardsville, VA wrote:
I ordered 12 wine-colored peonies. After several false starts with shipping/delivery dates the plants arrived and most of the rhizomes were well sized with good eye development. A couple of them were very much on the puny side of things but that type of thing is par for the course. All of them had gray fungus issues which we treated.
We planted everything and were optimistic when things started to grow. The fungus treatment, unfortunately, does not appeared to have been as effective as we had hoped so we are likely going to lose 3 of the 12 plants. Another 2 suffered bloom blast. Again-as far as we are concerned, this is acceptable given the wet weather we have had in Virginia this winter. But the seven remaining peonies all pushed through and presented us with a perfectly formed single form bubble gum pink first year's flower that they could be proud of.
In case you did not catch that, the double form dark wine-colored petals we had waited for months to see had been swapped out/mislabeled for a cheaper single petal bubble gum pink flower that we had no use for in our gardens.
I called KvB and spoke with a couple of their phone support team members last Friday. I sent an email showing the difference in the flowers as well as the product number of the peony we thought that suspected had been substituted. The customer service agent first informed us that KvB only warranted their product for 10-days after the producted arrived. After discussing with this representative that it was impossible for us to know the color was incorrect until it bloomed, I was finally told that he could replace them but that the peonies were out of stock until next year. I requested my money back and was finally offered a check that would take 4-6 weeks to arrive.
I spoke with my wife about what had happened and we decided that we would see if they could pull stock from one of their sister catalogs who offers the same product but with a different name. Fortunately, it seems that in the six hours since my first call, the second rep was able to identify 12 available peonies and guaranteed arrival in two weeks.
Ultimately, there are a couple of take away messages here:
-The customer service agents were friendly though limited by a very tight script that did not seem to take common sense into account
-The order fulfillment division has some systemic issues with packaging
-The answer you will get to questions on inventory and delivery will change with the agent you speak with and, bless their hearts, I think that each just told me what I wanted to hear in order to get me off of the phone
The reason that I am giving this company a neutral and not a negative rating is because their customer service team did their best to correct the situation. Granted, they took no heroic measures to save the day (i.e., expedite ship/ship mature plants/etc.) and I am not holding my breath that they will keep their commitments. But if I take them at face value, they attempted to correct the issue in the best manner that they had available to them. Sadly, it will be another year before I know whether or not they succeeded. We will certainly not place another order though until they have.
Last summer 2012 I ordered several Peonies from this Company.
I did not realize nor was I told that the order would not ship until fall. After waiting for my order for what I considered reasonable time and after noticing my credit card had been charged I tried to check on my order through their website. I was never able to locate my order. I finally contacted them and was told they would notify me when the order shipped. I did finally receive the order.
My biggest complaint is that they charged me several months before my order shipped, no notification of an estimated ship date, and not being able to find my order on their website. I was beginning to wonder if I was ever going to see my order.
I'm giving them a neutral because I did receive the Peonies but would like to give a negative because of the worry they caused.
On Apr 10, 2013, K. Van Bourgondien & Sons, Inc. responded with:
"On Apr 17, 2013 2:31 PM, K. Van Bourgondien & Sons, Inc. responded with:
Thank you for taking the time to let us know about the problems you had with your order. I truly apologize for the worry we caused you. We took over ownership of the company in late June and this is probably why there was confusion about your order."
Today 2/15 I can't get onto the van Bourgondien website by computer or iPad; it defaults to the GoDaddy.com site, saying that their domain name expired 2/14. Is anyone else having trouble? I can't get through by the email address on their catalog, either -- it bounces back. Are they going out of business?
I usually buy a lot from them, and a girl answered the phone willing to take my order, but if their sites are down that is worrying, so I am holding off till I hear what is going on.
On Feb 15, 2013, K. Van Bourgondien & Sons, Inc. responded with:
"On Feb 19, 2013 11:49 AM, K. Van Bourgondien & Sons, Inc. responded with:
Thank you for letting us know. We were having site problems but everything is back up and running fine. I apologize for the inconvenience."
On Jul 11, 2012, mc003 Crown Point, IN (Zone 5a) wrote:
Posted on July 11, 2012, updated July 11, 2012
Not suprised they are having difficulty sending the correct items to customers....look at their website right now 7-11-12 @ 11:40pm, They have tulips labeled daylilies, daylilies labeled muscari, dutch iris labeled as Hyacinths,daffodils as astilbe!! And that's on their home page! No wonder they can't find my account information to issue me a credit or replacement! It's probably under pizza delivery!!!
On July 11th, 2012, mc003 added the following:
Dang, wish there was a way to upload a photo on here. I took a screen shot it gave me such a giggle, wanted to share it with all!!On Jul 11, 2012, K. Van Bourgondien & Sons, Inc. responded with:
"On Jul 19, 2012 11:05 AM, K. Van Bourgondien & Sons, Inc. responded with:
Thank you for your posting and we apologize for any inconvenience. We are now under new ownership and a customer service representative will contact you for more information. Or if you prefer you can call us at 800-552-9916 and of our of customer service representatives will be happy to help.
I entered a neutral rating as historically I have been very pleased with the business transactions I have had with K Van B, however; I too recently placed orders totally $350 that I fear I may never receive. I heard they are back on line and taking new orders but am skeptical. It's a shame as they have great prices, selection and fantastic Dahlia bulbs. I wish they would issue a statement of their status but I suppose that would be not advised by their attorney.
I am sorry to hear of the financial trouble; however, as it is garden planning time more should be posted as to if they will be able to fulfill orders this year. I have been trying to place an order for summer bulbs, with no success. Now I will have to order from another company as one can not keep waiting due to limited supplies. Previous orders have been great, it would be sad to no longer have this plant source as I have had great success with my previous plant orders from them.