Posted on May 20, 2011, updated June 6, 2011
Wanting to plant a lavender garden, on April 8 I ordered 18 lavender plants. I received a confirmation of the order by email, but all it stated was an order number-no specifics like other companies do. In early May I emailed asking where are my plants. A few days later, on May 9, I received a reply stating that some plants were "ready" late and that they would send it that week, It is now Friday May 20 and still no plants and no further message from them. I am leaving on Tuesday for a ten-day trip, so I emailed them VERY early today telling them that unless they overnight the plants to me the plants will die on the doorstep while I am away-that is if they finally do arrive. The email was there hours before they opened (there is a 3 hour time-zone difference ). They had all day to email or call-but they didn't. I will call my credit card company for a refund. And to boot I have lost one year for this garden-everyone is out of various varieties now. Plus you cannot plant lavender successfully in the fall in zone 5. I guess they simply don't care.
On June 6th, 2011, PlantinPatti added the following:
Update- I finally was able to reach them. However, despite having emails from them stating they would ship on May 9, they claimed they were confused about that ship date. How could they be confused? THEY said that was when they were shipping. I arranged to have plants shipped when I returned on June 4. HOWEVER, I stated that after waiting for two months for my order not to send me tiny plants that were "not quite ready".
The plants arrived in perfect condition. BUT 6 plants were a variety that I did not order. Their catalog states no substitution without permission, but no one asked. Although they did not charge me for those 6 plants, I waited for 2 months to get something I did not want.On Jun 6, 2011, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:
"On Jun 6, 2011 8:43 AM, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:
the customer is correct in that we missed her desired shipping date. we had some confusion on which day she left for vacation, so we thought it safest to wait until she returned home. I wish all plants could be ready at the same time, but there are always exceptions. in this case a new lavender variety was way behind the others. as she clearly states above, she did not want smalll plants. I guess we were getting a little gun-shy at this point, and at the last minute I pulled out the small lavenders and replaced them with a similar, but more mature lavender variety (6 plants) and sent them free of charge as an apology that the other variety was not yet ready. she is correct in stating that we made some errors. I can only say that we tried to correct our mistakes and did not charge for anything not ordered. we do guarantee satisfaction and try to find a solution that the customer appreciates. "
I placed an online order with GCG the second week of March, yet after the order was placed I heard nothing from the company until I was fed up and forced to cancel my order 3 weeks later.
No where on their website or during checkout does it provide ship dates for their plants. I understand that the weather may not permit shipping just yet ( I live in zone 8) and I would have been glad to wait, had the company simply advised of an ETA.
Moreover, do not charge let me repeat DO NOT CHARGE a customers credit card in full when you know that the plants will not ship for weeks. It is unfair to the customer, now top that off with ZERO communication, and you have an angry customer.
11 days after my card was charged and I had not received an email with an ETA I sent an email to GCG politely stating that I had not received an order number and would like to know when to expect my plants. I even included a back up email address just in case.
I received no reply at either address.
The first week of April I realized that GCG was not going to send me an email letting me know when to expect the plants and as such I would likely not know when the plants are delivered and they would die on my front porch. I refuse to pay for dead plants and poor customer service.
I phoned but had to leave a voice mail on April 3rd and asked that my order be canceled.
I received an email response from GCG THE SAME DAY acknowledging my voice mail request to cancel my order.
Unfortunately, the response was curt and defensively worded email that began with “ we sent an email but you clearly did not receive it.”
Let me be very clear, I check my email including junk mail numerous times a day. I can most assuredly state that I did not receive an email after the order was placed nor did I receive a response to the email that I sent a few weeks later.
Moreover, instead sending a curt defensive email this would have been an opportunity to save the sale, by simply saying " sorry that we did not get back to you, we value your business and would like to try again."
I am serious, I love lavender and would have probably said, OK.
Instead they let a customer walk away, clearly my business was not needed or wanted. Odd, in this economy.
All in all, this was an unpleasant experience and I have taken my business elsewhere.
GCG, communication is vital, especially for an online retailer. It is unfair for customers to wait and wonder what in the hell is going on with their order all the while having to pay interest on product they may not receive for weeks.
If GCG does reply to this complaint, I expect that they will state that this was the customers fault.
On Apr 6, 2009, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:
1.We did send an email soon after the order was received, on March 19, stating that the order would be shipped in about 3 weeks. We did not receive a reply requesting another date. The customer cancelled the order before the shipping date arrived.
2. We do have a place on our website order form for customers to request a shipping date. Otherwise, it says clearly, that we will choose a date depending on destination zone, type of plants, and when plants would be ready.
3. We do value our orders and customers and in no way tried to be curt or rude. The words quoted above are not the words we used in our email. The customer wanted to cancel and we did so as quickly as possible for her convenience. We did not "let her walk away". We are sorry that there was a misunderstanding about shipping.
4. Our policy is to put through debit/credit cards at least a couple of weeks before shipping. A surprising number of cards are lost, stolen, or declined and it sometimes takes several days of phone calls or emails to finally get the problem resolved so we can ship on time. Sometimes cards expire between the time orders are received (winter) and shipped (spring), so these must be processed as well. If a customer requests, however, that we delay processing until shipping, we honor that request.
5. Above all else, we do guarantee customer satisfaction.
On Jul 19, 2008, fc_upland Upland, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
Dissappointing: I ordered 4 Pelargonium varieties and 6 Rosemary varieties. I recieved no Pelargoniums; they said on the delivery slip that they were sold out. I recieved just 4 of the Rosemary varieties. I told them if one was not available to double up, which they did not do. One variety was clearly not the right variety. I did not bother to advise Goodwin Creek Nursery, and will not. I dont have enough confidence in them at this point to correct the order. I will not purchase from them again.
On Jul 19, 2008, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:
On Jul 21, 2008 8:57 AM, Goodwin Creek Gardens added:
Firstly, we guarantee complete customer satisfaction, but can't help if the customer doesn't bother to contact us with the problem. Secondly, looking back at the records of this particular order, it still appears we did everything the customer requested. Apparently we did not fully understand his instructions for substitutions, something that could have easily been corrected had he contacted us."
Ordered a dozen fancy geraniums (all shown in lovely colors in the catalog) and received barely rooted twiglets. Despite having two decades of experience with Geraniums, I've lost 9 of the 12 so far. Frankly, they never had a chance. The little things had no business being subjected to the rigors of mailorder with so little shoot and root tissue to sustain them. By comparison, 42 of 43 Geraniums ordered from Hobbs Farm and Papa Genos (at the same time) are alive and thriving. Both sent generous plants for the same price.
One Goodwin "plantlet" had 3 leaves on a 1.5 inch long stem with roots barely filling ONE THIRD OF A TWO INCH POT. Every other Pelargonium dealer that uses two inch pots has sent me stock with 8-25 leaves and stems of 2-5 inches long, occasionally with flowers beginning.
$4.50 a plant ($5.50 with delivery) is not what you charge for Premature PTO (Propagate-To-Order) junk that's a least a month from being saleable and mailable.
On May 5, 2005, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:
On Jul 21, 2008 9:05 AM, Goodwin Creek Gardens added:
Firstly, the customer was told the plants were not ready, but were several weeks away from our usual shipping size. He insisted that it was OK and that he had a greenhouse to nurse them along. Apparently they did not do well in transit. We guarantee complete satisfaction and gave the customer a complete refund."
Catalog is very good, but they ignored my order completely! I placed it on May 1, 2004. Got an acknowledgement but no plants. I emailed them on June 1 asking what was happening. No response. Finally on June 10 I called and they said that end May was their "busy season." (Remember I ordered on May 1, weeks before the busy season.) The nice lady promised that someone would call me in "a day or two" to advise me of shipping date. This offer was unacceptable, as it's already too hot now to succeed with the little plants they send out (service was ok last year when I ordered in January), so all I could do was to cancel the order.
I've lost an entire growing season because of their incredible indifference to my order. I certainly don't intend to give them another chance, and I recommend that everybody be extremely careful when placing orders. Call on the phone and get a commitment for shipping date. Even then, be skeptical!