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|On Dec 3, 2016, MikeRath Austin, TX wrote:
Posted on August 16, 2016, updated December 3, 2016
On December 3rd, 2016, MikeRath changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Plant Delights plant sizes and pictures listed are false and misleading. My $18 Echinacea Pixie Meadowbrite advertised as 34" and pictured with blooming flowers was actually about 3" tall with no flowers and died within 4 months in part shade. My $14 Sempervivum 'Unicorn' died within 4 months in part shade. My $35 Agave 'Shark Bite' advertised as being 11" tall and pictured as a fully grown plant is in reality a fragile 3 1/2" pup (baby plant). It has lost 2 of it's 5 tiny leaves and hasn't grown at all since I purchased 6 plants which arrived July 3, 2016. My $19 Agave ovatifolia 'Vanzie' and $19 Agave nickelsiae have each lost about 5 of their 12 leaves have barely grown and are much smaller than the advertised pictured plants. My 1st $19 Yucca cernua was dead on arrival and was replaced by Plant Delights but the replacement plant does not look healthy. Going into Austin's comparatively mild winter I'm not confident that any of the remaining 4 of my 6 plants purchased at Plant Delights will survive. Buyers beware: Plant Delights sells plants that are much smaller than advertised and not suited for hot climates such as Texas. I will be buying locally from now on.
|On Jun 30, 2015, ala58 Allentown, PA wrote:
I was so excited last year to find and place an order for not 1 but 3 Clematis glaucophylla 'Panhandler'. Arrived timely 2 out of 3 looked poor (strike one) was told it's a vive not to worry new shoots from base will come but they never did on the two. Mulched for the winter in case of a bad weather as we had the year before. Now Spring arrives and the 1 that was in good condition came up just fine and is beautiful. The other 2 never came up. I called and they said give it sometimes, after another couple weeks nothing, called back and (strike two) I was told "Tony only guarantees they will get to you in good condition (which was not the case anyway). They put a big Hoopla about there customer satisfaction!! It's simply not there from my experience, I am a very experienced gardener and g found them to be a company who toots there own horn and does not stand at all behind there product. At high price, higher shipping and absolutely NO caring. I would have been happy if they extended an olive branch and offered me a reduced price on a replacement, ANYTHING. I would NOT recommend them to anyone. Also I did state to the woman answering phone that I would appreciate how deeply upset I am with their lack of Guarantee Directly to Tony. Never heard a peep back (strike three) It was very clear I was not a happy customer and my concerns were are are still legitimate. I don't normally leave anyone negatives reviews but this company really deserves it from me. I will share my story throughout internet land and among fellow gardeners. I almost ordered another series of vines but my husband reminded me of the problems and as much as I would love the vines I cancelled. If you cannot count on customer satisfaction guaranteed what can you count on after all we are blind to picking our specific plants...
On Jun 30, 2015, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
"On Jul 8, 2015 1:43 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
|On Jun 1, 2015, garden_ny New York City, NY wrote:
Posted on May 26, 2015, updated June 1, 2015
On June 1st, 2015, garden_ny added the following:
I am afraid the response is not quite correct. I called, explained in the nicest way what the issue was, described the facts (left out that it took me 3 calls and 2 sets of photographs last year to have them agree to replaced the two echinaceas), and was told matter of factly " it is no longer our problem". There was never an offer to discuss it further, to talk to their growers, to explore options or solutions, or to even suggest other plants. I would be happy to engage. I strongly believe that growers should be supported for their efforts.
On Jun 1, 2015, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
"On May 30, 2015 1:21 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
|On May 30, 2014, ToddStevenson Rochester, NY wrote:
This spring I was excited to place my 1st order with Plant Delights as they have a great selection of rare plants. Unfortunately one of the plants was damaged in transit. Three emails to customer service were all ignored. Very disappointing. I purchase a lot of plants by mail order and have never had this experience.
|On Aug 22, 2013, AJNYC Astoria, NY wrote:
Absolutely dreadful experience. 2 out of the three plants I ordered arrived in OK but not in perfect condition. According to their most condescending return policy, these plants were not deserving of a phone call to them within the 5 day window they provide in order to complain about an order so as to be guaranteed a replacement. The plants deteriorated thereafter and are both now dead. The third plant I ordered was so small in size it was shocking. It was basically a very poorly rooted leaf growing in a loosely packed container of "soil". Although this plant is still hanging on and arrived over 2 months ago it is not even close to being even half way grown and can't possibly flower this season. The company never bothered to respond to an email I sent them expressing my dissatisfaction with the plants I ordered and with their return policy.
On Aug 22, 2013, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
"On Aug 22, 2013 12:21 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
|On May 17, 2013, FlaFlower Titusville, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:
Well... I ordered 3 plants that were "In stock".
On May 17, 2013, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
"On May 20, 2013 9:26 AM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
|On Jun 2, 2012, raven998 wrote:
I purchased a number of plants from Plant Delights Nursery recently. This will have been the 3rd time I have purchased from them. While many plants were of an expected size, several were poorly rooted in their containers. Considering these are very small containers to begin with, and the price point of Plant Delights plants are considerable especially when you add in the shipping cost, I was disappointed with several I received this time around. In the worst case i received a solomon seal that consisted of a 2 inch tall stem with 4 tiny bug eaten leaves, and almost no roots filling it's container. If a nursery like this expects people to pay a premium for its rare and hard to find perennials(which I am happy to do), consistency and quality control needs to be exceptional. In the case where they send less than an adequate product out to a repeat customer Plant Delights may want to consider other options other than telling the customer they can mail it back. I personally do not feel it is worth my time to mail these questionable plants back. I will just spend my plant dollars elsewhere in the future.
On Jun 2, 2012, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
"On Jun 11, 2012 11:12 AM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
|On Jul 21, 2011, Kimcoco33 Milwaukee, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:
Posted on July 8, 2011, updated July 21, 2011
On July 8th, 2011, Kimcoco33 added the following:
I looked back on my records. I had placed a couple orders with two different online vendors at the same time. When speaking with Virginia, I was told that I should have called after receiving their email with the ship date. Unsure of which vendor I had spoken with previously, I did not retort her comment in our conversation. Subsequently, I looked back in my records, and found that I did contact PDN immediately upon receiving that email. I have the phone call logged on my cell phone records. At that time, I called customer service and asked why they are shipping the order risking the delivery so close to the date I will not be here for the arrival. The response I received was, "Well THAT'S why we send you an email". A very snotty response. I asked that they ship it July 5th instead, and was told they would do so. So, to put this in proper perspective, they overlooked my original shipping request that was placed with my order, and also the second verbal request via a phone call to their staff.
I'd also like to make a point that I understand mistakes do happen, but the fact is this goes beyond a shipping error. The simple fact that the demeaner of this "customer service" staff is brash, I'd opt to never give them my business again. Their rude behavior towards a paying customer is outright unacceptable. I should have heeded the warnings and other negative reviews on this website -- had I read them prior to submitting my order, I wouldn't be posting here today.
Not pointing the finger at anyone, but I will say I have doubts about the validity of many "positive" reviews on this website. They come across in my eyes as somewhat 'hokey pokey' and given my own experience and interaction with PDN staff, I'm less inclined to believe they are legitimate. 100% of my interaction with PDN customer service staff was outright unpleasant. Let that speak for itself.
On July 21st, 2011, Kimcoco33 added the following:
In response to PDN's unprofessional and flagrant response by Dianne, the "manager" no less, I will retort.
First, I will let the reader formulate their own conclusions based on Dianne's written response. Refer back to my original post and complaint about PDN and how pass the buck and blame the customer. What does Dianne respond with? Blaming the customer AGAIN. Is anyone surprised?
Dianne Austin responds in an attempt to "play the role of the victim" -- blaming the customer for trying to sabotage the reputation of an employee of PDN. She actually ends her post with, "shame on you". Really? Shame on the customer for communicating a valid complaint? And this is the end result? WOW. Is that what you call 'customer service' or 'customer satisfaction'? I think not. I think believe it reinforces what I've said about this company and their demeaner towards paying customers in my posts.
Dianne states, "Aside from these two posts, you have emailed me twice in an effort to damage Virginia’s employee status with PDN. My reply to your first email reads as follows..."
Dianne accuses the customer of trying to "damage Virginia's employee status." Communicating a legitmate complaint to management regarding a rude employee is the customer's fault, and then Dianne, the manager, proceeds to accuse the customer of having ulterior motives. Need I say any more?
Let's establish the facts:
A. I am not a ranting and raving customer, as PDN would like the reader to believe. PDN blames the customer.
B. Viriginia never, at any time, offered to "cover the loss" of any plants that were being shipped. This contradicts the entire premise of my initial post. Yet again, PDN blames the customer for not "listening" to something that was never said to begin with, and is not willing to take accountability for their unprofessional behavior. I am not an irrational, ranting and raving customer, and for any business to post such slanderous accusations is both unethical and unprofessional and a very poor business practice. But, be my guest PDN. You posts do nothing more than exemplify your true colors, your lack of emphasis on customer satisfaction, your lack of respect towards a paying customer, and further corroborates all the facts I've presented here about PDN's brash behavior and passing the buck attitude.
C. Dianne's claim that she was "listening" in on this conversation is what the rest of the world calls "hogwash".
D. I did not send "two" emails to Dianne in an attempt to "sabotage" Virginia's reputation or employee status. In fact, my first email never mentioned a thing about how Virginia treated me, it stated nothing more than blatant facts. My second email explained exactly why I choose not to give them my business again.
Below are email correspondence between myself and Dianne.
In response to the order confirmation and shipping notice received from the company, I replied with the following:
Tuesday, June 28, 2011 11:21 AM
I spoke with Virginia within the past hour about this order due to a shipment notification I received from Fed Ex indicating that my order shipped yesterday, with an ESTIMATED delivery date of 6/30/2011. Explicit instructions were placed with my online order on June 19, 2011 expressing that I will not be available for any delivery after June 30th. Obviously, the delivery date being so close to that date, coupled with the fact that Fed Ex offers no shipping guarantee, I became concerned and contacted Plant Delights. In the ensuing conversation with Virginia, I was told that I should have called when I received the email from Plant Delights Nursery with the estimated delivery date, even though I had already given explicit delivery instructions at the time I placed my order.
After speaking with Virginia today, I checked back on my records, as I've ordered from two online companies around the same time and wanted to verify which company I spoke with previously by phone.
I received the email confirmation of my order from Plant Delights Nursery on June 20th, 2011. I very prompty contacted customer service by phone on June 20th, 2011 at 3:24 pm. I spoke with customer service about the estimated shipping date of June 30th, as per the email, expressing my concerns with the ship date being too close to the date I made very clear I will be unavailable for delivery (no deliveries after June 30th). The person on the phone at that time told me, "well, that's why we send you an email", at which point I explained that I'd like the order delivered AFTER July 4th. I was told that would be taken care of. The phone call is documented in my phone records with my phone carrier.
I am unclear why the order shipped anyway, in spite of my explicit instructions with the intial order and the prompt phone call to your customer service department after receiving your email confirmation, and my second set of instructions, as per a verbal phone conversation, to ship the order after July 4th.
Exactly how is this email a communication an attempt to "sabotage" an employee's status by communicating the facts to PDN?
--- On Fri, 7/1/11, Dianne Austin wrote: (see Dianne's post above in which she responded to my email above)
My response to Dianne is as follows:
RE: Confirmation of Order & Shipping Date
Friday, July 8, 2011 11:21 AM
To: "Dianne Austin"
I have to say, regardless of the shipping situation, your staff is the most unprofessional I've had to deal with, with any online vendor. For that reason alone, I'd never give my business to your company again.
The entire conversation was aimed at blaming the customer when I called to inquire why the order shipped risking the arrival after my departure date. The response to this was that PDN cannot be responsible for FedEx shipping. Huh? It was your choice to ship, I expressed my concerns, and this is the response I received from your staff. No apology whatsoever, no resolutions were presented to me. I was told to search out neighbors who can be here for the potential delivery, over a holiday weekend. I was told that I should have called after I received the original email, and looking back on my records after the conversation took place, I found that I did call after the first email notification of the scheduled shipping date. I immediately called upon receipt of that email and requested at that time to not ship until July 5th. The phone call to your customer service staff is logged on my phone records. I was told they would withhold shipment until that time, but failed to do so. I gave written instructions with my order placement, and verbal instructions after the receipt of the shipping confirmation. Mistakes do happen, I realize that, but this goes beyond a shipping matter. Blaming the customer and treating the customer with such disregard and the outright nasty demeaner that Virginia has towards paying customers is just unacceptable. The first phone call was similar. I asked why the order was shipping out risking delivery close to the date I will not be available, and the response I received at that time, again in a very unpleasant tone, was "well THAT'S why we send you the email". If Virginia were an employee at my company, she'd never be allowed to interact with any customer.
Her demeaner throughout the entire conversation was brash and completely unacceptable for anyone in "customer service". Passing the buck, blaming the customer, and not accepting responsibility is not what I consider appropriate behavior towards any paying customer.
It is quite simply and unwise decision to employ such an unpleasant person who risks the loss of potential business each time she takes a call from a customer. 100% of my conversations with your customer service staff was unpleasant.
PDN makes no attempt to "resolve" any situation to customer satisfaction. They want to blame the customer and continually exert their energy on focusing the attention on the customer in an attempt to portray what the customer did wrong, how the customer reacted, etc. and it is obvious based on Dianne's responses that this "passing the buck" attitude trickles down from upper management.
This company places no emphasis whatsoever on customer satisfaction. Attempt to portray the customer as a crazy ranting and raving lunatic, so PDN doesn't have to take accountability for their actions, or lack thereof.
Refer to my original post. Blame the customer.
On Jul 21, 2011, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
"On Jul 8, 2011 3:06 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
Here are the facts pertaining to this negative post:
|On Jul 17, 2011, smurfwv Cabin Creek, WV (Zone 6a) wrote:
I placed my first order around April 2011, for Amorphophallus Henryii, and Amorphophallus Kuisanus. I am an aroid collector and wanted to add these to my collection. Although the cost of tubers are extremely high, I went ahead and ordered them. Both cost $20 (later on seen them on ebay for $5, I about had a heart attack!). So I got them and the henryii was nice and big 4-5 inches across, but kuisianus was about 1 inch across (I almost cried) and complained. But they both grew wonderfully and are still nice looking. 17.00 to ship them, both less than a pound. Shipping is rediculous. I think its because their boxes have their name on them. Has anyone told them USPS has free boxes they can order online for FREE? Yes PD you can get free priority mail and flat rate boxes at no cost to you! Blah
On Jul 17, 2011, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
"On Jul 18, 2011 12:41 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
|On Jun 9, 2011, Speckled_Hen San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
Posted on May 29, 2011, updated June 9, 2011
On June 9th, 2011, Speckled_Hen added the following:
Update after response from company. This is just the sort of response I've come to expect from this company, and the way I've seen them respond to every problem in this forum - with personal attacks, unprofessionalism and sarcasm. What a way to attract and retain customers. This interaction has been a customer service experience and with their response, they've guaranteed that I won't be a future customer. There are just too many other good nurseries out there folks who won't treat you like this. Incidentally, I do appreciate and share your sense of humour sir - I just think it could use some refinement. ;)
On Jun 9, 2011, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
"On Jun 1, 2011 12:12 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
|On Dec 29, 2009, dave12122 East Haddam, CT wrote:
Posted on February 10, 2003, updated December 29, 2009
On June 6th, 2007, dave12122 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
It is with reluctance that I need to change my rating of Plant Delights Nursery to negative. I sent an email in mid May outlining my disappointment with two plants ordered the previous season, in late August. Both the Saruma henryi and Tricyrtis "Imperial Banner" looked like they had seen better days when they arrived, but I figured it was the end of the season and the plants would emerge healthy and vigorous the following Spring. Well, it here it is, June 5th, and there is absolutely NO top growth on either plant. They clearly succumbed over a weird yet generally mild winter (lowest temperature 4 degrees, which would theoretically be zone 7). This shouldn't be an issue of hardiness....unless PDN is being dishonest in its presentation of these two species. When I dug up the plants, I was surprised to see a puny root system on both. Clearly, this size was probably only appropriate for Spring planting, but there is nothing in the catalogue to that effect.
My initial email was completely ignored, so I sent another one a week later. That, too was not replied to, a completely unacceptable level of customer service. In the second email, I outlined an additional problem I was having with Arisaema triphyllum "Black Jack". The original tiny corm sent last Spring never came up, so PD sent a new plant with foliage in the summer. Unfortunately, this second plant has not emerged in 2007, while countless other triphyllums around it have bloomed and prospered beautifully.
I predict that "Blackjack" will emerge as a poor doer in the north due to lack of hardiness much north of Washington DC. PD did not do its homework on this plant, and now I'm out $35.00. It does not mean much that a plant is hardy in a Raleigh zone 7, even if the temperature goes to 5 degrees or lower on rare occasions. February and March in Connecticut were largely below freezing, and "Blackjack" appears to be a plant that cannot take prolonged freezing soil and cold.
If PD "makes good" on these issues, I will be glad to change the rating to positive. However, being ignored for three weeks, even if PD doesn't agree with me, is simply not good business.
On September 4th, 2007, dave12122 added the following:
To respond to Ms. Austin's comments of June 6th:
I definitely used the "office" email rather than the "sales" email. While I could "buy" that an email could get lost once, two emails, sent on different days being lost strains my credulity. Either I am incredibly unlucky or PD is not as organized as it could be.
Yet, this third evaluation DID get to PDN in early June, since Ms. Austin responded to it. As of today, September 3rd, I have received NO response from PDN other than this rebuttal. I do not know how I could have responded earlier than 9 months (not 10....I wrote in May). Sometimes, ratty plants delivered in August DO make it through the winter and I thought it would be fair to see if the two plants did indeed make it. When there appeared to be no sign of life in May, I wrote to PDN immediately. Notifying them earlier would have been like the "boy who cried wolf". I really don't know what I could have done differently. Letting them know in August would have been a little silly since the plants were not dead, just ratty looking. They probably would have said "wait to see if they come through the winter" anyway, which brings us back to square one.
The Arisaema "Black Jack" never came up. I found the bulb, and it had rotted, perhaps as long ago as early winter, I cannot tell. This is the only case out of 100's of Arisaema triphyllums I have grown where a bulb has rotted. Other Arisaemas in the same area....ringens, consanguinea, japonica, flavum, draconitum, etc. all thrived and came up at the proper time, so I find it a bit hard to believe that there is a cultivation problem here. Again, it is important to note that I failed with this form TWICE. The initial bulb was extremely small, one-eighth of an inch at most, and never came up after being planted in early Spring. My prediction is...and I may be wrong, just like Ms. Austin...that smaller bulbs of "Black Jack" are not hardy in zone 6b without snow cover and the plant as a whole is not satisfactory north of Philadelphia. Time will tell who is right!
I find it rather odd that Ms. Austin welcomes zone information from PDN customers, but when I give her this information based on 42 years worth of gardening in Zone 6, she is quick to be defensive and accusatory. Of course, it is I that must be the mediocre gardener and PDN is always on target with its zone ratings. A lower New England Zone 6 and a Zone 6 in southern states such as Kentucky, North Carolina, etc. is an entirely different animal. The length of the cold, daily highs, and moisture in the air/alternating rain and snow are completely different. I repeat: just because a certain plant comes through the winter in central North Carolina means next to nothing for gardeners in New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Connecticut. I would be happy to give PDN my more thorough zone observations on over 100 of their plants, but as you can see, they are hardly receptive to such material, so why bother?
Little things mean a lot, and Ms. Austin's placement of my word reluctant in parenthesis speaks volumes. Does she mean to imply I enjoy giving negative reviews, that I have nothing better to do when there are over 2,000 species to manage in the greenhouse and 1,000 more in the outside garden? My reviews in Dave's Garden are public, and largely positive. Yes, there are a few strongly negative ones, but I have tried to call things as I see them. And when you call things as you see them with PDN, you are discredited immediately. I really cannot see how that fosters a positive/reciprocal attitude with customers, but I am sure PDN will think of another defensive style response.
On December 29th, 2009, dave12122 added the following:
In early 2009, I felt it was worth the effort to make one more effort to resolve this long standing issue. I decided to write to Tony Avent directly, to avoid the issue of emails not being received. Tony's initial response was encouraging, and he offered to replace both plants on any future order of $50.00 or more. This was important, as it was the first indication of some accountability on PDN's part. Unfortunately, I had long since replaced both plants, and felt a little uncomfortable having to place an additional $50.00 order to receive new plants, a requirement I had never encountered before. So, I wrote back suggesting instead a simple credit for both plants to be used for a future order. I felt this was acknowledging there could indeed be a future order and keeping the door open for additional dealings with PDN.
Well, apparently that was the wrong thing to say. I received a speedy reply from Tony, wholly different in tone, stating "I had a different thought process than all of his other customers, was "spewing venom" and was not contrite enough." He further went on to say "this will be the last communication from us".
Excuse me? What exactly do I need to be contrite about? I planted the 2 specimens immediately, gave them sufficient care, and yet they still died, despite being in a perennial bed where 100 other plants (20 newly planted from other nurseries) came through the winter perfectly. Perhaps Tony is expecting me to be contrite about not reporting the ratty plants within the 5 day window. Well, that indeed was for PDN's benefit. Plants can be ratty but not dead, and to ask for replacements at that point would have been unreasonable. By the way, this 5 day reporting policy is absolutely terrible for gardeners. Like winter damage, the effects of shipping a poorly grown plant in a box for several days does not usually show up immediately. In my experience, such plants usually show distress after 10 days-2 months, and die agonizingly slowly. Of course, this is outside of the PDN replacement period. However, I find it hard to believe that a garderner who plants something in good faith and yet loses it in 10 days, or to make it more ridiculous, 6 days is doing anything wrong.
Stating that my thought processes are unlike any other PDN customer is rather strange. Would not the typical PDN customer expect plants cared for in August and the subsequent Fall to still be alive the following growing season? I should hope they would. Tony stated in his 2nd letter to me that plants sometimes "die for no reason. " I have never found that to be true. Sometimes it is difficult to discern the reason, especially the subtleties of drainage, but there always is a reason, generally related to a problem with under or over watering.
In the infamous "How to be a good customer" essay, Tony is quick to point out that "if you are a mean customer, we would be happy to provide you with a list of companies that deserve
your business." Yet, apparently it is fine for Tony to send an insulting and dismissive email such as the 2nd one he sent me. This makes me doubt his sincerity, as well as his veracity.
On Dec 29, 2009, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
On Jun 6, 2007 5:10 PM, Plant Delights Nursery added:
As Customer Service Manager, I am writing in hopes that dave12122 will read our rebuttal to his "reluctant" change from neutral to a negative posting.
|On Sep 10, 2009, kudrick Fallston, MD (Zone 6b) wrote:
In the past 5 years, I have spent over $2,000 with PDN and in the past few years, their plants have one of the highest mortality rates of all ( compared to at least 20 other nurseries that I deal with ). I have this year sent 3 or 4 emails asking for help with plants that I have purchased, and have never received a single reply. They used to package their plants with shredded newspaper but now are using styrofoam peanuts, the environmental impact of which is unquestionably negative.
On Sep 10, 2009, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
"On Sep 10, 2009 12:04 PM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
|On May 19, 2009, KarenPhanco Canton, GA wrote:
I also have ordered from PDN for a couple of years. Most of the time I have been happy with their plants. This year I was not as happy. Last year I had ordered 5 Cardoon plants and several miniature pitcher plants. None of the 5 cardoon came up this spring and one of the pitcher plants died. I was informed by PDN that my cardoons were not replaceable as I lived in Zone 7a rather than a 7b. I have always felt that zones were to be used as a general guide in planting. Many sites only list me as a 7. To add to that, my area did not have any temperatures as low as the 5-0 temperatures listed for Zone 7b, so my plants should have survived given this criteria. I was also informed that my pitcher plant would no doubt grow upon warmer temperatures. Excuse me, I've been a gardener long enough to recognize a DEAD plant. Even though their prices are relatively high, I have been willing to pay them if I felt their plants were healthy and out of the ordinary. Not anymore.
On May 19, 2009, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
"On May 27, 2009 11:06 AM, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
To Karen and Garden Watchdog readers:
|On Jan 15, 2009, cowpea123 Coushatta, LA wrote:
My friend ordered me a few plants as gift and when he gave them to me they were tiny!I asked him how much he paid for them and I was shocked.They were plugs stuck in 4" pots.I did some research and talked to some people and found out that PD buys agaves,hostas and other plants as tissue cultured plugs for 1.75-3.95 and sales them for 19.95 and up!From the plants I got it seems they don't keep them very long.They were alive and well but tiny.They cost 19.95 each plus shipping.I had to grow them all summer in pots before I could plant them out.I ordered the same plants from another nursery and got nice quart size plants for the same price.If you like tiny plants that are bought cheap and sold at a huge markup buy from PD.
On January 16th, 2009, cowpea123 added the following:
I do not have a problem with buying liners and plugs at wholesale prices and selling them at higher prices but at least grow them to a good size.I was wrong about the price of the plants they were 18.00 not 19.95 and they were alive and very healthy but so very tiny and you still see the shape of plug.
On Jan 15, 2009, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
On Jan 16, 2009 8:57 AM, Plant Delights Nursery added:
Dear cowpea 123,
|On Sep 3, 2008, celticflower Chickasha, OK wrote:
My advice is to order from any of the other quality companies. I order all my plants on line and I was tempted to order from PD due to selection of unusual plants.
On September 8th, 2008, celticflower added the following:
First it took PD over two weeks to ship. I said that was fine but I need them to arrive before 12 noon or delay them because I had a trip scheduled.
I found them when I returned on Monday on our front step in full sun, THERE is a shade side of the porch or even next to the door would of keep them out of the sun. They were delivered on Friday after 12. The plants were cooked, roots and all. They had been in the sun for 3 days with 107 degree temp. PD had told the agent to leave them and not require signature. I never gave a release to the delivery company.
I called the company immediately and was told it was not there responsibility to replace the plants since they were delivered. You can check the weatherunderground and see that the whole south was under a heat wave. Secondly they knew that I was leaving at 12 noon. I wasn't going to waste my time on plants that were cooked and dead. I felt and still do feel that PD should of file a claim with Fed ex since they left plants in the sun and their box clear has warnings about heat and cold.
They were not going to replace them or refund them. I told them I am sending them back. Since they were dead and I was paying for the shipping I washed all the dirt off and cut the plants back to reduce the weight.) As far as time, I can not control shipping times and it didn't matter if I shipped them express or third class, they were dead.
Cindi won't not even talk to me and I was not unpolite. I was firm that I was not going to waste money on dead plants.
The plants I shipped are the plants that I sent, I sent the complete dead plant less the soil. It is so easy to send out little plants and when you have a complaint go find bigger plants to show how robust your plants are. My plants looked nothing like the plants in the photo. Not in height, color or stem size. I received mere plugs/ liners. For $15 each they should of being large healthy plants.
If there was one ounce of life in the stems or roots I would of planted them, but they were mushy. The photos also show
much nicer looking plants than what I received. Also there is no moisture in the photos on the right so the stems are a lot smaller since they are DEAD.
I only posted here because I want to warn other buyers to not waste their money with PD. I am not the only unsatisfied customer with PD, READ THEIR RATINGS esp the neutrals and negatives. They have a history of not responding, not sent out good plants and sending out small liners.
I just wish I have read the reviews before I had ordered.
42 of their 231 customers had neg/neutral comments that is almost 20% are unsatisfied.
My advice is order from the top 30 on watchdog.
PDelights. As a customer they should stand behind their product and when their agent (fed ex) leaves plants on a door step in the sun because they didn't listen to the customer that told them they had to be their by 12. If their were so unaware of the 12 departure why did they send it second day and why did they choose morning service by noon. IT is on the label.
On September 8th, 2008, celticflower added the following:
I was polite and not angry. I informed them of the condition and they said it was my fault they were delivered 30 minutes after we left and they were not going to replace or refund.
I said that sending out plants without regard to instructions. I had to contact them about a shipping address since the order had my PO because they changed shipping and I told them it had to be there by noon on Friday and they shipped it that way. I find that Fed Ex didn't fulfill they agency delivery since they didn't arrive by 12 as stated on the label. They also left the box out in the sun. I believe that it is Plant delights fault since they released the package and would not file a claim with Fed Ex.
The customer service person said they would not replace or refund. Only when I said that it is their choice but that I would let my friends know how I was treated and that their customer service was lacking. I was not abusive or firm. Cindi never talked to me and then said I would get a refund when I returned the plants. I asked if they were going to send a rma and they said no, it was my responsibility to return them.
I told them If that was the case I would reduce the weight and send back usps.
They have the plants back and and my money.
I am still out the $60+ dollars for three small dead plants.
I tried to work with them, but they were more concern with
keeping my money and not replacing nor refunding so now they blame me. I guess when they rip you off, you are suppose to smile and say thank you .
I would like to emphasize that I was polite. I found PD not willing to do anything to resolve the solution.. I regret that Plants delight chose not to refund or replace, what a great
way to build customer service especially when they have the
As always, I am grateful that DGW offers customers the ability to warn others about companies like Plant Delights where almost 20% of their customers have reported disatisfaction either by placing neturals or negatives.
Plant Delights has had plenty of time to refund or replace.
I have been more than corporative, either send me live plants like you show in your photos or refund my money.
Is that so much to ask?
On Sep 3, 2008, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
On Sep 8, 2008 11:46 AM, Plant Delights Nursery added:
To celticflowers and DGW forum readers:
|On Mar 13, 2008, Desertdenial5 Tolleson, AZ (Zone 9a) wrote:
I order a lot of plants on line and decided to place an order with PDN. I do not know if I would be placing a negative remark if my e-mails had been answered. I ordered some rain lilies and 2 of the 3 pots came with only one bulb. I was very disappointed when I received my order because of this. I know that a friend also ordered some and she received nice size clumps. If they had stated only one bulb for almost 15.00 I probably would not have ordered them.
On March 15th, 2008, marieortiz added the following:
I have e-mailed the address given a 3rd time.
On March 24th, 2008, marieortiz added the following:
I received the answer listed below:
I’m sorry that you were disappointed in the quantity of our zephyranthes bulbs. Our zephyranthes from Fadjar Marta are very much in demand. We divided nearly all of those bulbs, resulting in one bulb per pot. ‘Krakatau’ and ‘Batik’ offset very quickly so you should have more bulbs by the end of the growing season. ‘Fantasy Island’ and ‘Moulin Rouge’ are a little slower.
I still feel that they should list on their website that you are purchasing only one bulb and if I do order again I will be sure to check with them first to make sure I am receiving what I am expecting.
On Mar 13, 2008, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
On Mar 13, 2008 9:23 AM, Plant Delights Nursery added:
As customer service manager, I am writing in hopes that marieortiz will read our rebuttal to (her?) negative posting. First, I would like to respectfully address the topic of unanswered email. Since I am solely responsible for the disposition of all company email, I would like to clarify how our email is handled. We make every effort to answer all email received within 24 hours from the date of receipt (excluding weekends). On any given day during our busy season, we could easily receive 200 + spam-related emails. Those must be eliminated prior to responding to each individual customer correspondence. I am sure that I have, on occasion, inadvertently deleted a customer email while filtering through all of the junk mail. However, it would be highly unlikely the same customer email would meet the same fate twice. Could our spam filter block a legitimate email from the same customer more than once? I don't know, but perhaps one of our computer-savvy customers could answer such a question. Whatever may have happened in this particular case, all I am left to do is apologize and extend an invitation to marieortiz to try again. Perhaps the email address used to contact us was miss-spelled or sent to [e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org] The sales address is used for web confirmations only. The email address that we read and respond to is [email:email@example.com]
|On Mar 22, 2007, Cretaceous El Sobrante, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:
I placed an order with Plant Delights Nursery on December 1st, 2006, for eight ferns and one Spikemoss (Selaginella).
On March 23rd, 2007, Cretaceous added the following:
By the way, I also received the "Gardening Jihad" catalogue from Plant Delights Nursery, and would have to agree with the previous review. I think it was irresponsible (and ignorant) to use the title/artwork.
As an ex-Londoner living in California, I'm only too aware of the results of the so called "Jihad" which occured last year on the London transport system.
On July 1st, 2007, Cretaceous changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I recently ordered a further three ferns from Plant Delights Nursery and noticed that I was charged $ 27 for “Air Service” shipping.
The plants were shipped USPS Priority Mail and the package weighed four pounds. There is absolutely no way I can see anyone justifying this cost for shipping these already fairly expensive plants.
I have regularly sold items on eBay and printed my own USPS Priority Mail labels. A four pound package does not cost $ 27 to ship via Priority Mail !
On Mar 22, 2007, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
On Jul 3, 2007 4:36 PM, Plant Delights Nursery added:
|On May 24, 2006, rwalter Wamego, KS wrote:
On February 28, 2006 I paid these people by credit card $117.00 to cover $96.00 worth of plants and $21.00 shipping. They were to ship on May 8th, and today was the 23rd, and still no plants, so..... I called in the AM and was told by someone there that they would check to see what happened, and call me back. About 4:15 PM, my time, I finally called THEM back, and was told by the person that answered the phone that they would tell customer service I called about my order, and have them call me back. I told the person that I had heard that statement from them early that morning, and no one had bothered to call back all day, upon which they said they would walk up to customer service and have them pick up. They did, and they told me they really would check on it, this time, and get back to me.... After a while they DID call me back, and told me that they had run out of one of the plants I ordered, and normally they would refer the order to customer service so that they could notify the customer and ask if they would like something else, but in my case they hadn't, they just didn't do anything, and they had no idea why ( I kind of thought to myself that it might be because they already had my 117 bucks). I asked them how they could run out of a plant before filling my order, when I had pre ordered in February. They said, well....that sometimes some plants may not all come out of dormancy and they are short on them. I said I ordered in FEBRUARY, so surely I should have been covered, in even a shortage situation, and they sort of stuttered around and said, well ,,, some people order in January and early February, so maybe I had been too late. Personally, I found it a little insulting sitting there debating a hypothetical situation with someone who admittedly had no idea if that was even what had happened. At that point I told them that I could tell them what they could do for me now, and it wouldn't take 3 months to do it. I asked them to credit my card back the full $117.00, and cancel my order, immediately. We will see how that turns out, and if bad, I will amend this, or put up another evaluation. I made several other early orders this year, to several sites on the internet, and Plant Delights is just one of several that have not sent my orders yet, and unless I really AM the unluckiest person around, I strongly suspect that they get a lot of people that order stuff in the early months of the year, and then forget they ordered, or who they ordered it from, and so they don't ship till you call and confront them about it. I am sorry to say that Plant Delights had the feeblest and least believable excuses of all of them I called. Here's a hint- if you screwed up, just admit you screwed up, don't try to make up reasons it could have happened besides your own monumental incompetence, it goes down badly. My rating- Caveat Emptor, and if you order early, save your copy of the receipt. I also believe that it is somewhat indicative of the ethics of a company when they process your credit card charge before they ship the items ordered, especially when we're talking MONTHS before shipping is even scheduled, but it is, unfortunately not an isolated practice on the web. In all fairness, they might be the victim of a snafu of their own making, but although they have lovely photos, of unusual plants, and it's a great place to dream, I, personally will not know if they are worth the fairly high prices, at least not this year. Might try them again next year, if they refund my money promptly, and I get over being mad by next JANUARY (can I pre order in December and be assured of my order being filled?), I don't know. LOL- in this case means lots of luck.
|On Jul 15, 2005, rsalko Jackson, NJ wrote:
waited over six months for two common trachy palms,they charged my card six moths ago and sent me a seedling with five leaves the other is sickly brown leaves and small as hell.they sell the same palms in hd for half the price and five times the size.over rated i will never buy from again.they did offer a full refund still lost my whole growing season. next time i will just use ebay and support the little guys and gals rob
On Jul 15, 2005, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
On Jul 20, 2005 11:17 AM, Plant Delights Nursery added:
We received “robs” email dated July 14th stating how disappointed he was with the two Trachycarpus wagnerianus he received. This is an excerpt from his complaint email “ …”one wagnerianus is as small as a tissue cultured plug and the other is not healthy at all.” Further he stated “I want to give you a chance to respond before I leave negative feedback on your company…..” Regardless of threats, we take every customer complaint seriously. We responded to his concerns on July 15th. Our email response to him reads as follows:
|On Dec 9, 2004, moretz hickory, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:
i went up to their nursery,boy i was so excited i couldnt wait to get there well it was fun until i was leaving and i picked up my plants to take home and i asked the ladys standing there if this one plant was sick or what she said it was fine. well i got it home and the next day a catapillar had eaten all the leaves off of it so i emailed them and they said i should have said something when i was up here and i said i did and they didnt believe me. so i won't be ordering from them any more as much as their plants are i think they need a better guarante on them. there is better and cheeper places to buy from.
|On Sep 27, 2004, victorgardener Lower Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:
I would never buy from this place again. Simply put, they are horrible. Here's one example. Two years ago I bought many (12-15?) 'Ann Folkard' geranium in the Spring. Almost immediately a few died. They sent one or two replacements. As soon as the weather heated up, they simply withered away. I had given the proper care, watering etc. I am not a novice gardener. When I emailed, a response was emailed which said that theirs too had kind of wasted away and if they did not return next Spring they would replace them or refund the money. Luckily, I printed and saved that email. When they did not return the next Spring, I emailed. After a few attempts I finally called. I was told that the person that promised me the refund no longer worked there (of course). They resisted and said they could not find their own emails but I faxed them the saved email. They grudgingly decided to refund the money but (get this!) told me that they looked at my order history and noticed that out of five orders I had placed with them over the previous few years, a replacement was requested in three of them, implying (practically stating outright) that I was to blame. The woman telling me this was unbelievably arrogant and obnoxious. When I pointed out that those orders involved dozens of plants costing hundreds of dollars, and that as a percentage of the total number of plants ordered, the replacements (before the geranium order) represented a small percentage, she would not hear it. Then came the kicker. She told me that I should 'consider not ordering from them anymore'! Did I have to bite my tongue! - since the refund was still pending. Needless to say, I did not need that encouragement. Additionally, their plants are not very big - nothing special and their shipping is expensive. Save your money and avoid aggravation - go elsewhere.
|On Jul 12, 2004, ABQPatt Albuquerque, NM wrote:
Ordered 6 plants for, about, $80.00 .. 3 were 75% dead
|On Apr 16, 2004, berrygirl Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:
Today I received my order and am shocked as why they charged me 20.00 for s&h. I have had MUCH BETTER packing at MUCH CHEAPER prices from other companies. I rec'd a small box with 3 small plants in it. Box label says it weighs 5 lbs- NO WAY!!
On May 17th, 2005, berrygirl added the following:
I believe this company should really change their guarantee policy. For the prices they charge- not to mention the exhorbitant shipping fees- they should stand behind their plants for more than a few days. A lot of reliable [and much cheaper] nurseries offer at least 6 months or a year guarantee to their plants.
I will not order from them again, but will instead buy from companies who provide true customer satisfaction.
|On Apr 5, 2004, szygzy Bay Village, OH wrote:
Pretty hit and miss with this company----My first order this year will definately be my last. Plants were inconsistent in quality, some containers actually containing no plants, others were nearly DOA. I'm looking at about 50% survival on some very expensive plants (my order was for over $350.00). Pretty pictures and clever marketing appear to be this company's primary skill set.If you are a risk taker, they do have a great plant list.
|On Jan 26, 2004, pride62 wrote:
The owner of this nursery writes for a major gardening magazine so I figured this was a top notch nursery. Wrong! After requesting their catalog, I placed an order late last winter. First of all, their prices are outrageous! Even plants that are easy to find elsewhere are $10 and up. The shipping is also astronomical. After placing an expensive order ($160 - ouch), my order arrived in early spring. I was a little taken back with the size and quality of the plants - very small sticks at best. I planted a total of 6 plants (yes, 6 plants for $160!!!) and only 2 made it until fall. When I called to complain, I was told that I could only recieve a credit on my next order. Well, I'm not ordering from this company again so I guess I'm on the loosing end!
|On Aug 25, 2003, Tristan wrote:
***Please note that this feedback does not pertain to an actual purchase.***
On August 27th, 2003, Tristan added the following:
Albeit disturbing, the denial of racism can also be fascinating. Below is Plant Delights' reponse to my complaint:
We received your comments regarding our recent catalog cover. Please be sure and send us you[r] full name so that we can remove you from our mailing
list. Anyone who knows us personally or our company would find any claims
of "racism" truly laughable. I guess you can find reasons to be offended
in [sic] anything if you have an axe to grind or look hard enough. There are
unfortunately still examples of racism out there. If you are so inclined,
join those of us who truly loathe racism and tackle some real issues
instead of running around crying racism where it doesn't exist.
Plant Delights Nursery @
Juniper Level Botanic Garden
9241 Sauls Road
Raleigh, NC 27603 USA
phone 919 772-4794
fax 919 772-4752
I guess if my friends say I'm not racist, then I'm not! Ahhh...I feel better already...
|On Aug 23, 2003, sowforth Saint Cloud, MN wrote:
Last year I placed approximately a $300.00 order with Plant Delights; all arrived in good shape with the exception of one that arrived dead. Having read “How to be a Good Customer”, I was a little leery as to how they would respond to my email requesting replacement or refund. While there was not an immediate response, I finally received a pleasant reply with an apology that also noted I would receive a refund. Great! Nice plants and good customer service.
|On Aug 7, 2003, jeepbtterfly Williamsport, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:
I purchased from this company twice. Both times I purchased different sedum. The first time I spent 9.00 for a stick that was 5 inches long. And two other sedum that were all dumped. I had to dig in the soil to find the plants. I e-mailed the company and basically asked why they would send me a dead stick and two piles of dirt for over fifty dollars.....NO REPLY. Later on in the season I came upon their company again. I decided to give them one more try thinking maybe it was PO fault. HAH! This time I did receive one really nice planted sedum (lucky me)but the other two I had to find in the dirt again. One sedum had a little stem, no roots, and a few broken leaves. The whole thing was maybe an inch tall. Guess who is out nine dollars for that one? You would find better plants in the fifty cent reduced section at a certain hardware store!
|On Mar 13, 2003, JLock1 wrote:
I have placed orders with Plant Delights over the past several years and have, in general been a satisfied customer. Plant failings in the past have been attributed to trying to grow plants that do not thrive in Seattle's cool maritime climate...it was user error, so to speak. I have always enjoyed the catalog, winced at the cost of shipping, and forgave my excesses when I noted the health and quality of the plants. Recent experience has left a nasty taste in my mouth. First, the size of the plants shipped has diminished over the years. This year I received a hibiscus that was little more than a stick the size of a fat toothpick sticking out of the soil! $12.00 plus $3.25 for shipping!! Second, the box I received was packed to half full and three of my costly little plants, including the aforementioned hibiscus, were dumped out into the box. I opened up a box that cost me over $30 in shipping and handling to find my expensive plants in a trashed state. Third, when I called to complain about the state of affairs, I was told that there "were a number of new people working in the shipping department and the box wasn't properly packaged." Regarding the plants, I was told to nurse them along and see how they do. This, of course means that I need to repot them in larger pots and nurse them along and hope they make it through. In my opinion, this is not acceptable. I'll willingly pay money for plants I covet, but send me quality, well packed and viable plants. I know how to be a good customer. Does Plant Delights know how to be a good mail order nursery?
|On Mar 10, 2003, pleasantlygoofy Clarkson, KY wrote:
I ordered from Plant Delights a year ago last fall and I was VERY dissapointed. Out of almost 400 dollars of plants I lost almost half. Almost a quarter were dead upon arival. From there it went downhill and several more died before the onset of winter. After that a few more never emerged from winter dormancy. I didn't contact them about my loss because I was discouraged by there return policy. The wording doesn't sound very understanding or friendly. They have such a great catalog with hard to find plants but I don't think I would order again unless I absolutely couldn't live without it...and then I think I would order in the spring instead.
|On Jan 26, 2003, GrannyNanny wrote:
Last spring I ordered several plants from this company, one of which was Heuchera 'Amber Waves'. I planted it in an area of my garden that has several other Heucheras in it, all of which were growing -- and continued to grow -- well. By mid July the Amber Waves had entirely disappeared, so I emailed the company, asking if -- since the plant had not lasted two months, and since the site, water and soil requirements were obviously not at fault -- they would replace it. Their answer was that they do not take responsibility for plants once they've left their facility, since they have no control over their care after that. This is understandable, but I think that an exception could have been made under the specific circumstances, since the conditions under which it was grown were favorable to Heucheras, and therefore it was a good guess that the plant itself was at fault. They were adamant, however, and I received no replacement. This is the first and only time in my years of gardening that I have ever been refused a replacement, in the rare cases where something did not grow. Therefore, in spite of the fact that Plant Delights has unusual and interesting plants, I'll not be ordering from them again.
|On Nov 19, 2002, Jaspersail wrote:
It's too bad their customer service isn't as good as their plants (which are top-notch!). I placed an order and was surprised when it showed up in two very large boxes. After hauling them to the garden and opening both, I found that one box was my order -- the other contained someone else's order (including their credit card info -- yikes!). I called PDN and notified them of the error. They asked me to repackage everything and take it back to my office for a UPS pickup. I did, but UPS didn't come. I called PDN a couple more times and for one reason or another, no pickup. To make a long story short, I was hauling this box back and forth between my office and our firm's reception area for nearly two weeks (before it was finally picked up by UPS). Of course, the box was getting lighter and lighter each day as the plants became more dessicated. I even called PDN to see if I could buy some of the dying plants at a discount, but was told that it was against PDN policy to discount the price of their plants. (As if baby-sitting a heavy box of their plants for two weeks was part of my policy!) I've never had to jump through so many hoops to right a nursery's error. And they offered nothing except an explanation of their policies.
|On Jul 19, 2002, FranG Brighton, MA wrote:
I was very disappointed. 3 of the 4 plants I ordered were bare-rooted and rolled up in newspaper and had lost pigmentation from being deprived of light. All the lower foliage was dead. I called Customer Service and was told to give them some time to recover and to call back in a month. I have had to pamper them since planting, have had to cut off all the old foliage and finally they have started to grow back from the roots. I've never received plants by mail order that were packed in this fashion or arrived in such poor condition or took so long to show signs of thriving.Two of the 4 are still not looking good.
|On Jul 6, 2002, golddog Western, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:
This is not a supplier of everything. They do have out-of-the-ordinary plants for us 'must-have' gardeners. The fun begins when their catalogue arrives in the winter.
On June 29th, 2006, golddog changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
$54 for one canna; one lilly. Both died. They arrived in a very dry condition. I did order late (May). Have a feeling the plants were in cold storage; how long is any body's guess. 2nd time bitten; never again. Plenty of other nurseries to buy from. Ugh!
On Jul 6, 2002, Plant Delights Nursery responded with:
On Jul 3, 2006 10:10 AM, Plant Delights Nursery added:
|On Jun 18, 2002, passionvine Florence, AL wrote:
The plants I have received from this company have been fine except for one that promptly died after I got it. I e-mailed the company and after my e-mail bounced around to about 3 different people, I was finally offered a credit on my account. That's fine except you have to place a $30 order to use the credit! I couldn't find enough plants to place an order this year and asked if I could just get a refund instead. No go. In fact, I never received a response after sending 2 different e-mails. I think the company has a great plant selection but on the negative side, they are overpriced and their customer support is very bad.
|On Apr 2, 2000, frankhillman wrote:
Unless this nursery has a plant variety that that you just can't live without, I do not recommend them. I have been purchasing plants as a business owner for nearly six years and in my opinion and experience the 4" containers I purchase locally have considerably more plant material and size than what I received from Plant Delights. My complaint and their rather terse reply speaks for itself.