On Nov 22, 2013, gourmetgardens Cookeville, TN wrote:
BUYERS BEWARE OF OLD SEEDS! I received an order of seeds today, Nov. 22, 2013. When I looked at the packets I realized that they were packed for the 2013 growing season and not the 2014 growing season. I called customer service and explained that I was not happy about receiving the old seeds. It is dishonest of them to push last planting season's seeds at a time of the year when customers are planning next season's crops. Customer service made it clear that this is how they operate. I ordered seeds from Baker Creek Seeds on the same day that I placed my order with Territorial Seeds and Baker Creek sent me seeds for 2014. You decide who is the more reputable company. Territorial Seeds told me I could send them back but after I thought about it - I decided it that I had already paid $7.50 shipping on 8 packets of seeds and it would probably cost $5.00 to ship them back. Then I would have spent over $12.00 in shipping charges and have nothing for my money . I have been a loyal customer for years. No longer!!! Territorial Seeds' policies and customer service are clearly anti-customer. GOODBYE TERRITORIAL SEED COMPANY!
On Nov 22, 2013, Territorial Seed Company responded with:
"On Dec 27, 2013 4:32 PM, Territorial Seed Company responded with:
Dear gardener, first and foremost; if you are ever unsatisfied with your purchase from Territorial we will refund that purchase to you promptly.
I believe I can explain why you received the ‘packed for’ date that you did, but to do this a bit more insight into industry seed packaging procedures is required. At Territorial we purposely strive to package our seed as close to the start of the year ‘packed for’ dated as possible. To illustrate; our 2014 catalogs are scheduled to be delivered in-home the last week of December 2013, so you can understand how the months of November and December of 2013 are the busiest packaging months to start the ‘packed for’ selling season of 2014. By law with a fresh seed germination test we could in fact start packaging way before that, say clear back in July 2013 for the entire 2014 season if we desired to, and quite frankly this is standard operating procedure for many seed firms. Having seed packaged and on the shelf for 18 months is not unheard of at all, especially for those companies with a national seed rack distribution program. The reason we don’t operate this way is that at Territorial we tend to purchase and grow a lot of our own fresh ‘new crop’ seed, and these new seed crops come into our warehouse towards the end of the calendar year. The resulting just- in- time seed packaging ensures that filled seed packets are on the shelf or even rack displays for the shortest time possible, staying as fresh as possible before being sold to you. This short time period in the packet is further enhanced by the fact that we normally pull seed packets off the shelf at our normal end of seed selling season, which is sometime in November, and we resume seed sales again with the following “packed for” seasons seed as it becomes available in December. Your order seems to have been processed in this time period just previous to discontinuing one season and starting another. All these procedures here at Territorial help to ensure that the majority of our seed sold is fresh as possible. So please keep this in mind when you see seed packets on store shelves in September or October with the next years “packed for” date on them, or even when you receive them mail order dated this way. Just by looking at the ‘packed for’ date as you described does not tell you how long the seed as been really packaged, nor how fresh the seed is.
Territorial Seed Company"
I opened a 1/2 pound bag of Fava Beans yesterday purchased from Territorial and out came broken glass with the Fava Beans. Really glad I didn't have kids working with me. I called the company and got an answering machine for customer service. No real help there. I am purchasing from even more local seed companies from now on.
On Oct 15, 2012, Territorial Seed Company responded with:
"On Oct 15, 2012 9:21 AM, Territorial Seed Company responded with:
I am very sorry that there was glass in your fava packet. I can honestly say that I have never heard of this happening before and can assure you that it is far from common. Our customer service staff is not here on Sundays but I checked with them this morning and it seems that they have already contacted you. If you have any additional concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us."
In 2011 I placed an order which included 2 8 oz. packages of pea seeds of 2 different varieties. I did not get a chance to plant them in 2011. When I went to plant them this Spring, each package felt light so I weighed them. Each package weighed approximately 4 oz, not 8 oz. This seemed strange to me so I thought maybe the seeds had dried some and that would account for the weight discrepancy. I decided to count the seeds. Their catalog states that the seed count per ounce is 90-165 seeds. Each package contained approximately 400 seeds or about 4 oz. of seeds rather than the 8 oz. that I ordered.
To me, this discrepancy in two seed packages of different peas does not seem random. If I order from them again, I will definitely weigh the seed packages.
Has anyone had a similar experience with Territorial Seeds?
On Apr 26, 2012, Territorial Seed Company responded with:
Sorry about the discrepancy in the weight of your pea packages. Haven't heard of any other issues like this so hoping that your case is isolated. If you call or email our customer service department, we'd be happy to send you more seed or refund your money."
I do not intend to order plants again from Territorial Seed. An order I placed some time ago arrived today, and although the plants appear to be very healthy, the size of the containers and the plants themselves are unbelievably small. VERY tiny, indeed, and their cost was either at least as much or higher than others far larger that I have ordered from other online nurseries. The shipping cost for four teeny plants in a very small carton was nearly $19, and I reside a short driving distance from Territorial Seed! One plant I ordered was not included and shown as being back-ordered on the packing slip, but there was no indication of when they expect to ship it. The total cost of five tiny plants, plus shipping, was over $42 and caused my jaw to drop when I saw what arrived for that amount of money. The only thing I'm happy about with this order is that what did arrive looks healthy and thriving. Period.
On Apr 10, 2012, reeve1 Plano, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:
Posted on March 28, 2012, updated April 10, 2012
Posted on March 28, 2012, updated March 28, 2012
Posted on June 21, 2010, updated March 28, 2012
Posted on June 11, 2010, updated June 21, 2010
Posted on June 11, 2010, updated June 11, 2010
I have to agree with Daniel. I'm trying to investigate some problems I had with an order and to attempt to have a normal conversation with them. It's like the person who responds is drunk or something? I get bits and pieces of a response (which I guess I should be grateful for) and it really doesn't address the questions I had about the problems with my order and now I cannot get another response. Fortunately, it was a small order for 4 seed packets, only 3 were available. But, based on the poor communication, I would put them in the category or "Don't Bother". I also charge on my credit card for a reason. Can you say - Chargeback!?
On June 11th, 2010, reeve1 added the following:
I ordered 4 seed packets and only 3 were in stock. Did shipping come down? NO!! I wish to also support those that have complained about the shipping cost. This is the highest of anyone out there - bar none!!! Gouging customers is going to last only so long and then you won't have anyone left to gouge. Let's not be ridiculous.On June 21st, 2010, reeve1 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
I was able to resolve my major issue but there still remains a problem with what I feel like is gouging for shipping charges. A company should never try to make money off of shipping. The product is where profit should be made. Shipping is only a means to get the product to the customer and should be at cost or less. Any other company charges 1/2 of what these people charge. Until Territorial realizes this and lowers their shipping, I won't be ordering from them any more. On March 28th, 2012, reeve1 changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
I'm finished shopping with Territorial Seed. I have ordered most every year for the past 4 or 5 years and seem to have some sort of problem each year. I purchased 7 seed packs this year, mostly Zinnias, and some that I had great germination rates with before. This year, I couldn't get 1 in 20 to germinate. I've got seed packs from at least 5 companies in my 4 tier grow stand (over 288 seeds each time) and consistently I got poor germination from only the Territorial seeds. Some of my friends purchased Territorial Seeds and had the same low germtination problem this year. I also complained about not being able to reach them from the Contact Us link on the web site. It goes to a blank page. The response from Stephanie? Their lab had 92% germination and she didn't even comment about not being able to view the Contact Us page. They are either hiding or have their head in a deep, dark place. Either way, I'm finished fighting with them and having them never fixing or acknowledging problems. Poor seed germination, ridiculous shipping costs, and a customer service that won't acknowledge any of this but keep their head in the sand. Good bye Territorial Seed. You can gouge and lie to someone else, until there are no more.On March 28th, 2012, reeve1 added the following:
They refunded my seed order but that doesn't fix the problems and deception.On April 10th, 2012, reeve1 added the following:
I've enjoyed their seeds for many years, too. The sad thing is whenever you try to communicate with their customer service, it's as though it doesn't exist. A pleasant girl answers initial emails and then I got passed to Josh. I was never told who Josh is, and he never told me despite two emails that asked He never answered any of my questions and just kept telling me how busy he was. They won't address my question of why the shipping is so obviously over priced for a few seed packs. I'm finally tired of asking and tired of paying exhorbitant prices, so I'm leaving from the side of the sheep and going somewhere else! GOOD BYE Territorial Seed! On Apr 10, 2012, Territorial Seed Company responded with:
"On Mar 28, 2012 8:00 AM, Territorial Seed Company responded with:
I'm sorry to hear about your experiences with our company. In regards to the zinnias that you ordered, I assure you that we do germination tests on every lot of seed that we get and our company's standards are higher than the federal germination standards (as Stephany apparently mentioned, we had a 92% germination rate on the variety in quesiton). I have not heard of any other germination problems with our zinnias this year so I am hoping that your case is isolated.
I see from your last comment that you were refunded on your order which I am glad to see since we stand behind our products 100%. You are certainly welcome to your opinions but I assure you that we are not hiding, lying, or deceiving as you mention above.
On Jan 25, 2012, BLE Huntington, WV (Zone 6b) wrote:
Today, I had about 1/2 of my 2012 order entered online (mid-morning on a Wednesday) when a webpage with this message appeared when I tried to add another item to my "cart".
"The website is temporarily unavailable as we prepare to go live with our brand-new website to enhance your shopping experience! We'll be back online as soon as possible. Please call Customer Service to place your order at 1-800-626-0866 or email email@example.com. Thank you for your patience!"
No warning was given ahead of time that their site would suddenly NOT be available. It would seem simple that they could inform customers buying items on their site that the site would be unavailable in xx minutes or hours, or the site would be going down on a certain day.
Last year, In January 2011, when I bought online from them, there were a couple of seed types that I really wanted to get started early inside. But when I got my order later, I found that the 2 items I wanted early were "on back-order". Their website had not shown that the items were not in stock when I was ordering the items.
I like their products, but I think they need to do a better job communicating with their customers buying online, especially when I think that the communication would be easy to do.
On Apr 25, 2011, Gardener5b Kansas City, MO wrote:
I intended to place an order with this company. Upon reaching the checkout screen, I found that my $13.10 order for three seed packets would be charged an additional $7.50 for shipping, insurance, and other fees.
This is exorbitant. I have spent around $700 on my garden and orchard so far this year alone, and intend to spend a similar amount next year. I notified Territorial by e-mail that they had lost a potential customer.
Rather than express any concern about the loss of a potential repeat customer, I received the following cut and paste e-mail in response:
"I'm sorry, but let me share what our president wrote as a reply to explain shipping charges, just so you know how we operate, and we totally understand about small orders, but do not have anything in place for a different rate at this time.
Each year we spend quite a bit of time evaluating different ways to implement the charges for shipping, handling, and insurance. For the vast majority of our customers, the flat fee system that we use is the most advantageous for them.
You can purchase one packet of seed or 1001 packets of seed and the shipping, handling and insurance fee will be the same. Furthermore, Territorial offers a wide range of gardening products, which ship at several different times throughout the season.
For example, a customer could order seeds, potatoes, blueberry plants and garlic; each of which is sent out separately but are all included in the standard flat fee. You can see in this example how the flat fee of $7.50 would be a bargain.
President, Territorial Seed Company
Lori T @ TSC"
On Jul 9, 2010, sherman99 Menifee, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
Was going to order 1 pkt of cardoon seeds as this is the only company i have found to carry them. cost of seeds= $2.40 cost of shipping, for one packet of seeds= $7.50. needless to say i did not order from them. priority mail is only 4.95 and the post office provides the box. why is this company so high? first class postage would have been about 88 cents. plus the cost of an envelope. what gougers. what a rip off. they must make all their money on postage, so what does that say about their seeds?
I WOULD NEVER USE THIS TERRITORIAL SEEDS.I ORDERED AN ORDER 2 YEARS AGO ASKING THAT THEY NOT SEND ANYTHING BY BACK ORDER SINCE I WAS ONLY IN MIAMI FOR 7 DAYS TO RECEIVE THE ORDER.
THEY IGNORED THIS REQUEST AND SENT SEVERAL ITEMS ON BACK ORDER.I THEN REQUESTED THAT THEY CREDIT MY CREDIT CARD FOR THE ITEMS BACK ORDERED AND THEY IGNORED THIS REQUEST.SO I THEN ASKED THEY SEND THE ITEM BACKORDERED TO MY ADDRESS IN MIAMI.
THEY CLAIMED THEY SENT THEM AND THAT THEY COULDNT BE TRACED .I NEVER RECEIVED THE ITEMS AND COMPLAINED AND FINALLY SENT THEM A LETTER COMPLAINING OF THEIR BAD AND SHODDY BUSINESS ETHICS.DONT EVER ORDER FROM TERRITORIAL SEEDS.THEY ARE AN ALTOGETHER BAD EXPERIENCE.
On Jan 22, 2010, audreymarmot Annapolis United States (Zone 7a) wrote:
I would order some seeds but the shipping cost is too high. May I suggest to the company that they have a special shipping rate for people who just want a few packets of seeds?
It would be a bargain if I wanted 1001 seed packets, but unfortunately I don't.
I was a long time customer of this company. However I will not pay $7.95 shipping to order a few packets of seeds. Come on, Territorial Seed, become user friendly again rather than making money on shipping costs. I know for a fact that you are losing good customers and they are vocal about why they are ordering elsewhere.
On Jan 27, 2009, Territorial Seed Company responded with:
"On Jan 27, 2009 2:27 PM, Territorial Seed Company responded with:
Each year we spend quite a bit of time evaluating different ways to implement the charges for shipping, handling, and insurance. For the vast majority of our customers, the flat fee system that we use is the most advantageous for them. You can purchase one packet of seed or 1001 packets of seed and the shipping, handling and insurance fee will be the same. Furthermore, Territorial offers a wide range of gardening products, which ship at several different times throughout the season. For example, a customer could order seeds, potatoes, blueberry plants and garlic; each of which is sent out separately but are all included in the standard flat fee. You can see in this example how the flat fee of $7.50 would be a bargain.
When it comes to processing orders, there are many steps involved that add up to more than just the cost of postage or UPS fees. For us, it takes about the same amount of time and money to handle a small order as it does a large order. Our staff takes pride in shipping out orders very quickly, accurately, and with care. Your satisfaction with our products and your success in the garden are of utmost importance to us. We sincerely appreciate your business.
I have been satisfied with the seeds I have purchased from Territorial. However, I purchased a large number of tomato plants and the plants are of marginal quality at best. I have emailed the company with no success at this time. As of now, approximately 1/3 of the plants I ordered are dead, and were that way when they came out of the shipping box.