Veseys used to be a good company with a good reputation and consistently high quality plants, but in the last few years or so it has rapidly slid downhill, both in terms of the quality of their plants/bulbs and their customer service. Not sure if there has been a change of management or just some mediocre personnel issues. I suppose I keep ordering from them out of habit even after I realized they have been skimping on quality, but no longer.
When the bare root perennials that I ordered hadn't arrived, their customer service rep named Pat had the gall to imply that my zone wasn't due to be shipped yet. Having been previously assured that they would go out in "early October," I knew there had to be a glitch. When I pressed her on it, she admitted that their stuff was late coming in this season. When I asked when they would be shipped, she very testily informed me "there are thousands of orders ahead of you." Never answered my question either. Not sure what prompted this attitude. I was not rude or nasty, didn't raise my voice and hadn't even complained yet, except to note that I had been told early October. Maybe she was having a bad day, maybe she has been fielding complaints from many other customers frustrated with the delays and was at her wit's end.
Of course, it's not their fault if there was a supply delay on the import side, but it's inconceivable not to receive an apology, or acknowledgement that this might be an inconvenience to customers. And of course she should have been forthright up front about why plants are late going out this year. I hope that doesn't reflect on the company's ethics.
I would have understood. Instead, she gave me a condescending gardening lecture as an apparent explanation of why the delay won't affect my garden. I'm an award-winning Master Gardener and, as we all know, best gardening practices are varied and subjective, not to mention subject to unpredictable weather patterns. I prefer to use my own expertise and experience as a guideline for planting, but maybe that's just me.
I have never experienced customer service as rude and shoddy as this in all my years as a gardener. Clearly, Veseys is a shadow of its former self. Inexcusable!
On Oct 12, 2011, Veseys responded with:
"On Oct 18, 2011 11:32 AM, Veseys responded with:
I am sorry for not responding to your comments earlier but I have been
out of province on business and have only just received notification
of your post.
Allow me to begin by expressing my sincere regret for your recent
experience dealing with our Customer Service Department. I agree with
you wholeheartedly that our representative should have explained that
the delay in your shipment was caused by our grower. Due to some
rather unusual and unfortunate weather conditions across the
continent this past summer we have unfortunately been subject to
harvest delays by many of our growers. Because of this our shipments
are substantially behind this season and this backlog has been causing
stress in both our production and customer service areas of the
While it is true that we ship by zone in the fall (starting with the
lowest zones first), this shipping system combined with our grower
delays has unfortunately put you in a position of receiving your order
later than we would like. While I am not making excuses for the
communication issues you have experienced, I do hope that you will
take the other factors into account when considering our overall
customer service reputation.
I wish to assure you that our customer service department is operating
at the highest level of professionalism, gardening knowledge and
efficiency in our company's 73-year history. While that is certainly
no excuse for the manner in which your issue had been handled, I do
hope that you realize that we all have bad days and that your call was
certainly an exception to the over 200,000 phone inquiries we have
So that you are aware, I have double checked with our customer service
department to make sure that everyone is on the same page when it
comes to explaining the grower delays with customers. Trust me when I
say that ethically our company operates at the highest of ethical
standards and there was certainly no planned attempt to hide our
grower delays from our customers.
In closing I do thank you for your comments and would hope that should
you ever have an issue (no matter how small,) with our company in the
future that you would contact me personally so I would have to
opportunity to find an immediate solution.
Respectfully, John Barret, Director of Sales, Marketing & Development,
Veseys Seeds Ltd. email@example.com
I must say I am disappointed by the inconsistent quality of the bulbs and tubers. I have yearly ordered up to a couple of hundred dollars worth of mostly spring growth bulbs and plants for a relatively robust but typical Montreal garden.
I'm not a garden wiz, but I am studious, and conscientious in my general preparation, placement etc.
Some orders arrived rotten, while others were small, clearly seconds, while still others grew indifferently, not at all, or only bloomed once and never again.
Considering their prices, I think they could certainly improve their quality control and be more accurate in their advertising.
Ordered seeds, half the coreopsis germinated. NONE of the buttonflowers did. There was a fund raiser by Masons,plants from Veseys, I ordered strawberry plants, Hostas and fairy lilies. When I recieved the plants, the strawberries were just slimey mush, the hostas were the same but did actually grow and the fairy lilies are just now (2 months later) slowly poking through. I live on the Island but will not be buying from them again
I ordered seeds from Veseys. None of them were back-ordered or a special order but it took seven weeks for them to arrive in California. Their website says 3-4 weeks. Needless to say, I was incredibly disapointed.
Ordered for the first time, but will NOT order ever again because:
- tiger lilies were all white, not the multi colour indicated in the catalogue
- the 'dinner plate dahlia' flowers were no where close to a dinner plate - was a mere1.5 inches across
-the calla lilies - have never given me a single bloom, and the plant has stayed an 8 inch tall bunch of green leaves
- the tube rose bulb - did not sprout at all
- am thoroughly disappointed since I have a great garden and do take real good care of all my plants - but this order from Vesey's is very very disappointing
- on a positive note, the customer service is very friendly, and I got a refund on the a portion of my order
- I rather shop at a local nursery for great plants for a fraction of Vesey's price
On May 12, 2008, hummerplants Campbell River BC Canada wrote:
Ordered three times from Veseys.
Three rose bushes for spring 2007, two grew one died.
Three Hardy Geraniums, they wre hard as rocks never grew.
Three hyacinth which bloomed nicely this spring.
Three Dahlia Tubers order this spring were small and poor
quality. Dahlia Tubers never poduced roots or sprouts. They
shrivelled up and turned black.
Very disappointed with the outcome of the Dahlia Tubers.
Judging from the comments below, I guess not much has changed over the past few years. Of the items I ordered last year, I recieved cannas - City of Portland - that were twigs with root nodes on them - no tubers - I planted them and had small tubers by the end of the year - no blooms. From another source - other cannas that I planted last year flowered and multiplied. The bluebells arrived moldy and didn't survive. I chaulked it up to buyer beware - but they are not cheap. I ordered from Lindenbergs this year and just received my order. The canna tubers are large, firm and healthy - and 3 for $3.79. I have learned my lesson!
Veseys seeds are great, true. But their service with regards to their plants is abysmal. When the plants I ordered arrived, they were decomposing and unhappy; the order was much later arriving than I had expected it to be, which may be why the plants were so unhappy. I find that they're going on their reputation and not necessarily listening to customer dissatisfaction, or doing very little to improve a situation. I was supposed to receive credit for the plants that expired, but never did. Hence I'll not be ordering from them again, and will think long and hard before recommending them--except for their seeds.
Lousy results with plants from this company - I'm on my 2nd replacement tuber for a calla lily, and none of the 3 bloomed, dahlias were the wrong colour and unhealthy, and a replacement for an oriental lily which was the wrong colour was the most pitiful little thing I've ever received mail-order!
Only thing I've had from them that was good was lily bulbs; plants have been scrawny, and either never grew, or were unhealthy. If it weren't for the credit I have for plants that were unacceptable, I wouldn't deal with them in future, and won't once the balance is spent this year.
On Mar 22, 2005, spklatt Ottawa, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:
Good selection, prompt shipping and very good, thorough sowing info included with each seed order. They will inundate you with "special offers" and other flyers, though - hence my rating is only neutral as opposed to positive.
On August 24th, 2009, spklatt changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:
Last fall I ordered daffodils, allium, phlox paniculata and fritillaria. They were being shipped to a colder gardening zone than where my billing address is, and I mentioned this in the order - but Vesey's did not take this into account and the shipment arrived after the normal end of the planting season. The daffodils were the only thing that worked. The alliums came up some white, some purple and some not at all, although only purple were ordered. The phlox and fritillaria were not seen again after their roots were planted in the ground.
In the past I have had good results with seeds from Vesey's, but every time I have tried live plants and bulbs, it has gone wrong. Not a single live plant has ever appeared, no matter what gardening zone I was living in at the time. I doubt I will order from Vesey's again.
On Jun 22, 2004, digwell Shelburne, NS (Zone 6a) wrote:
I have no complaint with the seeds. However, the live plants have been less than satisfactory. Although the three bare root roses that I received from Vesey's were in good condition and are now growing fairly well, a butterfly bush has failed to show any signs of life at all in over six weeks. I was also very disappointed with the size of many other of the bare root plants they sent. A clematis, advertised as a "heavy two-year plant" was a scrawny four-inch long root with the tiniest bud of top growth that has yet to appear above ground. Six siberian iris were each smaller than my little finger, and two purple coneflowers had only single leaves with a small fringe of roots. For the price I paid, I could have bought larger and sturdier plants from local garden centres. Friends had highly recommended Vesey's, and my disappointment is greater because of it.
On Jun 22, 2004, Veseys responded with:
"We were able to contact "Digwell", and were happy to be able to resolve this issue to their satisfaction.
I ordered almost 100 iris' from Vesey 3 years ago. I planted them in the fall and in the spring less than 1/2 of them came up. I called Vesey and was very impressed when their customer service rep offered to send me 50 iris bulbs free of charge. However last year less than 1/2 of the replacement bulbs came up and of the whole crop (many in the ground now for more than 2 yrs)only a handful are stong enough to have buds this year. Several of the tubors also had borers and had I not realized it before I planted them I could have infested my entire garden. I have not been impressed and will not order iris' from them in the future.
I've dealt with Vesey's twice and both times have had less than satisfactory results. While the run of the mill bulbs have performed well, I've had absolutley no luck with their lily stock -- a handful of plants bloomed from well over 100 bulbs planted. I've had much better success from Valley K's stock whose bulbs are sizably larger and therefore thrive better.
Also ordered lentin roses from them (on a whim) and the plant stock arrived moldy and Vesey's was basically unresponsive to customer service call.