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I have ordered seeds from VBS for a long time and have had no issues but in recent years, several gardening catalogs have consolidated their ordering address to JW Jung's address in Randolph, WI probably to save on overheads through centralized management. This is where the problems have arisen. Those answering queries are not knowledgeable or helpful. A classic case in point, their most recent catalog has a bicolor Corn pictured on p.21 but they cannot tell which one of the three varieties listed below depicts the actual photographic portrayal. This sort of a 'customer service' is quite inadmissible in this country and this information-intensive age. I will take my shopping elsewhere as I have done with other companies that have relegated their ordering to JW Jung.
Horrible, Horrible, Horrible
I went to their website to request a catalogue. It directs one to an external website. After a long "click trail" one is told that the next mailing is NOVEMBER 2013.
Really, they are not interested in doing business with anyone for a year. I am 56 years old and this is the worst example of disdain for customers I have encountered. At the least, instead of sending you on this wild goose chase to the external website, VB should just put - NO, we don't won't your business, we are not sending our catalog out and not waste people's time. Does VB really think that will motivate one to order a pig in a poke from its website since they refuse to provide product literature?
On Jan 26, 2013, Vermont Bean Seed Company responded with:
"On Jan 29, 2013 11:14 AM, Vermont Bean Seed Company responded with:
We are sorry you don't like our new policy. Anyone that has ordered in the past 3 years was sent a catalog and anyone that requesetd one before the mailing went out got one. But we are not getting even a small return on the money spent sending catalogs every week. Businesses can't continue to lose money and stay around."
I ordered tomato and pepper collections (live plants) and although I received my order in a timely manner, the plants had been shaken out of their flimsy plastic containers during shipping and everything was in a jumbled mess, the majority of the plants having broken stems. As the plants were no longer in the containers, I couldn't tell what variety was what! They need to re-think their shipping/packing methods. I sent an e-mail to customer service one week ago and have still not heard back. I will not be ordering from this company again.
On May 8, 2009, Vermont Bean Seed Company responded with:
"On May 8, 2009 11:13 AM, Vermont Bean Seed Company responded with:
Your email must not have reached us. Please call 800-349-1071 or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fed Ex helped design the new packaging for the tomato and pepper plants we are using. We agree with you, it is not working. As soon as you contact us, you have your choice of a re-shipment or a refund.
On Jun 5, 2007, GroundHogKiller Kennett Square, PA wrote:
The peas, pole beans, lima beans, and bush beans failed to germinate at all or in some cases at a rate of less than 20%. A total of 5 varieties were ordered and planted at least once and in several instances twice or three times. I also noticed that they did not put the year for which the seeds were packaged and that makes me suspicious that I am receiving older seeds. For a company named Vermont Bean, this is totally unacceptable.
I ordered from Vermont Bean company and checked to be shipped early. After a few weeks I called and asked where my order was they said Ohio is late ship....I said look at my request and the woman told me I had early ship checked. I said yes where is my order.She did expediate my order and I received it 10 days later with the 2 Garlic collections backordered. Today I received the 2 Garlic collection and 2 of the 3 kinds were soft and moldy. The Elephant and the California. I cannot believe they would even ship this garbage. The bag is clear on one side and you can see the mold and feel they are mushy. I am really disappointed in the seeds and plant material I received from them. I was a first time buyer from them and now I am a last time buyer.
I placed seed order on February 15th along with many other orders to other seed companies including Seymour Seeds and Vermont Bean Seed Co which are related to Jung. I had not had problems in the past with Jung. In early March, I rec'd my credit card statement and was billed for the items but the items had not arrived. Meanwhile, all of my other seed orders came in about 7 days of ordering. I emailed Vermont Bean Seed Co on 3/3 and no one responded. I sent a second email on 3/5 and was told they had shipped weeks earlier. They said if I didn't receive by 3/9 to email and they would express mail replacement. I emailed on 3/12 and got no response. I emailed on the 13th & 14th and received no response. What horrible service. I am so angry that I have missed the deadline to plant many of the seeds ordered. To make it worse, I ordered product from two different web sites Vermont Bean Co and Seymour Seed Co and neither of the seeds have come. I will never again use this company for seeds or materials. It is frustrating to deal with customer service who obviously are understaffed and lack training. It is more frustrating that this company bills before they ship. ALL of the other items I ordered from various companies Pinetree, Select Seeds, etc.. -- over 70 packets of seeds -- were billed upon shipment - not upon order. So now, since they are not communicating anymore I will have to contact my credit card company to refute the charges. If you are a serious gardener please buy from this company at your own risk! They get an A+ for the catalog but a complete F for service and customer support.
On May 8th, 2007, SimoneB added the following:
Saw the comment left on 3/20/2007 - I really do not like this "answer" as the problem lies within the programming of your web page. My zip code is 60047 - unfortunately Hawthorn Woods shares the same zip code as Lake Zurich. Many of the other seeds from other companies (Burpee, Select Seeds, Pinetree Gardens) ordered were addressed to Lake Zurich and they managed to get delivered along with all the other junk mail I receive with this same zip code on a daily basis. When you punch in your zip code 60047 on your web site there is only ONE SELECTION which is LAKE ZURICH. No matter how many times you try to change it and write in HAWTHORN WOODS as soon as updated it defaults to LAKE ZURICH. How is it possible that you use the same programming at Jungs and Seymours yet their orders get to me (late). I think I have spent close to $1000 over the last few years at Jungs/Seymours and am truly disappointed at the way these companies operate. This reply on 3/20/2007 really is a sorry excuse for the fact that your company failed to deliver as promised. PS - it would be in fairness that you credit my account this order that was not received. I told my cc company that the goods were not rec'd and I didn't feel fair to pay. They have been trying to contact your company. Instead of this continued argument why don't you just issue my refund or credit so that we can both move on? Or is this the way you conduct business with all the people that have a problem? On Mar 15, 2007, Vermont Bean Seed Company responded with:
On Mar 20, 2007 1:33 PM, Vermont Bean Seed Company added:
This is the perfect opportunity to remind everyone that with internet ordering please watch the auto fill cities. If your zip code has more than one city listed in the directory please check that you have not just entered through the field, but that you have picked the correct city for us to ship your order to."
Ordered orienpet lilies at a very good price but they back-ordered them. When they finally arrived, they were sealed in a plastic bag & very moldy & mushy. They gave me a partial refund when I complained but only 3 came up & they were tiny little things, too small to ever bloom.
Also, poor germination with some of the seeds (Delicata Squash, Mixed melons, English cukes). Several items back-ordered. On the positive side, they gave me free pea seeds that came up like crazy!
I ordered seeds from this company in Feb.2004. They arrived in a decent amount of time 2 weeks. When I planted 25 of the seeds only 4 of them grew. I found out that the company is owned by Jung Seed Co. so I went to there store in Sun Prairie, WI spoke to a guy by the name of Jeff who refused to give me a refund or to replace my seeds. He told me that all the companies that are owned by Jungs, the seeds are all packaged in the same place in Randolph, WI Just put in different packages. I will never buy from these guys again.
Was going to order from them until I saw that they weren't even in Vermont...using the good name only. I emailed them asking why they called themselves the Vermont Bean... when they weren't even in Vermont, it seemed deceptive. I never heard from them, just ignored me.
Our story is similar to that of others. We ordered from this firm based on advertising in a "country" journal we subscribe to. We ordered various vegetable and flower seeds. When I tried, after several weeks, to find out where our order was, I learned the company was shipping from the midwest, not Vermont. I got a man who indicated, after I complained, that our order would be sent out immediately. This was after waiting about four weeks for any piece of the order. (Needless to say our money had already gone through their till.) The rate of germination of the seeds was the poorest we've had in over twenty-five years of gardening. We also bought plants that were clearly stressed (long leggy, light-starved appearance) and did not survive more than a couple of weeks. We will not order from this company again. (I wish I'd known about this WEB site before we ordered the first time! Thanks for a great service fellow gardeners!)
I ordered all my seeds, from 3 different companies, on the same day. The 2 other orders came within 10 days. After a month of waiting for Vermont, I called and was told my order hadn't even been processed yet, and would be sent to the order-filling department in 10 days to 2 weeks. After another 3 weeks had gone by I called again and was told my order would be sent to the order-filling department in 10 days to 2 weeks! At that point I cancelled. Under no circumstances would I recommend anyone use this company!!!
Plants ordered never arrived. Customer service says shipped 10 days ago - but can't track shipment because they didn't chosse to use UPS or Fed Ex. For seeds, some packets ordered not included in shipment. Avoid at all costs. Excuse by customer service, "Overwhelmed by orders." Shouldn't be a problem next year. This misjudgement on my part to be resolved through the credit card company.
On May 9, 2003, DonnaMack Elgin, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
Each year I order seeds from a variety of companies. This year I ordered from J.L. Hudson, Select Seeds, Park's, Seymour's, Johnny's Selected Seeds, Cook's Garden and others. The yields were anywhere from 80 to 100% except for one company: Vermont Bean Seed. The yield was 0%. I sowed a second batch. 0%. Given that I germinated the same seeds (just different colors) from other companies at the same time and same conditions I would have to say that this is not a company I would order from again.
This used to be a good company. I hesitated this year when I saw their address as I recognized it as associated with another company which had disintegrated into a very poor company to deal with. I should have listened to my instincts as I have been unable to acquire a refund or my seeds well past the time when they should have been shipped.
Vermont Bean Seed Company may have a wide selection but their service is very bad. I placed our order on February 21, 2003. To date, I have received two partial shipments. The last shipment billed us for two items (thermometer and ties) which were not in the box.
We have called, spoken with a rep., and sent an email but have not yet received the items or been credited the charge.
In addition, I have recently sent an email requesting information on a number of backordered items and some plants that are on hold. I wanted to know when VBS expected to receive the backordered items and when is the anticipated ship dates for the plants. After waiting over five weeks, this is not an unreasonable request.
I received a very short answer stating "Thank you for your order, It is in the filling area along with most of your backordered items. " Well, a lot of good that does me for planning purposes.
I haver sent off another request asking for specific information. All I want is basic information about my order.
I have purchased from three other seeds companies this season, including Johnnys Seeds. All the other companies provided prompt shipping and were very helpful in answering questions. Vermont Bean is the worst. I will not purchase from them again.
This is not the same company I ordered from back in the 70s & 80s.
It took almost a month for our seeds to come this season & with backorders. Being a small Farm, we depend on getting the right seed that is offered for sale. Their site is a mess & needs updated.
I called for 2 weeks & wrote 6 e-mails, none of them were answered, that's right even the telephone. Well for those of you who were growing back in the 70s, you will recognize their partners today are those seed houses we did not order from even back then.
It seems like a lot of the great seed vendors out of the 70s, have the same name but the people who made it like that then are gone now.
I ordered from Stokes the same day, & got my seeds in 2 days. Stokes will call you when there is a back order.
Don't waste your money on whatever this has become, it's not Vermont Bean & seed any longer. I even took them out of my favorites.
On August 19th, 2003, Marturo added the following:
Final update. I already mentioned that I tried to contact Vermont Bean & Seed. As I thought the backordered seeds were charged & sent after we reordered them from some where else. We asked by e-mail for them not to send the back orders we got no answers of course. This to me is no different than stealing. We have a Farm & need to count our pennies, or we too will go the way of many small Family Farms. We will never order a single seed or plant without checking the Company out with Garden Watchdog. Even a back yard gardener can't afford to waste time, & money on these crooks today. Check them all out every season, you can't be to careful today with Companies changing hands & countries yearly. Be careful & Happy Gardening
Lucky Horseshoe Farms
35 DAYS since I ordered and nothing has arrived.I have called three times in the past two weeks and unlike a previous comment, I received the same excuse "your order is in the shipping room now and will be going out in the next day or two" same operator?. NEVER AGAIN
Customer service is abysmal. On-line order placed, including 2 phone numbers & e-mail address. A US mail question re: my order was sent 5 days after the on-line order. Received by me 10 days after order placement. No phone call or e-mail to request follow up information. So why do they need them??? if not for service, eh? After 10 calls to customer service and not being able to get through, I sent an e-mail questioning customer service. This has not yet been responded to (3 days) and continued the telephone attempts. 5 attempts later I was able to at least leave a message. Again, no response...3 days. Certainly can not recommend.
I would not order from this company again even if someone paid me. The customer service stunk...it took almost a month and a half to receive my order. I made phone call after phone call and each time got a different excuse.