Bad Experience with Good Nursery - Need Advice Please

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

When I got my first email order from Annie's I was so impressed with the way the plants were packaged - exactly as advertised, and exactly as I expected from all the wonderful reviews here at DG. So, I was very confident about placing a second order. What a disappointment that was! The root balls were not packed in that fiber paper stuff, there were no sleeves to keep the plants securely in their slots in the shipping box inserts. The only "protection" was a piece of paper over the top of the 4" pots secured by three rubber bands. On five of eight plants at least one of the rubber bands came loose and snapped onto and around the poor little plants themselves, breaking stems and breaking off leaf ends. Two of the pots fell out of their cardboard slots and were lying on the bottom of the box spilling soil all over the place. Those two are papavers which are now dead, I think. I have contacted Annie's by phone and email trying to get an answer as to their intentions for packaging their plants in the future. If they are going to continue to use this new method I just can't risk the money to buy from them. I cannot get anyone to answer this question. The only person I've been able to talk to told me she's new there and that she did not know the method of packaging that's promised on the website. I can't get past this person to talk to someone more knowledgeable. Does anybody know what's going on there??? Annie's has some plants I would dearly love to have and I can't find anywhere else to get them, but my confidence is just shattered - not just by the sloppy packaging but also by the total lack of interest or response to the problem. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks, Syb

Thumbnail by sybilshappylife
Titusville, FL(Zone 9b)

I'm sorry this happened to you, its so frustrating. Paying huge costs for small 4" pots, Oh and the shipping fees... yikes!
Just to find your new gems not so sparkly upon arrival.
I don't have a clue how you can get past the phone desk by phone.

Your other option is to leave a ( - negitive ) in the watchdog.

They seem to monitor that some what. I can't order from Annies any more her shipping is extravagant and they don't offer any shipping option. It's air freight or nothing. If your diligent, most of the time you can find what they offer on ther sites or even for trade.
With any luck you took photos upon opening the box before removing anything so if questioned you have pix of there arrival condion.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

How did you pay? If credit card or paypal, file a complaint. That gets attention.

Hillsborough, NC(Zone 7b)

How did you pay? If credit card or paypal, file a complaint. That gets attention.

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

Hi, thanks for your support. I got an email from customer "service" telling me about Annie's refund policy, and then I emailed back a copy of the refund policy from the website, two different policies, apparently. I have asked for a refund for the two dead plants, and I have asked again if the rubber band packaging method is going to be continued. I'll wait until Monday and if I hear nothing I'll write off Annie's and downgrade my review in the Watchdog to Negative. I've found all but one of the plants I want at other places, including bulbs I can plant in fall instead of having to receive tender little plants in cold wind and rain, so that could be a better deal altogether. The other plant I can live without. Thanks again, Syb

Fremont, CA(Zone 9a)

I agree with limiting my mail order to bulbs. Live plants have to go through significant trauma to get to us and my experiences with most all live plants have been very spotty. Annie's is still a pretty small operation and I feel confident that they will step up and do the right thing. I am fortunate to live close enough to them that I make the day trip to Annie's and several other wonderful nurseries in the area. There is also a great place to get potting mix and other additives on the way.
I think Annie is still a member here. Hopefully she will chime in with some better responses.

Huntington Beach, CA(Zone 10b)

Hi, Potemup - I did get a refund for the two plants that just up and died. Annie's also finally explained that they are experimenting with packing methods to save money. So, yeah, I'll stick with local nurserys. I've found four between me and San Diego, all independents, so time to start travelling when I'm ready to add to my collection. What upset me about Annie's as much as the carelessness with the plants, was the complete lack of knowledge on the part of the "customer service" person as to the contents of the website, or published policies of the company she works for. Just more managerial carelessness - not to train your employees. So happy local hunting for me.... Syb

Arroyo Grande, CA(Zone 9a)

I'm sorry about your bad experience with Annie's. Plants I have ordered from there have always come to me in good shape. I found that going to the nursery in the Bay Area once a year satiates the need to buy from Annie's. The plants are cheaper at the nursery, making it more fun than mail order. Annie's has branched out into some nurseries in California, you might be able to special order from them. Check out this link:

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

I just received an order from Annie's and it was packed exactly as you said, but everything was in place and the order was perfect. the only thing that was a drawback for me was I was unable to chose the shipping date. I ended up potting up the order into one gallon pots on the back porch, as we had alternating rain and snow, and the ground was too wet and cold in between the storms.

I finally planted them out today, except for the heliotrope, as May 16th is our expected last frost date.

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