Mark_O New York, New York, United States (1 review) June 19, 2018
I had purchased koi at Waterford Gardens in the past, and recently bought another butterfly koi there. It developed a fungal infection on its side within two days, soon grew lethargic, and a week later was dead. When I telephoned to ask about refund/replacement policy, the manager, in a very defensive tone, told me we had passed the 7-day limit, that our pond water was probably not clean, and that his fish were unlikely to develop an infection two days after leaving his store, but he would consider a replacement. I drove there to discuss it with him. Although his assistants took a look at the dead fish, saw the infection site, and said "Don't worry, we'll get you a new one," I could hear the manager, enraged, shouting in the back room where the assistant had taken the fish. I entered to see what the commotion was. The manager began actually yelling at me, even before I could introduce myself or explain what had happened. I was stunned. Adults do not behave in this fashion, at least not where I come from. He said it must have been a raccoon or cat that killed the fish. I tried to explain what had happened, and he cut me off, saying, "This is a ridiculous conversation." I said it was difficult to speak to him because he kept raising his voice and was becoming extremely, almost irrationally defensive. I've never been treated with such discourtesy in my life. If he simply felt I didn't deserve a refund or replacement, OK, fine, we can disagree. But to raise your voice at a customer, to belittle a customer in front of others, is wholly unacceptable. I urge my fellow readers of Dave's Garden to find another aquatic store, of which there are several not too far from here, and avoid Waterford Gardens.
Had a very unfortunate experience with this company last year when picking up (in person) the water lillies I ordered. As this is a very large nursery which ships all over plus has a very large local business, local pick up time (beginning to middle of June) for water plants can be extremely hectic. I have been ordering lillies with them for quite a few years, and have found that if you don't preorder in time, you're out of luck. When picking up my 3 preordered lillies last June, the person serving me (I think one of the owners) seemed to be very frazzled and spoke to me very abruptly, first telling me that one or two of the ones he had for me came in without leaf variagation. Since this was one of the reasons I'd ordered this particular lilly (forget which one now!), I wasn't too happy, since I wanted a uniform look in my pond. He then disappeared for a while. After sitting there maybe for a half an hour while many others were being served, I was finally told that I would be given someone else's plant which had the variagation! I then sat for maybe another half an hour (it seemed like this) until I finally got the lillies! I can understand the problem with the appearance of his stock, but the way I was treated there left much to be desired. If any of you are familiar with the "Soup Nazi" episode of TV's Seinfeld, translate that to my experience in this "high end" water garden nursery. PS. When I got the plants home, and after they took hold in my pond, the plants not having that much variagation, developed it! They all ended up looking identical. As one who deals with these plants for years, don't you think he would have known that perhaps such a difference could have developed because of different stock arrivals, lighting, etc., and knowing this, shouldn't have mentioned anything about the lack of variagation in the first place?! Anyway, as this experience is still fresh in my mind a year later, I am not going back to this nursery, the stress entailed in purchasing there outweighs the beauty of their lillies.
June 05, my sister bought 7 fish from Waterford Gardens. No mail order. We went personally and chose them ourselves. They were different sizes and varieties, including 2 expensive koi as anniversary presents for my parents.
My dad has plenty of experience with koi ponds. He followed all the procedures for introducing new fish into an existing pond. About one month after introducing the new fish, they ALL got sick. My dad called Waterford Gardens, received very helpful suggestions (most of which he already knew, however). But to no avail, ALL the fish died.
Not only that, but the new fish infected and KILLED NINE OF THE FIFTEEN ORIGINAL FISH, INCLUDING SOME LARGE VALUABLE KOI! If that were not bad enough, these fish had been "pets" for my father for the past 5 years. Needless to say, my parents were devastated. I felt so badly, my dad actually cried as he scooped out his favorite fish (he even named them). It was so sad.
I visit Waterford Gardens quite often and I find that the quality and quantity of their plants is superior. Great advice and assistance. If you want to purchase a plant and if they feel it's not the right time of the year, (too cold in spring) they will tell you so. Fish are always healthy and top quality. This is a highly recommend vendor and their prices are more than in line with the competition.
I visited Waterford Gardens two years ago. I walked through their greenhouses and loved the quality and quantity of their plants. I picked out many plants I wished to purchase but was then told I couldn't buy them. Some belonged to the owner and the rest they couldn't sell because they had to take care of their mail orders first. It's like walking into a clothing store, choosing which clothes you like and then being told you can't purchase them!