I have worked for T & T Seeds for over 25 years. I created their web site at least 8 years ago and they get 1,000's of orders each year from this source. (www.ttseeds.com)
To rate T&T Seeds based on 12 reviews seems a bit much when in total T&T Seeds gets over 50,000 orders from all sources each year.
Many complaints are the result of bad handling in the mail and T&T Seeds makes good on these even though they personally are not at fault. The product is alive and sometimes they can dry out or freeze even though T&T Seeds goes to great lengths for this not to happen.
Most of the problems arise from the fact that live product is mailed but with such great distances in Canada, mail is the only way to send these products.
I can assure you that only a tiny percentage of customers complain about the product they get and those that do are normally treated royally by the staff of T&T Seeds.
Some people just don't see how unreasonable they can be. I am sure that those people might sometimes not get the refund or replacement they think they should get but T&T Seeds is renowned for going far beyond their written guarantees and providing superior customer satisfaction.
A 17% satisfaction rating in no way represents my experience with the small number of complaints T&T Seeds gets each year.
By the way, T&T Seeds gets it's seeds wholesale from the same suppliers as all the other major seed catalogs in Canada so how could they have worse germination? Germination is tested extensively on an on going basis and only quality seed is purchased and sold. I personally have started 100's of dozens of plants from seed and many kinds of plants are difficult to germinate well. These things are alive after all.
Good luck in gardening in 2008 and keep an open mind when you see such tiny numbers. Remember, the vast majority of people that get what they ordered at a price they think reasonable, just don't normally take the time to comment about it.
renevish Ontario, Canada (1 review) February 15, 2014
T & T Seeds didn't send me a confirmation for my fairly large order, and refused to send me a receipt. I had emailed them to tell them I required a receipt because I had given them my credit card info/payment (I was very polite and respectful - I did use the word "immediately" but they had my credit card info and was getting quite worried that I had run into a scam). I did get a reply - it was very curt and seemed snippy - they basically said I would get my receipt when my order is sent. I called them because that wasn't acceptable to me. Every other company I have ever ordered anything from online always always always sends not only a confirmation of my order (which T&T did not offer - and my account order page on their site still remained completely blank) but e-mails a receipt within minutes. The two people at T&T were extremely rude to me on the phone. I said I needed to have a receipt because they had my credit card information - I had basically paid for goods and was given absolutely nothing. I was laughed (and not in a nice way - it was as if I were an idiot) at and told "that's not my procedure" and "you'll get your receipt when you get your shipment". He even yelled at me "IT HASN'T EVEN BEEN PROCESSED YET"
I've never done business this way with anyone ever. And the attitude on these people was shocking to me. I said if that was their "procedure" then I wanted to have the entire order cancelled. Through all of this I remained calm and extremely polite. I said I was not happy with the way they were conducting business with me and that I felt disrespected. I was snapped at, and even shouted at, and spoken to as if I was not only stupid, but being unreasonable. "YOU WANT TO CANCEL THE ORDER?" I said yes - calmly, politely. "THE WHOLE ORDER????" He was shouting at this point. "Yes, please cancel the whole order."
"FINE!!! IT'S CANCELLED..." He shouted and he hung up on me.
I have no idea what is wrong with these people, but they are unprofessional and beyond rude.
I then placed my order with Vesseys and Henry Fields with no problems at all. I received my confirmations immediately, and my reciepts immediately. I have always gone with Thompson and Morgan, Vesseys, and Henry Fields in the past and have always received wonderful and professional service, wonderful goods, and treated very respectfully. I will never go elsewhere again. And I do warn others - T&T did NOT treat me well at all. Very unprofessional. Beware. Company representative comment on February 15, 2014: On Feb 15, 2014 8:08 PM, T & T Seeds Ltd. responded with:
I am the developer of the web site for T&T Seeds. If this person had entered a valid email address, he should have been emailed a confirmation when he submitted the order. Sometimes people don't put in the correct email address or their email provider drops the ball. Once the order is processed (normally the same day but at this peak time, it can take a few days) the seed and sundries are mailed, along with a printed receipt for the whole order.
At this time of year, orders are about 4 to 5 times the normal volume. With the cost of postage and processing, this person is demanding an extra confirmation when they would normally get that printed receipt with their order in about a week. Is this reasonable?
I will repeat, all web orders send a confirmation when the order is submitted 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
The person who fielded the call was probably one of the owners of the company. They were being asked to do something they considered quite unnecessary when they were very busy taking and processing many people's orders. Many people still order by mail, fax or phone (most providing their credit card numbers) and they get a receipt with the first shipment of their order. If a shipment isn't going out within the next week or so, then a confirmation is mailed the following day. This has been just fine for hundreds of thousands of orders for decades. Then the person who placed the order says "just cancel my whole order" which tells the person answering the phone that this customer didn't just waste his time but also T&T Seeds didn't even get the order.
It doesn't sound like the people at T&T Seeds were as polite as they normally are but, in their defense, this customer doesn't sound like he was very reasonable either. T&T Seeds has a history (I have read the emails and letters) of being extremely polite and accommodating and has one of the industry’s best records (for more than 50 years) for correctly delivering a person's order, in a timely manner, at a reasonable price.
Did it occur to this person that they typed in their email address wrong and so didn't get the confirmation by email that everyone else gets? I can't say that this was the problem but I do know that automatic emails are sent after every order is submitted when ordering from the web.
The Customer is last and the experience was truly terrible.
When you order something online or by phone, you expect it to come within a reasonable time. When it doesn’t show, you wonder what happened. Then you find out that it’s been sitting on the vendor’s desk the entire time and you get frustrated. This is what happened to us.
Someone recommended T&T Seeds to us so we shopped for seeds there. After our initial purchase, we realised that we needed more than we purchased, so we ordered some more for delivery. After a week, nothing came through the mail.
Time ticked as the growing season marched on.
Another week elapsed and still nothing. We e-mailed T&T Seeds to find the status of our order.
The seeds still sat on their counter.
For whatever reason, our purchase did not go through. However, instead of calling us and letting us know that they couldn’t charge our credit card, they put it into a “declined pile.” Apparently they receive 10-15 declined orders a day.
After our inquiry, they replied and said that they cleared the charge and they would ship the order immediately. After losing two weeks of the growing season, we told them that we no longer wanted the seeds. Instead of cancelling our order, they shipped the seeds, despite our request. I reiterated that we no longer wanted the seeds and they told us to hold onto the seeds for next year’s use.
They forced us to buy something that we no longer wanted. As an avid gardener, would you want seeds that are already a year stale, at least?
The crux of the matter is that they should have called us to let us know our purchase couldn’t go through. We could have found the problem right away and our seeds would have arrived when we wanted them to arrive. Instead, they threw the order into the declined pile.
Just how long do they intend to hang onto those declined orders? If they received 10-15 declined orders every day, even at $10/order, that works out to $47,000/year. Would any sane business person leave that kind of money on a shelf unclaimed? Why would you not follow-up on those orders?
When I asked them why they didn’t call us, they replied that they’re too busy.
Seriously? You’re too busy to follow-up on confirmed orders?
I objected to the bad customer service several times, only to be told that it’s my fault that the order was delayed. I wanted to speak to the owner but soon found out that I was already speaking to the owner—someone named Brian.
You can’t be a very proud business owner when you don’t give a hoot about customer satisfaction. After much urging, I was told that he would refund my purchase if I bring or mail the seeds back to him, both at my expense.
Brian was too busy to take 15 seconds to call me to tell me that my order couldn’t be processed, yet he easily found time to send five emails to tell me that it’s my fault that the order wasn’t completed. The last time I checked, good customer service doesn’t have anything to do with blaming the customer. A simple apology would have gone miles for customer relations but Brian chose to blame.
We initially purchased from T&T Seeds because we thought that they took special care in processing and producing their seeds. This research reveals to me that they acquire their seeds through the same wholesale supplier as every other catalogue seed company around. For the same supply, I’ll purchase from a different source—from one that actually cares about its customers.
I guess that working with seeds, you deal with dirt a lot. Being on the receiving end of blame and condescension, I sure feel like I’m treated like dirt.
Don’t shop at T&T Seeds—look for a place that cares about its customers. Try Stokes. Company representative comment on February 15, 2014: On Feb 15, 2014 8:47 PM, T & T Seeds Ltd. responded with:
An order is confirmed when the credit card or cheque, pays for the order. If you ordered from the web, the confirmation is that the order has been submitted to T&T Seeds for processing. The credit card isn't checked online as that would make processing the order slower. Was it T&T Seeds' fault that your credit card was declined? 10-15 declined credit cards might occur on 1 or 2 days each year, not every day. Most people don't place an order on a card that doesn't have the necessary credit.
The orders where the credit card is declined are placed in a declined status in their computer. They normally go through this list and try to contact the customer by phone (if they have the phone number which some people don't provide) but many times the people are hard to track down as T&T Seeds works normal office hours in the summer.
After receiving your email, they would have tried to re-process the credit card and it obviously went through so they sent your order immediately. Then you phoned and said you didn't want the order but it had already been sent. If this hadn't been the case, they would have pressed the "cancel" button and you wouldn't have got the order or been charged.
T&T Seeds tries to keep costs low by having only a small contingent of very competent employees. In general, T&T Seeds doesn't spend all day on the phone trying to contact customers.
Sometimes customers aren't in the right. If the credit card company turns down their request for credit, it is hard to see why it should be the company that should be apologizing. Was Brian supposed to apologize for the credit card decline? If the customer wasn't to blame for not having enough credit to pay for their order, then who was?
My parents and I have ordered from T&T for years. I've never had trouble with seed germination, product substitutions, or dead perishable stock. My parents have occasionally had a plant that did not perform well, and it was always replaced at no cost. I find the variety to be somewhat limited but what they do have, they do well.
Germination of vegetable seeds has always been better than the seed packets you can find in any local store. They also carry varieties that can't be found in my town - for example, the Bush Spirit pumpkin, which is the only one really suited to my garden.
If you live near Winnipeg it is well worth going to the store itself, otherwise mail order (or even better, Internet orders) is a fantastic option.
I ordered from TT for the first time last season. Seeds arrived quickly and germinated well. I also purchased a number of seeds and plants from their retail location and had quite a lot of success with their products. Seeds (particularly peppers and tomatoes) germinated and grew well. The plants also lasted the season (some well into October). I would purchase from their catalog or store again.
hillfarm Quesnel, BC (Zone 4a) (36 reviews) December 11, 2010
My experiences with this company over many years has been generally positive. A small but very good selection of vegetable and flower seeds. Nursery stock is generally well-suited to Canadian conditions; the zone ratings are very accurate. Kudos for that!
Service on seed & hard good orders has always been lightning fast. I also ordered several cases of flower pots a few years ago and they phoned to check on shipping rates with me before they sent the order, which I really appreciated, though I already knew the shipping would be high and had factored that in to my projected cost.
The 2011 catalogue is on my desk as I type this - looks much as usual - good selection of vegetable seeds with special attention to early maturity and good taste. Flower seeds - they do have the usual standards plus a small selection of "new & unusual" - but watch the prices! Some "deals" & some way overpriced. It probably all balances out, but if you are looking for "best deals" you will want to shop around. Some of those best prices will be with T & T, I might add.
Nursery stock - I've had a few issues so have not ordered live plants for some years. A few items came dried out & moldy & dead - saskatoon seedlings (very dead on arrival) and strawberry plants (about half dead); but I do have several thriving things I purchased which came in nice shape & did well. I never did complain, just absorbed my losses & chalked it up as "one of those things". Read the fine print - some of the trees etc. are quite tiny sizes.
All in all, a decent company and I think they are trying hard in a difficult business. I think of them very favorably and will definitely be placing at least a vegetable seed order with them this year.
I did not order from this company in 2009, but I did in 2008. I plant an extremely small veggie garden and most times I have seeds left over which I save and plant the next year. I have found the seeds ordered were good. Germination was great. I have not ordered nursery stock from them so cannot comment on their plants. Seems to be a mixed review on those. I will order seeds from them again.
w3nD Port Coquitlam, Canada (1 review) June 3, 2009
This was my first year ordering from T&T Seeds. I ordered strawberry plants, petunia seeds, and geranium seeds. The seeds arrived first along with the bonus seaweed fertilizer. The petunia seeds were in a small plastic vile that was crushed during shipping and the seeds went everywhere when I went to dump the vile into my hand! The strawberry plants were intended as a Mother's Day gift so I called the company to inquire about the shipping date which I was told would be about a week later than I needed. After I explained my intentions, they immediatley offered to put a rush on my order. I mentioned the petunia predicament and was not overly satisfied with the response I got over the phone, but was pleasantly suprised to receive a replacement pack of petunia seeds with the strawberry plants that arrived in plenty of time for Mother's Day! Both the geranium and petunia seeds sprouted within a couple of days and had almost 100% germination rate. I'm considering ordering more strawberry plants for myself next year!
Mitanoff carleton place, ON (Zone 4b) (2 reviews) June 2, 2009
I received lily bulbs as a gift from a friend in Winnipeg (i am located in ON). They were the healthiest bulbs I have ever seen! Heavy, firm bulbs, about 3x larger than a golf ball and some even had roots! They have been planted in the garden for about 3wks now and they are growing no problem.
Also, they arrived in time for planting.
I might have to order something myself from here next year!
I have been a customer of T&T for many years now....
I love ordering from them...or instore purchasing from them...If they don't have what I want they always help me find something I want just as much. Anything in the way of perennial, rose or shrub....the one or two times they failed to thrive, or had the nerve of dying...ha ha....have been replaced no problem. Everywhere I have ever ordered from..(many) have the same occasional problems...substitution, or damaged product. A few cranky negatives in no way represent what a great business it is...whether ordering or purchasing in store
T&T shipped promptly, or on planting schedule, everything I ordered. Both seeds, supplies, and live plants. Got some unexpected bonus seed packs for web/qty/early order. Paperwork was thorough and complete. Looks good so far.
altruism winnipeg, Canada (1 review) March 26, 2008
I'm not sure I understand how a company like T & T seeds can be rated based on 12 comments that go back as far as 2001. The majority of positive comments speak for themselves, I should say. I've only ever had good luck with T & T products and definitely plan to use them again this year in my newer gardens. Have another successful year, T & T. Glad to see you aren't letting a few negs get ya down.
sportAB Strathmore, Canada (1 review) January 16, 2008
Have been ordering from T&T for the last 4years when I lived in Ontario and have already placed my order for this year. I am now in Alberta. I always order live plants also. Only problem was the 3rd year when some echanacea did not grow. I always plant as soon as I get the order in also. I contacted them and though they were out of stock because it was a popular order, they readily gave me store credit that I used the following year. I have no complaints.
jmcinwpg Winnipeg, Canada (1 review) October 29, 2007
All the seeds I ordered came very quickly, and my germination rate was minimum 85%. When the plants arrived, all were of a fantastic quality. The cherry tree was on the smaller side, but after planting it seemed to take of quickly and is doing beautifully!
I will definitely order from here again!
crazy_gardener Wainwright, AB (Zone 2b) (42 reviews) September 1, 2007
Be warned folks!
I had ordered pellet Cyperus eragrostis ‘Wind Dancer’ ornamental grass seed and every pellet was crushed into a fine dust-like powder. I wrote them an email to put in a complaint and they "Brian" would not replace the product that I was NOT happy with.
They absolutely do not abide with their policy guarantee stated in their catalogue and obviously do not care about customer satisfaction.
He kept saying that the seed will still germinate. Yes it probably will, however I ordered and paid for pelleted seed at a costly price for 15 seeds and for a good reason, it makes the handling of the seed much easier which I prefer. I can take my tweezers and place the pelleted seed exactly where I want them to germinate. If I wanted raw seed I would of ordered elsewhere at a cheaper cost. Most companies that sell pelleted seed will send them in those little plastic vials to prevent crushing.
This has not been the first time I’ve had problems with this company, a couple of years ago they sent dead rotted potted plants, yes they did give me a credit but its still very disappointing when you have your heart on something you’ve ordered and that you wanted so badly for your garden and ended up receiving nothing but lifeless plants!
And a few years ago, I had ordered many lily bulbs which ½ of them came rotted and moldy.
There are other seed/plant companies that will fulfill customer satisfaction and much, much better quality than this company.
My last email to this company was to tell him to take me off the mailing list and do not send me any further catalogues in the future. I will take my business elsewhere.
On October 6th, 2008, crazy_gardener added the following:
Your boss did not fulfill his promise as stated in the guarantee policy. He absolutely refuse to credit/refund these crushed seeds that I paid for, just ask him, I’m sure he would remember. Above and beyond customer service sure didn’t happen in this sale.
Like I said before folks, there are other excellent seed/plant companies to mail order from (Stokes being one of them) that send undamaged round pelleted seeds in plastic vials and that treat every customer with respect and that will implement their no-hassle guarantee. On October 6th, 2008, crazy_gardener added the following:
You ask "What more can a customer want?"
I wanted my my hard earned money back, a credit or a replacement.
I see you are now sending pelleted seeds in plastic vials now, yet your boss could not go above and beyond for the damaged seeds that were sent to me.
You folks at T&T seeds really need to work on your customer service. Oh btw the catalogues that you still send to me are great in the compost pile.
On October 6th, 2008, crazy_gardener added the following:
-T&T Seeds sells to 10's of thousands of people each year
-they get 1,000's of orders each year
-T&T Seeds gets over 50,000 orders from all sources each year.
Yet they could not afford to give me my $5 back? Hmmm, what a joke.Company representative comment on October 6, 2008: On Jan 4, 2008 1:54 PM, T & T Seeds Ltd. added:
"Brian" happens to be one of the 2 owners of the company. Many people got the 'Wind Dancer' with no problems and without talking to him, I know he wouldn't refuse to credit or replace a product without good reason.
T&T Seeds has a "superior" reputation for customer satisfaction and often goes above and beyond their stated guarantee. "Little plastic vials" might be a good idea, but would a substantial cost increase in packaging be worth the very few complaints that T&T Seeds has gotten over palleted seeds? Would you spent $1,000's of dollars to fix a problem worth only dollars? I personally have received palleted seeds from Parks and Thompson and Morgan without them coming in a vial.
T&T Seeds does everything in their power to make sure people get live plants but sometimes the mail just doesn't work. The only thing T&T Seeds can do in this case is give a credit and to condemn T&T Seeds for being mail order just isn't very fair.
Last year I received some surplus lily bulbs at the end of June. I left them in the box for 2 weeks before planting them and every single one, bloomed by the end of the year. Not one was rotted or moldy!
Retail sales is a 2 way street and sometimes customers take advantage of the companies' satisfaction policies at the expense of all the reasonable customers. People who expect that everything should go their way, to matter what, cost all the rest of us a lot higher prices. T&T Seeds normally errs on the side of making their customers happy instead of what makes good business sense. There is and should be a balance between the 2 sides and all purchasers should know, it can't be perfect in all cases, specifically when we are talking about seeds and living plants.
All a company can do is their best and at T&T Seeds that means fast shipping, of good products, at a reasonable price, backed by superior customer service. What more could a customer want?
On Oct 6, 2008 12:48 PM, T & T Seeds Ltd. added:
All T&T Seeds pelleted seed is shipped in a small crush proof vial so that the seed arrives exactly as ordered. T&T Seeds listens to every complaint but some people can't be pleased no matter how hard we try. T&T Seeds has a policy of not commenting on particular customers in public but I can say that this order was handled by one of the owners of the company and all due consideration was given.
I guess that is why there are many options for people looking for quality seed! T&T Seeds sells to 10's of thousands of people each year and almost all are very happy with the product and service they get and continue to buy from T&T Seeds year after year.
All a company can do is their best and at T&T Seeds that means fast shipping, of good products, at a reasonable price, backed by superior customer service. What more could a customer want?
They substituted seeds on my order and the plants were rather disappointing - both in size, colour and in flavour (blueberries and strawberry plants)... (kiwi vine died after one winter).
dandelione whistler, Canada (6 reviews) June 9, 2006
Although all plant material and seeds were delivered promptly, some plants and seeds were missing and had been substituted. These were replaced by previous season's seeds . None of this material germinated. I would have preferred they refunded my payment for the missing order items.
The blueberry bushes were small and spindly, and did not last the season here in the cold winter, whereas other similar specimens from other mail order nurseries have thrived very nicely.
DONBROWN Halifax, Canada (13 reviews) January 5, 2006
I order seeds every year from this company and always have prompt service and excellent results. It is one of my favourites!
Ordered seeds and dahlia tubers - the seeds were ok, the dahlias were a big disappointment - the smallest tubers I have ever seen, 2 refused to grow at all, and 2 are still, at the end of the season, only about 18" with no blooms. I did get offered a refund for the 2 that didn't grow at all, but I wouldn't order from them again, just because the tubers were so tiny, and the result so bad. On May 20th, 2006, 2zeus changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:
When contacted the SECOND year after I received a plant, to tell them that it had finally bloomed, and was not the correct colour, this company shipped me a replacement plant of another kind (they were sold out of the first) within a week - now that's amazing customer service!
This company packages their plants very well for shipping and includes very good, detailed instructions with fruit trees. They will correct any problems quickly (eg. send replacement plants) if contacted by telephone. Most of their seeds germinate well.
Twrosz Edmonton, Canada (8 reviews) December 4, 2003
I've been ordering from this company for over 25 years and in general have been pleased. Prices are middle of the road and service is good. If ever I've had a complaint regarding plants received it's always been dealt with promptly and to my satisfaction.
Have ordered from this company for several years, mostly plants and bulbs. Too many plants are not the cultivar ordered as pictured in the catalogue. Irises, glads, roses, lilies, campanulas, to name a few. Some plants come very small for the money. This year the plant I wanted most came dead. Deader than dead. They do try to fix things or give a credit if you complain.
broots Cochrane, ON (Zone 2b) (20 reviews) October 1, 2002
Have been ordering from this company for a number of years & so far have been completely satisfied. I have never ordered plants & order a few pkg of seeds-in the catalogue it tells you how many seeds are in each pkg-[for most pkg, not all]. I order mostly plant accessories. Their liquid seaweed is fantastic & I go through almost 6 bottles a year. I tried their 'super plugs' this year & they are really good for starting annual poppies,even better than the Jiffy 7's.
I have ordered from many companies and this is not one of my favorites. Their plants are small and their seeds do not germinate well.
Ordered from here more than once and disappointed.
trailingon dobie, ON (Zone 3a) (2 reviews) December 26, 2001
I have ordered many times from this company and have always gotten both excellent service and quality products. Once when the germination of a package of seeds was very poor someone else had gotten ahold of them and I was sent a replacement package of seeds without getting in touch with them. Thats customer service.