EastOhio Newcomerstown, OH (2 reviews) April 2, 2021
Do not order from Burgess or any of their affiliated companies. I ordered from Direct Gardening in 2020 and Burgess in 2021. Both times get excuses why things never ship. They do not want to return your money. Having to go to my credit card company to get my money back.
Everyone who has a bad experience should contact the Illinois Attorney General. They have a website you can fill out a consumer complaint. It is time that we gardeners stick together and report companies trying to scam us.
I placed an order for over $85 for some perennial shade gardens plus some other plants and have yet to receive anything. It's been over a month and planting season is NOW in my area. No response... nothing... will not be buying from them again and headed to a local nursery for plants I can put in now.
MyHabitat Honea Path, SC (1 review) February 25, 2021
I do not recommend this company. I placed a fairly large order. Most items did not ship for months after I placed the order. When a few pathetic sticks arrived it was dead winter and ground was frozen. All were bare root and looked dead. Some were SO very very tiny, it was ridiculous. I will be dead before those tiny specks will amount to anything. I attempted to grow the sad bare roots. Nothing grew. Not one thing. And who saves a shipping label--which Burgess oddly requires for any return or refund??? Never again will I order from Burgess and I highly recommend you don't either. Oh, and just two weeks ago I received another item...that I ordered over a year ago. This company is a joke.
cgoodloe Clovis, CA (Zone 9b) (2 reviews) October 5, 2020
I ordered a Dwarf Pear Tree for $13.99 and what I got was a dead stick with no roots or buds or anything. Jury is out on if the burning bushes are alive or not. 2 out of 6 blue fescues are alive. So I emailed them and they tell me that they don't do returns or refunds unless you have the shipping label off the packaging. Which I do not have because it's a shipping label and attached to the bubble envelope these came in that I threw out because who saves a shipping label?? Probably won't buy here again but at least the strawberries I ordered are alive. Everything else is dead so I'm about about $50 of plants because of the label. If you save your label then you can get as many replacements as they will give you for dead plants. How they can't see it's dead before they ship it is beyond me.
I ordered a variety of seeds, bulbs, live and bare root plants from Burgess Seed & Plant Co. in April. They did not arrive until six weeks later, in June, by which time it was too late to plant most of the seeds. All of the live plants were dead and had been reduced to a sort of green slime; it looked like they had been sitting in a warehouse for the entire 6 weeks, and were long dead by the time they got to me. Burgess refused to either replace or refund the plants, even though I sent photos of the completely dead plants in the plastic containers they were shipped in, because I had thrown away the shipping label from the outside of the package. Since it is easy enough to track who ordered what, I can only conclude that this is a technique used to deny people refunds or replacements. This is the first time I had ever encountered a company that flatly refused to stand by its products in such an adamant fashion. Recommend avoiding.
Year's ago,started clearing orchard space of a fixer upper property here in Pennsylvania.From family experience,I wanted some grafted fruit trees to enjoy fruit sooner ,and many on own root stock for low maintenance, and no chemical because insects seem to attack grafted trees more.I then looked to Burgess and they're amazing stock.I started with North star Cherry and Russian Mulberrys (tree)...Just as they said,the third season I would be in fruit and I wish I planted all Russian Mulberry's.I squirt some Neem oil on trunk now and again, for anti-fungal.The Cherries are just as fabulous.Through the years I have passed they're name,teamed on order's with friend's,neighbor's,cousin's and never been let down.They treat us all like gold.One time I had a Russian Mulberry never awaken,I sent in original slip and they replaced it with a MONSTER,and tossed in another little one.The shipping is actually the insurance in my mind ,and teaming up makes our orders larger ,so sure do not mind as they are honest and deserve for the great prices.Garden planting,again we team up and they for example,use some organic fertilizer that they also sell in envelopes that make them a sure great yield.The Potato tubers my cousin got me turned onto,best potato's ever that have a superior flavor and with fertilizer rolled on,resemble X-mas cookies that make me hungry.Now I have finest apple,pear,cherry,Mulberry orchard around,giant Russian Mulberry's to enjoy every july ,and all thank's to Burgess.My landscaping goodies from them I won't even get into.lol..When I see a negitive,I cannot believe and wonder if some think old fashioned,that once in earth, nature takes over.Cannot blame others for a red,rather than green thumb.My Green thumb Is Earned by experience.On my land until second week in august,the sucking ant's attack.I use Diatomasious earth (pool filter material powder) ,that is organic ground sea shell that cuts they're body when traversing through(dusting trunk and ground).If you can't make it with Burgess,you must ask other people tip's and be humble, because we all Love Burgess and won't go anywhere else.Every season change, we look forward to the catalog,and they have it all and is strategically organized for perfect yield chances.I recommend the Russian Mulberry's..On own root stock for hearty life ,and with invasive SPOTTED LANTERN FLY moving up east coast here from China,they won't bother..Russian Mulberry's were taken to China long ago and to thrive there with the fly,may be the sure chance if your area has the insect moving county to county attacking grapes and some other fruits.No matter if late frost,your sure to always enjoy the finest fruit,even when others have tough year..I noticed the larger the tree grows,the larger the fruit size and they are the perfect crop for United States...My Cousin and myself are teaming up on a order soon.Are trying the 100% disease resistant Service Berry,and Wintergreen Cherry Berry because the Russian Mulberry's just sold out for the season...Give Burgess a chance,and be ready to turn your thumb green with pride..
i've done business with this company in the past and always enjoyed receiving,browsing, and ordering from the catalog. this year things really changed for the worse. burgess(and many other companies) put up the covid-19 disclaimer and use it as an excuse for poor or non existent service. my order wasn't shipped in a timely manner. i received a partial credit about 2 weeks after cancelling order and a couple weeks later received a shipping notice(1 of 2 packages)no use to call them no one answers the phone. any email is met with a generic email a week or two later. seeds arrived on july 14th, alittle late to plant in my area. if there really is a second package, i havent seen it. one thing i like about this site is it lists all the associated companies. so that i don't make the same mistake next year.advise everyone to do business elsewhere
We have ordered from Burgess twice. The first time most of our plants did well, long after we moved from that location.
This year we ordered over $700 in trees and plants for our new homestead. I was a little worried, because I had read the reviews on this site, and even though we had had a previously decent experience with the company, the reviews had made me wonder if using them again was a good idea. But we took the plunge and ordered over 40 trees for our orchards, several grapes and berries for our vinyard and several plants for our driveway and yard.
The plants arrived, bare root, in their bags. One plant was damaged beyond viability due to its root having been snapped off in shipping. Some looked very dry, especially the 16 forsythia we ordered. But two weeks after planting they have leaves started on most of them. My grapes are already leafing our with big beautiful leaves. My berry bushes have leaves. Most of my trees are leafing out.
I didn't have the funds to order the bigger trees for my orchard, so I opted for the smaller versions of the trees, and 1 to 2 foot trees, and though I did get a few 1 and 2 foot trees, most of which are leafing out already, I also got some amazingly beautiful 4 foot trees as big around as my thumb. Some came with leaves on them. They are amazing.
I have to say that I am beyond impressed with Burgess. They are not a scam. They sent me better than I paid for.
With mail order, you have to expect some loss. Mail order hatching eggs only have a 50% hatch rate. I only have issue with 1 berry bush and 4 trees, in my entire order.
I just felt it was necessary for me to post here, since they have so many negative reviews.
Ordered seed potatoes on 2 April. Finally shipped two months later. Potatoes were completely rotten. Called and were told replacements would ship that same day and to toss the product. Called a week later to get status when they said they couldn't ship them until they received the packing slip ( which was completely soaked with rotten potato juice). Never again Burgess.
Don't WASTE YOUR MONEY!
Bought 12 plants. Only 1 growing. Told them to cancel order after waiting over a month and weather was too hot to grow, miraculously shipped the next day - still too hot even with babying... Sent substitution but wanted me to pay postage to send their mistake back. Over 12 emails to them, each saying 1-2 days to reply (which puts me over their 14 day return policy) - reply cut & pasted.
Last year I bought 14 plants including 3 trees for $224.45 from Burgess. Only five of them grew last year and this year only four regrew - two of them were grafted trees which are only growing from the base stocks. I contacted them many times over the phone (they only picked up once) and via email. I initially sent a picture of the shipping label and explained what is going on. They asked me to mail the original shipping label and explanation that I did on 4/1/2020. I have not heard or received anything in almost two months. When contacted via email, their reason for not sending replacements is, "Once we receive the proper information to process your replacement order we will do so. We see nothing on file as of yet.". Big fat money-grabbing scam.
I just received 2 bare root maples, 3 bare root river birch. They are dormant and I hope alive. It will be a few weeks before I know. Their prices are very low, so I knew that the plant would be small, although I thought it was advertised to be 2 -3 feet. It is about 16 inches. If they are alive, they will be fine. I will update in about 3 weeks.
WARNING: Do Not Buy plants or products from this company unless you want to jump through hoops from a Call Center when your order is messed up.
Burgess Seed charged my credit card for a full order but only sent me half the plants I ordered. I ordered 24 Sub-Zero Hardy Canadian Hemlock but Burgess only sent me 12, ($74.99) -Order# 123952. When I called them for a refund on the non-shipped plants I found myself talking to a Call Center. 'Abdual' looked my order up on their computer but refused to refund to my card for the items not sent ($37.50). He stated I had to send in the label and a note that I did not receive my full order. I ask for a refund based on receiving only 1/2 the order and did not want the remaining plants as it took Burgess Seed over a month to get me the half order and it was too late in the year to wait for the plants they failed to send. Abdual informed me he was in the Call Center and could not do that. I ask for someone that could correct the problem. 'Judy' was put on the line. Judy basically told me that I had to jump through the hoops, send in the label, a note in order for the remainder of my order to be sent. I once again told her that it was too late in the year to wait for the rest of the order. I also informed her that I needed to keep the label as proof to send in if any of the plants died within one year. I ask her to refund me for the 1/2 order I did not receive. Judy told me that she would not change the policy and I would have to send in the label and a note that I did not receive my full order - in-spite of me having to retain the label for future plant guarantees. So I am out $37.50 from this company, but I did tell her I would give Burgess Seed & Plant Co. at least that much advertisement. This company has no interest in working with it's customers after it makes mistakes with their orders and over charges the customer - BEWARE....
After making my order the English Walnut trees "twigs: were delivered as expected and planted according to their directions. Only half of the trees lived, so I followed the instructions to return them for a replacement. Everything is good so far. Received the new trees and replanted them and all but one survived. Still good until I was told by a good friend three years later that the trees I received in both cases were peach trees, not English Walnut. As you can tell I am not a tree expert:(
After multiple emails back and forth to Burgess I was instructed to sent a written request to them and they would evaluate my claim since it was years later. Still no response from Burgess
With all the other negative responses it sounds more like deliberate mail fraud instead of occasional bad luck.
Rise22 Roseburg, OR (7 reviews) September 23, 2019
I ordered a Kwanzaa cherry tree from these people, and had the foresight to keep the packing label, etc. They had to send this FIVE TIMES in order to get a LIVE plant to me. BEWARE!!!! This is one of the worst and most fraudulent companies around - and they go by so many different names now....just check the address, and order absolutely NOTHING from any company that has even a remotely nearby address!!!! Most are Bloomington, IL...
Higswife Alexandria, PA (1 review) August 14, 2019
Of the hundreds of Burgess plants and seeds I have received over two years, most have not been “merchantable” as defined by federal law: neither “fair average quality” nor “fit for the ordinary purposes for which such goods are used”. I am amazed they’re still in business.
In 2018, Burgess delivered, two weeks late for planting, 387 dead plants in an order of 411. Because I followed their instructions to “allow your plants six weeks” in the ground “before implementing your warranty,” Burgess refused even to discuss any adjustment except for a credit.
In spring of 2019, I used most of the credit for seeds, about 40 packets. Most had germination rates of 75% or less (far less than even years-old leftover seed from Johnny’s, Gurney’s and Burpee); about a fourth were below 25%, and/or 0% yield in the garden. Among maybe six packets to produce as expected, random unwanted seeds were mixed in, such as white and cherry tomatoes among the Amish Paste and Mortgage Lifters. One set of eight live plants (lilies) had three bloom before they all died.
Burgess “customer service” is as non-existent as their “quality”. Every person I dealt with at Burgess, by email, US mail, or phone, was shockingly dismissive and unprofessional. No one knew the first thing about plants. No one showed the least concern about product quality or customer satisfaction. The few times they went beyond relentless parroting of published policy, they lied. Not counting my time or plant replacement, Burgess ultimately ripped me off for about $35.
The plain truth: Burgess is not just the worst plant and seed company I’ve dealt with over half a century, it’s the worst company of any kind.
My first email on 7/21:
Please cancel my order from today. I've read the reviews from Dave's Garden and am not convinced your company is a good one.
Their response on 7/23:
Thank you for contacting us regarding your concerns. We would like to point out that the postings represent a very, very small percentage of the total business that we do. Unfortunately, it also illustrates how people will go out of their way to complain, but rarely make such an effort to compliment. We have shipped millions of orders to millions of satisfied customers.
We would also like to mention that because we do ship more than a quarter of billion plants annually, try as we may, mistakes may happen or products may die. Anyone who sells perishable items and says otherwise is simply lying. We do offer a one-year replacement guarantee which is clearly posted in every advertisement that we publish, not to mention in numerous other places such as our planting guide which is shipped with every order. We stand behind this guarantee. A mail order company survives on repeat customers. If the majority of our customers were unhappy and chose not to order from us again, we would long ago have been out of business.
We appreciate your consideration and than you for taking the time to contact us.
My response on 7/23:
Ok that sounds good to. Process my order. Please respond. Thanks
The end result on7/30: My response to them after receiving my "plants":
I can't believe it. My order of ten Amur River Privets arrived today. They're deader than dead. I took my hand pruners and made a few cuts. Nothing green at all. No buds. No leaves. I've ordered from Santa Ana Perennials, Bluestone Perennials, Moonshine Design, Sooner Plant Farm and probably others. You people should be ashamed of yourselves. Why I didn't listen to my inner voice and not deal with you people is a mistake I will never make again. The reviews from Dave's Garden are spot on. You people are frauds and crooks. Shame on you. And don't tell me the plants are dormant. I've been gardening for thirty years and I know dead when I see it. i will be sending the required paper work back for a full refund. And be guaranteed. This will be showing up on Dave's Garden
I ordered many items from Burgess this spring including 50 Vinca plants. The Vinca came 25 in two separate plastic bags. 25 were OK and grew. 25 were black and looked quite dead but I planted them anyway. When they didn't grow I contacted Burgess.
They asked for my credit card statement with the charge and the packing slip which had been glued to the outside of the plastic bag everything came in. I had only saved the list of plants I had ordered from the packing slip.
I sent the credit card statement and the list of plants to Burgess.
They sent them back saying they needed the packing slip and would not replace the $5.00 worth of Vinca.
Surely they must have a copy of that packing slip and can see what I ordered and when. I will never order from Burgess or any of it's multiple aliases again. It's too bad they prefer to loose a customer than replace $5.00 worth of dead plants.
I took a risk and ordered three pawpaw trees because everyone else seemed to be out of stock. What arrived in the mailbox were three dead sticks that I guess could have been thought of as bare root had they actually been taken care of. These were dry and useless. I gave them the benefit of planting to no avail. The company responed that I should have saved the label. I sent them a picture of the dead sticks on arrival and that was not sufficient.
I attempted placing an order on line in March of 2019. I had technical difficulties placing the order which was probably user error. I waited a week and didn't receive any confirmation of my order. I attempted calling several times but could never get through. I also sent 2 emails to see if they had received my order. Hearing nothing back from them I sent in the paper order form that was included in the magazine. I waited 2 weeks on confirmation of my order but heard nothing back. Again I attempted calling but could not get through. By this point several weeks had passed so I sent a letter explaining why I was cancelling my order. Another week passed. In my mailbox was a green plastic bag with plant material, I assumed was my order. I went to the postoffice with the un-opened package and 2 sets of letters to the billing department and the shipping department which included my original cancellation letter. Three weeks later I received a full credit minus the shipping fee on my credit card. I am pleased with my results, I just wish I could have spoken with a live representative during this whole process. After reading all the reviews I did not think I would get my money back. Nancy
Ok so I am replying to all those who are posting on all sites against our negative experiences. I have googled Farmer seed & nursery and have come to realize that they are all part of the same group that are sending different catalogs and even emails. They are all listed on the same street. The problem I am seeing is the company is scamming people by saying they are different nurseries. I have seen more complaints about not being able to get calls through, and about if they don't save the shipping label the company wont honor their return policy. I have about 8 twigs that are supposed to be live plants and now I am seeing all these different catalogs are the same people. So here are all of the names, 1. Direct Gardening, 2.Farmer seed & nursery, 3.Exciting Gardens which is run through on your debit card as Richard Owens Nursery 4.Four Seasons and now I see on here 5.Burgess
These are all the same city and state and are listed as either Morissey Drive or Hamilton road. The catalogs are all the same and the plants arrive the same way. I am going to post this under all 5 of the nursery names reviews. Save your receipts and your packaging. I am sorry but no plant should have mold, and we should not have to accept the fact that dormant means dead plants that never revive. I think they are pulling sticks out of the woods. It is a shame because many plants are not carried by our local nurseries and us avid gardeners should not have to accept being messed over because who choose online shopping and trying to add diversity to our gardens. Please pass the word and please pass the word for those online garden centers we can use without getting robbed. Daves garden watch listed all of these under the same company group. I refuse to believe we have to stop ordering from online. Dutch Gardens
House of Wesley
Farmer Seed and Nursery
Four Seasons Nursery
Richard Owen Nursery / Exciting Gardens
bandt1125 Forest City, NC (1 review) April 11, 2019
Placed order on March 9,2019, they debited my account on March 12th and as of April 11th I have not gotten my order yet or can't get a straight or definite answer from them. I have contacted them up to twenty-four times through their contact page with only four replies. Called them once and got nowhere with the lady I spoke with, she knew nothing and couldn't help at all. They only ever say that they are sorry for the delay, that they can't cancel my order since my order is the the shipping department, but they can't even tell me when my order will ship or if they even have the products in stock. I have told them that I am going to my bank to start a fraud claim against them, I still get no response back from them. I have filed a review of them with the BBB which they will have a chance to respond to, but when I even told them that in an email they don't respond. This place is terrible to deal with. I placed orders with Gurney's and One Green World at the same time as this one with Burgess, and their products have been in the ground for three weeks now. I would highly suggest that you stay far away from this company. They will take your order, take your money quickly, and then have no urgency to ship your order or communicate with you at all.
Betternext South Holland, IL (1 review) February 25, 2019
I've received their catalogs for years, yet have never purchased anything. This year, I'd planned to place a small order of perennials to add to my shade garden, the Colorful Shade Garden, 20 plants for $23.99.
But after reading the many negative comments, I've decided not to place an order and do as I did last year, purchase fully grown, healthy plants from a local nursery, plants I can inspect prior to purchase.
Just out of curiosity, has anyone purchased this shade garden collection? If so, how did the plants arrive and after planting, how did they fare? I live in the Chicago area.
one8sevenn Kemmerer, WY (1 review) October 17, 2018
- Affordable - lots of good bargains to be had.
- Plants came in healthy and are doing well (Rasps, Blackberries, Blueberries, Aronia, Gooseberries, Josta)
- Great instructions for beginners, especially those who have not planted bare root before.
- Time to get the plants. It takes a month minimum.
- Shipping packaging. I was super worried when the plants arrived in a green plastic bag with the post office handling it.
- Customer service is pretty much non existent. Emails for updates get a cookie cutter response that a robot could do.
- Replacement/Refund policy. It is kind of a joke. I probably will not have to use it, but I have the packaging and label ready in case I have too.
So, I did order from them again; but I can't say I would recommend them to anyone. If the customer service and shipping plant protection got better, then it would be a decent company for others to go throw for bare root plants.
I have been gardening for over 50 years, so I know how to plant seeds and mail order plants. Unfortunately, I was too impressed by their glossy catalog.
I ordered about a dozen items from Burgess Seed & Plant Co. and was terribly dissapointed. About 70% of the items I ordered did not germinate or break bud. I was surprised, though probably shouldn't have been as a lot of the plants were dried out and the trees were toothpick thin.
I tried contacting the company several times but could not get through to them. Maybe they are out of business, which they should be.
I bought several packets of seeds from Burgess. They were all marked "Packaged for 2018". Germination on all packets was 0%. Rows were carefully marked, there was no mistake. The seed was dead as a doornail, all of it.
Won't order from them again. In fairness to them, I did not call. But a refund of my time and effort are not possible, so why bother?
Someone at Burgess should be performing random germination tests on their seed.
Waited quite a long time before receiving my order. When it finally arrived, plants were very poorly packaged In a non protective bag and most of them were dead. They say they have a guarantee but you better make sure you save the original shipping label. If you don't that's how they get around honoring their word. They refused to help me and just gave me the run around so I ended up paying $60 for three seed packets! Terrible terrible company!!
I placed a small order for 3 plants in January 2018. When they arrived in the spring, two of them were actual plants and one was a clump of dry roots. I tried to plant them anyway, but nothing ever grew. I contacted Burgess via email and was told I need to send in the original shipping lable. Who keeps that? I've been buying things online since the early 2000s and never had to supply a shipping lable to get a refund. I told them I don't have that so I will send the email confirmation with all the information. I get an email back saying that while sending the shipping label is policy that they'll make an exception for me if I send them a cancelled check or a copy of my bank statement! I could barely believe it, why would I send them my sensitive financial information? I do not trust them at all and am getting a strong scam vibe. I doubt I'll ever get my money back but I'll update if anything else happens.
TArceo Shoemakersville, PA (1 review) May 23, 2018
Posted on May 23, 2018, updated May 23, 2018
Posted on May 22, 2018, updated May 23, 2018
On 4/16/18 I placed a $150+ order. I did this because last year I placed a small order and everything went fine so I thought I could trust this company with a bigger order. Outside of a confirmation that my order was received I received NO COMMUNICATION what-so-ever from this company. Just when I was starting to think that I got scammed because I had finally looked up reviews and talked to a few people who had bad experiences, I received a 'shipping confirmation' on 4/24/18. I thought "great!" everyone was wrong ... especially since the email confirmation didn't have any reference to it being a partial shipment ... well, over a week later and I received my 'shipment'. Just the seeds which was less than $9.00 worth of my $150+ order. And to boot each packet of seeds contained ONLY FIVE SEEDS EACH! Really? So, still the optimist, I figured maybe the other items would come in a week or so. Nope ... then I read more information on the site and figured they would be shipping on or close to Mother's Day since that is the 'traditional planting season' in my region. It was also more than perfect weather for planting at the time. Mother's Day came and went and still nothing (over a month now with NO COMMUNICATION, no ORDER, yet they HAVE MY MONEY IN FULL. So I finally decided I needed to reach out to them as I had given them MORE than enough leeway to fulfill my order. On 5/14/18 I placed more than 20 calls in to their company without being able to actually get a person on the line. So, I sent an email asking for an update. Like many on here have said, my email was ignored. So now, I have a call into my credit card company to start a fraud claim and I will be filing a fraud claim with the FCC as well as filing with the BBB. This company is clearly defrauding thousands of customers on the regular and getting away with it. They don't get to charge people's credit cards and then refuse to communicate OR ship the products they have been paid for and then spitefully ship damaged, dead goods and refuse refunds, refuse cancellations etc. That is FRAUD! It's time all of their customers filed a class action against this company. All I want is my money back or the LIVE, LIVING plants I ordered! But since they refuse to do this and they refuse to communicate, I have no other recourse but to go the only route that's left. Do yourself a favor and stay far away from this company and all of it's many other names!On May 23rd, 2018, TArceo added the following:
Well on the same day I posted this I tried calling again with no luck, again. So I decided to give them ONE more opportunity to either communicate what was going on to me, ship my order or refund the money for the items I have not yet received. I was clear that I expected an answer or a refund of the remainder of my order within 48 hours. Magically, I received a new 'shipping confirmation' exactly 48 hours later, coming through the USPS ... ??? ... live plants and roots via the USPS? ... ok ... I fully expect to have a delivery of dead, dying, broken items as I feel as though based on the hundreds of other reviews here and on other sites including the BBB, when you demand COMMUNICATION of some sort from this company or a refund, they seem to spitefully send all wrecked, ruined, dead, dying products. We will see ... if they prove me wrong I will update this accordingly. To make myself clear, I was OK waiting if there was good reason for it, though charging me immediately and then not shipping for weeks/months is NOT ok, I WAS ok waiting, as long as their was appropriate COMMUNICATION and updates! And as long as they are making their best effort to send quality items. For the record I don't consider seed packets with a mere 5 seeds in each packet, quality. Out of each packet, only ONE seed in each took and I say that with hesitation as those aren't really doing well either. It's a real shame. I love gardening, I could have been a customer for life. On May 23rd, 2018, TArceo added the following:
I just realized my dates (long week!), I apologize, it's been less than 48 hours but the rest of my complaint remains true
Been trying to get a Hickory tree to grow, last two years have ordered from a competitor but the tree never grew. Ordered Hickory tree and several other items from Burgess this year on January 28, 2018. In mid-February I received the two packages of seeds but nothing else. In mid-March I contacted the company to receive a status of my order and was told they had no information about the shipping schedule for my order. With no further contact from company I called again first week of April & explained that I wanted to get the tree planted; again company could provide no info on when items would be shipped. Explained that I would be out of town for a couple weeks & didn't want plants sitting in Post Office while gone, asked company to ship on or about April 27 or else cancel order. Upon my return I had received neither plants nor confirmation of cancellation. Called company & was told they had cancelled order but I had not been informed of of that.
I've ordered plants from several mail order nursery companies over the past several decades. Burgess is by far the worst.
1) They have no 800 TN & their main call-in number is constantly busy, I had to make numerous attempts before actually getting through to anyone.
2) They do not provide any status updates on orders online nor can they provide that information if you call them.
3) If you want to receive refund for a dead plant/tree you receive from them they require you to return the dead plant at your expense.
4) I had ordered trees, plants & seeds under a $9.95 flat rate shipping offer. When the company cancelled my order nearly 3 months after I placed it they refunded the cost of the plants & trees only, my two packages of seeds incurred the entire $9.95 shipping fee.
There are far too many legitimate companies out there offering mail order plants to even consider purchasing from Burgess. Worst customer service from any plant company I ever used. Almost 3 months waiting for an order that was never processed.
Posted on April 25, 2018, updated May 8, 2018
I placed an order on March 6, 2018 for:
2 Hazelnut Trees
2 Thornless Blackberries
4 Yellow Trumpet Vine
1 Clematis Vine
1 Goji Berry
1 5-n-1 Peach Tree
My credit card was billed immediately, which I don't mind if product ships immediately. But, the generally accepted modern practice is to not bill until shipment.
On Mar 19, I requested an update via their website. I was emailed a notification of my request, but never received a response.
On April 8, I had not yet been given a shipping update nor heard from them at all, and I was tired of waiting. In the interim, I had twice ordered from fast-growing-trees.com and received large, healthy plants within two days of ordering. I emailed Burgess to express my disgust and that if the option was available to please cancel my order and refund my money. The following day, they wrote back:
"We are sorry to hear that you wish to cancel your order. Your request for cancellation will be forwarded to the appropriate department. We will do our best to cancel the order, however, since the order is already in the shipping department we may be unable to cancel before shipping occurs."
Three days later (April 12), I email again to ask whether I will be shipped my order or refunded my money:
"Please update me as to whether my order will be cancelled and refunded or shipped as agreed. If you are going to ship my order, thank you. Please provider an estimated shipping date. If you are not going to ship, please provide an estimated date when I will see my payment refunded to my card."
The following day, I receive this response:
"It an take 1-2 weeks for your request to be processed. Please allow more time."
That doesn't answer my question, had a typo, and was sent via email in Comic Sans. #smh
On April 17, I receive email notification that my order has shipped.
I receive plants on April 24th at approximately 4pm. I'm SHOCKED at what was in the package. With the exception of the goji berry which was in a damaged clamshell package, everything is leafless. The trumpet vines were each in a small baggie of soil, but everything else is bare root. The two hazelnut trees were taped together, and the label on the Peach tree was nearly impossible to remove without damaging the trunk.
This peach tree had no branches. In fact, the only plants with branches were the hazelnut. There are supposed to be 5 varieties of peaches growing from the root stock of the peach tree, and although I can see the 5 graft scars on the trunk, without any actual growth from the grafts, what confidence can I have that *anything* will grow?
I immediately soaked the trees, and had everything planted within 4 or 5 hours of delivery.
In the mailing package were several pieces of junkmail including AARP literature, hearing aid brochures and "money saving coupons." I mean, really? Why?
Bare root trees can die in as little as 30 minutes. How can a week of shipping time even be in the realm of consideration!?
I believe I would have been better off to spend my money somewhere else, ANYWHERE else.On May 8th, 2018, wolfie7873 added the following:
As was noted, everything was planted within 4-5 hours of delivery. In the interest of full disclosure, I will update the condition of the plants.
First the good:
The clematis is thriving and seemingly quite happy.
The trumpet vines have each begun to leaf out, but not equally, though it looks like at least three of the four are reasonably vigorous.
The goji is alive, but wasn't happy about transplant. Seems to be recovering, but isn't putting out much new growth.
Next the mediocre:
The five variety peach tree is a three variety peach tree. Only three of the 5 grafts have leafed out. I'm actually surprised any of them leafed out, but at least I have three. I still don't know which three they are, whether they bloom at similar times or if they are otherwise well suited to pollinate each other.
And finally the bad: the two hazel trees and two blackberries have shown absolutely no signs of life. We've had great weather since planting, so I'm not sure what it could be other than DEAD plants.
I placed a $200 order with Burgess and before it arrived, I noticed a "free shipping" offer on an ad, so I entered the free shipping code to place one more order. The website took my free shipping code and deducted the price of the shipping. As is my habit whenever I'm buying anything, I took a screen shot of what I ordered to have a record of it before the payment is made. It clearly showed that shipping had been deducted.
When I clicked to complete the order, the website kept taking me to the wrong page, and some weird code popped up. I was very upset since I had spent nearly 2 hours choosing the varieties carefully, in order to take advantage of the free shipping. So I emailed Burgess and sent them a copy of the screen shot.
A representative contacted me the next day and started off with, "You may have pressed the wrong button, because we don't have any free shipping offers going on at the moment." He went on to say that, in effect, I probably did something wrong. He ended by saying, "However, we have had some problems with the website lately, so perhaps you should try later."
He did not offer to honor the shipping discount. He blamed me right off the bat for the problem. At the very least, I would have expected, "I'm very sorry that the shipping code was invalid. If you like, I'll email you the next time we have a free shipping sale." It wouldn't have cost them anything and they would have saved a customer.
I was very angry. I'm a 67 year old female, and not used to impolite customer service reps. So I wrote back and said to please cancel the $200 order that I placed earlier, since I will not do business with a company that blames customers for problems.
To add fuel to the fire, the representative then wrote back and started off with "I don't know what you expected me to say. I gave you the information without rudeness." Well, to be honest, saying that "you don't know what to say" after you blamed the customer for the problem IS RUDE. Don't these service reps know that? He said he would "transfer my request to cancel to the appropriate department."
I've heard nothing back about the cancellation for the past month and I've emailed three times to confirm the cancellation. They have answered none of these three emails. I'm beginning to think they'll still try to ship the items and are just being closed mouth to pretend they didn't get my emails. I'm thoroughly disgusted with them and I haven't even gotten a single item from them yet.
I've ordered plants from Burgess 3 times (3 different years) with pretty good results on the plants other than having Strawberries shipped with spider mite infestations. I've spent hundreds of dollars with them...
This year has been different. Recently I requested that they ship me part of my order that hadn't been shipped out with my other "Garden Supplies" as advertised on their website and in their catalogs. My order was placed Jan 6th. I received part of my order on time, but part never showed. This was the part I requested they ship.
Via email they assured me (Feb 6th) that this would be done. I emailed back and forth with them 3 more times. Product never shipped. Finally after sending 3 more emails that went completely ignored, I called (14 days later exactly). The Girl on the phone was very friendly and told me my order would ship that day and I should receive it by the end of the week. This was a Tuesday and I waited until the following Monday before I tried to contact them again. Of course it Never came.
So 2 more emails to "Customer Care" that went unanswered. Yesterday I called 14 times. 13 of those times the phone was Busy, and the one time I connected they hung up on me. Tried to call them again and busy again.
Yesterday I emailed again, requesting to be contacted by a manager. No return call or email. Yes that's 7 ignored emails. So today I called again. This time I spoke with what had to be the worst customer service person I've ever dealt with. Her name was Liz and she was rude, would not let me speak with management, and never even asked me about my order.
When I said that other customer service people had promised it would ship (I have this in writing) she said they were lying. So either she lied, or the people who sent me 3 emails and spoke with me over the phone previously did. She said the only way I could speak to management would be to write a letter. So write a letter I did. It's in the mail today for Grace Avery (who Liz told me was her manager).
The products this company sells are worth 4 stars. However; This company doesn't care about your business. The people who work there don't care about you. Never been treated this way in 40 years. I wouldn't do business with them again if it were free, because they'd have to pay me for the hassle. I highly recommend avoiding this companyCompany representative comment on March 13, 2018: On Mar 13, 2018 12:06 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience as we do take pride in our customer care.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem
I ordered some seeds recently, plus a couple of trees. Then, I saw that there was another tree I wanted, but I didn't want to pay the fixed shipping fee again. So, I logged in online, tried to amend my order, and, not being able to do that, I tried to cancel it and reorder. I was told this can't be done, ... even though I had just made the order. I sent an email to them, no answer, no comment, nothing. Finally, I called them, and the answering person told me that no one at the company reads any emails regarding an order until that order ships. Guess what, my seeds shipped, but I have not heard a thing from them since. I'm hoping they do amend my order, but I'm not hopeful, since their phone answering must be a service, and no one answers emails. If they do not at least email/call regarding my request, I'll pay a lot more in the future instead of depending on this undependable service.Company representative comment on March 13, 2018: On Mar 13, 2018 12:09 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear that you were given this misinformation. We do our best to read and answer all emails within 24 hours. A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem.
woodspirit1 Lake Toxaway, NC (Zone 7a) (6 reviews) January 16, 2018
Posted on January 17, 2018, updated January 17, 2018
I was planning to order a climbing rose from Burgess that I have wanted for a long time. But I checked here at DG to find LOTS of negative reviews. So I didn't order it. If anyone has ordered this rose, Zephrine Drouhin' and has had a good experience, please post here where you got it from. BTW, I want this rose badly because it can tolerate a somewhat shady spot.On January 16th, 2018, woodspirit1 added the following:
Well, indeed, you can see the value of Dave's Garden. I have saved enough money to make my membership renewed. This is not the first time that I saved money by checking at DG and finding scam plant companies.
THANK YOU, Dave's Garden.
I ordered about 200$ worth of plants last spring. I'm aware that they are shipped bare root. Well my strawberries grew . Also my asparagus roots grew.a couple of my dwarf cherry trees grew. the citrus tree i got for my friend was ok. our yellow christmas cacti were alive on arrival.But everything else I got died i do not know where the invoice went on the bag all my stuff came in went. I do however have my email receipt of what I ordered. Also the rare yellow Christmas cacti. What a joke my friend gave me money for 3 for presents for family and I bought 1. I kept the one that got mostly broken during shipping. Well they are certainly not blooming yellow despite what the tag on the little green container said. They are ALL blooming pink. I emailed them about this and still have not received a response. I didn't expect to get anywhere about my dead planted plants because I cant find plastic shipping label. I dont think i will order from here again. I spent almost 200$ for a pink "yellow" Christmas cactus a citrus tree some asparagus strawberry plants and a couple dwarf cherry trees. If someone contacts me and says they will reship it all in the spring that might change but as of now I am a dissatisfied customer.Company representative comment on December 11, 2017: On Dec 11, 2017 3:35 PM, Burgess Seed responded with:
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem
I called Burgess BEFORE I placed my order to make sure they had everything I wanted. The lady on the phone said if it was in the catalog or on their website, they had it in stock. Being particular on details like I am, I insisted that she verify each item, which she supposedly did.
I also made it PERFECTLY CLEAR on the phone that if I ordered and for ANY reason an item could not be shipped now, I did NOT want any item "back ordered" and I did not want any "substitutions" of any kind, instead I wanted them to just cancel the entire order. The lady on the phone said if I'd send my instructions when I ordered that they would follow them.
So I wrote a long letter in notepad CLEARLY explainng in detail that if my ENTIRE order could not be filled immediately, to CANCEL my ENTIRE order. Then I placed my order for 45 plants. Almost immediately I got an order number, which I immediately copied and pasted into my letter, so there would be no confusion on which order I was referring to, then I copied the whole letter and pasted it into their contact form and sent it. Then I also sent the letter as a reply to my order confirmation email. They should have gotten 2 copies of my instructions within 2 minutes of getting my order.
All of this happened on 10/14/2017, so imagine my surprise when 2 days later on 10/16/2017 I got an email, in response to the email I sent through the contact form, saying that they were going to send a partial order. To paraphrase, they said they would send what they had and I could wait until next year for the rest, whether I liked it or not, and furthermore they would bill my credit card for the entire amount, not just what they had in stock. I couldn't believe it. Keep in mind, that was in response to the email I sent within 2 minutes of placing the order, explicitly FORBIDDING them to charge my credit card unless they could fill the entire order. So, on 10/16/2017, I immediately replied to that email and again VERY STRONGLY told them if they could not fill my ENTIRE order to cancel my ENTIRE order. SEVERAL times since I've VERY STRONGLY stated to them that they were FORBIDDEN to charge my credit card, that I wanted my order immediately cancelled.
On 10/18/2017 I got an email saying that a partial order had been shipped, the rest would be shipped next year, and if I had a problem with that to send a hard copy letter by snail mail to their office manager, Grace Avery, because she didn't do email. What a f'ing joke!! Apparently they think once you send your credit card number they can charge you for stuff that they don't even have and promise to send it some time next year if and when they do get it. I've got news for them though. I talked to a lawyer here already and next week I'll be filing charges of credit card fraud in Bloomington where the company is located. Apparently they think Bloomington Illinois is too far for someone from Nancy Kentucky to reach them.
Just so EVERYONE reading this knows.... If you walk into a store and ask for a blue shirt and a pair of jeans, and the store owner says I have the jeans but not the shirt it is YOUR right to leave without buying either. And if the store owner says I have a red shirt, it's YOUR right to say I don't want red, I want blue like I asked for. The store owner can NOT force you to buy a red shirt, and he can NOT force you to take only the jeans and let him charge your credit card for both and send you the blue shirt when he gets it. If he charges your credit card for ANY thing that you did NOT ask for, or ANY thing that you did NOT walk out the door with, it IS credit card fraud. And the lawyer I spoke with says it works the same way for Internet orders, catalog orders, phone orders, etc.
Burgess seems to think they can "reserve" a right that they don't have. They have ONLY the right to be honest.... to send EXACTLY what you order, when you order it, or else NOT charge your credit card for it. No law or person or belief or anything else gives them the right to do ANY OTHER thing with your money or credit card, unless YOU give them that right. And in my particular case the only "right" that I gave them was to send my ENTIRE order or CANCEL my entire order..... which FORBIDS them to do anything else at all with my credit card, regardless of the non-existent rights they think they have.
Credit card fraud goes WAY beyond a squabble over whether a plant lived or died. My advise to anybody even thinking about ordering from this company is simply, don't. My advise to anybody that thinks they have a case for ANY kind of fraud against this company is to call the McLean county sheriff's office at (309) 888-5034. That's the county Bloomington Illinois is located in, where Burgess does business. If Burgess won't listen to their customers, maybe they'll listen to the law.
dippybird wakefield, MA (1 review) October 13, 2017
Posted on October 6, 2017, updated October 13, 2017
Posted on September 11, 2017, updated October 6, 2017
I ordered some plants last fall figuring if they had a one year warranty at least I could get the plants replaced. As others have said the plants looked dead and some were rotten but I planted them. This year, not surprisingly, very few came up. At the beginning of August I mailed my shipping labels and a printed excel list (including description, sku, and quantity) of almost the whole order since most plants did not grow. Two weeks later I received a letter that I was not clear on what needed to be replaced. I emailed back and forth and sent the same excel list again and asked what more I could possibly give them. They said they would forward it on and get them replaced. Another two weeks have gone by and I received another letter that it is unclear what needs to be replaced. If I ever get replacements it will probably be too late in the year to plant them. Don’t count on the warranty they don’t seem to want to stand by there products. On October 6th, 2017, dippybird added the following:
At the bottom of most of these reviews burgess has posted that "a customer care representative has contacted blah blah to resolve the problem" I was contacted and asked for my name and address and have not heard anything since. If other peoples issues have been resolved please update your posts and let us know. It makes it look like Burgess is reaching out to help people and I don't think they really are. On October 13th, 2017, dippybird added the following:
Burgess has contacted me and has agreed to replace my plants that did not survive. Since it has taken two months the ground will be frozen soon in my area so they have agreed to send the plants next April. I will update my review then.Company representative comment on October 6, 2017: On Sep 29, 2017 7:58 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem.
On Oct 6, 2017 2:51 PM, Burgess Seed added:
We do show that we did answer your Dmail on Oct 4th and have not received a reply. Please let us know if we need to resend.
Jake7641 Apollo, PA (2 reviews) September 29, 2017
This is a terrible company to buy from. You are not saving any money buying their "bargains". Much better off spending a few more dollars and getting quality plants. Burgess plants arrived dried out and dead; crumbled to the touch. Customer service is a name only; they do absolutely nothing to resolve the issue and you get verbiage straight from their advertising/catalog. Total waste of money.Company representative comment on September 29, 2017: On Sep 29, 2017 7:59 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:
We are sorry to hear of this customer’s experience as we do take pride in our customer care. We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee which is clearly posted on our website and we stand behind them.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer for further information. We do hope to hear back from the customer as we would like to help resolve this problem
nickgarden Portnorris, NJ (Zone 7a) (2 reviews) September 5, 2017
Posted on August 10, 2017, updated September 5, 2017
Posted on August 6, 2017, updated August 10, 2017
Posted on August 6, 2017, updated August 6, 2017
Posted on March 30, 2011, updated August 6, 2017
This is the first time ,I have ordered from Burgess,,My order was sent very quickly,,The plants were very small,,but alive,,i have planted them in pots ,,They are the citrus collection,,Inside during colder months ,,Out side in the warmer months,,I will order from them again,,On August 6th, 2017, nickgarden changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:
I am very Disappointed I love to look at Burgess seed catalog and have ordered from them years ago.. but i have just received 2 orders I placed in July 2017,,cherry trees,grapes,black berrys,,other berry plants the amount was 150 dollars total,,,All were received Dead not dormant..all dryed out brittle or broken or completely rotted,,I mailed back the invoice on the bag they sent me the plants in and they mailed it back to me.. NickOn August 6th, 2017, nickgarden added the following:
I am very Disappointed I love to look at Burgess seed catalog and have ordered from them years ago.. but i have just received 2 orders I placed in July 2017,,cherry trees,grapes,black berrys,,other berry plants the amount was 150 dollars total,,,All were received Dead not dormant..all dryed out brittle or broken or completely rotted,,I mailed back the invoice on the bag they sent me the plants in and they mailed the invoice back to me with no replacement plants.. NickOn August 10th, 2017, nickgarden added the following:
Ok,,I was contacted by a customer rep,,by email,,I replied with all information asked for, Waiting for a reply,,I am hoping we can fix this , Please ,Just send me what i payed for,,,,Alive,,,,I did everything i was supposto,,I payed for the items,received the items,Yes they were rotted,or snapped in half at the base or completely dryed out I also did the scratch test,,soaked them in water even the rotted ones and planted,,Then sent back the invoices on both packages,,which were then sent back to me with no plants,,On September 5th, 2017, nickgarden added the following:
Okay final outcome in my opinion everything is being shipped from the Burgess Nursery or Warehouse dead received one of my two replacement orders completely dead Dead on Arrival and it was FedEx to the house within 5 days it was dead I enjoyed looking at the Burgess e catalogs but would never order from them again definitely would read the reviews of a company before ordering from them customer service was great at first then ignored my messages afterwards for the second replacement order not that it would have made any difference that would have probably been dead to assuming I would recommend going to a local Nursery wherever you live a local Box Store
Company representative comment on August 10, 2017: On Aug 10, 2017 7:32 AM, Burgess Seed responded with:
Many of our items are shipped bare root and dormant as this allows them to be transplanted with much higher degrees of success. It does not mean they are dead, but since they are dormant, and not leafed out, people unfamiliar with bareroot nursery stock may they mistake them for dead. We suggest soaking in water overnight or for a few hours before planting. Then keep well watered after planting and within 6 weeks of warm weather, the plants should break dormancy and show signs of leaf.
We do have both a refund and a replacement guarantee and stand behind them.
A customer care representative has contacted this customer to see if we may be of assistance