I ordered a specimen tree fro Joe Bonsai. When the tree that was delivered was not satisfactory and did not appear to be the tree in the photo. I shipped it back on the next business day. I sent an e-mail requesting a refund. I received a response in which I was promised a refund but none was forth coming. Numerous e-mails and phone messages went unanswered. I had not option other than to go to my credit card company to obtain a refund. I don't think they are engaged in fraud. I think they are just poorly run. I would not do business with them again.
March 21, 2011, I mailed Joe Bonsai a U.S. Postal Service Money Order for $75.07. Still waiting for any type of response.Company representative comment on May 17, 2011: On May 17, 2011 6:10 PM, JoeBonsai responded with:
Unfortunately, this customer mailed the money order to an obscure address of a retailer we do business with. Yes, it took a long time to find the check, and only after the customer mentioned the address. I have apologized many times to the customer and I truly am sorry for the problem, but we really had no way of knowing where the check was, or no reason to look for it at the retailers address. We've sold and shipped over 40,000 orders, all of them immediately upon payment - but for all intents and purposes, this payment never arrived.
I have been a Joebonsai customer for years and my experiences with them have always been great. My last purchase was a large Elm and it was absolutely awesome. The packaging was perfect. I ordered the tree on Monday and it arrived on Wednesday!
I've never been at all disappointed with joebonsai.com so I'm surprised to see the negative comments. That's not the company I know. I will definitely continue to get my Bonsai fix from Joebonsai and you should too. In fact, about a year ago I had a question and left a message on their voice mail and Joe called me back in a matter of minutes, on a Sunday.
I think this is a great company to buy from. Thank you Joe
DannielleL Camillus, NY (1 review) February 10, 2011
Several co-workers and I got together to order a tree for our boss. We spent over a week picking out a tree that everyone felt was perfect. I researched joebonsai.com and made sure they had generally good feedback before I ordered. Before ordering I emailed using the company's contact form twice with several questions. I never received a response.
Despite the lack of response I placed the order on Feb 1, 2011 and paid immediately with Paypal. I also opted for the ~$33 priority mail (2-3 day) shipping. After paying I realized I had forgotten to put in the 10% off discount code, so I again emailed asking if they could accommodate me. I also emailed later that day letting them know that the item was a gift and asked if there were extra reference papers that could be included. None of my emails were responded to. I waited two days and still having no responses to my emails nor receiving any sort of order confirmation, I tried calling the number provided, which took me to the joebonsai answering machine, which was full. I emailed agian.
Over the next couple days I tried the phone number repeatedly only to have the voicemail box constantly be full. I noticed that there was a retail store associated with joebonsai.com so I left a voicemail there but no call was returned. At this point I got other coworkers involved to try and reach someone to no avail. Finally on the 8th I received an email stating that my item was shipped with a tracking number, however no response was given regarding any of my other emails or phone message I had left.
I tried the tracking number repeatedly on the 8th and 9th and it kept saying invalid. The morning of the 10th I emailed again and finally got through to a voicemail box at joebonsai.com so I left a message asking someone to call me immediately. No emails or calls were returned. During the afternoon on the 10th the tree arrived, it was good looking and well packed, however it is not the tree we ordered from the picture. The tree number on the receipt is correct but the tree definitely is not the same. Also the tracking number on the package is not the tracking number that they had emailed me, which is something that easily could have been resolved had they returned a call or email.
We are seriously disappointed that we paid extra for fast shipping only to have them take 8 days to ship a tree that is not even the correct one, even though it says on thier website they will ship out asap, usually the same day. Also, it is just poor business practice not to acknowledge a customers attempts to contact you after having spent more than $100 at you online store. We have a large company and many people we interested in the trees after researching this one but it does not seem we will be repeating our business at joebonsai.com
In December, we ordered a watering can and bonsai book for Christmas. The order was prepaid in full. The watering can arrived, but the book never did. Starting in January, we have telephoned this company asking about the book. We have left several voice mail messages and have yet to receive a callback. We have also sent several e-mails and have not received any return e-mail. There has been absolutely NO RESPONSE to our inquiries. It is only a $5 item; nonetheless, it was not delivered and we feel we are entitled to at least the courtesy of a response, if not a refund of the price.
Yesterday I placed an order for a bonsai kit, a book, and a couple other items as a gift for my Dads birthday. They sent a total of 3 emails stating that my order had been received, order processed, & payment accepted. Then today they sent me an email stating that the tree I had chosen would not make it to it's destination in good condition & that the book I had ordered was out of stock & asked if they could substitute. This was a very thought out gift that I had timed just right for his birthday & I did not want substitutions. They sent me another email stating that my money had been refunded & would show up on my card in a few days. I was taken aback that they had charged my account. Now if I order elsewhere I will be overdrawn at my bank.
I would have thought that they would confirm items were in stock & or could be shipped before charging my account. I do not believe it is good business practice for a company to inconvenience their customers by charging them for something they could not provide. I sent them an email stating that & have not heard anything back from them which I also believe is not good business practice.
Yesterday, I received—as a gift, but was probably about $70-80—a bonsai tree from joebonzai. The heavy tree pot had been wrapped in plastic wrap & then simply put in a box filled w/ styrofoam peanuts. The box was not damaged, but the bonsai tree had over ˝ of the leaves in the box & all of the many blooms also in the box. The tree looked scalped. Within minutes I called & left a message & received a c/b from a lady who advised that it seemed that the tree had been packed wrongly; there was a new 18 y/o employee who apparently needed better supervision. I was told to see how I wanted to handle it & let them know. That evening I sent an email stating that I would like some of the money refunded to the gift-giver or small [$19.] tree sent to offset the fact that this tree looks pathetic & if it does survive will take months of TLC to maybe look OK & again bloom. I received a c/b today from Joe who advised he had received the email & told me that damage during shipping was expected, that these trees were not like sending flowers. He was not willing to provide any compensation for the sorry state of this tree. He ended the call by saying he hoped that I would do business w/ them in the future…hmmm…major disconnect there. In fact there is a bigger disconnect w/ joebonzai because the website give assurances of  Bonzai tree warranty, joebonzai cites states “Bonsai trees are guaranteed to arrive alive, healthy and exactly as represented here. Of course bonsai trees are living plants and the future health depends on you. No Bonsai tree seller can assure the health and well-being of a plant once it is out of their care. So, issues have to be brought to our attention within the first week or so.”  In the FAQ section re: if bonsai trees can be shipped, the response is “Sure, you can ship a bonsai tree. We're famous for our technique (okay...maybe not famous), but our trees are packed and shipped with great care, using a unique system that was developed by joebonsai. No client (none, zip, zero) of ours has ever received a bonsai tree that has been damaged in shipping.”…& the site guarantee…” Since 1980, we've been famous for our quick, safe shipping, expertly packed, and our knowledgeable & friendly customer service. Everything we sell is unconditionally guaranteed!”...not so, Joe.On August 17th, 2009, klink changed the rating from negative to positive and added the following:
I have spoken again w/ Joe @ Joe Bonsai, & we agreed that there was a misunderstanding.
Joe was good to his policy & everything has been well resolved. I would recommend his services. As he pointed out...& it is true by the other reviewing sites, he has maintained an excellent reputation & this transaction & problem was definitely out of the norm for his business practices since 1980.
CurtF Palm Bay, FL (Zone 9b) (2 reviews) June 18, 2008
I've ordered from this company on three different occasions, each time I had shipment tracking numbers within 24 hours of my order and the orders all arrived in under 5 business days. The merchandise is top quality and well-packed, the last two orders even had a piece of candy amongst the merchandise in a little ziplock with a business card as a thank-you. Nice touch. I'll definitely use them when I need something they supply.
Mongo1 Janesville, WI (2 reviews) December 10, 2007
I just received my first order from JoeBonsai, of two bonsai trees. Both were healthy, well watered, and very well packed, arriving just four days after I placed the order. They included special instructions for each tree, and even threw in a complimentary candy! This is definitely a quality operation, and they'll be my first choice for future bonsai plants and equipment.
WaterCan2 Eastern Long Island, NY (Zone 7a) (21 reviews) April 15, 2007
I've ordered from them a couple of times and have been satisfied. Good prompt service, In fact I e-mailed him on product availability and he answered within 5 min... on a Sunday!! Cool. We will do business again.
These guys are great. I've been using joebonsai for years and they're just the best. They ship really quickly, and they're friendly and have really good prices. I have over 50 bonsai now and I don't go anywhere else.