Arico Bilzen, Belgium (Zone 8a) (1 review) March 28, 2021
Where to even begin...I've been following their Facebook page for some years now and what I've been reading in the reviews the past two years really underpins my own experience.
First there's the delivery time. Their site tells you about 3 weeks. Fair enough, anyone's choice at this pont to decide for themselves if they find it worth the wait or not. The catalogue is very much worth it though.
But then after having paid up front and expecting your order to be delivered in about three weeks, you generally have to wait for MONTHS! And in all that time there is NO update as to why WHATSOEVER.
Sure, sending a news letter every once in a while to complain/boast about how busy the time of year has been (and personal issues which I don't care for...) is no problem. But they always seem to blame others/circumstances for their own incompetence.
The communication skills of this 'company' are abhorrent! Whenever you try calling they don't pick up the phone, and when you send an e-mail inquiring about your order (for reasons above), you can go weeks and multiple e-mails after the first one without an answer. And generally the reply contains some weak excuse as the reason to the delay ("So busy", "Covid-19", "Not enough staff...")
These are problems that have been going on for years and they've had plenty of time to adress them, but they just don't learn; it's never their fault...
Also, if for whatever reason an item you ordered has run out of stock, they replace it without even notifying or asking you! And you end up with something you maybe don't want.
I had an order of spuds replaced by another variety which in the end didn't store at all and they tasted horribly mealy.
The catalogue is mouth watering, but suffice to say this company needs a new captain at the helm.
If you do decide to risk it, be prepared to wait up to a year for (half of) your order to arrive.
Truus Zwartsluis, Netherlands (1 review) July 20, 2015
My experience with Ton Vreeken's company are really outstanding!!
They have a great website and a huge collection of seeds and plants you won't find anywhere else...I freqeuntly order seeds and though deliverytimes can be rather long they let you know upfront.They also let you know the phone is of the hook during high-season,but that;s no problem as far as I'm concerned,the e-mails I sent were always
answered in days,mostly even the next day.Never had any problems untill my last order...
I ordered some products and discovered that a few things were damaged during transport.I sent a mail complaining about it and got an answer the next day.The damaged products would be sent again for free.And indeed I received a new package within days time.
So a great service from a great company!
Peerke Amsterdam, Netherlands (1 review) June 23, 2015
We (a group of gardeners) order at Vreeken.nl for many years now.
We have ordered many different products from a greenhouse, garden-tools till plants and seeds. We are very happy to have found Vreeken.nl. They offer very special plants & seeds that we cant get anywhere else, same goes for many of the garden tools they offer..
Their prices belong to the lowest of the Netherlands.
They are very upfront that sometimes there can be a quality problem with seeds. They ask you if thats the case with your seeds to report it asap. If you report it then they will handle this matter in a very good way. Most of the time we got our money back or we got new seeds. They are always working with their costumers to find a solution that is good for both, if thats not possible they find a solution thats only good for the costumer.
Except for the high season they are very easy to contact by phone and email.
The quality of the garden tools is very high for also very reasonable prices. You will find a collection of garden tools that you can not find anywhere else in the Netherlands.
The shipping costs are sometimes a bit high but thats because the prices to send those goods are also very high. Its very clear to see what the shipping costs will be before you end your order. When you pick your order up at the shop then you have no shipping costs.
In the high season its difficult to make contact with Vreeken.nl. They announce that prominent on their website so thats no surprise. Outside the high season its easy to get in contact with Vreeken.nl, often you are able to speak to the owner of the company. Because of the high season its best to order your seeds,plants and other products very early in the year (January), then you will get your order in time and everything you ordered is still in stock and will be delivered.
Last Kings-day, Vreeken.nl got a visit from our King and Queen (and the royal family) at his stall a the kings-day market 2015. This was shown on the Dutch television. Mister Vreeken.nl can be proud of that!
Vreeken.nl is a very trustworthy company we recommend it to all our friends and family.
alexbel ghent, Belgium (1 review) November 10, 2014
I ordered some tropical seeds and had trouble with germination.
After sending an e-mail the owner went out of his way to find a solution without ever pointing blame at me (what I had happen to me with other companies) and replaced them.
I always had swift responses to my mails and was answered correctly with concise and to the point information.
Ps: very nice collection.
So thumbs up and keep up the good work.
AlextD London, United Kingdom (3 reviews) April 25, 2013
Really disappointed to have to write this but I genuinely don't want anyone else to experience what I did.
Afraid it's almost a carbon copy of another review on here. Vreeken has a good website, great variety of plants and seeds, friendly sales team photo, part of the slow food movement etc. It looks the ticket.
As it all seemed brilliant value I put in a large order (>€100) of plants and tubers despite a few slightly indifferent reviews translated from Dutch websites. Wish I'd looked on here first.
Sure enough, email requesting partial payment in advance for my order comes through. Now that's partial, not full payment. There was no invoice, just a request for €70. I know paying/receiving orders is often done differently in Europe, I've had items from companies with whom I have no account or any previous relationship sending things out to me on trust and following up with a bill afterwards. Nothing seemed out of place here and I assumed I'd just get the remainder billed later on.
Sadly, in my case this was the full 'order'. Vreeken were charging €40 postage to send a quarter of the items I'd actually asked for, never mind the cost I'd spent on the bank transfer. Obviously only found this out after opening a tiny box several weeks later that could easily be lifted with two fingers. Less said about what was inside the better: most of the items were alive but quite dessicated and not in great condition at all.
Didn't think much of it at the time, putting it down to being stuck in the postal system. I nursed/planted what I could and ditched the write offs, also naively assuming they'd split the high postage cost over two deliveries. A fortnight later I saw uomo's review on here, bit the bullet and contacted them again. After another two weeks and several more chase ups they bluntly said none of it was in stock and nothing else was due to be sent. Luck of the draw, I presume.
This left a really sour taste in my mouth. Not the radio silence, just the fact they're not up front about what's available and were content to ship off a fraction of the order for an extortionate postal rate without even letting me know, allowing me to wait or reorder similar items (let alone cancel). Have no doubt I'd have waited a very long time to hear anything at all if I hadn't kept on chasing it up.
Perhaps it's just me and I'm being unreasonable but it doesn't seem an honest way to do business. You often get what you pay for in this world so be careful and don't always choose based on price and presentation.
A real shame.
saya Heerlen, Netherlands (Zone 8b) (7 reviews) May 25, 2011
Posted on February 25, 2007, updated May 25, 2011
Vreeken's Zaden is one of the finest seeds/plants suppliers in Netherlands. They offer so many and their catalogue is ooh so tempting.. I 've been never disappointed about the quality and delivery of their seeds. On May 25th, 2011, saya added the following:
Update may 25th 2011. I'm still not disappointed. Over the past years I'm very positive about the delivering and the quality of their seeds. I find they have a lot to choose from and that's very tempting if you don't have much money to spent. They offer seeds of plants and vegs that are not so average. I've ordered also garden tools of them.
JoaoCJ Wassenaar, Netherlands (2 reviews) May 10, 2011
Bought over 50 seed sorts, mostly tropicals. Although it is a known fact that several of the tropical seeds have a short lived embrio, I was not prepared for a "more than 75%" no germination. I must refer that my normal rates exceeds the normal germination rate and in shorter time than indicated, for instance, in the ISTA protocols. If you ever see the physical shop, you will understand that they DO NOT have conditions to store seed, and act much as a "normal" dutch commercial operation, i.e. the seed bags are kept in a normal dry environment and most things will be ordered upon client ordering... This leeds to two problems, first, seed quality is constantly poor and second, seed delivery is, at best, erratic.
Compared with seeds I've received from around the world, it rates quite low. On the positive side, they do have a quite complete catalogue... being in Europe and far from the exotic's origin this is very attractive.
I must admit that I have not actually used the mail order service that this company offers. However, I have bought and used seed from them and had positive experiences. I found the quality of the seed to be very good and liked the service and approach of the company.
uomo gent, Belgium (Zone 8b) (5 reviews) January 3, 2011
I've ordered seeds from around the world. At least 30 companies I've ordered seeds from and I'm sorry to say; this has got to be the worst seed supplier /seed company I've ever come across with.
I live in Belgium so I was glad there was a company not far away which also delivers rare or exotic seeds. (Belgium southern neighbouring country of Holland) So I ordered some seeds: I always try out before I make big orders. The website states; that during the high seasons ; customers shoudl expect 6 weeks for their delivery being delivered.
Since I ordered outside this high peak season period; I would expect the seeds to be delivered sooner, but I kept in mind it could take 6-8 weeks; as I'm the patient type of client.
But this changed; after two months I got an email asking me to pay upfront so I wondered what happened during those 2 months with my order? I paid and received a small part of my already small order. I waited and waited and after 6 months after making my order I still didn't receive my seeds.
I checked their website and concluded they were out of the seeds I ordered 6 months ago and saying they are sold out of these seeds for the year 2011! While it's just the beginning of 2011 and I ordered halfway 2010; so I won't be getting my seeds or I should wait at least 1.5 years.
Their website looks attractive and fun to scroll through, but they don't have those seeds in stock themselves and just order them when you make your order and payment first.
It's really the example of how not to run a web store. I'm not the kind of guy who likes to complain; I'm more the zen type, but this company really makes fools out of their customers ; finding it normal we should wait that long . Also their seeds aren't great quality as well; the seeds I received were for at least 25% old or empty seeds (I checked them after some months and cut them open to reveal they were empty,rotten, or too old to begin with)
I wish I could say that this company is great, but it just isn't!
They attract people by claiming to have a great selection and many seeds availabe which you won't find somewhere else, while they won't be able to offer half of them.
Also being rude in replies is not what we want as a paying customer; which happened to many more customers I know of who ordered from this same company.
Avoid this company by all means. (That's just my opnion based on my experience)