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Comments regarding Gardens Alive!

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  Feedback History and Summary  
156 positives
39 neutrals
116 negatives


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Negative ZippyPinHed
(3 reviews)
On Jul 23, 2011, ZippyPinHed Oak Ridge, NJ wrote:

My negative rating is in regards to the online ordering. About a year ago I voiced my concerns to a representative, I recently checked their site and nothing has changed. Garden's Alive will not let you order online without creating an account with them - there is no way to proceed as a guest through checkout. This means that all your credit card info is stored on their web hoster's server - convenient, but dangerous. My second career led me to a job as tech support for a domain registrar. You can not imagine the barrage of attempts and the unpublished successes that hackers accross the globe have on "safe servers". I don't do online banking and I don't use companies online that will not allow checkout as a "guest". I can't keep them from hacking into my credit card company, but I can minimize exposure. Network Solutions is the original and oldest registrar in the world as well as the registrar for the domain - the Washington Post headline in 2009 was: "Network Solutions Hack Compromises 573,000 Credit, Debit Accounts". The webhoster of was also hacked in 2007 as shown by the infamous rewriting of googles whois info.

- it's time to start protecting the consumer, use "check out as Guest"!

On Jul 23, 2011, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jul 26, 2011 4:31 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. We are checking this out and will let you know what we find out.

On Aug 8, 2011 11:13 AM, Gardens Alive! added:

This posting regarding online security at is both incorrect and baseless. At, any customer can checkout as a guest, sign-in and account creation are optional. Secondly, is a secure site and compliant with SSL requirements evidenced by verification from VeriSign.


Negative Snlinol
(1 review)
On Jul 11, 2011, Snlinol OLD LYME, CT wrote:

I called to place an order. The rep refused to give me the 25% discount that was advertised on the site! I had to place my order online. That was mostly annoying. The worst part, and therefore what ensures I will never order from this company again is that the total on the order "overview" page that you look at before you confirm an order was different than the amount they charged me on the next page! They charged me MORE than the total for the purchase!! I saw this and immediately emailed and made them aware of the issue. They have not responded. There has been no contact with me, correction, or an apology. They have ignored me and therefore lost a customer.

On Jul 11, 2011, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jul 11, 2011 11:54 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

We apologize for the trouble you had with your order. We will definitely take care of this for you. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information.

Negative mjkrogers
(1 review)
On May 20, 2011, mjkrogers Quakertown, PA wrote:

Terrible products, even worse Customer service.
I placed an order for Garlic, Asparagus and some fertilizers.
I paid $18.95 for Garlic and it is rotted and moldy.
I paid $14.95 for 12 Asparagus plants, planted them carefully and only 4 have come up.
I tried emailing the company about this issue on May8th, again on May 12th and again on May 16th. ABSOLUTELY no response from them other that an automated email saying they would reply SOON. SORRY but it is not May 20th - no response in 12 days.
I am afraid to use the fertilizers lest the quality is the same as the plants I received!

On May 20, 2011, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 20, 2011 4:35 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback, We apologize for the problem with your order. A customer service representtive will be contacing you for your account information."

Negative Tree7
(1 review)
On Nov 15, 2010, Tree7 Omak, WA wrote:

I ordered their Stay At Home Ladybugs earlier this year (2010). It was very obvious that they did not send me the quantity they said (900). I called and told them about the problem and they sent some more. The total amount sent though was still less than the amount I was supposed to receive.

I called and told them about the problem and they refunded the total amount for the ladybugs. It was rather disturbing that they didn't bother to count or make sure that they sent what I paid for.

Now, I see at least on their Web Site, that they list the number of ladybugs you will be getting is about 900, which I think is misleading. How many are about 900?

If you order any, be sure and try to count them. The problem is---it's hard to do.

On Nov 15, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Nov 16, 2010 9:21 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

We appreciate your feedback. We use this information to provide better products and service to our customers."

Negative Rovin
(1 review)
On Oct 27, 2010, Rovin wrote:

My order did not arrive and they did nothing to help me track it down as to where it got to and in fact seemed rude when I asked questions. They acted like they didn't even care. They did refund my money but I will never order from them again. From here on I will buy local.

On Oct 27, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Nov 1, 2010 9:34 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. Your comments are very appreciated and are used to provide better service to our customers. A customer service representative will be contacting you to find out what happened with your order.

Negative dtbriten
(1 review)
On Aug 3, 2010, dtbriten Ashfield, MA wrote:

I emailed Gardens Alive twice with this inquiry and, as yet, have received no response. Sent a third one tonight.

On line they offer the following:
Item # 2837 Wow Supreme 40 lb bag 48.95 (2 -4)
Item # 2958 WOW Supreme 40 lb bag Buy 3 bags get one free $195.80

It doesn't compute... 3 bags at 48.95 is $146.85, not $195.80

Seems like false advertising to me, especially since they won't respond to my emails. Too bad since it is a great product!!

On Aug 3, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Aug 10, 2010 9:55 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your feedback. We had an error on our site and we have corrected the pricing. The item 2958 is now $146.80. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention."

Negative gardenergirls
(1 review)
On May 17, 2010, gardenergirls Hudson, NH wrote:

I ordered my usual items, as well as several additional items that would be covered by the $25 coupon in their brochure. The items I wanted are apparently no longer available, so they just sent and billed me for the remaining items, which I only ordered because they were 'free' by using the coupon. They didn't even have a record of my complete order, only an altered order, listing only the items they had. They shipped them with no explanation or notation that the other items were no longer available. After several emails, letters and calls, this problem still has not been resolved. I have sent subsequent emails, but they no longer respond. I strongly recommend to SHOP ELSEWHERE. I know I will.

On May 17, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 18, 2010 10:35 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for taking the time to post. We apologize for the confusion. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information."

Negative GinnyMom
(1 review)
On May 8, 2010, GinnyMom Newport, VA wrote:

Several times I have asked that the hardiness zone be corrected on my mailing label for this and the sister companies. I am clearly in zone 6 - quite close to 6A. These catalogs have me in 7B. I have to remember each time I order to change the shipping dates. The order takers seem to get quite frustrated with me and are often rude about this issue. One order taker said that the USDA sets these zones - and I agree with this. He should have looked to see that all of the state of VA is not in zone 7. From sister companies, I have lost sweet potato and other plants because they were shipped when I still had snow on the ground. Beneficials from Gardens Alive did no good since it was too cold to release them before I learned they had me pegged for shipping in a much warmer zone. Each time I have ordered on line or on the phone, I have requested that they correct this issue. They never do - and so I simply refuse to order from any GARDENING company who cannot read the USDA hardiness maps. Any serious gardener knows his/her hardiness zone. These GARDENING catalog people don't seem to care that they are wrong.

On May 8, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 11, 2010 11:12 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for taking the time to post. We base your grow zone on the USDA Hardiness Zone Map. We understand there are micro zones which causes the temperature to be slightly different within the same grow zone. Unfortunately, we are unable to determine these zones based on zip codes, which are used by the USDA. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information. We apologize for the inconvenience."

Negative laskie
(1 review)
On May 7, 2010, laskie Omaha, NE wrote:

I'm definitely an unhappy customer! I ordered a bottle of IRON X! last week. The catalog stated that a bottle of concentrate makes 3.125 gallons and should be applied at a rate of 1 gallon per 2,500 square feet, meaning a bottle of concentrate would treat 7,812 square feet of lawn. (This makes it reasonably economical product!)

When I received the product the instructions on the bottle state that the bottle of concentrate makes 3.125 gallons and should be applied at a rate of 5-10 gallons per 1000 square feet. That translates to a bottle of concentrate treating only 300-600 square feet. That is a HUGE DIFFERENCE from what is stated in the catalog.

At that rate it would take about 17 bottles of concentrate to treat 7,800 square feet of lawn! That would come to $510.00 instead of $35.00.

Below, I have copied, exactly, the ad from the catalog followed by the instructions from the bottle.


Copied from the March Catalog I received in the mail.

IRON X! Selective Weed Killer for Lawns sup-
presses weeds quickly and effectively without
killing your lawn. Dying weeds will turn
black or brown within hours of application.
People and pets can enter the treated area as
soon as the spray dries. It even works in cold
weather and is safe to use on new lawns, one
week after grass emerges. Lawn areas may be
re-sown within one day of treatment.
Mix 5 ounces of concentrate with 1 gallon of
water. Apply the mixed solution with a hose-
end sprayer at a rate of 1 gallon per 2,500
square feet of lawn or spot treat with a hand
sprayer. 16-ounce concentrate makes 3.125
gallons. There is no unpleasant odor and the
solution is rainfast in 3 hours. Repeat treat-
ment in 3 to 4 weeks for best results..
#3721 16 oz $34.95, 2-4 @ $32.95 each,
5+ @ $29.95 each

Copied from the instructions on the bottle.

Application Directions
Shake well before using. Mix one part
Iron X! Selective Weed Killer for Lawns
with 24 parts water (5 oz. in 1 gallon of
water). Apply the mixed solution at a rate of
5-10 gallons/1000 sq. ft. (5.75-11.5 fluid
oz./sq yd.) Any standard hand-held or
backpack sprayer can be used. Thoroughly
spray weeds. Use a coarse nozzle setting to
reduce drift. Uniform coverage is important
Repeat treatment in 3-4 weeks for best
I have emailed Gardens Alive about this issue twice but have never received any reply.

On May 7, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On May 11, 2010 2:39 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for taking the time to post. We apologize for the mis-print in out catalog and this will corrected. A customer service representative will be contacting you for your account information."

Negative blakekentch
(1 review)
On Mar 28, 2010, blakekentch Kennewick, WA wrote:

It began in January when I ordered my seeds at a pretty good price. Turns out price is not so good when stuck on the phone with someone from India. Any how, I payed with my credit card and most of my seeds showed within 2 weeks the rest is Garlic which is shipped later. About a month later I had more money come out of my account through Gurneys with no explanation. I called India for an explanation & it turned out that they didnt charge me for the garlic at that time. Another thing that really ticks me off is that gurneys has me listed as zone 5. USDA, Burpees and everyone else has me listed as zone 7. All my other garlic is up except for what I ordered from gurneys because they refuse to ship before the date they have listed. I am canceling my garlic and re-ordering from burpee which I should have done in the first place. Absolutely will not order from Gurneys ever again. Because of this experience my friends will no longer order from them either. 2 have canceled orders and have been refunded. Sorry Gurney but I hope you lose alot more than just the six of us. Extremely poor customer service.

On Mar 28, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Mar 31, 2010 1:34 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

We appreciate you taking the time to post this. We are always here to assist in any way we can. A customer service representative will be contacting you. Our zones are set according to the USDA and we can always change the ship date on orders if a customer request it."

Negative kcroswhite
(1 review)
On Mar 12, 2010, kcroswhite Kenmore, WA wrote:

I have done business with this company for years - no problems - love their products. Last week, I placed a large order (14 items) with them, including a membership fee to receive a 10% discount on all future orders - clearly intending to continue purchasing from them. Several days later, I had not recieved a confirmation, so I emailed to inquire and included a screenshot that I had saved of my order with the order number on it. Yep, you guessed it. They had lost my order, and wanted me to call or mail them a copy of my order! I sent a second email asking that they initiate the order from the screenshot and just got a canned response telling me to call or mail my order. Unbelievable - any company that wants to keep their customers would have been all over getting my order in their system. I'm taking my business elsewhere. Now, how much you want to bet they reply to this with another canned response about "striving to provide 100% customer service"?

On Mar 12, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Mar 15, 2010 11:41 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

We appreciate you taking the time to post this. We are always here to assist in any way we can. A customer service representative will be contacting you to help locate your order and have it shipped to you right away."

Negative ellejacob76
(2 reviews)
On Mar 11, 2010, ellejacob76 Phoenixville, PA wrote:

I have attempted to order twice from this company's website. The first time was using the account number from the catalog sent to my PO Box. I wanted the shipment to come to the house, so I changed the address to my home. After not receiving any confirmation email, I was told that it was my fault because I changed the address and now the order couldn't 'find' my name (? um, ok). And then I was told to call back in a few days, which I did, and after speaking to the nice lady in India, I was told to put another order in. OK, so I did, and I started without a catalog number, used my home address, and again, I have not received a confirmation email, I can't get anyone to answer my emails, and no one can tell me where these orders are going to. And they aren't small orders.

I ordered from here because of Mike McGrath and NPR - what a disappointment.

On Mar 11, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Mar 12, 2010 8:25 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

We appreciate you taking the time to post this. We strive for 100% Customer Satisfaction. We are always here to answer any questions you may have or assist in any way we can. A customer service representative will be contacting you to help with your order."

Negative southAL
(1 review)
On Feb 17, 2010, southAL Bay Minette, AL wrote:

After receiving a $25 coupon in the mail, I placed an order with Gardens Alive! over the phone since the web site did not respond to the coupon sucessfully. I reached a pleasant customer service agent that had a strong, clipped accent. When I asked where he was located, he responded, "in India." I told him I thought so (from his accent). I went ahead with my order, hating to waste a $25 coupon, and only had to pay for shipping. The order arrived quickly and was well-packaged. Since I have not yet tried the products, I can't elaborate on their performance. However, I am posting this to let everyone know that Gardens Alive! has outsourced customer service to India, and because of that, I will NEVER purchase from this company again. The outsourcing of American jobs is a huge problem in this country; we have many Americans here that need the work. Buyers, support American companies that keep the jobs here!!! Also, a note to Gardens Alive!: at the end of my order, your customer service rep was giving me the spiel to try and sell me something else before closing the order. Due to his heavy, clipped accent, I could not even understand what he was trying to sell me. I later finally figured out that he was trying to say vegetable, but pronouncing it in a very hurried, strongly clipped way as "ve-ge-TAY-bul." Hard to sell someone something when they don't understand your sellsperson. Sometimes it really pays in the long run to keeps the jobs at home.

On Feb 17, 2010, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Feb 26, 2010 10:52 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Gardens Alives strives to provide 100% customer service. We want to be available 24 hours a day for our customers therefore we do have call centers outside of the US."

Negative xdeal
(1 review)
On Sep 17, 2009, xdeal Mont Vernon, NH wrote:

Buying from this company was one of the worst on-line purchasing experiences I've had, not just once but twice. Their Web site has technical problems, which can be frustrating. Their order system "looses" order information. Telephone support was inconsistent, some were rude others polite. I received no email replies, despite their claim "we'll respond in 24 hours". On both occasion, the products ordered did not ship "the next day", contrary to their published statement. I had to contact them about problems they caused. Their products may be good, but their sales and service are poor.

On Sep 17, 2009, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Sep 17, 2009 8:03 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

I apologize for the inconvenience. One of our Customer Service Representatives will be contacting you to rectify the problem with your order."

Negative leibe42
(3 reviews)
On Sep 13, 2009, leibe42 Kennett, MO wrote:

Early in July I ordered a couple of items from GA. One was sent promptly and they said the other would be sent when it was time to plant. Well, it is time to plant but no shrubs!!! I e-mailed them and was told they didn't have anymore. The e-mail was rather "flip", sort of tough luck, teehee attitude. I am unable to find this same item now from any of the RELIABLE companies so will have to do with out until next year.
Lousy customer service from a company that was once very good. Too bad.

On Sep 13, 2009, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Sep 17, 2009 8:01 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your inquiry. I apologize for all the trouble. We will be contacting you directly with a resolution. "

Negative RoboGoat
(2 reviews)
On Jul 7, 2009, RoboGoat Mannford, OK wrote:

1.) I placed an order for 3 species of beneficial insects from on 6/17/2009.

2.) I paid an additional fee for expedited shipping, so as to stem the tide of insects that were destroying my south plot.

3.) After watching the order status intently for several days, I noticed the date to ship kept moving out again and again.

4.) The estimated delivery date moved out a total of approximately 5 times.

5.) The delivery date will now be just shy of 1 month after I placed the order, DESPITE the fact that I paid an expedited shipping fee.

6.) There was NO information on the website about insects being backordered.

7.) After discovering that it was going to take A MONTH to receive the insects I ordered, I tried to cancel my order. I was told that it would be impossible, as the order had already shipped and my credit card had already been charged. This is suspicious, because my bank’s website posts pending debits against my account as soon as they are received, as far as I have ever seen in the past.

8.) It was another week before the shipment finally arrived.

9.) I again attempted to cancel the remainder of my order and was once again told it would be impossible, that the order had been shipped, and the subsequent emails I sent on the same subject were ignored.

10.) The reason I ordered these insects was to fight the harmful insects that were destroying my crops. This late after ordering them, my crops are all but destroyed.

11.) Despite the expedited shipping charge, I have not received but 1/3 of the insects I ordered. Nothing told me that these insects were on backorder, or I wouldn’t have ordered them.

12.) I have ordered from in the past, and the shipping was quick and responsive. In addition, when they were sold out of lady bug beetles, they prominently displayed that they were and wouldn’t have any more until mid June.

13.) The company finally offered to cancel my order after I had to get EXTREMELY rude with the customer service representative over the telephone. I will say, however, that the customer representative I spoke to was polite and helpful once he understood how upset I was with the service I had received theretofore.

14.) Mike McGrath and are running a shoddy operation in my opinion, and I would highly suggest ANYONE looking for the type of products they sell look to other sources before ordering anything from them.

On Jul 7, 2009, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jul 8, 2009 8:52 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your inquiry. Please accept our sincere apology for any inconvenience we may have caused. Our Customer Service Team is checking into the issue you had with your order and will do our best to rectify the problem in a timely manner. We will be contacting you directly with a resolution. "

Negative mrhoppy
(1 review)
On Jul 6, 2009, mrhoppy Manasquan, NJ wrote:

This company buys email spam lists, sends unsolicited email spam, and tries to scam customers with fake "your order is being processed" emails when nothing has been ordered.

Avoid them at all costs.

On Jul 6, 2009, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jul 8, 2009 8:13 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your inquiry. Please accept our sincere apology for any inconvenience we may have caused. Our Customer Service Team is checking into the issue you had with your order and will do our best to rectify the problem in a timely manner. We will be contacting you directly with a resolution. "

Negative DoubleBubba
(1 review)
On Jul 3, 2009, DoubleBubba Schenectady, NY wrote:

I have bought many things from Gardens Alive and love their products. But their customer (no) service is so horrible I don't know what to do.

Their customer (no) service is in India, you can't talk to real people that know what is going on, and you can't ever resolve anything. There is a problem - they don't tell you. You have to wait and wonder - why did that order never show up - trace the order back to find out that there is a problem and then you are stuck in customer (no) service hell - and can't ever resolve the problem!

The bottom line is - I want to find other retailers to buy the same stuff from because Gardens Alive customer (no) service is so bad.

Can anyone suggest other online retailers that sell the same things?


On Jul 3, 2009, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Jul 8, 2009 8:11 AM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

Thank you for your inquiry. Please accept our sincere apology for any inconvenience we may have caused. Our Customer Service Team is checking into the issue you had with your order and will do our best to rectify the problem in a timely manner. We will be contacting you directly with a resolution. "

Negative plantaholic2
(15 reviews)
On Apr 11, 2009, plantaholic2 N Middlesex County, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:

They would not honor my coupon for $25 free with no minimum order. Earlier I cut out the coupon and threw the book away. Can you say TOO-MANY-CATALOGS coming to your house???

Most coupons have all the information one needs on the coupon. Theirs does not and not even a warning on it to refer back to keycode. Even with my account number (from an old catalog), they would not provide me my keycode.

The are happy to offer me a different (less valuable) coupon but not the coupon that is sitting in front of me on my desk. Do they think I am making it up???

Not suprised to come here and see so many negative ratings!!!

You get what you pay for!!

On Apr 11, 2009, Gardens Alive! responded with:

"On Apr 28, 2009 4:13 PM, Gardens Alive! responded with:

I offered the customer the $25.00 coupon on 4/14 and also explained how to use it on our site. No reply."

Negative dheck1961
(2 reviews)
On Apr 8, 2009, dheck1961 Stafford Springs, CT wrote:

This was our second (and last) year ordering from Garden's Alive. I was very specific regarding the order of 3 "sets" of lady beetles when I called them, then placed the order on-line. We needed them inside our greenhouse to help control a small aphid outbreak. I was assured that if I put in the comments the request for an earlier ship date than is usual for our zone they would ship out.

After they didn't ship as requested I e-mailed them. A week later I received a response that they were shipping, however the order showed another week before they shipped. I called and was told that the date on the order status was when they "processed" the order (which to me was two weeks before) and they would ship in another week.

When they didn't ship I called, then e-mailed a couple days later specifically asking if the lady bugs were back-ordered and was finally told that they were. When I called to cancel them (my other item arrived fine) the rep on the phone just about argued with me that they couldn't ship because of our zone, then finally admitted they were back-ordered anyways and refunded my money.

While I got my money back I think it's pretty poor service not to tell the customer up front when an item is back ordered. I had to ordered my lady bugs from another vender (Hirt's) yesterday with 2 day shipping to get them here. Their website shows you right away if something is in stock or not and they have already processed and shipped the order.

Negative rjmutari
(1 review)
On Mar 20, 2009, rjmutari Bloomington, IL wrote:

I phone ordered 3 of the topsy turvy tomatoe planters on a friday night (3/13/09). Minutes later they were advertised on TV 2 for the same price. The catalog said any orders taken after 5pm on friday would be shipped the next working day. I called Customer service on Saturday morning only to be told that my order had already shipped. When I received my order I followed up on the UPS tracking number and found that it didn't get picked up By UPS until Monday afternoon.
Customer service told me after complaining again that once my order is taken, it can't be stopped. I think they just make up an excuse and try to push the order or are too lazy to make an effort and change it. With computers today, a few short key strokes should take care of it.

Negative ctdaylily
(10 reviews)
On Mar 18, 2009, ctdaylily Wallingford, CT wrote:

I ordered from their catalog in March 2009 that had a buy $25 get $25 free coupon. I ordered their "Flow" natural drain cleaner, some seeds, and some tomato plants. I explained that though I live in zone 6 I have a greenhouse and could accept delivery of the plants now.I was told after giving my info twice to their rep, that it all would arrive in a few days. It did except for the plants,which had a ship date of mid-April. When I called back their rep said they would enter an earlier ship date into their system but had no way of determining when the plants would actually be ready, since they were coming from a different location. Let me repeat that--they had no way of determining when the plants would actually be ready. I could check their web site on my order status in a few days to find out if the shipping date had been changed.I did so and it still said April.So I called again and after the rep checked with a manager I was told that the plants would not be ready until April.I canceled the plants and ordered something else.

I remain amazed that the person taking my order did not know when an item could be shipped.We'll see how their "Flow" works on my drain.

Negative KerriK5
(1 review)
On Mar 17, 2009, KerriK5 Fullerton, CA wrote:

I have had two occassions in the past week to deal with the customer service of Garden's Alive. Regretfully, I recently lost my father. I found an invoice that was serveral months old amongst his paperwork. It showed that he had paid for a subscription to a newsletter or something there. I called to have the subscription stopped and to request a refund. At first I was told that he hadn't paid for a subscription, I said that it was clearly stated on the invoice that he had, after research on their part they realized that it had been paid...he then said he would put a credit on the account. I then had to again explain to him that my father had passed away, therefore it would be highly unlikely that he would be able to use a credit on his account. After speaking with a supervisor, I was told that they would in fact be able to issue a refund. From the same invoice, I found products that my father had purchased and due to his illness had never even opened them. I was told that it had been too long since the order had been placed to return these items and that there was nothing they could do. I understand that it has been several months since the order, but my father was not in good health at the time he placed the order and just put the product in the closet. It is truly not the money, it is the fact that this company is unwilling to work with people in extenuating circumstances. If I sold a product that I believed to be an excellent product, I would certainly in a case such as this accept a return of unopened product. It does not have any expiration codes....for me, I have lost my father and now I have the unfortunate task of dealing with his affairs. I have been in contact with many companies that have gone above and beyond to make these things easier on my family, regretfully, I can not add this company to that list.

Negative hhhhhhhhhh99
(1 review)
On Feb 5, 2009, hhhhhhhhhh99 Lawrenceburg, IN wrote:

i hate eveything about this whole place

Negative ikenobo
(4 reviews)
On Nov 9, 2008, ikenobo Oriskany, NY wrote:

Here is a response to roflcopters (a former employee of Gardens Alive) message below. I happen to be one of their customers who had their account frozen not so much for business with Gardens Alive but for their sister companies BBrecks, Springhill etc. These companies say they offer a lifetime guarantee so I put them to the test and I told them so. They advertise that if I am not satisfied for any reason with their plants for as long as I garden I can get a refund. I take this to mean that I can order plants also for as long as I garden--especially since I am a lifetime member of one of their affiliated organizations. Shortly after I sent a list of all the plants I wanted a refund for I could not order again nor could I reach their websites on my computers nor even contact them by e-mail. These companies have this great advertising but they do not live up to it. As for Gardens alive I found their products to be a bad joke-- I tried one of the pest repellents and it was like nothing at all. I tried the mosquito repellents in the USA and Japan in a variety of situations and it was better NOT having anything to repell the pests--I would have saved money.
Companies should find ways to be sure their products arrive safely. If they cannot they should not be in the business of shipping products. Simple fact. Of course it is profitable for greedy companies to take their chances and replace some of the products that get damaged but it is such a bad business practice to not package them securely, then blame customers for complaining makes customers even more angry. Again, what about the 'for any reason' guarantee that these companies are advertising? Although if you think these companies are bad you should try ordering from ones in Bloomington, Ill. You are lucky if the plants arrive alive.
As for Gardens Alive's guarantee the customer should get the product replaced if satisfaction is the guarantee. You may be an ex-employee but a customer sees these advertisements and believes them If Gardens Alive does not want to fulfill this promise they should not advertise it. You admit the company needs improvements. The replacements should be hassle free--after all the company made the policy to replace things. I never bought plants from GA but for the products I did try I would want the company to respect its own policy and there should be no reason that I should be stopped from trying other plants (which is my case with the other affiliated companies) except bad business practices. Telling customers to go to another company is ridiculous--I can understand why you are mo longer there. If Gardens Alive and the others were doing what they were supposed (promised) to do, everything would be fine. I guess you give customers reason to complain.
If people who answer the phone cannot help customers they should be in the fields and someone who can help customers should be answering the phones. Even I know this and I am a simple person. Again how ridiculous to say no one in the company can do anything about the shipping on one of the company's products. Why does the company even exist then if cannot help customers?Oh I know--profit!!
I wonder if the company coupons clearly state only one can be used at a time. I have seen this on some coupons and offers but not always. Another company trick!!! If it is not clearly and openly stated a customer is lead (purposely?) to believe: Wow! A double deal!' The customers excitement seems only natural and companies should know this although many still play tricks anyway so do NOT tell the customers to stop complaining. Stop giving them reasons to complain--oh you can't you do not work there anymore. How brave to write when you are out of the picture!
Good advise to keep the keycodes.
Whether the company messes up royally or not so royally, guarantees that the company brags about should be followed through without former employees ranting him/herself about customers' behaviors. Decency as you speak of goes both ways.
Gardens Alive not only sends plants that do badly but repellents as I mentioned earlier. After a few I did not try anymore. What was the use after the first 3 or so were useless and so zones etc have nothing to do with this and yes mosquitoes may vary but the products did absolutely nothing in a variety of situations. Should I really be stopped WITHOUT any warning that my account is being closed?
I know many companies replace plants for free and almost all of them have some kind of guarantee. Many go to great lengths to pack them so they arrive in VERY good shape--even if the driver sits on them.
Instead of telling customers to go somewhere else you should have stayed at Gardens Alive to tell them how to satisfy customers. I am one customer who has really had it with this group of companies and it seems I heard rumors of bankruptcy--it is no surprise really

Negative lawnking
(1 review)
On Sep 11, 2008, lawnking Great Falls, VA wrote:

I've been a Garden's Alive customer for over 10 years and have had generally good experiences. I order 160 to 200 lbs. of WOW! Supreme twice a year to cover my acre yard. Inevitably ever fall after I order they drop the price and I email them and they refund the difference. Well this week they dropped the price $4 per 40 lb. bag and I emailed them to request a refund. The customer service rep emailed me back and said "Thank you for your email. I apologize for the inconvenience. We run different promotional offers at different times. I can offer you a $25 discount, if you place an order for $50 or more. Please leave a note in the “special instructions” box concerning the discount/coupon, and we'll be happy to deduct it from the order." They didn't acknowledge my request and sent a form response in return. Not very customer friendly and I feel like they didn't read my correspondence very closely. I emailed back to customer service and indicated I was rejecting their offer and would pursue it with the Indiana Attorney General office.

Negative kqcrna
(8 reviews)
On Jul 8, 2008, kqcrna Cincinnati, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Talk about an eye opener!

I had a special offer from Gardens Alive and went clicking through their website. Most products do not list the ingredients, which I found odd for a company who claims to be earth friendly.

One interesting product I found was Plantskyd at $36.95/lb. Claims say it will repel deer for 6 months. I emailed them to ask what it is, what the active ingredients are. Today (2 or 3 weeks later) I got a reply stating that the active ingredient is blood meal!!! Can you imagine $36.95 a pound for blood meal???

Buyer beware of Gardens Alive


Negative aoneill
(8 reviews)
On Jun 30, 2008, aoneill Parkton, MD wrote:

Don't bother trying to order on line. I have not been able to submit my order to them the last 4 tries.
When I called in this last order my return email stated that my order would take 13 to 27 days to be delivered. I emailed back that I needed the nematodes for my irises now.
I have to agree with the others who say that this company's
practices have slipped dramatically. No more orders from me.

Negative grabb
(2 reviews)
On May 24, 2008, grabb Mobile, AL wrote:

I received an e-mail concerning shipment of an order last week. However, the person they were trying to contact was not me nor was the e-mail in my name. I have her name and info; mine is floating around somewhere in cyperspace.

I ordered ladybugs weeks ago and still have not received them. This company is not reliable - no more orders for me!

Negative Allison123
(1 review)
On May 3, 2008, Allison123 Rolla, MO wrote:

Yes, I finally yielded to the coupon. Finally got the website to work. Saw the "final" page where it shows that my coupon had been applied. Hit the submit-the-order button. BLINKED IN HORROR as the "receipt" page added the 25 dollars back to my order! (with no explanation and no chance to change my mind)

Of course, no one is answering their phones. Frankly, from the other reviews, I suspect it might not matter if they answered the phones or not :(

THIS is what I get for not checking here first, won't be making that mistake again ...

On May 4th, 2008, Allison123 added the following:

I think they may have shared my customer information so now I have to CANCEL MY CREDIT CARD! When I checked my email last night, I got the confirmation of my order from them. I checked it to see if they had the correct price, and discovered that they had BILLED MY ORDER TO A TOTAL STRANGER in another state AND had shared her information with me. Which made me think "Aieeee! Who have they been sharing MY information with?" This is a nightmare. A freakish crazy nightmare.
Negative mcollum83
(6 reviews)
On May 1, 2008, mcollum83 Hay Springs, NE wrote:

I rec'd their catalog, with that infamous $25 free, no strings attached that everybody else got. I too decided, I will spend just over that...why not with so much free? On-line the site would not take my coupon code at all. After an hour of messing with it (and I did try and call but couldn't get through), I abandoned the effort. Twenty four hours later I got an email asking why I didn't finish paying for my order. I emailed back and said that their site wouldn't take my coupon code. I was emailed "my coupon code" (which I aleady knew) and I tried again, to no avail. So I gave up, not worth my time. And via another email, I was told, just give us your credit card number, the order will place, and we'll take care of it then. LOL...HAH! I NEVER give out my credit card number if the order isn't exactly right, or if all information and prices are already figured out. Nobody else expects me to give a credit card number without getting proper amounts owed figured out! At that point in time, I threw the catalog out, and figured I was better off not dealing with this idiocracy. And then I went here to tell people this, and look what I found, other people getting hosed by that same coupon! I don't get it, I have had other companies give me that same coupon with no problem! I would do your business elsewhere if I were you!

Negative chickadeeisme
(1 review)
On Mar 28, 2008, chickadeeisme Mechanicsville, VA wrote:

After finding what I thought to be the perfect ‘unique’ gift for a gardener in the family, I ordered 50 earth worm cocoons from Gardens Alive and was told that they were buy one get one free…oh boy! The estimated ship date came and went, so I checked on the status of the order online. I discovered that the person that took my order over the phone had entered the wrong address…leaving the first two letters of my street name off. I called customer service (not an 800 number) and reported the address error which supposedly was fixed. I also reported that the order only showed 1 package of cocoons and that I had been told that I would be getting one free. The seemingly apologetic representative explained that the person taking my order probably thought that because items purchased showed up as ‘2’; one package of cocoons and one instruction letter and I was out of luck. I was then offered a condolence prize…the chance to fork over more money to them by purchasing items at a ‘special’ discounted rate. I quickly and empathically declined. Two weeks passed and I received my baby earth worms by miracle…my address was still incorrect and had NOT been changed. The package’s ship date was a week prior to its arrival and was supposedly a ‘RUSH’ ship due to refrigeration requirements. I called customer service AGAIN and told the person on the phone the whole story. I received NO apology, ABSOLUTLY NO indication of concern over losing a customer, and frankly speaking NO indication of concern at all. I am convinced at this point that Gardens Alive has no interest in customer satisfaction and product reliability. There is no guarantee that you will get what you order and certainly will not find a company representative willing to stand behind it if you don’t. Any company that is not willing to protect its reputation through good customer service does not earn my respect! I'm taking my business elsewhere!!

On Mar 28, 2008, Gardens Alive! responded with:


On May 17, 2008 2:54 PM, Gardens Alive! added:

Customer was contacted for possible resolution; did not receive any response."

Negative amazon1024
(1 review)
On Mar 13, 2008, amazon1024 Rio Vista, CA wrote:

Much like several of the other folks, I too received a catalogue in the mail with a free $25 coupon. While challenging, I was finally able to place my order over the internet and use my coupon code. My order was slightly over the freebie amount so I provided my credit card for the balance. Received my order, all was well in the world, as I won't get into the part where they product was very disappointing at the moment. Imagine my surprise when months later I started getting notes in the mail telling me my account was past due, late fee's had been charged, and I needed to pay up. So, being a good consumer, I called - on my dime - the customer service number. A nice associate told me that there was no balance due showing on my account and it must have been an error. It would be corrected immediately and so sorry for the inconvenience. And when I got the next notice a month later, I called again. And when the next one came in, same thing. I was assured this time I would be receiving no more late notices. Well, partially correct. Instead, months later, I started getting collection calls day and night!! My $32 order - $25 of which was "free" - was now going to cost me $70 with late fees and charges since I was apparently a "dead beat". Arguing with the collection agency was pointless; especially since not a one of them who called could speak English worth a lick. AGAIN I called Garden's Alive. Again I was told there was no balance on my account, it showed paid in full at the time of order, they could not explain to me why I was being hounded in their name by collections and they would send me a letter immediately to rectify the situation. I got the letter, three weeks later, that simply said they were sorry for any inconvience and please be advised the new spring products would be available shortly. No mention of my account being in good standing, no confirming they had called off the dogs. Because they hadn't. The collections people are still calling. I have called Gardens Alive more times than I can count - always to be assured there was no monies due, my account was fine, and they'd take care of it. You cannot get anyone's last name for accountability, and when you call back, no one has heard of the person you talked to the last time. Asking for a manager or the owner has gotten me the same song and dance and no resolution. I no longer have an account with the credit card company I had used, so I have no recourse that way. I'm probably going to just pay the $70 to the vultures so they will quit ringing my phone at 10pm at night. OH, and I just received their Spring catalgue - and another of their $25 coupons - in the mail. Three guesses how long it took me to toss it in the trash!!!!

On Mar 13, 2008, Gardens Alive! responded with:


On Apr 22, 2008 11:10 AM, Gardens Alive! added:

When shipping the order, we could not get the customer's credit card authorized (this could have been because of an incorrect security code, or any other number of reasons) for the $26.40 balance due, after the $25 coupon was deducted, so we sent the order anyway, along with an invoice included in the package. Six more notices are sent out, and if we get no response, we, unfortunately, have to turn the account over to the collection agency. "

Negative vtbeachldy
(3 reviews)
On Jan 28, 2008, vtbeachldy Blanchard, OK wrote:

Although I have ordered in the past with their coupon deals, I'm now done with this company. I'd forgotten about the clunky telephone order from last year, but this year I tried to use their website to order and it was a horror show.

I received an email deal on a product, clicked the link in the email, and was directed to the website page. I read the complete product info and then clicked "add to my shopping basket". I was redirected to a page asking for the special code to get the reduced price, entered the code, and then was redirected to the shopping basket. The shopping basket was empty.

After trying this three times, I gave up and sent an email to the company explaining that I couldn't use their online ordering and perhaps something was wrong with it? The answer I got back was that I didn't have my browser cookies enabled with a long and really worthless explanation of how to enable cookies on Explorer. For the record, my cookies are enabled for daily sessions only. Apparently their system requires 24/7 cookies? Not even my online banking requires that much access. Also for the record, I use Firefox and wouldn't allow Explorer on my computer for any reason.

So I wrote back and explained that I do not allow full cookie access and that perhaps they should contact their sys admin and change the cookie requirement to something a little more real world. Their response was priceless....

....I've been removed from their email offers. Whew!


Another note: until I read thru these other comments, I'd forgotten that I couldn't order online last year either and ended up using the telephone ordering. Unless you have 45 minutes to speak each letter and number and wait for the auto system to take your order, it's actually faster to fill out the paper form and mail it in.

Not surprising to note the other affiliated companies.. they're all poorly managed.

On July 1st, 2008, vtbeachldy added the following:

I just wanted to let y'all know how this company got back to me...

I received an email from an unidentified person telling me they wanted to fix my order - no company identification on the email. I had a funny feeling it was in response to my negative comment here, but there was no way to be sure. There were two typos in the email, making me wonder if it was some kind of scam. I wrote back asking "who are you. what company is this, and what is this in reference to?" and received no response.

I stand by my early negative.

p.s. Their website never works, as far as I know-- and the coupons don't enter either. This could possibly be a case of U.S. mail fraud?

On August 19th, 2008, vtbeachldy added the following:

The supposed April response is a total fabrication as far as I can see. They did not respond in April nor at any other time. Note that the e-mail copy that they have posted does NOT contain any info on who they are or who 'Debbie' represents. I still stand by my negative rating.

I'm somewhat surprised that they keep trying to prove that I'm the one in error here. Another indicator of their idea of customer service...
On Jan 28, 2008, Gardens Alive! responded with:


On May 23, 2008 8:15 AM, Gardens Alive! added:

Customer was contacted for possible resolution - no response.

On Aug 1, 2008 4:02 PM, Gardens Alive! added:

Below is the correspondence I had with this Customer:

Tue, April 15, 2008
9:16 AM
Dear Valued Customer:
I would like to apologize for the inconvenience you encountered while trying to order through our company. Would you please submit your name and address so that I may look into this matter, and into your order? I look forward to hearing from you.
Customer Service

Blanchard, OK
Thu, April 17, 2008
6:42 AM
From your email, I have no idea what company you work for.

Thu, April 17, 2008
9:03 AM
Dear Valued Customer:
I apologize that I did not include that information; I was referring to a posting on Dave's Garden/Garden Watchdog for Gardens Alive!. I look foward to your reply.
Customer Service

Negative Roses_child
(1 review)
On Dec 14, 2007, Roses_child Savannah, GA wrote:

I used to LOVE Gardens Alive and in the past recommended to lots of fellow gardeners, but something really weird has happened lately, and not only are they not responsive, but they promise things they don't deliver, and then when threatened by my credit card company with a need for action, tell me that they are refunding only a part of what they charged my card for!

I can't imagine what happened to them, but I wanted to WARN as many other gardeners to avoid them in the future. It's a sad thing, as they used to be so good.

On Dec 14, 2007, Gardens Alive! responded with:


On Apr 15, 2008 9:12 AM, Gardens Alive! added:

Customer was emailed on 12/19/07 for possible resolution of problem; there has been no response as of 4/15/08."

Negative dun1kirk
(1 review)
On Nov 11, 2007, dun1kirk Berkeley, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I'm done with them! Whenever I have a particular question, often associated with what product I can use in combination with another product, I receive a non answer. I've even asked questions of their "master gardener". I very much doubt the "master" aspect. I wonder if they can read these posts!

Negative ejanelli
(1 review)
On Nov 8, 2007, ejanelli San Francisco, CA wrote:

Very bad experience. Ordered from Gurney's, got confirmation, order included specific shipping instructions, got email from Gardens Alive with no reference to original order number from Gurneys, took forever to piece it all together, and email informed me that, essentially, my shipping instructions were being ignored. They'll never see another order from me.

Negative valrita
(2 reviews)
On Sep 26, 2007, valrita wrote:

I placed an order by phone for eight bags of compost and a two year subscription for their gardening club. I asked the lady to read my order back to me giving me the price for each item that I ordered and the $20 coupon and discounts. It was correct so I gave her my credit card number.

When I received an e-mail confirmation for my order, it didn't include the $20 coupon and my subscription was only renewed for one year (there is a savings when you renew for two years instead of only one). I immediately e-mailed their customer service and was told that the order was already shipped so they wouldn't honor their coupon. They apologized for my inconvenience. They couldn't verify how long my renewal was for their gardening club. It scares me that my order was changed after I gave them my credit card information.

It took another week to finally get them to tell me that my membership was renewed for only one year at the higher rate. They apologized for the "miscommunication". At NO time did they show any interest in making things right.

They keep e-mailing me advertisements that I haven't used my $20 coupon. I'm not going to fall for that again. Although I like their expensive products, they have shown me that they really don't care about their customers. So I will no longer be one of their customers. There are too many companies that want to please their customers that I don't need to waste my time on those who don't.

On October 10th, 2007, velnita added the following:

I received my credit card bill and noticed that they charged my account for a higher amount than was even on the order confirmation (which was wrong any way)! None of the numbers match. I've e-mailed several times asking why they charged me more than the amount on my order confirmation and they have ignored my question. I give up. If they need the money that badly, they can keep it.
Negative DennisDean
(1 review)
On Sep 23, 2007, DennisDean Albuquerque, NM wrote:

I have never had any ordering problems with Gardens Alive. The only products I have used are Turf Alive III and Turf Alive III with Rhizomes grass seeds.

In 2002, I made the mistake of using Turf Alive III grass seed to seed new lawns at two properties in Albuquerque. The grass initially came in beautifully, rich and thick. By the second season, no amount of chemical control could stem the invasion of weeds. Every spot where weeds had initially gotten a foothold, the grass was wiped out. Third season I attempted overseeding with Turf Alive III with rhizomes, thinking this variety might provide at least some competition for the weeds. Preparation involved heavy watering and thorough lawn aeration. The seed came up unevenly despite diligent light watering. After four seasons, the lawn still looks green, but even weeds can look good from a distance, if kept closely mowed.

I have sold the larger of the two properties. The smaller lawn is a carpet of the various undesirable grasses. Not much of the original Turfs Alive grass remains. We will be rototilling and replanting this month with bluegrass.

Five years ago, the old hands around town told me that bluegrass was the only way to go for a nice lawn. I didn't listen, choosing to believe the Gardens Alive hype. Bluegrass certainly couldn't take any more water than I expended trying to keep the Turfs Alive stuff alive. In the few spots that did survive, the Turfs Alive lawn turns very coarse. I think it might make a good field grass.

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