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Comments regarding Swallowtail Garden Seeds

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  Feedback History and Summary  
212 positives
13 neutrals
21 negatives


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Positive hillfarm
(36 reviews)
On Nov 6, 2011, hillfarm Quesnel, BC (Zone 4a) wrote:

Posted on December 6, 2010, updated November 6, 2011
Posted on November 6, 2004, updated December 6, 2010
Great service & a very nice selection of seeds. I will definitely order from them again -- in fact , I'm about to go to the website right now to make a wishlist for spring 2005.

Hollyhocks are fabulous. Very nice selection of other perennials. I had good to excellent germination from everything I received from Swallowtail in 2004.

On October 24th, 2005, hillfarm added the following:

Looking back on our 2005 gardening year, I want to comment that some of the most popular plants we sold through our nursery this year were grown from Swallowtail's seeds.

The heirloom tomatoes & hollyhocks were outstanding; it is wonderful to be able to get such a nice selection of otherwise hard-to-find separate hollyhock varieties in particular.

I will definitely order again & highly recommend this company.
On December 6th, 2010, hillfarm added the following:

It has been several years since our last Swallowtail order, as we took a 2-year sabbatical from our nursery business. We are getting ready to go again in 2011, and the first place I went to make my seed orders was Swallowtail.
Good selection, reasonable prices. I have just received my large order of freshly packaged-for-2011 seed - only 12 days after I placed it. From the USA to Canada that is very fast - other years the wait has been much longer as seed orders often sit at the border waiting to be passed through.
My only "issue" is that the online shopping cart was extremely time consuming to use. Other times I've faxed my order and I will do that in future. My computer was tied up for several hours making my order (and I had my list written out & ready to go). If there was some way the site could be a little quicker to navigate through that would be perfect! Too much clicking!
My rating definitely stays positive. Looking forward to dealing with Swallowtail again in the future. In my experience a very good seed company.
On November 6th, 2011, hillfarm added the following:

Getting ready to make my 2012 seed orders, and Swallowtail is one of the first of my regular sources I've checked that is "ready" - thank you! Great germination on most varieties ordered last year - I'm a very happy continuing customer.
Neutral dogs_eye
(2 reviews)
On Sep 4, 2011, dogs_eye Graham, NC wrote:

Ordered multiple seed sets from them and had varying luck with germination rates. Some were notoriously difficult plants to germinate, so I'm not overly surprised at my low success. My only issue was that my tomatoes seeds where subbed, Russian black for Cherokee Purple. On the west coast that may not matter, but in the south you gotta get a heat tolerant variety.
The customer service was helpful and friendly so they get a neutral.

Positive iluvsweetpeas
(1 review)
On May 23, 2011, iluvsweetpeas Woodbridge, CA wrote:

What a wonderful company! The website is easy to maneuver and the seed selection is fabulous! Their shipping costs are the lowest I've seen in the industry.

I talked to a very nice girl on the phone when I placed my order. She was very helpful with suggestions for my climate zone. I received my order promptly-just in time to plant! The instructions and descriptions on each packet really helped a "beginner" like myself!

I will definitely be using them for all of my gardening needs. There is nothing better in a company than the combination of low prices, accessibility, and excellent customer service. Thank you, Swallowtail Garden Seeds!

~Lily from Lodi, CA

Positive Apachegirl
(2 reviews)
On May 20, 2011, Apachegirl Falling Waters, WV wrote:

I had a good experience with my order - it was processed in a week, took another week to get to WV from California (typical), and the growing information on the packets was very helpful. I will order from them again. (They gave me a tracking number from the Post Office, but the day the seeds were delivered the USPS still had no record of actually handling the package, so don't go by that.)

Negative SteffieM
(1 review)
On Apr 27, 2011, SteffieM Princeton, NJ wrote:

Posted on March 27, 2011, updated April 27, 2011
I ordered three packets of tomato seeds. 22 days later I received ONE packet, and an enclosed notice stating that the remaining 2 packets were on back order. Prior to receiving seeds, emailed company twice, and called once, asking when the seeds would arrive, and expressing annoyance with long wait. Never received a response. With receipt of single packet, they deducted the cost of shipping due to the back order. This is seedling time, it's almost too late to start the seeds I received, and the back ordered seeds are useless for this year. I will ask for a refund, don't want the back ordered seeds. Don't want to support this company. Seeds and plants are subject to growing seasons. All other seed and gardening catalogs I've ordered from respect gardening timetables.

On April 27th, 2011, SteffieM added the following:

To re-confirm: terrible company. Order date, March 11. Received last two seed packets on April 13. Sent several increasingly irate emails (also two more phone calls to their answering machine) asking to cancel the remaining order, refund money and NOT send the two seed packets. Also informed them that if the order wasn't canceled I'd add to this negative review. Do I need to note that I received no response? Next will write to the Better Business Bureau.
Dave's Garden provides a wonderful review service. There are so many excellent gardening companies with living customer service employees and respect for their clients.
On Apr 27, 2011, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

"On Apr 27, 2011 2:53 PM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

During peak season, we are inundated with emails that range from the simplest questions to the biggest issues--and they come in 100s at a time.

On our web site we direct customers to call us on our toll free number with any time sensitive issues because we do not want what happened to this customer to happen at all.

We are not aware of any messages left by this person on our voicemail.

We have refunded this customer the entire amount of her order.

This is the same course of action we take for anyone who contacts us by phone during our staff assisted business hours of 9:00am to 4:00pm Pacific Time, Monday through Friday. Our standard practice is to resolve any issues, to the customer’s satisfaction, as soon as possible.

Negative utbiochemiss
(1 review)
On Apr 26, 2011, utbiochemiss Novelty, OH wrote:

It takes a lot to push me to make the effort to go and make a comment about a business, but Swallowtail really deserves some serious criticism. First, they billed me for items that were out of stock/discontinued, no longer available - even though they let me place them on my order. Second - they sent me what they called a "free gift" to replace the seeds that weren't available - these seeds were the same except not the color I wanted - and not even close. What really gets me is - how are these free? This "free gift" is to replace the seeds they billed me for but are not available - how is that free? How about keeping your seeds and refunding the charge!! The worst part is that I spent $140 with their company and the seeds that they DIDN'T have were the ones I really needed the most..Also - other comments on here about not being able to get ahold of these people are accurate..NEVER AGAIN.
Faye Martin, Novelty Ohio

On Apr 26, 2011, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

"On Apr 26, 2011 8:34 PM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

We are really sorry to hear this person has felt this level of frustration and disappointment. It is possible that we charged for an item we didn't have in stock, given the high volume of orders this time of year. However, it is our policy to refund an item in full, and we frequently provide a free gift as a show of good will.

We invite this person and anyone else who feels like our performance has come up short in any way, to call us on our Toll-free number: 877-489-SEED (7333). Customers who have done this have always found we fix their issues to a degree far beyond their expectations.

Our products are unconditionally guaranteed, and we are absolutely dedicated to each one of you having a positive experience with our company. If you give us a call and give us a chance, we promise to turn what may seem like a negative situation into a positive situation. We are not immune from making mistakes, but from our years of seed-selling experience, we have become exceptionally good at fixing problems, once given the opportunity.

Please, let us surprise you with our generosity and good nature. Give us a call.

On Apr 27, 2011 3:45 AM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds added:

Investigation into this order proved somewhat difficult, as the customer used a different last name than "Martin" when placing this order.

However, we were able to fully document the following:

1) Her credit card was initially declined.

2) Attempts to reach her by phone were not successful, as the phone number she provided on her order was not in service.

3) By the time we did receive a valid credit card number (approximately 3-4 weeks later), one of the 33 items she ordered had gone out of stock.

4) She was informed by email prior to shipping that one of the items she ordered was no longer available. She was issued a full refund for that item and we included a free gift that we believed she would appreciate.

We can make errors occasionally and when we do , we are quick to take responsibility and fix them.

In this instance however, it appears we acted entirely properly and professionally, and any disappointment this customer may be experiencing seems to be due to a declined credit card and an out of service telephone.

We don't expect an apology from this customer, we do believe we deserve one.

Don McCulley (Owner)
Swallowtail Garden Seeds"

Positive cooleybufo
(10 reviews)
On Apr 10, 2011, cooleybufo Bakersfield, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Ordered several packets of seeds and they arrived in a timely manner. All the seeds I have tried so far have all had good germination. I have no complaints and I will order from them again.

Positive 6aseeder
(4 reviews)
On Apr 2, 2011, 6aseeder Arlington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

i have ordered 3-4 times in the last 3 years and received good quality seeds in a timely fashion. i am always happy to see some of the flowers that i cannot find elsewhere. i generally order early in the season (Dec or Jan), or in the fall.

Positive finnskeeper
(4 reviews)
On Apr 1, 2011, finnskeeper Pensacola, FL wrote:

I placed two fairly large orders with this company this year and ($150.00 and $75.00) and both came fairly quickly within two weeks of ordering. The seeds all germinated quickly and I now have a garden full of seedlings. The only seeds that didn't grow were the five types of coleus I ordered - but possibly I did something wrong with those? Everything else looks great.

Negative Petunia_Garden
(1 review)
On Mar 29, 2011, Petunia_Garden Houma, LA wrote:

Ordered from 3 other suppliers from across the country days after ordering from here and recieved my seeds. Have not heard anything from this company other than taking my money and not answering my phone calls or emails.


On Mar 29, 2011, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

"On Mar 29, 2011 10:21 PM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

2011 has already been an amazing season for us. After implementing major changes in the last half of 2010, we are currently on a pace to post our biggest sales year in our 13 year history, sometime this April - in just the fourth month of the year.

We have filled well over 7,000 seed orders from January 1, 2011 through the end of March, 2011. A handful of these thousands of gardeners have commented here on this site, many positive, a few frustrated.

For those who are frustrated, we are truly sorry. We do regularly waive shipping charges, give free gifts, and generally do everything we can to make your experience positive. If we fail to satisfy, it hurts us.

The posts here are anonymous, so we cannot comment on any situation in particular, but we can say that we are not aware of unreturned phone messages. I know personally, that we have talked to many of you, multiple times per week, as you plan your seed order.

And please, before you take it for granted that we are difficult to reach, call us using our toll free number 1-855-726-SEED (7333) and decide for yourselves. We are in the Pacific Time Zone, and our staff assisted phone hours are 9am to 5pm. I think you will find we are easy to reach, eager to help, and if you should find it necessary to leave a phone message with us, it will be returned promptly, during our business hours.

We don't take people's money, we are about providing a valuable service, in a professional manner. If you ever feel we have not lived up to this standard, any customer can call us, and money spent will be promptly refunded, and you can keep the seeds, as a gift from Swallowtail Garden Seeds.

We have found that selling seeds is a poor way to get rich, but a rich way to live our lives.
To all of you who have sparked our growth, and raised our optimism for the future, thank you. What you have done for us is beyond words. If it isn't always perfectly clear the way we feel about you, then I am so sorry. We care deeply about your experience with us, as well as your success and joy in the garden.

Don McCulley (Owner)
Swallowtail Garden Seeds


Positive tobycat
(5 reviews)
On Mar 27, 2011, tobycat Gettysburg, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

I was angry with this company a few years ago and vowed never to place another order because I recieved what I thought was a rude response to a problem with their seeds. They were getting a number of negative comments at the time and I figured maybe they were going through some internal company problems. Then this year I wanted more Great Red Poppy seeds and I was having trouble locating them elsewhere. So I placed an order. The seeds came within the promised shipping time and contained the correct amounts of seed. The germination rate was nearly 100 % for Great Red Poppy, Origami columbine, Rudbeckia Cherry Brandy and Prairie Sun, Delphinium Astolat, Dianthus Sooty Sweet William and Black King Carnation, Painted Daisy, and Echinacea Yellow coneflower. The germination rate was not so good for Echinacea Powwow Wild Berry and Delphinium Blue Jay. However, in my experience sometimes 'blue' delphinium seed are a little bit trickier than some of the other colors and may be slow to germinate, and maybe the wild berry echinacea is the same (they gave me a few extra seeds of those). I have a large property with many different types of gardens and I propagate and grow many from seed. I would use Swallowtail again for the selection and the quality of their seed. I'm glad I gave them another try.

Positive KnittyNatty38
(2 reviews)
On Mar 14, 2011, KnittyNatty38 Nashville, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

I was leary about ordering from Swallowtail Garden Seeds given the LARGE amount of negative feedback they received here on DG. However, recent feedback seems to reflect a turnaround in how this company handles their business transactions. Given this, I thought I'd take a chance, as they offer a nice wide variety and have great prices.

I ordered several varieties of seed the second week of Feb. last month. I received my order about 2 weeks later with a message that 2 of the varieties were backordered, but would be sent out in 3 weeks. Those 2 packets arrived today and all is well! Germination and quality remain to be seen (I'll update later next season), but I am satisfied with this company so far.

Positive artworksmetal
(4 reviews)
On Mar 8, 2011, artworksmetal Timberville, VA wrote:

I've ordered from Swallowtail now for several years. It has always been a positive experience. I usually buy herb seeds.
The bulk pricing is in a separate section, and offers great bargains.

I highly recommend them.

Positive NicholasC
(1 review)
On Mar 4, 2011, NicholasC Wyandotte, MI wrote:

I will order from here again I'm sure. The seeds came pretty quickly and the few I've started indoors have all germinated and much sooner than they say they should. So at the moment I'm quite happy with this company and would recommend it to others.

Positive dirttiger
(1 review)
On Mar 1, 2011, dirttiger Portland, OR wrote:

I was nervous about ordering from this company due to the rating. However they have seeds that I wanted that no one else had. I ordered anyway and held my breath....
The order arrived when they said it would and everything looks great! I will be planting my seeds soon and let everyone know how it goes. I will change my rating if I have poor seed success since I am usually pretty successful in all but the trickiest seeds:)

Positive lanah_1
(7 reviews)
On Feb 10, 2011, lanah_1 Warren, MI wrote:

I received my seed in a timely manor, and it was well packaged.They have some harder to find seeds at good prices, I would definitely order from them again.

Positive Thorfinn911
(1 review)
On Feb 9, 2011, Thorfinn911 Warrenville, IL wrote:

Last season I placed an order for a variety of heirloom tomatoes. After several weeks my order didn't arrive, apparently lost in the mail. After contacting Swallowtail, they reshipped everything PLUS refunded my money (which I really didn't want).

Due to my getting the seeds in late (short season in Chicago) I had very low yield. At the end of the season, I cut off one vine and transplanted it to a 5 gal bucket and it is thriving in my back room with LED grow lights! I plan to start new cuttings for early planting this spring, and resow all of the varieties I bought.

The Hillbilly variety was the best tomato I have ever tasted!

Positive MourningDavis
(2 reviews)
On Jan 30, 2011, MourningDavis Saint Louis, MO wrote:

I stumbled upon Swallowtail while doing a search on border dahlia seeds since none of my tubers survived winter storage. I grow for several gardens and garden group sales so it is imperative that I have border dahlias! I was delighted at the varieties Swallowtail offers and love the free shipping on orders over $30.00. I found the website easy to use and they gave me a shipping date. I am eagerly awaiting my order and will let you know how it turns out.

Positive LooneyLinda
(36 reviews)
On Jan 28, 2011, LooneyLinda Mantua, UT (Zone 4b) wrote:

Posted on February 18, 2005, updated January 28, 2011
I just read a comment about this company today so I looked over their website and placed an order. With the selection they have and the reasonable prices I am sure this will become one of my favorites. Some places charge quite a bit for shipping, but the shipping with Swallowtail is free!! I especially loved the selection of petunias. I don't like mixes that most companies have because I don't want to germinate 100 seeds and not know what the colors will be. Most of them wouldn't be blooming by the time they were planted so planning a garden would be more difficult. They have lots of one-color selections that are beautiful. I also found a zinnia that I have wanted for quite a while. I have only seen it offered by one other company and they wouldn't ship to the USA. Swallowtail's website is very easy to use. I can't wait to get my seeds.

On January 28th, 2011, LooneyLinda added the following:

My order was accurate and promptly received. No on has better packaging than Swallowtail! I have always had good germination rates. I will certainly order again.
Neutral xrgt
(1 review)
On Sep 17, 2010, xrgt Portales, NM wrote:

I would like to inform you that you are one of only two companies I used my credit card with to make a purchase during this month. While not accusing anyone, I would like you to know my card number was picked up very recently, and used fraudulently, causing myself a lot of anguish, and other associated difficulties.

Consequently --- after thorough research to prevent this problem in the future I have since learned the only safe 'firewall' to order on-line is with PayPal (where the only payment information and funds a vendor receives for the order is directly from PayPal, nothing the customer uses with PayPal to satisfy the financial obligation is shared with the vendor)

This means no customer credit card information would be accessible to any of an on-line vendor's employees thereby absolving them of any suspicion of an employee maliciously using a customer's card number.

Because of this problem, I will no longer be ordering from any company that requires my credit card and does not have PayPal as an option for payment for the purchase ... Sorry, but it is simply too much of a problem for this customer when someone obtains card information and uses it maliciously.



On Sep 17, 2010, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

"On Sep 17, 2010 9:30 AM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

We at Swallowtail Garden Seeds have been doing business for 11 years online without even one incident of a customer's credit card being compromised in any way. To suggest (even with a good heart) the way we collect credit card information is not a best practice, or could be unsafe is not accurate and not fair.

We hire top industry consultants to secure our shopping cart and our shopping cart is certified as safe by Other sites that use to review their safety include Eddie Bauer, Jenny Craig and Cold Stone.

I know this customer has their heart in the right place and is attempting to pass on useful information. But the comments read (unintentionally I am certain) like a PayPal advertisement. PayPal is an option, perhaps a welcome choice for some people. But it is not the only safe method of purchasing over the internet. The way we secure our shopping cart, and your personal information once it is in our hands, has been, remains (and because of our dedication to your safety), will always be impeccable.


Positive Meredith79
(8 reviews)
On Sep 5, 2010, Meredith79 Southeastern, NH (Zone 5b) wrote:

I usually order some seeds from them every year. I love how they offer some varieties of plants in single colors. I usually order a long time in advance of when I will start the seeds, so I haven't noticed slow shipping. I try to stop buying seeds for the current season at least 2-3 weeks before I need to start them, unless saving them for the next season. Which sometimes I do be sure to get what I want before they sell out. I do find a lot of the seed packets they send have less than or almost exactly, what the seed packets are listed as on the website, but usually they are harder to find seeds that I can't get anywhere else. So I will continue to order from them. I find with a lot of specialty seeds (not just from them)you get lower germination rates, so I just make sure I start all of them. Then I am more likely to have a decent amount of plants. Most of the seeds offered have at least 25 seeds which I find is enough. I mean how many people need more than a half dozen to a dozen of one plant? I order from lots of different online seed companies and there are some things about the catalog, I wish they would change. One is how you can not click on the items in your shopping cart to get you back to the item's product page. I also feel like the catalog takes too long to navigate due to all the plants in a genus having full listings on one long page. It seems to make it take much longer to figure out an order. Then if you don't have time to go through the whole catalog and place the order you lose your shopping cart.

Positive silverkelt
(4 reviews)
On Aug 4, 2010, silverkelt Waterboro, ME wrote:

Mostly positive, my one complaint was last couple of years the seed counts were off on some of the packages, a couple here and there is nothing, but if your order a package of 50 seeds and get 12.. thats kind of a bummer, however, they also ran out of one variety and gave me a huge package of another I wanted. So it kind of being a even trade off.

They also have uncommong varieties , not easy to find.


Positive kudzu9
(7 reviews)
On Jul 24, 2010, kudzu9 Seattle area, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Great experience. They had the seeds I wanted at a good price. Before I ordered, I was a little concerned that there were several recent negative comments in Garden Watchdog, but I am always impressed when a company steps up and takes care of problems, and documents it here.

I wanted to order quite a few seed packs, and a couple were critical to receive promptly, so I called the company first. The person I got put me on hold for a few seconds while she checked inventory. She confirmed that the ones I needed pronto were available to ship. She also said that they had made a number of changes recently to help avoid back order issues.

I ordered on a Monday and they showed up in my mail box on Saturday. Everything I ordered was there, and the packaging and quantity of seeds was impressive. My order came to only $47 for 20 packs, and I got free shipping (orders over $30 ship for free).

They also have a very nicely designed and user-friendly web site.

I'll definitely order again.

Positive david_spackman
(1 review)
On Jul 19, 2010, david_spackman Vernonia, OR wrote:

I ordered several packets of seeds on July 5 and they were in my mailbox by July 9. I planted the baby's breath on July 10th and they were sprouting only 5 days later, even though the packet said that they should take 7-14 days.
The packaging for the seeds was impeccable, the pricing was very reasonable and the number of seeds per packet generous. The postage charge was honest. Many seed vendors base the postage charge on the dollar amount spent but let's face it, seeds are not heavy nor big. They charge a flat $3.95 per order. I looked in a catalog of a well known seed supplier and they would have charged me $6.95 in postage for the same order, and I wouldn't have gotten near as many seeds.
Keep up the good work! I'll be back again soon!

Positive tikipod
(11 reviews)
On Jun 19, 2010, tikipod (Ang) Bremerton, WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I ordered the bulk packet of Alexandria Alpine Strawberries towards or at the end of May. They arrived in under a week and were packed very well. I planted seeds in 18 cells and so far every seed has germinated and are catching up with some Mignonette Alpine seeds I planted.

I will order from again as they have certain seeds and varieties I can't find locally.

Positive beccabeelime
(2 reviews)
On Jun 10, 2010, beccabeelime Port Angeles, WA wrote:

I ordered 22 different kinds of viola seeds from swallowtail. My germination rate is fantastic! I'm already planning my order for next year.

Neutral omedusa
(3 reviews)
On Jun 1, 2010, omedusa (Zone 8a) wrote:

Posted on June 1, 2010, updated June 1, 2010
I am absolutely furious. While I did receive my order within a week, half of my order was wrong. I emailed 3x, called and left a message for them to please correct the order - nothing, no response, nada. I really needed those seeds for a wedding. I can understand a mistake, but ignoring requests for customer service - NOT acceptable.
Thanks for nothing - I'll be broadcasting the word about this everywhere I can - I am THAT mad

On June 1st, 2010, omedusa changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Changing this to Neutral. The company contacted me within minutes after posting here and said that it refunded me the money.
On Jun 1, 2010, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

"On Jun 1, 2010 5:00 PM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

This customer placed an order with us on Friday, May 21st which we shipped on Monday May 24th. There were two items on the order. One that was out of stock, having sold-out earlier in the day and one that was in stock. The order we sent was not incorrect, we simply did not have the product for one of the two items.

For the out of stock item she ordered 5 packets. What we did was to give her 5 FREE packets of similar item (she ordered the color white, we gave her free cream colored flowers). We made this as clear as we possibly could on the invoice. However the customer seems to have thought we made an error, sending cream instead of white, and that we were unwilling to fix it. That was not the case, we did not have the white and we gave her as a gift the closest possible product we had to the color white.

For 12 years we have routinely given free substitutions for out of stock items. Although surely there must be some, we are not aware of another company (seed or otherwise) that gives their customers free merchandise when an item is not in stock.

We are certainly sorry this customer is upset. And we appreciate that the negative rating was changed to neutral. We are not sure whether our email to the customer and the refund of the entire order came before or after the customer's post here. I can tell you that no one at our company was aware of this post at the time the full refund was given.

We tried to do a good thing. The fact that we have this kind of attitude toward our business is what has kept us going these past 12 years. We love what we do, we care about our customers, and we feel it is precisely the kind of action we took with this order that best communicates these deep feelings.

We regret it didn't work out better for the customer, but we also want to let this customer know and every member of Dave's Garden know that each day we go to work with the mission of making people's days, lives and yards brighter. Far more often than not we succeed, but when we don't it is never from a lack of trying. WE CARE


Positive mgurley
(2 reviews)
On May 26, 2010, mgurley Charlotte, NC wrote:

Very pleased with Swallowtail. Excellent selection of unusual perennials. Received my order with no problems very quickly, within several days. So far, very good germination rates.

Positive lala1
(1 review)
On Apr 27, 2010, lala1 warwick,
United States wrote:

Placed a seed order on April 7 and received it on April 15...No complaints here! Will order again!

Negative crochetedgirl
(1 review)
On Apr 26, 2010, crochetedgirl Holland Patent, NY wrote:

I have made purchases from this company for 3 years with good results. This year they said they sent out my order in 2 shipments, and gave me confirmation numbers, but only one of the shipments was ever sent out. I called 4 times requesting them to call me back. They never did. They had charged me the entire order. I told them they needed to ship me the items they never sent, they did send me the seeds, but they rebilled me again. I tried calling them 2 more times, and they never returned any phone calls. So I contested it with my credit card company, and they couldn't contact them either! The credit card company refunded my money as a reliable customer! I will not buy from them again!

Negative janmalysz
(3 reviews)
On Apr 7, 2010, janmalysz Warsaw,
Poland wrote:

I placed an order with Swallowtail Garden 11. 01. 2010
Order accepted.
My repeated inquires given no result. I never got a response.
I can no longer put up with the different treatment according my order
and 3.04 2010 I cancel my order.

Negative chigeritch
(4 reviews)
On Apr 6, 2010, chigeritch Shawnee, KS wrote:

I find myself very disappointed with the custom service, or rather lack thereof, at Swallow tail seeds this growing season of 2010. Having ordered from Swallowtail in 2009 with great results I did not hesitate to place another order this season back on 1/8/2010. Received part of my order on 1/15/2010 with a note that the rest of my order was back ordered and would be sent in two to three weeks. The back order never came, when contacted; the only response from the company (Lynn) was they would check into it. Yesterday I finally received one of the three packages of seeds on the back order, with a note that the others were out of stock. I'M SORRY; when I contacted the company about my back order the other seeds were still available, as I had checked. Swallowtail seeds have some issues on following up on ordered out. The seeds I received yesterday should have been started a month ago to be ready to transfer into the garden and do me no good at this point in the growing season.

Having checked out Dave's Garden watchdog website, I am obviously not the only gardener very disappointed in Swallowtail's lack of follow-up on orders out. I will not be ordering from Swallowtail seeds again and will be sharing my experience with other gardeners, so they too, do not find themselves disappointed with their seed ordered from this seed company. To many good seed company's out there to do business with to mess with one with poor customer service.

On Apr 6, 2010, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

"On Apr 6, 2010 3:37 PM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

This customer had issues with 2 of the 13 items ordered. One was a back-order for which our grower experienced a crop failure, the other item we did send late.

When we heard from this customer today we promptly refunded the full amount of her order, over $35.00. When addressing customer concerns we always err on the side of generosity. We did this before we saw this posting on Dave's Garden.

While we recognize Dave’s Garden as a valuable venue for people to express their opinions, because March was easily the busiest month in our 11 year history, and because the responses we hear (provided to us directly) from customers remains overwhelmingly positive, it is that feedback which feels most meaningful to us.

So yes we did send 1 $3.95 back-order late (but in our estimation and own experience in our gardens not too late to plant as it is very fast growing) and because the customer was dissatisfied we refunded the entire order. We are sorry to have upset you.

On Apr 6, 2010 3:37 PM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds added:

This customer had issues with 2 of the 13 items ordered. One was a back-order for which our grower experienced a crop failure, the other item we did send late.

When we heard from this customer today we promptly refunded the full amount of her order, over $35.00. When addressing customer concerns we always err on the side of generosity. We did this before we saw this posting on Dave's Garden.

While we recognize Dave’s Garden as a valuable venue for people to express their opinions, because March was easily the busiest month in our 11 year history, and because the responses we hear (provided to us directly) from customers remains overwhelmingly positive, it is that feedback which feels most meaningful to us.

So yes we did send 1 $3.95 back-order late (but in our estimation and own experience in our gardens not too late to plant as it is very fast growing) and because the customer was dissatisfied we refunded the entire order. We are sorry to have upset you."

Positive easychord
(1 review)
On Apr 3, 2010, easychord Tampa, FL wrote:

I received the seeds within a few weeks, and the packaging was very nice, better than I have received from any other vendor. The website does seem to have problems, though, as I wanted to browse and cannot bring the site up.

Negative l_m_stephenson
(9 reviews)
On Mar 31, 2010, l_m_stephenson Saint Louis, MO wrote:

Bad customer service. I ordered about 35 dollars worth of seeds and the bulk of the order shipped within a couple of weeks. I have had pretty good germination rates with the bulk of the seeds.

The negative review is because one of the seeds was backordered and a note said it would ship within 2-3 weeks. That is fine, backorders happen. However, after well over 6 weeks passed and the seeds didn't show up, I emailed the company. No reply (its been a week). I called the company a few days ago and the represenative said she would check on this and call me back (I gave her two phone numbers). Guess what? No call or email response. As it is only one seed packet, I will probably just write this off... However, I am thankful that it only cost me a couple of bucks to find out how bad this company is. Some people have paid a lot more! This kind of lousy customer service is inexcusable....

Negative bjplack
(9 reviews)
On Mar 18, 2010, bjplack Benton County, AR (Zone 6b) wrote:

I'll never order from them again. I had success with 12 other companies seeds. Yet Swallowtail's Campanula,and Rockcress seed resulted in zero success. Zero success twice with customer service as well.

Negative brewster6
(2 reviews)
On Mar 4, 2010, brewster6 Ocean Springs, MS wrote:

I made a small seed order with this company (thank god) back in January 2010. I waited the customary 2 weeks and then after another week I e-mailed as to what happened to my order.A person named Lynn answered and said she would check on it.After another week or so with no responce I e-mailed again, Lynn responded that she was still checking and that I would get a answer in 24 hours.After a couple of days with no word I wrote again, no answer.I wrote again and this time I told them my patience was running low and If I did not hear from them I would consider the case closed and write my loss off as a bad experenice.I also told them I would write a neg. report to the garden watchdog.Thinking this might get someones attention. Either nobody cares or they have all gone on vacation.I had high hopes with this company because the positive reports out weight the negitives.But my experenice was negitive.

Neutral Lilyfan1
(1 review)
On Mar 3, 2010, Lilyfan1 Bemidji, MN wrote:

Posted on February 11, 2010, updated March 2, 2010
Swallowtail has no clue what customer service means. The website was not working properly so I did not trust its "secure" claim; as such I faxed the order in and mailed a check for my seeds. I requested confirmation of my order in the fax and in follow-up e-mails and phone messages. 2 weeks after placing the order I still have not received any response whatsoever from them. At this point I'm ready to cancel the order and hope I get a refund. It is amazing they operate this way!

On March 3rd, 2010, Lilyfan1 added the following:

Changing from negative to NEUTRAL. It took many calls and multiple e-mails to get a respnse and I finally spoke to someone who was very courteous and told me the order was sent that same day. The order was shipped and received by me. They still have a lot to learn about customer service and communication but I got what I ordered so for that I'm grateful.
On Mar 3, 2010, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

"On Feb 18, 2010 11:03 PM, Swallowtail Garden Seeds responded with:

This is the peak of the season and it may well be true the order took 2 weeks to process. However, our shopping cart is secure, being monitored by and certified by Security Metrics.

We let our customers know on the "How to Order" page on our web site that for time sensitive inquiries, they will want to use our phone number to contact us.

Everything we do is guaranteed . Any and all customers of Swallowtail Garden Seeds who do not feel good about their experience with us, are encouraged to contact us using our toll free phone number, 877-489-SEED (7333).

During this time of year many of our employees routinely work 12+ hours per day, 7 days a week. We do this because we care about what we do and how we do it. If we somehow come up short--we pledge to fix it--always. By giving us a call you will give us the opportunity to turn a frustrating experience into a positive exchange.

Thank you."

Positive kjoseph
(1 review)
On Feb 26, 2010, kjoseph Oakland, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I was very happy to buy my seeds from a local company, & I liked their selection. I had a question while completing my online order so I called them. A nice woman answered right away & answered my questions. My order was made early (Jan 12, 2010) in the season since I expected my large order may take awhile. I got my seeds in the mail in about 3 weeks. I ordered 36 different kinds of seeds. 29 were shipped, 5 were back ordered (still haven't received them) & 2 were out of stock (Globe Thistle, Blue Glow & Begonia, Non-Stop -- Rose Pink). As far as germination, I've had absolutely no problem. I've had to do a lot of thinning actually. (I had read the poor germination reviews & planted more seeds than I would have otherwise). Other than wondering about the 5 packets that are back ordered (Gaura, Cup & Saucer Vine, Zebrina, Knee High Sweet Pea, Fuji Blue Balloon Flower) I'm feeling pretty good about my experience. I think they have a really nice selection & their seeds are of good quality (based on germination rates). The descriptions & planting instructions printed on the seed packets were detailed & spot on. I will order from this company again.

Positive withad
(7 reviews)
On Feb 11, 2010, withad Warren Center, PA (Zone 5b) wrote:

Posted on January 21, 2010, updated February 11, 2010
Posted on January 16, 2010, updated January 21, 2010
I recently placed an order for bulk seeds on 12-12-09, seeds were supposed to ship with 2-3 weeks. My credit card was charged on 1-07-10. Seeds had not arrived by 1-14-10. Sent several e-mails to confirm order and shipping times with no reply. I sent the last e-mail 1-14-10 informing them my account had been charged and I had not received the order and requested shipping info to trace shipment. Still no reply, I informed them I would issue a negative feedback if they could not extend the decency of a reply to my e-mails. This is not hardly the busy season so I do not know the reason for their lack of response. I called once only to get a recording and since they failed to respond to four e-mails I didn't see the point in leaving a message. Their web site has no way of checking on an orders status or even if you have an order on file. This was my first and last order with this company and while the dollar amount was not huge it is disappointing that a company can so totally ignore a first time customer. I will give it another week and then will dispute the transaction with my Credit Card company and file a complaint with the BBB. No where on the web site does it state they will charge my account PRIOR to shipping the order. Even with just first class postage it should not take 10 days to arrive, I would have thought they would have sent it Priority mail but I guess I should have checked to see how they ship prior to ordering.

On January 21st, 2010, withad changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

I am changing my rating from negative to neutral based on receiving an e-mail apologizing for their delay in both answering e-mails and shipping my order. They did credit my account back the fund charged against it. I will wait and see how long it takes to get my order, as they say they had trouble getting it from their supplier and will ship it as soon as it arrives.
On February 11th, 2010, withad changed the rating from neutral to positive and added the following:

Changing to positive only because they did credit my account and as stated in their e-mail would still send the seeds when they arrived at no charge. They did send out the seeds no charge, though of three ordered one was still back ordered. I doubt I would purchase from them again mainly because of their customer service dept., which is totally non-responsive. I hesitate to think what would have happened had I not threatened to file complaints with both my credit card co. and the BBB.

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