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Comments regarding Van Engelen, Inc.

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  Feedback History and Summary  
125 positives
6 neutrals
13 negatives


Negative DayPlanter123
(3 reviews)
On Apr 15, 2017, DayPlanter123 Chehalis, WA wrote:

BEWARE, fall 2015 customer service was at a low point, will not be ordering from again. Ordered 3 bulb types well in advance (July of 2015). In Nov was sent notice that two of the types ordered where not available and were being cancelled by the company. At that late date was unable to locate and reorder from another company. Then found I had to write and complain to get the third type ordered bulbs sent and to get a check for the bulbs that were not available. These bulbs arrived in mid Nov., the quality was in question. Second complaint sent but was never responded to, nor was an adjustment made for the price when these same bulbs sent where at the time on sale on their website at the end of year clearance for about $10.00 less.

Negative cyanna
(1 review)
On Dec 10, 2016, cyanna Waynesboro, VA wrote:

Posted on December 10, 2016, updated December 11, 2016
I received an order of tulip bulbs that were not to the quality I have received from other companies in the past. The bulbs were small with several bulbets attached as well as many loose ones that had fallen off. Most of the bulbs had no skins. My concern was that the small bulbets were taking away from the main bulb which was why the main bulbs were so small. I sent an link to an artical to back this up. This could have been a result of the variety which was more expensive as well. . The other bulbs I ordered were fine. My response to my phone call and to the photos I sent to them of the condition was this.

begin response....

\"Management feels that the bulbs are perfectly fine. The nicks are from the counting & harvesting machines. The baby bulbs are free - not part of the count. Missing tunics/skins, no problem.\"

End of response

I found this response did not address my concerns and was sarcastic. I am sorry to have to report this.

On December 10th, 2016, cyanna added the following:

I would like to provide my initial email to this company to show how none of my concerns were taken seriously.

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Wed, Oct
Subject: Attn Linda

Hello Linda,

I called about my shipment. I was not happy with the condition of the Pink Diamond Tulip bulbs.

I have attached 2 photos One showing the whole group out of the box. The other photo shows the ones that are small and with multiple offsets making the main bulb even smaller.

" Offsets forming on a tulip bulb eventually weaken that bulb and cause the plant it produces to stop flowering"

Some of the bulbs are also soft probably due to a poor main bulb.. I found 40 of the 100 unacceptable. The other 60 are Ok. The entire group is not as nice as the other bulbs I ordered and what most quality bulbs look like at purchase. Please let me know a
s soon as possible what your companies intentions are for replacement. .

My order # is ########

The bulbs are pink diamond.

Thank you for your attention

Negative Plantcrazylady
(5 reviews)
On Nov 13, 2015, Plantcrazylady Santa Cruz, CA wrote:

Posted on October 31, 2015, updated November 13, 2015
I used to order from VE years ago, and they could be relied on for good quality stock. So having returned to gardening this year, I placed a large order with a company I thought I knew and that I once trusted. I have just received and inspected my order, so cannot speak to the performance of the plant stock, but I was disappointed to see I was sent items that should never have left the warehouse. Out of an order of a little more than 1000 bulbs, ten bags (of two types of allium, ten bulbs to a bag) arrived in obviously unacceptable condition. Every bulb of the allium cernuum was brown, wet, and infested with flies (the bulbs are like short scallions, so imagine a bag of rotted scallions you find in the bottom of the vegetable drawer). They smell terrible. There are actually numerous mature flies flying around in the plastic bags, which were shipped from Holland. (The Department of Agriculture might be interested to hear about that. Aren\'t the growers repaired to fumigate?) The allium carinatum s. Pulchellum arrived in an advanced state of sprouting (three inches of green) and the bulbs were already shriveled and loose in their jackets. I phoned and reported this, and was told to count out each bulb that was bad. I reiterated that the stock was unacceptable, that I was not going to pick through the bags and select the odd bulb that might possibly survive, and I wanted a refund rather than replacement. I was told to take photos and send them, and that a horticultural report would be submitted, and my refund could not be guaranteed. I have a customer guarantee on my payment service, so I assume I am protected, but I am now required to hold onto the ruined bulbs until I hear back from the quality control staff. In other words, I was not trusted and am being treated like a dishonest person, when in fact it is the Van Engelen company that is in the wrong here. I will not be buying form this company again. I am going to do a more thorough check of the rest of the bulbs that I have tucked away for cooling. Who knows what surprises may lurk there!

On November 13th, 2015, Plantcrazylady added the following:

Update: I was reimbursed for the bad bulbs. My county ag department wanted a sample of the insect infestation, so I submitted one. Oddly, after posting this negative review I received spam e-mail in Dutch, which has never happened before (they were those "help me, I need money" kinds of e-mails). Interesting, and disturbing.
Negative Someonelse
(1 review)
On Nov 2, 2012, Someonelse Providence, RI wrote:

I am too exhausted by speaking to the supervisor of a supervisor of the customer service representative to go into too much depth here. In short there is no customer service here. When I called to report that I received the wrong bulbs (the ones I received were less than half the correct size) I was told that I received the correct bulbs. When I asked how they could be so sure that I received the correct bulbs when I still had them I was told that they were packed in the Netherlands at a plant that has a conveyer belt with holes that were sized to the right size. When I proposed that they were missed labelled, the customer service representative and her supervisor and her supervisor 's supervisor told me that they weren't. when I asked how she could be so sure of all this, the answer was that they checked the bulbs they had on their stock shelves and they were all correctly labelled. When I pointed out that maybe the bulbs I received were mislabeled they all said they weren't etc. etc. like a broken record that went on for a half hour of rudeness. DO NOT USE VAN ENGELEN.

Negative Floralisa
(1 review)
On Dec 4, 2011, Floralisa Greenville, NC wrote:

I'm giving this company a BIG NEGATIVE for their customer service. The bulbs were fine except for the one that was left out. Their response: our bulbs are packed in the Netherlands so it's not our fault. They offered a credit on my next order, but with that attitude, I'm not about to order from these people again.

Negative mardgard
(2 reviews)
On Nov 29, 2010, mardgard Worcester, MA wrote:

This year I placed large, comparable orders with Colorblends and with Van Engelen (VE). The Colorblends order came about 2 weeks before the VE order. I stored both orders in my garage until I was ready to plant. When I did open my orders, the Colorblend bulbs were large and in excellent condition; however, much of the VE order was in poor condition. I have ordered from VE for over 15 years, and I have found over the last three years that the bulb quality has been getting worse; this year was just terrible. I won't order from VE again. There are much better options available, e.g., Colorblends, Brent and Becky's

Negative CyndeeT
(6 reviews)
On Sep 3, 2010, CyndeeT Maple Hill, NY (Zone 6b) wrote:

READ their Policy carefully BEFORE spending your Hard earned Money with them... also Known as Van Engelen/JOHN SCHEEPERS.
I spent over $265 on various Allium: ie: GLADIATOR & SCHUBERTII Purple Sensation Pinball Wizard Shearocephalon ,Ambassador, Alopilosum.
I live in Zone 5b/6a. I planted all of the Allium according to the specific guidelines, I am NOT an amateur gardener. Of The Allium that Did perform fine were Purple Sensation Pinball Wizard Shearocephalon ,Ambassador,Alopilosum.
The TWO that did NOT perform were the 25 Gladiator & 25 Schubertii.
After several emails with Customer service Rep CHERIE I was only given a $21 dollar HOUSE CREDIT for $85.00 (part of $265), no offer to reship the NON Performing bulbs or replace with ones that will grow in my zone.
Their guarantee is written carefully and therefore since they say these WILL perform in my zone, her letter stated that they would NOT perform in my zone & that is NOT their problem. SO only buy one or two items and see if they survive you area before purchasing what it says WILL survive your zone only to be told.. TOUGH ..NOT OUR PROBLEM. BOO HISS on them I would prefer to have them replaced with something that will survive, not a peanuts credit. I will have to do business with a more reputable company with a better guarantee. This was a Huge disappointment. I am disgusted with their Customer service. I have never dealt with a company that was not willing to realize a problem and correct the situation. Their solution send me a couple of bucks off my next order.
PLEASE AVOID THEM!!! Do Your Homework =read the Fine print" BOY IT'S FINE" John Sheepers/Van Engelen You are not the business I want to do business with You failed to do the right thing. :(

Negative vossner
(113 reviews)
On Nov 8, 2006, vossner Richmond, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

I helped manage a group purchase with VE and the bulbs, as well as the service, were above par. Prices were very good and communications satisfactory. Will not hesitate to buy from this company and highly recommend others do the same.

On September 10th, 2009, vossner changed the rating from positive to negative and added the following:

I regret to change my my rating to NEGATIVE. In 2008 I purchased over 500 daff bulbs, all supposed to be suited for my zone. I was told they were landscaper grade which means that even though small, they would bloom. The following spring they didn't bloom, while daffs from other sources bloomed fine. Their position was I didn't know what I was doing; mine was I was entitled to replacements if nothing else,for possibility bulbs were indeed inferior or immature. Various discussions were hostile and fruitless. I took the time to write Mr. Jan Ohms himself about my frustrating experience.

I got my catalogs recently and was reminded Mr Ohms had never answered. I called today and learned from his daughter Joann (sp?) that he had forwarded the letter to her for handling. She never bothered. Talking to this lady was like talking to the wall and today was not exception. Her final response and suggestion was for me to go buy bulbs elsewhere, and that is exactly what I will do.

VE is generally a good company. They offer good horticultural instructions, but please read & follow them carefully b/c if bulbs don't bloom, you will not get any satisfaction or refund or replacements and most importantly, they will not acknowledge even the remotest of possibilities that something was wrong w/ bulbs. I promise you, you don't want to talk to this intransigent lady.

Still being optimistic here. If the daffs in question happen to bloom in Spring 2010 I will be happy. My garden will be beautiful and it will confirm that bulbs were immature (I paid for blooming grade bulbs). The negative rating will remain as there is NEVER room for arrogance.
Negative celeste1
(2 reviews)
On Sep 11, 2003, celeste1 Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

I had been a very satisfied customer with this company and received great products. The problem is their customer service. Last year, I had ordered Casa Rosa lily bulbs from both them and their sister company John Scheepers. When the lilies bloomed it was quite obvious that they were not what I had ordered. They were neither the color nor the shape of Casa Rosa. I explained the situation to them and asked for replacement bulbs that WERE the Casa Rosa. I was told that since no one else had complained of receiveing incorrect bulbs for Casa Rosa, they would not replace the bulbs and that my soil pH must have changed their color. Yeah, right! So if you have been sent something by their mistake, don't count on them correcting it. It is a real shame too, because I had always thought they were a good company to deal with. I guess they are ONLY if there is not a problem.

Negative dalez
(1 review)
On Dec 6, 2002, dalez tijeras, NM (Zone 5a) wrote:

I have ordered from this company for 3 years now. Spending several hundred $$. I was pleased up until this last year when I recieved an order where the bulbs I thought were not up to par. Some were 1/3 the size of the others. They asked me to send the bulbs back, which I did and finally credited me the cost of the bulbs (not the shipping) saying that this year they had extraordinarily large bulbs from this plant so I got some of them and the smaller bulbs were just normal size. I don't believe that. And if that was the case why didn't they know without my shipping the puny ones back to them??

Negative BethCampbell
(4 reviews)
On Oct 1, 2001, BethCampbell wrote:

Based on the comments here, I placed a large order with this company back in June. I will not be ordering from them again. I live in zone 9, so bulbs must be pre-chilled. They recommend ten weeks. I wrote to them in September because my order had not yet arrived; they assured me the bulbs would be shipping October 5. Great, that means I'm planting in the middle of December. It's now October 17 and they haven't even charged my credit card yet, much less shipped the bulbs. I don't care where you live, January is WAY too late to plant bulbs (especially since most spring bulbs bloom February-March in my climate), which means I won't have time for adequate pre-chilling. I've never had bulbs shipped so late by any other company.

Negative MarcieDLowe
(2 reviews)
On Feb 1, 2001, MarcieDLowe Philadelphia, PA wrote:

I ordered from this company in 1999 and 2000. I will not be ordering again. I agree that their prices are lower than most (especially if you are looking for larger quantities), however,I had problems both years. In 1999, I called when my order arrived because the Erythronium were very mushy and the iris tuberosa were dry and crackly. I was told by Van Engelen that I should "plant them anyway". As expected, none of the erythronium came up and I had a poor showing from the iris tuberosa and the fritillaria meleagris. I contacted them this year before placing my orders and was offered replacements if I placed an order this year. I placed my order and waited - and waited - andwaited. Van Engelens order arrived last. The replacement items, if anything, were worse than the original shipment, and of this years order, all 100 of the Baby Moon bulbs were sprouted. I am attaching the letter I sent to Van Engelen - I have yet to receive a response. I will never order from Van Engelen again.

Negative bilschor
(1 review)
On Apr 1, 1998, bilschor wrote:

Ordered approximately $200.00 in bulbs from Van Engelen in 95 and will never do business with them again. Description of Narcissus I ordered from 95 catalog was incorrect. This threw of my whole design. I discussed the matter with them prior to placing a 96 order. The 1996 catalog had what apparently is the correct description. At the time their supervisor could not confirm which was the right description. Her idea of a solution was to replace the bulbs I would not have ordered (given the proper information) with more of the same. Their quality of materials and prices may be good but the knowledge and attitude of the staff leaves was lacking.

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