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Comments regarding Van Bourgondien Dutch Bulbs (dutchbulbs.com)

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153 positives
69 neutrals
254 negatives

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RatingAuthorContent
Neutral jhhearne
(2 reviews)
On Feb 14, 2007, jhhearne Jonesborough, TN wrote:

Thank you so much for the information. I was considering ordering from this company, but thanks to your warnings, I believe I've been spared considerable grief. I'll stick to companies I know.

Neutral cannaqueen
(19 reviews)
On Jan 17, 2007, cannaqueen Mantua, OH (Zone 5a) wrote:

I had received this company's catalog and had written out the
order. The coupon allowing you to deduct $25.00 from your
order was a big influence on my ordering some bulbs.
I decided to check the ratings on this company and was surprised at how many people had not been fairly treated
by this company. I want to thank these people for taking their
time to express their disappointments with this company.
This has influenced me enough to the point that I will not order
from this company. My order has been placed with a company that works hard providing quality plants for its
customers. cannaqueen

Neutral daisygirl_13
(1 review)
On Jan 25, 2006, daisygirl_13 Indianapolis, IN wrote:

this is a portion of an email I sent to Debbie, the company's president:

1. In 2003 I ordered some anemone (bulbs) & some garden phlox. I planted everything according to the directions given. In the spring I waited & waited for the phlox to sprout and discovered that the plants that were assured to be “only sleeping” were instead dead.
Many of the anemones sprouted but only a few bloomed (and they were bright pink instead of the blue that was advertised!)
2. I requested a replacement for the phlox and chose a different type of plant (Malva) hoping to have better results.
The malva was dead as well. (I was issued credit for the anemones but haven’t applied it, fearing the same results).
3. Then I decided to give phlox another try & ordered some to replace the dead malva.It never showed as much as a tiny sprout.
I’ve spent the last two years:
Pleading w/customer service reps to please just refund my money (they refused)
Staring at empty spots in my flower beds and hoping something I bought would sprout
paying shipping for each replacement

I sent this to Debbie twice w/no response. I was instructed to use a email different address, which I did...no response. I called asking to speak to Debbie & was told a supervisor was trying to contact me. Finally, "Ron" left a message to call him about my "refund".....when I did there was only a message indicating Van B. was closed for the holidays!
I called after they opened & talked w/Ron.....we agreed on an amount for my refund. He said :
1. it was almost a sure thing & just needed to clear it w/a supervisor
2. he'd would call me "in 20 minutes"
3. he'd send some paperwhites as an apology for all my trouble

He didn't until over a week later-after I'd called numerous times!! Meanwhile I'd found even more charges on my bank statement from my past transactions & emailed this info to Ron. When he called he said he couldn't find this additional info....I said I'd email it again & could he call me right back?
He didn't, & after a few days of leaving more messages for him Debbie herself called. She wanted to replace everything & I said Ron offered me a refund. She said he wasn't authorized to do that & began questioning me about my experience as a gardener because she couldn't imagine why these plants weren't growing for me.
She wanted me to
- send her pictures of my flowerbeds to make sure the exposure was correct
- email her all the info I had just given "Ron"
-.and she claimed I had BOUGHT the paperwhites! (It seemed to me she had not even bothered to research the nature of my complaint before she called).

I have order forms & bank records to prove VanB owes me $92, which I've offered to share w/her.


On March 18th, 2006, daisygirl_13 changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

After my conversation w/Debbie I decided I shouldn’t have to jump through any more hoops as I had been doing for almost three years. I sent her an email w/documentation requesting all my $ back and threatened to take my complaint to the BBB if I didn’t hear from her in two weeks. …no response.


So, I called the phone number she had given me when we had talked before (this was different from the one given in the catalog) several times in a row and asked for her. I was offered her voice mail but refused & asked for someone else that could help me. When the (cordial!) people in this office realized I wasn’t going away I was put through to the secretary (Fran) of either the president or VP.
She was also very cordial (unlike Debbie!) and I emailed all my info/documentation to her.

Nine days later somebody called to tell me a full refund was on its way. Apparently this company is more interested in saving money than saving their reputation w/customers (why did it take them nine days to decide on a complaint less than $100?) Included w/the check were $30 worth of gift certificates (ironic!)

I’ll update you as to how well my free plants grow……

I'm very reluctantly changing my rating only because I received a refund. NO ONE should have to go through what I did!





Neutral bestgardener
(8 reviews)
On Jan 14, 2006, bestgardener Cincinnati, OH wrote:

Van B's has good bulbs but are rather pricey. Their plants are small and not really worth the cost. I have bought plants from them and many have died. I would rather buy the varieties at a reputable garden center.

I hope their customer service has improved. I dealt with a very rude customer service rep a few years back,

Neutral goodongranada
(1 review)
On Sep 13, 2005, goodongranada Lindenhurst, NY wrote:

my dahlias were just beautiful and my lilies were better this year than last.



Note from the Garden Watchdog editors:


This comment was submitted from the same IP address as several other customer comments, including three that were determined to have originated from company representatives. It is the stated policy of the Watchdog that companies can NOT submit customer feedback to inflate their own rating. The rating, originally positive, was changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.
Neutral victorianangel
(14 reviews)
On Aug 22, 2005, victorianangel Lake Arrowhead, CA wrote:

Bought a fairy rose, 3 butterfly bushes, 4 geraniums, 3 phlox, some foxtail lilies, and something else that I can't remember. The fairy rose, looked dead from the begginning and has never showed any signs of live...ever. One butterfly bush has come up, one geranium, no phlox, and two of the foxtail lilies, but one died right away. I contacted them and they did respond via e-mail three or four days later. They said to send them the invoice number which I had thrown away. I provided them with the transaction number from the bank, and the date of purchase and two weeks later and four e-mails to them and they have never responded back to me. Will not try this company again. I buy a lot of mail order bulbs, but this was the first plants.


On September 15th, 2005, victorianangel changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

I wanted to add that since my post I have worked with the most delightful customer service representative named Doris!. She issued a refund for the amount of my purchase and was so awesome, I gave them a second chance and have ordered bulbs from them. Will continue to post as the saga continues. If you need assistance...Doris is the ONE#1. She needs a raise.
Neutral Welley
(1 review)
On Aug 18, 2005, Welley Torrington, CT wrote:

My husband ordered fall bulbs from your company. ( He's always a bit skeptical of ordering from catalogs.) Well he did all the planting and took almost all the credit. The flowers were beautiful. People would even stop when they saw him working in the gardens and comment on how beautiful they are. He gives you a lot of the credit. I can't wait to see what he orders this fall, I'm afraid he might be outta control. :) Great job VanBourgondien's, Thank you.



Note from the Garden Watchdog editors:


When this comment was posted, it was followed by a note from "Welley" that was sent to the Garden Watchdog helpdesk, although from the wording it appears the user intended for it to be sent to Van Bourgondien:

"Deb,
It's done, my comment pushed you to the 50/50 mark, glad I could help. And please tell that wonderful husband of yours that you have three sisters!!!
Shelley"


It is the stated policy of the Watchdog that companies cannot submit customer feedback to inflate their own rating, nor can they coerce or entice positive feedback. The rating, originally positive, was changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.
Neutral dandy_lion
(2 reviews)
On Aug 13, 2005, dandy_lion Bay Shore, NY (Zone 7a) wrote:

I am very new to gardening and I have been experimenting with numerous mail order gardening companies. I was quite happy with my purchases.

I ordered from Van Bourgondien two years in a row now. The first year I purchased a few cannas, candy lilies and festuca elijah blue. The festuca arrived in great condition and took off even though I planted very late in the season. This summer the cannas and lilies all came in beautifully.

This year I wanted to find something that would grow in my yard where have pretty bad soil. I ordered liatris which the catatog said was good for bad soil. I was shocked not only that they grew, but right now they are blooming like crazy even though they shouldn't their first year. ( I ordered them from a 50% off newsletter and planted them late in the season.) I wasn't expecting much. I also ordered some more festuca and it is also doing very well.

Happy Gardening!



Note from the Garden Watchdog editors:


This comment was submitted from the same IP address as several other customer comments, including three that were determined to have originated from company representatives. It is the stated policy of the Watchdog that companies can NOT submit customer feedback to inflate their own rating. The rating, originally positive, was changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.


Neutral grammypag
(1 review)
On Aug 12, 2005, grammypag West Babylon, NY wrote:

My dahlias and cannas that I bought this spring are doing just great. My casa blanca lilies from last fall were just beautiful this year. I cut so many stems for the vase. The fragrance was a little over whelming though. So far I am a happy customer.



Note from the Garden Watchdog editors:


This comment was submitted from the same IP address as the company representative, who also submitted feedback as "foofoop" It is the stated policy of the Watchdog that companies can NOT submit customer feedback to inflate their own rating. The rating, originally positive, was changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.
Neutral mianca10
(1 review)
On Aug 12, 2005, mianca10 West Babylon, NY wrote:

I placed an order this spring and everything arrived on time and in great condition. My lilies were beautiful and I am looking forward to placing another order this fall.



Note from the Garden Watchdog editors:


This comment was submitted from the same IP address as several other customer comments, including three that were determined to have originated from company representatives. It is the stated policy of the Watchdog that companies can NOT submit customer feedback to inflate their own rating. The rating, originally positive, was changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.
Neutral bman1974
(2 reviews)
On Aug 10, 2005, bman1974 Brightwaters, NY wrote:

I ordered a couple of plants from this company and thought they were pretty good. They had a 50% off sale at the end of the spring and I ordered a bunch of plants. I wasn't sure what to expect, but when they
arrived they were very nice. We had great results with their dahlias, callas, glads, daylilies and hosta. I plan to buy from them again this fall.



Note from the Garden Watchdog editors:


This comment was submitted from the same IP address as a company representative, who also posted comments as "grammypag" and "foofoop". It is the stated policy of the Watchdog that companies can NOT submit customer feedback to inflate their own rating. The rating, originally positive, was changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.
Neutral messygardener
(2 reviews)
On Mar 23, 2005, messygardener Brightwaters, NY wrote:

I am new to the forum, but was compelled to write after seeing so many negative comments.

I have planted bulbs and perennials from Van Bourgondien for three years in a row now and have always had pleasant experiences with their products.

Their Giant Dinner Plate Dahlias are out of this world - my blooms were tremendous - and the colors - breathtaking!! I made sure that I cut several for bouquets to bring as gifts for all of the summer barbeques I went to!

I will say that the Hellebores I ordered did not bloom, but their customer service staff apologized and issued replacements promptly.

I think this is a good company to order from.



Note from the Garden Watchdog editors:


This comment was submitted from the same IP address as several other customer comments, including three that were determined to have originated from company representatives. It is the stated policy of the Watchdog that companies can NOT submit customer feedback to inflate their own rating. The rating, originally positive, was changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.

Neutral foofoop
(4 reviews)
On Mar 1, 2005, foofoop (Zone 2a) wrote:

I have purchased from them in the past and have found the best prices and almost always good quality. I wasn't happy with some geraniums but they did replace them for me. Buying perennials through the mail isn't the best choice but it is the most economical. Now when I buy, I always plant in a soil that has been mixed with compost so those less hardy plants will survive and have a better start. It saves me the hassle of waiting for a replacement and not knowing if the replacement is going to be any better.



Note from the Garden Watchdog editors:


This comment was submitted from the same IP address as the company representative, who also submitted feedback as "grammypag" It is the stated policy of the Watchdog that companies can NOT submit customer feedback to inflate their own rating. The rating, originally positive, was changed from positive to neutral so that it would not affect the overall rating given by customers.
Neutral woodspirit1
(6 reviews)
On Jan 14, 2005, woodspirit1 Lake Toxaway, NC (Zone 7a) wrote:

I've had pretty good luck with them but they are amiss consistently in one area. Plants that they claim can take partial shade, mostly can't. I bought several items over about 4 years, from them, and a lot of ones marked "part shade" never bloomed. I had to move them. But I have very few areas of full sun, so I can't make more mistakes like that..


On January 18th, 2006, woodspirit1 added the following:

I used to like them OK, and just got their catalog. But I am leery of ordering from them as they seem to have gone downhill, according to the comments I see here.
Neutral PlopaPlaneDad
(1 review)
On Jun 18, 2004, PlopaPlaneDad wrote:

I have ordered from this company for two years. Interestingly, I have found their tree peonies to be fantastic; despite small bare-root size, all four have grown, flourished, and the first two ordered have already flowered. The bulbs and other bare roots have been a mixed bag - usually with a 50% rate of survival on many bulbs and even less on some others.

Their catalog and e-mail newsletters are very informative but sometimes the products sent fall a bit short of the promise. If you have the patience to start small with tree peonies, however, this is a good place to go!

Neutral sarahcincy
(9 reviews)
On Jun 18, 2004, sarahcincy Cincinnati, OH wrote:

I used to order a lot of plants from them, they have a nice catalog with lots of variety and useful info - say, deer-resistance. Then I started looking at how the plants performed compared to other vendors - 50% of what I bought from them never grew a shoot. Contacted them asking for redress - last year they were polite and promised replacements, some of which actually showed up. Reminders that they still owe me some replacements have resulted in curt letters offering a merchandise credit of $3.35. I won't even use it, I just don't want to do business with them anymore.


On May 5th, 2005, sarahcincy changed the rating from negative to neutral and added the following:

Customer Service recently followed up - apologized profusely, gave me merchandise credit and a money-off coupon. The astrantia collection I ordered with these is growing (i.e. not DOA). I may use them again.
Neutral billsmetro
(3 reviews)
On Jun 8, 2004, billsmetro Smithton, IL (Zone 6a) wrote:

I ordered Stuttgart Rhizomes (2). Delayed shipping do to out of stock that was not mentioned on their website or initially after I ordered.

Finally received my order with one fairly healthy rhizome and one desiccated rhizome that turned to dust after it was removed from the air tight bag.

I immediately notified them via email and to their credit they sent me two more via fast shipping. However, again one rhizome was healthy and the other was dried up but not completely desiccated, but very close. It seems that quality control is a problem for this company.

In closing I need to say that the company I ordered from was the "Premier Star Company" and this web site also mentioned "Garden Net". Van Bourgondien was never mentioned but it was their catalog included with my order.

Neutral Fosson
(6 reviews)
On Apr 26, 2004, Fosson Grand Blanc, MI wrote:

I ordered large quantities of Emperor & Darwin tulips in Oct 03. This was my 1st time purchasing from them & I was very eager for spring to arrive to see the showing from my bulbs. I must say the Emperor tulips were beautiful...very nice mix of colors...as promised in the catalog...large, brightly colored flowers...
Unfortunately the Darwins...although pretty...seemed to have a lot of 'duds' in the batch. They grew only about an inch out of the ground...and look all sickly & mishapen.
The other thing I noted ...was the Darwins were also supposed to be mixed & it turned out to be about 75 of the same color...with a small % of one other color ...so it was not as shown in the catalog. The flowers were pretty..& a nice size...I just wished they'd all bloomed & was a mixture of colors as I'd hoped for. I will likely give this company another try.

Neutral vootyvoot
(3 reviews)
On Jul 24, 2003, vootyvoot wrote:

My rating is actually neutral to negative -this is my assessment from three orders that I have placed with them. I will also say that I will probably continue to order from these folks because they have some unusual stuff that I haven't seen elsewhere. The main complaint is that about 25% of the stuff they deliver doesn't make it and some of these plants are things like ferns and hardy geraniums that aren't that difficult to maintain and revive. They will reimburse you/give you credit for nonviable plants that you bother to report to them but what a hassle...

Neutral sandman_max
(2 reviews)
On Dec 27, 2002, sandman_max wrote:

I ordered bunches of bulbs and 20 or so bare-root phlox plants in Oct 2001. The bulbs were fine but the phlox never came up. In fact, they looked like dead roots. I called this past spring and told them. They were not very polite but grudgingly agreed to replace them. The new plants came in Oct and they were vastly superior to the first order. But the jury is still out on whether I'll have phlox in the spring. In summary, I'll continue ordering bulbs from them but that's all.

Neutral cincygardener
(4 reviews)
On May 5, 2002, cincygardener wrote:

I have dealt with Van Bourgondiens since the '60s. Bulbs are good but pricy. Their plants are really bad and over priced for the size they are. They should stick to bulbs and forget about merchandising plant material. I have to stay neutral

Neutral MORNINGGLORY
(8 reviews)
On Dec 8, 2001, MORNINGGLORY Montrose, PA (Zone 5a) wrote:

I HAVE HAD SOME GOOD LUCK WITH THEIR PLANTS AND BULBS BUT THEY SENT ME PLANTS THAT JUST DIDN'T GROW WHATSOEVER.THE BULBS WERE OK.

Neutral JeanMayberry
(2 reviews)
On Jul 1, 2001, JeanMayberry wrote:

I placed an order with Van Bourgondien last spring (2001) and waited, and waited. Finally I got a letter saying my credit card had been declined. I don't know whose credit card that was, but it wasn't mine, the number wasn't even close. I called the company and gave them my number and expiration date again. Then I waited, and waited. A couple of weeks laterI get another letter saying that my credit card had been declined - they were still using the same wrong credit card number! I decided not to bother correcting them again and bought plants elsewhere. Boy was I surprised to see a package from them the following week with my order in it. I had already planted other things in the space I had set aside for them and should have just sent them back, but I stuck the plants in the ground anyway. It seems they did get my credit card number right eventually because it showed up on my bill. Some of the plants from Van Bourgondien haven't grown at all, and the ones that have don't look very good but I confess that I was mad when I planted them and didn't take great care. I won't buy from them again.

Neutral KJescavage_B
(4 reviews)
On Nov 1, 1999, KJescavage_B wrote:

I haven't ordered from them for several years. Their great attraction for me was perennials offered nowhere else. Unfortunately, these were small and puny. Even with coddling, only a few made it. The bulbs are of much better quality.

Neutral BrianDarcinG
(3 reviews)
On Jul 1, 1999, BrianDarcinG wrote:

Arrival time spanned over a month. All plants appeared well-wrapped and healthy at that time. All were planted as per instructions. Most are foundation plantings; in heavy clay with some amendment and excellent drainage. [update August 1999]They have already issued me a partial credit, and promise to consider additional credit this fall.

Neutral BethCampbell
(4 reviews)
On May 1, 1999, BethCampbell wrote:

Mixed results. I don't like their packaging, which seems to result in lots of broken roots. Orders from this company seem to take twice aslong as orders from any other company ... some things arrive far too late to plant. Their lily bulbs all appeared to be large and healthy, but they aren't doing as well as the ones I picked up at the hardware store. I mostly ordered perennials from this catalog last fall, and while the results have been good for the most part, I've been frustrated with the hardy fern collection (only one of which came up) and theMaidenhair ferns I ordered (again, only one came up). Some of the rootstock was poor, although they sent extras of several items, so that was okay. Blue spiderwort has bloomed white, which is all well and good except I have white spiderwort all over my yard and didn't really intend to buy any more. As a free gift, they sent me two dead Black-eyed Susan roots. Oh, goodie! Just what I wanted.

Neutral EliseYoung
(5 reviews)
On May 1, 1999, EliseYoung wrote:

I give up. This company's products are quite fine, and its prices are ideal. However, I've had nothing but trouble with each order I've placed. A month into the planting season, I inquired about my order's status. "The computers are down," an employee told me. "Can you call back tomorrow?" Funny. The same thing happened in the fall - and that experience was less than enchanting. The company claimed my credit card was declined; such was not the case. It took several rounds on the phone for the customer service folks to get the number and expiration date correct. Sigh. I did get the bulbs in time, and today the blooms are fabulous. But I'll forego dealing with this company; nothing is worth this hassle.

Neutral LorraineFeather
(4 reviews)
On Feb 1, 1999, LorraineFeather wrote:

About half of the things I ordered from them didn't come up. I'm not the most organized about keeping track, but as I was about to make some spring orders this year I was glancing through their catalog and suddenly wondered - what happened to the tuberoses, the fairy lilies, the climbing lilies I ordered from them and planted LAST spring? Unlike some other people who've made comments, I didn't find them to be rude at all, quite the contrary. My results were better, though, with other bulbs I ordered [elsewhere]…

Neutral HeatherMcCun
(2 reviews)
On Feb 1, 1996, HeatherMcCun wrote:

I have decided to no longer order from Van Bourgondien because I was very disappointed with their RUDE service department. Beware of their "mixed color" varieties of bulbs--all the ones I ordered ended up being the same color. I must say, though, that the tulips I purchased were very nice.

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