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Comments regarding Goodwin Creek Gardens

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28 positives
3 neutrals
9 negatives


Negative Cetraria
(1 review)
On Jul 21, 2017, Cetraria Washougal, WA wrote:

I ordered 6 plants early in March, and got a notice that my card would be charged when things were ready to be shipped. A few days later, the charge went through and I never got any notice that they'd been shipped. I never received an order number, so I had no reference information to ask about (which made this whole ordeal even more time-consuming and complicated).
A couple months later, I called to ask when they were supposed to arrive. It took several calls to actually connect with a human, who said someone would call me back with information in a day or so.
No one called.
I called several more times, and spoke to the same woman and again she said someone would call me that afternoon.
No one called.
I tried emailing, I received no response.
I tried contacting them by posting on through their Facebook page, and after several days they finally responded with an email address to contact.
I'd already initiated the charge-dispute process through my bank the day before, so I didn't email this new address. Unbeknownst to me, they'd already put a refund through to my card at the same time. So, not only did I have to spend hours disputing the charge, I had to spend even more time figuring out why on earth the bank suddenly reversed the refund. They made this process more difficult than it needed to be at absolutely every step of the way.

Negative beanstock
(2 reviews)
On Jun 24, 2017, beanstock Saint Louis, MO wrote:

Posted on May 26, 2017, updated June 24, 2017
I emailed the company in advance of ordering plants to inquire about the size of the plants, since there was no indication in the description. After two weeks, I assumed they were not planning to email me an answer (and so far they have not - it has been three months now). I went ahead and ordered the plants anyway. There is a six-plant minimum, so I ordered six. However, my shipment arrived with only 5 plants. Also, it\'s clear why they did not respond to my email about the plant size: they are tiny. $6 each for plants that are so small I will be surprised if they make it. More like twigs with a few leaves. I emailed the company regarding the missing plant and have not yet heard anything.

On June 24th, 2017, beanstock added the following:

Two weeks after I emailed Godwin Creek, I received an email saying that one of the plants I had ordered had been sold out for months. They said they would add a credit to my credit card. I am flabbergasted by this. They were, I guess, hoping that I wouldn't notice and they'd just keep the money for the plant they didn't ship. Also, I am displeased with how these plants are doing in my yard. Next to other thriving specimens in the same family, these seem stagnant. They were expensive plants and I ordered them because I couldn't find them locally but I regret the purchase.
Negative LBoroughs
(1 review)
On Jun 2, 2017, LBoroughs Sewanee, TN wrote:

Posted on April 26, 2017, updated June 2, 2017
I\'m really sad to say this has not been a good experience for me. We have an organic farm, and are trying to expand operations in a few ways. So, we placed an order which, for us, was sizable.

Our experience goes like this: I placed the order in January, and my card was charged right away, and was told in my confirmation emails that it would probably ship in late March. I immediately responded with a question about shipping, and received no response. Early March I emailed again to let them know I would be out of town that week, just in case they were about to ship, and got no response. Late March I emailed again to check on shipment, and messaged them on facebook, received no response. Early April I called, spoke to a lady on the phone who said she would call me back after looking up my order asap, but I got no callback. I called again a few days later, and she said \"Oh yes that will ship out this Monday.\" A week went by, no shipment or communication from them. I called again, spoke to the same lady, she said she would call me back in an hour from the office. No callback.

A few days later, maybe a week later, I called again and left a voicemail saying that I would cancel my order with my credit card company, if I didn\'t receive a callback within a day or two -- a man called back within the hour with apologies, insisting my order would ship out \"Monday.\" I explained that I was happy to be understanding and accommodating, but that I need them to communicate with me if there are delays, and he assured me he would communicate with me. That was 2 weeks ago, and I have received no shipment, or communication. I called this monday again, spoke to the woman, \'I\'ll call you back first thing in the morning with an update.\' No callback.

It is now late April, a full 4 months after I placed my order.

I am sad because this seems like a pattern, given the other reviews here and elsewhere, and it seems that something bad must be happening in their lives. They don\'t seem like a fraudulent operation, given what I have seen online, and my experiences talking on the phone with them once or twice. Rather they seem overwhelmed. But I don\'t know how to continue to do business with someone so uncommunicative and unreliable. I cannot afford to spend that kind of money on an investment that just never shows up.

Since negative reviews here have triggered responses from them in the past, and since I\'m out of other ideas (short of using certified mail), I thought of posting my own review. Maybe they will respond? Gosh I sure have given this a good effort. I wish them well in any case.

In the future I will spend as much time checking reviews as I do researching the items I want to order.

On June 2nd, 2017, LBoroughs added the following:

I did finally receive a shipment in April, which I think they shipped out after receiving my rating here on Dave's garden. I received 17 of the 48 plants I received. Their packing list is almost incomprehensible, as they marked as 'unpacked' items which were packed, and 'packed' items which weren't. They claimed they were refunding me for 14 plants which were "SOLD OUT" for the season (note I ordered in January, and that they should be refunding me for 20-something plants). Amongst those not shipped were all the ones I intended to order, or which were the main point of my order. I only ordered the rest of the plants from them to fill out the order, but those fillers were all I received. Nobody bothered to mention this to me when I called. They had time to grow all these plants from seeds or cuttings between the week I was supposed to have the shipment, and the week when I actually received it. I am now taking this issue up with my credit card company. Lastly, several of the plants were so small as to be embarrassingly small. I now believe these folks are operating a scam, bordering on a ponzi scheme. Take payments for orders, and only bother trying to grow some of the plants when they start complaining they never arrived, and then assume most folks won't bother to pursue refunds due. Shame on them.
Negative donsch
(6 reviews)
On May 20, 2017, donsch Random Lake, WI wrote:

Posted on May 13, 2017, updated May 20, 2017
I placed an order with this company and have emailed them twice as to the shipping status of my order and to date I have not been given the courtesy of a simple explanation and notification. It appears that their customer service is lacking in responding on a timely basis to customer inquiries. Their website lists a contact provision but this seems to be useless. This is my first order placed with this company and it appears that it may be my last if things do not improve.

On May 20th, 2017, donsch added the following:

I have since contacted my credit card company and disputed their charge for my order. My credit card company has responded by issuing me a credit as the result of their non-shipment and lack of response to my emails.
Negative PlantinPatti
(5 reviews)
On Jun 6, 2011, PlantinPatti Dayton, OH wrote:

Posted on May 20, 2011, updated June 6, 2011
Wanting to plant a lavender garden, on April 8 I ordered 18 lavender plants. I received a confirmation of the order by email, but all it stated was an order number-no specifics like other companies do. In early May I emailed asking where are my plants. A few days later, on May 9, I received a reply stating that some plants were "ready" late and that they would send it that week, It is now Friday May 20 and still no plants and no further message from them. I am leaving on Tuesday for a ten-day trip, so I emailed them VERY early today telling them that unless they overnight the plants to me the plants will die on the doorstep while I am away-that is if they finally do arrive. The email was there hours before they opened (there is a 3 hour time-zone difference ). They had all day to email or call-but they didn't. I will call my credit card company for a refund. And to boot I have lost one year for this garden-everyone is out of various varieties now. Plus you cannot plant lavender successfully in the fall in zone 5. I guess they simply don't care.

On June 6th, 2011, PlantinPatti added the following:

Update- I finally was able to reach them. However, despite having emails from them stating they would ship on May 9, they claimed they were confused about that ship date. How could they be confused? THEY said that was when they were shipping. I arranged to have plants shipped when I returned on June 4. HOWEVER, I stated that after waiting for two months for my order not to send me tiny plants that were "not quite ready".
The plants arrived in perfect condition. BUT 6 plants were a variety that I did not order. Their catalog states no substitution without permission, but no one asked. Although they did not charge me for those 6 plants, I waited for 2 months to get something I did not want.
On Jun 6, 2011, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:

"On Jun 6, 2011 8:43 AM, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:

the customer is correct in that we missed her desired shipping date. we had some confusion on which day she left for vacation, so we thought it safest to wait until she returned home. I wish all plants could be ready at the same time, but there are always exceptions. in this case a new lavender variety was way behind the others. as she clearly states above, she did not want smalll plants. I guess we were getting a little gun-shy at this point, and at the last minute I pulled out the small lavenders and replaced them with a similar, but more mature lavender variety (6 plants) and sent them free of charge as an apology that the other variety was not yet ready. she is correct in stating that we made some errors. I can only say that we tried to correct our mistakes and did not charge for anything not ordered. we do guarantee satisfaction and try to find a solution that the customer appreciates. "

Negative db2776
(2 reviews)
On Apr 6, 2009, db2776 Austin, TX wrote:

I placed an online order with GCG the second week of March, yet after the order was placed I heard nothing from the company until I was fed up and forced to cancel my order 3 weeks later.

No where on their website or during checkout does it provide ship dates for their plants. I understand that the weather may not permit shipping just yet ( I live in zone 8) and I would have been glad to wait, had the company simply advised of an ETA.

Moreover, do not charge let me repeat DO NOT CHARGE a customers credit card in full when you know that the plants will not ship for weeks. It is unfair to the customer, now top that off with ZERO communication, and you have an angry customer.

11 days after my card was charged and I had not received an email with an ETA I sent an email to GCG politely stating that I had not received an order number and would like to know when to expect my plants. I even included a back up email address just in case.

I received no reply at either address.

The first week of April I realized that GCG was not going to send me an email letting me know when to expect the plants and as such I would likely not know when the plants are delivered and they would die on my front porch. I refuse to pay for dead plants and poor customer service.

I phoned but had to leave a voice mail on April 3rd and asked that my order be canceled.

I received an email response from GCG THE SAME DAY acknowledging my voice mail request to cancel my order.

Unfortunately, the response was curt and defensively worded email that began with we sent an email but you clearly did not receive it.

Let me be very clear, I check my email including junk mail numerous times a day. I can most assuredly state that I did not receive an email after the order was placed nor did I receive a response to the email that I sent a few weeks later.

Moreover, instead sending a curt defensive email this would have been an opportunity to save the sale, by simply saying " sorry that we did not get back to you, we value your business and would like to try again."

I am serious, I love lavender and would have probably said, OK.

Instead they let a customer walk away, clearly my business was not needed or wanted. Odd, in this economy.

All in all, this was an unpleasant experience and I have taken my business elsewhere.

GCG, communication is vital, especially for an online retailer. It is unfair for customers to wait and wonder what in the hell is going on with their order all the while having to pay interest on product they may not receive for weeks.

If GCG does reply to this complaint, I expect that they will state that this was the customers fault.

On Apr 6, 2009, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:

"On Apr 8, 2009 11:03 PM, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:

1.We did send an email soon after the order was received, on March 19, stating that the order would be shipped in about 3 weeks. We did not receive a reply requesting another date. The customer cancelled the order before the shipping date arrived.
2. We do have a place on our website order form for customers to request a shipping date. Otherwise, it says clearly, that we will choose a date depending on destination zone, type of plants, and when plants would be ready.
3. We do value our orders and customers and in no way tried to be curt or rude. The words quoted above are not the words we used in our email. The customer wanted to cancel and we did so as quickly as possible for her convenience. We did not "let her walk away". We are sorry that there was a misunderstanding about shipping.
4. Our policy is to put through debit/credit cards at least a couple of weeks before shipping. A surprising number of cards are lost, stolen, or declined and it sometimes takes several days of phone calls or emails to finally get the problem resolved so we can ship on time. Sometimes cards expire between the time orders are received (winter) and shipped (spring), so these must be processed as well. If a customer requests, however, that we delay processing until shipping, we honor that request.
5. Above all else, we do guarantee customer satisfaction.

Negative fc_upland
(1 review)
On Jul 19, 2008, fc_upland Upland, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

Dissappointing: I ordered 4 Pelargonium varieties and 6 Rosemary varieties. I recieved no Pelargoniums; they said on the delivery slip that they were sold out. I recieved just 4 of the Rosemary varieties. I told them if one was not available to double up, which they did not do. One variety was clearly not the right variety. I did not bother to advise Goodwin Creek Nursery, and will not. I dont have enough confidence in them at this point to correct the order. I will not purchase from them again.

On Jul 19, 2008, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:


On Jul 21, 2008 8:57 AM, Goodwin Creek Gardens added:

Firstly, we guarantee complete customer satisfaction, but can't help if the customer doesn't bother to contact us with the problem. Secondly, looking back at the records of this particular order, it still appears we did everything the customer requested. Apparently we did not fully understand his instructions for substitutions, something that could have easily been corrected had he contacted us."

Negative raretrees
(1 review)
On May 5, 2005, raretrees Raleigh, NC wrote:

Ordered a dozen fancy geraniums (all shown in lovely colors in the catalog) and received barely rooted twiglets. Despite having two decades of experience with Geraniums, I've lost 9 of the 12 so far. Frankly, they never had a chance. The little things had no business being subjected to the rigors of mailorder with so little shoot and root tissue to sustain them. By comparison, 42 of 43 Geraniums ordered from Hobbs Farm and Papa Genos (at the same time) are alive and thriving. Both sent generous plants for the same price.

One Goodwin "plantlet" had 3 leaves on a 1.5 inch long stem with roots barely filling ONE THIRD OF A TWO INCH POT. Every other Pelargonium dealer that uses two inch pots has sent me stock with 8-25 leaves and stems of 2-5 inches long, occasionally with flowers beginning.

$4.50 a plant ($5.50 with delivery) is not what you charge for Premature PTO (Propagate-To-Order) junk that's a least a month from being saleable and mailable.

On May 5, 2005, Goodwin Creek Gardens responded with:


On Jul 21, 2008 9:05 AM, Goodwin Creek Gardens added:

Firstly, the customer was told the plants were not ready, but were several weeks away from our usual shipping size. He insisted that it was OK and that he had a greenhouse to nurse them along. Apparently they did not do well in transit. We guarantee complete satisfaction and gave the customer a complete refund."

Negative richlanephd
(1 review)
On Jun 13, 2004, richlanephd wrote:

Catalog is very good, but they ignored my order completely! I placed it on May 1, 2004. Got an acknowledgement but no plants. I emailed them on June 1 asking what was happening. No response. Finally on June 10 I called and they said that end May was their "busy season." (Remember I ordered on May 1, weeks before the busy season.) The nice lady promised that someone would call me in "a day or two" to advise me of shipping date. This offer was unacceptable, as it's already too hot now to succeed with the little plants they send out (service was ok last year when I ordered in January), so all I could do was to cancel the order.

I've lost an entire growing season because of their incredible indifference to my order. I certainly don't intend to give them another chance, and I recommend that everybody be extremely careful when placing orders. Call on the phone and get a commitment for shipping date. Even then, be skeptical!

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