Kelly nurseries is a scam

maple_grove_gwMay 24, 2012

So, I would imagine there have been plenty of posts to this effect. I'll add my two cents just in an effor to vent my frustration.

Well I fell for it. I know that in general you get what you pay for, but the price was too good to refuse. I ordered bareroot seedlings of blue spruce and austrian pine. About 60 of them for $75 including shipping, pretty good. When they arrived, they were clearly dead. Moreover, there was very little by way of roots, and they were covered in fungus. When I contacted them, they gave me the typical line about "plants are usually stressed by shipment, try and plant them and they should snap out of it." In retrospect I do not know why, maybe I wanted to believe, but I planted the darned things, expending the effort to plant all 60. Of course that did not help bring them back to life. A few weeks later when I googled them online, I see that their ratings are majorly skewed negative, with lots of ratings saying the same thing I'm about to say. I got concerned and contacted them again. Now their line is "Our policy states that if you want a refund, you must mail back plant material right away. We will only refund if we receive it in the first 15 days. After that we will send a replacement one time." They also said "We expected that they might be dead, since plant material is perishable, so we are prepared to send a replacement." What? Then why did you recommend that I plant them in the first place? Just to delay me so I could not fit into your self-imposed rules? So I say, fine just send the replacement. You have to have saved the original package and mail them a particular part of the shipping label. Jeez, why would anyone intentionally create such a convoluted system? Fortunately I have it and I mail it in. A month later, I receive from them another package of dead plants. When I contact them, I get the same reply as before, it must just be a form they send to everyone. They are stressed out from shipment and suggest I plant them. Come on, I don't think dead plants can get stressed out. After further attempts to discuss this with them, it is clear that they feel they have satisfied their requirement by sending a replacement. What a scam! And the worst part is, Garden Watchdog is full of stories just like this.

In the end, I had to dispute through my credit card to get my money back. I'm glad I didn't pay by check.

It seems also that this nursery has many aliases, but all are the same company. They also go by Burgess, Farmer Seed, Plantron, and on and on.


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Always do a search for 'the scoop on (whatever company OR TRADER) - it's amazing what's on google and a good way to find out others' experiences.

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 6:17PM
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Kelly Nurseries has 84 reviews (68 negative, 11 positive and 5 neutral).

    Bookmark   June 7, 2012 at 6:19PM
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This is very good advice.

Unfortunately it was only after the problems began that I did the search and saw found the results skewed towards negative reviews. In fact, I mentioned this to them in an e-mail communication, to the effect that I expected trouble and wasn't going to stand for it. And do you know what they told me? Here I quote:

"We would like to mention that because we do ship more than a quarter of billion plants annually, try as we may, mistakes may happen and plants do die. A mail order company survives on repeat customers. If the majority of our customers were unhappy and chose not to order from us again, we would long ago have been out of business."

They do have a point in that it is surprising indeed that they are still in business.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2012 at 8:57AM
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Send them a copy of the search - that might open their eyes.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2012 at 4:46PM
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