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Growquest Frustrations

Posted by CitrusCrazed 5 (My Page) on
Wed, Aug 3, 05 at 15:22

Hey Guys,
I ordered 5 lemon and orange Trees from Growquest 2 weeks ago. On the order status page it still says it's in process. I try calling and emailing the place but I always either get the answering machine or they dont answer my emails. I'm really getting frusterated and getting ready to cancel my order. Has anyone else had experiance with this company? Thanks!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Oh My God!!! I am so ticked off that I didnt read that first! It's horrible.

I did finally get through to Chris on the phone and he said that he would send out the 5 trees, 1 at a time starting Monday. I think it's wierd he Cant send them all at the same time. He didnt charge my card yet, but the minute he does and I dont have at least 1 tree I am calling the Credit Card Company and getting that repealed. I've been through a lot of crap of ordering stuff online and I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I'll be ready for this liar.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Citrus, after reading Stuart's post, I went over to GWD..I hope you have better luck than the ppl who have ordered from this cheat. Also, since he's shipping one tree at a time, keep an eye on your cc so it's not multi-charged with shipping fees..Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I got out of it and he refunded me. (Oh, yes, I had to do a lot of threatening!) Here is one of the many emails he sent me after refunding me the money, to try and 'get me back'...

"We have been through a lot here in this house and shop. The nonsense posted on the GWD is mostly that. And I admit my mistakes, I think I make that pretty clear on the customer service page.
You claim you can get no updates on your order but in red type in several places on the shipping pages it lets you know that current shipping problems
You claim you cannot get the correct info on shipping costs, but it linked into your receipt it is also in chart linked to the section you bought the trees in.
I am not going to ship the order because you have set a no win paradigm, so the stage is set for anything possible thing that goes wrong with the shipping , the weather and the plant I will lose the argument. You have set this with the claim that I am liar and cheat, no I just like a lot of people overwhelmed with a family health tragedy just trying to get through day/ week and season. The person who helped me 7 years not here to help another 3 to 4 weeks at best.
We quickly coming up on 11,000 online orders over the last 26 months and phone orders run about 2 to one on that, so the few bad ones and few major or minor misunderstandings that get posted don't impress me.
Expend all your energy you want you can now buy your trees for 1/3 to 1/4 the size and will pay a lot more than would have paid us.
What I want to see is just who you got you trees from and how big the little saplings were or just how much you over paid for the plants. So put up your Irish invoice paper fists and put up or shut up and lets look at the paper work when you are done.
Your order has been credited in full so I could get the first punch in, now lets see the counter punch with paper work and pictures of the replacement plants, and make sure they are
standards and not dwarfs or semi
the plants are about 3 years of age
48 to 54 inches tall
3/4 to 1" trunk caliper
and ready to fruit
Chris"

Here was my response:

Chris,

Here's a reply to all three of your emails.

"I am taking my business elsewhere because of the poor customer service you provide, also because of the not-so-up-to-standards (to say the least!) delivery time you provide. es, I know your trees are big, thats why I placed an order, so I could get quality, big trees. But, then I figured, It's one thing, Chris, to rave about having big, nice, already fruiting citrus tress, and it's another thing to actually get them to the customers who ordered them! That is why I canceled my order.

I was also kind of worried about you sending one tree out at a time. It's a little suspicious, I've never heard of that before.

The Garden Watchdog does not lie, either do the countless Online Garden Forums I post at, such as GardenWeb.com.

You took time to send me that nice little comment from another customer. How do I know that you just typed that up yourself? You wrote two positive comments about yourself (!PSYCHO!) on Garden Watchdog.

Here is the place I will be buying my new trees from: http://www.fourwindsgrowers.com/ They have great trees, great shipping prices ($13 INCLUDING ALL HANDELING CHARGES, ONLY $13!!), and most importantly, and coincidently the one that that you dont have, great customer service. I think they get their trees out to their customers within 14 days of placing and order...when was the last time you sent out an order?!!

Yes, the trees aren't standard, they're dwarfs, but hey, I'll live...at least I can rest assured my trees will actually get to me!, check them out at Garden Watchdog....they have a 100% approval rating!

I understand your family illness, My mother has a horrible auto-immune disease that they is dying of right now. When that happens I make sure that I slow down at work and not do as much.

I think your a company that is trying to grow too fast. Why not have less customers, that are all satisfied, instead of getting in all this turmoil with creditcard companies, and agencies like the BBB.

Just Understand why I took my business elsewhere and maybe learn from it. In the future if you clean up your act I would be more than happy to order some stadard trees from you. Actually I am quite disapointed that you are so distrustful that I couldnt buy your great citrus trees. Thanks,

Matt"

So there's my story...


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Matt, first I want to say I'm really sorry about your mother..extremely sorry. I hope and pray things will improve.

On the other hand I am happy you got out of that deal before he stole money from your account before you had a chance to do anything.
I hope you enjoy your new citrus. I get mine at Briteleaf, Harris, and AcornSpring...and know what I'm getting..
But from now on, when I order other tropicals I'm sure going to check GWD...Toni


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Thanks a lot, Toni, that means a lot to me, she is on some pretty aggresive drugs that seem to be helping a bit.

Yes, am I glad too! I first started getting suspicious today when I couldnt get ahold of them, thats when I posted this thread and check out GWD. I'm so thankful that I looked into this company. I guess you can't belive a thing that comapnies post on their website. (I may sound naive.) I can't wait to get my trees from Four Winds!
Matt


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RE: Fraudquest

Matt, I'll keep your mom in my prayers.

After reading the message board on GWD, you weren't the only person who couldn't get hold of them..And to think they had ppl working at Growquest add positive feedback..lol..I wonder how they got caught..'Bet that was a shocker..Out of 2 pages, how many positives were there, not counting the two frauds? LOL..Toni


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I almost ordered from Growquest, until I checked out Garden Watchdog. I ordered from Briteleaf instead and am very happy with the trees I got.

Stuart


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Matt..Ive done business with FourWinds for a number of years. They always sent me nice healthy trees, and always on time with there orders.

Myself I have never gotten a 3/4 or 1" dia tree, from them as Growquest said they have.

FourWinds back there trees 100%, If there is a problem you can call them or E-Mail them, For help or troubles, And they are right there, In my opinion I rate them very high.

Another good Vendor is mckenzie-farms..Stan the owner is very nice and helpful. He also sells nice trees that are low cost and healthy.

Unfortunately I do not plan on buying any more trees this season. If I did I would try Tams, they sound like GOOD people...I hope you the Best of luck in your new order..Dale


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Thanks a lot guys!
He keeps emailing me about 2 long emails every 3 hours that are very rude and offensive. I'm keeping them for any future record in case he charges my card. (You never know with him). I'm placing an order with Four Winds today and hopefully next week I will place a smaller order with Stan. His prices are a bit cheaper than Four Winds so I'll get some of the citrus that he has that Four Winds does not. I'll keep you updated...Matt


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Matt, this guy sounds like a nut!! Why is he emailing you every 3 hours? Is he threatening you? I'd save the letters for sure, in case you have to take action..Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Toni, Yes he is wacko! It's sort of funny reading his immature emails. He isn't threatening me (yet), but he is just trying to make me look like an idiot for not buying his trees, and buying 'little' trees. He also likes to tell me that I'm not a good fighter because I never respond to the emails. It's like he's 12 years old. (No offense to any of you 12 year olds out there.)
I've been showing him this cool little site:
http://www.ifccfbi.gov/cf1.asp
to make sure he knows who he's messing with...
Hopefully he'll give it up and go away.
Matt


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Matt, wacko for sure! I hope this guy gets the message by you mentioning that site. LOL..What is his problem?
Well, it's a good thing you found out about his site before he could rip you off. That's really scary.
Did you go through the 2 pages on GWD?? The things that company did, posing as customers..I'm happy they were caught in their little game..Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Growquest has finally self destructed, and they have shut down the business. Chris' passive-agressive missive can be found below. (Beware, it is full of messy divorce drama rama.) And he is actually STILL trying to bill people for old orders, so everyone watch your credit cards. If any of you lost money from Growquest's scams/antics, give a call to the Visalia, CA Police department. 559-733-6600

The only good things to come out of my horrible Growquest experience: I found GardenWeb and GWD! I posted my experience at GWD.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growquest closes


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

There but for the grace of God go I... I checked out the GrowQuest website was saddened by what I read. I'm not trying to detract from the importance of getting all of the orders and refunds sorted out, but if what this guy is saying is true, he's got his work cut out for him. Good luck to you (and the owners of this failed business).


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Yes, it's sad but I also think personal business should be left out of public business.


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I agree wholeheartedly. I should have mentioned that I feel bad for the guy because he WROTE what he did, in addition to the reasons behind his ever-so-personal announcement.


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amberigo..I personal what to Thank You, for your above posting,, if any member has ordered from Growquest in the past, You should be very much aware of your Credit Card Statements. A buisness failure is not, and can not be the blame for just one individual
In viewing there wep site over the past couple of months There was many problems. I feel the Bullsh$t got them..
Problem after Problem
It would have been more understanding on my part if they were to say a flock of Loopers them...Dale


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Tam, I agree with you. He, the owner, never should have dedicated a whole page regarding his personal life. If it's the truth, of course it's a sad situation, and he's got his hands full I'm sure, but business is business.
Matt, I hope you get your trees, which should have been sent out a while back, since you started this thread Aug 3..I don't think it's a busy time of year for nurseries, so those trees should have been packaged, shipped and delivered..Keep an eye on your cc.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Those statements on his website make me hate him even more. He is a psycho!! Why the heck would he say all of that to the world on his website? Like we care? Sure I feel awful for those poor kids (partly for having him as a father), but do we need to know every last detail of his horrible life? It's not like he's the only one that knows misery. What a cry baby! I'm am so glad that Growquest is shut down.


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Matt, I sure don't blame you for being upset..Not when you had hopes of getting new trees only to find out, several wks later, it's probable you won't get your trees..His problem is not your problem or any other buyer's.
I'm shocked that he wrote what he did. I could understand if there was a death in the family, with a brief explanation, and a choice to consumers whether or not they wanted to buy or pass up, instead of a full-page soap opera of his marital problems..(If it's true)
I once had a similar problem on Ebay. My brother wanted an antique robot..I boasted how great Ebay was, all you can get, fast delivery. He came over, and found a robot which I then bid on and won. I paid w/my cc, the same day Ebay notified that I had won. Two wks go by and no robot. BTW, I also paid for 2 day delivery. Another wk goes by, several emails on my end, w/o any responses. A full month went by, and he finally writes back saying the robot was sent out that day..Another wk, no robot. I don't remember how many emails I wrote, but he was getting pissed. He finally ships the robot to my brother, and sure enogh, a few parts were broken, and I'm thinking intentionally. I left negative feedback about him, and he writes something negative back..I then write, I wouldn't recommend this guy to the devil, and he said I was the devil's friend. LOL. That was the only neg feedback I've on Ebay over a 7 yr period. And he's now longer a seller..Toni


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Dale - Your insistance on the use of profanity further proves your lack of language skills. Could you please spare us your foul language in the future? Be angry with me for bringing it up (although I'm not the first in this forum to scold you for bad language), but please keep your profanity to yourself. For the record, a dollar sign in the place of an "i" makes your comments legal, but still unacceptable to those of us who have cleaner language skills. Thanks for your understanding and there's no point in responding. Just clean up your potty mouth.


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Matt, let us know when and if you get your trees.


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After reading comments made on the Garden Watchdog site about Growquest over the last year or so, I don't feel bad for him at all.

He has routinely not only not delivered products, but has threatened people over and over. He generally blames his customers for his own problems. If he was as mean to his wife as he appears to be to his customers, it's no wonder she has problems.

Stuart


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EGO..Thats right my comments are legal!! At least there not fill with lies, And self proclaimed thoughts of knowledge..

Stuart..I almost made the mistake of getting trees from them this Spring. After viewing there Web site an GardenWatchdog I felt I would not..Thank God..Dale


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There are so many times when I wish they had those emotions or little avatars in this forum. lol


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tamstrees..I remember a few months ago where you mentioned using MegaGro in one of your past posting.I did email you on the use of it and how you emailed me back not in a day but within the hour. I like your email than just as much as I love to see your posting here. There are a number of people that one gets to know that I look forward in seeing there posting I like people that earn respect I dont like people that demand it You Tams earn my respect..Good Luck Dale


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Its simple, Groquest had to many troubles to try and do business, i had to get a refund from my credit card company. But more important is this... I orderd trees from Tams Nursery and they are the best i own. She does what she says she will do and does it fast.


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Now check out their site. It looks back to normal. I even tried checking something out and it let me (I didn't put in my credit card number though.) That's wierd...probably still have the shopping cart open so that they can still take people money but not send them anything.


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Matt, that's awful..did you leave feedback on GWD? I wonder if his wife came back..LOL. Toni


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LOL, Toni. That family is messed up, to say the least. Yea I just left feedback on GWD. I left feedback for Harris and Four Winds as well if anyone would like to check that out.


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Oh wow what compliments! Thank you Dale and Kyartist. That was so nice.

Doing good business is really not that hard. Like anything in life you need to begin with a good foundation. The people who win in life are the people who have this foundation they care about people, love what they are doing and practice a few universal laws; 1) give back as much as you take 2) always practice kindness even when people are down your throat 3) Keep your promises

There is more to it then that. Remember that my background is in business and any business can operate with basic GOOD business rules, however being compassionate and courteous to people comes from a deeper place within.

I truly feel that a lot of people in the nursery business are just plain busy or they dont really have good internet or customer service skills. You see a lot of good trades people that know their stuff but when it comes to marketing and dealing with the public they stink. My strong suit are those things but I dont have a degree in horticulture so when a customer ask me a question and I dont know the answer I have to spend the time researching it or pass along my own personal experience. Still the most important thing to them is that they can call or write and get help. Its the personal touches that build a good customer base.

Ive talked with Chris on the phone and we toyed with the idea of him shipping CA products for me and cover that region to help customers save on shipping cost. I would do the same for him here in Florida since we cant ship to each others state. Hes really a nice guy and I referred him a lot of business and then I stopped because of shipping delays. I think he just bit off more then he could chew. If I get really busy I stop my Google ads for a while and let my customers know ahead of time that I cant ship. I know what I can comfortably do and to be honest I have no great desire to turn all this into a HUGE business even though I absolutely can with my knowledge and background. At this point in my life I need to do things that bring me happiness, give back to the world and I never want to get so busy that I dont have time to talk to my customers on the phone or answer their emails. Getting rich is just not a motivation for me any longer or I never would have gotten into this business to start with.

Mail order plants is a tough business. In addition to rules and regulations there are countless customer service issues to deal with. You can know everything you need to know about how to grow an orange tree but dealing with the public is a whole other story.

And I want to take this time to thank everyone here. I continually learn so much here. Your support, emails, help, etc. mean so much to me. I love this place.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Look for "Chris" (if that`s even his real name) to open up another mail order plant nursery business in the near future under a different name so he can continue ripping off unsuspecting people.


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Cagary, good point, but unless he relocates, customers will figure his scam out by his business address.
It's too bad more people who order plants aren't aware of GWD. I've only heard of it 3 or so months back. Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

You should only ever deal with reqistered nurseries and I think if you have a problem, like this with one you should file a complaint with the state. I'm not sure if it will keep them from issue license to the same name or not. Getting a nursery license if easy...complinance is a whole other issue.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Tamara and Toni are correct. I will add that anyone with a tax identification number (and $50) can get a nursery/floral license. Some states don't even require the license to operate a nursery. State agriculture departments don't issue stop-sale orders because people are complaining about service. In fact, I doubt if sales/service issues are contained in any agriculture code. Rather the agriculture department is mainly concerned about enforcing quarantines (i.e. the "fire ant stamp" in Texas) and ensuring that only labled/appropriate chemicals are being used in a licensed nursery. Sometimes they handle weights and measures. And in some areas, state officials work in conjunction with the USDA (color, size, etc.) Unfair business practices, or "ripping people off" is more an issue for the state attorney general's office. And, even though they have no real (governing) power, the Better Business Bureau can assist in righting the situation. If you haven't already, call the BBB and file a complaint. They are excellent mediators in situations like this. Good luck.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

AAE, is that all it takes to get a license to operate a nursery?
After reading GWD's Growquest and Tyty Nursery feedback, I was shocked..Last night I spent an hour reading what people had to say about these two nurseries.
It's too bad that people looking for plants don't know about GWD. If there was a way to spread the word that such a place exists, I'd be the first to announce it to the world. Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Well think about it... anyone can do business on the web. There are people selling mail order plants that are not licensed.

It's like anything, do some research, try not to get burned too much and work with people you know have good practices.

This is what I like about Ebay is the feedback. It gives customers a good idea.


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Hi I did an order with them on 7/16...for some decollate snails, they have charged my visa debit card for 9.99, shipping and handling 9.99...19.98 total...i emailed them and called them many times with only one reply saying it was too hot there to ship them and that they would ship soon, well its sept.now and still no snails. I saw how they went outta business. Now how do i go about getting my money back, mine order number was before the number they listed on the outta business page on their web site...does anyone know how to get my money back? Same thing happened at that other place i tried ordering from, "easy to grow" company, except atleast they never charged me for the snails i never got....they just lost my paperwork. Can anyone help??? thanks,Patty


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Patty - That's an easy one. Even though it's a debit card, it carries the "Visa" logo and you are therefore entitled to many of the protections offered by a credit card.

Simply call your bank and dispute the charge. Let them know that you never received the product and that the company now is out of business. You may have to fill out a form, or two. But you'll get your money back. Credit card companies almost always side with the customer (opposed to the merchant). I would think your case would be a slam-dunk one: you paid and they never shipped. Good luck.


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Is Grow Quest in fact out of business?

I have had at least 3 customers contact me with the same problems listed here. As I mentioned I did refer some customers because it was closer or they were in CA and I cant ship there. They were quite upset.

I went to Yahoo and Google to ramp my placements up again and noticed that hes still paying for placement in both Google and Yahoo. Only in Google his web site is: http://www.abpwholesale.com/

The site is exactly the same as the other. No where on these sites does it say anything about shutting down or problems.

Im a little perplexed and I dont want this come off like Im worried about competition, Im not. I just hate seeing people ripped off and leaving a bad taste for all mail order companies.

I dont see where this business is out of business or handling any of its issues


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Patty,
If you have lost money from all this, I urge you to contact the Visalia police department.
1-559-733-6600


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Sorry in advance long post but hope its useful. Im a new member here I ran across this forum and site while trying to track down a problem I had with an order from growquest.com. Ive done quite a bit of searching around and calling, and thought I might be able to answer or at least help with some of the questions posted. Tamstrees - I wish you could ship to California!! Id love to buy my avocado trees from you instead.

Background of whats happened so far:
Late June I called to talk to Growquest about what avocado trees would do best in my area. Chris was pretty abrupt but overall helpful and knew my area so I decided to buy from them. I live near Sacramento, CA and he said that because I was fairly close, he would deliver the trees himself next time he had a "batch" of trees coming this direction. He estimated it would be about 2 weeks. He seemed hurried/rushed so I offered to submit the order online instead of via phone, which he asked me to do. I submitted it online that day (cant recall the exact date). About 3 weeks later I saw this charge on my credit card: 07/12/2005 ABP GROWQUEST $74.32.

I waited nearly a month because it was very hot in this area and I thought the delivery was probably delayed as a result. Then I started calling and emailing about once a week. I never got a reply to my emails, and most times I got no one on the phone. One time in early Sept, a woman answered the phone. I asked her for my order status, and she said I had to talk to Chris because the order was so old. I asked when he might get back to me and she just said "All Im doing right now is taking messages, thats all I can tell you." He never called back.

I waited another few days then just got a really bad feeling about the whole deal. Found the link about them being closed down, and also found the Daves Garden website which seems to indicate theyve been having problems for quite awhile. I disputed it with my credit card and they are currently investigating.

So with my various searching on their site and on the net I thought I might be able to help with some of the questions. Here goes:

> Is Grow Quest in fact out of business?
I think so. It appears to me that Chris is not particularly good with HTML (he says his wife did the website side of things). With enough searching around you will find the contact page: http://www.growquest.com/contact_information.htm. The link next to Jamies name that says "new_page_1.htm" takes you here: http://www.growquest.com/refunds__business_shut_down.htm which has a lot of detail. It is not AT ALL obvious and should be prominently displayed right on the home page, in my opinion.

>I went to Yahoo and Google to ramp my placements up again and noticed that hes still paying for placement in both Google and Yahoo. Only in Google his web site is: http://www.abpwholesale.com/
Based on the description of how theyre handling some of the orders, I think that hes probably doing business under a "new" name, abpwholesale. Actually when I ordered back in July the name came up on my bill as ABP Growquest, so at that time it looked like there were maybe 2 "sides" to the company (wholesale/retail perhaps?). The Better Business Bureau shows both names: http://www.fresno.bbb.org/commonreport.php?n=10&id=11&compid=71251186&language=&code=

> The site is exactly the same as the other. No where on these sites does it say anything about shutting down or problems.
There are some very slight differences (I think tied back to Chris not being very good with HTML). The only major differences I saw were the company name, and the contacts. Growquests has Jamies name all over it and a link to that long story about what happened to the business. ABP doesnt have that anywhere (or I couldnt find it after a lengthy search). ABP also lists a toll-free phone number for calls, and Chris name everywhere as the contact person. This is just a guess, but it appears to me that he probably us doing business under ABP Growquest now, but "borrowed" all the website content from the Growquest site.

> Im a little perplexed and I dont want this come off like Im worried about competition, Im not. I just hate seeing people ripped off and leaving a bad taste for all mail order companies.

I dont blame you! I hope the info above helps with at least some of your questions. I would absolutely not refer anyone to them, at least not at this point. The biggest reasons I would not feel comfortable referring people (even if they ARE back in business) are these:

- Why are they charging customers at random times, and before items are ready to be shipped??? This seems to have been a consistent problem from the very beginning, not just as the business fell apart.
- Why is it so hard to find the "shut down the business" page?
-The business is supposedly shut down but the "shopping cart" still works. I dont know if they are still charging credit cards, but they are taking orders that will never be filled.
-I am not sure on this one, but is it really legal for them to not fill a bunch of orders and leave it up to the consumer to fight it with their credit card? It seems to me like it should be their obligation to refund the money, not each customers obligation to track down a very "hidden" web page and submit a dispute.
- The terms and conditions page is awfully long and contains a LOT of complaints about customers and veiled "threats" (i.e. where they will take up legal action, how hes good at filling out legal paperwork). This alone would have stopped me from ordering had I read it through the first time he seems very confrontational towards his customers.

It sure looks to me like this guy is still operating a business under a new name, but if it were me I definitely would not refer any customers to him.

Hope this helps some. Good luck to all that are trying to get money back.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I've been through similar stuff with Growquest as I'm sure many other wonderful people have been. I strongly encourage you to share your stories with the Bureau of Investigation of the District Attorney's office in Visalia. The phone number is
1-559-733-6600. This guy is indeed a crook, and it's people like us that can keep him from re-forming his business under another name so he can scam other good folk.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

With the many people that that guy swindled I wonder if he got rich from those? And why is he still in buseness?


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Why is this guy in business? Because there are millions of people who order plants each year..The majority of people never heard of GWD or GW. Therefore, they are unaware of what they're getting themselves into.
Think of all the people who shop for plants in spring, readying to plant in their garden..What they can't find at their local nursery they search for online..
This guy's website displays beautiful plants..and that's what folks think they'll be getting..Toni


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I think this posting is one of the best postings I have seen in a very long time.


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Excellent post indeed.
Deltadog..great post..thanks for the info.

I too believe that he is still in business, if he's got an attorney and is pursuing so much legal action, he needs a lot of money.

Tamstrees. Good to hear about your business. I will be buying my trees from you, since I live in Florida. Hopefully I can get a link to your website searching your page. If not, please feel free to email me acabam@msn.com

Thanks!
Marta


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Marta I am easy to find. Just do a search. I will, however email you as well.

Tamara


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Tamara - Have you made the move to Virginia yet? Are you going to maintain both opreations, or eventually consolidate everything to "Cold Mountain"? I hope all is well.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Alter- I'm actually in VA right now. I had hoped to go ahead get the greenhouses up, test them, learn them etc. since I have not done this before and continue things in Florida until Spring. I can't risk losing so much money in inventory over one mistake. I decided this was the best way, plus I'm still making improvements to the property and still getting my licenses, etc. all set up.

Meanwhile I am still license in Florida and the man I sold my farm to will rent it to me as long as I need. I have a very large Florida customer base so I would like to continue to do business there if I can find a partner or company to work with. Then I would still make monthly trips to keep an eye on things. Know anyone?

Hopefully next year I'll have Dancing Creek set up and start growing organic produce. That's my goal.


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Warning!

It seems that Chris has attempted to start a new business called A Better Plant Grower. That is the biggest case of false advertising ever. Someone should let the rose people know.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chris Gilchrist's new company


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

That sucks.. well maybe someone in his state will do something. If he starts to advertise on google again then someone should contact the search engines.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

A Better Plant Grower (better than what?) now has a feedback page on Garden Watchdog. It wouldn't hurt for all of us dissatisfied Growquest customers to post something. If we keep even one potential customer from being conned that's a good thing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Watchdog Better Plant Grower page


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I emailed GWD to let them know about the Growquest connection. But we shouldn't leave feedback unless we've done business with them, per GWD's rules. I just wanted to get the word out so no one is scammed again.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Just when I thought my Growquest "drama" was over today I received an email from Chris (under Jamies former email address). The email is long so I wont post the whole thing, but its similar to the previous "shutting down the business" page on growquest.com. In a nutshell he says to dispute any charges though the credit card company to get your money back, and "I will fill your order from my own income and make you whole plus 10%. Any shipping and packing charges due that needed to send you order will need to be paid at time of shipping."

Frankly I think Id prefer that he just drop the whole thing now that I have my money back from the credit card company, but we shall see. The thought that my credit card info is now in the hands of someone who thinks he can basically charge any amount for packaging and shipping is a bit scary, but if I do end up with my trees and no outrageously inflated shipping charges I will be happily surprised. If anyones interested Ill be glad to post an update, if theres ever anything new to post.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

This is all so very interesting. How do you know that this is his new website & under a diff. name? There sure is a lot of writing on that website! Wonder who wrote it.
Doesn't this guy get the hint!!?? Maybe he should get a job at McDonald's (not to insult anyone that's working there)
Tamara, still looking for a partner?


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I'm not looking for that kind of partner. I was hoping to find someone in Florida to ship for us. We would basically take the orders, help with stock selection, training, etc. But my guidelines are very strict.
I may just close for 3 months while I get all set up in VA. To be honest I'm not even sure I want to stock citrus in Florida any more.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

DeltaDog2, did you get your money back?


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Patty, you asked how we knew "A Better Plant Grower" was Growquest. #1-the website is identical. #2 - everything I received (emails, etc) from Growquest were from "ABP Growquest." Those initials remind you of anything?


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Amberigo - yes, I did get it back from my credit card company. They still have it listed as "under investigation" and said they have gotten no reponse from Growquest. Fortunately they looked at the growquest "out of business" page before it was taken down though, so they know what happened. If he never responds they will also take my side of the story as correct, then go after Growquest for the money. I haven't heard anything from Growquest/Chris at all since that last email.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I'm sorry to report that Growquest is back in "business." And Chris isn't happy that we have posted about our negative experiences with him and his company.

For the record, shipping "some" or "most" of the orders is not acceptable. Ever. Especially when *all* of them are billed.

DeltaDog, I'm glad you got your money back.

Here is a link that might be useful: He's back!


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Amazing.... I am speechless.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

That guy is really LOSING IT! Anyone that orders from him has to be as crazy as he is.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I note he found someone else to work with. Does anyone think, since he's found a second person to work with, orders will arrive on time and in good condition? I've never ordered from him and don't intend to..not after all the negative feedback I read on GWD..Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Hopefulauthor - apparently not, unfortunately. See the link. Wish he could get it together, their website seems so promising.

Does anyone else happen to know of a good source for a variety of avocado trees in California??

Here is a link that might be useful: Dave's Garden page for ABP


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

They got that Roach! Thanks for the link deltadog2!


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Wow! the site is down. The mess has ended!
http://www.abetterplant.com/


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Just when you thought it was over - Growquest is back up and running with an update posted 2/11/06.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growquest is back


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

How interesting that he blames his ex-wife on his A Better Plant website, a business that was started after Growquest shut down and his "family crisis". How interesting that customers from his new business complain about being charged for merchandise and not receiving it. How interesting that he excuses all of his business problems with Growquest by his own descriptions of the beginning, middle, and end of his family crisis, yet the same type of complaints go back several years, and then continued with A Better Plant customers. Isn't there a consistent pattern that is present here? The reason why Chris is complained about by so many customers is because he is the one these customers had personal contact with. He is the one that personally made so many false promises. Yet, it's always somebody else's fault. One of the excuses given by Chris to customers on here a while back, was not being able to get good help in the area. One of the charges from his arrest was hiring employees without paying employee taxes and insurance. Well, he was right. It is difficult to hire good help when you are offering to pay workers illegally. Most "good" workers want to work for an honest employer. But I bet he would claim that was somebody else's fault too.
There is something to be said for what goes around comes around. And you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. And, you made your bed now lye in it.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I may have some better news about Growquest... Against my better judgement, I ordered 4500 ladybugs on Thursday. Just got them today on Monday. 2 days later!!! That is the 1st thing I have ordered from them, so I don't have any citrus tree feedback. Pretty darn good buying experience from the time I submitted my order.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I wish I had seen this before I placed my order. I ordered some lady bugs on 6/13/06 and after two weeks I got concerned that my order had not arrived (their shipping schedule said they would be shipped in 3 days. Calling them on the phone only gets an answering machine that says they are currently shipping lady bugs. I've called twice and have not yet received a return call. I'm cancelling my order - oh by the way, their online order status screens says the status of my order is "Unknown" What's that all about??? I don't suggest ANYONE do busniess this outfit!


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Oh hey...look at that, now they're out of business again. The funny part is they say it's as of January 2006, but they were "up and running" again in February 2006. Someone needs to get them a calendar just so they can keep track of when they're in business and when they're not!

Anyway...

http://www.growquest.com is gone completely.
http://www.abetterplant.com/ says they're refunding orders due to closure of the company. And they list everyone they'll be sending refunds to.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I'd never order from that nusery..I don't care about the cost, or if they swore they had the best trees available..I can't believe the BBB or some organization hasn't closed them down with all the complaints..
It's too bad more people weren't aware of GWD. So many people get online looking for nurseries and are drawn to this nursery because of the plant pics they display. I thank goodness I'm aware of it..if there's a way to get the word out, I wish I could find it..Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

So sad to say, but Growquest is back in a BIG way. They are now using Amazon.com as their vehicle.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growquests page on amazon


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Just to add an update to the growquest saga: They are no longer selling on amazon but have opened their own site. I almost, ALMOST, ordered ladybugs from them. Thank God my hubby asked me to do something else and I forgot. I had my cc ready and everything. I'm so glad that I remembered to check GWD and here. Probably saved me $30, and a lot of hassle.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grow Quest


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I wish I had checked here first before ordering 2 roses from them. So far I have had nothing but headache from them. I finally told them to cancel the order and they better not charge my card. I got the same two roses from MerryGro Farms in Florida at much lower price. They are already on their way.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

This guy is a fraud. I got a pomegranate tree which was suppose to be a Red Silk one. What I got is a Lowe's special. How did I know it came from Lowe's? The tag was still on it!!! He also sent me a nearly dead Sir Prize Avocado and the wrong size Bacon Avocado. I also ordered a Mc Beth Loquat and Meyer Lemon, however, I don't know if they are the right either.

There needs to be class action against this guy Chris. He isn't even a nursery but a broker.

Talk about being deceitful.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Mrada, is Growquest still opened for business? I can't believe it..after all the complaints made against his company, you'd think they'd close down..
That's terrible you got ripped off.
I wish more ppl out here were aware of gardenwatchdog.com I think the majority of people looking for plants, find a good-looking site w/positive promises, then find themselves ordering from this guy..If only there was a way to warn people..this disgusts me..
If you're unhappy w/your plants can you send them back, at his expense? I can't believe he sent a Lowe's plant..that's awful and should be against the law. Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

At the end of a long rope - and don't know exactly what to do - I wanted olive trees - searched the internet and found this company. Called and was given Chris's cell phone number.
I ordered 2 olive trees, 2 fig trees, 1 lemon,1kumquat..and
after a couple of long conversations with Chris was told that he would ship fedex ground following week as trees were starting to bud. I was charged 2000+ a week later and after a month and no trees tried emailing. Didn't hear back - after a few more emails I was told that upon MY request he was waiting until the trees were FLOWERING and in good condition to ship.
WHy on earth would I request shipping trees that are blooming - the dialogue we had was centered around shipping trees immediately because they were starting to bud.
I received the 2 fig trees after countless frustrated emails 2 mo later - with broken branches - but I will attribute that to shipping - but the packing was so very very poor it's a wonder they didn't both snap in half/
I cancelled the balance of the order - got an email confirming the cancellation and two weeks later got a call from a freight forwarder stating that my trees were here and they have a note saying "bill Elizabeth" for 700+. Shipping was paid when the order was paid - it was all included.
BUT I cancelled the order and someone over at that poor excuse of a company confirmed the cancellation.
I refused the trees - and need some advise. What recourse do I have - I'm so frustrated with the total lack of professionalism I could scream.
And that wretch has me in a barrel. The trees are here - who knows what condition they're in and I need to pay an additional 700 for delivery - after I've already paid 500+/
Not to mention being out 2k+ for almost 3 months with very limited feedback. It's as if the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing. And since when do companies bill before shipping????
Anyone have a good suggestion - or know who to contact that could help me??
many thanks to any and all feedback


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

This whole saga borders on the unbelievable.
I'm just waiting for a major network to pick it up. I think this is good enough for the "You won't believe this" section in Readers Digest.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Tams Nursery can you please email me your website address. I was not able to find it online. Thank you.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

NEVER ORDER FROM THIS COMPANY! It has been A YEAR since my order. They keep stalling, lying, everything to get out of their obligation! They have had my money for the last year!! They keep saying it was sent in July 07. But as I told them MANY times, I only got 2 of the 3. Then they stall more. Then they go back to saying it was sent in July 07. I notified them right away I was missing one. They ignore emails, calls, everything!

And DO NOT believe the crap about family issues! Chris has been using that excuse for the last year!! His wife probably left him cuz he is a lying cheat! I have at least 50 emails over the last year proving that they continue to stall and lie!

They have my money and my product!! It has been literally ONE YEAR!!

BUYER BEWARE...TO THE nTH DEGREE!!! I will be writing another letter to the Better Business Bureau ... I suggest everyone do the same so they do not continue to scam people!!


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

RS, it's truly amazing Growquest, (he uses other name, too) is still opened to the public.
Check www.gardenwatchdog.com Unsuspecing people are buying from this guy. People have written to the BBB and other government agencies, and so far nothing has been done.
I'm sooo thankful I never ordered from him. And yes, I've read his lies on GardenWatchdog..He has to know someone staying in bussines after hundreds of people made complaints..Something's fishy.
I wish more ppl would read GardenWatchdog before ordering from this rip-off company..Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Does anybody know who this gus ISP is? I'd like to have the site shut down.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

RSC, I don't know if you're still around, but if so, what happened when you notified the BBB?

Kifaru, which site do you want to shut down? Growquest? If you go to www.gardenwatchdog.com you'll see this Chris guy uses other nursery names..3 they know of.
I cannot believe this man is in business. Just yesterday I checked GWD and people are still complaining about this nursery. Can you imagine all the others who were ripped off and never heard of GWD?
It's too bad GWD isn't publicly announced, so people who spend their hard-earned money would be made aware before ordering from a nursery. Especially a rip off company!
Sorry, I have no idea what his ISP is. I'd say he uses more than one email. Apparently, according to a people who visited his so-called nursery, the address listed is nothing but a vacant lot. NOT a green house. Not anything. Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

His isp is names4ever.com. Call them or email them and let them know.

Domain name: growquest.com

Registrant:
Chris Gilcrest (9PGKZ) info@biopest.com
Applied Bio Pest
567 W. Channel Islands Blvd. #129
Port Hueneme, CA 93041
United States
Phone: +1 (805) 984-9224
Fax: +1 (805) 984-1517

Administrative Contact:
Chris Gilcrest (9PGKZ) info@biopest.com
Applied Bio Pest
567 W. Channel Islands Blvd. #129
Port Hueneme, CA 93041
United States
Phone: +1 (805) 984-9224
Fax: +1 (805) 984-1517

Technical Contact:
Chris Gilcrest (9PGKZ) info@biopest.com
Applied Bio Pest
567 W. Channel Islands Blvd. #129
Port Hueneme, CA 93041
United States
Phone: +1 (805) 984-9224
Fax: +1 (805) 984-1517

Billing Contact:
Chris Gilcrest (9PGKZ) info@biopest.com
Applied Bio Pest
567 W. Channel Islands Blvd. #129
Port Hueneme, CA 93041
United States
Phone: +1 (805) 984-9224
Fax: +1 (805) 984-1517


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I know this string is old- 2005, but good information. If you check out GWD's feedback for this company, there is one dated March 2008, by Ruthlyz that you may find intriguing, and her post may provide closure. Justice has been served!!!
btw- I'm having a problem with Aloha Tropicals- similar thing, two months since I ordered, they have my money, I have no plants, etc. I know- I had even posted a positive comment about these people based on prior experience, that I've changed to negative, now that I got burned! I STRONGLY recommend GWD first first first!!!


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Jeelli, it'd be great keeping this thread on top...especially for people who are unaware of Gardenwatchdog.
I really find it unbelievable this business is up and running..How many ppl have contacted the BBB and other government agencies??? If you or anyone here have ever read through the feedback on this company, you'll know what I mean..this has been going on far too long.

I'll have to go back to GWD and read your feedback on AT's..Did you contact them via emails? Thanks for the heads up, that's another nursery off my list. Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Hi Toni!
I did email them- again- I told them I'm ready to file a complaint with the BBB. I have all of the info for the local Better Business Bureau office in San Diego.
I received a reply today from Aloha Tropicals. They stated that they had been unable to successfully propagate two of the plants I had ordered, and they will be refunding my money ($88). What bugs me is that they took my money immediately (in April), promised to send them a month ago (in May) and now all of the sudden they don't even have them???
I haven't been credited yet, but I have a copy of my statement from April showing the charge, and a copy of the email I just got today, to bring to the bank. Just in case.
I'm going to have to find a reputable place to get the Pua Keni Keni tree and the Gardenia Carinata (Coronata) that I really wanted, although now I'll have to wait until the fall to have them shipped.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

  • Posted by cagary zone 10 CA (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 24, 08 at 23:29

You might want to try Tropical Gardens of Maui to find your Pua Keni Keni. http://www.tropicalgardensofmaui.com/

I've had good luck with them.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Don't know if this has been posted but Chris now has a website called SurfandsierraDOTCOM
and a Phone # of 559-802-8066


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I ordered ladybugs from this guy in December and never received them. Luckily my card wasn't charged, but I think I should cancel the credit card just in case. I think the company is a front for something else or a total scam.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Toni,
I am so thankfull that I didn't order from these people. I almost did. I liked there avocado selection and was considring buying a dwarf from them until someone on tropical fruit forum had warned me. Icannot believe it is legal to scam thousands of people out of money. I also agree that personal business should never reflect on your company. I am hoping this place gets shutdown fast!
Andrew


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I am somewhat glad that I am not the only one having problems with Aloha Tropicals. I ordered plants last October using their e-mail offer, which they did not honor. Arrived plants did not look good: Kaffir Limes looked not healthy - leaves not shiny with brown spots. Now 6 month later both of them didn't grow...
Pineapple Guava, probably 3-4 years old plant, about 3 foot-tall, all growth on one side (no branches on other sides) was in 4" pot...
Jasminum Sambac, "Maid of Orleans" looked strange - light yellow leaves with almost white spots (I am afraid it has viral infection). During last 6 month it grow only one pair of leaves, which are deformed and still very light. It also has 2 flowers - about 4-5 mm large, whitish at first, becoming burgundy later. No smell.

I tried to contact company by phone - nobody picks up the phone and nobody returns voice mail. Tried to send e-mail using web-site contact us - system gives Internal Error message. Tried to send e-mail through web-master - returns as undeliverable with "recipient does not like you" message.

I will never again have any business with them.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I wish I had found Gardenweb before I ordered an avocado tree from Chirs at Growquest! I talked to him over the phone, and told him this was an end of chemo gift from my hubby, and he charged me through the nose and sent me a tree! But it came sick, dying then died FAST FAST FAST! I tried to deal with him, and after much irritation he told me it was now too late to send another and that he would send me a refund then try again in the Spring! I let him know several times over winter that I had not gotten that refund, but to be honest another round of chemo drew my attention away from it...so partly my fault I suppose. However, I have now sent a couple more emails and he hasn't replied at all. It sounds like he won't respond either. I am frustrated, and angry, I know some people can shrug off a hundred and fifty bucks but that is a lot of money for us and I'm mad. Mad that I didn't look into him more but honestly I didn't know places like this exsisted either. After I he shipped my tree he asked me to give him good feedback someplace he sent a link to. I did. I wish I hadn't, and have no idea where it was either! I'd like to go back and leave scathing feedback now. I guess I can only be grateful that now I have Garden web to look things up on and will hopefully not ever have that experience again. Needless to say I won't do business with them again, and now I don't order anything until I look up on Garden Web and see for each thing where you all got yours! LOL

Just know, that Growquest is still in business and swindling honest people!

Since I read way more than ever posting, think I have posted once or twice maybe. But I have sure gotten great help here! Greatful for this place!


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I'm sorry to hear about what he did to you, campsgreenhouse. I know the website he probably sent you to, but I am unable to post it on gardenweb. But don't worry, you wouldn't really have to add any negative feedback. There are many, many others who have done so already. Going by all the comments on that site, he's been reported to several agencies but unfortunately it seems nothing is being done to stop him.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Thinking about ordering from Growquest??

As another person stated....step away from your keyboard...step away and RUN!

I actually met Chris back in 2004 on a landscaping project, he probably does not remember me, but he left a lasting impression on me. IMHO....I have never met anyone so rude and filled with hubris! I ordered some hard to find roses from him, but after many, many emails and phone calls they never came EVEN THOUGH HE WAS PAID IN FULL and has had MY MONEY for 6 years!!

It is hard to believe that this man can remain in business. However, he DOES change the name of his company as often as most of us change our underwear. I was SHOCKED to see the article in the Ventura County Star Newspaper in early April 2010 - see link below.

http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/apr/08/santa-paula-web-based...

He has been conning people out of their hard earned dollars since 2003 and continues to do so. I thought we had seen the last of him when he was arrested in 2006 for labor code violations. Alas, the Phoenix rises from the ashes of all the people he has BURNED - yes, pun intended!

When I heard through the grapevine that he was up and running again now in Santa Paula, I was shocked and decided to see if he REALLY did have a nursery anywhere since I was making a trip to So Cal anyway. I went over to his office located at 134 Davis Street in Santa Paula, CA. When I arrived I found a house that had been converted into a number of small offices. There was no sign saying "Growquest" ANYWHERE and I was not sure that he actually has an office in that building. There were some dead trees in the back parking lot (about 4 plants). After some investigating/researching I set out to find "his nursery down the street." I stopped at anything that looked like a nursery and asked anyone I could find if this was the Growquest nursery - NO LUCK.

I sincerely doubt that he has ANY nursery space located in Ventura County or anywhere else for that matter! After many years, I have come to the conclusion that Christopher Morgan Gilcrest is NOTHING MORE THAN A (BAD) PLANT BROKER and he runs a stock-less inventory. I often wonder if he buys his plants, trees, roses, etc. from Home Depot and then just re-sells them to unsuspecting customers.

I ordered a few more times from him over the years just to SEE what would happen - small orders of course and I used a prepaid credit card (to keep my losses to a minimum)! No Chris, I WILL NOT give you my order number so you can send me more incoherent and rambling emails. I don't care about your family problems or ADMITTED debilitating mental health issues! Sure, I feel some compassion for your family, but that should not interfere with running a business. If you can't stand the heat, get the H*LL out of the kitchen!!

You continue to BLAME everything and everyone under the sun for your COMPLETE LACK OF CUSTOMER SERVICE IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM. The mere fact that YOU personally respond to the complaints on GW tells me a lot. I AM confused as to why you don't respond to the BBB complaints about your biz??? You seem to have all the time in the world to go online for everything else - why not respond to all of your BBB complaints...huh?

You know what Chris? I DON'T CARE ABOUT "your new love" or any of your other problems. I also don't care about your stupid youtube videos - in fact, I find them rather annoying. You seem to have the time to find a new girlfriend, make 400+ youtube videos, and to send offensive and rambling emails to your scammed customers. Tsk...Tsk..Very unprofessional Chris!

If you spent half the time to respond to your customers instead of making videos, sending bulk emails that have nothing to do with pending orders, suing people for defamation, and the list goes on..you might actually establish a satisfied customer base.

Just for fun, I ordered some Ladybugs from Growquest this year for my niece's birthday party and a tree rose for Mother's Day. Guess what??? Nothing came! Do you feel any remorse when you miss your shipping deadlines for gifts?? Sheesh! I am still waiting for my roses from 2004! Luckily, I double ordered the Ladybugs and tree rose from someone else as to ensure my gifts actually showed up when expected. Fool me once Chris...never again!

Watching your drama unfold over the last 6 years has been mildly entertaining, but I REALLY FEEL BADLY for all the other people you cheated and disappointed over the years!

Posting YOUR PERSONAL drama on your customer service page was jaw dropping and completely inappropriate. What in God's name were you thinking?? I was EMBARRASSED for you! Psst....NO ONE CARES about your personal problems!


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Hi fruadquest,
So sorry you are one of the people added to his fraud list. I don't understand how this guy can legally scam people the way he has. I mean he must owe thousands out to the people he scammed. I don't know how he can sleep at night. Me personally, I feel awefull when I set up a trade and we agree to a day that we are going to the trade and I send my plant a day late! Has anyone ever tried to go after this guy? I know whenever someone mentions wanting to buy from growquest I always jumo on it and tell them the "growquest" story. Too bad this company can't be banned from the internet. There should be a legal way to block fraudulent companies like this so unsuspecting customers don't have the opportunity to order from them. Thanks for sharing your experience with growquest and I am sorry you were one of there victims!
Andrew


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

you know whats funny. I got interested in growing citrus when I came across his youtube vids..

glad I never ordered from him.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Thank God for nurseries like 4Winds and, is it Briteleaf?

I think I ordered from Growquest a while back too, and actually got a , I think what looked like a tree, but longer have it anymore to pove it...!:-(

Mike


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Wish I had seen this site before. I ordered Ladybugs from Growquest on June 1, they were shipped on June 17th and arrived June 18th. Growquest is located in Ventura county I believe and I live in Palm Springs. When I placed the order, shipping was quoted (and is on the invoice that I received) as $10.75 The original invoice which included ladybugs, shipping and CA sales Tax was only $17.78. However, once I received my credit card bill, I discovered I had been charged $35.42 for shipping! He sent it Next Day Air UPS without telling me it would be shipped this way or giving me the option to cancel the order, which I would have done. He also listed the package as 9lbs. Mr. Gilcrest claims it was shipped Next Day Air because of temperatures in my area - but it was still shipped by truck (not air). According to UPS, a shipment sent ground from Santa Paula to Palm Springs, would have arrived the following day anyway.
Now he is demanding an additional check for $6.49 to pay for the ladybugs. I filed a complaint with BBB, and he has responded back with a threat to turn this over to "our paralegal who will proceed with a small claims action in your local court."
Anyone out there have a thought on this? Should I just pay the $6.49 and eat the loss of $24.13? Would a small claims court even take on such a small amount? I am furious about this and was hoping someone might give me their 2 cents on this matter. Thanks,
Zane


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I'm sorry for your troubles. I almost ordered from him because of the prices and cool videos, but fortunately found this site beforehand. I own a small e-commerece website, and know the basic jist of the merchant->customer->provider (credit card) relationship. Basically, it sounds like he reserved a flat shipping fee on the CC, perfectly common when you ship bulky items as the rate can be vastly different depending on location, distance, and method. Of course, that doesn't mean you can invoice one thing, and bill another.

Anyway, call your CC provider, tell them your story, FAX or mail the invoice if they need it, and get your refund that you are due. He has committed merchant fraud, and if he's done it alot, he could be in big trouble. At best, he'd lose his merchant account and be blackballed (no credit cards for his business = OUT OF BUSINESS), at worst he'd go to federal prison for 5 years. Depending on who you get on the other line, you'll either have a knowledgeable sympathetic ear, or a minimum wage anti-consumer ear. Either way, you are entitled to a refund for being overcharged on shipping, no questions.

I'd take his lawsuit threat with a grain of Salt. While most states don't have a minimum for small claims court, there is usually a $20-30 dollar filling fee. Plus, his paralegal would have to spend $20+ dollars on gas alone, not counting the time if he/she was not on staff, which I doubt as how many nurseries have on-staff legal advice? Thus, to win a judgment for $7 would cost him a minimum of $100-500... can your say Pyrrhic? And, if you did end up walking into court facing his paralegal over $7, you'd probably be given a positive judgment anyway with and shipping refund by telling the judge your story and presenting your invoice and contradictory credit card statement. If the judge were particularly nasty, he could mention the fact that the statue of limitations on fraud doesn't start counting until the last related act, so watch out. If you steal 1 penny every day for many years, eventually you'll hit that $500 magic number DAs like to have before charging felony fraud. Like everything, it depends on the judge though, but you could be confident and shouldn't worry. I've been to SCC a lot, part of business, and most judges are usually savy with people trying to pull a fast-one one way or the other.

Anyway, it's likely he will not take you to court and that he is just threatening you to pay more. If he knew he'd get away with it, he'd charge your CC. It's likely he'd loose
Sorry you had bad luck:( Don't get discouraged, I ordered citrus online from one of the many reputable dealers found here, and they are doing extremely well. My thumb is about a green as a hunk of coal.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Campsgreenhouse..It's awful what you've been through.
The site you left feedback on is: gardenwatchdog.com.
After reading your post here on GW, I went to Gardenwatchdog. Your post is the first.

An ex-employee of GQ also left feedback. What a story! If anyone is interested, check it out..The thread is two down from Campsgreenhouses.
The author of the post worked for Chris in May, and still awaiting his pay. He goes on to say how bad he felt, knowing order after order would never be shipped out. He was told to ignore phone calls and delete important emails.

What I don't understand is how this Chris is free. How can one get away ripping people off?
I only wish all in and outdoor gardeners knew of Gardenwatchdog. What a Scammer! Toni

And now Chris is advertizing on YouTube..What nerve! Thankfully, someone who was ripped off after ordering plants from GW, put up a video..The music theme from 'Halloween' plays in the background..lol..


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Yeah the scuzball cheated us out of $113.59 back in 2007. Don't ever order anything from this company.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Why is this thread being dredged up?

Patty S.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I wonder too Patty...it just sucks that companies like this can get away with ripping people off the way they do. Im just glad I found out about them before I ever tried buying from them!

Andrew


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

It's good to keep the thread going if the guy is still doing this. Sounds like k2rgg2 could have benefited from reading this first....


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

It is good to keep this thread alive.

I was looking for a rose bush in the area, guess what website popped up! I was going to drive and pick up, so I googled the address....

Good thing I did not just place an order and sit by the porch waiting on my rose. (FYI-I will drive by Santa Paula when I do pick up that rose! But from a reputable company!)


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

I agree this thread should stay on top.

To this day, Growquest, is still in operation.

I went to GWD, and discovered more unsuspecting people who purchased from the scam-artist Chris Gilcrest.

I feel for those who order from this 'company' and don't know GWD exists. Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Well I'm chiming in here to let anyone who is interested know my experience.

I've now bought several avocado (4) trees on three separate occasions from Chris at Growquest without any issues.

I am writing this review Thursday 8-16-2012

Chris just came out to my home at 7.30 in the evening to help me plant a tree and give some advice on caring for the others I ordered and planted.

He has gone through some personal issues but I'm a firm believer in second chances.

I would not hesitate to order from Chris and Growquest again.

Pat Knowd -
Newbury Park CA


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Pat. Before replying, I went to GardenWatchdog to check Growquests feedback.

I too believe in giving people a second and even third chance, but after reading more negative than positive feedback there is no way on earth I'd order from Chris Gilcrest. 94 Positives, 26 Neutrals and 266 Negatives.

You said he dropped off your trees. Perhaps you're near his location?

I don't understand the reason he decides to actually ship plants to certain people, but his average is beyond horrible.

The poor person, 'on GWD, below your feedback,' who ordered plants from Growquest, started with positive feedback, too..He/she also lives in CA. Notice how his/her feedback changed from positive to negative, with an explanation?

'He has gone through some personal issues.'
Chris has been claiming he's had problems for years..He forgot to mention he spent time in jail, which is public record; the story can be foun online by Googling his name.

Every known agency is looking into his scams..BBB, etc.

I plead with anyone who wants to order trees, citrus or other varieties, to check Garden Watchdog before placing an order with any nursery, particularly Growquest. Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Chris Gilcrest is a total fraud. He should be in jail. He stole my money. He is a lier, calls you names and steals from you. He disconnects his phones from time to time and then adds another address to his business. He bounces around from place to place after he got kick out of Tulare country. Now he is in Ventura Country. This LOSER, LIER, THEIF should be in jail. Someone needs to put a stop to him.

NEVER USE GROWQUEST GROWERS AT ALL. BE CAREFUL HE HAS MANY WEBSITES OUT THERE. WRITE TO BBB AND THE FBI LIKE I DID. When you call his bluff or write something bad, he will get very mad at you, call you names and treats you like a child. Something is totally wrong with him mentally. Seriously many people have stated this.

The trees that Chris LOSER sold me were diseased and DIED. I had them checked out by a true professional. The trees he sent had too much salt, bugs and was root bound. I found out that he never grew this himself. These are knock off trees from a discount place. Basically, these trees were trashed and he sold them to me. He doesn�t even ship them to you, but throw them in an old crappy van laying down in the hot sun. He damaged these trees. It is on purpose. Check out BBB. Don�t buy from him!! HE CHARGES YOU FOR UPS SHIPPING BUT NEVER SHIPS THEM. THIS IS BAD!!!

He has many you tube videos that shows his plants, DONT believe it. Look at all of them, every video is from a different nursery. He goes around taking videos, post them on You tube as his own, which is a crime and then he sells you crap. He doesn�t sell you these trees at all that you see on the videos. What a TOTAL JERK AND SCAM.
HIS BUSINESS IS MAINLY FROM YOU TUBE SO PLEASE DONT BUY FROM HIM AND IN FACT CHECK OUT WHAT TRUE CUSTOMER POSTS.
I KNOW HIS GAME. WHAT A TOTALL LOSER AND JERK.

I know his game well and here is the story. You can confirm everything by going to you tube and reading all the negative things about him. None of this is made up at all by me. THIS IS THE TRUTH. READ ON.

This guy is a thief big time. He has no nursery at all. He works out of a garage with an apartment. He drives around from nursery to nursery taking videos and then post them online to sell you items. His wife left him. His family is mad at him. His children, well, I won�t go into that. Recently his brother is in trouble. Chris Morgan Gilcrest has been in jail, and has to pay a fine. He was required to cease and decease order by the FBI. Now he is being investigated by the FBI and BBB. BBB also has alert out on his business and name. Please look online, you will find everything. I am not making any of this up.

He will either send you trees that will die or not send you anything at all. My job is to stop him and post whatever and whenever I can. There are many customers doing the same thing. We have the right to as freedom of speech. In fact what he is doing is breaking the law and is a federal crime, since he stole over $1,000.00 from customers. I hope he is jailed. I have called the FBI and BBB.

CHRIS LOSER GILCREST, I HOPE YOU READ THIS, LOSER. YOU KNOW ALL THIS IS TRUE. DONT DENY OR LIE. BE HONEST AND BE A MAN. YOU ACT LIKE A CHILD.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Contact Catherine Mano 805-662-1703 with the DA's office to add a complaint to this case. Case Nbr 9:10-BK-16202-RR.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Stallionman..I'd like to add, Gilcrest stole way more than 1,000.00. One buyer spent 2,000.00, 'alone,' never received anything..not even a darn leaf.

Add all the other Negatives plus 2,000.00....I'd bet he owes a hundred thousand.

I can't stand rip-offs..Too bad new people looking for a tree doesn't check or know about Garden Watchdog.

Last time I checked Youtube, 'one of Gilcrest's vids' leaving feedback wasn't allowed. Too many negatives I suppose. Toni


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

You are right. He took way more than $1,000.00 Feel free to post whatever the truth is. We can not be afraid of him at all. We need to let the VENTURA DA KNOW OF everything. I am in direct contact with her. More and more people are so tired of his shake downs. Dont let him win!!! We need to fight back. I read a complaint in another state that they will call the local news. I read 5 more complaints posted last month about them losing money. Its crazy.
Did you call the DA? One day he will go back to jail where he belongs. He has no assets so suing him is usless. There are other ways to go after him.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Growquest victims can contact the Ventura DA - (805) 654-3110 - to add information for their fraud investigation of Growquest & Chris Gilcrest.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

When you post things online, WOW, do this guy get mad. He will email and call you night and day, but will not refund your money. Like no tomorrow. I like the write up from cjr on Dave's garden. Did you see it? OMG, it was great to read. This guy went off. At least he posted facts. Chris Gilcrest, 49 years of age from Lancaster and Santa Paula, CA has been scamming people for years since 1993. He has no real home or any true assets. He lives off of OPM.

Research him you will find over 5,000 pages of negative things about him. You will also find a criminal record that he has as recent as 2008.

He has moved all over the place and was forced to move out of Tulare county as he has a $25,000 judgement against him.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Stallionman. I agree.. BUT:

A couple months ago, I received a WARNING email from the owner stating, if I do not remove feedback, I will be sued.

He wrote, I went beyond 'Free Speech.' lol

Since this forum regards Citrus, and people are always looking to buy, I believe they should be alerted to rip-off nurseries.

It's sad more people do not check GardenWatchdog prior a purchase, so imo, they NEED be warned.

Unfortunately, there's a zillion 'citrue/fruit tree customers' who are unaware of GWD or GW..they browse the net, come across 'certain' online nurseries, then end up being ripped-off.

I haven't checked GWD in months..can't believe people are still buying from him...

I found online newspaper articles about his arrest. They're might be more than one.

How about all the excuses he comes up with???? lol.

Thanks, I'm off to GWD to read cjr's feedback.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

http://Growquest.com, He took my money and wont give me a refund
I have lost money with this guy. Him and I email back and forth today, but he has no idea who I am. He cant even find me in his database. What kind of book keeping do you have. He promised me a refund, then never sends it. I have done some research online about Chris Gilcrest.

Up to your old tricks again with a new name (Growquest Gardens) . It wont work.

Please note that this guy Chris Gilcrest does not own these trees. He failed to state this in his videos now under another name called Growquest Gardens. His company name for the record is http://Growquest.com and growquest growers and you can google what he has to offer. This company is a broker for a few nurseries. Many nurseries wont do business with him. He only owns a hand full of plants and trees not more than 5-10 gallons each. Do some research on Chris Gilcrest and you will in fact know. Please see the you tube video with an undercover hidden camera to show his operation. Its all online. He works in a garage with a worker, with no insurance either, which he fails to pay. The Labor board commission knows about this.

Shame on you. I thought you would know better and even learn from your past mistakes. If you really want to know about his operations, go by the addresses that he has posted online. There is no garden or nursery there at all.

He has many angry past customers and current ones will just be added to his list.
Best part of all, the Ventura county DA office is investigating Chris Gilcrest. I plan to give them a call to file a claim.

He emailed me a lot today stating that he doesnt know me. Then calling names and lying. WOW this guy is a piece of work.

11/14/2012
I need an order number from you. You wrote a review about me and I need to know the order number to verify the problem and then to resolve it.

11/14/12
When I gave him my info, he stated that he cant find me in his database at all. That his software states he cant find me and he uses real estate software. Yeah out of date.

11/14/12
I dont do credit card orders. UPS and FedEx bill for frieght.

Its states on his website and all sites that he takes credit cards.

I even have a receipt that he billed me on my credit card and he is denying that. Maybe the District Ventura DA would like to know about this.

This is how he roles. He does this to everyone as I can see.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Call your credit card company and dispute the charges, it is easy. You can even use this thread as a reference along with your emails. It sounds like it will be a cold day in hell before he refunds the money, don't wait forever, you do have a time limit to file a claim.
And yes, contact the police.


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RE: Growquest Frustrations

Doglips,

This guy is a total jerk and is so funny to get emails from him. I now get emails from him daily since I started posting and emailing him starting on 11/14/2012. This guy is a true character. He is crazy too.

I called the credit card company and they flagged him back in the winter of 2011 and stopped using him as a merchant. Apparently, they cant tell me the details, but he threatened to sue them and he has money issues. DUH of course. He has no money. He is basically, getting money from people like us to live. He owes many tax liens and judgements.He lives in a shack.

There is a class action suit being filed now, I found this out. PLease dont forget to file a case with the Ventura DA, Catherine Mano and FBI Deb. You can find their numbers online. I talked to both of them.

Since he reads all the posts, I cant tell you anymore. But PM me and I can talk. If I do, he will fight back like he does with everyone.

You are totally right, He never returns money. Oh by the way some of the positive reviews come from his IP address. I set up a tracker and snipper and found out his true identity. Total scum bag not worth anything.

My credit card company might even sue him for the money they lost. SHHHHHHHHHHHHH dont tell him.


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