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Christina's LIS Rant
Saturday, April 22, 2006
  Garden Watchdog: The scoop on 'Wayside Gardens'
I was looking for a plant to send as a gift, and I happened on this site. I'm blogging it here, because look at the proactive stance the company is taking to manage the real threat to their reputation. Very impressive. I hope libraries find and respond to negative posts the same way.
 
Comments:
The Garden Watchdog is a well respected & well known forum for rating mail order plant & garden suppliers. Prospective customers can read the remarks of others & make their own decisions on whether they wish to order from the companies. Without the Watchdog or similar venues, customers would be at the mercy of ad copy from mail order outfits, some of which are abysmal in service & quality of products.
Unfortunately, some of the companies with poor ratings on the Watchdog had terrible reputations before the Watchdog began, and cntinue to do so. They stay in business because they rely on the volume of mail order traffic in a large country. Wayside Gardens puts out a beautiful catalog, and sends terrible plants. I have had a couple of bad experiences with them (high prices for small, ill, poorly rooted plants), and I say Never Again.
If Wayside & other outfits with lots of negatives on the Watchdog wish to brighten up their ratings, they can try sending their customers healthy plants in a timely manner. Putting out buckets of politely phrased canned responses doesn't cut it.
 
I did online ordering of plants for the first AND LAST time from Wayside Gardens. The picture on the website was a beautiful turqouise plant and I was delighted to find something so colorful for my shady garden. The plant I received looked NOTHING like the picture. After spending $90 for 4 plants I was then told the plant I received would not look like the picture (the beautiful color) until it reached "maturity" in 1-2 YEARS!! I felt misled and VERY DISAPPOINTED in the representation on the website. The only positive was the response from the company to my inquires - but in the end I would never buy from them again.
 
I have purchased many items from Wayside in the past. Most were great. A couple of years ago, I bought some "sale" plants from them.A gallon pot from them was really a quart size pot. Several of the plants were dying when they arrived. They were not helpful at all!Would not replace the plants or return my expensive costs for the shipping.Just refunded the money for the poor quality plants. I decided that I would not buy from them any more!I find healthier, larger plants at local quality nurseries!
 
Last fall I ordered 4 clematis from Wayside, this year not one came up. I have always had great success with clematis that I have purchase elsewhere. When I contacted Wayside they said I was too late, that I needed to repond by June. I contacted them again after reading their guarantee, telling them that their was nothing stating that I need respond by June & they said, sorry you don't like our policy. I will not order from Wayside again. I will stick with Bluestone as they have always honored their guarantee for up to a year. Nancy Morelli
 
I was very excited to place my very first orders with Wayside, but now I am wishing I stuck with Home Depot. They are now claiming there is a time limit on their "Guarantee" which is not posted on the website, nor in the materials packed with the plants, nor in the catalog. I was told, when I emailed right after shipment about the bedraggled dead plants to wait (no mention of a time limit). I waited, and now I am being told I waited too long and am out of luck. I am stuck with expensive dead plants, and no refund/replacement/credit, like I was promised by their glittering "Guarantee". I want my $82.48 back, as I was duped by pretty pictures and an empty promise.
Coffinwife
 
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This is my blog on library and information science. I'm into Sci/Tech libraries, special libraries, personal information management, sci/tech scholarly comms.... My name is Christina Pikas and I'm a librarian in a physics, astronomy, math, computer science, and engineering library. I'm also a doctoral student at Maryland. Any opinions expressed here are strictly my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or CLIS. You may reach me via e-mail at cpikas {at} gmail {dot} com.

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Christina Kirk Pikas

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