Gardening Express / little by way of customer service and very poor quality plants

United Kingdom Review updated:
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I ordered on 21st July. It was shipped on 26th but tracking said it was damaged in transit on 28th and therefore didn't arrive. I contacted Gardening Express via their web form on the 28th, to say not to send it again as I was going away. They profess not to operate any customer service or phone line. Despite this, I managed to find a phone number for them, I called repeatedly but no one ever picked up. I also left a review on here (this review, which I have now edited to reflect the ongoing experience) with my order number saying please cancel it, no one responded. I've never ordered something from a company which is then completely uncontactable, it's very concerning. The idea that they "no longer operate a telephone ordering or customer support service. This is to ensure we are fully compliant with new data protection legislation that comes in to force in May 2018." is a complete nonsense. I have a good knowledge of GDPR and their statement (quoted above) really beggars belief! Also, they are not even GDPR compliant as I am receiving junk emails (special offers) by email and I never signed up for that.

I finally got a response to my web form message on August 3rd, this was via an email which I received 20 minutes after they sent me an email saying it had been re-dispatched. The message said it was too late to get a refund now due to this dispatch, how convenient!

The plants arrived today August 6th, luckily I just got back from holiday. The boxes were bashed around and most the pots were broken or squashed.

Hebe collection - most of the six were labelled with names, none of Hebes were the ones listed on their website for this item. Three of them were in good healthy condition, the other three were small and brown (the soil was moist so they hadn't dried out in transit). Two were the same, so I got 5 different types.

Hydrangea Glam Rock - Three small plants, somewhat dishevelled and brown leaves, one has a bud.

Nandina domestica Firepower - really brown and dishevelled, not sure this will survive

Clematis Taiga - small with mostly dry stem and brown curled leaves, unlikely to survive.

Photinia serratifolia Pink Crispy - This is a good size, most if not all of the leaves are heavily eaten by some creature.

Papaver orientale 'Victoria Louise' - Very small green plant, no bud, time will tell

Salix integra Flamingo - A good size but very dry leaves. When potting, the soil in the pot was soaking wet and covered in white mould.

Dahlia Melody Pink Allegro - A plastic bag full of dead dry brown tubers, three weeks after planting and no sign of life from any of them.

Dahlia Sweetheart - A plastic bag full of tubers, some sprouting. Put them in the ground and 2 weeks on some of them seem to be growing.

I believe they are misrepresenting some of the products being sold. For example, you order some Dahlia flowers and what you get is a bag of brown tubers. They should be clear in the listing by writing "tubers"/bulbs in the title and description and by adding a photo of a tuber, so you know what you're actually getting! Few of the plants seem to be accompanied by an accurate picture or representation of what you're actually sent.

Overall I'm very disappointed, by both the complete lack of customer service and the quality of the plants. I don't think we can make the excuse that "it's cheap so what do you expect" because I ordered lots of small shrubs from another cheap online sellers and what turned up was great, in complete contrast to Gardening Express.

29th August I finally got a reply to the photos I sent of some of the dishevelled plants. I got what appeared to be a standard template response saying the plants were fine and fobbing me off. To get a refund you have to return all the plants within 14 days at your own expense. You'd be lucky to even get a response to an email you sent them within 14 days!

Gardening Express
Gardening Express
Gardening Express
Gardening Express

Sep 04, 2018
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  • Em
      May 07, 2019

    my first experience of using Gardening Express. The Daphne is okay but the aliums are a complete disaster...

    0 Votes

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