Michigan Bulb Co. Online Store: Find Your Plants Someplace Else!
Jun 26, 2004 (Updated May 6, 2007)
I am so disappointed in my use of Michigan Bulb Co. This year has been an utter nightmare in regard to getting the plants I usually put in boxes around my house. Theres a type of geranium known as the Mosquito Shoo Geranium or Citronella Plant which works great keeping mosquitoes away from our yard. For a few years, I was able to find this plant locally. This year I didnt have any luck. I could remember ordering from them in years past from Michigan Bulb Co., but didnt for a few years. Since I was having such trouble finding what I wanted locally, I decided to see if there was a website for this company.
I found them at www.michiganbulb.com and began browsing for my plants. There are tabs across the top of the page for Roses, Perrenials, Bulbs, Trees, Shrubs, Vines, Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, Houseplants, Gardens, Ground Covers, Hedges, and Accessories. This makes it easy for anyone whos just browsing the site to find exactly what they are looking for.
In my case, I used the search engine. I typed in Mosquito and immediately the selection for the plant I wanted came up. The picture shown with the plant is very accurate. The description for the plant shows what type of environment the plant grows best in - in this case, sun or partial shade. It also gives a description of how big the plant grows, although at least in this case I can vouch for one year having a plant that was way bigger than 3 feet tall.
I added six of the plants to my cart at $4.99 each. Thinking that I was already going to lay out money for shipping, I decided to purchase some lily of the valley for around my weeping cherry tree in the front of the house. These came in sets of 6, so I purchased four sets for a total of 24 plants.
Check-out was simple and easy. Shipping charges are very reasonable at a flat rate of $6.75. I paid with my credit card on a secure site and soon received confirmation of my order via email. Michigan Bulb Co. watches the weather reports for the various parts of the country and didnt ship the order until the conditions were warm enough for the plants to thrive.
With this is mind, I didnt worry about my order. It finally came mid-May. When I unpacked it, I was sorely disappointed. All of the Mosquito Plants were brown and dried out. The Lily of the Valley didnt look too good either, but I put them in the ground around the tree. I did my best to save the Mosquito Plants, but they were too far gone.
I went to the website and shot off an email via the customer service link. I waited... and waited... and waited.... When I didnt get a response I decided to call them. Michigan Bulb Co. does not have a toll-free number which meant I had to pay for the call (well, I used my cell phone which has long distance included, but still, you get the picture). This was a few days before Memorial Day weekend and the representative I spoke with said theyd re-ship the Mosquito Plants to me. I didnt say anything about the Lily of the Valley because I wasnt sure whether they would come up or not.
By June 5th, I hadnt received my new shipment. I understood they might have waited until after Memorial Day weekend to ship it out as it shouldnt sit in a warehouse that long, but it seemed like it was taking entirely too long. I called customer service again and was told the package was on its way to me. This time it arrived the following day - a total of two weeks after my call to customer service.
For whatever reason, packages from Michigan Bulb Co. seem to take on average 6 days to get from their place in Ohio to Long Island, New York. This seemed like an awful long time to me. This time, two of the plants were in good shape, two were so-so, and two were very dead. I waited to see what would happen with the so-so plants (they died), then called customer service once again.
I do have to say the representatives I spoke with couldnt be nicer. The man offered me the choice of either refunding the cost of the order to my credit card or trying the shipment once again. By this time it had become apparent that only three Lily of the Valley plants had taken. I decided to try it one more time, figuring it could just be that it was over the holiday weekend that things got messed up.
Its now been more than two weeks since that call and there are no plants in sight. I went to track my package on the website, only the Order Lookup button is removed today. I believe its just removed on the weekends, but I dont understand the logic behind that. I went nuts on the site looking for it as I knew it should be there.
Its getting way too late in the season to plant anything as any plant that hasnt taken by the time the July heat rolls around will probably wither. Im very disappointed in the lack of quality from Michigan Bulb Co. as well as the shipping delays. There are no options for express ordering on their order form, so its not even like I can say just make sure the plants get to you fast.
Next year Ill be looking elsewhere for my Mosquito Plants.
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Classy Groundcovers ~ Gardens Alive! Online Store ~ Gardeners Supply Online Store ~ Nature Hills Nursery ~ Safer Insecticidal Soap ~ Step-2 Yard About ~ Vermont Garden Cart
© 2004 Patti Aliventi
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