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  #1  
Old 01-10-2008, 08:46 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Problem Buying Orchids Online
Unhappy Problem Buying Orchids Online

Hi...and Happy New Year 2008!

After some excellent advice from Orchid Boarders about which orchids to grow, as a first time grower, I finally took the plunge and went to purchase one online...

But, I've had a problem with my very first orchid purchase... does anyone have experience of buying orchids online?

The chosen orchid was a Phalaenopsis Sogo Anna 'Sogo', from RegalOrchids.co.uk, based in Glasgow, Scotland... Here's the exact page, as of 10.01.2008: Regal Orchids - The Scottish Orchid Nursery

I placed the order for 24 /US$48 approx. (16 + 8 Delivery) on 29.12.2007 and then it was a case of waiting for it to be delivered

First, in an email received on 03.01.2008, they said they had to hold back the delivery as it was too cold to send... that sounded plausible, but I'm no expert.

I've just received an email, on 09.01.2008, saying that they don't have any Sogo Anna orchids and are sending me an alternative, of which they don't even specify, I've just got to wait for it to turn up before I know what it is...

There wasn't even an opportunity to choose another one...just a "We no longer have Sogo Anna in stock so have substituted a similar plant that we hope you will like."

Yet, go to their website now and they're still showing Sogo Anna for sale, thus they're taking money for it...there's no mention that it's not in stock, like there is on other pages, such as the Phalaenopsis Penang Girl 'Ching, which can be seen here: Regal Orchids - The Scottish Orchid Nursery

Has anyone else had such a problem? Do you know of any reputable online sellers of orchids?

I wasn't sure whether to post this, but you've given me your time by responding to my past messages; I don't want you to face a similar hassle.
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  #2  
Old 01-10-2008, 09:06 AM
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Dorothy Dorothy is offline
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I have not had this problem with any American vendors or orchid sellers on eBay ... I have heard of vendors replacing plants for others if they no longer have what you have ordered .. I find it odd that they didn't inform you sooner as to the availability of the orchid you selected. In your case, a call might be in order and speaking to someone personally might resolve this issue - let them know everything from the beginning and perhaps they will allow you to exchange the orchid you wanted for one you prefer instead of just a 'substitute'. Good Luck. Let us know how things progress
There are good European vendors quite a few here have dealt with .. I am sure someone from your side of the pond will let you know of some reputable ones
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Last edited by Dorothy; 01-10-2008 at 09:11 AM..
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  #3  
Old 01-10-2008, 09:21 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Hi Dorothy...

In the UK, we've got Government legislation known as the Sales of Goods Act 1979, which states that purchasers/customers have a right to a refund if they receive a different product/item/thing than the one advertised and subsequently purchased...

This is where I got the information:

Sale of Goods Act - BERR

I've sent an email to Regal Orchids informing them of this and demanding a refund, as I'm legally entitled, and am awaiting their response.

In the meantime, I think a cup of tea is in order
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2008, 09:54 AM
Lenka Lenka is offline
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Hi Graham,

Happy New Year to you too!
I personally don't have huge experience with orchid suppliers, as most of my orchids i bought on ebay (there you know what are you getting exactly) or got it as presie. But when i ordered some supplies from Ratcliffe Orchids and they were out of stock, they have conacted me in order to ask if I want replacement or not. But when i ordered Sophronitis cernua from David Stead - when it arrived it didn't flower as stated on their web site. So I guess from now on, before i order more chids, i will phone them first to clarify everything before I place the order. But it's like that with almost everything you buy on net, i guess.
BTW, will you be coming to London orchid show in March?
I can't wait - this will be my very first time, so i am putting money aside already !!!!

Last edited by Lenka; 01-10-2008 at 09:55 AM.. Reason: spelling mistake
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  #5  
Old 01-10-2008, 10:25 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Lenka...

Looks like it's Ratcliffe Orchids "1", and both David Stead and Regal Orchids "0" (if ever there was an online 'buying league').

I'm not visiting any shows at the moment; I'm quite content, for now, to do my learning through books, dvds, web info and forums.

You're right about putting money aside; looking into the whole aspect of growing orchids, you need to be prepared to invest a bit (learning resources, such as books & dvds; the plants themselves; growing media...the list seems to go on a bit!)
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  #6  
Old 01-10-2008, 12:50 PM
shakkai shakkai is offline
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Graham, I'm so sorry to hear about the fiasco with your first order!! I had no experience with this vendor until just recently as well. I too got the email stating that my order would be held until the weather was warmer. It arrived today, after receiving an email from them yesterday stating that and giving me the tracking number for the package. All 4 plants that I ordered are what arrived (alas, I didn't order Sogo Anna - so at least I can be happy that I didn't take the last plant from you!!) and one is in flower, one is in spike.

I would second the recommendation for Ratcliffe - they are great people and are very helpful, though they don't do on-line ordering. They are my 'local' nursery, being only 10-15 minutes away.

The other nursery in the UK that I have done a lot of business with is Burnham Orchids - this is the same Rittershausens' as a lot of the books on orchids. They have always been exceptionally helpful. I've always got high quality plants, and very prompt responses to any questions. I would recommend them without reservation. I've not had a negative experience yet in probably a dozen orders.

Also consider some of the nurseries in Europe. The one where we purchased our Project #4 plant has been really good for me.
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  #7  
Old 01-10-2008, 02:48 PM
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camille1585 camille1585 is offline
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So sorry to hear about that Graham! I think that's part of the reason I'm so hesitant to buy orchids on internet. There are so many things that can go wrong....

Quote:
Originally Posted by shakkai View Post
Also consider some of the nurseries in Europe. The one where we purchased our Project #4 plant has been really good for me.
Hi Skakkai, out of curiousity, where did you get it?
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  #8  
Old 01-10-2008, 03:20 PM
shakkai shakkai is offline
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Schwerter - Orchideenzucht

Camille, I have ordered from them a couple of times since the project plant order, and have received really nice plants, excellently packed for shipment, delivered in a timely manner (they ship on Tuesdays, I believe, and the plants arrive on my doorstep Thursday morning).
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  #9  
Old 01-10-2008, 04:18 PM
kavanaru kavanaru is offline
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Hi Graham, That's really sad to read your bad experience. In your case I would really give them a call and ask for a refund and if necessary to send back the received plant. And no matter what the result from this is, DO NOT buy from them anymore. You can try with Schwerter Orchideensucht (link placed here by Shakkai). I have bought several plants from them and have been always more than happy with the plants, the shipping and the handling of complains. I received once a "flowering size" Cycnoches hageii from them, but when I opended the box, it seems to be too small for me and obviously not flowering size. They send me a picture of plant the same size that had flowered at the nursery, explainning that was the reason it is sold as flowering sze, but they could understand my position, and for the next order I received a free plant of my choice! in another time I ordered some plants for a friend in Italy, but the italian post messed it up and the plants came back to Germany: even if the plants had sufferen during more than one month in a box travelling between Germany and Italy, I could choose different plants (for the same amount of money, as I already had them all) to substitute that order and to be sent to me.
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  #10  
Old 01-10-2008, 04:23 PM
kavanaru kavanaru is offline
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OK, I think you should have read their terms and conditions first. They have specified on the bullets 1 and 4 that they have the right to choose an alternative if you do not say the contrary I do not think this is fair, but legally, they had it on writting... Give it a try, but to be honest I do not think you will be able todo much about that, bt just stop buying from them...


Terms and Conditions

1 Plants are offered subject to availability. Should a variety with flowers be sold out, we reserve the right to send an alternative. For gifts, please use the gifts page to order.
2 Prices subject to change without prior notice. Latest online pricing superceeds all previous prices.
Orders processed strictly on rotation. If you require an urgent delivery we can 'fast track' it for an additional fee of 4.
3 Damaged packages should be reported to ourselves and to the carriers within 3 days of receipt.
4 Substitutes If you do not want to receive a substitute plant in the event of your choice not being available, please state so clearly on your order, otherwise a similar plant of equal or higher value will be substituted.
5 Payments by Credit card will incur a 2% transaction processing charge while Debit cards including Maestro/Solo incur a 35p charge.
Regal Orchids accepts no responsibility for plants bought in error.
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