Buying plants online or by post can be a frustrating process. You shared your problems, and we’ve been campaigning to get companies to improve – so has anything changed?
Back in 2011 a Conversation post on buying plants online unearthed your gripes of dealing with poor products and dodgy deliveries. The issues raised included problems with plant descriptions, packaging, labelling, dispatch dates and returns, and prompted our Better Plants By Post campaign of 2012 and again in 2014.
Your experiences of plants by post
Ann Eastman shared her mail-order plant problems:
‘I think I have the proverbial ‘green fingers’, my plants very rarely die and most of them thrive way beyond expectation. But I have never ever had any luck with plants purchased by mail order. Mine always die within four weeks.’
And, Jax explained the frustrations of ordering online:
‘Buying plants online is a very frustrating process. Most will replace without a quibble – if they still have the plants you ordered in stock, or a refund if not (not terribly helpful).
‘But I’d really like a bit more care given to consistently providing healthy plants in the first place. I’ve had a delivery today of two pre-planted hanging baskets, which were a replacement for two baskets from last year. These don’t look much better. Dry, unwatered, not in flower etc. Pretty basic stuff.’
Suppliers step up their service
Plants are covered by the Consumer Rights Act, which states that an item must match the seller’s description. But, we’ve had a recent update from three of the big suppliers as to how they’ve upped their game for 2016 in response to our campaign. So if you’re thinking of buying plants by post, it’s worth noting these changes:
- Thompson & Morgan customers can check the status of orders online and will be contacted when orders are dispatched. From spring, customers will be able to track delivery via the website.
- Marshalls has improved packaging and started dispatching plants by Royal Mail so they should never be in transit for more than 48 hours.
- Suttons Seeds has also improved packaging and will send emails at point of dispatch, warn customers about delays and allow customers to track their orders online.
Putting the issue to bed?
So, service is improving for mail order plants. The question is, have you seen improvements at all? Or are you still having problems with ordering plants online or in the post?