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Where do I stand legally?

I ordered 10 Begonia Tubers from a mail order company and they arrived on 11 March (later than advertised because they held the order back to wait for other items to be ready).  That was the first thing that annoyed me because I wanted to give them plenty of time to get going. Anyway I planted them up as I have always done and although I did have them in the greenhouse initially, I moved them indoors to avoid drastic temperature changes.  To this day not one of the tubers has shown any sign of being alive.  When I contacted the company they said they couldn't do anything about the problem because I hadn't let them know within 30 days.  As far as they're concerned, that seems to be the end of the matter but I'm wondering whether there's anything else I can do, it seems very unfair that I've paid out for something that I can't use, plus postage, and I've had to go out and buy more plants for my window box and hanging basket displays.  Is there anything I can do, does anyone have any ideas?  


  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 20,126

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • chickychicky SurreyPosts: 10,153
    You could try telling the supplier that the item supplied was faulty or not fit for purpose.  You would need to stress that you have looked after them correctly since they arrived.

    This link gives lots of details including the wording you could use.
    The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page  - St Augustine
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 6,422
    Interesting question when it comes to bulbs, corms and similar.  There won't necessarily be a 100% success rate, but none doing anything does seem strange.
  • The Bird LadyThe Bird Lady Posts: 171
    Thanks for the replies, obviously I have been in touch with the seller and sent photos etc.  After posting on here I realised that I paid via PayPal so I may try for a refund that way.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,223
    I hope you get a result @The Bird Lady.
    It's all very well expecting you to make a complaint within 30 days, but if you're buying something like corms/bulbs/tubers at that time of year, it's unlikely you'd get much growth within 30 days. Think what dahlias and gladioli are like, for example.
    I imagine begonias would be the same [I don't grow them] but anything that isn't totally hardy isn't going to suddenly appear in a week or two from mid March into early April.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,862
    Name and shame so others can avoid them.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • Chris-P-BaconChris-P-Bacon Posts: 697
    Name and shame so others can avoid them.
    Hang on a minute...
    The company have, as far as I can ascertain, supplied the items in all good faith. We only have the word of the OP that the tubers were planted and grown on in the correct manner and that she has not caused them to be unviable by her own actions..however unwittingly. To contact the company after two months and then expecting recompense because they haven't germinated is perhaps a little optimistic IMHO.

    I'm assuming this is a fairly well established online horticultural retailer and as such will have their own T&Cs which is where I would start first. Yes, I know nobody reads them..I don't either.
    I'd also read reviews.

    And before anybody jumps down my throat I'm not saying the OP hasn't genuinely made every effort to grow these tubers and that they were fit for purpose on dispatch but sometimes it's necessary to play Devils Advocate - especially where horticultural products purchased mail order is concerned. I think given all the variables, buying online plants must - very occasionally - involve a risk that you may end up with something that doesn't perform as expected. 

    FWIW I don't use mail order for plants..apart from trees. 
    Although I do appreciate not everyone can get to a GC or nursery.

    I also appreciate my post doesn't come across as being overly supportive (apologies for that) but in this instance I'd have a moan, post an online review, vow never to use this company again and move on. Yes, I know it's annoying, but chasing what I assume is a relatively small sum may prove to be more stress than its worth.
  • didywdidyw East SuffolkPosts: 1,717
    I think you are being unfair on the OP @Chris-P-Bacon.  She is within her rights to get her money back.
    Last year I was sent the wrong tulips and didn't know that until they bloomed.  The seller refunded me.  And I bought three plants from another seller, one of which turned out to be the wrong variety (all three were supposed to be the same).  I was sent a replacement.  
    If the OP can't get any joy in getting her money back after seeing the helpful advice from @pansyface, then would be the time to leave a bad review.  I wouldn't bother personally, I'd simply not use that supplier again.  On the other hand - begonias do take an awfully long time to do anything in my experience, so I'd probably give them a bit longer and enjoy a late summer display.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 6,422
    Are the tubers rotting, or simply showing no sign of growth?  Looking on the internet I see very differing claims about how long they take to sprout.  Anything from 14 week between planting and flowering, to up to 8 weeks to show any form of life.
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,471
    I don't buy mail order plants but if I did, I would have a look at the corm or tuber on arrival. If it looked like one that I would reject in the GC, I would return it without planting.
    If it looked ok, I would plant it and take the chance.
    I got some mislabelled Thalia last year, had a moan on here, shrugged my shoulders and moved on. Life's too short.

    In London. Keen but lazy.
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