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Dobies not the service I'm used to

KiliKili Posts: 764
edited 25 April in The potting shed
I usually grow most of my own from seed, but from time to time some cheap offers hit my inbox from Dobies and I was tempted this time so placed an order for 90 impatiens plugs .

Sadly Dobies has been bought by Thompson and Morgan (T&M) a company I stopped buying from years ago due to their appalling service.

It seems that my worst fears regarding this sale are coming true. 

My order from Dobies now under the ownership of T&M arrived with half the plants dead and the other half barley salvageable. This has never happend with Dobies before when I've purchased from them. I suspect the order was shipped from T&M under the Dobies name although thats conjecture on my part , they may well have come direct from Dobies.

After advising of the dead plants I got no reply, a further email a week later got an apology and £10 voucher which I did not need or want, but had to spend or lose. I'm 40 plants short of what I ordered and was forced to buy something from their gift range which actually cost me £5 in delivery charges.

No more Dobies for me. Time to move on and find an independent supplier again for those rare times I do purchase online not under the umbrella of the disorganised and poor customer service of T&M.

If you buy online who do you buy from and can you recommend them?

'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

George Bernard Shaw'

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  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,508
    edited 25 April
    There have been good reviews about this supplier https://southeasternhorticultural.co.uk/shop/plug-plants/

    I like Ballyroberts personally but have bookmarked over 50 sites so too many to list 
    Helpful list https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/coronavirus-online-plant-retailers/


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Bath, SomersetPosts: 8,175
    edited 25 April
    I'm surprised at that T & M/Dobies poor service. I ordered the 30 free perennials from them via the GW mag and they arrived in perfect condition earlier this month. 
    May be you were just unlucky or perhaps the parcel got caught up in the post somewhere.
  • KiliKili Posts: 764
    Lizzie27 said:
    I'm surprised at that T & M/Dobies poor service. I ordered the 30 free perennials from them via the GW mag and they arrived in perfect condition earlier this month. 
    May be you were just unlucky or perhaps the parcel got caught up in the post somewhere.


    Maybe Lizzie27. Its just the first time they have ever let me down. Maybe my expectations are too high. The fact there now under T&M has put me right off given my previous experiences with T&M.

    Thanks for the recommendations K67 I'll have a look at those links .

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 8,465
    If it's plug plants you're after, then l would recommend Brookside 
    https://www.brooksidenursery.co.uk/
    I've recommended them a few times on the forum (l have no connection to them), and have always been pleased with the quality. I particularly like the way you can select the delivery week that is convenient for you.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 5,715
    If delivered by Royal Mail the problem may lie there rather than with Dobbies/ T&M.  My brother-in-law works for Royal Mail and says letter and parcel delivery is haphazard at best.  Unless the package is marked as 24 hour delivery it can sit in the sorting office for days due to staff shortages.
  • KiliKili Posts: 764
    AnniD said:
    If it's plug plants you're after, then l would recommend Brookside 
    https://www.brooksidenursery.co.uk/
    I've recommended them a few times on the forum (l have no connection to them), and have always been pleased with the quality. I particularly like the way you can select the delivery week that is convenient for you.


    Thanks AnniD. I've bookmarked them for next year.

    'The power of accurate observation .... is commonly called cynicism by those that have not got it.

    George Bernard Shaw'

  • EustaceEustace OxfordPosts: 618
    Lizzie27 said:
    I'm surprised at that T & M/Dobies poor service. I ordered the 30 free perennials from them via the GW mag and they arrived in perfect condition earlier this month. 
    May be you were just unlucky or perhaps the parcel got caught up in the post somewhere.
    @Lizzie27 I think you received a good one, whereas mine was of poor quality. The delphinium plugs were all dead, most of the other defoliated, only the lavender plugs were alive. I thought I'll give them a chance, but I'll refrain from being pulled in by these seemingly tempting GW offers.

  • nick615nick615 SW IrelandPosts: 875
    I think we have to accept that 'offers' come under the general heading of 'advertorials' whereby publications appear to give their readers something, provided by companies in lieu of advertising spend or to enhance their customer profile.  There'll therefore be a tendency to 'look after' the offer customers, possibly delaying the other orders that coincide with them.  Not everything is as it seems?
  • TerryannTerryann Posts: 25
    First time ordering plants on line, I also ordered the 30 free perennials and 5 delphiniums from GW offer via T&M.   Only 3 of the delphinium were saved.  Then when the 30 arrived, there was only 24, as very small seedlings I didn't know which was missing.  I called them and they are going to send entire order out again.  Just need to find more little pots now.  
  • I wouldn't expect God to deliver Impatiens plug plants by post in good condition! I'm amazed that any firm would even contemplate doing so - it's been down below 0C here in the South of England every night in April and wrapped up no doubt in polythene, Busy Lizzies will damp off soon as look at them. I might be tempted by trusted courier but even they are having Covid overload problems. Soft stuff and plugs - go pick them up or forget it and grow your own.
    That said - I mourn the loss of T&M's great name - years ago Dobbies was a cheapskate bucket shop run out of warehouses that also filled packets for other well known brand names. Dobbies sold seeds and nothing else, I used them virtually exclusively and they never failed. Thompson & Morgan of Ipswich was almost like a branch of the RHS! I felt as if I should doff my cap before asking for a catalogue - and what a tome it used to be! They had a standing menu of thousands and would do their best to obtain any seed from anywhere - those days have gone. Sadly. 

    If you have a bad delivery - damaged, stuff missing or totally unfulfilled - DON'T put up with it! PLAGUE the supplier until you get your promised goods or a FULL refund.

    My professional website is still up and pretty regularly I get erroneous contact page complaints from America - where a nursery firm has "borrowed" part of my firm's name - so many dissatisfied customers! If it wasn't for Mr Biden's Special Relationship tax a bio regulations - I could easily have a new business.   
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