Normans Orchids / Orchids.com Order

Discussion in 'Orchid Vendor Sales' started by JAB, Jun 3, 2016.

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  1. Jun 3, 2016 #1

    JAB

    JAB

    JAB

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    My fellow orchidophiles warned me that eventually this would happen, I am just saddened to report it is with such a well known vendor such as Norman Fang's orchids.com / Normans Orchids.
    Last week I splurged and spent my $30 AOS cert. with Orchids.com/Normans orchids and placed a Paph species order as he had many yet to grace my harem. I ordered Paph. moquettianum / chamberlainianum / hangianum / wenshanense / armeniacum (in spike) / and a glaucophyllum (also ordered a tranlimianum but apparently they ran out of stock before packing my order up).

    The box was overnighted via Fedex and arrived promptly and without any noticeable stress or rough housing. When I opened the box it had been packed... decently. Not the best I have seen by far, but my point is that none of what I am about to write was the result of the carrier nor the packer.

    Where to start.... it became evident after pulling out the first plant that I was not going to be pleased with my purchase. One of the first orchids I pulled out was the wen. She was leaning over 90 degrees damn near falling out of her pot! Her pot was half empty of medium, but it was not lost in transit. She was potted this way! In need of immediate repotting!
    As I pulled out the rest I found that EVERY pot was only half full. Leaves were weak and full of mineral stains etc. For being overnighted it felt like these plants were not watered since the week prior. So I decided that every one of them needed immediate repot!
    EVERY single orchid was packed so loosely in its pot that it fell straight out. The medium in every single one was obviously VERY old and not retaining a lick of moisture. Some had fungus on it too. It was obvious that the pots had been reused without even a cursory scrub.
    The roots on all the plants except for the moquit were pathetic. I will be surprised if 50% of this order survives! Dead and rotting were most of them.
    I waited for a reply from them before posting here. Below is part of their response:

    "We do not fill the pots to the top with the potting mediums, also Paphs do not have extensive root systems. It states on our packing slip not to repot the orchids before 30 days of receiving them. We need proof of damage of the plants (photos) however since you have already transplanted them, we cannot offer replacements."

    I assume they do not show plants like these at shows so I am not sure why they would sell them to me on the net in this condition!?!?! I am just blown away by the level of incompetence, piss poor customer service, and overall lack of respect for ones clients. How do guys like this stay in business??? I only spent a couple hundred bucks, but could you imagine having this experience with a $500 roth or something!?!?!

    A lot of my friends ***** about orchid prices with certain breeders, but the fact remains that I have never been disappointed with a single plant I have bought from Fox Valley, Piping Rock, Orchids Ltd., Lucky Girl Orchids, Cal Orchids, Sunset Valley Orchids. So please spend your time and money with these quality folks, not asshats like Norman Fang!

    Here's to hoping I can nurse these babies back to happiness.
    Jake
     
  2. Jun 3, 2016 #2

    Mikefallen13

    Mikefallen13

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    Yep, I had a similar experience with them not too long ago. Purchased a Phrag. caudatum and Paph. wilhelminae and they were in disappointing condition to say the least. Both had obvious insect damage and the phrags spike was snapped off due to it being poorly packaged. I got screwed out of a refund due to the no repot clause as well, just like your order the plants I recieved were shaken loose in transit and when I sent pictures, they accused me of unpotting the plants! Definitely won't be ordering from them again!
     
  3. Jun 3, 2016 #3

    paphioland

    paphioland

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    Awhile back I had a horrible experience with them. I will never do business with them again ever. I bought a large group of Paphs. The order was expensive. It included many sanderianums. It was clear from the description these were supposed to be unbloomed. They had horrible roots and all of them were bloomed for 400 dollars I think. I asked to send them back and return them. They refused. I fought it with American Express. They fought back with letters until it wasn't worth it to keep fighting. I will never order from them. The only orchid retailer on that list. Horrible.
     
  4. Jun 3, 2016 #4

    Ray

    Ray

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    How in hell do they stay in business?!?!?
     
  5. Jun 3, 2016 #5

    Mikefallen13

    Mikefallen13

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    Wow, that really sucks! I guess I'm lucky the plants I ordered were relatively cheap.
     
  6. Jun 4, 2016 #6

    JAB

    JAB

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    Just to be clear nothing in my order shook loose! I have been around plants long enough to know when something is piss poorly taken care of, and these had every sign of such a life!

    Ray -
    A-fucking-men brother! Here I am a poor smuck would love the opportunity to run a small orchid biz where I would pride myself on service, but certainly above and beyond all, quality cultured plants, and these fools are raking in the bucks!!!????

    When I visited the Quintals I did not see a single orchid in this condition even in the GARBAGE!!! They would never dream of keeping something like this let alone send it to someone!!!!!
     
  7. Jun 4, 2016 #7

    Bob in Albany N.Y.

    Bob in Albany  N.Y.

    Bob in Albany N.Y.

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    Think about it, they have you no matter what you do. It states on our packing slip not to repot the orchids before 30 days of receiving them, so if you do you void any return. But, if you wait 30 days, they can say, they have no control over how you care for your plants. Either, way they win. I've bought a few phals. from them and they were o.k. Then I placed a second order for a number of seedlings of one cross. I think I ordered 12. I ordered that many as I had heard the results would be great. They took my money, and got back to me stating they will not be in spike and do I still want them. I said, yes, no problem. Then they said, we can't ship for a few days. I said fine. Then a week later they cancel the order and say they don't have any. In that last week an article came out by Norman stating what a great cross this was. I guess, they wanted to bloom them all out. I then, said I won't do any business with them.
     
  8. Jun 4, 2016 #8

    jtrmd

    jtrmd

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    I have had issues with Normans in the way way way past. It was tag alongs in the plants, not packing. I think Norman and a lot of Vendors who do talks or trend to travel a lot have an ''Employee'' issue. They never have to deal with complaints. If you have a bunch of employees who only worked in Home Depots GH for example. They're clueless on how to care for a plant. I have had repeat issues with a few vendors who Orchids wasn't their full time thing.
     
  9. Jun 4, 2016 #9

    gego

    gego

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    I really do not understand how they are still in business. Never, never buy from this vendor. They will ship a sick plant to you without any shame.
     
  10. Jun 4, 2016 #10

    troy

    troy

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    no hatred!!
    Shitty business people make me mad
     
  11. Jun 4, 2016 #11

    Lanmark

    Lanmark

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    I've had exactly one experience with Norman's Orchids/Orchids.com. It was late last summer or early autumn. It was as if they sorted through all the plants they had of the variety I ordered and then picked out the crappiest one they could find to send to me. It arrived stunted, chlorotic, pale and sickly with heavily scarred leaves showing massive amounts of old, calloused-over mechanical damage. It felt personal, but I know better. They apparently treat a lot of mail-order customers like this. I was forewarned, but I took a chance anyway. I learned my lesson. Never again. I won't make excuses for Norman Fang either. They are his employees and his plants. He has to know. It's not like it's some big secret. This vendor has been extensively discussed by many people at many websites for many years. Their product "quality" and their attitudes are legendary.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  12. Jun 4, 2016 #12

    JAB

    JAB

    JAB

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    Lan
    My sentiments exactly! His business. His employees. His responsibility. What it appears to me is they simply shuffle orchids in and out.

    Bob
    100% right. Of course I can't read the packing slip until the purchase is complete and shipped. You are dead on balls accurate! They set it up fool proof!! Actually brilliant from a cunning conniving standpoint.


    Well I am going to blow him up online, plus I am the NWOS VP.... He will NEVER speak up here as long as I am arranging speakers, and I will make sure to spread word to other societies about his business practices and culture issues.
     
  13. Jun 4, 2016 #13

    John M

    John M

    John M

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    Be careful. If he felt that you damaged his business, he could sue you and he'd have copies of everything you said online to support his claim of damages. Then, you'd have to PROVE your accusations are correct. They can't simply be your opinion, expanded upon by your anger and presented to others as fact. Not ever dealing with him is one thing...as is simply not allowing him to come to your society to speak. However, actively seeking to put him out of business is a slippery legal slope. You don't need THAT kind of trouble over a disappointing plant order.

    I am sorry that you had a disappointing experience. This is supposed to be fun and ordering new plants and receiving them is the most fun part! I hope you have better experiences with other vendors and get to really enjoy adding new plants to your collection.

    Here are some general thoughts regarding buying plants, sight unseen, as in: mail order purchases.

    As a vendor, I have a comment to make about repotting newly purchased plants. If you repot immediately, upon the plant's arrival....and you find something to be concerned about and you report that concern to the vendor immediately, you are fully within your rights to expect the vendor to warranty the plant(s) if there is a legitimate problem with the roots.....but, you do not have a legitimate complaint if a plant which you found to originally be acceptable, fails to re-establish properly for you after you repotted it. Getting a plant to re-establish requires cultural knowledge and skill and since the plant is now in your possession, not the vendor's, he's unable to provide his knowledge and skill, it's you who must do that successfully. Getting it to re-establish is your responsibility, not the vendor's. If you repot a plant and then 2 or 3 weeks later, when it has begun to show signs of declining and it is only THEN that you contact the vendor, you don't have the right to expect him to help you. Believe me, people can and do totally screw up a pefectly good plant in the span of less than just 2 weeks. Vendors can't be blindly responsible for other people's cultural practices. Repotting a plant causes considerable stress to the plant. So, you then must be skilled enough to get the plant through that without it losing ground. So, you can't blame the vendor if the plant does not do well in the days and weeks following when you repotted it. You can only blame the vendor if the plant has a identifiable and legitimate problem at the time of repotting......and only if the repotting was done immediately after unpacking it. After that, having found the plant to be of acceptable health and quality, it is your responsibility to get the plant to re-establish.

    When plants first arrive, you MUST inspect them thoroughly and if that means unpotting them, fine. It's ridiculous for any vendor to say that if you repot within 30 days of receipt, all warranty is void. You have the right to inspect the roots and if the plant does not have a gorgeous, massive root system, the root ball could easily fall apart upon being slipped out of the pot for inspection (requiring "repotting" to remedy the issue)....but then, you must let the vendor know immediately, not days or weeks later....AND TAKE PHOTOS at every step. At the time that you receive the plant (not 2 weeks later), is when you must decide if you got fair value for the money. Is the plant turgid? Is the root system acceptable, etc., etc. If you wait a couple weeks before informing the vendor of a concern, that means that you took on the responsibility for the plant's health during that time. Now, after a time and your culture doesn't seem to be working, is NOT the time to go back to the vendor and say anything is his fault.

    You pay a price for a plant. That plant needs to be what was promised; not necessarily what you expected. Some people have unrealistic expectations and if the vendor didn't promise the moon, you can't reasonably expect it. When you get a new plant, inspect it, unpot it if you wish and if there is a problem, report it to the vendor immediately. Your silence after that means that you accepted full responsibility for the health, well-being and productivity for the plant....and you have released the vendor from any liability. If a new plant has an issue, get that issue "on the table" immediately. This is so that if you and the vendor decide together that (instead of you simply returning the plant), you will keep the plant and try and grow it on for a couple weeks/months, you're not left holding a sick/dead plant that the vendor says was not sick/dead when you got it.

    As a vendor, I do get really tired of people who expect me to forever be responsible for the health, growth and flowering of a plant that they buy from me. It's not reasonable that I be held accountable and responsible for a plant that is no longer in my care. If it was acceptable when they first received the plant from me, then my responsibility is done. Period. If they can't handle the posibility of a living plant doing poorly in their care, they should not buy live plants; but, instead they should buy plastic flowers from Michael's Craft Store. That has been my advice to a few people over the years. Live plants need light, water, fertilizer, regular inspection for pathogens/insects and timely treatments for them, etc., etc. If you're not capable of providing that kind of care consistently and you suffer losses, don't come whining and crying to me about it.
     
  14. Jun 4, 2016 #14

    troy

    troy

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    no hatred!!
    This guy is great hopefully everybody buys this guys stuff!!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  15. Jun 4, 2016 #15

    troy

    troy

    troy

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    This guy is great!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  16. Jun 4, 2016 #16

    troy

    troy

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    This guy is totally awesome, buy his stuff at premium prices!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2016
  17. Jun 5, 2016 #17

    John M

    John M

    John M

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    NO! You've completely misunderstood my point.

    That's not what I said. Reread my post.....carefully! He's not likely to sue because people are upset with him. Duh! But, if he feels that he's suffered financial losses because of what people post about him and his business, he could decide to sue for slander and unless the people who slandered him can prove that what they said is fact....... and not just their opinion, he'd likely win his lawsuit.

    For example: Here you say he's "stealing". That's a serious acusation and it's slander. Providing poor quality product and/or poor quality customer service is NOT "stealing" by any definition as far as I know. So, congratulations, you've just opened up yourself to a lawsuit. The courts will have a very clear definition of "stealing". Your use of that word in the context of this public conversation is not likely in keeping with the legal definition.....so, you could be seriously screwed.

    Now seriously, most people would not bother to sue for small, or single attacks. So, you're probably safe. However, JAB said: "Well I am going to blow him up online......and I will make sure to spread word to other societies about his business practices and culture issues." This sounds like a public admission of a systematic vendetta being planned against Norman's. So, JAB had better make damned sure that virtually every word that he types about Norman's is true and factual and that it is all backed up by clear evidence. Otherwise, JAB could find himself being told by some court to pay Norman's Orchids for damages.
     
  18. Jun 5, 2016 #18

    troy

    troy

    troy

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    This guy is great!! Buy this guys stuff at premium prices!!!!
     
  19. Jun 5, 2016 #19

    abax

    abax

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    Pardon me, but you're treading on legal ground here and
    not understanding what John is saying. The person making
    the charges has the burden of proof which requires documentation. Everybody knows...is not legal proof and
    documentation. John is trying to give you good legal protection advice. Outing a vendor here is one thing. Starting a campaign to destroy a business reputation is
    quite legally another. It ain't fair, but there you are.
     
  20. Jun 5, 2016 #20

    troy

    troy

    troy

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    I'm glad they are selling whatever charging whatever, I'm thankfull for all normans orchids have done for everybody over the years!!!!
     

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