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DONE with David Austin Roses

last year
last modified: last year

Hi All,

This is more of a customer service situation than anything else. I thought I would share my experience and am also curious if anyone else has had issues ordering directly from David Austin recently. I have ordered from them 3 times before.

I had ordered two roses in January from the nursery. I ordered the new US introduction Elizabeth and Silas Marner.

The roses were very late already to come in as it was late March and we were still not getting any updates on shipping. I know this spring has been slower to warm up, though. I called to see if they had any estimated ship date. They told me there is no way for them to know and that I will get an email about a week before they ship out.

They had emailed me in April, "your roses will ship out in 10 days". Excited and also disappointed since the timeframe collides with my trip. I live with my parents are they are elderly. Definitely not well enough to be planting roses and moving big containers and bags of soil. I was going to be gone about 2 weeks. I had to cancel my trip to see family and just reschedule. I wait the full 10 days... no roses. I wait a little more thinking "maybe a little delay". What's done is done, right? I tried to be responsible but sometimes delays happen, I get it. Well, 1 month goes by and no roses. I email David Austin and they say Elizabeth "did not meet quality" and that they would send it to me in 2024. They also said I will get a free Emily Bronte. I had to email again asking about my other rose and asked them to clarify if that is also coming next year or this year. It took me 5 whole emails and eventually I had to send a new one re-explaining the situation because they just were not replying to my emails under the first ticket.

One week has passed since the last time they contacted me and finally I get a reply back. *I cannot call them as for some reason the customer service line is always breaking up for me* They confirmed my Silas Marner and Emily Bronte will be sent "soon". I am very frustrated and expressed to them how disappointed I was by the poor communication. Just 1 extra rose at this point is not making me happy as the problem here is the communication. I had to cancel a trip for no reason! If they could have at least warned me of Elizabeth not being up to quality and how that would affect my rose shipping, I would have been able to request they all just be sent next year instead of having to cancel my trip (which by the way cost a pretty penny).

But no matter how much I think about it, there was no reason for them to completely forget about my order. No matter if Elizabeth was not up to expectations, they had just completely failed to fulfill my order from the start. Not one email or call about it. I sent another email requesting for a little extra compensation in maybe another rose as I had to cancel a trip because of this situation and I am just disappointed in how they are simply ignoring my emails. I got no reply to my email.

It has now been a month since my first email to them and I got an automated saying silas marner and emily bronte shipped. I think I am just done with David Austin roses now. The two times I ordered before, I got roses with mosaic. Which I'm okay with because of their 5 year guarantee. However, now with them ignoring my emails and throwing in an extra rose and assuming I'll be okay makes me very upset. I asked if I could pick which rose they send and they said no! I just feel very overlooked and feel like I am not even a person to them.

Has anyone else ordered Elizabeth this year and had issues? If so, I'd love to know. Thanks for reading. If you are still going to order from David Austin, I would at least be wary of the new introductions. It seems like they are not trialing properly anymore.

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