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Jim Macd

A  week or two ago I ordered The Sutton Rhubarb from Chris Bowers and because I never like to just order one thing I got a couple of blackcurrants too that I'd had my eye on on another website. 

They came yesterday. I eagerly opened it up only to find the Rhubarb, the whole point of my order was missing. I checked all through the bag under all the straw which went everywhere for a delivery note but there was nothing! I checked my emails to see if they'd sent an amended delivery note. Nothing!

I sent them an email asking what was going on. I was very polite saying hello and 

'Kind Regards

Jim Macd'

I got one line back from John Bowers. Not a hello, dear Jim, kiss my **** nor nothing. One line. 'With respect" Which in my book means 'brace yourself I'm about to insult your intelligence',  "it does state quite clearly that this variety is sold out on our website."


Well it did the day after but as I just replied, 'are you saying I'm stupid?' If it had said 'SOLD OUT' when I placed my order would I have placed the order? I'm so livid. The blackcurrants were weedy, one had corral spot on part of it they'd been too lazy to cut off and the other was broken. With another bit loose so I have no idea which one that came from. I can't remember when I had such a flippant response from customer service. Not even Primose that I've slagged off so much here were rude, nor Ashridge Trees terse. Primrose I take it all back!

It's so unnecessary. I'll have to add Crhis Bowers to my list of companies NEVER to shop with again! In fact they go to the TOP of my list and I think I'll take Ashridge Trees and Primrose off. So Chris Bowers congratulate yourself for exonerating Primrose and Ashridge Trees.  


I really wouldn't recommend anyone that cares about getting a service shop with them either.


Jim, I think you should stop sitting on the fence, then tell us what you really think. lol. Then have a very large glass of wine. 


Very frustrating.  I would ask,for prepaid return label and get my money back.  however, before that comtact the mamager and describe your package from them, say ??ou have mentioned them here (chris bowers has been on this site I think) and how you feel about their service to date.

Let us know how you get on Jim



I'll join you in that large glass, but then have to agree with Verdun, however, stuff the prepaid label. IME, very few companies want to be reminded of their failures. Just go straight to the manager. Most companies sites won't allow you to order a product if it is out of stock, but will ask if you wish to be contacted once it comes back in again. Even small companies update stock frequently or automatically. This is a fault at thier end, obviously. You would not have ordered anything if your first choice was out of stock.

I know I go on about my tesco vouchers to use at T&M, but when I did complain once, I brought up everything from the last yr,(which wasn't much) then got £35 of vouchers to spend (and I had never spent a real penny with them!) 

Going to spend them tonight.

If you complain enough, and don't want vouchers from them, and do send back the plants, you should get a full refund, and extra, too, if your bum is sore enough from sitting on that fence that you are insistent enough. And mention the forum. Bet they sort you then. even a refund for ointment! All companies can do without a bad review. Even one will spoil a reputation. I have one on my FB page for dog grooming that reduces my 5 * rep to 4.5* and have no idea where it came from, as no name or comment, and no-one has ever complained to me. Without complaints or compliments, a company will never improve, and may become complacent. Wherever I got that less than 5* from, it has made me work even harder. All of my dogs love me, almost all of my clients are returners and of those who haven't, 2 needed dogs done whilst their regular groomer was on maternity leave, and they went back after as loyalty in dog grooming is like in hairdressing, and 3 were old and died.

I would think that any nursery will want to regain your custom, or at the very least, not have you give bad reports elsewhere. Get what you can! Might be free plants in this for you. If so, please see the 'Flooded gardens' post. If you don't want them on principle, others can use them.

And, yes, let us know how you go on. The nursery and seed trade is very competitive, unless specialist. I would like to believe that any specialist nursery would not treat you this way. Larger plant/seed sales companies should remember that they have a lot of competition, but a reminder surely wouldn't do harm

Tiger Sheds.

purchased a top of range potting shed and paid extra for installation.

shirty staff when asking when installation would be.

installation not completed by their staff as roof did not fit.left in a dangerous situation, and flew across garden in high winds.stable door poor quality.

no apology, no contact, not bothered.

paid by credit card, they will be bothered now, have cancelled contract and disputed charge as goods not of merchantable quality.


Well done AWB. 

Jim Macd

Thanks everyone for the support. I did wonder if I'd blown it out of proportion a bit. The respondent was, I assume ,Chris Bowers' son as the name was John Bowers, so he probably thinks, because he's the boss' son he can get away with being a rude little manure ball. But that really makes it worse. I haven't had any reply,  by the way, to my email after yesterday but it is Saturday. 

After reading the posts and advice given by some of you to others in the past I made sure I used my Credit Card and not the Debit Card I normally use. Spurred on by you I will make a formal complaint, if they don't do anything about it I'll go to the credit card company and hit them where it hurts. 

I have seen Chris Bowers post here too. 

Thanks everyone. 


Morning all,not a bad morning erein Norfolk, Jim i am one of the first to give companies a chance but now and again this kind of thing happens, the worst part is not having a face standing in front of you while you explain the problem especially in a busy shop as this always gets them moving quicker,  one of the downsides of ord-on-line. One of the best services we have ever ever had is Homebase in Croma, not only that, after searching the web for a mower for months with no success i found they now have in some Qualcast Briggs and Stratton self propelled petrol 4 stroke mowers £199 ,they have  put one to one side for me  im picking one up on Tuesday 10% off for oldens like me, really good staff and they have changed things for me that i got wrong,again good service. (retired dont work there ) put em on the good list garden part is good as well.

Alan, it's so nice when customer service is good. Of course, we go back again to that company so it's win win all round.

Heather Michaels

Jim Macd,

I'm sorry you're having such a hard time with Bowers but can I just say thank you, for the admittedly completely childish response of fits of uncontrollable giggling at the phrase "rude little manure ball"!!!!   I HAVE to use that one at some point where appropriate

star gaze lily

Jim, I would phone the manager and complain. He'll probaly tell you to keep the plants and refund the money if he cares about his company and  customer service.

Love the saying----rude little manure ball,---- will remember that one, lol  

Jim Macd

thanks everyone. To be honest I've been really busy and had bigger fish to fry so I've not thought about it since. I'll just never use them and never recommend them. Needless to say I didn't get another reply from the little manure ball.

I have a saying:

The mark of a great company is not what they do when things go right, it's what they do to put it right when things go wrong that makes them great.

I've had that exemplified a few times in the last few months. I've got another one to add to my list but I'll save that for another time.

Not getting great customer service from Alwoods.  Used to be very good, few years back,  I think but no response to queries so far. .

I have received sub-standard products from john bowers - i emailed to outline the problem and received such a rude and sarcastic email back.  Shocking way to behave to customers - the web site should be taken down.  Do not shop with this company.

If this is the same company you are clearly not alone.


Suttons recently sent me poor quality plants as did Crocus.  

Never be afraid to complain.  Often a first response is poor but persevere.  Never yet have I not eventually received satisfaction 

seems to me many of the "big boys" have become complacent ...almost negligent....whereas the smaller suppliers have upped their game price wise and quakity wise.

there are some fantastic conscientious online suppliers out there 

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