I have bought seeds from Mr Fothergills for many years and have always been pleased with the quality and germination levels. This year has been very different and many of the vegetable varieties that I have sown have failed to germinate well. I know that good conditions are vital for good germination, but I have two clear examples of seed failure which I believe can only reflect on the seed quality. Firstly I sowed some tomato seed in two batches - one was seed that I had saved from my own plants last year and the other was a packet of Sparta from Fothergill's. My own seed germinated really well, but the Sparta produced only two weak and sickly plants. I did the same experiment with Butternut Squash, using seed from Thomson and Morgans from last year and seed from Fothergills this year. Both lots were sowed in the same compost, watered the same and kept in the same place in the greenhouse. 100% germination from the Thomson and Morgan seeds, zero from Fothergill's!! I have complained about the tomatoes and had the cost of the seeds refunded, but no other compensation was offered even though I pointed out that I would now have to buy plants from a garden centre to replace those which had failed to germinate. I am very unhappy and will not be buying from Mr Fothergill again
Mr Fothergill is a brand you instinctively trust. It's maybe not the cheapest place to buy plants and seeds, but you know you're getting great value and service. Like most gardening catalogues you get "deals", which I'm always very sceptical of. Mr Fothergill's deals are genuinely great value. I've found no problems with delivery. The plants are always packaged well enough to not get damaged in transit. The website is one of the more user friendly gardening sites and the product range is great. Free delivery if you only order seeds. My one quibble is, I didn't get my free seeds, but as I'm planning to order again soon, it's not even problem enough to make a complaint.
Mr Fothergills is a well-known seed and plant company that has been around for ages. They have a wide range of products on their website of flowers, plants and vegetables. Sometimes they also send out special offers to their customers. Free delivery on all seed orders which is great. I know some seeds can fail to germinate but that is the nature of growing seeds whatever company they were bought from. A very trusted company in any case.
I bought a packet of seeds and they failed to germinate, despite trying several times, always following the instructions. The company offers a refund on the packaging if seeds don't perform, but offers no phone number or customer service address. I emailed in detail and got an automated reply addressed to Dear Customer (I had provided name and contact details) asking for return of the pack in the post as proof of purchase along with a covering letter outlining my complaint (when I had already done that in the email!). I emailed back and got a reply to the effect that they needed to know the batch number and eveidence I had indeed bought the seeds hence the requirement for the pack return (all this for a pack of £1.50 seeds - I am hardly running an international seed refund rip-off ring!!!). This time they managed to address me by name but I decided not to bother returning the pack and will vote with my feet instead. I was left feeling untrusted, anonymous and certainly not valued as a customer - which of course I no longer am!