FTD.com: Sorry, We're All Out Of Roses

Online florist FTD.com, “the world’s oldest floral services organization,” told reader Sean that they were out of roses. Sean had ordered a flower arrangement for his wife to celebrate their sixth anniversary. When he presciently called on the day of the anniversary to verify that his order had been received and processed, Sean was told that his flowers were not available, but not to worry, since FTD still had five minutes to deliver his arrangement. Puzzled, Sean instead tried to order a simple bouquet of roses. He writes:

Don’t buy from FTD Flowers aka FTD.Com. Sept 19th was my 6th anniversary and decided to surprise my wife at work with a beautiful arrangement of roses. I order flowers online before their cutoff time. I pay the near $100 and go my merry way.

I was on my way to work several hours later when I decided maybe I should call the FTD toll free line and verify everything is correct. So I call FTD Customer Service and give them my order number and was advised by the Customer Service Agent that the arrangement I requested and paid for was unavailable for delivery. So I was like why wasn’t I told or called that it was unavailable. FTD agent advised me they would have called me to advise. I said when? She did not know. She did advise me that the cutoff for same day delivery was at 2pm. I had 5 minutes. So Im like ok…How about simple dozen roses, nothing fancy…just beautiful roses. She advised me that all their FTD Florist did not have roses. I was like your kidding , she said no. Nothing was available to be delivered and it was techinically before their “cutoff time.”

So I look online for a florist business in the area I wanted to send them that was also a FTD Florist and called them and asked if they had a dozen red roses in stock. Yes they said. Plenty but we close in 4 hours at 6pm. I said thanks and hung up.

So my warning is to people not to use FTD. Not only do they not care about customer service and their customers by not calling them when they ordered something for same day delivery, they also are lying about availability of their products.

The convenience of online florists is consistently undermined by the headaches they cause. If you need flowers, save your time and money and call your local florist.

(Photo: TonivS)

Comments

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  1. reverbandwhiskey says:

    People should NEVER use FTD, teleflora, or any other flower “broker.” I used to work for one, and they provide no real “service” in the internet era. All they do is look up a florist in the recipient’s town, send them the order, and keep 20%-40% of the money you gave them.

    So if you ordered a $100 flower arrangement, the broker keeps $20 -$40. leaving the local florist $60 to work with. Factor in delivery fees and now you might have as little as $50 left for flowers.

    SO you end up getting half as nice of an arrangement as you would have by simply looking up a LOCAL florist and giving them a credit card over the phone. Want really nice flowers? Call that local florist, and tell them that you didn’t want to use FTD because you wanted THEM to have all of the money since THEY are doing all of the actual work. The florist will be so happy that you will end up with an incredible arrangement.

  2. Doc Benway says:

    I got shafted by FTD twice. I will never use them again. The first time they were supposed to deliver my girlfriend flowers on her birthday at 10 AM. She didn’t get them until 7 PM (my apartment was on the way for the driver heading home).

    The second time they just canceled the order because I called to complain the first time and they didn’t inform me they were canceling the order.

  3. AT203 says:

    While it is true that FTD failed you, bear in mind they are a network of florists. They are not some single entity. So, you can see how there might be supply and communication issues between them and their independant florists.

    However, on a customer service level, they seem to have failed you. They could have put you on hold and verified with local florists (as you did), and they could have been more flexible on their cutoff time. It was there screwup after all…

  4. blue_duck says:

    I never have used FTD and now I for sure never will.

  5. KEHT says:

    The only time I put up with FTD incompetence is when my AmEx Delta SkyMiles card offers me 10 sky miles for every dollar I spent at FTD. Otherwise it’s much easier to google up a local florist near a place you want flowers to be delivered.

  6. tadowguy says:

    All men know that flowers are a scam anyway!

  7. Yay local florists!

    Most of the ones I’ve dealt with locally will deliver after their official same-day cutoff time as long as it’s not a super-busy day, too. And teh internets make it so easy to find local florists all the way across the country to call, like in case my husband forgets his mother’s birthday, not that he does that or anything. ;)

  8. OKH says:

    Like totally off topic, but is anyone else like afraid for the English language, like? I hope people aren’t writing like this when they deal with customer service.

    I ordered once from 1800FLOWERS and the order showed up UPS beaten to hell. They did make good on it but my wife still ended up with beaten to hell roses for her birthday.

  9. blue_duck says:

    @tadowguy: Nuh uh! I love getting flowers from my boyfriend! Or anybody for that matter :P

  10. Anonymous says:

    About a year ago I ordered an arrangement for my girlfriend while she was in another city. Her favorite color is blue, and they had a very nice arrangement of all shades of blue flowers, in a blue vase.

    After she received the order she sent me a picture. Not only was it nothing like what I had ordered, but it was pretty hideous. The vase had green and yellow flowers all over it, I’m pretty sure it had been in the shop since the mid ’70s. Worse though none of the flowers were blue.

    I called to get them to honor their 100% satisfaction guarantee and they wanted to haggle about it. They offered a 60% refund and she could keep the flowers. I stuck the my guns and said they could have the flowers back, but I was getting 100% refund. After speaking to a supervisor several times they finally caved and gave me my money back, but they were going to send the delivery guy back out to pick up the flowers.

    Of course the guy never bothered to show up, but I suppose that scares some guys into not getting their refund. I also asked how I could prevent this from happening in the future, and the CS agent told me if the color/arrangement is important then I must phone in. When flowers are ordered online they assume they can deliver whatever they have available, as long as it costs at least what you paid.

  11. HungryGrrl says:

    Skip the flowers, just order one of those fruit salad bouquet things! They’re really romantic!

  12. reverbandwhiskey says:

    @tadowguy:

    Flowers are cliched, but work, EVERY TIME.

  13. faust1200 says:

    I’ve had about 98% success rate with 1-800flowers(.com) in the past. I think the one time many years ago they were a day late (or the local florist was) and they gave me a discount for my next order…meh.

  14. bradanomics says:

    @REVERBANDWHISKEY: Here here!

    I messed up pretty badly with my wife last week (so much so that she wouldn’t let me sleep in the bed). In the middle of the night I went out to the grocery store and bought some flowers. I placed them on the bureau so she would see them as soon as she woke up.

    It worked!

  15. bradanomics says:

    I think I will use local florists from now on

  16. Mike626 says:

    For the past 5 years I’ve ordered 3 dozen irises for my mother’s birthday from Proflowers. Each year they arrive on time and in great shape– each bud just about to bloom. Proflowers deals directly with growers, and I think that contributes to their success.

  17. dotyoureyes says:

    I had a similarly terrible experience with FTD and an undelivered bouquet of Mother’s Day flowers. It took 3 days of calling and an EECB to get a refund.

    I’ll never use them again — I’m all about local florists from here on!

  18. CaptainSemantics says:

    I nearly made the classic mistake of forgetting Mother’s Day my first year away from home. I live in Atlanta and my mother is in Illinois. I panic because it’s Friday morning and Sunday is the big day. I frantically call the local florist in my small-town-Illinois hometown. They were great, get my order in and I tell them where she works. They can deliver the flowers for an extra cost, and I’m like “Oh great, I am so royally screwed,” forseeing a huge delivery charge in my future. The delivery charge? $1. Yep, $1. Small town + local florist = Love.

  19. squikysquiken says:

    I’d just like to point out that FTD is not necessarily the liar here. I assume that florists make less money off an FTD order than a direct one (fees, pre-arranged prices, etc…) so I would not be surprised that some florists would just report to FTD that they are out of stock even though they still locally sell it. There is a difference between bad customer service (they didn’t call the buyer and really helped finding an alternative) and malice (lying).

    My experience with FTD has be very location dependent. Flowers for my wife at work are usually small, don’t last long and get delivered late. Flowers for home are always promptly delivered and georgeous (for the same price range).

  20. Sudonum says:

    1800Flowers (FTD) screwed me twice. The only reason I used them a second time was the credit they gave me after screwing me the first time. And I’ve dealt with local florists too. Order a dozen roses for Valentines Day (a week in advance), and they send 10. WTF???
    @tadowguy:
    Flowers or jewelry, works every time!

  21. Falconfire says:

    @squikysquiken: That does not explain their not calling the person who made the purchase to arrange something else.

    FTD is totally in the wrong here, no matter if their network florists where lying or not.

  22. reverbandwhiskey says:

    @Sudonum:

    Valentine’s Day tip: Don’t order roses. You’ll get the lowest quality roses of any time of the years. Go with tulips and gerber daisies for a clorful, unique arrangement that will be much more memorable.

  23. The HZA. says:

    Many women dislike roses or red roses. Because it is the ever so common; I fucked up honey but see I brought flowers.

    So really do some investigating and find out if you lady even likes roses.

    ProFlowers.com ftw

  24. @reverbandwhiskey: Or try live plants in pretty pots, or herbs for the kitchen window sill. Me, I’d rather get a book since flowers make me sneeze, but I like me some flowers now and then anyway.

  25. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    @reverbandwhiskey: Word. I tried to send a hospitalized friend in AL a bouquet of balloons and flowers via ftd.com (I live in CA). To send their pitiful $30 arrangement was going to cost me $20 more in shipping, so I decided to call the local florist ftd.com was using for a price comparison. Not only do they deliver to hospitals for free, but my $30 would have gotten me an arrangement twice as big.

    In this case, FTD should have verified the availability of the flowers ASAP, and then notified the customer quickly of any problems. They totally dropped the ball here.

    And a tip for the fellas: find out what your wifes/girlfriend’s fave flower is and order those instead of roses. And grocery store flowers are just as nice (if not nicer) than those from a florist.

  26. Sudonum says:

    @reverbandwhiskey:
    I’ve ordered roses for Valentines Day from plenty of different places and gotten beautiful flowers that lasted for over a week. The 10 roses I did receive from the local florist that particular time were beautiful, they were just short 2.

  27. fhic says:

    Add me to the list of people who think that ftd.com sucks. If you need to send flowers to someone remote, visit a local florist and have them send it. They may use FTD, but they have a better relationship to them than the individual consumer, and FTD will think twice about screwing their member florists.

    If you need a local florist in southern California, I recommend Conroy’s, a local chain. They also do online orders, though I’ve never used that service.

  28. saltmine says:

    I used 1800Flowers to send my (now ex) wife flowers on Valentines day. I picked out a very nice assortment of flowers that included both carnations and roses. On the website, it was all pink and red. What they delivered to her, at her work, was an abomination that should have been reserved for the people on secretary’s day that are terrible at their job. An unholy arrangement of purples, yellows, and dead flowers plopped in a plastic fishbowl fit for a siamese fighting fish. That “vase” cost an extra ten bucks. She was embarassed, I was embarassed, and I sent 1800Flowers an e-mail expressing that. Guess what? They never answered.

  29. allthatsevil says:

    Try EdibleArrangements instead. They’re so much more practical than flowers that die. And much tastier, too.

  30. basket548 says:

    Another vote for Proflowers.com from me. I’ve used them for 5 years now, and they’ve always been great. Also, once you’ve bought once from them, you’ll get free vases/chocolates on subsequent orders practically forever.

  31. HalOfBorg says:

    Local florists not always great. My wife gave birth (11 hr labor), and I called the florist, ordered 10 red and one pink rose (she had a girl). Looked great.

    All were withered the next morning!!

    I went down there at full steam, demanded my money back and they replace the flowers. They started to give me static, telling me it will take a while – and I told them “My wife’s in the hosptal looking at DEAD FLOWERS and I’ll be sure EVERYBODY knows where she got them!!”

    Couple hrs later – BIG BEAUTIFUL display, dozen long stems. No charge. I told EVERYBODY where they came from. (didn’t mention how)

  32. HalOfBorg says:

    Oh – and I go to local grocery store, buy the cheap (maybe $10) flowers from their flower shop. Lasts a weak or two sometimes.

  33. Anonymous says:

    If you want to be a conscientious consumer, please choose something other than flowers for your gift. Especially from a florist like FTD, you are giving money to a system of poorly paid workers, child labor, and environmental destruction. Here is an article with more information. Buy locally grown flowers, it’s better for the rest of the world and your community!

  34. jvette says:

    FTD, Teleflora, 800flowers are all order gatherers. All they do is sit in a office building take your order and then charge you a extra fee upwards to 13.99 just to take your order from you. Then they have to try to find a real florist in the area you want the order delivered to take the order from them and deliver it. The kicker to this is they only pay the florist 73% of the amount you spent on flowers not including the $13.99 fee they charged you for taking your order. So that’s why the florist could care less about these middle men or these orders. Most good florists don’t fill orders for these crooks. They are all SCAM artist. You would be better off buying from a local floral source. These companies have no control over any florist. Use a real florist!

  35. jvette says:

    And for ProFlowers, what type of quality did you receive and were you happy getting your item in a box delivered by UPS or FedEx? In many cases this company will let UPS or FedEx drop the delivery on the steps at your front door. If its a hot or very cold day this could kill your flowers. Last year at Valentines day they had huge problems with the weather in the east. Many towns were at or below 0 and lots of flower deliveries from the froze.

  36. MissCellania says:

    The last time I received flowers, he called FTD and they MAILED a box of flowers. They postal carrier left them on the porch, where I found them frozen many hours later. I called FTD, they happily sent me another dozen exactly the same way and the same thing happened again. A local florist would have hand-delivered them and even bothered to ring the doorbell!

  37. spryte says:

    There’s no company in the world that won’t have its detractors. Just
    because not every single customer is immensely satisfied every single
    time does not mean the company is of the devil. I’ve used 1800Flowers a
    number of times and have never had a problem. Orders were always
    delivered when they were supposed to be and always looked good. I’ve
    used them to send flowers/plants to probably four or five different
    locations, too, so it’s not a matter of getting lucky in one location.

    I won’t deny that they probably screw up sometimes, and I’m sure it
    sucks when they do. Granted, the issue of them not calling to say they
    couldn’t fulfill the order is pretty crappy and unacceptable. But I can
    assure you they don’t screw up every time, and I’m sure it’s far from
    that.

    Also, people who complain about roses they order dying too
    quickly–roses are generally delicate flowers and don’t tend to live
    very long once cut. Roses you get anywhere can live for a week or so,
    or can die in a few days. It’s a crap shoot and really has nothing to
    do with where they come from.

  38. ipflorist says:

    I was not surprised to see this article come accross my news reader today

    Seems another person got bit by an unscrouplous marketeer, FTD.COM -

    This company is only a ‘front’ and does not have a real flower business – they take 27% of your order and then send the remainder value to florist ‘members’ of the ftd network and for thsi privilege, you have to pay them a hefty fee of 13.50 …

    this fellow spent 100.00 for flowers – he would have spent anotehr 13.50 in fees -

    the real flower shop in the ‘network’ would have received this order and had a cash value to them of only 73.00….

    not a good value for the flower buyer – chances are, this is why his order was not filled – shop after shop rejected the order

    The flower industry is going the way of the corner drug store, and we all need to support the the local florists…

    This very feeble excuse from FTD, we are out of roses is extreemly bad.

    There is a website available – dedicated to helping the public find a REAL LOCAL FLORIST to deliver the very freshest flowers, no middle men – no hidden fees – no service charges.

    The site is IP Florist.com

    [www.ipflorist.com]

    Please help spread the word!

  39. RvLeshrac says:

    @MissCellania:

    That’s very odd… FTD and 1-800-FLOWERS both use local florists. I don’t know why they would’ve mailed them. :/

  40. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Just send them a gift certificate for their favorite local nursery so they can pick out some live plants they might enjoy.

  41. zeitguess says:

    Never, ever use a service like FTD. If you need local delivery, go directly to a local florist or buy and deliver some yourself. I ordered a beautiful family flower arrangement for my aunt’s funeral through FTD since I was out of town. The local florist they sent the order fax to lost it and the flowers were never delivered. Let me tell you how well that went over.

  42. SmoovyG says:

    ProFlowers is great. I use them every year for my wedding anniversary, birthdays, holidays and whatever else pops up. Twice the flowers have died within their guarantee period and both times they sent a new arrangement without a fuss.

  43. Mary says:

    @SmoovyG: I’ve used ProFlowers as well, a couple times. I have no problems with them and since they’re partnered with another company I use, I get bonus points for using them.

    Last time I called a local florist in a completely different town to deliver flowers, it cost just as much as FTD would have, they tacked on a million fees. Soured me on florists in general.

    Which means I shouldn’t be too upset if my husband doesn’t think to pick up flowers on his way home today, even if it’s our second anniversary ; )

  44. mmcnary says:

    I really miss Dierbergs in St. Louis. I was always able to get my flowers delivered in plenty of time, they were reasonably priced (for flowers) and used their own delivery drivers.

    Now that I’m in KC, I don’t have a clue who is a decent local florist. This is not hypothetical, my wife’s birthday and our anniversary are fast approaching…

    So any local advice would be welcome.