Royal Flowers Hikes Price After You Order Flowers For Mother's Day

Ian in Pennsylvania says Royal Flowers tried to scam him on a recent bouquet purchase:

With it being Mothers Day, I was shopping around for flowers to send to my mother. I checked the normal big sites since she lives in another state, like 1-800 flowers. I decided to check the local company I use, since they are always cheap and service is great. So I found a great piece significantly cheaper than the other sites. I place the order and everything is going great.

Then I received the following email.

  Mr. XXXXXX,
 
This is in regards to the order you placed going to XXXXXXXXXXXX.
 
We received a message from the filling florist. They need a total unit price of $54.00 to complete your order. Please respond to this email or call 717-273-4090, ext. 5035, between the hours of 8:00 – 5:00 with your wishes.
 
Thank you.
 
Diane,
Customer Service


 

Ok…so their contracted florist now wants more money. You have to be kidding me? They are asking for $7 more to fulfill the order, putting them well over all the competitors (like 1-800 flowers). I’m appalled that they would even consider to ask for more money after a transaction has been completed.

We hope you canceled your order with them on principle and went with another florist, Ian. You may want to also contact your state’s attorney general’s office and file a formal complaint that the company refused to provide the service at the price you both originally agreed to.

(Photo: blmurch)

Comments

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  1. burgundyyears says:

    Classic variant of bait and switch. Ick.

  2. bradanomics says:

    I would just suggest calling the local florest and going directly through them. Often times they will deliver for free or a small fee. Most likely you will end up ahead because you are cutting out the middle man.

  3. karmaghost says:

    Wow, well if it’s true that the local florist raised the price, then Royal should just eat the $7 or argue with the florist themselves. It’s not Ian’s fault somebody screwed up.

  4. thirdbase says:

    7 bucks. Geeeez Louise, Fill the order and save the customer. Idiots.

  5. QrazyQat says:

    No way, thirdbase, if they treat one customer honestly, they’d have to treat them all that way.

  6. DeltaPurser says:

    Tell ‘em they just lost a sale…

  7. SamTheGeek says:

    @thirdbase: Yes, if they agreed to fill this order properly, and denied another, there would be a huge lawsuit coming. It’s actually cheaper for them to screw everyone and lose some customers than to be slapped with a lawsuit.

  8. chiieddy says:

    I discovered you get a much better deal walking into your local florist shop, even with the shipping costs to my Mom in NJ, it was cheaper than any of the online sites. And I was much happier with the arrangement I got.

  9. 44 in a Row says:

    I discovered you get a much better deal walking into your local florist shop, even with the shipping costs to my Mom in NJ, it was cheaper than any of the online sites. And I was much happier with the arrangement I got.

    Unless I’m reading this wrong, that’s what he did.

  10. thalia says:

    This just happened to me with SwimsuitsForAll.com…when I completed the order, all was well, and even in my account the price was the same, but they sent me several confirmation emails stating that the total was going to be $2 more than the initial price I agreed to. Luckily I contacted them before my card was charged and set it straight. They claimed it was an ‘error’ and they promise they weren’t going to overcharge me even if I hadn’t called, but somehow I’m not so sure about that…

  11. AmbroseP says:

    Venus flytrap. Classic.

  12. ninabi says:

    Happened to me with a local florist. I decided to go with them when a friend had surgery and I wanted to send her a get well bouquet.

    Sure, we deliver! I was told. Flat rate.

    All well and good. I selected a lovely bouquet and then it turned ugly.

    I was told No.

    Pardon me?

    No. The one I picked wasn’t pricey enough. They only delivered $60 and up bouquets.

    But- the delivery charge was the same amount no matter the value of the flowers.

    I guess it was too embarrassing for the florist to drive around a delivery van full of cheapskate $40 bouquets…

  13. flowergirl says:

    it’s not bait and switch. i work in a flower shop. say he had ordered a half a dozen peonies. the week before mother’s day, there’s a hailstorm in peonyland and they are all smashed. no flowers available. so, the price of peonies goes up. the florist is just asking him what he wants to do. i’m sure if he’d bothered to call them, they would have been happy to work out an alternative arrangement for the same price, or at least explained that the price change was not in their control. and yes, ninabi, florists have delivery minimums. especially for a busy holiday. i bet your local pizza place sells breadsticks for $2, but they aren’t going to deliver them to you unless you spend more than just $2.

  14. LJKelley says:

    @flowergirl: That would be more believable if the majority of flowers weren’t grown in Greenhouse, thus not outdoors where they are subject to real weather. The Greenhouses are controlled and thus have their own weather. Second, Flowers are imported from all over the globe. Third, If I signed for delivery of a Mercedes and Hail damaged it that doesn’t mean MBUSA can ask that I pay more but generally means they must provide another vehicle or repair it at my option.

    About the Delivery, I think comparing $2 to $40 is quite steep and I doubt the Pizza place would deliver for 50% more ($3) when the flower ship in question will at $60 dollars. They should have also been upfront and said “Flat fee of $X on orders over $60″.

    Both cases were of lies from the staff/website and not being upfront with the costs but rather increasing the costs for the consumer after interest/placement of purchase. That to me is Bait & Switch.

  15. DojiStar says:

    I don’t get it.

    He ordered from this site because they were significantly cheaper than 1800-flowers.

    The company he orders from raises the price $7 causing the new price to be well over the competitors.

    What dose he consider significantly cheaper, $3.00??

  16. LUV2CattleCall says:

    @flowergirl:

    Fair enough. I work at an airline. Please give me your name so that I may pull up your PNR to make sure that you paid a fare that adequately covers our true costs – since afterall, it’s your fault that the yield management team may not have done their job. If I see a <$200 ticket to Tampa with your name on it, please be prepared to pay the difference in fare once we are in the air. In the absence of said payment, we will be more than happy to kick you off the aircraft without a parachute (though you can expect a bill in the mail for the extra fuel burn due to the induced drag created when we open the door for you.)

  17. backbroken says:

    @flowergirl: You are really not going to win this argument. I’d tell you why but I gotta go get a donut before they are all gone.

  18. gamblepsu says:

    This should be ROYER’S flowers not Royal flowers. This is my hometown :-)

  19. SteveZim1017 says:

    @ LUV2CALLCATTLE

    Wow, yea that’s even remotely the same thing. It would be like Delta booking a flight for United at a price and United coming back to say “sorry, our feul surcharge went up” So Delta calls the guy back and says ok this is what happened, it’ll cost an extra $20, do you still want it?” It’s not like the flower shop called and said “hey we are outside your mom’s house, if you dont pay us $7 we are gonna drive away and throw the flowers out the window.”

    My question for flowergirl would be, when I order from a local shop for a delivery in another city from another shop, who actually gets the money? Is it split in some way? is there a middleman?

  20. SteveZim1017 says:

    PS Sorry LUV2CattleCall Didn’t mean to butcher your name in the previous post (no pun intended)

  21. Geekybiker says:

    @SteveZim1017: No, its pretty much the same concept. They agreed to provide a service for a set amount. They took his money and only then changed the price. Pretty simple violation of contract. They need to talk to their suppliers better in the future and eat the loss on this sale.

  22. JerseyJarhead says:

    Flower Girl – Tip: This is a CONSUMERIST website. If you want to rep for fraudsters, join the CORPORATEASSHOLEMACHINE.COM site. You fucking idiot.

  23. Ninjanice says:

    It sounds to me like it still wasn’t actually filled by the florist he called (maybe they are actually a wire service or not the closest shop to his mom). They wired the order to another florist, who obviously charges more for the same product. If the original flower shop was filling the order, then, yes, they should fill it for the OP as agreed. Since it was ANOTHER shop filling the order and they have a different price (which wasn’t agreed to by the second florist) the original florist was seeing if the customer wanted to pay the additional $ to ensure that he would get exactly what he wanted. Had the OP said no, the filling florist most likely would have rejected the order or substituted with less expensive flowers, a less expensive vase, etc. @SteveZim1017: There are several different flower wire services- the most well known being Teleflora and FTD. There are even some companies that only function as order-takers. When you go into your local florist to send something out of town, they go through one of the wire services and send the order to a local shop who is also a member of the wire service. There is usually a higher fee for this service (usually about $5-6). Depending on the shop, most of that money goes to the wire service. The filling florist is the one who gets paid (since they are the ones who actually create and send the product).

  24. thornygrl says:

    I usually agree with the reports about florists and flowers on Consumerist, but this story completely misses the mark.

    #1) The company being discussed here is not named ‘Royal Flowers’. All you have to do is Google the customer service phone number to find the correct name. Someone should have checked it before running the story.

    #2) The florist’s site has the following information on EVERY product page for flowers delivered out of their area by other florists through an affiliate network (as was the case with this purchase):
    “- Certain areas may incur additional delivery charge.”

    #3) The buyer said the site price was “significantly cheaper than the other sites” but is complaining about $7 more for delivery. Don’t think I’ve ever use ‘significant’ and ‘$7′ in the same sentence.

    #4) National sites lke FTD and 1-800-Flowers all charge service fees above the cost of the flowers and local delivery – ranging from $13-18, so it is highly unlikely (actually almost impossible) for $7 to push the cost ‘well over all the competitors’. BTW, these fees are not plainly disclosed until the buyer is a page or two into the shopping cart.

    For real savings and the best value, listen to brananomics and call or order online from a local florist who will actually make the delivery.