FTD Never Mentioned That They Failed To Deliver The Flowers You Ordered In December

Ryan sent his father flowers last December through FTD.com but they never arrived. Ryan apparently forgot to give his father’s apartment number to FTD, and when UPS tried calling FTD for delivery instructions, rather than ask Ryan to clarify the address, FTD instead told UPS to chuck the flowers. None of this was apparently worth mentioning to Ryan, who just recently learned that his gift was never delivered.

Ryan writes:

Back in December of 2008, I ordered a small bouquet for my dad and his girlfriend from FTD.com.

The bouquet was small and simple, and it was scheduled to arrive on the 23rd of December (I ordered relatively quick shipping). The total cost of the bouquet was $37.69.

Now, I never checked up on the delivery and naturally assumed it had been delivered. I don’t talk to my dad very often, but when I finally did I asked him how he liked those flowers. Turns out he never got them.

So I go to check my email and dug up the UPS tracking number. The sequence of events is as follows:

12/23/08, 3:20AM: OUT FOR DELIVERY

12/23/08, 3:23PM: THE APARTMENT NUMBER IS MISSING OR IS INCORRECT. UPS IS ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION.

12/23/08, 9:21PM: THE APARTMENT NUMBER IS MISSING OR IS INCORRECT. UPS IS ATTEMPTING TO OBTAIN THIS INFORMATION. / DISPOSED OF PER SENDER REQUEST, CONTACT SENDER FOR MORE INFORMATION

To summarize, the address I used to send the flowers to my dad was incorrect; I had forgotten to include his apartment number. So that part’s my bad. UPS apparently recognized this fact when they went to deliver it, but they never contacted me to ask for the appropriate number. That’s especially strange considering FTD (and presumably UPS) had my phone number and my dad’s phone number. Nobody was ever contacted to ask for more information. Additionally, UPS clearly spoke with FTD, who instructed them to dispose of the flowers!

If they don’t bother contacting people, why do they request the sender’s phone number AND the recipient’s phone number?

I’ve just contacted FTD regarding this matter and am awaiting a response. The easiest way for them to correct this problem is to simply refund me my money. One thing’s for sure, though: I won’t be using FTD again after this incident. I’m hoping you can publish this to let others know about the extreme idiocy that’s been exhibited, here, and hopefully avoid similar problems in the future.

PS. FTD’s website proudly states they’ve been rated “Best Overall” by CBS News. The irony.

If FTD doesn’t issue or a refund or if they try to issue a credit, call your credit card company and file a chargeback.

Whenever you need to send flowers, skip the online portals and instead call a local florist.

(Photo: James Jordan)

Comments

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  1. NotYou007 says:

    Who sends there dad flowers other than this guy?

    • WEGGLES90 says:

      @NotYou007: He could be sick? Get well flowers.

      It could be a house warming gift. Who cares. The point is, he paid for flowers, and FTD didn’t deliver.

    • lordargent says:

      @NotYou007: Who sends there dad flowers other than this guy?

      He sent there dad and here girlfriend flowers, probably fore christmas.

      /And now for people who speak properly.

      He sent his dad and girlfriend flowers, to be delivered on Dec 23rd, AKA, a few days before Christmas.

  2. narcolepticdoc says:

    Exactly.

    For Valentines day, I looked into all the options. Most of the national chains either wanted to ship flowers in a box via UPS or FedEX, or subcontracted out to a local florist. Of the chains that I looked at, only one of them was honest enough to say that they couldn’t guarantee Saturday delivery in California due to state inspections.

    I ended up using google maps to locate a local florist about within a couple miles of my recipient. It’s easy, it’s cheaper, and you’re not dependent on UPS or Fedex to deliver a box of whatever.

    • evilcharity says:

      @narcolepticdoc: I agree that this approach is really the best when ordering flowers. I always go with a local chain. They have their own delivery drivers, the prices are reasonable, and I can get a real live person on the phone if I necessary.

    • miss_roxxan says:

      @narcolepticdoc: i recently wanted to send flowers to my boyfriends mother and i looked at all the big sites and found that even a small bouquet was going to cost almost $50 with shipping. then, i did a search of places in her town and found a place that had the same sorts of bouquets and prices, but the shipping was $4 and they delivered on a saturday without an extra charge. it ended up saving me about $20 and nothing showed up in a cardboard box either.

  3. twophrasebark says:

    I’ve just contacted FTD regarding this matter and am awaiting a response.

    Consumerist is publishing stories before the company even has a chance to remedy the problem or respond????

    That’s not right.

    • supercereal says:

      @twophrasebark: You must be new here. :)

    • Mr-Mr says:

      @twophrasebark: I enjoy reading the stories published here because it really 1) shows how shameless some companies operate 2) shows how terrified companies are of sites like Consumerist. Power to the people. Companies are not in charge, consumers are.

      • supercereal says:

        @Mr-Mr: See, that’s the problem. You read a one-sided story here and take it as gospel that the company is evil and out to get you. The fact is, these stories represent a tiny fraction of all transactions that go on with these businesses. No company or individual is perfect, and will indeed make mistakes. Judge them by how they react or go about fixing them, rather than get all up in arms about a baseless story.

        It’s frustrating as someone trying to launch a new business to see how judgmental people can be based on a single, one-sided story about a company that hasn’t even been given a chance to respond or react. That’s not consumerism and it’s not helping anyone. Rather, it’s just a blanket anti business mentality from folks expecting more than what is reasonable.

        • marsneedsrabbits says:

          @supercereal:

          Good luck with your new venture :)

          I don’t think it is an “anti-business” mentality so much as it is human nature.

          Back a zillion years ago in school, we were told that if someone gets good service, they may return to that business again.

          If someone gets extraordinarily great service, they’ll tell a few people, and usually return to that business again.

          But if someone gets bad service, they tend to tell everyone they know just how terrible it was.

          This seems to still be the case. Reports of bad service or bad business practices get around very quickly.

    • coren says:

      @twophrasebark: If they do it well, they’ll get a write up.

      As of right now, they screwed up and then didn’t bother to admit to the screwup, and had the OP not followed up on it, they would have never owned up

  4. CaptainSemantics says:

    @NotYou007: It’s usually people that know the difference between “their” and “there.”

  5. vincedia says:

    @twophrasebark
    2:42 PM

    I’ve just contacted FTD regarding this matter and am awaiting a response.

    Consumerist is publishing stories before the company even has a chance to remedy the problem or respond????

    That’s not right.

    I agree 100%. This is a non-issue without some reply by FTD or at least a reasonable amount of time waiting for a reply.

  6. floraposte says:

    Don’t most florists use FTD or Teleflora for out of area stuff anyway, though? If so, ordering locally may not eliminate dealing with FTD.

    I have a friend who finds a independent florist in the area of delivery, not her area, and then orders flowers from them. Still involves a certain amount of trust, but the flowers don’t have to do so far and the delivery person is likely to know the area.

    • brandymb says:

      @floraposte: You will also get a much better arrangement than if you use a wire service. They take quite a cut of the money before forwarding the order to the local guy on the receiving end. Experience speaking here..

  7. Anonymous says:

    The problem isn’t with FTD not remedying the situation. It’s the fact that they didn’t call the purchaser or recipient and then told UPS to throw the flowers out.

    That shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

  8. NotYou007 says:

    @CaptainSemantics I screwed that one up but then again I just woke up and I think I’m still a tad buzzed but thanks for being a grammar nazi. I now feel the world is a better place because you are around to correct my mistakes.

  9. fantomesq says:

    I agree. FTD should be given the chance to do the right thing before complaints like these are posted. Mistakes happen and as the OP noted, the delivery would have happened except for his own error.

    FTD may well have requested destruction of the flowers because even a corrected delivery at that point would have produced lower than acceptable quality results.

    I expect that FTD will likely claim that they did indeed try to contact the customer and received no response but are likely to extend credit for the purchase to the customer anyways. Can we wait for a response before we condemn a business.

  10. Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

    On a consumer-side note, this is exactly why my mom gets pissed when I forget to tell her a present arrived. Sorry, mom!

  11. enthreeoh says:

    FTD had the chance to do the right thing when UPS contacted them for the apartment number, they told them to dispose of the flowers so that’s why this is here.

  12. CompyPaq says:

    @floraposte

    Actually Telaflora is great because they contract out to local florists to do the arranging and delivering. Flowers are generally arranged the day of and personally delivered by the Florist.

    I found this out because my local florist uses Telaflora for internet orders.

  13. Randy Treibel says:

    @undefined: There’s also a lack of news in general and sites are dieing for readers.

  14. y2julio says:

    How come he never used the tracking number to make sure he got the flowers? Isn’t that the point of tracking? for you to track your package?

  15. I'm a tweeple too! says:

    And yet when Consumerist was sent emails by me asking questions and/or story idea I received nothing in response. This place has changed since the sale/takeover, I’m not surprised they’re posting accusations prior to company response.

    I’d expected more from Consumers Union.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      This place has changed since the sale/takeover, I’m not surprised they’re posting accusations prior to company response.

      @strega: You’re kidding, right? When have they ever waited for a response from the company prior to posting a story?

  16. god_forbids says:

    Nobody thinks the UPS tracking info might be a lie? What if the driver just lied and decided to chunk the flowers without calling FTD?

    As many bad articles as we have about UPS drivers, well … we might be calling out the wrong company here.

    • coren says:

      @god_forbids: And if we are, a retraction will be printed

    • WaywardSoul says:

      @god_forbids: That’s very common. Every now a package I’m waiting for will be loaded on the truck and sent out for delivery on a Friday only to encounter an invalid address exception and delayed. There’s always a note that the address couldn’t be found or is incomplete or incorrect and that UPS will attempt to contact me or the shipper.

      Sure enough, the address is always “corrected” in the wee hours of the follwing Monday morning and the package goes out and is delivered. It’s always arrived with the original, completely correct, completely legible address label. UPS goes through our neighborhood at least 4 days a week with deliveries and it’s not hard to find at all. We are a little outside of town though and, no doubt in my mind, the real exception is that the driver is too lazy to drive out here for one package or UPS is fibbing and delaying delivery for one package in order to cut gas costs.

    • Libbey Satine says:
    • plutonyum says:

      @HollyVerres: My thoughts exactly. . . can’t count the number of times I’ve seen something to the effect of “NO ONE HOME TO SIGN” when I’ve been sitting by the front door waiting for the truck all afternoon. Sometimes they just don’t feel like showing up.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I’ve had first hand experience where UPS flat-out lied on the tracker information. I was home awaiting a package that was out for delivery. The package didn’t arrive that day. I checked the status online that evening and it stated that the package was undelivered because the receiptant was not home and will attempt redelivery the next day. The package does not require a signature and all similar packages in the past were simply left by the front door.

    It’s not necessary FTD’s fault. I would be interested in their reply. The UPS driver could have disposed of the flowers without contacting FTD.

  18. coren says:

    Meh, I don’t see the big f’ing deal with Consumerist posting this before FTD responds – they frequently post stories where companies have screwed up but before they have an opportunity to fix it.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I had a very similar experience. Two years ago, I ordered two dozen roses from FTD and scheduled them to be delivered to my wife’s office for Valentine’s Day. We had a snowstorm that day and the flowers never arrived.

    I contacted FTD, gave them the order number, and requested that they either deliver as promised on a subsequent day or refund my money. An automated response stated that they would get back to me.

    Repeated email messages and phone calls did not help. My wife never got her flowers, I never got my refund, and FTD never got another dime of my business.

    On the positive side, I tell this story all of the time…and then end with how happy I have been with 1-800-FLOWERS. I tell family and friends at every holiday when the subjects of flowers and delivered gifts arise…and whenever another guy mentions his GFs/wife’s b-day…and I will continue to do so.

    I hope FTD enjoyed that 80 dollars…because I am enjoying passing on this story.

    • fantomesq says:

      @SubhagaDawes:

      Now THAT is a story fit for Consumerist! :) The only thing that would have made it better would be if 1-800-Flowers opted to send flowers to make up for FTD’s failure. That kind of story wins customers over in droves.

  20. tc4b says:

    This site reports on customer service. This man has already received terrible customer service, so it’s already a story. Do you want the war in Iraq to be all over before it gets reported on? As of this point, FTD still has ample opportunity to put a happy ending on it.

    As for being ‘judgmental,’ I’m waiting to see FTD’s response before I decide what kind of company I think they are. I haven’t read about them here before, and yes, every company screws up now and then, even the best of them. The good ones make up for it.

  21. JuneCarter says:

    CaptainSemantics:

    Beautiful! Next up: dieing…

  22. jrizos says:

    So if FTD would have given this guy a $10 gift certificate or something, are we suggesting we would regret having ran the story in the first place?

    Simply stated, consumers need to be aware that the potential for this sort of thing happening to them is real. If only 1% of the failed deliveries ever find out about the failure, then FTD stands to profit on orders they won’t have to reimburse.

    Information is essential.

    • fantomesq says:

      @jrizos: I agree that there is information in the story that ought to get out and the headline and story are fairly even-handed in doing so… This story would have been far more effective if a week or so had gone by since the OP had contacted FTD for a response. Since I don’t think anyone has mentioned it, a chargeback would be in order here… which does tend to prompt a response from most companies.

  23. cortana says:

    FTD never notified the customer that there wsa a problem, which in itself is poor customer service deserving of a write-up here. If FTD can fix things, Consumerist will be sure to let you know.

  24. wardawg says:

    @tc4b: “Do you want the war in Iraq to be all over before it gets reported on?”

    Yes, it would make the news a lot less depressing.

  25. RedSonSuperDave says:

    @twophrasebark:

    FTD has had since December to notify Ryan and they haven’t bothered, but that hasn’t stopped them from keeping his money. This story is perfect for the Consumerist. We’ll get to contrast their actions from before anybody knew about their misdeeds with the way they act once their mistake (I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt here) is plastered on a nationally-read consumer site.

  26. frodolives35 says:

    I wonder how often this happens. Whats the use of providing the contact numbers if they are to stupid to use them.

  27. ShadowWylde says:

    A year ago i used FTD for the last time. I thought I was being clever in ordering a flower arrangement for my mother for Mother’s Day a month early. FTD has a option where you select the day you would like to have the flowers delivered.

    They delivered the flowers through a local florist, complete with the note card stating “HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY” the day after i ordered them. The confirmation for the order when placed indicated the delivery was to be made in May, not April.

    Idiots.

    It took three days of phone calls to their customer service department to rectify the situation. Needless to say, my mother received a second arrangement of flowers for Mother’s Day on their dime delivered on the date I had originally requested.

  28. Libbey Satine says:

    I would agree that somewhere, someone messed up.

    However, it seems no one has mentioned that this guy paid for flowers more than TWO MONTHS ago, and is just now realizing they weren’t delivered. If I send something, I check to be sure it was received, especially if it was flowers or something important. At the very least I will check the UPS tracking to see what is up with it within a few days. Not more than two months after the fact.

  29. PLATTWORX says:

    I am sorry, but the customer here had a responsibilty to first ask the darn recipient if they had gottten a gift when it wasn’t mentioned and to watch the UPS tracking on ANY package to make sure it’s received.

    What kind of son sends flowers to a parent in December and has no idea if they were received in March??? The parent did not thank him? He did check to make sure UPS delivered the package? He had to “dig up” the UPS Tracking number now?

    I love this site, but when consumers are just plain stupid it should be noted at the end of the story by someone. Geez!

    • formergr says:

      @PLATTWORX: The OP said they don’t talk often, so maybe they don’t have the greatest or closest relationship? If that’s the case, for all he knew his father received the flowers and just didn’t feel like saying thank you (or maybe just isn’t the type to). So then it would be kind of weird if the son just called him and was all, “So didn’t you get my flowers? Oh, you did? Um, I thought you didn’t because you never thanked me.”

      I don’t know, I can see how awkward that could be.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      @PLATTWORX: That the customer didn’t follow up on the delivery in no way excuses the company for not notifying him that there was a problem.

  30. savdavid says:

    Excuse me, they SHOULD have called him for the right address EVEN if it was days later. The point was they didn’t even try.

  31. ShadowFalls says:

    There is still another side others might be overlooking. What if FTD did their part, prepared the flowers and sent them out. The apartment number information was neglected and UPS could not deliver without it. There is the possibility that UPS is lying, whether it is them as a whole or just the one who couldn’t be “bothered” to handle or deliver this on another trip. FTD could have never even been contacted, it is an actual possibility.

  32. redkamel says:

    FTD=Fail To Deliver

  33. That Fat Chick says:

    Something like this happened to us probably 12 years ago, pre-Internet. A relative out of state sent flowers when my mother was sick, through FTD.

    She mentioned it in passing later, probably suspicious because she never got a thank-you call or note, and our answer was, of course, “What flowers?”

    The national service and local florist straightened it out, but it takes the element of surprise and the timeliness out of the gift.

  34. Swizzler121 says:

    I’d Email this to CBS too. taking away that “best overall” rating might get their attention.

  35. jake7294 says:

    The UPS driver’s wife came home that day to a very happy surprise – flowers!

  36. trujunglist says:

    Assuming that FTD did in fact authorize UPS to throw the flowers away and that it wasn’t just a UPS driver taking the initiative as UPS drivers are prone to doing, then yes, FTD did something majorly wrong. All they had to do was call and verify the address with either the OP or his dad. Not hard at all.
    But something tells me that it may have been UPS and FTD working in cahoots. Here’s hoping there’s a follow up to this story to put the “protect FTD” people at ease.