Florist Gives Refund For Botched Valentine's Delivery, Then Repos Flowers

Maybe the flowers that Seth ordered for his girlfriend from a locally-owned florist in Texas were fresh, beautiful, and exactly what he asked for. Or maybe they weren’t. He has no idea. The blooms were delivered to the apartment complex office during the afternoon on the 14th, but without a name or apartment number to indicate who they might belong to. After lying about why there were no flowers a few times, they gave Seth the refund he asked for. Then sent a driver back to the apartment office to take back the flowers before his girlfriend could fetch them.

I’ve just had by far the worst customer service experience of my life and thought I would share it / vent.

I ordered flowers for Valentine’s Day, but they never arrived at my girlfriend’s apartment. I know that she did not miss the delivery because she sat aside all of her plans for the day to wait on them to arrive. I called the florist at 4pm and was told that they had a delivery truck in her area and that they would most likely be there shortly. At 6pm I tried calling again and the call was redirected to the Teleflora Network. They told me that they had no way of checking the delivery and that they would have the florist call me the next day.

This morning, just before 9am [redacted] Florist called me and told me that she did not answer the door, so their driver had left them with the apartment office. I knew this was not the case because my girlfriend had been eagerly waiting at home for them and I told the florist as much. She said she would talk to the driver and call me right back. While waiting I called my girlfriend to let her know that they were in the office. She was at a friend’s house, but immediately got in her car to go pick them up, still excited to see what I had gotten her. She called me back immediately to tell me that her apartment manager had just called to let her know that she had flowers waiting that had been delivered the previous afternoon at 2pm, but they had no name on them for them to know who they were for and that [redacted] Florist had JUST CALLED them to straighten out whose flowers were left. They told her the driver had dropped off over a dozen bouquets at the same time, and several of them did not have apartment numbers attached.

The florist then called me back and told me again that the driver had tried to deliver them but that no one had answered. Knowing that this was a blatant lie I called them out on it and was told that they could make it up to us by sending her a more expensive arrangement. I told her that that was not appropriate compensation as flowers, even nicer flowers, the day AFTER Valentine’s was not helpful and asked for a refund of my money. The florist agreed to do so and I hung up still angry, but felt the matter had been resolved and that mistakes happen.

My girlfriend called me back and told me that when she got to the office they told her that the [redacted] Florist delivery driver had just picked the arrangement up and left with it. I figured that the florist had decided to make things right and was going to replace them with a fresh arrangement and/or an upgrade. I called [redacted] Florist back to ask them about it and was told that since they were refunding my money that they had sent a driver to take the delivery back. I’ll give you a second for that to soak in.

This florist did not deliver the flowers to the correct place, did not leave her apartment office with a name or apt number to deliver them to, did not call me, or her, to let us know they had delivered them to the office, lied to me about delivering them, then had the audacity to go out of their way to pick the flowers back up after agreeing to refund me the money for a service that was not rendered. I was absolutely livid and after ten minutes of explaining to them customer service 101 they finally told me that they would set things right. My girlfriend received an upgraded arrangement shortly after with an apology letter from the owner. I can only hope that they will refund my money as well, but as of right now that has not been done.

The astonishing part of the story is obviously the part where they went out of their way to repossess the flowers because they had refunded my money. I’ve never heard of anything like this, Isn’t there some unspoken rule that makes this morally wrong or is this acceptable?

When discussing the relative merits of small businesses vs. chains, people often forget that it’s possible for the people running small businesses to be incompetent jerks, only with no Corporate overlords to answer to. I’ve never heard of such a thing in three years of reading the Consumerist tipline. Have you?

(Edit: No, wait, we published a similar situation with a florist in April of 2009.)

What makes this situation so strange is that flowers are very perishable. Do they intend to re-use the materials from the arrangement, or were they just trying to make a point?

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