This Florist Has A Loose Grasp Of Geometry, Flower Arranging

Erik ordered an unusual flower arrangement for his wife earlier this week.

The clear vase had four sides and flared slightly, and the bottom quarter was filled with rocks, with water rising a few inches above them; 12 long-stemmed orange roses stood up straight from the rocks—the stems perpendicular to the water—and formed a flat, solid bed of rose blooms at exactly the height of the vase’s mouth.

If that’s hard to picture, remember the florist had an image to work with. Then take a look at what Erik’s wife actually received.

(We fixed their website listing to provide a fourth order option. Now they’re legit.)

Erik writes:

This morning I was feeling like the honorable husband and looked at the local florist’s website to find a unique flower arrangement to surprise my wife at work.

I don’t do this too often, so I figured I can get something pretty nice. I ordered this (pic attached) real unique item for almost $100 (like I said, I don’t do this often).

So because it’s so unique, I call and order it over the phone, used my credit card, and gave the florist the number that was listed on the website for the arrangement. I even got nervous after I hung up the phone and called back to verify they got the right order number and it was indeed the orange roses with river rocks.

At around 1:30, I get the “Thank you so much” phone call, and she was thrilled. I asked “Well what do they look like?” That’s when the disappointment set in. I’m thinking to myself, do I tell her that’s not right, or just go with the flow? I decided that it didn’t sound anything like what I ordered and told her to go ahead and bring them home, I’d like to take a look at them too.

I get home and find this. I was very dissatisfied, called the florist, and they went on about how “they thought it was pretty enough, and it was close to the picture and they didn’t have a square vase.” I asked them why they didn’t call me and tell me they couldn’t make it look the same…they said because it looked close enough and they thought it was close enough to what I ordered that it wouldn’t be that big of a difference. They said they were willing to make me happy, so they’re going to “call around and find a square vase”, and let me know if they can find one.

I guess the plan is for them to make another arrangement like the picture, but I’m not sure I like this… I know flowers are going to look a little different than the picture, but is this right?

I blacked out their contact info because I don’t want to shame them at this point, but what would you all do?

We’d demand a refund. If you aren’t willing to pursue that, then they should re-do the arrangement a second time at no cost to you.

The one on the left looks nothing like the arrangement you ordered—and at that price, a florist doesn’t get a lot of wiggle room to “interpret” the arrangement, especially if their excuse is that they just didn’t have the proper materials to fulfill the order. As you noted, they should have called you to discuss such drastic changes. They’re florists! Surely they know that you can’t screw around with romantic gestures, because you don’t know which details are important to the couple.

Your third option is that they give you a credit for the value of the undelivered arrangement. Then you can use that in the future to surprise your wife. Just don’t be too choosy about the arrangement if you use this florist again, because they’re certainly not.

Update: Erik spoke with the florist again, and they asked for the flowers back!

I just received a call from the owner of the shop and was told that since it was such an expensive piece, they were wondering if I could pay something on it.

I simply said “No, I’d rather return the flowers.” I was put on hold for a short while and was told that they now want the flowers back for them to issue a refund.

This is unbelievable. So I called my wife at work (she’s 30 minutes away, which makes this whole process quite complicated) and told her to pack up the flowers and return them.

(Photo: fjordaan)