1800Flowers Sends Order, Doesn't Notice Florist Is Closed

Chelsea wanted to do something nice for her grandparents’ anniversary, since she couldn’t be there to celebrate. She decided to send them some flowers through 1800Flowers.com. Unfortunately, she had no way of knowing that the local florist handling orders in her grandparents’ area closed on Saturdays, and chose Saturday delivery.

My grandparents were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary Saturday, September 26. I couldn’t be there, but I wanted them to know I was thinking of them. I ordered a nice bouquet from 1800Flowers.com on September 18 for delivery on September 26. I had planned on a Friday delivery (the 25th), but Saturday was offered as an option so I took it. I paid with PayPal and my account was debited on September 21. On my way home from Michigan on Sunday, September 27 – the day after my flowers should have been delivered – my mom called to tell me that the flowers had never arrived. As soon as I got home, I called 1800Flowers to find out what happened. The customer service rep told me the company had tried to contact me by phone and email the day before the delivery was scheduled to see if they could deliver that day because the florist was closed on Saturdays. There is no record of this in my inbox or junk mail folder or on my caller ID or answering machine. She offered to reschedule delivery for Monday, September 28 and send me a $20 gift certificate to put towards a future purchase. I agreed.

My mom tipped my grandmother off about the Monday delivery. Well, Monday at 5:00 she called to tell me she didn’t receive any delivery. I don’t get home from work until around 7:30, but I called 1800Flowers as soon as I got there. I spoke to a very nice woman named Amanda. She confirmed that the flowers hadn’t been delivered and put me on hold to contact the florist. After a few minutes, Amanda returned and told me that the !@#$ing local florist 1800Flowers uses went out of business on September 21. Meanwhile, my order, placed in advance of the closing, had been floating around who knows where. Amanda gave me 20% off my order and said she’d have a supervisor personally call my grandparents to apologize and take responsibility for the screw up. She also said she’d make sure my flowers were delivered the next morning, no matter how many florists had to be contacted, and told me I’d receive confirmation of my delivery. This sounded like a good deal, so I agreed.

I got home around 7:30 Tuesday night and checked my email. I had a notice from PayPal about the partial refund, but there was no confirmation. I called 1800Flowers again. This rep’s name was Sam, and I think she hates her job. She seemed more frustrated with me than I was with the company. She could not confirm a delivery. I told her I wanted to cancel my order, and I’d like a full refund immediately. She agreed and offered again to have a supervisor call my grandparents. I hoped I was done with this. At this point, I was very frustrated, disgusted, and a little embarrassed. 1800Flowers guarantees 100% customer satisfaction. Pssh.

Wednesday, I assumed my order was canceled and my refund was on the way. I got home late again, and there was a message on my answering machine. The message only said that they needed to talk to me about my order. I called for the FOURTH day in a row about a stupid bouquet that should have been delivered for, and on, a momentous, once-in-a-lifetime occasion that occurred days before. Some guy told me that my grandma had accepted the bouquet the day before. They didn’t receive confirmation until the following day. Because my bouquet (I’m sure it was assembled the day of delivery, but I picture it days old, dead and wilted) was delivered, I had to pay for it. I said, “So you really can’t still give me a refund?” I get that they fulfilled the delivery, but they really effed up and I was still pissed. He said they couldn’t; I pushed him a little, and he gave me another 50%. I still feel like I paid too much. Basically, I got the bouquet for free and paid for the service charge. Ironic, no? I would really love to get the rest of what I paid refunded along with a personal apology from someone higher up in the company. I have friends all over the country, and word-of-mouth is a powerful tool. Once more, I will never order from 1800Flowers again.

Isn’t delivering flowers to a specific place at a specific point in time their entire business model? The system routes orders to local florists, but isn’t aware of which florists are closed on which days? This seems like a very bad system.

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(Photo: carabou)

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