Proflowers Offers 12 Months Of Crappy Plants For Only $500

Proflowers’ “12 Months of Plants” sounds like it would make a lovely gift for a person who enjoys plants. At close to $500, it’s not cheap, but it does promise a pretty, seasonally-appropriate potted plant every month for the recipient. That’s what the company promises, at least. Reader Janet writes to warn readers that what she has actually received each month is a leafless, bloomless, or otherwise poorly cared for plant with no instructions. Complaining to the company only gained her another leafless rose plant.

She writes:

My sons sent me a gift of 12 Months of Plants from Unfortunately, the product is nothing like what is advertised on the company’s website, and Customer Service responds as though each problem is an anomaly while continuing the same shoddy practices month after month. I suspect they feel protected by the fact that the gift-giver never sees the actual condition of the delivered product.

Here are the problems thus far:

The plants arrive with only a card naming the giver but no identification–not even the name of the plant or any care instructions.

A decorative bow–if there is one– usually arrives stuffed between the inner and outer pot and covered with dry soil.

Two different months of rose plants arrived completely dry, with all of the leaves having dropped off to the bottom of the package. When I called to complain about the first leafless rose, I was sent a replacement, but this month’s rose plant arrived in the same condition.

Two other plants arrived completely rootbound and requiring immediate re-potting.

The “blooming” gardenia arrived with no buds or blooms and, despite transplanting, has not yet budded or bloomed.

According to its website, the company charges the gift-giver $498.96 (delivery is “free”) for this “gift.” I am writing to you in the hope that you can protect others from being victimized.

Be warned, prospective plant-givers. If you have any ideas for awesome alternative gifts in the same price range, offer them in the comments. Maybe Janet’s sons are reading.


Edit Your Comment

  1. hills says:

    Can we get a pic from each month like the Twinkie ingredient pics?

  2. redskull says:

    To anyone thinking of blowing $500 on this for me, I’ll take the cash instead, please.

  3. Pax says:

    Sounds like her sons would have been better off buying a $500 gift card from a decent Garden store/supplier.

  4. Bob Lu says:

    Even if the plants came in good shape, it would be more than $40 each. I don’t think going to a local garden supplier will cost more.

  5. minsky says:

    I ordered from Pro Flowers twice….first time, the flowers were so-so, the second time, they sucked and I called to get a refund. Of course, they tried to send a replacement instead of a refund, but I insisted and got a refund. Never used them since, nor do I intend to.

  6. Liam Kinkaid says:

    One time I ordered from ProFlowers and the recipient only got half the flowers. I called them up and they over-nighted a replacement arrangement, so we wound up with 1 1/2 of what we ordered. Every other time I’ve ordered (probably 5-6 times), the flowers were great and on time. I’m sorry OP’s having a bad experience, but I’ll continue to use ProFlowers.

  7. dr_drift says:

    Is there a worse gift than 12 months of plants? $500 for something I can go outside and pull out of the ground? How about this: give me $500 so I can go to the store, buy $10 worth of seeds, buy $490 worth of awesome stuff, and in 12 months all my plants will be grown and you’ll be the best friend ever.

    • outoftheblew says:

      Ingenious! We should force everyone to only give gifts that you yourself would enjoy.

      • dr_drift says:

        Finally, someone who gets it. Thank you! I’ll send you my email address, just let me know when you’re planning on buying a gift for someone and I’ll tell you what you need to get. ;)

  8. SkokieGuy says:

    You should be taking pictures of the plants as they arrive. Although it’s more than 60 days since your card was charged, I wonder if you can still do a chargeback, and 100% of the product ordered has not yet been delivered.

    Here’s what your gift recipient should be receiving:

  9. somedaysomehow says:

    I think with ProFlowers it’s the luck of the draw because they contract with your local florists to provide these things. So if the local florist they contract with for your area sucks, your plants are going to suck. But if the local florist is good, your plants will be, too. (I think that’s how it works, anyway).

    • Wombatish says:

      IIRC they do have some central warehousing, probably for their “of the month” type clubs that are easier to ship, but that could be another one of the internet flower companies.

      Regardless, it wouldn’t excuse the shitty quality. If they’re going to contract out they’re responsible for picking non-shitty contractors/fixing it when a contractor does screw up.

      BUT here’s my surefire tip for getting the best flowers/plants: call a decently fancy (aka not a budget chain) hotel as close as possibly to whoever you want to give flowers to, and say you need to send some flowers to someone staying there, and ask for a recommendation of a florist nearby.

      Sure it’s a little deceitful, but it really doesn’t waste anything but 5 minutes of the desk clerks time and I promise you they know the answer already.

      The absolute best flowers I have ever gotten I get in hotels. Desk clerks/concierges -do- know the best places, and they will usually stop recommending somewhere if they start to suck because guests get upset.

      Very rarely you’ll stumble upon a ‘kickbacks’ situation or someone who just doesn’t care, but usually they just know who’s not completely terrible.

      Online reviews work -alright- too, and then order locally, but sometimes there are none or they’re mixed, etc.

  10. UnicornMaster says:

    $500 for 12 $10 plants from Lowes? I think if they really cared about the person, they would go to the store, pick out a plant every month and ship it themselves.

    • 99 1/2 Days says:

      Can we not imply the OP doesn’t care about his mother? Is that too much to ask?

      Really, people, think before you post.

  11. Clyde Barrow says:

    Doesn’t ProFlowers use 3rd parties to distribute its orders? Like if I order flowers from my home phone, and my mom lives in another city, they’ll forward the order to their 3rd party affiliate?

    I ordered flowers from an online retailer like Pro called 1-800-flowers last fall for a friend’s, daughter’s new baby. It was around Halloween. The picture showed a very nice glass vase with a very nice assortment of Halloween colored flowers. About a week later I visited her and her new family and she thanked me for the flowers. What she got was a box, wrapped in orange and black rice paper with some shoddy looking flowers stuffed in the middle of the box.

    I am not sure that 1-800 can have direct control over its subordinates however, I would expect them to follow-thru to make sure that I am getting what I paid for. $60.00 for a box is a bit much. And actually I know the small town well that the flowers actually came from and I wanted to go to them and ask what happened, but I didn’t have any proof of delivery.

  12. HogwartsProfessor says:

    Sounds like a total scam. What’d they do – raid some nursery’s dumpster and start raking in the dough?

  13. Big Mama Pain says:

    Are there really any successful “of the month” clubs? Even the bacon one, which seems like a no-brainer, was a bust-and all of them sound ridiculously overpriced. It seems like even giving a magazine subscription as a gift is more trouble than its worth.

  14. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    Beer of the month. My best friend got it for me for Christmas one year. Every month I got a 12-pack of craft beers from around the country. It was awesome to try beers I can’t find in the local liquor stores, and it was really fun.

  15. operator207 says:

    I am pretty sure ProFlowers uses local companies. I have ordered for years (Just looked at my email, and my oldest order was in 2002) and never had what the OP is experiencing. I have had one slightly bad experience, the Vase my wife recieved was not the Vase I ordered. I called them, and they sent the correct one for free.

    I would not be surprised if this was a local florist that was the cause of this.

  16. ProFlowers says:

    I am very sorry to hear about the quality of your orders. All of our plants should arrive fresh and in bud form. I am sorry this was not your experience and would like to speak with you. Please contact me at your earliest convenience. Doug Chaplin, Director of Customer Service 858-729-2736

  17. Alessar says:

    If you want to spend this much money, buy someone an AeroGarden (they range in price from $100-$300). They are pricey but do work. Some friends of mine and I went in on a deluxe one as a wedding gift, and the friends who received it reported they had cherry tomatoes coming out their ears.

  18. consumeristjames says:

    pics or it didn’t happen

  19. Razor512 says:

    A better gift would be a some computer upgrades. (depending on their system, just get them a new power supply, motherboard, memory, CPU, and videocard)