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.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.