The Consumerist's 2011 Valentine's Day Garden Of Discontent

On Valentine’s Day, we are expected to show loved ones how much they mean to us by giving them dead plants. For extra style points, we pay strangers to bring these dead plants to the recipient for us. However, florists are unfathomably busy on Valentine’s Day. So busy that we almost feel bad criticizing when things go wrong. Almost.

The Consumerist’s annual Valentine’s Day Garden of Discontent is a collection of flower or gift deliveries that aren’t what the recipient had in mind–and sometimes aren’t even close.

David picked out an adorable and incredibly thoughtful monkey-themed gift package from 1800Flowers for his wife, who loves Curious George. The local florist who put together the order made a very pretty flower arrangement that has absolutely nothing to do with the package that David ordered. He writes:

My wife likes all things related to Curious George. So for Valentine’s Day, I ordered her the “Crazy for You” package from 1800Flowers. I’ve attached an image of the package since it’s no longer listed on their website. It comes with a plush monkey holding chocolates and a red rose, two red heart helium balloons, two helium balloons with “Crazy for You!” written on them, and a giant mylar balloon shaped like a monkey. I really wanted my wife to feel special, and I was picturing her walking through her office with all the balloons as she brought the gift back to her desk.

Well, she called me at 4:30 on Valentine’s Day to thank me for sending her flowers. She said they were lovely – some tulips, a daisy, and some roses. I paused and asked her what she got. She told me she received a small red vase with about 7-8 flowers in it. That’s it. No monkeys, no balloons, no candy. I called 1800Flowers to ask what happened. They told me that the florist asked if he could “substitute an equivalent product” to ensure delivery. Equivalent? See the attached photo of what I actually got, and tell me if that seems to be equivalent to you.

What I Ordered.jpgWhat I Got.jpg

Upon viewing the photos, a friend of mine commented, “It’s lovely … but there is a distinct lack of monkey.”

To their credit, they didn’t even argue. I got a full refund plus a $20 credit on my next order.

Yeah … somehow I don’t think I’ll be using that credit any time soon.

Brian was rather disappointed in his Proflowers order The red tulips in the arrangement arrived looking a little limp.

“I paid almost $40 to ship $39 worth of flowers w/ guaranteed valentine’s day delivery,” he wrote. “Glad they showed up looking like this!”


ProFlowers has promised replacement flowers for tomorrow that Brian hopes will be a little perkier.

R. paid FTD $80 for a big, beautiful arrangement for his mother.

What would you do in this situation? I went onto to order flowers for my mother for Valentine’s Day. I was supposed to get the flowers in Photo 1, but the bouquet arrived and she got the flowers in photo 2. I’m not the “asking for a refund” kind of guy, but I think this is a little ridiculous, right?


Oh, by the way, the flowers were $70.

That’s not even close. On behalf of moms everywhere, please contact FTD and ask for either a refund or a replacement flower arrangement that’s as nice as what you actually paid for.

The 2010 Valentine’s Day Garden Of Discontent

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