Valentine’s Day Garden Of Discontent: The 2013 Entries From Proflowers

When Proflowers isn’t accusing people of bigamy, Proflowers is apparently busy really, really disappointing girlfriends. So far today we’ve received two reports of the company dispatching really subpar roses. What the recipients actually got is nice and all, but not what the sender paid for.

First was Reddit user necronomicana, who spent $170 on long-stem roses. They arrived on Monday. His wife received roses that were nice enough looking, but a lot stubbier than he had expected. He also had been under the impression that ordering flowers meant that a delivery person would walk through the office with a huge arrangement, not that the roses would show up in a FedEx box and his wife would have to assemble her own bouquet. “How embarrassing. Never again!” he wrote.

What stems?

What stems?

At least things went reasonably well with customer service. He explained:

I called and complained. The CSR was polite and seemed understanding. He told me that the only thing he could do was offer me a $10 refund or 1/2 the value of my purchase in store credit.

I politely told him that both options were not acceptable. I asked if he would escalate my complaint to a manager. He told me that he would and put me on hold.

After being on hold for approximately 20 minutes, he came back on the line and gave me a full refund.

The curious thing about ordering from ProFlowers is that the self-assembly is one of their selling points. Supposedly. Here’s what their “About” page

Once hand-picked, our flowers are delivered directly to you. Others take a longer route through brokers, middlemen and, finally, a florist’s shop. By the time they reach the recipient, their best days are long gone.

That sounds very nice, but what it actually means in English is “we’re going to send you flowers and a vase from our warehouse in a box.”

Frequent tipster and commenter Catastrophegirl sent along photos of the two dozen “rainbow roses” that her coworker received today. Aren’t they lovely?


Wait, no: that’s not what she received. As pictured on the website, the flowers are tall, bright, and all of them are pointed toward the camera. The flowers that actually showed up at work are not quite as pictured.


Originally the recipient of these “Pro Flowers” flowers, my coworker, was not discontented with the roses delivered to her at work today. They are pretty standard, classic roses that arrived in a gift box with, but not in, a vase, some flower food and instructions on how to care for the roses.

She set them up in the vase herself, cutting the stems as instructed on the accompanying care sheet and they look ok. The roses look not entirely unlike roses you could buy at any supermarket. The blooms started to open shortly after being put in water, which is when this picture was taken. Unfortunately they are slightly wilted and several have bruised petals.




Then she took a picture and sent it to her boyfriend, the sender of the roses. Boy, was he upset! When he ordered $80 worth of 2 dozen rainbow roses, item #6103, in a clear glass vase, he was not expecting her to get a supermarket style bouquet that she had to prepare herself and which could never look as nice as one expertly arranged by an actual florist*. The description reads “flowers arrive in our specially designed gift box with your personal message” but do not say that the arrangement will be a DIY project.

The sender chose the options for the clear glass vase and an extra dozen roses.

After hearing that her boyfriend spent $80 on a bouquet she originally thought had cost much less, she was also upset and sent polite feedback through the Pro Flowers feedback page, requesting a resolution and is hoping to hear back. Her boyfriend said if he can get a refund he will go pick out something that looks like $80 worth of flowers from a local shop.

* If you scroll over the vase options on the Pro Flowers page, you may notice that the roses in each vase are clearly just the same photoshopped bunch of roses over images of the different vases.

The problem with flowers, of course, is that they’re living things and availability is seasonal. It’s not always reasonable to expect exactly what you see in the picture on the website, but they should at least arrive un-mangled and looking like something at the correct price point.

Thanks [Reddit]

The 2010 Valentine’s Day Garden Of Discontent
The 2011 Valentine’s Day Garden Of Discontent
The 2012 Valentine’s Day Garden Of Discontent

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