1800Flowers Sends Grandma Small, Non-Seasonal Christmas Bouquet

Reader Philip likes to send people flowers, and that includes his grandmother. He used the 1800Flowers.com website to send her a very festive arrangement for Christmas, and she was pleased enough to post it on Facebook. Philip wasn’t pleased, though. What he saw online wasn’t what he had paid for. He tried to get 1800Flowers to explain what went wrong. They gave him a refund, but no explanation.

On the left is what he ordered, and on the right is what his grandmother received. He also wasn’t pleased with the card, which he thinks looks like it was scrawled by a child in elementary school.

1800flowersreality

We have to wonder whether dissatisfaction with flower arrangements is a relatively new phenomenon: in 1995, not many Americans had digital cameras on hand or an Internet connection fast enough to transmit digital photos. If you sent someone flowers, you really had no way to know whether they were exactly what you picked out of the florist’s catalog or requested on the phone. Today, someone old enough to have adult grandchildren can snap a photo and instantly share it with everyone she knows using Facebook.

Philip was upset at the utter crappiness of the arrangement, which he paid more than $100 for. Yes, he opted for the most expensive version. Here’s what he saw on the site:

glorious

1800Flowers offered him a refund, which was helpful, but that wasn’t all he wanted. He wanted an explanation for why they sent crappy flowers, and that’s something that 1800Flowers customer service couldn’t offer.

“I send flowers A LOT to friends and family. This is the first time they sent me a photo of what it looked like (they posted it on Facebook) and I was embarrassed,” he told Consumerist. We contacted the company with his concerns. Someone in media relations wrote to Consumerist:

I checked with our Customer Service Team and we were able to resolve the matter with this specific order to the customer’s satisfaction. As we are committed to delivering smiles on behalf of our customers, it is important that we were able to connect with the customer to help in anyway. [sic]

When we checked back with Philip, he said that he wasn’t satisfied. He was quite frowny, in fact. He wondered whether he’ll have to check up on flowers that he sends in the future, just to make sure they’re what he ordered.

Issuing a refund to a customer who complains is one thing, but florists are in the business of selling celebrations and, as that media relations representative put it, “delivering smiles.” Delivering a subpar arrangement makes the sender look bad.