Do you need help selecting just the right gift for your loved ones, but don’t want to ask an actual human being for that help? 1-800-Flowers, a florist chain named after the dominant way to order things 30 years ago, now has a robo-concierge powered by IBM’s Watson platform that will tell you what someone really wants as a gift. [More]
Every year, after the major flower-giving holidays, readers send us photos of what they ordered and what they actually received. It’s a dismaying scene, and what we really want is to never publish another of these features again. That’s why we’re sharing what we’ve learned about the flower business from readers and from florists in the 10 years that Consumerist has been around.
Earlier today, we highlighted the feat of globalization that brings millions of red roses to our doorsteps on one specific date. Unfortunately, mid-February this year is a time of bitterly cold temperatures in much of the country. Cool temperatures preserve cut flowers, but cold temperatures can destroy cut flowers and kill live plants. That’s why this Valentine’s Day hasn’t been so great for the national flower-delivery brands. [More]
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. [More]
Mother’s Day, one of our nation’s major flower-sending holidays, is coming soon. We don’t want to shame the industry over a whole new bouquet of crappy flower deliveries, but it’s inevitable every year. This May, we’re kicking off the festivities early with 1800Flowers, which is seemingly unable to send Lucy’s mom any tulips that aren’t dead. [More]
It’s not that David expected earth-shattering things from a 1-800-Flowers gift basket. He didn’t expect it to look exactly like the photo at left, especially since he ordered a smaller size. He was expecting something that didn’t look like your what lazy bachelor(ette) friend who can’t cook dredged up in the back of their kitchen cabinets to bring to your Super Bowl Party. [More]
This year, the major national flower-distribution networks were just as busy as usual on Valentine’s Day. Busy being terrible at their jobs. Maybe the vast majority of flower arrangements ended up where they were supposed to and looked more or less correct, but it’s the outliers that make both senders and recipients feel like crap. When the vast floral-industrial complex markets to us with the message that the quality of the flowers we send or receive is a proxy for the quality of our love, then they should go out of their way not to screw that up for us. Right? [More]
Kyle had a LivingSocial voucher for 1-800-Flowers, and thought that he would put it to good use sending a lovely arrangement to his parents to show that he was thinking of them at Christmas. 1-800-Flowers didn’t really want to cooperate, though. They e-mailed him twice to let him know that the arrangement had been delivered…but it actually hadn’t. Silly Kyle, assuming that one of the messages had to reflect reality. They’ve since promised him a refund and a $20 coupon that have never come. [More]
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. Such as calling your fianc√©e a whore.
Erica’s boyfriend is the type of exceptionally thoughtful person who sends his girlfriend’s mom flowers for Christmas. It’s a nice 1800Flowers.com arrangement, with the greenery arranged in the shape of a Christmas tree and decorated with candy canes. Or, in the case of the arrangement actually sent, a roundish shrub.
Chad ordered flowers for his fiancee’s birthday from 1800Flowers.com, and they included the wrong balloon with her order, making Chad look insensitive in front of her family. That’s annoying. But don’t clear a space in the Garden of Discontent just yet, because a quick call to the company got Chad a replacement arrangement and a refund.
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.
Chelsea wanted to do something nice for her grandparents’ anniversary, since she couldn’t be there to celebrate. She decided to send them some flowers through 1800Flowers.com. Unfortunately, she had no way of knowing that the local florist handling orders in her grandparents’ area closed on Saturdays, and chose Saturday delivery.
After reader Vikram ordered flowers online from 1800flowers.com, he realized he was receiving a monthly charge from an obscure company called “LiveWell” for $11.99 per month. He did some quick research and found out that many others were being duped into this program. Yet nobody, not even 1800flowers seemed to know what it actually is. What should he do? His letter and our advice, inside…
This is round 7 in our Worst Company in America 2008 contest, DeBeers vs 1-800 Flowers.
When I ordered flowers for my wife, I added a $14.99 box of chocolates, but got an .88 cent box of peanuts