As a customer, you see ads from the ancient florist wire services like FTD and Teleflora. Readers write in and complain to us about those specific brands, since that’s the website they visit and the brand name that’s familiar. When you order up some flowers, though, that’s not who brings them to your door. It’s locally-owned florists, small business owners, who actually arrange and deliver your gifts. They might receive orders from the wire services, but often earn no profit or even take a loss on putting it together. [More]
Let’s say that you want to order some flowers for your aunt in Omaha. You remember the frequent warnings on this site to go directly to a local florist, so that’s what you do. You type “florist omaha” into Google, scroll past the paid listings and the ones Google has plotted on a map, and choose a shop with a nice-looking website. Perfect! Only this “local” florist isn’t so local. You tried to make the right choice, but are hurting the very neighborhood flower shop you were trying to patronize when you typed those words in Google. [More]
The Consumerist Garden of Discontent is a recurring theme on this site, because it seems that delivered flowers will never quite measure up to the photos in catalogs or on the website. In hindsight, Teresa wishes that she had just picked up a few bouquets at Trader Joe’s and presented them to her mom in person before she left town. She could have done some quality control, and the end result would have been a lot prettier.
Maybe MZ should have just picked up some flowers from Walmart or the grocery store instead. FTD sent the order to a local florist, but not a competent local florist. Maybe FTD should learn to search Yelp first.
Maybe the flowers that Seth ordered for his girlfriend from a locally-owned florist in Texas were fresh, beautiful, and exactly what he asked for. Or maybe they weren’t. He has no idea. The blooms were delivered to the apartment complex office during the afternoon on the 14th, but without a name or apartment number to indicate who they might belong to. After lying about why there were no flowers a few times, they gave Seth the refund he asked for. Then sent a driver back to the apartment office to take back the flowers before his girlfriend could fetch them.
After weeks of trying to get our floral cooler fixed, it has been fixed as of 2:00pm today! The issue was with the dryer valve and not the compressor. The valve was completely clogged and we had a new one soldiered on. It went from 85 degrees to 44 degrees in 15 minutes. It is the best $324.45 I have ever spent!
Billy’s wife owns a small flower shop near Austin, Texas. The shop’s floral cooler broke down recently. They can’t afford a new one, and can’t find a used one for sale in the area. A misunderstanding when taking out an insurance policy means that the business’s insurance won’t cover the cooler malfunction.
Erik ordered an unusual flower arrangement for his wife earlier this week.
Ryan sent his father flowers last December through FTD.com but they never arrived. Ryan apparently forgot to give his father’s apartment number to FTD, and when UPS tried calling FTD for delivery instructions, rather than ask Ryan to clarify the address, FTD instead told UPS to chuck the flowers. None of this was apparently worth mentioning to Ryan, who just recently learned that his gift was never delivered.
FTD.com forgot to deliver flowers to Tip’s girlfriend on Valentine’s Day, but that didn’t stop them from delivering the bill. When calls to FTD.com didn’t go through, Tip launched the fearsome Executive Email Carpet Bomb. He wrote:
Perhaps $75 is not a lot to you. Perhaps the happiness of your customers does not mean a lot to you either. Perhaps, for a company that’s been around for nearly 100 years, you simply forgot to mark your calendar that yesterday was Valentine’s Day.
Some newlyweds are suing a florist for $400,000 for messing up their wedding. They say they paid 30k for centerpieces of rust, fuchsia and dark green at $465 a pop, but were surprised to see cheaper flowers used to create pinkish-white centerpieces that ruined the overall look of the room. The florist says he has proof they got what they asked for and will counter-sue. We say we’re in the wrong business. [Reuters]
Online florist FTD.com, “the world’s oldest floral services organization,” told reader Sean that they were out of roses. Sean had ordered a flower arrangement for his wife to celebrate their sixth anniversary. When he presciently called on the day of the anniversary to verify that his order had been received and processed, Sean was told that his flowers were not available, but not to worry, since FTD still had five minutes to deliver his arrangement. Puzzled, Sean instead tried to order a simple bouquet of roses. He writes:
Missouri florists have bankrupted a New Jersey telemarketer accused in a class action suit of tampering with phone book listings to siphon callers away from local businesses. The telemarketer, TTP, purchased phone book listings under the same names as local florists, but did not provide an address; the listings appeared side-by-side, but when local callers dialed the number without an address, they were directed to an out-of-state call center that tacked on a handling fee and submitted the order to a different area florist.
“The primary objective of both lawsuits is to get TTP out of Missouri,” said Gregory Leyh of Gladstone, the attorney for both class-action lawsuits. “TTP cheats by pretending to be a local florist so it can fool consumers and steal the legitimate business of Missouri florists. At least for now, TTP is no longer in the floral business in Missouri.”
A Texas man is suing 1-800-Flowers for $1 million after a thank you note from the web florist outed him as an adulterer. Leroy Greer specifically asked 1-800-Flowers not to send him a receipt for the cuddly stuffed animal and dozen long stemmed roses he ordered for his mistress. Despite his request, 1-800-Flowers sent a thank you note to his house several months later, prompting his wife to ask who the hell got flowers. She called 1-800-Flowers, which gladly faxed her a copy of Leroy’s order form that included the following message meant for his mistress: “Just wanted to say I love you and you mean the world to me! -Leroy.” Above The Law has the legalese:
Dearly beloved, we gather here today to remember that the funeral industry is a sales-based profession with tips and tricks like any other. Consumers often lower their guard in deference to the pain and reverence that accompanies funeral planning; yet just because you are bereaved, doesn’t mean you should be taken for a sap. Here are a few tips to keep funeral costs manageable: