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.
We’ve criticized ProFlowers a lot over the years, even dedicating an entire post to the company’s screwups last Valentine’s Day and inflicting the classic Margaret Saga on the world. It’s only fair that we give the company credit when they do well, though, and this year they captured at least one customer’s heart by apologizing before customers spent an hour on hold or tweeted the company. [More]
Mykel picked out a lovely bouquet for his fiancée from Proflowers, but the lovely and lush bouquet isn’t what showed up on her desk. What she got had a lot fewer flowers than it had looked like on the site. [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]
Closed lilies, not-so-fresh blooms, and two flower arrangements that never showed up, leaving disappointed girlfriends in their wake. Delivering the flowers a day late is better than not at all…but not when you paid extra to make sure your significant other knows that you didn’t forget to wow her on the 14th. Welcome to the third and final installment of this year’s Valentine’s Day Garden of Discontent.
Last week’s post about a baffling and possibly incriminating e-mail solicitation from ProFlowers produced a hilarious comments section and a lot of speculation as to the identity of Margaret, the woman (not his wife) to whom reader Chris was being encouraged to send more flowers. We have an update. The good news: Both the offending ProFlowers account and Margaret have been found. The bad news: The couple has no idea who Margaret is, but they have her full name and home address. They still have no idea how Margaret’s info ended up in the account in the first place.
You can’t blame Chris’s wife for being confused. She happened to receive a promotional e-mail from Proflowers, addressed to Chris, thanking him for buying a gift for Margaret. Her name is not Margaret. Chris writes that he hasn’t sent flowers to anyone named Margaret. Either Chris wrote to Consumerist as part of an incredibly roundabout cover-up of an extramarital affair, or something strange is going on here.
On the left are the flowers Brian ordered from ProFlowers for Mother’s Day. On the right are the ones that were actually delivered, late, and found by the janitors at the university she works at unceremoniously left in the hallway.
ProFlowers sends a lot of promotional e-mails, and Barry is on their list. While the deals on flowers get worse as a major dead-plant-sending holiday approaches, the contrast between one day’s deal and the next was extreme enough to make Barry ask, “How stupid do they think I am?”
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.
Proflowers’ “12 Months of Plants” sounds like it would make a lovely gift for a person who enjoys plants. At close to $500, it’s not cheap, but it does promise a pretty, seasonally-appropriate potted plant every month for the recipient. That’s what the company promises, at least. Reader Janet writes to warn readers that what she has actually received each month is a leafless, bloomless, or otherwise poorly cared for plant with no instructions. Complaining to the company only gained her another leafless rose plant.
Why pay for ProFlowers when you can get the same effect by dumpster diving for old arrangements that look just as good? Our reader Hakoken3 paid ProFlowers $92 so they’d deliver 18 roses to his girlfriend this morning on her birthday. He paid extra to ensure that the roses would be delivered by noon, and at 12:01 they showed up. Unfortunately, they were so wilted and near-death that they looked like hand-me-down flowers that some luckier person had thrown out.
William has given Proflowers three chances to send his flower orders to a loved one. So far, they’re 0 for 3. William says they’ve refunded his money, so he doesn’t feel cheated or anything. But as he points out, since flower deliveries are usually a time-sensitive matter, reliability is really the number one goal you’re looking for in a flower company.
This Mother’s Day story is a bit of a mixed-bag—ProFlowers clearly failed to deliver the arrangement they sold to M., but they refunded him the entire amount of his purchase when he contacted them about the issue. It’s a “fail” for execution, but a perfect example of how to own up to and correct a wrong for your customer.