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.
A common consumer complaint about flower deliveries is that the arrangements that show up on our loved ones’ doorsteps isn’t as tall or full as the pictures we saw of the arrangement online. A former florist wrote to Consumerist to explain why this is. The photos from FTD, Teleflora, and other Big Flower companies are staged to look nice for the camera, but real-life is three-dimensional. [More]
Don’t let the huge photo below fool you: the flowers that Jason sent to his mom for Mothers’ Day were much smaller than they were supposed to be. He paid extra for a huge arrangement, and what showed up wasn’t what he saw on the website. Is everything really smaller in real life than on catalog pages, or did the florist short Jason’s mom some blooms? [More]
Ordering flowers to be delivered for the major flower-sending holidays, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, is always taking a risk. When florists are doing such high volume, you run the risk of getting flowers that aren’t exactly what is pictured on the website, or that aren’t perfectly fresh. As long as they aren’t dead, that’s okay, right? What if they substitute in another color when the arrangement’s color is the entire point? [More]
There’s only a week and a half until Mother’s Day, and we have a goal. We do not want to publish any disappointing wire service flower photos on Monday, May 13. None. Because everyone reading this right now who plans to order flowers will proceed to the friendliest, best-reviewed local florist they can find and order directly. [More]
Why are we still yammering about Valentine’s Day flowers? The holiday itself is long gone, but as birthdays, funerals, hospitalizations, and other occasions come and go, the problems with using national Big Flower websites remain. As another major flower-sending holiday, Mother’s Day, approaches, we’re sharing this story from reader Josh about how wonderfully his order from a local florist turned out. [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.
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.
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.
After a coworker’s mother passed away, J’s officemates chipped in to buy a very large, very pretty flower arrangement for the viewing. It cost around $200. While delivery and overhead are substantial in the flower industry, they didn’t expect to find that this pitiful thing had been sent in place of the massive arrangement they ordered.