All Business, Good & Bad

Sometimes, an awful consumer experience. Let's call them out. Okay, mostly. But sometimes awards. Yes? All the accounts are truthful. The names have been changed to protect the innocent and guilty alike. Email me with your stories and I'll include them.

Friday, February 15, 2008

FTD and Local Florist: Valentine's Violation

For the first and last time I've used FTD to send Mrs. Shambles flowers. The level of inconvenience that exists is thus: on a busy day like Valentine's Day, FTD is the only party supposedly in contact with the florist. Mrs. Shambles goes to work very early and therefore leaves work early, and there was no way for me to contact the florist. Which brings us to lesson one:

Always order locally whenever possible, in whatever endeavor. It's one of those things I generally try to do, but was seduced by the ease of a central online ordering system. But, meh, that's my own fault.

Here's the arrangement I ordered for my wife:

FTD Sweethearts Bouquet

Yay, how pretty! And Mrs. Shambles' favorites: daisies!

Please note: by balance, this should include 3 large, pink Gerber dasies, about 12 white daisies, at least 6 roses, and a handful of red carnations.

Here's what Mrs. Shambles received for Valentine's Day when she got to work this morning:

FTD Sweetheart Bouquet Bullshit

Please note: a single, wilting Gerber daisy and a couple of weak carnations. No white dasies. No roses. Lots of filler.

I'm calling to get my money back. Mrs. Shambles used to be a florist and even she says this is a big box of suck: not what I ordered and certainly not a reasonably adequate substitute.

Bad Business to FTD and Jack Herb Florist.

UPDATE: I've spoken to FTD and the Southern CSR was very nice and calm, and when I explained the discrepancy between what I ordered and what was delivered, was very disappointed. They will be contacting Jack Herb Florist and I should hear back soon.

UPDATE II: I got the refund, which was lovely. We also got a coupon from Jack Herb Florist for more flowers.

The sad ending to this debacle is that Jack Herb Florist - and other florists - will always do what they did: accepting orders from FTD even after they can actually fulfill the orders. Why? They are rarely called on it. A woman receiving a bouquet will generally not say to the sender "It doesn't look like you got the flowers you paid for." Sender is happy for ordering the flowers; Receiver is happy for getting flowers; Florist gets the money and satisfaction of successfully ripping you off.

Call them on it.

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7 Comments:

  • At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So my story is that I had to work on Valentine's day and when I got home my husband was so upset because he had planned Valentines day and ordered flowers from FTD a month in advance and was supposed to be delivered to me on Valentines day at work. Well that never happened, after paying over a hundred dollars for an arrangement, it never arrived, and then guess what? It is after 5pm on valentines day and he had to call and find out what happened since no one from FTD ever tried to explain or contact him for anything. They say that they do not know what happened to the arrangement and have no explanation but they can no longer deliver to me today and that he will be refunded the amount of the purchase, but that is it. We had to wait until the following Monday to contact FTD again and another customer service person named Peter stated that they cannot do anything more to help and then put a manager on the phone after an hour of speaking to him for the manager Leslie to say that it is too bad and that they are sorry, but that we should know to order from a florist not the grower because this means that FTD has really nothing to do with the order, even though we paid them, they take the money and then have nothing to do with the situation. This was my first Valentines day as a mother and my husband meant well and I was heart broken when I found out that this happened because I put myself in his place when he thought that I would have a beautiful arrangement and I got nothing thanks to FTD. So this was Valentines day which only happens once a yearand FTD blew it and offered a coupon of 10% which anyone can print online. I wonder what if these flowers were for a funeral and never arrived? This company has bad customer service and is irresponsible and inhuman towards its customers, they do not offer reasonable compensation for the problem caused and do not deserve my business, they should think about it better, especially with the economy being the way that it is.

     
  • At 4:33 PM, Blogger Ricky Shambles said…

    Thank you for the comment, and I'm terribly sorry to hear your ordeal. However, I'm glad you called them on it.

    My suggestion on the flower angle is that your husband should get you flowers a couple times a year and get to know a local florist. Then he can personally talk to him/her and get a better quality and guarantee. Otherwise, it's easier walking into the local grocery store on the day of and getting something fresh.

    Personally, I say buy local, never from anything national, and avoid flowers at all costs on Valentine's and Mother's Day.

    This year I made Mrs. Shambles a lovely Tiramisu. Flowers are nice to look at, but a delicious dessert and love in creation trumps it every time.

     
  • At 6:25 PM, Blogger Beth said…

    Hello Mr. Shambles,
    Being in the floral industry, I do appreciate your story. All too often consumers are willing to order flowers off the internet rather than call a local florist directly. More often than not, they are disappointed with what they receive, if anything. There are many .coms out there trying to deceive and take business away from local florists, with FTD and PROFLOWERS being two of the biggest. What the consumer does not realize is they are paying a lot more money in "service charges" often 30.00 or more- to these companies for the flowers they buy. Then they ship them in a box to your loved one or call a local florist offering them HALF of the money you have just given them to fill the order. It is no wonder so many people are dissatisfied with flowers and feel they are not worth the money they spent.
    This has been very sad and hurtful to the floral industry.
    Flowers have a huge happiness impact to a receiver in ways that desserts or chocolates just cannot deliver. And they last longer, giving repeated happiness. A box of chocolates or dessert lasts only a few minutes, or a day or two at the most.
    I too recommend that you purchase flowers ONLY through a LOCAL florist. And if you are worried about getting something delivered satisfactorily on Valentine's day or Mothers day then stop in the flower shop the day before the holiday, hand pick one of the lovely fresh arrangements they have on display in their cooler case, and request it be delivered, or take it with you and deliver it yourself. Our loved ones love flowers even more when they are hand delivered by someone special to them.
    If your loved one is out of the area, you can get to know a local florist in their town, and ask them for their 800 phone number. Then you can call them directly and place your order over the phone, saving yourself a lot of money in WIRE service and other hidden fees.
    Remember, flowers deliver smiles!

     
  • At 6:38 PM, Blogger Ricky Shambles said…

    Beth,

    Thank you so much for the comment and the further boosting for LOCAL work.

    To clarify/reiterate:

    VISIT a local florist. Get to know them. Use them as delivery if you cannot simply stop in and pick what you want and deliver it yourself.

    A good relationship is always one you start in person. If you're ordering flowers - even occasionally - you owe it to yourself to get out there and know a local florist. Relatives out of town? Ask your florist for a recommendation or just call one local to them, express your concerns, and thank them profusely for delivering.

    You can't lose if you do it in person.

    If you rely on the internet or automatic ordering, you will lose, though no one may mention it. Then everyone loses.

     
  • At 12:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am a "local florist" Hometown, USA, and have had my fair share of wire-in-messes! Mother's Day was a diasater with the incoming orders from those places. First I will say that we DID deliver every order that we had in a very timely manner, (though I didn't get any sleep for 2 days) our orders went out by Saturday at 5pm. OK so Those wire services would send in a specific order, if we didn't have the product or flowers, we refuse it, sometimes several times as they would continue to send it over the wire or with a phone call. I would ask them please, we have beautiful flowers but not those exact ones, check with the customer and see if we can do a designers choice arrangement at full value, at least get Mom something for Mother's Day. They wouldn't do it. By Tuesday and Wednesday following Mother's Day when we have been able to restock those specifics, we would get the same orders over the wire, still trying to be filled. Boy, did I ever mess up! We filled alot of those orders and got chewed out by many Moms, because they thought WE were late, when we just recieved the order. I started trying to explain the situation, that Junior did place his order in time, but that it was who he placed his order with was the problem. And please tell Junior to call his local florist and talk directly with someone who knows the difference between a lily and a tulip! And yes, save a fortune in fees!
    Go by your local shop or ask a friend about a good shop in your area, you might just find a shop that works hard to keep their customers happy, word of mouth is always the best advertising!

     
  • At 7:11 PM, Anonymous lbc flower delivery said…

    Oh! I love those beautiful flowers so colorful. I also try to collect flowers and put it in a cute vase. I enjoyed reading your article. It makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing.


    -yumi-

     
  • At 8:42 PM, Anonymous singapore florist said…

    gosh it looks so awful. maybe you may try Valentine day flowers as a gift for this February.

     

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