Valentine’s Day is a day many of us celebrate with flowers! We send them to our sweetheart, our parents, our children, our grandparents and our friends. With the convenience of purchasing bouquets online, sending flowers has never been easier. But will the flowers you send arrive looking like the ones you ordered?
“With text messaging, a lot of people will thank the sender by sending a photo of the bouquet and that’s actually awesome,” said CSLEA Foundation Chair Kenny Ehrman. “Because the sender can verify that the flowers received match the order and that they arrived in fresh condition.”
If you are using a local florist, you can check reviews and complaints on BBB.org.
If you are ordering flowers online, the Better Business Bureau provides the following tips for consumers:
- Do your research. Go to bbb.org for BBB Business Profiles on more than 20,000 florists. Read what previous customers have to say,and see how the business responds to complaints. This information may help narrow down the list of online and local florists.
- Know when to place your order. During the holidays, orders for floral arrangement increase dramatically, and often prices go up, as well. Order early to ensure your order arrives on time.
- Be a savvy shopper. When shopping online, take your time and read the fine print before submitting your order. Look for the return policy and be sure you understand the delivery process. Look for added fees like shipping, handling, and delivery. Review your order and verify the total before confirming your purchase. Find out how the business handles customer complaints and what recourse you will have if the floral arrangement is not satisfactory.
- Pay with a credit card. Credit cards provide additional protections and it’s easier to dispute charges. Debit cards, prepaid cards, or gift cards don’t have the same protections as a credit card.
- Know the delivery method. Some online florists have different delivery methods: same-day, international, standard, guaranteed delivery. Be sure you know which delivery service you are paying for and that you have allowed enough time. Some florists may offer a discount if you send your flowers to arrive a few days early, since that helps them with the rush on the actual holiday.
- Make sure the business has your contact information. When it comes to flower delivery, there are times when a driver will need additional information or directions. Make sure the florist or retailer has a callback phone number to help them reach you and ensure your loved one gets what you expect.
- Read the description. Online photos use a perfect setting and professional lighting to make the products look as attractive as possible. Your final product may not look quite the same. Make sure you know what you're getting.
- Don't be deceived by promotions. Valentine's Day is a popular time for online promotions, but most have terms and conditions. Check that you're getting the savings you expect.
- Track your purchases. When using a third party to deliver flowers, it's hard to tell when, and if, they were delivered. Sign up for confirmation emails so you have proof the order was placed, and an alert when the order is delivered.
- Take a photo. Ask the recipient to send you a photo of the delivered arrangement so that you can compare it to the online photo or what was promised in the shop. If the product differs considerably, you may want to ask for an adjustment in the price.