I received an order today from a well known online flower company for a funeral tomorrow and something didn't look right about it so I decided to play investigator. What I discovered was that this company charged their customer $70 for a basket arrangement and then sent it to us to fill for a value of 35.99 plus delivery! This happens more often than you think and it's east to fall into the trap that they set out for you.
When you buy flowers online there are three types of companies that show up.
The first type are the real local florists. These are the small mom and pop shops like us, really work hard to make sure that you, the customer, get your money's worth and are satisfied with your purchase. It's not always easy to find these shops because they tend to be low down on the searches and often don't even show up on the first page.
The second type are the wire services such as FTD and 1800FLOWERS. These are good reputable companies and while they charge expensive service fees they use good reputable florists (like us) to fill most of their orders. You just want to make sure that the item you order says it's being made by a local florist and not being "shipped in a box". That's when you run into trouble.
The third type of flower company are the "order gatherers". These are the ones to avoid at all costs. These are simply call centers, often in other countries, that take your money and really couldn't care less about your satisfaction. They make promises that cannot be kept and charge you huge amounts of money. The problem is it's very hard to tell who they are. Some have general names and it's obvious what you're getting into. But others take names that make them sound like real shops. Many have people's names to make them sound more local. Some will outright lie to you and tell you, if you ask, that they are a local shop. I once had a customer standing in my shop who didn't believe me when I told her about this so she called one. She asked them if they were in North Attleboro and they assured her that they were. She asked them what their address was because she wanted to come by and pick something out for them to deliver for her. They told her that they were currently renovating and that the building inspector would not allow them to have customers in the shop until they were finished. The truth was that they were a call center located in some other country!
So what do you do to protect yourself? Look for shops with street addresses that you recognize. If the address isn't there ask for the address. Fake shops won't give you one. Check Yelp for reviews. Be careful of the ads at the top of the first page. They are all almost certainly order gatherers as real local shops cannot afford the costs of those ads. Finally, call us. We'll treat you the way you should be treated because we truly want you for a customer and we want you to be happy.