I came across a news interview about Phony Florists from WHDH – Channel 7 in Boston. The posting is a little old, from late 2006, but I think it makes a really good point about how careful we need to be when ordering flowers online. These fraudulent florists are still online today!
The article, entitled, “Hank Investigates: Phony Florists” has a tag line that reads as below:
“Every time you order flowers, you could get ripped off instead. “Hank Investigates” a nationwide flower fakeout that’s set up to trick you into paying more and getting less. Will you be the next victim of the “Phony florists?”
Unfortunately the video has been removed from Channel 7’s website, so I was unable to link to it, but what the customer had ordered was a dozen orchids that should have been quite large. “About 3 feet tall and brimming with Orchids”
What the customer actually received was two orchids, half the size of what he was expecting.
This is a classic example of what happens when unsuspecting customers order flowers online from order forwarders that are not completely up front about what they are doing for he customer. Online customers can be completely unaware of who they are actually dealing with and where the product is actually coming from.
This particular online customer paid $67.99 for the arrangement, and found out later that the florist in Boston who filled the order, only received $49.00 from the forwarding company.
Wire services like FTD and others, will also take a large chunk of your money before they send the order on to a florist who will actually fill the order.
What makes this interview even more disturbing is the fact that the florist in question actually had a local phone number and even an address listed in the local phone book! The phone call was re-directed to a call center in Wisconsin and then the call center called a local florist to make the order; After taking their cut of course!
There are several ways to find a local florist online. Some of which you can read in my previous blogs.
The bottom line is, when you want to order flowers online, find a local florist. When you think you have one, as stated in the article; “ask to come see the flowers at the address they listed. If they say no: red flag”.
If you feel more comfortable with your own local florist, give them a call, they can steer you in the right direction.