Florist Detectives. Consumer Information about alleged deceptive and misleading florist advertising and marketing practices.

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Complaint Letters About Order Gatherers - Archived

Recent Consumer Complaints about Deceptive Florists

November 30, 2006

I searched Google using the name of the town where I wanted flowers and 11flowers came up.  I needed flowers for a funeral.  I called the number and asked if this was a local florist and was told yes.  I had given the name of the funeral home and was told it was no problem to deliver flowers for a funeral the next day. 

My question about being local centered on my concern that the flowers would be the same as in the photo as I had previously dealt with FTD and not gotten the same flowers as the local florist didn't have them in stock.  I gave the name and address of the funeral home. 

When I got home from work there was a message saying there was a problem with the order.  After playing it three times I was able to tell it had something to do with an address.  I called the number given, got no answer.  I called the number on the web site - stated 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and got the answering service. I was told someone would call.  No call.  The next morning I tried again.  Again was told the emergency number was contacted and someone would call, no call.  An hour later I tried again. 

Finally the call was answered in the shop by the person that took the original order and I was informed that the wrong state had been written down.  He obviously (he turns out to be the owner and manager, supposedly) had been informed what was wrong as he told me about it being the wrong state and what the correct state was. I'm sure this is why he didn't return calls as it was now too late to correct. 

I asked him why he didn't turn on the damn computer and look up the funeral parlor and he announced I couldn't speak to him like that and he wouldn't do business with me.  I realize I shouldn't have said damn, but I wasn't shouting and I was extremely upset by the lack of any effort to correct this especially when it would have been so easy if done even that night.  He simply took this as a way to not take responsibility for his lack of effort. 

Meanwhile I had no flowers delivered to the funeral.  I am supposedly not being charged, we'll see. 

I am looking for a way to lodge a complaint so other people won't have this happen. There must be some way to make it so a person can't claim to be local when they're not.  Can Internet companies be complained to at an Attorney General level?  I'm not vicious enough to set up a dialing system to tie up the toll free number but I feel like it.

N.W.

The Detectives reply:

We are so sorry that your flowers were not sent to the funeral and that you were a victim of 11flowers.com. Deception like theirs, especially during a time of grief, is inexcusable.

We have tested their call center and have also found them to deceive about their real location.

We suggest you report them to their wire service - Teleflora - and that you also file an online complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.  Links can be found for both on our complaint page.

We agree that companies like 11flowers.com should not be profiting by fooling shoppers into believing they are real local florists.

F.D.

November 18, 2006

I ordered flowers thru "local florists in Midland, Texas" for my sister who had come to help me after surgery for 2 weeks. I was directed to a sight called "Bloomers Florist" and ordered an arrangement for $65.00. To make a long story short, my credit card has been charged for $76.95 by "Kay's Flowers" and the flowers were never delivered!! The were supposed to be delivered on 11-16-06 and I have called and emailed over 7 times. I keep getting a call center who says they will leave a message and they are so sorry for the delay. They can't give me a local number or address to call and "Kay's Flowers" does not have a local number!

What do you suggest I do?

Thanks,
L.

The Detectives reply:

"Bloomer's Florist", probably listed as Blossomflorists.com, is no where near Midland, TX. They're not even a 'florist', just a call center on the other side of the state in the Houston suburb of Bellaire. 'Kay's Florist', an FTD top volume affiliate order gatherer, operates numerous websites under the guise of being 'family owned and operated' and often uses ads implying they are located in communities across the US. Some of Kay's Florist business practices are discussed at length on our site.

This morning, a Google search for "florist Midland TX" shows them with an ad reading:

florist midland tx
Blossom Florists - family owned and operated since 1970
blossomflorists.com

It's easy to understand why you were deceived into believing they were a real flower shop in Midland. The Florist Detectives recommend you take the following steps:

File a complaint with the Houston Better Business Bureau where they already have a file about Kay's Florist and some of its aliases. As you can read, the company is rated 'unsatisfactory'. There's also a local phone number for Kay's in the file and that may be of help.

File a complaint with The Federal Trade Commission

File a complaint with FTD. It's FTD's allowance of - and financially rewarding of - its affiliates that use the types of advertising that lured you to one of their order gatherers that keeps operations like Kay's Florist in business.

Midland TX has several real flower shops who would welcome the opportunity to deliver a special arrangement to your sister.

We wish you success in getting a full refund and contacting a real local flower shop to send your special gift.

 

August 4, 2005

Here I am another consumer fooled by order gathers when ordering flowers via the internet. The company Flower Splendor advertised pretty flower arrangements with reasonable prices. They had an FTD logo therefore I thought they were a reputable company. MY MISTAKE.

The flowers I ordered for my grandmother's 88th birthday never arrived. When I called the toll free number (which is not toll free for me living in Costa Rica)I was told I was calling a CALL CENTER. When I requested to speak to a mgr, they were not available. When I requested the number of the flower shop, they could not provide the number. I finally got the local number in Norcross,GA, only to find out it was forwarded to the CALL CENTER. As like other consumers, they were able to get my credit card information correct and bill the charge immediately. So not only do I have to invest time and energy in disputing this charge and exposing this fraudulent company, I missed the opportunity to let my grandmother know how much we missed her and were thinking about her on this special day. It is ashame that in this age of sophisticated technology with the Internet, we really have to think twice about purchasing items online due to companies like this one. I really hope someone does a thorough investigation of these companies and removes them from the WEB.

M.S.

The Detectives reply:

Flower Splendor is yet another web address owned and operated by Brady's Florist (which really isn't a florist as far as we can tell) - the same company being complained about in the letter below.  Your note to us prompted further investigation of Brady's and its now growing stable of cloaked URLs. Details can be found here.

We're very sorry that your grandmother never received her special birthday flowers.   We understand Flower Splendor/Brady's has finally agreed to provide a complete refund but are dismayed that you were duped by this FTD sanctioned order gatherer. 

Note: Brady's et al is no longer affiliated with Teleflora.

F.D.

March 10, 2005

Re: Brady's Florist - Abilene
Family owned and operated with same day delivery.
Fresh cut arrangements, baskets, dish gardens,
funeral flowers and more.  We do it all!
(877) 795-6580 
www.bradysflorist.com

The above advertisement found on the internet is very deceiving, if not an outright lie.  This company is NOT found in Abilene, Texas, but rather is a nationwide provider who refers their orders to someone else.

MONDAY 1/17/2005

Living some 150 miles away and believing that the above was a local Abilene florist I phoned this company to place 2 orders for a funeral.  I told them that I would be coming to Abilene for this funeral and explained very carefully and in detail that his order was extremely important and must be handled in a diligent manner.  They repeated the order back to me in detail and assured me very beautiful arrangements.  One order was for a $50 flower arrangement.  The order taker shared with me that they had a very pretty pink vase in which they could put the flower arrangement.  In addition, I ordered a $50 European Garden.  I was told that they would both be delivered on Tuesday, 1/18/2005 and was given a confirmation #XXXXXXXX. Further, I was to receive an e-mail confirmation.

TUESDAY 1/18/2005

When I had not received the e-mail confirmation from Brady’s Florist, I phoned the Funeral Home to see if the orders had arrived.  The flower arrangement had, the European Garden had not.  I phoned Brady’s Florist to see where the missing order was and told them I had the confirmation number.  They replied that the confirmation number would probably not assist them in finding the order.  They further stated that someone would call me before the day ended to let me know the status of the order.  I received NO CALL.

WEDNESDAY 1/19/2005

After traveling to the funeral home, I arrived to find that the flower order was pitifully inferior, definitely not what I had ordered and the European Garden had not arrived at all!  I noticed that the envelope on the flowers said “Parker Florist” on it, rather than “Brady Florist”.  I immediately phoned Brady Florist and asked about coming to their store to get the problems resolved and it was then that I learned they were not in Abilene at all!  (I later did some research and found out they are located in Atlanta, Georgia.)  They informed me that the flower order had not been entered into their system correctly and that the order for the European Garden could not be found.

My husband made the comment that the flower arrangement looked like something one would pick up at a grocery store. As a matter of fact, through my research I find that IT DID COME FROM A GROCERY STORE FLORIST!  Following is the florist that was used by Brady’s Florist:

Lawrence BROS IGA - Parker Florist
2160 Pine Street, Abilene, TX 79601
(325) 673-8587 

This situation has been, at the very least very embarrassing, as the orders placed were not only to be from myself, but a group of people who, along with myself, had known the deceased for decades.  I was given the sole responsibility to place the orders for the memorial service of the deceased.

The following is a guarantee direct for Brady’s Florist website.

Guarantee
We guarantee 100% satisfaction on all floral and gift items. If you are not completely satisfied, please contact our Customer Service Department at (877) 795-6580.

Thirty minutes before visitation ended at the funeral home and shortly before the deceased was to be taken to the cemetery for burial, someone at Brady’s Florist called to tell me that the boss, Judson Brady, had said they would issue a refund for the flower order, but the flowers would have to be picked up.  Their guarantee to enter a funeral home full of grieving family members to remove flowers? Now how ridiculous is this?!?  I asked to speak with Mr. Brady but, of course, he was unavailable.  I asked for a phone call from him and, of course, never received one.  

My research has found the following about Brady’s Florist:  

It may be of interest to some that Brady’s Florist website uses Teleflora photographs on their website.  I have to wonder if they are truly a Teleflora authorized company.  Oh well, enough research for me……It appears I am left with a $66.00 charge to my credit card (they did get my credit card information correct, of course) and a red face for letting down my friends who had counted on me to take care of the arrangements.

How sad it is that people are hoodwinked into such substandard business practices.  I am very sorry for those who think they must use these tactics to make a living.  Any assistance you might offer will be appreciated.  Perhaps others can be spared such unscrupulous business dealings.

P. R.

The Detectives reply:

We are truly sorry for the difficulties created by your dealings with this 'faux local florist,' especially during your time of grief.  Bradysflorist.com is indeed a Teleflora member; in fact, Teleflora hosts their website, allows them to omit location-identifying information, and enables their transmission of orders across North America.  We are aware that you've appropriately filed a complaint with Teleflora, too.

We suggest you contest the credit card charges based on what appears to be fraudulent marketing practices and faulty product delivery. 

Bradysflorist.com's listings seem to have been removed from SuperPages.com. (We reported about them in our Yellow Pages segment.)  We are hopeful that this print and web publisher will consider consumers'  faith and  trust in their ads to be more important than the revenues generated by what appear to be misleading and deceptive marketing practices.