The 800 Flowers Scam And .COM Flower Scam is an overview of Articles to discuss Consumer Fraud as a result of the Internet. Consumers are being cheated and ripped off, generally paying as little as 20% more and as much as 50% more for their floral gifts when purchasing online. We at Griffin’s Floral Design have become so alarmed by these deceptive practices that we have decided to begin a series of articles to discuss, educate, guide, and help consumers make wise flower purchasing decisions when ordering online.
Over the years we have noticed a considerable increase in customer complaints as a result of customers feeling they aren’t receiving the value for the floral gifts they are paying for. So what’s the deal, are we not doing a good job? Are we not giving the customer the value they paid for?
The answer is no! This simply isn’t the case. The colossal increase in complaints is always related to what florists call “Wire-In Orders”; orders coming from other florists. Around 95% of the complaints we receive are a result of orders received by what the floral industry calls “Order Gatherers or Call Centers”. Companies that simply aren’t florists; many of these companies are sitting in cubical gathering orders and then farming them out to real florists such as Griffin’s Floral Design.
To offer you an example, I will tell you a story about a woman I recently spoke to regarding an order she placed with a company called “XXX” (name deleted). We received an incoming order early in the morning from “XXX” going to the customer’s daughter here in Columbus, Ohio. The order was for birthday flowers that are nationally advertised by Teleflora, a gift called “Cotton Candy”, and selling for $39.99 on “XXX’s” website. We received a total of $39.99 from “XXX” for the order. To complete the order, we deducted our delivery fee of $10.00 on the order leaving us a total to work with of $29.99, $10.00 less than what the item sells for on “XXX’s” website. If we asked for an additional $10.00 for delivery, “XXX” would cancel the order and find another florist to complete the order for the $39.99. When she was placing the order the “Order Gatherer” informed the customer that the delivery fee for the Columbus Ohio area was $14.99 in addition to the $39.99. Further, they asked her if she would like to purchase expedited delivery for an additional $10.00, they would guarantee her that it would be delivered the same day. She stated to me that “XXX” truly made her feel that they were a local Columbus Florist. She paid a total of close to $70.00 for the order and received a flower arrangement that was worth $29.99. The company at a question, retained $24.99 profit for the overcharges in delivery fees, plus an additional 20% from Teleflora for making the sale, as well as a $6.00 rebate for sending it through the Teleflora family of florists. The profit for “XXX” was $38.98, the profit for us the Real florist was $3.48, and the recipients received a gift for $29.99, not $39.99. How is it that “XXX” profited more than the customer even paid for the actual gift?
Seem Extreme? Not at all, she is the 3rd person in just the last week I spoke with being tricked, lied to, and deceived.
Is there an answer? I’m really not sure; however, I do believe that education is the best defense of all things. I will offer in a future article the exact cash flow on these orders to help customers better understand how the margins work and where the money actually goes. The problem for many florists is that they need orders (any orders) to move product out of their coolers and to help create some cash flow for their company. As a result, they find themselves behind the eight-ball, filling orders that are cutting their own throats.
Please post your questions, concerns, comments, or articles you would like to see. We promise to respond. As always, thank you for supporting your local Central Ohio florist.
Websites of Interests and further education.