Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why You Should Always Find a Local Floral Designer

This is a great website!  Explains how to spot fake florists and why not ordering from FTD, 1800Flowers, & Telefllora save you loads of money.  Go local!!! 

The Florist Detectives


You're a smart shopper

You know that the best flower arrangement value, quality and service on the web comes from dealing directly with the real local florist that will actually create and deliver your order.

Why would you want to trust that special arrangement to some guy sitting behind a computer terminal that doesn't know a gerbera from a gigabyte?
And how come it's so hard to figure out the actual local florists from the weeds of affiliate companies pretending to be 'your' local flower shop?
This site is dedicated to providing consumer information to answer those very questions.  Along the way, we'll highlight some of the seemingly deceptive and misleading advertising practices used by faux local florists to confuse, misdirect and plain-old fool the gift-giving public.  We'll also provide resources to help you find real local florists.
It's tactics used by deceptive floral wire service affiliates, the ones that generate the letters we receive from defrauded and deceived consumers, that prompted us to create this site.  A quote from one recent letter sums it up:
"What should have been a simple, sincere gesture of sending flowers was cheapened by the actions of this (order gatherer) company.  Despicable."

Tips to Avoid Being Fooled by Flower Order Gatherers

  • Check the Home and About Us pages for the physical address of the business.
  • Ask 'What is Your Address?' when you call on the phone. If they decline to provide it, consider calling another florist.
  • Check the Contact Us page for a local phone number.  It should match the area code of the location to where your flowers are being delivered. If the contact information consists of an email address only, be suspicious.
  • Call the local phone number. If it is answered 'Flower Shop' without providing the name of the florist, ask which shop you've called. If they provide a different answer than the one you've dialed, you may have reached a gatherer/broker.
  • On the phone, ask for the business' location and driving directions. If they fail to provide these details, consider calling a different florist.
  • Ask the florist to itemize all charges. Be especially cautious about companies that charge relay fees, same-day fees, service fees, shipping fees and handling fees.  Local florists generally charge for delivery (which you also pay through a broker) but the other surcharges are completely avoidable when ordering direct from the florist who will actually make your arrangement.
  • Google the phone number. If it appears under many different business names with different locations, be suspicious.
  • Be aware that just because an ad or website name says "City Name Florist", it doesn't mean the company is located in or actually delivers to that city.
  • If following a link from a search engine ad, find the site's home page. Order gatherer sites often contain directory-like links named after states, provinces and cities.  Each page will appear virtually the same except for the city name.
If you are a US consumer and have been deceived by a call center posing as a local florist or have been mislead by flower advertising, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to hear from you.

TV, Newspaper and Web Coverage of Phony Florists 

Phantom Florists - Fox 5 Investigative Report, Washington, DC
Buyer Beware: 'Local' Florists Might Not Be Local - WBNS TV10, Columbus, OH
FTC Warns Against Phony Florists Posing As Local - CBS 13, Sacramento, CA
Valentine's Day Flowers - 3 On Your Side, CBS3, Philadelphia, PA
Flower Shopping? Get Real - Human Flower Project
'Local Florist' Might Not Be - Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH
Ask questions in picking a florist - Akron Beacon Journal, Akron, OH
"The Internet makes it easy to order the crappiest, overpriced bouquets..." -
Hank Investigates: Phony Florists - WHDH-TV Boston, MA
Your Local Florist Might Not Be Local At All - WISN ABC12, Milwaukee, WI
Telemarketers Posing as Phony Florists - KSBW-8, Salinas, CA
Where Did Your Flowers Come From? - WCCO-4, Milwaukee, WI
Finding A Florist - Terri Gruca, Consumer Reporter, WCCO-4 Milwaukee, WI
Man Warns About Flower Scam - The Denver Channel - 7 News, Denver, CO

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