“a consumer reports for the cheap” — the new york times
FTD
Where to Buy FTD

Available at FTD.

Summary:

Florists' Transworld Delivery, better known as FTD (starting at $65.98), is large -- so large, in fact, that it has been sued three times by the U.S. Department of Justice for non-competitive behavior. FTD is akin to a flower broker: It forwards a customer's order to any one of approximately 16,000 North American florists or an additional 40,000 florists in about 155 countries who are located near the intended recipient and have the requested items on-hand or can quickly get hold of same. Taking in more than $600 million a year in revenue, FTD is a behemoth in the online flower delivery world.

A massive market presence, however, is no guarantee of a happy customer base. In FTD reviews posted at Reseller Ratings, the average six-month score from 224 reviews was a measly 0.83 out of 10. Consumers generally express dissatisfaction with a range of customer service measures, including shipping and delivery, refunds/exchanges, and pricing. One FTD review tells of having ordered a bouquet of calla lilies for a funeral that arrived when promised but were frozen solid; another reports the company unilaterally cancelled an order because the requested item was unavailable; and a third writes of being told that the delivery was left at an incorrect address because no one was home, an assertion the FTD review insists was impossible. And while some reviews concede the company tries to make good with refunds or second deliveries, they consider the damage done irreparable.

On the other hand, FTD offers a variety of products. It's easy to add stuffed animals and chocolates to an order of flowers and the company's wide reach facilitates same-day delivery across the country. FTD has also begun offering some unique flowers, such as the FTD College Rose collection that features multi-color roses to match a football team's colors. The website is easy to navigate, letting customers quickly home in on which bouquet to order and how it might be upgraded.

Flower delivery with FTD can be very expensive. Saturday deliveries come with a standard $29.99 fee and standard shipping ranges from $10.99 to $19.99. FTD profits from these add-on charges and the customer basically pays for shipping twice: A florist explained to us that the floral shop collects only the price posted for the flowers, not the so-called shipping or service fee, which means the business either absorbs the cost of local delivery in the form of a reduced margin or builds the cost into the price.

Overall, the preponderance of critical FTD reviews suggest that this online flower retailer is likely to disappoint.

by Louis DeNicola (Google+ Profile) – January 31, 2014
Filed in: Diet, Flowers, Gifts,
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