These eight Christmas gift ideas for the travelers in your life ring up at $20 or less.
Reviews of Flower Delivery Services
After reading scores of flower delivery reviews online and looking at the results of comparison tests conducted by other sources, we determined that the best deals, in terms of service, quality, and price, can be found by making your own arrangements with independent or local providers. We repeatedly came across flower delivery reviews assailing the major players and noting that subsequent orders placed directly with a florist located near the recipient proved far more successful.
Flower Delivery Customer Service.With the DIY approach, there's no single source of flower delivery reviews, although your local Yelp site or Better Business Bureau might prove informative. That said, reviews of the major flower delivery services contain numerous reports by customers who claim to have turned to independent florists after bad experiences with online providers. And while there are certainly some positive reviews of flower delivery services, the overall impression is "buyer beware."
At Yahoo Shopping, for example, more than 300 reviewers gave FTD an average 1.5 stars out of five; nearly 550 consumers at the same site conferred a total of 1.5 stars on 1-800-Flowers; and more than 450 users at the review site rewarded ProFlowers with a slightly more favorable 2.5 stars. Among the litany of complaints across the board: undelivered orders, rude and unhelpful phone representatives, and arrangements that looked completely different from the online description.
Perhaps the biggest bone of contention in flower delivery reviews is unfulfilled orders. By way of illustration, a review of FTD posted at Viewpoints notes that a Valentine's Day arrangement failed to arrive even after nine emails, several phone calls, and one unfulfilled promise of redelivery. The consumer finally received a refund and a tiny arrangement for his wife but took his business to a nearby florist, who delivered as requested. FTD likewise takes heat from a customer posting at Epinions who says he got the run-around from a service representative when flowers ordered for a funeral didn't show up. A frustrated consumer reviewing 1-800-Flowers on Viewpoints found out that the flower delivery service had "lost" her order only after asking the intended recipient about it a week after the supposed delivery date.
At Reseller Ratings, a ProFlowers customer tells of paying twice the value of the flowers in delivery charges to ensure they would arrive on time for his niece's birthday, only to receive an "unable to deliver" message several hours later. Teleflora cancelled one customer's order without supplying a reason, according to a post at Trust Pilot, and a customer service rep apparently couldn't or wouldn't deal with the issue.
To be sure, angry consumers may be more motivated than satisfied ones to post feedback online, and some flower delivery reviews are positive. One post on Epinions reports that a bouquet from 1-800-Flowers was delivered to a new mother several hours after the order was placed. Another consumer applauds FTD on the same site for flexible and attentive customer service and on-time delivery. ProFlowers counts a few enthusiasts among consumers posting flower delivery reviews at Yahoo Shopping. One customer says he managed to find a better deal on rainbow roses than he would have at his local florist by arranging for delivery the day before Valentine's Day and signing up for a 30-day trial of the Easy Saver Rewards program. Yet other reviewers who don't recall signing up for the program have been appalled to find monthly charges on their credit card statements. (The Consumerist highlights one such case.)
Overall we were struck by the preponderance of negative flower delivery reviews and found that many consumers have vowed to buy only from local providers. Brick-and-mortar flower shops earn a disproportionate share of favorable reviews. A search on Yelp for florists in Chicago, for example, revealed a number of 5-star shops to choose among (many of which earn praise for wedding-related services). One consumer who ordered flowers on behalf of her boss for his wife's birthday writes on Yelp that a neighborhood florist suggested a bouquet that fit both the budget and the occasion and won raves from the recipient and her coworkers. Another review on Yelp of a shop in Portland, Oregon, relays a consumer's experience when sending flowers from afar to her daughter's new business. In this case, the florist knew the place and could guess where the customer's daughter would put the flowers. She used that knowledge to craft the arrangement and even sent the customer photos of the finished bouquet.
While customers often assert that you get better service with the DIY approach, this isn't a sure fix. On busy days, mistakes happen. A florist we interviewed in Queens, New York, noted that during holidays, for example, some florists hire temporary delivery people who aren't professionally trained.Back to top »
Efficiency is the key on Black Friday, and we have five tips to help prepare you for the biggest shopping day of the year.
Your loved ones will actually use these 13 inexpensive stocking stuffers.