John Akerson's Thoughts

Business, technology and life

Horrible Flower Customer Service. Really.

I ordered 2 dozen flowers and a vase on February 4th. I ordered it from 1-800-Flowers.com for February 11th delivery.   I ordered it for delivery on the 11th because I wanted to make REALLY sure that it would be delivered by the 12th. I wanted to make REALLY sure that it was delivered in time for me to give to my wife on the 14th. Valentine’s day is not really a big holiday, but I didn’t want to forget it.  I knew that there was bad weather, so I assumed that by ordering it 10 days before Valentine’s day and specifyingGrocery-store  delivery 3 days before Valentine’s day – I would get it in time to deliver, yes, on Valentine’s day.

So – WHY did I order from 1-800-flowers.com?  There are two reasons. The first is that I usually order from Teleflora, but last time I ordered through Teleflora for a delivery in Caribou, Maine, they delivered it to Danvers Massachusetts.  Really?  Yes. Seriously. They missed it by an entire state. Teleflora doesn’t really do flowers every time. In the case of the flowers that I ordered for my Mother’s Birthday, Telaflora sent the order to a local florist in Danvers, Mass. Those flowers weren’t delivered on time. I put time and effort into getting flowers, and after getting some serious run-around from Teleflora, I decided to never order from them again. So I decided to either use Proflowers, or 1-800-flowers.   Here’s where the second reason comes in.  I saw an episode of “Millionaire Matchmaker” on TV and Patti Stanger was pushing 1-800-flowers.   That was the tipping point for me. If these flowers were good enough for MILLIONAIRES, they were absolutely good enough for my wife.

Really?  Yes.  I am not a  millionaire, but I want my wife to get some nice flowers for Valentine’s day. She deserves it. I have never really understood jewelry or flowers, but I understand that they are special to her, and that is important to me. 

On the 10th, I got an email from 1800 Flowers. Things were starting to go downhill in my flower experience.  The email said, “due to the extreme weather conditions, your order(s) may be delivered later than your requested date. “  That wasn’t any newsflash. I knew that weather was bad. That is why I ordered on the 4th.   The 4th !!!  Really.  They also said that I could “get the most updated information by tracking your package on the carriers’ web site using the tracking number that we provided to you in the Shipping Confirmation email.”  That was a problem because I did not get any shipping confirmation email.   I was able to take my ORDER number, from my original order, and get a tracking number from the 800-flowers website. What it told me, on the 10th was that UPS had been given information, but had not picked up the package yet. This was on the 10th, but I had ordered it on the 4th. Valentine’s day is, like, a BIG day for flowers, right?  

To clarify – On February 10th, my order for the 11th had not yet been picked up, and yet the flower company was blaming a late delivery on the shipping company.

Really.  (*sigh*)

I thought – there was really NO excuse for this, so I called to cancel the order. They wouldn’t cancel it. I asked for a supervisor. They wouldn’t cancel it. It had not been shipped yet, but they could not cancel it because it had been ordered. Not shipped… ORDERED. Really!

Finally, I started emailing, chatting, and calling trying to get the order cancelled.  I got the order cancelled. I thought my ordeal with the flower company was done. They promised a refund.  I realized that there was a flower delivery service that could provide worse service than Teleflora – and I had picked it.

On the 11th, I drove to the local Lowes Foods Grocery Store and bought 2 dozen of their roses, recycled a vase from a previous rose gift/purchase, and put together an acceptable floral gift for my wife.  Not great, but much better than nothing.  She was thrilled.  Really. Those are the roses above.  They were very nice.

On the 12th I got an email saying that Your Order number W00652302*****, detailed below, has been picked up by UPS and is on its way”   Really? Yes.  They cancelled the order, but they shipped the order.

So – I’m writing this because of two things.   At 12:08pm today, I got an email from 1800 flowers.com “thanking me for shopping with them.” Did they miss the part where I cancelled the order? Really?  At about 3pm, I got a knock on my door, and there were roses.  Not the beautiful roses I expected – but a set of wannabe-roses that were NOT NEARLY as nice as the grocery store roses.   Here’s a photo.1-800-flowers Inferior Roses

What’s the frosting on the cake?  After I got that pathetic excuse for flowers, I went back to the email from 1-800-flowers.   Sure enough, there it was “We’d love to hear about your experience. Click here and tell us what you liked about it or what we can improve–we welcome and appreciate feedback from all our customers.”

So – I thought, bad delivery, bad customer service, bad communication, bad flowers, bad timing – I will let them know what I thought. I clicked on the “click here” and guess what – the link goes to a survey that is “closed!” ARGH. I would like to say, there might be another way that they could have done worse, but I just can NOT imagine what it might be. In the same way that “Websites that Suck” taught good web design by showing the worst, I’ve learned so MUCH about good customer service… but experiencing the opposite. Really.

 

 As a post script: I got an email about these, here’s the photo of both of them. The Grocery store roses, from Lowes foods, were about 36.00 for 2 dozen. The 1-800 flowers roses were about $64.

 Both Sets of Roses

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February 15, 2010 - Posted by | Business, Life, Other Stuff

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