Letters From Consumers
The Florist Detectives receive numerous correspondence from consumers and florists. Unfortunately, many flower buyers find us after they've been fooled by a wire service affiliate order gatherer. Please note that letters may be condensed.
Archived Complaint Letters
March 31, 2007
My Experience With "Flowers with Gifted Elegance"
On Tuesday March 27th I looked up information on the internet to find a "local" florist in the Wintson-Salem North Carolina area to place an order for flowers for a funeral service for the Mother-in-law of one of our employees.
I found a listing for "Winston-Salem Florist" I wrote down the "local" telephone number that was listed for the town of "Winston-Salem".
My call was answered, the person only said "florist shop" she did not give her name that I recall. I placed an order for a standing spray funeral arrangement. She said it would be $90.00 and a $9.95 fee for delivery. I gave her my boss's credit card info to pay for the order. I asked her to fax a receipt for the order to the office. I was not given any "order" information such as an order number or reference number. At the time I did not think anything about that.
I called back in the afternoon of 3/28 to reconfirm that they had everything set for the delivery which was to be Thursday morning 3/29 to the Church before the 11am service. I got a voicemail system. I left a message. No one returned my call. On the morning of 3/29 when I came into work I tried to verify the order again. The first person I spoke to was not very helpful, she was impatience, a little rude and then annoyed and she transferred me to "customer service" which was a Leave a voicemail we'll get back to you. I called back again made the selection to speak to a manger same thing, leave a voicemail.
I called back a third time and spoke to someone else who did more to try to confirm to me that the flowers had been delivered.
It was at that time that I went back to the internet, I wanted to register a complaint on the "flowers with gifted elegance" website, and BAM, that's when I find these "ripoff" articles etc........
I was very upset, I called the church to see if they could assist me with verifying the flower delivery. I had to wait several hours for them to do that. They sadly confirmed that there is no Florist in there town by the name of "Winston-Salem Florist". And the only flowers they found were something in a white basket no card or anything was with it.
I will be asking my boss to call American Express and have them Not Honor the transaction. I do not know if he will want me to arrange any flowers to go to the home of the employee and his spouse or not.
I am thankful that I located your website in addition to finding the "ripoff" reports on this group. And I also filed a compliant on the FTC's website.
The Detectives reply:
We are so sorry you were taken in by the phony implied location information of Flowers With Gifted Elegance, especially at a time when your company was expressing sympathy for the family of an employee. We find their tactics despicable.
Thank you for filing a complaint with the FTC. We trust you will be able to successfully dispute the charge with AMEX.
March 22, 2007
They Got Me
Last week I placed an on-line order with a Chattanooga TN florist to have flowers delivered in Chattanooga. The Web site indicated that is was a local Chattanooga company.
I received no order number, no confirming message but the web site appeared to have accepted the order.
I became concerned when I saw that the charge to my credit card was from Kays Flowers (aka Kay's Florist) in Bellaire Texas. I made repeated attempts to find out what had happened but after being given different telephone numbers, redirected several times, I finally ended up with FTD. They said that this Kays is an "order gatherer"!! Great!! Anybody can gather orders but I wanted flowers delivered.
After receiving no contact from anyone, I have cancelled the charge on my credit card but the flowers purchsed for an injured loved one apparently never arrived.
Steer clear of Kays Florist and maybe even FTD since they don't seem to have any control over deceptive practices.
The Detectives Reply:
We are sorry you were taken advantage of by one of Kay's sites. We are glad you were able to cancel your credit card and hope your refund goes smoothly.
We do suggest you file a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission. The FTC is aware of these issues but indicates they don't hear enough complaints to warrant direct action to stop deceptive marketing. The complaint form is here.
If you need to send flowers to Chattanooga in the future, we suggest you use one of the following resources: locateaflowershop.com or Google Local.
February 20, 2007
I ordered a deluxe floral arrangement (69.95) from this "local flower shop" for a Valentines Day delivery for my wonderful girlfriend. No flowers were ever delivered. I was never notified. When I called the day after, 2/15/07, a representative took my information and told me someone would call me back. No one has.
Today (2/20/07), I called the number on the website again, same thing. The representative took my information and gave me a number to call... 713-664-0889. An answering machine picks up and says "Thank you for calling Kay's flowers, a representative will be on the line shortly to take your call" then the call conveniently disconnects. I have a note on my bank statement with the charges to a Kay's Florist, Bellaire, TX.
This is a horrible experience for me. I am an employee for the State of Texas and a recent college graduate. Needless to say, I didn’t really have this money to spend anyways, but I believe my girlfriend is worth the sacrifice. Now I am left without services rendered, and the promise of a call back. Not to mention an upset girlfriend who was promised flowers and delivered disappointment. Today, it's the thought that counts for disappointment. Please help me get my money back!
The Detectives recommeneded he file complaints with the proper authorities and asked why he chose to order from blossomflorists.com. This was his response on 3/19/07:
I initially looked for flower shops in (my girlfriends' town) and on the yellowpages online this particular location was listed among other local shops. I searched the website and unwittingly accepted the professional display before me as legit. Furthermore, After hassling with these people (email attached) I recieved an email a month later explaining that a refund would be alloted to my mastercard account the next day. To my incessant surprise held only for these con artists, my account has yet to be credited.
February 6, 2007
After multiple attempts to speak with a manager and being hung up on by telephone operators at Kay's Florist, I was finally informed that Diana Nguyen was "not available" and to call back in a "little bit."
The complaint I have is that Kay's Florist represented themselves as an
actual floral shop in the town of delivery. As a non-profit organization,we do not spend monies for bereavement outside of the communities that we serve. For the operator to claim knowledge of the town of delivery including the actual address is absurd. Therefore, I respectfully request that a full refund of $49.98 be remitted to this office no later than thirty days based on Kay's Florist misrepresentation to the consumer that they are a "local florist." Had I know Kay's was simply a call center, I would have purchased flowers from a real local vender, as it is our policy to spend money in the actual communities from which we receive donations.
Five minutes later, I emailed the customer service e-mail, and five minutes following, I called (800) 340-7762 and spoke with Diana in person (who had magically received my e-mail). I told her that Abbot's had misrepresented themselves as a local company, and that I would not have called Texas to order flowers for California delivery, and that our policy as a non-profit is to spend monies in the communities we serve. Diana informed me that because the website used the verbiage "serving the city of ********," that this was perfectly acceptable. I also told her that the order received was not what was requested and was in fact, inferior. She told me to go ahead and file a report with the Better Business Bureau, and that no refund or adjustment would be forthcoming.
In compliance with her invitation, a file with Houston's BBB will be filed.
The Detectives reply:
We share your frustration and applaud your desire to support local businesses. Local florists collect and remit tax dollars that stay in their communities to help pay for police, firefighters and a host of local services. We also support many charitable casues in our areas.
Phony local florists like Kay's drain dollars from communities and value from purchases.
January 3, 2007
How I wish I would have seen your article before I got "skimmed"! I cannot believe the florist that I have been trying to "track down" was right here on your site!! Kay's Florist, known to me as "Blossom Florist", did all that you have said. I placed an order with them- thinking they were local here in North Carolina. Come to find out it is a mere call center out of Texas!! Today- 2 weeks after the incidents- I once again talked to the most RUDE "manager" I have ever come across... "Diana" .Though I have mostly had to leave messages for her, today I talked to her and she said she would refund part of my order, but she did not want me to order from them ever again. No problem! She only was giving me this credit afte I insisted the florist pick up the embarrassing arrangement. I am attaching the letter I wrote to my bank... even though they could not help me. Please post it as you like. I will be contacting all the sites you named in your article, to include the Better Business Bureau. Kay's florist needs to be shut down!
Their business practices are shameful! The "manager" is the worst of all! I deserve
a full credit, but let's wait and see if that ever happens!
Thank you for digging up the dirt!! I hope you continue your pursuit!
The Detectives Reply
We are sorry you were scammed by this phony 'local' florist. As with our other readers, we recommend you file complaints with the Houston Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission and FTD. Thank you for getting the full story from the delivering florist and for understanding that the root of the problem was not only Kay's deceptive advertising, but their skimming of your dollars before they forwarded your orders to your home town.
We have placed a copy of the letter you reference on our Skimmer's Page.
December 13, 2006
Kay's Florist/Blossom Florists did it again.
Confirmation #(number removed). "Soft Summer Day" ordered on 12/09/06 to be delivered on 12/11/06. Credit card charged on 12/09/06.
On 12/13/06, I contacted Blossom Florists to follow up with the delivery since I had not received the promised delivery email confirmation, but noticed that my credit card had been charged from a "Kay's Florist, Bellaire, TX four days prior on 12/09/06 for flowers being sent to Scarsdale, NY. This was my first indication that something was wrong since Blossom Florists passed themselves off as a local florist "serving the area since 1970". Rep confirmed that the flowers had been delivered. I requested name of the local florist to determine if the correct bouquet was delivered. Rep refused to give me this information
and said that she would confirm with the florist and call me back.
Then I found scams exposed by floristdetective.com and immediately called Blossom Florists again requesting information on the status of my delivery. Again, the rep refused to give me any information and would "leave a message" with the florist. This time I quoted floristdetective.com and acknowledged that I had realized that Blossom Florists was a "skimmer". The rep claimed she had no idea what I was talking about and would "have someone get back to me".
Finally received a call a few minutes later from Mary, who passed herself off as the actual florist from Scarsdale, New York and said that the bouquet had not been delivered due to a computer error and that it would be delivered right away. Mind you, this was Wednesday already. I had requested delivery on the Monday prior, and was actually charged on the Saturday prior that for an order that wouldn't have been delivered at all if I had not followed-up. I requested an immediate refund and asked to be transferred to the accounting department. Mary simply gave me the number back to Blossom Florists.
Calling Blossom Florists again, I was transferred back to Mary, who admitted that she was not actually in Scarsdale and worked for Blossom Florists. This time she guaranteed that I would receive a refund within the next 24-72 hours. I requested an email confirmation stating the exact amount of my refund, but she said that she did not have access to email and that someone would send me a refund confirmation.
I am waiting for both the confirmation and the refund. I did state that I would report them to the proper authorities if I did not receive the refund. I will keep floristdetective.com posted as to the final results.
What should have been a simple, sincere gesture of sending flowers was cheapened by the actions of this company. Despicable.
Thank you for what you do and exposing scams like this.
The Detectives reply:
We're glad our site help you root out the truth of what happened to your flower order with Blossom Florists/Kay's Florist but we are really sorry the company is rewarded for deceiving consumers like you. Kay's Florist faking a phone call as if they were a local florist in Scarsdale NY hits a new low.
We understand you have yet to received your refund and email confirmation. We recommend you file a complaint with both FTD, their primary wire service, and the US Federal Trade Commission. Thank you for sharing your story as a warning to other consumers.
We hope you will consider sending a gift of flowers in the future. Scarsdale, NY has a number of quality local florists who would love the opportunity to assist you.