5 On Your Side

Online florists often don't deliver what's advertised

Posted February 9, 2011

Ordering Valentine's Day flowers online – sight unseen – raises questions: Will you get what you paid for? Will the arrangement look like the pictures shown online?

To find out, CBS News placed online orders with three florists: 1800Flowers.com, FloristExpress.net and a local New York City flower shop. Expert flower designer Michael Gaffney compared the flowers that were delivered to CBS with their ads.

Gaffney concluded that most of the arrangements did not deliver on design or value. He questioned whether they were even the right orders.

An ad for the "Sweet Delights" arrangement from Florist Express showed yellow mini-carnations and super-green roses. Yet, the arrangement delivered to CBS – for a total cost of $93 – had different flowers.

The "Fun and Flirty" arrangement from 1800Flowers.com didn't look anything like the pictures online. It cost $70, with taxes and a delivery fee.

The "Sweet It Is" bouquet from the local flower shop also didn't look like its ad. It cost $54.

flowers Beware skimpy bouquets this Valentine's Day

Roses ordered by CBS News, as well, didn't look much like their online descriptions.

All of the flower companies involved quickly offered to send new flowers. They all offer a 100 percent guarantee.

The websites also have a disclaimer that arrangements can vary based on flower availability.

The bottom line: When ordering flowers, be specific about what you want. Get to know a local flower shop, and find out what's in stock when you order.


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  • superman Feb 14, 2011

    If the picture looks too good to be true for the price they charge-- you just need to move on to another florist. They are in business to make money and they really dont give them away. We always use our local florist who will then send the order to one of their associates who will deliver the flowers out of town or in another state. If you are unhappy with the flowers you can contact your local florist and they will MAKE it right.

  • annette1brown Feb 11, 2011

    Thank god SOMEONE FINALLY called these florists out.....THANK YOU!!!!!!

  • DOEE Feb 11, 2011

    We did call a local florist for a funeral arrangement in Roxboro, but when we say the flowers that were delivered at the funeral, they were not even close to what we ordered on the phone, and what we saw on their own web page. The arrangement was very cheap and much, much smaller than what was ordered and paid for. When we called the following Monday, to inquire what went wrong, they said the only thing they could do was send another arrangement to the funeral home (after the funeral and burial had happened). They even knew that what they sent wasn't what we ordered, and they stated they have the right to send whatever they want. Needless to say we won't be using them again.

  • firewife Feb 11, 2011

    I have used 1800Flowers many times and have always been pleased. I have asked the receipients to send me pictures of their flowers so that I would know they received what I ordered. Each time what they received was exactly what I ordered. I will continue to use 1800Flowers.

  • nctruckguy Feb 11, 2011

    WRAL did a poor job on this. Many of the online companies mentioned have hundreds of satisified customers. A sample of three out of the thousands they service? Any stats professor would give WRAL a F for the work they provided. Guess Monica isn't the greatest 'investigator'

  • psycho Feb 10, 2011

    Agree with Wilmalathrup - I've used Proflowers.com several times and, while not always overwhelmed by the quality of the arrangements, have always been satisfied; I got what I ordered.

  • 68_dodge_polara Feb 10, 2011

    After the experience I had I'll never order online again. I ordered flowers for my mother for Mothers day and found out they had asked here to pick them up instead of delivering them. That certainly made her feel special.

  • wilmalathrup Feb 9, 2011

    I have always used Pro Flowers.com and found them to be great . The flowers always are exactly what I have ordered..they deliver on time.Just got a 50% refund because one of the orders for my Granddaughter was not excatly as picutred.Recomend this site for online flowers.

  • arspringfield Feb 9, 2011

    As a North Carolina Certified Professional Florist and a member of the North Carolina Floral Association I strongly recommend contacting a local florist rather than order from an online site. We can not stress enough the importance of talking to a designer about the flowers and the design style you want. We want to make sure we please our customers.

    If you do want to order online most local florist shops do have websites you can order from, however, some may not feature original designs from the florist.

    Just as was said above, check with the local florist to see if the product you are looking for is in stock. And remember, florists are artists and every design is unique thanks to nature.

    When using a local florist you are supporting a local business. Most floral shop are locally owned and operated. You aren't going to speak to a call center where they may not even know the products they sell.

    We try to please our customers. We love what we do and want you to love what you get!