kastinkerbell (kastinkerbell) wrote in bad_service,
kastinkerbell
kastinkerbell
bad_service

Flower delivery woes

Valentine's Day is probably one of the busiest days for flower delivery. Many people want to surprise their sweetie with fresh flowers as a gesture of affection. Having been screwed the last time I tried to accomplish this task, I decided that I would work with a company that I dealt with before: 1800flowers.com. My previous experience was fantastic. I found out that my aunt was in the hospital (in AK). I got online during a training session I was in, ordered the flowers, and got an e-mail a few hours later from a very grateful aunt. How could I go wrong? Huge company with an amazing previous experience. Surely they would be able to handle the large amount of business on Valentine's Day.



I ordered a beautiful arrangement online and was asked if I was flexible in my delivery date. I was even offered a discount to say it was ok to deliver on Feb. 13 instead. I did not choose that option, rather "Guaranteed Delivery for February 14." I indicated all of the information on the form, including that it was being delivered to a business.

Cue Valentine's Day. We want to leave work early (we both work for the same institution), but I haven't been told that he's gotten a surprise yet. So I ask him...nothing. I go the 1800flowers.com Web site to check on my order. They had a tracking number. I had never heard of this, but thought it was excellent...until I clicked it. When I did, I was directed to a UPS site that told me it was an invalid number. Huh. I didn't know that fresh flower deliveries were made by UPS. I decide to investigate. I learned that the arrangement would not be arriving as it was pictured on the Web site (i.e., full arranged and in a vase), rather the flowers would be in a box with the vase and the recipient would have to put it all together. I also learned that this delivery could have also been made by DHL or FedEx. I decide to try the tracking number on their sites to see if it works there. No dice. I call UPS. They can't locate the delivery anywhere in their system, no matter how we search (very polite and friendly guy there).

At this point, you're probably thinking "why did she call UPS and not 1800flowers.com if their site was wrong?" Well, I did. The first few times I called, I was rudely transferred without much warning. I finally got a snotty person telling me that I needed to call customer service (her tone indicated that I was very stupid for not doing this). I informed her that I needed that number, then, because the one published on the Web site for customer service was the one I called. I was given a phone number that in no way resembled the one listed. Now why did I have to call more than once? Because the customer service phone system would get me as far as me telling it I needed to speak with a representative (in itself a long process) before informing me that they were very busy and could therefore not connect me to a representative and they would be disconnecting the call now. This was followed by a dial-tone. This happened six times throughout the day.

So I e-mail them. Response? Only the automated "we received your e-mail".

The flowers arrived the next day. I got an e-mail that both stated that I got guaranteed delivery on the 14th and that they were delivered (not by UPS, but by DHL) on the 15th. There was no delivery attempt even made on the 14th.

I e-mailed them two days later when I still haven't heard back from the first e-mail. Got the same "we received your e-mail" response.

A week later, I still hadn't heard back from either e-mail, so I contacted my bank. I was able to successfully process a charge back on my card. I never got any response from my complaints. What I *did* get was a Thank You card in the mail just the other day. It included a coupon for my next purchase (I got this same card after the delivery to my aunt).

1800flowers.com? BUYER BEWARE!

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