We guarantee fresh, beautiful floral arrangements and plants that will last at least seven days.
If you are not satisfied with the freshness of your flowers, please contact us within that time period and we will replace your item or refund your money.
What they say on the FTD The Flower Experts website: see above.
What they mean in real life: I’ll begin by saying (and I did mention this to customer service) that they forgot the asterisk after the word Guarantee.* You use an asterisk when you want to tell the reader to look somewhere else for more information — and that information is: The only way you can receive a full refund is if we send the florist to pick up the original order — no matter what the circumstance may be. If there is a stuffed bear involved, it must be returned. No exceptions, that’s policy!
Here’s what happened:
Hannah and friends called FTD, ordered a special bouquet, and had it sent to Kristin’s mom. On Sunday, Hannah went to visit and saw the arrangement. It wasn’t what she ordered. The flowers were tulips of various colors and sizes flopping in the vase, all wrong! She called FTD (within the 7 day satisfaction guarantee.) They gave her a few options:
- send out a replacement
- a refund of a few dollars
- have the florist pick up the order and then get a full refund. (They could refund the flowers but the florist would have to pick up his vase and stuffed bear if you want it all.)
It’s their policy and all were unacceptable, but Hannah had to catch a train. So Mommy — who loves this stuff– tells Hannah to forward all the information to her.
Monday morning, Mommy prepares for the call: I go online and find the number for the executive office and also the name of the CEO of the company. Then I call customer service.
“Hi, I’m calling about an order I placed. The flowers were already wilting and it’s not what I ordered. I’d like a full refund,” I say imitating Hannah’s cute voice. It was the same story. “We can send out a replacement but if you want a full refund we have to pick up the vase and bear.” I read her what it says online about satisfaction guaranteed and a full refund. “Yes, we will give you a full refund but the florist has to pick up the rest of the order.”
“So you’re saying that the wrong order was sent and on top of that the flowers weren’t even fresh and I have to call the person I sent the bouquet to and tell her to listen for the door because someone is coming to pick up what’s left of it?” “Well, yes, or we can give you a partial refund and this way she can keep the bear and the vase.” “Sorry, not acceptable. i want a full refund and I’ll have to call the executive office to get it.” I hung up and called the executive office.
The receptionist answers and I say, “I need to speak to someone. I am just livid over an order that I placed.” She transferred me to Member Services and when they answer I say, “Hi, who am I speaking to?” She immediately hung up on me. I call back and tell the receptionist my problem and she transfers me to a Corporate Manager.
So we go through the details again and to my surprise she said the same thing they all said. “I’m sorry but it is our policy — if you want a full refund we have to pick up the merchandise,” she says. “In addition to it being the wrong order, the flowers were already wilted. I’m not returning anything. Your florist sent a shoddy bouquet. Deal with him, not me. I want my money back.”
“Oh, poor quality, well that’s a different story. We can give you a larger refund and she names an amount. This way she can keep the vase and the bear.” “Not acceptable,” I say. “If you want a full refund you will have to return the vase and bear or the florist will be out the money,” she stupidly says.
Something snapped inside my brain. “What are you crazy? You should fire the damn florist.” “Well, maybe we will,” she responds. “That bouquet she received was embarrassing. The florist screwed up. Not me. I paid for a certain bouquet. I didn’t receive it and I want all my money back.” “That’s not our policy.” “Well, you should make it your policy. You’re telling me that you can’t refund all my money because the florist will be out 20 dollars? Are we really talking about 20 dollars? That’s nothing for your big corporation but 20 dollars is a lot to me. You should stand behind your product and you should also change your website because I don’t see anything about returning the order if you want a full refund. I want a full refund and if you don’t give it to me I’ll call the CEO of the company right now.”
Actually this went on for quite a while but then all of a sudden she said, “Oh alright already, I’ll give you the full refund.” “Do you need my credit card?” I calmly say. “No,” she grumbles, she clearly wasn’t happy. But she couldn’t hang up on me because I already had her name.
My mouth wouldn’t stop. I mentioned the web site and all the complaints I heard about FTD in the past day. I told her they better fix the web site and correct the satisfaction guarantee. I told her about the asterisk. She interrupted, “It’s done. I put it through.” “All of it?” I ask. “Yes, all of it.,” she responds. “Will I get an email confirmation?” And, weakly, she said, “yes.”
And here is an excerpt of that email:
We’re sorry that your experience was less than satisfactory. FTD.COM strives to provide you with the very finest service. Your card has been refunded in full.
Let us assure you that your experience is not typical, and that your future orders will be filled with the special care and attention that they deserve.
Seriously, I’m not making this up.
Text received from Hannah to Mommy (that’s me) — “You’re my hero!”
Rain today — Shed tomorrow!
*I’ve been told that 1-800-FLOWERS is a good company to deal with. I checked the web site and didn’t see any mention of satisfaction guarantee but I heard that someone had a problem and was immediately offered a refund.