8.05.2006

1-800-you-suck

Tomorrow my sister is making a big party for our mother's 75th birthday. For many reasons, it was too complicated for me to attend. My sister, my mother and I all agreed that I should come at an easier time, when we could have a more substantial visit, not at a party.

Feeling bad about my absence, and wanting to acknowledge my mother's special day, I thought I'd send flowers.

Originally I thought I'd have flowers delivered to the party (a little showmanship there), but quickly learned florists won't deliver on Sunday, at least not during summer.

So I thought I'd have them delivered to her home, a couple of days before the event. I called 1-800-FLOWERS, and ordered something really special - a huge arrangement of orchids, lilies and roses - with a note from me and Allan, saying we were sorry we couldn't be there, to enjoy her special day, and that we love her.

I knew the moment it arrived, my mom would pick up the phone to call me. So when I came home from work yesterday and there was no message from her, I knew something had gone wrong.

I called 1-800-FLOWERS. They said, "Oh, it wasn't delivered."

It wasn't delivered? Any explanation?

No. UPS didn't deliver it.

No further explanation. It was as if they expected me to just say, "Oh, thanks," and hang up.

Could I have the same order delivered tomorrow, Saturday?

No. UPS doesn't deliver on Saturday.

After wading through the phone rep's jargon-filled spiel, I learned I could place a less exotic order, to be "florist-fulfilled" - that is, delivered by a local florist on Saturday. I also wanted a discount for the screw-up of the initial order.

This took several trips to Hold, where I was regaled with 1-800-FLOWER commercials (I'm already here! What more do you want?). Just what I wanted to do after working 12 hours.

I was disappointed that I couldn't place the first, more special order, but a dozen long-stemmed roses are beautiful, and I knew my mother would love them, and I could adjust.

I spoke to my mother this morning, as I do every Saturday, and she didn't mention anything. The day went on, still nothing.

Just now, I called 1-800-FLOWERS. They have no record of the second order. It's like it never happened.

Grrrrr.

To make it even more annoying, the little voice in my head was telling me to call a florist in my mother's town. Whenever I don't listen to the little voice, I regret it. Every single time.

Two lessons here. Listen to the voice within. AND DO NOT USE 1-800-FLOWERS.

3 comments:

Ferdzy said...

That is just SO inFURIating. I hate when that crap happens.

I think when I visit my mom this week I will scope out a local florist and get a business card from them. I suspect that's the best way to ensure future deliveries of something nice, affordable, and above all there on time.

Vera said...

Ferdzy, hate to tell you, but buying locally is no guarantee.

I ordered flowers in person for a friend's funeral a few years ago and paid cash. The store was about 1/2 km from where I lived, and less than 10 km from the funeral home. I placed the order a couple days ahead of time.

Got to the funeral home the night of the visitation and nope, no flowers from me. I was livid. There was no funeral, just one visitation, and I wanted them to be there. Not that my friend would know the difference, but I would.

Went to the florist in person the next day and struggled to hold my temper. The lady said the traffic must have been bad. Nope, I said, because I took the same route your driver would take, and it was typical Saturday afternoon traffic. Not bad at all.

They arrived late, she said, about half way through. Nope, I said, I was there, and no one brought in flowers.

Can't give you a refund, she said, because it would come out of my pocket. But I can give you a credit. Then I finally blew up. Why would I want a credit with a florist who doesn't deliver? What possible good would that do me?

In the end I was out the money and had no flowers either. I probably could have handled it better but I didn't care.

I haven't had reason to send flowers since. When I do, I'll probably insist on picking them up and delivering them myself. I'll never trust any florist to do something that important to me again. I'll never forgive those people.

L-girl said...

Well, I definitely got my refund, that's for sure. The supervisor I complained to said, "Don't worry, you won't be charged anything." I almost bit his head off. I damn well not be charged anything, since I DIDN'T RECEIVE ANYTHING!!

They also offered me a credit good towards my next purchase. I told them there would never be a next purchase. Just as Vera said, why would I purchase anything from a company like this again?

I've dealt with a lot of local florists, and have never had a problem. They were mostly small business owners who tried very hard. Obviously, there are exceptions - as Vera suffered through - but I wouldn't tar all florists with the same brush.