Ordering flowers for Valentine’s Day? Don’t procrastinate or you may end up falling for a scam. BBB.org/ScamTracker has received numerous reports from shoppers who turned to online florists for last-minute orders. They paid for a beautiful arrangement but ended up getting disappointing flowers – or nothing at all.
How the Scam Works
Unfortunately, you waited too long to order flowers for your special someone, and now your local florist can’t guarantee delivery on the special day. To solve this problem, you turn to the internet. You find a website that promises beautiful flowers, delivered on time, at a reasonable price. You enter your credit card information and delivery details. Problem solved… or so you think!
From here, the scam can take a few different routes. In the best of cases, your flowers are delivered, but they don’t arrive on time, are damaged, and/or look nothing like the picture. Your attempts to get a full or partial refund go unanswered or flatly refused. In other scams, your flowers are never delivered at all, and the online florist shop becomes unreachable. Other consumers have reported that after paying, they are contacted by the florist shop and forced to upgrade their purchase, paying extra for something they don’t actually want to buy.
How to Avoid Online Florist Scams
- Research the seller. Don’t get roped in by flash sales and great deals without doing your homework. Look up the florist on bbb.org. Read what previous customers have to say and see how the business handles complaints.
- Get to know the business policies. Before you buy, read the fine print. Find out what the florist’s return policy is, whether they have a satisfaction guarantee, how their delivery process works, and what additional fees they charge for delivery.
- Understand order placement and delivery timelines. Especially around holidays, florists may charge extra for quick deliveries or they may require that orders be placed ahead of time. If you want your flowers delivered on time, don’t wait until the last minute.
- Pay with your credit card. Paying with a credit card provides additional protection if you need to dispute charges.
For More Information
If you’ve been the victim of a scam when you made an online purchase, please report it at BBB.org/ScamTracker. Your report can help expose scammers’ tactics and prevent others from having a similar experience.