1-800 Flowers Didn't Bring A Smile To My Face
By Jeffrey House Photography
Why in the world am I writing about 1-800 Flowers?
I recently used them to purchase flowers for Valentine's Day and wanted to share my personal experience. If you know anything about me and my wedding photography business, you probably know that customer connections mean everything to me. Many companies today love to tell you how great they are at customer service, but I find most fall short. 1-800 Flowers sure did.
Let me first say this - I don't expect any company to do everything perfectly 100% of the time. We are all human and we all make honest mistakes. However, when a company owns their mistakes and take a genuine interest in fixing it, I'm a customer forever.
Take Amazon for example. Recently, I ordered a book and it was lost in shipping by the post office. I contacted Amazon customer service and not only did they overnight another copy, but they gave me a discount coupon to be used on the order. I didn't have argue with anyone or wait for them to track down the lost order. They handled the matter swiftly and without question. That's great customer service.
As a sports fan, I like to watch the Golic & Wingo show on ESPN. During their broadcast, they feature a lot of commercials for 1-800 Flowers. From the commercials, every looked good and very convenient. On February 2nd, I went to the 1-800 Flower website and picked out a Valentine's Day bouquet for my girlfriend.
Just the process of purchasing the flowers was a bit frustrating. The bouquet of flowers I picked out was just shy of $70. After picking out the bouquet, I had to choose what day I wanted them delivered. My options were Valentine's day or a day or two before Valentine's Day. Because I was getting these flowers as a Valentine's Day gift, it made sense to me that I would want them delivered on Valentine's day. Maybe I'm crazy, but that made the most sense to me.
Anyway, after choosing a Valentine's Day delivery, I was hit with an additional charge. I was actually being penalized for wanting my gift to be delivered on the actual holiday. I understand it's a busy holiday for florists, but there's a reason why February 12th or February 13th isn't called Valentine's Day. Whatever - I accepted the charges and moved forward.
After entering the information for the order (payment info, delivery info, etc.), I was hit with another additional charge. I can't recall the exact name for it, but it was essentially "processing fees." I'm not even quite sure what this charge represents, but they charged me another $14-$18 for these processing fees.
It was starting to feel like I was being robbed. I pictured 1-800 Flower employees on the other end of the computer laughing at another sucker placing an order, and paying these "additional charges." Even though this was frustrating, I continued with the order. I really liked the bouquet and wanted my girlfriend to have a beautiful gift for the holiday.
everything is looking good
The order is placed. Within a few minutes I receive an email confirming my order. Included in my confirmation email was a button to "View My Order."
12:00pm on Valentine's Day. No flowers yet, but it's still early. I remember the email and the "View My Order" button. I click on the button and the order status has three tabs - "Order Received," "In-Transit," and "Order Delivered." The "Order Received" tab is highlighted. Like I said, no big deal at this point. It's only noon and there is still plenty of time.
3:00pm on Valentine's Day. Still no flowers. I click on the "View My Order" for an update. Everything is the same as it was at noon.
6:30pm on Valentine's Day. Still no flowers. I call 1-800 Flowers customer service. I get a representative on the line and it was immediately clear their customer service is outsourced and I'm communicating with someone in another country. I provided them with the order number and ask if it's normal for the "In-Transit" tab to not be highlighted yet. The gentleman on the other end of the phone assures me the order will be arriving today and they have confirmation from the florist it's in transit. He also advised they have until 8pm to make the delivery. Once again, I find myself frustrated after discovering this information.
After hearing the flowers may not arrive until 8pm, I once again reflect on the fact that I paid extra money to have the flowers delivered on Valentine's day. I understand that 8pm is still on Valentine's Day, but to get the delivery this late in the day is just pointless.
it just keeps getting better
8:00pm on Valentine's Day. Still no flowers. Now I'm really irritated. I call 1-800 Flowers customer service again. I'm now speaking with a woman and once again, it's clear I'm speaking with someone from another country. I literally can understand every 3rd or 4th word they are saying. This is incredibly frustrating when you're trying to resolve a problem.
I once again provide my order number and explain I still have not received my order. The woman on the other end of the phone proceeds to tell me that it hasn't been delivered because the florist didn't have the arrangement I ordered.
Do you know what the sound of a calm voice sounds like? I'm no where near that at this point. Here's how the conversation played out.
Me: Are you kidding me? Not only did the last representative tell me you had confirmation from the florist the order is in transit, but now, at 8pm on Valentine's Day, you're telling me the florist doesn't even have the arrangement I ordered?
1-800 Flowers: I'm very sorry sir, but I'll be happy to credit you $22 for your shipping charges.
Me: Seriously? You'll credit me $22 for an order I didn't receive? Are you insane? I want a FULL refund for the entire order and I want confirmation while I'm on the phone that this has been completed.
1-800 Flowers: Okay sir, please hold.
After holding for 5 minutes, the representative returns to the phone.
1-800 Flowers: Thank you for holding. I'm going to issue the $22 shipping credit and give you a discount on your next order with use.
Me: (First - a quick shot of my facial expression after hearing the representative's solution)
Me: I say, what part of full refund do you not understand? I never received my order. I do not want a refund for shipping charges and I certainly do not want a discount for another order because I will never use you again. I'm going to say this one last time - I want a full refund for my order now.
(As I'm saying the words above, I receive an email from 1-800 Flowers advising they attempted delivery, but no one was there to accept the delivery.)
Me: I just got an email from your company advising they attempted delivery, but no one was here to accept it. I've had quite enough. Not only does your company suck, but your liars on top of it. I've been home all day waiting for this delivery and I can assure you no one has been here. Please put your manger on the phone.
1-800 Flowers: Okay, please hold.
After holding for 15 minutes, the representative I was speaking with returned to the phone.
1-800 Flowers: Sir, I have refunded your credit card for the full amount. On behalf of 1-800 Flowers, I'm very sorry for this happened.
Me: This experience has been awful and your company has flat out lied to me. I will be sure to share my experience with everyone.
I HATE TO COMPLAIN, But don't lie to me
As a customer, I truly hate to complain about service and I don't like speaking rudely to people trying to do their job. While I was holding for the 1-800 Flowers representative to get her manager, I was telling my girlfriend about everything taking place. She immediately went on their Facebook page and quickly discovered I was not alone. There was complaint after complaint from other men sharing the same experience. 1-800 Flowers used the same tactic with them as they tried on me - "I will credit your shipping and give you a discount for your next order."
The biggest issue for me was 1-800 Flowers didn't own the problem. They lied to me when they told me they had confirmation from the florist that my order was in transit. They lied again when they sent the email telling me they attempted delivery. They topped it off by trying to only credit me for my shipping charges multiple times when I clearly said I wanted to cancel the order, and wanted a full refund.
it's all about trust
My experience with 1-800 Flowers sucked. I would not recommend anyone use them for their floral needs. They clearly don't value their customers.
As the owner of a wedding photography business, these types of business behaviors are unacceptable. I make it a priority to earn my client's trust and provide them with an experience that's fun, happy, positive, and professional. These are some of the comments my client's had to say about their experience with Jeffrey House Photography. When I receive comments like this, I know I'm living up to my promises.
what's your worst customer service experience? i'd love to hear your story!