Ordering flowers are like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.
In the digital age, ordering a bouquet for that special someone has never been easier, but with the large variety of vendors and options available, what are you receiving and how does it compare to the photo or description given online?
NBC 7 Responds along with NBC consumer reporters across the country got to work to find out what you need to know before you submit buy flowers online.
The plan was to pick a flower delivery vendor, place an order and compare what was delivered to what was advertised on the vendor’s website.
NBC 7 Responds in San Diego ordered a Valentine’s Day bouquet through the company 1-800 Flowers and sent the flowers to Alina Machado, a producer at the NBC station in Miami.
Alina sent flowers to us using the same website. We each used a budget of $50.
NBC 7 Responds ordered the “Hydrangea in Mosaic Planter.” Alina ordered the "Passion for Purple Roses.”
Both orders were delivered on the day promised.
Our flowers arrived in a box and at first, we found it surprising that we had to put the arrangement together ourselves. NBC 7 Responds went back and checked the website and found the specific bouquet ordered was clearly labeled as “Shipped in a Gift Box.”
We didn’t see this at first so, it’s definitely something to check for when ordering flowers online.
A representative from 1-800 Flowers told NBC 7 Responds that customers should always make sure the order they choose is being delivered the way they imagined them to be.
Once we added water and plant food to the vase, we arranged the flowers and compared them to the photo online. The vase the roses came in looks identical to the vase online. The roses arrived as buds but after a couple of days, the buds opened up nicely to full roses.
As for the flowers we had sent Miami, Alina had to unpack and assemble her arrangement just like ours. After adding some water and arranging, the flowers looked very similar to what the photo showed online.
Yanique Woodall, a spokesperson for 1-800 Flowers, sent us the following statement in an email, “At 1-800-Flowers.com, we are very focused on our #1 product, our customer experience. Our caring team is obsessed with world class service and we are committed to delivering smiles for our customers.”
Our NBC stations in Los Angeles and Hartford, Connecticut placed their orders through ProFlowers. Los Angeles said the flowers they received were the same type they ordered but when they arrived, some of the flowers appeared to be wilted and brown. One arrived as a flowerless stem. Connecticut's bouquet from ProFlowers arrived with some broken stems but bloomed within 24 hours. Both orders were delivered on-time.
NBC stations in Los Angeles and Hartford, Connecticut reached out to ProFlowers for a statement regarding this story. In an email, a spokesperson provided this statement, "If any ProFlowers customer is unsatisfied with their ProFlowers order for any reason, we will replace it or refund. That is our policy 365 days/year and what our business and world-class quality reputation is built on. All ProFlowers bouquets are backed by a 7-Day Freshness 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
ProFlowers takes tremendous pride in providing the best service to our valued customers. We are recognized time and time again as having the highest customer satisfaction rates among flower companies. Truly, our mission is to delight our customers – and we do whatever it takes to accomplish that.
With flowers, as with any perishable product, there are occasional issues. We have dedicated customer service representatives in place to resolve any of these issues to our customers’ satisfaction in line with our guarantees. We would be happy to replace or refund for your bouquet.
ProFlowers has delivered more than 60 million bouquets since our inception on Valentine’s Day in 1998, and we will never compromise on your flower's freshness or longevity. Customer service for ProFlowers can be reached at 800-580-2913."
Our NBC stations in Dallas and New York went with FTD Flowers Online. New York received their order and noted a few wilted leaves but with some arranging and a day to bloom, the bouquet looked just like the online photo. Dallas received their order and noted there appeared to be fewer flowers and more greenery than what was pictured on the website.
NBC stations in Dallas and New York reached out to FTD Flowers Online for a statement. In an email, a spokesperson for FTD Flowers Online sent us this statement, "We are pleased that the FTD Precious Heart bouquet was delivered on time and that it was an overall great match to the photo. Flowers come in many varied shapes, colors, sizes, forms and textures and are a perishable product. While all floral products have natural variations, FTD florists take the time and care to handcraft and deliver quality floral products.
Since flowers are a perishable product, our policy is to ensure quality and freshness through our FTD “Good As Gold” 7 Day Satisfaction Guarantee. That guarantee means that our floral arrangements will last at least seven days or customers can get their money back or receive a replacement bouquet. When we hear from our customers with a concern, FTD’s customer service specialists will work to resolve those issues to our customers’ satisfaction. If our customers are not satisfied with the quality of their flowers, we encourage them to contact us at 1-800-SEND-FTD within that our guarantee period for a replacement or refund.
FTD takes pride in making people feel like exceptional gift givers through our artisan-designed, handcrafted flowers."