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Mother’s Day: flowers should never fail

Flowers

As far as my mother is concerned, flowers always make a great gift. They’re not something that she would buy for herself and she loves having them in the house. But are they a failsafe gift?

Do you remember Mothering Sunday when you were a child and you had no money to buy a gift? I do. I would wake my lazy little brother, we’d slip into the garden and take a selection of the best looking daffodils, pop them in a little vase and carry them upstairs with a cup of tea to my mum. And she loved it.

But these days I don’t hack away at the lovely daffs in the garden, much to my mother’s appreciation. In fact, it seems all a bit more complicated. Last year I decided to up my game, by ordering a bouquet from a local florist. Little did I know that my decision to trump the usual collection of M&S flowers would be such a complete fail.

Flower fails

So, last year my order of a bouquet of tulips, roses and gerberas failed to arrive on Mother’s Day…

After a phone call to the florist, it turned out that while my order had been placed and my money had been taken, they hadn’t recorded the order at all. Hence the ‘no show’.

Since this fiasco I’m much more cautious about flower deliveries. And especially so since learning that flower delivery failures are apparently not that uncommon.

In fact our recent survey of over 2,000 members of the public found that one in five had experienced problems with ordering flowers online in the past year. And more than half who had this problem were left feeling dissatisfied when their flowers lasted less than five days.

Now, I did manage to get some flowers delivered to my mum by the same florist, and they were very pretty, but this was a few days later as Mother’s Day had cleaned them out of flowers. I wasn’t left overly impressed, but I know that mistakes can happen.

I’ve since learned that I was in fact entitled to a refund for the flowers. I’d paid for a timed delivery which the florist didn’t deliver within, and this counts as a breach of contract. And it turns out that poor quality flowers, not the right flowers and not enough flowers are a breach of contract under the Consumer Rights Act too.

Disappointed by your delivery?

I hope you’ve not found yourself with flower delivery disappointment this Mother’s Day. However, if your flowers weren’t up to the standard you expected then ensure you take this up with the retailer.

By talking to the florist I managed to get to the bottom of the non-delivery and get some nice flowers delivered to my mum, but really I should have had a refund too… if only I’d known.

So this year I’ve picked up the flowers myself, having selected them earlier in the week… where I kept a beady eye on the recording of the order 🙂

Have you experienced flower ordering fails like mine?

Comments
Member

I used to send flowers by Interflora or Teleflorist but they were always really bad value for money.

Lauren, next time you want to send flowers, try Orchids by Post. I have been using them for years and have never had a bad experience with them. Sometimes they have even been upgraded at no extra charge. They always arrive on time delivered by Royal Mail I think. The flowers can last up to a couple of months if they are looked after.

I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

Member

Thanks for the tip Alfa, I’ll bear that in mind for next time. My mum loves orchids, but usually they’re really expensive 🙁

Member

@ldeitz, Orchids are really not expensive – £6.99 upwards (why not £7?). A decent bunch of flowers costs that and more. A £7 orchid will last a couple of months, a bunch of flowers a week (maybe). Orchid – flower pleasure per day 11.7p, bunch of flowers £1. Which is best?

Member

One of the reasons I like orchids is the length of time the ones I have received as gifts have stayed in flower. Unfortunately, those I have bought myself have not done as well, irrespective of price.

Member

This Conversation has also arrived a bit late to give tips on how to avoid flower delivery problems for Mother’s Day!

If you will be seeing your mother on the day, it’s probably best to buy your flowers in advance and have them at your own home first so that you can make sure they’re alright, trim them, arrange them and feed them, allow them to open nicely, and then take them to your mother or present them when she comes.

If you’ve got your own garden with flowers in bloom it’s also pleasing to include a few garden flowers in the arrangement and perhaps some attractive foliage [unless you prefer the full formal bouquet package with all the trimmings].

I have never had any problems with floral deliveries from Waitrose or M&S but as with all mail or on-line orders it does largely depend on the chosen carrier how they arrive – both do pack them well but the outer packaging can show evidence of rough handling. The supposed advantage of using a local florist is that they should only accept orders they can fulfill in time and should take greater care of the flowers while transporting and delivering them. The disappointing aspect of having flowers delivered by a third party is the poorly-presented greetings card or notelet that either looks like it was banged out on a machine with no thought given to layout and lettering [it was], or was filled in by a child [it might have been].

For a week, every vase and vessel in our house is full of flowers and then no more come for months.

Member

Hello John, it’s good to hear that you’ve not had any problems with a flower order, and that’s really why I decided to lead with what you can do if you’ve been left disappointed, rather than how to avoid disappointment. I’ve placed flower orders since last year’s ordeal and they’ve been fine, but it’s good to know what I can do if something does go wrong.

Picking and arranging flowers yourself is a good tip, and it sounds like fun too – I’ll have to give that a go 🙂

Member

Daffodils from the garden this year, and they were fresh and arrived on time. I rarely buy cut flowers; they are expensive, colours can be artificial (taken up from coloured water) and they don’t last long. Favourite cut flowers otherwise are chrysanthemum blooms in the autumn (a bit late for Mothers Day).

I’m with alfa. Orchids are a great gift; they are not expensive, last ages and with a bit of care will survive to flower again. Other flowering plants are good value – cyclamen, azalea for example.

Member

It seems that Moonpig have made a pig’s ear of it this year with many customers complaining that their flowers, gifts and cards did not arrive on time or that they were mishandled in transport and delivery.

Member

Thanks for sharing John. More info on that:

Moonpig has apologised after dozens of customers complained about deliveries of cards and flowers for Mother’s Day.

The greeting card company’s Twitter and Facebook feeds were inundated with complaints from people who said gifts had either not arrived or had turned up damaged.

Moonpig said there had been “an issue” with a supplier which had delayed the delivery of flowers to some customers. The company apologised and said it had compensated those who were affected.

Moonpig had previously advertised on television that gifts ordered by 14:00 GMT on 4 March and flowers ordered by 16:00 on 5 March would be delivered in time for Mother’s Day, with couriers delivering on Sunday.

One of those customers affected was Donna Shiell, from Farnham in Surrey, who bought flowers from Moonpig as a surprise for her mother.

Donna said she had hoped her mother would receive a knock on the door and be handed the flowers in person. But instead she found the “freezing”, damaged flowers at the bottom of her garden, outside of their protective wrapping, on Sunday afternoon.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-35740066

Member

I will be up front about this and stayed at my wife is a florist so obviously there will be some bias, however after said what I have to say you may think differently.
Whenever you order through a relay company they take a significant cut of your money before it even gets to the florist so when you use a relay company all you are doing is paying them to contact the florist,.
Different relay companies take different amounts if you do you research you can find out what these are independently and you might be unpleasantly surprised to find out how much money the relay companies actually take.
Next up you have the Internet companies who supply for want of a better word a DIY flower kit or boxed up design production line by none florists then they hand these delicate items over to a delivery company most of which are not known for their delicate handling of items or patience whilst delivering, again you can do your own research to find out the point as it’s all over the Internet.
Yes you do pay a little more at a florist but what you are paying for is a person to carefully design a bouquet or other floral design and most Pull 19 hour days prior to any of the big days such as Valentine the Mother’s Day to make sure things are perfect, also most of them are independently owned and you will find as it is their name attached to the product rather than some third party warehouse all delivery company and far more likely to make sure that the item is perfect not only when it leaves the store but when it is handed over to the customers upon delivery.
Floral products cannot be delivered like a DVD ordered off Amazon.
The best thing to do is go to Google and type in florist and the first three parts of a postcode and phone the florist directly, not only will you get better value for money then using a relay service but you are less likely to have issues.
Now I’m not saying mistakes don’t happen. as they happen in all sorts of businesses but any respectable florist will deal with them in a professional manner and far quicker than some large corporation.
Also remember that florists actually choose their own stock to ensure quality.
In this day and age of fast food and fast delivery people forget that most floral designs are individually made to customers specification and on the day of delivery or collection so whilst the companies who have factories pumping out boxed generic designs which you either have to put together yourself or are bundled up as fast as possible by companies trying to cash in on these occasions without offering the benefits of a floral designer.
Remember that flowers and floral designs are the lifeblood of high Street florist who really do care about the quality of products they offer.
So next time you want flowers remember that
1, cheaper is not always better.
2, relay companies take a large cut.
3, boxed flowers and diy flower kits do not offer the same experience as a delivery driver handing your loved ones are fully prepared floral design into their hands, rather than one they have to put together themselves.
4, but if you have to remember anything it is that you should Google the florist most local to your delivery location as you will get more for your money, better quality flowers, personalised delivery and better support should things go wrong as there is no middle man trying to cash in.

Member

I have never had a problem with Bunches.co.uk and the flowers seem to last for a long time

Member
Dwm says:
27 March 2017

Please avoid moonpig.com. Our son bought Mothersday flowers for his Mum. When I saw what arrived I happened to mention that’s the same bunch our local garage sells, but far lower quality, did they buy them from our garage?

They didn’t even last two days. My advice😔?

Seriously stay away from moonpig.com.

Member

Hello Dwm , I was wondering when somebody was going to post on this as it is “big news ” on the social websites Moonpig+Interflora get “roasted” by a lot of irate senders of flowers to their mothers . Wilted . broken stems . etc , they weren’t cheap -£40 and much more .In their defence they state (both ) that its a “small minority ” that have problems , well the “small minority ” are pretty vocal and on the emails I got from informational websites , not few in numbers.