Comparing Flower Delivery Companies

February 7, 2014

It’s that time of year again, to let your loved one know just how special they are.  So, with Valentine’s Day almost upon us, many of you are thinking of sending flowers, but don’t do it until you watch our “Flower Comparison” story.  It shows you how the most popular flower vendors compare.   Click here to watch.

And, to check out another similar comparison, check out this report by NBC News which got almost identical results to our test.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

How Do Flower Delivery Companies Compare?

When you order flowers for your loved one on Valentine’s Day or any special day, it pays to be a smart consumer and do your research.  That’s why Consumer Warning Network decided to do the legwork for you.  CWN’s Angie Moreschi called five different flower venders– from a local florist to online services that ship from a warehouse. We compared cost, quality and ease of ordering.  Click here to see the results.

(Roadside Flower Stands: Click here to see another report on how flowers you buy at those roadside stands compare.)

Do You Get What You Pay For?

Three days before Valentine’s — we checked the price –on a dozen standard, long stemmed roses with a vase –from 5 different vendors: 1-800-flowersProFlowersFTDteleflora… and a local Tampa florist.

Cost?

Most were in the same ball park— but the most expensive was about 30 dollars more than the cheapest.  Here’s how it broke down:

  • Teleflora – $99.95 (Most expensive)
  • Local Florist – $99.95  (Also most expensive, but there were other local florists who were cheaper)
  • 1-800-flowers- $84.99.
  • FTD—$79.99
  • Pro-Flowers – $72.97

Ease of Ordering?

By phone:

“Please continue to hold, and we will be with you as soon as possible.” You hear an awful lot of that when you call the 1-800 numbers to place an order, no matter which service you call. The process was time consuming and frustrating at times. The operators are pretty much just telemarketers and don’t know much about flowers. If you have a question, they often have to put you on hold to get an answer. Average time to place a “call-in” order– 20 minutes.

Ordering Online:

Ordering online was fairly quick and easy, but of course, you can’t ask any questions. Placing an order on the website took just about 5 minutes.

Calling a Local Florist:

Placing an order directly with a local florist was actually the fastest and most efficient– taking just about 3 minutes. They were quick and could answer questions.

Quality?

All the flowers we ordered arrived by mid afternoon on the specified day. It turns out, price had little to do with quality.

Our dozen roses from the local florist were first to arrive at 10:25am. Gorgeous… long-stems… beautiful filler… even a nice bow.

Not far behind at 10:40am, the flowers from FTD. Not quite as impressive. The roses were not arranged with any symmetry and they weren’t even quite long stemmed-which should be no shorter than 20 inches. These measured just under that, at 18 and 19 inches.

Flowers in a Box

Next, the ProFlowers and 1-800-flowers arrived at the same time, 11am, delivered by UPS. Both came in a box.

We opened the 1-800-flowers first. They came tightly packed, with lots of wrapping to undo. The vase was inside, and instructions were provided on how to put the arrangement together. They recommended you cut the stems under water, add preservative– which was provided, and use room temperature water. It looked pretty nice once it was all arranged, but I was still a little disappointed I had to assemble it myself.

ProFlowers came next. They were packed much the same way as 1-800-flowers. With a few snips and pulling, a beautiful bouquet was revealed. The only downside, again, is your loved one has to do the work of assembling their own arrangement, so you do lose that WOW factor when it’s first delivered.

Oops!

Our last bouquet from Teleflora finally arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon… but wait a minute— what happened to our roses?  It wasn’t what we ordered. Our roses look a whole lot like carnations. In fact, we only got three short roses, mixed in with several carnations and a couple of lilies. A pretty arrangement, but not at all what we  wanted.

I checked teleflora’s website, and I actually found a picture of the bouquet they sent. It cost 20 dollars LESS than the dozen roses we ordered. I called teleflora to complain. It was a bit of a pain. Waiting on hold, getting transferred around, and then having to call another number for Customer Service. Finally, with much persistence, I talked to a person who agreed to send the appropriate bouquet, but not until the next day. And, yes it did finally arrive the next day, and it was what I ordered.

What to do when not Satisfied?

In the end.. when it comes to flowers, you don’t always get what you pay for.  If you’re not satisfied, be sure to call and complain. Most florists will do a make-good, if you call within a few days.