CHICAGO, IL - January 31, 2012 - Valentine’s Day means big bucks for florists. It is a bigger holiday than Mothers Day, Easter, and Christmas; making it their busiest day of the year. The Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois (BBB) cautions those looking to send flowers for their special someone to be careful when selecting a florist.
Complaints about Florists increased 47 percent in 2011 compared to 2010. Last year 588 individuals filed complaints; in 2010 that number was 398 according to the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois.
“When buying flowers consumers should be especially careful when making the purchase online or over the phone,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and northern Illinois. “Consumers need to review the description of the floral arrangement or any other gift purchased online or in conversation with the florist or sales person.”
Pay careful attention to the options offered such as size of arrangement, color of flowers, color of vase, delivery in a box or vase, and inclusion of an enclosure or gift card. Note that all the options mentioned may not be available on all sites or may involve additional charges. While you think you're ordering from a local florist, you may actually be on the phone with someone hundreds or thousands of miles away.
“Another important point is to make sure that your order is clear and detailed. Review the guarantee on the site or with the salesperson. This will help alleviate your concerns about quality or delivery,” states Bernas.
The BBB offers the following advice for safe and successful shopping for Valentine’s Day:
• Do your homework. Before ordering flowers, chocolates or any other gifts for Valentine’s Day check out the company’s Business Review at www.bbb.org in order to help prevent disappointment with the product or customer service.
• Allow time for shipping. Check with the retailer or check the web site to make sure that you have allowed enough time for delivery by your specified date. Make sure that this date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order.
• Be wary of any email received from an unknown sender. Do not open any unsolicited email and do not click on any links provided. Fake e-cards coming from scammers/hackers may send you an infected card or send you to a link where you are could compromise your computer’s safety.
For more information on shopping with companies you can trust, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.