Each Friday, at least for the foreseeable future, I will be sharing a blog post from the past. These will be posts from other places that I have retained the rights once again, or from this blog. I hope you enjoy these entries. I know they are ones that have made me smile.
This post originally was posted March 21, 2013.
I had an experience this past week with a well known floral delivery service and I thought I should share it. You see, sometimes I think companies forget to care for the very people who make their business possible: the consumer. They forget that taking care of the customer should be their priority. Too often, they walk all over the customer and then stomp on them for good measure. I want to know what ever happened to the customer being right? When did good customer service become not important?
I had a very special birthday coming up for my dear friend and business partner, Heidi. I wanted to send her something special for her special day. My original idea that I had planned on for a couple of months wasn’t going to work. So I decided to send her some flowers. I chose to send them through FTD. They were known for great service and great products. So I knew that what I sent would be good quality. That was important to me. The good news is that the actual product that was delivered was great. It was what I had asked for and paid for. I specifically chose the item because I knew the bright colors of the vase would cheer her and make her smile, and the color of the perennial flowers were purple, her favorite color. The plant could be enjoyed inside for a bit and then planted outside for her to enjoy year after year. Perfect.
I have no issue with what was delivered. As you can see, it was just what I asked for and paid for. That part of the service was good.
Here is my problem and why FTD is NOT my favorite and why I probably will not use their service again. And why I think you should be cautious in your own dealings with them.
I had entered the site through a link off of Google. I had searched for floral delivery. One of the top choices was FTD and offered $10 off of my order. What woman doesn’t love a sale, right? I clicked on that link and was taken to the FTD website. I poked around for a little bit and finally came upon the item I ultimately chose to purchase. I chose my delivery date, and entered in the delivery information and message I wanted included. I then went to the checkout and put in my payment information. I was a little confused about how to apply the $10 payment code and went back to look and see what I had missed. I finally realized that it was applied automatically. Well, good deal. I completed the checkout and printed my receipt for my records. It was a good thing that I did. What happened next was frankly, quite unbelievable.
I received an email from FTD confirming my purchase and giving me a NEW receipt with a much higher total. I immediately checked my bank balance and the correct amount had been charged, so I felt this must be something screwy on their end. I immediately returned to their site and opened up a billing dispute. I included an order number as requested and described my concern that I had been charged one thing on the website, and had a receipt for it, but they were sending me an email with a much higher amount. I asked for an explanation and that they please stand by the amount I had agreed to pay on the website and on my first receipt. I eventually got a response which only included another copy of the 2nd receipt they had sent to me at the higher rate. At this point, I again checked my bank balance and saw that they had pushed through the higher amount. This is when I picked up the phone and called them. Now I was upset and felt they were being deceptive and refusing to answer my question as to why the different amounts.
A female representative answered my call and I calmly explained the problem I had. She brought up the transaction and then said it was a phone order and that is the price they charge for phone orders and why did I not complete the process online if I wanted that price. I explained I had never called them before and that I HAD completed the order online and had a receipt in my hand for the amount I had agreed to pay that day. She put me on hold. After several minutes, she came back on and told me that they had investigated and I had received a 15% discount by entering in through an affiliate link from another website. I explained I had not entered FTD from another website. I had entered in directly from Google on their own link for $10 off my order. She put me on hold again. After several more minutes, she came back on and said she had talked to a manager and I had been given a 10% discount on my order because I had entered in from an affiliate and was trying to get a double discount. Now, since this was the 3rd story they were telling me, I was getting upset. I explained once again that I had only entered in through their Google link. All I wanted was for them to honor the receipt I had in my hand from their website, for the amount I had agreed to pay while on their website. I was put on hold again.
This time, she told quite forcefully told me that they could cancel the whole order and I could redo it if I wanted. But that the item that was currently out for delivery would not be delivered. It was a threat. I said fine. Do it. She seemed quite surprised when I said that. I think they expected me to just say the higher amount was fine at this point. But right is right. And quite frankly, FTD was wrong. And I had an ace in my pocket. I had requested delivery to be done the day before my friend’s birthday. So I had time on my side. After she repeated my request to cancel, and refund the order, she put me on hold once again. Yes, this was a very long phone call.
She once again came on after several minutes and said that she had once again talked to her manager and they were going to just refund me the difference and keep the delivery for that day. I said thank you, that is all I was asking for. As of now, that refund has not shown up in my account. But you can bet they will hear from me if I don’t see it in the next day or so. I was a little surprised they had reversed their position after all of this arguing. But I received a delivery notice in my email shortly after they agreed to just refund me the extra money they had charged me. I am sure they couldn’t stop the delivery like they touted, so that is the only reason they did it the way they should have from the very beginning.
It is important to note that I wasn’t asking for anything free. I wasn’t asking for anything out of line. I only asked to pay what I agreed to pay and had a receipt from their website that indicated that agreed upon amount. Honestly, I was treated very poorly by their customer service. They gave me three different stories, while my story stayed consistent and the same. I had truth on my side. They were being deceptive and I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in their company. So here is my advice: If you purchase anything from FTD, BUYER BEWARE. Hold onto your receipt and be prepared for a possible change in your charges. Don’t expect to be treated well by their customer service. Expect to be told several different stories–none of which are true. And be prepared to fight for what is right.
As for me? I will not be doing business with FTD again. Despite the quality and beauty of the item I purchased, I was left with a very ugly feeling in regards to how they treat the ones they profess to serve. The quality of the product did not make up for the lack of quality in their service.