"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Can 1-800-FLOWERS Redeem Themsleves?

>> Thursday, December 11, 2008

I just had the most frustrating experience trying to order flowers for my grandmother. There is no excuse for this, in my opinion.

Yesterday I received a promotion from AAA for 20% off orders in December when you use the provided code. So I followed the link, picked out my flowers and began to place my order. All was going well until I put in the promo code- and it gave me 15% off. Now I know there isn't a big difference between 15 and 20% but the AAA savings was supposed to be 20% and that's what I expected.

So I called the help line for 1-800-FLOWERS. The first lady I spoke with was very nice when I explained my problem. She said right away that she couldn't help me and said she was transferring me to someone who could.

Somehow I ended up back at the main menu. The second woman I spoke to, well, that experience was awful. I could barely understand her and I don't think she was understanding me. She kept asking for the confirmation number for the order and telling me she couldn't find it. I had to keep explaining the problem and telling her that the order hadn't been placed because the savings wasn't coming up correctly. After about 10 minutes of this back and forth I began asking for a supervisor. She would tell me that he wasn't available or that he had "stepped out for a minute" and would go back to her previous line of questioning. I continued to be as polite as I could and ask for a supervisor. Fifteen minutes later she said she would connect me to a supervisor and disconnected my call.

I was actually relieved to be off that call and called the help line again. This is my 3rd try and I have been on the phone for a little over 30 minutes by this time.

I explain the issue to the third representative and ask immediately to speak to a supervisor. I get the run around again. I try to explain, rationally, that I understand that she can't help me and I need to speak to a supervisor. It takes me about 10 minutes to gt her to agree to transfer me.

I hold for 5 minutes only to have the representative come back on the line and tell me that she will give me 20% off if I place the order directly through her. Fine, let's just get it done.

It was tedious to say the least- spelling names, dictating the message... And then she gives me the total with the 20% off and it's $14 higher than the online total with only 15% off! She told me that shipping was $19.99 instead of the $9.99 that it was online. That is not acceptable to me and I tell her so. She offers to push the shipping date back, which won't work and I decline. Then she tells me it can be shipped for arrival tomorrow for $9.99. Fine. And she gives me the total- which is still higher than the online total with a smaller savings!

What is going on? It's the same product, same shipping cost, should have a higher savings and you expect me to pay more?

Well, by this time I had enough, apologized and said that I needed to cancel the order, that this was unacceptable and I couldn't continue. And I hung up. She took my credit card number- I hope nothing shows up on it.

I called AAA and explained what I had just been through. They took my concern and are forwarding it on to the person who handles that account.

And, yes, I will be contacting 1-800-FLOWERS as well and giving them a chance to make this right and try to keep my business. It's only fair. And if they do I will share it.

About an hour later...

Trying to get my complaint through to someone at corporate. Unfortunately it is difficult to do by phone. Still getting the run around for someone other than a rep. Will probably just email this to them and see what happens. Honestly, it shouldn't be this difficult.

15 minutes later...

Beginning to think there are no supervisors... At least was given a different phone number to call. Not sure what it's for. I asked 3 times and couldn't understand the response...

A little later...

Ahhh, priority support. Now speaking with Michael… Got through to someone who actually might have some power... His records show a 15% savings so something is messed up somewhere.

Comparing his info and the info on the website- they don’t match. His info is higher. Not sure why this is. His shipping is higher and not offered on the days I can get shipping online. Weird.

OK, somehow we’ve been disconnected. What is going on? I keep calling and keep getting disconnected. This is getting stupid. I suppose it could be my phone… Even though it’s never done this before. And I have on a headset and my phone is just sitting on the table.

Now Kendis… Seriously… Disconnected again. My phone thinks I’m still connected. What the? I really don’t think it’s me… She called back… Their new phone system keeps dropping calls… Annoying…

Beginning the whole story again. It is now 1:19pm. Wait... disconnected again. Going to give up soon. Really...

And at 1:45 pm...

Spoke with Tanya. Went through the whole deal. Again. And... Finally got done. Correct amounts, correct discounts, correct shipping.

4 hours and 45 minutes. Completely unacceptable. I probably shouldn't have even placed the stupid order by this time, but I have a problem with giving up. I'm no quitter.

Until the final three (two of whom, through no fault of their own were of no help) the customer service was abysmal. There is no excuse for how I was treated and I certainly hope those calls were recorded and are used for reviews and/or teaching. Maybe they can learn how not to treat a customer.

Will I use this company again? Probably not. While they (finally) got my order taken correctly it took almost 5 hours. Unacceptable.

I sent an email to their customer service. And to their board of directors. I linked this post. I'll let you know if I hear back.

See the follow up here.

And the follow up to the follow up here.


The Fritz Facts 1:38 PM  

I can't believe that a company of that size is giving you such problems. They have always been the company that I have gone too with my orders. Now I am not sure if this will be the case in the future.

I hope things turn out, that your complaint is taken seriously and that your calls are not dropped anymore. Not okay.

Sally 2:00 PM  

Oh, I'm feeling my BP rise for you. I hope you get something out of this.

Here's what a friend did once to get the company to listen. He went online and found a list of the board members. He chose a board member who was part of a different company (she was CEO of the other company), went to that company's website and figured out her email address (it wasn't posted but he figured out the setup, i.e. firstnamelastname@company.com), emailed her his issue, and within an hour had a very high up manager call him to correct the issue. I haven't tried it yet, but I will if I need to.

Let us know how it goes!

Cindy B.of Montana 11:02 PM  

I'm pretty stubborn about these things, too...but you outdid me with this one. I would have given up long before you did and gone to Plan B. They really owe you for this one. After all that they should have given you at least half off. I hope they'll make things right!

Melanie @ Whimsical Creations 10:58 AM  

OMG...completely unacceptable!!

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