ftd no longer believes in customer service
Wednesday July 04th 2007, 6:01 am
Filed under: thinking...

i can’t say i buy flowers all that often. but i’ve always trusted ftd. they have always seemed to be a brand that stood for dependability, quality, freshness, stuff like that. i’ve never thought of them as a low price option, but that was never the point when i used them. i was probably using them a half dozen times per year, some of which were ys related, until we consolodated any “ys flower buying” into the capable hands of our hr person. so, these days, i probably only order - always online - about two times per year.

but yesterday, they showed me that their brand does not stand for what i thought it did — or, that it no longer stands for those things. in my massive excitement over my friends’ adoption, my wife and i wanted to immediately send a bouquet of “it’s a girl” balloons. it was critical to us that these arrived the same day — they very day our friends had received their news.

it was still before 9:30 in the morning when i placed the order, and the website confirmed same-day delivery. the automatic confirmation email also confirmed same-day delivery. when i placed the order, i almost didn’t input my contact phone numbers (i hate giving them out to businesses), but gave both work and cell to make sure there were no glitches.

late in the afternoon, i received a form email from ftd stating that they regretted that they couldn’t make my delivery today, and they it would be sent two days later. thank you very much.

no option to cancel. no, “boy, we really screwed you on this one and made sure you couldn’t order from a provider that could actually meet your very simple expectations.” and no phone calls, though the site said the phone calls were necessary in case they had a problem with my order.

i responded to the email, stating how frustrated i was, and asking them to cancel the order. no response. finally, i had to call to cancel the order. the woman i spoke with was friendly, but certainly wasn’t offering me anything to keep me as a customer.

so i’m gone. maybe ftd can generate enough internet orders these days that they don’t have to provide any kind of actual customer service in order to be profitable. or maybe they’ve made the ludicrous choice that they can’t afford customer service if they want to be profitable. certainly, they are making choices that will erode their brand.

10 Comments so far
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Comment by Brian Edwards 07.04.07 @ 9:09 am


I started using proflowers.com several years ago. I also, had trouble with the afore mentioned company. I now have an on-line account at proflowers and have sent many flowers to ladies all over the nation. They are on time and always exceed my expectations. They also have great specials which make it economical to send a “just because”.
Remember, FTD is set up on a model that worked well during the age of the LAN line phone. You would call your local FTD florist, place an order, that florist would then scan through the FTD phone book for a local florist to fill the order. I think they still may use the same system with an on-line twist. If so, that answers the question of what happened, the local florist could not fill your order in a timely manner…I love proflowers.

PS This opinion is just that. Proflowers has given no free flowers to the writer to date. He would take them if offered;-)

Comment by Jimmy_C 07.04.07 @ 9:55 am

I’ve had some pretty good experiences with 1-800-flowers.com

Comment by Josh(ua) 07.04.07 @ 1:25 pm

i use proflowers.com

Comment by riddle 07.04.07 @ 2:50 pm

I had a similar experience with FTD involving a member of the family in ICU in Houston, Texas. Their delivery person walked into the Hospital, got confused and walked out. I received a notice, via snail mail, four days later. They kept my money and never delivered anything. To my embarrassment, I compromised my faith on the phone with their customer service rep later that week.

Comment by kyle 07.04.07 @ 5:47 pm

Find and deal with a local florist servicing the city you want delivered to. You will get better value and service. Use Online phone directories or www.findaflorist.com. Make sure to searce or ask if florist is in that city.

Comment by Steve 07.05.07 @ 9:52 am

jimmy c — dude, this just made me laugh…
I now have an on-line account at proflowers and have sent many flowers to ladies all over the nation.

Comment by marko 07.05.07 @ 10:21 am

My wife was supposed to get flowers for Mother’s day. Not only did she not get them on time, I don’t think she ever got them. Sounds like proflowers might be the way to go.

Comment by Chris Marsden 07.05.07 @ 5:14 pm

I am a lady (who has not recieved flowers from jimmy c), a new regular reader (trying to help get your stats up), a Gen-Xer (in case you’d like to make some generalizations), and a former youth worker, who benefited tremendously from YS resources back in the day (thanks).

Steve has the right idea. When I buy flowers I use the magical Internet to find a florist near the person I’m giving flowers to. And I call the flower shop directly. This way, if something goes wrong, I can talk to Sally of Sally’s Flowers. I like dealing with the little guy instead of The Man.

Comment by doodah 07.05.07 @ 9:04 pm

Just had a similar problem with FTD here.

Comment by Terry 07.06.07 @ 3:55 pm

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