My oh-so-ridiculously frustrating experience with 1-800-FLOWERS

There are a few things that really, really frustrate me. At the top of the list are people or companies who say they are going to do something but do not.

I had a very frustrating experience this week with 1-800-FLOWERS. I don’t recall ever using their service before, but I saw the CEO on the T.V. show “Undercover Boss” and was really impressed with the brand and the service they provide.

So when the need came up this past week to order flowers, I contacted them first.

One of my oldest and dearest friends had a very serious operation. She lives a few states away, and I wanted nothing but to be there for her as much as possible. Once she was out of surgery, her husband called me to give me an update and told me her room number and hospital they were at. I knew she would only be there one day and discharged the next, so I decided to see if I could order flowers for same day delivery.

I went onto the 1-800-FLOWERS web site and had trouble navigating the site. It clearly said on their site that if I placed an order by 2 PM they would guarantee same day delivery. It was barely 1 PM so I figured it would be no problem. After a few frustrating minutes on their site, I decided to call. This is where the fun began (insert sarcasrm.) 🙂

I called and someone with a thick accent answered. About the 3rd question in, he asked for my credit card info – before I even told him what I was going to order! Odd, but I went with it. After about 7-9 minutes of re-spelling everything multiple times, I had placed my order. The wringer was when he asked me about the gift card. To make it simple, I asked for it to say: “Hope you have a speedy recovery. Love, Katie and Family.” The word “speedy” totally threw him off and asked me 4 times how to spell it.

I specifically asked “will this be delivered today?” and explained that it was imperative it be delivered the same day because she would be discharged tomorrow. He emphatically said “yes, no problem.”

I get off the phone, and checked my email for the confirmaion. I received the confirmation with a copy of the card to be attached. This is what the card said:

Argh! Not that hard, right? So I call back and speak to someone else. I ask to correct the card – fix the spelling of my name and add the missing “a” to the sentence. Again, I confirm that this will be delivered today not tomorrow. She says “yes.”

By the way this was all on December 23rd.

Flash forward to December 24th at approximately 12 NOON. We get a call from 1-800-FLOWERS. The lady proceeds to tell my husband that they attempted to deliver the flowers but she had already been discharged. My husband asks multiple times, “when did they try to deliver them – today or yesterday?” First she says I don’t know, then she says yesterday, then she finally admits it was today (the day AFTER they were supposed to).

ARGH. Pardon my french, but I was SO pissed.

I specifically asked (and paid) for them to be delivered on the 23rd because I knew she would be discharged on the 24th. Not only that, but they waited until the day was half over to call me!

My husband was very irritated at this point because she would not give him a straight answer about what happened to the order. He asked multiple times to talk to a manager. After “transferring him” he realized they had been “disconnected” (I’m sure she hung up on him.) So we call back, talk to a 4th person at this point. And, we start ALL over again from the beginning about my friend, what day they were supposed to be delivered – yada, yada yada. She asks if we’d like them delivered to her home and offers a credit of 50% (I think they should have been FREE at this point). So we give her the address and she says she’ll “try” to see if they can get delivered to her home because now this is in a different area than the hospital.

We leave to head to our Christmas Eve plans. About 20 minutes into the drive I get a call on my cell from guess who – yep, customer service person #5. She calls to tell me the same thing – that they flowers were attempted to be delivered to the hospital and should we deliver them to a home address. I say “YES!!! I already talked to someone and gave them the address!” I get off the phone and my husband looks at me and says, “should we call back one more time to make sure it’s really going to happen?”

I shake my head and say “sure, why not.” So he calls back, now this is the 6th person we’ve spoken to. Again, he starts ALL over again with our story. They have no record of any of these phone calls because “they haven’t updated their system yet.”

Are you kidding me??? Don’t you take notes on our account when we call? She reassures him that they “should” be able to deliver the flowers today.

Flash forward, Christmas Eve 4 PM. We get home and I have 2 voicemails on my home machine from 1-800-FLOWERS from 2 different people – I’ll call them #7 and #8 who proceed to tell me on the voicemail the same song and dance – they attempted delivery to the hospital and can they deliver to a home address. On top of that, I have an email asking me the same thing.

By now I was H-O-T. I called back and spoke to person #9 – re-explained my whole damn story and by now – guess what – TOO LATE to deliver on Christmas Eve. ARGH!!!! I could not believe the insantity of this order. So now, apparatnly they are going to deliver the order on Monday 12/27 – 5 days after I originally called.

Needless to say I have no faith that these will actually be delivered tomorrow (Monday).

So why am I writing this blog? I hope someone from 1-800-FLOWERS reads this and takes action – not just for me, but their system is obviously very seriosuly flawed.

How do I think they are failing? Better yet – how could all of this been avoided?

  • Hiring customer service agents with poor English skills and thick accents. I’m sorry, but if your job is to communicate with me an order on the phone, then we need to understand each other clearly. Almost everyone my husband and I spoke to had a thick accent or was difficult to understand.
  • Not updating their system. Every time I called I had to re-explain the situation. When I would explain how many people I had spoken to – they seemed surprised. This was beyond irritating! Their system should allow the ability to document conversations and actions taken.
  • Understand the importance of a promised service and deliver as promised. I was promised SAME day service. I paid for it and instead, I am getting something 5 days late.
  • Failure to communicate. This exisited on so many levels – but there was a total breakdown from the 1st call all the way through to the last.

I am honestly expecting a call tomorrow from #10 saying that they tried to deliver to the hospital. I think if that happened I might actually and completely lose it!

So, 1-800-FLOWERS, if you are reading this – do something about it! Fix your systems!!! Oh, and DELIVER MY FLOWERS!! 🙂


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2 Responses to My oh-so-ridiculously frustrating experience with 1-800-FLOWERS

  1. Wow, fierce. Pretty much confirms my belief that it’s way better to work with local, small businesses whenever possible! They have a much greater stake in the transaction and tend to care VERY much that you are happy.

    Good luck!

  2. katielance says:

    Thanks Cynthia – I agree about small businesses! I still have not had my ordered delivered… very, very frustrating!

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