It’s almost Mother’s Day! Whether you are ordering flowers, shopping for custom jewelry, or arranging for a special spa day for the “mom” in your life, be careful with your purchase plans and be a smart consumer. BBB sees lots of scams that focus on holiday shopping, and is warning consumers to proceed with caution before falling victim to a Mother’s Day vender scam, especially when shopping online.
BBB urges consumers to take extra precaution with placing floral orders. “Just as any service industry, florists do not always operate in the same manor, especially on-line,” says Tom Bozikis, Vice President of Bureau Policy and Standards at the Tri-State BBB. “Take the time to research the company and check them out with your BBB, to help avoid “buyer’s remorse.”
In 2011, more than 96,000 consumers searched for trustworthy florists with the BBB. Most major floral delivery services are BBB Accredited Businesses, as are more than 500 local florists across the U.S. and Canada.
When finalizing gifts and shopping online, BBB recommends adhering to the following:
Always do your homework. Before ordering flowers, jewelry or any other gifts for Mother’s Day, check out the company’s BBB Business Review at www.evansville.bbb.org. This is a great way to help prevent disappointment with the product or customer service.
Allow time for shipping and delivery. Check with the retailer or website to be certain that you have allowed enough time for delivery. Make sure that this date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order. If you order ahead of time, delivery and other charges will be less than last-minute or overnight shipping. Some florists offer discounts for deliveries a couple of days before a major holiday, since that helps them deal with the rush.
Have a back-up plan. Make sure you understand the store’s guarantees and substitution policy. Find out how customer complaints are handled and what recourse you will have if the arrangement is not satisfactory. It’s best to use a credit card when ordering online, because you can dispute charges if the vendor doesn’t come through. Charges made on a debit card are the same as cash and you have no recourse through your bank if there is a problem.
Make sure the business has your information. When it comes to flower delivery, there are times when delivery instructions need to be confirmed or a delivery driver needs additional directions. Making sure the florist has a call-back phone number or your cell phone to help them make sure your mom gets what you expect.