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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Deceptive "National" Florists

Have you ever gone online to search for "Florist In Charlotte?' If so, you probably noticed that both ORGANIC (ie natural Search Engine) and PAID results included names that you did not recognize as being local flower shops. In many instances, that's because they are DECEPTIVE "National" Florists.

These folks tailor both their Search Activities AND their Websites to make it APPEAR that they are either IN Charlotte OR have some kind of "special relationship" with selected local florists.

It ain't so!

Here is what REALLY happens. These folks are usually "call centers." Based on some orders we have seen from them, many of their personnel may have never seen a flower before! They put STANDARD (but often re-named) FTD, Teleflora and/or 1-800-FLOWERS bouquets online with prices that INCLUDE a $7 delivery charge. (Most Charlotte florists charge about $10.)

But these online florists DECEPTIVELY do not tell you about the $7.

When you check out -- they add about $15 for "Delivery and Handling." But they don't charge tax (in violation of NC law) so the customer THINKS he's GETTING A BARGAIN.

But is he?

Lets follow the money. Assume a $50 (total) purchase by an unsuspecting customer. The "National" Florist POCKETS the $15 Delivery and Handling charge. That leaves $35. THEN, they put the order on the FTD, Teleflora or 1-800-FLOWERS Wire Service network where it is sent to a REAL Charlotte Florist. But the florist doesn't receive $35. Instead, the "National" florist KEEPS a 20% ($7) SALES COMMISSION and the Wire Service network keeps another 10%($3.50.)

So, the REAL florist ends up with $50-$15-$7-$3.50 = $24.50. After the REAL florist deducts $10 to cover the delivery charge, he ends up with $14.50 to make an arrangement!

But the customer paid $50!

THAT is why consumers are being ROBBED bt these unscrupulously DECEPTIVE "National" florists!