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My years spent both as an electrician and in electrical sales have taught me something about customer service. Customer service is much more than a friendly demeanor, or a reassuring voice; first and foremost, customer service is about getting the job done correctly and on time. I’ve found that all of the friendly smiles and kind words in the world don’t really mean shit if you can’t do the job.
So with tomorrow being my wedding anniversary, I thought I would surprise my wife with a nice flower arrangement, balloons, and some chocolates sent to her office. Normally for our anniversary we like to go to a nice restaurant, but because a member of my wife’s family has been experiencing some health issues, those plans had to be cancelled. On Monday I went on the 1-800-FLOWERS web site and placed the order, figuring that four days should be more than enough lead time to make a local flower delivery. To its credit, the process was easy. From what I gather, 1-800-FLOWERS is a network of affiliated florists, and a flower shop near my wife’s office was contracted to do the arrangement and delivery. I received a confirmation e-mail which said that on the morning of the delivery I would receive an email notifying me when the delivery left the florist, and then another notification of delivery. I printed the confirmation and went on with my day.
Today, the day which the delivery was supposed to be made, I began to get a little nervous by around 2pm when I hadn’t received a notice of shipment from the florist. By 3pm, I had decided to call 1 800 FLOWERS customer service, as my wife’s office, like most offices, is open from 8am-430pm. A customer service representative, from the far east, who was very friendly, called the flower shop and did indeed find that the arrangement had not left the shop yet. I explained to the customer service agent that my wife would be leaving work soon, and he asked if I would like the delivery to be sent to my house. I was okay with that, and once again he put me on hold to speak to the florist. A few minutes later he was back and explained that because my house was more than 10 miles from the florist, and because it was a Friday, they really didn’t want to make the delivery there, BUT, they would get the flowers to my wife by 430 pm at her office, and they would give me a phone call when they left for the delivery. 430 came and went, so I called my wife and asked her if she received a flower delivery, thus ruining the surprise, she had not. I called customer service again and was told that they were running a little late, and they would be there shortly. The excuse being that because of the holidays they were busy and unable to make deliveries on time, which is sort of like a restaurant telling customers not to show up around dinner time because they just can’t get the food cooked. Anyway, 45 minutes comes and goes and no delivery, and at this point my wife has to leave.
I called up 1 800 FLOWERS yet again and told them to cancel the order. After the customer service rep spent 5 minutes trying to convince me to reschedule the delivery, I began to get angry, as in very angry. At this point, I told them to cancel it or there would be a problem. I was put on hold for 15 minutes, which didn’t do much to make me any happier, and the order was finally cancelled.
I’ve experienced some bad customer service in my life, we all have, but this was by far one of the worst experiences. Several very nice emails I sent this morning inquiring about my order went unanswered, and it was only until I made threats that I finally got a miniscule amount of help. So I would like to go on record thanking 1 800 FLOWERS for royally fucking up my surprise and nice gesture, and then completely dropping the ball after the fact. So would I recommend 1 800 FLOWERS? No, I wouldn’t. They fucking suck balls.