How to avoid online floral scams:
As more and more customers shop for flowers and plants online because of the conenience, more and more fake florists crop up to take advantage of them. To avoid the hassle and embarrasment of getting scammed by a fake online florist there are a few simple precautions to keep in mind.
- If it sounds to good to be true; it is. Most fake online florists will always claim to offer "huge discounts" or "free vases." Most of the time claims of huge savings are simply the game of marking down prices that have been hugely inflated; free vases are always included in the price of the flowers.
- If a florist's website uses words like "serving your area" or only offers an 1(800)xxx-xxx telephone number but no local numbers, chances are they aren't in the same state or even the same city as they claim to "serve."
- Always ask the street address, city and state of any florist shop that answers the phone "florist" or simply "flower shop." Normally these floral shops are actually call centers with tons of phones and computers, but no flowers, no cooler, no plants.
- Always ask for a detailed reciept for any florist you call or use online. The reciept should show all charges including any taxes, delivery fees or service charges. Most fake florists charge trumped up service fees but list them as delivery fees.
- If you do have a problem or think you have been scammed, always demand a full refund then keep your reciepts and contact your states Attorney General.
The reason these scams can exist is because of the way all florists send orders to each other. Florists use Wire Services like FTD and Teleflora to send orders back and forth to different cities and states in the Untied States and across the globe. This is a legitimate practice that both real florists and fake online florists engage in. The reason for all the scams is the profit motive. Florists, both real and fake, are allowed to set a "wire fee" or "relay fee" for providing the service of taking customer's order information and sending it to another florist. They also receive a percentage of the order value for handling the sale.
Always choose a florist you trust, preferable a local florist with a local telephone and store you can visit. Build a relationship with this florist; let them get to know you, your style and preferences of the friends and family you send flowers to.
For more information visit our friends at floristdetective.com. They have a wonderful list of floral resources to help you avoid getting scammed by a fake online florists and where to turn for help in resolving prroblems with fake florists scams and who to report them to.