Ten Reasons to never use FTD Flowers

Yesterday I posted six reasons to never use FTD Flowers on Facebook. Since then, I’ve easily added four more reasons to my list. But before you consider this another rant post from an angry customer, let me share with you my disappointment in a company who is supposed to help people celebrate joyous occasions, mark milestones in life, and support loved ones during difficult times. And how they failed so successfully at the latter.

A good friend had been flying back and forth from Seattle to Hawaii for the last year or so to help care for her mom who had cancer, provide support and council to her dad, and ensure that the doctor’s were doing all they could to make her mom as comfortable as possible. Two weeks ago, her family decided to take their mom off life support. The remaining time with her was unknown, but we all knew it would be short. So a group of us decided to send a care package for encouragement, because let’s be honest; food and flowers always seem to say exactly what you want to when you can’t muster to say it yourself.

FTD Flowers came up easily in a Google search so I decided to go with them. I mean Google knows their stuff…riiiight? Besides, how hard could it be to order flowers from a delivery service who’s core competence is flower delivery? And this beautiful bouquet with a Vera Wang vase would totally bring a grin, if not a smile, to our friend’s face.

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Photo Courtesy of FTDflowers.com

Well, our friend isn’t smiling and neither am I. I just found out that this flower arrangement has STILL not arrived, 11 days and counting from order date, and to make matters worse, our friend’s mom passed away when this arrangement was supposed to be delivered. I’m upset on so many accounts. I’m upset because I let my friends down since I was the one ordering the flowers. I’m upset because my friend and her family weren’t able to receive this at a crucial time they needed it. I’m upset because a company who is supposed to help provide a service failed to do so and their lack of response and fulfillment is evident of their inability to do their job. And I’m upset because another large company has a social media presence and has no freaking idea how to use it.  I’ve created a list to save you the trouble the next time you need to order flowers. Here’s my list of 10 reasons to never use FTD Flowers.

1. They are late on delivery. As of this blog post publication they are now 11 days delayed.

2. Communication is not their core competence. My order was placed on Oct 7 and on Oct 14 FTD sent a generic email saying there was an issue with the delivery and to call a 1-800 phone number.  No other information provided.  I also was supposed to get an email confirmation today and have not received that or a phone call…or a tweet or Facebook reply.

3. They are disrespectful of your time. Hold is your best friend when dealing with FTD.  I was on hold for 15 minutes before someone answered for my first phone call. Then I was on hold for 5 minutes, before I hung up on the second call. I was on hold for nearly 10 minutes on the third call before talking to a fellow human.

4. They lie. The first person I spoke with said that he was going to get it delivered the next day, which was Monday, Oct 15th. That never happened. Neither did the delivery that was promised by the manager for Thurs, Oct 18th.  Apparently the first person never placed the order for Monday, so the manager couldn’t find the order on Wednesday, and well, based on point #2, I have no idea why my order isn’t delivered as of yet.

5. They make excuses for their mistakes. Every person I spoke with said that it was the florists fault.  No one owned up to the fact that they are the main ordering channel and they dropped the ball. Buck up folks. You’re adults. Own it.

6. They offend their customers. The manager, Brian, took the blame game to another level and blamed the delivery issues on the ‘remote access’ to Hawaii. Are you kidding me?! I’m from Hawaii and let me tell you, Hawaii is NOT remote. Let’s say he was a bit speechless when I let him know what I thought of him offending a local Hawaiian. Let the stuttering ensue….

7. Their discounts are a joke. On an $110 order, they offered 20% discount initially on something that was nearly a week late. Then they offered 30% off for something that was 10 days late.  At this rate, they’re  offering an additional 5% off for every day late? So what…in the next few weeks my order will be free?

8. They are not sincere in apologies. Need I say more?

9. They don’t know how to use social media. It took them over 18 hours to respond to Twitter and they have yet to respond to a Facebook post they were tagged in. Their initial tweet to me said to DM them with my order # and they’d take care of me. It’s been 8 hours since my DM and still no response.  If you can’t respond, don’t use it.

10. They don’t understand relevancy.  Customers choose order dates for a reason. If it doesn’t get there on time, what’s the point? The baby is already born. The funeral is over. The person is no longer sick. They’re no longer married (Kardashian say what?!).  If your company’s core competence is based on timing, you only have one chance to nail it. Don’t blow it.

Don’t get me wrong. I am pissed about a lot of things with this whole situation. But I’m more angry at yet another large company’s inability to leverage their social media presence in a situation that calls for it, especially when this is my core competence. They have failed to understand the importance that social media can have to diffuse an angry customer and win me over. So I’m taking to my blog, Facebook, and Twitter, and engaging my network to emphasize two points. 1) Don’t depend on FTD Flowers for those critical and most important moments in your life, because you can’t count on them. 2) Learn how to use Social Media the right way or get off it.

Help me get the word out. Share this post on Facebook and Twitter, especially if you’ve had a bad experience with FTD Flowers or are sick of large companies who don’t get social media. We don’t need more figure heads to just ‘check the box’ on Facebook and Twitter.

2 Comments

  1. Wow…what a nightmare. You are so right — not only was this a headache for you, they completely ruined an important gesture that could have helped someone through an extremely difficult time, even in just a small way. I am floored at their lack of communication skills and total disregard for how IMPORTANT flowers (and an on-time delivery) can be. Flowers are a big deal! They should know that.

    And agreed that they totally dropped the ball in regards to Social Media. An apology via Facebook, or some quick back and forth communication on Twitter (instead of making you hold on the phone for hours) could have gone a long way.

    • Thanks Kat. Appreciate your empathy and note. It has indeed been a pain and one I hope no one else ever has to go through…especially for a really solemn occasion. I need to pick your brain about your customer service experiences and social media. I hear you have some interesting ones!!

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