BBB: Avoid Valentine's Day flower scams

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- With fewer than 10 days left until Valentine's Day, fresh flowers are in high demand. If you plan to purchase flowers for your special someone, the Better Business Bureau has some advice for you.

"Valentine's Day is a popular time for scammers because they know consumers are willing to spend money on something nice for their significant others," said Mallory Wojciechowski, President and CEO of BBB serving Eastern North Carolina. "Consumers need to be sure that they are well informed so they can protect themselves from being taken."

Before you click "buy" on that perfect bunch, consider these tips:

1. Research the business. Visit the Better Business Bureau's website and check the company's Business Review to see their complaint history and BBB grade.

2. Read the description. Often, pictures can be deceiving, as online retailers tend to take photos that make the bouquets seem fuller than they are. Make sure you know what you're actually getting.

3. Know the seller. National flower companies have been known to create aliases in their advertisements to make them look like a local florist. Read their website or give them a call to find out where they are based.

4. Be aware of hidden costs. Look for added fees like shipping, handling, and delivery. Review your order and verify the total before confirming your purchase.

5. Don't be deceived by promotions. Valentine's Day is a popular time for online promotions, but most have terms and conditions. Check that you're getting the savings you want..

6. Track your purchases. When using a third party to deliver flowers, it's hard to tell when, and if, they have been delivered. Sign up for confirmation emails so you have proof the order was placed and an alert when the order has been delivered. If available, ask for proof of delivery to make sure the flowers made it to correct destination.

More advice on purchasing flowers online can be found on the Better Business Bureau's website

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