Ordering Valentine Day flowers? Make sure you get what you pay for

Flowers are typically the go-to gift when it comes to making your loved one happy on Valentine's Day. Who you order from could be the difference between feeling the love or getting the cold shoulder.

Flower shops and online flower companies are busy right now trying to fulfill all of the orders. When you're ordering online from a company, you always want to make sure you are doing your research before you place that order.

Chantel Diehl said it was the positive reviews from FromYouFlowers.com that convinced her to order flowers from the company.

"I went through the first two pages, and they were all good," said Chantel. She said there was not one negative review that she could find on the company's website.

Chantel paid $60.00 for the vase of flowers and had them sent to her friend in Florida for her 90th Birthday. "I ordered the deluxe," she added. "I spent a few extra dollars to get the deluxe."

She sent a picture of the flowers from the website to her friend in Florida so she would know what to expect. When the flowers arrived, and her friend took a picture of what was actually delivered, Chantel was not happy.

"What you see is not what you get," she said.

Chantel said she filed a complaint with FromYouFlowers.com online. She got an email response that apologized and gave her a $10 credit on a future purchase. Chantel was still not happy so said she tried to call the florist that was on the card on the flowers delivered to her friend. She said that number only led her to FromYouFlowers.

She then wrote a review on the company's website and explained her bad experience.

"I want other people to know it's not all it's cracked up to be," Chantel said. "I wrote the review waited got an email from the company telling me they were going to give me $20 back. Then I went back to the website to see if my review was there and it was not there."

Chantel said that upset her even more as she wanted others to know about her experience.

"Honestly it's not the money," she said. "It's the fact that the review is not there."

I reached out to FromYouFlowers, and a representative said they would reach out to Chantel and give her a full refund. When I asked about where her review went, and if a local florist was used for her order, he said this is an extremely busy time right now, and he couldn't discuss that right now. He said once the holiday is over, he'd be happy to discuss it.

Larry Wood owner of Ninth Street Flowers in Durham said when ordering flowers from online company customers have to realize the amount they are paying is not all going to their flower order.

"There's a skimming between the fees and percentage they take off of the product," Wood said. "The local florist that eventually gets that order is given about 65 to 70 percent of what they spent. If they think they've spent 100, I might get 65, well I'm doing it based off what $65 looks like."

Wood added just because the picture online looks full and with specific flowers, the small print does allow for substitutions. Larry offers this advice if you want to guarantee the flowers your order are made from a local florist.

"Search the word florist with the zip code you're trying to have the flowers to deliver to and skip down to where you get the organic search results, and usually you can find someone who is local," he said. "You can ask what's fresh. What's available, and you're going to get someone who gets something in more recently, and you're going to get full value."

Wood added local florists can also help walk you through your budget and get the most flowers for your money.

When you are choosing who to use when it comes to sending your flowers. Do not just read the reviews on the company's website. Look the company up on the Better Business Bureau and read through the complaints there, also see how the company responds to the complaints.
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