Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Flower Scams

Some unscrupulous marketing firms are posing as local florists - Watch Out !

Flower rip-offs

Some unscrupulous telemarketing firms are posing as local florists - Watch Out!

Try Flower shop network A Network Of Real, Individually Owned Flower Shops! Not A Service Bureau!

Is Your Local Florist Really Long Distance?

Flowers are a great way to celebrate a birthday, cheer up a sick friend, or simply brighten someone’s day.

Your local florist is just a phone call away, or so you think. Some unscrupulous telemarketing firms are posing as local florists, charging you higher fees and taking business away from legitimate florists in your town.

Here’s how the deception works.

A telemarketer takes out a bogus listing in the white pages of your telephone directory or spams the Internet with made up flower shop names. The company may use your town’s name in its own to make you believe it’s local.

Or, the name of a legitimate local florist may be listed with a different local phone number. For example, Minneapolis Florists.

When you call, you’re unknowingly forwarded to an out-of-town telemarketing operation.

The telemarketer takes your order and credit card information for payment, and forwards your order to an area florist.

The telemarketer pockets a processing fee and a percentage of the sale as well.

You don’t realize you have been scammed until you get higher than expected charges from an out-of town company on your credit card statement, or learn that the flowers weren’t delivered as ordered, or worse, were never delivered at all.

How to Protect Yourself

Follow these tips before you order your next pot of posies so that you do not get bloomin mad!

Ask neighbors, family, friends, and co-workers for recommendations.
Deal only with shops that list a street address with their phone number. If you are asking directory assistance for a number, also ask for the street number and address. If there isn’t one, consider doing business with another florist.
Ask the florist to itemize the charges. In addition to the price of the arrangement, most florists charge a delivery fee and taxes if you live in the same state.
Ask the florist for directions to the shop. If they hesitate or refuse, consider this a red flag, and avoid doing business with the florist.

Ask the florist if they can deliver to other cities, pick one in advance, on the other side of the country. Ask them if they can deliver this them selves or do they have to "wire it out" - Then ask them if they have to "wire out the order you are calling to place. Ask them if they charge a convenience fee or service charge - No Local Flower Shop Will Ever Charge This Type Of Fee For A local Delivery! If you are suspicious, move on to another shop. Be especially careful of Internet florists
Check out the florist you’re considering with the local Better Business Bureau and consumer protection officials in your area. Or, if you’re ordering flowers from a local shop in another city or state, contact the consumer protection officials there. Ask if they have any unresolved consumer complaints on file. Also ask them to verify the street address.
When a Rose is a Ruse:

What to Do If You’ve Been Scammed:

If you placed an order through a wire service, a toll-free number, or a local florist, call the toll-free number of the florist and describe the problem. Many wire services will work with the filling florist to fix the problem or refund your money.

If your arrangement was never delivered, and you paid by credit card, you can dispute the charges with the card issuer.

Make sure the bill is not more than you bargained for!

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