Cheating Florists’ Hearts

Everybody thinks of Valentines Day as a moment of love and commitment and trust.

A nice, local flower. Trust me, I grew it and photographed it. But watch out for on line, deceptive florists, especially with Valentine's Day coming up.

But it seems there’s a scam behind everything these days, and on-line florists are using the Web to rip off legitimate local flower shops.

Scams just really say “I Love You,” don’t they?

This is something I never would have thought of, but according to yesterday’s Burlington Free Press, on line florists are using quirks in Google searches to basically cheat your local home town florist, and maybe the people who are buying the blooms for their loved ones.

Say you’re in Burlington, Vermont and want to buy a dozen roses for your hottie. So you go to Google and type in “Burlington, Vermont florists” and up pops the names of a bunch of legitimate, for real and customer-friendly Vermont flower shops.

So you click on, say “Local Chappell Flowers,” because, as reporter Dan D’Ambrosio writes in his article, there is a Burlington business called Chappell’s Florist.

The problem is, you click on the link and you unwittingly end up at a place like Wesley Berry Flowers in Michigan. What happens when you place your order is Wesley, or whatever scammer there is, makes the local florist arrange the flowers, then keeps a steep fee at the expense of the local florist.

The consumer often ends up paying extra, and the florist loses money, and the state loses out on sales taxes.

And there’s quality control problems with these out of state scam businesses, so your flowers might not end up with the intended recipient, or they will be all wrong.

If you Google “Wesley Berry Flowers,” you get complaint after rant after histrionics over what many customers say is poor service and worse. As I said, you can’t believe everything you see on the Internet, but gawd.

They say nothing says it like flowers, and apparently nothing says ire like a screwed up flower order.

Hmm, I wonder if the owners of these sketchy on line florist companys also cheat on their spouses?

The whole thing sort of smacks of going to a funeral to steal the flowers at the gravesite to give to your honey. Icky.

Legislation is pending in Vermont to end this problem, but buyer beware. Just because you found a local link on Google, doesn’t mean it’s really a local business.

Your best bet these days is to, whenever possible, just physically go to the store you want to buy stuff from.



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