Online florist issues

I ordered flowers online with Bloomex on 13 July 2021 to deliver to Queensland. $59.95 for the flowers and $19.95 delivery. Days later, I followed up with the recipient who advised that while they were at home all week (working from home) they had not arrived, I engaged with Bloomex. They claim that they delivered them on 15th of July at 4.45 PM as contactless delivery. They advised and that they left the flowers at the front door. They would not advise if they rang the bell or nocked on the door to signal a delivery. I rang my family again who confirmed that they were not received.
I asked for a refund and was offered $20 voucher for future use. I will never use this company again.
Do I have consumer rights to ask for a full refund?

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Hi @derbyfour, welcome to the community.

Yes. See…

Before getting a refund, a couple of things to do…

  • ask your recipient for written statement that flowers were not received and they have been home at all times.
  • ask the florist the address on their records they delivered the flowers to. Dont say…‘did you deliver to number A at X street’…but ‘can you tell me the address you delivered to’.

If the address is the same as the recipient, then say it is a failure to deliver under Australian consumer law and you are requesting a refund. Use the statement in the request.

If the delivery address is different, you need to work out if you incorrectly gave them the wrong address or if the mistake is at the florist end. If it is your end, you have accidentally bought and delivered the flowers to someone else and possibly made their day. If you can prove they made the mistake, ask for a refund for the same reasons as outlined above.

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Is anyone else concerned about the behaviour of some of the large online florist companies? In my experience they offer services that they cannot possibly provide (e.g. same/next day delivery to regional Australia) and deliver dead or dying flowers at a completely different time to requested. Or they do not deliver them at all and will not give a refund but offer a voucher or, when pushed, send a gourmet hamper instead of flowers which is far from ‘gourmet’.

My elderly mother in the UK has twice been ‘had’ by Serenata Flowers and Bloomex - I assume that I am able to name names here. When she goes online to search up a florist ‘local’ to me, these companies come up even though they are nowhere near me and do not have the systems in place to effectively deliver fresh flowers to me.

Looking at posts elsewhere I am far from alone in this experience and can’t understand how they are allowed to continue.

(I have now given my Mum the telephone number and website link to my ‘real’ local florist by the way.)

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Welcome to the forum. Sorry to hear about your issues, but as you will see from the thread I have moved your post to, you are not alone in having issues with at least one of the companies you named.

Perhaps @BrendanMays or @jhook could pass your post on to the correct person at Choice for their comment?

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Thanks so much.

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We can relate. The trend is worrying.
I’ve previously been able to track down a local Aussie florist, knowing they offer better prices, better arrangements and reliable delivery.

On more recent occasions we’ve hit the same online subterfuge of florists promoting their business as local to the suburb we are searching when they are just a booking service in disguise. Several of the extended family have been caught out, with the deliveries coming from florists 30+km distant. The local florist misses out!

Google and to a similar extent yellow pages etc all seem to take the same path. The local florist with a real street front get pushed down the list.

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FWIW this is not just an Australian problem, it is a problem in most countries. I believe the origin of this genre of order takers, not florists, is Teleflora, and we have Teleflora Australia. Companies as well as proper florists can be members to take and deliver orders, as well as Teleflora directly.

They categorise themselves as ‘floral relay services’ not florists, and ‘support local florists all over the country and handle the sending and receiving of international and domestic floral and gift orders to and from Australia.’

In a way similar but different to the myriad online sites that essentially are booking agents for tradies and most anything else one can need, whose only staff is the web developer and an agent (outsourced?) to answer a phone number. Some of those sites have contracted people to deliver, and some will essentially take an order/booking and do the equivalent of an airtasker search for someone to do the job at the price around the time, or arrange a drop shipment from a supplier to you.

Many code their web sites to respond to searches, such as ‘cleaner Eltham’ and one gets all manner of booking services ‘Cleaning Services Eltham’ who might have an office in Sydney or further. At some point I suspect the internet as we know it will collapse under its own weight of such rubbish and have to evolve.

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I have very recently (01/06/22) had an issue with the Bloomex flowers online site. Flowers I ordered for a family member in the same suburb as myself, and which (in this case were delivered) were wilted and certainly not in a fresh and perky condition as per the photo shown on the site. My niece whilst thanking me, said that she hoped I didn’t pay a lot for them as they were not in a fresh condition!! I asked her to send me photos, which she did. I then emailed a complaint to Bloomex (in what I feel was a ‘respectful’ manner) and received a reply saying “We were able to determine that the arrangement you received was in accordance with our policy and item description. The arrangement seemed quite lovely and the flowers were fresh” Another few words from them were:

“Usually, the bottom of the stems should be cut and the flowers should be hydrated for several hours.”.

Some further comments from them for you to view.

“Unfortunately, with the transportation issues and weather conditions, flowers are dehydrated when they arrive.”

I could hardly believe what I was reading!! Not impressed. Twice I wrote to them but neither email had any satisfactory outcome, though they did offer on their second response, a 15% discount on my next order!! I will NEVER use this company again, and neither will my niece who was on the receiving end of those flowers. I wonder if this is something which could go to the Office Of Fair Trading?

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When it is cool/cold and high humidity they cannot provide fresh flowers. If it was a heat wave would you get a dried flower arrangement?

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Hi Norma

So sorry to hear about your experience with this company, sadly not an isolated incident it would seem. I’m the editorial director at CHOICE and we’re working on a story about Bloomex. I will send you a direct message with my email address and if you’re interested I would welcome the chance to discuss your experience.

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