June 15, 2024

(Photo Credit: Teona Swift from Pexels)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The public has been cautioned by The Better Business Bureau (BBB) about ordering floral arrangements online at the last moment, only to fall prey to scams.

The BBB states via their BBB.org/ScamTracker that countless consumers have reported being duped by online florists when making last-minute orders. They paid for gorgeous bouquets and ended up with subpar or no flowers at all

The targeted victims of this scam, according to BBB, are generally people who have delayed ordering flowers for their loved ones. Local florists can’t ensure delivery on the requested date, hence customers attempt to get a bouquet delivered at a reasonable cost from a website.

From this point, the BBB says the fraudulent scheme may unfold in multiple ways.

“Various scams can follow this set-up. In most instances, your delivered flowers don’t arrive on time, are damaged, or look nothing like the advertised image. Attempts to get a full or partial refund are typically ignored or outright denied,” highlighted the BBB. “In other fraudulent schemes, your flowers never arrive and the online-florist becomes untraceable. Some consumers have reported being contacted post-payment by the floral shop demanding an upgrade of their purchase and asking for more money for something unnecessary. Some customers even reported that their cards were charged beyond the initial purchase.”

Guidelines to Avoid Flower Scams

Some tips shared by the BBB to avoid falling for such scams include:

  • Do a background check on the florist: Don’t just get lured by flash sales and lavish deals online. The first and foremost step should be checking the accreditation of the florist on BBB.org. A BBB Accreditation stands for the florist’s commitment to ethical business practices and customer satisfaction.
  • Go through customer feedback: Customer reviews matter! Look for customer reviews on BBB.org. Reviews provide insights into the florist’s quality of service and products based on previous customer experiences.
  • Confirm the florist’s contact information: Fraudulent florists often use counterfeit addresses or contact information. Confirm the florist’s physical location and other contact details to ensure they’re legitimate.
  • Verify site security: Make sure the florist’s website provides secure connections, with URLs starting with “https://”. Look out for security badges, verify the site’s authenticity, and avoid sharing personal details and payment information on unverified websites.
  • Understand their business policies: Keep an eye for abnormally low prices or deals that left you in awe. Check out their pricing structure, delivery fees, and other policies carefully before making a purchase. Familiarize yourself with their return policy and delivery process, know about any additional charges, and whether they have a satisfaction guarantee.
  • Assess the seller’s ads and photos: Validate realistic imagery used in pictures. Scammer florists might use stock images that misrepresent the quality of their products. Look for realistic and varied floral arrangements in their advertisements.
  • Use secure payment methods: Authentic florists welcome payments through safe methods like credit cards. Credit card payments offer an added level of security if there’s need to dispute charges against the seller. Avoid wire transfers or other direct payment methods, as it’s often tied with scams.
  • Understand delivery timelines: Know the florist’s delivery policies, including estimated delivery timings. Avoid last-minute orders, especially during peak seasons, if you want your flowers to arrive on time.

To avoid scams, consider purchasing flowers from any of the BBB’s accredited florists: Here.