CHICAGO, IL- January 31, 2011 - For florists Valentine’s Day means big bucks. It is a bigger holiday than Mothers Day, Easter, and Christmas; which makes it their busiest day of the year. For consumers it means be careful.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Chicago and Northern Illinois reports complaints about florist shot up 61% in 2010 compared to 2009. Last year 358 individuals filed complaints; in 2009 that number was 221.
According to the National Retail Federation overall spending this Valentine’s Day is expected to increase by 11% with flower purchases leading the way.
“When buying flowers consumers should be careful especially when making the purchase online or over the phone,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “Consumers need to review the description of the floral arrangement or any other gift you are purchasing on the Web site or in your conversation with the florist or sales person.”
Pay careful attention to the options offered such as size of arrangement, color of flowers, color of vase, delivery in a box or vase, and inclusion of an enclosure or gift card. Note that all the options mentioned may not be available on all sites or may involve additional charges. While you think you're ordering from a local florist, you may actually be on the phone with someone hundreds or thousands of miles away.
“Another important point is to make sure that your order is clear and detailed. Review the guarantee on the site or with the salesperson. This will help alleviate your concerns about quality or delivery,” states Bernas.
Again this year e-cards will be as popular as ever. Millions of electronic greeting will be sent, however the recipients need to be careful when they receive an e-card. Instead of carrying words of love it might contain a computer virus.
The BBB offers the following tips on how to survive this Valentine’s Day:
- Do your homework. Before ordering flowers, chocolates or any other gifts for Valentine’s Day check out the company’s Business Review at www.bbb.org in order to help prevent disappointment with the product or customer service.
- Allow time for shipping. Check with the retailer or check the Web site to make sure that you have allowed enough time for delivery by your specified date. Make sure that this date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order.
- Be wary of any email received from an unknown sender. Do not open any unsolicited email and do not click on any links provided. Fake e-cards coming from scammers/hackers may send you an infected card or send you to a link where you are going to compromise your computer’s safety.
For more information on shopping with companies you can trust, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims, online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.