Chicago, IL-February 10, 2009 - Spending for Valentine’s Day is expected to be down slightly from past years indicating shoppers buying gifts for wives, husbands, and significant others are balancing their expressions of love with their budget. Even with that reduced spending, knowing good deals from bad is important.
“Consumers can find coupons and special offers while searching online to buy candy, flowers, apparel and other gifts,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. But he cautions, “Consumers should be careful especially when buying flowers online and over the phone.”
“Carefully 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 salesperson,” Bernas stated. “Make sure that your order is clear and detailed. Review the guarantee on the site or from the retailer. This will help alleviate your concerns about quality or delivery.”
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.
E-cards this Valentine’s Day will be as popular as ever. Millions of electronic greetings 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:
- 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.
- Do your homework. Before ordering flowers, chocolates or any other gifts for Valentine’s Day check out the company’s Reliability Report on 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.
For more trustworthy information on shopping with companies you can trust go to 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.