My husband read this book in highschool for a class and insisted that I read it. I’m not sure how I missed this in school, but I’m glad I was able to read it now! It’s definitely a good book. AND… Lois Lowry has books that go with this one…so, we are excited to read those together. HOORAY! We are nerds, this I know.
I’m still working on my dear husband to try to get him to read 1985. By the way, if you’ve not read that one, you should add it to your list, too. It’s a GREAT read…and a little eerie at how some of the things have gotten pretty close to what was written so long ago!
In Other News
We were part of this mess with 1800Flowers.com.
For Valentine’s Day, my sweet husband ordered THIS beautiful bouquet:
Isn’t it pretty? He spent so much time picking it out.
On Valentine’s day, he paced back and forth to the front door. They promised to deliver by 7pm and everything seemed well and good. There had been no communication to say otherwise from 1800flowers.com OR from a local florist and the money had been taken from his account and the order confirmation said it was due for delivery on time.
Here is what we received:
That’s right. Nothing. We figured there MUST have been a mix-up. Maybe someone wrote down the wrong address or maybe they were lost. So, we called the company. After waiting on hold for over an hour, we finally connected with a man named Harold. (I have good reason to believe that was NOT his actual name, but whatevs.)
“Harold” said that there would be no flowers…ever. That the local florist had been swamped and refused the order. He said that they did all they could and the system had notes saying they contacted us and left messages. We confirmed the number and email they had on file was correct… because there was no such call (missed or otherwise) in our call logs or any missed voice mails or emails. It was a cop-out on their part. And, instead of not taking the money for goods they couldn’t deliver… they took the money and didn’t bother to ACTUALLY contact us OR immediately refund the money. They just kept it.
After about 15 minutes of “Harold” being VERY repetitive and telling me that 1) It wasn’t their fault and 2) there was nothing he could do and 3) repeating my name 5,000 times… I asked for a supervisor. Multiple times. I was put on hold for a total of 2 hours and 40-something minutes. The line was disconnected 3 times.
While on hold, we used twitter and facebook, and while 1800flowers.com SAID they would get back with us to help us via social media…they did nothing but make it LOOK like they were handling the situation.
We chose to file a report with the Better Business Bureau.
After 2 hours and 40–something minutes, we finally reached a woman who had blaring noise in the background and could not speak or understand English very well. We were then forwarded to a manager. This manager did promise to give us our money back. She did not offer anything else. We told her that we were very disappointed in the dismal customer service and quite frankly, it didn’t seem they wanted our future business. Or, anyone that we knew. She seemed to think giving our money back was a favor to us, and so we explained that technically, she didn’t have to process a refund, that the credit card company would side with us and that accepting payment and not delivering goods was considered theft. Fraud. We explained that we expected more from customer service from a brand we had spent money with in the past, and that as small business owners, we would NEVER treat customers the way they treated us. We told her what would be expected as the LEAST to gain back trust after such an incidence.
Finally, after what seemed like a LONG conversation (keep in mind I’d been on the phone for almost 3 hours)…she told us that our money would be refunded, we’d get a “make up” bouquet similar to what we ordered, AND a $20 gift certificate.
I wasn’t thrilled, but it was better than nothing, so I said okay and we disconnected.
Several days later, a woman from the “VIP team” called regarding our BBB complaint. For the first time, I spoke to someone who actually apologized for THEIR mistake. She also listened and did NOT interrupt…not even once. I repeatedly let her know that I know this wasn’t HER fault, but that we were very disappointed in 1800flowers. I explained that the customer service we had encountered thus far had been horrible and that we weren’t sure we’d ever be ordering again…because the truth is this…
We have ordered flowers through them for Birthdays and Congratulatory events. But, we’ve also ordered flowers to comfort others who have lost children and family members. It’s one thing to mess up a Valentine’s order… but, it’s another to mess up something so special as a bouquet of flowers that says what words can’t, “I’m so sorry for your loss. We are here with you. We remember. We will walk this with you.” If you think I’m disappointed and annoyed by this mess up, then wait until you mess THAT up. There are no re-dos. We can’t always be where our family and friends are. So, we send something that we hope can convey the message for us.
We explained that we weren’t sure we could trust them, now. While we believe in extending GRACE…because EVERYONE messes up at some point. WE also believe in being able to admit when you are wrong, apologizing, and making things RIGHT…especially when you own a business. And, their customer support team had a hard time doing that. WE don’t have 3 hours and several days to “fix” things every time we need flowers or a gift sent. I’m not being PAID for that time spent.
For the first time, someone from the 1800flowers team agreed with me and seemed genuinely apologetic. She wasn’t just trying to get me off the phone with a check by my name…she was actually listening.
She agreed that from what I described and what she saw in the system, it had gotten ridiculous. But, it makes me a little sad because I’ve heard from so many people who experienced what we had and they never got up to “upper level” customer service. Their money was refunded and there was no real apology or anything else.
After explaining that we would probably never use a $20 gift certificate with a company that so grossly disappointed us…because nothing on their site is $20 and there is NO WAY we’d be spending our own money so soon, she bumped the $20 to $60 so that we could try them again…on their dime. You see, THAT is how you earn back trust.
She let me know that their “make up” bouquet was on the way. My husband ordered this (with a balloon) originally
I’m not a fan of all-mauve, BUT it was a nice gesture, nonetheless. And, they were trying, right? That matters. So, I was pretty pleased and was interested in seeing how they handled this order and the next order.
Wednesday, I received this arrangement:
YESTERDAY… and the flowers were half dead. They went immediately to water, didn’t set on my doorstep (got them right from the UPS drivers’ hands). See the front flower…totally wilted. The roses were drooping with petals falling off and brown already on the edges. Not only were they half-dead, they were not anywhere CLOSE to being the same value. My husband spent over $80 for flowers and a balloon. There was no balloon. He ordered a large bouquet… the one consistent in value is the exact one you see above this photograph.
I called the new VIP number, and again, this lady was VERY nice. She apologized and wanted to try again. She said this sometimes happens, but they want to replace it. Instead of flowers this time, I chose a plant, hoping it would be able to fare a little better.
I should receive it Friday.
I’ll be updating.
Here’s where I’m at so far…
- 1800flowers.com’s main customer service line is worthless.
- I will only call the VIP desk from now on.
- If they can outdo themselves on the next 2 arrangements, I’d be willing to give them another shot… but probably never again on a major holiday.
- I would really like to see a grand gesture on 1800 flowers.com’s part to make right where they failed for the hundreds of other customers the way they finally have tried with me. I’d like to see them initiate this and reach out to those people and not offer them the bare minimum. They shouldn’t have to BEG to be treated well. I’d also love to see better customer service, over all. Nobody should have to wait almost 3 hours on the phone or DAYS for a response on a missing order. I’d love to see their customer service staffed with people who speaks WELL and LISTENS even better. –People who are interested in taking care of their customers. As business owners, we need to understand that our customers MAKE US. If we fail them, we fail our business. Without customers, we can have the best products or services…and still have to close our doors.