Peak (Busy) Periods

It's not unusual for me to come into random emails of a morning - I get a lot for Penis Enlargers (do they know something I don't? 😆) I've had (more-than-once) a customer send me an email they meant to send to someone else! 😱 (the secrets I could tell!). This morning though I was sent a link to a national newspaper (not one I would read) with an article about how Interflora ended up letting a lot of people down at the last minute for their Mother's Day flowers. They had taken their customers orders (and money) then told them the evening before (and morning of the day) that they could not longer provide the flowers for the orders they had taken; my goodness, I could not imagine ever being able to do this to a customer and let them down in such a way.  Sadly, unlike the good-old-days when I started out, Interflora have drastically gone downhill. Whilst they do still have local florists in some areas, the majority of their orders are now sent out via couriers with flowers made up away from local shops (this means the people in charge can earn more as they are not having to pay out so much in commission to the shops who pay them to be allowed to be a member). 

I am aware I let a few people down who called late on Friday for specific flowers to be delivered, and those of you who called Saturday/Sunday wanting deliveries made on the Sunday (most of you who left it too late were repeat offenders!) however, I'd rather let you down 48 hours before by not taking an order from you to begin with, than lead you to believe I was going to deliver an order for you, take your money for it, and then not deliver anything.

I will only take an order if I know I have the flowers coming in to cover the flowers required for it.

Unlike some of the Interflora orders - those of Moonpig, M & S, Serenata and Bunches (to name a few) I'm not sitting in an office, my bedroom or living room at a computer taking your order; I'm not farming your order out to a warehouse somewhere where the bouquets will be made up from day's old flowers, before being shoved into boxes that will be sent out via a delivery service, or courier with people who have no idea how to look after flowers properly. All of our orders are made up in our little shop; you are free to come along any time and watch me making them. They are made on the day from flowers which have arrived on that day (occasionally the day before for really busy times, although no flower is ever in the shop for longer than 48 hours). You could have ordered in January for Mothering Sunday and your order will still have been made on Sunday (yes, I was in work before the sun had risen, which wasn't as much fun as you might think when you remember the clocks had also gone forward an hour) from flowers which arrived either Saturday afternoon, or Sunday morning. Ordering early through an actual florist doesn't mean you'll get old flowers; it means we can guarantee on the day we have what you want and they are fresh.

Our flowers are all delivered by either Chris, Clive, or myself. Family/friends who run the shop between us. Clive and Chris have had 15 years training/experience. I have 36 years. I think I can safely say we know what we're doing and how to look after your flowers. 

If you want your order on a specific day they will be delivered on that day and you won't be charged extra for this service. If you order for a set day we won't deliver them early because it's more convenient, or a few days later because we couldn't fit any more in the van. We won't charge you different prices depending on the time/date of day you want delivery. There's no £7.00 for future, £9.00 for an AM delivery, or £11 for a next day delivery. We have a flat rate of £4; no hidden extras, no additional charge for a set day and we'll always do our best to work within your requested time frame too. 

I'm also not going to sneak on an additional £5.95 - £8.95 charge just for taking your order - listed as admin fee and/or service charge among many others names used for them. 

For the record; I went through the twitter feed of M & S flowers - twitter is the best place to go to find out how people really feel. The first 122 (I gave up after then because the tweets were basically all the same) except for 1 (which was someone replying to another complaint) were complaints about dead flowers, and/or flowers not arriving at all. I would be mortified by just 1 complaint in a year; they must have had over a thousand on their twitter feed alone. 

Moonpig is another; I had to dig through a few more because they have card/gift complaints on the feed too (even though I searched for Moonpig Flowers). Aside from 1 of all I saw they only had complaints. 

Serenata Flowers who pay for advertising so they can snatch customers away on google; well, their feed is just full of complaints too. 

I am aware these are national/multinational companies who would have been dealing with thousands of orders but if you were one of the unlucky ones, then you will have (by now) realised you don't matter to them. You're just another face at the till, or behind a computer screen lining their pockets. If they get it wrong you get an email (if you're lucky) and maybe a credit note. If I get it wrong I will move heaven-and-earth to rectify the mistake, will talk to you directly and apologise whole heartedly. 

There are so many more of these types of company out there, but I have too much work to be doing to spend any more time looking at how these 'order gatherers' are screwing over their customers. Where possible, if you're reading this and want flowers, try to use a shop local to where you wish to send your flowers. If you're not sure give your local florist a call; I'm sure they will be more-than-happy to point you in the right direction and pass on numbers for you to call. If you're doing it yourself it takes a few seconds on Google to find them; just ignore all those which come up above the map as they are the 'Order Gatherers'. On the photo below I've drawn around the 3 on the search page I did (I searched for Fareham Florists) who are actual florists; the one at the very top of the page, whilst among the order gatherers, is in Southampton and has paid for an advert and the privilege of getting above the map (as you can see we're top of the ones below - the ones who haven't paid). For the most part a local shop will not usually be at the top. Not a single one of the photo's to the right of the page is an actual flower shop, nor are the other's listed above the map, yet they will lure you into believing they are and you will hand over your money to them, believing you are dealing with a florist the other end. What you're most likely getting (especially in these WFH days) is someone at their kitchen table, staring at a computer screen for 8 hours. 

Order online or by telephone 01329 8459457 for next day delivery 

(same day possible on occasions - dependent on stock levels).

All major credit and debit cards taken.



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