Readers respond to recent series of nightmarish florists

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My series on the flower industry has ruffled a few petals, so I’m passing the microphone to the readers today. Welcome to my inbox:

Wow. I am a florist and your article is biased and lacks a complete understanding of the industry. If you’re going to post stuff that people can at least read, don’t throw people under the bus just because you just don’t understand the flower industry or the business for that matter. – Amanda Alman, Gassville, Arkansas

Just send a compliment to your florist column. I made my Saturday morning coffee fun. You have had all the feelings that I have had ordering flowers for all occasions over the years. On the spot. – Irène Robicheaux, Mandeville, Louisiana

I thought I was the only one in the world having problems with flower orders! Once, I sent flowers to someone who was going to put me up. I spent over $ 100 excluding taxes and shipping. When I arrived the hostess thanked me and told me that she had placed the flowers in the room where I was going to stay. When I saw them, I knew why! They were not presentable for any public play. When I complained to the florist they said, just like you pointed out, it was a pity that I was not happy. I don’t think they ever expected me to see the flowers. Anyway, I just wanted to confirm your observations. – Claudia Brown, Menlo Park

Let me just say I’m the (expletive deleted) who sent yellow daisies for white because person ordered online from my website where before placing the order it says categorically that substitutions may be required for color or variety due to availability. It is not my responsibility to make sure people read it before placing the order. I call my clients when I need to outsource things.

The corona pandemic has wreaked havoc in the flower world. The flowers we can get are more than double the price, and if I want to feed my children and keep my house, we have to charge the prices that we charge. You cannot generalize an entire industry based on two orders from two florists. It’s bad enough that the grocery stores are trying to freeze us. We don’t need people like you, who have never worked a day in a flower shop, to tell us how to run our businesses. Some people just don’t deserve to have flowers. – Melissa Floyd, Portage, Indiana

Your series on florists is of great public service. I had a funeral for my daughter in February. A friend across the country ordered flowers through the funeral home’s online link, but I never received them. Additionally, I ordered white roses to deliver for the funeral through Costco online. I received red roses. I called the online service. They couldn’t correct the error, but were able to deliver the following week (after the funeral). They gave me credit. – Linda Lowman, Altamonte Springs, Florida.

I have been burned several times, including once when my daughter gave birth to twins in another state. I sent a bouquet, then I went to see her three days later. I was appalled. They were dull, uncolored flowers with a brown bow, for newborn twins! I had ordered from my regular florist in Oklahoma City who called the florist in New Mexico and thank goodness they got it right. Thanks for revealing the “dirty little secrets”. – Linda St. Onge, Yukon, Oklahoma

As a home florist, I disagree with not using home florists. Our designs are often more unique and cheaper than those in physical stores because we don’t have the overhead that they have. Yes, you can buy flowers from Trader Joe’s, but not everyone has the same ability to make a flower arrangement. I love that you mentioned to be frank about your budget. If expectations are not being met, the florist should do everything possible to remedy the situation. – Lori Sato, Danville

In your recent columns on buying flowers, you overlooked the benefits of buying from local growers at farmers’ markets. (My daughter grows flowers and sells at farmers’ markets.) Although limited to what’s inside, their flowers are always fresher. Support your local farmers. – Mark Drazba, Pinole

I grew up in my mother’s family flower shop, where the work was long and hard, so I couldn’t help but feel bad for your local florist. I’m inclined to give every retailer a break this year. Their case was hammered out. While I understand your disappointment, I don’t think I would have called them with a megaphone as big as yours. – Claudia Latona, Osprey, Florida

I ordered a flower arrangement for my sister-in-law, who had just lost her father. I paid extra to have a bouquet of mixed white roses delivered the next day. Four days later I got an email from the company (fromyouflowers.com) saying they were going to need to replace flowers. Two days later I get a call, once again informing me that there would be replacement flowers. It now seemed too late to send flowers, so I canceled the order and received a refund ($ 118). The next day, my sister-in-law called me and thanked me for… the plant! – Cindy Aycrigg, Winter Park, Florida

I love your series on florists. I was recently burned by Ava’s Flowers, which I found while searching on Google for “Florists in Carmel, Indiana”. Although I paid for the same day delivery, they couldn’t fulfill the order and tried again the next day – apparently passing the order to a real florist they wouldn’t name. The choices of flower arrangements on their website were spectacular. When I got a picture of what was sent versus what I ordered, I went ballistic. The delivery was half baby’s breath and ferns. Several calls and emails later, I received a refund and a $ 20 coupon for a future order. Ava’s Flowers is apparently exactly as you describe it, a call center, charging service and delivery fees on top of the cost of the arrangement. – Carolyn Rosenblum, Ocoee, Florida

Florists who weathered the pandemic have faced disrupted supply chains, changing delivery patterns and, of course, loss of income. Hope now that it’s safe, people will log off and stop inside to shop for some beautiful local flowers. – Chris Albers, New Orleans

Me too.

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