Loved ones who plan to send flowers for Mother’s Day should beware of “petal pushers.” These unscrupulous florists place bogus listings in local phone directories. When you call the local number listed, or given to you by the operator, you’re unknowingly forwarded to an out-of-town telemarketing company. The telemarketer takes your order and credit card information, and then forwards your order to an area florist. The telemarketer pockets a processing fee and usually a percentage of the total order. You don't know you've been scammed until you learn you've been charged more than you planned, then the flowers aren't delivered as ordered or worse -- not delivered at all.
Here are some tips from the BBB so you don’t get duped by petal pushers:
- Ask family and friends for referrals to a florist they have used.
- Check to see if a florist is a BBB Accredited Businesses at www.bbb.org.
- If you find a florist from the phone book, look for a listing that includes a local address. When you call, ask for the directions to the store – if they hesitate or refuse, hang up.
- Visiting the shop is another way to determine if the florist is reputable. Check the quality of the flowers and the overall quality of the business.
- You can also ask for a guarantee. Most professional florists should have one.
For more tips, go to www.bbb.org or call (409) 835-5348 or (800) 685-7650.