Flowers are beautiful. But Consumer Reports discovered ordering them online can be ugly. Consumer Reports surveyed subscribers about their experiences shopping at the 52 largest retail websites. Online florists 1-800-Flowers and FTD rated near the bottom.
"They had low marks for value, and there were lots of complaints about high shipping charges and customers having to wait longer than expected," according to Tony Giorgianni of Consumer Reports
Ticketmaster doesn't have a lot to cheer about either. It was at the bottom of Consumer Reports' ratings and got the lowest marks of all for customer support.
A Ticketmaster spokesperson tells Action News: "With new management and ongoing changes in the ticketing industry and with technology, Ticketmaster has significantly transformed who we are. We are constantly making improvements for consumers..."
Among the highest-rated sites: B&H Photo; Zappos; Costco; Nordstrom; L.L.Bean; NewEgg for electronics; and REI for outdoor goods.
REI stands out with its guarantee shoppers can return or replace items any time at the store or online, with no expiration date.
"Zappos also has a good return policy," Giorgianni said. "You have a year to return something, and Zappos picks up the cost."
Another way to save on shipping is to shop at sites that don't charge if you have items delivered to the store for pick up.
To combat getting a lot of spam after shopping online, you should set up a separate e-mail address for online purchases.
Here are the full company responses to the Consumer Reports survey:
FTD and its worldwide network of florists proudly deliver millions of beautiful arrangements to our customers each year. Our shipping and service fees are in line with the other major national floral companies. One of the many benefits of sending flowers is that you can send your gift via same day or next day delivery and many of our customers choose those options. Unlike other products like shoes and books, flowers are highly perishable and require special care and handling from the moment they are picked until they are delivered to your doorstep. We do our utmost every step of the way to ensure that our flowers arrive fresh, beautiful and as arranged according to customer specifications, whether they are hand-arranged and delivered to your doorstep by one of our artisan florists or arrive via courier in one of our award-winning gift boxes.
And while at particularly busy times, primarily during Mother's Day and other high demand holidays, our customers may experience waiting times that are longer than normal, we do our very best to thoroughly handle each inquiry, whether it is by phone or through our Website as quickly as possible.
In addition, any time a customer is not satisfied with FTD products or services for whatever reason, our customer care department can be reached 24 hours a day 7 days a week at 800-SEND-FTD to facilitate a redelivery or refund." -Robert Apatoff, President, FTD