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Consumer Alert: Misleading ads for local florists

By Joe Ducey
abc15.com
Source: abc15.com KNXV-TV. Phoenix

abc15.com, Phoenix - February 7, 2008

The ABC15 Investigators discovered a practice in the Valley that could change the way you order flowers for Valentine’s Day.

Brian Vetter is President of the Arizona State Florist Association. He said the Internet and phone books are full of companies misrepresenting themselves as local florists.

"It is deceptive," Vetter said. "They are not professional florists. They are not designers. They are not even sales people. They are just there to get money from people."

Vetter said it works like this:

You call what looks to be a local florist, using a local phone number. Your call is forwarded out of state to a call center, where they take more of your money in order to place you with a local florist.

"You are taking an extra step," Vetter said. "You are also going through a middle man. So, you are spending more money."

And that is what we found in two of our three tests.

In one of our tests, we ordered roses.

We asked for the biggest arrangement possible for $100 (not including tax and delivery charge).

We ordered from Earley’s Flowers, located in Phoenix, and from A Absolutely Flowers, a company based in Utah using a Phoenix area code.

We received 24 roses from Earley’s Flowers and 18 roses from A Absolutely Flowers. Both florists charged about $120.

Absolutely Flowers told ABC15:

"They provide service to Phoenix and do not believe they are being deceptive to consumers by using a local number."

Attorney General Terry Goddard said the law prevents misleading ads.

"There is a specific law in Arizona which deals with telling the truth," Goddard said.

The law requires businesses tell the truth about their location and address.

The ABC15 Investigators found Avondale Best Florist advertising on an Internet directory with a Valley address.

We went to Avondale Best Florist’s address. We did not find a florist.

Instead, we found a residential home, whose owner said she has been receiving Avondale Best Florist’s mail for years.

We called Avondale Best Florist, but they hung up on us – four times.

So, before you fork over your hard earned cash on Valentine’s Day, know who you are dealing with.

As a result of our investigation, the Attorney General's office said they are looking into Avondale Best Florist.

HOW TO ORDER FLOWERS FOR VALENTINE’S DAY
By Brian Vetter, Arizona State Florists’ Association, http://www.azflorists.com/

1. Order flowers from a local florist because you get more personal contact and a guarantee.
2. Make sure the florist is local by asking them to provide their address. If they hesitate or cannot answer, do not order through them.
3. If you are ordering flowers for someone out of town, use a wire service like FTD or Teleflora. If you have problems with a wire service, there is recourse.
4. If you order using a credit card, check your statement at the end of the month to make sure the price you were quoted matches the price you paid.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR FLOWERS FRESH
By Tony Medlock, PJ’s Flowers, http://www.pjsflowers.com/

1. Change the water everyday.
2. Try adding an ice cube to the water, it may make your flowers last longer.
3. Mix the packet of flower food with water in a separate container, and add it to the water in the vase.

 

 

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