NEW YORK (MainStreet) – You know you messed up on Valentine’s Day when you spend the next morning repeatedly apologizing, and that’s exactly what some of the biggest flower-delivery companies are doing today for aggrieved customers whose orders never arrived.
Right now the Twitter feed for 1-800-Flowers is absolutely besieged by unhappy customers complaining that the flowers they ordered never arrived or died very quickly. Just observe the carnage on its Twitter timeline right now:
“Look what I just found sitting on my front porch,” said one Twitter user this morning, posting a picture of a vase of roses. “Day late, @1800flowers. Even the card is dated 2/14.”
Many of those griping on Twitter complained that they received no response from the company through traditional customer service avenues, forcing them to complain through social media channels.
“1-800 Flowers blew it on Valentines Day!” complained Twitter user Dan Evans. “I ordered flowers for my wife over a week ago, not delivered, no response from them.”
It should be noted that 1-800-Flowers has been very responsive to unhappy customers on Twitter: Most customers receive some variation of this response from the company: “I'm very sorry. Pls follow/dm [direct message] w/ ord issue, ord #, ur name, recipient's name, del date. Thx! We appreciate ur patience-Tene.” That, at least, suggests that those who take to Twitter to voice their complaints will be getting some attention. It would seem that the very public nature of Twitter provides an incentive to companies to quickly rectify customer service issues. With many of the complainers pledging to never use the service again (and in the process, making their displeasure known to all of their followers), it’s not surprising that 1-800-Flowers is frantically putting out fires.
Of course, 1-800-Flowers is hardly the only flower-delivery service feeling the wrath this morning. The Twitter account for FTD looks awfully similar right now, apologizing profusely to male users who found that the flowers they ordered for Valentine’s Day from the company never arrived. “So - @FTDFlowers ruined Valentines Day and now on hold for 30 minutes trying to cancel order,” complained one Twitter user, Kieran John Hawe. An hour-and-a-half later, the company responded, “We sincerely apologize for this experience. Please follow to DM your order # & contact info and we will escalate to CS. Thank you.”
Meanwhile, Teleflora’s Twitter account has spent all morning apologizing for undelivered flowers and long hold times on the company’s customer service line. “We apologize for the long hold time. Please message us your order number and we will resolve your issue. Thanks, Marvin.”
There are two lessons here for consumers. The first is to take full advantage of social media channels when you have a customer service issue – no company wants its dirty laundry aired for all of Twitter to see. Given the responses we’re seeing from these companies, it appears that firing off an angry Tweet is much more effective than waiting on hold with customer service all morning.
The second lesson? If you want your flowers to actually arrive on Valentine’s Day, you might want to go to a local flower shop and deliver them yourself.