Use care when ordering flowers for Mother's Day

When Mother’s Day arrives on Sunday, May 13, will your mother’s flowers have arrived as well?

Late delivery is just one of the several ways that floral customers (and their mothers) are sometimes disappointed.

Here is some advice from the Better Business Bureau for those who plan to have flowers on their moms’ doorsteps for their special day.

Do a bit of quick research. At bbb.org there are BBB Business Profiles for over 20,000 florists. Narrow your list of online or local florists by visiting the site and finding out how a company’s customers were treated when they had a complaint. Also remember to do an online search on the company for reviews and complaints.

Order early. Insure your mother’s flowers arrive on time during the busy holiday dedicated to the millions of moms out there.

Don’t rush through your order process. Ordering online should mean reading the fine print first. Read about the return policy and the delivery process. Watch for added shipping, handling or delivery fees. Check the total before confirming the process.

Know what you can do if the floral arrangement is not satisfactory.

Pay with a credit card. The extra protections will come in handy if there is a dispute. You won’t get the same protections with debit cards, prepaid cards or gift cards.

Look into the delivery method. Online florists can have differing methods. Some offer same-day delivery. Other options can include international, standard and guaranteed deliveries. Be sure you are allowing enough time to get the delivery you desire. Look for discounts that can be offered if you order for delivery a few days earlier than Mother’s Day weekend.

Be sure the florists has contact information for you in the event there are problems or questions about the delivery. They may need your mobile phone number and/or email address for last minute issues.

Read the description of the bouquet. Remember that online pictures are always enhanced with professional lighting and settings to make them look glorious. Final products can sometimes look a bit different.

Be careful about special promotions. There are probably terms and conditions that can matter to you. Be watchful to see that you are getting the kind of deal and savings that you think you’re getting.

Get confirmations. Sign up for notifications of when the flowers are delivered. Get confirmation emails as well to prove your order was placed. If there is tracking offered, make use of it.

Get photo proof. If you can’t be there to see that the arrangement is as you ordered and expected, have your mother or someone take a picture of them so you can compare with the online photos. Considerable differences may make you want to get an adjustment in the price.

Gift card smarts

For those planning to give a gift card to their moms, here is a quick review of BBB tips for smart gift card giving:

Inspect gift cards bought off the rack for damage.

Double check that the PIN number isn’t exposed or protective covers removed.

Tell your mother to use the card quickly lest it get stored away and forgotten about.

Save or give to your mother the original receipt for the card’s purchase in case of problems.

Be sure the card is good for online purchases if that’s how she wants to use it. Some are only good for in-store use.

Denise Groene is state director of the Better Business Bureau of Kansas. She can be reached at 800-856-2417, or visit the website at www.bbbinc.org.