We took pictures of the three bunches of roses in our photo studio. Then we asked 77 staff volunteers to inspect the arrangements and choose which ones they thought represented the best and worst quality, all under the supervision of our lab experts. We followed with an online survey of 162 staffers who were shown the flowers online pictures (we didn’t identify the websites) next to photos of the roses that were delivered, and asked how similar they were on a scale of one (not at all similar) to five (extremely alike). FTD roses got the best scores; staffers liked the ProFlowers bunch the least.
If you can’t go to work in the morning, realize it’s your mom’s birthday, order flowers, and then have them there that very afternoon, what’s the point? Many online flower delivery companies charge extra (sometimes 25-50 percent extra) for same-day delivery service, but we wanted this feature to be an option in case you needed it.
SendFlowers.com. With a decent website and consistently good scores in Chicago, Seattle, and North Carolina, these flowers could have made it into our top three picks — if they would have arrived in our fourth location. The roses weren’t able to be delivered to our Wisconsin location, so SendFlowers.com lost major points. Our order was initially accepted, but the only local florist within 20 miles rejected the order; we were notified by email that our recipient was too remote. It’s too bad: In Chicago, the arrangement was unusually lovely, with deeply scented, velvety roses that were so dark red they were tiptoeing toward black, surrounded by lush ferns and glossy dark leaves. If you’re going with SendFlowers.com, our advice is to only send arrangements to mid- or large-sized cities.
We were left with 16 online flower delivery companies to test. But hold up! Some of these companies, such as Flower.com and JustFlowers.com, are actually the same, with identical checkout systems, mailing addresses, About Us pages, and customer service phone numbers. (JustFlowers owns Flower.com, but we decided to order from Flower.com since its website was way cleaner than JustFlowers’.)
ProFlowers picks flowers the same day consumers order them so that they always get a fresh bouquet. They offer worldwide service, picking flowers from local fields in various countries, and deliver flowers door-to-door.
A first-rate online flower delivery service makes it easy to order flowers online or by phone and can answer your questions quickly and courteously. Another useful service is the electronic reminders that you can sign up to receive. If you have ever forgotten a birthday or anniversary, you will no doubt appreciate an electronic reminder so that disaster doesn’t happen again. In addition, some have customer loyalty programs that let you accumulate points for discounts and special offerings.
Many sites offer flowers for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, funerals and “just because.” Corporations often send floral gifts to employees or other firms. If you do not want to give someone a floral bouquet – and for some people, this implies a romantic message – you might prefer to order a live green plant, a bonsai plant or a dish garden with cacti. These kinds of gifts could be perceived as more professional and would safely congratulate or thank someone without sending the wrong message.
Sourcing flowers directly from the flower farms allows florists to secure large quantities of flowers at a prearranged price. This is good for special days, like Valentines and Mothers day, when flowers are in demand and price at the auction can be extremely high in case of poor weather conditions. Roses and Blooms is New York’s local, family owned and operated florist, that sources its flowers directly from the farms. This allows them to pick unique and extraordinary blooms for their shop. Their mantra is no middle man, no problem.
BloomNation connects local florists and consumers. Customers can order bouquets online, which are then arranged and delivered by a local florist. They serve approximately 3,000 cities. The company was started in 2011.
Teleflora has been delivering flowers for over 81 years. It partners with 13,000 florists in the United States and Canada and more outside North America. Consumers order from Teleflora, and a local florist makes the delivery.
Bouquet size: Many online flower delivery services offer multiple sizes of the same bouquet at varying prices. These websites typically provide an estimate of how many flowers are included in each size, and some include pictures of how the various sizes will likely look.
The lily is the flower most commonly associated with funeral services as they symbolize the innocence that has been restored to the soul of the departed. The white lily expresses majesty and purity, where as white stargazer lilies specifically symbolize sympathy.
Answer: Yes, you can definitely send a gift after the funeral. Healing takes a while so your sympathy gift is still relevant after the funeral. Try to send your gift no later than two months after the funeral to make sure your gesture is well-received.
Because literally no other company we called did this, or came anywhere close to matching this level of service. Only one other company, ProFlowers, got a decent customer service score. This was a refreshing change after dealing with companies like FlowerPetal and Ava’s Flowers, which kept us on hold for so long that we finally hung up. Even worse was 1-800-Flowers: The company greeted us with an automated operator, who proceeded to connect us to a conference call center, demand a passcode and then hang up on us. If we’d had truly urgent questions, FTD was one of the few services that left us confident we’d actually be able to get in touch with a human being.
Florist’s choice: Some sites have special prices if you allow the local florist who will deliver your flowers to design the bouquet. You won’t have a choice about what types of flowers they include, but you will be able to select the general size of the arrangement.
Exotic blooms: You can order any flower you want for your recipient, but exotic flowers may not be available unless you order well in advance. Consider using a company that ships flowers directly from the source to the consumer for the freshest exotic options.
The Basics: The Bouqs Company’s bouquets are so beautiful that brides are known to order them for weddings. The service offers sustainably grown, farm-direct bouquets from local artisans, all clearly marked with a price and delivery date so there are no surprises at checkout.
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
Shipping service delivery: Some companies ship flowers directly to the recipient from exotic locations, and these may offer a wider variety of choices than local florists. Flowers shipped from a long distance usually arrive in a well-insulated box and are delivered by a shipping service like UPS or FedEx.
Send a sympathy card with a sympathy message. Always send a meaningful card with a condolence message or a sympathy quote to express your sympathy for those who are grieving. Kind words go a long way during this fragile period of time.
FTD was established in 1910 when 13 florists joined together to offer flowers across the country that could be ordered by telegrah. Today, the company delivers flowers and other gifts around the world. Orders can be placed by phone or on the company’s website.
It may mean ruining the surprise, but if you’re sending flowers to someone, make sure the recipient will actually be present at the address where you’re sending them. With the majority of online flower delivery companies, you can authorize the delivery person to leave the flowers at the recipient’s address, but, during testing, we realized that our writer lived in a Chicago house with a locked front gate, and she needed to be home for the flowers to be delivered. When she asked several delivery companies what she should do about the front gate, they stated that they do their best to leave the flowers inside locked gates, but if there is no access, the flowers simply can’t be delivered.
When we called to inquire what went wrong in Seattle, it was frustrating: we were disconnected twice after waiting awhile on hold before finally getting in touch with a customer service manager who informed us that we had actually been sent the wrong bouquet! We walked through our options: FlowerPetal said Seattle’s flower shop has been a trusted partner for years and was quick to offer a replacement bouquet or full refund — all great to hear, but the experience coupled with an outdated website couldn’t top FTD.
FlowerPetal.com offers fresh flowers, gift baskets and floral centerpieces for all occasions to consumers throughout the United States. Offering a secure process for ordering flowers through its website, FlowerPetal.com provides same-day delivery for most of its arrangements.
We picked firms that offer you a wide variety of products, services and community-related features. As a customer, you deserve services that deliver a first-class experience for all your floral and gift needs, as well as other factors that contribute to a good online flower delivery service.
Flower.com. While boasting a less-cluttered website than its twin company, JustFlowers.com, Flower.com still has, to put it bluntly, a crappy website. Blurry pictures, poor product descriptions, and an overall “it’s 2002 and online shopping is a new phenomenon” feeling left a bad taste in our mouths. But, the bouquet itself was perfection and looked just like its (blurry) online picture — at least, in Chicago and North Carolina. But the bouquets received poor scores in both Wisconsin and Seattle. Our Wisconsin tester reported that while her flowers weren’t show-stopping, they looked decent — once they actually arrived. Delivery was delayed — twice — because the florist was out of red roses. At our Seattle location, we were greeted with a bouquet that looked drastically different than the online photo, complete with a different vase, no baby’s breath, and a scant amount of greenery. You win some; you lose some, but at $85.46 for a dozen delivered roses, it’s an expensive gamble.
Flowers and plants are commonly sent to show you’re thinking of someone during a time of grief. Sympathy flowers can be sent directly to a particular recipient, while funeral flowers can be sent to a funeral home.
We didn’t rate companies on price alone, since cost can vary based on address, time of year, floral arrangement, and how far in advance you place your order. But we’ve laid out how much it cost us to order one dozen red roses in Seattle (minus shipping and delivery) for all of our top picks — this should give you a ballpark estimate of how much you can expect to spend.
We were not prepared for the beautiful arrangement from FlowerPetal. In fact, we were bracing ourselves when we received the order because Flowerpetal’s website is awful. It looks like a 1999 site for popular baby names, and many of the bouquets shown online are missing vital product details, such as how the flowers will arrive and whether they’ll have a vase. Imagine our surprise, then, when a truly beautiful bouquet showed up in Chicago, and equally lovely blossoms arrived in Wisconsin and North Carolina. (In Wisconsin, the order was actually fulfilled by the same company as our Wisconsin FTD order.)
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Ava’s Flowers and ProFlowers. Both of these companies had the same problem as Flower.com — they were great in some cities and awful in others, gathering both very high and very low scores depending on location. In Chicago, both companies sent the worst, saddest bouquets our writer received — the roses were shedding leaves and petals like crazy; some blossoms were entirely broken off; and the stems hadn’t been dethorned. So why include them on our list of companies to consider? Because in Seattle, both Ava’s Flowers and ProFlowers got perfect scores.
Shipping procedures: Most flowers will be grown in warm climates and shipped many miles before arriving at the flower shop or being delivered to the recipient. If you order flowers that will be delivered by a shipping company instead of a florist, make sure the company will either refrigerate them and/or ship them in an insulated box.
Send comfort food. Most individuals who are grieving cook less during this time so sending along a hot meal to help alleviate their stress of cooking is a thoughtful idea. If an entire family is grieving, you can let your loved one know that you’ll be stopping by to drop off enough food for the entire household in advance.
Ask your mom about the flowers sent. (She may not want to complain to you, or she may just be glad you thought of her.) But if you suspect there was a problem with the bouquet, ask for a photo. Call the company you ordered them from to complain if you or your mother is dissatisfied with a delivery. All three companies we ordered from will replace your flowers or refund your money if you’re not satisfied. All three also provide the same options if their flowers don’t last for seven days.
We sought out companies that offer a variety of non-floral gifts in addition to flowers. Many online flower delivery companies offer a number of gift choices, including balloons, jewelry and seasonal presents like summer barbecue tools.
Top-notch flower delivery companies provide tracking information online and by phone so you don’t need to wonder whether your flowers arrived. You can check the status of your bouquet as it travels toward your intended recipient.
Locally sourced: Locally-sourced blooms tend to be fresher, smell sweeter and last longer than flowers shipped thousands of miles because they’re more likely to arrive soon after they’ve been cut. If you live in a warm climate, look for a florist that sources its flowers from a local grower.
The Bouqs Co. is a start-up that offers eco-friendly, “farm-to-table” flowers. They partner with farmers that practice sustainable agriculture — think minimal water waste, and flowers cut only once they’ve been ordered. Along with colorful descriptions of its bouquets, you’ll find a picture and video of the farm each arrangement comes from.
That said, it did eliminate a few contenders that we’d initially been excited to work with, most notably Farmgirl Flowers, which offers US-grown, local arrangements delivered by bike or scooter (cute!). Demanding same-day delivery also cut out One World Flowers, a licensed importer and distributor of Fair Trade Certified flowers.
Many online flower delivery services prominently feature eco-friendly plants and flowers. Some have Veriflora designation, which means they sell only products cultivated under stringent sustainability standards.