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Finding_A_Local_Florist_-_Sorting_Out_the_Weeds_of_Deceptive_Flower_Shop_Phone_Listings

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					Title:
Finding A Local Florist - Sorting Out the Weeds of Deceptive Flower Shop Phone Listings


Word Count:
971


Summary:
You want to send flowers to Aunt Sally in Newark or your sister Susan in San Antonio. You decide to look
up a local florist there, hoping to get more personal service or even save a few bucks by avoiding the
"middleman." Normally, a simple call to directory information or an online search would be all it takes, but
in the case of florists, the results could be deceiving.



Keywords:
flowers,flowers delivery,flower delivery,local florist,florist,floral,online florist,flowers online,florist
delivery,florist scam,good florist,direct ship flowers,roses,roses online



Article Body:
You want to send flowers to Aunt Sally in Newark or your sister Susan in San Antonio. You decide to look
up a local florist there, hoping to get more personal service or even save a few bucks by avoiding the
"middleman." Normally, a simple call to directory information or an online search would be all it takes, but
in the case of florists, the results could be deceiving.


Many of the online resources are overcrowded with national marketers and wire services rather than the real
local florists you're seeking. Some companies have built hundreds or even thousands of web pages
referencing various cities across the country just to show up in so-called "local" searches across the country.
Others are simply paying to be on top. This makes life difficult, as it is very hard to tell the difference
between a genuine family flower shop and a national fictitious "florist" with local phone numbers which are
actually forwarded out of state.


While these deceptive phone listings have officially been banned in many states as intentionally misleading,
the laws are all too often not enforced. As a result, fictitious florist phone listings have become
commonplace, especially with the growth of online yellow pages. Flowers With Gifted Elegance of
Randolph, NJ and All American Flowers of Mount Laurel, NJ are two of several telemarketing companies
employing this tactic to make money while providing a disservice to unsuspecting consumers. By
purchasing local phone listings under many different names, they hope to lead customers into using their
services.


The strategy first surfaced in the mid-nineties. States such as Virginia and Delaware recognized the threat
and took action. Other states have followed, but the practice continues today relatively unhindered.
Companies in New Jersey, Wisconsin, and the state of Washington purchase phone numbers all over the
country, and place those numbers in local white and yellow pages. The listings usually have the name
'Flowers Of (Town or City)' or 'Flowers in (Town/City)', with a local area code and phone number but either
no address or a bogus address. Consumer groups agree it's misleading at best and usually a ploy to con
people into ordering. In the end, customers may face unnecessary extra charges, poor quality, or both.
Here's how it works and what you can do to avoid it.


<b>The Phone Listing Scam</b>


Take a quick trip over to whitepages.com. Do a search for business type "florist springfield," and don't even
both entering any city or state. You'll see that about five of the first listings are for "Florist in Springfield"
or "Florist of Springfield" in Massachusetts, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Missouri. They all display
local phone numbers, but none of them list an address, a common indication of a deceptive listing. To find
out more, we called each of the numbers. Four were answered by a recording referring to "Our Flowers
with Gifted Elegance." The fifth was answered by a similar operation which refused to provide a physical
address and claimed it didn't allow 'walk-in' customers. In short, all five were bogus. The problem isn't
limited to Springfield. One florist we interviewed knew of at least seventeen misleading florist listings in its
local yellow pages.


According to customers, the real disservice isn't the false listing; it's the poor service. These companies
often charge between $8.99 and $14.99 for taking each order and redirecting it to a real local florist. The
service fee is on top of the flowers and local delivery, or worse yet is deducted from them without the
customer's knowledge. The Better Business Bureau report on Flowers with Gifted Elegance, at bbb.org,
notes an unsatisfactory record due to unanswered complaints. A search at RipOffReport.com reveals the
number of complaints, including reports by people who's flowers were never delivered.


<b>Avoid Being a Victim</b>


There may be no easy way to recover from being a victim of this kind of advertising deception, but avoiding
it is fairly easy.


- Trust your hometown florist. Most are seasoned professionals who can deliver your gift almost anywhere,
know the better flower shops in other areas, stand behind their service, and guarantee your satisfaction. In
the unlikely event any problem does arise, you'll be glad you're working with a reputable local business that
wants your continued patronage.


- If you shop online, choose a nationwide florist that proudly displays a toll-free phone number, contact
address, customer satisfaction policy, and industry credentials. Check for a secure order form with "https"
in the address, and consider placing your first order by phone to ensure customer service people are easy to
reach.
- Get advice from friends, neighbors, or business associates. They're often the best source for choosing the
right florist.


- If you do search for local florists online or in phone books, be sure to avoid those with generic names that
include the town or that can't give you the address and directions to their local store.


The vast majority of florists are hard-working, family-owned businesses dedicated to serving you. So, you
can send flowers with confidence when you turn to the local florists you know and nationwide florists you
trust. Most can deliver your bouquet around the corner or across the country, within 24 hours or less. No
wonder, flower delivery is still one of the most reliable and popular ways to show you care. Still, like any
industry, the flower business has its share of 'bad apples.' So, think twice before you play Russian Roulette
with the phone book. Count on your local hometown florist and the established nationwide florists online.


Courtesy of <a href="http://www.flowers-delivery-florists.com/">Flowers Delivery Florists</a>, an online
guide for fresh flowers, florists online, and floral information resources.


Permission is granted to republish this article in its entirety on the Internet, as long as the link and credit
above are included.




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