Finding_A_Local_Florist_-_Sorting_Out_the_Weeds_of_Deceptive_Flower_Shop_Phone_Listings

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					Title:
Finding A Local Florist - Sorting O
ut the Weeds of Deceptive Flower Sh
op Phone Listings

Word Count:
971

Summary:
You want to send flowers to Aunt Sa
lly in Newark or your sister Susan
in San Antonio. You decide to look
 up a local florist there, hoping t
o get more personal service or even
 save a few bucks by avoiding the "
middleman." Normally, a simple cal
l to directory information or an on
line search would be all it takes,
but in the case of florists, the re
sults could be deceiving.
Keywords:
flowers,flowers delivery,flower del
ivery,local florist,florist,floral,
online florist,flowers online,flori
st delivery,florist scam,good flori
st,direct ship flowers,roses,roses
online
Article Body:
You want to send flowers to Aunt Sa
lly in Newark or your sister Susan
in San Antonio. You decide to look
 up a local florist there, hoping t
o get more personal service or even
 save a few bucks by avoiding the "
middleman." Normally, a simple cal
l to directory information or an on
line search would be all it takes,
but in the case of florists, the re
sults could be deceiving.

Many of the online resources are ov
ercrowded with national marketers a
nd wire services rather than the re
al local florists you're seeking.
Some companies have built hundreds
or even thousands of web pages refe
rencing various cities across the c
ountry just to show up in so-called
 "local" searches across the countr
y. Others are simply paying to be
on top. This makes life difficult,
 as it is very hard to tell the dif
ference between a genuine family fl
ower shop and a national fictitious
 "florist" with local phone numbers
 which are actually forwarded out o
f state.
While these deceptive phone listing
s have officially been banned in ma
ny states as intentionally misleadi
ng, the laws are all too often not
enforced. As a result, fictitious
florist phone listings have become
commonplace, especially with the gr
owth of online yellow pages. Flowe
rs With Gifted Elegance of Randolph
, NJ and All American Flowers of Mo
unt Laurel, NJ are two of several t
elemarketing companies employing th
is tactic to make money while provi
ding a disservice to unsuspecting c
onsumers. By purchasing local phon
e listings under many different nam
es, they hope to lead customers int
o using their services.

The strategy first surfaced in the
mid-nineties. States such as Virgi
nia and Delaware recognized the thr
eat and took action. Other states h
ave followed, but the practice cont
inues today relatively unhindered.
Companies in New Jersey, Wisconsin,
 and the state of Washington purcha
se phone numbers all over the count
ry, and place those numbers in loca
l white and yellow pages. The listi
ngs 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 add
ress or a bogus address. Consumer
groups agree it's misleading at bes
t and usually a ploy to con people
into ordering. In the end, custome
rs may face unnecessary extra charg
es, 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 whitepage
s.com. Do a search for business typ
e "florist springfield," and don't
even both entering any city or stat
e. You'll see that about five of t
he first listings are for "Florist
in Springfield" or "Florist of Spri
ngfield" in Massachusetts, Illinois
, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Missouri.
   They all display local phone numb
ers, but none of them list an addre
ss, a common indication of a decept
ive listing. To find out more, we
called each of the numbers. Four w
ere answered by a recording referri
ng to "Our Flowers with Gifted Eleg
ance." The fifth was answered by a
 similar operation which refused to
 provide a physical address and cla
imed it didn't allow 'walk-in' cust
omers. In short, all five were bog
us. The problem isn't limited to S
pringfield. One florist we intervi
ewed knew of at least seventeen mis
leading florist listings in its loc
al yellow pages.

According to customers, the real di
sservice isn't the false listing; i
t's the poor service. These compan
ies often charge between $8.99 and
$14.99 for taking each order and re
directing it to a real local floris
t. The service fee is on top of th
e flowers and local delivery, or wo
rse yet is deducted from them witho
ut the customer's knowledge. The B
etter Business Bureau report on Flo
wers with Gifted Elegance, at bbb.o
rg, notes an unsatisfactory record
due to unanswered complaints. A se
arch at RipOffReport.com reveals th
e number of complaints, including r
eports 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 o
f advertising deception, but avoidi
ng it is fairly easy.

- Trust your hometown florist. Mo
st are seasoned professionals who c
an deliver your gift almost anywher
e, know the better flower shops in
other areas, stand behind their ser
vice, and guarantee your satisfacti
on. In the unlikely event any prob
lem does arise, you'll be glad you'
re working with a reputable local b
usiness that wants your continued p
atronage.

- If you shop online, choose a nat
ionwide florist that proudly displa
ys a toll-free phone number, contac
t address, customer satisfaction po
licy, and industry credentials. Ch
eck for a secure order form with "h
ttps" in the address, and consider
placing your first order by phone t
o ensure customer service people ar
e easy to reach.

- Get advice from friends, neighbo
rs, or business associates. They'r
e often the best source for choosin
g the right florist.

- If you do search for local flori
sts online or in phone books, be su
re to avoid those with generic name
s that include the town or that can
't give you the address and directi
ons to their local store.

The vast majority of florists are h
ard-working, family-owned businesse
s dedicated to serving you. So, yo
u can send flowers with confidence
when you turn to the local florists
  you know and nationwide florists y
ou trust. Most can deliver your bo
uquet around the corner or across t
he country, within 24 hours or less
. No wonder, flower delivery is st
ill one of the most reliable and po
pular ways to show you care. Still
, like any industry, the flower bus
iness has its share of 'bad apples.
' So, think twice before you play
Russian Roulette with the phone boo
k. Count on your local hometown fl
orist and the established nationwid
e florists online.

Courtesy of <a href="http://www.fl
owers-delivery-florists.com/">Flowe
rs Delivery Florists</a>, an online
 guide for fresh flowers, florists
online, and floral information reso
urces.

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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