EL PASO, TX (KTSM) — How can a consumer be sure that floral bouquets purchased online are delivered as displayed on advertisements? Last year, the BBB received more than 3,900 complaints against florists. Many of the complaints were about flowers that were late, the wrong kind or that were never delivered at all.
BBB Business Reviews can tell consumers whether a florist has complaints and, if so, how the complaints were handled. The reviews also give background information, such as the owner's name, how long a florist has been in business and other details like phone numbers, websites and more. Call 314-645-3300 or visit www.bbb.org  for a review.
The BBB offered the following tips for consumers who buy flowers:
· Ask about guarantees. Request a written receipt for the order and ask about the business's refund policy if the delivery is late, never arrives or is in bad condition.
· Make sure the florist knows how to reach you. Delivery instructions may need to be confirmed or a driver may need additional directions. Check to see that the flowers can still be delivered at a time when the recipient is home.
· Research florists. Check out a florist's BBB Business Review <http://stlouis.bbb.org/find-business-reviews> to see any history of complaints and additional details about the company. Ask friends and family which florist they recommend.
· Allow time for shipping and delivery. Check with the florist or website to be certain that you have allowed enough time for delivery. Make sure that this date is specified clearly and guaranteed when you order. If you order ahead of time, delivery and other charges will be less than last-minute or overnight shipping. Some florists offer discounts for deliveries a day or two before a major holiday, since that helps them deal with the rush.
· Have a back-up plan. Make sure you understand the store's guarantee. Find out how customer complaints are handled and what recourse you will have if the arrangement is not satisfactory. It's best to use a credit card when ordering online, because you can dispute charges if the vendor doesn't come through.