09 August 2009
Fear the Florist Will Ruin the Surprise?
Like thousands of florists, we request the phone numbers of recipients when flower orders are placed - just in case we need to contact them in the course of making the deliveries. Previous posts about the topic explain why we sometimes call the recipient first (from Bloomery's blog) and detail some of the unique flower delivery issues we face here in Orange County.
We flower shops are keenly aware gift givers complain about florists who ruin the surprise by phoning ahead of the delivery, but
sometimes it's unavoidable - especially if the delivery address is
incorrect or incomplete.
Lately, we've noticed more customers giving us their own phone numbers as the recipients' numbers and this practice has delayed some time-sensitive flower gifts (especially Birthday flowers) from being delivered promptly.
Just recently, we received an online order for birthday flowers and balloons and the purchaser gave his own phone number instead of the recipient's. The address provided for the recipient was incorrect, with the street name being the same as a street in an adjacent city and similar to a street in the same city but in a different zip code. We started calling the customer at 10am and left several message plus an email to request a call back to get the proper address and/or a phone number.
As it was getting later in the day, we sent out a driver to attempt delivery at the possible locations, but no one was home and the information available at the houses lead us to believe these too were not correct. We really tried - because we know how cool it is to get flowers on your birthday.
Finally at close to 6 p.m., after our delivery team had left for the day, the customer called to say he'd been in meetings all day and hadn't had the time to return our calls. He said he hadn't given us the recipient's phone number because he didn't want the surprise ruined. He then gave us the correct address and phone number and the order was rescheduled for the next day's delivery. Per his request, we did phone the Birthday Girl to tell her flowers would arrive the next morning and were delayed due to an incorrect address.
Trust me when I tell you that flowers that miss the birthday are far more disappointing than having the surprise ruined by a phone call. Having a direct phone number to each recipient is an important tool to help us get your thoughtful flower gift delivered on time.
If you're concerned about a call being made in advance, try the following:
Provide the florist with the phone number and request the recipient not be called in advance. The florist will then have a number for a follow-up in case no one answers the door. (We're amazed that people don't stay home all day waiting for flowers, but it happens. ;) )
And do remember, even if you know you're getting flowers a little in advance, you'll still have the delight of receiving them, reading the personal message sent along with the bouquet, enjoying their fragrance and color for days, and remembering the thoughtfulness for a lifetime. :)
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