Here is my saga. For those who want to skip to the punch line: Don't do business with 1-800FLOWERS. Luckily UPS was able to save the day.
I thought I would buy Sheryl some roses for Valentine's Day. Sheryl's second graders know yellow is her favorite color. I thought she and the children would get a thrill out of seeing yellow roses instead of the traditional red, so I planned to have the flowers delivered to her classroom. With this in mind, on February 5, I placed my order:
I paid extra to have them delivered on Valentine's Day, February 14, which you can imagine, is probably their busiest day of the year. It's arguably the Black Friday of the floral industry.
On the night of February 12, I learned that Sheryl had the day off on Friday the 14th. Yikes! That means no one will be at her school. So much for amusing the students — it's time for Plan B. The flowers are really for Sheryl, not the students, so delivering them at home (about 5 miles away) should be no big deal.
At first I called 1-800-468-1141 to change my delivery location to my billing address. The wait queue was 18 minutes, so at around 6:30 am on February 13, I used the 1-800FLOWERS web site to change my order:
I received the following email in response:
I know this is the day before. I know with the volume of orders they have, customers can't change their orders willy-nilly, but I have a legitimate situation. In my defense, I did start the change process way early in the morning. With this in mind, I then replied as follows:
Later in the day I received this:
Yes it looks oddly similar. The only thing changed is the customer support representative's name. Alas I guess it is a canned response. So I decided to call 1-800-468-1141 again and wait it out. While waiting, a prerecorded message gave me an URL to an order tracking system. I used it:
This gave me a UPS tracking number. If only this information had been in either of the two canned email responses from 1-800Flowers, I could have jumped on the "contact UPS instead" avenue much earlier.
Now that I had a tracking number, I created a UPS account in hopes of changing the delivery address for only $5, but the UI to do so was just a circular loop that did not make this possible.
Clicking on Change delivery only brought up this menu with no UI to do so:
Oh so close, yet no cigar. What's really annoying is that all the time this is happening, I kept getting emails like this:
Let me get this straight. They are too busy to process/change the orders they have, yet they are asking for more orders? All I can ask is that the 52,000 of you who read this blog each month, please don't do business with 1-800FLOWERS. They let me down.
As it happens, my next door neighbor just retired from HR for UPS. I emailed her. She called the local manager and got the delivery address changed. Go UPS! That's what brown can do for you. Sometimes it's not what you know, but who you know.
Today, February 14, the flowers were delivered and Valentine's Day was saved.
Flowers are alive in the lab.