I just submitted my online order with proflowers.com and I was unpleasantly surprised. I had seen a special on Mother's Day flowers for $19.99 - quite a deal, right? So I went ahead with it. Throughout the checkout process I am seeing that shipping is $5, and a personalized greeting card is an additional $3...I raised an eyebrow but kept going. I keep clicking through the stages, expecting to eventually be shown a summary of my order before I submit...then suddenly I enter my billing information, click continue and 'Thank you! Your order has been confirmed'
'What order?' I have to wonder. It turned out I was being charged two shipping fees - one 'standard' ($13) and one 'guaranteed' ($5) - as well as a $3 fee for "Care & Handling." This is in addition to the card fee, and all applicable taxes. My total order came to over $48.
(Another reviewer made a great point about the redundancy of a 'Care & Handling' fee. Doesn't care and handling essentially mean the packers and delivery people doing their jobs responsibly? Why should there be a fee attached to that? When I go to McDonald's do I have to pay additional fees to keep my server from dropping my fries on the floor? The whole idea is strange.)
I got a customer service rep on the phone within seconds of reaching the Thank You page. I asked the operator to cancel my order so I could start over but she said it wasn't possible, and that my order was already processed (I had just clicked 'okay' 45 seconds earlier!). When I tried again in a few minutes, another operator managed to refund the bogus $5 shipping fee, but clearly she was at a call center overseas, and not directly associated with the company, and so there was only so much she could do.
I want to make it clear that I have no problem spending $50 on my mother...I am happy to do it. It's the idea of spending $20 on my mother, then handing over $30 to some other company in the form of hidden fees, that bothered me. For 50 dollars, I could have gone to a brick and mortar store and gotten something really GREAT for my mom. Also, I am convinced that the itemized charges weren't shown to me until after I checked out, and without that confirmation screen, you might not even know you're submitting an order at all until it is too late and you have clicked 'continue' one too many times.
In the future I will take great caution in dealing with this company. I should have trusted my gut instinct that something was off when I started checking out. I get the feeling this company knows what it's doing with its subversive price advertising and its dodgy checkout process. It is almost as though I wasn't supposed to know how much I was being charged until it was too late to make changes...conveniently enough for them.
In the meantime I am just hoping the flowers reach my mother on time, and that they are pretty. Although after reading the reviews here regarding the quality of Proflower's arragements, that might be too much to ask as well! We will see.
Product or Service Mentioned: Proflowers Customer Care.
Monetary Loss: $25.