Well Mother’s Day is here and I am certain as all-good adult children you have ordered your flowers for Mom. Well this is certainly the time of year to order flowers; Mother’s Day is the all-time biggest day for the flower companies. But flowers is only one of the biggest gifts that people will give to women which makes online flower companies such as 1800flowers.com and ProFlowers.com some of the fasting growing companies to date.
They may be growing fast but are they worthy enough to handle your busy. This comparison may help you to find out.
According to Hoovers.com, 1800Flowers.com is not just an online site, but also a very large and successful company with several Web sites, over 130 million catalogs, and over 80 franchised and 15 company-owned shops that are mostly in California. Their main office is in New York.
They not only sell fresh flowers and plants, but Harry London gourmet chocolates, balloons, plush animals, gourmet snack items, greeting cards, home and garden gift and very expensive jewelry!
Founder and CEO James F McCann began his flower business in 1976, still controls 96% of the voting power and is very active in 1800flowers television and print ads.
If you don’t like dealing with a website, you may call 1800flowers and conduct business with a live agent. Well trained agents will even suggest arrangement or gift items, if you should have it delivered early and deal with those problems that pop up like your flowers not arriving or the fact your roses got left on the delivery truck and now look like ashes.
Proflowers.com is one of 1800Flowers’ largest competitors. They have been around since 1988 and their main office is in San Diego. Proflowers was a part of Providence Commerce before being bought out in 2006 by Liberty Media Corporation. ProFlowers.com also sells not only fresh flowers and plants but gourmet fruit and gift baskets, desserts and steaks, pork and seafood packages that can be sent anywhere.
I have purchased items through both companies and found many similarities and differences.
Both companies have online websites, friendly agents and very nice products. But I have to say I would have to side with 1800Flowers.com for several reasons.
1800Flowers have more products to choose from than ProFlowers. I might buy their seafood, pork and steak packets from ProFlowers, which 1800flowers.com doesn’t carry but I don’t think I would send meat or seafood as a birthday or Mother’s Day gift. 1800Flowers has a better selection of gifs geared towards women whether it’s Mother’s Day or they just had a new baby. And if they can find a gift for my hard-to-shop-for-Mother-In-Law who hates fresh flowers, then they have my vote of an approval. (By the way, that gift was a gift ‘basket’ that was inside a large woven magazine basket filled with gourmet junk food and gardening items.) Proflowers does not carry items like the jewelry and their gift baskets aren’t as inventive as 1800flowers since they mostly are fruit baskets. Lots of fruit. 1800flowers had items like a giant chocolate cover fortune cookie, cheesecake, a coffee-styled gift basket in a decorative tin and they even had a section for flowers for men! They win hands down in the variety-in-product category.
Prices were less at ProFlowers so if you were just looking for something quick and cheap, they would definitely be your place. 1800Flowers.com, on average, was at least $20 more expensive on their arrangements but their arrangements were larger than the ones that I received from ProFlowers. So less is definitely not more in this situation.
Freshness. Both companies’ flowers arrived fresh and undamaged. ProFlowers’ were a little wilted but I re-cut the stems and gave them more water and they were fine. What upset me about ProFlowers versus 1800Flowers was what I found out later. ProFlowers has their own network of suppliers and none of them are near where I live! 1800Flowers wire local florists so they are truly fresh when they arrive. Also, ProFlowers sent my arrangement, UNARRANGED. I have to arrange them myself. The vase, which I had to pay extra for, arrived in a separate box. 1800Flowers arrived via a local florist, already arranged and in the hands of the florist delivery woman. No box.
Live Agent Service. I also have to commend 1800Flowers on their professional and efficient phone service. I called their line to assure delivery and found myself a real live person and not an automated machine. A friend of mine and I both ordered arrangement from both 1800Flowers and ProFlowers. With ProFlowers, she, a military wife, ran into snags. Even though she ordered the flowers with her husband’s credit card (who is in Iraq), she had them put her name as the person that she was ordering from. When she called to find out the status, ProFlowers refuse to let her now if her flowers were going to be on time! She didn’t ask about credit card information, price or anything but an estimated time of arrival! ProFlowers told her, that she was going to have to email her husband in Iraq and have him check on the status even though it was noted that ‘she’ was the one that ordered the arrangement.
When I asked the 1800Flowers agent about this, I was informed that they had special programs for military families so this wouldn’t occur. Besides, as long as she wasn’t the recipient, they could tell her the status of the delivery.
Track Record: Nowhere in my research could I find any discrepancies in 1800Flowers practices as a company. I found two major lawsuits against ProFlowers by FTD for unfair practices and a class action lawsuit for deceptive marketing practices.
Whether or not this changes your mind or helps you make up your mind about flower ordering, that is up to you. But overall, between the two companies, I believe that 1800Flowers comes out smelling like a rose!