Friday, February 7, 2014
A Heartbreaking Tale of Valentine Fraud
I worked part-time at a florist years ago. Of course, Valentines' was the busiest time for the store. The shop I worked for had been in our area for over thirty years and was a family run business. This florist was consider THE florist in town.
I didn't realize when I started working there, that it had been bought by a New York man who owned a string of discount floral shops across the East Coast. When the new owner took over the quality and service began to diminish. Employees were even forced to shop other florists when our flowers ran out!
It is no secret that the price of roses sky rockets by 40% for Valentine's Week. Roses are in high demand and orders from suppliers must be placed early. The new owner failed to order sufficient roses to fill the demand for our orders.
No, we did not turn away business so customer's could shop at another florist. We even continued to take FTD and online orders knowing we didn't have product. We were instructed to keep our mouth shut and take all orders.
The owner demanded that when the complaints poured in because flowers weren't delivered, we were to apologize and tell the customer we would immediately send out a replacement order. No biggie? Oh so wrong.
Ya see, the owner was able to pocket the money for the triple price roses when they were ordered. The week after Valentine's filling the replacement orders would only amount to pennies on the dollar. We were not allowed to give any refunds. We could only replace the customers undelivered orders with product.
I happened to be working the Saturday after Valentine's fell on a Friday. A lovely, elderly man came into the shop. He patiently waited his turn in line. When he got to the register, he explained (not complained) that his wife had not received her dozen roses for Valentine's Day. My co-worker gave him the company pitch about 'a new arrangement will be sent out next week with a note of apology'.
The gentleman's eyes teared-up and he said in a soft voice,
"She won't be here next year. My wife is dying of cancer.
She thinks I forgot her on Valentine's day."
I know there is a special place in Hell for the owner.