ACCC investigates Online Floral Chains who are Misleading Customers & delivering inferior flowers
Beware of Large ‘Online Florists’ posing as ‘Local Florists’ that flood the search engines during peak periods and mislead cutomers.
The ACCC is investigating reports that online retailers are using misleading tactics to trick customers into believing they are a local business when they are not. Instead, the ACCC says these large online chains either create floral arrangements in overseas distribution centres or outsource orders to local businesses after taking commissions out of the price, leaving the customers with lower quality flowers or sometimes not delivering at all. Instead, the ACCC says these large businesses either create floral arrangements in distribution centres or outsource orders to local businesses after charging commissions.
Some intersting snippets :
- The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) is investigating reports of online retailers misleading customers into thinking they are local florists, or that their business has a local presence, when that is not the case. Instead, the ACCC says these large businesses either create floral arrangements in distribution centres or outsource orders to local businesses after charging commissions.
Muscling in on local florists
- That’s pushed the big companies into getting “tricky”, he added, including by taking advantage of their big budgets to flood search engines with their branding. Emily Balke, manager of Brisbane-based Poppy Rose said people will try to search online for a florist in their local area, but the websites of these big online retailers will pop up first, often appearing as a local business.
- Not only does this take away revenue from local small businesses, it can also mislead Australians trying to support their local community and leave them with nobody to hold accountable when something goes wrong. Ms Balke has had “distraught” shoppers calling her store last-minute because the flowers they ordered from one of these retailers never arrived, and they couldn’t get in contact with them to complain.
Hidden commisions taken from customers orders.
- Ms Rickard also called out online retailers who don’t disclose to customers that a commission is being taken from their payment, as this can reduce the overall value of the customer’s order and undermine small businesses’ profit margins. Mr Lukasik agreed that hidden commissions mean customers often aren’t aware they are spending more on an order than its worth. He said a $300 Valentine’s Day arrangement bought from an online retailer could actually be only worth half that amount, with the retailer potentially taking a 50 per cent cut.
“It’s like you went to buy an 80-inch TV at Harvey Norman, but when they delivered it to you, it was a 20-inch TV,” he said. “So you’re getting less bang for your buck.” He said this amounts to stealing from customers. Mr Balke said customers should research whether they’re buying from a local business before purchasing flowers.
“Make sure they’re an actual local florist – give them a call, or pop on their website or Instagram, and check them out,” she urged.