Find out where your flowers are really coming from this Valentine’s Day – warns ACCC
The ACCC is investigating the Large ‘Chain-store’ florists and their misleading of consumers.
The ACCC is urging consumers buying flowers this Valentine’s Day to ask where their flowers are coming from and make sure they are not being misled into thinking large ‘order gatherers’ are locally-based florists.
The ACCC is investigating the florist industry and looking closely at the operations of online order gatherers, and reports that some large national suppliers are making misleading representations online that they are local florists or that their business has a local presence, when that is not the case.
These large businesses either create floral arrangements themselves in large distribution centres or outsource orders to local businesses after charging undisclosed commissions.
“Consumers are often willing to pay premium prices at local florists in the hope they will get fresh flowers, a direct point of contact and reliable delivery. When national order gatherers use suburb specific information in their online digital marketing, it may mislead a consumer into thinking they are dealing with a small local business,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.
When order gatherers have a business relationship with a local florist, they should make that relationship clear to consumers including if a commission is taken from a consumer’s payment.
“Hidden commissions can reduce the overall value of a customer’s order and can undermine small businesses that often operate on small margins,” Ms Rickard said.