Say it with flowers: how to suck at customer service: a case in point with Interflora UK


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It’s not often I speak my mind (what ?!!?) but this really irked me today. I order a bunch of rainbow roses from Interflora UK online yesterday. Complete all the details, Bob’s your transvestite aunt and I’ll have a happy recipient at the other end tomorrow.


The sad trail goes like this:

  • Insert correct address details
  • Flowers are delivered to the wrong address entirely at 11am
  • The confused recipient rejects the flowers (waddayamean you don’t love BPM !?!)
  • I receive a ‘confirmation’ that the flowers were received by email at 3.40pm
  • The email states the wrong address but I don’t check it (come on, you enter the details yourself you expect them to be correct)
  • I call to see if they’ve arrived. Nope. Hmmm.
  • I check the confirmation email to find out they’ve been delivered to the wrong town and post code.
  • A family member kindly drives to the other house for me and finds no flowers (per story in the above point)
  • I call Customer Services to complain and find out what happened, they confirm they were delivered to the (wrong) address as stated on the delivery confirmation not the order.
  • I’m then asked to email in the delivery and order confirmation emails back to them so they can check.
  • I’m then cut off when I try to point out what a convoluted and backward process it is and that they should have records of the whole transaction anyway, and how did the details change from order to delivery ?!
  • I’m left in the dark as to what exactly is being done with the order, the complaint and how they intend to rectify the problem.

After ordering via a local florist for years in my own home town I only used the national service because I’m unfamiliar with those in the other area. Suffice to say, I won’t be using it again if their entire process is flawed in such a way that the onus is on the customer to prove that the service provided was wrong.

It may be a little harsh, and to be fair I haven’t received any response from Interflora (as) yet but the whole surprise element today was ruined and the customer “service” received a bad joke. I don’t expect to wait a 24-48hr SLA for someone to pick up my complaint email when the mistake isn’t mine and the service being delivered is based on a rapid turnaround.

Take note, because sometimes your customer is in the one industry you don’t want to mess with….

Footnote: not much point running a @interfloraUK Twitter customer service channel either if you don’t respond in good time and then just point people to another complaint webpage to fill in on top of the one you’ve already done….that’s hardly customer engagement….

And it doesn’t help that the email given by the call centre as sales.enquiries is different than the sales.enquires supplied by the confirmation…..

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Theo Priestley
Theo Priestley is Vice President and Chief Evangelist at Software AG, responsible for enabling the marketing and voice of the industry's leading Business Process, Big Data/ In-Memory/ Complex Event Processing, Integration and Transaction suite of platforms. Theo writes for several technology and business related sites including his own successful blog IT Redux. When he isn't evangelizing he's playing videogames, collecting comics and takes the odd photo now and then. Theo was previously an independent industry analyst and successful enterprise transformation consultant.


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