Monday, March 01, 2010

Vancouver City Centre Florists use Deception business practice

I had sent my wife flowers for her birthday. I logged onto the web as I was in London and found some local florists. I went with one that looked good but have since found they ripped me off. Do not use City Centre Florists ( as they use a very deceptive practice. Here is what happened.

I went to the webpage to order the flowers for my wife. After finding the ones I wanted, I clicked the "Buy Online" button. See the image below.

The price clearly says $84.99. When I clicked through I was presented with a form that also said my card would be billed for $84.99, this of course being the advertised price. I completed the transaction. The receipt sent to me did not indicate otherwise and simply said thank you order received:

Since the last price they showed me was the $84.99, I thought all was good. The flowers got delivered. But wait!! When I got my credit card statement, I was billed $182.49. See below:

I called them to complain and they said simply that they arbitrarily decided that flowers cost more around valentine's day. They claimed that they had some text somewhere on the website saying they could cost anywhere between 50-100% higher from Feb 1-15. Note that this now appears on the website image (above). This did not appear on my browser at the time I ordered these flowers though. The check out screen said $84.99. I contacted my credit card company and am filing a dispute.

In the meantime, if you send flowers to anyone in Vancouver, do not use City Centre Florists. They are deceptive, rude people who should be put out of business IMO! This dishonest business practice is also against BC law. In British Columbia you have to honor the lowest advertised price. City Centre Florists are criminals. They were given a chance to be nice and do the right thing but now this blog post stays and everyone can see what criminals they are.

Screw you City Centre Florists!!!! You are evil, stupid and treat your customers with contempt. I hope you go out of business and I will do everything to make this story heard until you fail.



  1. Un-be-liev-able.

    Next time stop by in Germany, order flowers and fly over to Vancouver - that might be still under 180 ;-)

  2. Thanks Duane. I was actually ordering flowers today and this is very timely.


  3. Dude - you should just tell the credit card company to cancel it cant you? It is obviously against the law what they did. Maybe the police?

  4. D:

    good to know. thnx for telling this story.


  5. @Susan:

    No problem. I took a vow to expose corrupt/deceptive businesses and the fact my blog gets 100,000's of readers makes it easy to help others from falling into the same trap. The staff there were so rude to me too. Instead of being a bit sympathetic they immediately took the line that I had failed to read the micro-font (which I am disputing was even visible on my version of Google Chrome when I placed the order). I once had a plumbing company rip me off by giving a false warranty and they begged me to take down the blog post, even offering me money. I turned the money down in order to maintain an ethical practice of exposing the truth behind online criminals.

    The guy who contacted me admitted they had lost business as a result.

    City Centre Florists are definitely in the criminal category in my mind. EXPOSE THE TRUTH - PASS THIS ON!!!!


  6. Duane - you can get your money back. just send your credit card company a dispute. since they used HTML there are precedents that they cannot prove what was displayed at the time you checked out and since they have to honor the lowest price it is a slam dunk. don't let them get away with this behavior.

    BTW: I was about to order flowers for Easter. I will not be using CC florests.


  7. holy crap bro!!! they might as well put a gun to your head. Will report this on twitter immediately.

  8. Whoa, thanks for the heads up. I'll definitely keep that in mind for next time...

  9. I just emailed it out to over 1500 people... fuck city center florists!!!

    Dan S.

  10. Duane, that's pretty shit Mate! You should be sure they see this blog too! Monty

  11. big d

    +1 to what monty said. let them know we all think they're shit and make them give you money back. i made a note not to use them and my GF's b-day is next week so they're already gonna feel this.

    city centre florists suck ass


  12. haha - city centre handed you your ass on a platter! Ripped you off blind baby!!

  13. Em, sounds like we might have to walk thru their store with bag (w/a hole in it of course) of aphid’s.

  14. That is absurd! How hard is it to run an honest buisness? The price says X you pay X! How hard can that be? That place is awful.

  15. THanks all. I have also reported them to the Better Business Bureau and my credit card company. I hope to get the money back and want to thank all those who commented here as well as the outpouring of email I received today.

    Business need to learn that when consumer band together and people stick up for each other that these sorts of deceptions will not be tolerated and it will drive them out of business. I have given them every chance to respond and be nice but the nice period is now over. They must pay for their arrogance.


  16. Wow Duane,
    I just became your FB friend today via referral from Adam Bell and ironically I read the blog this afternoon. I do use florists in Vancouver since most of my family lives here and I am usually in some other neck of the woods.

    I've been ripped off by florists countless times. I picked a gorgeous bouquet for my mom on her 65th birthday and she took a picture with it and sent it to me... Guess what... About 1/2 the size it was supposed to be.

    If they know you are out of the country they think they can get away with it. I always tell them now that I check to make sure I get what I pay for.

    The only advice I can give is to develop a relationship with a florist. Even if you want to send to someone in another area you can arrange it through them. I've had good luck with a small florist in Penticton that I order everything through now. (Have a lot of family in the OK Valley too)

    Good luck with getting sorted and a refund. The credit card company will take your side for sure. Nice work getting screen shots. A total is a total!

    Hope to meet you in the near future.


  17. Yeah, trouble with florists is they can quote you and you pick a nice bouquet off a screen shot... But that isn't always what they actually send. I've had florists who send a tiny bunch of wilted flowers instead of the ones I paid for. Good idea is to get the receiver to take a photo for you. That way you are sure that you get what you pay for.

    As for your case where they hiked up the price after the purchase, that is just WRONG. I will blacklist City Center Florists from now on. Thanks and good luck with the Credit Card refund.

  18. That sucks duane!!!! get your money back. just go down there and take it.


  19. I just replciated this now using google chrome. while on IE all the words appear, on google chrome it laid out the website differnetly and did not display a lot of text.

    you did get ripped off duane


  20. thank you very much. I was actually going to order some flowers from them and i had searched in google for city center florists and this article came up. I am really glad I never ordered from them now. This is disgraceful.

    Sujit G.

  21. hey.....its really sad that the florist has done this to you. This is obviously against law and they should not do that. For the next time,if you want to order Flowers , just be more careful.

  22. yep - anything is better than city center florists. Here is an update. I complained to Visa and they issued a challenge. I got 100% of my money back as they realized CCF were crooks. Criminals can be fought. Know that you can win! Power to the people!

    Just desserts!!


  23. Thanks duane. I found this article when I searched on google for city center florists as I was about to order from them. I won't order from them now though thanks to this.


  24. What action did you take?

    Did you call them to find out if there was a misunderstanding?

    Do they respond to you?

    It says quite clearly on that page you posted that the flower prices go up at peak times/holidays.

    Are you sure about your information?

  25. @Anonymous:

    Here are the answers to your questions:

    1. What action did you take?

    DN: I called them immediately and tried to politely discuss it with them. The lady who answered the phone told me there was a note somewhere on the website. I tried to explain to her that this did not render itself in my browser and she got all rude and arrogant. She was not sympathetic in the least and clearly did not understand the technology or BC laws regarding advertising. She got downright nasty with me. I have never been treated with such contempt and this is partially why I feel compelled to share this with the rest of the world.

    2. Did you call them to find out if there was a misunderstanding?

    DN: Yes and the lady whom I spoke with, who identified herself as an employee, was a complete bitch and was not open to hearing my side of the story.

    3. Do they respond to you?

    DN: Nope. They City Center Florists basically took an attitude of "We have your money so fuck off".

    4. It says quite clearly on that page you posted that the flower prices go up at peak times/holidays.

    DN: No it does not. There is a tiny footnote that is not even on the readable area of the website unless you happen to scroll down. Any idiot knows that you cannot expect this. There is also no "final amount" when you check out. The people who made their website do not seem to understand how technology works and understand that different screen resolutions offer different perspectives. The way it was on the website has nbo guarantee it ever gets added to the browsers display list and even then, if it did, there is no guarantee that the person using the website actually saw it. Luckily we have laws to protect consumers against deceptive advertising practices in BC and in Canada in general.

    5. Are you sure about your information?

    DN: Uh - yes. I am 100% sure. Unfortunately for the vendor though, the onus is on them to prove that the surcharge notice was on the website and displayed on that date. I offer this bit of suggestion for the vendor, use this as an opportunity to get a real website and also treat customers better.

    What I find funny now is that this has obviously cost them a lot of business and if they had spent an effort to correct the mistakes instead of posing as a blog commenter to ask dumb questions they could post a message here saying something like "we are sorry, we made a mistake but we have fixed it and will honor customers opinions" or something like that.

    Something to think about isn't it?


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