St. Petersburg, Florida -- Behind candy, flowers are the second most popular gift to give on Valentine's Day. According to the National Retail Federation, an estimated 36.6 percent of consumers will give flowers to their loved ones on Thursday, with total spending expected to top $1.9 billion.
But, don't let your significant other be disappointed with an unpleasant arrangement. Nationally, Better Business Bureau received close to 5,000 complaints against florists in 2012, an 18 percent increase compared to 2011. Most complaints allege the wrong flowers were delivered or the arrangements were not delivered at all.
If you're planning to send flowers to that special someone this Valentine's Day, BBB has the following advice:
- Place your order early. Valentine's Day is an extremely busy time for florists. To ensure enough time for processing and shipping, place your order several days in advance.
- Ask about guarantees. Request a written receipt for the order and ask about the business's refund policy in case the delivery is late, never arrives or is in bad condition.
- Make sure the florist has your information. There are times when delivery instructions need to be confirmed or a delivery driver needs additional directions. Make sure the florist has your phone number should they need to reach you.
- Do your research. Check out the florist's BBB Business Review to see any history of complaints, and additional details about the company before you buy.
SOURCE: Better Business Bureau