Buy flowers from local merchants for best value

Louisville, KY - By Eric Flack - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Mother's Day is fast approaching, and that means the flowers will be flying. But every year people will pay way more than they have to thanks to some deceptive advertising by out-of-town telemarketers. But there are some ways you can avoid their traps.

With just a few days until Mother's Day, florists in Louisville were busy.

"Between Derby week and Mothers Day week, it's one of our busiest weeks of the whole year," said Michael Gaddie, owner of Lloyds Florist in Okolona.

But out-of-town telemarketers are taking a cut out of their business - and taking a chunk out of your Mother's Day bouquet.

Gaddie says ordering with the wrong company could mean you won't get what you pay for.

"And if you continue to buy flowers for $50, $60, $70," Gaddie said, "and then you get a $35 or $40 value when you receive the product, that's not fair to you."

The Louisville Better Business Bureau calls them petal pushers - national flower companies who advertise locally, without mentioning that they're based out of town.

"I think it's dishonest," said Reanna Hamblin-Smith.

"I don't think its fair to the consumer not to know who they are really calling."

"A customer thinks they are calling a local florists, and they are not," Gaddie said.

"They're calling someone in Idaho, or California."

Here's how it typically works: the national company takes an order, adds $10 to $20 in service fees, and then forwards the order right back to a local florist - a business you could have called directly and saved money or simply received more flowers.

Gaddie, former president of the Kentucky Florists Association, fought for legislation in Frankfort that outlawed deceptive advertising by out of state florists. But we found companies are not following all of the new rules. Like requiring local addresses on all yellow page ads.

Bottom line this Mother's Day: beware of who you are buying from. Make sure they care as much about your flowers, as their bottom line.

If you do plan to order some flowers this weekend, first look for a business with a local area code. And if you do dial an 800 number, ask the person who answers the phone what their local address is. If they can't answer that question, hang up.

If you choose to order flowers online, use the website of a local florist.

Mom will be glad you did.

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