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Just some general information to help you out when choosing to order from these "sending only call centers."

WB is one of many of these call centers. All of them offer arrangements at "sale" prices that a real florist cannot create for the amount of money they receive over the wire services. In my part of the world, there are three wire services that florists can choose to participate in. Teleflora's Dove system, FTD's Mercury system and 1800flowers Bloomnet system. Real florists have to pick and choose between the orders they receive over these wire services because they pay high fees in order to be part of these services. Most orders from these call centers arrive for less money than the florists minimum to deliver, and they also have to take their delivery cost out of that total because there is none included. Basically, what you paid just for the flower arrangement is the only money sent to a real florist, no matter how many extras you paid. AND... these call centers cannot guaratee you that they can get the order accepted somewhere, much less guarantee you that it will be delivered when you ask.

When you see a bouquet advertised at a markdown to the $29.99 range, this is when a real florist will not keep the order. They would be out of business fast. Some struggling florists may choose to keep these orders, but WB always says on the order that prints, "FILL TO VALUE, SIMILAR IS OK!!!!!!!!" (Yes, that many !) It's also why WB and other sending only call centers cannot find a florist in the area where you wanted flowers delivered. It's not that there aren't any there, they just do not keep orders that would quickly put them out of business. Okay, yes, you can run to the grocery store or Walmart, Target, etc., and pick up a cheap bouquet, for less money, but these kinds of stores buy in bulk because they have many, many stores across the country and get the discounts. Florists rely on their local wholesalers, and believe me, flowers are not cheap. When a florist buys a bunch of roses for $30, they can't afford to put them in a $29.99 bouquet.

Also, when you see a picture of a bouquet online or even in one of the books offered at a real florist through Teleflora, FTD or Bloomnet, unless that book is filled with pictures that the real florists has done and advertises to its customers, then what you see in that photo is ALL of the flowers that are included in that bouquet. Most all of those arrangements come in either a 6" or 7" vase, but these online call centers will not tell you that.

Your best option is to always contact your local florist. The problem with search engines is that the first 5-6 that show up, and sometimes more, are these call centers. They advertise as local florists making you think they are right where you need them to be. WB has a location in Commerce Township, Michigan. Teleflora is in Los Angeles, California. In other words, none of them are local florists unless you happen to live in the city they are located. Scroll down the search page until you see listings that have addresses and local phone numbers, as most florists have dropped their 800 lines. Most people have cell phones these days. Also be mindful of your local yellow pages as Just Flowers and FTD advertise in mine. They also advertise on funeral home websites, Facebook, other online community sites, etc. Real florists will not be advertising everywhere you look.

Here's a short list of other sending only call centers that you can choose to use or not, but if you do use, choose carefully and always expect that the crossed out regular price of the standard bouquet is what a real florist will need in order to create that bouquet.

Sending only call centers: Just Flowers, From You Flowers, FTD, Teleflora, Wesley Berry Flowers, Kim's Florist in Irvine, CA., Blooms Today, The Sympathy Store, Avas Flowers. There are more out there to be wary of, but as with all things research is key to finding the right thing for you at the time you need it.

ALWAYS look up any business with the word complaints following it. If there is a bad rep to be found this is a sure fire way of locating it.

I've worked in the floral industry for the past 20 years and can tell you that these call centers have been a thorn in our side for years. We don't deal with most of the call centers and only keep orders we feel we can create for the money they send us. I hope this is informative enough to help everyone.

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