Helpdesk: Mother’s Day flower order led to a blooming problem

Q: WHILE on holiday in Australia over Mother’s Day, I ordered a bunch of flowers for my mother in Leeds from online company, making a payment online.

The online payment system asked for my address a second time – saying I needed to fill this out in order for my order to be fulfilled. I did so, and expected to receive a statement asking me to check and confirm payment.

Instead, I received a notification that my order had gone through and that I had been charged £68 – the price of two bunches of flowers. I sent an email to eflorist immediately to ask what had happened and try to stop the second order being processed. I also tried to ring the number given for international customers. However, this number did not appear to work from my Australian phone.

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My mother received a lovely bunch of flowers. However, when I returned to the UK, I discovered a second bunch had been delivered to my Edinburgh home and left with a neighbour. I have asked the florist to refund the money for the second bunch of flowers but received no satisfaction.

CS, Edinburgh

A: Eflorist failed to respond to requests from The Scotsman for information.

However, a spokesman for Citizens Advice Scotland said: “There are potentially several problems. When you first placed the order, ‘Eflorist’ should have e-mailed a confirmation of the order to you. However, your computer may not have received that confirmation and, as a result, automatically refreshed the page. This would then appear to the vendor as two separate orders.

“There are further problems associated with online ordering. The payer’s address may not be the delivery address. Also, if the site isn’t clear you could inadvertently have confirmed two orders at some point. But you should have been given information about cancellation.

“Allow a reasonable time for a reply from the trader. If no satisfaction is given, you could report the matter to the Trading Standards Department of your local council (though the vendor is based overseas, Trading Standards work on the basis of where the customer is). If the seller is a member of a Trading Association, you could seek their help.

“Remember, you can always get CAB advice from your local CAB office, or online at”

• If you have a consumer issue that you would like tackling, contact Jane Bradley on 0131 620 8432 or e-mail [email protected]