Back in early February, I ordered some flowers for a birthday and when given the choice between a “regular” and a “large” bouquet – I splashed out and went for the large.
However, when the flowers arrived at their destination, they were clearly the smaller bouquet size – and a comparison to the photographs confirmed this.
In the spirit of the ValueIreland Tips on How to Complain, I wrote an e-mail to the Interflora customer service e-mail account to explain what the problem was, and what I would like them to do to fix the issue – simply refund me the difference between the two bouquet sizes (€24). I mailed the day after the bouquet arrived, so the complaint was prompt – as it was clear and polite. I received an automated response – “we’ve seen your e-mail, and we’ll follow up”.
Three days later (enough time for them to action the complaint) after not receiving a response, I sent a polite follow up explaining that if I didn’t hear from them following my complaint, I would go to the small claims court. There was another automated response, but still no action on my complaint.
Four days after my initial complain, Interflora sent me an automated survey asking me to answer questions on my “customer experience” following my order with them. I answered, providing some not very positive comments based on my experience and explicitly indicating that I’d be willing to have them follow up on my answers.
After filling in that survey, I had myself removed from the Interflora e-mail listing so that I wouldn’t receive any further unsolicited communications.
A month later, after still no response, Interflora sent me another e-mail asking me to complete another survey – despite me being supposedly off their e-mail lists.
That was the final straw. So off to Twitter I go:
Did I mention recent shocking cust service, product quality frm @InterfloraUK? More to follow, inc how they totally ignore customer feedback
Have full blog drafted on shockingly underhanded treatment of a customer and complete refusal to engage when complaints made/ @InterfloraUK
And remarkably, they still e-mail me looking for feedback despite multiple complaints sent and ignored / @InterfloraUK / #menace
And within a day, I had my refund of €24 back to my credit card.
Impressive follow up in the end, but it’s just unfortunately that it took a channel of complaint that most Irish consumers don’t use to get my complaint resolved.
Interflora claimed that they hadn’t received my 2 e-mail complaints to their customer service e-mail box – despite me received the confirmation e-mails.
I suppose it’s back to the normal customer service process of many large companies – we’ll ignore all complaints until we’ve no choice but to follow up. Given that many people might give up after being ignored for a month, it’s likely that in most customer service complaints, the problems will go away and companies like Interflora won’t actually have to do anything.
So, stick with it!