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Customer service from Interflora – bad start, but good recovery

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

Followed by:

Have full blog drafted on shockingly underhanded treatment of a customer and complete refusal to engage when complaints made/ @InterfloraUK

And then:

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!

3 comments On Customer service from Interflora – bad start, but good recovery

  • How can you say it was a good recovery, you followed their complaint process and they chose to ignore you? If they hadn’t had the threat of you putting a blog post up about their shoddy service they wouldn’t have done anything.

    Then in the end you only got a refund which they should have given you straight away. Since it took so long they should have offered something for the inconvenience and the data protection violations.

    Thanks

    James

  • Hi James,

    You’re probably right – and I did think about the that angle as I was writing the blog post.

    The reason I went with the angle I did was that Interflora did actually give me exactly what I asked for as part of complaint – I simply asked for a refund of the difference between they price of the larger and smaller bouquet.

    So, it was a good recovery in that I got, eventually, what I asked for.

    But what if I’d asked for more? Or asked for extra as a result of the extra inconvenience they put me through?

    Maybe I should have touched on this in the article. However, I won’t be ever dealing with Interflora again – and probably because they didn’t go the extra mile when they eventually acknowledged my complaints.

    They had an opportunity there and then, but chose not to take it.

  • Thank you for sharing your experience. Being slightly over 50 I am not up to speed about ‘Twitter’ but I am very impressed with the results that may be achieved with its use. Now, I do have a twitter account, I got that far but need to know where you tweeted this information for Interflora to feel threatened… this is my understanding, you tweeted it to their tweet account and people looking at their tweet page would see it… forgive me for being ‘thick’ . Why though would people look at their tweet page…for for ordering? I do not ‘do’ facebook, I believe that is probably what the modern ‘end of the world’ will be…when it crashes down… Obviiously I will survive all on my ownio 🙂

    Congratulations on achieving your result…had Interflora stepped up to the plate and gone the extra yard even, they might have retained you as a customer. Now they have lost two.

    Maura

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