Hundreds of outraged sons and daughters have vented their anger on social media at online flower retailers after bouquets they'd ordered for their mum failed to arrive on Mothering Sunday. If you've been affected, here's what your rights are and what you can do.
Online greetings card and gift retailer Moonpig has apologised after widespread complaints from unhappy customers. Many had ordered flowers that were guaranteed to arrive on Mother's Day, but they never made it.
Dozens of Twitter users who did receive bouquets posted photos showing flowers that were damaged, missing, or virtually unrecognisable when compared with the images on Moonpig's site.
Moonpig has blamed "an issue" with one of its suppliers and offered its "sincere apologies" to those affected.
Meanwhile, on a much smaller scale, a handful of MoneySavingExpert users who bought Mother's Day bouquets from Debenhams Flowers have also told us their bunches weren't delivered on Mothering Sunday. M&S, Interflora and eFlorist say they experienced isolated delivery issues too.
Deals for flowers from Moonpig and Debenhams were among those featured in our recent round-up of Mother's Day deals. We always warn users of the risk in buying couriered flowers. Our page from our Deals section states: "In past years, some big firms' deliveries have gone wrong. Hopefully it won't happen but there's always a risk. Consider that before buying."
Here's what the firms are doing:
- Moonpig says it has "compensated all customers who have experienced a delay". It won't confirm if all affected customers have received full refunds – it says it's treating each customer on a case-by-case basis. Moonpig's terms and conditions say if your flowers fail to arrive or you receive them damaged, it "can arrange to re-send on the next available delivery date or [offer] a full or partial refund". If you've had a problem, call its customer services department on 0345 4500 100 and it'll investigate.
- Debenhams Flowers says it did not have any major delivery issues and that its flowers were dispatched on time. However it is offering a full refund to anyone who contacts customer services on 020 3696 1129 because their bouquet arrived late or damaged, and in some cases it is giving an additional credit toward a future purchase from the retailer's flower site.
- M&S explains it is offering full refunds to affected customers who contact its customer services on 0333 014 8000.
- Interflora says it has "seen some queries regarding orders" but it involves "a small number". Interflora has apologised to affected customers and says it's working to resolve any issues in accordance with its 'Interflora Promise', which states that if your order fails to arrive on time it will "do all we can to put the situation right, or, if you prefer, give you your money back". You can contact Interflora customer services on 0870 904 5459.
- eFlorist says it managed to deliver "almost every order" and has apologised to those who didn't receive their flowers. It says it is currently "in the process of contacting [customers] to offer an alternative".
What are my rights?
When you buy flowers online, you enter into a contract with the retailer – even if the issue is with the courier company which delivered your flowers, you should complain to the retailer.
If you ordered couriered flowers and had a guaranteed delivery date, or you paid extra for a certain delivery day and they did not arrive, the retailer has breached your contract with them and you should be entitled to a full refund.
Under the Consumer Rights Act, you should also be entitled to a partial or full refund if a bouquet arrives damaged, as long as you let the retailer know as soon as possible. See our Consumer Rights guide for more info.
You should also take a photo of the flowers as the retailer will likely ask you to show proof that the bouquet was not in satisfactory condition.
Contact the retailer in the first instance and explain the problem. If you're still not happy with their response check our How to complain guide for your options in taking it further – you can also use the free online tool Resolver* to raise and escalate your complaint.