Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Beware of Avas Flowers--Why I Will Never Use Avas Flowers Again

I was totally fooled and conned by the Avas Flowers web site, from beginning to end. I wanted to send someone flowers from a local florist in Garden Grove, California, so I googled "Garden Grove Florist" and the "Avas Flowers Garden Grove" web site came up. This is the first deception. There is no Avas Flowers in Garden Grove, California. The Avas company simply displays a fake web site with the name of the city that the searcher typed in added in. So if you searched for "Tustin Florist" you'd get a fake web site with the logo "Avas Flowers Tustin" displayed. It turns out that the Avas company is just another flower drop shipper like 800Flowers or ProFlowers. Avas is just an order taker that forwards the order to a real florist nearby the city you choose, adds a substantial markup and lets you pay them.

The second deception was in the offer of "Free Delivery." When my order was completed, the final billing screen said "Delivery: Free" but there was a $15 "Handling Fee" added on, which was not disclosed until the last moment. Can you imagine, "Free oil for your oil change [but there's a $100 pouring fee]"?

The third deception was the size of the bouquet. On the selection screen, I chose a bouquet labeled $43. When I went to the next page, there was a "Choose the size" option, with the radio button preselected on a more expensive size. The choices all appeared the same on the screen, so it was not clear how big a bouquet I was choosing.

Deceptions four was that I paid extra for a "large greeting card." The bouquet was delivered with half a sheet of plain, folded paper, no cardstock, no envelope, and the words broken in half at the ends of the lines.

Deception five was that I chose three balloons at extra cost. The bouquet was delivered without balloons.

The $43 bouquet was about the size of a $30 bouquet elsewhere, and with the extras and "handling fee" added, cost me about $80.

Caveat emptor: buyer beware.

"Free delivery from Avas Flowers of  Garden Grove." Yeah. Right. And did I mention that was with a claimed "online only" discount of 45%?

That's what I get for clicking on an ad in the search results. Not anymore.