Tuesday, December 30, 2008

FTD = royal scam?

So, I blew some of my e-rewards dollars on an FTD gift certificate since there's almost nothing worth my spending my e-rewards on. I thought I'd be able to just buy a cheap gift basket or flowers for the holidays, but I soon discovered that wasn't the case. As any frugal shopper would do, I clicked through fatwallet to get cashback at FTD. Something didn't look quite right when I did that though. Comparing prices using two different browsers (one clicked through fatwallet and one visiting the site directly), you could clearly see that the prices were vastly different. Not just a little different. We're talking a lot bigger than 20% and closer to 75-100% more.

Ok, so that's a little scammy, but I figured I'd just go directly to the site and use up my gift card that way. I scan for the on sale items and find something somewhat reasonably priced with reasonable shipping costs. When I go to place my order, I find something quite shocking. The calculated shipping price on the product information page is quite different from the shipping price on the checkout page. In fact, it's 30% higher. I repeated the process several times to make sure there wasn't a mistake, and found the exact same bait and switch every time.

Turns out (after a little Google research) that FTD has a terrible customer service track record and numerous complaints about dead flowers, questionable product substitutions, and general screwing over of the consumer. Oh well, looks like I'll have to give away the gift certificate to someone else willing to risk FTD. Next time I'll do a little more research. Live and learn.

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