Not Feelin’ The Love This Valentine’s Day

If you’re in the product delivery business, it’s probably a good rule of thumb to actually deliver your product when it’s ordered. Sounds simple. But have you heard about the giant 1-800-Flowers Valentine’s Day 2012 ordeal? What a disaster. Apparently, this February 14, the company failed to deliver hundreds of orders. I can only imagine how that affected households across the country.

As you’d expect, the flowerless customers took to social media with their rants. The company’s Facebook page was bombarded with posts from unhappy customers saying things like, “TERRIBLE TERRIBLE SERVICE USE ANY OTHER COMPANY/SITE,” and “Thanks for deliverying (sic) my girlfriends flowers 2 days late. Thanks for only sending 9 out of the 12 roses and thanks for sending 2 dead flowers. Thanks for ruining Valentines Day.” Its Twitter account is seeing similar messages.

After reading the messages, I’m actually starting to feel sorry for the customer service reps (more likely social media/PR peeps) over there who are tasked with responding to every negative comment and attempting to fix the orders. From what I can see, it looks like they are actually doing a pretty good job of staying on top of the responses. (I keep picturing the red-eyed employees in one huge room, hovering over their computers, eating doughnuts, and pulling out their hair.)

So, what happened? Maybe this was a computer glitch? Maybe it was a staffing issue? Who knows? The point is… we should know! 1-800-Flowers should have come out with a public statement as soon as they discovered the problem. Some sort of explanation should have been set forth by a trained company spokesperson (read: PR person ghostwriting for company spokesperson). Although explaining the situation probably wouldn’t have completely repaired the dissatisfaction with the missing orders, it would have at least helped the public to understand how something like this occurred and, more importantly, what safeguards are now in place to ensure it will never happen again.

February 17, 2012 · Posted by in pr, social media  


2 Responses to “Not Feelin’ The Love This Valentine’s Day”

  1. Pete Prodoehl on February 17th, 2012 9:36 am

    I’m going to ignore the fact you suggested “computer glitch” as an issue. Since people program computers, it’s ultimately some person’s fault.

    Yeah, I just defended the computers… It’s not the first time. :)

  2. April on February 17th, 2012 9:54 am

    Haha… never thought about it that way! I guess you’re right, Pete. However, PR people would probably blame the computers. :)