Value Flora is an online florist which lets you send flowers as well as balloons.
The best words to describe them I think would be "cheap and cheerful".
When you log onto their site you can choose from a menu down the side to choose by theme. I always select "Value flowers". This is where Value Flora comes into their own, they have a range of flowers from about £8.99-£12.99. It is slightly annoying that they frequently change the prices, what is £12.99 one day is £10 the next so if I am sending flowers for a certain occasion I always check the site quite a while in advance and select a later delivery date (first class delivery is free). Their balloons are all £10.99 with free P&P.
I've never ordered their £30-£40 range as to be honest for that price I would prefer to use a local trusted florist, but I often use their value range when a friend needs cheering up. I pay using Paypal but you can pay using a credit card if you prefer.
They arrive in a small box with no cellophane, ribbons or fancy wrapping but for £10 I think they are true "value" and would recommend them.
ValueFlora.com is an online florists. I have used them at least once in the past and as far as I recall I had no problems with the order. Their prices are very reasonable and when you consider you can get 12 roses delivered for only about £10 and other floral arrangements delivered for reasonable rates between £10-£20, one would think what a fabulous and cost effective alternative to site like Interflora.co.uk or Flowersdirect.co.uk. Well I'll come back to my opinion about my recent experiences with ValueFlora in a bit.
On the homepage you have in the centre of the page photos and links to ValueFlora's featured items. I wouldn't say the photos are all that clear on this page and even when clicking a photo to take me to its page, in several instances I found that the photo of the floral arrangement was not very sharp or clear which is not a good sign to me personally if they can't even provide clear images of their products.
As far as I recall it was very easy to set up the account, with my email address, password, name and address, contact number, various delivery addresses, etc. Once I'd set up my account I could click on ACCOUNT OVERVIEW and choose from a range of options such as "Review Online Orders", "Update Account Profile", "Delivery Address Book", "Change Email Address", "Change Password", etc. The last option on this list was "Send Contact Message" (this is a very important option which I'll come back to shortly.
It's very easy to place items into your shopping basket and on the whole the site is extremely user-friendly and pages refresh very quickly. It's all very pleasant to look at and browse through the various floral arrangements on offer at what seem like very reasonable prices.
NOW I COME TO DISCUSSING THE EXTREMELY WORRYING THING ABOUT THE SITE.
In the first few weeks of 2009 I have been receiving emails from the site, no big deal you might think, but I selected the option NOT to receive marketing emails from them. Even so, I don't mind hearing about offers once in a while, it might encourage me to send a floral gift to a friend or relative. Last week I thought I'd send a friend some roses which were being advertised via email from ValueFlora for £9.99 delivered with the quantity doubled for just another £5. What a bargain I thought and what a nice surprise for a friend who's been going through a bit of a rough patch recently - I hoped the roses would cheer her up.
I clicked the link in the email and was taken to the website and selected the roses with 100% more for just £5 and clicked on the shopping basket. Expecting to be taken to the page for me to log in with my email address and password, I was quite stunned to see I was already logged in but AS SOMEONE ELSE - someone called Sandra xxxxxx. How weird was that? Maybe it was a technical glitch. Alarm bells didn't start ringing yet but I clicked on ACCOUNT OVERVIEW and "Update Account Profile" and saw details of Sandra xxxxxx's home address and telephone number there on my screen! YIKES! I clicked the LOGOUT button and then typed in my email address and password and got into my account. Foolishly I continued with trying to place my order, added the flowers again to the basket, added my friend's office address as the delivery address and clicked checkout. What do I see? Somehow the system had logged me out of my account and I was showing as Sandra xxxxxx again! What on earth was going on? I was a bit annoyed now, so I clicked on delivery addresses and there I see Sandra's delivery addresses along with MY FRIEND'S DELIVERY ADDRESS! I was not a happy bunny. Luckily it's quite easy to delete a delivery address, so I hit delete and logged out of the account. I then logged back into MY account and clicked on "Send Contact Message" - I sent them a brief note explaining what had happened and could someone get back to me as it was worrying that Sandra xxxxxx's details kept coming up on my screen including her full address, contact number and email address as well as her delivery addresses. This was a serious breach of data protection and I asked that someone get in touch with me asap to reassure me that this was just a one-off technical glitch which they could resolve quickly.
No response from them, I didn't think about it anymore until I got another email from them advertising some beautiful tulips. "15 Mixed Tulips, SPECIAL PRICE! Now £12.99 Hurry, offer limited to first 200 customers" and they would upgrade the order to 25 mixed tulips for just £5 more! Remembering the previous week's experience, I clicked on the link and the first thing I looked for was the welcome message at the top of the screen where it should have been either "guest" or my name! No such luck, I was logged in as Holly xxxxxx today. I clicked on the address options and sure enough, there were contact details for the aforementioned with a London address and phone number. BAH! I clicked logout and logged into my own account ready to fire off another message to the company asking what they were playing at. As soon as I logged in I noticed the basket saying £17.99. I clicked on the basket and there was an item in there for £17.99 reading:
"15 Mixed Tulips
CARD MESSAGE: Dear Grandmar Have a lovely birthday All our Love Lyd and Josh xxxxxxxxxxx; Helium Balloons: Not Required; Delivery Date: 29 January 2009; Extra Gifts: Extra Flowers"
I was pretty annoyed by now and wondering how confused Lyd and Josh's "Grandmar" would be at not receiving her birthday flowers! This was the straw that broke the camel's back. I went into my account details and deleted all of my delivery addresses, changed my address to a fake one, put in a load of 000000000's for my telephone number and made a note of the telephone number advertised on the site - 0844 477 5220. I called the number a couple of times and just got a message saying the customer services are only available between 9am and 1pm. Well I called before 1pm so I wasn't sure why I got that message.
I'm totally giving up on this site - and I'm rating them as 1 out of 5 as it's not possible to give a 0 rating here. I cannot recommend to anyone to use a site which logs you in and out at random with different people's accounts and gives away all their personal details on their account pages too.
Technical glitch or not, it's totally unacceptable for any site to not respond to customer emails advising them that this breach of customer confidentiality is occuring. To add insult to injury the very next week they send out emails again where you get logged in as someone else!!
Their contact details as advertised on the site (although I can't imagine anyone risking using this site now):
Unit123, 5 Charter House, Lord Montgomery Way
Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2SB
UK - England & Wales
Telephone: 0844 477 5220
Horror of horrors! I've just received an email from them with the following text (have edited personal details out for the sake of the person whoever did actually place the order):
Thank you for placing an order with Valueflora.com. Below are the details for your online order.
Item Subtotal £17.99
Order Date and Time
Liverpool, Merseyside L31 XXX
UK - England & Wales
15 Mixed Tulips
CARD MESSAGE: Happy birthday Grandmar, Have a lovely day All our Love Lyd and Josh xxxxxxxx; Helium Balloons: Not Required; Delivery Date: 29 January 2009; Extra Gifts: Extra Flowers
Delivery Method: FREE First Class (NOT GUARANTEED) (Pending Shipment)
Quantity: 1 Subtotal: £17.99
Liverpool, Merseyside L31 XXX
UK - England & Wales
NB: the IP address was definitely not mine! How on earth could they process this order without my credit card details? I couldn't find anywhere on my account details where I had entered a credit card number from before.
After querying what on earth was going on with the above order being associated with my email address, I got this response:
"I have located the details for this order, they were paid for by somebody with an email starting "raydonson" which I am guessing has nothing to do with you. How they have managed to enter your email address is a mystery I am afraid as this is not the email address they have quoted to me for correspondence.
Just to reassure you, we cannot take any payments from you, we do not hold any card/bank information at all.
I wrote back saying this was no one off incident as I had twice been logged into different account in recent weeks and I wanted my account deleted completely and I received another response:
"There was an error in the URL address which was supplied with the email for 10 roses, this has been resolved but if you have any concerns you need to delete all cookies from your web browser tool bar."
Obviously Kate is not very technical and also doesn't understand how serious a breach of data protection has taken place. I wrote back again telling her that it wasn't just on one occasion and to delete my account completely!
Again I'm reiterating to you as a potential consumer that it was at least twice that it had happened to me and obviously it's happening to others as someone had logged in to my account and ordered flowers for their "grandmar" even if they had to put in their own credit card details!
How difficult is it to delete an account? I really don't want to deal with them again under any circumstances and hopefully this will be the end of the matter now!
This review may appear on other consumer review sites under my same username.
This company has changed hands and is no longer based in Manchester. They have not refunded my money after getting an order wrong three times and have not replied to my letter of complaint after three months. My advice is that ordering from Valueflora is a risk. If anything goes wrong with your order then your chances of putting it right are minimal: better to just write it off and go elsewhere. I was a big fan now I am telling everyone to steer clear. One star given grudgingly
Didn't deliver flowers on valentines day as promised by their guarantee. Can only send emails to them - no contact number. No response so far. Very poor - avoid using. Waited in all day for nothing - day was ruined.
This is my first review - hope it is useful!!
I have used Valueflora.com a couple of times now and have been thrilled with the service. The prices first made me think that the flowers would'nt be of good quality (Three Dozen Roses, delivered for £29.99) when compared to the other florists around (I used to pay £50+ for ONE dozen at Interflora) but I was very pleased with what received!
You do need to order a few days in advance, but the savings are worth it. Plus, they have live chat and a small and friendly team who reply to emails really quickly.
My three dozen roses (which I've ordered twice) arrived with foliage and filler flowers, lovely wrapping and a hand written card. They arrive via Royal Mail in a big white box.
I would recommend them to anyone and hope you find this helpful!!
Valueflora is Excellent! - Advantages: Now got HUGE range of flowers, FREE delivery, Lowest Prices - Disadvantages: Full Guarantee, Live Chat Customer Care, They give you a free sweet with every bouquet!!!!!! Nice touch :-)
Supplier of low-cost, high quality flowers for every occasion. Based in Manchester, United Kingdom, valueflora delivers flowers direct to the recipient's door in over 120 countries worldwide.