Shopping disasters that prevent sharing the love on Valentine’s Day

This announcement is for: 
Consumer
  • Late or no deliveries of flowers and gifts may be a major issue for consumers
  • Keep photos and receipts of online purchases as proof
  • Check online reviews before making your purchase.

Flowers and gifts that don’t arrive in time or arrive but are not what was ordered, are the main consumer issues that can dampen the love this Valentine’s Day (14 February).

Shoppers are being advised to seek delivery guarantees so that the flowers or gifts will arrive in time for the special day, especially if ordering online.

In past years, consumers have not only complained about late deliveries but are also frustrated when the item delivered isn’t what they wanted. For example, instead of red roses they get another colour or even a different type of flower. Sometimes the flowers don’t turn up at all or are dead on arrival.

To avoid disappointment this Valentine’s Day, Commissioner for Consumer Protection Penny Lipscombe recommends taking time to choose a reliable supplier.

“Check with product review websites and ask your family and/or friends for recommendations,” Ms Lipscombe said.

“If you are buying online, to make sure the website you use is secure, take a screenshot of the photo of the flowers you’re buying and keep a copy of the receipt. Also consider paying by credit card or PayPal as you can request a chargeback if the flowers don’t turn up.

“Take the time to read the terms and conditions to make sure you’re aware of any additional fees, delivery deadlines and trader policies.

“If things don’t work out, you still have consumer rights. Under the Australian Consumer Law, you have a right to redress if there is a major issue with the product. This could potentially include if the flowers aren’t what you ordered, look significantly different to the photo or sample you saw, are wilted or aren’t delivered by an agreed time.”

Other tips for online shopping this Valentine’s Day include:

  • Make sure the website is secure by ensuring a padlock symbol is next to the web address. Secure web addresses should begin with https:// not just http://
  • Avoid social media businesses that display few or no contact details. If they offer only a mobile phone number, email address, or have no details at all, reconsider purchasing from the business.
  • Look for reviews on other websites.
  • Payment services like PayPal and most credit cards give you options to dispute or request reversal of charges if you don’t receive your goods. Avoid businesses that ask you to direct deposit money into an account.
  • Take screenshots of the items you buy, contact details provided, payment confirmation, and any other promises such as guaranteed shipping or delivery timeframes.
  • Make sure you order your flowers in time as some online retailers have deadlines.
  • Shop around to avoid spending more money than necessary.
  • If you’re paying for flowers over the phone, always make sure you know who you are speaking to. 

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Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / alan.hynd@dmirs.wa.gov.au  

Consumer Protection
Media release
28 Jan 2021

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