SAN ANTONIO – When you order flowers online for Mother's Day, does the bouquet mom gets really look like the image on the website?
The floral business will be blooming for the May 14 holiday. The retail industry estimates 70 percent of people who celebrate Mom will do it with flowers.
Three of the most popular online services were put to the test: Teleflora, FTD and 1-800-Flowers. A mixed bouquet priced at $70 was ordered from each.
All three orders arrived on time.
The Teleflora order was for the "Sparkle and Shine" arrangement. It did include the six hot pink roses and white lilies promised online. The bouquet did include a few substitutions, such as lavender daisies instead and white babies' breath instead of lavender statice and green button chrysanthemums.
The websites do include statements suggesting that actual products may differ slightly from the images, or that substitutions may be made.
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With taxes and fees, the arrangement cost a total of about $87.
It was delivered to KSAT GMSA anchor Leslie Mouton, who called the arrangement "gorgeous."
"I like all the different kinds. This twig adds that little extra pizzazz to it," she said.
The purple vase, complete with bling, was exactly as pictured.
Next, FTD delivered the "Sunlit Meadows" bouquet. It included the flowers at advertised: sunflowers, magenta mini-carnations and small yellow roses. The aqua vase appeared as pictured as well.
A discount had been applied automatically at checkout, so the total was about $71.
The sunflower arraignment was delivered to KSAT anchor and mommy-to-be Myra Arthur, who pronounced the flowers "beautiful."
When she was shown the online photograph, however, she said the real thing was not quite as full-looking as the picture.
"But, I will say the flowers look like they're in good condition," Arthur said.
The final delivery was the "Mother's Embrace" from 1-800-Flowers. That total added up to nearly $92.
While the roses were as pictured online, the Oriental lilies were all closed up tight and the Alstromeria was drooping.
The pink vase barely appeared to be pink because the stems had not been stripped of their many green leaves.
Recipient Ursula Pari was happy to receive the flowers, but her exuberance wilted when she took a look.
"They're kind of of sad," she said. "Got some droopiness going on here."
Several days later she said the lilies never did bloom.
When 1-800-Flowers customer services was contacted, they apologized for the disappointment and immediately had a new, nicer bouquet delivered.
All of the orders were filled by local florists.
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