Mother's Day ruined by Lovely Flora World
A Spokesman Said has been fighting for you. More than 1,300 of you got in touch to complain about Lovely Flora World - a flower delivery company.
In the run up to Mother's Day, we issued a warning telling you to watch out for Lovely Flora World as they seem to take the same approach to business as the Transport Secretary takes to trains: It's ok if they arrive late and in a poor state of repair.
And, unsurprisingly, there have been numerous complaints in the wake of Mother's Day outlining a tale of unbridled misery.
There are loads of places you can get flowers from - Interflora, the supermarket, a petrol station...but you'd be better foraging for bluebells in the woods than ordering them from Lovely Flora World.
A raft of A Spokesman Said readers got in touch to complain about flowers arriving in a worse state than the ones you see growing near the hard shoulder on the M1.
Kim Price's elderly mother has not got long to live. In fact, this is most probably going to be her last Mother's Day. All she wanted was some flowers, but Lovely Flora World let her down.
Kim got in touch to say: "This company have failed to deliver flowers to my mother who due to illness won’t be with us next year! To add insult to injury they’ve taken two amounts of money from my account and now won’t answer me via emails, there is no telephone number. Time for a solicitor. Abhorrent."
Shocking. And Kim is not alone.
Louie said: "I ordered a Mother’s Day bouquet for my mother in law ,they’ve not been received and it’s been 3 days. I’ve tried to contact them by email because they don’t have a contact number, but I’ve heard absolutely nothing. How disheartening."
Jill wrote in saying: "I had a bouquet delivered today which you charged 18.99 for and I asked for additional flowers and paid extra and what I got was a bouquet that I could have got from a garage for £5 - they were absolutely shocking to say the least."
Rachel also contacted us: "I am disappointed, to say the I least, with the poor quality of the flowers have been sent. They are that inadequate the recipient has brought them to me appalled at the substandard grade.
"I cannot believe the audacity of this company, charging the price you have for dead "blooms" Inflated prices for a dead bunch of tat. Not even flower food to perk them up. What a disgrace."
So A Spokesman Said managed to track down the phone number of the director of Lovely Flora World after a lengthy search which included sifting through reams of tax records and VAT codes until, eventually, a phone number emerged.
Mr Rajinder Singh Bains, born in 1966, fronts up the company. He also appears to run several other companies that have been struck off, according to Companies House.
In fact, A Spokesman Said contacted the addresses of numerous companies linked to Mr Bains and the current occupier of the office had no record of Mr Bains ever being present there.
And a quick check of the VAT code used by Lovely Flora World links back to a company called Big Brand Limited, whose director was Mr Bains.
But Big Brands Ltd is a dormant company...
Mr Bains told A Spokesman Said that the reason the flowers arrived dead, mouldy and brown, was because there was a strike at the port of Calais that led to the late delivery of the products.
He also said that because they stacked the flowers too densely, some were starved of oxygen.
In short, Mr Bains claimed they took too many orders and haven't had enough staff to handle the tidal wave of complaints they've received.
But, some good news, Mr Bains confirmed to A Spokesman said that dissatisfied customers will receive a refund and a replacement set of flowers 'within a week'.
He said: "100%. We will definitely refund them. Most people have accepted replacement flowers and things are normally fine but there's always room for improvement."
But are things 'normally fine'?
They have a 1 star rating dating back years on A Spokesman Said, and only a three and a half star rating on Trust Pilot. Which contrasts quite starkly to the string of five star reviews shown on Lovely Flora World's own website.
When questioned, Mr Bains admitted he deliberately cherry picks the reviews he puts on his site, which could mislead customers into thinking they're dealing with a half decent company.
He said: "We do pick and choose the reviews we place. You're absolutely right, why shouldn't we?"
What a total farce. He even said there won't be a phone number to call the company placed on their website until May.
Maybe we should play a game: If I order some flowers from Lovely Flora World tonight, will they arrive before their phone line is installed?
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