Flowers arrive in poor condition
If your flowers arrive in a sorrowful state, such as wilting or with browning petals or leaves, they are not of satisfactory quality and you should be entitled to a refund.
When you buy flowers online, you enter into a contract with the retailer. Under the Consumer Rights Act, - which came into being on 1 October 2015 - the retailer is responsible for the condition of the flowers until you take delivery of them.
So if your flowers arrive in a poor condition, the retailer is in breach of contract and you should receive a full refund.
It’s a good idea to take a photo of the flowers, as this is useful evidence if you’re asked by the retailer to provide proof that the flowers were not in reasonable condition when you received them.
Flowers arrive late
The Consumer Rights Act says that the retailer is responsible for the condition of goods until they are received by the consumer or by someone else they have nominated to receive them on their behalf - like a neighbour.
This means the retailer is liable for the services provided by the couriers it employs - the delivery firm is not liable for late delivery.
- Get photographic evidence of poor condition or damage to your flowers as this will help support your complaint.
- If a loved one or friend has sent you flowers that have arrived in a poor condition or late, make sure you tell them. Otherwise the retailer may say they can’t access the order information and won’t resolve the problem.
Estimated delivery If your flowers are later than estimated, you don’t have an automatic right to a refund. Under the Consumer Rights Act a retailer has a maximum of 30 days from when your order is placed in which they must deliver your goods, unless a different delivery time is agreed.
Estimated delivery, by its nature, is not guaranteed by a certain time so a retailer could successfully argue that a delivery which arrives a few days after its estimated delivery date is reasonable.
However if one or two weeks have passed since the estimated delivery time, you could argue that a reasonable time had passed and ask for a refund.
Timed delivery If you paid for your flowers to be delivered by a certain date or time, for example next day delivery or on Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, this is an agreed part of your contract.
So if your flowers are delivered late, this is a breach of contract and you have the right to terminate the purchase and get a full refund.
Flowers don’t match description
Under the Consumer Rights Act all goods must be as described to you. If they’re not, this is a breach of contract and you’re entitled to your money back.
So if the flowers you receive don’t match the description given or the picture shown online when you bought them, you can reject them and ask for a refund.
The same applies to the type and colour of the flowers you buy. Unless the retailer clearly explains that the type and colour of flowers may vary, they must provide you with exactly what you order.
It can be tricky to know whether there’s a problem if you’re the person who received the flowers but didn’t buy them. In this instance you might not know what the flowers are meant to look like.
If you think the flowers aren’t up to scratch or just aren't the sort of flowers the person who bought them would send you, it’s definitely worth letting them know.
Most retailers will only discuss, rectify and refund orders with the person who made the purchase.
Not enough flowers
If you order a specific number of flowers but fewer than this amount are delivered to you, you’re entitled to a partial refund for the missing flowers.
So if you order 20 roses but only 14 arrive, you should ask for a refund for the missing six roses.
Cut flowers are usually priced per stem, so if you don’t receive the number you order it’s definitely worthwhile pursuing a partial refund.
If you’re the person who received the flowers from someone else, it might be impossible to know whether you received the right number or not.
But if the flowers are a little lacklustre, consider letting the sender know. This way they can pursue redress with the retailer if there is a problem.
Flower refunds and replacements
If the flowers you ordered are not the flowers delivered, you can reject them and ask for a refund.
Under the Consumer Rights Act, a retailer must refund you within 30 days of you rejecting goods that are faulty, not fit for purpose or not as described.
The retailer may offer to send you a replacement instead of giving you a refund. If you’re not happy to accept a replacement because the flowers are for an occasion which will have passed by the time a replacement arrives, you’re entitled to ask for a refund.
For example, if the flowers were bought for Mother’s Day and the retailer is offering to send replacement flowers which will arrive a couple of days later, you can refuse by arguing that it was essential that they were delivered in time for Mother’s Day.
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