I wouldn't say I was scammed per se, but I was certainly fooled.

It happened last Friday.

I wanted to surprise my wife by having flowers sent to my wife at her workplace.

(Before you think, "Oh, he's so romantic!" I'm really not. I suck at this stuff, but I wanted to surprise her - for once.)

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So, we live in Egg Harbor Township, and she works in EHT, so I figured I'd just reach out to a local florist online and place an order. It was already about 1 pm Friday and she finishes work at about 5:30, so there wasn't a lot of time.

I went to the website of a couple of local florists who've been in business a long time, and who've I used for deliveries in the past. Neither had an option to send flowers right that afternoon.

So, I Googled "Flower Delivery in Egg Harbor Township" and clicked on the first one that popped up - it was Patricia's Petals. I had never heard of them before, but I saw they were local and they could do the delivery that afternoon, so I placed an order, feeling confident I had done something pretty awesome-for-a-husband.

About 30 minutes later I received a call on my cell from an odd-looking number and out-of-state area code. I ignored the call.

A few moments later I received a text - from a different area code - that said they had received my order, but they wanted permission to swap out some of the specific flowers in the arrangement, as they were not available. "No problem," I texted back.

I thought the different area code was odd, but I just figured it was someone who worked at the local flower shop, and they just used their own phone to reach out to me. I actually remember thinking that was very nice customer service.

After the text, I noticed I had a voice mail from the phone call - and that had been the flower shop asking the same question as the text. Again, I thought it was nice of them to reach out and check with me.

So, the flowers were ordered, I went about my afternoon, confident they would be delivered.

Except they were not delivered.

I was working an event that evening and my wife called me - but, she didn't say anything about the flowers. Finally, I said, "Hey, did you get anything at work today?" It quickly became obvious that she had no idea what I was talking about, so I had to ask her directly about the flowers.

Long story short, no flowers.

By this time it was about 6:30 pm. I called the flower shop at the phone number they had reached out to me from, and I was a little surprised that I went to one of those automated answering messages. "If you're trying to track an order, press 2."

After several minutes a man answered the phone. When he started speaking, it hit me  - they were not in Egg Harbor Township.

"Where are you located?" I asked.

He tried to not answer, but eventually, he said, "We are in Florida."


Apparently, they are a nationwide flower service - like 1-800-Flowers - and they actually just work with other florists around the country to fill orders.

I told him my flowers were never delivered, and he said he'd track the delivery and call me back. It took about 45 minutes for him to call me back. When he did, he said he could only tell me the order "was out for delivery."

I explained to him that my wife was no longer at work, and by now, I was sure her business was closed for the day.

I didn't hear from him again. No flowers either.

One of my wife's co-workers said someone did call the business Friday afternoon to confirm that she worked there. That was nice, but if it was her that answered the phone, it would have blown my surprise.

Again, bottom line - no flowers.

Do I feel like I was duped? Yes, I do! Patricia's Petals did a great job in masking where they really were, making it seem like they were located here. 

I guess that's what can happen thanks to the technology of 2022.

If it were a local florist, I could have dealt with them directly without the middle man. So, "Shopping Local" really does have its advantages.

I did end up calling Patrica's Petals back on Monday, and they did refund my money. But - and it's a big but - I was really looking for a little surprise of flower delivery, and that didn't work out.

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