No love: Groupon users revolt against FTD deal

Posted Feb. 11 at 6:22 p.m.

A day after Groupon offered $20 off of $40 worth of flowers and gifts from FTD, users are calling the deal a scam.

The coupon, which nearly 3,300 people bought, directed buyers to a special FTD website — — to take advantage of the offer. The problem, users said, was that prices were higher than on the regular website, effectively diminishing the value of the deal.

In fact, it appeared that a Valentine’s Day bouquet would cost more if users redeemed their Groupon.

“What a scam. The ftd groupon site has a price $10-$20 more than their own site. So basically you didn’t save anything,” Joann L. wrote in the comments section of Groupon’s site

“Yes — groupon, refund my money! The site has higher prices than the regular site,” echoed another user.

Disgruntled shoppers also noted that high service and shipping charges further depleted the voucher’s value. Others found that bouquets would not be delivered before Feb. 15, the day after Valentines Day.

In response to the negative feedback, Groupon closed the deal a day early.

“It was way too big of a headache for our customers and that isn’t how Groupon treats people,” Groupon’s spokeswoman Julie Mossler said in an email to CNNMoney.

The deal’s original terms were that the Groupon could not be combined with other offers and discounts, which are already calculated in at the regular site. But both Groupon and FTD acknowledged that the deal was confusing and apologized.

“We understand that some Groupon customers were disappointed they were unable to combine the discounts,” said FTD Group President Rob Apatoff in a prepared statement. “We apologize for any confusion this offer may have caused.”

FTD set up a phone line specifically for Groupon customer care: 855-645-6214 and Groupon said customers are welcome to email for a credit or refund.

“To make this right, we’ve worked together with FTD to make sure that discounts available on will now also be available to use with your Groupon. For those of you who already purchased items that were on sale on, FTD will automatically issue you a refund on the credit card you used with the difference as additional savings,” Groupon said in an email to its customers.

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  1. Sue Feb. 13 at 8:49 a.m.

    At least they tried to make up for the FTD debacle in a somewhat speedy manner. I’ve used FTD in the past and was so disappointed I vowed never to use them again, and I haven’t. It wouldn’t surprise me if the bait and switch was on their part. I had flowers sent to a co-worker so I got to actually see and compare with the picture on the website. Not even close!
    I’ve just started Groupon a few weeks ago and have only purchased two “deals” so I’m new to this, but they will save me money on something I’ve been meaning to try. You have to check out the regular prices before purchasing the discounts.

  2. yabbi Feb. 13 at 9:27 a.m.

    Send your Groupons to Tibet!

  3. Nancy Feb. 13 at 10:18 a.m.

    I did not purchase this groupon because FTD almost always increases their prices for any special discount they do through other companies. I have found FTD to be very poor with any sort of sale or discount. This is not a shock to me. FTD loves to increase prices. I’ve had more success with companies like 1-800-flowers.

  4. Toadstool Feb. 13 at 10:25 a.m.

    Use 1-800-flowers. So much better

  5. sharon Feb. 13 at 11:33 a.m.

    wow…what a bunch of cheapo boyfriends, your significant others are worth full price.

  6. Eggman Feb. 13 at 12:23 pm

    Economics 101: if someone (Groupon) tries to convince you to buy something (“Hurry! Sale!”) you weren’t already looking for, then either (a) you don’t need it; (b) it’s not worth it; (c) it’s overpriced to begin with, so your “discount” is actually just a correction; or (d) all of the above.

  7. Chris Feb. 13 at 12:43 pm

    I’m not surprised at all. FTD is a terrible company that does nothing more than act as a third party for people wanting flowers, and then charges a premium for nothing.

    If you can order from FTD, you can Google a local florist and save money and frustration. That’s what I’ve been doing since FTD screwed up 2 or 3 orders in a row, and now I pay less, get what the recipient says are fresher flowers, and I am solely supporting local, smaller businesses.

  8. Dawn Feb. 13 at 1:00 pm

    FTD completely screwed up my Valentine’s day order, and was less than apologetic about it…horrible company..with horrible customer service…will NEVER use them again!

  9. UrbanCowboy Feb. 13 at 5:48 pm

    I quit using any online flower places several years ago when both FTD and 1-800-flowers screwed me on Valentines day. Neither showed up on time for Valentiners day and neither offered me anything to fix it. Now I go to a local flower shop and pick them up to hand deliver.
    Neither of the “Giants” in the industry give a rats as* about the customer. As with most evryone in America, its all about the Almighty Dollar.

  10. Car Rental Vegas Feb. 13 at 5:53 pm

    I agree this is a really thoughtfully written story, thank you for sharing this!

  11. reisen ans mittelmeer Feb. 13 at 7:38 pm

    Nurse Location,head soldier application him seriously name strike since sound after famous top form spread patient weather means come that head white committee couple withdraw survive management beneath pass spring little reaction process device software holiday settle colour couple trip half continue why fall right arrangement own recognise wrong cash attack address unable sit ministry expenditure look state should band eye several total deny inside reason total full tomorrow wash this give see terms get best bloody pension give train definition fast financial weight table public contact

  12. Brian W. Feb. 13 at 11:19 pm

    I got an email last night that my FTD Groupon order “wasn’t available” and spent half the morning arranging a new order. Now at 9 PM I just got a call from FTD (the NIGHT before Valentines Day!) that my order wasn’t available…I cancelled my order and will NEVER use FTD again. I agree with other posters, use a local shop, not this terrible company.

  13. jos.o Feb. 14 at 6:15 a.m.


  14. Hetty Feb. 15 at 8:45 a.m.

    NEVER go through the web site – ALWAYS call or stop in your LOCAL hometown florist and allow the owner or designer make your arraignments.

    I have been a floral designer for over 30 years. The BIGGEST mistake you can make is to web site order for a special occasion or go with “flowers in a box”.

    Did you know that MOST funeral directors will NOT even display “flowers in a box”? You should KNOW before you spend your hard earned cash!

    Your LOCAL hometown florist makes their living by making you and your recipient happy. Use them – they are there to make life easier and better in a simply beautiful way.

    I am “I” surprised by the FTD/Groupon debacle? No! The impulse of Valentine’s day makes it possible!

  15. John Feb. 15 at 2:12 pm

    The general economy has flourished AND diminished at the same time over the years. This has created, and not the flower industry by itself, a market for the mass merchandisers and order takers such as FTD, 800 flowers, etc..
    I have been a florist over 30 years and a certain price point exists when the holidays arrive. Customers will spend a few bucks or a lot.
    FTD and others do their job in reaching a mass market that is budget conscious by offering “a lot for a little”. Most fall into the trap by not being an “educated consumer” ending in disappointment.
    Supermarkets carry basic varieties and again its the impulse and price point that wins you over. True top-quality floral products cost twice as much that most people are willing to pay so the “other” market exists for the more affluent. Having said that, even if you buy flowers once or twice a year, you should go to your local florist and get the better product for that occassion.
    One word of caution though, dont buy roses on Valentines Day ! The farms cant grow enough to satisfy the demand on this holiday so they wont last. Buy a mixed floral instead with a couple of roses.

  16. ritasu Feb. 17 at 2:13 a.m.

    Groupon has lead the trend of internet social website. And groupon Clone is really hot now influenced by the success of Groupon. My friend recently built a Groupon clone website and has achieved a great success. He got the technique support from the company . All of us think they are doing a great job.

  17. EdenPURE Feb. 18 at 2:11 a.m.

    It’s easy for local small buiness people to start their local groupon and get profits from that. That’s for sure. Let’s think about the marketing only: relationship selling, local newspaper, social media, and some PPC. Among those, I think PPC and local newspaper will be the best.

    And I even has one good tip for those groupon starters, don’t just go to your local marketing company and ask them to throw you a big package, they only care about how much you pay. Check everything by yourself, so you know what to expect. For instance, PPC managment to set up the account cost $600, monthly management fee may from 500-2000+, but if you know one good PPC company, then you can nearly $500+ per month. If anybody want to know where to set up account for free and $100+ free credit for new clients, and even some returns from invest per month, you can simply rely.

  18. Steve Singer Feb. 19 at 2:09 a.m.

    I tried Groupon twice and found it actually led to higher prices and a worse experience all-around, so I dumped it.