Online rights for the purchasing and sending of flowers

By Naveen Aricatt

What are my rights if the flowers are delivered too late?

If delivery has been explicitly agreed for a specified date, such as Mother’s Day but delivery is not made on this date, the customer may withdraw from the contract. They are not obligated to accept or pay for the flowers. The contract is then to be treated as if it was not made and the retailer needs to reimburse the consumer.

I ordered roses, but got tulips instead. Do I have to accept them?

No, you will not have to accept tulips instead of roses. In this case the normal warranty claim applies. The florist still has to deliver the roses. If they deliver the wrong flowers on the morning of the specified date, they still have enough time to deliver the ordered roses. A retailer could send you a substitute item if this was agreed in the contract. Were this the case, you would have to accept the tulips instead of the roses.

What happens if I’m not there when the flowers are delivered? Is the deliverer obligated to make a second attempt?

Provided the service was offered seriously to the customer, meaning the deliverer tried to deliver the flowers at a “normal” time, they are not obligated to make a second attempt. If the flowers are then delivered to a branch and can only be picked up the next working day, this is the responsibility of the consumer.

Are the delivery dates binding?

Explicit delivery dates are always binding. This applies in particular for Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day or the date of a wedding, when the customer is very much interested in having the flowers delivered on time, especially if the florist advertises delivery on that day.

Is there a right to cancel for flowers?

There is usually no right to cancel for cut flowers as these fall under the “contracts for the delivery of perishable goods” exemption. This does not include potted flowers such as orchids. For these, the normal right to cancel applies.

About the author Naveen Aricatt is UK legal expert at Trusted Shops. She is a postgraduate in Computer and Communications Law from Queen Mary University of London. In her function as Trusted Shops’ legal counsel UK she is the expert responsible for the UK audit as well as legal matters in the UK. She joined the Trusted Shops’ team in 2009. After having conducted audits of German, French and English online shops, she now is responsible for UK audits. Furthermore, she co-authors the Trusted Shops handbook for online retailers which is regularly updated and writes about legal issues that are of relevance for online retailers in the Trusted Shops’ UK blog.

About Trusted Shops

Trusted Shops is the trust brand in European e-commerce. The company, based in Cologne, has certified more than 17,000 retailers across Europe since it was founded in 1999. Trusted Shops audits its members using strict individual criteria, such as creditworthiness, price transparency, customer service and data protection, and then awards its coveted Trustmark. Its customers include zalando, Marks & Spencer, Bon Prix, redcoon, Music Store, Commerzbank, OBI, Atelco and a whole host of small and medium-sized enterprises. The combination of audits, buyer protection, ratings and service create an “all-round secure package” for the consumer.

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