Feb 142006

It seems that FTD has a problem with their 800 order number (800-Send-FTD). After being on hold for a while, you are allowed to listen in to other callers talking with FTD Customer Service Representatives and placing orders. This means hearing the sentiments, addresses, phone numbers and Credit Card numbers.

Yesterday, I placed orders for delivery of three arrangements with FTD.com. They were all guaranteed for delivery yesterday. My mother’s arrangement up in North Carolina got delivered. However the flowers for delivery here for Lay, and for his Mom had not been delivered by 7:30 last night, so I called FTD’s 800 number. Given the time of year, I was not surprised to be put on hold for over 12 minutes (I’ve learned to start timing customer service hold times). Well, after 12 minutes, someone came on the line and started talking. I responded, but suddenly realized that I was hearing them, but they weren’t hearing me. In fact, they were apparently on another call.

Okay, I figure their phone system is flooded, so this is some sort of anomaly. Reluctantly, I  hang up and dial back in. This time I’m connected to a call within about nine minutes. However, this time, I’m still not the person they are talking with, and I can hear both sides of the conversation. This person was taking an order, so I was hearing addresses, credit card numbers…everything. I’m speaking the whole time, but clearly not being heard. I decide to stay on the line this time, and sure enough a minute later, I’m listening in on another call…this time I’m hearing only the caller’s side of the conversation, but they are placing an order.

A gentleman in San Jose is ordering flowers for his mother on behalf of his father in Modesto. After he hangs up, I call his cell phone (number provided during the call), and tell him what has happened. I explain to him that while I am obviously not interested in ripping him off, his problem is we don’t know how many other people might have been listening in to that call.

While I’m on my cell phone talking to him, I’m hearing another order being placed on the office line. Then I get routed briefly to the voice mail of someone in their IT department, but before I could leave a message I was pulled out of that call, and heard another call where a person was merely inquiring about an order.

I was finally routed to a customer service representative that can hear me. I tell him the situation with the phones, and he puts me on hold to report it, and comes back to tell me they are aware of the situation and working on it.

He and a supervisor were unable to tell me anything about my order, but the supervisor agreed to at least credit me for the delivery charges.

I called back this morning, and lo and behold, the same thing happens. I hear two other conversations (one just the FTD side) prior to being placed in my own call. (As of 11am, I still don’t have Lay’s flowers, and the FTD guy still doesn’t have any information for me.)

After that call, I contacted the local TV News Channel. They seemed very interested in the situation. Moral of the story…do NOT place a phone order with FTD.

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