TODAY   |  February 07, 2014

Rossen Reports: Delivered flowers sometimes disappoint

TODAY national investigative correspondent Jeff Rossen puts three major national floral delivery services to the test – and finds that what arrives at your door doesn’t always match the pictures of bright bouquets you see online.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> morning on rossen reports, valentine's day is one week away. and americans will spend $2 billion on flowers . is that always money well spent? jeff rossen is today's correspondent looking into that. good morning.

>> good morning. and worth repeating for all the guys you just said. valentine's day one week from today. and let's be honest, most of us wait until the last minute. this is the time to start ordering for your love. when you go online, you're bombarded with those amazing photos and impressive bouquets and gorgeous vases. when you order, what really shows up at your door? this morning, we're putting the most popular companies to the test. here comes valentine's day.

>> thank you.

>> thank you.

>> and we're sending flowers all over the country. from illinois to new york and l.a.

>> the flowers are here.

>> ordering from some of the biggest names in the business, 1-800-flowers. just look at their photos online. colorful, lush, fresh flowers in magnificent bloom, cascading over the vases. at 1-800-flowers, we pay for the modern embrace arrangement. price $59.99. look at those enormous roses and lilies.

>> really cool and modern, look a lot like the picture.

>> in illinois and new york , the arrangements arrive looking pretty close to the ads. but in l.a. --

>> while the ad shows eight lilies, the bouquet that showed up only has five lilies. i'm paying for eight lilies, i don't want five.

>> reporter: our results for teleflora were different too. we ordered the moonlight kiss bouquet, price $54.95, a huge plume of flowers . but in new york , that's not what we got.

>> it doesn't look as full or beautiful as the picture. and some of these flowers are wilting. this lily's got a lot of brown on it.

>> reporter: that's right. some of the flowers were already dying. teleflora 's ad also brags about this special vase. not so special for our producer in l.a.

>> major scratches all over it.

>> reporter: in illinois , it's a different vase entirely.

>> there's no mirror to be seen at all.

>> teleflora apologized and said it reserves the right to make substitutions. but the biggest surprise of all came from ftd , we ordered the expressions of love bouquet for $49.99. online, look, a vibrant bouquet. but in illinois , we got this.

>> it looks a little sparse right now and not as tall as the picture.

>> reporter: and in l.a.

>> some of the flowers look a little wilted, they look a little old.

>> reporter: at least they showed up. in new york , we waited and waited and waited.

>> i'd love to show you the ftd bouquet, but it never arrived.

>> three days later, ftd sends flowers and refunded our money. all three companies told us quality is a priority and guaranteed satisfaction. refunding money or replacing flowers if a customer isn't happy. but how would you feel if you got this or this or this?

>> happy valentine's day.

>> peanut gallery going crazy over here. we have a new development in this story. 1-800-flowers saying they're looking to fix this problem. they're testing new technology right now in several cities. the local florist would send you a photo of the actual bouquet before it's delivered to your loved one's house. they're hoping to roll that out in the next few weeks. in the meantime, how do you get the most for your money this valentine's day? go to, we have a flower expert giving you all the tips you need.

>> all right.

>> thank you.

>> that's all you get.

>> all that and we got nothing.

>> excellent usage of the word