Mother’s Day is on Sunday, and whether you are ordering flowers, shopping for custom jewelry, or arranging a special spa day, Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona wants you to be a smart consumer.
According to a survey conducted on behalf of the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend an average of $168.94 on Mother’s Day gifts this year, up 11 percent from last year. Nearly three in 10 Americans will buy their gifts online, up from 25.6 percent last year and the highest in the survey’s 10-year history. More than 36 percent will stick to traditional specialty stores including jewelers, florists and specialty clothing stores.
Last May, BBB received more than 580 complaints nationwide against local and online florists. Most complaints alleged non delivery and only partial refunds.
When finalizing your Mother’s Day gifts or shopping online, BBB recommends adhering to the following:
- Do your homework. Before making a dinner reservation, ordering flowers, jewelry or any other gifts for Mother’s Day, check out the company’s BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org. For a list of Accredited Businesses, visit checkbbb.org.
- Check out the business. Be sure to look for the BBB Accredited Business seal when shopping online. All online seals should directly link to the company’s BBB Business Review.
- Ask about guarantees. Request a written receipt for the order and ask about the business’s refund policy if the delivery is late, never arrives or is in bad condition.
- Confirm shipping and delivery. If having a gift shipped or delivered, check with the retailer or on the website to be certain you have allowed enough time for delivery. Make sure the date is clearly specified and guaranteed.
- Pay with a credit card. It is best to use a credit card when shopping online, according to the Federal Trade Commission;a shopper can dispute the charges if he or she doesn’t receive the item.
- Make sure the business has your contact information. There are times when delivery instructions or dinner reservations need to be confirmed or a delivery driver needs additional directions. Make sure the company you are working with has a call-back phone number in case he or she needs to reach you.