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Lawmaker Hopes To Make Buying Flowers More Transparent

LONGMONT, Colo. (CBS4) - A state lawmaker wants to make sure consumers know whose delivering the flowers that are ordered. The goal is to protect consumers from getting ripped off.

One florist say sit's easy to pay too much without the consumer even knowing it.

It was a busy weekend at Longmont Florist, Inc. -- Mother's Day orders were being made in masses.

"Beautiful, bright flowers; you want to make people happy and put out the best quality you can," florist Barb Bigil said.

Quality is a top concern for Longmont Florist, Inc. owner Brad Golter, especially when he started noticing a growing problem.

"We just felt like a lot of consumers were getting cheated on the Internet and it was hurting our business," Golter said. "There was a company out there; I actually put a test order in with them and asked, 'Where are you located?' And they gave me back my two addresses."

Golter said they are Internet florists posing as local shop owners.

"(They) put themselves across as being a local florist and take the order and charge a high sending fee, or relay fee and transfer the order along to a local florist," Golter said.

In some cases an additional $15 can be added to a bill, according to Golter. Legislators are hoping to stop it with a bill recently introduced that requires florists to disclose to consumers where they are located, where the flowers are coming from, and if there are any additional fees attached.

"If you're going through a third party vendor there is a cost for doing that. Many here in Colorado and small towns want to especially support the local businesses," said Sen Brandon Shaffer, D-Boulder.

"If you give good service and good quality, then that will stand on itself; but if you're trying to deceive people, you get the rewards of that as well," Golter said.

There are currently 27 states that have a law to protect consumers from getting ripped off by buying from third parties.

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