back to article Is iFlorist the greatest website in the universe, ever?

It's come to our attention that there's a bit of a ding-dong going down at Trustpilot as to whether online flower outfit iFlorist is the greatest company ever to do business on the interwebs or, well, not. Here's a random selection of reviews: Negative review for iFlorist Positive review for iFlorist Mixed reviews for …

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  1. alwarming

    duh.. blatant self promotion

    I guess their Customer service's bonus depends on average rating.. so they keep writing absolutely fake self loving reviews... Which customer writes "deliver in 140 countires..." ughhh.

  2. Michael 82
    FAIL

    Will never ever buy from these ppl

    Thank Reg for pointing out another Sham Bollocks website.. Next cant even deliver to London so what hope do these people think they can!

  3. Armus Squelprom

    There are some problems with your post.

    Perhaps Trustpilot could borrow our esteemed Moderatix for a few days, slap a bit of sense into them... :o)

  4. Seanmon
    Thumb Up

    FAntastics service!!!!

    EL reg is best site on the whole internets for news sources and the day's issue's! Thast really fnatastic story and good reportings from the best teams on the whoel net!!!!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Had a spare 5 mins...

    ... rated them 1.

    If anyone else can be bothered, it's always good to restore the balance, even though it does show trustpilot ... erm, can't be trusted... ;)

  6. Steve Evans

    Slightly obvious.

    Not only do the positive reviews contain the grammar and spelling of an alcoholic teenager, but they read like spin pumped out by a PR droid.

    I can only assume the PR droid in question has been outsourced to India.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Nice

      So you're combating fake positive reviews by posting fake negative reviews? Nice.

      Do you actually *believe* everything you read here?

      Yay for mob rule!

      (PS: you just committed libel.)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Brilliant...

    ...the 1st good one seems to be written in that type of English unique to Nigeria and the 2nd, well, talk about a press release cut n paste.

  8. Jared Earle
    FAIL

    Oh yeah

    It's a coincidence that they've had loads of great reviews after taking on what would appear to be an Indian PR company. Yeah, pure coincidence.

    How companies think they can get away with it in this day and age boggles the mind.

  9. Steven Dalby
    FAIL

    Very good Register

    Im very happy, only good register writes such good article. I hope for very long time register does many business and continue to be strong company. iFlorist.co.uk is clearly a very upstanding and legitimate company, I buy all my things from them now.

  10. Rob 101

    I'm sure

    That these people appreciate the £1.50 a day for filling in random 5 star reviews. It's indoors so they can warm up between bouts of selling the Big Issue.

  11. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Whatever next?

    Shocker!

    At this rate we'll have film advertisements that only include good reviews, book promotions: likewise. "Customer surveys" where 8 out of 10 cat-owners ... and websites that delete bad feedback posts.

  12. Just Thinking

    Damning with fake praise

    Could be a competitor.

    Has to be easier to produce obvious fake good comments rather than convincing bad comments.

  13. Throatwobbler Mangrove
    Heart

    this is not on-topic

    but it is helpful. OH is in the floristry biz. If you want to deliver flowers to someone, don't go through Interflora or any of the big websites and order a Red Rose Arrangement #45. The website's commission will suck up money that could be spent on flowers, and then ordering off the fixed menu (which has no relationship to the flowers that are in season, in stock and look good) won't guarantee you decent results.

    Better approach: find a florist in the town you want to deliver to, check a couple of reviews and then call them up and say "I've got X quid to spend, what fresh and good-looking stock do you have in that you can deliver?". A decent florist will advise you on what's looking good and will have the best impact, and it'll be cheaper bc you're cutting out the middleman.

  14. Brutus

    Untrusting?

    Perhaps, rather than questioning iFlorist, you should talk to TrustPilot. It does rather look like someone is trying to game the system.

  15. Gav
    Heart

    greatest website in the universe ever

    This is report is all lies. I can't believe that people would be so cynical to believe that companies would attempt to manipulate dumb review forums.

    iFlorist saved my life. Reading this website gave new meaning and purpose to existence. It treasures your every mouse click, cradling it to its breast as if it were a new born baby. You feel bathed in an eternal love with every page refresh. iFlorist will free you of all life's burdens. Be reborn to a new and better life where your heart's desires are truly fulfilled for the first time.

    You will never,ever wish to use any other place on the internet ever again. I'm going there right now.

    It cures cancer too.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    heh

    Those positive reviews read exactly like the ones in just about every Viagra spam email ever.

    "this is best store,made my penis big long time"

  17. John Lilburne

    There is a problem with their ordering system ...

    ... I thought I'd ordered flowers for a funeral from these turkeys a couple of years ago. Turns out that after you think you have ordered there is a final confirmation page which looks like a "Thank you for your order" please print this page, but actually needs to be clicked through before the order is finalized. At least that is only only reason I can give for the order still being in the shopping cart when I revisited the site after non-delivery.

  18. Rafael 1
    Happy

    Why not...

    ... order some flowers for the lovely Ms. Bee? Then we can be sure of the quality of their service.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Oh, fantastic

    Now the fucking Indian sweatshops cock up online ratings systems as well as IT in general, thats just great.

    Someone please do the needful and cut off that subcontinent from the internet.

  20. Rumcajz
    Dead Vulture

    Hype

    The reviews look like they are copied (with probably deliberate errors) from marketing brochures. Taken a bite at a time (to avoid a vomit-on-the-keyboard accident)

    "complimentary gift" - nobody uses this term excepting marketers.

    "never been easier" - also a marketing term

    "140 countries" - is reviewer suggesting he sends flowers to people in 140 countries??

    "most comprehensive in the industry - marketing brochure

    And their waffle in reply to your email - "We have no real control over what is written about us" - probably means that they have outsourced the review writing.

    Couldn't get the Paris icon in, but the tombstone fits nicely...

  21. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Ugh

    Those are some bad good reviews. But I rarely say it with flowers so maybe I am not the target market.

    1. PirateSlayer
      Thumb Up

      You've...

      ...been reading the reviews of Katie Price's wonderful 'A Whole New World' on Amazon haven't you! I wonder if this flower site would serenade your love with a copy of this album?

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/Whole-World-Katie-Price-Peter/dp/B000JU8FXK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1269935879&sr=8-3

  22. Hollerith 1

    that old 'poor spelling' scam...

    I have noticed that poor spelling tends to be taken for authenticity, so the best way of faking up five-star feedback is to use 'definately' and 'sicne' and so on.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So what's new?

    Half the firms on the planet submit their own 'customer reviews' to their own and other websites. Anyone ever thought otherwise?

    Most of them aren't even subtle - they're usually not hard to spot. Anyone who doesn't allow for this when using 'reviews' to make purchases is living in a dream world.

    Recently I submitted an honest review of my favourite local restaurant on a travel website. The proprietor thanked me later, but asked why I'd only given her 4 stars out of 5. My answer was simple - "If I'd given you 5 out of 5, dear lady, every sensible reader would assume you'd written it yourself !"

    I often get a much bigger laugh, not at the transparently commercial 'reviews', but at people who write things like "I haven't even opened my new (whatever) yet, but it's the best ever!! 10 out of 10 !!" Now what's THAT about....? :o))

  24. Richard 120

    So...

    Do you think it's an internal thing or perhaps (and here's a good business idea for the unscrupulous) it could be a third party set-up where there is financial remuneration for a quantity of positive reviews.

    Of course if you wanted to deliver a good service then you might want to consider maybe not ALWAYS giving a 5 star rating, throw in a few 4 stars, maybe even a 3. Even better, maybe consider actually writing something that could have been written by a genuine individual. Rather than things like "GRATEST STORE EVER!" when referring to a purveyor of flowers. I mean let's be honest, it's a flower shop, it's not going to be the greatest store ever, it's just going to sell you flowers, it's not likely to source you a new kitchen, the needle for the 20 year old record player you've been searching for for the last 15 years as well as the latest game for wii.

  25. faibistes
    Dead Vulture

    Shame on you, elreg

    The bad reviews are clearly made up by jealous rival companies. The good reviews are clearly posted by honest, happy customers. And this article is playing the rival companies' game.

    This is a display of biased, dishonest journalism at its worst. I can't imagine how you will make up for your stain on those decent businessmen's honour.

    1. peter 45

      Usually by firms at the seedy end of the market

      Other 'review' sites that either seem to have nothing but "5* I cannot believe how wonderfull you are" or "1* you took my money you scummy gits" reviews include:

      a. virtually every 'Post your old gold to us' site

      b. virtually every 'Post your old phone to us' site

      It is really funny to see just how many obviously fake reviews you can spot. It is not that difficult, just count the 5*.

      1. Primar

        Flowers? Seedy?

        I see what you did there.

  26. Disco-Legend-Zeke
    Pint

    It's Not So Much...

    ...that they hired fake reviewers, but more that they seem to have outsourced the work to India.

    It's too early for a 211, but I'm heading to the fridge now!

  27. Subtilior

    Ignore good reviews

    In any product review website, you should ignore the good reviews: look at the bad reviews and decide if the writers are insane or not.

  28. fishman

    OK!

    Sounds legit to me. And as soon as my new found friends from Nigeria make me rich, I'll use Iflorist to send flowers to my wife.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The best ever internet florist...

    I'm sorry....I couldn't resist the temptation to post a review on Trustpilot after reading about iFlorist on El Reg......

    The best ever internet florist...

    My wife recently found out that I've been having sex with her older sister for the past 6 years. She was understandably very upset with me. She was threatening to divorce me. No problem, though, because I knew about iFlorist. A few minutes online is all the effort it took, and my wife was soon back in love with me after receiving a dozen red roses. Thank you Iflorist, YOU ROCK!!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    globalisation, isn't it?

    Please to be telling me why it is a suprising that companies such as the esteemed and lovely iFlorist are indeed now sourcing-out there corporate lying and forum trolling jobs to Bangalore to go along with the help desk, call centre and IT supportings?

    this is the future, isn't it?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    People paid to leave reviews - the evidence!

    Here is a quote from the following site talking about iflorist http://webupon.com/web-talk/iflorist-smells-good/

    "I am a member of one of those sites for workers and visit it daily in order to earn some useful extra cash. A few days ago I came across a peculiar task, that asked people to write a positive review of a site; the prize was 0.40 cents."

    1. Disco-Legend-Zeke
      Pint

      This Must Be...

      ...annoying the crap out of Google AdSense fraud guys.

      There are clicks worth $78.00 to a webmaster. Over $5 is not the least uncommon in certain categories.

      Actual quote from human, "Damn AdSense, I was up to $23,000 and they cancelled my account."

      That's a lot of 211.

  32. Eden
    WTF?

    I'm confused....

    I'm confused because reading this I'd certainly call fake on the website and point and laugh at the poor scammers....

    But I've used IFlorist several times...ok before I posted this I did a quick google and see there there is an IFlorist.co.uk and IFlorist.com...

    I've used them mostly for USA and Trinidad, but once or twice for the UK so I can't be sure which I used...but whichever one it was were on time and as advertised for me....

    I tried checking my mail (they send me regular mail shots for stuff like mothersday etc) but of course I've cleaned up my mailbox so until the next one I can't see if it's .com or .co.uk that I'm using....

  33. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Win an iPod!

    just leave three, five star reviews on trustpilot...

    Unfortunatly for iForist i feel that the problem is actually a trustpilot issue. looking through several reviews reveals that this problem is far bigger than just iFlorist.

    However iFlorist do themselves no favours when they mention that they are linking anonymous reviews to customer orders to determine that some bad reviews are fake! yet it is clear that the problem is with the good reviews! iflorist should have said they could not associate the good reviews with orders either (afterall I bet they cant!). now thier credibility is in tatters too!

    Both sites just qualified for the blacklist.

  34. Ryan Barrett

    Outsourcing

    I sea a oppitunity four paying indeans too make money riting revews for moneh.

    Or maybe someone's employing English teenagers to astroturf? Though to be honest the level of English is far too high for that to be the case ;)

  35. The Indomitable Gall

    Vulture is symbol....

    Vulture is symbol of picking flesh from dead bones of carrion.

    El Reg takes this symbol to its campaign for shaming of moribund iFlorist and delivers with 100% accuracy.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    well, damn

    Their attempts at astroturfing are more subtle and believable than either Monster's shitty headphones department, or Denon DJ division, at least..

  37. Mike Richards

    Come on Reg - go all Which? on us

    Order some lovely flowers for the even lovelier Moderatrix (or Lester) and see what happens, then write your own review.

  38. Graham Marsden
    Coat

    Artificial flowers?

    Perhaps they should register iAstroturf...

  39. moiety

    A+++++ Great seller. Would do business any time.

    Ah bollocks, wrong bot.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    just gave me an idea

    Next time you're annoyed by a company, hire freelancers and make them write thousands of good reviews!

  41. RW
    Coat

    @ Armus Squelprom

    "our esteemed Moderatix"

    Talk about damning with faint praise.

    Make that Our Divine Moderatrix, She Who Walks on Water, With a Crown of Stars About Her Divine Visage, Bringing Peace, Joy, and Happiness to the Denizens of the World; She Whose Outstretched Great Toe is Worthy of Worship and Adulation; She Whose Merest Glance Penetrates the Hearts of Believers. [and so on]

    Cripey! Just like fake positive reviews, if you're going to suck up to ODM, go for the big time, eh?

  42. Steve Taylor 3
    Badgers

    Mechanical Turk

    I wonder if this stuff might be being done using Amazon's 'Mechanical Turk' service? For those who don't know it, it's a fairly ingenious way of outsourcing and mechanising crappy tasks which require human effort (i.e. - reading street signs in photographs).

    I quite like the basic idea of the service, but every time I look at the the site there seems to be more tasks like 'go to this site and write a glowing review' or 'make a link to my blog'.

  43. JohnG

    EU Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices

    If these guys have been posting fake reviews to boost their own business within the EU, they would presumably fall foul of the EU Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices. As the .uk website lists a UK address, they should come under the remit of the OFT....

  44. mafoo
    Black Helicopters

    amazon

    Spooky a large portion of the reviewers left a 5 star review for amazon. I wonder if this was to raise their credibility, or the great book warehouse is also dabbling in nefarious marketing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Mechanical Turk

      Hi Steve - see here: http://webupon.com/web-talk/iflorist-smells-good/

  45. mafoo
    Pint

    Lots more scam reviews on the site.

    just by looking at who else posted to the iflorist comments you get a very rapid picture of who's being naught.

    http://www.trustpilot.co.uk/review/www.okobe.co.uk

    http://www.trustpilot.co.uk/review/www.fragrancedirect.co.uk

    http://www.trustpilot.co.uk/review/www.bestcameras.co.uk

    Any my all time favourite iflorist poster, 'Stan', who has gone and recommended every single one of the 5star review, see what he had to say. Truly they are capable of miracles that even the guy from nazarath couldn't pull off.

    http://www.trustpilot.co.uk/UserProfile.aspx?UID=165308

    "The best ever internet florist...

    My wife recently found out that I've been having sex with her older sister for the past 6 years. She was understandably very upset with me. She was threatening to divorce me. No problem, though, because I knew about iFlorist. A few minutes online is all the effort it took, and my wife was soon back in love with me after receiving a dozen red roses. Thank you Iflorist, YOU ROCK!!"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Lots more scam reviews on the site

      Hi Mafoo - those other sites are all innocent. All of the iflorist positive reviews were left by a reviewer who reviewed a total of 3 sites, presumably to give the iflorist reviews more credibility. The 3 sites always consisted of iflorist and then 2 other randomly selected sites such as fragrancedirect and bestcameras.

  46. chrisminett
    Thumb Up

    No complaints here

    I've used iFlorist twice recently, both at what must be their busiest times of Valentines and Mothers Day, as I had a voucher code for a large discount and free delivery.

    Both times, the flowers were delivered on time by DPD on Saturday as promised, and the flowers were perfect. Surprised to see so many bad reviews published, after I found it so good.

    1. Test Man
      Joke

      Moderators, delete the "No complaints here" message...

      ... clearly a plant from iFlorist

      :D

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Surely not

        Do iLForist do plants? Thought they just did cut flowers?

    2. pitagora
      FAIL

      fake

      1 post • joined Tuesday 30th March 2010 06:42 GMT

      It's so no nice that you registered just to tell us that. Too bad you haven't posted since. Looks like flowers is all you are interested in :)))

  47. jvh

    Reviews on Trustpilot

    Dear All,

    Thanks for all the comments, it is great to see so much interest in the topic. I have to admit that this is spot on, as we are in the process of investigating iFlorist's reviews.

    We always assume that a review on Trustpilot is a real one. Anyone on our site can report the review by clicking 'report abuse' under the review. Within 3 days, we look into the matter. In this case, we have asked 55 people for a proof of purchase to proof they are an actual customer from iFlorst. None replied, so we deleted all those reviews.

    I also have to add that we are in touch with iFlorist, and discussing the matter with them too.

    Thanks,

    Julie

    Customer Service

    www.trustpilot.co.uk

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Best online review website.....Trustpilot ROCKS!!

      Ever since El Reg introduced me to Trustpilot I have become an avid reader of all their reviews.

      I always check with Trustpilot before making any purchase. It's an excellent website with 100% trustworthy reviewers. Thank you Trustpilot. YOU ROCK!!

      PS to Julie @ Trustpilot.....you never sent an e-mail to me before you deleted my review.

      1. Richard 120

        ROFL

        You left a genuine email address when you registered with the review site?

        Mental.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          FAIL

          eMail??....

          #Richard 120.....

          Of course I left a genuine e-mail address when I registered with the review site. An e-mail address set up for that very purpose, but nevertheless a genuine e-mail address. How else could I have activated the review link? Never mind Richard, I'm sure you'll work out how this interweb thingy works eventually. Do your friends call you "Dick"?

  48. Robinson

    Retards.

    Just use interflora. I do and they always deliver.

    By the way is it me or are there a lot of retarded sounding people writing reviews from the UK? What did Blair say in 1997? Education, education, education.

    1. Number6

      Almost...

      I think it was "Edukashun, edukashun, edukashun".

    2. Clarissa
      FAIL

      Ironically...

      ...I used Interflora to send some flowers to my mother for her birthday (a few days after Mothering Sunday) and after the delivery was fluffed I have to say that their customer service was appalling. I eventually got them to send a replacement (and got myself a complete refund) but I shall be writing a strongly worded email to them this weekend detailing their failures.

  49. Ian Emery Silver badge
    Megaphone

    But, but, but??

    They have an "i" in front of their name; surely that means they are fantastic??

    Just like every other product with an "i" at the beginning!!

    (What's that?? The "i" denotes over priced, sub-standard tat sold on the basis of looks and snobbery??)

  50. Richard Jukes
    Thumb Up

    El Reg

    I love reg long time!

  51. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  52. gef05

    you so clever

    You full of hate and criticism, but When need flowers who will call? iFlorist only place for beautiful flowers like dhalia, signifies the whisper of love between two people meant for one another.

  53. joel 7

    iFlorst - bad reviews since 2008

    Looks like they have been getting bad reviews since 2008

    http://www.canyoutrustthem.com/index.php?go=details&id=400&adv=yes&city=&company_type=&company_name=238&search_comments=&search_company_name=&search_country=

  54. Neil 38
    Heart

    Fantastic

    Now I have an excuse when my sife says I never give her flowers.

  55. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Don't they both (iFlorist, Interflora) pass on an order to a local shop?

    Like intercurry.com (which I haven't tried, I guessed and something purporting to be it exists).

    I haven't looked at trustpilot specifically, but since someone from there is around, can I say that I hope they aren't one of the 1000 web sites that have a web page with Google that goes "Be the first to post a review of Microsoft Telepathic Keyboard" when I search for {"Microsoft Telepathic Keyboard" review}. Whether the item actually exists or not - and isn't "pre order" a sneaky term, too.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Give credit where credit is due

    Outsourcing business review writing to India. Brilliant!

  57. Peter Page

    Nope - trustpilot are clean on that test.

    "Your search - "microsoft telepathic keyboard" review - did not match any documents. "

    The other 999 sites you're thinking of didn't get a look in either.

    Google must have kicked them all off the internet when they saw your complaint.

    I am now to trusting fantastic Google with all. It is moost fantstic place to be going when it is that you want to look things. I will be teling all friends to shop at Google when amazzing results to deliver most quick.

  58. Craig 2
    Stop

    News Just in...

    You can't believe everything you read on the Internets....

  59. Paul 164
    FAIL

    Blatant...

    ...fake reviews!

    What kind of numpty real customer would write tripe such as "The first and most popular flower of love is the red rose. The red rose symbolizes love, desire and passion" or "flowers at compelling prices"

    Clearly a hap-handed attempt at marketing and keyword pumping it looks like to me - not only getting their actual website up there in the search engines, they're also trying to get the review sites up high along with it to ensure as many visitors as possible. How many times does their website address appear in the review?!

    I wouldn't trust any business or related reviews of it if they were written like these!

  60. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Be the first to post a review of Microsoft Telepathic Keyboard.

    It's slightly surprising how many instances of "Microsoft Telepathic Keyboard" have now appeared in Google results. (Nine. I said "slightly surprising".)

    Also, they more-or-less correctly filtered it down to two distinct mentions - not counting the previous paragraph. Although since this is one forum page, maybe the correct answer is 1 result.

    Meanwhile, if I ever really am interested in buying a Microsoft Telepathic Keyboard - or if anyone else is - I realise I have just joined the ranks of annoying writers of useless web pages that I'm going to get cross with at that future time.

    1. Peter Page

      I will then also be to tell all friends...

      ....Google for wen shoping more-or-less correctly filtered down distinct mentions. Google for that smooth filtered mention taste. Best for slightly surprising telepathic keyboard.

      (Do I get 40 cents yet?)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: Be the first to post a review of Microsoft Telepathic Keyboard.

      I am definitely interested in buying a Microsoft Telepathic keyboard. Anyone know of a site where i could find reviews of it ?

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    iFlorist reply

    "We have, as you've pointed out, noticed that there seem to be several reviews which contain poor spelling and grammar, however this seems to apply primarily to reviews placed by customers located worldwide"

    Shouldn't that say "We have, as you've pointed out, noticed that there seem to be several reviews which contain poor spelling and grammar, however this seems to apply primarily to reviews placed by the people in India we paid to write reviews for us"

  62. MaXimaN
    FAIL

    Flowers Direct

    Back in 2007 I received a mail from Flowers Direct (who are actually very good) that contained the following message:

    "Have you received any newsletters from iFlorist? It has come to our attention that one of our competitors may have been sending unsolicited emails to our client database."

    Which begs the question as to how iFlorist got hold of the client database in the first place...

  63. Simon B
    Grenade

    thsnks for the heads up - bye iscamflorist

    Thank you theregister for giving us all the heads up :)

    Another scammer will bite the dust thanks to articles like this :)

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    New pranking fad...

    Pick some company you hate, and annoy them by planting tons of false glowingly-positive (obviously fake) reviews. Hmm...

    "i love [company-name] so much that i think about there CEO when i masterbate 12 times evry day and it's sooooo nice! Highly recumended! 5 stars! Buy one today!"

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