Flower flap leaves customers high and dry

February 14, 2011 4:07:26 PM PST
Valentine's Day deliveries filled offices around the city, across the state and all over the nation, but some people were left out. It's not because they forgot -- in fact, they planned ahead. The problem happened at customs and caused problems for those who ordered flowers from Costco. When you order flowers a week before Valentine's Day, you expect things will be OK, but some people who used Costco.com to order flowers are learning the deliveries are not making it today.

When it comes to Valentine's Day it is important to get it right. Throughout the day, Peggy Parsons has been dropping off flowers around Houston and knows first-hand nothing less than perfection is order of the day.

She asked, "How would you like to get flowers, but she did not get them? So it is very important."

No one knows that better than Scott Rothenberg, who ordered flowers through Costco.com for his sister in Ohio because she recently lost her husband.

Rothenberg said, "She felt like she was alone and she did not feel like she was loved."

Rothenberg ordered the flowers last week, and got confirmation emails that his order was in and would be delivered on time. All that changed on Sunday.

Rothenberg said, "Yesterday afternoon while I was umpiring a Little League tournament, I got an email from Costco telling me the flowers would not be delivered on time. It wasn't their fault. It was because Customs was holding the flowers in Miami."

Officials with Costco admit there was a problem with some flower deliveries saying in a written statement: "A small percentage of our orders of Valentine's flowers were delayed in U.S. Customs en route from our supplier in Bogota."

Costco officials went on to say the deliveries would probably be made on Tuesday.

"That wasn't good enough for me because I wanted them delivered on Valentine's Day to make it more of a special day," Rothenberg explained.

Fortunately, Rothenberg did manage to get a gift to his sister on time, but he had to call florists in Ohio.

"I explained the story to her and she said, 'I will get them delivered today,'" Rothenberg said.

So where does that leave everyone else? Costco told Eyewitness News they have contacted all of the members involved in this situation and they have issued full credit for their orders. But Rothenberg had to pay much more today than he did for the flowers he ordered last week.