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US Senate Bill to stop rogue traders

call-centreAs reported on Missourinet.com a bill is being put forward to the US Senate to stop deceptive order gatherers claiming to be local businesses.

 Sen. Jay Wasson (R-Nixa) says his bill prohibits a florist from including a geographical reference in the name of its business and listing such name in a telephone directory, on the internet, or in a print advertisement when the florist is not physically located in that place.

He says these florists advertise in the Yellow pages or online with local phone numbers, so people think they’re getting local service, when in fact the call rolls over to an 800 number [usually a call centre] and the flowers are shipped in. Wasson says often the flowers are sub-par quality and the prices are inflated, leaving a black eye on the reputation of local businesses.

More than 200 million roses will be sent out today for Valentine’s Day … but knowing where they’re sent from might not be as straightforward as you think. Wasson says a quick look at the Yellow Pages or Google shows 30 or more of these so-called local florists in St. Louis area alone. He says often the products are of poor quality, and the prices are inflated, giving real local florists and the industry as a whole a black eye. In Jefferson City, where there are [just] two local florists, more than 30 are advertised with local numbers and addresses.

Eds note:  This practice is equally common in the UK but at the moment no one in the industry seems to be concerned.  We believe that urgent action is needed to protect independent florists in the UK from the same problem.