Don't Let Scammers Get the Upper Hand This Mother's Day

BBB Warns Consumers to Be Extra Cautious When Treating Moms
May 08, 2014

Whether it’s a beautiful bouquet or a box of chocolates, sons and daughters are expected to pay big this Mother’s Day. According to the National Retail Federation, consumers plan to spend more than $160 each on gifts for mothers and wives leading up to the 2014 occasion. But Better Business Bureau warns that if consumers aren’t careful, those purchases could leave moms with wilted feelings.

“Consumers need to take extra precautions before placing orders, especially online,” says Tyler Andrew, CEO of BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington. “Whether it’s flowers, e-cards or vouchers received in the mail, it’s important to always read the fine print and check with BBB.”

  • Research first. Check out BBB Business Reviews to see complaint histories and read customer reviews. When buying online, carefully analyze the terms and conditions to understand post-purchase options.
  • Validate contact information. Confirm phone numbers and addresses before making purchases to ensure that potential problems can be managed.
  • Ask about guarantees. Request written receipts for orders and ask about refund policies in case deliveries are late, arrive damaged or never arrive at all.
  • Verify security. When shopping online use reputable secure websites and never enter personal information in pop-up screens. Pay with credit cards when possible, which offer additional securities.
  • Confirm shipping and delivery deadlines. Check with the florists, retailers and websites to be certain that gifts arrive on time. Clearly specify delivery dates and ask for guarantees. Remember, last-minute or overnight shipping will be costly; consider scheduling deliveries for a day or two before major holidays.

Mother’s Day is a great opportunity to get out and shop local; support the community by shopping at neighborhood florists and other business. In-person visits will eliminate confusion and guarantee the quality of the products. To find local BBB Accredited Businesses this Mother’s Day, visit

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington, founded in 1918 and serving more than 9 million consumers, is one of 113 local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico. In 2014, people turned to BBB serving Alaska, Oregon and Western Washington more than 5 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 264,000 local businesses and for Charity Reports on more than 1,200 local charities, all available for free at