Shop With Caution This Mother’s Day

May 10, 2013

DENVER – Mother’s Day is on Sunday and whether you are ordering flowers, shopping for custom jewelry or arranging a special spa day, the Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder wants you to be a smart consumer.

BBBs nationwide received nearly 4,000 complaints against florists in 2012. Many of the complaints were a result of the flowers being late, wrong or just never delivered.

According to a survey conducted on behalf of the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend an average of $168.94 on Mother's Day gifts this year, up 11 percent from last year. Nearly three in 10 Americans will buy their gifts online, up from 25.6 percent last year and the highest in the survey’s 10-year history.

When finalizing your Mother’s Day gifts or shopping online, follow these BBB tips:

  • Do your homework. Before making a dinner reservation, ordering flowers, jewelry or any other gifts for Mother’s Day, find a BBB Accredited Business or check out the company’s BBB Business Review at
  • Ask about guarantees. Request a written receipt for the order and ask about the business's refund policy if the delivery is late, never arrives or is in bad condition.
  • Confirm shipping and delivery. If having a gift shipped or delivered, check with the retailer or on the website to be certain you have allowed enough time for delivery. Make sure the date is clearly specified and guaranteed.
  • Pay with a credit card. It is best to use a credit card when shopping online. According to the Federal Trade Commission, a shopper can dispute the charges if he or she doesn’t receive the item.
  • Beware of phishing scams. If you receive an email that appears to be from the merchant you recently ordered from saying there’s a problem with your order or information needs to be verified, don’t be quick to open links or attachments. Instead, contact the company directly and ask about the email. If they didn’t send it to you, the email could be a phishing scam, in which the link or attachment contains malware or otherwise tries to steal personal information.

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About the BBB

The BBB is an unbiased nonprofit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. The BBB provides objective advice, BBB Business Reviews, BBB Charity Reports and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, your BBB also offers dispute resolution services for consumers and businesses. The first BBB was founded in 1912. Today, there are 113 local, independent BBBs across the U. S. and Canada. Please visit for more information.