April 25, 2014

Senate bill would prohibit out-of-state florists from claiming to be local

Your Valentine sent you flowers from a local florist … right? Well, turns out that florist might not be local after all.

A bill in the Senate prohibits florists from lying about their location. 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 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 two local florists, more than 30 are advertised with local numbers and addresses.