Some Customers Say Online Florist With Ties To New Jersey Is Misleading

Valentine's Day is Sunday, but buyer beware if you plan on ordering flowers online. Some customers say one business with ties to New Jersey is breaking hearts all over the country; CBS2's Lisa Rozner reports.

Video Transcript

MAURICE DUBOIS: Valentine's Day is Sunday, but buyer beware if you plan order flowers online. Welcome back here at 5:30, I'm Maurice DuBois.

KRISTINE JOHNSON: And I'm Kristine Johnson. Valentine's Day is a prime day for florists.

MAURICE DUBOIS: But instead of creating happy memories, some customers say a business with ties to New Jersey is breaking hearts all over the country. CBS2 News' Lisa Rozner investigates.

OKSANA LEVINA: I work, like, maybe 2,000 roses for Valentine's.

LISA ROZNER: Days before Valentine's, it's crunch time for Oksana Levina of Red Bank Flowers. But recently she says some angry customers have called confusing her with TerrysFlorist.com, which lists a Red Bank, New Jersey zip code on credit card bills. Nationwide, when we searched online for a "local florist," Terry's pops up, claiming it's been "serving our community for over 20 years."

Mike Havens thought Terry's was located near his mother-in-law in Colorado. He says he ordered this. It arrived as--

MIKE HAVENS: Basically three flowers and a bud vase.

LISA ROZNER: Hundreds of online reviews of TerrysFlorist.com include comments like "We ordered Daisy Delight Deluxe, we received no daisies" and "I got a phone call one hour after a funeral that they couldn't be delivered."

CRYSTAL BRIGGS: So I ordered flowers from the funeral home to be sent to his gravesite.

LAURIN KRIZ: They said that "No, they tried to deliver it, and no one was there." Of course I didn't get any refund.

LISA ROZNER: The BBB gives Terry's an F rating. An attorney for Terry's says "Unsatisfied customers represent a small fraction of 1% of all its transactions." One unsatisfied customer compares Terry's to a florist we first told you about last year, TroysFlorist.com. It turned out not to be a flower shop at all, but an office space in East Brunswick.

- I don't see one flower in here.

LISA ROZNER: Troy's business registration certificate included Kadri Erturk, also known as Atil Erturk, as a principal. Erturk created TerrysFlorist.com in 2019, according to his lawyer. We tried to speak with him at his home in Colts Neck, New Jersey. His wife Yasemin Erturk, who's listed as a registered agent on Terry's business certificate, came to the door.

Hi, I'm looking for Alil.

YASEMIN ERTURK: Uh, he's not here. Who's this?

LISA ROZNER: I'm Lisa Rozner with CBS2 News and I was told he's behind Terry's Florist.

YASEMIN ERTURK: No, he's not.

LISA ROZNER: OK.

Terry's lawyer says the Erturks sold the Terry's domain and website to Anthony Picco before it began operations in 2019. Picco's LinkedIn page says he is CEO of ArcoMediaGroup in Asbury Park.

Terry's is a registered business with a mail drop address in Nevada. Still, when we called customer service, we were told it's located at 75 West Front Street in Red Bank.

What suite number would it be?

She put us on hold, and then hung up.

[DISCONNECTION TONES]

The building owner said there was no Terry's ever there, and so did the management office at 1 Harding Road in Red Bank, where Google Maps pins the company.

We also contacted officials here in Red Bank, and they did not have any records of the company.

Consumer credit expert Paul Oster points out Terry's doesn't list a physical address under its "Contact Us" link-- a common red flag.

PAUL OSTER: SEO optimization has made it very easy for companies to appear that they're local. Call the business and tell them you want to stop by.

LISA ROZNER: And when ordering flowers, he says make sure the vendor guarantees no substitutions. He says get orders in writing because emails are admissible in the court of law.

Terry's says it's "committed to perfecting the customer experience" and "has hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers."

In Red Bank, New Jersey, Lisa Rozner, CBS2 News.

MAURICE DUBOIS: And New Jersey's Attorney General says it has received eight complaints against Terry's. Mastercard says it has raised concerns with the merchants bank.