Category Archives: Reviews

ftd wilted flowers review

Sending Flowers? Here’s Why Top Florists Get Such BAD Reviews

“Send me dead flowers by the mail,
Send me dead flowers to my wedding,
And I won’t forget to put roses on your grave” – Dead Flowers, The Rolling Stones

Online florists get terrible reviews:

I recently did a little research into online florists, as I was looking to send a bouquet to my Mom on Mother’s Day.

So, the first online florist that came to mind was FTD, so I grabbed a coupon for 20% off , researched their shipping rates, and then googled, FTD reviews to see what people were saying about them online.

WOW! Suddenly the Google search results page was filled with sites showing 1-star reviews. And, not just single “one-star” reviews; these are cumulative ratings based on hundreds of reviews.

FTD’s ratings on large review sites: 

  • Consumer Affairs rating: 1/5 (157 votes)
  • Yelp: 1/5 (312 reviews)
  • Reseller Ratings: 1/10 (375 reviews)

Yikes! So, FTD must be the worst florist in the world, right? I immediately moved on to the next florist. I found a free shipping promo for ProFlowers, (saves $12!) then hit Google to read some “ProFlowers reviews.”

Same thing! Nothing but hundreds of angry reviews!

1800flowers? You guessed it. Turns out that “Norm of the North” (awful kids’ movie) is viewed more favorably in reviews than most of the florists online.

ftd reviews bad

What was ordered vs. what was actually delivered!

Sample excerpts from bad online reviews:

  • “FTD is the worst company. Is there a NO STARS option?” – Raven B. of Altadena, CA
  • “Very shady business. DO NOT ORDER FROM PROFLOWERS!” – Nicolle of Thornton, CO
  • “This is in Florida! The flowers wilted and died in the heat! Horrible, horrible company!” Rita of Miami, FL.
  • “The (FTD) flowers depicted on the site were nothing like what was delivered” – Jennifer Q. of Somerville, MA
  • “…looked nothing like the pictures – small and ugly (Proflowers) – Candace, St. Petersburg FL.
  • I laughed when I saw the flowers delivered… If I could give FTD less than one star, I would” – Sabryna L. of Miami, Fl
  • “I will never use this crappy company (1800flowers) again!…They will refund me 50%. What about the pain and suffering I’m going through!” (Wow!) Donna of Roscoe, IL

Why are reviews for online florists so bad?

woman surprisedFlowers so bad that you deserve compensation for pain and suffering?! Wow…

Well, I read through scores of these reviews, and here’s what I came up with. Reviews are so bad because flowers are a highly-perishible item that blooms for a short period of time. It’s a logistical nightmare to get such a product to any address in the country while it’s fresh and in its prime.

Add to that the fact that online florists usually depend on a huge network of local florists to fulfill orders. Florists are expected to arrange and deliver bouquets, and there isn’t much quality control.

Fictional Customer: “Um, If you could just deliver a bouquet of exotic roses to rural Florida in July, that would be great. If my Mother-In-Law isn’t home, just leave them by the door.”  Hey, what could possibly go wrong?!

wilted tulips delivered

Top Complaints about flower delivery services

  1. Flowers look wilted: I noticed a lot of bad reviews coming out of states like Florida, so apparently the heat is another enemy of successful flower delivery. If you are sending flowers to the South in July, hope that the recipient is home when they arrive!
  2. Flowers don’t look like photo: The second biggest complaint is that flowers just don’t look like the photo on the website. Once again, I assume weary local florists are send a photo along with each order of what they are expected to produce from their limited existing inventory of flowers.
  3. Flowers not delivered on correct date: There are a lot of bad reviews from people whose flowers were delivered on the wrong date. One review complained that the flowers arrived a week early; well before the recipient’s birthday.

I also noticed that most complaints were about flowers ordered for big holidays like Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Florists are expected to fulfill millions of orders in the days leading up to these dates, and that can really create havoc!

Fictional Customer #2: “Um, I’d like to send an exquisite live orchid to my girlfriend in Fargo, with delivery on the day before Valentine’s Day.” South Dakota in February? No problem-o!


In conclusion…

“You can’t always get what you want, 
But if you try sometimes well you might find, 
You get what you need.” – You Can’t Always Get What You Want, The Rolling Stones

People spend billions of dollars every year sending flowers from popular florists, so apparently delivering flowers works out well most of the time.

However, now that I think about it, Amazon.com has not yet decided to enter and dominate the “flower delivery” space, so there must be something wrong. Hmmm…

In conclusion, I’d say that flower delivery is a really tough business to be in. It also seems like angry customers disappointed with their flower order are about 50 times more likely to hit the internet and rant about their anger than someone who got what they expected.

Sometimes buying flowers from the local florist or grocery store isn’t an option, so you are stuck playing Russian Roulette with online florists. (Especially just before big holidays or during extreme weather) 

Remember though, most of the time, “it’s the thought that counts.” Your loved one will probably appreciate your thoughtfulness, even if the actual flowers fall short of “amazing.”

Related: Nutrisystem bad reviews

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Match.com Prices: How Much it Costs Per Month

So, what does match.com really cost? It’s America’s most popular dating site, but they don’t make their rates and fees obvious. In summary, the longer subscriptions are cheaper per month, with the 6-month subscription being the best deal. Also, new members can use a promo code to bring the price down further.

We researched the cost match.com subscription pricing in detail, and here’s what we learned:

There are two subscription levels: BUNDLE or BASIC:

match subscription cost bundlemoney bagBefore joining match.com, you’ll want to understand the difference between the two subscription levels. By default you’ll be presented with match.com’s “Bundle” plan which has a few more features.

  • BUNDLE Plan: You’ll get: “Email read” notifications, “First Impressions” feature, and a better, “highlighted profile”
  • BASIC Plan: You can save about 10%, but it’s probably not worth it for what you give up.

Both “Bundle” and “Basic” plans include core features like the ability to search for matches and to contact other singles. Most people choose to spend the extra $2 or so per month to get the more robust Bundle plan.

Match.com prices per month:

Here are the monthly costs for match.com signup for the Bundle and Basic plans:

Subscription Length:BUNDLE Plan Cost:Basic Plan Cost:
1 MonthNA$40.99
3 Months$25.99 / month$22.99 / month
6 Months (Popular)$22.99 per month$19.99 / month
12 Months$19.99 / month$18.99 / month

Match.com DISCOUNT monthly prices w/ promo code:

You can try their free trial before signing up, OR use a coupon to save an extra 25% on a match.com subscription. Here are the the discounted prices for match.com after applying this 25% off promo code

Discounted Subscription:Bundle Plan (Popular)Basic Plan*
1 MonthNA$30.74
3 Months$19.49 / month$17.24 / month
6 Months (Popular)$17.24 / month$14.99 / month
12 Months$14.99 / month$14.24 / month

*I update these prices often, but they might fluctuate slightly. You actually have to sign-in and click “subscribe” to view today’s discount pricing info on match.com

Tips on pricing & billing

  • Initial cost: You are billed a one-time amount upfront for whatever length you commit to at the promotional price.
  • Monthly billing: When the promotional period ends, you are billed once each month at FULL-PRICE (up to $50/month!)
  • Tip: Turn off “auto-renewal” – To avoid unexpected costs after the promotional pricing ends, I recommend turning off auto-renewal after you signup. If you want to continue your subscription, you can turn it back on later.
  • Free Trial: If you aren’t familiar with match.com, I recommend taking advantage of their free trial before joining. During your trial period, can click the “subscribe” button at any time to join.  Just be sure to cancel before the 3-7 day trial ends if you don’t want to be billed.
  • CancellationNot sold on 100% on match.com? Be sure to cancel 2 days before your subscription ends to avoid being billed for the next month

The 6-month match.com subscription is the best deal

match blue logoSo, you probably realized that the “Basic” plan is a joke, but so is the 1-month plan. Really, it takes most people a couple of weeks just to get established on Match.com, so who really wants to pay double (monthly cost) to only join for only a month?

The 6-month subscription seems to hit the sweet spot of the best length, and best price. If you opt for longer, you’re not saving much more (per month), and you’re committing to an awfully long time.

What if you meet your soulmate after a couple months? There’s no need to commit to a 12-month membership in my opinion, unless you are committed to not settling down any time soon!

Also, the the 6-month subscription comes with the match.com guarantee, stating that if you hven’t found someone really special in 6 months, they will credit you for another 6 months free. Yet another reason NOT to pay for a year up-front.

Avoid being billed at full price when the promotion ends: Turn OFF “auto-renewal”

woman surprisedIf you do sign up for match.com, consider turning off auto-renewal immediately. Otherwise, you will be billed every month at regular price (about $50!) after your discounted subscription ends.

To turn it off, click account settings, and then change/cancel membership. You can always turn auto-renew back on, but it’s less of a hassle this way.

match.com complaints?

Most of the many match.com complaints come from people who didn’t realize that match.com would bill them each month at regular price after the promotional period ends. If you’re not familiar with how it works, try the free trial, and be ready to cancel before it ends. Also, be smart, and do research (like this!) to avoid billing confusion!

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best free tax file software

Best FREE Online Tax Preparation Software: Our Top Options for 2017

What is the best free online tax service to use in 2017? If you have a simple or 1040ez tax return, there are a number of free versions of tax software from popular brands. But, which is best for you, and is it truly free? We researched the most popular free tax sites online, and came up with our list of the best four options to consider.

Just remember that if you have a mortgage, claim dependents, or have other deductions, you might have to opt for one of the premium versions of the software. (with the exception of TaxAct, which can handle complex tax returns for free)

Paying up front for a premium or “deluxe” edition is often a good investment, costing less than what you could lose from a single missed deduction. Also, while these brands offer free filing of your Federal taxes, State fees are often extra unless you meet their qualifications including a maximum income threshold. Here’s our list of the best “free” tax software options:


#1 TurboTax

As one of the most user-friendly tax programs on the market, you should find that you have no problem using Turbo Tax. This really is the best free tax software that absolute novices can use with utter ease. One of the major pros of this tax software option is the fact that it imports tax documents from a vast variety of companies.

In fact, it may come as something of a surprise to learn that this particular software imports documents from 1.4 million financial institutions and other companies. I’m sure that you’ll agree that is seriously comprehensive; more so than many of the other downloads on the market.

To truly pay nothing to file with TurboTax AbsoluteZero, you must meet a number of qualifications, including that your adjusted gross income be under $31k. (Or, under $60k for military or those who are eligible for the earned income tax credit.)

The free version of TurboTax is pretty decent, however, there are also paid-for versions that are available including their popular Deluxe Edition. The cost of these forms of software tends to rise depending on how close the tax return deadline is. Make sure that you check out all the small print before you agree to anything. That way, you can be sure that you will never, ever get caught out.


#2: H&R Block

You’ve likely heard of the H&R Block free software before now. They do a ton of advertising during tax season, and there are hundreds of H&R Block office locations spread out through strip malls in every state.

Their website states that their free version is “best for first-time tax filers,” meaning that only simple returns will actually be free. While it’s true that this software is easy to use, there’s something you should know before you attempt to use it for yourself. You see, like TurboTax, the free version of H&R Block is only available for your Federal returns in most cases.

H&R Block has a number of qualifications for their software to truly be free including that your adjusted gross income not exceed $53k, and you must be under age 53. If you have a mortgage or are self-employed, consider their Deluxe Edition for as little as $25.

If you aren’t filing a 1040ez tax form, or you’re hoping to complete a more comprehensive version that searches for deductions, you will need to fork out money for the pleasure of doing so. That’s likely enough to put a fair few people off, but there are a whole load of advantages to using this tax accounting software.

If you need a little extra help along the way when it comes to filing your taxes, you should find that H&R Block is the perfect program for you. The helpful little ‘Learn More’ button is always available, which means that you should never have any problem understanding the software. All you have to do is click the tab and a short description box will open. Perfect. The navigation of the software should also be simple to follow; it works as a step-by-step platform which means you will never get lost.


#3: TaxACT

Again, this “free” software is only free when it comes to filing your Federal tax return. Still, it’s well worth your time and really is one of the best free tax software options on the market right now. Unlike it’s competitors TaxAct is not limited to simple tax returns, and can handle more complex tax situations than just 1040ez.

For a long time, it was hailed as one of the cheapest ways to do your taxes. However, you should know that there are a few costs to be considered before leaping at this opportunity. For example, if you need to itemize your accounts, you will actually need to use TaxACT Plus, which costs $14.99.

To qualify for the TaxAct Free File version, you must have an adjusted gross income under $52k.

So, what do you get with this tax software and why should you use it? Well, the security features on TaxACT are quite top-notch. For example, after just a few minutes of inactivity, the program will log you out safely. That means that you will never accidentally leave your personal information out for all to see. What’s more, the accounting software allows you to review your summary as you go. Bonus.


#4 TaxSlayer

  • taxslayer logoOne of the top free tax preparation software downloads online
  • Free Federal efile, State fee: free or $22
  • Visit taxslayer.com | Look for coupons
  • pcmag.com rating: 3/5

Finally, we come to TaxSlayer. I’m not a fan of the name, as I always picture a clip-art quality dragon getting slayed by a knight, but maybe that’s just me.

Compared to other accounting and tax programs on the market, Tax Slayer s is a rather basic setup. However, that does not mean that you should make the mistake of overlooking it. If you’re hoping for a straightforward, clean way to do your taxes, you may just have found it.

There is a rather helpful ‘Program Guide’ which will take you through the step-by-step process of completing your forms. Still, if you are used to filing your taxes, you might not even need the guide at all. Should that be the case, you can move ahead to the forms and get on with it. What’s more, the program supports all the most popular IRS forms, and so you should have no problems using this software.


The best free software for filing your taxes: just don’t sacrifice features for “free”

free signSo, with the exception of TaxAct, the free version of any software is intended for simple tax returns. If you have kids and a mortgage, you’re likely better off paying for a premium version of their software. In most cases, this will help you find more deductions, which will ultimately more than pay for the cost of the software. In fact, a single missed deduction, like giving $200 to charity, could cost you more than you saved by going with the free version of the software.

In any event, good luck, and I hope you’re able to truly file your taxes for free! If you’ve had experience with any of these free tax options, please send us your review!

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K'NEX-Firestorm-Freefall-Coaster-Building-Set-2

Giveaway: K’NEX Firestorm Freefall Coaster Building Set *Ends 12/8*

Get ready for the ride of your life with the Firestorm Freefall Coaster Building Set from K’NEX! This roller coaster stands over 2.5 feet tall and boasts over 18 feet of looping, diving track. The set contains over 670 K’NEX pieces including an exclusive hanging coaster car, motorized chain lift, track, and of course our famous rods and connectors. The color-coded instructions make it easy to build this exciting thrill ride before you turn on the motor and bring the whole thing to life. Instructions for a second incredible model are available for download. This product is for ages 9+. K'NEX-Firestorm-Freefall-Coaster-Building-Set-1 K'NEX-Firestorm-Freefall-Coaster-Building-Set-2 K'NEX-Firestorm-Freefall-Coaster-Building-Set Thanks to K’NEX, we got to try out the Firestorm Freefall Coaster Building Set. My husband and my two boys sat down and churned this puppy out in no time. This set really does include a ton of pieces (674 to be exact) but the instructions are pretty straightforward making it a breeze to assemble (granted a child on his own may have some issues, but we did it as a family). Check out our video below!

The K’NEX Firestorm Freefall Coaster Building Set is available exclusively at Walmart (buy online now!) as well as online at Amazon.com for around $35.

Enter to Win!

One lucky Freebie Spot reader will win a K’NEX Firestorm Freefall Coaster Building Set. How fun! Just use the Giveaway Tools entry form below to enter to win. Good luck!

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Disclosure: K’NEX provided me with the information for this post and free product(s) as a thank you for this post. They are also offering free product(s) to give away to a reader. I was not required to write a positive review. Any expressed opinion is completely my own. View my official disclosure policy.

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Betty-Crocker-Cereal-Muffin-Mixes-Gift-Pack

Giveaway: Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mixes *Ends 9/25*

Betty-Crocker-spoonWhether your family is gathering around the table for breakfast or simply grabbing a bite on-the-go, I have an awesome new product for you that is a tasty and convenient way to jump start your day! Is your family cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs? Do they crave Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Reese’s Puffs too? Well then get ready to enjoy these flavors in a completely new and exciting way, out of the bowl and straight from the oven!

New Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mixes are inspired by Big G cereal favorites Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, and Reese’s Puffs, and are sure to be a fun way to re-mix your morning meal routine. Plus you can print a Betty-Crocker-Cereal-Muffin-Mixescoupon to save $0.80 off one package of any variety of Cereal Muffin Mix!

Thanks to Betty Crocker, I received a wonderful Betty Crocker Cereal Muffin Mixes gift pack that included 1 box of each cereal muffins flavor (Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, and Reese’s Puffs) as well as an apron, tumbler, spoon, and therm-o-sack. Wow! I gave my kids the choice to pick which flavor they wanted me to make first. Of course they picked the Reese’s Puffs cereal muffins. They are definitely my kids. 😉 The Betty Crocker cereal muffins were super easy to make and after they were done, we devoured them completely. Like seriously – my husband didn’t even get one. Ha!

Enter to Win!

Betty-Crocker-Cereal-Muffin-Mixes-Gift-PackOne lucky Freebie Spot reader will win a Gift Pack including:

  • Box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal muffins
  • Box of Cocoa Puffs cereal muffins
  • Box of Reese’s Puffs cereal muffins
  • Apron
  • Tumbler
  • Spoon
  • Therm O Snack

How fun! Just use the Giveaway Tools entry form below to enter to win. Good luck!

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Disclosure: MyBlogSpark, on behalf of Betty Crocker, provided me with the information for this post and free product(s) as a thank you for this post. They are also offering free product(s) to give away to a reader. I was not required to write a positive review. Any expressed opinion is completely my own. View my official disclosure policy.

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Giveaway: Yankee Candle Fall 2012 Scents *Ends 9/15*

Yankee Candle
The Yankee Candle Fall 2012 scents include four new fragrances in its traditional line and two new fragrances in its contemporary Pure Radiance line. Inspired by cherished fall memories and the simple pleasures of autumn, the new fragrances evoke crisp, breezy days and bountiful harvests. Launched earlier this year, Pure Radiance features a modern design, custom soy wax blend and innovative LumiWick technology for a wide flame and consistent burn.

Yankee Candle Fall 2012 Scents

Four new fragrances, inspired by beauty of nature and warmth of the kitchen, capture the true, treasured moments of autumn. Prices range from $1.99 to $27.99 and are available in melts, votives, small jars and tumblers, perfect pillars, medium jars or tumblers, and large jars or tumblers. Scents include:

  • Apple Pumpkin: Cultivated with care…home-grown apples and pumpkins blended with ginger and clove.
  • Treehouse Memories: Warm, earthy woods wrapped in sweet, familiar spices evoke memories of crisp autumn days spent amongst the changing leaves.
  • Harvest Welcome: Welcome home! Cozy up with this inviting combination of farm-fresh pumpkins spiced with just the right amount of brisk autumn air.
  • Season’s Blessings: Partake in a fragrant array of nature’s bounty
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