To: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and its Minister.
End Phony Florists & Google Misleading Consumers
Phony Online Florists provide a false impression to consumers that they are located at thousands of specific locations throughout Australia when this is not the case. The purpose of this is to mislead consumers to think they are dealing with a local florist when this also is not the case.
The ACCC is a Commonwealth regulator with the responsibility for protecting consumers along with fair competition by enforcing the Australian Consumer Law.
Pursuant to section 155 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, the ACCC can require a party to provide information, produce documents or attend an ACCC examination, if it has reason to believe that the party is potentially in contravention of the law.
Penalties and/or enforcement prosecution can follow, however there is no evidence of the ACCC using any of its powers within the Australian Florist Industry, reportedly (by IBISWorld) worth $864 million in 2020 of which the FlowersCorp Group owner of Roses Only boasts to having an annual revenue in excess of $50 million, and aiming for $100 million (Source - Central Coast Business Review Oct 2020 interview with Jack Singleton).
Why is this important?
Consumers are simply misled and/or ripped off and Real Local Florists simply loose revenue by this unfair competition. So guess where the proceeds of dishonesty and stolen revenue END UP.
The success and penetration of Phony Florists is mainly attributed to them spending huge amounts of money on Google Ads, so as to get a position at the top of a Google search page for a florist or flower search at any particular location.
A typical Phony Florist Google Ad, just repeats the misleading information provided by the Phony Florist.
While Google purports to have stringent policies so as to not mislead consumers using its services, Google hypocrisy is patently obvious when it comes to failing to enforce its policies on its Phony Florist customers, that provide it with multi millions of dollars in annual revenue.
This behaviour has been going on for numerous years and real local & ethical florists have been complaining about it for as many years, while the ACCC sit on their hands and do nothing.
The consumers that are misled, often receive a product that is far below the value that they have paid, is not as fresh as it should be and does not match the picture of the online flower arrangement that they thought they were purchasing.
In fact it is often reported that up to 65% of the money paid by a consumer for flowers, does not go into the value of the delivered product, but ENDS UP in the pockets of the Phony Florists and Google.