NEW online florist Ready Flowers.s.com is causing ructions in the 'traditional' flower sector with a Queensland florist taking the small business to the Federal Magistrates' Court over claims it does not adequately disclose its pricing structure.
NEW online florist Ready Flowers.com is causing ructions in the 'traditional' flower sector with a Queensland florist taking the small business to the Federal Magistrates' Court over claims it does not adequately disclose its pricing structure.
Gordon Craven, whose daughter owns Penny's Flowers on the Gold Coast, has lodged a statement of claim against Bentley-based Ready Flowers.com for allegedly offering products for sale that are affected by "substantial undisclosed commission, fee and devaluation".
The claim, which was made in the Brisbane Federal Magistrates' Court on March 11, alleges Ready Flowers.com devalued flowers and arrangements to florists and misrepresented the products and pricing structure to customers.
"They are underselling and I'm going to ask the court to infer that they weren't just doing that to [Penny's Flowers], that it was a culture and they were doing it to everyone," Mr Craven said.
Ready Flowers.com, which was featured in WA Business News last month, claims 13 per cent market share in the online flower market - success owner Thomas Hegarty attributes to a unique business model and lack of overheads.
"We knew before we started that the existing competitors needed big dollars to sustain their business models - commissions, advertising levies, membership fees, delayed payments - there was and still is a whole raft of fees and charges that are hidden from the local suppliers," he said in February.
Teleflora chief executive Bruce Grey said the flower industry was traditional and accused Ready Flowers.com of operating a rogue internet service.
"We've had big arguments with Ready Flowers about it before, they've done what we call rogue trading on the internet and they buy domain names that are very similar and they pass themselves off and we've had legal action against that to stop it," he said. "There's one they registered called Teleflora Australia.com."
The Rain Forest flower shop owner Denise Ash said her Carine-based shop ceased dealing with Ready Flowers.com when she discovered the "exorbitant" amount of money they were making off each sale.
Bunbury Flower Place owner Treena Jarvis said her business no longer dealt with Ready Flowers.com because the money her company earned for processing an order did not cover her costs.
Ready Flowers.com declined to comment.