Bad weather may delay your Valentine's Day flowers

By Lifestyle and Budget Consumer Reports

If you placed an order for Valentine's Day flowers online, you might have missed a disclaimer that says the site does not guarantee delivery on major holidays—including Valentine's Day. The 1-800Flowers site, for example, says "The floral and gift business experiences an increased volume of orders during major holiday periods, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Mother's Day. While we ordinarily can guarantee delivery on the exact date you choose for delivery, the high volume of orders we handle during major holidays prevents us from guaranteeing delivery during those weeks."

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Add in some major weather problems such as those brought by Winter Storm Pax , which impacted the South and Northeast this week, and many more orders will likely be delayed. Yanique Woodall, a spokeswoman for 1-800Flowers, told us that they monitored the weather and delivered many arrangements early as a result. Others, however, may arrive late. "We want our delivery people to be safe, too," she says. Teleflora has posted an alert on its site that says deliveries may be delayed in 13 states due to the winter storm.

For other gift ideas, check out the 5 Valentine's Day gifts that gadget geeks will love and our review of the best-tasting chocolate bars for Valentine's Day.

Even if you live in an area that was not hit with bad weather, your flowers might still be late, because some online flower delivery sites have multiple distribution centers across the country from which they ship all orders. A total of 16,858 flights have been canceled in the U.S. this week according to Flight Aware, more than 6,900 flights were canceled on Feb. 13 alone.

And it's probably too late to cancel an online order today and pick up a bouquet at your local florist instead. FTD's site, for example, says cancellations must be requested within 24 hours of placing an order. It also notes that no requests for credits on product, freight, or shipping charges will be accepted if your shipment is delayed for reasons beyond FTD's reasonable control, including courier delays caused by inclement weather conditions. ProFlowers says it " . . . does not allow orders to be edited or cancelled within 48 hours of the requested delivery date, or within the seven days prior to Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day or Mother's Day, because of our extremely high volume of orders during these times."

But you can likely track your order online; if it's going to be delayed, you can let your Valentine know it wasn't because you forgot—really this time.

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—Mandy Walker

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