The Society of American Florists reached out to Postmates and Google, asking the companies to remove the courier service’s links from florists’ local Google Listing pages and prevent those links from automatically populating in the future. SAF is also discussing the legality of this practice with outside experts and reviewing similar complaints from small businesses in the restaurant industry.
“In most cases we’ve heard about, the Postmates links have appeared without florists’ knowledge or agreements with the courier service,” said SAF’s CEO Kate Penn. “The links redirect consumers to the Postmates’ website, where consumers can input a customized order and are promised timed delivery — e.g. flowers in 45 minutes.”
In an email to Postmates and Google My Business executives, Penn stressed that, while some florists may want to supplement their existing delivery infrastructure with a courier service, “that should and must be the florist’s choice … Anything short of first getting express permission from the florist to have a presence on its local Google listings page is in essence hijacking what would have and should have been a direct order from the consumer to the florist and their offerings.”
Worse yet, Penn noted, “because the consumer is redirected from the florist’s local Google listing to the postmates.com site, the florist has no control over the pricing or the online experience and offerings.”
SAF is also reaching out to government agencies, including the Federal Trade Commission, on the legality of such listings.