Talk:Bloomex/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Fact Check

The introductory paragraphs are unsourced, though most of it is unremarkable and so may be accepted as is (?) However, there are two very precise figures, 87% of deliveries and 97% of the population, which have no supporting documentation. Since the figures are so precise they should be verifiable. If not, I think they should be removed. pale (talk) 15:09, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

This entire article except for the Controversy section sounds like a glossy brochure, that's why it has an {{Advertisement}} tag. Such statistics are pure corporate puffery and don't belong in an encyclopedia at all. --CliffC (talk) 18:01, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
It could be cleaned up, but no sense spending a lot of time at it while it's being considered for deletion. Rees11 (talk) 23:19, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
I see you reverted my source for the 97% figure. I started to change it to something like "PR flack says 97%..." but decided you are right that this puffery doesn't belong, sourced or not. So I took it out. Rees11 (talk) 01:50, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Controversy

Guys, I know Bloomex very well because i did some contract job for them and I know what is going on. Editor " pale " either unhappy customer or working for competition and his position is presenting COI. So i belive we need to leave the article to its original form before forst editing by " pale" 1. Bloomex refused to accept complains from BBB, because: a) company does not see value in reporting to non government body b) BBB dispute resolution process and approval process does not have anything in common with Bloomex terms and conditions under which all issues must be resolved. c) BBB approved company involved in criminal activities.

2. Bloomex is the largest floral company which delivered for the last 36 month close to 900,000 orders. Amount of complains you coudl find on BBB, online and anywhere you will be seraching will maximum 300-400. ( BBB complains are post on forum as well due to nature of the business). Do you math what is the percentage of unhappy customers is. less than 0.3%-0.5%?

3.1800flowers.ca is belong to 1800flowers.com. check the domain records. The fact that Bloomex in partnership in both 2 largest floral companies in USA Proflowers and 1800 flowers is a pretty good indication on the company reputation and business dealings.

4. Floral business is very specific business and we need to ask expert who did article for 1800flowers, FTD and proflowers to provide their opinion. Otherwise it will be war of unhappy customers or competitors. Flowerman11 (talk) 22:02, 24 May 2009 (UTC)


Guys, Wikipedia is to put true and onjective information provided by experts. Wikipedia is not for revenge for unhappy consumers. Check on any large company which does of thousand orders daily and you will find significant amount of complains posted on online forums especially in floral industry ( check FTD, Proflowers or 1800flowers). In respect to Bloomex, company does not answer BBB complains because it is not a government organization and its guidence upon specific companies and procedures are very questionable: See: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2008/02/07/ot-fraud-080207.html Flowerman11 (talk) 12:26, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Flowerman11, you appear to have a conflict of interest. You reverted the article multiple times in the past without discussion, and your arguments to remove criticism are faulty:
a) that a high number of complaints should be ignored because it is common in the industry -- The contention is that Bloomex has an inordinately high number of complaints and unresolved complaints more particularly. The Toronto Star, BBB and others make that clear.
b) that because the BBB gave a company a high rating despite its fraudulent practices means the BBB's low grade is equally suspect -- Your logic here is faulty, because a false positive is far more likely than a false negative, as a positive grade means no complaints and a negative grade means several complaints. In the first case (positive grade) there is an absence of evidence, in the second (negative grade) there is a preponderance of evidence. Also, the case cited in your article was a group of 3 con artists working under multiple company names. If anything, your article supports the seriousness of a negative BBB grade because it requires multiple complaints under strict conditions. pale (talk) 20:59, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
Instead of deleting a substantial amount of text from an article, bring its deletion up in discussion here before doing so. To start, what are your reasons for deleting the Controversy section? CaptainMorgan (talk) 05:18, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
Bloomex created the page for promotional purposes with an eye on Search Engine Optimization (due to Wikipedia's high ranking among search engines). Unluckily for them, this also creates a high profile page for criticism of the company, which has shown consistently over the years to forsake quality and service in the pursuit of greater and greater profits. Tracking the IP's and usernames used to edit the page, it is clear that the redacting of criticism is coming from Bloomex directly. So ... any further redacting without discussion is likely to necessitate dispute resolution. pale (talk) 20:15, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

I've removed the remaining Controversy section per Wikipedia:No original research, as a breach of WP:SYNTH: "Do not put together information from multiple sources to reach a conclusion that is not stated explicitly by any of the sources".

Please sign your discussion so we know who you are. You're mistaken; all the sources I added draw the same conclusion and support each other: i.e. Bloomex has an extensive reputation for bad service and not resolving/ignoring complaints. pale (talk) 20:59, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

This is false as we have a great deal of excellent customer reviews as well. If you would like, I can post them here for you. Bloomex has an excellent customer service department and our policies may be slightly restrictive, however, it is the only way to ensure that we can provide the freshest flowers at the best price. Our customer service representatives always follow policies and customers have access to view these policies online as well as receive them with their confirmation. If you would like to state that the company has a bad reputation, you should put it in context. Perhaps comparing to an industry average or other similar companies.Godfreyj (talk) 13:40, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

In 2009 Better Business Bureau gave Bloomex its lowest possible rating, an "F". (Ctrl-click)">Better Business Bureau (BBB) Report on Bloomex Some people have questioned the value of the ratings by the BBB of Eastern Ontario. (Ctrl-click)">Couple questions value of Better Business Bureau after fraud charges laid

Source X says Bloomex got a bad rating from the BBB. Source Y (which doesn't mention Bloomex) says someone has questioned the value of BBB ratings. The juxtaposition is an implied novel argument that the bad rating of Bloomex is unreliable. Gordonofcartoon (talk) 16:50, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Agreed. The juxtaposition was added by Flowerman11, who appears to work for Bloomex (writing style and argument is consistent with responses by Bloomex seen on complaint sites and written in Toronto Star interviews). pale (talk) 21:30, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
See my comments below under "Comments on POV." I do think it might be useful for someone to go through the material removed by Flowerman11 to see if any of it should be incorporated in the article. I took a quick look, and two of the sources (Ripoff and Red Flag) are just consumer forums, not what I'd call reliable sources. One appears to be The Toronto Star, which would be a good one, although I think it might be from their blogs, not the newspaper itself. Two more are from a blog, but the blogger seems to work for The Star, which gives her some weight. And the BBB report does seem relevant. I agree that the "Couple questions value of Better Business Bureau after fraud charges laid" reference doesn't belong here. I probably should have just taken it out but was trying to be generous. Rees11 (talk) 18:02, 23 May 2009 (UTC)
I was the OP and sourced the info. The only undos are by Flowerman11, who has been cited by several people in editorial review and discussion here as having COI, socks, and reverting without discussion. The complaints on Ripoff Report and RedFlagDeals are very specific, which lends credibility. They are not all negative, but the majority are. The quality of Ripoff Report has been challenged in court before by companies with bad reviews, but challenges have never been successful, so I think they are a fairly good source, but that is open to discussion. Please see their Wiki page for more info. pale (talk) 21:30, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Looks like editor pale has an issue with the company. Online forums are not credible sources. Take any online company and you will find tons of posts with bad publicity. It is Bloomex decision not to answer to BBB complains.and you could not draw conclusion that company is bad because of that. They are on the market for 5 years in accordance with BBB. It is enough time to any company to go under if it is screwing people. Apparently it is not the case. They just got a license agreement with 1800flowers. Check www.1800flowers.ca and than www. Bloomex.ca. You will see that 1800 is using Bloomex platform and images. If company will be unreputable, the largest floral company in the world would never be in partnership with them.Floralexpert (talk) 02:21, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Floralexpert, you're aware that other users can view your edit history, right? I see that your only edit besides adding the message above is (Ctrl-click)">this, in which you remove the article's link to the BBB report on Bloomex. Do you have a conflict of interest in editing this article? --CliffC (talk) 03:46, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
It looks to me as though the company or some employees of it are trying to influence this article. Dougweller (talk) 05:29, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Floralexpert, your arguments and writing style are uncannily similar to Flowerman11 (see Sockpuppet (Internet)). Your arguments are faulty:
a) Cannot draw conclusions from Bloomex refusal to work with BBB -- Perhaps you can find other reputable companies that worked with the BBB, then stopped? This would help to support your argument. But otherwise, a company with multiple complaints and unresolved complaints refusing to work with an accredited and long-standing organization (with a reputation for reviewing business and providing a resolution system) is indeed a strong indication of unreliability. One might not be able to draw a conclusion about a company with few or no complaints not participating, but that is not the case here.
b) Length of time on the market indicates reliability -- This is a common mistake people make, but is patently false when you look at the history of businesses and long running ponzi schemes and marketing scams (Bernie Madoff, Enron, etc.). It is common for long running businesses to "go bad", or for unethical businesses and fraud artists to become very successful.
c) Reputable company A buying company B makes B reputable -- This is untrue. Large corporations buy smaller ones all the time and for many reasons. Lack of due diligence, or a simple interest in eliminating competition can explain this. It is also possible that Bloomex has good infrastructure or technical advantage, but is experiencing extreme mismanagement or is overextended or needs a cash infusion to improve. No one is saying Bloomex can't do a good job, but that they are not doing a good job. Not delivering goods and services but keeping payment is a very effective way to increase profits.
d) How do you know about this agreement between Bloomex and 1800Flowers.ca? Please provide a link and more info. According to the Toronto Star link [2], Bloomex owns 1800Flowers.ca. They are definitely using the same web interface. This is intriguing. pale (talk) 15:09, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Flowerman11, you may want to add your comments to the end of the section rather than the top. I almost missed them.

It might help if we stop accusing each other of COI and instead focus on the sources and what they say. The Controversy material is relevant and sourced. The Star is both reliable and verifiable. But the wording is extreme. "High profile consumer advocacy groups" has not been established, "roundly criticized" and "extremely late" are POV. I don't consider Ripoff or Red Flag good sources, but others do, and we have not reached consensus on whether to leave them in or take them out. I have reverted the latest removal but I'm also going to cut the rhetoric down a notch. Rees11 (talk) 23:43, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Flowerman11, you will catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. I removed the external links you added because they are not appropriate per WP:EL, but they are quite useful as references for the otherwise unsourced opening section. I have started adding them in. Rees11 (talk) 00:09, 25 May 2009 (UTC) Guys, FORUMS AND BLOGS ARE NOT CREDIBLE SOURCES. PERIOD. Flowerman11 (talk) 01:14, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

Though Flowerman11 has been indef blocked by another admin, I agree with his opinion about the forum posts. The comments at redflagdeals.com and ripoffreports.com are *forum posts* from individual Bloomex customers. These are not reliable sources by Wikipedia standards, and they should not remain in the article. See WP:RS. EdJohnston (talk) 05:03, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I wonder at what point forum posts are legitimate? There are several stories about forums and forum posts that have become influential; does the number of contributors diminish credibility? Blogs were originally thought of as unreliable, but now several blogs (Drudge Report, etc) have great credibility, and blogs are often referenced in traditional print and broadcast news. I also wonder if the sheer number of complaints in a forum (100 or 200+) is not significant. In a similar vein, but with its own unique properties, what do you all think of a site like MeasuredUp.com[1], where companies like Bloomex can "claim" their space, write a blurb, and use it (ostensibly) as an ad hoc support ticket site. Would complaints, or unresolved complaints, mean more in that forum? pale (talk) 16:52, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
Some blogs are credible, like Drudge Report, since they have a reputation and many reliable sources have commented on them. The problem with forums is that anyone could submit a comment, and they are generally anonymous. The comments are self-published and enjoy no editorial review. Ten complaints might all be from the same person, using different aliases. If a newspaper had *cited* the forum comments in question, that might change their status. This type of question is often answered at the WP:Reliable sources/Noticeboard, but I think you'll find that the answer is a foregone conclusion. EdJohnston (talk) 17:28, 25 May 2009 (UTC)

The view of blogger MS Roseman is very subjective. Under Wikipedia rules could not be considered As trusted source. 5Alextheflorist —Preceding unsigned comment added by 5Alextheflorist (talkcontribs)

There's a new section for just this subject below. --CliffC (talk) 18:01, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

References

  1. ^ [1]

Comments on POV

Bloomex may very well be all the bad things the anonymous poster just removed said, but when the article leads off a section with "Despite its many claims," (I'll bet that's in WP:Words to avoid) and quotes sources such as Ripoffreport, basically a forum in which anyone with a grudge can defame a business anonymously, the article loses a great deal of credibility. Let's stick to reliable sources, everyone. There seem to be enough. --CliffC (talk) 13:25, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Removed "Despite[...]claims" as suggested. Please see above for rationale of using Ripoffreport and RFD. pale (talk) 21:34, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

The Controversy section has several problems. I removed some unsourced weasel words, those don't belong here. The sources say two things:

  • Someone had a problem with a contractor in spite of that contractor being listed with BBB.
  • Bloomex gets an "F" from BBB, mostly because it has too many complaints against it.
  • Bloomex does not "accept or respond to complaints from the BBB."

The sources do not say that BBB has low credibility. I'm going to try to make the section mirror what the sources actually do say but welcome further discussion. Rees11 (talk) 16:21, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Just checked the edit history and I see there were a number of other sources that were removed. I haven't checked them but if they are reliable and verifiable they should be restored. Rees11 (talk) 16:32, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Ellen Roseman

Why Ellen Roseman blog is considered to be a trusted source? In her last post www.ellenroseman.com,[deleting more BLP violation here] " ...that could be the first step toward not staying in business". In my opinion reffering to Ellen Roseman should be removed form the article. 99.240.171.241 (talk) 18:52, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Ellen Roseman is a columnist who has been published in the Toronto Star, a respected newspaper. EdJohnston (talk) 19:22, 28 May 2009 (UTC)
User 99.240.171.241 may not be familiar with the Toronto newspapers, since he's posting from Ottowa. Here's what the Star says about Roseman:

Ellen Roseman's column appears in The Star's business section Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. She also writes Money 911, a step-by-step guide to managing your finances, each week in The Sunday Star. Focusing on investing and consumer issues, Ellen helps make sense of the business world. More information is available at www.ellenroseman.com.

I don't see the fragment of her column that he quotes as a wish for the company to go out of business, but as a realistic statement of what can happen to a company with "unfriendly policies and poor customer service". --CliffC (talk) 19:52, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Ellen Roseman is not an expert in online business nor in floral business. The fact that article she wrote is under legal complain does not give her credibility. So quoting her like an expert is COI (conflict of interests) and should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.6.232.247 (talk) 18:52, 4 June 2009 (UTC) Question: How Ellen Roseman could be clarifies as an expert in floral business as she writes about averything from Canada Pension Plan Reform to advices how to fix appliances and save money on finding the right mortgage? Her archive only in Toronto Star has 1722 artciles: see here:http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/results.html?st=advanced&QryTxt=ellen+roseman&type=current&sortby=REVERSE_CHRON&datetype=0&frommonth=01&fromday=01&fromyear=1985&tomonth=06&today=05&toyear=2009&By=&Title=&publications=ALL And her advice for the owner of the national company which serves thousands customers daily to call personally each customer is just showing her level of " expertise"Floralexpert (talk) 02:50, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Request for Changes

I would like to request a sentence change as the article is locked to me since this is a new account. I forgot the password to my previous account and don't have an email associated with it. It may look suspicious a new account requesting to post on an article, however, that is not the case and besides that it should be irrelevant as long as the information makes sense and follows the Wikipedia guidelines. I would like to disclose that I work for the company.

I request that the sentence,

"Orders can be placed online at the company's website, or through a 1-800 number. The company also buys virtual telephone numbers that connect customers to the Ottowa call centre when they dial a florist number in their local area code, giving the impression of a local presence.[1]"

be changed as it has negative connotation despite it contradicting the sentence following it that declares that we do in fact have a local presence. Local numbers aren't trickery, they are for the customer's convenience. Also, it is common for companies to have a centralized ordering systems.

"giving the impression of a local presence." - should be removed as it is disproved in the following sentence confirming our local presence. The word virtual is irrelevant. They are local phone numbers regardless of the technology used.

"The company also buys local phone numbers so that customers can conveniently dial local numbers to place their order with companies centralized phone ordering system in Ottawa."

Also, I request that spelling error of Ottawa be corrected from Ottowa.

It would also be prudent not to quote a source that is under legal dispute for innacurate content, ie. the Toronto Star article.

Thank you, Godfreyj (talk) 18:13, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I've made the changes, but I can see no reason not to use the Toronto Star simply because of a claim of a legal dispute, a claim that is at least 8 months old and for which I can find no evidence of a court case. Dougweller (talk) 21:13, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Ellen Roseman is not an expert in online business nor in floral business. The fact that article she wrote is under legal complain does not give her credibility. So quoting her like an expert is COI (conflict of interests) and should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.6.232.247 (talk) 18:49, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Unless you are suggesting she is editing this article and adding the link, there is no WP:COI - what is at most probably an exchange of letters between lawyers (if that much) is immaterial. Dougweller (talk) 18:58, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

quoting the person, who is not an expert- does not have credibility. it may be named differently, but it is just wrong from the common sense. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.6.232.247 (talk) 19:38, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Then we could hardly ever quote anything written in a newspaper, but we do it all the time and it is explicitly approved, see WP:RS. Dougweller (talk) 20:14, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Dougweller- the quote "Roseman's best advice now is "[...] instead of pursuing [Bloomex] for a refund, which will just frustrate you, call your credit card issuer. It’s easy to get a chargeback when you can show you paid for services that were not rendered."[6]" is from her blog ( see ref[6]), not from newspapers, so please remove as per her quote as per WP:RSFloralexpert (talk) 15:48, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Roseman is a well-known professional journalist writing within her field of expertise; this qualifies her as a reliable source even when the material is hosted on her own site and not at the Toronto Sun. FWIW, quotes of similar tenor ("But if Lokhonia truly cared, he would pick up the phone when customers asked for a manager, stop badmouthing complainers and start co-operating with the BBB")[3] are hosted at the Sun site. --CliffC (talk) 17:51, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Ellen Roseman is not an expert in online business nor in floral business. The fact that article she wrote is under legal complain does not give her credibility. So quoting her like an expert is COI (conflict of interests) and should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 207.6.232.247 (talk) 18:52, 4 June 2009 (UTC) Question: How Ellen Roseman could be clarifies as an expert in floral business as she writes about averything from Canada Pension Plan Reform to advices how to fix appliances and save money on finding the right mortgage? Her archive only in Toronto Star has 1722 artciles: see here:http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/thestar/results.html?st=advanced&QryTxt=ellen+roseman&type=current&sortby=REVERSE_CHRON&datetype=0&frommonth=01&fromday=01&fromyear=1985&tomonth=06&today=05&toyear=2009&By=&Title=&publications=ALL And her advice for the owner of the national company which serves thousands customers daily to call personally each customer is just showing her level of " expertise"Floralexpert (talk) 02:52, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Dougweller removed second reference with Toronto Star retraction article. We need other editors other than Dougweller, Floralexpert and CliffC to look into the subject. I believe the there is a conflict of "professional" interest from these editorsFloralexpert (talk) 15:11, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

He's talking about this Roseman article, hardly a "retraction", but quoting Dimitri Lokhonia statements in defense of himself/the company regarding one specific complaint mentioned in an earlier Roseman column. The Bloomex segment reads:
In last week's column on Bloomex, a national online retail florist, I talked about a customer whose flowers were delivered late after she was told she could get same-day delivery.
Colleen Clarke said she ordered two arrangements on the morning of Dec. 31 after a Bloomex representative told her on the phone that she could get same-day delivery to Calgary and Edmonton.
Bloomex president Dimitri Lokhonia said he couldn't track down every call made to the Ottawa head office. But he said Clarke placed her order at 1:30 p.m., just past the 1 p.m. deadline for same-day delivery – even though it was two hours earlier in Alberta.
Lokhonia said her plants were delivered to Calgary on Jan. 2 and to Edmonton on Jan. 3, according to the company's terms and conditions. So, he couldn't agree to a refund of the delivery charges.
"Bloomex's goal is to provide the best quality product at the lowest possible price and we will never do compensation for cases like Ms. Clarke. Should we start doing it, our prices will go up," he said.
These statements seems to cut both ways — although they are a defense, they make the company look tone deaf. Maybe as an external link titled something like Dimitri Lokhonia responds to criticism of the company ?
I agree with Dimitri that more editorial eyes are needed here. --CliffC (talk) 16:08, 6 June 2009 (UTC)
Conflict of interest would apply to anyone who worked for Bloomex or a competitor, but not to those of us with no relationship to either (or in my case, with no relationship to the whole floral industry or even Canada. Floralexpert, can you confirm that you have no relationship with Bloomex? Dougweller (talk) 17:38, 6 June 2009 (UTC)

Doorway pages

Link to doorway pages looks irrelevant. Should be removed Floralexpert (talk) 22:20, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I took the first 16 cities in List of cities in Canada and googled for Bloomex plus the city name, for example
"Bloomex" camrose
"Bloomex" fort saskatchewan
14 of the 16 searches returned a Bloomex page as the top search result. One of these (Calgary) showed a map to an actual site. For the other 13, the top search result seemed to be the same Bloomex page, with a different city name and different (presumably virtual) local telephone number. I don't know the technical details of how this is accomplished, but it seems to fit the definition given in doorway page. --CliffC (talk) 03:16, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Actually, they would be considered landing pages and not doorway pages. They are no cloaked nor do they contain any redirects. They are actual content pages created for customers.

An example of a florist with doorway pages would be: http://www.flowerscanada.com/FTD-Teleflora-Directory/scarborough-flowers.htm.

This example shows pages entirely built for search engines and the only option for a customer is to click on a single link to enter the actual site. Bloomex's pages are actually functional pages that are designed for customers and not search engines. Customers may order from these pages and they are part of the website.Godfreyj (talk) 13:30, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Hmm, maybe a more web-design-expert editor than I will ring in on this issue. Takers? Meanwhile, I'll point out that WP:SEEALSO says in part "These may be useful for readers looking to read as much about a topic as possible, including subjects only peripherally related to the one in question." --CliffC (talk) 16:00, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
I'm a web-developer and have been since 1995. I think Godfreyj is nitpicking or deliberately trying to confuse the issue. "landing" and "doorway" pages are often used interchangeably in the industry, and a good doorway or spamdexing page is virtually indistinguishable from a landing page. The example given above for flowerscanada.com is a particularly bad example of spamdexing, but any good SEO (blackhat or otherwise) knows how to make a spamdex page look legit so it won't get flushed by Google. http://bloomex.ca/florist/vancouver/ serves an identical purpose to the flowerscanada link, just does it better. pale (talk) 21:36, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Pale, could you please site sources that confirm that the terms are used interchangeably. I did not post my opinion above as you have. My examples source wikipedia articles which you should read. They are excellent references. I simply pointed out the difference which is actually more significant than you appear to acknowledge.

http://bloomex.ca/florist/vancouver/ serves an identical purpose to the flowerscanada link, just does it better.

Also, this statement is actually very inacurate and I do not believe that being a web developer qualifies you to state your opinion as fact in an internet marketing discussion.Godfreyj (talk) 17:05, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Without a reliable source saying 'Bloomex uses 'whatever' pages', we shouldn't be even discussing this. Dougweller (talk) 18:04, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Floralexpert new comments

I was all my adult life in floral business, owing number of retail outlets in Canada.I live in Ottawa, Canada and I involved in wholesale and bouquet distribution business now. From my professional activities I know Bloomex operations, but I do not have direct association with Bloomex. I consider myself an expert in floral industry and I did edit in the past articles related to floral industry in USA, though I did not bother to create login until recently until I came across article about Bloomex, the Canadian company. In my opinion, the problem arise when one of the unhappy customer ( or an unhappy local florist) edited article to include words like" scam" and included posts online forums. That post triggered further editing with COI from folks from the company, unhappy customers and editors. Before that article was published for 6 month without any major editing. I am ok to include BBB mentioning, though from expert point of few it is not 100% correct: 1. All florist by default receive rating C if they are not " accreddited by BBB ( read: pay money to BBB). The process of accreditation in Ottawa BBB is faulty and it has great coverage with fraud Ottawa BBB was involved by accrediting several companies involved in fraud ( national government new agency CBC had coverage on that with numerous coverage in local press:http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2008/02/07/ot-fraud-080207.html

2.THERE IS NONE OF HIGH VOLUME retail florists in Canada, who has good rating with BBB.- you could check it yourself, type " florist or flowers" in BBB search and select Canadian provinces or cities. there is no canadian florist with 100 or more complaints with rating higher than F. I do not agree about quoting Ellen Roseman as an expert, because otherwise we have to quote her in all controversy sections in all Wikipedia articles about large Canadian business. See her articles in which she writes mostly in critical way about: a) Sears: - 35 articles http://www.ellenroseman.com/search.php?cx=006319560383011813216%3Aa0fo_0bgvwo&cof=FORID%3A9&ie=UTF-8&q=sears#919

b) Canadian Tire- 42 articles http://www.ellenroseman.com/search.php?cx=006319560383011813216%3Aa0fo_0bgvwo&cof=FORID%3A9&ie=UTF-8&q=Canadian+Tire&sa=Search#922 c) Future shop - 50 articles http://www.ellenroseman.com/search.php?cx=006319560383011813216%3Aa0fo_0bgvwo&cof=FORID%3A9&ie=UTF-8&q=future+shop&sa=Search#981 d) even grocery chain Loblaws has 18 articles http://www.ellenroseman.com/search.php?cx=006319560383011813216%3Aa0fo_0bgvwo&cof=FORID%3A9&ie=UTF-8&q=Canadian+Tire&sa=Search#922

you may continue this list to include Air Canada, West Jet, Tim Hortons and so on. You could find critical quote in Ellen Roseman posts on her blog and according to including quote on Bloomex site, you have to include similar quote in all Wikipedia articles about these companies. This is where I see the logic mistake and this is why I was removing it. Please reply to my argument in logical way Floralexpert (talk) 17:48, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Simple. That's not how Wikipedia works. The fact that a comment of hers isn't used in another relevant argument is not an acceptable argument under our policies and guidelines for it not being in this article. That's the bottom line. Dougweller (talk) 21:16, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Dougweller, it is not what I am saying. My argument is that we should not consider Ellen Roseman blog and Ellen Roseman opinion as an expert opinion and trusted source. My arguments in support are provided above. Please provide arguments in support that Ellen Roseman is an expert in ecommerce or floral retail business and not just a writer defending consumers and her personal point of view. You are an editor, please find editors who had edited articles about FTD, 1800flowers and Proflowers to express their opinion.Floralexpert (talk) 22:29, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Please read WP:RS as your arguments are irrelevant to whether Wikipedia's guidelines and policies allow us to use a journalist is this way. As an Administrator, I am not necessarily always right but I am expected to have some understanding of these guidelines and policies. We do not expect journalists to be experts in the fields on which they report, and all your arguments aren't going to change that. Dougweller (talk) 04:58, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:RSread:"Wikipedia articles[1] should rely primarily on reliable, third-party, published sources. Reliable sources are credible published materials with a reliable publication process; their authors are generally regarded as trustworthy or authoritative in relation to the subject at hand. How reliable a source is depends on context. As a rule of thumb, the more people engaged in checking facts, analyzing legal issues, and scrutinizing the writing, the more reliable the publication."

Based on that, please prove me that Ellen Roseman blog is a reliable source. 

Please bring this article fro review by other editors. It is my third request.Floralexpert (talk) 13:16, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Ellen Roseman is a consumer advocate, as such she responds to complaints and investigates bad business practices. Your arguments against her (and every other source for that matter) all have the same "tone deafness" and apologist rhetoric that Bloomex's owner Dimitri Lokhonia uses (quoted above by CliffC). You also share similar writing and speech patterns. I'm convinced you and he are the same person. Your emotional and grasping attempts to defend a company you claim to have no association with simply don't make sense in any other context. We caught you using sock puppetry before, and I think you are doing it again. I'd ask an admin to check IP's. pale (talk) 20:45, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

I edited page to include only sources from Toronto Star which is reliable source. Please do not include Ellen Roseman Blog as per WP:RS. no argument to this fact were added sinse June10thFloralexpert (talk) 22:26, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

From User talk:5alextheflorist

I am florist from Europe. I edit some articles about floral industry in Europe in my free time. I used to work in USA in flower shops. We had bad blogs and chat post for flower shops. But flower shops did excellent job. Why you trust unobjective quotes? I do not understand why you are accusing me of COI?Alex (talk) 13:07, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

We have rules that say reliable sources may be quoted in our articles. Properly sourced criticism should not be removed. Such removal suggests that you are not motivated by the best interests of the encyclopedia. If a company has received some negative reviews in the press, it is not up to us to censor that record. Our goal is to neutrally report what others have published about the article topic. EdJohnston (talk) 13:13, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

"If a company has received some negative reviews in the press". I am ok with that, and let Toronto Star article be. But her blog is not a "press". Alex (talk) 16:51, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Make your arguments on the article Talk page, and try to convince the editors there. EdJohnston (talk) 17:28, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
(User copied these arguments from his talk page to this page without signature links - I have recopied them and started a new section. --CliffC (talk) 12:28, 9 June 2009 (UTC))
I'm convinced 5alextheflorist, Godfreyj, FloralExpert and Flowerman11 (banned) are the same person, and that he is also posting without signing-in. I don't think any of you are particularly fooled, but if you compare the writing styles, tone and agenda (i.e. remove criticism and insert promotional language) I think you'll agree. Can we get an admin to compare IP's or other methods to get the facts? pale (talk) 20:57, 10 June 2009 (UTC)
I'd exclude Godfreyj from that. In his change requests above, Godfreyj acknowledges working for the company, and a scan for "Godfrey" turns up the better-written company responses in various Bloomex complaint forums. You are correct that given the common writing style of the other accounts there are few doubts that these are the same person, but IMO Godfreyj's stake in the company is just as an employee trying to do the tough job of explaining the company's policies as dictated by management. I think we're obligated by the principle of fairness to allow one non-disruptive representative of the company to be heard on this talk page. --CliffC (talk) 22:02, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Thank you CliffC, I believe you are upholding the policies of wikipedia by allowing my input. Also, I only post factual information that I can source. It appears as though pale has some alterior motives as they would like to have control of this page despite their lack of knowledge of the company or its actual practices. Also, as a web developer pale, you should know that comparing IPs would probably not provide a great deal of insight as anyone can simply unplug their modem and get a new IP since they are cycled by ISPs and most likely have rotating IP addresses anyway.

Can we get an admin to compare IP's or other methods to get the facts?

Godfreyj (talk) 16:45, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

@Godfreyj: Let's clear up a few things. I feel for you, because you have a hard job. You and I are at odds because we have different goals here, so let's examine that. I don't actually have an ulterior motive. I've been open and plain about what I'm doing and my actions are consistent with my purpose. My goal is simple: get the facts on Bloomex and expunge the advertorial.
Your boss and co-workers have deliberately and routinely sabotaged the page, reverted good edits, added irrelevant or incongruous sources, etc., etc. If I'm terse with you and the Flowermen, it is because your company has behaved very badly here and shown a lot of bad faith, so I regard you as a bit of a "hostile witness". I have no intention to exclude anyone from open discussion on the discussion page, I just want to eliminate the sock puppets and sabotage.
The issues you have with what I write stem solely from your position as employee at Bloomex and your position as apologist. You read what I write with the goal to debunk, nitpick and discredit me, rather than to understand, verify, cooperate and build on what I write.
Case in point: I didn't say "compare IPs", I said "compare IP's or other methods". Having worked for local and federal law enforcement on Internet issues, and being scientifically and technically minded, I know that an IP is not a fingerprint, hence the rest of the sentence, "... or other methods." It is easy to correlate IP's, posts and times, for example. You might also know that many large web-based entities (such as Wikipedia) collaborate periodically with ISPs, sharing IP and user information to solve internet problems like vandalism, DDOS, spam, etc. A couple phone calls asking "what user used this IP between 10pm and 11pm" will do wonders.
Similarly, re my assertion that there is little practical difference these days between "doorway" and "landing" pages, the Wikipedia articles you reference do not contradict what I said, they jibe perfectly -- but you have to read the whole article to see that, not just cherry-pick what you like from them. Alternately, if you do your own research, Google the terms and check them on the top marketing and information sites, you'll see that a majority of experts support my interpretation of current use as well. All that aside, the format of the Bloomex URL along with the meta-data on the page (header, title, keywords, etc.) serves no purpose other than SEO and to fool users into thinking it is a "local" page. That said, this is "original work" and there are no articles out there that state specifically "Bloomex uses doorway pages", so I'm not advocating restoring the "Doorway" reference. I never did. All I was doing was offering my professional interpretation to CliffC, who was requesting it pale (talk) 19:12, 16 June 2009 (UTC)
No one should add information to their article from their personal experience, we call that original research, please see WP:OR. As it says below the window I am writing in, content must be WP:Verifiable. Dougweller (talk) 17:01, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Thanks Doug. I actually still source that information so I modified my previous statement to reflect that.

2.THERE IS NONE OF HIGH VOLUME retail florists in Canada, who has good rating with BBB.- you could check it yourself, type " florist or flowers" in BBB search and select Canadian provinces or cities.

The Flowermen seem to keep asserting this, but I just checked with the BBB for Toronto, Ontario, Canada florists and the first 10 retail florists all had A+ ratings. I stopped looking after that. pale (talk) 18:42, 21 June 2009 (UTC)

I just checked with the BBB for Toronto, Ontario, Canada florists and the first 10 retail florists all had A+ ratings.

@Pale that is entirely false unless you don't uncheck the accredited box. ie. You are searching for A's. Please uncheck the box and search again. There is not one A in the top 10.Godfreyj (talk) 19:09, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

I wasn't actively searching for A's, but it would be a quick way to disprove Dimitri's claim which was "there are no high volume florists with a good rating with the BBB." Your decision to eliminate accredited businesses is arbitrary, but okay, I tried it. The result was a single F in the "top 10", but the majority had either no rating (i.e. no complaints) or B's and C's. Also, the "top 10" is determined by alphabetical listing or proximity to your point of search; nothing to do with volume of sales, quality, or anything. So your point is ... even when fudging the results in Bloomex's favor, they still come up looking bad? pale (talk) 17:15, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

From User:Bw213

www.ellenroseman.com :http://www.dnsstuff.com/tools/whois/?tool_id=66&token=&toolhandler_redirect=0&ip=ellenroseman.com Registrant:

Ellen Roseman
Domain name: ELLENROSEMAN.COM


Administrative Contact:
   Roseman, Ellen

non trusted source as per WP:RS Bw213 (talk) 10:39, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:RS doesn't use the phrase 'trusted source', so what's your point? That Ellen Roseman owns ellenroseman.com? So? Dougweller (talk) 11:08, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:RS:"Reliable sources are credible published materials with a reliable publication process; their authors are generally regarded as trustworthy or authoritative in relation to the subject at hand". Self Publishing "Self-published sources are largely not acceptable, though may be used only in limited circumstances, with caution, when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications" Do not change edit without supportBw213 (talk) 01:33, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

If you'll take the time to read this page all the way through you'll see that most of your points have already been been raised and responded to, in some cases several times. Reading between the lines, the only semi-novel argument I hear you making is that Roseman is not an expert in the floral business. That is a specious argument. The article is not quoting Roseman's opinion on the best mix of chrysanthemums and carnations in a bouquet, it is quoting her advice to consumers on how to get satisfaction from a business, the business that is the topic of this article, that apparently chooses not to listen to its customers. She is indisputably an established expert in business. --CliffC (talk) 03:43, 18 June 2009 (UTC)
Adding "Bw213" to the sock drawer. pale (talk) 17:06, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

It is a self publishing issue: person quote herself from her own blog, which is not considered as a trusted source as per WP:RS. You have to quote " third party source". I added ClifC and pale to COI page because of discussion above and violation on WP rulesBw213 (talk) 19:05, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Dimitri, make some sense man. She "...quote herself from her own blog"? Are you even listening to yourself? She is not quoting herself. She is writing an article. An article supported by research and work she has done for a well known newspaper and while working with your company.
"You have to quote 'third party source'"? She is being quoted as a third party; by the editors of this article.
Stop your incessant cherry-picking of WP rules to try to justify deleting well-sourced contributions. WP:RSE explicitly states that blogs are acceptable sources when "... written by well-known professional researchers writing within their field, or well-known professional journalists ..." It even gives the example of the Drudge Report which is "self-published", i.e. owned and operated by one person.
What is a "COI Page"? How do I have a COI? I don't work in the industry (you do), I don't know any of the people involved personally (you do), and I do not promote the interest of Bloomex or any other company (you do). Please re-read WP:CoI, particularly the introduction which cautions that your CoI edit "... risks causing public embarrassment outside of Wikipedia for the individuals and groups being promoted." Sabotaging this page is only drawing more negative attention to Bloomex: "Wikipedia is a very public forum, and news of what occurs here is frequently reported in the media. 'Anything you say here and anything you do here can have real world consequences.' "
You are deliberately sabotaging the article by trying to suppress researched and relevant material. You have to stop. -- pale (talk) 15:25, 19 June 2009 (UTC)

Someone took out the Ellen blog info but I don't think we've reached consensus here that this is not a reliable source so I reverted. I'm usually opposed to using blogs as sources, but in this case she's a reporter for the Star, blogging on a subject she wrote about in the paper, so I'm inclined to keep this info. Rees11 (talk) 22:39, 20 June 2009 (UTC)

The substitute material offered by that 'Someone' also mischaracterized both the existing citation and Roseman's 'Reatraction' (retraction) of it, which was not a retraction but just a courtesy quoting of the company line in answer to a single specific complaint. That 'retraction' has already been discussed here, but he/they don't show signs of actually reading what's said here; if they do, it's not absorbed because the same arguments are brought up over and over. --CliffC (talk) 02:30, 21 June 2009 (UTC

From User:Floralexpert

No proof that Ellen Roseman blog is a credible source has been provided. You are claiming that inclusion Ellen Roseman Blog is valid because she is " an expert in consumer relations" on the basis that she is writing for Toronto Star .But in this case we have to allow inclusion of Bloomex blog saying how good they are, because they are expert in floral industry ( it is obvious- they are the largest in Canada). And Wikipedia does not allow that. It is called " self publishing ". I know that you want to keep Ellen Roseman quote as a symbol of your mights and victory, but Wikipedia rules are Wikipedia rules. and you have to follow them. I am offering following edit:

The Toronto Star business and consumer affairs columnist Ellen Roseman had published a critical article in 2008 in Toronto Star about floral delivery ordered on afternoon of December 31st 2007. </ref>[1]. Second article was published week later explaining company point of view. </ref>[1]. Please provide your independent well soused third party version. Sincerely Floralexpert (talk) 02:38, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

Floralexpert, I'm here in response to your post on the COI noticeboard. I think the references to "third parties" is confusing the issue for you. Please read Wikipedia's policy regarding Primary, secondary and tertiary sources. In short, a primary source would be, say, an original report filed with the BBB or a Bloomex press release (although these would be reliable sources for what these parties themselves said); a secondary source would be an independent source like Ms. Roseman who is not affiliated with either side in a dispute (e.g., Bloomex or the complainants) – to wit, a "third party" – but reports on the positions of both; a tertiary source would be an encyclopedia. Wikipedia strongly prefers the use of secondary sources, which makes Ms. Roseman writings a reliable source. Her reputation as a reliable source, which was built on her work for the Toronto Star, can be used to qualify her blog as a reliable source. (What gets posted there by others, however, does not inherit her reliability, since they are not her work.) Please see Wikipedia's WP:V policy regarding Self-published sources, which explicitly points out that "Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field [in Roseman's case, consumer advocacy] has previously been published by reliable third-party publications [the Toronto Star]." I hope this helps to clear up the issue for you. Askari Mark (Talk) 04:13, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

However, Ms. Roseman is considered a reliable source not for her blog, but for her history of publications in the Toronto Star. Therefore, the actual publications in the official, edited periodical (Toronto Star) should quoted. Just because an author has a number of official publications, doesn't qualify all written opinions by this author as a reliable source.Atlantaboy1644 (talk) 19:53, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

WP:RSE disagrees with you. Why is it not a surprise when yet another new editor shows up wanting to remove well-sourced material from the Bloomex article that is critical of the company? Please take a look at WP:Conflict of interest. This article has been heavily discussed at the WP:Conflict of interest/Noticeboard. Feel free to locate new material on the topic of Bloomex's reputation if you can find reliable sources that discuss it. If the supply of brand-new accounts that want to remove criticism from Bloomex's article continues, a filing at WP:Sockpuppet investigations will eventually be needed. EdJohnston (talk) 21:46, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
I started a sock investigation yesterday here: [4]. Since 1800flowers.com, 1800flowers.ca and Bloomex are all associated, it is possible that we will see sock and meat puppets coming from all over. Atlantaboy (or should I say Jeff), you are speculating. If you read this page or the sources you would know that Roseman's blog work is closely tied to her printed work and based on research she did working with Bloomex. She is an authority on Bloomex's poor customer relations. pale (talk) 22:09, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Atlantaboy, please re-read what I wrote previously. I made it perfectly clear that Ms. Roseman's reliability as a source was established based on her work with the Toronto Star, not from her blog; her reliability as a source, already established – and thank you for acknowledging that Roseman is indeed a reliable source – extends to her blog writings for the reasons noted by Palefist just above. That she might not be an RS for every subject in the world is an irrelevant point. What matters is that she is herself a reliable source for the issue at hand, and since her blog writings are directly relevant to this subject, they gain the reliability of her expertise. This isn’t rocket science. I succinctly identified the relevant WP policies and EdJohnston added a link to a page of examples. Askari Mark (Talk) 03:39, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

In science world expert opinion should be published in thrid party edited publication ( read Toronto Star in our case) to be considered as trusted, not his/her blog which expresses researcher's own opinion which might be wrong. I believe that what editor " antlantaboy" tried to say. So " secondary" sourse is Toronto Star not a personal blog in accordance with Wikipedia Rules interpretaton. Please correct me if I am wrong.Floralexpert (talk) 04:28, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm afraid that, yes, you are still wrong – as explained at length above. Wikipedia’s rules on reliable sources apply here, not those of scientific attribution. Yes, Roseman’s work at the Toronto Star is a proper secondary source; since she is a reliable source on this subject, her writings on her blog that address this same subject also constitute a reliable secondary source. Any material on her blog not related to this, her professional area of expertise, would be inappropriate and not qualify – but then, why would anyone want to source irrelevant material in the first place? Look, it’s time the editors here quit flogging this dead horse, and work on building this article further in a constructive way. It certainly has a long way to go. Askari Mark (Talk) 02:14, 24 June 2009 (UTC)

From User:99.241.48.48

I am a Bloomex customer from Ottawa. Company sent me email to look at Wikipedia article and express my point of view. The tone of the artcile is bias againts Bloomex. Some editors are in contradiction to their own words. Example from the last discussion: Mark Askari is saying above "independent source like Ms. Roseman who is not affiliated with either side in a dispute ". The reference in dispute is http://www.ellenroseman.com/?p=403. It quotes "Here’s some advice to frustrated customers: Instead of pursuing the company for a refund, which will just frustrate you, call your credit card issuer. It’s easy to get a chargeback when you can show you paid for services that were not rendered. If there are enough chargebacks, this company will find it hard to maintain its credit card privileges. And that could be the first step toward not staying in business. I do not see " an independent" judge. [text deleted as WP:BLP violation] Why? May be because Toronto Star article http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/308355 states " This material is subject to legal complaint by Bloomex Inc." So how could the the writer be independent if company has sued her? I am not an editor or an expert in wikipedia rules, but looks like common sense has been twisted here. Sincerely, Max —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.241.48.48 (talkcontribs)

Max, would you please post a copy of that email here so that we all can see it and get a better idea of what the company is asking its customers to do? Be sure to remove your email address first. Do you know whether every Bloomex customer got that email, or was it just a select few? Thanks, CliffC (talk) 03:22, 25 June 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like Dimitri to me. Same argument, different day. The idea that a company would contact a customer and ask them to look at a Wikipedia page is completely absurd. This is a sock puppet, as is 206.53.147.92 (below). "I agree with Max." These are such transparent and pathetic attempts I feel somewhat insulted. Adding to sock drawer. pale (talk) 15:08, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

99.241.48.48 should be added to the sockpuppet list. There are already a couple of other 99.240.0.0/15 addresses on there. Rees11 (talk) 11:51, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Agree with Max. Editors are biased.—Preceding unsigned comment added by 206.53.147.92 (talkcontribs)

There is absolutely no evidence that there is any legal action being taken by Bloomex against the Toronto Star - they may have had their solicitor send the Star a letter last year, when the claim first appears, but nothing seems to have happened after that. Meanwhile we have a WP:BLP problem with accusations against Ms Roseman, which I will be deleting. Dougweller (talk) 14:28, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

From User:Colourfulconsumer

If seems to me that much of the info being presented to wikipedia for editing purposes is consumer information. I did not think wikipedia was a consumer report medium. It also seems that much of the information is complaints against this company. Perhaps if you are going to publish those, you should include positive feedback as well. Clearly the company is doing well enough to continue, so there must be happy customers out there somewhere. That way, the editores cannot be accused of being biased. colourful consumer.—Preceding unsigned comment added by Colourfulconsumer (talkcontribs)

I can't speak for the other editors here, but I have tried very hard to turn up any additional company information that's sourced to an independent published reliable source. Other than Roseman's column and blog, and the articles about cancer donations and the company's use of VoIP technology, press coverage is scarce. Any additional coverage today seems to be in the form of company press releases or various consumer complaint forums such as www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/bloomex-c51064.html or www.measuredup.com/company/Bloomex-3516 . As to "positive feedback", neither the company nor the forums are reliable sources for expanding the article. I'll repeat what another editor said earlier, "If a company has received some negative reviews in the press, it is not up to us to censor that record. Our goal is to neutrally report what others have published about the article topic." That goes for published positive reviews as well. --CliffC (talk) 03:06, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Claim about a legal complaint

As I've written several times, there seems to be no evidence that there is such a thing. Yes, possibly a letter was written last year, but that was some time ago and there is no suggestion anywhere I can find that it was followed up by Bloomex or even responded to by the Star. Certainly there is no evidence of any legal action. So, it's irrelevant and can people please either drop it or provide some evidence. Thanks. Dougweller (talk) 14:35, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

NPOV compromise

Since this line of argumentation has become stale and meatpuppets are openly being recruited off-wiki by Bloomex itself, I've decided to be bold and make several edits to the article in an effort to offer a compromise on this issue on the one hand and to encourage the active editors on this article to redress the other major problem with this article. Anyone is free to revert it, but give the contentiousness of issues here, I would encourage discussion here before changing it – hopefully to a better consensus.

In the first paragraph of the controversy section, I have removed the two sentences of advice from Roseman on how to handle problems with the company. WP is not a "how-to" guide. For balance, I've added Bloomex's response and appended to it both their press release and Roseman's blog presentation of it as sources. The blog report is relevant to her topic and her expertise, but instead of being explicit in the article, it's available for anyone who wishes to delve into the sources for more information.

The other thing I have done is tag the article as a whole for no assertion of notability. Wow, there's a florist in Canada … imagine that! Exactly what is notable about this particular company that's only been around since 2006? If nothing from a reliable third-party source can be found to mark Bloomex as a notable company that sets it apart from other Canadian florists, then this article should be sent to AfD pending such time as it should become notable. (Please note that company advertising boilerplate like "fastest-growing online florist in Canada" should not be used unless it can be independently verified.) One would expect any particular distinctive should appear in the "Business model" section, which would strengthen it. In fact, Bloomex claimed in June 2008 that it had introduced one or two new systems to redress their admitted service problems in response to complaints; one would expect this to be reflected in the article as well.

I hope this approach will revitalize development of this article with less dissension or disruption. Askari Mark (Talk) 20:24, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

I like it. Thanks for taking the initiative on this. Rees11 (talk) 23:21, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
I like your edits, but I believe the Roseman quote is important and needs to stay in. Without it the reader is led to believe service issues had been resolved in 2008 (with Bloomex's "mia culpa" press release), but Roseman made her comment more than a year later, as complaints against the company continued to increase. There is actually no external sign of change. Their position on the BBB, service and policies are the same. Further, they are trying to expunge criticism using sock puppets and meat puppets both here and all over the internet, writing fake positive reviews, which shows a deliberate intent to mask wrongdoing rather than correct it. The only people against using the quote were the confirmed sock puppets (conclusion here [5]), who also engaged in more sockpuppetry on the investigation page itself(!) In fact, scarcely was the ink dry on the confirmation that they returned again with User:Colourfulconsumer.
As you read Bloomex's own documents and responses to criticism, you get the same message again and again: They are not surprised, embarrassed or conciliatory. They maintain that if they refunded money every time someone didn't get the goods or service they paid for, they would go out of business. This is what CliffC refers to as the company's persistent "tone deafness" (see above).
Roseman's quote should stay in as it sums up the situation nicely in two sentences. And as a business columnist for a high-profile newspaper and a person who worked directly with Bloomex and followed their ongoing business problems for almost 3 years running, she is uniquely qualified to comment, and the most reliable source we have to date.
As to the notability of the article, last time it was under review it was agreed that the extremely high rate of complaints and its ability to stay in business are what made it remarkable. Bloomex's "unique business model" is to ignore complaints, deliver poor goods and services, and rely on new business (rather than repeat business and customer loyalty) which they gain through advertising and online promotion. This is a growing trend in online business, where mediocre products/services or outright scams proliferate due to increased anonymity. pale (talk) 15:18, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
I appreciate your concern, but whether sock/meatpuppet or not, they are correct that Wikipedia is not a consumer advocacy site. Remember, we’re supposed to provide information and let the reader make their own decision, and retaining the Roseman quote seems to me to be “how to” advocacy. I had thought that the continuing problem issue was addressed by the subsequent statement about the BBB rating. Perhaps noting the date of the BBB report will make this more obvious to the reader. [See change] Askari Mark (Talk) 22:18, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
When I added a publication date to each citation a week ago, it was with the eventual goal of rewriting the Star/Roseman paragraph and putting its statements in chronological order. Right now that paragraph is a bit overweight toward describing a year-old and self-serving company press release announcing system changes to deal with higher-than-expected order volumes and (presumably) address customer complaints. What's missing right now is a mention of Roseman's May 14 2009 assessment that the problems still exist[6], in which she states "Mother’s Day has come and gone, generating many complaints about floral tributes arriving late or mangled." I think the article deserves a summary of her current assessment, and suggest a rewritten Star/Roseman paragraph ending with a statement that's neither a how-to nor a direct quote, perhaps "As of May 2009, Roseman notes that complaints about the company continue and advises consumers to seek refunds from their credit-card issuers rather than from Bloomex." Then readers can go to the cited item and draw their own conclusion.
On the BBB-rating statement, I've revised it to retain the current date but make it more clear the rating is not a one-time finding, it's the current status of an ongoing situation. --CliffC (talk) 01:17, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll post a proposed revised 'Controversy' section for comments later on today. --CliffC (talk) 11:08, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Sounds good. Looking forward to it. pale (talk) 17:19, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

Proposed revised 'Controversy' section

Controversy

On March 1, 2008, Toronto Star business and consumer affairs columnist Ellen Roseman reported on Bloomex online complaints, offering one customer's experience with a promised same-day delivery as an example of company unresponsiveness. She also quoted a comment by company president Lokhonia that the many online complaints were sometimes written by local flower shops competing with Bloomex.[2] In a follow-up Star column the next week, Lokhonia examined Roseman's late-delivery example – the order was entered past the deadline for same-day delivery, it was delivered according to the company's published terms and conditions, and the company never refunds delivery charges in such cases in order to maintain its low prices.[3] Lokhonia's earlier comment that some unhappy customers were actually small retail florists drew a strong online response and fresh complaints.[4]

In June 2008, Bloomex issued a press release admitting that the company had made mistakes in the past due to unexpectedly strong sales growth, and announced new systems to improve customer satisfaction.[5]

Roseman noted many new complaints of late or damaged deliveries following Mother's Day 2009, and advised consumers to seek chargebacks from their credit-card companies rather than pursuing Bloomex for refunds.[6]

As of June 2009, the Canadian Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Bloomex its lowest possible rating, an "F", due to the company's overall complaint history, number of unresolved complaints, and Bloomex's refusal to accept any further complaints through the BBB.[7]


--CliffC (talk) 13:38, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

I like it. I think you've done some great work here. pale (talk) 23:15, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

References

Commentary

While certainly more encyclopedic in tone than what has existed before, about all it does is expand the focus on Bloomex's problems, but without adding anything new. To go to that level of detail, I would expect more substance, particularly in the rest of the article.

The article, as it now stands, portrays the company as having no notability other than its service problems. Is this true? There’s nothing about its online business model, its growth, etc. that makes it notable? If an otherwise non-notable company has service problems, is it really that notable in the first place? If Bloomex – assuming it's non-notable otherwise – really notable primarily for its service problems, I'd expect to see two things documented here as part of NPOV: 1) Is its complaint rate significantly higher than its peers (in terms of the same, or relatively the same, business model)? 2) Are there other reliable sources comparable to Roseman who have also provided criticism?

To assert, as Palefist does above, that "Bloomex's 'unique business model' is to ignore complaints, deliver poor goods and services, and rely on new business (rather than repeat business and customer loyalty) which they gain through advertising and online promotion" presumes there is sufficient description of its business model (and purported changes to address customer concerns) in the "Business model" section to provide context for the controversy. There isn't. I cannot imagine that the service problems mentioned here aren't found to some degree with any online business, but there's nothing here that even shows that the degree of service problems is notable. Are there no other sources available to flesh this out? [BTW, I’ll be out of pocket while on travel the rest of this week, and won’t be back on-wiki until sometime next week.] Askari Mark (Talk) 18:44, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

I see what you're saying. I'm being facetious in my assessment of their "business model", but I do so because its something they often tout as making them special. However, I have found no evidence their "business model" is special other than relying heavily on a consistent level of fraud that the owner (unwittingly) attests to. I say fraud because they expressly refuse to refund money for services that were not rendered. As you can witness here (and in their posts elsewhere, the newspaper column and their failed PR hire) they work hard on covering up problems, but not solving them.
Maybe your question is actually the answer; i.e. there is indeed not much to Bloomex beyond their terrible service. But that is pretty notable. It's why I facetiously (again, I know) compared them to Enron and Bernie Madoff. Bloomex seems to be (according to Bloomex) owned or otherwise in operation with 1-800-Flowers.com and 1800flowers.ca, two highly advertised companies spanning U.S. and Canada, doing almost a billion dollars in sales each year. Yet Bloomex consistently provides low quality service and is completely unapologetic about it. I've spent a bit of time tracking down complaints, and Bloomex is indeed unusual in the sheer number and extreme nature of complaints (dead, moldy flowers being common) as well as its open criticism of its clients in online forums.
In my experience, when there is a delivery problem with a florist, they apologize profusely, refund the money and often send complimentary flowers to keep their clients. Bloomex does the exact opposite, all the while creating fraudulent positive posts about themselves to try to outnumber complaints, and (bizarrely) releasing documents which show they have ignored client complaints for weeks, in a circuitous attempt to show how unreasonable client expectations are.
I'm as surprised as you are that there isn't more press, let alone a full-fledged criminal investigation at this point (particularly with them constantly exposing themselves and putting their foot in their mouth), but there you have it. pale (talk) 23:15, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Yes, I perceived your comments to be facetious, if not hyperbolic altogether; I found it useful, though, to highlight my main frustrations with this article: that I’ve learned much more about the firm here on the Talk page than I have in the article itself. Even if all of it were spot on, it’s not sourceable or otherwise usable. That, in turn, makes the article quite vulnerable to criticism by the Bloomex socks. Askari Mark (Talk) 02:16, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Mark, I didn't want to "add anything new", only to summarize what's already reported by reliable sources. So far, it does appear there is little notable to Bloomex besides their reputation for poorly serving their customers, but that itself is a form of notability. Ideally the 'Controversy' section should be balanced, even over-balanced, with positive press coverage, but we can't make up positive coverage out of whole cloth, we have to wait for our Google News Alerts to kick in and take it from there. So far, that's not happening, and we wait. Your question, "Is its complaint rate significantly higher than its peers (in terms of the same, or relatively the same, business model?" is a good one, and in lieu of a reliable source stating whether that's so or not, all we can do is summarize and link to the BBB report and let the reader decide.

For a while there's been something oddly familiar about this article that I couldn't put my finger on, but after reviewing the talk page yesterday I realized what it is. There are many parallels to our Zango article about the now-defunct adware/spyware company. Zango was a company that garnered almost exclusively negative reviews from the computer industry press, was identified by various anti-virus software companies as spyware, unsuccessfully sued those companies for doing so, was fined $2.5 million by the FTC for its unfair and deceptive business practices, then continued the same practices without a blush. If you look at the Zango article, there is virtually nothing positive there about the company, but that's because the company never did anything positive.

Other similarities between the two articles are blatant and repeated removal by anonymous editors of well-sourced criticism, followed later by an overt effort to manage the article and its talk page (one difference being that senior officers of Zango identified themselves by name on the talk page and admitted their COI). One anonymous editor, probably a Zango affiliate, asked me on the talk page here why did I "hate" the company; I explained that my interest was in no way personal, but "Let's just say that given the Zango history, I watch this page with a sort of queasy fascination to see what its officers, employees and affiliates will come up with next." That's another similarity.

I definitely agree we need to tone down the rhetoric on this page and stick to the sources.

Here's a revised 'Controversy' section, tightened just a bit but with no substantive difference from the proposal above. Then I think it needs to go into the article. --CliffC (talk) 17:20, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for your efforts, Cliff! I appreciate the comparison with Zango. There certainly are such situations; however, I will point out that there were far more sources available for building the case against Zango. This article claims notability on the thinnest of reeds. I can’t help but wonder if there are not off-wiki sources that would be helpful. I know nada about the floral industry, but most industries have trade associations which publish some statistics; likewise, there might be some consumer advocate magazines, and the BBB might also offer broader comparative data. I feel we are all agreed that more sources are needed – whether good, bad, or indifferent – as soon as they can be found. I also tend to agree that, pending further usefully citable information, we’ve done about as much as can be done with what is at hand. If there are no objections, I'm going to ask EdJohnston to unprotect this artice. Thanks for your efforts! Askari Mark (Talk) 02:16, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Proposed revised revised 'Controversy' section

The changes are minor – I've combined two separate sentences about some complainants being Bloomex competitors into one, and changed "a strong online response" to "angry online responses" for clarity.

Controversy

On March 1, 2008, Toronto Star business and consumer affairs columnist Ellen Roseman reported on Bloomex online complaints, offering one customer's experience with a promised same-day delivery as an example of company unresponsiveness. In a follow-up Star column the next week, company president Lokhonia examined Roseman's late-delivery example – the order was entered past the deadline for same-day delivery, it was delivered according to the company's published terms and conditions, and the company never refunds delivery charges in such cases in order to maintain its low prices.[1] Lokhonia also commented that some unhappy customers were actually small retail florists in competition with Bloomex,[2] a statement that drew angry online responses and fresh complaints.[3]

In June 2008, Bloomex issued a press release admitting that the company had made mistakes in the past due to unexpectedly strong sales growth, and announced new systems to improve customer satisfaction.[4]

Roseman noted many new complaints of late or damaged deliveries following Mother's Day 2009, and advised consumers to seek chargebacks from their credit-card companies rather than pursuing Bloomex for refunds.[5]

As of June 2009, the Canadian Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Bloomex its lowest possible rating, an "F", due to the company's overall complaint history, number of unresolved complaints, and Bloomex's refusal to accept any further complaints through the BBB.[6]


--CliffC (talk) 17:20, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

  • It’s a bit cleaner, but I have made a couple of tweaks to it (in the article), one to remove a peacocky phrase, and another to make it clearer that problems were continuing. Askari Mark (Talk) 02:12, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
    • No problem, thanks for the improvements. And thank you for your advice, and helping us stay on track. --CliffC (talk) 02:52, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
      • Thanks to both of you for your work! pale (talk) 19:33, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
    • @Askari Mark, I like the time rewrite, but is "angry online responses" really peacocky? They weren't friendly or neutral or defensive responses, they were angry, particularly because of the insinuation that any complaints were bogus (e.g. from competitors troubled by Bloomex's booming business). -- pale (talk) 19:30, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
      • Roseman says "That comment opened the floodgates to many new complaints about Bloomex, usually angry, sometimes hysterical." I assumed Mark meant to say "POV", not "peacocky". --CliffC (talk) 22:29, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
        • Yes, thanks, CliffC, I meant that "floodgates" was peacocky and "angry" POV, but I got distracted and lost my full train of thought. The former word is highly subjective in this instance, and non-encyclopedic as used here. Also, as I recall, some of the respondents in various of Roseman's columns haven't been "angry"; just saying "complaints" says it well enough and readers can check the source link and decide for themselves how angry (or annoyed or resigned, etc.) the respondents were. Please keep in mind that when the soft protect is removed, the Bloomex crowd will likely return, so we should give them as little legitimate room for complaint. EdJohnston has suggested that we wait until after the end of the month to make the article less attractive to sockpuppetry. I will continue to watchlist this article for a while after that. In the meantime, I recommend diligent searching for more sourcing that better establishes the notability of Bloomex, especially among potential offline sources. Cheers, Askari Mark (Talk) 03:45, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Guys, you wrote controversy section larger than actual article. And it is based only on one source. Does not make sense. Bw213 (talk) 01:48, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

Actually, the section is about half the total article. Mostly this is due to available sources. Perhaps you could guide us to reliable sources that would help us to expand the rest of the article. That would be most helpful. Askari Mark (Talk) 02:54, 18 July 2009 (UTC)
The section is "based only on one source"? No. The Canadian Better Business Bureau report in that section is a second source, or a third if you consider the Toronto Star's editorial oversight and Roseman herself to be separate entities, not an unreasonable view. If you'll take the time to have a slow read through everything that's been written above starting at section NPOV compromise, you'll have a clear idea of why the article is structured the way it is today. I join Mark in encouraging you to find additional reliable sources to expand it. --CliffC (talk) 15:58, 18 July 2009 (UTC)

References

Press release: Bunches Direct

"Stepping away from traditional retailers once again, Bloomex introduces their wholesale flower company to the United States under the name Bunches Direct."
http://www.wireservice.ca/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1612
--CliffC (talk) 18:05, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

Request for deletion

hello, my name is Dimitri Lokhonia and I am a president of Bloomex. The article has incorrect information on company structure, history and fulfillment. Besides I do not think that company on such small size has to be on Wikipedia. Another interesting fact: CliffC is adding bad publicity the same day negative article appeared online. He maybe an editor , but not an independent one.

I want to ask Wikipedia community to delete this article. I am not familiar with the process how to do that, so please put it for deletion for me, Sincerely Dimitri Lokhonia —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.241.39.137 (talk) 22:37, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

I subscribe to Google News Alerts for the articles I follow, so I get both the bad news and the good news as soon as it's reported. I don't control the contents of the news, that's determined by Bloomex policies and those reporting on them. Maybe someone here will volunteer to start a deletion discussion at WP:AFD on your behalf. --CliffC (talk) 02:57, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

CliffC, I am not an editor. I tried to put it on deletion review, but I am not sure if I have done it correctly. So I appreciate if you can do it for me. As you may see from article history, it was written for advertisement purposes by our marketing department.In current edition it does not reflect company size, business model and customer service aspect of the business. Sincerely, Dimitri —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dimitri Lokhonia (talkcontribs) 15:17, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, I won't be helping as I think the article belongs and any deletion effort is likely to fail. As you have seen, deletion is a complex process, that's why I suggested waiting for someone experienced to come along and get it started correctly. Just be patient. --CliffC (talk) 15:40, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

I am not Wikipedia expert,so you are right about article to stay. Though I am pleased that Bloomex will have article on Wikipedia, I do not agree with the fact that company with national reach and status has only bad publicity on Wikipedia. And as one of the customers said to Ellen Roseman: "It seems to me that much of the info being presented here is one sided. Perhaps if you are publishing all these complaints for 2 years now, you should let happy customers speak as well. Clearly the company is doing well enough to continue, so there must be happy customers out there somewhere."

And as we are "doing well enough to continue" and I will consult with my team on Monday to have a dedicated person to fix the article within Wikipedia guidance. We may contact you for your expert advice and suggestions. Your expertise and advice is much appreciated Sincerely Dimitri Lokhonia (talk) 21:22, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

A deletion request has been entered, the debate can be followed here.
Looking at the Roseman consumer blog item you quote, link here, it looks like she is quite willing to "let happy customers speak as well", but there aren't very many happy ones posting. Of 32 comments, 30 are negative; only the one you quote above and one from "Brian", who says "everything was fine with the order and flowers were beautiful", were positive.
Please ask your dedicated person to read this talk page in its entirety so that he or she understands Wikipedia policy about what sources are acceptable and doesn't get off to a false start. I'll put a welcome template on your user page that you can share with him/her. --CliffC (talk) 01:04, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Bloomex Article Cleanup

( message copied from User talk:CliffC )

Hi Cliff, I am working on cleaning up the Bloomex article and would appreciate some guidance as to what information would be useful / relevant to wikipedia to make the article more encyclopedia friendly. Mophyz (talk) 16:00, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Hi Mophyz, I've copied your note over to Talk:Bloomex and will reply to it there. You'll get lots of additional guidance by conducting the discussion over there where other editors familiar with the company and its history are likely to be watching and willing to participate. --CliffC (talk) 17:48, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Here are some suggestions

  • Assuming you are the assigned 'dedicated person' mentioned above by the company owner, you have a conflict of interest. That's not something bad, it's just a fact to consider before you edit the article directly. Read the material at that last link closely and note that "An editor with a conflict of interest who wishes to suggest substantive changes to an article should use that article's talk page."
  • Again assuming you are that dedicated person, it's useful to understand where various past company efforts to "clean up" or "fix" the article have gone wrong, leading to embarrassment for the company and its management.
  • Read this talk page in its entirety. Even if you are not that dedicated person, this remains good advice.
  • In spite of what might seem like a negative tone to the above suggestions, your improvements are welcome and much needed. This talk page also shows that several editors have looked hard for reliable sources that expand on the company's business model or give Wikipedia a way to add additional positive (or at least neutral) facts about the company. Such material, reliably cited, will help balance what's cited in the article's controversy section.

Welcome, and here's to a better article. Anyone else with constructive comments/guidance, please chime in. CliffC (talk) 19:52, 5 May 2010 (UTC)