Pioneer Balloon Company - Makers of Qualatex balloons
From: "Theresa Jordan" <parrots@netdirect.net>
To: <balloondeco@balloonhq.com>
Subject: Balloon supplies?
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2000 20:19:40 -0500

Hi again;

First thanks to everyone who responded regarding where to find quality candy
for a retail
shop.  I received many responses (a few of which I still need to reply to!)
and have since
gotten several good catalogs.  Thanks again!

Next question:  Not meaning to get personal, but has anyone done any
quantity business
with Flowers Inc. Balloons?  I ask because I am one of the lucky few who
have the capital
to stock my store quite well, and I put in a rather large order with this
company last week.
Since then, I have been on the phone with them no less than 6 times; the
first few times they
called was to let me know what items were out of stock, which were
discontinued, and which
I could backorder........  which was fine, but then I questioned whether or
not it would be
cheaper to ship my order via truck lines instead of UPS, because of the
quantity and weight.
From their response, I could tell that apparently they have never shipped
via truck
 (or very seldom) because they can't even give
me a ballpark figure on what shipping will cost either way.  Also, they
won't ship the order
COD because of the amount of money involved (which I can hardly blame them
for that).
BUT they called again today and want me to wire the money to them from my
bank to cover
the order plus an estimate for shipping; although they still won't tell me
how it's being shipped:
UPS or truck.  They offered to reimburse me for whatever the bank charges me
to wire the money,
but they want me to also send them an extra $700 to cover the "estimated
shipping"....... and
if it ends up to be an "over-estimate", they offered to next-day air me the
leftover difference. I
get the distinct feeling that they just pulled that figure out of the air,
and that bothers me.  I mean,
if they're such a large and respected supplier, why can't they check with
UPS and the truck
line and give me a close estimate for shipping?

I was all set to get these supplies, and spent almost 3 days putting this
order together.  But now,
with this last phone call, I'm becoming a bit apprehensive.  $700 sounds
like a LOT for shipping,
even though the order is several thousand dollars......... and especially
since they want me to pay
it -all- up front.  I gave them my bank info, acct number, contact person,
etc. so they could check
my account, as requested in their catalog.......... I'm also a bit perturbed
that first they asked me to
prepay for some custom imprinted balloons that I ordered (which I did, and
sent payment via
overnight) then the NEXT day they called and wanted me to send a cashier's
check for the rest
of the order................ which I *could* have sent with the custom
imprint payment, if only they
had let me know....... I guess I'm saying they sound as if they don't have
all their ducks in a row,
and I'm concerned about spending such a large amount of money up front with
a company that
I know nothing about, who sounds as if they don't know what they're
doing!......  comments?
Experiences?

Suggestions for other companies that carry a lot of different balloon
supplies would also be
greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,

Theresa Jordan
Balloons 'N Stuff
Elwood, IN
USA