10 Things to Remember When Placing a Phone Order

Sometimes, for whatever reason, you’ll have to order something over the phone. Whether it’s a pizza, flowers, or something else, here are some ways to make your order go as smoothly as possible:


  1. Have your card ready. Understand that you will have to give the person on the other line information about your credit/debit card. This information includes the card # (the REALLY long number) the Expiration Date (month and year!) and the 3-4 digit security code on the back of the card. (Am Ex is a 4 digit number). You will likely also need the zip code (or WHOLE address) for the address associated with your card.
  2. Research what you’re ordering. Go online, have an item number or a product name ready. I work part time at a popular fruit basket design shop. Saying “The one with the pineapple flowers” describes 80% of our products…with prices from $35 and up (and I mean UP…like $300). It’s understandable that this may be a last minute thing, but check what you’re getting yourself into.
  3. If there’s a way to order online…do that. Calling in wastes a lot of time on both ends of the phone, and you may think you’re able to barter a better deal with the person on the other end of the phone…but…not usually. Many times, prices are fixed by a corporate entity, and the lowly phone operator can’t negotiate your price with you.
  4. In addition to researching products, research prices! Including delivery! Very rarely will a shop offer free delivery, so expect an extra cost at the end of the order!
  5. Inform the associate if you have a discount code or are applicable for a discount before they start the order!
  6. Make sure you have all parts of the recipient’s address! Whether it’s your house for a Meat Lover’s Supreme, or your Mom’s because you forgot her birthday…understand that you may have to give the FULL address. You can’t just say “It’s the apartment building on Chestnut and First” anymore. Ordering systems have  become more refined. I can’t continue with your order until I have the recipient’s name, street address, and zip code. Have that ready. Also, their PHONE NUMBER. You may want this to be a surprise, but if your recipient runs to the store while the driver is out with their gift, they can’t get it! If the driver can’t find the location because you gave directions instead of a GPS-able address, they can’t receive their delivery! Just mention that you’d like the order to be a surprise for as long as possible. Not having a legit number for the recipient is a detriment more than an awesome surprise.
  7. Be understanding. It’s not the florist’s fault that the roses came off the truck wilted. It’s not the pizza maker’s fault that their coworker forgot to order pepperoni. It’s fine to say “no thank you, then. Maybe next time” but just like the prices mentioned above…the odds of a crucial part of your potential order is missing being the fault of the person you’re talking to on the phone is slim.
  8. Try not to call day of. Sure…the store -does- same day deliveries…but does that mean you should wait til last minute? No! Anniversaries and Birthdays happen on the same day EVERY year. So does Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and most other Holidays…give the store a day to prep your order (obviously not necessary for pizzas).
  9. Realize that you do not understand he inner workings of the place you’re ordering from. Many do not know corporate policies, Sanitation Requirements, Allergy Requirements, and these are all fundamentally important to the workings of the business. It may be corporate (or even Store) policy that substitutions can’t be made. Understand that the store is limited by what they have on hand (ESPECIALLY if you expect your order day-of) Just because the picture has a pink vase doesn’t mean the store has those pink vases. They may have blue ones. Deal.
  10. The picture shown is almost ALWAYS the “large” size. Don’t order a small thinking it will look like the picture. It will be sparse and tiny. If you order the “large” size of a cheap arrangement…it WILL be small. You’re not finding a clever cheat in the system, getting a large for a low price. You’re buying the large size of a small order. Don’t call to complain.

As always…be a Grown Up. Have Fun…but respect other people at their jobs…


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