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Local Flower Shops Push For Expanded ‘Truth In Location’ Law

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If you ordered flowers for Valentine’s Day, do you know where the company that took your order is located? A proposal in the Washington legislature would beef up an existing law that prohibits florists from misrepresenting their location.

It’s already illegal for out-of-state florists to make it look like they’re in Washington by listing a local phone number if the call is just routed elsewhere. But now flower shops say that 1999 law needs an update.

Bill Gaw, who runs Cugini Florists in Renton, is inundated with Valentine’s orders.

"We’re kind of in panic mode," he says.

Orders are coming in by phone and on-line. Some are coming from what he calls “order gatherers.”  These are third party entities that take an order but then commission a local florist to actually fulfill it. 

Gaw wants the Washington legislature to expand the existing “truth in location” requirement to Internet flower retailers.

"It would force an online order gatherer to disclose where they actually are," he says.

Gaw says consumers need this information so they can buy local and avoid hefty service charges. No one testified against the measure at a recent public hearing. 

Copyright 2015 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."