Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › m.o.b. Complaint (I never get these). How to handle this?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

m.o.b. Complaint (I never get these). How to handle this? - Page 6

post #76 of 114
I'm glad you took the stand you did and still promoted goodwill for your business. I'm just surprised that the MOB did not call to tell yu the groom got ill off your cake, thus more proof it was inedible. icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

Reply

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

Reply
post #77 of 114
Perhaps the groom is in the hospital because the MOB drove him there? I'm just say'n... she's probably a problem all around!
post #78 of 114
The timing of the hospital visit does sound suspicious, but again it's best to assume that the customer is telling the truth (and that might explain why it took so long to complain about the cake if there were other health issues to worry about).

Your email reply sounds perfectly reasonable when read by someone who is thinking logically and has their emotions in check. My concern is that the customer will interpret the email as saying "your fault", "not my problem", etc., and this will make things worse (especially the offer of another free cake when she didn't like the first one).

Granted, this issue was probably the fault of either the customer or the venue, but going above and beyond to provide compensation even in cases where you are not to blame is what separates average customer service from excellent customer service, and if you are selling a premium product you should be striving for excellent service.

The best you can hope for at this point is that the customer forgets about you or is preoccupied by other issues, but I have a feeling you will end up battling this issue and the negative PR generated for a long time.
post #79 of 114
I suggest that if the bride takes you up on the offer of a free anniversary cake (and she probably won't, but you never know) you carefully define the size you'd offer.

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply
post #80 of 114
Thread Starter 
I texted the bride to say sorry to hear about G and that she need not worry about driving over, as her cake is now 9 days old, and she needs less stress in her life now, not more. Offered free anniv tier and said I had emailed her mother about the issue.

Apple doesn't fall far from the tree-- B texted back that 'a free tier was already paid for' and she doesn't understand why I'm not making this right, upset that it was tasteless and her guests 'took a bite and threw it out" , and etc etc. and that they followed the instructions. (I had one of her cake's leftover cupcakes LAST NIGHT, warmed up for 5 seconds in microwave and it was still fine, like they always are.) In fact, I'm serving them at a tasting today as a little experiment...

I replied to her that if she checks her invoice AND the website, anniv tiers are free for 100 servings or more, hers was 74 servings, but we can still offer it, and that the email explains the situation.

She's just arguing that 'we did what the instructions said' and that I "told" her they get a free anniv tier. No, athough it is usually mentioned at the initial consult (tasting in her case). Free anniv cakes come with 100 servings or more. It is not offered anywhere in our correspondence or her invoice. wow

I'm not responding back. I'm standing by my email, as they are just going to get nastier.

If anything more happens at this point, I will just say that since the anniv tier is usually $25 if ordered for cakes her size, I can offer that amount credit back and leave it at that, which is probably better, since I doubt I want them coming back here to pick up more cake.

MOB will still complain and say that $25 is not enough, but at this point they aren't getting more than what I've offered.

Maintaining professionalism in the face of so much rudeness is a challenge, let me tell you.

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply
post #81 of 114
You could ask the bride for the guest list with phone numbers so you can "apologize to them" personally.
icon_evil.gif
I'm sure she wouldn't give it to you - you might ask them about the perfectly fine tasting (if a little cold) cake!

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply
post #82 of 114
Thread Starter 
I'm sure this mob is used to doing this everywhere. If you yell loud enough about 'customer satisfaction' (which they keep mentioning) and 'making it right', they can hope that it sounds like they were wronged.

This cake is good. It wasn't dry (it was actually almost underbaked, which I saw when I torted it).

They have mentioned that they spent X amount on it, and it's a lot of money and more than they ever spent on a cake, so there's your first clue.

They just want a bunch of money back.

My replies from now on with them will be super brief and very few, as at this point it will just be an argument. $25 credit for free anniv cake, yes or no? If no, then I will make a note of that and this issue is now CLOSED.

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply
post #83 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef_Stef

I texted the bride to say sorry to hear about G and that she need not worry about driving over, as her cake is now 9 days old, and she needs less stress in her life now, not more. Offered free anniv tier and said I had emailed her mother about the issue.

Apple doesn't fall far from the tree-- B texted back that 'a free tier was already paid for' and she doesn't understand why I'm not making this right, upset that it was tasteless and her guests 'took a bite and threw it out" , and etc etc. and that they followed the instructions. (I had one of her cake's leftover cupcakes LAST NIGHT, warmed up for 5 seconds in microwave and it was still fine, like they always are.) In fact, I'm serving them at a tasting today as a little experiment...

I replied to her that if she checks her invoice AND the website, anniv tiers are free for 100 servings or more, hers was 74 servings, but we can still offer it, and that the email explains the situation.

She's just arguing that 'we did what the instructions said' and that I "told" her they get a free anniv tier. No, athough it is usually mentioned at the initial consult (tasting in her case). Free anniv cakes come with 100 servings or more. It is not offered anywhere in our correspondence or her invoice. wow

I'm not responding back. I'm standing by my email, as they are just going to get nastier.

If anything more happens at this point, I will just say that since the anniv tier is usually $25 if ordered for cakes her size, I can offer that amount credit back and leave it at that, which is probably better, since I doubt I want them coming back here to pick up more cake.

MOB will still complain and say that $25 is not enough, but at this point they aren't getting more than what I've offered.

Maintaining professionalism in the face of so much rudeness is a challenge, let me tell you.



You're right that there is no point in responding back. I think your last few messages to her and MOB have been quite polite and reasonable. The more you respond, the more they will find ways to twist your words when they talk about the situation to their friends -- ultimately making you look like the bad guy (which we know you are not).

As others have said, it does sound like they are just looking for money back because they ordered too much cake. Guests generally wouldn't be served the cake until it was all cut up (at least thats how it worked at every reception I've been to). If the guests then took a bite and couldn't eat the rest, did the half eaten pieces of cake magically reassemble themselves into a whole tier? Doubtful! It's obvious only half the cake was cut up because only half the cake was what was needed to serve their guests.

Personally, I'd offer them the $25 credit for the anniversary cake you have offered and be done with them. If they take the free cake and you have to deal with them again a year from now you might be setting yourself up for a fresh set of headaches at that time.

Good for you for keeping your cool this whole time. I can't imagine that has been easy!
post #84 of 114
Thread Starter 
you have no idea!

I am not a patient or very tolerant person at heart, (sorry but it's true and I work on it a lot!) so you can't believe the blue streak of talking-to-myself dialogue going on while I'm working today.

Thank goodness I work alone!! lol

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply
post #85 of 114
It might be worthwhile to have a friend or family member skilled at verbal rhetoric contact the customer as your "business manager" to help defuse the situation. As it stands, the mutual animosity between you and the customer will only make things worse.

If the cake was 74 servings the order must have been around the $300 range, IMO a $100-150 refund would be worth avoiding the potential storm headed your way. A $25 refund is basically an insult, especially if the customer thought the free anniversary cake was already included.
post #86 of 114
Thread Starter 
Thanks Jason, but since that's exactly what she was angling for to start with, there's no chance of that happening. She can take it to small claims at this point if she has that much energy. Due effort has been made to compensate them; I'm done.

They will get no animosity from my end, be assured.

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply
post #87 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef_Stef

Thanks Jason, but since that's exactly what she was angling for to start with, there's no chance of that happening.


I'm confused as to why her original intentions would have anything to do with your decision.

The worst case scenario here would probably be a local news report about how you "scammed" the customer with "inedible" cake and refused to offer compensation beyond a free anniversary cake that was "already included". Local news stations love this kind of stuff and they usually don't give merchants a fair shake.

There was a thread on CC a while ago where this actually happened to a decorator, I searched and couldn't find the thread but I remember it was not pleasant.
post #88 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef_Stef

Thanks Jason, but since that's exactly what she was angling for to start with, there's no chance of that happening.


I'm confused as to why her original intentions would have anything to do with your decision.

The worst case scenario here would probably be a local news report about how you "scammed" the customer with "inedible" cake and refused to offer compensation beyond a free anniversary cake that was "already included". Local news stations love this kind of stuff and they usually don't give merchants a fair shake.

There was a thread on CC a while ago where this actually happened to a decorator, I searched and couldn't find the thread but I remember it was not pleasant.
post #89 of 114
Thread Starter 
I cannot possibly claim to know her intent. Our response to their complaint is professional and reasonable, and I stand absolutely by that cake having been perfect inside.

Will keep you all posted but I have 3 weddings to work on and a consult in an hour, so discuss away.

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply

Not doing cakes any more, moved on...

Now blogging about life after cake and other randomness here:  http://itsa-long-story.blogspot.com/

Reply
post #90 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef_Stef


My replies from now on with them will be super brief and very few, as at this point it will just be an argument. $25 credit for free anniv cake, yes or no? If no, then I will make a note of that and this issue is now CLOSED.



I admire you for treating this as a BUSINESS transaction, not an EMOTIONAL one. So many times I read posts where the baker throws professionalism straight out the window, becomes emotional, takes it as a direct attack on them (not the "product"), etc.

After all of this, I think your response above is the perfect and appropriate response. I would suggest you keep a journal record/computer print-out, telephone recording of EVERY post-wedding contact made in case it is needed in small claims court down the road. Also, keep a copy of this entire thread. (If you are unable to keep the actual phone conversations, you can actually transcribe and date them in a chronological logbook that may be submitted as evidence in a case of this kind. It won't hold as much weight, but it will certainly lend itself to a more professional, believeable case picture overall.)

Before retirement, I worked with chronic pain patients and severely disabled children and adults. Both patient populations were VERY difficult to deal with because of the associated emotional aspects for the individual and the family members. Weddings seem to be a highly emotional time for clients as well. When you throw in the unfortunate circumstances of the groom's medical condition, you can figure that their emotional control is on major overload.

Many, many times I had clients apologize for outrageous verbal behavior after they had time to cool down. Hopefully your professional approach and the groom's safe recovery and return home to his newly married wife will result in a calmer aspect down the road.

Hang in there! Stay 100% professional. Here's a virtual hug from California: <<<<< >>>>>
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating Business
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › m.o.b. Complaint (I never get these). How to handle this?