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Ultimate Bridezilla wants a free cake??

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
This is my first post on Cake Central, after years of reading numerous tips, tricks & business owner stories, I finally have one of my own. Not a good one at that, however would like opinions about how others have handled these situations... I will try to keep it as short as possible with keeping the important details.

A bride ordered her wedding cake ( 2 weeks before her date), even though it was late notice we agreed to accommodate her. She e-mailed us a picture of the 'exact' cake she was looking for. We said it would be no problem at all and we relayed all the information about the cake back to her in a quote " four tier cake, same design as the picture, same colours, etc. No cake topper (as she had her own)." She agreed to the quote and we made deposit arrangements ( there were quite a few emails back and fourth as we had to contact her numerous times regarding time of delivery, address of venue final payment arrangements etc).

As each creative baker knows, we can sometimes be our worst critics when it comes to our own work. Well, I was particularly impressed with this cake I loved the way it turned out, I loved the design (which I do not in any way take credit for, as she sent the picture of the design), lets just say I would love this cake at my own wedding.

She calls us up the day of her wedding swearing and carrying on, saying she told us she wanted "pillers" in between the layers of the cake. We apologized profusely and said we will go through the emails and carefully go over all the documentation regarding her order. We did this right away, and there was not at any point and mention of "pillers" (or any mention of anything different from the picture she sent for that matter, and we had all the documentation to prove what she ordered and what she paid for).

I e-mailed the bride the same day and was very sympathetic and apologetic that she was unhappy with her cake. After all, no business wants to hear of an unhappy bride on her wedding day! I explained that there was nothing documented regarding the "pillars" she was referring to and maybe she forgot to tell us. Even though, this was not our fault ( how would we have known if she hadn't told us), We still wanted to apologize and make her feel better so we offered her a free anniversary cake for her and her husbands first anniversary together.

Her reply to that e-mail was extremely rude & saying she hated the cake, and our work, and did not want those colors on the cake either. She peeled and poked the cake and then took pictures trying to say that it was not made very well. I took pictures from every angle before I left her venue so I know 150% the cake was perfect. She kept swearing and was extremely difficult to talk to professionally. She said she wanted her money back for the cake.

I then replied saying once again, I am very sorry to hear she did not like the cake. Unfortunately we do not offer refunds once a cake has been set up and delivered (unless of course there was a warranted reason for a refund as we are more then reasonable people to work with). Also, I was very confident in this particular cake and as I have read on this forum, it is your own discretion if you feel a refund is warranted. After all, she sent me a picture and it turned out just like the picture. She received the product in which she agreed to & paid for.

After that e-mail, she replied stating that she did not need a first anniversary cake as they were keeping the top tier of our cake for their first anniversary. I found this very strange seeing as they 'hated' the cake so much, why they would want to keep the top tier as a memory for their 1st anniversary. She said she would like a nice Christmas cake instead of the anniversary one I had initially offered.

At this point, I can tell this customer is just trying to get something for free and am very frustrated that she is saying my work is terrible just to benefit herself. She was on more then one occasion verbally abusive to myself & staff. I emailed her for a final time stating that there are other talented bakeries in the area in which she should go to seeing as our work does not seem to be up to her standards. We apologized one final time and wished her the best.

Her new husband took it upon himself to comment on our facebook page about how it wasn't what the bride ordered etc. and he also, was very rude & obnoxious about it. Normally I would leave the comment, and professionally address the concern for all my other customers to see for themselves, however, I knew it wasn't going to get anywhere. So I just deleted it or it would have turned into a huge argument back and forth and for what?

The whole "Icing on the cake" to this story is... the bride's facebook picture, out of all the pictures from her wedding, had a picture of her and her husband cutting the ("horrible, terrible") cake & kissing. tapedshut.gif

This is just extremely frustrated because we really do care a lot about customer service & have always had great reviews.

Thanks for checking out my site: www.chickbosscake.com and www.facebook.com/chickbosscake  =)

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Thanks for checking out my site: www.chickbosscake.com and www.facebook.com/chickbosscake  =)

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post #2 of 15
Sounds like you handled the situation pretty well. When the customer asked for a christmas cake instead of an anniversary cake I probably would have just offered a credit for the amount of the anniversary cake instead.

I also probably would have left the FB post up and replied with a comparison of the picture sent by the bride and a picture of the final cake. Any further responses from the customer would have been removed.
post #3 of 15
This is EXACTLY why I would never do business using a faceless channel like Facebook.

First of all: You want a last minute cake, you bring the cash to my place of business so I can see there is a real human being who is capable of signing a contract. Cake makers have had final cheques stopped (ie no $$$) after the cake has been delivered and eaten.

The only form of "evidence" that any court would accept for a defective cake lawsuit would be a notarized photograph from the event photographer (assuming they are not in a business partnership with the cake maker).

Make screenshots of all the emails from the bride. Download "nitro pdf" because that makes those files simple to store on your hard drive (you "print" to a pdf file instead of a paper printer).

Should any formal request for a refund be forthcoming, this series of emails is what you print and attach to a registered letter and say that you did what you promised to do, adding your own photo. END OF MATTER.

NO she does not get to swap another holiday cake for your offer of a free anniversary cake. Not after badmouthing you on FB which was LIBEL until you deleted it.

It's really too bad that the stupid people who try to get something for nothing end up providing evidence that you should not refund a penny...
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much for the feedback I really appreciate it & it is very very helpful!

Our policy is 50% deposit prior to production & the final payment before the date or upon delivery of the finished product. We picked up the final deposit the day before the wedding. So we were paid in full which was a very good thing. People don't really understand the type of time and work that go into these wedding cakes, not to mention the stress to make it specific to the brides personal taste.

Should she continue to go further with it, I will certainly take your advise @bakingirene - Greatly appreciated! Social media marketing is not always nice!

Thanks for checking out my site: www.chickbosscake.com and www.facebook.com/chickbosscake  =)

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Thanks for checking out my site: www.chickbosscake.com and www.facebook.com/chickbosscake  =)

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post #5 of 15
I went to your facebook page. Your cakes are beautiful. Don't worry about it. It looks like the last cake uploaded was a square damask not sure if this is the cake in question but I love it. Pillars would look funny. You went above and beyond with the apologizes and a free anniversary cake. You did your part don't feel bad. Sorry you got a bad apple.
Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.
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Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim, swim.
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post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you very much! That is the cake... I agree pillars would look funny, but would have gladly put them in for the customer had she mentioned (ANYTHING) about it. Oh boy lol =)

Thanks for checking out my site: www.chickbosscake.com and www.facebook.com/chickbosscake  =)

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Thanks for checking out my site: www.chickbosscake.com and www.facebook.com/chickbosscake  =)

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post #7 of 15
I just did a google search to see if there is some nasty website giving "advice" on how to get a free wedding cake.

Happy to say there is no such place unless it's well hidden, but this gem came up:

http://www.freedating.co.uk/articles/worlds-greatest-wedding-cakes.html

Too bad they didn't include the prices...
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Wow I would have never thought to google such a thing... lol, but then again it certainly makes you wonder where they get these crazy ideas from! Love the link made me smile icon_smile.gif Those cakes are so fun!

Thanks for checking out my site: www.chickbosscake.com and www.facebook.com/chickbosscake  =)

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Thanks for checking out my site: www.chickbosscake.com and www.facebook.com/chickbosscake  =)

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post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Sounds like you handled the situation pretty well. When the customer asked for a christmas cake instead of an anniversary cake I probably would have just offered a credit for the amount of the anniversary cake instead.



Nope. This witch is just looking for freebies.I would probably still stick with the smallest cake I could make as an anniversary cake ... after all... it is too serve two, right? icon_evil.gificon_mad.gificon_evil.gif

Why do I want to put myself out at a Christmas for the lying witch......? She paid for and got what she ordered, Period.
post #10 of 15
As a business owner it's in your best interest to respect your customers, even if they don't respect you. Since OP had already offered a free anniversary cake, she wouldn't have lost anything by offering a credit in the amount of the cost (not the price) of the anniversary cake. If you can get goodwill from a customer (or in this case, at least negate some of the bad will) without having to spend anything extra that's a pretty good deal.
post #11 of 15
I just checked out the cake in question - it is beautiful and I cannot imagine putting pillars in it!!! Anyway, I think you handled yourself just fine.
post #12 of 15
You handled this perfectly. Make sure to get a screenshot of them cutting their "horrible" cake if you haven't already. As long as you hve everything documented showing that she got what she asked for, I'd leave it at that. If they post on your fcebook page again, you can ban them from it by hovering over the top right of the post and deleting and banning the user.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

As a business owner it's in your best interest to respect your customers, even if they don't respect you. Since OP had already offered a free anniversary cake, she wouldn't have lost anything by offering a credit in the amount of the cost (not the price) of the anniversary cake. If you can get goodwill from a customer (or in this case, at least negate some of the bad will) without having to spend anything extra that's a pretty good deal.



She would not have gotten any 'goodwill' from this person. They wanted something for free and didn't get it. The fact that the bride is keeping this 'horrible' cake for her 1st anniversary and asking for a Christmas cake is a sure sign she is a manipulative user.

You can't please all the people all the time! And you can't turn a negative into a positive when the negative is going to stay negative regardless of what you do to create 'goodwill'! All you'll be doing is telling the customer that you're a push-over.

I would be more worried about someone telling their friends and the world how easy it was to bully me into giving freebies and discounts than to say they weren't happy with my cake.

Bad reviews are a fact of life whether they are deserved or not. I could hold my head high with a negative review as long as I knew that I had done everything properly. Superior customer service does not include being manipulated by smarmy people who want something for nothing.

If a customer has a reasonable complaint and is indeed entitled to a discount or credit, then yes, that's the time you bend over backwards to accommodate them. Others need to be shown the door. If your product is good, the positives from others will outweigh any negative from the few.

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

She would not have gotten any 'goodwill' from this person.


I agree, which is why I said it would at least negate some of the 'bad will'. I definitely don't think OP should offer anything extra, but it costs the same to provide a refund for the cost of the anniversary cake as it does to provide the free anniversary cake itself. So providing a small refund to the customer at no additional cost to OP is a win-win.

Of course there's no guarantee this will prevent the customer from posting a bad review, but if it does it will have been well worth the additional cost (in this case, $0).
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

She would not have gotten any 'goodwill' from this person.


I agree, which is why I said it would at least negate some of the 'bad will'. I definitely don't think OP should offer anything extra, but it costs the same to provide a refund for the cost of the anniversary cake as it does to provide the free anniversary cake itself. So providing a small refund to the customer at no additional cost to OP is a win-win.

Of course there's no guarantee this will prevent the customer from posting a bad review, but if it does it will have been well worth the additional cost (in this case, $0).



I don't think it would negate the badwill either, since that seems to have been fabricated. The badwill in this case is mostly coming from the client's aggravation that she can't put one over onthe baker to get a free cake, not because of the cake itself.

Personally, I'd rather write a check for a refund and be rid of the beeyotch rather than have to make them another cake in a year, but that's just me. thumbs_up.gif
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