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Customer wants refund - Page 5

post #61 of 107

but wait--i am off on a tangent--my apologies to op

 

i think op has a client who has buyer's remorse for whatever reason and it's not because of the quality of the cake at all

if you had your own tv show what would be your favorite commercial/sponsor

i think i'd like ghirardelli and hershey for starters...

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if you had your own tv show what would be your favorite commercial/sponsor

i think i'd like ghirardelli and hershey for starters...

Reply
post #62 of 107

The difference between Costco and a bakery though, is a bakery needs to stand behind its own products and quality.  Costco is reselling the products made by others, so offering a refund says nothing about the quality of Costco whereas it might imply something about the quality of a bakery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

The analogy was from the perspective of how businesses can be successful offering guaranteed satisfaction to customers via their return policy. The fact that Costco is high volume means more customers and more opportunity for abuse of the return policy, but their success indicates that those who abuse the system are a tiny minority and the benefits outweigh the costs.

Some returns can be resold, but Costco is still out the labor involved in dealing with the return, repacking, and restocking if the item is even still in saleable condition. Some returns cannot be resold, like food -- anyone who buys a cake from Costco can go back the following day and get a full refund, even if the cake is gone, but people are basically honest and very few people will actually do this.

It is true that returns will disproportionately impact the bottom line of a low volume business, which is another reason why it's so important to target your marketing at customers who are willing to pay for quality.
post #63 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


When I ran my bakery, if a customer was not satisfied I offered their money back, period. This happened twice in 4 years and 700+ orders.

If you are worried about customers complaining just to get a refund you are probably targeting the wrong people, these types of customers tend to weed themselves out since I did not haggle over our relatively high price points.

 

jason, you had a very nice niche business and more power to you

 

some of the most aggressive customers i've ever met as a whole are the allergy minded ones -- i can only imagine how grateful they are for the special product, skill and safety you provided--multiplied kudos for that--job well done--and a great example you are

 

however price point and income do not in any way shape or form determine a client's propensity to complain and haggle

 

and the bad manners of those types of clients are also not in any way shape or form dependent on the op's marketing structure, those whom she targets--she is not responsible for their bad behavior

 

and for what it's worth this information is based on over 40 years in the business and at times where more than 700 orders were transacted daily

if you had your own tv show what would be your favorite commercial/sponsor

i think i'd like ghirardelli and hershey for starters...

Reply

if you had your own tv show what would be your favorite commercial/sponsor

i think i'd like ghirardelli and hershey for starters...

Reply
post #64 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennicake View Post

The difference between Costco and a bakery though, is a bakery needs to stand behind its own products and quality.  Costco is reselling the products made by others, so offering a refund says nothing about the quality of Costco whereas it might imply something about the quality of a bakery.
A good percentage of the merchandise at Costco is its own (Kirkland branded products and fresh food), but even for a resale product the guarantee means that Costco stands behind their decision to stock said product, which is an implicit recommendation. Costco's buyers wouldn't buy the product if they didn't think it was a quality product that would sell.
post #65 of 107

You can't really use Costco as an example for accepting any and all returns. Even they have had to put some limits on their generous return policy because they have become known as the place where you can return anything you want, whenever you want, in whatever condition and people were taking advantage. If it was such a profitable policy to do that, everyone would. But Costco has a unique relationship with the companies it buys it's stock from whereby they can return anything a customer returns, most businesses don't and small scale bakeries certainly don't. Costco doesn't produce the majority of it's Kirkland brand either, they still buy it from manufacturers.

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #66 of 107
There are different ways to approach this, I'm certainly not suggesting that my philosophy is the only way to do things.

It is interesting that some view a satisfaction guarantee as a negative thing. In my mind it's the exact opposite: if a retailer says "all sales final" with no possibility for refunds, to me that implies a lack of confidence in their product to the point where refunds have started to impact their business and have resulted in a stringent no refunds policy. That's the kind of policy I would expect to see at a clearance store or a going out of business sale.

With a satisfaction guarantee in place, the retailer is on the hook to maintain a high level of quality at all times, or face the consequences of mass returns.

The other facet of this issue that's more relevant to this thread is the time involved in dealing with problem customers. It pays to do a quick cost-benefit analysis in a situation like this, and if you foresee spending more time on the customer than you would save by avoiding a refund, you are better off cutting your losses and issuing the refund. It's true that if the complaint is false you will be rewarding dishonesty, but your job as a business owner is to make money, not to try to punish or change behavior. Obviously this problem customer and any potential customers they refer would be blackballed.
post #67 of 107

Rules I follow

 

If a person comes to me and asks me to change my price or policy, they probably will not be a customer of mine (I will let them go to Wally World). Owned many businesses and this behavior is a big red flag.

 

Second, if they do become my customer, the customer is always right.

 

If a customer screws you over, never have them as a customer again. Don't be a glutton for punishment.

 

It happens so rarely that it never hurt my bottom line.

 

Just the way I do it, not passing judgment, just adding my 3 cents.

 

Everyone have a great afternoon, Jimmy Boombats.

post #68 of 107

Ok let me put it this way, and I do believe in a return policy when WARRANTED . It is food a special made item for just that person. To me it is like trying to return a worn bathingsuit.NO RETAILER takes worn bathing suits back for hygienic reasons.They only take them back if it say ripped on first wear or fell apart on first use.You can not take back the bathing suit just because you do not like the colour anymore. In this profession there is a fine line and we have to judge that fine line on what is fact and what is fiction.We all believe in customer satisfaction, that is why we all worry when a cake walks out the door, when we leave a setup.. Places like Costco are huge not a small bakery , small bakery owners have to draw that line or they will be out of business because of refunds on cakes and goods.If one person a week comes back for a refund or even one a month and we just hand over the refund our business is now out of business. If a refund is warranted a refund should be given but if someone changes their mind that is not warranted . if word gets out that a bakery will give back money for a complaint without investigation or because you changed your mind that business might as well close their doors now.

post #69 of 107

The problem probably would have never happened if the original price for the cake was firm ( they would have went to Costco and got there refund after the party) . When you give an inch they take a mile, we all know this. If a person doesn't want to pay your price, you do know you can refuse their business.

 

Just Saying

 

 

When petty people come with petty cash they bring petty problems.

post #70 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyBoombats View Post

 

 

When petty people come with petty cash they bring petty problems.

 

Say that 10 times really fast lol

post #71 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyBoombats View Post

The problem probably would have never happened if the original price for the cake was firm ( they would have went to Costco and got there refund after the party) . When you give an inch they take a mile, we all know this. If a person doesn't want to pay your price, you do know you can refuse their business.

 

Just Saying

 

 

When petty people come with petty cash they bring petty problems.

 

You are completely right! She's saying she wants all her money back and her kids said not to order from me next time. 

post #72 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Izzy Sweet View Post

if word gets out that a bakery will give back money for a complaint without investigation or because you changed your mind that business might as well close their doors now.

I think that's the biggest point of contention here, people just don't act that way in my experience. Maybe I've been spoiled by having good customers or maybe it's a regional thing, I don't know.

I should also clarify that a refund would not be issued if someone just "changes their mind". If the customer stated that there was a quality problem with a cake, and the order was big enough to warrant spending time on an investigation, I would investigate. If it was a small order, they would get the refund.
post #73 of 107

Well that's just it - most people don't act that way.  Why are you rewarding the ones that do?  A no questions asked refund policy does nothing for good clients when you have provided them with a quality product.  A policy only benefits underhanded people is a dumb policy.

I homeschool because I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my children.

 

http://whynotethiopia2.blogspot.com/

 

 

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I homeschool because I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my children.

 

http://whynotethiopia2.blogspot.com/

 

 

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post #74 of 107

what i tried to say upthread is that in my experience your niche customer, jk, has been desperate for your particular product so i think that would help dissipate haggling and etc.

 

and on the one hand a refund in 350 cakes is on the high side to me but due to the nature of the ingredients you could not use and the high quality of the formulas you all created 1 in 350 is also a very low refund rate looking at it that way

 

refunds are very rare in caking/baking in my experience

if you had your own tv show what would be your favorite commercial/sponsor

i think i'd like ghirardelli and hershey for starters...

Reply

if you had your own tv show what would be your favorite commercial/sponsor

i think i'd like ghirardelli and hershey for starters...

Reply
post #75 of 107
Absolutely not. Do not return a single coin. It sounds like she wants the cake for free.
[SIZE]3[/SIZE]NoniBunyi
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[SIZE]3[/SIZE]NoniBunyi
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