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My first disaster!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have been shipping out cookies for several years.  I have the way I prepare, package, and wrap them down to a science.  One time I had 1 cookie break in transit, and since then, I always include an extra for each dozen.  This week has been TREMENDOUSLY hot and humid.  I shipped out Monday, and got word today that 2/3 of the cookies were broken, cracked, a mess.  I am heartbroken.  This person is a childhood acquaintance and first-time customer who ordered these back in December for her daughter's birthday.  There's no way that I can get more baked, decorated and shipped to have them to her by Saturday.  I offered a refund and she said she feels bad taking a refund.  What would YOU do to make it right?  Refund her for 2/3 of the order and include a certificate for free shipping on her next order?  That's what I'm thinking...

post #2 of 19

Refund the full order.

post #3 of 19

Don't work for free.  Broken or not, they're still going to eat them.  Ask what your friend would like for you to do.
 

post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

I did end up talking to her.  She said basically the same thing as CWR41...that I still did the work and they will eat the broken ones...so she just asked for 1/2 of her money for cookies and 1/2 of the postage back.  I gave that to her with a voucher for one dozen cookies free with any other order she places.  She was great about it once we finally talked.  I just feel like crap!

post #5 of 19
I wonder what the box looked like. Don't blame yourself, shipping can be so unreliable
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

She sent me pics...they really do look like they were crushed.  Ugh.  So upsetting!

post #7 of 19

I am glad that you and the customer worked it out but I still disagree with anything other than a full refund.  It wasn't your fault but it certainly wasn't the customers either.  When you have a business that involves shipping it seems to me that you bear the responsibility if there is any shipping problem of any kind, part of the cost of a shipping related business.  You agreed to provide a certain amount of a certain design and that isn't what the customer received.  Especially since they were for a special occasion.  It isn't like she could plate and display the crushed cookies as the centerpiece dessert, and that is probably what she had in mind if she ordered cookies from a distance.  The other thing is that on so many threads it is talked about that what bakers provide isn't just cake (or in this case cookies) but art, a centerpiece, the big design around which all else flows, etc.  But then when something happens and the product is broken then it becomes, well they could still eat the product.  If a person ordered a 3 tier cake for a special occasion and when you were delivering them you dropped two of the boxes and only one could be displayed but the other two crumbled cakes could have been served, with a spoon.  That simply isn't what the customer ordered and should be refunded.  I just don't think we can play it on both sides for our convenience, sometimes it is a centerpiece of art, other times it is just cake/cookies.  Yeah, it hurts the pocketbook but the client certainly didn't get what they ordered.  Just my two cents here.

post #8 of 19

I'm really sorry that happened to you, but I agree with denetteb. I think a full refund was in order. Her little birthday girl gets a plate of cookie pieces. Bummer. A bad deal for both of you.
 

post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 

I totally agree with you denetteb.  That's what I offered...a full refund plus her postage costs, but she kept saying that's not what she wants and she would feel bad about ordering from me in the future if I sent her all her $$ back.  It's a difficult situation...I don't offer a "money back guarantee" in those terms but I always ask for feedback so I can make any problem right.  This is the first time I've had to "make something right."  I had also offered to redo the order for her, but she couldn't get it in time for when she needed it.  I appreciate your feedback.  I certainly want my products to be the centerpiece of the party!  I did what she asked of me...and she keeps thanking me for "making it right" and "being so cool about it."  Tough!

post #10 of 19

You made it right with this customer and that is what is most important.  My spiel/opinion in post #7 above was more directed to others reading this  post or that may refer back to it later in time when they are dealing with a disaster. 

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by denetteb View Post

You made it right with this customer and that is what is most important.  My spiel/opinion in post #7 above was more directed to others reading this  post or that may refer back to it later in time when they are dealing with a disaster. 


thumbs_up.gif

post #12 of 19
Quote:

Originally Posted by denetteb View Post

 

If a person ordered a 3 tier cake for a special occasion and when you were delivering them you dropped two of the boxes and only one could be displayed but the other two crumbled cakes could have been served, with a spoon.  That simply isn't what the customer ordered and should be refunded.  I just don't think we can play it on both sides for our convenience, sometimes it is a centerpiece of art, other times it is just cake/cookies.  Yeah, it hurts the pocketbook but the client certainly didn't get what they ordered.  Just my two cents here.

 

If you drop the cake during delivery of course you would refund the customer because it would be your fault.  If the venue moved the cake after you delivered it and dropped it, would you still refund the customer?  I wouldn't.  And if the customer asked me for a refund I'd send them to the venue as the responsible party.

 

This case is more akin to the 'venue dropped the cake' example.  The OP is not the one responsible for the order arriving in the state it did.

 

That said, was the package insured?  If not, why not?  If it was insured the OP could recoup part of the value of the item, and part of the cost of shipping and pass that on to the customer as a refund. 

deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
Reply

deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
Reply
post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeyouverymuch View Post

 

If you drop the cake during delivery of course you would refund the customer because it would be your fault.  If the venue moved the cake after you delivered it and dropped it, would you still refund the customer?  I wouldn't.  And if the customer asked me for a refund I'd send them to the venue as the responsible party.

 

This case is more akin to the 'venue dropped the cake' example.  The OP is not the one responsible for the order arriving in the state it did.

 

That said, was the package insured?  If not, why not?  If it was insured the OP could recoup part of the value of the item, and part of the cost of shipping and pass that on to the customer as a refund. 


Unfortunately, it wasn't insured.  I sent hubby to the post office for me while I finished another order and he didn't do it.  Ugh!  All the times I insure a package and never need it and this time we didn't.  icon_redface.gif  Doh!

 

No matter what happened, I felt responsible.  She even emphasized to me she could tell that it wasn't anything I did...that it was well-packed, etc.  I feel better that she feels fine about it, but stuff like this makes me want to hide out for a while and not ship anything! 

post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsaun View Post


Unfortunately, it wasn't insured.  I sent hubby to the post office for me while I finished another order and he didn't do it.  Ugh!  All the times I insure a package and never need it and this time we didn't.  icon_redface.gif  Doh!

 

No matter what happened, I felt responsible.  She even emphasized to me she could tell that it wasn't anything I did...that it was well-packed, etc.  I feel better that she feels fine about it, but stuff like this makes me want to hide out for a while and not ship anything! 

 

As emphatic as I was in my first post, I would feel exactly as you did, and would probably have offered a refund as a goodwill gesture as well.  That said, the question of responsibility is one to keep in mind so that one isn't offering refunds where no reasonable person would be expected to.

 

In a sense, your failure (your DH'S failure, lol) to insure does leave you on the hook for a partial refund in this case.

deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
Reply

deborahanne

http://grandmasugarskitchen.blogspot.com/
http://fromlinetocolor.blogspot.ca/

Life begins at 325° F, and, yes, that IS powdered sugar in my hair.

Baby Shower
(6 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(6 photos)
Christmas
(6 photos)
Reply
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeyouverymuch View Post

 

As emphatic as I was in my first post, I would feel exactly as you did, and would probably have offered a refund as a goodwill gesture as well.  That said, the question of responsibility is one to keep in mind so that one isn't offering refunds where no reasonable person would be expected to.

 

In a sense, your failure (your DH'S failure, lol) to insure does leave you on the hook for a partial refund in this case.

That's why DH is FIRED as my assistant!  icon_rolleyes.gif

 

I would feel responsible even if it was insured...I promised, she didn't get!  But...at least the responsibility would be shared with the post office.  It's a stinker of a situation and I never want to have it happen again.  Fortunately, I never "pay" myself until the order is delivered, so I had the money to refund her.  It's not the $$...it's that my customer got a less-than-satisfactory experience from me.  I KNOW I feel worse about it than she does...she seems inconvenienced at most, but I still hate it!

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