Irate Customer And A Refund- Did I Handle This Well??

Business By luvscakes Updated 11 Mar 2009 , 10:16pm by apetricek

luvscakes Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 3:27pm
post #1 of 25

Hi there,

I had an experience yesterday with a furious would-be customer. Her 19 yr old daughter had emailed me desiring a cake, 8 days before her event.

Since doing last minute cakes was running me into the ground and eating up my profits (running around to get "just these supplies") I started doing an extra $20 fee added to any cakes not paid for within 7 days.
Notice of this fee is at the top of my pricing page and also in an automatic message my customers receive when they e-mail me.

This girl contacted me 8 days before her event, she assured me she'd pay when she received the invoice so I sent her an invoice (through Paypal) that day.
I never heard back from her- until yesterday now 3 DAYS before her event.
I let her know that since she was just paying and I had already done my shopping and scheduling for the week, she would now have to pay the fee. She said no problem.
Next thing I know I get a phone call from an angry mom telling me my business is awful, I must not want clients, she's going to tell the world how awful I am and how it is unfair for me to charge more money,how my prices were already ludicrous as is doesn't cost much to make a cake,.. with (plenty of BEEP, BEEPS in between).
I explained my policies, the reason for them, how they are clearly printed on several things her daughter saw, how her daughter didn't pay on time and how it was really unfair to my other paying customers for the week when I have to take time away from their cakes to do a last minute one.
She kept getting madder and madder- and continued with the threats- eventually I just said, " Maam, I am happy to issue your daughter a refund minus what I had to pay to Paypal in order to receive her payment. And I told your daughter the same thing, but she insisted she wanted me to make this cake."

After I hung up I was so mad! I'm letting it go and issuing her her refund right now, but this is the first time I have had to handle someone like that and it threw me for a loop.

Is there anything you think I could have done differently?

24 replies
stephaniescakenj Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 3:55pm
post #2 of 25

Yes ... I would have hung up earlier icon_biggrin.gif

nickshalfpint Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:08pm
post #3 of 25

First off why was her mother calling. The girl is 19 and if she didn't mind paying the extra $20 why in the heck does her mom (unless mom is footing the bill icon_biggrin.gif ) You handled it perfect. She's lucky she even got a rufund. Some people think yelling and being rude will scare you out of charging the extra $. Her poor daughter is probably gonna have a crappy cake now thanks to dear ol' momicon_sad.gif

Wesha Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:11pm
post #4 of 25

After the conversation that you had with the mom, she will probably find any little thing to complain about when you make the cake. I would not have taken the order.

tinygoose Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:12pm
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephaniescakenj

Yes ... I would have hung up earlier icon_biggrin.gif




LOL...

tripleD Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:13pm
post #6 of 25

I think this mother is trying to get it for free.. beware. If the daughter ordered it she should be the one to talk to.your contract is with her not the mother.

tx_cupcake Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:15pm
post #7 of 25

See? This is why I'm bad at customer service. The part of me wanting to tell that lady to eat ... uh ... dookie probably would have gotten the best of me.

At best, I probably would have said "You know what? I don't need business badly enough to be verbally abused by you." Then hung up.

Did I mention that I stink at customer service? icon_razz.gif

cocorum21 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:19pm
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by txcupcake


At best, I probably would have said "You know what? I don't need business badly enough to be verbally abused by you." Then hung up.




I actually think that would have been a perfect response. People think just because they are paying for something that they can talk to you any way they please. Sometimes they need to be made aware that they pay for your services and not your psychiatrist.

When they start paying my psychiatrist directly then we can yell and scream all we want. until then bite me.

My new motto:
People are idiots icon_evil.gif

luv_to_decorate Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:22pm
post #9 of 25

The daughter is 19 and she signed and paid for the cake order. The mother should have been told to but out. Even if she was paying for the cake, if the daughter signed the contract she is the one that should cancel the order. I don't do cakes professionally but I am amazed at the stories of how 1 person thinks they have such power they can ruin your business by complaining to everyone they know. Isn't it indydebbie that says "next"? lol

dailey Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:23pm
post #10 of 25

i think you handled it well, that "lady" sounded like a real a@@!

btw, i don't normally like music on cake sites but yours is really catchy, oh, and i like the way you put "mother of 4, wife to 1", lol!

stephaniescakenj Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:27pm
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dailey

i think you handled it well, that "lady" sounded like a real a@@!

btw, i don't normally like music on cake sites but yours is really catchy, oh, and i like the way you put "mother of 4, wife to 1", lol!




I just checked out your site too. I LOVE it!!!!

KookieKris Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:30pm
post #12 of 25

I personally think you handled the situation well. It is so hard not to get nasty back or say something worse than what they're saying, but, you're obviously good at what you do (which is why you got the order in the first place) so I agree with luv_to_decorate ~ "NEXT"!

sweetjan Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:33pm
post #13 of 25

Let's face it, mom's probably paying for it.
However, follow up with the daughter since she placed the order nd tell her there's been a big snag....her mom! Do what your conscience about finishing the order.
You handled it very professionally

Tita9499 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:36pm
post #14 of 25

I agree with some of the posters...I'm horrible at customer service! LOL! Just kidding.

I have a policy that I've taken from the Patient Privacy Act, I can't share personal information with anyone other than the patient (in this case the cake recipient). If you didn't pay for the cake or sign any contracts, you need to find yourself someplace to be because I'm not answering any of your questions. If this chick is 19, she's a big girl and mommy needs to mind her business, not mine.

I also agree that a customers mental instability is not an excuse to speak to me like I'm nothing. I would have advised mommy to take her meds, call her shrink get some relaxation techniques and call me back when she's ready to speak like a civilized human being.

cylstrial Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:45pm
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tita9499


I have a policy that I've taken from the Patient Privacy Act, I can't share personal information with anyone other than the patient (in this case the cake recipient). If you didn't pay for the cake or sign any contracts, you need to find yourself someplace to be because I'm not answering any of your questions. If this chick is 19, she's a big girl and mommy needs to mind her business, not mine.




That's a really good idea! icon_biggrin.gif

PinkPammfer Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 4:54pm
post #16 of 25

Ugh! Darn people. As soon as she started swearing at me I would have given her a warning. If she did it again I'd let her know that she could call me back when she was more calm and could speak to me with respect and hung up on her. Maybe that's my old customer service training coming back to me after all these years but nobody should have to put up with it.

You really handled it well. Shoot, after that I would have wanted to sabotage the cake. LOL Jut fun to think about... icon_evil.gif Probably better that you let em go!

luvscakes Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 5:18pm
post #17 of 25

Thanks guys you've got me smiling now instead of being upset! It was tempting to hang up especially when she was talking about being overpriced- I'm UNDER PRICED other bakers in my area.

I tried to handle it with grace- but when she kept getting madder and madder I thought maybe I shouldn't have said anything at all- but after all your responses I think I could have just hung up, and.... NEXT!

She was really weird too telling me that her daughter makes cakes and has everything she needed to make her own cake as she ordered it, so she knows it doesn't cost much or take much time (HUH???!) I was thinking- so why commission me for a cake if your daughter can make it herself??

Anyway, I'll be on the lookout for her name and avoid all other orders from her! icon_lol.gif

beck30 Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 5:27pm
post #18 of 25

I think you did the right thing, you dont have to serve everyone. You shouldnt have to put up with that.

indydebi Posted 10 Mar 2009 , 5:39pm
post #19 of 25

As I've said before .....

just because you are paying for my cake and my time, doesn't mean I have prostituted myself to take anything you want to dish out.

The door swings both ways. Don't let it hit you in the rear end on your way out.

MnSnow Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 2:30am
post #20 of 25

I sincerely hope that after refunding her the money you cancelled the order.

I would have

lilthorner Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 2:57am
post #21 of 25

this was funny (as in laughing with you not at you) one good thing about paypal is that when you issue a refund, they dont charge you the fees!

and about customer service.. I worked at the phone compnay for 9 years and the bank for 1.. we were completely supported by management when someone was irate, if we chose to say "im sorry ma'am, I will not be able to assist you if you continue to speak to me in that tone" Then.. "I'm sorry ma'am I have already ask that you not speak to me in that tone. I am terminating this call now. thank you"

as long as we "warned" them we were cool. I am a firm believer that customer service does NOT mean that you can say whatever the heck you feel to me and im supposed to take it.. I can only go so far..

on another note.. hubby had someone (a coworker) talking crazy to him.. he told her "girl, my wife don't speak to me like that, what makes you think you can? I don't sleep with you at night!"

Monkess Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 4:51pm
post #22 of 25

You are more than decent to return her monies. I would have hung up and refused to talk to the mother any further on the issue and said will deal with the person who signed the contract-i.e. the daughter only.
Proceeded to make the cake or forfeit the monies. People like this deserve far worse actually.

alvarezmom Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 5:02pm
post #23 of 25

Thats horrible! I bet mother was flipping the bill on this one. I wouldnt worry about it. You should charge more-your cakes are beautiful!

miss-tiff Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 9:58pm
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilthorner


on another note.. hubby had someone (a coworker) talking crazy to him.. he told her "girl, my wife don't speak to me like that, what makes you think you can? I don't sleep with you at night!"




This made me laugh!

I just can't imagine yelling at someone for the price of a product you choose to buy. I can see getting upset at the water bill if you have to use their services and they charged way more than they should, but if you don't want to pay for a cake, really you don't have to! icon_rolleyes.gif

apetricek Posted 11 Mar 2009 , 10:16pm
post #25 of 25

I competely agree with the others...I feel like the daughter should have been the one in contact with you...but honestly sounds like this would have been a nightmare from the start! I used to get insulted and pi$$ed off when someone would say, "Oh you are too expensive, blah, blah, blah...but don't even let it faze me anymore...I feel like if they want to be "thrifty" then they can have a cake that tastes like sh**!! The way I look at it is that it was a blessing in disguise and that there will be someone nicer, and more appreciative to fill their spot! I had a lady yesterday (tuesday) for a cake (thursday) and was going back and forth with what she wanted...I pretty much told her I have explained your options and ideas to you...if you can't make a decision as to what you want right now...then I am sorry I cannot do your cake for you... Why should I have to be treated like crap, drive myself crazy running around buying more supplies, and bumb my other customers...not worth it...I wouldn't have done anything until I talked to the daughter and I then don't think I would have offered a refund..I know in my policy and contract there is no refund within 10 days of the event...and if it is booked with the 10 days then there is no refund...if I have to bend over backwards for someone, then if they cancel I feel that is a "tip" to me for being so damn nice! icon_wink.gif

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