Customer Woes And Other Venting (Long, Sorry!)

Business By YoCake Updated 22 Feb 2010 , 3:49pm by revskg

YoCake Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 5:29am
post #1 of 10

Just need to vent...had a bad weekend with customers, at least 3 incidents! This is extremely unusual for us, as we have a good track record with customers, but I guess these things come in threes.

First customer: Basically, my husband accidentally put her order in the wrong file, and when she came to pick it up, we did not have it. The party was the next day. I apologized profusely, and told her I'd stay til 2 am to work on the cake, drop it off to her by the time she needed it, and would give her extras (gave her a bigger cake, more design, etc).

My husband dropped the cake off at the exact time, cake delivered to the party, no damage. I also gave them some money off the cake. The husband of the lady told my hub that we should just give it to them for free if we ever want them to do business again with us.

My husband called me to let me know the situation, and my employees were screaming, "NO NO NO" at me (because I usually give in), and I told him, "No: we fulfilled our contract, gave you extra, delivered for free, gave money off. If after all that, you still aren't happy, then there is nothing more I could do." He collected the check and left, customer behaving like a jerk.

Customer 2: This woman was cheap and did not want to pay for a sculptured cupcake cake. Instead, just wanted an 8 inch round swirled up like a cupcake, but it was explained to her that it was not exactly going to look like a cupcake, just a representation. We went over and beyond, swirled it up, and even made the icing on the sides of the cake look like a cupcake wrapper. It looked cute, and other customers even commented on how cute it was.

She picked it up, seemingly very happy, left with it, pleasant. One hour later she calls back screaming that she had ordered a cupcake cake and instead got an 8" round, we spelled the name wrong, etc etc. I just could not believe that she would leave the shop without allowing us to fix it for her.

My front end person offered her several times to come back in and we'll fix the cake, please let us make it right. She then proceeds to tell us that she is a nail tech, works with a lot of brides, and will be telling them all not to deal with us. Fun, huh? She is going to slander us without ever having allowed us to fix what wasn't right.

Customer 3: a former student of mine came in for a wedding shower cake for her sister: a ring box. We did exactly what it said, but used a styrofoam square to make the lid (as I had explained to her that we would do). Here's the clincher: I only charged her half price for the cake because she was a former student.

The cake came out very nice, the ring was 3-D, it looked awesome. It was sitting in the display cooler, and 2 other people ordered the same exact cake.

Well, she must not have liked it because her mom called us back wondering why the pink color was not the right shade (no swatch had been provided...it only said "light pink"), why there was a styrofoam piece, why there was a gift tag on it, why there was a few ribbon roses around the bottom, etc etc. So I spent all morning, instead of going to church, fixing this cake which was perfectly fine in the first place. UGH!!!!

Sorry, had to vent...I am literally getting heart palpitations from owning this cake shop. It is blessed, and we mostly get a great rap, and the orders flow in, but I'm spent!!

I just can't believe how horrible some people can be. We operate by the golden rule at our shop, but it was inevitable we'd get this once in a while.

Thanks for letting me rant on!

9 replies
johnson6ofus Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 7:01am
post #2 of 10

So sorry for your tough run... People can be such jerks. And then you just feel used and abused. Thankfully, it is often just a handful of people. And if you are superstitious, you fulfilled the "three" so it's all good from here- right? Heads up- you went over and above I think! thumbs_up.gif

kiwigal81 Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 7:09am
post #3 of 10

You handled it really well. There's just no pleasing some people icon_confused.gif

sarahnash_14 Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 8:51am
post #4 of 10

I feel sorry that you had to deal with those kinds of people; the kind with no manners and sense of decorum. You handled it well though, so good work.

Honestly though, I really like reading these kinds of stories; they're very entertaining if only for the fact that there are some people so obtuse they're actually funny icon_biggrin.gif

justducky Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 1:41pm
post #5 of 10

People never cease to amaze me.

YoCake Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 2:07pm
post #6 of 10

Thanks for letting me b**** about this...If anything, I felt better getting it out on paper. Because we have walk-in hours, we see about 50-100 people per day,most of them being wonderful and positive. However, you just would not believe some of the very terrible behavior that is demonstrated by some of these folks, and it wears on me. My advice: do cakes out of your house with a limited clientele...less overhead, more profit, less hassle!!! Wish I would have!!

KHalstead Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 2:13pm
post #7 of 10

you poor thing!!! I really feel for you! It's so hard to be nice when people are just so rude and mean, and YOU are the one that has to be professional!

I think with the economy the way it is people are just really doing all they can to get refunds (they want to have their cake and eat it too and NOT pay full price) and it really stinks that we have to be on the receiving end of their 2 yr. old displays of tantrums!

cakesdivine Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 3:04pm
post #8 of 10

We all have times like these, any service company does, it goes with the territory. There are many people out there that will do anything and everything to get a free cake.

My concern is that you are accepting payment AFTER you have done the work, AND taking an even bigger risk by accepting a check. You do realize that most banks now offer online service and you can stop pay on a check online. What is to stop this irrate customer from doing just that since it was very apparent he wanted this cake for free? Don't be surprised if that check is returned as a stop pay. The best advice I can give any cake business owner whether you are a storefront that has walkin traffic or a custom shop that is open by appointment only is to collect ALL funds for any cake prior to pick-up or delivery, not at or after!

I have a policy that any cake under $400 must be paid in full at time of order and is non-refundable. $400 to $599 then a $300 non-refundable deposit is due at the order and the balance due 2 weeks prior to event, $600 or more then 50% non-refundable deposit is due at order, and balance due 2 weeks prior to event. We only accept cash, paypal, and credit cards as payment. NO CHECKS! I have been burned one too many times on checks to even deal with them especially in today's economy.

karenm0712 Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 3:04pm
post #9 of 10

So sorry this happened! Don't let these 3 customers who are acting like babies get you down. Your work is amazing!

I also agree with what KHalstead said, I really believe that people are trying to do anything to get a discount or money back on things these days.

revskg Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 3:49pm
post #10 of 10

I am so sorry Yocake. There are just too many "reality shows" on TV these days showing bridezillas, etc having tantrums and getting discounts, freebies, etc. People think this is acceptable behavior. And, sometimes I think I am back teaching preschool again. (At least I had a "time out" option then!)

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