I'm Just Sick! My First Bad Review- (Long)

Business By jenmat Updated 1 Dec 2010 , 10:05am by Ursula40

jenmat Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 9:18pm
post #1 of 27

i did a wedding on 8-21. It was all cupcakes, and the bride wanted a giant cupcake as their centerpiece on the head table. She had purchased a cheap off-brand pan that I told her point blank I wasn't comfortable using. Why oh why did I end up agreeing? Then she changes her mind and wants carrot cake, which of course is super heavy. I made the stupid mistake of not doing my research beyond one test run. We get to the venue, cake is leaning and splitting, I still have another delivery and its 3pm. I tore it apart, put a support inside, did the best I could, and informed the hall that the bride would be getting a refund, which was sent out Monday morning with an apology email and letter.
She emails me "Thanks for the refund, we really appreciate it. Can I have my pan back because I need to use it."

THEN shortly after, I get an email of my FIRST EVER review at Wedding Wire. This is what was said:


Now, it is in her contract that she needs to pay in full by XXX or there will be a charge. She NEVER once asked for an extension. She never ONCE told me she was upset about the extra charge, in FACT apologized over 3 emails about how sorry she was.

My question is this: I've never asked for reviews for the good brides. I've never had to give a refund, never had anything but compliments. I was going to begin asking for reviews this month, but I can't do that with this review sitting there all by its lonesome. Can I pull my listing from Wedding Wire? Do I respond to the review? This bride is coming over on Thursday to pick up her pan and I want to belt her with it!

26 replies
janeoxo Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 9:36pm
post #2 of 27

Sorry that you had problems but I have to ask this:-

Why as a professional are you using a customers pans especially when you say you had doubts on the inferior quality. If it is something that could ruin your reputation, which this now has, its out there in black and white for all to see, be polite and say no. If you don't have the correct pan do what I do, buy the one you want and factor that into the price of the cake.

tootie0809 Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 9:42pm
post #3 of 27

Wow, so sorry this happened to you! I would contact someone at Wedding Wire and ask them what their dispute policy is. Most reveiw sites have some sort of policy on negative reviews that may not be valid. I'd definitely see if they can hear your side of the story and just remove the whole review.

tsal Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 9:45pm
post #4 of 27

This is one of those live-and-learn situations. I agree that using a pan that you had doubts about was not a good idea, but you had the right intention (which was to make the customer happy). There's nothing you can do to change it except to ask your future happy brides to post positive reviews so that eventually you'll have more good than bad.

I'm sorry you had to go through this.

jenmat Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 9:49pm
post #5 of 27

Sufficiently Chastised. I never should have agreed to use her pan. I really can't even remember why I did it. I suggested ordering a pan, and she was not willing to spend the money, and she only wanted it to serve herself and her groom, so the small size she purchased was what she wanted. She REALLY wanted me to use that pan. If I would have thought about putting a support in the [email protected] thing, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Unfortunately, in the review she is sharing her feelings, which I can't really dispute. Their dispute policy only covers lies, and I don't know that anything would qualify as an outright lie. Just because she never shared her feelings with me doesn't negate the fact that I screwed up the only cupcake that was important to her in the 300 I did for her.

I really don't need the exposure in Wedding Wire, so I'm wondering if anyone has pulled themselves off before? Or do I respond? I just think to respond will make me look petty.

GGFan Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 9:51pm
post #6 of 27

I'm so sorry this happen to you. Can you contact all the customers that love your cake and ask them to write you a review to counter this negative one? You never know.

lanana Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 9:54pm
post #7 of 27

on wedding wire what you can do is to give a response WHY she says that on your reviews. Sometimes brides can be your worst enemy or your best friend!! you never know what's on their heads, LOL!! I had one terrible review i never expected: I charge the bride less than $300 and i included 100 cupcakes, 50 cake balls plus grooms cake and it took me more than 2 hrs to deliver that, it was raining and i was stuck in a Friday afternoon traffic, so i was late like 15 min. She called me and wrongly i said "wow this was farthest than i thought" anyway i set up everything on time and before ceremony. On her review she just said that I complaint about how far it was the venue, and that she had enough stress to deal with and not hearing me saying that. On the stars she gave me one for flexibility!!!, and I changed all my meetings appointments because she was so tired for a long travel and couldn't get up in that morning to meet me for tasting, and 2 for pricing !!!! give me a break!!! so the overall hurts my stars on my reviews!!! I have'd change the way a work, the contract, how flexible I am and when I don't feel right about something i simple say: I am sorry but no!!! I try to put everything clear between the bride and my work, one simple mistake and they (sometimes) play hard on you. wow It looks like i vent myself, LOL. Your work is soo beautiful, how come you don't have reviews from those other brides, which must be totally happy about their wedding cakes.

cakeglitz Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 9:58pm
post #8 of 27

I was pretty pleased with how this Barbie cake turned out but no comments and very few views. icon_sad.gif


Sorry I posted this on the wrong forum by accident...Trying to delete. icon_smile.gif

DefyGravity Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 10:00pm
post #9 of 27

Sorry this happened.

Maybe when she comes to pick up the pan, just apologize that she wasn't satisfied and just leave it at that. If you have a solid reputation otherwise, please don't tie yourselves up in knots over this one negative experience.

Just learn from it and keep on caking icon_smile.gif

icesk8ermom Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 10:30pm
post #10 of 27

I like the idea of contacting past brides....offer them a 10% discount coupon upon completion. Not only will you get good reviews but maybe future orders!!

Sorry this happened, try not to let one bad review bring you down!

costumeczar Posted 31 Aug 2010 , 11:41pm
post #11 of 27

I'd write a response to this explaining your side of it. Be factual and not defensive. If they won't let you do that (I think that wedding wire will, though) then definitely get brides who loved your cake to write reviews. Their reviews will raise the rating.

I'd also leave her pan for her in a box on your front steps and not deal with her.

Evoir Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 12:00am
post #12 of 27

Just out of interest - how important is Wedding Wire in your area? Is it necessary to be listed on it?

I tend to rely totally on word-of-mouth referrals, and do not advertise otherwise. I know people tend to share negative feedback more than positive when talking about ANY experience they've paid money for, but at least its not on a website for ALL potential customers to see!

Sorry this happened...I know how gutting it can be to have a PITA bride.

indydebi Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 12:57am
post #13 of 27

Yes, WW will let you post a response, but if you do that, it really needs to be worded VERY carefully so it doesn't come out sounding like a pi$$ing match between the two of you. Just nicely and factually state what happened.

It happened to me. Here's a link to see how I responded (last one on the page): http://www.weddingwire.com/reviews/cater-it-simple-indianapolis/5ebf141f234f32a0.html

jenmat Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 1:04am
post #14 of 27

Yeah, I'm not sure if I want to send a response or not. I really don't want to come off petty. The bride did not express any of her concerns to me, and is obviously very passive-agressive.
Debi- your response is the absolute perfect way to let us all know what the problem was without belittling the bride at all. If I could only come up with something that great I wouldn't hesitate to post.

Evoir- that's a very good point. I really don't need the exposure, all my business comes from WOM and bridal shows. I also don't want the bridal show brides to look me up and see the only review anywhere to be a bad one. I've got a few brides that are close friends and family members, and I may ask a few to help counteract the bad one.

Omicake Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 1:27am
post #15 of 27

Indy, good answer. How did you find where to reply to her review? I thought you weren't able to do so.

indydebi Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 1:37am
post #16 of 27
Originally Posted by Omicake

Indy, good answer. How did you find where to reply to her review? I thought you weren't able to do so.

It's been so long I can't recall, but I emailed WW, explained that the bride had posted something that wasn't quite accurate and asked if there was a way to respond. They emailed back with instructions on how I could click in to do a response.

Omicake Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 1:58am
post #17 of 27

Thanks, Indy. It's good to know.

costumeczar Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 2:36am
post #18 of 27

That's one good thing about weddingwire. The Knot doesn't let you do that, but you can email them if someone posts something negative and ask to have it taken down.

One sidenote about WW...They putup ads for your competitors on your page unless you pay them extra, has anyone else noticed that? Look on your page and check the bottom lefthand side. It says something like "You might also want to try these vendors" then it has links to other people's pages. I know people who have removed their pages from the site because of that.

jenmat Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 6:51pm
post #19 of 27

Thanks everyone. I decided to shelve it last night and take a look with fresh eyes today. After printing it out, combing through and looking at the emails between the bride and me, I realized there were so many factual errors I needed to dispute the review. I wrote a long, bullet-pointed dispute to the WW people and provided as many dates, times and quotes as possible. This also means that while the review is taking place, the review will not be shown on WW. I can provide signed contracts, emails and order documentation for everything I am disputing. (I LOVE email!)

The bride signed a contract. I followed the letter of the contract, including refunding for a sub-par job on a cupcake pan I warned her was going to be a challenge. (still kicking myself).
I figured I could look petty and dispute her online, or I could just go to the source and do it the right way. If they don't pull it, I'm going to be pulling my business from the site.

I thought and thought last evening, pretending to be Debi, thinking "how would I respond if I had the 'debi factor'?" But there was just no way to respond without calling the poor bride a liar, and that's just not good business.

icesk8ermom Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 7:20pm
post #20 of 27

It is always good to "sit" on things like this before reacting. It sounds like you went about this the correct way rather than getting into an argument and making yourself look as bad as the bride was trying to make you look.

I hope it all works out for you!

sillywabbitz Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 7:22pm
post #21 of 27

Jentrue, I think you are right to make your dispute with wedding wire and not with the bride but I will tell you this, when that bride came to pick up that pan, I would just say politely. I saw your post on wedding wire and was really shocked you had all of those issues when you never expressed any of them to me. Big smile, thanks for your business.
People have what my DH called "email balls". They will do and say things in email they would never say to your face and when you call them on man do they back peddle.

I wouldn't let her get away with it 100% but I wouldn't engage her online either.
Good luck and sorry this happened to you.

DefyGravity Posted 1 Sep 2010 , 8:30pm
post #22 of 27
Originally Posted by sillywabbitz

Jentrue, I think you are right to make your dispute with wedding wire and not with the bride but I will tell you this, when that bride came to pick up that pan, I would just say politely. I saw your post on wedding wire and was really shocked you had all of those issues when you never expressed any of them to me. Big smile, thanks for your business.

I 100% agree.

Good luck!

mombabytiger Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 9:45am
post #23 of 27

I went to the link, but it just says "This review being verified" or something like that. So it's not up - yet!

noahsmummy Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 11:05am
post #24 of 27

just out of curiosity; this cupcake pan didnt happen to be a red silicon one did it? my mum bought me one and she was just so pleased with herself about it, her friend wanted me to make her a cupcake cake; i have done them before by carving them, but mum was just so excited about the dam pan, so as usual guilt got the better of me(i know i know.. i have guilt issues..lol), and anyway after 2 rebakes, i was about to throttle someone... =/ i hate cupcake pans. i hate shaped paned period really.lol. so,m dont worry, your not the only one with a settle to score with a bloody cupcake pan.

i hope it all works out for you anyway!

Karen421 Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 1:25pm
post #25 of 27

Why is it we all do "stuff" we know in our gut isn't going to work, but we do it anyways? I too am glad to know I'm not alone!

jenmat Posted 2 Sep 2010 , 5:06pm
post #26 of 27

the review was pulled down pending review, which is why it isn't up anymore, thank goodness.
The cupcake pan was a half-recipe pan sold as a promotion for Walmart. It was produced by Baker's Secret I think. It was dark coated, which to me should have been a red flag. The bottom was constructed too skinny to support the big top of the cupcake. I also allowed carrot cake, which was another stupid move.
Oh well, live and learn! Least the refund was only $35!!

Ursula40 Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 10:05am
post #27 of 27

I still can see the review though?

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