On Saturday I delivered a Minnie Mouse cake to a party at a local restaurant. Everyone complimented it and I went on my way. The next morning I found a scathing note in my email from the grandmother of the birthday child telling me the cake was horrible, not the flavor they ordered and that I needed to "make it right" for her daughter, who actually had ordered the cake. She also indicated that they had thrown the cake away. Right away my radar went up. If the cake was the wrong flavor, wouldn't you save it to prove it to the baker? And really, if the cake's texture was so awful you couldn't eat it, wouldn't you save it to show the baker?
I politely replied to her that I would be happy to examine the cakes myself to see what the problem was (particularly the tier that was supposedly the wrong flavor). But if the cakes truly had been trashed, I was afraid I couldn't be of any help.
Then things got interesting. She sent me a vile note telling me I had no business baking and said that her daughter did still have some of the strawberry tier, which she continues to insist is red velvet, not strawberry. She said her daughter (whom I still have not heard from) would be happy to bring the cake to me. She then promised to smear my name all over the web--a promise she has kept.
At that point I contacted her daughter via email and told her that if she wanted to settle the issue, I needed to speak to her and that she needed to bring me the cake. Dealing with the grandmother as a go-between was dragging out a problem that I am not sure even existed in the daughter's mind. I let the grandmother know that I had invited her daughter to contact me. Of course, I have heard nothing from either of them since that time, and more than a day has passed. In the meantime, I have spent more time than I can afford tracking down her reviews of me, which are so full of lies it is almost laughable.
I know you can't please all the people all the time, and I can live with that, but where oh where has common courtesy and civility gone? What gives people the right to behave this way?
There, I feel better. I know fellow cakers will understand the anxiety and frustration these types of customers can cause. Thanks for listening.
That's horrible. Hopefully the daughter was unaware of granny's evil deeds and has put a stop to it.
Unbelievable. And why do people throw away cake they claim was wrong or horrible? Why wouldn't they hang onto it to show the baker. If I order something and it is wrong, I bring it back, not throw it out. Makes you wonder.
Maybe gramma has a touch of Alzheimer's? That can make a person mean.
Could be Grandma had "sticker shock" when she asked your customer how much the beautiful and delicious, freshly baked and custom decorated cake was...
And then Granny took it upon herself to get a refund, by any means. (Because you can get a whole sheetcake at Walmart for cheap!)
Her daughter is probably mortified, and won't be contacting you for any refund - and is also not calling to apologize for the same reason.
And it's been my experience when reading bakery reviews, that a seriously over the top bad review in an otherwise overwhelmingly positive history is indicative of an unreasonable, and/or extremely difficult customer. And I don't take those reviews seriously.
I have a new policy: I will not handle orders etc. just through emails. To document a problem they are fine. But to communicate clearly-they sometimes help you lose orders. I send an email repeating the phone conversation...
your cake is beautiful all your work is please dont let one crazy granny get you down maybe she needs money for bingo ...
She was trying to get a refund for sure! Especially when she found out the price was not $15.99.
Thanks for the good words everyone. I knew everyone here would understand.
To clarify one point: I didn't take the order via email, and never do.
It was completely handled over the phone with the daughter. I had her email because her initial contact with me asking for a quote was via email.
Yea, I think Grandma definitely got involved of her own accord. I think you handled it fine. If it had been me, I would not have replied to Grandma's email at all since she wasn't your client. I would have contacted the daughter as soon as you got the first scathing email.
If you haven't heard from the daughter again in another day or two I would contact her again and demand that they remove all of the bad reviews.
I am so sorry to hear that happened to you. Your cake is adorable, and i agree that grandma is just trying to get a refund when she heard the price for a custom cake is not the same as a walmart cake. Sorry she had to drag you down.
Just a thought, before too much time passes... In case this goes further you might want to contact the restaurant. Get their take on what happened. Was the cake eaten, tossed? Better to do this soon before they've forgotten.
Ugh, that lady just reeks of "Trying to get a refund" - so mean!! Your cakes are so beautiful, especially the minnie mouse one!
Thanks for the thoughts everyone.
Contacting the restaurant would be a good idea, except we are talking about Chuckee Cheese on a Saturday afternoon! The place was an absolute madhouse, and I sincerely doubt anyone would have a clue what happened to the cake.
Thanks again for the support.
Yea, I think Grandma definitely got involved of her own accord.
I have an (80+ yr old) aunt like that. there was some issue with a relative and pizza place, and this aunt called the pizza place and told them "I'll never order another pizza from you!" I then asked her, "Did you confess to them that you never order pizza from them ANYWAY so they weren't losing anything with your threat?" My aunt and this gramma sound like one and the same ..... just some old busybodies who think everything is their business!