nicunurse Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 7:51pm
post #1 of

I am sooo upset! Customer emailed me and said she found a long hair in her cake! I am very meticulous when I bake and decorate so needless to say, after I apologized profusely, I offered her a 50% discount on a future cake. Was this an appropriate gesture or should I do something more? Oh, and when can I stop beating myself up over this... icon_sad.gif Thanks for your suggestions.

56 replies
Edit Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 8:28pm
post #2 of

In this case I would offer a full refund. Please, don't beat yourself up though. It can happen with even the most careful baker. Hair could be in the air or in the ingredients as well (from a different source).

jgifford Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 8:34pm
post #3 of

I would stress to the customer that I take every precaution against sharing myself, but I agree that a full refund would be the way to go. Even though we all know that if it was baked in the cake there wouldn't be a concern over germs, it's not a pleasant thing to find in anything.

It happens - - allow yourself to be human. icon_smile.gif

kakeladi Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 8:36pm
post #4 of

Well the 1st ? to ask is do you have long hair? Does the customer?
As the other poster said, don't beat yourself up.....it could happen to lots of us (not me, though I have short hair HeHe) no matter how hard we try to keep things clean, picked up, pinned up etc, etc.

BizCoCos Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 8:55pm
post #5 of

Yes, do you have long hair?, I'm constantly cleaning hands, pulled back hair, checking clothes for lint and once found my sister's long hair in the room and she is not cooking with me or near me. When I bake, no one is allowed downstairs until I have finished, period. I do become a tyrant, lol. I would offer a full refund. Too bad this happened, don't beat yourself up over it. Always triple check, cake, bos, car table whatever ais around the cake.

nicunurse Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 9:20pm
post #6 of

Thank you all for your responses. Yes I have long hair, and I have a strict "hair up policy" any time we bake and decorate. I will have to be even more vigilant. So 50 percent off a future cake is not the way to go... Just saying, if the cake was say 1000.00, you would refund the entire amount? Guess i have a lot to learn. Thanks again.

platinumlady Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 9:22pm
post #7 of

I know this won't help on this situation...However, I would invest in some hair nets, bandannas etc When you bake. This will be another means of protecting yourself.

I know this time it kinda hard cause you didn't actually see the hair to verify whether it was yours....but for the future this will help out

cakegirl1973 Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 9:30pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by platinumlady

I know this won't help on this situation...However, I would invest in some hair nets, bandannas etc When you bake. This will be another means of protecting yourself.

I know this time it kinda hard cause you didn't actually see the hair to verify whether it was yours....but for the future this will help out




I agree--always, always either wear a hair net or bandanna. Pulling your hair up is not enough.

So sorry this happened to you. I've never had this happen--it would be my worst nightmare, so I really feel for you.

To answer your question as to whether a full refund is due if it's a $1,000 cake, while I'll admit that this would be tough, I would issue a full refund. Have you ever been out to eat when someone finds a hair in their meal? It really kills everyone's appetite. I can't imagine that cake would be much different. JMHO

nicunurse Posted 24 Oct 2011 , 9:43pm
post #9 of

Thank you for the bandana suggestions. Will seriously buy and use them from now on! icon_biggrin.gif Yes, I agree, hair in a meal is not appealing at all. I will offer her a full refund as suggested. (gulp) Ouch this one is gonna hurt!! icon_sad.gif The price of what we do right! Many thanks again.

Paperfishies Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 1:13am

I think refunding the entire amount is a bit much, especially if it was a $1,000 cake.

I would ask where the hair was found and issue a refund for that tier. So if it was a 14 inch double layer tier, I would refund for that tier only and extend the offer for a free cake worth XXX amount of dollars. People love free stuff.

soledad Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 3:37am

I was thinking the same thing as paperfishies, refund for tier where it was found, if they can tell you in which tier it was. I mix and bake each layer of cake individually so, it is to me a logical solution. It is only my opinion.

Sorry it happen icon_sad.gif

Ciao

imagenthatnj Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 3:44am

Or you could refund 50% of that cake, not 50% off a new cake. I don't sell cakes but I think 100% refund is a bit much.

Sorry it happened. If it makes you feel any better, my work friends took me once out to lunch for my birthday to a very expensive Japanese restaurant. I didn't really Japanese food and I was very young. They did, though, and they went there frequently. I ordered some salad. I wanted as plain as possible. The dressing was delicious so I kept on eating. All the way at the bottom there was a big roach, legs up, dead of course. Can you believe I didn't say anything because I didn't want the people who took me out to feel bad?? lol. I told them a long time later. They yelled at me because they said they could have gotten the whole meal for free. Stuff happens, even at the best places.

happyascanbee Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 4:06am

or you can tie it to the back into a tight pony tail.. Those people in Food Networl challenge do not wear head gears.. their hair is just flowing or just tucked in.

gaviota4fly Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 4:17am

Sorry to read that! Things like that could happen to anyone. I cover my hair completly. Make sure to shake your clothes before. Maybe you brush your hair and some fall on your clothe. Good luck next time!

nicunurse Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 4:18am

Imaginthatnj, that is sooo disgusting!!! I think I would have to say something about that for sure!!!! icon_surprised.gif To pp I do wear my hair up and back in a bun, but thanks for the suggestion. The customer emailed me back after I offered full refund on the cake and refused to accept the refund. She appreciated the offer of 50% off a future order. That she stated was acceptable to her. Should I press the issue and again offer the full refund? Just want to do the right thing.

imagenthatnj Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 4:25am

Oh, but I didn't eat the roach!! lol

The yucky salad was in one of those pretty nice japanese red boxes.

Anyway, nicunurse, don't press the issue. You have a nice customer and see? she still wants another cake from you. You did the right thing already by apologizing, owning to the issue and offering some kind of refund.

MCurry Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 4:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyascanbee

or you can tie it to the back into a tight pony tail.. Those people in Food Networl challenge do not wear head gears.. their hair is just flowing or just tucked in.




The reason hair is not pulled back for Food Network Challenges is because none of the cakes are consumed they are photographed after the Challenge and thrown away.

Hair being covered and not just pulled back is typically a requirement in any commercial kitchen.

If you already offered her 50% off the future order, how did the customer respond to your offer? Another option you may want to consider if you don't decide to give back the $1000 is to offer to give her a complimentary 1 year anniversary cake that serves a specified amount of people. Just trying to think out of the box. I am leaning towards the full refund though.

imagenthatnj Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 4:45am

MCurry, OP said this about the offer. Customer didn't want all the money back. This is what OP said above.


The customer emailed me back after I offered full refund on the cake and refused to accept the refund. She appreciated the offer of 50% off a future order. That she stated was acceptable to her. Should I press the issue and again offer the full refund? Just want to do the right thing.

MCurry Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 4:54am
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

MCurry, OP said this about the offer. Customer didn't want all the money back. This is what OP said above.


The customer emailed me back after I offered full refund on the cake and refused to accept the refund. She appreciated the offer of 50% off a future order. That she stated was acceptable to her. Should I press the issue and again offer the full refund? Just want to do the right thing.




Missed that - what an awesome customer!!!!! If she said no I would not push the issue. However as a gesture of good will, I would bake a doz. cookies or cupcakes and deliver them. I would do decorative cookies (butter cookies dipped in coating chocolate) as fall leaves or something.

funpets Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 5:15am

Pls dont drag this too far!it was an accident and I bet the customer understands that .instisting on a 100% would be too much.50% is good,really good!

imagenthatnj Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 5:20am

There will be NO refund at all. It's 50% off the NEXT order. Customer is really nice. Agreed, don't push the issue, and if you want to bake a little present for her, that would be nice.

scp1127 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 7:08am

Your offer of the full refund made your company look professional and will go a long way on PR damage control. The fact that the customer did not take the offer shows that she believes in your professionalism and your company hygiene policies. If she does share the story, it will be in a positive way about how you were prompt and proactive in a solution. Since this could happen to anyone, you will be looked at as the business someone would want to use because of a professional policy on problems.

I usually get plenty of opposition to this type of position. But maybe your experience and your sharing this positive outcome will persuade someone to adopt these types of positive customer relations policies.

This can happen to anyone. Even with precautions. We can only do the best we can and always be aware.

costumeczar Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 11:42am
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

MCurry, OP said this about the offer. Customer didn't want all the money back. This is what OP said above.


The customer emailed me back after I offered full refund on the cake and refused to accept the refund. She appreciated the offer of 50% off a future order. That she stated was acceptable to her. Should I press the issue and again offer the full refund? Just want to do the right thing.




I agree that I would have offered a full refund, but since she's happy with this solution then I wouldn't push it.

MCurry Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 12:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Your offer of the full refund made your company look professional and will go a long way on PR damage control. The fact that the customer did not take the offer shows that she believes in your professionalism and your company hygiene policies. If she does share the story, it will be in a positive way about how you were prompt and proactive in a solution. Since this could happen to anyone, you will be looked at as the business someone would want to use because of a professional policy on problems.

I usually get plenty of opposition to this type of position. But maybe your experience and your sharing this positive outcome will persuade someone to adopt these types of positive customer relations policies.

This can happen to anyone. Even with precautions. We can only do the best we can and always be aware.




Well said! We are in the same camp on this.

kakeladi Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 1:59pm

...........She appreciated the offer of 50% off a future order. That she stated was acceptable to her. Should I press the issue and again offer the full refund? Just want to do the right thing..............

No more needed. She seems to be happy so let it be.

cakegirl0905 Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 2:14pm

Eeeek! That is something I am always scared of too. I'm sorry this happened, and I think that 50% was appropriate.

nicunurse Posted 25 Oct 2011 , 2:16pm

Thanks again everyone for your responses. What do I take away from this? Invest in bandannas... or shave my head!! icon_biggrin.gif, and that I should have offered a refund on the cake with the #*@& in it, not on a future order. Also, do the right thing. Once I made the decision to offer her a full refund instead, I felt alot better about the situation, and stopped beating myself up icon_biggrin.gif You all are the best! thumbs_up.gif

eme926 Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 4:46am

I always keep my hair tightly "bunned" in a clip while in the kitchen, but I have found that I also need to lint brush myself after brushing and putting up my hair. I am always finding stray hairs on my clothing.

Apti Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 5:14am
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicunurse

Thanks again everyone for your responses. What do I take away from this? Invest in bandannas... or shave my head!! icon_biggrin.gif, and that I should have offered a refund on the cake with the #*@& in it, not on a future order. Also, do the right thing. Once I made the decision to offer her a full refund instead, I felt alot better about the situation, and stopped beating myself up icon_biggrin.gif You all are the best! thumbs_up.gif




Glad to hear you have peace. Thanks for the update.

JanH Posted 27 Oct 2011 , 7:43am
Quote:
Originally Posted by happyascanbee

or you can tie it to the back into a tight pony tail.. Those people in Food Networl challenge do not wear head gears.. their hair is just flowing or just tucked in.




According to this article, the cakes aren't always eaten but may be tossed into the dumpster:

http://preschoolers.about.com/b/2009/07/26/food-network-challenge-features-sesame-street-cakes.htm

HTH

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