M.o.b. Complaint (I Never Get These). How To Handle This?

Business By Chef_Stef Updated 25 Aug 2012 , 1:41pm by Kiddiekakes

jason_kraft Posted 23 Aug 2012 , 11:30pm
post #91 of 114
Originally Posted by Chef_Stef

I cannot possibly claim to know her intent.

Now I'm more confused. When you said "that's exactly what she was angling for to start with", do you mean when she first contacted you about the cake issue she told you directly the figure she wanted for the refund?

vgcea Posted 23 Aug 2012 , 11:32pm
post #92 of 114

However this turns out, OP I'm so proud of the way you've handled your communication with them, and the way you've backed your product. I really hope this blows away soon.

Cakery2012 Posted 23 Aug 2012 , 11:50pm
post #93 of 114

Since you have a thriving business with many happy clients whatever negative PR comes of this would be outdone 10-1 by.the happy clients . Case closed Besides you.are Seattles #1 or #2 favorite baker icon_wink.gif).
You handled this very proffesional . I seriously doubt the groom is in the ER. As I said last night I had a gut feeling they wouldn't show up.

costumeczar Posted 23 Aug 2012 , 11:55pm
post #94 of 114

Just make sure to watch online reviews for the next couple of weeks and respond if she posts anything. I think that's where she'll "take it to the next level" if she does do that.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 12:21am
post #95 of 114

I would not offer a dime back. The free anniversary cake is more than enough. I would not even offer the $25 value of the cake. Anniversary cake - take it or leave it. If it gets bad send a legal correspondence to stop. Done. Get on with life.

Chef_Stef Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 12:46am
post #96 of 114

Thanks you guys. I'm just getting done today...

As an experiment I served some of the cupcakes from her *actual cake* with my tasting today, along with a host of chocolate, lemon, and fresh from the oven marble cupcakes. They liked them so much they booked that flavor (from her cake) and bought all the remaining cupcakes I had on hand (barring the ones I'm keeping for 'just in case' this goes further).

They knew the story (afterwards), couldn't believe anyone would behave that way, and their exact comment was: "she's full of -bleep-"

Oh wait. I just got an email from mob...

Chef_Stef Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 12:51am
post #97 of 114

Here's my latest word from MOB:

"The cake was out of the fridge for 3 hours on a 90 degree day. It was room temp all the way through. The sorry truth is it was a bad cake and your feeble excuse shows what kind of business you run.

I will be reporting this entire transaction to the better business bureau. Im just guessing youre not a member but all of (cda) will hear about how you treat your customers."

Allllrighty then. She won't get an answer, so I guess she can go do whatever.

I'm going to eat one of her yummy cupcakes, and head home, to my real life.

If they show back UP, I'll let you know, but in my world, this case is closed.

love to you all--thanks for listening, opining, and helping!!!! muah!

costumeczar Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 12:55am
post #98 of 114

If she does report you all you have to do it tell your side of the story, no biggie. If you ignore it it will go against your overall rating and that will show up, but the BBB doesn't go around handing out solutions to problems, they just keep track of the complaint and make a note that you offered a solution and it wasn't accepted by the client.

But you'd better watch your facebook page, wedding wire, etc.

Chef_Stef Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 5:01pm
post #99 of 114

Thanks again everyone.

I just remembered last night, that at one point during our one phone conversation, MOB mentioned that someone else "had brought cupcakes and everyone wanted those instead, because, you know, your cake was just SO BAD."

So now we see that they were not only unhappy that they spent "more than they have ever spent on a cake", but you guys were probably right and they just didn't eat all of it and decided to try and get money back by complaining loudly.

I think as vendors, we HAVE to be willing to (politely. professionally. firmly) stand up to some people. This can't be allowed to be the new norm: if you want to recollect some of your overspent budget, you complain to the vendors and voila: money back!

I feel like I just stood my ground in the middle of a tornado, but I'm still standing here.
off to work--

kelleym Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 5:29pm
post #100 of 114

Someone else had brought cupcakes? Was it a backyard potluck wedding? Everything the m.o.b. says makes the whole scenario weirder and weirder.

For what it's worth, I described this scenario to my husband and gave him 3 options:

A) Stand firm, apologize that they weren't happy, and offer nothing.
B) Offer a free anniversary cake or $25.
C) Offer a hefty percentage as a refund in fear of negative publicity.

He said probably A, maybe B, and never, never C. icon_smile.gif

jason_kraft Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 5:33pm
post #101 of 114
Originally Posted by kelleym

For what it's worth, I described this scenario to my husband and gave him 3 options:

A) Stand firm, apologize that they weren't happy, and offer nothing.
B) Offer a free anniversary cake or $25.
C) Offer a hefty percentage as a refund in fear of negative publicity.

He said probably A, maybe B, and never, never C. icon_smile.gif

I'm not surprised, considering how you framed the question.

Change option C to something like "Offer a partial refund as a gesture of superior customer service" and you would probably get a different response.

kelleym Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 5:34pm
post #102 of 114

After 18 years of marriage my husband and I don't have to play word games with each other. And we are quite aware of what constitutes superior customer service.

Edited to add: I was simply presenting the options presented previously in this thread. The hefty refund option to avoid negative publicity has been proposed by you, no less than 3 times.


But in my view it's better to give a partial refund to someone who doesn't deserve it than to refuse to compensate a customer with a genuine grievance. These days, the amount of bad P.R. a pissed-off customer can generate will usually outweigh the cost of a refund.


Agreed, the goal is to avoid potential bad reviews and other problems like credit card chargebacks


If the cake was 74 servings the order must have been around the $300 range, IMO a $100-150 refund would be worth avoiding the potential storm headed your way.

Chef_Stef Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 5:35pm
post #103 of 114

Tell him thanks. My dh and one of our long-term restauranteur friends said the same thing. I did A and sort of B. Bending over because they yell loud is not how I roll. No one should think that sort of behavior will benefit them.

I doubt I'll hear from them on the anniversary cake, and if they DO decide to claim it (seriously? really?), they will get a check from me for $25.00 in the mail. No way I'm having them set foot here and take home ANOTHER cake.

I had a stiff vodka and OJ last night, and I feel so much better today. Little on edge that the bride may still decide to show up this afternoon with 10 day old cake, but my door's always locked so--

you should see the 3 pretty cakes on deck for this weekend. I made GP flowers that I'm actually pretty excited about. Will post them soon. icon_biggrin.gif
Still love my job!

ibeeflower Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 6:33pm
post #104 of 114
Originally Posted by Chef_Stef

Still love my job!

Stef, you made a cake that is my all time favorite cake. I'm glad you didn't back down and won't turn off your oven because of unscrupulous people.

Chef_Stef Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 6:38pm
post #105 of 114

Well that's one of the nicest things I've ever heard. Thanks!!! *sniff*

Cakery2012 Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 9:02pm
post #106 of 114

You know what they say don't let one bad apple (client) ruin the bushel. icon_wink.gif
Your work is obivously outstanding . This MOB was just a Moocher . The bride may have been too embarassed to show up . Hope you never hear from her again.

Kiddiekakes Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 10:05pm
post #107 of 114

Hey Stef..Just spent the last hour reading all the threads...Glad you are sticking to your guns...This reminds me of a deliver my Mom and I did several years ago..My Mom is also a decorater and does only weddings..I went with her to deliver this wedding and when she set up the cake the MOB walked over and yelled out so everyone could hear..."Those flowers look Plastic" of course they were gumpaste...and then she barks ..Where are the kitchen cakes" My Mom looked perplexed and said.."There were no kitchen cakes ordered"so the MOB started to fuss that yes they were yadda yadda yadda so my Mom did the only thing she could do and we raced to Safeway and bought 2 large slab cakes and brought them back and or course the MOB loudly whined and complained...Surely enough when we got home Mom checked her order book and NO kitchen cakes were ordered..They talked about it but never did to order...So she ended up spending about $100.00 extra on Safeway cakes just so they would have something to serve their guests as apparently the "Cake" was the only dessert being served...After the wedding the bride contacted my Mom and was as rude as her mother and never even thanked my Mom for supplying something even though she didn't have to and admitted she didn't order extra cake...Some people are just plain rude and have no manners...I understand customer service is extremely important but when someone is just trying to get something for nothing...That's when I say "No Way" also....you have to stand up for your integrity...

costumeczar Posted 24 Aug 2012 , 11:24pm
post #108 of 114

I have a wedding coming up tomorrow that I'm betting will result in a complaint. I don't know why, the bride has been very nice so far, but it's an expensive cake, and it seems that once you pass a certain price point people start to complain to get their refunds.

cownsj Posted 25 Aug 2012 , 12:01am
post #109 of 114

I am very proud of you for sticking up for yourself and standing your ground. And someone brought cupcakes? Never would happen. Sounds like someone pointed out to them that they already told you how much of the cake hadn't been cut and they needed to come up with a cover story as to why they didn't need to cut all the cake. I think they know they have lost this battle, but are still "hoping" for something more. But, like others mentioned, keep an eye out for written complaints elsewhere and address them.

Missy227 Posted 25 Aug 2012 , 1:25am
post #110 of 114

I have been following this thread from the very beginning and I think you handled the whole situation admirably. I get trying to appease a customer for the sake of maintaining good customer relations and protecting your business reputation, but that doesnt mean you have to kowtow to someone trying to scam you. I hope for your sake, this is the end of your exasperating exchanges with the mob and bride. I felt like I needed a vodka with OJ after reading everything here too.

elliespartycake Posted 25 Aug 2012 , 1:52am
post #111 of 114

Just read through this entire thread and then said "screw the vodka and OJ!...time for some bourbon!" Seriously, you handled this unfortunate incident with grace and professionalism. I admire your refusal to buckle to their bullying and ridiculous demands. May you never loose your love of this amazing business because of a few greedy jerks.

Chef_Stef Posted 25 Aug 2012 , 3:05am
post #112 of 114

LOL thanks!

When I say vodka and OJ... I use the term "OJ" loosely. It's really more for, uh, a bit of color in the glass.. than anything! hahaha

I am Polish, after all...

still at work, if you can believe it. Some pretty cakes tomorrow to show ya

AnnieCahill Posted 25 Aug 2012 , 10:25am
post #113 of 114

Stef, would that be four or five fingers of vodka? LOL

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Aug 2012 , 1:41pm
post #114 of 114

Hey..I'm Polish too...LOL

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