So this will be a little long but I am fuming.
I had a customer who wanted 3.5 dozen lego cupcakes, gave her a price told her how to book (50% deposit cash or email transfer as I am not set up for credit cards as I am small still and mainly do it as hobby). She did not book then a week before asked if I could still do it, so I said yes sure, she dropped off cash deposit later that day.
Within 10 minutes of her picking them up a week later, she posted my first negative review saying they did not taste good (side note out of her order I made 2 other orders as I batch them and were told they were great), that I was expensive and the cash only was too inconvenient.
I responded and said sorry you did not like them, taste I was surprised about but sorry, and cash well you knew about as I said that from the beginning. I unfortunately had another separate customer who saw this who was pissed at me already because she ordered a cake, but never gave me a deposit and 9 days later, and 48 hours before said cake was to be picked up, then decided to randomly send me the deposit saying look I am booked now! I told her I am sorry but its only 48 hours before the event and I cannot do it now. I assumed her never sending me the deposit was her not booking. Well she replied saying she had similar deposit issues with me and then she finally gave me the deposit and I cancelled on her last minute. So I responded to this complaint by explaining that no deposit was received, 9 days elapsed and by the time the deposit was in it was too short of notice for me to complete the order and I apologize if my policy was not clear enough but no order is booked until deposit is received and I will be updating my policies shortly to make sure it is clear in the future, sorry again.
So customer 1 replies to this now, saying that cupcake places are a dime a dozen and I should be more lax with my policies but I do not seem to understand that I should and that I cannot take criticism.
I can take criticism but the policy is there to secure the order against people who just do not show up. If I make a mistake I will gladly mitigate it, but you are criticizing a policy you knew I had and you agreed to by ordering from me. So you cannot now complain about it and tell me to loosen my policies.
Am I wrong? i would love to know? Or is she just nutso and its unfortunate that customer 2 was also irritated with her 9 day late deposit not being accepted?
I just updated my policies and made it crystal clear and will also be making it clear to every customer they have 24 hours to book via deposit in cash or there is not order.
I don't think they understand our time is limited and I would just kindly apologize and explain to them that as a baker you have to plan time for any custom cake order and you would rather take your time to please them vs. rush through their cake. For the other cupcake lady I would apologize offer a small discount on her next order and move on.
Here's how I do it. I am sticky sweet but I have my serious business hat on. I make it very well known, up front, "You are not on my calendar until the deposit is received". I am never wishy washy on that because that invites people to take advantage. And, those are the people who will complain.
The two times that the deposit was not received, I sent a nice email explaining that I cannot hold their slot and will continue taking other orders. Bam, those deposits came quickly.
You need to be very business like and stern up front. You run the show. People show more respect for that.
If you apologized and said your peace, just ignore them now....people suck...sorry that happened to you :)
For a future note:
It sounds like they are posting these reviews on Facebook...
You can require your approval to posts on your page so that they aren't posting on each others posts...
As for not accepting credit cards... that is completely your choice... I am not sure of your location, but if you have a smartphone, you can always get a square reader and require that the card be present to be swiped and require a signature for it... There are also other square like companies that have no monthly/yearly fees and just charge per swipe...
This is an annoying situation, most of my customers pay a deposit at the time of consultation, for the ones who don't I am very nice and friendly but firm and tell them very clearly that if we haven't received a deposit by "insert date here" we cannot accept their order. Absolutely NO to loosening the policies, as is very clearly demonstrated by your customers give them an inch and they will take a mile. I have also found that if you are firm and to the point on the cutoff date for paying the deposit and then full payment, it has an amazing way of getting their attention making them pay up on time.
Nothing you can do about customer 2, you have explained your policy to her.
Customer 1, an apology and explain all the other customers who received cupcakes from that same batch were very happy, just in case she is having buyers' remorse.
These people are not taking your seriously as a small business owner, it's up to you and your attitude to make them and future customers realise you are.
Delete the negative review and move on.
PS. Jinkies I'll see your "sticky sweet" and raise you "revoltingly sweet" hee hee