How To Handle A Bad Review Online?

Business By hsmomma Updated 22 Oct 2009 , 2:08pm by hsmomma

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hsmomma Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:23am
post #1 of 15

Okay, I've done a ton of wedding cakes and have only received good reviews. This past summer I did a cake for a customer that made me very uneasy. Something wasn't right about her. Had 2 cake tastings for a cake that served 36 people. And requested another after that. Then kept losing the contract. The night before the wedding I let her know that I have not received the contract and final balance. She asks if she can mail it to me. I said no, it won't arrive before I deliver your cake. It must be paid for now. It is already 2 weeks late. She sends her mom to pay, I made a new contract and her mom signs it.
After the wedding I receive an email that says the cake was delicious but didn't look like what she wanted and since she never signed a contract she felt entitled to a refund. I let her know that I would never complete a cake without a contract and that her mom signed it when she delivered the balance (mom paid for cake). I let her know that the cake I sketched on the contract was the same cake I delivered to her venue (seriously, it is the same cake...exact design) so there would be no refund. That she had agreed to the design (actually designed it herself) at our tastings.
Now, today I see she wrote a nasty review of my business about her cake on google. Totally unwarranted as the cake is exactly the same as the one she agreed to. And she loved how it tasted. I'm so ticked. Here I bent over backwards for her. For a cake that was smaller than my minimum guest count. I should have trusted my instincts right from the start that there wasn't something right about her. I have emailed google requesting that the post come down but, have no idea if it actually will.
Should my next step be to contact my attorney if google doesn't respond. I mean to have my attorney contact the bride and demand that it be taken down as it is defammation of character. Nothing about the review is right. She is totally way of base.
I can't believe all this for a cake that cost less than 150.00 . Seriously was not worth my time. With the exception of her, I've never gotten a bad review as I take my job very seriously.
Anybody ever been in this situation?

14 replies
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jlynnw Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:41am
post #2 of 15

take it with a grain of salt. You might be able to respond, with your attorney's OK, that you are sorry she did not like the cake that she had designed, that you made like her design. You could even to offer to post the sketch and the cake you delivered, even though your contract was null and void by lack of proper payment. You appreciate her mom for comming in the night before the cake was due to sign contract #3 and bringing in the final payment. Perhaps she forgot what she had ordered. I would not try to be snarky or evil but the word is out she did not like her cake. More brides like your cake than not and that record will stand.

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kakethings Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:43am
post #3 of 15


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kakethings Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:47am
post #4 of 15

When I get a bad feeling about an order I don't take it. something always wrong with the last minute orders, so I don't try to squeeze anybody in anymore. If the deposit is not in at least 7 days before, too bad. and I get panic attacks with wedding cakes, until I have a staff I'm not taking them.My life is alot better with out wedding cake stress, even though the money is good.

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asanchez Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:50am
post #5 of 15

I would definitely talk to my attorney. There should be a response to the complaint.

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littlecake Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 2:12am
post #6 of 15

exact same thing a couple of weeks ago, over a 75 dollar cake....i think this is going to become a common scam, give me a refund , or i'll ruin your rep on google.

it hasn't hurt my business at all, my real customers read it and got up in arms and came to my defense.

google should be ashamed to let just anyone post on there.

after i mentioned it on here, a disgruntled CC poster even gave CC a neg on my review, google must not check the reviews.

i was looking on some other bakeries in my area, almost everyone has some nutcase ranting on there.

sorry this happened to you, i hope we aren't going to see this as a trend.

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WykdGud Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 3:55am
post #7 of 15

Since she posted it online, it's a case of libel. I would print out the review just in case she removes it before you have a chance to sue her. You don't need to have your attorney contact her - why pay the fees? If she is that busted that she would do something like this for $150, I wouldn't put any money into this that you can't afford to lose. I would give her one warning to take it down, and then file a small claims case against her.

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hsmomma Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 4:52am
post #8 of 15

I have definitely learned my lesson. If my gut is telling me something is not right, then just not take the order. She ordered months in advance and then put off payment and kept losing her contract. I should have cancelled the order right there. But, I hated the idea of a bride not having a cake. I believe she still would have posted something negative but, it would have been much easier to respond with "payment not made as agreed, order cancelled." Much better than looking like I made a poor cake. She was looking to get it for free long before it was even made.

Do I ignore the google review if they refuse to remove it? Or, do I respond by adding a review that states "Customer broke contract by failing to pay cake balance prior to due date." Cake delivered was designed by customer and signed for by mother. Review sent to us via email following event by customer thanking us for a very tasty and delicious cake.

I don't want to sound petty so I'm mostly leaning towards not responding on google. Unfortunately, it is the only review that shows up for me on there. I've got good reviews on other sites but, this is the only one on google. And when you google my business, there it is.

It's unfair on how she can post something so false. I've got the contract and the picture of her is exact. Yet because I'm the professional I can't say anything like... bride was a b****, didn't pay her bill, had 2 free tastings on a cake that served less than 40 (and wanted a third tasting), groom and her fought over design in front of me, even calling eachother know a real quality couple, bride even called her mom in the middle of the first tasting to cry about how she couldn't pay for her cake. I flag (I swear I've learned). I'm telling you right now, I've only had wonderful couples to work with so I guess I was a bit niave for feeling sorry for them.
She had no intention of paying for her cake when she asked the night before she even saw it if she could mail a check for the balance. She never had any intention of mailing a check to me. She figured she would get the cake and say something was wrong with it and that is why she isn't paying.

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Mensch Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 5:00am
post #9 of 15
Originally Posted by hsmomma

But, I hated the idea of a bride not having a cake.

You need to get over this RIGHT NOW! Gosh, I think I just got irritated at you when I read this statement.

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hsmomma Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 5:18am
post #10 of 15

You are totally right. I'm over it now...believe me. Lesson learned.

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LaBellaFlor Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 5:20am
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by Mensch

Originally Posted by hsmomma

But, I hated the idea of a bride not having a cake.

You need to get over this RIGHT NOW! Gosh, I think I just got irritated at you when I read this statement.

You and me both. People should be more concerned about getting a cake then you are. If they want it, they'll make sure to pay on time. I prefer not to get stressed out.

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cfao Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 12:19pm
post #12 of 15

I had the same thing happen with a review on the knot last month. Brida totally changed everything about her cake 6 weeks before her date - design, flavor, flowers, everything. Thing is, in her review we got the cake just right, she complained about having to pay a late fee and the limited flavors she had to choose from! I have over 50 flavors, each of her tiers were different and her balance was due 30 days prior and she paid 3 weeks late. Her balance was a whole $80 over her hotel package allowance. She had 2 tastings, one at the bakery and one at the hotel, 2 invoices, a reminder post card and 3 phone calls that her balance was due. I thought about rebutting her review, but felt they would all take the poor bride's side and not want to hear the other side of the story.

Here's what she wrote:
I would reccommend them (the hotel), but I would not have used their contracted vendors if I had to do it again.

Cake: Cake for all Occasions, Templeton A-

The cake was beautiful and delicious, and exactly what I wanted design wise. My only complaints were that they had less choices for flavors than other bakeries, they did not give you a lot to try at the tasting, and I got a late fee for my final payment. I wish they had sent a reminder, because I had booked her 1 yr. prior.

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hsmomma Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 7:48pm
post #13 of 15

Handled it by removing my google maps ad until google decides if it is going to remove the post. Nobody can find me using google maps now but, it was completely unfair to have a review that had false claims. If I did wrong, I would completely accept it (still not be thrilled with it being posted on the internet). But, this was way off base.

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jlynnw Posted 21 Oct 2009 , 8:40pm
post #14 of 15

Congratulations on solving the issue. Not exactly the best pulling you from a potential spot to be seen but it will work. I hate that any body can say anything any more without much to back it up and no consequences (sp) to their actions. It is almost like you went out on a limb for someone, did a favor (doing the cake after they voided the contract with late payments) and then you get a thankless hateful review. (((((((((((hugs))))))))))) I hope things go better for you and that you do not lose any leads.

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hsmomma Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 2:08pm
post #15 of 15

Thanks for that response. I really appreciate it!

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