The Customer Commented On Facebook Today

Decorating By pattycakes55d Updated 7 Apr 2010 , 2:34am by Bannette

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pattycakes55d Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 7:01am
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that she would not recommend me to anyone. This is where I receive almost 90% of my orders. I have a big PR issue here. What should I do now?

1. customer wanted a birthday cake from a pic. It was a very detailed cake. Open book with one side handwriting and flowers/vines around the words and on the right a pretty carriage. The cake had simple gold scrolling around it and the sides were gold as well. I will try and post.

Client wanted cake at 2 pm. I was delayed and cake was picked up at 4:15. Party started at 4 pm.

There were many things that contributed to the cake being delivered late which I may get into later. Here's what happened.

At 1:30 pm I called customer and told her I would be delayed. she said ok since party did not start until 4 pm. I told her I would call her again to keep her up to date.

Now it's 3:45 pm. I call customer to tell her that she could pick it up. That the cake looked great even though the cake was not exactly as shown in the pic. Didn't put all the decorations on the carriage like the pic had. I didn't put gold luster around the cake pages and little scrolls on top.

The cake looked good, but not as elaborate as the pic.

I said that I was taking $100.00 off the price as the cake was not as detailed as it should be and for being late. She said thank you a few times.

The original cake price was $275 for 80 people. I actually think I miscalculated the cake portions and gave her more. The cake was 20 x 15 and I made two cakes per side so she got double the amount right?

I was just sick all day and night. I was originally so excited to make this cake and her receiving it. I was so disappointed.

Today, on facebook (which is where I get 90% of my business) she said that she would not recommend the lady who made her bday cake to anyone. She said:

"The price was not the problem. But the problem was that I was supposed to get it at 2 but didn't get it till 4:30! When my party was starting! I was PISSED! Then to top it off, on the way to pick it up THEN she chose to tell me she didn't finish it! It still looked nice but not what I had expected and the fondant tasted like shit. The ... See Morecake itself was good but didn't like the fondant at all! Everyone else said it was REALLY good but I didn't think so..... Whatever it was different, no one had seen a cake like that before and it had the impression I had hoped for and I guess I was really the only one who knew that it wasn't finished because I knew what I had asked for so I'm the only one who knew the difference but was disappointed... I'll post pics as soon as the photographer gives them to me."

Here's the link to the cake she wanted made. This beautiful cake is made by linstead on CC.

Obviously she is not satisfied or she wouldn't have written. I thought I was more than fair. It's going to come out somewhere that I did the cake and it's my reputation. I'm quite concerned and don't know what my next step is.

I was so distraught I didn't even think to take a picture. I guess she will supply one this week. Would like your opinions as what you suggest to do next: acknowledge her comment and reply, leave it or ......?

57 replies
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hazelhuney Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 7:42am
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Im sorry to hear that, whatever you do just keep your cool with her & remember the customer always comes first even if they are wrong. I would say give her a day or two either msg her call her and explain to her everything and hopefully she will understand and change her status!

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Nacnacweazel Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 8:02am
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I am so sorry. My thoughts are that this particular woman was/is already stressed out from the party and, unfortunately, the backlash was taken out on you. She did state that every one else at the party loved that cake. Everyone else loved the way it looked and tasted. She admitted that she is the only one who didn't like it...and it sounds like she was probably in a mood that she wasn't going to like anything at that point. Like my grandfather always says, "Some people will b**ch, even if you hang'em with a new rope." I agree with hazelhuney. Give it a couple of days, then contact the customer. By then, she will have had time to possibly cool off and will feel differently about the whole thing and, it will show that you truely care about your work and your customers. I, personally, would not "admit" outright any guilt or try to make any excuses for anything that may have happened, but would acknowledge that she is/was upset and that i am truely sorry about that fact. We can't please everyone all the time. icon_wink.gif

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noahsmummy Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 8:09am
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Follow rule one of working in retail...NEVER ADMIT TO THE CUSTOMER THAT YOU ARE WRONG. acknowlege them sure! you must. but never admit that YOU are to blame. this equals bad business.

I would follow the advice of one of the other posters who said give it a few days for the customer to cool down. Then i would contact her, and politley say that you saw her recent facebook status. Just say that you are very sorry for what she was not happy with, ask her why the fondant tasted bad (what was it about it?...(when i read that i was thinking. ummm... most fondant tastes bad?? maybe shes never had it before?? =/)) anyway, just politley say you saw the status, and you were under the impression that she was fine with the order. I wouldnt offer further discount if i were you.. you already pretty much gave the cake at half price...=/

good luck!

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pumpkinroses Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 9:30am
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I just looked at the cake she wanted. It is a beautiful cake (I know my DD would love it). Although, reading your post, she ordered the cake for herself, I kinda got the impression she has been a "princess" all her life and wouldn't have been happy with anything you gave her, regardless if it was finished or not. It's almost like she was just throwing a tantrum.

I'm sure you had your reasons why you were held up and from time to time that is going to happen. We can't control everything in life. You gave her the discount already and she did get the cake. Like Nacnacweazel said she did state that everyone else at the party loved it.

Follow the advice of the others and wait a few days, let her calm down, and then call and politely ask her about the post and what she didn't like about the cake.

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dalis4joe Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 10:31am
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is that the cake she wanted? if so... do u have a pic of the cake you did?

That's NOT kewl... being a little late is not an issue that she needed to badmouth you for... AND ok the cake wasn't as elaborate as she requested... but you discounted 100.00!!!! helloooo that's a whole lotta money for a discount lady...

Sometime people don't realize how their comment can affect someone's bus....

PS... If I was you... under what she wrote... I would "kill'em with kindness" don't play the blame game (as stated before) say you are sorry SHE FEELS THAT WAY and something along the lines of... "I hope that the discount we gave you more than compensates for your feelings... etc..."

Good Luck...

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KarmaStew Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 10:34am
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It wasn't a 'little' late, it was 2 hours and fifteen minutes late. Her party had already started. I'd be POd as well.

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noahsmummy Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 10:37am
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yes, love the idea of writting under the status! be really nice! or just apologise again there! say something like, im so sorry, what didnt you like about the fondant.. ra ra raa.

however, be carefull with what you write and how you say. things can EASILY be taken the wrong way over good old fb!

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Kims_cakes Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 10:43am
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I completely agree with dalis4joe. Kill her with kindness. She sounds like a princess, who will never be happy, therefore you will never "win" with her.

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artscallion Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 11:13am
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Originally Posted by noahsmummy

Follow rule one of working in retail...NEVER ADMIT TO THE CUSTOMER THAT YOU ARE WRONG. acknowlege them sure! you must. but never admit that YOU are to blame. this equals bad business.

I don't understand the logic of this and wonder what you can gain from it. I think that's the worst thing a business can do. If they were to blame, they should stand up, admit it and fix it if they can.

It drives me nuts when a business does something wrong but refuses to admit it. When they "acknowledge" me but won't admit that they're wrong feels patronizing. This always results in my badmouthing them even more, as well as never buying from them again.

I know it's common practice. But I think it has the exact opposite result that they intend it to.

(I'm not referring to OP here. It sounds like she tried to do the right thing throughout)

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KarmaStew Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 11:18am
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Last week, I made a customer a round cake instead of a square. how could I possibly NOT admit I was wrong? It said square on the order form and I had a brainfart and made a round. She loved it anyway and before she could even comment I had offered her a discount (there's an enormous difference between ROUND and SQUARE). She'll be back.

The fact that YOU miscalculated and gave her more cake than needed shouldn't even be a part of this equation.

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Eisskween Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 12:35pm
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Bottom line, you didn't abide by what was contracted and she has every right to feel the way she does.

1. It was not ready at the agreed time. (You are running a business and the customer doesn't care what problems you have, they expect to get what they ordered, when the ordered it.)

2. It was not the design as promised.

A discount doesn't take away from the fact that she didn't get what she wanted, when she wanted it.

Chalk it up to a lesson learned and try next time to deliver what is promised and avoid this type of situation.

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Jenny0730 Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 12:41pm
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Did she make the comment on your wall or did she put it in HER status?

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tarheelgirl Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 12:51pm
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In my opinion, you did owe her something for being that late! I do agree with what was said.. you are running a business.. things do happen and we are not all perfect. If it were me I would have found someone who could have delivered it to her on time. Anyone! Honestly, it doesn't matter if she was a "princess" all her life or not.. she contracted you to make the cake and she spent a good amount of money on what she wanted. I NEVER tell someone the cake will be exactly like the photo they show me. Not one cake will ever be the same. I always tell my customer it may have the same design elements but I don't copy other bakers work and I always put my own twist on anything that goes out. With that being said, her guest did love the look/taste of the cake.

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hluterbach Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 1:01pm
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my thought would be if you are late with a cake and the cunstomer's party has already started don't make them leave their party to pick it up. offer to deliver it. i personally would be really pissed if i had to leave my party as the host to pick up a cake that was supposed to be ready over 2 hours prior. the discount you gave was huge and as the customer that would have made up for the problems for me but i would be pissed if you made me come and pick it up. just my thoughts. and honestly i didn't think her post was that bad. that wouldn't necessarily deter me from ordering a cake from you in the future.

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all4cake Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 1:20pm
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I wouldn't stress over her comment...she did add positive notes in it (although, she did leave out the $100 discount in price...can you post a response like, Again, I am truly sorry for the delay of the cake and the missing details. I had hoped the discounted price would've alleviated some of the frustration I'd caused you. or send her a PM).

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Bonnell Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 1:28pm
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I also hate the adage, "never admit you are wrong". That to me is horrible customer service. I don't work in retail but I do work in a service industry where I deal with people all day, everyday. Our organization stresses customer service to the extreme and we are told if we make a mistake to apologize and to instigate service recovery stategies. That usually mollifies even the most unhappy customers.

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Eisskween Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 1:46pm
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Originally Posted by Bonnell

I also hate the adage, "never admit you are wrong". That to me is horrible customer service. I don't work in retail but I do work in a service industry where I deal with people all day, everyday. Our organization stresses customer service to the extreme and we are told if we make a mistake to apologize and to instigate service recovery stategies. That usually mollifies even the most unhappy customers.

I prefer "Admit if you are wrong and work together to make it right." The other way leaves a sour taste in their mouths and trust me, it will come back to bite you when word gets around that you made mistakes and refuse to own up to them.

Admitting you made a mistake is part of being an ADULT.

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dreamcakesmom Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 1:57pm
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Not sure if this customer posted something on your facebook page or if it was a status on her own? If it is on yours then you may want to eliminate the ability for customers to write publicly. If it is hers it's a lesson in business. I am a cake maker but I am also a mother of 2 little girls. I would have been upset about he timing but more so would have been upset that the design was not what I requested.

Typically when someone sends me a picture of someone else's work I always give them a caveat that it is not my work and thus will not be identical. Handwriting is never the same, even the techniques used will produce somewhat of a different cake. So I would add that to your consultation coversation. A discount is the right thing to do but even so we can not expect the discount to erase a mothers disappointment.

Lastly I would let sleeping dogs lie with the facebook page. The damage is done. Assume her friends saw the post already and you posting more info, and potentially getting her fired up again will not look good for you as a professional. Maybe sending her a personal email, not even mentioning facebook,m apologizing again for the errors and saying you hope you can do business again and if she's willing you would love to give her a 10% discount.

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ccr03 Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 1:59pm
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Price wasn't/isn't the issue. Putting a "hope the discount helped" comment would piss me off more. It's insulting to think that price is the only thing that matters. She didn't get what she wanted and it was more than two hours late - not cool. She has a right to be mad.

I'd send her a message admitting you screwed up and ask if there is anything you can do to make it better. Then IF you come to resolve - comment on her status saying - sorry for the mix-up, glad we could work it out.

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Rosa2745 Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 2:30pm
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I once took too many orders and was really stuggling with time. My hubby was suppose to meet a lady with her cake...he was an hour late. I felt so bad about it because I didn't get to finish it the way I wanted and it was late. My cousin attended the party and she said she was pleased with the cake's design and flavor but she did make it a point to say it was LATE. She never ordered from me again. It was a lesson learned.

I now make sure I am EARLY. Even if it means waking at the crack of dawn to finish a cake. I know you feel bad but we are human and things happen. Take it as a lesson learned and move on from it. At least she did say some good comments about the cake. You did your part and gave her a good discount for the cake.

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all4cake Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 2:43pm
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the comment would be made so others would know that there was an attempt to make things right (not that there's anything that would make it right right 'cause it's done)...but the way the comment is, if left alone, would leave others to think that the OP didn't care that she was late and didn't complete the design...and although the price wasn't the issue, the customer accepted the DEEP discount as compensation (and said thank you a few times...seriously, if I were pissed, I wouldn't be so polite as to thank someone for something that wasn't an issue to begin with...) for the OP's goofs.

(I'm not saying the customer should or shouldn't be pissed...I was responding to OP's question as to what to do now that the comment had been made)

Frankly, at this point, I wouldn't give two shakes if I pissed her off further...she's done said she wouldn't recommend her on a public forum...

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elliespartycake Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 2:44pm
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I'm really sorry that this happened to you. Try to respond to her facebook post with another apology.
Having said that, if I were in her place I'd be pissed to leave my party to pick up a late cake that isn't what I ordered. I know that problems arise, but we need to be careful what we commit to do.

Under promise and over deliver!

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all4cake Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 2:57pm
post #24 of 58

I about the ever popular...

Apologize profusely and give her 10% off a future order


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costumeczar Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 3:22pm
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I don't understand the comments about the customer being a princess. The cake wasn't delivered on time and it wasn't what she ordered. The discount was nice, and it's nice that the other people at the party liked the cake, but the only person who needs to like the cake is the one who paid for it. Since you don't have photos we can't really be judges about the type of work it was, or how it compares to the original...

I'd just apologize to her again, it's all you can do. If she chooses to give you a bad referral you just need to take it as a lesson learned and handle things differently next time.

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snarkybaker Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 3:43pm
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There are some people who just like to complain. We had a yelp review recently that said our cake " didn't match the sketch she was provided" nad that our counter worker " didn't seem concerned when she mentioned it", and yet she gave us a 4 out of 5 star review... that said

You gave her more than ample reasons to complain, and you knew that she was on Facebook, because that is how she found you, so guess what, you own this one and absolutely deserve the complaint.

I would not continue to apologize. You did what you could.You just need to learn your lesson about over-scheduling and taking on a cake that is beyond your skill level. Part of being a professional is acting professionally when things go wrong. I think you owe her a 100% refund ( since she didn't get what she ordered) and move on.

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smokeysmokerton Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 4:06pm
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I agree that you should email her and apologize profusely. I'd mention that I'd seen her post on facebook and that I honestly didn't realize that she was that upset about it, and that had I known, I wouldn't have charged her at all. You should explain that you just overbooked, and that it is completely your fault, and that you can't change what happened but would be glad to refund her money or make her another cake to show her that under normal circumstances your cakes are beautiful and on time. I think that most people understand that things happen especially when you take the time to acknowledge your mistake and give a heartfelt apology.

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tiggy2 Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 4:13pm
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I agree with costumeczr and snarkybaker 100%! It doesn't matter if you gave her twice as much cake, you didn't give her what she ordered and it wasn't delivered as promised. I don't have a business but even for a free cake I would have moved moutains to make sure it was there on time if I promised it would be. If the shoe were on the other foot how would you react? Suppose it's your wedding day and the baker calls and says they can't deliver the cake, even though it's already late, but you can pick it up at a discount, then you find out it isn't the design you ordered. You can bet your bottom dollar my panties would be in a bunch and I'd be telling every one I nk it was fair to the customer?know to never order from that baker. You seem to think it's not fair to you.......but do you think it was fair to the customer that was counting on you?

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Kiddiekakes Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 4:25pm
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Although I agree with most of what has been posted I don't agree however that the customer used that forum to make a complaint.She should have emailed you directly and personally and not for everyone to see and spoken to you regarding the issues.You have apologized etc and given a discount so I think it is done and over.I have had one complaint and a few ignorant comments about my cakes(trolls) on my freeweb guestbook but I was able to delete them.Maybe you can do the same with the facebook comment..I don't know!

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kizrash Posted 5 Apr 2010 , 6:26pm
post #30 of 58

I agree if I was the customer I would be a bit pi$$ed but if as the OP said and explained, 'I had been sick all day and night' and was struggling with feeling like sh$t, while doing her best to get this cake done then I as the customer would have been a lot more understanding. The OP did her best, I bet we've all had bad days and struggled to get orders done while feeling like cr$p. JMHO

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