Nightmare Customer...first Complaint

Business By Violet1 Updated 18 Feb 2016 , 1:53pm by Webake2gether

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Violet1 Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 2:19pm
post #1 of 13

I need advise on dealing with a customer.

This is the 3rd cake she has had from myself.

This was a last minute cake and only ordered 3 days before collection. I sent her a photo of it finished and very happy.

she never paid deposit after me asking her twice for it.

She was an hour late to collect on the Sunday.

3 days later she messaged me to ask if it's gluten free. as I alway do them for her....I had misread the email and I was indeed wrong...meant to be a normal vanilla sponge.

My big apologies and offered her a free cake to the value as a good will gesture.

She didn't stop there.....went on to say that all the cakes she had from there had been dry and is never coming back to me!!!

I put out 10 cakes a week and never had an issue.

I offered a full refund.

Was that the right thing to do?

12 replies
-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 3:35pm
post #2 of 13

i can see a full refund especially to stop the issue from escalating -- but i would rescind on the free cake --

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-K8memphis Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 3:37pm
post #3 of 13

also i would not recommend showing pictures in advance of delivery any more either -- can run you into difficulty --

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Natka81 Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 3:52pm
post #4 of 13

If she doesn't like your cakes, do you think a free cake would  satisfy her?

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jenmat Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 4:35pm
post #5 of 13

Last minute cakes are about 75% headache for me. Usually they want the Sun, Moon and Stars, for super cheap. So I just don't take them. 2 weeks is my policy, anything closer and it's at my discretion and that usually means it's not gonna happen. 

That said, this lady. Sheesh. Offer her the refund, and then stop communication. She's angry and just wants to emote. Give her the refund because it was your mistake and then do your best to move on. 

And I also agree on not showing pictures prior to delivery/pickup. Not that you shouldn't be proud, but colors show up differently on different screens in different light than they do in person. So you could be creating an issue where they are already disappointed when they come to pick up the cake (even though it's perfect in person), or they ask you to redo a perfectly matched cake that just doesn't look matched on screen. 

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leah_s Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 5:02pm
post #6 of 13

"No good deed goes unpunished."

Never, ever turn on your oven unless a cake is paid in full.  Ever.  For anyone.

If she didn't pay her deposit, how could you offer a refund?  You mean you cancelled payment?  And offered a free cake?

No.  Just no.

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1universe Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 6:14pm
post #7 of 13

I feel you Violet1.  

Did the customer take the refund? If she did, you dont owe her anything else (read NO FREE CAKE), even if it was your error. You've already made your big apologies. 

Nightmare customer indeed! Why order something you don't like 3times?!?

I agree 100% with Leah_s:  DO NOT turn on your oven for anyone if you haven't bern paid. Also with K8memphis:  DO NOT send photographs of your product to a customer prior to delivery. That's just opening the door to trouble no matter how perfect your cake. 

Consider this experience a (few) lesson(s) learned and get on with your creations.

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costumeczar Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 7:41pm
post #8 of 13

I assume that she paid for the cake when she picked it up, so that's what you're refunding? Honestly, I'd give her the full refund because you did a gluten-free cake when she didn't ask for one, so that was your mistake. HOWEVER, she sound like a pain, so I'd put her on the "no cake for you" list and not take any more orders from her. 

I also agree with Leah, you should never do a cake unless the deposit has been paid, and in the case of last-minute cakes, full payment should be collected before you do any work on the cake at all.

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MagicMoon Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 9:12pm
post #9 of 13

I live in a rural area which I often call "will you take a quarter for that-ville" because if you put a computer out at a garage sale for fifty cents nine out of ten people will ask if you'll take a quarter for it. Word travels here if you discount for complaints and I've had some orders I swear afterward only complained to get it free.  Some repeat customers have ordered last minute every time then stomped and yelled "Hurry!" while I'm trying to finish just to complain when they do get it. And they're always the ones who have no problem taking to social media to ruin you if they don't get it free.  This all ended when I gave away a wedding cake I was aleady discounting because the bride supposedly changed her mind about the design. Right after that, I read this article and realized I was facing issues everyone has to deal with. It might help you feel better about dealing with those customers who end up being more trouble than they're worth. It sure did help me!!!

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costumeczar Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 10:46pm
post #10 of 13

I find it ironic that the article uses a cartoon that someone copied from a cartoon tv show, probably without permission (since it's Deviantart), the person who wrote the article took it from the person who copied it without permission and didn't link back to it,  and then the next section in the article talks about copyrights. Just strikes me as a WTH moment.

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costumeczar Posted 16 Feb 2016 , 10:47pm
post #11 of 13

Also, I love the "will you take a quarter for that-ville." I live in "you can throw that in for free-ville" for people asking for free extras.

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810whitechoc Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 2:04am
post #12 of 13

"will you take a quarter for that-ville" made me lol.  

Its Thursday here just had somebody come in and ask for a 3D train for Monday.  I explained we were booked out and couldn't take her order told her a cake like that needs to be booked in at least 2-3 weeks ahead.  Her answer "Ï could do it myself but I don't have the time".  We looked at each other for a minute and I was trying desperately to not have the sentence "Öh no you can't" show on my face, lol. She finally said "So you won't help me?" I did the apologetic face thing and said No, I'm sorry I can't.  She then showed her true colours and was very angry - "It's not that difficult, I don't need it till Monday" etc etc in angry voice. 

Why is it that the last minute people are the ones who want the world but are the most painful?

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Webake2gether Posted 18 Feb 2016 , 1:53pm
post #13 of 13

@810whitechoc ‍ because we live in a world that suffers from the "it's all about me and what I want" mentality. Not everyone is like that and I'm not pegging the whole world to be like that but there are people who are like that and the number is growing quickly. I had a lady message me wanting an elaborate cake it had to be perfect with all the bling (her words not mine). When I asked her what her budget was she said nothing crazy. I quoted her and told her the level of design required a lot of time and extra cost in material. Never heard back from her. She was very demanding from the get go wanted it all and didn't want to pay the price for her elaborate taste. I quoted the cake a bit higher than normal bc if we were doing it I was going to get paid for dealing with her lol. People just assume that they can march into a business and demand someone help them no matter how ridiculous the request is. I don't know how you kept a straight face. Being in business has taught me how to better treat other people I don't think I was awful before or anything but I've certainly been more mindful of my requests and attitude when dealing with other businesses. Don't even get me started on why people complain lol. My husband said most times when people complain it's bc they just want to be heard. They unload their frustrations on you to make themselves feel better. I've been a stay at home mom for 8 years so this customer thing is relatively new to me but my husband works in service and deals with customers constantly and says some people will find anything to complain about it's unavoidable. I'd refund her for the gluten mistake and move on as fast as I could and tag her in the do not bake file. My refund policy is the item has to be returned for a refund to be considered so if you eat the whole thing it must not have been as  bad as you say it was lol. 

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