Dreams has been in business for over 13 years and like all business, we’ve made our share of mistakes. When we mess up, we do our best to make up for it and learn from it. Not everyone gives us a sterling review, but we do have a very high customer satisfaction rate. It stings when we’ve let a customer down, but what stings even more is an unfair review.
More and more, people base their impressions on what others say. Social media and word of mouth is our most powerful marketing tool. We focus all our effort and resources on building a community of happy and appreciative customers. We spend almost nothing on print or other costly marketing tools. A poor review definitely affects our business. If its justified, we respond apologetically and try to remedy the problem. If its not, we feel the need to defend ourselves.
The customer complaint written by Jennifer is an excellent example of an unfair review, which we feel the need to address. It is a clear example of someone being unable to take responsibility for her own misunderstanding and refusing to let up in her ridiculous and deceitful argument. If nothing else, it is a really amusing story.
Customer: Jennifer Lauren
Service used: Hosted a party for her daughter’s 2nd Birthday
Date: September 14, 2014
Initial complaint: Wrong cake ordered from Cakes by Robert
Our judgement: Absolutely ridiculous complaint
The Customer’s Review
We had our daughter’s birthday party at Dreams Playland and ordered all the food from them. We ordered a custom cake with princesses and castle with a clear image showing the design. When we put the order, 14 days in advance, Dreams confirmed with us about the design, price, size and all other details.
At our party, Dreams gave us a completely different cake, just a simple square cake with a drawing of castle on it, and charged us full price.
We notified Dreams at the moment that this is a wrong cake, but no staff from Dreams paid any attention to this. After the party, we tried to contact Dreams about this issue, they admitted they made a mistake, BUT they refused to give us any refund or apology. Instead, their attitude is very rude and intrusive. They told us since you had your cake time, you have to pay the full price.
I got shocked by the way they treat a customer who spent over $1000 for a two-hour party and left a tip over $100. We work very hard for our money. Being asked to pay for something completely nothing related to what we ordered, we don’t feel that’s right.
In terms of other aspects of this indoor playground, we had about 40 guests at our party and nobody showed any interest to come back to this place, without knowing this incident. The ‘unlimited pop’ just sit in some jars, without any label or ice. They were sitting there party after party, I didn’t see any staff refresh them. During the party, my guests constantly asked me what is in the jar. They took Sprite for water by mistake several times and gave it to the kids. The coffee machine was broken, no hot water coming from it. I spent quite a bit time trying to fix it, instead of greeting the guests or taking care of my kid.
I guess as a customer, when you walk into a place, you have your instinct to know if the owner care about you or not, and that’s why nobody from my party likes this place. I feel bad to waste my money and my guests’ time.
The Real Story
The customer called in a cake order with the following details: 9×13 Double Layter H/H Cake Image 142 *WANTS CASTLE IN PINK NOT BLUE* ” Happy 2nd Birthday Victoria” She was quoted $65 for the cake.
This was the design Cakes By Robert assumed our customer wanted:
This was the actual cake made for the customer according to their specifications:
This is the custom fondant cake they claim they ordered (later quoted by Cakes By Robert at nearly $1000):
How anyone would believe that they could get a custom cake like the one above for $65, is beyond comprehension, but even so, after a phone conversation with Jennifer, our email response was as follows:
Hi Adrian & Jennifer,
You requested a 9×13 cake with no mention of a custom cake. The fact that you didn’t like the cake is unfortunate. Most people love their cake including me. You mentioned that this ruined your party. That’s a very strong statement from someone that is looking for some kind of compensation.
We are always happy to serve our customers and our reputation is amongst the best in the industry. We do what we can when we make mistakes, which has happened and will continue to happen. We are not perfect and we are accountable for our mistakes. Most customers are grateful that a small family business like this exists. If you knew the energy and heart that went into this place, I believe you would not try to make us accountable for something that is partially your own confusion.
However, I will offer you what you asked for. You mentioned that you have the full 9×13 cake in tact. If so, please return it and I will provide you with a full refund.
The response we got is lengthy and came from Jennifer’s husband, but in it he states
“Indeed we were happy with the other food, service, facilities and in fact we left a tip to reflect that. We could have easily held back the tip which was more than the value of the cake, but we did not want to hold the entire staff responsible for the mistake of one person. However you, as the business owner should take responsibility for that, as you are ultimately in charge of the entire operation. This is not about the money, it’s about what’s right and what’s wrong, and that’s why we will not let this go”.
He also confirms that Jennifer lied to us on the phone about the cake barely being touched and still having the remains. The truth is the cake was eaten by the party and everyone seemed to have enjoyed it.
The fact that Jennifer goes on to bash other elements of our service in her review, is completely contradictory to what she and her husband had to say. They confirmed that we did a great job with everything and that the cake was the only issue.
Not that it matters, but our pop machine was refrigerated and we used to offer unlimited pop at a cost. If a customer had an issue with the temperature, they could easily ask for a new pitcher. We’ve discontinued our pop since then and now offer 3 complimentary flavours of juice dispensed from a refrigerated machine. It’s true that we don’t offer ice..
The coffee machine part is quite funny. The coffee machine in room 1 doesn’t dispense hot water. The coffee machine brews coffee and is tended to by our staff. There is a water filtration system set up beside it that does. We have a contract with City Water, which includes service and filter changes twice a year. The hot water dispenser does have a child safety mechanism on it to prevent possible injury to children. The odd time, people struggle to push the lever in before pushing it down, but they’ll usually ask someone, and obviously our staff are able to show the customer how the safety works. It’s quite unfortunate that Jennifer took so much time from her party to try to fix something that wasn’t broken. Next time she should just ask.
More than anything else, we care about our customer’s experience, but we also feel deserving of appreciation. It is not an easy business and the fact that we have been doing it for as long as we have, with plenty of grateful customers, is a testament to our care and effort.
The story goes on, but some of you may have lost interest by now. Jennifer went on to file a complaint with the ministry of consumer services, which we responded to. We haven’t heard back from the ministry since. In her complaint she states:
“We have tried our best effort so far to talk to Dreams and CakeByRobert, but we didn’t get any apology or compensation. As a mom who just delivered a baby one month ago, instead of taking care of my newborn baby or dealing with my postpartum recovery, I had to keep calling Dreams and CakeByRobert in front of my baby. The bad words and attitude from Dreams and CakeByRobert hurt me so much, I feel so hopeless and frustrated. I couldn’t sleep in the night, thinking about how badly Simon(owner of Dreams play land) and Michelle (manager of CakeByRober) talking to me. My sleeplessness directly affected my milk supply for my baby, thus her health and development. The whole situation made me extremely depressed.”
Shame on you Jennifer for writing such a deceitful review, and for allowing something so trivial to apparently take over your life in such a profound way. At no point where we unprofessional or rude. We certainly did not use “bad” words.
Jennifer, you are quite the drama queen, but given the fact that you just delivered a baby at the time and may have let your emotions get the better of you, we don’t hold it against you. Instead, we send you much love, and embrace the opportunity to defend a rare and unjustified negative review.