I remember watching a TV Programme a couple of years ago about a British Mum who proudly bragged about the scams she pulled to get her family groceries free of charge.
One scam involved buying goods which were marked as “Try Me For Free: Buy this product and if you are not fully satisfied you can get a full refund.“. Irrespective of whether she liked the product or not, she always asked for her money back.
Another woman took a small vial of washing up liquid with her whenever she ate out. Just as she was nearing the end of her meal she would secretly squirt washing up liquid onto the food, and then complain to the waiter – asking for a full refund.
Personally, I don’t care whether you’re scamming a large company or a small one: It’s all unethical and tantamount to theft.
Thankfully, the vast majority of customers you and I will come across are honest. But how can we protect ourselves against the minority few who are determined to get their cake for free?
How to protect your business against Cake Scammers?
What’s a Cake Scammer?
A Cake Scammer is someone who never intends to pay for their cake: Their intention from day one is to get a full refund, irrespective of how good the cake is.
For example, Stephanie Gemino (a cake Decorator at a grocery store bakery) explained on our Facebook Page:
“Well, the “policy” at this particular place is to always say yes…it IS within reason. but there will be some cake requests that people don’t want to pay for…they are able to go to management and complain if their cake isn’t perfectly correct and then get it for free. Or we have one lady that orders cakes from us…very elaborate and always last min…she never picks them up, we really don’t know what her deal is. But basically, since we have this type of policy the customers can make any kind of complaint or ask for the cake to be free and they pretty much get what they want.”
Cake Scammers and Cake Decorators
This scam isn’t exclusively saved for grocery store bakeries.
What’s stopping one of your clients making an unjustified claim that your cake was stale, or undercooked, or tasteless? What are you doing to protect your business against the (thankfully rare) curse of the Cake Scammer?
How to protect your business
Firstly, a big SHOUT OUT to Mary Dronkers of Charmed Cakes in Florida for sharing this fabulous tip.
This is what she advises:
“I keep a sample of the cakes I sell.
I take a small bit of cake, along with the filling and icing, and put in one of the 4 inch souffle cup. Put a lid on it, date it and put the client’s name on it. And place in freezer. If I don’t hear anything by following Monday, I toss it.
I had one customer complain, I told her to bring her sample of my cake in, bcuz I also have a sample of it. She never showed up. All she said was, nevermind.”
Great advice, Mary, which I just had to share!
So, how do you insure yourself against Cake Scammers?
… You might also like Cake Complaints and How To Deal With Them.