M&S Wedding Cupcake Disappointment – Twice!

posted in: Food & Drink, General Post | 3

A few weeks ago a friend of mine announced she was getting married.  She and her partner have been together for many years, and decided it was about time to get the piece of paper.  So a date was set, and they got organising.  They wanted a small wedding, an intimate celebration with family and friends.

Back on 2nd September Dawn ordered 48 Belgian Chocolate Cupcakes from Marks and Spencer for £35.  These would make the wedding cake.  They were quite specific in what they wanted – and this order fulfilled the brief perfectly.  The order was placed online and would be available to collect on 28th September – the day before the wedding.  They also ordered some cupcake boxes to match.

The other evening Dawn’s cousin was asking about the wedding cake and Dawn gave her the details to look online.  She came back to say she couldn’t find them, so Dawn had a look herself.  They had disappeared.  How strange.  Wondering where they had gone, Dawn phoned Marks and Spencer (this was Thursday morning) to check all was ok, and to her shock she was told those cakes had been discontinued and so were no longer going to be available to them.  Oh, and they weren’t honouring orders already placed.  Say what?!

Dawn asked when they were going to contact her to let her know, as it was now two weeks before the wedding.  The reply?  They had a list and would have got round to calling her before the day!  Right!  She was advised to choose another type of cupcake instead, which had, incidentally, gone up in price by £13.  Dawn decided (because of time) to order the Strawberry Cupcakes instead, and M&S agreed to honour the original price.  Crisis averted.


Last night Dawn went online to show her cousin the “new” cakes she’d ordered.  Er… where were they?  Fearing the worst, Dawn telephoned Marks and Spencer this morning (Sunday) to find out… they had been discontinued too!

You are joking!!!

So now, with just eight working days until her big day, Dawn is left with no wedding cake.  Again!

Making her own isn’t an option, and price is a big concern so the local bakers are out (and they couldn’t help at short notice anyway).  So a few of us started looking around, and another friend found something interesting on the Tesco website.  Dawn phoned Tesco and unfortunately they can’t order in the number she was after (just 48), but they recommended Waitrose (yes they did!).  Thankfully Dawn has now got a couple of options – one is Waitrose and another is a cake-baking-friend, but this is no thanks to M&S.

I really don’t understand how this happened.  Twice.  If Dawn’s cousin hadn’t asked about the cakes – both times – she would have happily got to 28th September, arrived to collect her order, only to find then that she was without a wedding cake.  M&S say they would have “got round” to phoning her – but why was there no sense of urgency?  Dawn has discovered that M&S knew on 4th September that there was a problem with the first cake order – just two days after she placed the order and a massive 10 days before Dawn phoned to check the status – that’s AGES ago and would have given Dawn nearly a month to find replacements.

Some questions for you Marks and Spencer if you please:

  • Why was it not a priority to telephone customers who had placed an order to let them know of the problem with your supply? Why did it rely on Dawn noticing they were missing from the website and calling to find out if everything was ok?
  • How did you not know that the cupcakes Dawn ordered on Thursday (following the first cancelled order, and on your advice) were to be discontinued at the weekend?  Surely you had an idea?
  • How, knowing by this point that these were for Dawn’s wedding, did you not pay extra attention to this order to make sure she was not disappointed a second time?  Could you not have, at the very least, telephoned her as soon as you realised this new order could now not be fulfilled?

What I don’t understand is that Marks and Spencer is well known for high quality produce and good customer service.  What this has shown is that there are exceptions – and for Dawn very upsetting and stressful ones.  I know that Dawn has contacted various people about this but I wanted to post it here on Splodz Blogz as a warning – if you’ve ordered something from M&S don’t just expect it to be there when agreed… make sure you double check.  Actually, maybe you shouldn’t bother ordering cakes from M&S at all, just go somewhere else, just in case.

They have lost Dawn’s trust and respect through this and I know many friends who have found this disgusting and terrible and as a result will not use M&S for cakes ever again.  Reputation is nothing if you can’t fulfil a simple cake order.

Update 21st September

Dawn has spoken to M&S again and they have now said that their suppliers can indeed fulfil the order (a bit of an about turn).  However they have not apologised for messing her about and have not offered any compensation (she is still having to pay for the cakes).  Surely you can see this deserves at least an apology?

3 Responses

  1. Jim

    I totally understand where your coming from. Wasn’t great at all. However having worked in retail before, (3 of the big supermarkets) it happens at all of them. I know this was a huge day for this lady, but I personally have always found M&S and their staff the best around (majorityanyway!) . There’ll always unfortunatel be mishaps (in this case your friend::(..)

    I hope the day went well and you managed get your cake(s)!


  2. cshimmon

    I must say, that actually we had a problem with M&S cakes too- nowhere near as bad, but maybe this case isn’t so isolated?

    We ordered my son’s dedication cake from them, a noah’s ark- which they still sell. I went to collect as arranged at 3pm the day before, and when they brought it out to me, part of the decoration (an elephant!) had become detached and rolled around over all the writing, damaging the words and staining part of the poor elephant red.

    I was unable to repair it unfortunately and although it did taste absolutely fabulous, I was upset with the response I received from them regarding the damage. this was less than a day before the event, no-one from the store had contacted me to let let me know the damage had occurred when it arrived in store the morning before- 30 hours before I collected, at which point I might have been able to do something about it. Then when I collected it they said ‘do you still want it?’ well what else was I going to do- it was far too late to organise anything else.

    They did give me a £5 voucher, but the cake cost much more and I felt like I had no choice to accept it as I couldn’t see any physical way they could actually remedy the problem.

    Maybe the cakes operation at m&s needs looking at?

  3. Angec2011

    omg even reading this blog input i have to say i wouldnt order cakes from m&s, one thing i find in any business isnt always the thousands of pounds of advertising magazines bill boards and twiggy on their media advertising on tv, but word of mouth!

    for the bride to be on the first order being bad not only did she have to find out by her cousin but also being offered a replacement that was going to be cancelled id have just told them where to stick it, as for the poster regarding the noahs ark cake id have just told them where to stick it too and asked for your whole money back, yes i know its not easy if you havent got anybody to make you one asap

    luckily for me i have a lovely mother who loves baking cakes and decorating them so if i ask for something i am likely to get it and i also have a lovely partner that despite the fact i can make as good a cake as him he can decorate it much better and most organisations use fondant icing eugh, prefer royal icing or butter icing not that fake stuff

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