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?