Dear PoPville – I Bought a Moldy Cake. I want an Apology and my Money Back, All My Money Back

by Prince Of Petworth April 27, 2012 at 10:30 am 1,007 210 Comments

Dear PoPville,

I’ve lived in Mt. Pleasant for 8 years and love my neighborhood. I try my best to buy from the local mom and pop shops that line Mt. Pleasant St because I feel it’s important to support the businesses that keep Mt. P the great community that it is. I buy my wine from Sambers, my hardware supplies from Pfeiffer’s (Old School Hardware now), grab drinks at Marx, eat at Adam’s Express… all wonderful establishments with kind and friendly people I’ve grown to love. But yesterday, the abusive relationship I’ve endured with Heller’s Bakery for the past 8 years finally came to a head. I’ve endured their surly service, dealt with their unfriendly staff, and sustained snippy comments all because they make a somewhat edible bagel and a half-decent cookie. But no more. The story that follows is so appalling, I felt the need to share what this abusive local business is really like.

Yesterday morning around 8:30 am, I stopped by Heller’s Bakery to pick up a cake for my coworkers’s going away party. I selected a $29 black forest cake and got 2 lbs of cookies for a total of $47 worth of baked goods. Per the usual Heller’s customer service style, the staff made me feel like I had troubled them by asking that they select the 2 lbs of cookies and place them in a box. Something they were unable to do and kept asking me what kind of cookies I wanted.

Around 4:00 pm that same day, my coworkers and I gather in one of our conference rooms. After our warm well wishes, it was cake time! The cake looked great and everyone commented how wonderful it looked. So the guest of honor cut into the black forest cake and started serving slices. As they were passed around someone remarked that there were green spots on their slice. At this point the first couple of people served had started eating their slices. As more slices of the cake were cut and the interior of the cake was revealed, the smell came. A putrid, ghastly ordor I still can’t get it out of my nose. The inside of the cake was covered in green mold. I was embarrassed, apologized to all of my coworkers and vowed go to Heller’s to get an explanation to what happened.

I took what was left of the cake, boxed it back up and took it home with me. That evening around 6:30 pm I walked into an empty Heller’s and grabbed the attention of two workers behind the counter. I explained what had happened and showed them the putrid cake. They were disgusted. I asked for my money back but was told that the owner and manager were not there and that I would need to return in the morning if I wanted a refund. They couldn’t help me, but they would certainly be able to help me in the morning. I said fine, I’d be back.

In the morning, I lugged back the stinky cake, that I’d double bagged to keep the stench from overtaking my apartment, and walked into a crowed Heller’s around 8:30 am. The surly guy (let’s call him Bob) that sold me the cake was there but he was with a customer. I managed to get the attention of another worker and asked to speak with the owner or her manager. She barely looked at me and said that the owner won’t be in until about 10am. I explained that I had purchased a cake from Bob the day before and proceeded to show it to her. Like her evening coworkers the day prior, she too made a disgusted face. She decided to call Bob over, but Bob couldn’t be bothered. He buttered a bagel, made a coffee, rung up a customer, anything but come over. In the meantime, I told Bob’s coworker that I wanted my $47 back, which he heard, and yelled over to me that the cake was only $29 and that would be all I’d be getting. I explained that I wanted all of my money back, including the cost of the cookies that had purchased. I asked Bob to please come over and look at the cake he had sold me. He begrudgingly walked over, looked at the cake, and said… “oh wow.” Yes, “oh wow” indeed! So I repeated that I wanted all of my money back–$47. He apologized, asked for my credit card, and proceeded to process what I thought was a credit for the total amount. When he handed me my card and a receipt back I realized that had only given me a $29 credit. I told him that I refused to leave until I got all of my money back–not just the $29 for the cake–but ALL of my money. He told me that he couldn’t do that because I was returning a cake and I would need to speak to the owner about the cookies. At this point a woman who had been watching all of this asked what was wrong with the cake. So I showed her and the other customers waiting in line. They were disgusted… yet the Heller’s worker still refused to reimburse me for the total amount and asked that I leave my name and number and the owner would return my call. He also insisted that he would show him the cake.

Well, it’s almost 11:00 pm and I’m still waiting for a call from the owner. All I want is an explanation, compensation for my troubles, and a real apology. Simple customer service.

Do you think the OP should have been refunded for his entire purchase or just the cake? Do you think the OP should get an a phone call and apology from the owner?


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