What a disaster!!
I need some advice or thought about what to do about this situation. It's nothing vegan-related though. Please bear with me during a long post, but I need to explain everything:
A very, very good friend of mine had a small, surprise wedding on Saturday. I live in Ontario, Canada and flew out to Nova Scotia (a couple of provinces over) to attend, and wound up taking on a ton of responsibilities to help out and essentially became the maid of honor.
Everything went pretty well.
Except for the cake.
My friend, the girl getting married, really likes to give opportunities to new business owners when possible, and this is what she did for her cake. It turned out to be a HUGE mistake...
Around 9am on the day of the wedding, on our way to her hair appointment, we get a call from the cake lady. She is calling to confirm the time she should arrive at the apartment with the cake (11:30am) and other such details. She's super upbeat and wishes my friend a good day, saying she'll see her at the selected time.
Around noon, a half hour late, the lady shows up. She forgot to bake the cake. I'm not kidding! She showed up, said she was really sorry, she forgot to bake the cake. She brought a Styrofoam version, covered in fondant. So it looked like a cake... but it wasn't a cake.
So she then says she has to go, she currently has the real cake in the oven, and doesn't want it to burn.
She returns around 3pm. (Please keep in mind the event was scheduled to begin one hour later, at 4pm.) She brings a cake in a box.
What was ordered: a red velvet cake with cream cheese icing*, covered in fondant, 3 layers
What was brought at 3pm: a chocolate cake with buttercream icing, no fondant, 2 layers.
*Please don't give me shit for the non-vegan cake, it wasn't my wedding and I had no say one way or the other.
So not only is the cake 3.5 hours late, but it's completely NOT what was ordered... and it's just in a box (not in any way decorated or set up as a wedding cake should - we were given a STYROFOAM ONE instead).
My friend does an amazing job handling all of this - never freaks out, never lost her temper. Said that's fine, thanks, and sent the lady on her way. We planned to deal with it after the ceremony, when she would email her and as a refund or at the very least, some money back. We didn't want to freak out an hour before the wedding - makes sense, right?
So the wedding goes as planned, it's was beautiful, etc.
It comes time to eat the cake. Someone takes a bite, feels something chewy, and pulls something out of their mouth - there is a 1"x1" square of RIBBON in the icing. ...Which is really special, because there was no ribbon on the cake. Where the hell did it come from?
So I fly back to Ontario last night. My friend emails the cake lady, explaining everything that was wrong, about the ribbon, etc etc.
My friend calls me this morning from Nova Scotia, completely in tears. The cake lady was a total bitch to her, said she wasn't giving her any money back because there was "nothing wrong with the cake" and she "brought it in time before the guests arrived." She completely denied there being any possibility that there was ribbon in the icing - she said she bought it pre-made from the grocery store. She turned into a complete bitch, insulted my friend, and refused to give any money back.
So, obviously this is a terrible woman with competely insane business tactics. Insult your customer? Refuse to acknowledge your mistakes? Give me a break.
A wedding is a pretty big deal to some, they only do it once in their life and expect things to go relatively smoothly. My friend doesn't have a lot of money, and doesn't think it's fair she should have to spend so much money on something when she didn't even get what she expected.
I doubt we'll get any money back (she paid 200$ for this cake - everything was completely wrong, and hell, the flowers she put on the styrofoam "cake were fake, for goodness sake), so we want to try to spread the word about the bad business. Yes, I suppose it's partly malicious, but truth be told her & I agreed that we don't want any other poor bride to have to go through this! This cake woman is a complete nightmare and I would hate for her to ruin anyone else's big day, and completely rip them off, money-wise.
Does anyone have any suggestions on how to spread the word? What would you do in this situation? My friend already said she will write a letter to her local paper with the name of the business and how the woman treated her. I'm a couple of provinces away but I was thinking of doing the same here, though I'm not sure how much good that would do. The cake lady has a website, and I suppose anywhere that allows online reviews could be beneficial as well...
Thank you for ANY input you may have! I feel so bad for my friend, I just can't get over the ridiculousness of this situation.