My Episode with @Wondermilk Dan Cuppacakes @wondermilkcafe

August 01, 2011

I am very disappointed.

Disappointed with a brand I've admired for many many years.

Loved their cupcakes. But now, don't think I'm ever going back there again.

Why, you ask me? Well, let me story.

Last Tuesday (26th July 2011), I went to their Citta Mall outlet to get cupcakes. It was my second visit to that particular outlet. My first visit was just the week before that for lunch with some colleagues. Yes, food was yummy. Cupcakes was yummy. But as we were choosing the cupcakes, saw some "friends" hanging out in the cupcakes rack. There were not many, like maybe one or two where I saw them, so I did not say anything then.

Back to the story, last Tuesday, I was at Citta Mall for dinner and before leaving, I decided to grab some yummy cupcakes for dessert. When I was queuing up next to the cupcake rack, I now saw that the "friends" I met has bravely "invited" more friends to hang out. This time, as it was obviously more than five, I just had to say something to the staff there. But to my amazement, not only that the staff did not apologise or explain anything, they merely pulled out the tray I pointed, "looked" at the array of cupcakes on that tray, and shoved the tray back to its place. But well, as I still wanted to have cupcakes that night, I went ahead and bought half dozen of them to take home.

I thought all was well. Then when I was browsing my Facebook wall, one of their post appeared on my wall and so I thought, maybe I should comment just in case they are not aware of this problem. So I did.

My initial post on their Facebook fan page was (cannot remember the exact words coz they DELETED my post on their fan page wall):

Dear Wondermilk. Been to your outlet @ Citta Mall twice and both time I saw insects flying around inside the cupcakes rack. When I mention this to your staff on duty at that time, no one could give me answer.
(I hope that this post will not be deleted @lolachin)

Not long after (maybe a couple of days after that post), I received a PM (private message) on Facebook from Wondermilk Dan Cuppacakes.

28 July 2011

Wondermilk Dan Cuppacakes

hello there,
thank you for your feedback we truly appreciate it. for any complaints or suggestions, we strongly advise you to call or email us directly and speak to a manager in charge. its unfair to embarass us with your snide remarks on our public wall when you could have easily contacted us directly via email or phone.

our email address and phone number is available under the info tab in facebook and also on our website

anyhow, with regards to your complaint, we are very sorry about your recent experience. rest assured that we are aware of this situation and am doing our best in solving it.

if you could give us the exact date, time and location of your experience it would be very helpful.

our sincere apologies again.
thank you.

My response:

Michelle Ho

Dear Wondermilk,

Firstly, thank you for your response. However, I think my comment was fair and not 'snide' like you said as I was merely commenting what I saw while I was there. I believe, by having a public facebook wall, you should be open to both positive and negative comments from your 'fans'. It's the way you respond to these comments that will make the difference.

If you are referring the 'snide' comment based on the (bracketed 'deleted' comment), reason for that was because a friend of mine posted a comment on your wall sometime back, and later status-ed message that her comment was deleted from your wall. I was hoping that mine will not get the same treatment as I seriously did not want insects flying around the cupcakes I was gonna buy.

My first time to your outlet @ Citta Mall was last week during lunch, not sure if it was it a Monday or Tuesday where I already saw one or two insects flying around inside the cupcake rack. My 2nd time to your Citta Mall outlet was just last Tuesday (26 July 2011) when I packed the cupcakes back home. This time I had to comment this to your staff as there were more that 5-6 insects at difference spots in the cupcake rack, and it was to obvious to ignore. When I commented this to your staff on duty there, they merely pulled the tray out, 'shoo-ed' the insects away and placed the tray back into the rack. Obviously I did not get any cupcake from that batch.

I seriously hope that this matter could be remedied coz as much as I love your cupcakes, this experience would deter me from visiting your outlet (especially the Citta Mall outlet) if the problem is still there.

Other than that, I have always been an admirer with your entrepreneurship-ness, from the time you started your website, to your little quaint shop @ One Utama and last but not least, your cupcakes. I hope I see more of your work in the future.

Best regards,

They responded (pretty quickly too)

Wondermilk Dan Cuppacakes

Dear Michelle,
We are definitely aware of the insect problem and the situation is being remedied since your last visit. Citta mall has the highest most unusual insect infestation we have encountered, no matter how many high powered insect lights we installed (we have 3 in citta alone) and pest control treatments done, the insects keep coming. Other neighboring shops are experiencing the same problems as well. Rest assured the situation is being controlled and efforts with such pest problems usually take time.

On another note, we are very very open to negative comments as we appreciate each and every feedback so we can improve better but we do not appreciate ones that aim to spread bad vibes, embarrass & ridicule us and/or bring us down. We realise that facebook wall is an avenue for friends to exchange unbiased views, but please bear in mind that we are a company and as professionals, matters should be dealt with professionally. Thats why we chose to contact you here privately. Theres no need for public negativity as neither party will benefit from its outcome.

How would you feel if one of your customers at your company publicly write a negative complaint about you for all to see, when the right and most ethical approach as an adult, is by informing you and dealing with you directly. Mind you, we are no longer in high school. Try putting yourself in our shoes before you make any judgements. Something for you to think about.

In the future we would appreciate if you or your friends have something good or bad to say, please direct your comments and suggestions directly to our official email or call us directly. We welcome all feedback with open arms.

We truly appreciate your support.
Thank you and have a nice day.

Wondermilk (M) Sdn Bhd

And my final respond to them today (1st August 2011).

Michelle Ho

Dear Wondermilk,

Thanks for the clarification. However, I'd like to point out that rather than deleting my comment on your page, you should have simply replied my feedback with your explanation as per your last message to me. Not only will it serve as a good PR practice to you, but it will also alleviate relief towards your other fans/customers who have been to that place. Plus, you will show good Social Media practice by responding to each and every feedback/complaint without deleting them.

Also, your condescending tone in your messages is distasteful. However wrong a customer may be, you should not have mentioned the following:

"Mind you, we are no longer in high school. Try putting yourself in our shoes before you make any judgements. Something for you to think about."

Bad move. As a brand, you should apply more tact with your words. Why are you assuming that I do not know what PR and social media is all about, especially for brands and companies? If you must know, part of my job is to monitor and deal with online social media feedback. The key is to NOT delete any feedback (unless it's vulgar and offensive to others) but to respond accordingly to assure the commenter that the issue is well taken care of.

Besides that, your words very much contradicted each other. You stated that you are highly open to negative comments as feedback, and yet you have deleted mine. Please define your terms of bad vibes, embarrassment or ridiculing posts towards your brand. How was it that my wall post falls into that category?  (Looks like we may not know as the post is there no more.) I'm very much aware that I did NOT use any vulgarity or obscenities in my feedback, and neither am I harshly judging your brand unreasonably without any solid grounds. The intention was all to seek for a solution to my query, which was on the flying insects.

And since you have asked me to "think about it", allow me to provide you some pointers to think about as well:

Here's one that should interest you greatly. I have even extracted a pointer for you:

"Never make it personal. If and when conflict escalates, never make it personal. Never attack the person, even if he or she attacks you personally. Keep the conversation focused on the issues."

My final question is this: If you are unable to accept all types of feedback (minus vulgarity, obscenity, racism, and defamation) why do you have a Facebook fan page in the first place? Or in the very least, do not open your page for fans to post comments. Keep it to yourself for updates and posts. Once you make it public, always be prepared to respond to ANY queries and criticism posted there.

Well, I've said what I needed to say. With this episode, you have somehow successfully made me think less of your brand. No matter how much I love your cupcakes and your cafe, unless something has changed for the better, it's no longer my cafe choice with family or friends.

Best regards,

To me, case closed. But guess who's no longer gonna get cupcakes from them again?

Update after clicking "Publish Post".

Wondermilk Dan Cuppacakes

Thank you for your reply and pointers. Much appreciated.
Again we would like to apologize for your recent experience with us. We thank you for your understanding and hope you will consider us again in the future.

Best regards,
Wondermilk (M) Sdn Bhd

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