Cupcake Shop Turns On Yelp Reviewers While Refusing To Ever Use The Letter “Y”

While it must be hard to read negative reviews of your work, business owners should come to terms with the fact that customers are going to turn to online outlets to discuss their experiences. The good, the bad, the ugly –Â it all gets aired for the benefit of consumers. Which makes it really an unfortunate display of unprofessional behavior when businesses come out swinging against their reviewers.

The Yelp reviews overall aren’t too harsh, and mostly focus on the texture of the cake, from things like “sample which was GREAT and scrumptious, but the cake was dry,” and “I threw 2 of them away because they were so dry,” to “The cake part is pretty dense, almost as dense as a brownie.”

And yet on multiple reviews, someone responding with the name of the cupcake shop in their Yelp username has posted with an unprofessional level of vitriol. Oh, and the “Y” button on the keyboard must be broken.

In one review, the customer admitted to trying to convince a worker to swap out some of the cupcakes in an assortment, as she didn’t want a few of the flavors. She ends the review with: “Will I be back? Hmm, well, if the proceeds are for charity and I happen to be in the neighborhood, sure thing, but I won’t make the trip out if it’s just for these cupcakes.”

To which the presumed business owner replies:

I was happi to hear about the pathetic pleading on your part ,to get one of mi girls to break polici. Had [eponymous business owner] been there, it would have never happened!

With regard to your comment about limited flavors, we have a varieti of 27 organic cupcakes available. Dang, how mani flavors do you realli need? (no need to answer – I don’t want to hear it)

You give people too mani options they’ll get confused.

[Our business] bakes 6 days a week to create delicious, fresh, organic cupcakes. What’s not fresh is your bad attitude and crappi disposition. What you refer to as dense, is actualli, qualiti, something you might not be familiar with.

Will you be back??? The question is “are you welcome back?” “Probabli not.” it depends on my mood.

Once some of the negative responses by the business owner come flowing in, a thread started by one reviewer leads to a four-part “Surrealiti Check” by the owner.

“The owner says dissatisfied customers are stupid and don’t know quality cupcakes, then has the nerve to say they aren’t welcome in her own store,” says one reviewer, while another chimes in with, “When I was there she had 4 flavors out of 27. Is this a business or performance art? Totally surreal.”

As to the flavors offered, the purported business owner offers these two “Surrealiti Checks”:

“Surrealiti Check #2 [Our] organic CupCakes are an artistic expression therefore, certain flavors are baked as inspired. “Check Mate”

Surrealiti Check #3 During the week we have 6 flavors available, on weekends we have 9 or more flavors however, it would not have mattered because it would not have satisfied you. “Check Mate”

It might be difficult not to respond to negative opinions of your business, but in the end, holding our tongue and trying to instead improve the customer experience will be a lot more productive than lashing out.

*Thanks for the tip, Maria!

Comments

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  1. Costner says:

    Posting in defense of your own business while not understanding the difference between the letters “i” and “y” is a half-baked idea.

  2. Sorta Kinda Lucky Soul says:

    Gee, great business model. I’m sure I’d go out of my way to visit this place……not. Besides, isn’t the cupcake shop craze over now?

  3. Schildkrote says:

    “It might be difficult not to respond to negative opinions of your business, but in the end, holding our tongue and trying to instead improve the customer experience will be a lot more productive than lashing out.”

    If this were written by anyone but Mary Beth Quirk I’d say the lack of a “y” in “your” was a clever snipe at the owner’s disuse of the letter.

    As it is, though, I’m going to call it yet another typo.

  4. crispyduck13 says:

    Oh yeah, this cupcake shop has all the hallmarks of a long-lived, lucrative business.

  5. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    Maybe bekause the name Yelp starts with the letter “y”, the owner dekided to, in her own way, boykott Yelp by not using it.

    Seems legit.

    • RAEdwards says:

      I see what you did there…

      Only problem is she uses y in words like you instead of typing iou or ewe or eew…

  6. CubeRat says:

    I don’t mind the owners comments…

    I don’t really like cupcakes too much, myself, so I don’t really understand why people get so worked up over them. You don’t like the flavors..texture… OH, must go write a online review.

    • coffeeculture says:

      …isn’t that the point of an online review though?

    • crispyduck13 says:

      Right, because online reviews are solely written when you are happy with a product. Do you hear yourself?

    • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

      You write a review if you feel like reviewing the product, whether you are satisfied with it or not. And most people are more inclined to tell others about a bad experience than a good one. So why not?

    • Jules Noctambule says:

      It’s cute how you complain about the merit of other people’s complaints.

  7. dolemite says:

    I think you can get away with an attitude like that if you are the Soup Nazi. Dry cupcakes? Not so much.

  8. AtlantaCPA says:

    I would like to start using “check mate” as punctuation to my sentences but I just can’t see it working.

  9. Jane_Gage says:

    The Cupcake Nazy.

  10. jenolen2161 says:

    When you search Google for the name of the place, part of its name substitutes the “i” where the “y” should be. This businessowner is taking her branding to a whole new extreme. Yikes!

  11. ar says:

    Check and mate! lul

  12. hakkoz says:

    I am surprised that we actualli have a non-redacted store name (The Cupcake Ladi) and location. Realli.

    • The Colonel says:

      I just checked out the website and now I’m blind.

      • Shadowfire says:

        I can’t figure out if it’s Geocities or Angelfire…

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        I just checked it out, and the website combined with her cupcakes has convinced me she’s the most arrogant and self-centered person on earth, and in no way equipped the customer service side of business.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          “and her comments”, not “and her cupcakes” (although an argument could be made for both).

        • TheMansfieldMauler says:

          Now now now…remember you can judge the business, but not the individual.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            In this case, isn’t it the same thing? If she’s a one-woman show (as I assume for this type of business) then all decisions on product, theme, and yes, customer service, are all her decision and thus representative of her personally and how she wants her business run.

      • Jane_Gage says:

        I’m smelling the hallmark of some alimoni, amirite?

    • BadIdeaSociety says:

      She also pronounces “Cool Whip” funni.

  13. jono_0101 says:

    you can tell that the keyboard isnt broken if you look at the personal profile of the person that posted the pictures of the cupcakes on the shops page, the personal profile has a few reviews of other places, using I in place of Y a lot of times, but there are a few y’s that show up here and there, so no, the keyboard is fine, that person is just typing that way thinking they are cute or something, but its kind of hard to take you seriously when you are lashing back at reviews that arent glowing, i have a feeling that cupcake shop probably isnt going to open much longer

  14. ashtonn4 says:

    Read the owners comments on yelp…wow, she’s nuts… One reviewer went on to say how the cupcake was delicious and she could have eaten a whole jar of the topping… and the owner seems to have gone off on her about that because its not something you can buy in stores…I was quite confused by her response.

    The shops website makes me want to break things with the horrible font choices and the constant misspellings because the letter y is the devil?

    If I’m ever in the area…I’ll stay far away…

    • conquestofbread says:

      I noticed that, too.

      YOU FAILED TO MENTION THE MILLION LAYERS OF CRAP IN MY PRODUCT!

      What I also find very confusing is how it sounds like she is making people buy flavors they don’t want. Why would they do that?

    • crispyduck13 says:

      I was also confused. Methinks the owner needs to get back on her meds, or get stronger ones.

    • Bunnies Attack! says:

      Oh I just figured that out. By saying “jar of the topping” the reviewer implied that it came from a jar. Yes, the owner is psychotic.

  15. fenra says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious why they substitute “y” with “i” if you look at the shop’s name. It’s their brand. Look at Zorbaz.

    • MMD says:

      I can’t believe it took this many posts for someone to point that out.
      Yes, it’s branding. Weird, ineffective branding, but branding nonetheless.

      • Jules Noctambule says:

        I think using that style of branding in every type of written communication is extremely off-putting; it doesn’t give the feel of a cohesive ‘look’ so much as it gives the impression of someone unused to writing in standard English.

  16. Kuri says:

    “Get bad review on website, insult reviewers.”

  17. valleyval says:

    The business is called “The CupCake Ladi” so using i in place of y is probably to preserve her branding. That being said, it looks incredibly moronic.

  18. The Cupcake Nazi says:

    The first quote leaves out tbe best part! She opens that little tirade about changing out some flavors with “Dear Frosting Wh#*e”

    LMAO!

  19. gman863 says:

    The owner sounds like she is mentalli instable.

  20. The Cupcake Nazi says:

    Also, per the site…their cupcakes are 97% organic? LOL…

  21. ferozadh says:

    Is this some sort of artistic exercise in pseudo-Italian? I don’t get it…

  22. LightningUsagi says:

    I loved that the only review that the owner seemed happy with was the one that said “The Cup Cake Ladi is schizophrenic.”

  23. ScottG says:

    Actually I don’t think the use of the ‘i’ is intentional branding. Based on the wording of that very-hard-on-the-eyes website, it seems like English is not her first language. One of the lines is “mani organazations that are close to ji heart such as animals, children & the homeless. “

    ji heart? That’s not just a replacement of ‘y’ with ‘i’. And some of the wording also makes me suspect ESL.

    • ScottG says:

      Ok I think I’m going to revise that thought… Just read one of the yelp replies and this was part of it:

      “We lQQk forwqrd to your next visit w/us.”

      Hmmm, yeah I’m going with “off her rocker”?

      • MMD says:

        If the swapping out of y’s for i’s wasn’t so consistent, I might agree with you…but this looks pretty deliberate to me.

        Again…weirdly off-putting, but deliberate.

      • shepd says:

        LQQK is common eBay lameness. The Qs are suppose to look like eyes looking at something.

        Yeah, yeah, I know, lame. But the more you know!

  24. humphrmi says:

    When I see a business person answer reviews with poorly written, misspelled responses I usually avoid them. If they can’t be bothered to write a coherent sentence, then they probably aren’t worth the time or money.

  25. Alliance to Restore the Republic of the United States of America says:

    Call me a plebe, but I don’t get the cupcake fad.

    I was walking thru Georgetown in DC a few years ago and people were lined up around the block in 95F degree heat to get into this snazzy new cupcake shop. Weird.

    • MMD says:

      If it was Georgetown Cupcakes, I find them to be mighty tasty. Not stand-in-the-heat tasty, but a fine specimen of the genre, if you’re into them.

    • suez says:

      They still do. It’s the main reason I have NOT tried them yet.

  26. Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

    Sounds lyke someone ysn’t gettyng enough fyber in theyr dyet.

  27. jono_0101 says:

    haha, someone posted a review on her page today that apparently is referencing the story being posted here

    “apparently someone doesn’t understand the Striesand effect, and now this bipolar owner’s tirades against paying customers’ complaints has become a national news story.

    I wouldn’t eat these cupcakes if they paid me too just based on reading these reviews by the “owner””

    Travis H.
    Boynton Beach, FL

  28. Jimmy60 says:

    Are people really concerned that cupcakes be organic?

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Frosting made from all-natural ingredients might still be considered organic.

      Organic doesn’t mean healthy. I won’t lose weight if I only eat organic beef and organic sugar. I probably won’t live very long either.

  29. carlathecommander says:

    I can’t get over her insulting someone who left her a GOOD review.

  30. Gravitational Eddy says:

    Stand by for full saturation, Streisand Effect generator is now active.

  31. Conformist138 says:

    Surreality… Surrealiti…

    Did she really use a made-up word beat to death by Vh1 and then purposefully misspell it?? Christ on a cracker, the cupcake lady is a true loony.

  32. lordmorgul says:

    Hahah, organic artisitic expression cakes. Got it. Not meant for eating.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Don’t forget! It’s a PERFORMANCE art, not an art like sculpting or painting! /sarc

  33. Velifer says:

    Is this the owner, or an angry ex-employee IMPERSONATING the owner?

  34. Harry Greek says:

    Aaaand, the Yelp bombing begins.

  35. wade says:

    LOL @ 5 “one star” reviews (so far) today. . .

  36. KitanaOR says:

    Anyone notice all the good reviews are filtered? Most likely because they were fake; most of them were written by accounts created just to write glowing reviews for the CCL. She really is crazy or very naive about how Yelp works.

    • wade says:

      Yeah, it seems like it might be a red flag for the first 18 reviews to post on the same dai. . .I mean, day.

    • LionMan says:

      Among the filtered review, there’s a few that look real (accounts with multiple reviews already). But most were posted on Feb 22 and are by accounts which only reviewed that place. Very common if you follow yelp.

  37. mrvw says:

    This is from the ‘About this Business’ tab on yelp
    97% Organic CupCakes, 99% Organic Gluten Free, $100% Vegan Small Cakes, 99% Organic Pistachio Sugar Cookies, Organic Gelato, Organic Coffee

    Creating the worst tasting organic cupcakes on earth. Don’t forget we are home of the *over priced* generousli filled organic cupcakes .. ..Horrendous cupcakes that are soooo ugli it just might hurt your eyes. We bake ‘em, you chomp ‘em down. Smooches

    • BadIdeaSociety says:

      99% Organic Gluten Free? Does that mean that there is 1% organic gluten and 99% non-organic gluten?

  38. emax4 says:

    Business are out to make money, and doing that requires customer satisfaction and return customers. When customers post bad reviews, the bad news spreads faster than good news. Businesses have to play “Firefighter” in some cases by posting rebuttals. Honestly, if someone had said something bad about you, wouldn’t you think it’s FAIR to be able to tell your side of the story?

    A lot of times, “customers” often think they’re entitled to everything and try to scam the system, and when they don’t get their way, they think that posting negative reviews on Yelp or other sites will allow them to exact their revenge. They think that the business will then try to suck up to them and offer rewards to bring them back. What they forget is that businesses reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.

    If you made an edible item that someone didn’t like and then that someone publicly shared the negative experience with everyone, how would you react?

    • Mark702 says:

      Sorry dude. Sounds like you’re sticking up for an asshole business owner, it’s not gonna work. You asked, “If you made an edible item that someone didn’t like and then that someone publicly shared the negative experience with everyone, how would you react?”

      My answer: I would take that feedback into consideration and if it was merely an exception to an overly positive response from customers, I wouldn’t worry too much. If many people talk trash about the product, I would have to strongly consider altering the product to comply with the demands of the customers, or risk losing them and my business in the process. Never would I talk shit back to them, insult them, and go so far as to do so online for other potential customers to see. You’re an idiot to stand up for abysmal customer service, and you can’t claim you’re just playing devil’s advocate either.

    • Doubting thomas says:

      I get trying to look at it in a balanced light, but this lady clearly has some mental issues. A small specialty boutique lives and dies on customer service and satisfaction. To verbally abuse your customers is bad enough, to do so in a semi-literate fashion makes it even worse.
      Plus have you seen her website? Even if her cupcakes were made of magical rainbows and she herself was a customer service god, the website alone would be enough to warrant the heckling.

    • framitz says:

      I’d reach out to the customer and try to improve.

      This stupid witch even bad mouths some of the POSITIVE reviews.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      How would I react? “I’m sorry you had a poor taste experience with our cupcakes. Many customers enjoy the rich, dense flavour of our products, but we understand that tastes vary. I hope that you will give us another chance, as perhaps a different flavour may better suit your palate.”

  39. Cicadymn says:

    I like how the owner referred to the woman in the first quote as “Dear Frosting Wh#*e”

    So classy.

    • Coleoptera Girl says:

      Granted, the woman did describe herself as a “Frosting Wh#*e” in her own comment… For the owner to use the term and just overall be a butthole was uncalled for, though.

  40. Invader Zim says:

    y

  41. djdanska says:

    I’m not sure what pisses me off more. The really rude lady or her spelling.. I’m staying literally a mile or two from here in reston. I soo want to drop off a book on how to use the letter “y”

    • ferozadh says:

      It’s not just the letter Y. She mispells other words too for “cutesy” effect. She’s like the Nell of cupcake shop owners, having invented her own CupCake language.

  42. FashionablyDoomed says:

    Oh my god… Has anyone checked out the actual website? It’s an eyesore! I wouldn’t visit the place based on the ridiculous site alone!

    http://www.thecupcakeladi.com

    • oldtaku says:

      Every now and then she slips and uses a ‘y’ on the site.

    • RandomLetters says:

      Think she has permission from the copyright holder to use Jimmy Durante singing Make Someone Happy on her website?

  43. Snapdragon says:

    I love supporting local businesses. Negative reviews at Yelp can be a deterrent, but I account for differences in opinion. Insulting, negative responses from the business owner are a guaranteed way to never get my feet in the door. She sounds like a holier-than-thou b*tch, and I wouldn’t want to shop at her place.

  44. huey9k says:

    OOOH, look! Somone taught Shaniqua how to use a computer!

  45. Black Bellamy says:

    She’s not using the “Y” because the male chromosome is XY. Using the letter “Y” is analogous to submitting to the male dominated hierarchy or whatever. The only valid chromosme is XX.

    • ferozadh says:

      But what did the letters A and O ever do to her?? “lQQk forwqrd”… She obviously has a vendetta against vowels.

  46. Ablinkin says:

    Yelp. The review website that refuses to publish negative comments from newer members.

    You’re better off posting on craigslist.

  47. oldtaku says:

    M00se bites can be nasti

  48. framitz says:

    Wow, the lunatic even bad mouths some of the positive reviews.
    What an utter arse.

    Fail soon

  49. bhurt544 says:

    Can someone please explain the whole cupcake fad to me ? I though cupcakes were for children.

  50. Nyxalinth says:

    I’m also amused how in her reply to the woman who called her schizophrenic she typed “We LQQK forward to seeing you again.”

    QQ. For those who don’t do MMO games, QQ is calling someone a crybaby.

  51. lvdave says:

    The snarky replies by the business owner does FAR more damage to the credibility of the business than the mild, mostly polite criticism by the customer. I know if this bakery was in my area, I’d give it a WIDE berth just based on the owners snark..

  52. Velkyr says:

    My favourite review:

    Decided to head down as I heard they had the cupcake equivalent of “Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans”.

    Sadly, it seems the only flavours I got were “puke” flavoured, because thats what they made me do afterwards.

    Certainly won’t be doing THAT again.

  53. samjung23 says:

    Yelp is a bogus site. I hope the government nails them somehow. I posted a bad review of a Chinese place I went to, and now my review has been “filtered”, along with several other negative ones. I didn’t see those reviews when I first posted mine on the page. So now they are just arbitrarily hiding reviews, most likely because the owner has paid them money to do so. I will never trust anything I read on that site ever again. It is not truthful at all.

    • 2 Replies says:

      I don’t know what fascist state you live in, but in the US the government isn’t allowed to shut down a company just because someone moderated content.

      The US doesn’t impose thought-police (although the GOP would like to).

  54. Beef Supreme says:

    I looked at the website and all I can really say is…KILL IT WITH FIRE!

  55. shthar says:

    You go Gyrl.

  56. Golfer Bob says:

    But then again, I can fully understand a business owner acting like this, upset by customers who want to rewrite the rules and if they can’t succeed in getting what they want, throw tantrums and write Supreme Court certiorari style feedback / surveys / reviews used as weapons of mass destruction.

  57. MarkFL says:

    Apparently Basil Fawlty has gone into the cupcake business.

    And how come while he supposedly refuses to use the letter “y,” he continues to correctly spell “you,” when this would be the easiest use of the letter to eliminate? (If u know what I mean.)

  58. JenK says:

    No wonder her cupcakes are so ‘dri’, she bakes 6 days a week, but the store is only open for 4…

  59. aloria says:

    When did this become a “dumb criminal” blog?

    • aloria says:

      Wow, apparently if you have multiple consumerist tabs open, it posts to the last one instead of the active tab. AMAZING CODING

  60. ovvnt says:

    I had a similar experience on yelp here: http://www.yelp.com/biz/rino-trattoria-new-york

    some highlights: the owner offers me the coupons they get under there door every day, owner says based on stature of one of the reviewers she might be more suitable for dining in Wendy’s.

  61. invisibelle says:

    I rarely write bad reviews on Yelp unless the situation is really egregious, because it’s usually someone’s livelihood you’re messing with. But so far I’ve been really impressed with how businesses around me have responded (or just left it alone, which I think is also acceptable).

    I’ve seen a few horror stories like this one, but thankfully they seem to be the exception.