AIBU to expect a refund/replacement?(95 Posts)
Genuine curiosity into how small businesses work. I went to a cafe with my mum and grandmother for coffee, and my grandmother wanted a cake and chose a vegan brownie. None of us are vegan but hey ho, very happy to try something new.
Grandmother took one bite and refused any more, mother tried some and same, I tried a bit thinking I wouldn’t want it to go to waste and oh my goodness it was not good. I have never known my grandmother to refuse a treat, and I’m pretty much the same, but it was not good and we left 95%.
I asked the waitress what was in it, she gave some half explanation, then I told her very politely that we didn’t find it very nice and wouldn’t have any more of it. She shrugged and walked off.
We paid, and it’s fine, not the end of the world, but I am genuinely curious if other people (especially those with experience in a similar business), is that what you’d expect if a customer didn’t like something?
No I wouldn't expect a refund or replacement just because you didn't like it
We went to Starbucks for a treat. My 10yr old ordered one of their current specials a cheesecake type thing. It was grim tbf. I took it back to them and just asked for a glass of water. Not expecting any more. We ordered it tbf. The lovely barista made her a brand new double chocolate one. I offered to pay. She declied. That's good customer service.
Nope you can't seriously expect them to give you a refund/replacement because you didn't like the food you ordered...
It's a risk taken trying something new, especially when I comes to food. I wouldn't expect a refund or replacement just because I didn't like the taste of something.
We went to Starbucks for a treat...The lovely barista made her a brand new double chocolate one. I offered to pay. She declied. That's good customer service.
But that's Starbucks and not a small business. They have a larger profit margin and more leeway. Can't compare a major chain to a small business.
YWBU to expect a replacement/refund just because you didn't like it. I am an ex-Kitchen/Pub Manager and if a customer decided they didn't like something after ordering/trying it, I would apologise but also explain that they can order (and pay for) something else. The product they have tried cannot be resold nor can I get the time taken to prepare that dish back.
Maybe next time, ask what the ingredients are before buying it. In my experience with customers, vegan alternatives to butter etc can take some getting used to as they may not taste as expected.
I wouldn’t expect a refund or replacement just because you didn’t like something. Only if there was something actually wrong with it like it was stale.
The cafe can’t exactly resell it, they’re not responsible for people choosing something and then not liking it so why should they take a loss?
I wouldn’t expect to pay if the food was off or under or over-cooked. If I just didn’t enjoy it, I’d be disappointed, but that’s just bad luck.
Sadly it's also because plenty of people do the crap thing of eating half of something and then claiming they didn't like it and want their money back. Even though they liked it...
Imagine if people get refund and/or new meal when something is not their cup of tea. Businesses would bankrupt.
Plus people can be dumb🤷♀️ Ordering cajun chicken when they are not fan of spicy food etc...
The thing about small businesses is they can each individually decide on their policies.
It depends on how well their business is doing/how well they want it to do (financially), how they would respond to something like this.
And remember, not all will be doing it for the money. I know quite a few people who run small businesses as 'projects', the money is secondary.
It’s a vegan brownie, of course it tastes shite
If there was something wrong with the product (e.g. really burnt or undercooked etc.) I would expect a refund, but not if it simply wasn't to my taste.
It's quite difficult to make vegan versions of popular cakes/treats. They're usually a bit different from the original versions. I think you were just unlucky that you picked something that you didn't like.
I think if there was an actual issue with it rather it just wasn't to your taste, then a refund but if you just said you didn't like it because you didn't like the taste then that's not the cafes issue, I say this as a chef in an independent cafe
Agree with pp’s but also there’s rarely a second vegan choice so they probably had anything else to offer.
I don’t order vegan brownies for this reason (sorry people who love them)
It would have been good customer service to offer a replacement but probably not realistic in a small business
Iam none of the group were vegan I don’t think
When you consider that a brownie is eggs, sugar,chocolate,butter that is a lot of substitution to make it vegan .
So to the average palate it'll probably be different to the point of unpleasant . But nothing actually "wrong" with it
So no, trying something new and finding it not to your liking , I wouldn't expect a refunf .
Good point iamtheworst. A few weeks ago there was a thread posted by a vegetarian who was offended to be offered fish when they ran out of veggie stuff. If the cafe had offered you a non vegan cake as a replacement, and you were the same poster, you would have been fuming!
I wouldn't expect a refund or replacement just because you didn't like it. If there was something wrong with e.g. a hair in it, or burnt or something along those lines, then yes I would expect a refund or replacement.
I wouldn't necessarily expect a refund (although if it was that foul as to be inedible then I might). It is good customer service to offer a refund or alternative though. To not even apologise and just shrug is pretty poor.
When you cooked a dinner after a request for a creamy spinach pasta from DP/DH, you serve it and after few bites he/she says
"I am not fan of spinach tbh and it's too creamy. I want something different."
1. Make something else
2. Hit him/her over the head with a pan and call your mate to help you hide a body
Domestic version of refund/no refund
I know none of the group were vegan but they ordered the vegan option. People do it because they are allergic to egg or intolerant to dairy. There’s lots of reasons and the cafe probably only carried option.
I bet they tried the one made with avacdo. Avocado had no place in desert.
Of course a vegan brownie Is going to be awful
Brownies should be full of eggs , butter and real chocolate
A vegan brownie is sunflower oil , beetroot and cacao ? 🤢
YABU to expect a refund because you didn’t like the taste
Adding from previous post
I run a cafe , and don’t make vegan cakes , because they’re just not as good as stuff with the correct ingredients
I make dairy free cakes , gluten free cakes , but vegan just doesn’t work
Unless someone can give me a fantastic recipe that never fails
Vegan cake is rank. I can imagine vegan brownies are even worse as the amount of butter substitute is so high.
No I wouldn’t have expected a refund. Lesson learnt not to buy vegan substitutes.
YABVU. These days everyone expects a bloody refund for the least thing! You ordered it and didn't like the taste of it, but there was nothing wrong with the product. Good grief. Everyone's a chancer.
You can’t expect a refund just because something isn’t to your taste, the cafe can’t re sell it as only 5% eaten.
Just have to chalk that one up to experience and don’t order vegan brownie again.
I have worked in cafes & ime, something that 3 people found foul would be refunded. I don't know about unreasonable, but I'm surprised they didn't refund to keep your good will.
What tasted bad about it, OP? Was it too dry, not sweet, bitter, hard, what?
If you asked for something that was advertised as vegan brownie, then YABU to be surprised it tasted like shit, since real brownies are full of dairy and proper chocolate. It's like asking for a non-carbonated, non alcoholic gin and tonic with lemon substitute. That would also taste like shit.
I'm not a vegan but why do people think that you can't have chocolate in a vegan brownie? There are brands of dark chocolate that don't contain any milk products. They usually don't throw beetroot in there either, although I've been informed(by a non vegan that beetroot chocolate cake is very nice but I'll probably take her word for it.
I make a vegan brownie that even 8 year olds (non vegan ones) love, the trick is the right substitutions and agree with pp no avocado!
I wouldn't expect a refund because something wasn't to my taste that's only for something awful found in the food or something.
As for the OP no I wouldn't expect a refund just because I didn't like the taste of a cake unless there's very obviously something present that shouldn't be in there.
It would depend whether I didn't like it or whether it was inedible.
Surely if they have made something that is truly revolting or had gone off, a refund would be in order?
It really doesn't work like that, OP. You ordered it, didn't like it, though luck - now you know for next time
vegan cake is shit.
Otherwise any chancer could go in, order something, claim it was "not very nice" and get their money back. Not a viable business model for the cafe.
If not expect a refund either. However, if I was the owner, I'd have probably offered your grandma a small token - perhaps a biscuit or something similar. (I'd probably end up bankrupt though) I've got a soft spot for older people.
These are delicious, and my non vegan friends literally cannot tell the difference.
there is a lovely independent coffee shop in the jewellery quarter, Birmingham that will let you have something else if you don't like one of the cakes so I think it depends on the individual business, but to expect a refund because you don't like something is BU.
I've made a vegan cake before. It was OK, but didn't taste like normal cake. It was basically oil, coconut milk, sugar, flour, pineapple and cherries.
I think it's the oil. Even if you use something very bland like vegetable oil or sunflower oil you still get that aftertaste. I used to work with a vegan who would make stuff using chia seeds or something mixed with avocado and cocoa powder and would swear blind we wouldn't be able to tell the difference from normal cake made with eggs and butter.
Oh we could.
No refunds for something not being to your taste.
I would never expect a refund or the offer of an alternative if I didn't like something. I encourage my son to try new food and if he doesn't like it we often get offered something new for free. I don't accept unless he didn't like it because it wasn't as described or was badly cooked.
Yes it was a vegan brownie they use things such as sweet potato and avocado in place of eggs and butter and no milk chocolate. It tastes different
You got what you ordered
Banana bread is nice made without egg so it’s vegan.
I agree that although a goodwill gesture would have been lovely it would be unfair to expect one.
Why the fuck would you order a vegan brownie? Brownies are made with eggs, so are all cakes, it's clearly going to taste like shit.
All vegan versions of desserts/cakes/biscuits are pretty shit, unless they are originally vegan anyway. I think vegans are prepared to accept that, or they have forgotten what the original tastes like. So it's probable that the brownie tasted the way that it was supposed to, it's just that you didn't like it.
There is a really excellent vegan cafe that I sometimes go to, I know they use good quality ingredients and try hard but every single cake/biscuit thing that I have tried there is vile compared to the thing it's supposed to be. But people who are actually vegan like them, I see people tucking into sweet treats with enjoyment when I'm there, so it's me and my omnivore tastebuds rather than the biscuits.
I’m going to disagree and say yes. If it’s truly grim they shouldn’t be selling it. I took back a cake once as it was awful and they’d forgotten to add sugar or something. They did give me something else in return as they tried it too. If it’s something that’s just not to your taste but is otherwise fine then you can’t expect a replacement though.
In this case, vegan brownies aren’t too grim normally so maybe they didn’t cook it correctly or used a random ingredient. I’ve cooked a couple of versions of vegan brownie due to egg allergies and they’ve turned out quite nice. Not full fat brownie nice but certainly edible and all eaten.
Haha sorry this reminded me of when I was a teenager and my friends mum bought a Krispie Kreme for the first time. She took one bite and spat it out. She ran back to Krispie Kreme and complained really loudly that Krispie Kreme that the word Kreme implies it would be lovely fresh cream not soap sud style shit. My god my friend was so totally mortified, especially after her smug mother then for her money back.
Sorry OP check carefully, a lot of vegan cakes are foul and full of chemicals. I don’t think you should have had a refund though.
Ps not all vegan cakes are though just check for the egg replacer blah blah all chemicals and taste awful
YABU, I would never ask for a refund because I didn't like something I chose to buy.
I can assure you (working in a place with a small café) that once you start refunding because you "don't like the taste" you will get:
1.People that come in daily and eat half and want a refund because they "didn't like the taste"
2. People that eat it all then want a refund because they "didn't like the taste"
3. People who will work their way through several things claiming they "didn't like the taste"
And the more generous you are, the more other people will try it on.
I wouldn’t expect a refund just because I didn’t like the taste of it.
Had it been mouldy, burnt, hard etc then fair enough but taste is subjective so sorry but YABU.
If there was something wrong with the product (e.g. really burnt or undercooked etc.) I would expect a refund, but not if it simply wasn't to my taste.
I have been in this situation before, its annoying but not the cafes fault at all that you just don't like what you order. On the other hand I have requested refunds/re-cooks of meals which were clearly not cooked right..I would push for my money back then, but not just because I ordered something different and it was awful
I don't think that all vegan desserts are bad. I'm not a vegan but I love Pret's dark chocolate and cashew butter cookies and I had no idea that they were vegan until I looked at the website after having eaten a few.(Not all at once)
Nope. If I didn’t like it and I wanted to try something new that’s down to me.
I once tried a cocktail, hated it (tasted like mouthwash) and went to order something else and the bartender gave me a comp but I didn’t expect it.
I am with sparklybanana. If it wasn't to someones taste, or they order a spicy dish when they don't like heat, no refunds.
But we haven't heard from the OP the details of what was wrong with it. I have had some lovely vegan cake. And, very very rarely I have had poor cake / cake where an ingredient error has been made. None of those were vegan.
If a dish (cake or other) is poorly prepared, then it is probably worth raising straight away to avoid the 'eating half / all then complaining' problem, or the 'getting home and writing a terrible review' case.
Maybe they would have said the cake should / shouldn't taste like that, and whether it has loyal fans or was something they were testing.
'The more generous you are, the more people will try it on'
Never a truer word said. I found this out so quickly when I set up my own business. I went out of my way to be super nice to a few people, all took the piss. I stick rigidly to my ts and cs now.
The only successful vegan cakes are heavy fruit loaves eg tea breads. Brownies need eggs (or a substitute)
Normally I would expect a refund, not because you legally have to, but because if you run a cafe and an item of food is too awful to eat- that has to be an unacceptable situation you want to correct or you won't be running a cafe for long.
In this case, however, it was clearly advertised as tasting that way, so I think YABU.
You could have just bought a replacement yourselves if you wanted a different cake.
Small businesses simply could not run if they had to refund everything customers 'didn't like'.
I haven't ever had any lovely vegan cake. The last one I tried, lemon, was really claggy in the mouth, not going to repeat. I didn't finish it. I think you could make an ok brownie though with cocoa powder, you don't necessarily need chocolate.
To be honest, I can see both sides:
Some restaurants/cafes will happily replace whatever you don’t like. Whilst this includes ‘faulty’ food (overdone, made incorrectly etc) some chains like Starbucks will actively replace something you simply don’t like, eg if you’re trying a new item or the barista made your drink incorrectly and it tastes weird.
However I have friends that use to work in restaurants and my god, the stories about people trying it on! Don’t ever underestimate the general public’s ability to take the piss! You will absolutely get people who will virtually lick their plate clean then demand a refund as ‘they didn’t like their food’. Small businesses have much more to lose with these customers vs chains so their approach will be different.
With your cake, I don’t think there was inherently wrong with it (eg burnt, made with salt instead of sugar etc) but it tasted like it was supposed to. You just didn’t like it as it was not to your taste - vegan cakes will taste different as a lot of key ingredients in cake batter are substituted.
Anyone could say they don't like something, it doesn't entitle them to a refund. Strange question.
I'm not a vegan and I've made some delicious vegan brownies, so clearly it can be done. I suppose the question of a refund is down to whether it was just a matter of taste, or whether it was actually borderline inedible. If it was my business and three people around a table had said something was awful, I'd be questioning my cooking skills/recipes and I wouldn't charge them for it.
I’m suprised they didn’t offer you an alternative. I wouldn’t expect them to refund you but offering you an alternative is a good compromise.
Whenever I’ve not liked anything I’ve nearly always been offered a replacement. I’ve occasionally disliked coffee and I always get offered a replacement in small establishememts. There is nothing wrong with the coffee it’s just not to my taste.
I see your point, if all 3 of you thought it was awful then there is probably some truth there and it probably would have been a small cost to offer you a different cake instead, when you weigh it up against customer satisfaction/repeat custom/good reviews.
As Judge Judy would say 'you ate the steak, you pay for the steak!'.
If they used sour milk in your Latte, then you can ask for a replacement. You don't like the brownie, tough.
I’m a full-on carnivore and a naice vegan café has just opened near me, I tried a vegan choccie brownie and it was delicious. So it is possible. If it tasted crap they should’ve given you a refund imo.
I went into a cafe a couple of years ago and there was a dead mouse under the sofa!!
WE only noticed when we got up to leave. we told the waitress and she looked horrified, but we didn't ask for any refund!!
There's a stall near me which sells vegan cakes and I thought they were soaps for the longest time. But I'm sure vegan brownie can be lovely
I tried being vegan, I can confirm that most vegan cakes taste awful. I don't think a refund should be given if someone didn't like it.
I go against the tide here. If the food is unedible you should get refund or replacement. I had to return a cake once at a small cafe as it was dry and tasted tbh awful. The owner couldnt be nicer. She agree and replaced with. Fresh one. Good customer service as ive returned since. Yanbu. Saying that ive never had a nice vegan cake so id avoid them.
YABU. She chose an item that she knew would not be a traditional brownie. She tried it and didn't like it. That the risk you run when you order something different / new.
I wouldn't have given you a refund. You clearly knew it was vegan but seemed to expect it to taste the same as a normal brownie.
I'd expect a vegan brownie to be ok - currently vegan for desserts thanks to baby reacting interestingly to dairy and egg. It's risen sponges I'd expect to suck... soft and gooey is much easier.
Egg Free banana bread seems pretty foolproof - once I slashed out on post tin shaped tin liners it hasn't failed me once and zizzi had a yummy chocolate torte using dates I think.
These cake shops are going to go out of business soon if they keep on serving all this vegan stuff. Every bloody cake is gluten free too. Not everyone has an intolerance or allergy. I'm sick of it. I live in London and every trendy cafe has a menu of shite cakes that taste like greasy dates.
The thing is if I had unedible food at a cafe I would not be going back and I would not be recommending it to friends or family. So it is in the cafe's best interest for continued trade to offer a replacement & to keep their customer's happy. Assuming, of course, that not all their food is unedible.
We had room service at disneyland paris and it was truely awful. Think worst ever frozen pizza then multiply by 10. We shrugged it off and thought won't order that again. Got tea and coffee for the rest of the trip. Anyway got to the end at check out and thought I'd mention it as feedback. Receptionist was so apologetic she instantly wiped our room service bill for the week. I must admit I was impressed with that as customer service.
If it were a big corporation i guess its easier to rectify than if its a little local cafe that's got big overheads to meet.
I would love to know the size of the cake if three bites was only 5%, it sounds like my kind of slice! 😂
I agree with others, you can only expect a refund or replacement if there was something wrong with it like it was burnt for example not because it is not to your taste.
Hmm, if you are selling a cake described as a brownie it should have brownie-like properties, no? That said, if you want a refund and it's a small business then you need to be able to explain what is wrong with it more accurately than you just didn't like it so you can make a case that there's an error with the recipe or bake.
Those who got refunds in Starbucks: I am amazed as even when they have got my drink wrong they have shrugged and refused to make it again even though there is a SIGN saying they will.
It's a vegan brownie so its ingredients will be somewhat different to a normal brownie. Therefore you cannot expect it to taste the same.
@vinegarqueen not really if you put 'vegan' infront of it.
Like with other foods.
Vegan buffalo wings - cauliflower
Vegan steak - probs cauliflower
Vegan pavlova - aquafaba
And so on.
It can look like the original thing, but certainly will not taste like it. So the brownie really could have been fine, but they just simply weren't used to or prepared for tbe taste of some ingredients.
YABU. Unless there is something wrong with it (stale etc) you cannot expect a refund for something in a cafe just because you personally don't like the taste. It's the risk of trying new things but it's not the cafes fault or error, so they don't owe a refund.
Don’t ever underestimate the general public’s ability to take the piss!
How very true! Had someone once complain their chicken was cold in the middle and would poison them. I knew it wasn't because I'd watched the chef probe it before it left the kitchen. It took me about 15 seconds to get to the table. This person had form and my manager had had enough. He got the probe from the kitchen and probed it there at the table - still 77c - which is 2c above required temp, and this was a couple of minutes later. They didn't pay, because they got up and stormed out. Some people don't like getting caught taking the piss!
However, where I work we probably would have swapped it for something else, but then we're not a small place. And I'd have probably tried another bit of the same batch as I'd have a better idea of what it's supposed to taste like, and therefore if anything was wrong.
As a few pp have said, it's good customer service and people are more likely to recommend and return, but it shouldn't be expected because you didn't like the taste.
But it's just a bit of brownie so not labour intensive, taking up chef's time, pushing back other meals etc. Had it been a full meal we wouldn't refund/replace unless there is something genuinely wrong with wrong with the food.
Meh, you order something new and don’t like it, you chalk it up to experience surely? I once ordered a raw vegan banoffee pie (I was eating out with my sister, who loves raw vegan food cafes where they serve raw vegan things masquerading as the real deal!) anyway, suffice to say, I will never EVER order a raw vegan bannoffee pie again. It was rank. I didn’t expect a refund though, it just wasn’t what I liked, but I’m sure there were some appreciative vegans who loved it.
I’m sure there were some appreciative vegans who loved it.
I don't think Vegans actually like awful food, it's just that they are willing to put up with the taste of a cauliflower brownie because it carries a social value for them.
I've had cake that tastes vile, both vegan and non-vegan.
You cannot simply state 'all vegan cake is vile'.
If you've never had a delicious vegan cake, you've been going to the wrong places.
....and vegans do enjoy delicious food thanks. Maybe the food industry should catch up with what we've been cooking at home for years. Some restaurants do take the piss with vegan options; e.g. a main course which is basically a slice of cauliflower for a tenner! Sorry, that is not a main course, it's way overpriced for a start, there's no protein, and cauliflower is a side dish!
If you've never had a delicious vegan cake, you've been going to the wrong places
Honestly, everyone else in the cafe seemed to be loving their food choices - and my main course was lovely - the desserts were, by and large, pretty ropey looking to me though. My very enthusiastically raw vegan food eating sister was very enthused about her ‘cheesecake/definitely not cheesecake’, so I think vegan alternatives do taste odd to the untrained palate!
Wouldn’t expect a refund but I would expect the waitress not to just shrug. A nice pleasant: “Oh that’s a shame I’ll pass your feedback on” would have been enough for me.
Bit off the refund topic, but since we are on vegan food and cauliflower... Do you remember this ?
If it's inedible then a refund but because she didn't like it? No.
And I run a small independent local cafe. <gavel>
Ski4130 - raw vegan is completely different tho.
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