PLANO, TEXAS -- I just had a HORRIBLE experience with Cookies By Design and I will NEVER use them again! I am so displeased with the poor quality of their products and their utter lack of customer service that I actually filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Here's what happened:
On 6/19/10, I placed an order for 8 monogrammed wedding favor cookies. The cookies arrived on 6/24, and they looked NOTHING like the photo on the website. The frosting was different, and so was the font. On top of that, the writing looked completely amateur, unprofessional and sloppy, whereas on the website the writing was beautiful and perfect. When I called that day (6/24) to express my concerns, a service representative told me that I would be issued both a full refund to my credit card AND receive store credit for future orders. However, as of 7/13, I still had not received the refund.
I called on 7/13 and was transferred to ext. 402. No one picked up, and I left a detailed voicemail message stating the reason for my call (to get my refund), left my phone number, and specifically requested a call back. No one called back, so I sent them an email on 7/14, again explaining everything in detail (including the fact that I had left a message the day before and no one had responded). I did not get a response to my email, either. (Please note, I used the email address specified on their website under "contact us.")
On 7/15 I called again and this time spoke to another service representative. She verified that I was due a refund, and she processed that, and she also confirmed that I had store credit. I decided to use the store credit to purchase a cookie cake for an upcoming party. I placed the order, and when the cake arrived on 7/23, it was in worse condition than the original cookies I'd had a problem with.
The frosting covering the entire bottom half of the cake was completely melted and smashed. It was supposed to look like a beach scene with hibiscus flowers, and it was basically a big blob. Also, some of the writing was smashed and cracked. It was a complete embarrassment -- there was no way I was taking this to the party. So, I called and asked to speak with a supervisor.
I was transferred to ext. 404, where once again no one picked up. I again left a detailed message including my phone number, and specifically requested a return phone call. Immediately after this, I also sent an email explaining my concerns AND including photos I had taken of the cake to show what a mess it was. I did not get a response to either my phone message or my email. On 7/26, I called back again. I specifically asked for a supervisor and was instead transferred to a regular service representative. This representative then transferred me to someone else (again, just a regular service rep, not a supervisor, even though I requested a supervisor).
This woman got snippy and told me there was nothing else they could do for me. She said that they don't normally issue both a refund AND a merchandise credit; she had only done it because she felt so bad that the mistake had messed up plans for my bridal party the day before my wedding. Her rationale was that because they had given me a refund AND a replacement, I didn't deserve anything else -- even though the replacement was a piece of garbage.
I pointed out that their apology card states "If you are not 100% satisfied, we will do whatever it takes to make it right," and made it clear I was not satisfied. Yes, they sent a replacement, but it was a disaster and I was unable to use it. I explained that I expected a full-quality replacement, that I would feel good about bringing to a party -- not one that was melted and smashed and sloppy. Beyond that, the cake was dried out and stale and completely fell apart when we tried to cut into it!
I AGAIN asked to speak to a supervisor (this was the 3rd time) and the representative told me her supervisor was at lunch, but promised that the manager would call me either that day or the next day. It is now 8/4 and they have not responded, even though I was assured that the manager would return my call.
TEXAS -- I am a long time and loyal customer of Cookies by Design. I have used this product all over the country for years for anything from corporate gifts to get well baskets. Imagine how surprised I was when I wanted to send valentines to clients in Ocala, Florida to be sent to a TEXAS hub!
I usually buy their cookies online. When I typed in the recipients' addresses I was told there was no shop locally who could deliver my order. I was given a phone number to call. After a significant wait I was connected to someone in TEXAS (!) who said she could send my valentine cookies with no guarantee they'd get there for Valentine's Day, for a price that was nearly double the price of my gift! If I were not a persistent customer I would have simply gone on to another gift site and selected something else. They would have lost my order and maybe some of my loyalty.
Because I really DID want to send a Cookies by Design basket to my clients, I managed to go around their system. I clicked on store locator and found there were indeed 2 Cookie by Design stores in Orlando! I selected store #260 on 855 N. Alafaya Trail. I knew if I called the 800 number listed I would probably again be returned to the TEXAS operator. So even though I was calling from Connecticut I called them directly from the number listed for their shop.
And guess what??!! They were delighted to take my order. I got to talk to someone who really was interested in helping me. She actually made suggestions that caused me to add to my initial order. She told me they would deliver my valentines to my Ocala customers by tomorrow and the delivery charge was $18.50. I placed the order. This franchise saved an order and the good will of a customer. If it weren't for them, I would have not placed an order.
I am not sure why the corporate office is trying to sabotage the franchises. My experience talking to the *operator* in Texas was frustrating and annoying. It was clear to me as a customer that operator could not care less if I placed an order with you or not. She offered no solution to me. Her solution was a whopping shipping fee and no guarantee my order would arrive on time.
Why didn't she refer me to one of the Orlando stores?!! Why did I have to go around their system to find my own way? They wasted my time, they aggravated me and tried everything they could to prevent me from buying and sending their product.
I am totally confounded by their actions. I only write because hopefully they are unaware of what is happening to good customers and possibly would want to correct this problem. The lesson I have learned is to only call franchises I want to deal with directly and if I need assistance in finding another location, ask them. A confused and unhappy customer.
I have affiliated with a franchised Cookies By Design store for nearly 10 years. NEVER order a basket from the corporate location. The new corporate ownership is actively shutting down franchise and allowing franchise agreements to expire because they want to ship everything out of Dallas, Texas. There are zip codes within 2-3 miles of our store that we have serviced for years but now the only way we can service them is if the person that places the order calls us directly. If you go to the corporate website, they will only forward the order to the closest store if that store 'owns' the zip code.
I have been delivering these baskets since 2000 and at one point delivered them by hand as far as 100 miles away. At first, corporate changed the rule saying we can only deliver to 50 miles away and made any zip code further 'unavailable' on the web site.
Last year, they started pulling local zips and closing stores. Corporate hasn't sold a franchise in several years and that was their main source of income. Currently, they get a small percentage of each stores sales. By closing the stores, they bring deliveries in house and get a larger profit margin. I'm not against profit. I just have a problem when a company makes it by cutting the throats of people that invested a lot of time and money because they believed in the product.
Bottom line: When ordering Cookies By Design (and I hope you will), go to google or any other search engine and type in 'Cookies By Design' and the name of the closest big city. This should give you the phone number of the closest store. Call them directly and it pulls corporate out of the loop.
BROOKFIELD, WISCONSIN -- Ordering was easy, delivery was on time as promised and they looked good, nice packaging. The decorated cookies were hard and stale tasting. The chocolate chip cookies that came with it were awful. No taste or flavor. I threw them out they were that bad. $75 for 4 decorated cookies and 1 dozen chocolate chip cookies was over priced especially given the poor quality.
TEXAS -- I order a cookie delivery for my nephew every year. I have always had the best service until this year. I went to order on the internet, and instead of $10 for delivery, this year it was $50! I called the number listed to see if it was an error. A computer said I was being connected to the closest store. I was connected to a store, but it was all the way in Texas! My order is in Florida. The woman was pleasant on the phone, but said there was no store in there that can deliver. She offered me an absurd delivery fee from Texas that was double the price of my cookie.
I found it hard to believe that there were no stores in the whole state, so a quick google search turned up a bunch of them. One quick call saved me over $30. Don't the people answering the phone there know what is going on? Even the people at the store I called could not tell me why my call was sent all the way to Texas, only that it was a new policy. Whatever! What a waste of my time. Not sure if I will order again. The cookies are good, but the service is not.
FORT COLLINS, COLORADO -- I recently ordered a Get Well gift basket on a Monday, for delivery on Wednesday (box checked for earlier if possible). By Friday, the item still had not been delivered. I called the store to cancel, since recipient was now well, and food item would potentially be old once delivered... not to mention long past making someone feel better. The woman with whom I spoke refused to cancel the order, refund the order, or let me speak to a manager. She sad she called the manager and the manager would not refund/cancel the order either, because they had "done all they could by getting the product out the door" and now it was UPS' fault.
I was not able to select a delivery method and thus stated that since they had a formal business partnership with UPS as their preferred delivery method they should be held accountable. That said, $60 later for 5 stale cookies, I had no resolution, cooperation, or even polite business conduct from them.