Cupcake Fail (Is The "Fail" Thing Over?)

Homemade cupcakes, by the lovely C.  Maybe I should have stuck to those for J's birthday.

Instead, like 2,794 other people, I bought the Groupon for a dozen delivered cupcakes from BonaFide Cupcakes (a delivery-only establishment) for $20.  A few months back I made the decision to send a friend returning from maternity leave a dozen Georgetown Cupcakes for about $40, instead of the two dozen minimum required by Curbside Cupcake for only slightly more because I know and love Georgetown Cupcake (P.S., that order was easy, delivery on time, cupcakes impeccable in condition and taste). 

I figured I'd just try BonaFide out with this Groupon - it's a great deal, and I could throw it onto J's birthday by sending them to work.  A little extra surprise. 

As these Yelp and Urbanspoon reviews show, BonaFide had a tough time getting its act together post-Groupon.  I read those on my delivery day morning, but I felt confident nonetheless. After all, when I ordered, they admitted they were super crazed and wouldn't be taking orders until after X date.  Luckily, J's birthday is X date + 2!  Perfect!  I ordered, it was confirmed, and then 10 days later at delivery time, no cupcakes.

No one really answers the phone, so callers have to leave a message.  I e-mailed and called several times as we neared the fourth hour after the scheduled delivery time.  I received a call that was like a comedy of errors, stating the wrong date and wrong company building.  Am I on candid camera?  I was told that for sure it must have been on one of today's delivery trucks, which were almost through with their route.  But alas, who knows, because the system was down.  "Can I call you back?"

Despite giving my telephone number to call back, BonaFide called J, who until then was oblivious to his never-to-be-seen surprise cupcakes.  He was told to call back to reschedule.  I called back immediately, and of course left another unreturned voicemail. 

The next day, nothing.  No cupcakes, no calls.  Another voicemail left, another e-mail sent.  After close of business I notified Groupon of the problem.  I'm pretty sure it's not the first they heard of it.  Groupon immediately agreed to cancel the Groupon and refund my $20.  By tonight (Thursday) my refund posted.  I haven't heard from BonaFide since Monday mid-day when the system was "down," despite my e-mails and calls.

I understand that the Groupon caused an influx of business--that's what it does!  But if you can't handle the orders, don't accept them.  A day (or two!) of leaving voicemails and sending emails to get NOTHING when I was trying to give a gift was Not Awesome.  It's not the worst thing that ever happened to anyone in the world, but it's a pain in the ass.

BonaFide Cupcakes
By all means, if you find a way to have them deliver your order and you get to taste them, do let me know in the comments how they tasted.

BonaFide Cupcakes on Urbanspoon


  1. I love Groupon, but based on comments regarding other deals (like the Mansion on O St. tea service review on Yelp), I usually try to wait a few weeks before attempting to use my groupon, so the rush dies down. Random: Did you see the winning entry for the "live off groupon" contest? So funny: http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/05/04/groupon-picks-winner-to-live-off-its-coupons-for-a-year/

  2. I did wait a few weeks, but that doesn't change my thought that if they can't fill the orders, they shouldn't accept them. I've never had an issue with Groupon before, but maybe that's because I've stuck to the restaurant ones. This is pretty much the worst service experience I've ever had!

    Living off of Groupons seems difficult!

  3. I get Groupons for mostly restaurants. Zorba's Cafe was probably the best yet. Their food is already low priced, but 50% off was awesome!