This gripe is influencing 1,048,284 people thru 6,940 friends and followers
I ordered a Groupon from Cafe Liardi for a "Culinary Cake Design and Decorating Class." It was listed as a 6-hour instruction where you would be able to take home a 3-tier cake in a custom carrying case. You were supposed to learn how to decorate with fondant and gumpaste. They said not to bring your own tools, as everything you needed would be provided. It was supposed to include a "gourmet lunch" and cost $110 at the discounted rate.
At the class, they gave you a 1/4 sheet cake and told you to cut (with a plastic knife) out of that cake to make 3 tiers. Then they had a bucket of store-bought frosting and told you to frost your cake... with the same plastic knife. No instruction was given on how to possibly do this. Then we were told that we were going to learn an "advanced technique" to smooth out the cake, which was sprinkling the cake with powdered sugar and brushing water on it with a cheap watercolor brush (which shed it's hairs on the cake). They then gave you a baggie each of gumpaste and fondant, both white, with only red or black to choose from for colors. There was nothing to roll it out with except drinking straws. The instructor's demo cake was worse that most of the people in the class. The "custom carrying case" that we were given was a cardboard box. When confronted about it, the instructor (Gailyn) said "Yes...I had to custom order the boxes." Every person in the class complained, and she totally ignored them, with no apology whatsoever. The "gourmet" lunch was awful. Undercooked pasta with dirty salad greens and bottled salad dressing. The class was supposed to run 10:30am - 4:30pm, and by 2:00pm, everyone left... unhappy and saying that they would be requesting a full refund of their money.
Add to this the fact that we had to pay for parking, and some of us drove an hour for this disaster... not good. The pictures attached are of the instructor's demo cake, and our "provided tools."
I will receive a refund from Groupon. I would like to be compensated for my parking, gas (I drove an hour), and time (I turned down a job due to the class). I would also like for her to admit that she did wrong and apologize.
I drove 3 hrs for this class and can only say I was very disappointed. There were far too many people for any instruction to be effective and the assistants didn't appear to be knowledgeable about cake decorating. The entire set up - from serving food to having 6 people at a table, to supply tables, to the video capture - was poorly designed and poorly planned. Cake decorating is messy. Clean up supplies are essential, as is having the proper equipment, none of which was supplied.
When I got back home, I reviewed the promo for the class and had to laugh - we were promised "explicit instructions" which consisted of being told to get the icing out of buckets and ice the cakes and design whatever you like; being walked " through the basics of design, such as forging fondant adornments, gum-paste flowers," which included a demo of drawing a square and a rectangle on a sheet of paper; and "a recipe booklet crammed full of Chef Gagliardi’s confectionary secrets (Really? All I received was a card with some flavor suggestions, and two cards with recipes for fondant and gumpaste).
Good luck getting your money back, but I wouldn't hold my breath - it's a "buyer beware" world. I learned a valuable lesson today - I will never buy anything from groupon without doing more research.Jun 12 2011
Just wanted to say I had no problem getting a refund from Groupon. I just read the confirmation emails informing me of such after I issued my complaint via the Groupon website yesterday evening. I am more concerned for my friend who was unable to get the Groupon and had to pay Chef Gailyn the $110 directly for the class.Jun 12 2011
That's good news. After I read the comments on the original advertisement, I sent groupon a request for a refund, too. I haven't heard anything back. More importantly, I hope that she's not allowed to use groupon anymore.Jun 12 2011
I contacted Cafe Liardi @ChefGailyn and informed them of your gripe. Hopefully they'll be in touch soon. Best, Kim (Gripe Support Team)Jun 13 2011
I also got my money back from Groupon!!! This class was awful and I can't believe anyone would bay her the full price of $250.Jun 14 2011
I was also VERY disappointed with the class. Because we missed the Groupon offer, my friend and I also paid the company directly. I've been writing to request a refund with no response (Chef Gailyn was very quick to respond when we were signing up for the class and sending in money). Now there's no response to our emails, letters and phone calls requesting a refund. My friend and I have now filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau. I hope that this action results in a refund!! Meanwhile, we wanted to GRIPE about the company.Jul 6 2011
WOWNov 29 2011