Where’s My Order?’ – An explanation of our postage policy (and COVID-19 update)
If you’re visiting my site for the first time then you may not know that Soulvegan is a female-owned business run by me, Emma English. We may look like a big company (and we are growing fast!), but at the moment, we still operate on a very small scale.
As a solo female entrepreneur and passionate vegan baker I pour my heart and soul into everything I do. Every single design I create and bring to life, every celebration cake I bake and decorate each cake by hand with love and care.
Since lockdown started we have received an unprecedented number of orders – which I am incredibly grateful for! Your support really means the world to me, and I absolutely love reading your lovely reviews and seeing beautiful tagged photos of you enjoying our bakes.
However, along with this I have also received an unprecedented number of abusive messages and experienced threatening and unkind behaviour from customers who feel aggrieved due to no fault of my own – including a phone call on Easter Sunday in which a customer told me to ‘f off’ when I politely explained that we were closed for the holiday. I pride myself on excellent customer service, but unfortunately due to the current crisis and other elements out of my control I have been subjected to bullying which has left me feeling disillusioned and frankly quite saddened by the behaviour of a small few, especially given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in.
Because of this I felt I must write this blog to explain our processing times and the way we do things (these details can also be found in brief in our FAQ section).
Rest assured that everything we do is in the interest of the customer – and at times like this it is even more important to be kind and considerate to others.
Every single brownie and bronut box is freshly baked to order
This week (for Easter) lots of people ordered on Wednesday or Thursday for Easter delivery. What they don’t realise is that every single order at Soulvegan is freshly baked on demand, unlike a grocery shop, where items are ready to be simply picked, packed and sent. This naturally means that our processing times tend to be longer – previously we stated 2-3 days (including delivery) from the day of ordering. However now due to the demand and subsequent delays the postal service is experiencing (more on this below) we have extended this to 4-5 days.
What this means is that if you order for a special occasion but only leave a day or two for processing and delivery, it unfortunately will not arrive on time.
So for the orders placed on Thursday, we’d have had to have baked on the same day, and posted on the same day – but even if we had been able to do that, due to the current delays, increased demand due to Easter and Bank Holiday on Friday it’d be highly unlikely the order would arrive on Saturday. What’s more, because of the Bank Holiday on top of the delays the lovely fresh cakes would have been languishing in the postal system for maybe 4 or 5 days, by which time the cakes would probably be past their best. More on this below.
As you can see, this is out of our control, but sadly we’ve been subject to abusive messages, phone calls and emails all over Easter weekend because people did not receive their orders in time. Please, if you are ordering for a gift to arrive on a specific day, special occasion or a seasonal event ensure you have left plenty of time. We cannot be held responsible for delayed orders as we ensure that they are processed within stated timeframes, and we shouldn’t have to put up with bullying and threatening behaviour due to this.
Why we don’t post on Fridays or over the weekend
We want to make sure that you absolutely love your cakes. Our main concern is your enjoyment – and a positive experience when dealing with us.
For this reason, we don’t post on Fridays, and we don’t post over the weekend. You may have noticed that at checkout we mention this, but some customers seem to have ignored the message, or are confused by it.
So why do we do this? Because we care. Because our cakes are freshly baked without preservatives. If we post on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday there’s a very good chance your cakes will be sat in a sorting office or delayed in transit, so they won’t be as fresh as we’d like them to be when they finally get to you. Of course, the postal service is closed on Sunday.
So instead we post on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This ensures that you get your cakes in good time and that they are as delicious as can be!
It’s very simple, but it’s very important because nobody wants to receive stale or less than perfect cakes and we don’t want you to, either.
Current delays due to COVID-19
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic I am now working alone. This puts immense pressure on me as I singlehandedly fulfil your orders and ensure that they are processed and delivered without delay. I don’t mind this at all and it is a pleasure to receive so many lovely orders, especially the gifts with heartfelt messages included.
However, due to the sheer volume of orders I am constantly working through a slight backlog, which means I can’t process the orders as quickly as I could before. This is reflected in our extended processing and delivery timeframe, which is now 4-5 days.
As you can appreciate, the crisis has put unprecedented pressure on our postal services. They are struggling to fulfil demand which means packages are naturally taking longer to reach their destination. This is completely out of my control.
Please bear the above in mind when ordering, and only contact me if your order has not arrived after 5 days. I will then be happy to investigate for you and can issue a refund or replacement if it has been lost or takes over a week to get to you.
I can no longer accept rude messages, emails and phone calls demanding refunds due to the delayed postal service at this time. This is a devastating and difficult situation we find ourselves in, and our hardworking posties are doing the best they possibly can, as am I. I am not a faceless corporate brand with a call centre, I am a human being after all! Please remember this when contacting us.
Our opening hours
Because I run the business independently I have, in the past, answered messages or phone calls out of hours to help customers. I pride myself on good customer service and I alwaysdo my best to help if customers contact me with a question or issue. I want you to be happy when dealing with us!
We’re here to help if you need us – simply use live chat, email or social media to message us, or phone us. But please understand and respect that like any other business (and any other human beings!) we also need rest and time away from work. Our opening hours are 9-5pm, Monday to Friday. If you contact us outside of these hours, we will get back to you as soon as we possibly can. Please do not contact us again with abusive messages or complaining that you have not received a reply in a timely manner. You will not be responded to, and you will be barred from ordering with us in the future.
I do feel sad having to have written and posted this blog. The majority of my customers are absolutely lovely. Please know this only applies to a small few – but this week was so unpleasant I wanted to do everything within my power to avoid it happening again.
Please be kind. Please be patient. At this time especially, we don’t know what others are dealing with, what pressures they may face or what terrible experience they may be going through.
For now I’m back to baking, but I hope that this blog clarifies our process for customers and helps with future orders. Please get in touch if you need any more information on our cruelty-free cakes and bakes!
Love, Emma xxx