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On Friday, Feb 17, 2011, I remembered that I promised my kids I would order a king cake for them to bring to their schools. Being that I grew up in New Orleans and my parents still live there, we like to continue the tradition and spread the Mardi Gras culture. I went to the Gambino's bakery website and noticed that according to their site that I was too late to receive the cake on Monday even with next day delivery. Bummer. SO, I called the bakery, hoping that I might be able to get it somehow by speaking to someone. To my surprise, the employee who answered the phone said that I could absolutely receive it on Monday. I was shocked and told her so. She acted in typical New Orleans laissez-faire, casual attitude assuring me there was plenty of time. I let her know that according to the website I was not able to get it by Monday. She said to ignore what it said and that cakes ordered today (Fri) would indeed be shipped out that day, and that all items are required to ship overnight. I was reassured that it was no problem. I then placed the order for 2 approximately $50 king cakes (approx. $100 in king cake order) to be delivered from New Orleans to Tampa for shipment on February 20, 2011. I even made a special note to the bakery in shipping instructions…. If these items will not be shipped on Monday, February 20, please call me ASAP and I will change the delivery address. I suspected the items would in fact be received on Tuesday and thought, in that case, that I could have them delivered directly to the school.

Monday, February 20 came and went…no delivery. Nothing.

Tuesday, February 21, I received a call from Fedex about 2pm. They said they saw the shipping note, and wanted to know if I wanted to change the delivery address. I appreciated the call but now that school was already out for this day, I told them, no"”delivery it to my house- the address already planned for delivery. Thought that was the end of it and that I would have 2 king cakes sitting on my door when I got home. I had in fact received excellent customer service from FEDEX in the past. I get home"”no king cakes. Instead, a note saying they required a signature. Ugh- are you kidding me? I just spoke to them! I called them right away as I know sometimes FEDEX trucks deliver late- tried to salvage any way I could get the cakes that day. To no avail"”customer service relayed that all trucks were in for the day and the best they could do is deliver it again the next day. She did see the note that they called me and that I in fact said deliver to the address already given. She cannot supply a reason that it was not delivered. No apology.

The next day, Wednesday, February 22 it was delivered.

I sent Gambinos an email telling them my experience. They responded that I had agreed to the delivery date of Tuesday, Feb 22 when I placed the order"”they simply ignored my phone conversation with the employee who assured me it would be delivered on Monday. MOST importantly, I did not receive it on Tuesday, but WEDnesday. They said they cannot control when Fedex delivers. WHAT?? It was absolutely incredible. They took NO responsibility –even though I PAID them handsomely for NEXT DAY DELIVERY. They were rude and when I requested they return at least my shipping expense they said that they cannot do that and that delivery is between me and FEDEX. Are you kidding me??

NEXT DAY DELIVERY IS vital when ordering desserts from out of state-- Who wants a dessert that was made on Friday and actually is delivered on Wednesday? I am appalled with Gambino's position to take NO responsibility between them and the shipper. I contracted with Gambino's to buy two king cakes and for THEM to send it to me via FEDEX NEXT DAY DELIVERY. Now, they say they cannot control FEDEX's delivery schedule? Simply appalling.

BEWARE when thinking you are going to do something fun and buy king cakes from New Orleans bakery- Gambino's Bakery. What you will get is STALE king cakes that you paid exorbitantly for and they guarantee no delivery date on. RIPOFF.

Monetary Loss: $100.

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