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Need Advice .... Brides Mother threatening to sue!!! - Page 3

post #31 of 79
I think the women is crazy! My parents are wedding photographers and they have seen it all! Cakes fall over, cakes that are the leaning tower of Pisa, terrible tasting, and once the waiter dumped a whole tray of strawberry shortcake down the back of the bride......WOW what a mess and she just said oh well it was an accident.
The mother is being ridiculous, ask her for a picture of the cake all over the floor. Your picture looks good yea its leaning a little but I don think enough to actually fall over......? what did you sue for supports? It looks to be a center column or are the flowers hiding something?
Best of luck and please dont loose sleep over it.
No Cake is too pretty to eat!

Paula M Surrette
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No Cake is too pretty to eat!

Paula M Surrette
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post #32 of 79
Quote:
Quote:

When I left I took a picture and told the caterer, which is the only one that was there, that the bottom layer was leaning a little but it would be fine.


Quote:
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The caterer was a personal friend of hers so that is out. When I left the hall I talked to one of the ladies there and she said it looked great.



Here's more than likely what happened. MOB is told by the caterer what you said about it leaning . She is using this as a way of getting her money back. Ask for photographic proof that the lean had increased after you left. Not that they got all up set because you said it was leaning and cut the cake early for that reason. If the lean had actually increased, give the money back and be done with it.

Second issue - check the legal status of selling cakes. If you aren't legal , give the money back; and either get legal or or stop selling cakes.
post #33 of 79
Can you contact the wedding photographer? Then you can find photographic evidence of what the cake looked like at the reception.
post #34 of 79
I currently don't make cakes for a profit, but I would never do wedding cakes for just this reason. What a nightmare! I am all for avoiding stress these days!!! That said, if I were in your situation I think I would ask to see pictures of the cake. If the cake had totally fallen I would refund the total money. I would probably return my profit to her if she could not show pictures. I would let her know that I was only charging her my cost. I'm sure this must be very stressful for you. I would want to clear up the situation with her and move on. As long as this is on her mind, and hasn't been resolved, she will probably tell everyone she comes in contact with about it. I know it's hard to do, but it isn't a matter of who's right, it's a matter of closing the book and getting some peace back in your life. Just my opinion of course! Good luck in what ever you decide to do.
post #35 of 79
Tough situation! I think the cake looks great icon_confused.gif . Although you may know it's not your best work it looks fine to th naked eye. However if the customers not happy, we're in a predicament. The MOB isn't exactly being reasonable but what can you do. Personally, if i were in the situation i would; Calculate how much it cost to make the cake, I.E. cake& frosting, and reimburse the extra money. You make take a big cut but since it's your work that she's unhappy with, tell her you will reimburse her for the work but she will still be charged for the cake itself. Hopefully this will calm her down enough not to sue! I hope whatever you do it works out for you and once again, The cake is beautiful! thumbs_up.gif

Happy Baking
Gloria II
"Oh yes I can have my cake and eat it too"
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"Oh yes I can have my cake and eat it too"
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post #36 of 79
I think I would tell her that the pictures that you took after you set up show that the cake looks great. Tell her that you need her to provide you with pictures of the cake after you left and during the reception, and at that time you might consider a refund. I don't know how she can expect you to just fork over a refund without proof that there really was a problem. If the cake was really leaning badly, I might give her a portion of what she paid, maybe enough that you can still cover the costs of the ingredients, especially since they still ate the cake.
post #37 of 79
I know and understand how you're feeling on the defensive and also wanting to dig your heels in a bit because of the Mom's behaviour.

There are essentially 2 reactions you could have to this whole affair., 1) feel instinctively bad and want to return money or compensate somehow, or 2) stubbornly insist that you will NOT refund any money because everything was fine when you left.

It sounds like you're having some feelings of self doubt- forget how that affects a possible law suit or how that affects the mom's next move.

Do your homework. Because in a legal situation this is what you would be asked to produce. Pull out the contract. Sit down and write EVERYTHING that has transpired from the first consultation to now- be civil and factual about it- this is a description not an opinion piece (ie I think the Mom is a ahem lol). You're merely stating facts, a completely detailed recount of events. The evidence would prove itself that she's been lying about a bunch of s tuff. No need to say 'she lied this time and that time' - just report what she said and when, what the bride said and when.
When you set the cake up you have to honestly ask yourself why it was leaning - remove all the feelings you have as a result of this 'attack on you' -. Find pictures., Go to the wedding photographer. Go directly to the source to get information and write this down. Do not rely on someone who heard someone else say. You also have your own photo.

Meanwhile, in legal interest, she has threatened you or made you feel on the defensive, however it IS in fact her job to provide proof of what she's accusing of. IF she has no ground to stand on, ie re you already feeling when you left that it was leaning some. You really have to be honest with yourself asking yourself why it was leaning. If it was a support issue then as was mentioned a few times, the compensation does fall on you- however you can handle that a number of ways. Good luck with that.

Re: legalities of owning a business/baking out of kitchen, again do your homework. March right down to the government office in charge or call, and ask, and take notes, and find out what you need to be running a business out of your home.

Ask a lot of questions, write a lot of unbiased /factual notes. Who signed the contract? What does the contract say.

If you are not in fact legally entitled to run a business out of your home, I would do as was mentioned and immediately figure out a way to refund money or compensate amicably so she doesnt think you're a pushover or think you're refunding because of her bullying or threats about your lack of business licence. Do not bring up the lack of business licence to her (if that is actually an issue- let it alone - if you are not legal, then quietly refund the money and be done with it. Then MAKE HASTE and get yourself the proper licencing and insurance before you even TALK to the next potential customer.

Good luck, and remember keep a level head in all this.

I dont have any wedding or other cake contract experience but I took a lunatic landlord to residential tenancy court' a few times and we did our homework/provided unbiased evidence/photos and let the evidence speak for itself and the arbitrator just watched him foam at the mouth and it was open shut case for us. But we left out our opinions of the whole thing. That's REALLY important. Not always easy to do when someone is attacking you but assessing everything honestly and factually is important thumbs_up.gif

The cake is gorgeous by the way!
post #38 of 79
Did you have them sign any type of contract?I agree with the advise in this thread and would follow as advised.

It looks like a learning experience that is very trying at best.

1. Meet local catering/baking rquirements if needed.
2. Get pictures of any additional tilting.
3. Refund what you feel is right according to the circumstances.
If tilt only, maybe aoffer to make an 8" for their 1st Anniversary and discount the wedding cake some?

4. I'd get a contract signed on all your cakes upfront. A lesson learned on assuming that the flowers that were supposed to be there would be....I'd add that to your contract and make some calls to verify this in future orders....

What did you charge them initially? How many did it serve? What were your approxomate supply costs?

Mom may just be trying to intimidate you....but do what's right when you re contact and get the circumstances.
post #39 of 79
I think the cake is beautiful.

I do understand the whole I-was-gonna-but-now-I'm-not attitude about the refund.

This is one day that should be perfect...including the cake. A leaning cake is not perfect and a bottom tier being the root of the problem, to me, would lead to further disaster.

After adjusting the cake so it looked good from the front, did you leave with a sinking feeling and praying that nothing more would happen to it? Or did you feel like your adjustments to it would secure the entire cake, confidently?

I feel as if now is kind of late to keep the woman from going further to shut you down. You could return all of her money and she could be just as angry after as she was in the beginning and just for spite, turn you in. Or, she may have already started the process and it's too late to stop it even if she wanted.

I would give her the refund...eaten cake or not...physical/visual proof or not...you said yourself you were gonna give her back some of her money because of the leaning problem...if nothing more than to keep her from calling you again.

A suggestion for future situations, don't hesitate to try to make things right...no matter how difficult it may be...there might not always be the opportunity to make it right later.
"Be the change you want to see in the world."- Mahatma Gandhi

miniature cake tutorial

http://www.youtube.com/user/MyNewSneakers?feature=mhsn
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"Be the change you want to see in the world."- Mahatma Gandhi

miniature cake tutorial

http://www.youtube.com/user/MyNewSneakers?feature=mhsn
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post #40 of 79
I agree with Narie....if u are not selling cakes legally, refund all the money and get legal or stop selling cakes. Not being legal makes a huge difference. She could not only sue u for the money but then she will have the health department on your back....which might happen even if you give the money back. Selling cakes without being legal is way to risky. You never know when an angry customer will destroy your business and financial life!
post #41 of 79
Sounds to me like Daddy got upset about the costs of the wedding and mommy had to get some of the costs back and you were her only way.

Did you have a contract with the people? If so, did you stick to your end of said contract? You have a picture of the standing cake. Granted, it leaned just slightly, but what cake stands perfectly straight? You can fight the lady if you want, but if you are not licensed and she pushes the issue, I would offer her a percentage of the cake back. Leaning or not, you still need to be paid for your work.
Spanish sugar, French Pastry, Swiss chocolate, and American Apple Pie. How much sweeter can life get????
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Spanish sugar, French Pastry, Swiss chocolate, and American Apple Pie. How much sweeter can life get????
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post #42 of 79
I would refund her some of the money but not all, I like the idea of refunding anything over your cost. On principle I wouldn't want to, she was rude and pushy and probably nothing happened as bad as she is saying but the unlicensed fines could be huge. I doubt she would really do anything, she seems the empty threat to get what I want type but it's too big of a $$$$ risk to call her bluff.

I would try and talk to someone unbiased that was there, the photographer or someone else not related/not a friend of the family to find out what happened. Someone could have bumped the table or nothing happend and they just want cash back because she heard through her friend it was leaning a bit and they are using that as a way to try and get something back. It's a gorgeous cake icon_smile.gif.
post #43 of 79
chocomama is not correct. you can be sued for anything. ever watch the court shows? your wages can't be garnished unless there is a judgment against you. garnishments are not just for student loans, etc. they are one avenue of satisfying judgments. but if it did fall to pieces trust me, someone has a picture. wishing you success in dealing with this lady.
"If you are influenced by the opinion of others, you will have no desire of your own."
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"If you are influenced by the opinion of others, you will have no desire of your own."
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post #44 of 79
re: this being a learning experience at best! Yes it is a learning experience- every time you deal with a new customer it's a learning experience- and hopefullly come away with valuable experience about what to do same and what to do differently next time something similar comes up.
As for compensation, the only time I can see it being wise to offer discount or freebie on next deal is if you already have a long and goodstanding relationship with a customer. Loyal customer, you want to make right. If it's a loyal customer obviously they're not mental or you wouldnt continue doing business with them (if you did you need your -generic you- head examined lol to subject yourself-again generic you- to that kind of abuse). If they are a loyal and levelheaded customer then they would not fly off the handle if you made a mistake. Of course being a good business person, you (generic you) own up to mistakes and try and make right the best way for that situation (not all situations require or demand the same compensation ie full or partial refund etc).

If however you have found yourself in a situation with a crazy person- and some problems ensue, either your fault or theirs or both parties responsible, why would you offer to do their next one free or cheaper? (Just asking here)- why se t yourself up to be doing business with that person again. In a situation like that with someone who is OBVIOUSLY going to cause grief every time you deal with them (because they already have every step of the way this time) you dont want to ever do business with them again- so dont put yourself in the position to- if you feel the need to compensate whether the mishap was your responsibility or not- offer full or partial refund and then close the book on that one.

icon_smile.gif
post #45 of 79
If the pictures you posted are of the best side, you delivered a very pretty leaning cake (it points to the right). It didn't get less leany after you left it.

Best case scenario is you refund the fee (in full, never mind your costs of ingredients) and you keep your business going. Worst case is she gets you shut down and you're out of business and you're paying fines for doing business illegally, for not collecting and paying taxes, for not having health department inspection, and whatever else, as well as maybe paying her back for this cake.

What's the risk worth to you?
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