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First complaint, need some honest advice! *More pics added*

post #1 of 108
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I just got an email for some one for whom I did a cake a week ago. Here's her email:

"I just wanted to let you know that I wasn't happy with our cake. It wasn't near as decorative as the picture I had sent you that I wanted. All the icing edging started to fall off before the day was over and really bad when you tried to cut it. It was pretty dry, also we had changed the type of cake we wanted after the cupcake tasting. So I am very dissappointed with it, especially for the price we paid."

Now, first, I've never made a dry cake in my life. My problem actually run to the opposite. But regardless, I tried that cake (always try the trimming from levelling) and dry it was not.

I don't understand the icing falling off bit? I'm not sure what that would mean. Or about the cutting? I'll clarify when I respond.

As to the flavours...I can't understand what she is talking about changing? We hadn't made any flavour arrangements prior to tasting. So, I went with what she said last?

Anyway, for the appearance, I've gotten very positive feedback on this cake. This is what she sent me as an example:

Image

Image

And this was her cake:

Image

Is my version dramatically under decorated?

Oh, and price. I charged her $600 for that cake. I'm not really sure what else to say about that.

I need to sit back a bit before responding and I wanted a few objective opinions before doing anything.

Any ideas?
post #2 of 108
I would say if you think you did a good job. Stick to your guns. Apologize for what she thinks was wrong. Then offer her a discount on her next cake. I would not give $$ back. By offering $$ off another cake, you'll have the chance to make up for what she thinks you were missing. And it is worth more $$ to her, than cost to you. KWIM?

I would say she's just searching for some $$ back. You did a great job!!
post #3 of 108
i think your cake looks great! if it had any more deco it prolly woulda looked too busy, ya know? are the swirls BC? cause when i do BC deco on fondant it dries hard and does fall off when cutting. maybe thats what she means. but when you're cutting up a cake, who cares? its getting eaten now, not being decorative anymore. as far as changing her cake flavor, only she can explain that one! i'd email and ask for clarification, and tell her you did such and such flavor as she requested at the tasting. i wouldn't refund any money either, its an enormous cake and you decorated it well.
"Don't let the hand you hold, hold you down"
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www.sweetwaterbakehouse.com
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"Don't let the hand you hold, hold you down"
-anonymous


www.sweetwaterbakehouse.com
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post #4 of 108
Thread Starter 
Thank for the kind words. We put so much time and effort and hours into this cake. It's crushing to have some one tear it apart that way.

The decor on the cake is royal icing and the flowers are gumpaste.

The cake survived transport (and a very long and bumpy trip through the hotel through no fault of our own) just fine. I find it hard to believe that it spontaneously collapsed the moment we left.

Maybe she didn't understand what fondant was (my tastings are typically a selection of cupcakes, but we had a long talk about fondant) and found it hard to cut that?

I'm still too upset to email her back.

These are a few more detailed professional pictures we had taken (because we were so proud of this cake) at the venue before we left:

Image

Image

Image

[img]http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v468/tatania199/?action=view&current=_MG_5912.jpg
[/img]
post #5 of 108
That is one incredible cake you made. I think it looks VERY similar to the photos she gave you.

Royal icing dries very hard and I can see that 'falling off' during the cutting process, but as previously stated, once the pics are taken and the cake is being cut, then who cares what it looks like? NOBODY, that's who!

I would politely let her know that your records do not indicate any changes on the cake after your initial meeting ("..... so if you could clarify and forward a copy of the email with the change request?")

Did they not eat the cake? Did they throw it out because "no one" liked it?

I think she's huntin' for an excuse to get some money back on a wedding that may have gone overbudget.
post #6 of 108
Who knows what she is talking about? I would ask her to explain in more detail what her complaints are so that you can address them. The only thing I can see is that the cake pictures she sent you were only 2 colors and hers was 3. This did add another dimension to her cake.
"There is nothing I enjoy better than a nice big piece of cake and tall cold glass of Diet Coke!"
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"There is nothing I enjoy better than a nice big piece of cake and tall cold glass of Diet Coke!"
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post #7 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Did they not eat the cake? Did they throw it out because "no one" liked it?

I think she's huntin' for an excuse to get some money back on a wedding that may have gone overbudget.



I'm right there with ya, indydebi

tatania, your cake is lovely, don't let this ... tapedshut.gif ... bridezilla ruin your day or week or whatever.
Anna (105 lbs lost since June 1, 2009)
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Anna (105 lbs lost since June 1, 2009)
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post #8 of 108
If I were the bride, I would of walked in, saw that cake and said it was the prettiest one I have ever seen. That is amazing. I paid $400 for mine and it is no where near as gorgeous as this.
Women are angels, you may clip our wings but we will still fly..on broomsticks..were flexible.
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Women are angels, you may clip our wings but we will still fly..on broomsticks..were flexible.
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post #9 of 108
honest advice...ok...i honestly think your cake was amazing! I don't know what she could possibly complain about! Your cake looks very similar to the design she sent you, and perhaps she didn't understand that fondant dries it is not soft like icing! Honestly, don't feel anything but pride at what you accomplished. You did a great job and I wouldn't offer anything back to her, that would be like selling yourself short and taking away from the gratification you should be feeling. Great Job....Be Proud!
post #10 of 108
I think your cake is GORGEOUS. I have never seen a wedding cake in that configuration, and I LOVE IT!!!! I think yours was just as pretty and detailed as the examples she gave you. I am sorry that you got such bad feedback from the bride ... like you, I would be crushed and very upset. I would send her an email asking for clarification on the flavor issue as well as the icing falling off (???). I can't imagine that the icing (especially royal) would just randomly start falling off the cake. That just sounds wacky to me. I do not think you should refund any of her money. If she was truly concerned about the dryness of the cake or the icing falling off, then she should have saved a piece of the cake and brought it back to you. But I'm guessing that every bit of that beautiful cake was eaten and enjoyed. Like Debi said, I think she now realizes that she went over budget on her wedding and is searching for a reason to get some money back. Maybe offer her a discount on her next cake, but that's it. Oh, and by the way, I think she got a DEAL by only paying $600 for a cake that big and beautiful!!!!
Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows. ~ Michael Landon
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Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows. ~ Michael Landon
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post #11 of 108
Your cake is beautiful and looks so similiar to the pictures she gave you! Besides all of the detailed work on the cake, which looks amazing, that's alot of cake for $600!
post #12 of 108
I have only just joined CakeCentral (WOW!!!) and, browsing through, found your post.
I am absolutely horrified by this vicious bride - but I too have "been there, done that"! Sadly for my bride, one of my dearest friends had a sister in the wedding party, who passed on that this was the bride's way of saving money! She also sent letters of complaint to the florist and caterer!
Your cake was just beautiful, so don't let this horrible person rattle your confidence. I am from Australia, and don't really know what cake-pricing in the US is like, but it seems to me that she already got an amazing cake for very little money.
Keep up the great work, and ignore nasties like this one! thumbs_up.gif
post #13 of 108
Don't e-mail... call her! typed words cannot express ones tone of voice and seems like there is always some type of miscommunication when people e-mail each other.

I think she e-mailed you because she had time to think about what she wanted to say. If she had called you and complained, you would have been able to question her outright and she most likely wouldn't have had a leg to stand on.

Her remark about it not being decorated enough, is outlandish. As for the taste and the "falling apart" needs to be clarified over the phone, not e-mail.

I hope all goes well. Get your questions down on paper and be prepared.

Good Luck!

Oh and uh that is an amazing cake!
I don't drown my sorrows; I suffocate them with cake!

I'd give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter!
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I don't drown my sorrows; I suffocate them with cake!

I'd give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter!
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post #14 of 108
The colours are different from in the pictures she's sent you - but I presume she asked for those colours? I guess she'd have to send you some cake to prove it was dry and that the icing was falling off? I'm also guessing she won't have any cake left as she's scoffed it all. I'd calmly say you're sorry she was disappointed - send her the images she sent you and yours so she can see how similar they are and ask for samples of the cake back. When she can't send you any then it's tough for her. $600 isn't expensive for the amount of cake she's had and you shouldn't have to refund her any.
post #15 of 108
Personally I think your Puzzle Cake is incredible. Sounds like your customer really didn't want to pay as much for her cake and wanted a partial refund to offset her wedding expenses.

I would send her a very brief e-mail wishing her a lot of happiness in her marriage, thanking her for her business and for her comments. And I would leave it at that!!!

If she's unhappy you can't fix it with another cake or even a refund of any amount so why bother. You may/may not get any referrals from her so just move on to another customer.

YOUR WORK STANDS UP FOR ITSELF - AND ITS BEAUTIFUL!
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