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Help with a upset customer

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
I done a wedding cake and groom cakes 3 weeks ago. The first problem was the heat and the drive to the area. Customer told me that it would be a 30 min. drive so I already had the 3tier cake done. The first problem was the heat and the drive was 2 hours and the weather was 90 degree and I only charge her 25.00 for delivery. Second was she said the cake didnt look like the picture she show me and at the time of cutting the cut it had melt. When I went to delivery the cake to the center it didnt have a air condition or refrigertate and I had to go up a mountain and dirt road for about 45 min. Well she want her money back. The cost for the wedding cake was 230.00 and groom cake 75.00 Please help me.
post #2 of 50
Thread Starter 
And Yes she want a refund. What should I do
post #3 of 50
If it wasn't what she wanted I would offer either a partial refund or a gift certificate for an anniversary cake.

If the cake was eaten, then the order was fullfilled so no full refund!

It sounds like she has a case of "buyers remorse". Chances are she has had a chance to review her expenses and is realizing how expensive everything is and sees a way of recouping some of it.

You could explain to her, that although it wasn't exactly how she pictured it, (perhaps she hadn't been clear on her expectations), it had still been eaten. Tell her your normal delivery charge and how much further the destination was than what she had told you, so she saved money there.

I guess if it were me, I would offer a free anniversary cake or a percentage off her next order. Good Luck
post #4 of 50
Hi Cerobs, can you clarify these lines, "and at the time of cutting the cut it had melt" icon_confused.gif and "center it didnt have a air condition or refrigertate and I had to go up a mountain and dirt road for about 45 min."
you kind of lost me there.
post #5 of 50
I dont think so!!! She should have said something to you immediately if there was a problem. And I agree, if they ate the cake definately no refund. You should be charging her for the trip you made. It's like the saying goes: "Everyone wants something for nothing". Well not everyone, but you know what I mean. Bottom line, NO REFUND!!! PERIOD!
post #6 of 50
I tend to agree with the above posters; if the cake was eaten ~ then they do not get a full refund. The lack of air conditioning at the center is not your fault, and was likely the reason your cake didn't look like the picture. Unless she points out something specifically wrong that had nothing to do with the heat, I'd say she doesn't have a legitimate complaint.... That said, acknowledge that she was unhappy.... and offer a small partial refund or discount off a future order.
If I can offer you some tips for the future......Try to make sure your cakes are well chilled before delivery and drive with the car's air conditioning on full blast to avoid any mishaps in-transit. Also ~ take a photo once the cake is set up, and you may want to add a clause to your cake contract that you are not responsible for any damage to the cake after you leave, especially if it is set up outdoors. To avoid undercharging for delivery in the future, do an online search to determine exactly how many miles round trip to deliver and figure your delivery charge accordingly. Hope this helps!
Chocolate is my drug of choice....
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Chocolate is my drug of choice....
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post #7 of 50
I'm a little confused...

Did you have an address and directions to deliver the cake? Wouldn't you have known how far away it was and that it was going to take 2 hours instead of 30 minutes? Just asking, because I don't understand not knowing in advance how far away the venue was from you.

If the cake wasn't what she ordered or if it was damaged before you left it at the venue, you owe her a refund of some kind. Really, I'm not a fan of "if they eat the cake, you don't owe them anything". For me, it always depends on the situation.

I don't think it's fair to expect a client not to serve the cake at all when the problem is the design or damage to the cake. It's not as though they can serve another cake at the last moment and the fact that they made do with an unsatisfactory cake doesn't lessen their rights to a refund.

So it really depends. If the cake was what she ordered and the only damage done to it was due to the venue not being air conditioned or happened after you left, you owe her nothing. Otherwise, I think you owe her a refund, minus any extra she owes you for the extra distance delivery charges.
post #8 of 50
Was there a problem with the groom's cake, too? I wouldn't give her anything on the groom's cake, and I would talk to her about the travel issues- why did it take 2 hours to get there? Was it because of traffic or did she just lie to you about how far it really was? If she told you it was only 30 minutes and it was really 2 hours, I think that she needs to know about that! Also- do you think the cake you made looked like what she wanted? Cake is art- it's subject to interpretation and no two cakes will EVER look exactly the same. If you're not worried about having her as a customer again, or that she'll badmouth you to other potential customers, I'd probably just tell her to take a leap. If you are worried about bad press, I'd figure out what she'd be satisfied with. Maybe a $50 refund? A free anniversary tier? No way does she get all that money back, though!
post #9 of 50
What was the condition of the cake when it was set up? Had the drive/heat effected it to the point where you already thought it was a disaster, or did it just look hotter than you wanted it to? If you delivered and it was not damaged from the drive, I don't see why you would need to refund her anything (especially if you've got a picture of the condition of the cake after delivery). Tell her what you would have charged for delivery knowing exactly where it is now and that she saved there. If Iwere happy with a cake before putting it in my car, but disappointed in it after I delivered it because of damage in delivery, I would consider a refund. As far as it not looking like the picture she sent you - what's your take on it? Is it similar, but not exact? I couldn't do the same thing twice no matter how I tried, not to mention copying someone elses work! Is she not being realistic?
post #10 of 50
Thread Starter 
This was my second wedding cake,so Im learning. She told me that it was 30 min. but I did mapquest the drive direction ,so since I quote her 25.00 I loss out of that. But she never told me that I had to go up a mountain and a gravel road. She said that she couldnt take picture well cutting because of the condition of the cake .
post #11 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by smoore

What was the condition of the cake when it was set up? Had the drive/heat effected it to the point where you already thought it was a disaster, or did it just look hotter than you wanted it to? If you delivered and it was not damaged from the drive, I don't see why you would need to refund her anything (especially if you've got a picture of the condition of the cake after delivery). Tell her what you would have charged for delivery knowing exactly where it is now and that she saved there. If Iwere happy with a cake before putting it in my car, but disappointed in it after I delivered it because of damage in delivery, I would consider a refund. As far as it not looking like the picture she sent you - what's your take on it? Is it similar, but not exact? I couldn't do the same thing twice no matter how I tried, not to mention copying someone elses work! Is she not being realistic?



When I drop off the cake the second tier border had pull apart so I had to correct the border. The icing wasn't the exact color of the picture but she had three tier and each other was a different flavor,french vanilla,lemon,chocalate and she just said that the groom cake start melting.
post #12 of 50
So, are you saying the cake was damaged before you delivered it? If it was, I'm afraid you owe her a refund of at least a portion of the price depending on how bad the damage was.
post #13 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckalita

I tend to agree with the above posters; if the cake was eaten ~ then they do not get a full refund. The lack of air conditioning at the center is not your fault, and was likely the reason your cake didn't look like the picture. Unless she points out something specifically wrong that had nothing to do with the heat, I'd say she doesn't have a legitimate complaint.... That said, acknowledge that she was unhappy.... and offer a small partial refund or discount off a future order.
If I can offer you some tips for the future......Try to make sure your cakes are well chilled before delivery and drive with the car's air conditioning on full blast to avoid any mishaps in-transit. Also ~ take a photo once the cake is set up, and you may want to add a clause to your cake contract that you are not responsible for any damage to the cake after you leave, especially if it is set up outdoors. To avoid undercharging for delivery in the future, do an online search to determine exactly how many miles round trip to deliver and figure your delivery charge accordingly. Hope this helps!



Thank you very much but how much do you suppose to charge to delivery a cake.
post #14 of 50
do YOU have a picture of what it looked like before you left hte venue? posting it might help us give you better advice. if it was in good condition when you left it, then you don't owe a refund. she said that by the time they cut it, it was melted? well thats the venues fault for not having air conditioning, and she should ask them for a refund! if the design didn't look reasonably close to the picture she gave you, then you may want to consider a partial refund, something like 20-40% depending on how off the mark you were. but if you think the cake was very close to the picture she gave you, and you left it in good condition, then there is no reason to give a refund. post pics of the cake photo she gave you and the cake she got at her reception.
"Don't let the hand you hold, hold you down"
-anonymous


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 #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by justme50

So, are you saying the cake was damaged before you delivered it? If it was, I'm afraid you owe her a refund of at least a portion of the price depending on how bad the damage was.



If it was just a border and it was corrected, I still dont know if that justifies a refund or really considered damaged. It would really depend on how it looked. I have a weahter/temp clause in my contract stating that I am not resposible to what it will do to a cake and make that very clear in the consult. If i know it is going to be warm I even add it again and have them initial it.

As far as not looking exactly like the picture, did you tell them it would or did you tell them your cake will be modeled after the picture. I never tell someone I can reproduce something exactly. Even if it is my own cake I am replicating.
Becky D
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Becky D
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