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another fallen cake/refund question

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Sorry for another one of these, but I really need some advice. I made a two tiered sports theme cake Saturday for a friend's (not really close friend, i just know her from my old job, but i really love her to death) nephew's birthday party. (She sent me the design off of here, and i can't find it to give them credit! Sorry!) Anyway, I constructed it as always and drove it 30 minutes to meet her with it. She loved it, took it to the party (don't know how much farther it was) and that was that. Oh, she put it in the trunk of her car because there was no other room and this was the only flat spot. I've had other people do this before (including her) so i didn't think anything of it.
This morning (Monday) I got a message from her sister-in-law that when they got there and opened the trunk the top tier had fallen off and damaged the bottom tier. She said i didn't put "little sticks" in the top cake like i usually do.
I don't even know what she is talking about because i don't put supports in the top tier. Anyway, i just don't know what to do. I feel like if i drove it for 30 minutes and it was completely fine when i got there that the cake had to be pretty stable. What should I do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated![/img]
LL
post #2 of 38
Oh my gosh, that cake is so cute!

It seems to me like there was some driver error in this case. Maybe they slammed on the brakes, who knows? If it made it on a 30 minute drive, it should have made it the rest of the way I would think.

Maybe by little sticks she means a center dowel driven through both cakes? Did you have a center dowel in there?

I'm sorry this happened to you.
post #3 of 38
To me the biggest question you have to ask yourself how much do i want to keep this person as a cutomer and as a friend? It's always a dicey thing when selling cakes to someone who is a regular customer and/or a friend family member and something goes wrong. Good Luck!
post #4 of 38
Sorry, but this is not your fault whatsoever. You should not have to refund any money. It was her driving.

Once the cake is in the customers hands and you have left the premises knowing the cake was in good condition when you left, you are not responsible for whatever happens to it.

Simply tell her, "I'm sorry, but I'm not at fault here. Two tiers cakes don't typically require a center dowel - it did survive the 30 minute drive to you, after all."
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post #5 of 38
I hate to be a negative nelly and always try to blame the customer, but that cake is not remotely off balance or precariously positioned... and you went 30 miles with no problems. I am tempted to agree that we may have some 'driver error' issues there. I would send a polite note in return telling her you are so sorry that there was some sort of 'accident'. I'd let her know that you do not dowel the top tier on any cakes because there is nothing on top of them needing support. I'd also offer her a moderate discount on a future order as a courtesy. You can point out that once a cake is delivered from your possession in good condition, you really can't be responsible for what happens to it unless it is an OBVIOUS case of negligence on your part. (If you just really dropped the ball and didn't construct it properly in other words!) There is no reason that cake should have fallen under 'normal' circumstances, barring a sudden stop or turning without slowing down appropriately. Good luck with this!!
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post #6 of 38
I would tell them, in the nicest way possible of course, that once the cake leaves your hands it's no longer your responsibility. That really sucks that happened to you and of course my advice is easier said than done. icon_sad.gif
post #7 of 38
She took responsibility for the cake the minute she put it in the trunk (which would personally make me freak out!). You do not owe her a refund. This is my ultimate fear for stacked cakes. It would have been worth it for her to have paid you for complete delivery. Then if something happened, it would have been your responsibility. JMHO

The cake was very cute BTW.
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post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

I hate to be a negative nelly and always try to blame the customer, but that cake is not remotely off balance or precariously positioned... and you went 30 miles with no problems. I am tempted to agree that we may have some 'driver error' issues there. I would send a polite note in return telling her you are so sorry that there was some sort of 'accident'. I'd let her know that you do not dowel the top tier on any cakes because there is nothing on top of them needing support. I'd also offer her a moderate discount on a future order as a courtesy. You can point out that once a cake is delivered from your possession in good condition, you really can't be responsible for what happens to it unless it is an OBVIOUS case of negligence on your part. (If you just really dropped the ball and didn't construct it properly in other words!) There is no reason that cake should have fallen under 'normal' circumstances, barring a sudden stop or turning without slowing down appropriately.



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Be the change you want to see in the world!!!

To the world you might be one person, but to one person you mean the world.

Baking is life's true Joy!
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post #9 of 38
Did you have a dowel going through both tiers?

If I'm not transporting a cake, I don't worry about that. But if I am, I always put a dowel through both tiers. Your 30 minutes of driving plus her driving (even if excellent driving) was perhaps too much stress for an undoweled cake. That is a lot of movement, vibration, etc. on something constructed of cake and icing.
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post #10 of 38
It does stink that this happened so sorry for you! When I delvier a cake to someone that is putting it in thier car I tell them they need to drive as if there is an egg on the dashboard and when they laugh...........
I say soemthing like the cake is fragile and you need to drive with special care. Thank you and drive carefully!
Good Luck.

I wouldnt give her a refund I would just say your sorry but it was fine when you left it. in her hands. I am sure she hit the breaks a little to hard. It doesnt take much! As we all know
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post #11 of 38
Believe me, I've driven country roads (super curvy and hilly) with no center dowels for a 2-tier cake supported by only sucker sticks. It didn't move. Quite frankly, who puts a cake in their trunk anyway? It's the dirtiest part of your car and I guarantee you she had to have other stuff in it as well.

I would simply tell her you never have dowels in the top tier and kindly remind her it survived a 30 minute trip to her. Wash your hands of this because it's not your fault. The customer really goofed on this and she just needs to learn from her mistakes.
post #12 of 38
I'm sorry this happended to you. I agree with everybody else, but I'd like to add this: some cars vibrate more than others even do we don't feel it. I found out the hard way on my latest minivan. Once a cake almost collapsed even though it was one tier, and a couple a times more, some of the cupcakes from a cupcake cake almost slide of the base. That's when we realized the problem, so my guess is that her car might vibrate a lot more than they feel, not to mention the driver could forgot she was drivin with a cake in the trunk.
post #13 of 38
Don't do anything, its not your fault that she probably drove like a maniac. Forget about it, the cake was beautiful.
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post #14 of 38
oh my my... that cake is sooooooo precious! You did a fabulous job. I agree that it was most likely driver error. I drove a cake (haven't posted it yet, will today, barnyard themed) over 30 miles and through a park... mind you the park has paved roads and there was a dip nearly every 2 complete turns of the tires.... bumpy, bumpy, bumpy..... My cake didn't fall. It did shift slightly but it didn't fall. I use straws for supports (those from McAlister's Deli, really thick ones!) and it survived... even the little sheep on top. I say that to say this, I don't think that this was your fault. I would simply say was it in tact when you put it in the trunk? If she says yes, then there ya go...... she either slammed the lid on it and it became unstable or she pulled a danica patrick move and drove like a BOH (bat outta hell!)..... your cake was great and she should be so proud... going to put it in my favs right now!
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post #15 of 38
The cake is so cute, I love it. Did you say you put no support through the tiers?

If that is the cake you gave her and you put support in the cake and drove that far, and the cake was fine, you don't owe a refund. The top of the cake was not off when you gave it to her.

I also tell my customers to drive like they have a baby in the car. I give them a small square of shelf liner and tell them to put the cake on a flat surface. Sounds like someone forgot they had a cake in the trunk. If you did everything you should have for supports, there would be no refund.
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