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First Unhappy Customer - Need Advice - Picture included! - Page 2

post #16 of 113
ummm...first of all...do NOT give her money back...she got this cake at a STEAL!

BUT...this was NOT enough servings...I'm sorry...but by your measurements you actually gave her a little under 20 servings with the party slice from wilton @ 1.5"X2"X4" ....with it being 13" long and 4" wide...that gives them about 18 servings...maybe a little under because of the curves.

I am sorry this has happened....apologize to her and tell her that you can give her a discount off her next cake...like 10%...BUT! you should be raising your prices! when I do a carved cake I make sure to charge appropriately....basically for sculpted cake I do as follows:
$50 base fee for 20 and under servings...PLUS my per serving price of $2.

I know there are other's that just charge $4 or $5 per serving when it comes to sculpted cakes...but you need to realize that because you are doing something that other's can't do that you can charge appropriately! so, you may want to let her know that you've gained some knowledge in sculpting cakes and you may have to raise your prices in the near future...or just tell her this the next time she calls you.

This is what I would say:

"I'm so sorry that you were unhappy with your cake. I DID go through my charts and i realize that your cake was not enough servings. I was about 2 servings off. I can refund you the price of XX for those servings you did not receive OR give you a 20% discount based off of the servings you didn't receive for your next order if you choose to order from me again. I hope that this can make up for my mistake."

Stephanie
It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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post #17 of 113
Don't forget that the wilton serving chart (and others) is designed for wedding cake portions, which are about 1/2 the size of standard dessert sized servings of cake.

In all fairness to you, she should have mentioned something when she picked the cake up (btw, nice job on that cake).

I'm sorry you had this happen - might be a good idea in the future to specifically tell your customers the dimensions of your servings.
post #18 of 113
Were they planning on having a cake eating contest with it?

You used a standard serving size to determine how big to make the cake. You gave her a great price. If you didn't use a standard size and they were really tiny pieces and she refused to take the cake and she had paid you in advance, then maybe I could understand what her problem was.

Your cake looked great.
post #19 of 113
I need to clarify...what I mean was only refund her for the servings she didn't receive NOT half of the money...because you charged too low. I would say to refund her like $5...that's a little extra than what the two servings would be in my book...
It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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post #20 of 113
You know, I'm not too familiar with the servings of sheet cakes, but Earlene's serving chart gives you bigger slices. I think customers like that better....

www.earlenescakes.com

HTH.
post #21 of 113
I just drew the size on a piece of paper. Is she crazy. How on earth could a cake THAT size (4x4x13) only feed 10 people??? That is only 3 inches shorter than the wilton long loaf pan. I wouldn't refund or offer anything to her. I would have her come in to discuss it though. I would draw the dimensions of the cake and have her show you how she sliced it. My guess is that she wasn't there when the cake was cut. It was likely left with the kids (teenagers by the look of the cake) and of course they always want the biggest piece of cake they can possibly get.
post #22 of 113
No refund only a discount towards a future purchase, when she picked up the cake she saw it and accepted it. Done deal
Believe in yourself first, so others can believe in you!
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Believe in yourself first, so others can believe in you!
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post #23 of 113
I am a customer service professional....and a cake decorator and instructor on the side. (yes, I have no life) Here are some tips :

1-The more attention you pay out front, the better you will be. Agree on the customer's expectations, so everyone is on the same page.
2-Try to get your orders in writing and be as detailed as you can....even a drawing helps. Get the customer's signature.
3-When delivering the cake....ask for a signature.
4-Get your money up front. My rule is prepaid, non-refundable, in full 2 weeks in advance. I have never had anyone turn down an order because of it. If they're leary, they don't know your cakes or they're trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Stick to this firmly. (I got stuck just once - that's all it took)

If a customer complains.....Always say you're sorry - validate their feelings. you don't give anything up by saying sorry.

And....Don't ever, EVER, refund money. People talk....you do not want to set this precedent. You'll become a sitting (and poor) duck. I only had one person complain - she claimed the kids didn't eat the cake at her party because it was dry. (she didn't personally taste the cake) I was in a real bind, because she works in the office where I work and she has a lot of friends. I felt awful about the cake, and felt like I was trapped. So, I gave it some thought. I offered to give anyone in her family a discount on the next cake I did for them.....and they took me up on the offer. Because I had to trim the next one to form the 3 D numbers, I had cake to taste myself. It was delicious (as always) I even mentioned it was delicious as I got to taste it myself - of course I found a clever way to mention it, but she knew what I was really saying. The family member was very pleased with the cake and even mentioned she thought it was good customer service to offer the discount.

Bottom line - you work hard for the money you make. You made nothing on this cake. This woman was looking for a free cake. You don't think she threw it out, do you? Ask her for a chance for you to make it up to her and give her a discount on her next purchase. If she walks - you're better off. My guess is she'll be back. At your prices, anybody would be crazy not to!

Best of luck!

Mary Kakes
post #24 of 113
ok let's be realistic here. Did you tell her or show her a wilton chart or any other chart? I dont think so. So that said ask anyone you know who does not bake for a living what size cake you cut for weddings, parties, children etc. I bet you a million they wouldnt know. I also would think 20 people with that size? No way. It's a birthday party heck the cake is the most important part not like a wedding where you eat a ton first. I know I dont want a morsel of cake I want a Piece of cake. So unless you know that she knows how many inches to cut per slice I would at least offer her a discount on the next cake and explain how small she should have cut the pieces. I'm sorry but I just find that too many bakers on here get real uppity and think the whole world should just know everything the baker knows. You just seem to forget that we customers are just humans.
Darlene
"A day without baking is a day without sunshine"
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Darlene
"A day without baking is a day without sunshine"
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post #25 of 113
Hey ya,

Your cake looked great and as a layman your cake is cheap. Bakery's around here will charge $16 for just a 8 inch plain happy birthday cake. Some people have obviously different sizes (workman sizes, 1.5x2x4, 1x2x4, wedding peices, dessert peices) they cut cake but you can see that even a layman would be able to 20 peices out of the cake by cutting in half and then by 10. Awsome cake and I would have queried it in the bakery when I purchased it if it was too small (but then when we go to a bakery most of my work mates just go, 20 people.....2 cakes as they don't know exactly or they will rely on the baker telling them how many the cake will serve and cut accordingly)
Just really wanted to sey I love your cake.
Hope it works out well for you.
Cheers
Leigh
Opinions are like a***holes. Everyone has one, so if you stick it out there it's going to get kicked.
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Opinions are like a***holes. Everyone has one, so if you stick it out there it's going to get kicked.
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post #26 of 113
I can see how sheâd be upset about the number of servings⦠At our parties, I make cakes that would feed an army by Wiltonâs standards, and they all vanish the moment they're sliced, as people ask about the cake the moment they walk in the door⦠For a bunch of boys the type of cake suggests were at the party, this size would barely even serve 10 in my world, the Wilton serving of 20+ slices for this size is just like two bites for themâ¦

With that said, though, for $25 with such elaborate sculpted design your customer got a real bargain! No refunds whatsoever!⦠Maybe apologize that you didnât get her message until today and there may have been a misunderstanding about the servings as you went strictly âby the bookâ without triple-checking with her â people who donât make cakes have no clue what a Wilton serving is â but that it was a custom cake, requiring hours of work to bake and decorate... Maybe a very small % off next order with a breezy note that youâll make sure to double-check with her on the size and number of servingsâ¦
post #27 of 113
I think the whole wedding serving /party serving thing is asking for trouble. I go by the same size for everything. If you want bigger pieces you need to pay for more cake. You don't get more cake for free just because it's a party and not a wedding.

If I did that I'd have brides asking for party cakes and I'd be losing money. I do think your clients need to know what a serving size is so that they can make an appropriate choice.
My drug of choice is FROSTING!
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My drug of choice is FROSTING!
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post #28 of 113
Wedding cake portions are unrealistic for children's birthday parties - they are also unrealistic to serve your dinner guests... too small.

I know of a decorator who keeps styrofoam blocks cut to the size of her wedding and regular cake portions (two different sizes), so the customer can choose which size slice they want to serve their guests. I thought that was a pretty good idea.
post #29 of 113
I too use a wooden block to display my interpretation of a slice of cake... I run in to this a lot down here in the South, people want a hunk of cake, not a slice.... I think like most everyone has said, don't offer a refund, she should never have left with the cake if she felt so awful about it.... anyone can come in and get a cake, eat it, and then later complain it wasn't enough to get some money back.... you should just kindly explain to her that you use a serving size chart to size your cakes and you made what she ordered. It might benefit you to hang the chart in your shop somewhere and display a serving size to them.... this could save you from this in the future... HTH... the cake was super cute!
<3Lori<3
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<3Lori<3
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post #30 of 113
I didn't read all of the posts but if you're cake was 13x4x4 it should have fed 26 2"x1"x4" slices. The lady cut super big pieces of cake! I would not refund her money.

If it were me I would let her know how large the serving peices should be and explain how you got your serving amount out of it. If she still sounds unhappy then as a peace offering I would give her 10% off her next cake order.
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