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Very First Unhappy Customer (long discription...)

post #1 of 69
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Hello all! I'm hoping someone can give me some insight on what to do about this. I've been creating cakes for about 4 1/2 years now and have NEVER had a problem with an unhappy customer before. HELP!

My hubby and I delivered and setup a 4 Tier (6,8,10,12 inch) Square Cake stacked. It was a simple cake, just like the simple cake in the picture that the bride gave to me. I warned her that it would not look exactly like the picture because in the picture (from what I could tell) it looked like they used fondant and an airbrush. She did not want Fondant. So, I used white buttercream.

Anyway, the mother of the bride, the bride's aunt and another lady were all there while we were setting up the cake. When I was finished I asked where the flowers were to go on the cake. The aunt said that the florist was running late and wouldn't be there until 2 p.m. (we set the cake up at 12:30-1p.m.). We had to travel almost an hour to deliver this cake and were not going to wait around. So, I was fine with letting the florist put the flowers on the cake (i don't normally like to do that, but in this instance...I wasn't about to hang out for an hour and wait).

So, we get all done with the cake (obviously done) and I ask if the bride had left me an envelope with the remainder of the payment. The aunt doesn't know so she calls the bride. So, we set around and wait. Still obviously done setting up the cake. The bride shows up to the reception site, comes in and hands me the check. I say, go around the front and take a look. Do you like it? SHe says yes. We make small talk, I tell her how pretty she looks and that the reception looks amazing, etc. Then, I say, let me know what you think and please send me a picture of the cake after the flowers are on it. (Because I know that the cake is not finished until the topper is one, etc.).

We leave the reception site pretty happy with the way the cake turned out. Exactly 4 minutes and 4 or 5 blocks away from the site I get a phone call from the aunt telling me that the Bride is in tears and that the Wedding Cake is the worst Wedding Cake she has ever seen. I am totally shocked by this and don't know what to say to her. I said, "I am sorry that you feel that way". I didn't know what else to say or do. She threatened that the bride was going to go to the bank right then and cancel the check she had just given me. WHAT!??? So, I said, no, no, no, you do not need to do that. I am a rational person and didn't want to cause anymore problem than I had already caused (from what they tell me). So, we turned around and went back to the reception site where the aunt met us outside. Again she continued to tell me how awful the cake was, etc. etc. I explained to her just as I had explained to the bride that the color would not match the picture exactly and it would not look exactly like the picture b/c she didn't want to use fondant. (keep in mind the the aunt probably had never even seen the picture of the cake she gave me).

Anyway, to not make this any longer than it already is... What SHOULD I have done, and what should I do now? The aunt and I discussed partial refund, etc. during our conversation, but I haven't heard from her. I know I should speak directly to the Bride, but i think she is on her honey moon right now and I do not want to bother her. Even though I am the bad guy in their scenerio I DO NOT want to be and I do not to make things any worse than they already are.

Any suggestions?
post #2 of 69
I would wait and see if the bride does call. I'd be a bit wary of second-hand information in this case.

HTH!
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Weight loss goal: 86lbs, Weight loss progress: 69.6lbs, Weight loss left: 16.4lbs
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post #3 of 69
1. If the bride is the customer, wait for her to call. (As you say, give her time to return from her honeymoon and so forth.)

2. I'm not seeing what you hoped to gain from smalltalk and fishing for compliments from the bride on her wedding day. Your product really isn't her primary focus then, you know?
post #4 of 69
I'd wait and talk to the bride. Did you have her sign off on anything when you collected the rest of your payment?
"Let your legacy not be the stupid forgettable dandruff of life but that you LIVED. That you were here and that people remember YOU in all your wonderfulness. Not your stuff. Because stuff is forgettable." - - Jackie (a blog writer from Canada)
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"Let your legacy not be the stupid forgettable dandruff of life but that you LIVED. That you were here and that people remember YOU in all your wonderfulness. Not your stuff. Because stuff is forgettable." - - Jackie (a blog writer from Canada)
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post #5 of 69
Wait and speak with the bride directly. I canât tell you how many threads Iâve read here about angry family members (mainly MOTBâs) who insist the bride wasnât happy with the cake and are lying through their teeth just to get some $$$ out of it. The bride may or may not have been unhappy with the cake; youâll not know for sure which it is until you talk with her though.

Just whatever you do don't go offering discounts and free cakes etc when you do speak with her.
post #6 of 69
The first thing I would do would be to cash the check before someone does decide to put a stop payment on it. I would definitely wait to hear from the bride and I would ask to see pics with the flowers on it.

Diane
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Lord, If you can't make me thin, please make my friends fat.
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post #7 of 69
Ok First of all I dont think you were fishing around for a compliment. I think you were asking her if she was happy with how the cake turned out and that's normal. Second of all she said she liked it and it sounds to me that her family around her may have said something about the cake or not liking it and it may have hurt her so she blamed you when she knew she is the one that asked for that. Dont give her a refund she said she was satisfied and you dont owe her an apology. Wait to see what she says if she contacts you and if you can go to her bank to cash the check. Do this before she gets back in town, she may not stop the check on her honeymoon. I wish you the best of luck. I know you feel bad but that's how it is sometimes.
post #8 of 69
MaisieBake, I don't think she was fishing for compliments - she was just being nice and friendly. I would hope that's something she does with everyone. Additionally, I tell all my customers "Well, I hope you like it." So they know I do care about their opinions.

Now to the question at hand.
The bride may be on her honeymoon, but I would still try to call her at home or via email and say:

"Hi Bride. I wasn't sure if you were on your honeymoon, but I just want to touch base with you on your wedding cake. I briefly spoke with your aunt, but wanted to speak with you directly to clarify any misunderstanding.
Congratulations again and I look forward to speaking with you!"

I think it's important that you contact her now so that way she at least sees that you tried to contact her shortly after the wedding. HOw many times do we see complaints on here about how customers complain 2-3 days AFTER the event?

Take the initiative and it'll be a sign of good customer service.
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Cake decorating ROCKS!!
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post #9 of 69
Is there a photo of this cake here ?

Didn't you see the bride and asked her if she liked it when you delivered it ? i think that's what I read. I'm confused... they should have told you that when you were there.. i don;t understand why all these drama took place after you left when everyone was there when you delivered it. If they wanted to put a stop on the check,, then fine, take the cake back with you, that is what I would have done if it was me.. they just have to have a reception without a cake.. icon_cool.gif
post #10 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by heatherLhorton

... What SHOULD I have done, and what should I do now? ...



Run, run run to her bank and cash the check, the bank from which the check was written. Don't discuss anything with the aunt, unless your contract was with the aunt.

If the bride said she liked the cake and she knew upfront that it would not be an identical match, don't worry about it. Move forward. I don't know what this bride is like, but some people are easily influenced and if someone else didn't like the cake--now she's changed her mind. That's not your problem.

I saw on Judge Judy where a lady sued over a wedding cake. She said that it was not to her specifications. Judge Judy dismissed it. She said that if they ate the cake, they couldn't turn around and sue for the same cake. She said if they did not use the cake and returned the entire wedding cake then they may have a claim for their money.
post #11 of 69
You've got to think that someone isn't being completely honest. You spoke with the bride and she seemed to like the cake and even paid you. If she didn't like it, she probably would have withheld the check. Sounds like the aunt is the one who got the bride in tears because the aunt didn't like the cake. Did the aunt realize there would be flowers on it? I think you did do the right thing in asking the bride how she liked the cake. I don't think that's fishing for compliments. I'd wait until the bride gets home and then ask her what she thinks. And do let her know about what the aunt said--she may be completely unaware of that.
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post #12 of 69
When you asked her "do you like it?" did you ask her with confidence or with worry that she would be disappointed, because you couldn't get it to look like the fondant cake?

If you didn't have the confidence that your cake was the most awesome cake ever I think it can affect the customer. If you are second guessing yourself you will put that doubt in the customer's head too.

If you were confident then disregard, lol.


Besides saying it was "the worst wedding cake ever" I didn't hear any real valid reason to be upset with the cake. Was it leaning? Icing falling off? Misshapen? Wrong color? Dry? Etc.

If not then I say no refund. You delivered what you promised. I am sure it was ate.
post #13 of 69
Well, I'm sure the reason couldn't be the way it tasted or that it was dry or something -especially since they called you just minutes after leaving. Can you post a picture of what she wanted and a picture of what you set up? We all know how cakes look before the flowers go on. I'd like to see a picture of the finished product too. I hope it all works out for you.

I am with the others on "run to her bank and cash that check!" Good luck, keep us posted!
MeLan
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MeLan
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post #14 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by adonisthegreek1


I saw on Judge Judy where a lady sued over a wedding cake. She said that it was not to her specifications. Judge Judy dismissed it. She said that if they ate the cake, they couldn't turn around and sue for the same cake. She said if they did not use the cake and returned the entire wedding cake then they may have a claim for their money.



I gotta go along with Judge Judy on this one....if they ate it, they pay.
Also the bride said she liked it and handed you the check...end of story.

The aunt was not the customer.

Debbie
-- Always have a Plan B. --

"Freedom is Popular" - Ron Paul

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-- Always have a Plan B. --

"Freedom is Popular" - Ron Paul

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post #15 of 69
I really wish that other family members would butt out when it comes to wedding issues!!The bride saw the cake...she paid you..etc..Done!! If for some strange reason she was lying through her teeth and didn't want you to know she didn't like it then TOO BAD!!! she should have been mature enough to express her dislike when you blantly asked!!! As for fishing for compliments....Come on!! I think you were just talking small talk etc...everyone does that!! Cash the check..You deserve the money!! I would not issue a refund and DO talk to the bride only and directly when she returns!!

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Busy Bakin Kakes For Kids!!!

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