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Bride is so angry.. asking for a full refund.. LONG story :(

post #1 of 112
Thread Starter 
Hey all,
Here's my cake disaster story. I've been stressing about it all weekend and I realized I should've come here in the first place for advice.

A friend of mine, R, (who works for a wedding magazine) had referred me to one of her friends for a wedding cake. She had told me her budget was only $250 and feed 200 and initially I didn't want to do it because it's not worth it, but i figured, whatever, I'll take the loss because it's for a good friend of my friend and it'll give me another cake for my portfolio.

i can't seem to find the link the the cake she wanted copied, but it was from pink cake box, it was 3 tiered square and it had bronze swirl decorations along the bottom of each tier. i'll continue to look for the pic after i post cos i just want to get people's opinions more.

So the cake was for this past Saturday and for those who live in or near Toronto know it was raining/thunderstorming like crazy last week so needless to say, my decorations weren't drying because of the humidity. i have a fan, i have an AC unit that's constantly running, and although i had made the swirls ahead of time, they just werent drying. i used half fondant and half gumpaste, a decision i realize now that was stupid, but i honestly thought it would dry in time since i've used a mixture before.

so overnight (i pulled an all nighter for this one) i covered the 3 tiers in fondant. the fondant kept cracking on me so i had to cover each layer twice. there were still a few cracks but nothing that couldn't be covered with the decorations and ribbon.
the morning i painted the scrolls in bronze lustre/shimmer powder, but i didn't use any alcohol because it seemed to do the job without. and basically all freaking day i was waiting for these decorations to dry. sooner than later i was cutting it close to delivery time and since i'm an idiot and didn't make any royal icing, i used teeny bitty amounts of glucose to help stick my decorations since i honestly couldn't think of anything else to use. so now not only are the swirlies cracking as i'm lifting them up to place on the cake, i'm getting luster dust EVERYWHERE and pieces are sliding down the side of the cake. BUT the glucose WAS working as an adhesive, i got plenty of pieces to stay put. but again, some piece werent cooperating. so lots were breaking and i was running out of not only time, but pieces that were semi dry. and before we delivered it, i had wrapped saran wrap over the pieces around the cake as to secure them on the ride.

needless to say, the cake did not turn out the way she wanted, and i was also late for the delivery. i was stressing all day about it, and after the delivery (the coordinator just took it off my hands so i didn't even really have to be there) i pretty much had an emotional breakdown because i had felt so incredibly bad about it. like the cake, i was a complete disaster that night. i was crying and like.. beating myself up about a job badly done and well.. i haven't been sleeping well or feeling well since, to be honest. at the same time, i didn't want to email her or call her and leave her a message because quite frankly, i wouldn't have known what to say.

so today i got an email saying "I assume you know why I'm writing to you. The cake we ordered was a disaster! Had I seen it when it was delivered I would of said something. Even the Manager of the reception hall brought it to my attention. I'm sure you can admit that the workmanship was unacceptable. It was just a mess. You've put me and R in an awkward position. R felt really bad about it and it was not even her fault. However, because you are a friend of R's I will give you the benefit of doubt and trust that you will do the right thing and refund me for the cake. I just wish you called or gave me a heads up about the situation before hand. I'm a very understanding person otherwise. I'm waiting to hear back from you and I can provide bank transfer details or pick up the cash in person. I do have photos so I hope we can straighten this out quickly."

I am ashamed of my work and I have no problem giving her the money back for it, but i wanted to know your opinions of what i should say, besides apologizing profusely about it. this week just also happens to be the week that umm... "aunt dot" is visiting, so i know that if i try to come up with something on my own, my emotions will get the best of me and i'll probably write something extremely stupid.

I'll be honest and say I dont want to face her in fear of breaking down in front of her because i am sensitive like that, but at the same time I dont want to seem like a coward. I know I don't have any pics of my cakes posted, but I like to think I'm decent at what I do, and for some sort of really horrible reason, I was stupid, and not fully prepared for this cake and so odds were against me on this one and it turned out to be a complete failure.

What's the best way to handle this? What should I say? and how do i basically ask for banking information so i can transfer it without having to face her?
and a completely different story is now how do i face our mutual friend, because she is the one who referred me? the whole reason why i agreed to this cake at that price to begin with was because i figured in the future, this friend could help me out since she works for a wedding magazine.. but now.. it's kinda like.. fat chance of that happening now.

ugh.. i'm so sorry that this is so long.. i'm just so stressed about the whole thing. i'll try to post pics of the original cake.. i'll be honest, i didn't really take pics of mine cos i was ashamed. i took pics from far so that it wouldn't look so bad.

thanks in advance icon_smile.gif
post #2 of 112
Can we see a pic of the cake you delivered? I'm sure the "seasoned" wedding cakers can give you a better answer if they can see what was delivered.
Just put on your Big Girl Panties and deal with it!
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Just put on your Big Girl Panties and deal with it!
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post #3 of 112
Just send her the money back and put this behind you...Everyone has a day from hell every now and then, it's too bad that yours involved a cake, but it happens. icon_sad.gif Tell your friend that you're sorry it happened, but that based on all the different circumstances you weren't able to do your best work, and you've refunded her friend the money. If she's seen other things that you've done she'll know that it isn't typical of your work and she'll get over it.

Don't beat yourself up over this, I know that I'd feel exactly the same if I was in your position, but you have to move on! Just take it as a tough lesson learned and know that you'll do better next time!
post #4 of 112
Nope. You need to present this refund face to face. Don't skulk around. "Man up" and take care of biz. Choke back the embarrassment and hope that setting things right will preserve future relations with brides, and anyone else that has anything to do with this friend of yours and the bride. Good luck!
post #5 of 112
I agree.. just send the money back and forget about it. I had a very similar thing happen .. up all night with only about 1 hour sleep and icing slid off cake.. everything a disaster...BIG MESS.
I didn't take the check from the venue. Just couldn't do it. I did think that they bride would compensate me somehow but she didn't.. oh well.. it was my decision to walk away from the money... I felt somewhat better about it.....

Keep you chin up... it gets better again!!
make life what you want it to be
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make life what you want it to be
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post #6 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by this-mama-rocks

Can we see a pic of the cake you delivered? I'm sure the "seasoned" wedding cakers can give you a better answer if they can see what was delivered.



I agree. Maybe it was not what she wanted but it also may not have been as bad as your making it out to be. We tend to be more critical of ourselves than anybody else. I also would like to know did her guests eat this so called disaster and if so was it really that bad??? I would like to know. When you get a chance attach a pic.
post #7 of 112
I would also refund in person and bring something for the bride to sign saying that she had recieved a full refund.

And it's horrible that you had a disaster like that. I can't even imagine how bad it would feel, but here's a (((hug))) and I'm sure it was a learning experience...my disasters have all been learning experiences, once the dust settles and I relax enough to look back on it.

I wouldn't worry about your friend...since she works for a wedding magazine, she undoubtedly knows how much wedding cakes cost and knew that they were really not paying you enough. So in a way it's better if she doesn't help any of her other friends to take advantage of you.
post #8 of 112
Oh my goodness, the days I have had like this. Sometimes cakes just don't work, at home, in a bakery, on television. It happens to everyone.
Give her the money back, lick your wounds for 24 hours and be done with it.

Usually after a disaster, my next cake kicks butt--so look forward to that icon_smile.gif
post #9 of 112
i would honestly, send her an email back appologizing and aking her whether or not she would like the money in person or as a transfer. dont worry im sure this kinda thing has happened to all of us, and im sure your friend R, knows what kind of work you really do.....if you feel more comfy with talking to R, then just explain the situation to her, becuse she works for a bridal magazine, im sure she has heard similar stories. Put this behind you, chin up!!!

baby
post #10 of 112
iThis is like pulling a band-aid. the idea is worse than reality. Just talk to her, face-to-face, and tell her it was a slow disaster. When she says,"why didn't you call?" Tell her you thought it would work out like it usually does. It didn't. Tell her she got the trainwreck and it is truly the worst of your work.

The one thing I can tell you about people, is that 90% of people melt a little when you throw yourself on the mercy of the court. It sounds like you want to give her the $ back. OK. It will be 100 times better after this little 5 minute conversation. Otherwise, you will forever be the horrible cake person, not the cake person who just had a bad day at her wedding.
post #11 of 112
Yeah. I mean I always wonder why these brides don't put up crime scene tape around the cake so they can perfectly preserve it until they can get it back to the decorator, and make sure no one eats any of it for God's sake!!! What a concept!

Advance apologies for any snarkiness. Making general statements here at this point. Just sick of the "the bride is crazy and she ATE the cake..NO REFUND! Oh bwahahaha, another bride bites the dust"....even when the decorator knows dang good and well (before delivery mind you) that the cake was a wreck. Eaten/uneaten doesn't change it in my book. I would be scrambling to make good on it. Doesn't mean I would be a sucker or a pushover or didn't have a backbone. Actually, it would mean I had a backbone.
post #12 of 112
I had a bad experience once too. I just mailed a refund check and appologized. I dont see how you have any other choice. If anything you should speak to her so she can see just how badly you really feel. I'm just glad you arent trying to ask us how you can keep the money. Those bother me. You obviously have a good heart and I dont see how she could see anything different.
post #13 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Just send her the money back and put this behind you...Everyone has a day from hell every now and then, it's too bad that yours involved a cake, but it happens. icon_sad.gif Tell your friend that you're sorry it happened, but that based on all the different circumstances you weren't able to do your best work, and you've refunded her friend the money. If she's seen other things that you've done she'll know that it isn't typical of your work and she'll get over it.

Don't beat yourself up over this, I know that I'd feel exactly the same if I was in your position, but you have to move on! Just take it as a tough lesson learned and know that you'll do better next time!




I'm not a big fan of giving refunds, because in the beginning I had a few clients that figured out if they fussed enough, I would cave. This soon turned into telling their friends that I cave. I would be lucky enough to get the cost of ingredients.

This case, I do agree with the above quote. You can offer a refund and offer a discount for a future cake.

Cake is not a hard core art, i.e. you can't predict how weather or the ingredients are going to work every day. Years ago, I did an over the top birthday cake for a 5 yr old. The cake itself baked beautifully. That's the only thing that went right or so I thought. The crumb coat literally slid off. After that it was downhill. Eventually, the cake turned out well, but it took 72 hours straight to get it presentable.

So take your lumps, take a nap and then get back to it! Remember, you're an artist. Stuff happens!
MaryAnn, aka Gomo
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MaryAnn, aka Gomo
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post #14 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__


Advance apologies for any snarkiness. Making general statements here at this point. Just sick of the "the bride is crazy and she ATE the cake..NO REFUND! Oh bwahahaha, another bride bites the dust"....even when the decorator knows dang good and well (before delivery mind you) that the cake was a wreck. Eaten/uneaten doesn't change it in my book. I would be scrambling to make good on it. Doesn't mean I would be a sucker or a pushover or didn't have a backbone. Actually, it would mean I had a backbone.



One of those tv judges agrees with you. I was flipping through channels the other day and saw a cake so I stopped to watch. The bride ordered a topsy turvy and she got a leaning tower instead.

The tv judge awarded the bride a full refund because the decorator did not deliver what was promised.
Our chronic flaw is partiality of judgement: we exaggerate the wrongs done to ourselves, and underestimate the wrongs we inflict on others - unknown
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Our chronic flaw is partiality of judgement: we exaggerate the wrongs done to ourselves, and underestimate the wrongs we inflict on others - unknown
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post #15 of 112
I agree with the others tht said give her the refund and move on. No one is perfect so dont beat yourself up over it! Keep your chin up icon_wink.gif
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