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refund question - Page 2

post #16 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK

Ok this is what I sent to her. Haven't heard back yet.

I was recently informed that there was a problem with the coloring on your cake. Below you will find the order agreement that we went off of when completing your cake. Unfortunately, the wording was not specific enough and could be determined to go either way (one fade for the whole cake or one fade per tier). Thinking back, I do remember us discussing the single fade and I apologize greatly for the mix up. If I could go back and make the change I would, but of course that is impossible. What can I do to help make this right for you?



I like this. You admit the mistake but aren't groveling. You are a class act! icon_smile.gif

(This part is not directed at you, Kory) As far as the "well they ate it" line of thinking...well, what else are they going to eat? If it were a birthday party and the cake had the wrong colors, would you honestly not pop some candles in there and sing happy birthday to your kid? It's not like you are leaving the customer a lot of options in that situation. ("Sorry you couldn't have any cake at your wedding/birthday since you needed to return it intact for a refund.")
post #17 of 123
KoryAK, that was a perfect email, IMHO. neither offensive nor defensive, but open and welcoming and understanding. I hope this has a happy ending (as best it can anyway).
"Be the change you want to see in the world."- Mahatma Gandhi

miniature cake tutorial

http://www.youtube.com/user/MyNewSneakers?feature=mhsn
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"Be the change you want to see in the world."- Mahatma Gandhi

miniature cake tutorial

http://www.youtube.com/user/MyNewSneakers?feature=mhsn
Reply
post #18 of 123
Well said Kory!
post #19 of 123
Thread Starter 
K this is what she sent back:


Hi Kory,
I just don't know where to go with this. When we met I was very specific about the coloring of the cake. The entire wedding was planned around the cake, pictures were scheduled around the delivery time and this was my gift to my husband. I brought in the pictures of his bike to show how the fade was on the original work. You had even told me the number of tiers wouldn't matter in the overall look because we were doing the single fade. I brought two people with me to make sure I got the point across that I wanted a single fade to mimic his bike. When we left your bakery all three of us were under the impression everyone had agreed to a single fade. Looking back on my wedding day that should be the happiest day of my life all I can remember is how nothing went right because my main focus point was so wrong. The bike's on the top weren't even glued on the mirror, they fell off and just by chance someone was there to catch them but if no one had been there they'd be broken too. Honestly when I did get to see the cake I cried. There was supposed to be a big unveiling to my husband but it didn't get to happen because the cake was late, and when he did get to see it I had to explain that it was supposed to be the colors of his bike and that the tier fading was supposed to be one fade over the cake because he didn't see it. There is nothing that can be done to go back and change it I understand that but had I known from the beginning that this is how my wedding day was going to turn out I would never have paid for that. I don't mean to attack you, the actual cake tasted great, it just wasn't right in any other way. We paid a lot of money for the cake and paid everything before we got to see the final product because I trusted your bakery, I just wish it would've lived up to the price we paid. I don't know how we can make this right but we are open to any suggestions you may have.
<Bride>


And then this is what I just sent back:


At the time ordering I did understand that there was supposed to be one fade. The error arose because of my ambiguous wording in my notes and on the order agreement and the length of time that passed between the discussion and the completion of your order. Certainly none of that was your fault; it is our error and I apologize.

I also want to apologize for the delay in the delivery. As I spoke with your mother, I left the exact details of our problems out so as not to add any additional stress on the wedding day. I am sorry to say that my delivery driver had to slam on the brakes mid-delivery and the cake was damaged. It was rushed back to the bakery in the hopes that it could be repaired, but it could not. Our entire team pitched in and the cake that you received was an entirely new one. Again, completely not your fault or problem, but I want you to know that our lateness was not because we didn't care about you or your order or didn't understand the importance of your wedding day timing. That was the first time anything like this had happened to us.

I am sorry that there was almost a problem on the topper but any edible/temporary glue would not have been clear and would have shown through the bikes and looked unattractive. It is not our practice to do any permanent gluing unless it is specifically requested since the topper is often a permanent keepsake.

It is always our intent to deliver the best product possible and exactly as ordered and I'm sorry that this did not happen in this instance. We would like a chance to prove our quality to you and will be mailing you a $200 gift certificate.
post #20 of 123
I hope this settles it for her. I think too many people are too fixated on the details instead of the purpose of the wedding day. We had lots of things happen around our wedding, and just took it in stride. 26 years later, I can't even remember what my cake looked like!

Life happens. If she let this "ruin" her day, if the cake was the "main focus", then I hate to think where they are headed.
post #21 of 123
I'm sorry.....but a $200 gift certificate wouldn't cut it with me in that situation. She had very specific reasons for wanting the cake colored the way she ordered it. It sounds like she went to extraordinary lengths to be assured you understood how special this cake was supposed to be. I know how I feel when I think of a perfect surprise for someone I love. She was trying to make some magic for her groom and her surprise was ruined. Maybe she was too focused on that detail, but wasn't having that detail perfect why she paid $7.35 a serving???? It wasn't just for the taste of the cake.

I'm not saying she should get all her money back, but it should be money back, not a gift certificate.

JMO

Jodie
post #22 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by messy_chef



(This part is not directed at you, Kory) As far as the "well they ate it" line of thinking...well, what else are they going to eat? If it were a birthday party and the cake had the wrong colors, would you honestly not pop some candles in there and sing happy birthday to your kid? It's not like you are leaving the customer a lot of options in that situation. ("Sorry you couldn't have any cake at your wedding/birthday since you needed to return it intact for a refund.")



Typically the point to them serving and eating it is that they received some value out of the cake. For example if the cake had not arrived at all there would be absolutely no value received.

In a court of law, I think, a judge would give consideration for the fact that the cake was indeed edible and I think a judge would not give any consideration if the cake was not servable for whatever reason, nothing to consider huh.

That's how I see things happening in court cases on tv. So sure if the color was wrong that's an error but it wasn't made with salt instead of sugar type of thing--they did get some value out of it and that would affect the money awarded I think.
my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

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my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

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post #23 of 123
I am in australia, and have no real wedding cake experience, but I feel for the bride. Just because the cake may not be one persons idea of "the most important thing in the world", doesn't mean it is not the brides. Especially if they designed other elements around it. It would have been an eye-sore (even if only to the bride). After all, the bride is the client, and what she thinks is a priority is the only opinion that counts. If she prioritises the symbolism of the cake then so be it.

In my opinion (and I don't mean any disrespect, I know your cakes are fantastic!), this cake is faulty as it is not what was ordered, and the decorator acknowledged that. So any faulty item is subject to a full refund, even if it became apparent that it was faulty after payment. This is true in Australia anyway.

Personally, I would not want to go back to a service provider, no matter how experienced or tasty their product, if I had an issue with one of their products. So the gift certificate would be a null issue.

Sorry if I come across rude, I don't mean to, but just seeing it from the brides point of view. If this happened to her dress, say it was ivory instead of the white she ordered, wouldn't she be entitled to a refund? Or the flowers were the wrong color..same deal..too late to get replacements, but I wouldn't want to pay if I didn't get what I asked for. So why is it different for the cake?
post #24 of 123
I think I would refund 50%. In my mind, the cake's value is 50% design and 50% edibility. They got their 50% edibility. They got to eat and enjoy a good tasting cake. But they didn't get the design they paid for, so that's how I see it.

I thought the bride's e-mail showed a lot of restraint. If I paid $700 for a cake and didn't get the look I ordered, I'd be pretty hot under the collar myself.

I really do feel for you. What a nightmare. A call from an unhappy customer is something I truly dread in life.
It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

Winston Churchill
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It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

Winston Churchill
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post #25 of 123
Quote:
Quote:

I'm sorry.....but a $200 gift certificate wouldn't cut it with me in that situation. She had very specific reasons for wanting the cake colored the way she ordered it. It sounds like she went to extraordinary lengths to be assured you understood how special this cake was supposed to be. I know how I feel when I think of a perfect surprise for someone I love. She was trying to make some magic for her groom and her surprise was ruined. Maybe she was too focused on that detail, but wasn't having that detail perfect why she paid $7.35 a serving???? It wasn't just for the taste of the cake.

I'm not saying she should get all her money back, but it should be money back, not a gift certificate.

JMO

Jodie



I'm gonna have to agree with Jodie , she should definately get some cash back and not just a gift certificate. Or perhaps half cash/half certificate if you don't want to part with the cash..just an idea
post #26 of 123
Thread Starter 
I totally feel for the bride too. I put the ball in her court for the "make it right", but she punted it back into mine. I can see all the perspectives and reasonings, I just had to pick a place to start. I'm not going to send anything out until I get an approval or a rebuttal from them, just needed a starting point. This is my nightmare!
post #27 of 123
a) bad situation, well handled by you, KoryAK

b) re -- "elsewhere day after" -- not in this day and age where the wedding is often a mere formality after months or years of "living together" -- which by my generation (at least this is what we were taught and I still believe) is really "living in sin"

c) "it is focal point" -- when will brides learn that the cake is NOT the focal point but a pretty and very temporary decoration???? the focal point should be the commitment to a loving spouse and long life together. further -- yep, it's eye-candy for a few brief moments (really now, who as a guest, except present company, truly pays any long term attention to the cake?? most more interested in other things (gossip, trash talking, the open bar, the cheese plate, etc.) and then it's true "value" is revealed -- how good it tastes. -- we're there to eat it not turn it into a living memorial to the wedding.

d) "in the car" -- can we spell in all caps, bright red flashing neon letters SPOILED ROTTEN!

e) "my gift to my husband" -- when will the Venus side "get it" - the Mars side likes things it can keep as gifts -- just like Venus side likes diamonds! -- tho' give Mars side things like accessories for the bike, tools, tech toys, etc. Yes, the cake is a nice temporary gift -- but that's just it -- it's temporary --- give Mars something that will be there day after day (come on now, remember Mars is the side that will hold on to a fav. t-shirt for 20 years if at all possible!) and further more -- is the best gift of continuing love and understanding -- ::cue Tammy Wynette:: -- that you will Stand By Your Man?
Keep on cakin'!
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Keep on cakin'!
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post #28 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK

I totally feel for the bride too. I put the ball in her court for the "make it right", but she punted it back into mine. I can see all the perspectives and reasonings, I just had to pick a place to start. I'm not going to send anything out until I get an approval or a rebuttal from them, just needed a starting point. This is my nightmare!



I guess I didn't interpret your offer as a "starting point." If you had said something like, "What do you think about a $200 gift certificate as a reimbursement for the problems?" then I might have seen it that way. Instead, it sounds like this is what you're offering her, period.

I also am wondering if viewing this as a negotiation with the bride where you are both starting on level ground, right now, is truly appropriate.

I view it as a few serious mistakes on your part (no single fade, late delivery). The mistakes are definitely understandable, and they can happen to the very best cakers, a category you're definitely in.

How one handles these mistakes is a critical measure of a business professional, I think. IMO, the ball got put in *your* court when the bride expressed her dissatisfaction with your product and services. To me, it sort of seems that your offer is about keeping as much money for yourself as possible, rather than trying to make the situation right for your customer. My guess is that she doesn't see a gift certificate from the business that messed up as much recompense, though I could be wrong.

I'm not sure what is "right," and if you asked for several CCers' opinions about what they would do if they were in this situation, you'd probably get some variation.

I think a cash refund of half of the $735 would be a start, but I'm not in the cake business, so I wouldn't necessarily value this estimate.

I'm so sorry this happened, and I'm sorry if I'm being excessively harsh. I'm just offering up one opinion. I was surprised at the smallness of your offer, given your initial response of owning up to the problem. Of course, my opinion could be way off base and completely wrong--- been known to happn. icon_cool.gif
post #29 of 123
And besides, the color issue is a matter of interpretation. Sure Kory remembers that being discussed but 6 months ago.

I can remember tons of stuff being discussed 6 months ago--wait no I can't I'm over 50-- but I mean it's not like she got red roses and a fountain she did get everything except one part of one detail.

I love the way Kory is handling this--remember she's already out for two cakes here--due to circumstances beyond anyone's control where she valiantly and near seamlessly stepped up to the plate.

Not to mention that it's 'different' to give the brides cake to the groom--that's why we have groom's cakes and why we buy real gifts for our new husbands--not re-gift, well she was actually re-caking. What is that about.
my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
my cookies are prettier than your cookies because this is the second time i substituted my opalescent sanding sugar when i ran out of sugar to make the batch ha!

 

Reply
post #30 of 123
I was going to comment on all this but I will just say to Kory that I am very sorry this happened to you. Even the best have bad/hard days sometimes.

You are great at making cakes and a good business woman, don't let this get you down. I think you are handling yourself in a very professional and classy manner. I hope it is over soon so that you can move on to do what you do best.

I remember an old saying, something like "you can't please all the people all the time". Keep your head up! icon_smile.gif
The older I get the smarter my mother gets!
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The older I get the smarter my mother gets!
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