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I want to kick this customer to the curb (sorry, long) - Page 2

post #16 of 106
Oh good grief! What a pain!

I'm personally a scratch baker, but she dosen't get to dictate what recipe you use to make cakes. She either likes your cakes or she dosen't. I would NOT make a new recipe to cater to her whims. As I see it you have 2 options. . .

1. Omit the info that you use box mixes and assure her that you have a tried and true recipe that never fails you and is delicious.

2. Tell her that you use a box mix as a base but enhance it. It's wonderful, moist and delicious. You're not comfortable experimenting with a new, unfamiliar recipe on her very special cake. (Then you hope she insists on scratch while you hold firm so you can suggest that she might be happier if she found a scratch baker. Then she'd be someone else's problem)

Decide on a design you're willing to make, based on the elements you've discussed with her and offer to make that or nothing.

Tell you DH that if he wants practice with difficult people he can make the cakes himself. You've had all the practice you can stand for a while.
post #17 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by KristyDi



1. Omit the info that you use box mixes and assure her that you have a tried and true recipe that never fails you and is delicious.




I love advice like this. Thread after thread on this forum about bride's and MoBs lying to get refunds yet folks have no problem lying or at a minimum using double speak or vague language to intentionally mislead/deceive customers--priceless.

If she is adamant about scratch cakes then this is your out. This addresses you hubby's claim about learning to deal with difficult customers. It is no longer about dealing with difficult customers it is about no providing a particular product they are requesting--problem solved.
post #18 of 106
Give her a final date to make any more changes and let her know after that date, she will be charged a design fee in addition to any increased costs, payable before the cake is delivered.

Clearly outline what her cake is going to look like so there are no discrepancies on what she is ordering.

Like another poster said, Let her know that a box mix is one of your ingredients and if she prefers a scratch cake, it would be best to go to another baker.

While the design may not be to your personal taste, I don't agree that it is ugly.
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 #19 of 106
Like others have said, I would tell her you have a recipe that uses a box mix and it is wonderful. If she insists that it be from scratch then I would tell her as another CC'r stated that you do not do that and perhaps she would be happier with someone else doing her cake.

I would give her a price with the now extra tier, small or large it is still more work as well as the other items she now wants. I would not do fondant unless it fits in the 100.00 budget she gave you and if she really wants fondant, then charge her for it.

If the party is 9/25 or whenever, explain all that you are doing to make her cake and let her know, if she likes the design, there will be no more changes. I would care less if she wants pink bunnies instead of the flags. Enough is enough.

Make sure you have all that you need or want to do along with the notice of no more changes in writing. Have her sign it and make sure she pays you in full up front.

Last but not least, No more cakes for her and tell you husband not to even mention to her about you making a her a cake or he can do it!!
evelyn

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

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Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

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post #20 of 106
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone for the support, kind words and advice.

I was able to find the picture that I'm going to be using as inspiration for her.

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1165678

As you can see this one is a two tiered cake. Her colours are red, white and black. And I will put a red 50 on the top. I think with red in the design it will give her the "fun" aspect she wanted. And I think the 50 with some black and red stars on wires will also do it and as a PP said, maybe some curling fondant ribbons as well. I just have trouble determining how much fondant I need of each colour. When it was a two tier, I was figuring I'd colour the white fondant myself. But now that it's three tiers (assuming she accepts the new price) I'm thinking I should buy the black and red fondant. If I buy Duff's red and black at Michael's, with a coupon 2lbs will cost $18 each. I figured 1lb of each would be used so I was going to add $18 in the new price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PattyT

She seems set on the "flag" theme - but could you incorporate the colors. I just looked up the Trinidad flag and it's red, black and white, and since Canada is red and white the curley-cue things could be those colors two. Maybe instead of red stars you could do little red maple leaves.



For me, I just don't feel the flags fit the design even though they fit the colour scheme. All I can think is that maybe do one of each flag, put them on a bamboo skewer and stick them into the third tier on an angle rather than mount the flags directly on the cake.


A caker friend agreed with you all and said don't tell her there's a mix in the cake, although I'm leaning to telling her because maybe that's enough for her to change her mind. LOL. But I doubt it. She won't find anyone else to make her a cake for cost.

The look on her face when I told her that I wasn't going to copy the cake proves she doesn't read her emails or has no recollection of what I (or she) has said because I told her way back when that I wouldn't copy it. But the best was when she said "what are you going to do for a candle"...she really had trouble grasping the concept that I wasn't providing a candle for her. And I may have had some incredulity in my voice as well. LOL.

I have one question - if I put stars on wires would you do them in the red and black colours of the cake or would you do them in silver? If it's in stock I can get a platinum silver luster dust that is very shiny. I guess I could brush the stars with luster dust as well for a bit of shimmer.

Thank you again. I love how we can get great advice from other cakes.
post #21 of 106
I think your idea about one of each flag on a skewer angled on the top tier sounds perfect. And the stars in silver sound just fine. Sounds more like she's turning "5", not "50". And quite honestly, she doesn't sound like a person that will be happy no matter what you try to do for her. Me??? I'd be dropping her like a hot potato...not worth the stress or the "practice". But if you do go ahead with it, I hope there's no temper tantrums after the party because the cake wasn't what she wanted.

Oh and by the way...my DH was hanging around last weekend while I was working on two cakes and was "trying" to make suggestions...until I handed him the bowl of icing and spatula and I left the room. I think I got my point across! icon_eek.gif


Good Luck with everything...I hope it all goes well for you...will be waiting to see the final creation! thumbs_up.gif
(I'm in Oshawa, so if I hear screaming on the 25th, I'll be wondering if it's coming from Ajax! LOL
Take care.)
post #22 of 106
After the 15th email I would have tasered her, left a note on the body that read, hope my free electric shock therapy helped you. Here's a list of bakers in the area. Happy Birthday. icon_lol.gif
laughter isn't the best medicine. It's the cure.
Grabbing my bowl of faux-'nache and running from the ganache police!!
link to Jello MMF recipe: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6934662-.html#6934662
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laughter isn't the best medicine. It's the cure.
Grabbing my bowl of faux-'nache and running from the ganache police!!
link to Jello MMF recipe: http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6934662-.html#6934662
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post #23 of 106
icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif Love your post Tesso!!!
post #24 of 106
w.o.w...I don't think I could handle that! Firstly-it's not as if she's your DH's boss or a coworker he likes. He wants you to keep her as a client because its practice? It seems to me that anytime a client has been this crazy up front that it only gets worse and can even lead to a legal bout icon_sad.gif You definitely need to put your foot down (which it sounds like you're doing a good job of by saving and quoting emails). I agree with the other posters about a "design charge" if she changes anything else. The scratch vs. box thing made me crack up icon_smile.gif She seems the type that when quoted the additional price for scratch would change her mind in an instant! I also wouldn't want to test out a new recipe on her cake. I'd stick with what you do or tell her to go some where else-I mean...how much of her nonsense does your husband want you to put up with for practice?
post #25 of 106
Beware... she is going to be unhappy no matter what you do. It sounds like her expectations are higher than her budget. Give her the money back and tell her that you don't think you can make the cake she wants. If you don't, you may be on here later telling us she wants a full refund. She is already making us squirm and we don't even know her!
post #26 of 106
Wow, wow...that keeps going through my head...wow. Personally I don't deal with difficult people, I don't care who your friends with.

I have a lady I'm doing a cake for right now who said she wanted mint green, but gave me a baby invitation as a guide that was clearly more of a yellowish, celery type green. When I asked her which green she wanted, she laughed. "Dear Lord, I don't care! If anyone there is going to complain about something so trivial I'll show them the door....hahahaha." Love her!!

Anyway, just remember "No." is a complete sentence, and don't let her push you around. If you can't dump her, then slow the communication down. No reason to respond back to her right away, give it a few days. remind her that she is not your only customer, even if she is.

Part of learning to deal with difficult people is learning that some of them are just not worth the trouble.

I had a bride email me once with a picture of the cake she wanted. She stated right out of the gate that she was extremely picky, and wanted the cake "exactly" as it was shown in the picture. It wasn't a difficult cake, but I could just hear the ...."oh I said blush pink and this is clearly more of a soft petal pink" in my future. I replied that I was unavailable that week.

Anyway best of luck with her.
The life so short, the craft so long to learn...(Chaucer)
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The life so short, the craft so long to learn...(Chaucer)
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post #27 of 106
Don't lie about the box mix - people can tell the difference (I certainly can). Just tell her that you don't possess the skill required to make scratch cakes well, and as this is important to her, she will need to find another baker. That's the simple truth.
AKA: bonjovibabe
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AKA: bonjovibabe
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post #28 of 106
Sounds lik your husband thinks "dealing with difficult customers" means being a doormat and living under that silly saying of "the customer is always right".

Tell him that sometimes "dealing with a difficult customer" means telling the customer to go somewhere else.

During our sampling appts, its not just the bride interviewing US to see if she wants to book with us. It's also US interviewing HER to see if we want to work with her too. I've waved bye-bye to more than one bride for this reason.
post #29 of 106
I would say to her with as much regret as you can muster "I'm sorry, but I don't bake scratch cakes. I guess you'll need to find someone else." I certainly wouldn't change my recipe to suit one person who isn't even paying me for my time.
Love is all you need. Well, love AND cookies.
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Love is all you need. Well, love AND cookies.
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post #30 of 106
WOW What nerve ppl have !!! DH needs to read all the emails ,maybe then he will see just what a pain shes being to his wife and tell her himself that your not doing her cake !

She is making me upset just reading this ..... Soooo sorry your going through this !!!
Once bitten Twice shy,
Lisa Cruikshank
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Once bitten Twice shy,
Lisa Cruikshank
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