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Sorry this is so long, but I feel like crap!  

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
So a couple of weeks ago, someone called inquiring about cupcakes. We began talking about it over email and it turned out she wanted a Toy Story themed cake for 75. Her budget was rather small, so I suggested a small (about 25 servings) buttercream covered cake with the Toy Story logo and cupcakes with some characters to supplement. She thought this was a good compromise. I said that I could use some fondant to create the logo, but that ultimately this was a buttercream cake. I also said I could make the characters' faces out of fondant and she also wanted letters to make a birthday message.

Everything was going well between our emails, except she kept on asking questions about this and that, and can we do this, blah blah blah. She NEVER said, ok this all sounds good. Let's place the order. All she said was "can you call me?" At that point I was working on 3 different cakes and found it difficult to take out the time to call her. And why couldn't she call me? I wrote quickly to her between work and taking care of my kid about how busy i was and that she was welcome to try and call me whenever she wanted. Never heard from her.

The worst was that the cake was for this past Saturday after Thanksgiving when I was having relatives and friends over and cooking for Thanksgiving! So on the Sunday before thxgiving I really didnt want to do the cake because she never even looked at a contract or sent me a deposit. But I felt bad if I left her hanging too because she kept on telling me in the emails about how she loved my work and how even though it was a lot of money for her she really wanted to order from me. So I wrote to her and asked her if she wanted to go ahead with the order, should I order a cupcake stand for her? She wrote back over a day later saying "Last night I was just speaking with a friend of mine about having yet the opportunity to speak with you. The party is sat. and I am sure that you could understand my concern. However I am just hoping that it all works out." Which I thought was a strange thing to say. why couldn't she call me?

I had let her clearly know that I would only have a day and half to work on her order, which is obviously not a lot of time, but she wanted to go ahead. So I sent over a contract to her and didn't hear from her until of course, I emailed her again. I told her since it was so last minute, she could just give me the cash when she came to pick up. So she never asked for my address or when should she pick up. When I asked her she said, she wanted to pick up the order as early as possible on Saturday. She never sent back the contract. I didn't hear from her until Friday evening at which point she said that she couldn't open the document. So i resent it to another email address and also changed the format to pdf and resent that. She never emailed me back the contract with her initals as I requested.

Then I stayed up until 3:30 am in the morning trying to finish!!!! It was so hard trying to get at least 11 different toy story characters all out of fondant! I did half the logo in fondant and I did the blue border of "Toy" in buttercream while the base was yellow buttercream. It looked like the logo and it was cute. Some of the characters were a little less than great, but I was super tired and was just tyring to get them done before morning.

Well, the time came for her to pick it up and she never showed. I called her and she casually said that her dad volunteered to pick it up at noon and sorry for not calling. Well, I was tired of waiting for clients to pick up cakes sometimes 2 hours late, and I said that I had to be out of the house in 30 minutes and she needed to come and pick it up. So she said she would. She came 45 minutes later and when I answered the door, she didn't look happy or excited to pick up her order. I showed her the cake, which she unenthusiastically said was cute. Then I showed her the cupcakes and she looked less than impressed. And asked weird questions like what the letters on some of the cupcakes were. I reminded her that she wanted "Happy 2nd Birthday Dylan" written out in letters. I had noticed that some of the cupcake wrappers were peeling away, which I thought was not cool, but I couldn't do anything about it at that point. I gave her some extra baking cups that she could replace them with and I apologized saying that I really didn't have time to bake more cupcakes which was the truth. A lot of the cupcake wrappers coming off had happened overnight in the fridge! She looked unhappy so I offered to give her some money back which she did and left.

then 5 minutes later I get a phone call from her and she says how this is not what she ordered and that this is not what I advertised on my site and that the blue buttercream on the fondant had started cracking and how nothing was presentable. And the cupcakes look terrible, etc. And I tried to explain to her about what went wrong and she started crying asking if I was blaming her. I was trying to be understanding and offering my apologies. But the order really didnt look as bad as she was making it out to be. She kept on going on about why me why me? Why does this always happen to me whenever I try to do something on my own? Etc. Strangely there was another voice of a woman in the background who was egging her on and saying how my work was just amateur and how sorry just doesnt cut it. I offered to refund her the money and that I was going to take back the order. She kept on saying how her sister got cupcakes at Pathmark and how great they looked and she only paid this amount of money, etc. So she agreed to have me refund the money and to take the order back but could I come down because she was by herself. That was very strange since I had heard another woman. When I came down with her money, she was alone! I decided to be heartfelt with her. She wondered what she was going to do where she was going to find a cake so last minute (uh, Pathmark!?) She showed me pictures of the pathmark cupcakes/cake. Needless, to say they were awful and I felt insulted that she would even compare my stuff to that. I offered to redo the work for her and that someone could come to pick it up later that afternoon since the party didnt start until 3. She thought it sounded like a good idea. I felt that I had calmed her down and that we had made a connection.

I worked and worked again!!! I redid the logo, all in fondant, and baked another batch of cupcakes, sans peeling wrappers, even redid some of the characters faces! I called her like 10 times to no avail, emailed her, etc. She simply did not pick up. No reply, nothing. i never heard from this woman again! I feel so horrible. I know it's my fault because I really shouldn't have gone through with this order. I never work without a contract or deposit, but I felt so bad for leaving her hanging. Ugh! But wasn't she really weird? I have this feeling that she never had any intention of picking up the order or was she trying to get it for free? Who was the mysterious voice egging her on in the background? Oh, and it turns out the blue buttercream cracking was her having smashed top of the cake with the box lid.
post #2 of 97
I'm still stuck on you quoting 75 dollars and then making fondant figures, and then redoing them-that is the mystery to me.
post #3 of 97
OK, OMG!!!! She sounded like a head case right from the start DING DING DING warning bells! Then when all the other drama went down I would have pretty much been trying to just distance myself from her straight away. I wouldn't have been giving her any money back, there should have been an additional charge for the late confirmation even. I think when she didn't have the contract signed, sealed & delivered by the deadline then you should have made yourself suddenly "all booked up".
post #4 of 97
Ohhhhh my--what a trip! Flakey McFLakeykins.

We had a lady cry once over a Barney cake--I mean it's a giant reddish purple cake and Barney is not like beautiful or anything. A customer crying over a cake is weird to me. Wedding cake maybe. Birthday cake tears to me means 'we have other issues that are tumbling out on this alleged cake problem'.

I think you went several miles too many on this one. I think you were over accomodating and it bit you in the end. Going forward I know you will pull up stakes much much earlier.

It's not important to try & satisfy ever client. Some of them are nuts. It's ok to cut them loose early on. and I don't mean any harm to this client of yours. All of us gets nutso about somethings sometimes. Ok for some it's a permanent thing but I'm not the judge. icon_biggrin.gif
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!

 

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!

 

post #5 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by kookycutter

. She kept on going on about why me why me? Why does this always happen to me whenever I try to do something on my own? ... Who was the mysterious voice egging her on in the background?


Image

Maybe the other voice was her too...she tried to get it done without her other personality present. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

I am so sorry this happened to you but this one would have left me wondering if I stepped into the Twilight Zone. icon_cry.gif
"Be the change you want to see in the world."- Mahatma Gandhi

miniature cake tutorial

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

miniature cake tutorial

http://www.youtube.com/user/MyNewSneakers?feature=mhsn
post #6 of 97
Meds.
post #7 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

This is your first post, you joined Saturday and no pictures or website or anything? Are you for real? Ok now I'm judging. We often have this type of post that can turn out to be untrue--just giving you an opportunity to fully identify yourself.

When I got on the cake boards, my friend Kelley made me get my stuff online to anchor me as a for real person. How's about it, Kooky? You state you have a website--where is it?

Please pardon my candor and forgive my skepticism, we've been down this path so many times--just wanting to give Kooky a fair chance.



Amen, -K8Memphis.

Theresa icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 97
quite often, I've seen regulars create another name to vent.

(OMW! What if the split personality was also split???? Two Two funny!)
"Be the change you want to see in the world."- Mahatma Gandhi

miniature cake tutorial

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

miniature cake tutorial

http://www.youtube.com/user/MyNewSneakers?feature=mhsn
post #9 of 97
Sorry your holiday weekend was a little marred by this, but its great that you shared your story. So many lessons in this one for all!

I'll bet you've learned .....
- No contract .... no order on the books.
- No money in advance .... no turning the oven on.
- No contact from client ..... no chasing them down to see if they will "let you" make their cake at the last minute.
- No contact from client .... send an email stating "Since I haven't heard from you to confirm your order, I am assuming you have made other arrangements. let me know if I can be of help in the future."
- No "feel good" feeling about the order .... no taking the order.

thumbs_up.gif
post #10 of 97
If you don't have payment in full and a signed contract or order form. don't turn your oven on. I'm sorry this happened to you, but it's clear that you could have avoided a lot of this by saying the magic word "no". Don't let people guilt you into this kind of thing in the future.

Okay, I'm going to start writing my book on getting a backbone now.
post #11 of 97
So many booboo's done here- on your part and hers.

I can understand dealing with a wacko, because hey, not everyone is perfect and I don't know about you, but I'm not in the financial state to be turning down orders.

Second, why didn't YOU call her? So what if she hasn't taken the time to call you. If it were me and I wanted to make sure that MY time isn't going to be wasted, then I would pick up the phone and say, "So, are we on or what?" Well, not exactly like that, but you get my drift. icon_razz.gif

Third, NO SIGNED CONTRACT & DEPOSIT= NO CAKE. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Lastly, if you still proceed to do this cake, then you need to be more firm with your clients. A little tough love now and then isn't bad. I've had to tell people, "OK, I'm here to help you resolve this issue. Yelling at me is not going to help so we need to get it together and work towards coming up with a solution."
Booyah!
Booyah!
post #12 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

This is your first post, you joined Saturday and no pictures or website or anything? Are you for real? Ok now I'm judging. We often have this type of post that can turn out to be untrue--just giving you an opportunity to fully identify yourself.

When I got on the cake boards, my friend Kelley made me get my stuff online to anchor me as a for real person. How's about it, Kooky? You state you have a website--where is it?

Please pardon my candor and forgive my skepticism, we've been down this path so many times--just wanting to give Kooky a fair chance.



Wow, what a way to make a person feel welcome and like they can vent. I know I would NEVER post my business site on here or anything else that can identify me, cause I may want to come here to vent about a customer, but would not want that to some how come back and haunt me. I thought this was a palce of support, but I guess you have to prove yourself to others first. How nice of you all. thumbsdown.gif
post #13 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by all4cake

quite often, I've seen regulars create another name to vent.

(OMW! What if the split personality was also split???? Two Two funny!)



Yeah I've heard of that too--but in this case there's no liability in revealing who they are. Flakey cake girl's not gonna care.

I mean I was a registered memeber for years & years before I started posting. I tried to re-register a few times as someone else 'cause i never could remember my password & login & stuff--and I never could re-register because CC had me in as who I was & that's it.

How does one have two identities? It's not allowed either.

But I digress--where's Mr. or Ms. K. Cutter??? This person reminds me of somene....hmmm...wonder who it reminds me of....there seems to be a pattern here...hmmm...
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!

 

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!

 

post #14 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis

This is your first post, you joined Saturday and no pictures or website or anything? Are you for real? Ok now I'm judging. We often have this type of post that can turn out to be untrue--just giving you an opportunity to fully identify yourself.

When I got on the cake boards, my friend Kelley made me get my stuff online to anchor me as a for real person. How's about it, Kooky? You state you have a website--where is it?

Please pardon my candor and forgive my skepticism, we've been down this path so many times--just wanting to give Kooky a fair chance.



Wow, what a way to make a person feel welcome and like they can vent. I know I would NEVER post my business site on here or anything else that can identify me, cause I may want to come here to vent about a customer, but would not want that to some how come back and haunt me. I thought this was a palce of support, but I guess you have to prove yourself to others first. How nice of you all. thumbsdown.gif



Fasten your seatbelts--Kooky is buoyed by another anchorless poster.

Which I'm not saying y'all aren't real. I'm saying this happens a lot and it's frustrating to be played. If you're not playing us--GOOD--come on out then.

And for what it's worth--please read the very well intentioned and good advice I gave to op. Nothing wrong with me making a request for some id. It's like no contract, no deposit, don't turn on your oven. In this case--you've got good advice now sign the contract and show us your website 'cause we already go the oven heating--gave good advice.

Besides, we should all be careful about what we say online. Revealing ourselves for who we are keeps us each in check as it should be.

There's no harm no foul no shame in revealing in this case.
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!

 

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!

 

post #15 of 97
Thread Starter 
I understand some posters' skepticism. I just joined Cake central the other day and didn't enter any info as of yet. This incident was just bothering me last night and so I just decided to vent. You can check out my website if you have any doubts <www.brooklyncake.com>.

I know it's my fault, because I don't normally ever work without a contract or a deposit. It was the only time I really went along.
I didn't quote $75. It was 75 servings! I really bent over backwards for this one and I don't know why! The whole thing is just senseless.

I didn't call her because she had very specific time requests for calling and I didn't know if it was for everyday. And you know how it is when you are working on 3 cakes in a row for the entire weekend. Who's going to really schedule it in when you are just trying for your deadlines?

Thank you to those who are more understanding. Geez, tough crowd.
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