Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Unhappy Customer - How would you handle?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Unhappy Customer - How would you handle? - Page 2

post #16 of 32
Hmmm... I had a situation like that once, the cake was delivered and while I was setting it up the MOB was there telling me how cute it was. Then two days later she called to say that the cake had been all wrong (it was exactly what they ordered according to the contract.) I remember that she also made a remark like "when you pay XXX for a cake..." which sends up the red flag of "trying to recoup the cost of the party" to me when I hear it.

For that situation I told her that I was surprised, since she had said that she liked it at the reception, and that based on her contract, it was exactly what they had ordered. She hemmed and hawed and didn't call back after that, so I guess she changed her mind. icon_rolleyes.gif

In this case since the guests seemed to like the cake I'd be careful, it sounds like a combination of spending too much and picking at any change in the design to justify a refund. There's no reason why anyone would be discussing the cost of a cake with party guests, so the idea that they're all standing around talking about the asymmetry vs the cost is ridiculous.

I'd absolutely not give a full refund, no way. I probably wouldn't give anything back if I had delivered exactly what she had ordered. Sometimes people have one thing in their mind's eye, but the actual design isn't what they're envisioning, so they get mad about that.

I also wouldn't bother to explain how long it took, that's irrelevant. If you delivered what she ordered, and she agreed on the price beforehand, who cares how long it took? It doesn't matter.
post #17 of 32
Thread Starter 
Sent apology note, said I understand and was sorry they were disappointed. Offered partial refund.

They reply back that they want the $20 delivery fee back too.

Hayyyyyeeeeeeeelllll no. They should have came to pick up their own cake. I could have saved 40 miles on my car.

Over it and done.
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeForte

Sent apology note, said I understand and was sorry they were disappointed. Offered partial refund.

They reply back that they want the $20 delivery fee back too.

Hayyyyyeeeeeeeelllll no. They should have came to pick up their own cake. I could have saved 40 miles on my car.

Over it and done.



icon_lol.gif Way to go girl!!
"There's No Place Like Home"
Reply
"There's No Place Like Home"
Reply
post #19 of 32
Here's what I would do, personally, given the cake delivered was what they ordered, it was accepted, used, and eaten:

"Dear PITA Customer (you can fill in their real name here),
Thank you so much for your feedback. I am so sorry to learn you are unhappy, and would like to extend you a credit with us in the amount of 25% of your original order to be used toward the purchase of another cake in the future.
There are many points that are considered when pricing a cake: flavor, size, technical skill required, the level of customization for the cake, details of the cake, etc. If you'd like, I'd be happy to provide you with a breakdown on the pricing used on your cake, including the final tally and the amount discounted to reach to overall end price.
Thanks again, and I look forward to working with you in the future!
Signed....Kiss my behind icon_wink.gif
post #20 of 32
Great suggestions ...... if they ate the cake then will only refund partial payment.
post #21 of 32
wink wink... tell them to give you back your cake and you will give them back the money.

Seriously- Seems to me that if they accepted delivery of it and were not satisfied by it then they would have said something then and there allowing you to fix it to the best of your ability. If it "totally ruined their event" then they would have been emotional enough about it to say SOMETHING to begin with instead of send you an impersonal, cutting email afterwards. I guess I just don't understand why after the event they are so dissatisfied but during delivery and drop-off they didn't say a word. Can't judge on the cake or design without a photo (understand why you are not posting one though) so I am just basing my opinion on the actions of the client at delivery.

I would probably go with the discount on future orders idea and if they take you up on it you will know it wasn't the stomach/eyes, it was the pocketbook talking.
post #22 of 32
Thread Starter 
Exactly. It's quite fishy as to why they contacted me - via email - when I was closed on Sunday, but not at all when I was open all day on Friday and Saturday. Their event was at 10 AM Friday, I delivered at 9.

Normally I only offer a credit, but this is someone I do not want to work with again, so I did the partial refund.
post #23 of 32
Unfortunately we live in a litigious society. It has become common to sue for the most feeble of reasons, and to expect something for nothing. The time for this PITA client to say something was when the cake was delivered, certainly not after it was consumed.

A discounted price for another cake in the future would be the only offer they'd get from me. Since you understandably do not wish to work with them again I'd follow Kaliscakes' excellent advice and offer to provide a breakdown of all that went into the production of their cake.

Sorry, but I tend to think that many of these folks who enjoy the cakes then whine and demand full refunds have plans to cheat cakers from the get-go. The tip-off to this client's greed is their audacity to demand the delivery fee as well.
Throughout my life I've often had to remind myself that the strongest steel is formed in the hottest fire. At my age, I am a force with which to be reckoned!
Reply
Throughout my life I've often had to remind myself that the strongest steel is formed in the hottest fire. At my age, I am a force with which to be reckoned!
Reply
post #24 of 32
some people have alot of nerves. if the cake wasn't what they wanted they should not have accepted it...not waited almost 3 days to contact you and say something about it.
A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece ~Ludwig Erhard
Reply
A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece ~Ludwig Erhard
Reply
post #25 of 32
If I ever have to give a refund, my delivery fee is included in the refund. This is my policy.

If a cake is delivered and the quality of design is not as expected, the customer cannot express their displeasure at that moment. She has guests and she is obligated to feed them. This is also not the time to get into a debate with you.

It would be proper for her to serve the guests, get her event completed, and then call you with her concerns the next day.

We always assume that it is the customer's fault. Look at the uploaded pictures in the gallery. There are works of art, unique designs, clean cakes, and then the majority that are mediocre to not very good. Also, not everyone is a great baker. I have had more wedding and celebration cakes that were not good than good. In fact, I can think of maybe two great cakes in my life. All of these cakes have been from various types of bakeries and bakers. And we all know that most people that take a Wilton class start baking cakes. I go to parties all the time where the cake is just mediocre in taste and execution. Who bakes these cakes? No one here? And please remember that with the huge growth of this market, the customer is now kicking herself because she did not spend $xx more to get the cake from the baker with the wonderful reputation.

This is just a peep at the other side from the customer's view.

I am speaking in generalities, but I don't believe that this is always a customer issue. They are paying a premium price for something they believe to be professional. The cake is always a centerpiece to an event. How do you think the customer feels when she gets a cake that was "not your best work"? She is embarassed because she feels that that cake is a reflection of her usually good traste and this is what she presents to her guests.

If I ever have an issue, my refund policy is spelled out completely. They simply must store the uneaten portion according to the instructions and call asap. For example, if I had a gummy center, that cake should not have been sold. The proof will be there if you are proactive. That customer would get a refund of the cake and delivery fee plus another future free cake to help her to trust me again. If the design was not my best, I would inform her that her refund was already credited to her account upon delivery.

We certainly charge our best (highest) price we can for every cake. Why shouldn't they expect our best for their money. Because of the prices of these specialty cakes, many times, you are dealing with someone used to purchasing higher quality goods on a daily basis and you need to be aware of the expectations that come with premium products. Products purchased on a professional level carry an expectation of professional quality. This income level is not used to purchasing something that was not someone's best, and certainly not in the habit of serving something not as expected. You, as cake artists, ask for the money up front and in good faith they trust you to provide "as expected".
post #26 of 32
Very well said scp1127. I have often thought that is why more and more people want a sample/taste of people's cake even for smaller orders. Burn me once..............

Tami icon_smile.gif
Always put your eggs in one basket.......why do you want to carry two?
Reply
Always put your eggs in one basket.......why do you want to carry two?
Reply
post #27 of 32
i think that this situation is hard to judge because we can't see the finished product so it could be the most beautiful cake ever or it could be a piece of crap or anywhere in between. if the cake was well done and made to the specifications in the contract then no they should not get a refund, however if it is not then scp1127 is perfectly right. their money should be returned. again with out a visual none of us can really say.
A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece ~Ludwig Erhard
Reply
A compromise is the art of dividing a cake in such a way that everyone believes he has the biggest piece ~Ludwig Erhard
Reply
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

If I ever have to give a refund, my delivery fee is included in the refund. This is my policy.

If a cake is delivered and the quality of design is not as expected, the customer cannot express their displeasure at that moment. She has guests and she is obligated to feed them. This is also not the time to get into a debate with you.

It would be proper for her to serve the guests, get her event completed, and then call you with her concerns the next day.

We always assume that it is the customer's fault. Look at the uploaded pictures in the gallery. There are works of art, unique designs, clean cakes, and then the majority that are mediocre to not very good. Also, not everyone is a great baker. I have had more wedding and celebration cakes that were not good than good. In fact, I can think of maybe two great cakes in my life. All of these cakes have been from various types of bakeries and bakers. And we all know that most people that take a Wilton class start baking cakes. I go to parties all the time where the cake is just mediocre in taste and execution. Who bakes these cakes? No one here? And please remember that with the huge growth of this market, the customer is now kicking herself because she did not spend $xx more to get the cake from the baker with the wonderful reputation.

This is just a peep at the other side from the customer's view.

I am speaking in generalities, but I don't believe that this is always a customer issue. They are paying a premium price for something they believe to be professional. The cake is always a centerpiece to an event. How do you think the customer feels when she gets a cake that was "not your best work"? She is embarassed because she feels that that cake is a reflection of her usually good traste and this is what she presents to her guests.

If I ever have an issue, my refund policy is spelled out completely. They simply must store the uneaten portion according to the instructions and call asap. For example, if I had a gummy center, that cake should not have been sold. The proof will be there if you are proactive. That customer would get a refund of the cake and delivery fee plus another future free cake to help her to trust me again. If the design was not my best, I would inform her that her refund was already credited to her account upon delivery.

We certainly charge our best (highest) price we can for every cake. Why shouldn't they expect our best for their money. Because of the prices of these specialty cakes, many times, you are dealing with someone used to purchasing higher quality goods on a daily basis and you need to be aware of the expectations that come with premium products. Products purchased on a professional level carry an expectation of professional quality. This income level is not used to purchasing something that was not someone's best, and certainly not in the habit of serving something not as expected. You, as cake artists, ask for the money up front and in good faith they trust you to provide "as expected".



I re-read your post to make sure I understood what you typed. Some of what you stated, especially from the customers point of view I agree with. An $800.00 cake should be worth every cent. However, your statement and I quote....
"We always assume that it is the customer's fault. Look at the uploaded pictures in the gallery. There are works of art, unique designs, clean cakes, and then the majority that are mediocre to not very good. Also, not everyone is a great baker."
I find that is insulting to bakers who post their pictures of cakes. Really, the majority of CC gallery posted cakes are mediocre or not very good?
The best things in life, are not things.
Reply
The best things in life, are not things.
Reply
post #29 of 32
I agree with Blakescakes. No Refund!
post #30 of 32
Hello - In these cases it's best to use common sense. Ask yourself - Was that cake REALLY my best work and do I feel I gave the customer what was promised. Or, due to what ever reason - I kind of threw the thing together at the last minute - or the old saying "Good enough for government work!" which basically means not very good.

I don't judge anyone - I try to do the best I can every time, sometimes things just don't go as planned and crappy things happen. In these unique cases, I work something out and apologize. Use common sense - also remember every bad instance could have future repercussions.

Finally, folks if you are going to critique someone's work - just remember. To critique correctly - one should assist or be constructive. Also, if you are critiquing products - let's see YOUR work, as well. take care - Cakesmith
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating Business
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Unhappy Customer - How would you handle?