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Upset Customer, Cake Disaster and Complaints After Party?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hey all,

I'm thinking I need to refund the cake (which I haven't figured out if I put it in the contract.)

I'd like to offer her a free cake on the next event because of business finances so it makes me wonder how long you should hold onto the payment before using it. The cake settled on the way there, I gave her the invoice and she noticed the settling, took the cake and said her daughter hadn't arrived yet.

She wasn't thrilled but didn't tell me to take it back, but she was in front of people and probably didn't want to make a scene.

I cried the whole way home.

I really apparently suck and want to quit and I just got my license this year.

So now I don't have the money to refund her and it was a disaster.. why didn't they just tell us to take it back when we were there?

Here is an edited copy of the email:

Hello this is xxxxxx my daughter was not happy with the cake I am not sure how much experience you have in doing cakes but that cake looked nothing like the pictures you showed me and everyone in this place that looked at the cake agreed with me. We were truly disappointed because this cake wasnt worth 97.00.

So what to do???

She wanted it in pink and we did in purple per their requests.
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post #2 of 22
Oh sweetheart, this sounds like a rough one. I once had a wedding cake partially collapse on the way to the venue (the last time I ever used wooden dowels in a tiered cake) so I know the feeling. The picture didn't show up, so I'm not sure how bad it was. If you know it was unacceptable, and the customer wasn't happy, then a refund of some amount is in order.

Without seeing it, I can't say now what percent I would personally offer. Yes, it puts customers in a very bad situation to be handed a cake that isn't up to snuff, but it's the only cake they have.
post #3 of 22
I'm so sorry that this happened to you icon_sad.gif I could only imagine the feeling BUT, Kelleym is right, Its hard to put a figure on what you should refund, if there is no picture. Will you be able or up to adding a picture for us to see and try to assist you?

Again, I'm soooo sorry. i hope that you don't give up on what you love to do. We all have had days where something hasn't gone to our liking and we had to just keep moving. There have been times when I have wanted to give up but, I always talk myself out of it by saying, THIS IS WHAT I LOVE TO DO AND IT MAKES ME HAPPY< SO I WONT GIVE UP!!!

Don't give up!!!
I can do ALL things Through Christ who strengthens ME!!!
CAKE IS MY LIFE!!!!
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I can do ALL things Through Christ who strengthens ME!!!
CAKE IS MY LIFE!!!!
Reply
post #4 of 22
Apologize and refund her as much money as you are able to at this time, so sorry this happened, then make her a smaller cake when you take her the money. These things happen, take care.
post #5 of 22
I just finished writing a series on money management for cake businesses and this is the kind of thing that happens a lot...I advise not to spend any of the money that you collect until the cake is delivered and fine. I know it's hard to do if you're just starting out, but in a situation like this you'd be able to refund the entire amount if you needed to, without dipping into your personal money. http://www.acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2012/01/keeping-money-in-bank.html

Personally, I'd refund the entire amount if I had delivered something that I knew wasn't right, and they then complained about it. It's one thing if you had delivered everything and it was exactly what they had ordered and in perfect condition, but if you knew it wasn't up to par I'm afraid that you're on the hook for it. If I was the customer I wouldn't be happy with a free cake for an upcoming event (I just finished writing about that too for an upcoming post.) If I wasn't happy with the product I wouldn't want more of it, sorry to say. I'd just give the refund and let it be a learning experience, unfortunately. icon_sad.gif
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2261738/16th-bday-before-the-drive

This was at the house... The top just sort of sank down.. I wonder if I"m cutting the dowel rods too short.

I'll talk to my husband (biz partner) and the customer and see what they want to do...

Sigh.... I have a car cake and a consult tomorrow and another cake on Tuesday. I'm totally quitting after this. I've found it quite apparent that I'm a better baker than decorator and this is the first person to complain.
post #7 of 22
I am going to say this in the spirit of truly offering you help, not to be mean. You should offer a full refund, and if you can't do it all now, talk with the customer and work out a payment plan.

All is not lost. You do have talent. All you need is more practice. Make cakes for friends and family for cost for a while, and build up your portfolio and your skill level. You CAN be a success. You said you're a better baker than a decorator - what about homestyle dessert cakes? You might explore the demand for those in your area.
post #8 of 22
I would say you could benefit from some time off, some good instructional DVD's and perhaps some hands on instruction. Then you can go back at it and kick some butt.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #9 of 22
It's a pretty cake. Could it have been the temp in the area where you were keeping the cake?

did the cake sank around the sides or from the top?

Yes, talk with your hubby and yr customer and see what you all can agree upon icon_smile.gif

I know that giving up is the easiest thing to do when you come to a problem BUT like you said, this is yr very 1st complaint. Why would you want/let yr 1st complaint STOP you from going on. Along the way, you will have mishaps etc etc but you learn hope to push forward from them and strive to be even better or do better the next time. Redeem yrself to yrself with the upcoming cakes that yr going to be doing. DONT LET ONE CAKE STOP YOU FROM DOING WHAT YLOU LOVE TO DO!!!

Its hard to stay positive but thats whatyr family, friends and cake friends are here for!!!!
I can do ALL things Through Christ who strengthens ME!!!
CAKE IS MY LIFE!!!!
Reply
I can do ALL things Through Christ who strengthens ME!!!
CAKE IS MY LIFE!!!!
Reply
post #10 of 22
Really? I think a 16 year old would like this cake. I know how you feel, you've put so much work into it and it's not appreciated. I think I would try to talk to them and learn from the experience. Tell them you'd like to know what they are dissatisfied with and chalk it down as a learning experience. I find that when there is money involved the expectations are perfectionism. I usually tell them in advance that things can happen and that I will supply them with the best product I can. I think I would refund the money.
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym

I am going to say this in the spirit of truly offering you help, not to be mean. You should offer a full refund, and if you can't do it all now, talk with the customer and work out a payment plan.

All is not lost. You do have talent. All you need is more practice. Make cakes for friends and family for cost for a while, and build up your portfolio and your skill level. You CAN be a success. You said you're a better baker than a decorator - what about homestyle dessert cakes? You might explore the demand for those in your area.



I agree. With your licence, you are allowed to get compensated for supplies. You will get to the point where your skills are up to the point where you can charge, but for now the customer needs a refund.
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #12 of 22
By the way, if the cake ha not buckled, it would have been worth way over 97 bucks, what size tiers?
post #13 of 22
i am actually thinking you needed some dowels or support under the really heavy bow. so sorry this has happened to you icon_sad.gif i do think a PARTIAL refund is in order. ask to see pictures...if they served they cake then they at least need to pay for cost of supplies
It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BizCoCos

By the way, if the cake ha not buckled, it would have been worth way over 97 bucks, what size tiers?

I'm willing to bet the cake shown to the customer was uniform in tier height, it wasn't sitting on an unfinished cardboard, and wasn't misshapen around the tops.

Those are a huge things. I would have been upset too. Like was previously mentioned, OP needs some work. A few things cleaned up, and it would have been great. But this cake, in the state we see it now before the disaster even happened is just not something I would be happy with, nor would I expect a customer to be either.

It's not a bad thing to need work. I need work in areas, and so I practice. I wouldn't try to sell a Lambeth design, nor pass myself off as a sugar flower artist without being well versed in either.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
post #15 of 22
What did the picture look like that you showed her when she first ordered the cake? Was it much different from the cake you gave her?
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