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1st Customer Complaint - HELP! :-(

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
To make an extremely long story short....Against my better judgement I accepted an order from a 1st time customer on Weds. of this week for delivery on Sunday of (originally) a fondant covered sheet cake for a birthday party. She changed the order twice after that and insisted that "the price doesn't matter, just make it look good" and then gave me free creative range. I gave her an estimate of the final price and she was fine by it.

In the end this rush order was truly a RUSH and it showed to some extent which I owned up to completely. When I delivered today she looked at the cake and was happy, I gave her a purchase order to sign with the final price which included a rush fee and delivery fee. She asked why it was so much and I explained and told her that I discounted the price by 20% because I was not please personally and if she had any issues to let me know. After writing the check she looks at the cake again and the issues start rolling in. She didn't like that 'happy birthday' was piped and not in fondant, etc etc. Of course none of the things that she was angry about were ever discussed.

So I sent her an email 2hours post-delivery and offered her a further discount of the rush/delivery fees and for the entire bottom tier; a 30% discount on a future order and my sincerest apologies. She is still not even close to satisfied. I really don't know what to do at this point. I've remained firm in my offers but now she is saying that she doesn't believe that I care about her being happy with her cake, etc. Help!

 

Candice Durham
CEM Cupcakes, Chef & Owner

 

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Candice Durham
CEM Cupcakes, Chef & Owner

 

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post #2 of 11
Your first mistake was in saying you were dissatisfied with the cake. That put the thought in her head that because you were unhappy that it wasn't a good cake. Keep your opinions of your cake to yourself. Most of the time the customer does not see what you do.

Next, you caved and offered the moon to someone who called at the last minute and who you bent over backwards for. I have some news for you--you could give her all her money back and free cake for a year, and she STILL wouldn't be satisfied. She's milking this to the hilt and you're letting her. Let it (and her) go. You've already screwed yourself on this deal. Chalk it up to experience. Learn from it and move on.

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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post #3 of 11
Never reveal your mistakes most of the time they don't notice them. Second if someone started pointing out all of the things that they didn't like after they were initially happy with the order and already received a discount especially on a last minute order I would have left with the cake in hand. I had a lady ask me to make a cake for her mother on Friday. I told her to stop by and let me know what she wanted. She never showed. She tried to call me at 10:00pm Saturday night to which I didn't answer the phone because I couldn't believe someone could be that rude. Then she calls me on Sunday to ask for the cake for Monday. I told her no that she did not give me enough time. To make things worse she only orders Tres Leches cakes which I make the day before so that the milks have time to meld. She continues to try to talk me into making this cake when I tell her I don't have time she asks if I can make my cheesecake strawberries which I also said no. Then she tells me to call her in the morning and let her know. I felt like yelling what do you not understand. She has done this to me in the past. She has the nerve to ask me what am I supposed to do. I just wanted to say not my problem. I have learned to say no on last minute orders.
post #4 of 11
Rule #1 never tell a customer you're not happy with you're cake. You plant the seed of doubt and now the customer can pick it apart to

a)make you doubt yourself even more and
b)get a discount or free cake.

I don't know about you but, I just can't be spending money on procrastinators. Time is money. I can give them some guidance but I expect them to come to me with a clue. If they say get it done however you can that's another story.

This happened all the time when I worked at a supermarket. A customer would order a cake, last minute, then complain to the store manager about the color being slightly off, one lady complained about a thin line on the backside of the cake (where the spatula meets, or the cake being frozen, (they came in that way, it takes about 30 minutes to defrost completely) and get the cake for free. We always lost money in the "bakery" but I bet she told her friends and they told their friends and I was decorating free cakes for people.

My point is, that people will take advantage if you let them. Don't let her make you feel bad because she couldn't wrap her mind around a design and keep it there. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

Sweettreat 101 wrote:
Quote:
Quote:

I had a lady ask me to make a cake for her mother on Friday. I told her to stop by and let me know what she wanted. She never showed. She tried to call me at 10:00pm Saturday night to which I didn't answer the phone because I couldn't believe someone could be that rude. Then she calls me on Sunday to ask for the cake for Monday. I told her no that she did not give me enough time. To make things worse she only orders Tres Leches cakes which I make the day before so that the milks have time to meld. She continues to try to talk me into making this cake when I tell her I don't have time she asks if I can make my cheesecake strawberries which I also said no. Then she tells me to call her in the morning and let her know. I felt like yelling what do you not understand. She has done this to me in the past. She has the nerve to ask me what am I supposed to do. I just wanted to say not my problem. I have learned to say no on last minute orders.



I can't stand people like that. I don't care who you are, I don't have the time or the energy to fix your problem. If they don't know what to do tell them to figure it out. Can you tell i'm over these people?
"Once a Marine Always a Marine" Semper Fi!!!
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"Once a Marine Always a Marine" Semper Fi!!!
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry I don't think I worded that right. I never said anything to her about my being worried about the cake. It was just my own thoughts. I figured I was being harder on myself than any customer ever would be, especially a customer that in her mind I believe wanted the moon & stars on a telescope budget.

This morning I get an email with pictures of cakes she's purchased previous. All nice work, pretty simple designs and all 3-tier cakes. She stated that she didn't pay more than $75-80 for each of them. In my mind I'm like, that's not even possible! I refuse to compare myself and my legal & licensed business to some (probably) hole-in-the-wall baker that doesn't calculate pricing like an actual business ...

 

Candice Durham
CEM Cupcakes, Chef & Owner

 

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Candice Durham
CEM Cupcakes, Chef & Owner

 

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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCupcakez

.

This morning I get an email with pictures of cakes she's purchased previous. All nice work, pretty simple designs and all 3-tier cakes. She stated that she didn't pay more than $75-80 for each of them. In my mind I'm like, that's not even possible! I refuse to compare myself and my legal & licensed business to some (probably) hole-in-the-wall baker that doesn't calculate pricing like an actual business ...



What she paid for anything in the past has nothing to do with anything. I'd email her one more time and give her your offer again, don't even respond ot the three-tiered price quoting, but then add that this is the last time you'll be contacting her and she needs to decide in 24 hours whether she wants to take the discount or accept the price that she paid.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar



What she paid for anything in the past has nothing to do with anything. I'd email her one more time and give her your offer again, don't even respond ot the three-tiered price quoting, but then add that this is the last time you'll be contacting her and she needs to decide in 24 hours whether she wants to take the discount or accept the price that she paid.

Great idea! Thanks so much!

 

Candice Durham
CEM Cupcakes, Chef & Owner

 

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Candice Durham
CEM Cupcakes, Chef & Owner

 

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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Quote:

Sorry I don't think I worded that right. I never said anything to her about my being worried about the cake. It was just my own thoughts. I figured I was being harder on myself than any customer ever would be, especially a customer that in her mind I believe wanted the moon & stars on a telescope budget.

This morning I get an email with pictures of cakes she's purchased previous. All nice work, pretty simple designs and all 3-tier cakes. She stated that she didn't pay more than $75-80 for each of them. In my mind I'm like, that's not even possible! I refuse to compare myself and my legal & licensed business to some (probably) hole-in-the-wall baker that doesn't calculate pricing like an actual business ...



I assumed that was why you were giving a discount. I would still just not do it. If she's sending you three tier cakes and telling you what she paid then she's telling you that she only wants to pay that much. Stay firm with your pricing. thumbs_up.gif
"Once a Marine Always a Marine" Semper Fi!!!
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"Once a Marine Always a Marine" Semper Fi!!!
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post #9 of 11
If she had actually gotten such a great price for the other cakes she would have use them again and not even called you!
post #10 of 11
I agree with everyone about staying firm on your pricing. But... in almost any other business a RUSH order warrents a price increase not decrease. So imo you went backwards.

When there is a rush order, it demands that you put all your other business on hold, it may require that extra personel be brought in to complete the order, it usually requires extra hours of labor.

So for me to deal with a rush order as a rule of thumb I tack on minimum of 50% more all the way around. NO discounts.
Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
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Virginia 323.253.8213
www.urbanainez.com
He is the man of my dreams, my prince; He gives me the desires of my heart, He completes me. His name is Jesus
Reply
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
You guys are so right! I guess I'll just have to just stay firm and let her be. It's one of those classic .. you win some you lose some situations....Yet another thing to learn from, so i'm grateful for the issue in that way.

Thanks for you help =]

 

Candice Durham
CEM Cupcakes, Chef & Owner

 

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Candice Durham
CEM Cupcakes, Chef & Owner

 

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