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my first unhappy customer and Im in tears

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just delivered a cake and got bad feedback. When I delivered she said she liked it but I could tell by the look on her face that she didnt. Then I just checked my email and this is what I got....

Hey hun I have to be honest with you I'm really bumed about the cake. It doesn't look like our design and I thought the ribbon would have been done in fondandt..I thought that everything would be edible and the two different purples really clash....people are talking about it and not in a good way icon_sad.gif(((( I hate to even tell you but I'm bumed out.

How do I respond? We didnt have a contract and I will be giving her part of her money back but this just ruined my entire night icon_sad.gif
post #2 of 13
Sorry you had that happen. We're you happy with the cake you delivered? Do you think any of the specific complaints the customer made had any merit?
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately I do! I knew she wouldn't like it but I made the mistake of delivering it anyways because I made it last night and worked at my full time job all day and didn't have time to fix it.

I am so bummed right now, she has ordered quite a few cakes from me but this one was for a big event. I knew I should have gone with my gut!!
post #4 of 13
Just keep apologizing to her. Try to make it up to her some other way like baking a batch of cupcakes of something. It happens. You will overcome it. Just next time make sure you ask if they want fondant or satin ribbon. Hope u feel better soon icon_smile.gif we're here to cheer you up! It has happened to me as well but I have learned from it and improved.
post #5 of 13
I personally would make her next cake FREE . It would have to be close to the same size, etc. as this one, I would even take a few extra steps to make it outstanding. She's unhappy with this one that she paid for, just tell her you are sorry and that you will make it up to her. As, you have said, you weren,t happy with it either. Yes, we learn my our mistakes and go on. Throw this over your shoulder and go forward. Good Luck.
post #6 of 13
Are you able to give her all of her money back? I think that might be more than is required since she did have a cake, which presumably tasted good, to serve to her guests but it would demonstrate that you are willing to go above and beyond what is needed to address your mistakes - that is what customers really appreciate. You mentioned she has ordered cakes from you in the past so I would want to keep her happy.
post #7 of 13
Just wanted to add that the full refund should help you, too. After she has her money back do not feel the slightest bit bad for what happened. Yes, she did not get the cake she envisioned but she got a free cake to serve her guests. So no more tears.

Also, I'd probably tell her that you'll knock her socks off on the next cake she orders (assuming that you think you can correct the issues she identified in the future). I would not discount that future order, though since she got a free cake this time.

That said, if you can't afford or don't think a full refund is warranted (don't have pics of the cake maybe the problems were just minor overall), figure out the biggest refund you think she is actually entitled to, then increase that amount by 5 - 10%. Again, we have no pics of the cake, so can't really tell how off the mark the cake was.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
I will post pictures soon. I agree with everything that she said with the exception of the ribbon. We had a really hard time getting the correct purple and tried airbrushing it but it made the fondant crumble icon_sad.gif I emailed her and apologized profusely, I also told her that if she had told me she was not satisfied with the cake when we dropped it off we could have taken it into the kitchen and tried to fix it. I gave her 1/2 of her money back which left me with just enough to cover my ingredients. And when I take her the refund today I am going to take her some cake pops.

She is a friend of mine and has always loved all of the other cakes we made for her so I am not too worried about losing her as a customer because she knows what we are capable of. I just hope that it didn't ruin her night. This one is definitely going to take me a while to get over. I know these things happen and I know I should just brush it off but its going to be hard.

Thank you all for your encouraging words. I knew you guys would understand icon_smile.gif
post #9 of 13
If I was not happy with the cake, I would have delivered the refund along with the cake.
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

If I was not happy with the cake, I would have delivered the refund along with the cake.


I learned a lesson during my early cake decorating career. Some very nice people from my church asked me to make a cake for their parents' 60th wedding anniversary. The weekend I worked on the cake, I also got the news that my grandmother was critically ill in the hospital (she passed a few days later). The cake was just a sheet cake, but nothing seemed to go right, and I was so unhappy with it that I was in tears. I couldn't even bring myself to deliver it. I asked my husband to deliver it with my apologies, and to not accept any money from them. My husband looked at the cake, and looked at me, and said, "You're crazy, there's nothing wrong with this cake. You will look unprofessional if you tear down your own work in front of your customer." So, while I made my preparations to catch my flight to Seattle, he delivered the cake, and said they loved it. I still had my doubts. But the next time I saw the customers, they flagged me down after church service to come over and tell me how wonderful the cake was and how much everyone enjoyed it.

We are perfectionists who see every minute flaw. Don't tear yourselves down in front of your customers. Let them be the judge.

On the other hand, OP, if both you and the customer are unhappy, a full refund is in order. I'm glad she's your friend and that 50% was acceptable to her. I would probably do something special for her next order as well.
post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by kelleym




We are perfectionists who see every minute flaw. Don't tear yourselves down in front of your customers. Let them be the judge.




I often catch myself wanting to point out the little flaws here and there, and I have to catch myself and say "just shut up!"

OP, I'm glad you gave her something back and it looks like your relationship with her has been salvaged. You live and you learn.
post #12 of 13
OP, I'm so sorry this happened to you. I looked at your photos and your Olivia cake is absolutely adorable! You are clearly very talented!! We all have bad days once in a while. Don't beat yourself up over this; consider it a learning experience and move on.
post #13 of 13
I think every baker has felt this pain, and I'm sorry for you, BUT it WILL make you a better baker. Take it as a lesson learned and move on with your talents!
Slowly taking over the world with frosting.....
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Slowly taking over the world with frosting.....
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