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Needing advice on a customers cake disaster!

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

Soooo!  I'll try and keep it short..  I had a lady contact me last week about doing a 3 tiered topsy turvy for today.  I made it yesterday evening and have been moving it around (in and out of the refrigerator from one table to another).  Well, today I drove with the cake 20 mintues to meet the customer who was coming from maybe 45-50 minutes away.  Meet her and we setup the cake in her car and off we go!  I get a text 2 hours later saying that the cake was too moist and it completely collapsed.  I'm not sure what to say at this point... I looked at the pictures and to me it appears that the top two layers have slid.  And it is doweled through the center and supports for each tier.  I've used this recipe for many cakes.  I'll post pictures in a bit, the ones she sent me.  What would you advise to do in this situation?  Stupid me, I have a contract but am very lax when it's down to the wire so she didn't sign it.  She is too far away to fix it.

 

 

 

IMG_8414.JPG 2,335k .JPG file
post #2 of 22
Thread Starter 
Resampled952012-11-179515-42-4195900.jpg 110k .jpg file

 

 

Here we go:

post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 

I just wonder if I should refund all her money back.  I made a point to show her the cake after I met her and told her to be extremely careful through turns and watch out for other cars.  I was able to make it 20 minutes with the cake and it had not fallen apart.  I'm thinking I may just refund her %50.....

post #4 of 22

I'm no expert, but it may have very well slid and there's no way of proving it, unfortunately. Although, are you even responsible for this because, afterall, she was in posession of the cake when this happened (rhetorical question). I think it's a good idea to just refund her 50%, definitely not all of it because it could have very well been her fault and she's just "covering" her own donkey ;) I'm sorry this happened though! Good luck.

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. -Dr. Suess

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Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. -Dr. Suess

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post #5 of 22
She has taken possession of the cake and it is now her responsibility, in the interest of customer service I would give her a gift certificate for so much off a future service. Also make sure customers sign a contract release when they pick up a cake. They are more careful when they no they have no recourse to complain when they are not careful.
post #6 of 22

Well, if she had paid you to deliver the cake to her party, then it would have been there in good condition.

When the customer tries to save money by picking up the cake, any subsequent damage is THEIR responsibility.  The issue is the delivery more than the contract.

 

It looks like a door slammed into the cake board and the base tier.  I think any innocent "sliding" is very unlikely.

 

So maybe you need first of all to ask where the damage took place, who helped get the cake out of the car, how many steps did they climb, etc. No need to jump with any refund until you hear what really happened.

post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene View Post

Well, if she had paid you to deliver the cake to her party, then it would have been there in good condition.

When the customer tries to save money by picking up the cake, any subsequent damage is THEIR responsibility.  The issue is the delivery more than the contract.

 

It looks like a door slammed into the cake board and the base tier.  I think any innocent "sliding" is very unlikely.

 

So maybe you need first of all to ask where the damage took place, who helped get the cake out of the car, how many steps did they climb, etc. No need to jump with any refund until you hear what really happened.

 

I agree with BakingIrene the issue is clearly a case of how the customer received their order from you?

 

If the customer was presented with their order and it was fine/perfect - no discrepancies to report nor find at the time of handing over. Then from that point the customer has non verbally agreed that their order was delivered /presented in one piece - thus satisfied.

 

After all which customer from any industry will keep quiet if their order was wrong in any way shape or form.

 

Its unfortunate that their order is damaged but that really is not your fault unless you knew otherwise?

 

By asking questions is a tricky one so tread carefully you don't want to be adding more salt to the wound - and you could propose a 50% goodwill gesture if your conscience is still probing you to do so...but not a full refund.

 

But you have to let your customer know that your goodwill is in no way admission to their defective cake.!!

 

After all you have invested your time, energy and passion not to speak of the costs you would have incurred.

 

No doubt next time you will get your future customers to sign the necessary paperwork.

 

Its not an easy scenario by any means especially when you're involved directly.

 

Prevention is better than Cure

The Sky is the Limit... If you ARE prepared to fly.

 

Success is not a destination...it's a journey.

 

http://www.noveltycakeslondon.com

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The Sky is the Limit... If you ARE prepared to fly.

 

Success is not a destination...it's a journey.

 

http://www.noveltycakeslondon.com

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post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 

Thanks ladies!  I feel terrible it happened...  And waviers at time of pickup are now a must!  But I came to find out, after she posted on facebook, that she was coming from two hours away.  From what she had implied she was only 45-50 minutes away.  And I know because I've delivered to the town she mentioned.  But she said on facebook that she had not even made it there and the bottom layer collapsed causing the top two tiers to fall over.  I have to be honest, I would not have recommended that cake had I known she was driving from 2 hours away.  

post #9 of 22

50%.  You don't have a contract.  You don't know what happened.

 

If you had signed contract, I would say to bad you knew the risk.

 

Also, I refuse pick up for topsy turvy cakes.  NO WAY.  You want it, you pay for delivery.  I feel the same way about any precarious cakes with fragile elements.

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 

I know, I most certainly kicked myself in the butt when I did not get her to sign a contract.  I've used that recipe 

plenty of times and have made at least more that 2 dozen topsy turvy cakes.  Not one have I had a problem with.

I've been going back and forth on that too, to only accept deliveries of topsy turvy cakes.  

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPMitchell View Post

Thanks ladies!  I feel terrible it happened...  And waviers at time of pickup are now a must!  But I came to find out, after she posted on facebook, that she was coming from two hours away.  From what she had implied she was only 45-50 minutes away.  And I know because I've delivered to the town she mentioned.  But she said on facebook that she had not even made it there and the bottom layer collapsed causing the top two tiers to fall over.  I have to be honest, I would not have recommended that cake had I known she was driving from 2 hours away.  


Well I hope your customer is not bad mouthing you or your company because that would be really unfair considering that you handed over a perfect cake order that they were satisfied with.

 

I would probably feel the same way i.e. bad - but when something is out of your control it really is....so try not to beat yourself up about it.

 

Have you decided about the good will gesture as yet?

The Sky is the Limit... If you ARE prepared to fly.

 

Success is not a destination...it's a journey.

 

http://www.noveltycakeslondon.com

Reply

The Sky is the Limit... If you ARE prepared to fly.

 

Success is not a destination...it's a journey.

 

http://www.noveltycakeslondon.com

Reply
post #12 of 22

If she was coming from that far away, and she didn't say that, then there is real doubt about all the other statements this specific customer has made.

 

You see, she would normally have to give you her  billing address with a credit card payment, or a mailed-in deposit payment would have her return address.   Contract or no contract. And you would normally ask the name-address-phone number right off the top.  Right?

 

So did she order through a facebook page?  that would be a place for you to be more careful in future.

 

But please take a good look at HER picture.  The base tier is still in place on the cake board with the letters.  It does NOT look like a collapse based on your baking or assembly.  It looks like the whole cake box slid and the box bashed into the side of the cake.  The tell-tale grease mark from the top tier is there in the upper right corner of HER picture. Sorry but that makes it HER responsibility.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts View Post

 

Also, I refuse pick up for topsy turvy cakes.  NO WAY.  You want it, you pay for delivery.  I feel the same way about any precarious cakes with fragile elements.

Absolutely. Wow. No way. 

post #14 of 22

When you gave her the cake, where in the car did she put it?  You said she posted that it happened on the drive, so did she have the cake in a place where she could see it?  Like on the front seat?  Which could have been a big part of the problem. 

post #15 of 22

What's the point in using a flimsy box with flaps for 3-tier tt?
 

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