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Unhappy nasty customer. Fondant help? - Page 2

post #16 of 37

I'm so sorry this happened to you. It is a very cute and adorable cake icon_wink.gif. Personally I would have run for the hills the moment she uttered the words "if you pass the test"... I think she is just one difficult lady, and I feel a bit sorry for her next baker who "needs to pass the test"... 

post #17 of 37

She's just not a nice person.   There was no need for her to go into detail about the cake going into the trash!  Also, I cannot imagine going to a party and complaining to the hostess about the cake she is serving...!

Wilton Fondant has a bad reputation on this website, but it won't destroy an entire cake.   

post #18 of 37

Did she mean the hat got hard, because honestly I probably would have taken that off to serve the cake anyway, and it probably would have ended up in the trash, at absolutely no fault of the baker, but simply because that's what tends to happen to fondant decorations. 

 

Sounds like she's a seasoned PITA let me see what I can get for free type. You know those people that expect a free meal at every restaurant they go to, because there was one ice cube too many in their soda. When she starts out by setting an unknown standard that you are going to have to reach, she is laying the groundwork for her later complaint. 

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #19 of 37

Your cake was absolutely adorable! Don't let one negative person's criticisms diminish your success. I, too, am self-taught and I'm learning slowly but surely that all business isn't good business. Sometimes being new to baking and designing cakes, we're so happy to do cakes that come our way because it's such a joy that you're eager to share. But moving forward, you'll now be able to see who will be difficult/unpleasant and decide from there if you want the headache/heartbreak of doing business with them. In the meantime, encourage yourself. She's just one person and if she couldn't appreciate a great cake, think of how many more compliments you've gotten on other cakes.

post #20 of 37

Sorry you had to go through this!! Your cake underneath the fondant probably tasted fine!!! Your cake was so cute!!! You did a great job!!!

 

Most people hate the taste of fondant especially the Wilton one. I have heard the marshmallow fondant is much better. I have never tried fondant but heard too many people say they always peel it off of the cake  and do not like the taste of it. Every one has different tastes. Don't let this woman get to you.  Hang in there!!!

post #21 of 37

Hello There  Your cake looks super.  I'm also a novice decorator but at the first course I attended, the advice given was that once the fondant/sugarpaste is on the cake, you don't wrap it in anything or  put it in the fridge.  I put my cakes in a card cake box and depending on what kind of cake you make (I make madiera cakes because they are quite firm and can withstand the sugarpaste) they are perfectly alright for a couple of weeks - one to make and decorate and the second to have it eaten.  I've never used Wilton fondant, so I don't know how it performs, but I use Renshaw Regal Ice, which works very well and tastes good too. I'm sorry you've had such a bad experience, but put it behind you and carry on baking/decorating as you clearly have talent.  
 

post #22 of 37

Just a tip, if a customer doesn't come directly to you with a problem. don't set yourself up for a verbal beating by asking.  Differing expectations and sometimes, just plain rudeness can lead some people to seize an opening and jump down your throat. 

 

I understand that you wanted your customer to be pleased and that's good! Achieve that by providing the best product you can, defining clear expectations, and goals and delivering what you promise.  Then you can rest assured that you have done all you can for your customer. 

 

Try and shake off the bad feeling, otherwise you'll let it linger. Keep in mind that there will always be difficult people. I refer to my sister who grilled me about the cello bags and specifically, the color of the ties I use to package my cookies, the size and color of the ingredient labeling, and changed her order the night before...for her $3 Christmas cookie packages. MY SISTER. 

 

hang in there. 

jen

post #23 of 37
If she was expecting something for free, she would have complained soon after the order and attempted to get her money back. Since she didn't even say anything to OP until she was contacted this is probably a genuine complaint, it could be the result of a miscommunication or misunderstanding of what fondant is.
post #24 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracyaem View Post

Your cake is adorable, I think this woman is just trouble. My guess is with all the "if you pass the test, you'll get lots of business" hype she was hoping to get a discount/freebie on this cake and you would never hear from her again. May I ask what size the cake was and what you charged? My guess is she's just pulling the same scam with her new classifieds post. She'll find some other baker to do a cheap cake and promise tons of business if it's good.

 

The people who have to tell you what good customers they are, usually aren't :)

I did an 11x15 covered in fondant with the hat being from a small heart shaped pan. I charged her $52.

post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by jlhinkley View Post

I did an 11x15 covered in fondant with the hat being from a small heart shaped pan. I charged her $52.

At my bakery, an 11x15  serves 35, and the heart, I would guesstimate 12, for a total of 47 servings, and would charge 3 times what you did. You GAVE it to her for about $1.10 a serving. Please keep in mind that if you will be doing custom cakes, you should wait until you feel you are are at your best until you start selling. You will always continue to learn and get better, but you need the confidence and the knowledge of KNOWING your product is the best, so you don't let complaints get you down. 

 

And when you do feel great about them, charge WAY more than you are doing now. 

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 #26 of 37

According to Wilton, an 11x15 double layer serves 60. I can't tell from the pic, but it looks like a single layer maybe? So 30 servings (ignoring the hat). Regardless, you seriously undercharged! Especially if you were buying Wilton fondant retail, that stuff ain't cheap!

 

And yes, I agree that the lady was not asking outright for a free cake... but when people lead off with "if you pass the test, I'll give you oodles of business" they know what they are doing. Especially when you see them doing it over and over (as this woman is doing with her classifieds). She is not truly looking for her go-to baker. She's looking for smaller bakers eager to get business and taking advantage of them by implying that if they satisfy her, she'll create a windfall. Had OP not contacted her, she would never have complained (who would - she got cake for 30 (or 60?) people for $52!!!). When OP contacted her, she had to come up with an excuse for why she never brought on the deluge of cake orders implied... hence the "hard cake" comments.

 

My point to the OP is, I don't think you should stress over this woman's comments because she went elsewhere and didn't come back to you. I don't think she ever had any intention of doing so and it's not a reflection on your cake. I also think you should raise your prices, at $.90-$1.75/serving for fondant you're paying people to take your cakes.

post #27 of 37

Well in my honest opinion I think you got the last laugh by saying you were booked...I say that because she said you needed to pass her test..Booked or not she is probably a little mad because you did not need her to get business. Your cake looked great and I do not believe she was scouting for you in particular on the classifieds, she is just a woman who has probably had everything handed to her all her life..At the end you handed back her test by saying you were booked !!! Good for you !!! I also commend you for calling and finding out, That takes courage and because I realize you just wanted to learn from your mistakes I think that was awesome of you. Sorry that you did not learn anything from that except people sometimes will hurt others just to get what they want. Good for you for not budging!!!

 

post #28 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes View Post

At my bakery, an 11x15  serves 35, and the heart, I would guesstimate 12, for a total of 47 servings, and would charge 3 times what you did. You GAVE it to her for about $1.10 a serving. Please keep in mind that if you will be doing custom cakes, you should wait until you feel you are are at your best until you start selling. You will always continue to learn and get better, but you need the confidence and the knowledge of KNOWING your product is the best, so you don't let complaints get you down. 

 

And when you do feel great about them, charge WAY more than you are doing now. 

I understand that most people think I charge way too little for my cakes. The problem is that I live in a very small town. Population 9,000. I live in rural Wyoming. Here we have a Wal-Mart, an Albertsons, and 2 small bakeries. They do not sell custom cakes, Walmart prices are so low that I try to go in between a high end bakery and walmart. There is a few other places around here that do cakes and yes they charge much more but I get the customers that think they are too pricey. The demand for my cakes is not high enough here to charge too much. I am currently figuring out how much my cost is and then thinking about charging at least $7 an hour for my labor.

post #29 of 37

There are always going to be customers that cant be satisfied no matter what you do, shake it off and carry on.

 

As far as pricing goes you have put yourself below min. wage at 7$ an hour. Kids at McD's are making more than that. You have to charge a reasonable market price. Including giving yourself at least $14 hr (you are worth it). What about the mark up. Your price might be to low for the people that are willing to pay for a good custom cake, making them think your work is not up to par. I think the price is also low enough to attract the pain in the a$$ customers who want everything for nothing.

 

Charging less is doing all of us a disservice as a whole.

 

Keep on Cakin, Jimmy

post #30 of 37

Sorry that happened to you!  It is a very cute cake.

 

One thing I will say about fondant...it does dry out, and it can feel hard even if you have a full layer of buttercream underneath.  A lot of people can't get past chewing their icing.

 

I have tried several different types of fondant and Duff's fondant never gets hard or dries out.  It stays very soft. You can find it at Michael's but it's expensive so you should use a coupon.  If you don't have a Michael's, you can buy FondX because it's made by the same company.  If you look them up on the web they might send you some samples.

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