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Upset about customer complaint

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 

I just had a woman call me about a cake she ordered that her daughter picked up yesterday and was unhappy about.  First she said the color on the top tier was off and darker then she wanted and then she said the top tier had started to fall and she could not serve it and had to find another cake.  I apologized for the color being wrong, I was going by a picture she sent and had it right but it darkened a bit overnight. It was not that far off and I did not think it was a big deal since it was so close.  I told her on the failing part I would need to see a picture to see what happened but thought it was due to how it was transported.  She does not think it had anything to do with the transporting that I had to do something wrong and it was totally my fault.  She said she was going to call her credit card company and dispute the charge if I did not give her half her money back.  I told her I would need to see the picture before I made a decision in order to see what could have gone wrong and see if it was my fault, which I don't think it was my fault. I told her I could give her a free product but she wanted nothing to do with it and did not want anything more from my bakery. I explained about the construction of the cake and how the dowels might have shifted if her daughter stopped suddenly or turned sharply or did not have it on a flat surface during transporting it and then just continued to shift until it started falling and when I told her about the dowels she had no idea what I was talking about and asked if she would be able to see them which I told her they are under the top tier and would be visible once you took the top tier off.   She was so hard to talk to the whole time because she was arguing the whole time and interrupting me and I stayed professional which I am proud of but she was not wanting to give in at all about how it may not be my fault that it may be her daughters.  I really think she was just upset about spending the amount she did on the cake and had buyers remorse.  After we hung up I did send her an email being as nice as I could but going over the possibilities of what could of happened and apologizing for all the problems and again offering her a free product.  I am sure I will not hear anything back from her but am afraid she will dispute it with her credit card company.  I know that I can still fight it if she does dispute it which I am planning of doing since I don't believe I had anything to do with the cake falling.  She actually used paypal which I just sent an email to asking what could happen if she did dispute it.  I am just so upset about this.  I have never really had a complaint before besides a few small things that weren't a big deal. 

post #2 of 66

So many people who pick up cakes do not drive carefully and do not realize that the cakes will be weakened when slamming on brakes or turning a sharp corner without driving slowly. I am sure you told them to drive carefully but many people ignore good advice.  If your contract states that once you hand over the cake and it is intact that it should no longer be your fault if something happens to the cake. The only way people can avoid this is if they have the person making the cake deliver the cake and set it up for them. Did you take a picture of the cake before you gave it to her? Can you post a picture of it? 

 

There are some customers that are very hard to deal with. I am so sorry that you are having to go through this especially if you have been doing cakes for a long time and are sure that the cake was stable before you handed cake over to customer.  Chances are that it is not your fault but the person who did the driving!! Also it appeared that the customer did not like the color of cake which would seem as if she was trying anything to get some kind of refund even before telling you that cake fell. Everyone has dealt with customers such as these.  I would never do any cakes for her or her family again.  You offered her a free cake so what more could she want? I think that was more than fair considering that it was probably not your fault that cake fell.  I am curious to see what the others here have to say on this issue.  Hang in there and try not to worry about this!! Keep your faith!!
 

post #3 of 66
I would just call her and send half back like she wants and forget about her. Some people are never satisfied no matter what you do...

Bakewylie.com "Where tasting is Fun" Like us on Facebook!

 

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Bakewylie.com "Where tasting is Fun" Like us on Facebook!

 

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post #4 of 66
Hello reginaherrin,  I really don´t know how your contracts are stipulated, but generally if not yourself  delivering the cake, you should make them sign some kind of " contract" I don´t know exactly the name, but  basically says that they agree with the product and that you are giving them is exactly what they asked for and is in good condition.before leaving the store to avoid this such misunderstandings. 
 
 I went scam with the same story that you're telling .
It's very hard because you put money and effort into doing what you love and someone unscrupulous makes you feel sad and angry, you try to be professional but make you feel stupid, at least I felt that way when I knew I was scammed.icon_sad.gif.
post #5 of 66

Awesome!!!

post #6 of 66
Paypal almost always sides with the buyer, so if you don't give her the 50% refund she's requesting you will probably lose the entire amount and you may even have your Paypal account frozen until the dispute is resolved.
post #7 of 66

It doesn't matter what you tried to tell her on the phone or what your email said.  This woman is never going to admit someone else might be at fault.  She is going to blame you.  And free bakery isn't going to help either. 

 

If you can prove that you weren't responsible - for example:  you had the driver sign a contract saying you are no longer responsible once the cake leaves your possession or something along those lines - then you could go ahead and dispute it when she files a dispute with the cc company.  Truthfully, it might be hard to do and not worth it.  Think about refunding her 50% with a statement that says you do not believe you were liable for the damage sustained to the cake but feel badly that she was disappointed in the cake or something like that.
 

Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #8 of 66
Thread Starter 

 

 

I will definitely not refund any money until I see a picture of the cake.  Who knows, she may not even have a picture, it may have been made up.  I have heard back from paypal and they did not give me much information except to say that the transaction does qualify for seller protection and I emailed them back to see how much it will protect me.  I don't feel it is right to give back half the amount just because she is kicking up a fuss and yelling.  She doesn't plan to order from me again and even is she was I would not accept an order from her.  I worked in retail for many years and found that most people that want something that is not right or against the stores policy they just start to yell and get mad more then likely will get what they want.  I find that behavior deplorable and unacceptable.  I know I have to think of my business and do what is in its best interest but to give in to someone threatening me when I know I did nothing wrong feels wrong to me.  Once I see the picture it may be a different story but I really doubt it.  I am attaching a picture of the cake to show you what it looks like.  When she first contacted me she really wanted a 3-D cake but could not afford that type of cake, which makes me think that she is just unhappy that she did not get the 3-D cake. Remnant3333, I really appreciate your post, it really made me feel much better.  I do tell all my customers that pick the cake up what they need to do while transporting it and telling them once it leaves my location it is out of my hands (worded much better though) as well as that being on my website and on all my invoices.  The thing is she doesn't believe that anything happened to it to make it fall other then that I did something wrong.  I did ask her what she thought I could have done to make it fall and she did not know.

 

post #9 of 66
How much money are we talking about here?

FYI, if a customer picks up the item themselves you are not eligible for PayPal Seller Protection, you are only covered if you ship the item.
https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/security/seller-protection-learn-more
post #10 of 66

I guess I'm an @ss hole....I would have told her to if she disputes the charge, I will take her to small claims court. The cake was fine when it was picked up...REGARDLESS of contract or lack there of. I'm curious too how much was this cake and what were the sixes of the tiers?

“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

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“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

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post #11 of 66

This was a very pretty cake and to me it looks very sturdy looking.  It appears when you gave her the cake that it was fine!!! These type of customers would complain at their own funeral!!! Don't let this woman upset you!! These type of people come a dime a dozen, unfortunately!!!  I am thinking paypal will tell her to try and resolve it through you, so this woman will probably be contacting you again. It could be that the woman was displeased with the color and is just making waves trying to get 50 percent off! Good luck and I will be praying for you to have peace!! Hopefully, she will just give up. My husband said that this type of woman would probably complain either way whether she got back 50 percent or not. Do what you feel is the right thing to do!!!
 

post #12 of 66
Thread Starter 

We aren't talking about much money here, the cake was just $80.  The daughter who picked the cake up, which has ordered from me before, liked the cake a lot and actually thought it was fondant because she thought it was so smooth but of course it is buttercream.  I haven't heard back from her and she hasn't disputed it yet but I am still waiting.

post #13 of 66
It's just like guests who eat 3/4 of their steak and then complain it was overcooked
post #14 of 66
All this is about $40? If I were in your situation I would give them the $40 refund and immediately increase my prices, $80 is way too low for that cake.

The hassle of a paypal dispute (not to mention small claims court) will cost you more in time than you would potentially save by avoiding a refund.
post #15 of 66

I guess my response might have been to ask her to return the cake. That would tell you for sure.....if she is making up a story or not. My guess is the daughter drove wrecklessly with the cake and is afraid to admit to her mistake. Although I just hate someone out there bad mouthing my cakes, sometimes you just can't win with irrational people. Keeping your good name and reputation in the cake business could be more important than the money at this point.

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