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Customer wants refund - Page 3

post #31 of 107

The problem is you have no way of knowing how she has been storing the cake so if it is dry it is most likely not your fault.  Plus you already know she's a PITA since she haggled with your price.

 

I would not even meet with her.  It is definitely going to lead to an argument and frankly people are a little crazy these days.  Who knows what she might try to do.  I would email her and tell her that upon further consideration you feel the two of you are not going to come to an agreement about the cake.  I would reiterate your policy again - quote her the invoice.  Tell her since you do not have proof that the cake has been stored properly since it left your possession and that 2 other cakes of the exact same recipe plus the scraps you tasted were moist and perfectly fine you are unable to offer her a refund.

 

If you do decide to meet with her take someone with you.  A husband or boyfriend if you have it.  I know that may seem ***ist but sometimes a man is able to able to keep the situation in check.  It's more their nature to not take it personally and keep it business like.  Not saying you can't do that, just my experience.

 

Good luck.  Let us know what happens!
 

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 #32 of 107

Unless it actually tastes bad, even though the rest of the batch was fine, I wouldn't give her anything back. Depending how it was stored and if she cut all of it into pieces, dryness is a pretty hard thing to disprove after a couple days.

 

I have a few general rules, don't say sorry, don't offer free product or refunds, or even discuss them, until you have seen the cake in person. My first job was in a high volume bakery, we put out at least 15-20 wedding cakes each weekend, and there was always someone calling the owner trying to get money back.

In the 3 years I worked there, only 1 cake was actually faulty, the lady who made it forgot to dowel it.

For some reason people think it's an easy industry to rip off.

 

My advice... get yourself psyched up for an obnoxious woman, hold your ground and don't let her bully you, don't get defensive, just keep it matter of fact and professional.

People love to use the 'I'll ruin your reputation' threat, but in all honesty,  one person out of hundreds isn't going to do you much, if any, damage. If the cake was truly bad, they will badmouth you anyway.

post #33 of 107

I totally agree with Cathy!  I wouldn't even meet with her!  Remind her of your policy, tell her it's unfortunate she was unhappy, and never do business with her again.  $58?  She would have had to pay me $60 just to turn my oven on! lol
Seriously, the last minute ordering... tells a lot about the woman. I would email her one last time and (as scrumdiddly said "don't say sorry") let that be that.

Good luck to you.  Sad that we try so hard to put smiles on peoples faces, and have to deal with the occassional PITA

post #34 of 107

Some people do not even know what fondant is or what it tastes like. The customer may have never tasted fondant before and was expecting all butter cream cake.  Until I came to this site I really did not know anything about fondant cakes.  That could be why she did not like the cake. I am sure underneath the fondant the cake was moist especially since you cooked 2 of them that same day. I am sure you told this woman the difference between the fondant and butter cream but until they taste it they really do not really know the difference if it is their first experience with a fondant cake.

 

Hopefully things will turn out in your favor. Good luck and sorry you are having to deal with a customer like that. I think everyone who sells cakes eventually runs into people such as this. Good luck.

post #35 of 107
I would take the cake back without tasting it and give her a full refund. $58 is not a lot and she would likely cost you far more if she bad mouths your business online.
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post #36 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

I would take the cake back without tasting it and give her a full refund. $58 is not a lot and she would likely cost you far more if she bad mouths your business online.
Agreed, this customer is not worth spending another minute of your time on. $58 is a small price to pay to never have to talk to them again.

One person can in fact do a lot of damage to a business's reputation if they are pissed off.
post #37 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

I would take the cake back without tasting it and give her a full refund. $58 is not a lot and she would likely cost you far more if she bad mouths your business online.
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


Agreed, this customer is not worth spending another minute of your time on. $58 is a small price to pay to never have to talk to them again.

One person can in fact do a lot of damage to a business's reputation if they are pissed off.

So you guys seriously just roll over and take it when a customer pitches a fit?  No wonder people think they'll get a refund...   Seriously, they'll just tell their friends to complain and be reimbursed too.

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I homeschool because I've seen the village and I don't want it raising my children.

 

http://whynotethiopia2.blogspot.com/

 

 

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post #38 of 107

But they can still bad mouth you and you're out the $58. 

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #39 of 107

There will always be one person out there that will give a bad review it could be for no reason at all but it happens.This usually does not break a business unless it is true and it keeps happening to other customers. If this is one person I believe she is safe.Her work will speak for itself and her happy customers will talk over the 1 disrespectful one.The truth always comes out when it comes to food quality. If you stand behind your product it will speak for itself with many followers. So what 1 person is crying in her fondant over a cake.Even if you give her money back she will still talk rude and never come back anyway, it is how these people work no matter how nice you are. People like this are the kind that expect things for free when that is not reality. 1 person will not break your good reputation, it takes more than 1.

post #40 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jess155 View Post

So you guys seriously just roll over and take it when a customer pitches a fit? No wonder people think they'll get a refund... Seriously, they'll just tell their friends to complain and be reimbursed too. 
When I ran my bakery, if a customer was not satisfied I offered their money back, period. This happened twice in 4 years and 700+ orders.

If you are worried about customers complaining just to get a refund you are probably targeting the wrong people, these types of customers tend to weed themselves out since I did not haggle over our relatively high price points.
post #41 of 107

I would never, ever give someone a refund, no matter how small, just because I didn't feel like dealing with them. $58 might not seem like much, but the reason people think they can get away with that sort of garbage is because someone else, somewhere, is letting them get away with it.

You are also admitting that your product was no good.

 

I have run 4 successful businesses over the past decade, 2 of my own and 2 for other people... one thing I have learned, if people want to bad mouth you, they will. Unless they are really motivated, one person doesn't do that much damage.

If they leave a nasty review online somewhere, you can reply. However, if you refund them, what is your response? "I agreed that my product was crappy so I took a loss and gave back every cent." That's going to do you more damage than you being able to honestly say that the complaint was without substance.

 

I stand behind every single cake, cupcake, cake pop I make, I don't care is it's $3 or $3000.

post #42 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


When I ran my bakery, if a customer was not satisfied I offered their money back, period. This happened twice in 4 years and 700+ orders.

If you are worried about customers complaining just to get a refund you are probably targeting the wrong people, these types of customers tend to weed themselves out since I did not haggle over our relatively high price points.

I definitely agree with the ' no haggling' bit, stay away from those type of customers, and you stay away from a lot of potential problems.

 

I've had 2 complaints over the past 6 years of having my own cake shop, probably due in high part to the fact that I also refuse to deal with them. However, both of those complaints were utter nonsense, no way am I dismissing the hours of work that I did for them by refunding, 'just because'.

post #43 of 107
I agree scrumdidly! No way am I wasting my time and money for an a-hole that can't be pleased, and didnt want to spend the money to begin with! If I am not making money, I am hanging out with my kids. I I don't let people get away with anything! Even my step MIL likes to run her mouth at the family get together and I'll call her out on it, and nobody says a word, but that thank me later. They act like that because they are allowed to!
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 #44 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes View Post

However, if you refund them, what is your response? "I agreed that my product was crappy so I took a loss and gave back every cent."
IIRC it was something like this: "I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your cake. Our goal is to make sure every customer is satisfied, so in this case I would like to offer you a full refund."

Our business was a little different since we focused on more basic cakes (usually in the $50-100 range) and we had a unique competitive advantage (making allergy-friendly products). Demand was significantly higher than supply for most of our product lines simply due to the nature of our business, but I also did my best to associate our brand with a "premium" mindset and superior customer service for further differentiation in our midmarket segment. This includes a satisfaction guarantee and giving the customer the benefit of the doubt.

That said, if there was a complaint for one of our large orders I would of course investigate to see what the problem was and issue a partial or full refund if warranted, but for small orders it just wasn't worth my time. A $58 cake represents about an hour of work, so if I spend an hour going back and forth with the customer it's essentially the equivalent of a full refund already.
post #45 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post


IIRC it was something like this: "I'm sorry you didn't enjoy your cake. Our goal is to make sure every customer is satisfied, so in this case I would like to offer you a full refund."

Our business was a little different since we focused on more basic cakes (usually in the $50-100 range) and we had a unique competitive advantage (making allergy-friendly products). Demand was significantly higher than supply for most of our product lines simply due to the nature of our business, but I also did my best to associate our brand with a "premium" mindset and superior customer service for further differentiation in our midmarket segment. This includes a satisfaction guarantee and giving the customer the benefit of the doubt.

That said, if there was a complaint for one of our large orders I would of course investigate to see what the problem was and issue a partial or full refund if warranted, but for small orders it just wasn't worth my time. A $58 cake represents about an hour of work, so if I spend an hour going back and forth with the customer it's essentially the equivalent of a full refund already.


Just to clarify, I was in no way meaning to suggest that I thought you refunded people because you made 'crappy' cakes! It was just an example of how a refund could be construed. It's hard to stand behind a product that you refunded, and when you do, it's really the customer who gets to say how things were.

(just in case you thought I was being a judgemental cow, lol)

 

When it's handled professionally, most people are courteous enough not to trash talk, but in the OP's case, the woman doesn't seem too classy.

 

I'm also looking at it from a wedding cake perspective, I do very few small orders, if I had a higher volume of those, I can see how that would potentially change my opinion.

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