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what to do if a customer just doesn't 'like' your cake taste?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 

I delivered a cake yesterday and the client complained last night that the cake wasn't done.  Well, after several back and forths...the determination that the cake was done....she just thought it didn't taste good.  I did a cake for her a year ago with no problem.  But it just seems like she is trying to get her money back because she decided it didn't taste good enough to her.  Is this a valid request on her part?  I have been doing this for 13 years and NEVER, not ONCE have had someone complain about the taste.  I level all my cakes too, so, I knew the center was done.  Which is why I was able to let her know that her original complaint wasn't valid. 

 

It has been raining here all week and I think the weather may have kept the cake from rising as much as it normally does, but that is beyond my control.  I already caved and said I would refund a LARGE portion of the money.  But I think she just has buyer's remorse and I wanted to toss it around here.  Please help. 

 

Also wanted to add that when she placed the order, she asked me if I could make the icing sweeter than last year and I told her I didn't know if I could.  Well, part of her complaint today was that the cake was too sweet.  ????? 

post #2 of 34

What was her reason for it not tasting good?  Since she knew what it tasted like, she must have eaten it.  I'm not sure I would have offered her a refund, but sometimes it makes sense in the interest of business. 

post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 

not really sure, since her original complaint was that it wasn't done.  She said she has been baking for 9 years and this wasn't edible.  But the other flavor was ok.  I am still kind of dumbfounded by the whole thing.  I know by the tone of her complaint that she will never use me again (NO BIG DEAL!) and I offered the refund so she wouldn't slam my name, but I don't think that will even be diffused.  I think she thought after her original email that I would immediately offer a refund based on her statement that it wasn't done and I didn't because I knew it was.  She said I was calling her a liar and then she blew up at me.  After I explained that I knew it was done...she changed her stance and just started saying how it just wasn't edible.  My white cake is a little more dense than my other flavors...but not inedible and like I said, in 13 years have never had a complaint.  I explained that maybe that was the case...but I think she is just determined to get a refund...no matter what. 

 

And I never called her a liar, I would NEVER do that even if someone was.  I don't think that would be professional.  I was very calm and collected through every exchange.  :/


Edited by missmersh - 3/24/13 at 8:13pm
post #4 of 34

It sounds as if this customer wanted a free cake!!!  The nerve of some people!!! I am so sorry that you are having to deal with this woman. Hang in there and do whatever you think is right to do. Good luck!!!

post #5 of 34

Changing her complaint means it's not a valid complaint. If there was something wrong with the taste, she would have said , "Hey, the cake tasted off", not, "hey, the cakes wasn't cooked."

 

I would assume she just wants her money back.

Also, if it 'wasn't edible', she would have a lot of cake she could return to you, to prove her complaint.

post #6 of 34

I would do the same as we do in our restaurant - if someones doesn't like the taste of a dish to the point they won't eat any more than a taste, we will gladly take it off the bill and ask them to re-order.  But we take the dish away.  If this cake was inedible, and she returned it to you with only a small portion cut into, I would refund her money.

 

If the case was "edible enough" to be completely eaten, by her and her guests, it was edible enough to pay for. :)

 

Liz
 

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #7 of 34
Thread Starter 

thanks y'all.  I already told her I would mail her a refund of most of it...I am kicking myself now because the more I think about it...the more it upsets me.  :(  When she changed her complaint, I should have said I am sorry and stopped discussing it with her.  oh well. 

post #8 of 34

Was the cake eaten or did she throw it away??  Was uneaten return the cake to you? If she didn't or if it wasn't...then I would not refund her anything. end of story. Because not just liking the taste and something being inedible are two different things.

 

Since you already said you would refund some, I would only refund 20% at the very very most..honestly I would probably only give her bak 15%  if she didn't return the cake back to you.  If you are going to give a refund, then pay yourself for your material costs and part of your time spent.

 

You didn't get any cake back did you? So she used your services/goods and she needs to pay for at least that. case closed. 

post #9 of 34

Peggy Porchen used to have a disclaimer on her site, I can't find it now its been updated but it was something along the lines of 'taste is subjective and we don't take back cakes just because you don't like the taste'.

"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
www.sugaredsaffron.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SugaredSaffron
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"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
www.sugaredsaffron.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SugaredSaffron
Reply
post #10 of 34
Thread Starter 

thank you guys, SO MUCH.  I am sitting here reading other posts and I have come to the conclusion that it is the right thing to do to give her a partial refund.  The only thing eating at me is the harsh way in which she handled the whole situation.  She came at me and told me it wasn't done and when I disagreed with her, she became irate (instantly) and started attacking me and telling me I was calling her a liar.  She never gave my comments any consideration.  Like she could have said, well, maybe it is done, but it just didn't taste right...in a nicer tone.  She was immediately rude and harsh and demanding I give her half of the money back..and telling me that I should accept criticism and not think I am perfect.  And the kicker was, she was texting all this to me while she was in church.  I am going to give her a little less than 50% back and I explained that I also drove her cake to a city 2 hours away so she didn't have to transport it.  (I was going that way anyway, but I still had to drive quite a ways out of my way to the location)...so I feel like I did a little above and beyond...for a birthday cake.  I am not trying to sound disgruntled...but I never complain much about anything...I just chalk it up as a bad choice and never request a service from that person or place again.  

I will have to look into that lady and see if I can find something along those lines.  Thank you, Sugared Saffron!!!!

post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 

oh and she kept telling me that she had the top tier for me and would give it back to me..(it was a 3 tier cake) but the bottom tier she threw away because it was inedible.  She said the middle tier was fine and went really fast.  (SOOO confusing!!!)  I wish I had gone with my gut and baked the top two tiers the same; that way, most of the cake would have been to her liking. ?

post #12 of 34

Sorry to hear of your bad experience with your customer (so called customer!)...what is very confusing to me is that she mentioned that she has been baking for NINE YEARS....

 

With that said no one ever likes to recieve negative feedback but I suppose that not everyone will be happy with the end product (as we dont live in an ideal world), but taking into account that she has already sampled your service/cakes previously then she would know what to expect.

 

I agree with the other posters on this thread..I would not be offering her 50% refund...no way hosea!!!

 

Have you told her that she would recieve a 50% refund? If so, then you would have to honour your word....if not then I would refund 20% and put it down to experience.

 

Why didnt she bake her own cake if she felt for a split second that her cakes would be edible.

 

Also if the bottom tier was inedible and the middle tier was edible - how does she know or how would you know if the top tier is edible/inedible???

 

From the above sentence....I would refund her 20% based on two cakes or solely just on the bottom tier alone. I wouldnt be refunding money back on a cake that was edible......

 

I can understand why you would offer a refund to prevent her from damaging your business name etc....but that refund would be based on non edible cakes only!!!

 

Just my two pennies worth...

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

Reply
post #13 of 34

I've got news for you... a refund isn't going to stop her from bad-mouthing you.  She will still tell everyone how awful your cake was whether it was or not.  Money won't shut anyone up unless legally required to do so. She lied to you at first about her reasons, why should she not lie to her friends?  

 

I would send her a 20% refund and be done with it.  There was nothing in writing between you was there about a 50% refund was there?  If you have steady customers and others know your work then why worry about one bad apple in the barrel. I doubt if she has many friends with her attitude and who would want people like her as your customers? 

Then I would also immediately put the disclaimer mentioned earlier about taste being subjective in whatever promotional materials you have.   Good luck!
 

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

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post #14 of 34

This is why in my contract I state that if the customer wants a refund they must return the uneaten cake, this way I can see what exactly went wrong with it.

 

this client just seems like a pain in the ass with buyers remorse.  I'd give her a 20% refund and would never take another order from her again.

No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government...

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No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government...

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post #15 of 34

Please, please, please do not bake for her again.
Common sense says that she will repeat her complaints.
If I don't like the taste of Applebee's, I don't go there.
She should have just not called you to begin with if your icing wasn't sweet enough for her based on the last order she placed.
Really...who calls someone with set recipes and asks them to change their tried and true system because their opinion is that it isn't what they want?
I wouldn't call up KFC and tell them to make their gravy thicker.
Sheeesh.

 

christyann
 

wife to David for 25 years
mom to 13 blessings
Nine who are still living at home that range from 22 to 4 years old.
Holly, Amy, Aaron, Evelyn, Zebedee, Melody, William, Melissa and little Tobin
and four more sweet babies in heaven.

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wife to David for 25 years
mom to 13 blessings
Nine who are still living at home that range from 22 to 4 years old.
Holly, Amy, Aaron, Evelyn, Zebedee, Melody, William, Melissa and little Tobin
and four more sweet babies in heaven.

Reply
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