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Am I legally responsible for the finished product?

post #1 of 80
Thread Starter 

Months ago I agreed to make a wedding cake for a friend of a good friend. I told her at that time I was going to be out of town on her wedding day but it was a small enough cake ( 2 tier ) that I could get it to her family member the night before if they were willing to transport it. I normally wouldn't even offer to do this but it was a friend of a friend looking for a very unique design that no bakery in our area would make.

 

A week ago ( 3 weeks before the wedding) she contacts me and says her and her fiance were talking about it and they found another 'cake lady' to make their cake but they still needed me to make the flowers.

I should have said no, I know I should have said no, but I didn't because I can understand  their concern with me not being in town on their wedding day and I want it to be the cake she has her heart set on.

The " new cake lady" has promised them a round 4 tier 14,12.10,8 inch will serve 350 peopleicon_rolleyes.gif

The cake has cascading 1 and 1.5 inch flowers down the front and also cascading down the back I set them on a tier of dummy cake here, multiplied and came up with 150 minimum she would need to achieve the look of the cake in the photo she provided.

She comes back to me and says " the new cake lady says 75 will be plenty". I advised her I didn't feel that was going to be near enough but she is sticking to it. 

My concern is, this cake is going to look nothing like what she is expecting and she is going to be VERY upset.

I am considering having my lawyer draft a document for her to sign releasing me from any liability of the finished product. Also, stating that I advised her of an issue and she declined to make any adjustments to her order.

I have never been in this situation before and unsure if I would even be liable for the finished product seeing as I only supplied the flowers to the " cake lady"? 

Any advice? Anyone ever been in a situation like this? Am I being over paranoid? I'm REALLY regretting not just saying " no" now.

Thanks in advance!

post #2 of 80
If I were you I would just cancel the order.
post #3 of 80
Exactly. Too much hassle and headache. Contract or not, if the cake gets messed up, you'll still get your share of blame. Your initial agreement was nullified when they contracted another person to do the cake.
post #4 of 80

I say cancel too. Let her new cake lady make it if she's the dogs B's.
 

"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
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"Taste your words before you feed them to people."
www.sugaredsaffron.co.uk
www.facebook.com/SugaredSaffron
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post #5 of 80
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your input.

The more I think about this situation, the more it stinks. I'm going to cancel, I hate doing it so late ( and having so many flowers left over ) but ya know how you can just sense that someone is going to be a PITA?!? I'm getting that vibe alreadythumbsdown.gif

Thanks again!

post #6 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron View Post

I say cancel too. Let her new cake lady make it if she's the dogs B's.

 

●snork●
post #7 of 80

I wouldn't cancel, this poor girl is getting screwed so why make it worse? I'd tell her that you'll send her an order form and she can fill it out. You suggest that she buy 150 flowers based on your opinion of the design that she want, and if she wants less that's up to her. If you fill an order that someone places it isn't your fault if it doesn't turn out the way it is in her head.

 

Or you could tell her that you think 150 is needed and if she wants less than that she can get them somewhere else, but I wouldn't cancel without giving her the option, know what I mean?

 

You can also tell her that an 8-10-12-14 only serves between 160-196 depending on the cake cutting chart you're using and link her to this on my blog if you need backup. It's the second column, eighth row down, and you'd have to subtract out the 6" tier. You'll be doing this girl a favor, and if she chooses not to listen to you then that's on her. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2012/02/cake-serving-chart.html

post #8 of 80
Thread Starter 

Thank you! I do feel bad just canceling on her 2 weeks before the wedding knowing that the new ' cake lady' most likely is not able to make the flowers or she wouldn't still be ordering them from me. 

That's a great idea, I guess as long as I can show that I fulfilled the order exactly as she placed it that gives me something to go on.

I have already advised her that she is not going to have enough cake and that the serving calculations the new cake lady have provided are off. I also I have in  emails where I advised her on 2 occasions that 75 flowers are not going to be enough to recreate the cake in the photo she provided. 

I did her bridal shower cake and she is very particular about the cake looking exactly as it does in the photos . She is on the brink of a disaster on her wedding day , I can see it coming a mile away and I want no part of it. I feel I have done my duty to give her accurate advice...she is on her own nowicon_sad.gif

But to save face, you are right,  I should give her the option of ordering the correct amount or go elsewhere. My luck I will get her to go for the 150 and the cake will be only 2 inch tiers ( the one in the photo look to be 5 inch ) and she will have too many. 

If ever in this situation again ( and I hope I'm not ) I'm saying no from the start.

Thanks again!

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

I wouldn't cancel, this poor girl is getting screwed so why make it worse? I'd tell her that you'll send her an order form and she can fill it out. You suggest that she buy 150 flowers based on your opinion of the design that she want, and if she wants less that's up to her. If you fill an order that someone places it isn't your fault if it doesn't turn out the way it is in her head.

 

Or you could tell her that you think 150 is needed and if she wants less than that she can get them somewhere else, but I wouldn't cancel without giving her the option, know what I mean?

 

You can also tell her that an 8-10-12-14 only serves between 160-196 depending on the cake cutting chart you're using and link her to this on my blog if you need backup. It's the second column, eighth row down, and you'd have to subtract out the 6" tier. You'll be doing this girl a favor, and if she chooses not to listen to you then that's on her. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2012/02/cake-serving-chart.html

post #9 of 80
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar View Post

 

You can also tell her that an 8-10-12-14 only serves between 160-196 depending on the cake cutting chart you're using and link her to this on my blog if you need backup. It's the second column, eighth row down, and you'd have to subtract out the 6" tier. You'll be doing this girl a favor, and if she chooses not to listen to you then that's on her. http://acaketorememberva.blogspot.com/2012/02/cake-serving-chart.html

 

Agreed...I am curious as to why you were only making her a two-tier cake if she really needed so many servings?  Just curious...

 

Also, I would make the 75 flowers she asked for and resist the urge for an "I told you so," if the obvious happens!  Just a simple "I'm so sorry she miscalculated..."

Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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post #10 of 80

I never fill an order that came from a conversation.  I always send an email confirming the order with details.  This way I can print out the order and if the customer needs to make any adjustments or has any concerns it is all documented.

I have saved myself a lot of pain because I had a printed copy of an order to put on the board with the flavors, colors and designs.  I have had customers that forgot what they actually ordered.

I would finish the order, but with paperwork.

Wish you well!
 

Making life sweet!

Lindas Just Desserts

Inspected and licensed commercial kitchen
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Making life sweet!

Lindas Just Desserts

Inspected and licensed commercial kitchen
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post #11 of 80
If bride gets the flowers, it might be a good idea to communicate with the baker so that you are both on the same page about the final product.
Edited by vgcea - 5/29/13 at 6:50am
post #12 of 80
Thread Starter 

She had initially orered a 4 tier from me, then decided it cost too much and wanted to negotiate.  I wouldn't budge on my pricing, so I gave her other options.

She decided to do a 2 tier and would source cupcakes from Walmart for the additional servings. I have to admit I'm quite surprised she is going for a 4 tier plus the cost of the flowers, I'm thinking this new baker is new to the business and is grossly undercutting. I'm also thinking price is why she cancelled with me , a Friday delivery hadn't been a concern for 5 months, I think she just found a cheaper cake.

Thanks for all the advice, I want to handle this tactfully and maintain my reputation, but it stinks.

post #13 of 80

I think CostumeCzar gave the best advice, I am never OK with cancelling on someone close to their wedding, that gives you a nice way to cover your tush and not back out last minute.

 

I would agree the 'cake lady' is probably very new, seeing as she can't even figure out how to read a cake serving chart.

 

Legally speaking though, the only thing you would be responsible for are the actual flowers, not how they are placed on the cake. That would be like going to Walmart and buying birthday candles, then getting mad at Walmart when you stuck them into the sides of the cake rather than the top :)

(At least that's how it was explained to me when I used to sell just flowers)

post #14 of 80

I have a question I didn't see mentioned: Who is placing the flowers on the cake, you or "Cake Lady"? Boy, this is a sticky situation. I wish you all the best. Let us know!
 

post #15 of 80
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes View Post

I think CostumeCzar gave the best advice, I am never OK with cancelling on someone close to their wedding, that gives you a nice way to cover your tush and not back out last minute.

 

I would agree the 'cake lady' is probably very new, seeing as she can't even figure out how to read a cake serving chart.

 

Legally speaking though, the only thing you would be responsible for are the actual flowers, not how they are placed on the cake. That would be like going to Walmart and buying birthday candles, then getting mad at Walmart when you stuck them into the sides of the cake rather than the top :)

(At least that's how it was explained to me when I used to sell just flowers)

Ahhhh! Great way to look at it. Thank you! I am feeling a bit less responsible for the final product. I will keep copies of her e-mail order along with the e-mail where I informed her she was not ordering enough flowers and her final decision to listen to the new baker.

Cancelling would make me look bad and I'd also be stuck with 80 traditional Ukrainian flowers that I'm pretty sure I won't be getting another order for any time soon.

Thanks!

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