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Total delivery disaster. Need advice :( - Page 3

post #31 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

Don't beat yourself up. She put it in her trunk, like a bag of dog food. But you won't forget to tell the next person that's a no no, right? icon_biggrin.gif

Absolutely!!! I probably will just make sure to deliver to the location myself from now on. But, if something were to come up and it was absolutely necessary, I would definitely do a better job at giving them every bit of info I can to make sure they have the know-how to get it there safely. Even set up their car if I have to!!!

post #32 of 54
The cake was really nice though!!!! I like your skills! icon_wink.gif
post #33 of 54

maybenot...I'm just curious...how does the memory foam work?  It seems like it would make the surface a little unstable for holding the cake.  Do you do something special to strap it down?  With my luck, the cake box would fall off of the foam and I'd be up a creek!  Do you put a non slip pad under and on top of the foam?  As I said, I'm just curious as to how it works.  If it will help protect a cake even more, I'm all for it.  I have a Pilot that I deliver in, too; however, my deliveries are for close friends and family only, but I still like the cake to get there safely and in one piece.

 

As far as a dowel down the middle of a two tier cake....I was told by my decorating instructor and a professional baker friend that even with a two tier cake you should place a center dowel in the cake just to be safe.  I did have a cake slip once when I just had bubble tea straws with a board between the two tiers.  Luckily I was close enough to home that I went back, re-baked the bottom tier and redid the cake.  It wasn't needed until the next day, so I had the rest of the day to fix it.  The bubble tea straws were all cut even, but for some reason the cake just didn't make it to it's destination on the first delivery attempt.  I put the center dowel in the cake when I redid it and it worked perfectly.   I don't know if it's really needed or not, but I'll probably continue to do it just to be on the safe side.

post #34 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by morganchampagne View Post

The cake was really nice though!!!! I like your skills! icon_wink.gif

Thank you, thank you Morganchampagne!! That really means a lot and goes a long way right now. You all have really helped to calm my nerves (and believe me, I was a huge wreck). So, thanks for taking the time to respond, give me ideas and help me out. I so appreciate it :-D

post #35 of 54
I can't help but wonder the whole time the cake is in transit. Did they make it? Did they remember to leave someone in the car with the air on at rest stops? Did the dog nose in to the box and lick it? Did someone put their feet on the box? Ok not that extreme, but I do wonder sometimes! Can't help it really. icon_wink.gif
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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post #36 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerle View Post
 

maybenot...I'm just curious...how does the memory foam work?  It seems like it would make the surface a little unstable for holding the cake.  Do you do something special to strap it down?  With my luck, the cake box would fall off of the foam and I'd be up a creek!  Do you put a non slip pad under and on top of the foam?  As I said, I'm just curious as to how it works.  If it will help protect a cake even more, I'm all for it.  I have a Pilot that I deliver in, too; however, my deliveries are for close friends and family only, but I still like the cake to get there safely and in one piece.

 

As far as a dowel down the middle of a two tier cake....I was told by my decorating instructor and a professional baker friend that even with a two tier cake you should place a center dowel in the cake just to be safe.  I did have a cake slip once when I just had bubble tea straws with a board between the two tiers.  Luckily I was close enough to home that I went back, re-baked the bottom tier and redid the cake.  It wasn't needed until the next day, so I had the rest of the day to fix it.  The bubble tea straws were all cut even, but for some reason the cake just didn't make it to it's destination on the first delivery attempt.  I put the center dowel in the cake when I redid it and it worked perfectly.   I don't know if it's really needed or not, but I'll probably continue to do it just to be on the safe side.

Gerle- the center dowel certainly can't hurt and really doesn't take much more effort. I think I'll be adding one from now on :-D

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeesKnees578 View Post
 

I refrigerate, refrigerate, refrigerate.  Once I started doing that, delivery stress *almost* disappeared completely.

 

95% of my customers pick up their 2 tier cakes and I haven't heard of a disaster story...yet.

 

That's all I got!

Beesknees- just saw your post and missed it earlier. I have been hesitant to refrigerate my decorated cakes, as I'm afraid the fondant and/or gumpaste may be affected in an adverse way. Maybe I need to get over my fear???

post #37 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

I can't help but wonder the whole time the cake is in transit. Did they make it? Did they remember to leave someone in the car with the air on at rest stops? Did the dog nose in to the box and lick it? Did someone put their feet on the box? Ok not that extreme, but I do wonder sometimes! Can't help it really. icon_wink.gif

Bwahaha! Really, I mean, you don't know what's going on if you're not there! When I got the text with the pic on my phone, my husband saw it first and called me out to the kitchen. As I stared in horror, his words were, "I think their dog might have eaten it"!!! LOL

post #38 of 54
I'd be horrified, I don't care whose fault it was, I'd just be flat out horrified.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
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post #39 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture View Post

I'd be horrified, I don't care whose fault it was, I'd just be flat out horrified.

Oooooh, I was!!! And still am! Definitely did not make for a good day.

post #40 of 54
I let customers pick up three tier and under cakes. I ALWAYS use SPS which was created in part for cake civilians to be able to transport cakes themselves. Before handing over the cake I would lift up one side of it, hold it tilted, and before the customer had a heart attack, set it back down, and say, "the cake is going to be fine. You can do this."

SPS works. And I never in 12 years chilled a cake for delivery because I don't have fridge space for that.

Switch to SPS and you'll be fine.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #41 of 54

I usually insist on delivering the cakes myself just to be on the safe side. Only for tiered cakes though. Like this weekend I made a 3 tier cake, I assembled 2 tiers and drove to the location and then assembled the last tier with no problem.

Also, the blame shouldn't be on you, once you hand it to the customer its their responsibility. Especially if they want to pick it up after you insist on delivering it.

post #42 of 54
So sorry musicmommy! It was lovely. icon_sad.gif I usually deliver 3 tiers and taller, you technically had a 3 tiered cake bc of the double barrel. I know it's hard, but try to use it as a learning experience to protect yourself (and cakes) next time, I think what you offered the client was a good faith gesture on your part. I use sps on every 3+ tier cake and bubble straws on 2 tiers, but whatever you decide to do, make sure to clarify in your contract and go over "safe driving" and cake handling. It may be second nature to us but a lot of people don't have a clue how to transport, store or handle a cake. Hugs to you!
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post #43 of 54
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s View Post

I let customers pick up three tier and under cakes. I ALWAYS use SPS which was created in part for cake civilians to be able to transport cakes themselves. Before handing over the cake I would lift up one side of it, hold it tilted, and before the customer had a heart attack, set it back down, and say, "the cake is going to be fine. You can do this."

SPS works. And I never in 12 years chilled a cake for delivery because I don't have fridge space for that.

Switch to SPS and you'll be fine.

Thank you Leah! I know you are a big proponent of SPS. I have done a little reading on it but am now going to check it out thoroughly. IF I ever make another cake for sale, I think I will definitely invest in SPS. I am going to check out the page 15 sticky ASAP. 

 

Sweetshop- Unfotunately, I did not insist on delivering it which is where I believe I went wrong. I offered her delivery and talked her in to allowing me to at least deliver it to her home. But I should have done more to educate her on the delivery process. So, that is definitely on me.

 

Thank you Sixinarow! I needed a hug! I definitely will be adding to my contract. I like the idea of a safe driving practices section too. As I said before, if someone does not know what it takes to build a solid cake, then it stands to reason that they may not understand what it takes to take one down! This has indeed been a learning experience. Just form this I have 5 or 6 solid changes I plan on making, so very helpful. Wish I didn't have to learn this way but it has happened and I have to deal :)

 

I am going to send my client her partial refund today. I am a bit worried because I have heard nothing from her. Throughout the process she has always responded to my attempts at contact within an hour. Now, it's been complete radio silence for 24 :( I was thinking of sending her refund through certified mail. Do you think that is too much???

post #44 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmommy1 View Post
 

... I should have done more to educate her on the delivery process. So, that is definitely on me.

 

... I am a bit worried because I have heard nothing from her. Throughout the process she has always responded to my attempts at contact within an hour. Now, it's been complete radio silence...  

 

I'm so sorry this happened! It's good that you are open-minded about resolving the issue by making changes in your business to avoid future delivery problems.

 

This is a big deal for your customer. I hope you're able to resolve it so that she feels better, and you do not hurt your business reputation. Please consider a full refund, sent with a card and your sincerest apologies.  

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post #45 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicmommy1 View Post
 

AZ- I know, My friend had a similar response when I told her she put it in the trunk. But some people honestly don't know. I mean she gasped when she saw how I had it packed in my car. If you don't know what it takes to build a cake, then it stands to reason that you may not know what it might take to take it down. I had a feeling when I left it. I just can't get past that part.

This is in fact correct. Despite the claim that people should obviously know how to transport a cake--that somehow it is just obvious--the simple fact is it is not. Whether in the truck or not what matters is is the cake level--better for it to be transported level in a trunk (the trunk in my car is flat and pristine) than placed in a bucket seat or bench seat that is angled (many are). In addition even if it was flat in the back I am sorry but the person driving that cake would likely have to change their driving habits. The way it is built any sudden lateral movement risks displacing the straws and collapsing the cake.

 

Straws displace weight they do nothing for lateral movement. And as others have noted in the past a center dowel does little when the cake is subjected to even modest lateral forces--the cake will keep its momentum tearing through the center dowel. When I transport I change the way I drive, try to avoid sudden breaking, accelerations, hard turns etc--why? Because I am aware what sudden movements mean for the structure of a cake. No cake, no worries a whip through turns, break hard, accelerate quickly. Folks without this experience would simply have no understanding and thus it should be explained to them. 

 

Did you explain to her how why you transported it the way you did? Did you explain to her that it was paramount that she avoid any sudden changes that exposed the cake to lateral forces? If not then really how can you fault the customer for not knowing how to get it from point A to point B?

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