movingritealong Posted 25 Aug 2007 , 7:00pm
post #1 of

I made my first 'Stranger' cake today, and sent it off, all proud of myself, cause she asked for a 'cake that looks like a Montana jersey'. So, originally it was for 10-15 people, then she changed it to 15-20. SO..I made a 9x13, double layer cake, spent a ton of time getting the jersey looking right, did grass around the sides, and sent it off with her brother.

I get an email back saying how 'disappointed she was' and how she 'could have bought the same thing for $15 at Safeway' and how she wanted THE WHOLE CAKE TO LOOK LIKE A JERSEY! NOWHERE in our many emails does she say that she wants a 'JERSEY SHAPED CAKE'!

I've attached a pic. Did I do what she asked??Image

68 replies
delta95 Posted 25 Aug 2007 , 7:37pm
post #2 of

I think you did a great job and it's just unfortunate that there was a difference in what was expected.
It's the art of consultation. Sometimes our idea of what's being said and the other person's are completely different. I know I keep mentioning my hair business in my posts...LOL...but it's the same there. My idea of a bob, or a shag, or even what an inch is....might be completely off from what it is the client wants. That's where lots of questions to clarify and pictures help a ton. Just to be sure we're on the same page. I'm amazed often at how different the picture is they show me from what the image in my head was from their description.
Same goes here...draw a sketch or ask tons of questions til you're sure you are both picturing the same result. Saves you time and makes the customer happy.
Its a good lesson learned. **the cake looks great though** icon_smile.gif

movingritealong Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 12:52am
post #3 of

Thanks. And I've certainly learned a lesson about that!

indydebi Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 2:12am
post #4 of

I think the cake looks great!

I've recently had to add some narrative to my FAQ page to define "what is a buffet"? To me, it's a no brainer ..... a buffet is where you get in line, pick up your plate, and you, the guest, scoops out your food as you go thru the line. My pricing is based on this concept.

However. ..... I've had a few (2-3) couples who think a buffet is a cafeteria line .... the guests to thru a line and my staff scoops out the food and puts it on the guest's plate. This takes more people ergo higher labor costs.

So now I've had to explain the difference so there is no misunderstanding (even tho' to me, if I use the term "buffet", that should explain it all! icon_confused.gif )

kpcrash Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 2:22am
post #5 of

You must have one heck of a Safeway there. The ones around here won't do anything that doesn't come out of a printer, then airbrush some color around it. This is a really nice cake.

chele_belle Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 2:24am
post #6 of

All I can say is ask questions,then ask again and then one more time to make sure. I do custom jewelry and you wouldn't believe how hard it is for people to realize to that if they want a wedding band to fit perfectly with their Engagement ring that they have to leave there Eng ring to have a wax carved!

weirkd Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 2:26am
post #7 of

It must be going around! My first "stranger" cake I had the same thing happen. She said "it wasnt her vision". This girl had no fricken idea what the heck she wanted. She had 60 emails to me between Friday and Wednesday and the cake was due on Saturday. Then after finally deciding on the flavor,and design then she starts freaking out because she didnt hear from me in a day! Im like "you have to give me time to make it!!" Then she wants a picture of it on Friday night. So no kidding, at 4 am Im emailing her a picture of this thing. So I get up and find out she has already called my house three times by 9am knowing fully well I was up all night. So she says its beautiful and so cuttteee were her exact words. So after changing the meeting place several times and showing up over 45 minutes late at it, she picks up the cake. Then she is trying to shove it in back of a Landrover that has the entire back decked out with subwoofer speakers! So she rushes off and thanks me. Get an email the next day saying how "disappointed" she was. That it wasnt her "vision" and she was embarrassed by the cake! Make a long story short, I told her to get lost. She was looking for a way to get a refund. If she was so dissappointed she would of said something when she saw the picture.
People are people. Your not going to please everyone all the time. You will die trying. You did your best and you gave her what you thought she wanted. Move on. Lesson learned. Dont sweat it! One thing I realized by working with the public, their are nuts out there and their are nice people. Your bound to get one of the nuts once in a while.

mary-ann Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 2:32am
post #8 of

Wow, could she be any ruder? If she wanted a "sculpted" cake she should have said so. Nice of her to throw the blame on you instead of herself. I would have thought the same thing. Next time try sending a picture of something similar to avoid confusion. HTH
mary-ann

Luby Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 2:52am
post #9 of

Whether it is or isn't what she wanted I think you did a great job on the cake! Chalk it up to experience - next time you will know to ask if the customer wants a sculpted cake. I probably would have made the same type of cake unless the customer specifically stated the cake was to be shaped like a jersey.

movingritealong Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 3:29am

Well, I emailed her with my apologies (twice I apologized!) and told her that it was a misunderstanding. I also suggested that next time she orders a cake with that in mind, to tell the person that she wants a shaped cake. And, as she told me not to use her as a reference, of course I wouldn't but that I'd likely use the picture as part of my portfolio/advertising, with no mention of who ordered the cake.

Well, she emailed me back and ranted about how I've ruined her son's birthday and the memories will never be right, and how everone agrees with her, that had she asked for that that THEY'D have known EXACTLY what she meant and and...... OH! And if I use a picture of the cake, I'll be behaving as a liar and a cheat, as that was NOT what was ordered! icon_mad.gif

I ignored this one. Live and learn.

kpcrash Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 3:36am

I would refer her to indydebi for her next cake icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 3:36am
Quote:
Originally Posted by movingritealong

.... and ranted about how I've ruined her son's birthday and the memories will never be right,




Oh brother! If this was a wedding, she'd be a Bridezilla deluxe! "RUINED" the birthday? The memories will "Never be right"? Oh Puh-lease!!! Can we get any MORE dramatic over this cake that the kid probably loved and it was probably only MOM who was making a big freakin' deal over it?

indydebi Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 3:40am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpcrash

I would refer her to indydebi for her next cake icon_smile.gif




Ya know .... sometimes I have this sneaking little feeling that I've built some kind of reputation with you all! icon_surprised.gif

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

BCJean Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 3:47am
Quote:
Quote:

a 'cake that looks like a Montana jersey'.

I think your cake looks great, I don't see how it could ruin a party even if it wasn't what she had pictured.
To me if they say they want a cake that looks like a jersey, then I would take it they wanted the whole cake to look like a jersey.
If they said they wanted a cake with a jersey on it....then I would do a drawing of a jersey.
When I take an order I always read it back to them, and I would have said, "Ok that is a double layer, quarter sheet cake decorated with a jersey on it."
Doesn't mean I get it right every time. Sometimes, if they have a picture in their mind...no matter what you read back to them, they are still picturing what they wanted and say, "OK"
Sometimes they will tell you one thing when they order and when they pick it up tell you something else....hoping for a discount on the price. thumbsdown.gif


KellyAnne1284 Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 3:48am

I have to say, if someone said to me, "I want a cake that looks like a jersey", I'd immediately know they were talking about a sculpted cake. If they said, "I'd like a cake with a picture of a jersey on it", I'd have done what you did. I've learned to pay very close attention to not only WHAT people say, but HOW they say it.

Cake looks great, tho...

KellyAnne1284 Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 3:49am

BCJean,

We posted about the same time and said pretty much the same thing. =0) These kinds of things weird me out sometimes. lol

BCJean Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 3:52am

KellyAnne1284 I would have been way ahead of you if I hadn't spent so much time trying to figure out how to do a quote......then I still got it wrong and made my whole message a part of the quote.

MosMom Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 4:02am

You can't please em all. I used to manage a Gymboree and one year at Christmas we had fake fur vests for girls. Well, a woman came in wanting one and we didn't have her size left. She ranted screaming that we RUINED CHRISTMAS for her daughter!

Do you really think her 6 year old daugher will give a rat's patoot about a fur vest on Christmas morning.

These are the types of people that you can NEVER make happy no matter what you do. Just be polite and then let it go. Keep practicing, keep perfecting, and move on.

LisaMH Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 4:18am

I always ask for a picture so there is no confusion as to what they want and tell them that "their vision and my vision are probably 2 different things". I've never had anyone NOT understand that so have never had a problem.
Like some of the others said - she just wanted a refund...you have nothing to feel bad about. I know that when people talk to me like that it eats my guts out. The cake was fine and there's no way in Hades you ruined her kids birthday.
A few years ago (at a hockey game) a little kid was kicking the back of my and my son's seats. I very nicely told the kid to please stop. About the 3rd time I did this the "Daddy" got up in my ugly grill and told me I was ruining his kids 1st hockey game. I said "BS DUDE - he's the one kickin' my seat...how about you sit in front of my and I'll kick the he__ out of your seat and we'll see who's ruining whose evening. (There's more but I'm sure you get the idea)
Just for the record you should have told the broad to "KISS YOUR A__". There should be no confusion there either.
Some people are just inconsiderate JERKS!!! icon_evil.gif
Hope that makes you feel a little better!!! icon_biggrin.gif

Sandi4tpc Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 4:18am
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by movingritealong

.... and ranted about how I've ruined her son's birthday and the memories will never be right,



Oh brother! If this was a wedding, she'd be a Bridezilla deluxe! "RUINED" the birthday? The memories will "Never be right"? Oh Puh-lease!!! Can we get any MORE dramatic over this cake that the kid probably loved and it was probably only MOM who was making a big freakin' deal over it?




Yeah, really!!

The VERY first cake I decorated was a Barbie cake and I freaked out about how it wasn't perfect and wanted to cry. My niece was 5 and just saw a lovely Barbie with a dress made from cake. She didn't notice/care about imperfections [like the gaping hole I tried to fill with canned frosting icon_redface.gificon_redface.gif ].


Unless this is some teenaged kid who had a very particular thing in mind, then the kid was probably pretty pleased with the cake. Even if it wasn't sculpted like she wanted, I'm willing to bet that it tasted good. Oh, I'm sure the kid would have had a certain number or name to be on the jersey if it made that much difference.

Chalk it up to another lesson learned... icon_rolleyes.gif

KrisD13 Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 4:27am

Well.......now we have proof. We've got some real wacky people here in the 'Peg, don't we?

Keep on practicing, decorating, creating, and enjoying cakes. The customers won't all be like that. icon_biggrin.gif

mezzaluna Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 6:35am

what a freak. The cake looks great. Use the pic..... you made the cake, you took the pic and you own it.

No way in H*LL did you ruin that kid's b-day. I'll bet he was just thrilled slap to death with that cool jersey cake. The mom is just trying to manipulate and make you feel badly.

novacaine24 Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 7:12am

First, great job on your first 'stranger' cake! (sometimes it makes ya wonder why we sell to these 'strange' people, doesn't it? icon_wink.gif )

Second, if the son's bday and all the memories of his bday will forever be ruined, let's pause for a moment to feel sorry for this poor child - what a miserable existance he must live ( yeah, I think mom went a little off the deep end)

Third, since you made the cake and you decorated the cake, it rightfully belongs in your portfolio (you could always chalk a page up to 'pissiest customers' and put her name in there to make her feel special - no lying or cheating there!)

And if she wanted a cake shaped like a jersey that bad, all she had to do was take a little kitchen knife and carve around the jersey you had on her cake! Problem solved icon_biggrin.gif

Good to see you don't let it get ya down! thumbs_up.gif

LiliS Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 7:38am

geez if she was that specific she should have baked the thing herself, being perfect as she is icon_rolleyes.gificon_twisted.gif

Some people just dont know how to be gracious, even if they are a bit disappointed. I mean seriously... ruining a birthday because of the cake??? I cant see it... unless of course the birthday boy is a carbon copy of his extremely sensitive mother.

keyshia Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 7:45am

Okay...first of all let me say how awesome the folks are here. I ALWAYS read these types of forums because it's amazing (and sometimes humorous) the types of support we get from them! icon_smile.gif

Your cake was beyond great. I agree that she should have been a little more specific about what she wanted if what she wanted was SO important. As for you using the picture...how in the world would it be lying and cheating if you're not telling what kind of cake SHE HAD IN HER MIND???

I made a bratz cake yesterday and was really worried how the mom wuold like it because she is SO particular...She ended up loving it, but I told my dh before hand (you all are rubbing off on me) if she doesn't like it, she can leave it here and keep her money...but I won't be refunding after the fact. Lucky for me, she loved it. I always make it a point to take the cake out of the box (or not even have it in the box yet) so they can see the WHOLE cake before they leave here. If they have a problem, let them speak about it then!

I think each time we do something, it's a learning experience for us...that goes for teh things I do on my cakes too. I think they are evolving (for the better luckily!) and I think my backbone is evolving too...haha...

Sorry for the mean lady, oh well...she'll get over it. Can you remember your birthday cakes as a kid??? I don't think I remember ANY of them! icon_smile.gif

Keyshia

ceshell Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 8:21am

OK I agree that it looks like there was a misunderstanding between you two; before I saw the pic I too was expecting the result to be a sculpted cake. But really, as keyshia just said, if having it a carved cake was SO important that the celebration would be "ruined" by it being a beautifully decorated sheet cake, then the customer erred in not making 100% sure you were clear on what she wanted.

By the way did anyone notice (from the cake posted in movingritealong's gallery) that the kid in question was ONE year old? LOL, as IF that would ruin his birthday, or even the memories??!!! Yes, people are going to look back on that photo of his 1st birthday 35 years from now and say "Oh what a sweet party--oh--no--NO that cake doesn't look like a jersey, it looks like a DRAWING of a jersey!!!---how could you get your child a such a cake for his first birthday??! OH the tragedy! The Horror!!"

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif: lol:

movingritealong Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 11:50am

Thanks SO much everyone! I'm glad I'm not nuts!!

For the record, I posted my ad on Facebook and said that I was 'just starting out' and 'trying to build my portfolio'. Facebook is where she found me. I'd say that she was looking for a cheapy version of the cake, so contacted me. Well and good, but I SAID I'm a beginner! You MAY want to make sure I know what you want!

Ah well, live and learn. Cake #2 going out this afternoon, I'll post pics later. (Nothing like the smell of chocolate cake at 6:30 in the blessed am! icon_lol.gif )

KellyAnne1284 Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 1:17pm

movingit....

I don't think it is the customer's responsibility to make sure you know what they want. I believe it is YOUR responsibility to make sure YOU know what they want. JMHO.

This is a crappy situation and I'm sorry it happened to you, but take it as a learning experience. I can understand where this woman is coming from. The price you two talked about, she was expecting a carved cake for that price. I would agree to pay more for a carved cake than a sheet cake. However...Don't get down about what this lady said. If the cake you made has the ability to ruin this kid's party, then it mustn't have been a very good party to begin with, which is Mom's fault. lol Shake it off...just be sure to make sure you understand your customers fully from here on out. And again...that's YOUR responsibility.

movingritealong Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 1:33pm

Oh absolutely! I take my share of the responsibility as well. I'm just saying that I AM learning, and this has been a valuable lesson.

HOWEVER...like we've all chuckled about, I do NOT take responsibility for ruining her son's party! Now, had I shown up with the cake and thrown it at the mom...THAT may have ruined the party! icon_evil.gif

KellyAnne1284 Posted 26 Aug 2007 , 2:06pm

lmao...the way this lady sounds, the kid wouldd have probably gotten a kick out of a cake in Mom's face. May have made the party better...hahaha

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