summernoelle Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 8:27pm
post #1 of

And I need some guidance from you wiser people here on CC icon_biggrin.gif .
I got a complaint today. Because the cake was too small, and because I showed up too early. The too early thing is moot, because I had told her at an earlier time that I do deliveries between 9 and 10 AM on Saturdays only. She had seemed fine with it, but called me ranting because she was "totally floored" that I showed up so early, that she had her "whole day planned", and that she had thought I was her sister because I just showed up.
The second complaint was that she said she needed a cake that served 30, and our wires got crossed because she wanted a top tier to be a dummy, because she is cheap. I had said OK, but at some point, I gave her a quote for a bottom tier that served 20, and a top dummy. And after that, I still gave her the top tier all cake because I didn't want to deal with buying a dummy, so she got about 25-30 servings of cake.
She called me, RANTING, about how there was no way the cake served enough people, that the cake was horrible, it was ugly and not what she wanted, that it was too expensive, etc. I told her that according to the charts that was what it was suppossed to serve, and she was furious, and said No WAY was that cake going to feed that many people. she told me she and her friends stood around and talked bad about my cake. icon_cry.gif Of course then she said she is not the type to complain, but this was so horrible that she had to. She continued to gripe about me not putting her figurines on (she didn't ask, she just asked me if she could just "shove" them in) and that they kept falling over (like that is my fault).

But, here are the emails that passed back and forth:

ME:

Bottom Tier= $2.25*20=$45.00
Top Tier=$2.25*12=$27.00
20% Discount for Bottom Tier: = $27.00-$5.40=$21.60
Decorated Board: $10.00
Delivery: $5.00
TOTAL: $81.60

HER:
Sounds great! If you perfer cash do I just pay you the day of or would you like me to bring it to you or what? You just let me know what's best for you.

So, what do I do? Do I give a refund? She was a referral of a really good client. But at the same time, she APPROVED the amount of cake that I quoted her for!

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86 replies
IHATEFONDANT Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 8:41pm
post #2 of

Some people have no clue how to cut and serve a cake.

Did you include a cutting chart showing her how to cut to get the number of servings ordered?

lepaz Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 8:44pm
post #3 of

I think you already know the answer to this one and I'm sure your fellow CC'ers will let you know also, but, ummm, NO! I wouldn't. She got what she ordered and a top that wasn't a dummy cake. If she didn't slice it right that is her problem. It sounds like she would have disapproved of any cake you brought no matter how wonderful. There are just some people out there that can't be pleased.

chrissy410 Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 8:57pm
post #4 of

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I don't think you should offer a refund. 1st for arriving early- you told her ahead of time the time that you deliver and if she forgot, then that is not your fault. 2nd- if she was planning on giving huge slices to everyone then she should have ordered a bigger cake.

chrissy410 Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 8:57pm
post #5 of

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I don't think you should offer a refund. 1st for arriving early- you told her ahead of time the time that you deliver and if she forgot, then that is not your fault. 2nd- if she was planning on giving huge slices to everyone then she should have ordered a bigger cake.

chrissy410 Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 8:57pm
post #6 of

I'm sorry to hear about your experience. I don't think you should offer a refund. 1st for arriving early- you told her ahead of time the time that you deliver and if she forgot, then that is not your fault. 2nd- if she was planning on giving huge slices to everyone then she should have ordered a bigger cake.

summernoelle Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 9:02pm
post #7 of

OMG I just found another email where I quoted her the same thing, on Sept 20th:

If you are talking about 2 tiers, with one dummy the breakdown is this:

Bottom Tier= $2.25*20=$45.00
Top Tier=$2.25*12=$27.00 20% Discount for Bottom Tier: = $27.00-$5.40=$21.60
TOTAL: $45.00+21.60=$66.60

SugarFrosted Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 9:04pm
post #8 of

Did they eat the cake?
Do you have a contract?

Show us a picture of this "bad" cake so we can see what you and she are talking about.

It sounds as if she was having a very bad day. Some people react to stress by spewing venom. Some people are just mean and rude. Anyone who would actually tell you that she and her friends stood around and talked bad about your cake is just a cold hearted person. Most people have no idea how many servings a cake will provide. So maybe she is ignorant too. An ignorant, mean, rude, venom spewing, cold hearted....umm icon_rolleyes.gif ...person.

If she approved the cake and paid for it, and you have proof of that, then you owe her nothing, imo. And if she ever calls again, you are already booked. You don't ever need to deal with people like that.

artist63 Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 9:05pm
post #9 of

I wouldn't give her a refund. She got what she asked for and for a good price, and I can only hope my daughters wedding cake comes early. Why would you complain about it being early puleeze

summernoelle Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 9:11pm

She made some comment about how she usually goes to Walmart, and that she was compairing it to her friend's cake (my cupcake cake in the galleries) and that it was no where near that quality. But, she ordered buttercream, and something much much smaller.

elizw Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 9:24pm

no refund. in fact, if she ever calls again for a cake....say no.

i used to go to dinner with this group of people once a month. at every dinner, this woman would order dinner and eat most of it. then she would complain about the food until she got a free meal. after a while we finally realized that was her plan at every dinner no matter where we went. i got tired of it and stopped going.

so, maybe this woman had a plan.

kdannewells Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 9:35pm

I work with the public everyday(I am a hairstylist). I have come to realize there are a few people in this world that no matter what you do, how nice you are, and how much communicate...those people will NEVER EVER be happy with ANYTHING. You have an email to back you up(print yourself out copies). If it were me, I would tell her that I am sorry that she didn't understand the prices and sizing. I would DEFINATELY NOT refund. You put in your time, which would have been even more if it were larger.

P.S. The "good client" that sent her to you probably already knows that she is that way, don't stress.

summernoelle Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 9:40pm

One more question-letter (with all the emails, and a serving chart included), email, or phone call? I am seriously soft-spined and will fold under pressure, so I don't want to call!

kdannewells Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 9:56pm

I think an email would be fine. At least it would be documentation if there was ever question later.

Had she ever tasted any of your other cakes?

summernoelle Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 10:04pm

I just found a 3rd email with the same quote. Isn't it her responsibility to check the order summary to make sure it is correct? If she said everytime "great!", isn't that her problem?

kelleym Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 10:16pm

Did the order summary have the sizes of the cakes on it anywhere? (I have a sinus infection so I could have missed it lol).

Some people are not used to how "small" a 4" tall cake looks (compared to a big ol' sheet cake), and aren't aware how many servings there really are in it.

I saw you said the top tier was 6"...what size was the bottom?

Jocmom Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 10:18pm

Did she complain about the size and/or looks of the cake when you delivered it? I'm assuming that she looked at the cake while you were there.

summernoelle Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 10:24pm

She said it looked good when I dropped it off. In every email, I said an 8 inch bottom, and 6 inch topper. She was complaining today that she needed 30 servings, but I just found one where she said "I only need 15-20 servings", so THAT is why I suggested the dummy! Ah HA! I was right! I am trying to decide whether email or snail mail is better, because on snail mail, I could underline everything and show where she approved it.

Likim Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 11:04pm

If it was me, I would just ignore her from now on. I wouldn't correspond any further. It will just keep the dispute going. You obviously don't want her back as a customer. Sounds like she's fishing for a refund.

summernoelle Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 11:17pm

OMG she just sent this: have attached photos to show the cake and there is NO way that the bottom tier would have feed 30 people. And the bottom layer as you can see was only 6 inches wide not 9 inches like you had stated per our conversation this afternoon. The more I think about it and look at the photos I get more upset and I know that 15% is NOT enough for the embarrassment and disappointment that I have had to go thru for the past two days. So my husband and I both feel that you should refund us at LEAST 50% of the money back especially since you said that you were the one that made the mistake and made a cake for 15 people not 30 or even 32 people like your invoice states. I'm sorry for the angry in this message but I was expecting a "Custom Spiderman" cake for 30 people to be impressed by and that is not what I received.

kdannewells Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 11:32pm

Forward her copies of the emails she previously sent you. And tell her that she paid you the correct amount for the cake she recieved and that you appreciate her business. And let that be the end of it.

sweetteacher Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 11:32pm

I'm curious about your price quote. Do you always discount the bottom tier? I've never heard of that before.

summernoelle Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 11:39pm

No, it was a dummy.

Lenore Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 11:55pm

I think these are the types of customers that force people into making formal contracts when selling cakes. Do not give her anything back. She received a cake, paid for it, and ate it. That is the end of the story.

justme50 Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 11:57pm

I'm confused! icon_lol.gif

So, you quoted her an 8" bottom, 6" dummy, but gave her all cake, right? If that's the case then as long as you have the emails or a contract confirming the order you owe her nothing.

MimiFord Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 11:59pm

I saw a $20 price difference in the 2 quotes you posted, so I'm wondering which one the customer thought she was getting and agreed to and what she thought she was paying for?

I'd print out the e mails you sent along with the responses and look them over carefully, making sure there are no discrepancies - sometimes better to lay it out in front of you rather than look at it online - highlight your main points for your own reference - then you can go back to the computer and forward her the same showing what she agreed to and what she paid for - e mails are considered a binding contract if that is all you have - period. She's not entitled to a refund - she accepted the cake; therefore, she has no right to complain about it in hindsight and expect you to cave in to her demands. If her dinner was cold/undercooked, etc. at a restaurant, do you think she would get a discount or refund if she told the waiter after she ate the whole thing?!

Tiababe Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 12:04am

I read one of your posts in which you referred to yourself as "soft-spined" and felt you might cave. I sympathize with being soft-spined, as I am the same way. However, this woman is downright rude and wrong to boot! I truly feel she does not deserve any type of refund. My suggestion would be to forward her the emails in which you quoted her the prices and she accepted!. I know we all tend to remember the customer who was not pleased while forgetting the many customers who were very happy, but this woman really isn't worth the time or energy. Let her make someone miserable!

jen1977 Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 12:07am

Do you have a picture? Why was she embarassed...because she ran out of cake, or she didn't like it?

SugarBakerz Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 12:33am

summernoelle... I have been in this same situation twice already recently... and have now added a link to the wilton feeding chart on my website because of it. I let people know when they order now that I go off of a serving chart based off the pan size and I reqoute them the amount their cake will feed and tell them the pan size because of this scenario with someone seeing the cake and figuring it wouldn't feed their guests. I hate will people assume they have to eat like Jethro on cake icon_smile.gif Got that from a good friend of mine... anywhooo.. .I didn't refund my money to my customers, it ISN"T your fault if they cut HUNKS and not appropriate servings of cake. if you made the appropriate pan sizes for what you qouted your customer or more for that matter than you owe her nothing. When it comes to looks of the cake, she may be trying to get it for free because she is just mad. I had one customer tell me it simply just didn't "look" big enough on her table. Well she didn't "pay" me for it to look big enough did she? I have sat and cried over this before and have now decided I won't do it anymore... they get what they pay for and if they want to eat LARGE amounts then they need to pay for more cake.

SugarBakerz Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 12:33am

summernoelle... I have been in this same situation twice already recently... and have now added a link to the wilton feeding chart on my website because of it. I let people know when they order now that I go off of a serving chart based off the pan size and I reqoute them the amount their cake will feed and tell them the pan size because of this scenario with someone seeing the cake and figuring it wouldn't feed their guests. I hate will people assume they have to eat like Jethro on cake icon_smile.gif Got that from a good friend of mine... anywhooo.. .I didn't refund my money to my customers, it ISN"T your fault if they cut HUNKS and not appropriate servings of cake. if you made the appropriate pan sizes for what you qouted your customer or more for that matter than you owe her nothing. When it comes to looks of the cake, she may be trying to get it for free because she is just mad. I had one customer tell me it simply just didn't "look" big enough on her table. Well she didn't "pay" me for it to look big enough did she? I have sat and cried over this before and have now decided I won't do it anymore... they get what they pay for and if they want to eat LARGE amounts then they need to pay for more cake.

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