Customer Venting (Really Long)

Decorating By summernoelle Updated 31 Oct 2007 , 10:26am by spongemomsweatpants

step0nmi Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 3:04pm
post #61 of 87

Yeah, that woman sounds kind of bonkers! Sounded like she needed more cake! I really can't believe you gave her the money back...but I understand you just wanted to be done with her! icon_lol.gif

tcakes65 Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 3:06pm
post #62 of 87

I wouldn't give her a refund. You provided her with an additional cake rather than a dummy. She already received a 20% discount on that particular cake, and you should point that out. Sending her a partial refund may not shut her up. She'll probably bug the tapedshut.gif out of you until she gets the remainder. My guess is she's more upset with herself because she added the action figures, which changed the look. She altered your design so she's responsible for causing her own emotional turmoil. icon_biggrin.gif With you delivering the cake so early, she had ample time to contact you prior to the party to fix any problems. Waiting until the guests have eaten the cake isn't the time to start questioning things. Your cake looks like it would easily serve 30 people. Furthermore, kids that age don't eat much cake to begin with and are easily impressed. I doubt the kids had a problem with the design or stood around critiquing the cake. She should be thinking about her child and not about herself or how many people she impressed. I agree with those that said let it go, move on, and cease the communication with her. Let the woman wallow in her misery without bringing you down with her.

spongemomsweatpants Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 3:30pm
post #63 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by summernoelle

... As far as invoicing goes, I did send her an official itemized one through Paypal, with everything spelled out, so there shouldn't have been any confusion, except she didn't read through enough to realize what she was getting... But she wanted buttercream with a cartoony looking city scape. I think that's what I did... then to ignore her from here on out.




Ok I did not realize you did do a formal invoicing...then yes she is nuts. I agree with you she got everything she asked for. Again I think the cake is cute. I totally agree you have done all you can for this nightmare of a woman and ignoring her is a very wise choice on your part. Again I am very sorry you had to have this happen to you.

FromScratch Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 3:34pm
post #64 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by darrahmomof3

Quote:
Originally Posted by jibbies

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivs

jibbies - (Wedding 1x2x4) (Party 1.5x2x4) (Family 2x2x4) thumbs_up.gif



Thanks! your size for family is what I have used all these years for party size pieces. That is the size that I quote for sheet cakes. If someone wants a round cake for something other than a wedding, how so you go about stating sizes then, for instance they are going to cut wedges like the pieces you see on a cake mix box, how many do you think an 8 inch round would serve and how do you go about calculating it for other sizes also.

jibbies



I would be interested in know this also!! It sounds like a good idea. If you could pm or email me the infor I would love it!! Thanks.

Email address is darrahcrawford78@yahoo.com




be careful with this and make sure that you charge MORE for the bigger pieces. I have this too, and it is priced out like this:

Celebration cake:

Standard Slice (1x2x4): $2.00/serving
Party Slice (1x1.5x4): $3.00/serving
Family Slice (2x2x4): $4.00/serving

it's the same amount of cake no matter how you slice it so make sure you don't cheat yourselves because if you charge the same price.. your family slice 8" round is going to cost $20.00 whereas your standard 8" round is $40.00.

I also think adding something to the effect of "all suggested serving sizes are estimations. Please follow the cutting guide included with your cake to assure proper serving amounts" might be a good idea. That way you can't be told that you didn't inform them of serving sizes.

I'm sorry that you were put through the ringer with this cake. It's definitely not perfect.. who's cake is right??.. but it is what she asked for and you did tell her the sizes. I think she was envisioning a much larger cake (becuse those figures were rather large in comparison to the cake).. I wouldn't have given her any money back. Maybe you need to have them sign a form stating that they aproved of the cake when you left it. I have one for when people pick up cakes stating that once they leave the burden of responsibility is on them if the cake falls apart.. I am going to add the standard approval form to my repetoire as well. ((hugs))

CarolAnn Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 3:52pm
post #65 of 87

The figurines she added made quite a change! You gave her what she wanted and cannot be responsible for it not being the same as her vision of the cake she wanted. You gave a more than fair refund, which she didn't deserve, so now you just need to be done with her. I doubt she was going to be satisfied no matter what. It could be she was happy as a lark with the cake until a parent made a negative comment, then she chimmed right in with the criticism, you'll never know. Better to brush this one off and go on. You do great work, so don't spend anymore time on the woman.

And then have a great day!!!

ge978 Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 4:44pm
post #66 of 87

Ok...I believe in being honest because I think that is the only way we get better and learn.
Here's the thing: If I was a customer and saw the cakes that you've done, I would be expecting a really nice spiderman cake. I don't think this spiderman cake is up to the level of some of your other cakes. Its not just the design either...there are a few other things. I'd be upset if I paid $80 for the cake.
As far as some of you who say that the customer is crazy,etc because she was really upset by the cake ..I don't get that. I hear all the time on here about how we put so much time, creativity,energy into our cakes and get emotionally attached to them. Why shouldn't a customer be allowed to feel the same way?

I also agree that there was a mixup in the communication and she was definitely confused about what to expect as far as size.

I'm telling you this because sometimes our feelings get hurt when a customer complains and its hard to be objective. I think the fair thing would be to refund half of her money.

Jocmom Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 6:53pm
post #67 of 87

I'm wondering if the confusion about the size had to do with the height of the cake? Those are some mighty big action figures. Did she think the layers were supposed to be 9" high instead of 9" round? It's hard for some people to visualize how big a 9" cake is going to be.

I've only made a couple wedding cakes (friends and coworkers) and I showed them the "dummy" version of how big the cake would be prior to settling on the size.

One last thing. I worked in the customer service area for years. My old boss used to say, "It's not the customer's job to know what to expect or how our process works. It's our job to educate them and keep them informed." Works every time. Don't assume that the customer knows what you're talking about. This might require some extra hand-holding, but it pays off in the end when you have a happy customer.

FromScratch Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 7:11pm
post #68 of 87

I do the same thing as the PP with the dummy cakes. I think it helps sell bigger cakes.. icon_biggrin.gif . You can tell a person that a 6" cake will feed 10 people, but most will be shocked when they see that 6" cake. I agree with the PP's boss too.. it is our job to educate the customer. They have little to no knowledge about the decorating process or sizing or anything we do for that matter. I know that before I started really baking and getting into it I would have never assumed an 8" cake would be considered 20 servings.. and if I had ordered a cake for 20 and recieved an 8" cake I would have been miffed. Now that I have educated myself it is different, but we must never assume that the customer knows what they are getting into.

I do hope that she doesn't go all crazy on you. Keep us updated. ((hugs))

DEBBIE157 Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 7:20pm
post #69 of 87

forgive me if I missed this, but has she already paid you?

tcakes65 Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 7:33pm
post #70 of 87

I do the same thing with the dummy cakes. I keep different sizes on hand to give clients a visual of their cakes minus the decorations. That way there is no confusion about size, and we can make changes as needed. I don't understand how this lady would be confused and think a tier would be 9" tall. Anyway, this is one of those situations where you learn and move on. You have some nice cakes so don't let this one incident get you down.

DEBBIE157 Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 7:34pm
post #71 of 87

Hi again,
I see that you refunded her $18 -- but did she pay 66 or 81?
confused.

summernoelle Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 8:55pm
post #72 of 87

Well, I decided to just give her 50% to get rid of her. So she will get a total of 43.30. But she hasn't responded to that offer, so I don't know what will happen.
To ge978, I was only saying she was nuts because I gave her 3 seperate quotes and an invoice and she was mad because I delivered what I quoted her for. She also told me 2 times she only needed 15-20 servings, but was angry when I didn't show up with a 3 tiered cake.
I know a handful of you are trying to be constructive with your critism, and that I get all opinions when I post on the web, but please stop critisizing (sp) the cake! I get that it isn't at the level of my other cakes, but I gave her what she asked for!

princessdepastel Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 9:14pm
post #73 of 87

this is pretty entertaining.

DelightsByE Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 2:15am
post #74 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by princessdepastel

this is pretty entertaining.




Now was that really necessary? Feel entertained if you must, that's your right...but don't publicly express humor in someone else's plight, it's just plain not nice.

ge978 Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 11:56am
post #75 of 87

summernoelle wrote:

Quote:
Quote:

To ge978, I was only saying she was nuts because I gave her 3 seperate quotes and an invoice and she was mad because I delivered what I quoted her for




No, i totally understand what you are saying....I wasn't referring to you calling her nuts, I was referring to earlier comments about her getting emotional about the cake. icon_wink.gif

woodthi32 Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 12:17pm
post #76 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by summernoelle

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!



a snail mail with return receipt requested. She has to sign to acknowledge she received it. It let's ppl know you mean business and you don't screw around. Among the contents, include the copies of any emails regarding price and delivery time.

Jocmom Posted 30 Oct 2007 , 10:37pm
post #77 of 87

Consider this a lesson learned . . . actually, more than one lesson:

- When giving multiple quotes, make sure that you and the customer are on the same page as far as size, price, etc. before you even heat up your oven. Give them a cutting chart so they can see what a serving size looks like. They may decide on a larger cake. Or work your way backward. Ask for their budget and show them what you can make for that price.

- If you've had an unhappy customer in the past, it might be wise to create a form that customers sign when the cake is delivered stating that they received what they ordered and they're pleased.

- If your customer requests a design that you don't like, offer alternate designs. I was recently asked to make an UGLY baby shower cake. I didn't want my name associated with that train wreck, so I showed the customer lots of other options. She finally said, "I've seen your work. I trust you. Make what you want." She was so pleased she's still showing pictures of the cake to people. I've gotten 3 referrals from her doing so. thumbs_up.gif

- When you ask for honest opinions in a public forum - you're bound to get some people that see things differently than you do.

Okay . . . stepping down off my soap box . . . putting down the fistfull of Halloween candy . . . warming up my oven . . . I've got cupcakes to bake! icon_biggrin.gif

DelightsByE Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 1:45am
post #78 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jocmom

. . . putting down the fistfull of Halloween candy . . . warming up my oven . . . I've got cupcakes to bake! icon_biggrin.gif




Cupcakes??? I'm coming to YOUR house!!!

TRICK OR TREAT!!!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Jocmom Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 2:29am
post #79 of 87

Yep . . . cupcakes! I made spice cupcakes. Jell-o came out with a pumpkin-spice flavor pudding, so I mixed that with milk and Cool Whip for "frosting." I'm taking them into work tomorrow for my coworkers.

Hey . . . if I can't lose weight, they all gotta gain some. icon_biggrin.gif

DelightsByE Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 2:35am
post #80 of 87

OK now I'm a bit peeved.....Jello had that pudding flavor LAST fall too, and I could never find any around here. Now they have it again, and I STILL can't find it. icon_cry.gif

superca_girl Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 2:50am
post #81 of 87

I know you already made a decision by now, but I just wanted to say that it took alot of hard work to make that cake. The city scape was huge and I dont know where you get a cake with that amount of work for that price. You make beautiful cakes but in life there are always whiners.

cakedesigner59 Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 3:08am
post #82 of 87

Okay, these are the kind of posts that scare me to death. I used to work with the public (was a hairdresser and court clerk) and I know how rotten and nasty some people can be. I am trying to decide if I want to start a small cake business again (had one years ago but quit it). And now you all are reminding me the heartaches and headaches that come with dealing with these knuckleheads. I can't decide if it's worth it. Things that make you go hmmmmmm..... icon_mad.gif

justme50 Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 3:48am
post #83 of 87

Cakedesigner...Don't let the horror stories scare you off.

Of course there are customers out there that are a pain, but the vast majority aren't. Honestly, I haven't ever had to deal with a customer who was anything close to what the op here had to deal with...hopefully never will!

I truly believe 99% of the problems can be avoided by being meticulous with the details and doing a good job of spelling out to the customer exactly what they will be getting and what it's costing them. Sometimes we take for granted that the customer is as informed about cakes as we are!

NanaFixIt Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 4:00am
post #84 of 87

Ok, I read the entire post and checked out the photo gallery of the OP - nowhere did I find the cake with the characters the client added. What am I missing? This seems to be a big part of the issue...can someone direct me to the pic after the figures were put on the cake? TIA

mommachris Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 5:27am
post #85 of 87

it is the red and black cake...red cake with a cartoon style cityscape. I believe the spiders were the added part.

mommachris

newlywedws Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 7:56am
post #86 of 87

Sounds like that gal was a heffer and cut pieces that were huge...and newsflash, gluttony and lack of portion control doesn't equate to a refund!

spongemomsweatpants Posted 31 Oct 2007 , 10:26am
post #87 of 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by justme50


I truly believe 99% of the problems can be avoided by being meticulous with the details and doing a good job of spelling out to the customer exactly what they will be getting and what it's costing them. Sometimes we take for granted that the customer is as informed about cakes as we are!




I could not agree more. Now that I have my own shop I have adopted that very same mind set and am proud to say that I have not had a single issue. I have a very explicit contract. I go over the details with my clients and make them sign off. I then give them their signed copy of the contract. It works like a charm. I think that sometimes, and I am not sure that is the case here but in my experiences I have found that just because something makes perfect sense to me does not mean it makes perfect sense to the other person.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%