1St Customer Complant Issue Help

Business By heavenscent Updated 2 Apr 2008 , 2:52pm by loriemoms

heavenscent Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 3:00am
post #1 of 21

OK so I had a lady who called & asked me to make a baby shower cake. She told me on the phone she wanted a light blue 8inch & 10 inch square cake. The bottom tier I used the diamond mat & top the dot mat for the dots & where the lines were joined I put some dragees that were oyster colored which where a pale cream color which she said she wanted cream for the dots. She loved the idea of using the dragee. I told her I would do a fondant bow on top. However the drages could not be matched to so I had to use a ribon. I was already over booked with my daughters 3 tier bday cake & a conformation cake. The final cake turned out to be beautiful & I was very happy with it. Fast forward to the next day they show up to get the cake. They ohh & awe over it say how beautiful it is. I left to go to the kitchen to get a knife to open the box I had taped & should not have done. During the 10 seconds I was gone they decided the colors would clash with the table cloth. They tried to say it was teal which it was far from it & said they wanted it to be a baby blue color. Not what she had told me on the phone. Then tried to complain about the bow not being fondant ok I will give them that. I was charging them 75 for the cake which was low anyways. I offered them a discount did not know what else to do. They went outside and talked about it they decided against taking the cake. This was at 3:30 the shower was the next day I have no idea what they were going to do for a cake. The mom I think was the problem the girl who orderd it would have taken it. The mom said in a snotty tone have you ever had this problem before. I wanted to say no you are the first nasty person I have come across lady. I ended up giving the cake to the local fire station who was happy to have it. One of them told me he watched charm city cakes & my cake was as great as those. I don't know about that but it made me feel much better. My daughters cake was a hit & I had people asking from all over the buisness we had her party at where I got it from. When I told them I made it they were impressed. By the way it was a version of Shugar Shacks Dora cake which I could not have done with out her help. Thanks Sharon!. The oth




heavenscent
Forum Addict



Joined: Nov 08, 2005
Posts: 814
Location: Lewisville TX

Posted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 6:46 am

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the other conformation cake they were very happy with. I wondered if I should have offered to scrape it off & redo it but was told they would have found something else to compain about. Hubby was mad at the situation & my ego took a hit but at least the weekend is over & done with

20 replies
littlecake Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 4:04am
post #2 of 21

i've had my share of crappy mean customers....their whole goal in life is to make everyone else miserable...trust me, i bet this woman complains everywhere she goes.

i don't know where she thinks she's gonna get a cake that nice for such a good price.

colors are kind of subjective unless they brought you a color swatch.

here's a kinda funny story to cheer you up...the first year i was open i had a huge complaint on a wedding cake i made....she thought the ivory was too yellow...threw a big A$$ fit, i didn't refund a dime....after all they ate it....you know who the bride and groom where? DOGS...yeah, poochies, man's best friend...i guess fido didn't like his cake, or it could it have been poochzilla tha was unhappy?

i swear some of the people need some medication.

indydebi Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 4:06am
post #3 of 21

The colors would clash with the tablecloth???? icon_confused.gif Oh, pul-lease!!

Anyone out there, who attended any kind of shower or party, and noticed the cake didn't match the freakin' tablecloth, AND YOU GAVE A DA** ABOUT IT, please raise your hand....

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? icon_confused.gif

indydebi Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 4:09am
post #4 of 21
Cakepro Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 5:22am
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

here's a kinda funny story to cheer you up...the first year i was open i had a huge complaint on a wedding cake i made....she thought the ivory was too yellow...threw a big A$$ fit, i didn't refund a dime....after all they ate it....you know who the bride and groom where? DOGS...yeah, poochies, man's best friend...i guess fido didn't like his cake, or it could it have been poochzilla tha was unhappy?

i swear some of the people need some medication.




AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! OMG, your story was great, but that last comment made me bust out laughing!! A dog wedding!! HAHAHAHA That's sad! icon_confused.gif

Thanks for sharing! icon_biggrin.gif

heavenscent Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 6:01am
post #6 of 21

you guys are to great I love the Ferris refrence & a dog wedding I agree some people need medication good grief

loriemoms Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 1:20pm
post #7 of 21

I had the SAME EXACT thing happen to me! Including the sotty mom! My lady sent me a link to the invitiation. It was a light yellow with some light brown dots and a monkey on it. She told me the son hated the monkey so they were doing a jungle theme. and wanted the cake in jungle green and light beige and some browns with jungle animals. this is what I did. When they picked up the cake, they paid for it and left, not saying a word. But then I got an email an hour later saying they werent going to use the cake because it did not match the tablecloth and napkins. The party was three hours from then, so I called her and told her to bring the cake back and I would fix it. When she came (with the mother this time) the mother told me the cake was all wrong and they wanted a monkey on top of the cake (first I had heard of this) and the colors were this DARK chocolate brown and very dark green. (this party was for a two year old) not child like at all. So I told them give me an hour and I took everything off and did the colors to match exactly (this was two tier cake! Never have I decorated a cake so fast in my life!) My DH cut out little animals for me again while I quickly made a fondant monkey (Out of chocolate fondant) and did the leaves in a shades of dark green.

The customer's husband came and got the cake and he loved it, but he said "but I am just a man" hahaha. I got an email the next day from the customer who said the second time was perfect, and the cake was delicious and she even sent a few friends my way who were at the party.

I know we are all busy (I litterally had to take a cake I was in the middle of doing and put it off to the side to get this one fixed) and I know I didn't make a penny on this cake because of having to do it over, but the customer is always always right. I agree, she should have given me the napkins and such to begin with, but I couldn't sleep at night knowing I had a cake I made that the customer could not use. In your case, even if you were overbooked, I would have either offered to fix the cake or to give them another cake free of charge in the future. Maybe its just me and i know this isn't the popular answer but I really think customer service is lost in this country and customer service is more important then anything else we do. even for the snooty b*tches... icon_biggrin.gif

FromScratch Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 1:54pm
post #8 of 21

No way.. if they want exact.. they provide swatches and images and whatever else they feel will assure that you know what they want. If they didn't give you an reference then it's on them not you. I wouldn't have re-made anything nor offered them a discount on anything in the future. That's crazy. Why should their lack of attention to detail be my problem?

As fot the OP.. you need to make sure that you get paid in full BEFORE you turn your oven on. If you had done that they wouldn't have had you by the balls and you would have been in control of the situation instead of them holding all the cards. You need to get a contract and charge a retainer and get the blanace no later than 2 weeks before a cake is due. If they order with less than 2 weeks to their date then they pay in full at the time of their booking.. no money.. no cake.

((hugs)) I am so sorry that you had to deal with that and I am even more sorry that you had to eat the cost of that cake. At least the cake got to go to people who appreciate it.

If you woud like.. I'll e-mail you a copy of my contract. Just send me your e-mail address in a PM. icon_smile.gif

loriemoms Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 2:08pm
post #9 of 21

PS I do agree you should at least take a deposit to cover your costs. (I dont do contracts on smaller cakes..I do a lot of my stuff through email and it is pretty close to being a contract as far as what they want..)

springlakecake Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 2:43pm
post #10 of 21

uh uh! Unless there was something SERIOUSLY WRONG with the cake, they should have paid for it. I mean come on! It doesnt match the table cloth?!?! How long are they going to be looking at it? You are supposed to EAT if for goodness sake! They commissioned you to create something for them, they should have paid for it. I hope they realise they wasted your valuable time.

CarolAnn Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 2:53pm
post #11 of 21

I won't take orders over the phone or e mail. I'll arrange a meeting to discuss what they want and let them look at my album and ask them to bring their colors/ ideas with them at that time. If they make a color change they have to get that to me on their own and in plenty of time. I don't live in town and with gas prices so high I don't go in often. I wouldn't scrape a cake and redo it. By the time I'm putting it together the color is agreed upon. What's up with these mothers undermining the dd's decisions like this? If my dd ordered a cake and we went to pick it up how is it my place to reject the thing because I don't like the color? I'm sorry, I also don't get these people who think a kids b-day cake can mean the end of the world. Or an adults, for that matter. Their world is very far from mine.

Candes Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 3:03pm
post #12 of 21

Sorry she wasn't happy. It sounds like it was beautiful. I'd love to see a picture.

Getting a signed contract, swatches and a retainer are great ideas for future business.

dinas27 Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 3:21pm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by heavenscent

During the 10 seconds I was gone they decided the colors would clash with the table cloth.




I guess Walmart will be able to get the EXACT color they wanted! Did they think you can read their minds? Or of course you know exactly what color thier tablecloth is... all blue table cloths are the same color!

As for the person with the monkey cake... not advisable to take colors off computer screens, every monitor is different.

indydebi Posted 31 Mar 2008 , 3:51pm
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolAnn

I'm sorry, I also don't get these people who think a kids b-day cake can mean the end of the world. Or an adults, for that matter. Their world is very far from mine.




APPLAUD!! APPLAUD!! APPLAUD!!!

Kid's birthday parties would be lots more fun if they didn't let adults get involved! icon_biggrin.gif

loriemoms Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 11:38am
post #15 of 21

as far as contracts and meeting with every person before doing a cake: I know I personally would wonder why someone wanted me to sign a contract for a 75 dollar cake order. Would make me VERY suspicious!

I send out very detailed invoices with every order..this serves fine as a "contract"...

I still say I would have done the cake over again. Especaily since you had an entire day. Word of mouth is one of your most important forms of advertising and even if the customer was wrong and gave you the wrong information, they are going to tell everyone at that party there is no cake because you screwed up (even if you didn't) I rather have lost money and had a customer walk away happy then have someone unhappy with my service. Even if it wasn't my fault. I guess that is just the way I am.

imartsy Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 11:49am
post #16 of 21

Oh no the customer is NOT always right - for proof, see www.customerssuck.com......

Lots of people are stupid - too many people in this world are stupid for that matter - and if they couldn't "use" the cake, they should have brought you the colors before hand or been more specific..... it's not YOUR fault for doing the colors and the cake the way they asked.... they weren't specific enough - and even told you NOT to do the monkey!!

If you let customers take advantage of you - they will - time and again - and then they'll tell their friends - who will treat you like crap as well. It's a never ending cycle and it's best to cut off that bad behavior at the head......don't let it get deeper or you'll dig yourself into a pit you can't get out of!

FromScratch Posted 1 Apr 2008 , 4:54pm
post #17 of 21

You aren't always going to have the time to do something like that.. and if they were really THAT picky about the colors they should have sent you examples. It's your responsibilty to ask for them and their responsibility to follow through with getting them to you. I have people sign a contract for every cake I do. I send them through the mail and have them return it to me in a self addressed stamped envelope that I send with the contract. They understand that until I get that contract and the retainer I am not scheduling their cake. I tell them it's protect myself as well as them. This way there are no questions.. it's all typed out for them to see. All of my customers have had no issue with it and have said it makes them feel good that I take things so seriously.

I agree with the PP.. loads of dumbasses out there.. it's best to CYA and not let them walk on you because if they do it once.. they will do it again. What you told them was you are a push over and if they decide on a last minute change you will do it for them no matter what it might cost you. Not a message I would want to send to my clients. I am MORE than accomodating. I don't want to sound like a cake nazi or anything.. but I have it all laid out before hand.. sizes.. colors.. dates.. EVERYTHING.. if they have specifics in mind they are to get them to me and I can get as close as humanly possible. I will let you change things up until 2 weeks before you cake (usually up until I am decorating it if I can) and I do believe in making your customers happy.. but not to that extent. I would never have time to scrap an entire cake and re-do it before their event.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 8:39am
post #18 of 21

jkalman, i had to giggle at "cake nazi"

but i do agree with everything you said. Okay, i used to work for RCI where we do timeshare exchanges. We ask customers to book their vacations and IF they cancel, they have to cancel BEFORE a certain time period or else they LOSE money. I mean, you can't book a flight to Mexico 2 months ahead of time and cancel it the day before OR on the day itself and EXPECT your money back. You have inconvenienced other people by doing that. And that's what they did when they didn't "take" the cake. They inconvenienced you big time. They should've been decent about it and paid you.

icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 1:36pm
post #19 of 21

When I send the quotes/proposals to brides, I tell them "Please look these over carefully to make sure that what I've written down is what you are expecting. These are the instructions I will work from when making your cake. If it's not written down ... it's not happening."

Had one bride who ordered my salad bar. I ask them if there is anything specific they do or dont' want on the salad bar .... otherwise I just pick up a variety of side items. She complained there was no cheese. I said, "There was no cheese specifically ordered .... see quote." She said she thought cheese was a standard and didnt' need specifically ordered. I said, "Not if you are lactose intolerant it's not. Not if you have a dairy allergy it's not. Nothing is a "standard" which is why I asked if there was anything specific you DID want on there."

If it's not written down ... it's not happening.

CarolAnn Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 1:52pm
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Quote:

Kid's birthday parties would be lots more fun if they didn't let adults get involved!




How true!!! All those one and two year olds complain soo much about their less than perfect cakes!!

loriemoms Posted 2 Apr 2008 , 2:52pm
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolAnn

Quote:
Quote:

Kid's birthday parties would be lots more fun if they didn't let adults get involved!



How true!!! All those one and two year olds complain soo much about their less than perfect cakes!!




I actually have been considering dropping birthday cakes completely because of this very reason! They never want to pay what the cake is worth, I spend more time designing with them then brides and you make less money off of them! I enjoy my summers more when I am doing nothing but weddings! I guess I have been lucky and haven't had any real bridezillas. I think brides just kind of educate themselves more and know what to expect. I wonder if they should start putting articles about cake in Parent Magazines?

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