bellsnbows Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 8:38pm
post #1 of

Sorry for another one of these, but I really need some advice. I made a two tiered sports theme cake Saturday for a friend's (not really close friend, i just know her from my old job, but i really love her to death) nephew's birthday party. (She sent me the design off of here, and i can't find it to give them credit! Sorry!) Anyway, I constructed it as always and drove it 30 minutes to meet her with it. She loved it, took it to the party (don't know how much farther it was) and that was that. Oh, she put it in the trunk of her car because there was no other room and this was the only flat spot. I've had other people do this before (including her) so i didn't think anything of it.
This morning (Monday) I got a message from her sister-in-law that when they got there and opened the trunk the top tier had fallen off and damaged the bottom tier. She said i didn't put "little sticks" in the top cake like i usually do.
I don't even know what she is talking about because i don't put supports in the top tier. Anyway, i just don't know what to do. I feel like if i drove it for 30 minutes and it was completely fine when i got there that the cake had to be pretty stable. What should I do? Any advice would be greatly appreciated![/img]
LL

37 replies
projectqueen Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 8:57pm
post #2 of

Oh my gosh, that cake is so cute!

It seems to me like there was some driver error in this case. Maybe they slammed on the brakes, who knows? If it made it on a 30 minute drive, it should have made it the rest of the way I would think.

Maybe by little sticks she means a center dowel driven through both cakes? Did you have a center dowel in there?

I'm sorry this happened to you.

kr1970 Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:05pm
post #3 of

To me the biggest question you have to ask yourself how much do i want to keep this person as a cutomer and as a friend? It's always a dicey thing when selling cakes to someone who is a regular customer and/or a friend family member and something goes wrong. Good Luck!

MacsMom Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:05pm
post #4 of

Sorry, but this is not your fault whatsoever. You should not have to refund any money. It was her driving.

Once the cake is in the customers hands and you have left the premises knowing the cake was in good condition when you left, you are not responsible for whatever happens to it.

Simply tell her, "I'm sorry, but I'm not at fault here. Two tiers cakes don't typically require a center dowel - it did survive the 30 minute drive to you, after all."

Melvira Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:07pm
post #5 of

I hate to be a negative nelly and always try to blame the customer, but that cake is not remotely off balance or precariously positioned... and you went 30 miles with no problems. I am tempted to agree that we may have some 'driver error' issues there. I would send a polite note in return telling her you are so sorry that there was some sort of 'accident'. I'd let her know that you do not dowel the top tier on any cakes because there is nothing on top of them needing support. I'd also offer her a moderate discount on a future order as a courtesy. You can point out that once a cake is delivered from your possession in good condition, you really can't be responsible for what happens to it unless it is an OBVIOUS case of negligence on your part. (If you just really dropped the ball and didn't construct it properly in other words!) There is no reason that cake should have fallen under 'normal' circumstances, barring a sudden stop or turning without slowing down appropriately. Good luck with this!!

Ah-na Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:07pm
post #6 of

I would tell them, in the nicest way possible of course, that once the cake leaves your hands it's no longer your responsibility. That really sucks that happened to you and of course my advice is easier said than done. icon_sad.gif

pjmw Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:08pm
post #7 of

She took responsibility for the cake the minute she put it in the trunk (which would personally make me freak out!). You do not owe her a refund. This is my ultimate fear for stacked cakes. It would have been worth it for her to have paid you for complete delivery. Then if something happened, it would have been your responsibility. JMHO

The cake was very cute BTW.

milissasmom Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:15pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

I hate to be a negative nelly and always try to blame the customer, but that cake is not remotely off balance or precariously positioned... and you went 30 miles with no problems. I am tempted to agree that we may have some 'driver error' issues there. I would send a polite note in return telling her you are so sorry that there was some sort of 'accident'. I'd let her know that you do not dowel the top tier on any cakes because there is nothing on top of them needing support. I'd also offer her a moderate discount on a future order as a courtesy. You can point out that once a cake is delivered from your possession in good condition, you really can't be responsible for what happens to it unless it is an OBVIOUS case of negligence on your part. (If you just really dropped the ball and didn't construct it properly in other words!) There is no reason that cake should have fallen under 'normal' circumstances, barring a sudden stop or turning without slowing down appropriately.




Took the words right out of my mouth!!

CranberryClo Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:16pm
post #9 of

Did you have a dowel going through both tiers?

If I'm not transporting a cake, I don't worry about that. But if I am, I always put a dowel through both tiers. Your 30 minutes of driving plus her driving (even if excellent driving) was perhaps too much stress for an undoweled cake. That is a lot of movement, vibration, etc. on something constructed of cake and icing.

psurrette Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:21pm

It does stink that this happened so sorry for you! When I delvier a cake to someone that is putting it in thier car I tell them they need to drive as if there is an egg on the dashboard and when they laugh...........
I say soemthing like the cake is fragile and you need to drive with special care. Thank you and drive carefully!
Good Luck.

I wouldnt give her a refund I would just say your sorry but it was fine when you left it. in her hands. I am sure she hit the breaks a little to hard. It doesnt take much! As we all know

aswartzw Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:32pm

Believe me, I've driven country roads (super curvy and hilly) with no center dowels for a 2-tier cake supported by only sucker sticks. It didn't move. Quite frankly, who puts a cake in their trunk anyway? It's the dirtiest part of your car and I guarantee you she had to have other stuff in it as well.

I would simply tell her you never have dowels in the top tier and kindly remind her it survived a 30 minute trip to her. Wash your hands of this because it's not your fault. The customer really goofed on this and she just needs to learn from her mistakes.

Solecito Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:38pm

I'm sorry this happended to you. I agree with everybody else, but I'd like to add this: some cars vibrate more than others even do we don't feel it. I found out the hard way on my latest minivan. Once a cake almost collapsed even though it was one tier, and a couple a times more, some of the cupcakes from a cupcake cake almost slide of the base. That's when we realized the problem, so my guess is that her car might vibrate a lot more than they feel, not to mention the driver could forgot she was drivin with a cake in the trunk.

Cakenator Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:38pm

Don't do anything, its not your fault that she probably drove like a maniac. Forget about it, the cake was beautiful.

SugarBakerz Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:42pm

oh my my... that cake is sooooooo precious! You did a fabulous job. I agree that it was most likely driver error. I drove a cake (haven't posted it yet, will today, barnyard themed) over 30 miles and through a park... mind you the park has paved roads and there was a dip nearly every 2 complete turns of the tires.... bumpy, bumpy, bumpy..... My cake didn't fall. It did shift slightly but it didn't fall. I use straws for supports (those from McAlister's Deli, really thick ones!) and it survived... even the little sheep on top. I say that to say this, I don't think that this was your fault. I would simply say was it in tact when you put it in the trunk? If she says yes, then there ya go...... she either slammed the lid on it and it became unstable or she pulled a danica patrick move and drove like a BOH (bat outta hell!)..... your cake was great and she should be so proud... going to put it in my favs right now!

tyty Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:43pm

The cake is so cute, I love it. Did you say you put no support through the tiers?

If that is the cake you gave her and you put support in the cake and drove that far, and the cake was fine, you don't owe a refund. The top of the cake was not off when you gave it to her.

I also tell my customers to drive like they have a baby in the car. I give them a small square of shelf liner and tell them to put the cake on a flat surface. Sounds like someone forgot they had a cake in the trunk. If you did everything you should have for supports, there would be no refund.

Toniprev Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:43pm

On Saturday, the client for the cake below... left my house with the cake on the back seat of his BMW cabrio.. and the roof down!!! Despite the fact that he came here the night before to assess the size of the cake and best mode of transporting. (he is a friend.. and we even offered to deliver the cake). It did arrive in one piece... BUT I did say as he was reversing out my driveway.. that the cake was no longer my responsibility once he left!! icon_biggrin.gif

Image

SugarBakerz Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:44pm

waaa haaa... it isn't your photos yet... I want to save it my favs, so please post it in your gallery icon_smile.gif THANKS!

Kiddiekakes Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:45pm

once again..I agree with all that has been posted.You cannot be responsible for the cake after it has left your care....I would email her and politely say that you are very sorry that the cake had a mishap however....it was in one piece when it was picked up and after that is not your responsibility!! I know....easier said than done!!

Toniprev Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:47pm

sorry, I did want to add, that your cake looks very stable.. and I agree with everyone else.. that the driver is at fault....

Relznik Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjmw

She took responsibility for the cake the minute she put it in the trunk (which would personally make me freak out!)...




I don't understand why someone putting a cake in the boot of the car would worry you?

They're always boxed, aren't they?

Usually, the box won't fit on the floor of the front passenger seat, and won't fit behind the front seats on the floor, either. There's NO WAY I want my customer's putting a cake on the seat of a car... G-d forbid they have to hit the brakes suddenly, the cake's going to go flying!!!!!!!

As long as there isn't anything in the boot that's going to roll into/fall onto/crush the cake in any way, I think it's the safest place, isn't it???

icon_smile.gif

Suzanne x

Relznik Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 9:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by pjmw

She took responsibility for the cake the minute she put it in the trunk (which would personally make me freak out!)...




I don't understand why someone putting a cake in the boot of the car would worry you?

They're always boxed, aren't they?

Usually, the box won't fit on the floor of the front passenger seat, and won't fit behind the front seats on the floor, either. There's NO WAY I want my customer's putting a cake on the seat of a car... G-d forbid they have to hit the brakes suddenly, the cake's going to go flying!!!!!!!

As long as there isn't anything in the boot that's going to roll into/fall onto/crush the cake in any way, I think it's the safest place, isn't it???

icon_smile.gif

Suzanne x

Toniprev Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 10:00pm

I didn't want my cake put there.... he insisted it would be fine.. so my husband put things on the seat to at least level the cake... This is the ONLY time I have ever had an experience similar!

Wendoger Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 10:02pm

Yep, what everyone else says....NOT your responsibility....once its gone, its gone....
A guy (groom) asked me to stay and watch their wedding cupcakes once.....ya know, so the drunk in-laws wouldn't knock over the table....???
Ummmm....NO. Ba-bye. (idiot!)

Melvira Posted 28 Apr 2008 , 10:35pm

bellsnbows... I'm so sorry... I got so into replying that I forgot to also mention that you did a spectacular job, and that cake is wonderful! Very nice work!

Toniprev... that cake is awesome, and I'd have strangled that man!! icon_wink.gif

bellsnbows Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 12:05am

Thanks so much for all of your support. It makes me feel a lot better. I still don't know what to do! I don't think I owe a refund, but I have a feeling she's going to expect one. If I thought I owed one, I'd give it. I called her and got no answer so I left her a message saying I was very sorry that it happened and I don't know why unless there were any issues driving it. I said that dowels are not used in the top tier and the cake was constructed as I always do. I don't typically use a center dowel through two tiers, but I guess I should start. I have delivered numerous two tiered cakes (some of them an hour away) with no center dowel without any problems.

BTW the picture is now in my gallery! Sorry it wasn't there earlier I was just so frustrated and only had a few minutes of CC time! There's never enough CC time!

Thanks again!

Toniprev Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 5:24am

Don't you dare offer a refund!! That cake was stable & sound... you can tell just by looking at the photo..... Just 'act dumb' on the whole refund thing!!! icon_biggrin.gif AND if you must, you could print out all our opinions and hand that to her in an envelope.... "here's your refund" icon_lol.gif Evil I know!!!

Bonnie151 Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 6:03am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relznik

I don't understand why someone putting a cake in the boot of the car would worry you?

They're always boxed, aren't they?

Usually, the box won't fit on the floor of the front passenger seat, and won't fit behind the front seats on the floor, either. There's NO WAY I want my customer's putting a cake on the seat of a car... G-d forbid they have to hit the brakes suddenly, the cake's going to go flying!!!!!!!




I completely agree. I always either put my cakes on the floor of the front passenger seats or in the trunk (I would never ever put one of a car seat- they slope and it's far too risky IMO).

I use a non-slip mat and towels around the box to further secure it. If it is tiered I always use a centre dowel, again to minimise the risk.

I know it is our responsibility to ensure delivery of a a stable cake and once it is delivered, it is no longer our responsibility. However, I think we also have a reposnsibility to enable our customers to minimise the risk once we have delivered the cake. I always tell people:

1. If transporting the cake, make sure it's either in the boot (trunk) or on the floor. Do NOT put it on a car seat as the y slope and the cake might slope along with the seat!

2. Use a non-slip mat under the box if possible. Wrap towels around the box to prevent movement.

3. Drive as though you had a dozen eggs perched on top of the roof. You don't need to go slowly, but drive as smoothly as possible - no sudden stops.

To the OP - I'm so sorry that happened, it was SUCH a cute cake!

Toniprev Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 7:52am

Bonnie, my cakes ALWAYS travel in the boot of my car.. and as I have a stationwagon, it is perfect for transporting cakes.. my story was the one exception the the rule.. I so wish I had taken a photo though of my cake reversing out the driveway sitting in the back of the car... with the roof off!!! This is why I believe that the other falling cake must be the fault of the driver... because my cake travelled also up a windy mountain like road.....and survived to tell the tale!

I can't easily get big boxes for my cakes here where I live in Italy, and usually they are wrapped in cellophane.

pjmw Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 11:13am

Looking at the cake, I assumed it was not in a box. I deliver my cakes in the back of my van where the back seats fold down to make a large flat surface. My "freaking out" is that if I would put it in a trunk, I would not be able to see it. I usually have one of my children ride with me and watch the cake.

springlakecake Posted 29 Apr 2008 , 11:37am

Sorry this happend to you! Okay, so I guess I don't necessarily agree with most posters here. IMO, I would have put a center dowel in it. I ALWAYS do though, even if I am not transporting it. I don't think it would have fallen off if you had put one in. So if it were ME, I would offer a partial refund. I not saying it is necessarily your fault, but you just really don't know. Now if you had put a center dowel in it and it still rolled all around in her trunk....well then that's probably a different story. Sorry!

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