I Am So Mad I Could Spit!

Business By Mamas Updated 4 Jun 2008 , 4:09pm by Vivicake

Mamas Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 3:52am
post #1 of 41

Through several communications, I have since come to the conclusion that this woman is trying to get a cake at or below the cost of ingredients.

The cake in question, the topsy turvy cake in my photos, was far from perfect but through several long phone conversations I tried very hard to thoroughly set expectations ahead of time.

When I received the picture of the three tiered cake which was to be made in a topsy turvy fashion I explained that the cake would not be an exact match to the cake depicted. I explained that several substitutions would have to be made because of time constraints and the availability of certain items (did I mention I had 2 1/2 weeks to pull it together?). She repeatedly stated that she wanted to pay less than $200 for a three tiered, topsy turvy cake to feed 50 people despite the fact that the website she directed me to quoted a price of $12 a slice which would have made the cake worth $600. I told her I wouldn't do it for less than $300. She agreed.

To make a long story short, she contacted me over a week later to inform me that she was unhappy with the cake and that I would have known she was unhappy if I would have been professional enough to contact her to followup about the cake. she then decided that I should refund her $100 (making the cake $200 as she originally wanted).

I agreed but I wanted send her a letter that she signed and sent back to me documenting our oral agreement. she has now stated that she is going to contact attorneys, file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau if I don't send her the letter/refund immediately and in addition, she has informed me that I am to pay for postage, the cost of a notary and any other costs she incurrs in the pursuit of her refund.

I know that I should just let it go and send her her refund and be done with it but I really want to fight her. I really feel like she is trying to intimidate me and I want to scream.

I am sorry this is so long (I left a lot out) but I would appreciate any advice on how you would go foward.

40 replies
BlakesCakes Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:01am
post #2 of 41

I'm sorry this is happening to you.

When this was only oral back-and-forth, she had no case. You never had to agree to a refund. You gave her what she contracted for, she ate it, end of case. It was totally at your discretion to give her a refund.

If you've since sent her e-mails telling her that you'll refund $, then you're probably stuck with that, but she can make all the demands about fees, etc. she wants, but you DON'T HAVE TO AGREE!

She's a nut case. Personally, I wouldn't send her a thing. I'd simply tell her that I'd changed my mind. If she wants to waste her time chasing $100--let her. No attorney will touch it. It's a small claims case at best.
Tell her to take a flyin' leap!

Just my honest opinion.
Rae

chutzpah Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:06am
post #3 of 41

Sweet jeesus, what is WRONG with people??

Let me know where she lives and I'll come over and slap her up.

sweetcakes Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:08am
post #4 of 41

sounds like this women caught you off guard on the phone. did she say what it was she was unhappy about, did it collapse, was it underbaked? i very much doubt it was anything, and like you said she only wanted to spend 200 and is now looking for a refund. since she agreed to the 3 tier tt cake and you have a contract? with her approval, i dont think she has anything to stand on. you provided what she wanted, and she agreed to the price. its not customary for bakers to do follow ups on every cake order otherwise we'd be on the phone all the time. if she was truely unhappy why didn;t she contact you that day, or the next after her event, shes the one that waited a week. If you have a contract, a picture of the final cake set up on location then i think you have a good case. those cakes aren't easy, and not verymany bakeried do them, she was lucky to find you and got a bargin to boot. hold your ground and be strong. thats what id do.

Denise Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:21am
post #5 of 41

She is a crackpot looking for a refund - I wouldn't give it to her. I looked at your cake. It looks fine to me. She agreed to the cake, accepted the cake, ate the cake.

She tells you that you should have called her after the party to insure she was happy? What a crock of crap. I don't call my customers to see if they were happy for goodness sake. They call and tell me they were happy sometimes - sometimes I never hear from them again til they want another cake or someone says "so and so told me to call you".

She is just looking for something for nothing. I would NOT send her the money back or sign squat nor pay for her notary, etc.

Sorry this happened to you!

Monkess Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:28am
post #6 of 41

Tell her to take a hike and not arm twist you with extra legal means. Also just for putting you through all this - she just lost her 100 bucks!

ATCakes Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:30am
post #7 of 41

I agree with Denise. She only wanted to spend $200 at the outset and is trying to get it. If she was so unhappy why didn't she call. Most people who contract with cake decorators and are unhappy with their cakes call at the most 2 days after. She is just trying to get something for nothing.
she sounds like my sister in law--I don't go out with her because she has to complain about the service or the food all to get a free meal. She even did this at a Ruth Chris restaurant.

LaurynBrook Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:32am
post #8 of 41

For what it's worth, I think the cake is lovely. What was it that she didn't like about it? Unless it spoiled or fell or was uncooked, she wouldn't be getting a dime from me. If she truly had a problem she would have contacted you right away. I think she was set on paying $200 and is now trying to regain the money she spent on the shower. thumbsdown.gif

Mamas Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:35am
post #9 of 41

She didn't really catch me off guard. I know most of what you guys have said to be true but she is the daughter of my best friend's co-worker so I have tried to go above and beyond in terms of fairness.

I really should not have done the cake for this woman in the first place because she royally pissed me off from the beginning. She calimed to have some expertise in the catering/event planning arena and offered to give me advice concerning my contract. I told her that that would be fine but for the purposes of the cake I would need her to sign the contract as is. She took my acceptance of her advice as an ok to re-write my contract. When she signed her new version and sent it back to me I really should have told her where to go but I am trying to work on a new kinder gentler me that is able to handle all types of clients. . . . I think I'm going back to the Cake Diva I could slowly feel myself becoming. She wouldn't have put up with any of this!

Amia Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:42am
post #10 of 41

She has no case. Her attorney's hourly fee will cost more than the refund and she can't force you to pay anything unless you go to trial and the judge rules in her favor. That won't happen. You'd probably end up in arbitration, at best, if a lawyer even took her case.

You have a better case than she does anyway. Why did she wait a week to call? What was wrong with the cake, exactly? Why did she eat/serve it then?

Oh and the BBB complaint is nothing to be afraid of. They mediate. Every BBB complaint I've filed (and with actual good cause) has still ended up with them siding with the business, not me. icon_rolleyes.gif

patrincia Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:44am
post #11 of 41

Oh my goodness... this woman is a real piece of work!!! She's got a lot of nerve. I say call her bluff... she won't do anything. If she's not able to accept paying $300 for a $600 or $1200 cake... there is no way she's going to hire an attorney. She's a tight wad from the word go!

Mamas Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:45am
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurynBrook

For what it's worth, I think the cake is lovely. What was it that she didn't like about it? Unless it spoiled or fell or was uncooked, she wouldn't be getting a dime from me. If she truly had a problem she would have contacted you right away. I think she was set on paying $200 and is now trying to regain the money she spent on the shower. thumbsdown.gif




I agree with you 100%! Her mother told my friend that the cake fell over and that her daughter had to use barbecue skewers to put it back together again but in my phone conversation with the daughter she claimed that the cake began to slide, causing the fondant to buckle and that the cake had to be served sooner than intended.

I used barbecue skewers in the cake so that I could have it set while I ran out to get more dowels. When I came back the cake had slid a little and the fondont had wrinkled. I put it back in place, doweled the hell out of it and smoothed the fondont. The wrinkling would not have been noticeable maybe until the cake was cut because of all of the other elements in the design.

Bottom line-- they hadn't gotten their stories together yet and it took about a week to get it right. I knew this when I agreed to the $100 but I just wanted to get her off my back and considered this to be partially my fault cause I should have said no from the begining

bigmama1961 Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:49am
post #13 of 41

so sorry this happen to you but she sounds like she wanted you to give the cake to her. NOWAY ,TELL HER TO GET HER A LAWYER IT WILL COST WHOLE LOTS MORE THAN 300.00 SHE SHOULD BUILD HER CASE A LITTLE SMARTER THAN THAT. I WOULDNT GIVE A CRAP IF A FRIEND OF A FRIEND OR WHAT...IF IT MAKES FRIENDS MAD THAN THEY WERENT FRIENDS IN THE FIRST PLACE...SHE BULLYING YOU HUN, GIVE HER A SWIFT KICK IN THE YOU KNOW WHAT....

patrincia Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:51am
post #14 of 41

Note to self: Go with your gut... if the customer sounds like trouble to begin with... that exactly what he/she will be! (and think twice before making a topsy turvy cake).

Sorry this happened to you!

LaurynBrook Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:52am
post #15 of 41

It's pretty sad that they are petty enough to let this ruin a baby shower for God's sake. I mean, I like to think at my baby shower I will be too overjoyed about becoming a mother that the cake will be small potatoes. That's just me.

Ironbaker Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 5:20am
post #16 of 41

This reminds me of Bdrider's saga from months back.

If she's crying lawyers and all that crap, then there's no need to communicate with her directly. (if you choose to not give the money back) If it was that awful, you'd think she would've called much earlier. Getting a lawyer over such a small amount is ridiculous and she knows it. I'd call her bluff. Why not just ask for it all back..or half, if you were that dissatisfied?

What letter is she asking you to send?

Mamas Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 5:23am
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurynBrook

It's pretty sad that they are petty enough to let this ruin a baby shower for God's sake. I mean, I like to think at my baby shower I will be too overjoyed about becoming a mother that the cake will be small potatoes. That's just me.




One would think . . . I thought a three tiered topsy turvy cake was a bit much for a baby shower anyway but . . .

BTY I love your "make cupcakes not war. Peace, Love and buttercreme" saying. Is it yours? I want to make it my company mottos or at the very least have t-shirts made icon_lol.gif

Mamas Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 5:35am
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironbaker

This reminds me of Bdrider's saga from months back.

If she's crying lawyers and all that crap, then there's no need to communicate with her directly. (if you choose to not give the money back) If it was that awful, you'd think she would've called much earlier. Getting a lawyer over such a small amount is ridiculous and she knows it. I'd call her bluff. Why not just ask for it all back..or half, if you were that dissatisfied?

What letter is she asking you to send?




She asked for 30% over the phone. I agreed and she said she would e-mail the address to send the money order to. In the e-mail she said she would do me the favor and take 30% but she felt that 50% would be more resonable. I decided that I would (mostly cause I wanted to be annoying and partly because I was tired of her verbally agreeing to one thing and emailing something else) get her to sign a letter I drafted and have it notorized in case she had any idea to try and get more money at a later date. The e-mail she sent me certainly sufices as evidence of our verbal agreement but I wanted it to be crystal clear to her that I did not want to have any further dealings with her.

This lady has gotten under my skin. If $100 gets her out of my life I consider myself lucky.

patrincia Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 5:43am
post #19 of 41

I pity the next person who gets stuck with an order from her!

Auryn Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 10:55am
post #20 of 41

since she has threatened you with a lawyer
i would tell her that you can no longer speak with her and will wait to be contacted by her lawyer.


Actually just to be a PITA I would tell her that before you can issue any refund, you must receive all the left over cake, detailed pictures of the damage and written statements from guests, and also because she waited more than 2 days to complain, you will have to reduce her refund by $15 for every day she waited to complain past the first 2 days.


You don't have to get a lawyer, let her spend the money on one if shes really so hard up for $100

next time trust your gut
and just cause shes the aquaintance of a friend of a friend doesnt mean shes special and is worth putting up so much

Ednarooni Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 11:18am
post #21 of 41

She "may" be bluffing about an attorney or she may have an attorney friend, who sees someone paying attorney fees one way or another. I agree, make her sign a notorized statement and I would definitely write in there that no damage was photographed and/or viewed by you..(IF you didn't see it for yourself.) And...that you are doing this as more of a "time" issue for you as you have a business to run.. Sorry to hear that this happened to you...this might be a time for everyone to think about "photographing" the cake on the scene, of pick up and/or delivery.IF delivering in a nearby area and at all possible.

Mamas Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 11:28am
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ednarooni

She "may" be bluffing about an attorney or she may have an attorney friend, who sees someone paying attorney fees one way or another. I agree, make her sign a notorized statement and I would definitely write in there that no damage was photographed and/or viewed by you..(IF you didn't see it for yourself.) And...that you are doing this as more of a "time" issue for you as you have a business to run.. Sorry to hear that this happened to you...this might be a time for everyone to think about "photographing" the cake on the scene, of pick up and/or delivery.IF delivering in a nearby area and at all possible.




The picture you see in my photographs is a picture of the cake seconds before I picked it up and placed it in the car. I also have pictures of the cake at the site.

Did I mention I tried to contact her early in the day to tell her I would be running a little late but could not reach her? when I arrived 30 minutes late sweating bullets neither she nor her mother were there to receive the cake. Who knows what happened to the cake after I delivered it. She doesn't even know because she wasn't even there to receive it!

Mamas Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 11:37am
post #23 of 41

Auryn you are awesome! I am so tempted . . . but I think anything other than refunding her money would only feed her delusions of grandeur. Besides, I have spent entirely too much time on this woman already.

If I was going to draft one, what do you suggest the notorized letter should say? I just want something that doesn't admit fault but I also do not want to go back and forth with her so I am seriously considering just sending her the money and thats that. . . . hopefully

uschi1 Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 11:50am
post #24 of 41

Don't do it! Don't send her a penny.
I think Auryn has the right idea - no further direct communication since she wants to involve a lawyer!

Good luck!

thems_my_kids Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 12:23pm
post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamas

I really should not have done the cake for this woman in the first place because she royally pissed me off from the beginning. She calimed to have some expertise in the catering/event planning arena and offered to give me advice concerning my contract. I told her that that would be fine but for the purposes of the cake I would need her to sign the contract as is. She took my acceptance of her advice as an ok to re-write my contract. When she signed her new version and sent it back to me I really should have told her where to go but I am trying to work on a new kinder gentler me that is able to handle all types of clients.




You told her you needed her to sign your contract as-is, you should have stuck to that. When she sent you "her" version, you should have called her right away to re-do it. It's one thing to be able to work with a difficult person, it's totally another when they are trying to railroad you. The nerve of some people! I'm sorry you are having to deal with this. I would be livid.

Auryn Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 2:17pm
post #26 of 41

I have this problem come up sometimes- I sell custom built boats for the family business.
I have people call up asking to get parts in warranty- they expect the parts to be free and free shipping.

When I ask to see date stamped pictures of the damage, a detailed written report of what happened, and the contact information of who is doing the repairs- 75% of the time I never hear back from the people. Its not unreasonable information, and all the honest customers are happy to oblige.

I really think that you should tell her that you need to speak to her lawyer from now on since she insisted, and that he/she should provide you with pictures (time/date stamped of course) to prove the 'damage' so that you can provide an appropriate amount.

I'm like indydebi- Im the sweetest easy going person, unless you try to screw with me. I've grown up in a male dominated business so I have no problem being a biznatch if I need to be. Its not personal, its business.

I also suggest that from now you don't leave a cake there if there's noone there to sign for it.
If you had gotten a signature you wouldn't be having this problem.

Ednarooni Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 3:05pm
post #27 of 41

All of these messages you are getting are good advice.. No, I only came on and saw some of the responses, it was only showing part of the forum.. I didn't know that you had taken pictures. I can only tell you from one perspective, as my husband runs a landscaping business. She (the client in question) sounds like shes done this a "few" times, and knows how to intimidate and/or manipulate people. Why she would even suggest giving you advice concerning a contract is strange to me unless she wanted to see what you would do and/or how you would respond. My husbands theory is, "the client is always right" when it's under a certain amount, if it's over a certain amount, he gives it to our business attorney. The time you fight it, it's not worth the time you could be making more money... I will say this, even though you probably WILL NOT agree with me. THIS was a GOOD thing that happened to you...better to run into someone NOW like this, so you know how to deal with future customers like this. You will have a feel for the red flags...sort of speak.. My husband even has a feel for certain people when he BIDS on jobs now...and that's how it is, you have to have the bad customers at least once or twice to make sure you don't KEEP getting them.lol
Good luck..

LaurynBrook Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 3:34pm
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mamas

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurynBrook

It's pretty sad that they are petty enough to let this ruin a baby shower for God's sake. I mean, I like to think at my baby shower I will be too overjoyed about becoming a mother that the cake will be small potatoes. That's just me.



One would think . . . I thought a three tiered topsy turvy cake was a bit much for a baby shower anyway but . . .

BTY I love your "make cupcakes not war. Peace, Love and buttercreme" saying. Is it yours? I want to make it my company mottos or at the very least have t-shirts made icon_lol.gif




Make Cupcakes Not War has now been trademarked by Johnny Cupcakes. He sells shirts but they are sooo expensive. I thought of Peace, Love, And ButterCream on my own, but I'm sure I'm not the first to say it. icon_cool.gif Maybe I should trademark that, then give ol' Johnny a run for his money. icon_lol.gif It's the tagline on my cards and I have a whole pokadots and peace signs theme.

BigTexinWV Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 4:51pm
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auryn

since she has threatened you with a lawyer
i would tell her that you can no longer speak with her and will wait to be contacted by her lawyer.


Actually just to be a PITA I would tell her that before you can issue any refund, you must receive all the left over cake, detailed pictures of the damage and written statements from guests, and also because she waited more than 2 days to complain, you will have to reduce her refund by $15 for every day she waited to complain past the first 2 days.


You don't have to get a lawyer, let her spend the money on one if shes really so hard up for $100

next time trust your gut
and just cause shes the aquaintance of a friend of a friend doesnt mean shes special and is worth putting up so much




I agree 100%. And if she keeps calling inform her that you will file harassment charges on her. I would not answer her email either. Wait for the lawyer, call her bluff!

michellenj Posted 3 Jun 2008 , 5:20pm
post #30 of 41

You have gotten some great advice here. If I ever have a problem, I'm calling Auryn!

This client sounds like a person just like my mom-she LOVES a good fight.

Take it to Judge Judy-you will win!

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