Should I Offer Refund/discount...?

Decorating By sarahnichole975 Updated 26 Jul 2008 , 1:33am by tasteebakes

sarahnichole975 Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 11:40pm
post #1 of 22

A regular client picked up a bridal shower cake today for a shower tomorrow. She had dropped off an invitation to match colors to. She ordered the chocolate and blue wedding cake I have in my pics and said that she wanted it to be chocolate and pink instead of the blue and add a ring to the top. So I did...I replaced everything blue with pink and added the ring. The invitation had several shades of fuschia pink on it, all the same tone, different shades, so I went in the middle with it. Well a few mins ago I got a call saying she wasn't pleased with the cake. She said she thought the pink was way too bright and asked if there was anything I could do. I offered to try to pull off the pink and replace it with a lighter shade, but that I may have to redo it as it would probably pull the fondant with it. She said she'd figure it out and let me know. After contimplating what else I could do, I decided I could tone it down by painting it with some pearl luster, so I called her back and made the suggestion. At that time she said that they had discussed it and had decided it was the white on the cake they weren't liking. We both came to the realization that it was miscommunication as they were wanting the entire cake to be done only in pink and brown, no white. Though this was never mentioned to me. We communicated all the details through emails and myspace messages, and the only specifics were, pink and chocolate, instead of blue, the size of the cake, and the flavors/fillings for the cake. The cake in general is a precious little cake...or so I think, and I think she's happy with the work in general, just not the colors. She finally ended up saying not to worry about it, that they'd keep it as it was. She didn't sound upset, but a little disappointed. Now I know I've learned a lesson here myself, make sure I ask "you want it the same only replace/add _____ or do you want all the colors different?" File that under learn the hard way. But I was wondering if I should offer her some sort of refund or discount on this or a future cake, as she is a loyal client. I'm attaching a pic of the cake and the original is in my pics. TIA for any advice....I'm just so not use to unhappy clients.

Wish me luck that this is just a fluke cuz I'm on my way out the door to deliver my first 4 tiered cake.... icon_confused.gif
LL

21 replies
CakesbyMonica Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 11:53pm
post #2 of 22

Beautiful cake!
She seems happy with the cake as is, and if she is a loyal customer - I'd offer her a % off the next cake or perhaps a small free cake or other goodies if you sell them.

dandelion Posted 25 Jul 2008 , 11:58pm
post #3 of 22

You should not be the one to pay for her poor communication! You created a gorgeous cake and I'm sure you deserve every penny you charged for it.

Texie Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:01am
post #4 of 22

This is an absolutely beautiful cake and you have nothing to apologize for. You did exactly as asked. If she's really not satisfied maybe paint a thin veil of light pink luster dust over the white; if you normally charge extra for the dust then offer it free, if not then give her a small discount on a future cake. This cake was made as she asked for it, she just didn't ask as clearly as she needed. I assume the invitation she gave you had white, it wasn't all colored? That would give you plenty of cause to believe there would be white on the cake. But it is amazing and she knows from personal experience that you're great at your job and she gets what she pays for or she wouldn't keep coming back. Offer a little something for next time to ensure there is a next time.

2Cupcakes Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:01am
post #5 of 22

I just looked at the blue/chocolate cake in your photos. I would not give her a discount. She gave you a pink napkin which you used to match the pink color. She told you she wanted the blue/chocolate cake but pink/chocolate instead and add a ring on top. That is EXACTLY what you delivered her. If she wanted other areas of the cake different, she should have been more specific. I don't think she is entitled to a refund or discount.

2Cupcakes Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:04am
post #6 of 22

Both the cakes are beautiful!

Good luck on your 4 tier cake delivery!

PattyT Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:13am
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Cupcakes

I just looked at the blue/chocolate cake in your photos. I would not give her a discount. She gave you a pink napkin which you used to match the pink color. She told you she wanted the blue/chocolate cake but pink/chocolate instead and add a ring on top. That is EXACTLY what you delivered her. If she wanted other areas of the cake different, she should have been more specific. I don't think she is entitled to a refund or discount.




I agree! I just had the pleasure of searching through your gallery of amazing cakes - and was able to pull the blue cake immediately....because it is exactly the same design as the pink picture above.

Not sure what they were expecting, but looks like they got just what they ordered.

disneynutbsv Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:14am
post #8 of 22

That is one beautiful cake!

Zooie Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:18am
post #9 of 22

I think having the white done in pink would have been too much pink. Personally, I don't think it looks bad at all. You did a really good job on it and should be proud of the work you did!

Maybe you will both just have to chalk it up to a learning experience. (sometimes they're good for customers as well)

Either way, I think it's great! icon_smile.gif

fondantgrl Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:32am
post #10 of 22

I would say no. Unless they are being difficult. The whole thing is not your fault.

indydebi Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:36am
post #11 of 22

I couldn't find the blue/brown cake in your pics (must have just missed it or something) but an order of "just like this blue/brown cake except use pink instead of blue" does NOT say anything about "....and don't put any white on it."

It's like the bride I had who said, "That's the cake table". So I set the cake up. Half hour later she is SCREAMING, "DEBI! WHY IS THE CAKE ON THAT TABLE?" I said, "Because that's where you TOLD me to put it!" (She said, "I did?" icon_eek.gif Uh, yeah, 'zilla, ya did!)

This is what you said ... this is what you got. what's the problem?

I think it's a bit unreasonable that a refund might be due because the cake decorator couldn't come up with ALL the things the customer MIGHT have meant and didn't clarify.

ladyonzlake Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:38am
post #12 of 22

Your cake is beautiful. If anything you could offer her a discount off her next cake order (says 15%) for the misunderstanding. You know the "customer is always right" thing. It will make her feel better and come back and give you peace of mind. I wouldn't give her a refund on this cake.

indydebi Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:41am
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyonzlake

You know the "customer is always right" thing.



I swear to high heaven, the person who wrote that phrase must have NEVER had to deal with a real customer!! Sounds like one of those things the guys in the Ivory Tower come up with, but it's the folks on the Front Lines who have to actually DEAL with real world dumba$$es! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Mike1394 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:43am
post #14 of 22

That's one helluva nice cake. On the matter of the discount. For the confusion no way, for future $$$$ yes. I know I'm alot of help LOLOL. Here's what I mean, how soon can you recoup the cost of giving her a discount on a future cake? Even though it was thier mistake I would offer her something.

Mike

raquel1 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:44am
post #15 of 22

That is a beautiful cake, it is exactly what anyone would interpret per instructions given. No refund, no % off, no guilt! She is the one who has to chalk it up to experience for not communicating what she wanted, you did and outstanding job icon_smile.gif

sarahnichole975 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:51am
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zooie

I think having the white done in pink would have been too much pink. Personally, I don't think it looks bad at all. You did a really good job on it and should be proud of the work you did!

Maybe you will both just have to chalk it up to a learning experience. (sometimes they're good for customers as well)

Either way, I think it's great! icon_smile.gif




I agree! It'd have been like pepto threw up on the cake. The thing I like about the design of the cake is the white and it makes it flexible to switch out any color. I've done it in orange, yellow, blue, and pink, all just replacing the color. I also agree that it's totally a lesson learned on BOTH our parts. I'm sure she'll be back. She's gotten several wonderful cakes from me, Jade's Sweet 16 and the Noah's Ark, just to name a couple. I don't think she was completely unhappy with the cake, she said it was precious, just not what they were expecting. Next time we'll BOTH communicate better and I'll do better to communicate with ALL of my clients in the future. This is a real ego killer. I love making the client happy. I think I will email her and offer her something, I'll have to mull it over what that is. I have some strawberries to do coming up soon. She lives close so maybe I'll email her and tell her to come by and get a lil surprise and make a few extra for her.

Thanks everyone for your support and your compliments. AND, the wedding cake made it there A-okay all upright and intact. Wooo hoo. Of course, I walk in and the "champagne" table cloths all looked mustardy gold to me. But I've gotta cya on that one, she brought the swatch and I matched it!!! But of course first thing I thought when I walked in was "NOT AGAIN!!!" icon_rolleyes.gif

sarahnichole975 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:57am
post #17 of 22

And Debi, I agree with you. I've learned that if the customer is always right, they'll walk all over you.

varika Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 12:58am
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Quote:

She said she thought the pink was way too bright and asked if there was anything I could do. ...... At that time she said that they had discussed it and had decided it was the white on the cake they weren't liking.




This sounds to me like she didn't really have a good mental picture of what she really wanted. Having one of those, "I don't know what I want, but that's not it" moments. I haven't done any cakes for sale, but I've done some graphic design, and it's not uncommon to have that happen with color. What's really 'not right' about it for her might not even have anything to do with the color, ultimately; it might just be a little bit off with the background they put it against, or the lighting, and that's not your fault or under your control. (And the lighting is almost certainly the cause of the color change for the tablecloths!)

Cake_Bliss Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:07am
post #19 of 22

I just wanted to say I think this is a beautiful cake icon_biggrin.gif

summernoelle Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:23am
post #20 of 22

You know, the cake is perfectly executed. It's really cute and lovely...I don't think I would offer anything back...it doesn't sound like it is your fault.

jennym0904 Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:29am
post #21 of 22

i love the cake and agree with the other posters...she didn't tell you which shade of pink to do.
Very pretty! icon_smile.gif

tasteebakes Posted 26 Jul 2008 , 1:33am
post #22 of 22

I love the cake and am going to look at the blue one. It will probably get saved to my favorites. Great design! I've learned that we never give refunds!

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