Bugs On The Cake, How Should I Compensate?

Decorating By LittleLinda Updated 17 Aug 2008 , 4:30pm by awela

LittleLinda Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 6:46pm
post #1 of 21

My stomach is in knots. A customer just called me. She picked up two birthday cakes an hour ago. When she opened one cake, she said she found a little black worm alive in the frosting. We are both horrified. To top that off, she said there was a little mosquito-type bug against the outline of a decoration. I am dumbfounded regarding the worm. I told her flying insects, unfortunately, could land on the cake when the frosting is sticky and because they are so light, they can't get off! (No excuse for my not noticing it before packing up the cake, though.)

She is getting another cake from me this weekend.

The two small cakes were each $18. (thank goodness bugs were only found on one!) This weekend's cake is $36. I'm thinking I should take $18 off the price of this weekend's cake. Is that enough or can you think of another way to compensate?

20 replies
julitre1 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 6:52pm
post #2 of 21

So, pretty much you are talking about a 1/2 off discount? I think that sounds good. I'm sure she knows that it was totally unintentional and the discount shows that you appreciate her business.

shivs Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 7:45pm
post #3 of 21

It is not my intention to be mean, but....are you serious??

"When she opened one cake, she said she found a little black worm alive in the frosting. We are both horrified. To top that off, she said there was a little mosquito-type bug against the outline of a decoration."

A customer finds a worm and a mosquito sized bug in her cake and someone seriously tells you half a refund is good?

I feel you owe her a full refund! I believe that thats pretty much the worst thing that could happen in food prep other than a human hair.

varika Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 7:52pm
post #4 of 21

I think that you should ask to see the worm first.

It is possible that this is a hoax. They do happen, usually so someone can try to get some kind of break monetarily.

If it is true, however, I agree with shivs. You owe her a full refund to go with the deep and sincere apology.

CoutureCakeCreations Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 7:52pm
post #5 of 21

I think 1/2 off will work just fine!

KASCARLETT Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 7:53pm
post #6 of 21

I would offer a refund on the entire cake! But that's just me. I would not have served the one with the bugs at all!

kellymarie Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 7:54pm
post #7 of 21

Technically, she is giving a full refund, the $18- that just adds up to half off of the next cake. When i first read it i thought the same thing as shivs, but then realized what the op actually meant. I think this is fair. Just make sure you put it that way to the customer- that you are giving them a full refund on the first cake, so you are only charging $18 for the second instead of $36 .....

lynda-bob Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 8:02pm
post #8 of 21

Ooooh, I am sorry this happened to you both, Little Linda icon_sad.gif I think your offer is enough, because it's like she didn't wind up paying for that original cake. I bet she'll be good w/ your compensation, as she IS coming back. It was an accident as the OP said and we all know; it could happen to anybody icon_razz.gif

Lynda icon_smile.gif

KeltoKel Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 8:08pm
post #9 of 21

Definitely take off $18 and be sure that the both of you inspect the next cake before it leaves your house. If she says it is perfect as she leaves the house, then all should be good from there on out.

woodthi32 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 8:17pm
post #10 of 21

Well, that sounds like a full refund to me.
Personally, I am wondering about this worm....... (IN the frosting?) How would you not see that? How long was it closed before she opened it. What transpired after packing it up and before opening it?
She finds a WORM in her frosting and is RETURNING to you for cake?
Must be a regular customer, right? If not, I would be ver wary. Seriously, how many of you would find a worm (the mosquito thing doesn't bother me so much), much worse than a human hair, IMO, and get ANOTHER cake from the person. Most of us would just go elsewhere, I hope................
Good luckicon_smile.gif

ThreeDGirlie Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 8:26pm
post #11 of 21

If this is true, a full refund on the cake in question makes sense.

But I am a little curious about the worm myself. I have never in my life seen a worm in my house, much less my kitchen counter. If somebody told me they found one in a cake I made, I would be hard pressed to believe it came from my house, not their car or their house...

homemaluhia Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 8:29pm
post #12 of 21

My husband found a worm crawling across his salad plate and the restaurant paid for both of our dinners!

In food service, anything in the food that isn't supposed to be is seen as "refund-worthy." It's better to err on the side of believing your client than questioning their truthfulness. IMHO

woodthi32 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 8:54pm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by homemaluhia

My husband found a worm crawling across his salad plate and the restaurant paid for both of our dinners!

In food service, anything in the food that isn't supposed to be is seen as "refund-worthy." It's better to err on the side of believing your client than questioning their truthfulness. IMHO



Definitely. I would never question, but you can bet the next time that person gets a cake from me (and the next and the next), I am standing there when they open it, just to verify they are happy........

LittleLinda Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:25pm
post #14 of 21

Well, I read all your responses, and first, I'd like to THANK YOU ALL for not reprimanding me on the situation! It's plain gross and unacceptable to me that it happened; none the less, it did. I live in a very woodsy area and my only thought was that the little worm somehow made a landing on me and dropped onto the cake ... even still, how did I NOT see it? As for flying bugs, well, that can happen ... but talk about lightning striking twice!

Those who understood, yes, the $18 would be a full refund on the cake.

This person is NOT a past customer of mine; but has had my cakes before at other parties. She ordered the weekend cake at the same time she ordered today's cakes. I don't know that she will not cancel the weekend cake.

I believe her completely and will not challenge what happened. I feel a phone call to her tonight is appropriate to further apologize and to give her the refund. My reputation is of the UTMOST importance to me. There's a saying about how praise doesn't spread far but one mistake can ruin you. (How does that expression go?)

LittleLinda Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 12:22am
post #15 of 21

I gave her a call to apologize. She was extremely nice and understanding. I told her I'd refund the $18 and got her address. She thanked me for that. I asked if she still wanted a cake for the weekend and she said she'd rather pass just because she is still a little grossed out. I said I didn't blame her.

Ironically, she is attending a party on Saturday and I'm making that cake too! She said she will have a piece and enjoy it. She said she will not ruin my good reputation as she has only heard wonderful things about my cakes and has seen many pictures of my work.

She said she will most likely order cakes from me in the future. I added, "Just make sure it's winter." I chuckled about it but immediately took it back and said, "I don't mean to laugh because it's not at all funny." I have a better feeling after having talked to her. I glad I called her first, so that she didn't call me to cancel the cake and it would look like I'm only offering her a refund because of that.

ziggytarheel Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 12:33am
post #16 of 21

I'm glad the phone call went well and you feel good about it.

It is very hard to imagine how a worm could end up in frosting. I HAVE found a worm in a bag of flour before, and on a wrapped Payday candy bar.

But just this morning I found a SLUG on my kitchen floor. How on earth? My kitchen is pretty big and he was halfway across! The only thing I could figure out is that maybe someone took the kitchen trash out and set it down for a moment and the slug hitched a ride?

Anyway, I suppose a tiny worm (grub worm?) could have come from some strange source, but it is quite strange. And I'm so sorry it happened to you!

Arriva Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 12:46am
post #17 of 21

Did you take pictures of your cakes before she picked them up? If so, did you look at the pics to see if you could see a worm? Just wondering.

mkolmar Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 2:04am
post #18 of 21

oh littlelinda I'm sorry this happened to you. I'm glad you talked to her and everything worked out pretty well. You handled the situation good and it sounds like she is ok with how everything turned out. As long as you both are happy that's what matters.

However, I still might have asked to see the cake and the worm in it, just because I'm paranoid about that and people trying to pull one over. I guess I'm just hardened by DH's business, as much as I hate to say it.

LittleLinda Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 5:19pm
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arriva

Did you take pictures of your cakes before she picked them up? If so, did you look at the pics to see if you could see a worm? Just wondering.




Yes, Arriva, I DID take a picture; but I haven't arrived fully into the 21st century and am still using 35mm film; so I won't see the picture until I finish off the film and develop. ... and I can't wait to check it out with a magnifying glass! If I can see it in the pic, I'll post it to this thread.

I did say to the customer that I was surprised I didn't see it since it was on a part of the cake that was white and yellow ... she said the worm was black ... and tiny. I can't picture it in my head as I don't believe I've ever seen a tiny black worm before.

jen1977 Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 6:13pm
post #20 of 21

I wonder if it may have been a black thread or fuzzy string, and she thought that it was a worm because she saw the bug that had landed on it?

awela Posted 17 Aug 2008 , 4:30pm
post #21 of 21

LittleLinda, what kind of frosting or filling the cake had? I'm trying to understand how a but can survive in that environment. First if it was in the flour - the heat while baking will kill it; and if it was in the filling or frosting the weight, processing of the preparation will also kill it if not squash it to form part of the mix. I don't know how she got that inside the cake. Maybe it fell from the ceiling!!! One time I went to a party that was being held outside but even there were not walls there was a hughe ceiling and all of the sudden some guests seating at the table noticed some little worms in their food and water and the same time we noticed that they were falling from the ceiling!!!!Apparently the humidity vs. the logs have created the perfect environment for the little critters.

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