Need Advice On A Refund

Business By mom42ws Updated 27 Aug 2008 , 1:11am by sttgirl

mom42ws Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 11:25pm
post #1 of 16

i need to offer a customer a refund but have no idea how much. i'll try to explain, briefly, what happened....

customer ordered 27 3x3 petit fours for a baby shower. i used the peggy porschen recipe with the melted fondant and cake layered with buttercream and raspberry filling. first, this is the absolute recipe i have ever used; i knew it was going to be bad shortly after having started the project but i didn't allow myself enough time for problems that may arise.

just as i'm about done and ready to leave one of the boxes they are in breaks and a few cakes go crashing to the ground along with some of the gumpaste decorations that i had made. so over half the cakes didn't have the proper decorative accent on them and they overall looked yucky because of the poured fondant. i had some left over and made smaller ones for the 3x3's that smushed to the ground. my customer was disappointed and i hated dropping them off; they just didn't look as good as i'd hoped and the fondant, just like i thought, was "yucky". for those mini cakes i charged her $167 and i would very much like to know from you guys if i should offer a 100% discount or a partial, and if a partial how much???


15 replies
KoryAK Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 11:42pm
post #2 of 16

Thats as tough call. Do you have a pic so we can see just hoe bad they actually were? (you may think it was worse than it actually was)

If they really are bad, perhaps 50% cash back and 50% gift certificate?

mom42ws Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 11:46pm
post #3 of 16

no, i don't have pics. i mean they look cute but not what they should have been. they were for twins so about 8 of them had gumpaste peas in a pod and the rest i did quick flowers. i think their main thing was the fondant was not good. i knew that, too, but it was too late to do anything about it. she said she'd order from me again but would leave up to me as what the refund should be. she said she understood that things happen but it was a let down.

Laura102777 Posted 25 Aug 2008 , 11:59pm
post #4 of 16

Hmm....refunds are always tough to decide, especially when the customer is leaving it up to you. I would think anywhere between 50% to full refund, since it sounds like this person has potential for being a good future customer. If it was someone who wouldn't be happy no matter what, then I'd be less willing to bend over backwards for them. I'd say take a hit on this one, and hopefully gain a loyal customer for life.

aligotmatt Posted 26 Aug 2008 , 12:23am
post #5 of 16

I would give 50%-full. You gave her some that were too small. The decorations weren't right, and you agree that the flavor wasn't great. BUt you said they were still cute, and you did show up with something. Maybe $100 back... ? If she seems like she'll be a loyal customer, and you know you messed up, then make her happy and ease your mind.

Carolynlovescake Posted 26 Aug 2008 , 1:16am
post #6 of 16

The damage has been done. Now you are in recovery mode.

How she's going to remember this is "the order was awful but....

a) her resonse to it was wonderful and she gave me a full refund for it which I wasn't expecting!

b) she was wonderful to work with and I got 50% back in cash and the rest in the form of a gift certificate for another go at her services.

What I would personally do (I've been there done that a few times!) is give her 100% refund. I would also extend a $20 gift certificate to the person who the baby shower was for as an apology to her for her shower cakes not being what she expected.

OhMyGanache Posted 26 Aug 2008 , 10:06pm
post #7 of 16

Honestly, I'd give her a 50% refund and 50% off her next order up the balance of the original order (you still have to cover your ingredients - you shouldn't take a loss). Since she said she would order from you again, this shouldn't be a problem.

michellenj Posted 26 Aug 2008 , 10:11pm
post #8 of 16

I'm with CarolynGwen. If you give her a full refund, and the guest of honor, that will pay off in word of mouth. Cus you know they were talking about them at the shower.

mixinvixen Posted 26 Aug 2008 , 11:12pm
post #9 of 16

i really do feel for you and i'm so sorry this happened!

in my opinion, a 100% refund is in order. i'm not refund happy, and most of these threads, i say "no way!", but you did admit that you did not give yourself time to adjust for any mishaps. with cake, fondant can be pulled off and there's plenty left, but with a petit four, what is there to eat without it? it was also your box that didn't stay together, causing the items to be damaged.

please don't take this the wrong way...this kind of stuff happens all the time, and i'm surprised that something like this has not happened to resolve right now is to become more organized like others on here!

momsandraven Posted 26 Aug 2008 , 11:25pm
post #10 of 16

I agree that you should probably give a full refund, or half back and the half as a gift certificate value. My husband always comments to me that it is not a matter of making a mistake, (because we all do that) but how you handle the mistake that will be remembered.
I know it's hard to take the hit, but your reputation is much more important at this point.

leah_s Posted 26 Aug 2008 , 11:28pm
post #11 of 16

Honestly, this is an easy call. 100% refund. I'd treat it as an "advertising" fee. Because your customer will be so shocked and pleased, she will tell everyone how wonderful you are. And really, what you delivered was not quite up to par by your own estimation. It's not that 50% were not right, all of them were not right.

snarkybaker Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 12:35am
post #12 of 16

She didn't get what she ordered. period. 100% refund. Think of it as a lesson not to use a new recipe on a paying client.

bitofsnshn Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 12:45am
post #13 of 16

i agree with txkat. Although you are out the cost of materials she really did not receive anything that she could trully eat since the fondant was bad. I think a full refund is in order and since she is being so great about what happened i think you will have another opportunity to make up that money in the future.

bitofsnshn Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 12:46am
post #14 of 16

i agree with txkat. Although you are out the cost of materials she really did not receive anything that she could trully eat since the fondant was bad. I think a full refund is in order and since she is being so great about what happened i think you will have another opportunity to make up that money in the future.

sadsmile Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 1:08am
post #15 of 16

I would offer a refund and show up with a small batch of your greatest sweets and let the word of that settle in the group that was there... and you may see return orders. Just make something tried and true that everyone raves about. That would make me very happy as a customer and would assure my repeat orders.

sttgirl Posted 27 Aug 2008 , 1:11am
post #16 of 16

I agree with a full refund. I had a similar disaster that was no ones fault but my own. I allowed someone else to deliver a box of goodies and they tilted the box leaving smooshed cupcakes. Lesson learned. I didn't bother to give the invoice to the customer.

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