I had a customer that picked up a 2 cakes about 2 hours ago. One was a one tier 6" round and the other was a 2 tier 6" bottom,with a 5" top. The lady just called and said that the top of the 2 tier has slid basically off the bottom cake and the bottom cake has split in half. The other one tier cake is fine.
On her way home, she stopped and did some arrands. She was still driving when she called me. It is not stiffiling hot here today, probably about 70 to 75 but that is not including what the heat would have been in her car with the windows shut when she did her arrands.
I feel really bad and am just wondering if it was something i did wrong in the construction of the cake or was it the heat or some problem on her drive??? I used contact paper covered foam core boards and 5 bubble tea straws in the bottom cake.......just like I have been doing for 3 years. I have had many other people pick up tiered cakes and I have driven them before with out problems.
Any ideas you may have as to why this might have happened?
Should I offer her money back for the smashed cake or offer to make a free cake for next time? The cake was in perfect condition when she left my house.
People are stupid.
When the outside temperature is 78Â°F, a closed car will reach 90Â°F in 5 minutes, and 110Â°F in 25 minutes.
Seems that her closing up her car and doing errands would be the culprit.
As chutzpah stated car temps soar within minutes.
you dont owe her anything she chose to run errands before taking the cakes home so she's out of those cakes.
As a cake professional, you have a responsiblity to provide a quality product (which you've been doing for the last 3 years).
At pick-up, the customer assumes responsibility (liability) for the (satisfactorily made) cake.
....I don't know why she troubled you with a call when she decided to run errands with the cake in the car rather than BEFORE pick-up? (As has been said, this is what killed the poor cake.)
Would she have called you if she had been in an accident and the cake did a header?
In neither scenario are you responsible for what happened to her cake as a result of her actions!
I can picture Bill Engvall saying (to your customer), "Here's Your Sign."
Hopefully, she'll learn a valuable lesson from this experience. (But only if you explain how it was her fault...so no free cake or discount!)
Thanks so much for your comments! I feel a little better.
I was so excited because I had even just gotten my Agbay cake leveler and this was the first cake I got to use it on. I am sure my layers were more level then ever so who knows..........
My guess, along with the correct assumption of everyone else regarding the heat of the car, is that she slammed on the brakes too hard and ruined the cake through her own actions and is now looking for a free replacement. How else would the bottom tier have smashed ??
No refund - your work was great out the door!
No apologies, no refunds. Some people just don't use their brains. She probably could have fried eggs in the car while she was at it.
That's my husband's opinion. He's the responsible for dowelling my cakes.
1-Hot car made the frosting soft.
2-She slammed the breaks.
3-Top tier slides.
4-Botton cake was compromised with too many bubble tea straws (6" cake with five dowels?). They are kind of large and made big holes in the cake. For this reason, the structure of the cake was compromised.
5-Also if you used a cake mix, sorry but they are too soft and airy.
He says that it was a formula for disaster. But anyway, your customer should have gone straitgh home. Did she returned, or they ate it?
You owe her nothing. She must be more responsible for the next time. This was not a sheet cake from a supermarket.
I understand why the customer was upset BUT this is not your fault! You may feel bad or that you are in an awkward situation, but you need to brush it off. If the cake was constructed and supported correctly (which it was) the customer takes all responsibility for the transportation.
Keep your chin up! It will be OK.
Maybe a center dowel would have helped? I know its a tiny cake and not necessary but the lack of the center dowel combined with the heat of the car and the driving of a "cake muggle" (as I heard someone else refer to a person unfamiliar with cake) likely caused the top tier to slide off thus also causing the bottom it's untimely death. I get so nervous when other people drive my cakes around!
OMG I love "Cake Muggle"!
sorry to hear that, i don't think it is your responsibility at all after she picked up the cake. I always tell my brides that if they pick up the cake what happends after it leaves my kitchen is thier responsibilty and not mine. I do charge for delivery, but most brides agree it's not worth the risk. and, i agree even at 70* it was a good 20 degrees warmer within minutes, so the cake melted.
I agree with everyone... once the cake leaves your shop, home, wherever, it's their cake and they are responsible. A lot of people don't know how to drive a cake around. But...none of it's your fault.
I tell every one "I am not responsible for the cake when it leaves my house" that is one of my biggest policies. Now, when I remind repeat customers by saying "you know my policy" they always tell it to me. Just begin letting them know something to that affect. It makes them behave more responsible with the cake.
I also tell my customers once it leaves my home it is your responsibility. DH was here last week when someone picked up a tiered cars cake and I told him the scoop. He told the woman and she shoved in the front seat with her purse as the securing agent, he just repeated the policy to them. Interesting thing is I have yet to hear from the daughter who she was delivering it too. Either way you (nor I) owe any refund or remade cake.