Crazy Cake People

Business By Cakenator Updated 27 Sep 2008 , 12:49pm by SugaredUp

Cakenator Posted 14 Sep 2008 , 1:08am
post #1 of 42

Just wondering if anyone else has crazy cake customers too?

For example:

Cake Customer: "I would like to place a cake order for this weekend"

Me: "I'm so sorry our orders for this week are already full. We offer cupcakes and 8" rounds for sale all of the time and we would be more than happy to add a little decoration to it or some writing for you"

Cake Customer..... silence..... birds chirping.....

Me: "Hello?"

Cake Customer: "But I'm throwing a baby shower this weekend and the lady will only eat your cake and I need a cut out 3-d baby cart with bows and pulled sugar and a unicorn with pink SPARKLES!!!!"

Me: "I'm really sorry, I can't help you, here are some other great bakeries in our area...."

Cake Customer: "Well I'm so F**KING happy that you are so busy that you are refusing to take my order!!!! I WILL NEVER COME BACK AGAIN"


************Customer hangs up.



How do you deal with this???? I wish people would just understand that I'm working as hard as I can.

The first two years we were open I took as many cake orders as I could, I almost worked myself to death. Seriously, every weekend I would be at the bakery all day and all night and all day. I can't do it anymore.

So anyways HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH CRAZY CAKE PEOPLE????

41 replies
Deb_ Posted 14 Sep 2008 , 1:24am
post #2 of 42

I think you handled her exactly the way you should have. You offered the cupcakes or 8" and you were also willing to give her a referral. She's just pissed at herself for waiting too long to order the cake.

By the way, Congratulations on your successful business, it's great that you are all booked up....and it's even better that you've set limits for yourself so that you can have a life outside of flour and buttercream icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif

P.S. just a note....there's not only crazy cake people there are crazy hair people too. I'm also a hairstylist, this is what I hear all week..."I'd like a haircut, but I don't want it to look like I've had a haircut" icon_confused.gificon_confused.gificon_confused.gif THAN DON'T GET ONE IDIOT!!!!!! Oh, if only I could say that out loud just one time icon_biggrin.gif

johnson6ofus Posted 14 Sep 2008 , 1:31am
post #3 of 42

Your procrastination doesn't make it my emergency. icon_biggrin.gif

beth2027 Posted 14 Sep 2008 , 1:33am
post #4 of 42

People just don't understand the time it takes to do a cake. I spent a total of 10 hours over 3 days on a cake I recently made. At the party someone asked me how long it took. When I told them there was complete silence.
I have a 2 week minimum rule. And I don't even run a business! I just do them for friends and family.

Cakenicing4u Posted 14 Sep 2008 , 1:37am
post #5 of 42

hey, we go through the same thing... people can be angry all they want... but really, all you are doing is RE-TRAINING them to order early or take an 8" out of the case..... Customers need to LEARN that your cakes are doled out by YOUR rules... not McDonals'!!

Chef_Rinny Posted 14 Sep 2008 , 1:51am
post #6 of 42

You handled it perfectly. You can't kill yourself because they want to place a last minute order. Think of it this way- even if you did end up agreeing to do this amazing cake for them last minute and put in the extra time and effort it would take, they wouldn't appreciate it and they would assume that they can always get the cake at the last minute. Unfortunately it's supermarket bakery's fault where you can walk in and get a cake with an hours notice. They need to realize that you aren't pulling cake from a freezer, icing from a bucket, and slapping some balloons on it-thats custom work that takes time!

Anyway, you don't want a customer that has no respect for you which was shown by yelling or swearing when they don't get their way.

bobwonderbuns Posted 14 Sep 2008 , 2:01am
post #7 of 42

Like Beth I have a two week minimum rule. I don't make any exceptions ever for it (give 'em an inch you know...) and they gripe but they also realize that I'm not going to scrimp on their spiffy cake order when someone else wants an emergency sugar fix. icon_biggrin.gif

iamlis Posted 14 Sep 2008 , 2:07am
post #8 of 42

Jeez...why curse at you? I think there are some people who just think they are the most important...so OF COURSE you would drop all your orders that were placed in a timely matter for them!! THEY ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PEOPLE IN THE WORLD AFTER ALL! Their event that they have ill planned for-is now your fault. That is too bad, add her to your naughty list! That kind of behavior is insane!

mtaccts Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 2:26pm
post #9 of 42

My Grandma is 88 and when she hears someone say "I'm busy' she always says 'Oh, you're the one" - when you're that old I guess you're allowed to say whatever you want. She cracks me up.

If you did happen to have time when someone called last minute you could also charge a 'rush fee' - I did that once because a 'dumb' husband forgot his wife's birthday. Not only did he want a cake in less than 24 hours but could I take it to a neighbor who would then bring it work for him (my neighbor and he worked together). I did it and told him the cake is x.xx and the rush fee is x.xx and he paid it - nearly double my normal price. He and his extended family are now some of my best customers. You know they call weeks and even months in advance now icon_surprised.gif)

loriemoms Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 4:05pm
post #10 of 42

I get this all the time. People mad they can't order. My biggest problem is from May-October, 90% of my business is wedding cakes. My calendar for October will completely book up (October is our June around here) by the middle of May. People get really pissy when they call in August for a cake in October and I tell them I am booked up. Its like they don't believe me! I had one lady post a negative feedback on one of those review boards even though she has never ordered a cake that we wouldn't take her cake order and we were nasty. (I have NEVER been nasty to anyone..she was just hearing herself cuss and swear) and that we didn't want orders and were booked up four months in advance. yes, during wedding season I will be booked up four months advance. I refuse to kill myself.

If people want custom cakes, they need to realize a custom shop is not a walmart/target/mcdonalds/speedycakeshopsrus.etc etc. Shoot, quote back to them that Duff himself doesnt do many baby showers because you have to know you are pregnant before you are pregnant because they are booked up for a YEAR. Don't get mad at us!!!

littlecake Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 9:05pm
post #11 of 42

i'm always glad when an angry difficult customers leaves....

BUH BYE!

i've had them try to trick me into taking their order when i was booked up....

call...booked up....
then they come by....STILL BOOKED UP!
send in your sister....NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE 20 MINUTES AGO.

wiley customers

that swearing is so low class....NO MORE CAKE FOR THEM!

loriemoms Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 1:39pm
post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

i'm always glad when an angry difficult customers leaves....

BUH BYE!

i've had them try to trick me into taking their order when i was booked up....

call...booked up....
then they come by....STILL BOOKED UP!
send in your sister....NOTHING HAS CHANGED SINCE 20 MINUTES AGO.

wiley customers

that swearing is so low class....NO MORE CAKE FOR THEM!




hahaha! I get kind of the same thing. They will fill in a form online, then call a day later (after I told them I can't do it) and then they will have someone else call...Maybe they think they will get a different person? hahahaha!

UltimateCakes Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 4:37pm
post #13 of 42

Like others have said, 2 weeks notice is more than fair. If you HAD accepted the order, the quality of other hay have suffered slightly. His cussing is annoying and sometimes the customers are so low brow. Unfortunately, he'll probably badmouth you more than he would have praised you had his order been accepted. icon_sad.gif Keep up the good work and try to ignore the few bad customers.

tx_cupcake Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 5:08pm
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakenator

Cake Customer: "Well I'm so F**KING happy that you are so busy that you are refusing to take my order!!!! I WILL NEVER COME BACK AGAIN"





Thank Jeebus! icon_lol.gif

SugaredUp Posted 19 Sep 2008 , 1:05am
post #15 of 42

I'm dealing with an EXTREMELY difficult customer myself right now. I quoted her a very high price on her order - finally she backed off - for now at least. She was sending me emails in quantities of 3 at one time. She is so nit picky. I have bent over backwards for her already just in trying to accommodate her, and nothing I do is good enough for her. Now she is throwing it up in my face that she has several other appts with other bakeries. I'm SOOO ready to just say "Go somewhere else then! Please!!" She first complimented me on my website and loved my work, now she is questioning my abilities. I think that if she tries to order, I'm just going to tell her that she waited too long and now I'm booked. She is going to be sooo mad though!

I'm dreading dealing with this!

iamlis Posted 19 Sep 2008 , 2:00am
post #16 of 42

Just remember...crazy people like this are the minority. There are many more great customers out there than bad, unfortunately the crazy ones just put us through the wringer icon_sad.gif so we remember them forever!

SugaredUP-Cut your losses and run with that customer, let her see she can't treat you like that!

dragonflydreams Posted 19 Sep 2008 , 7:08am
post #17 of 42

. . . in these days of instant gratification . . . disposable this . . . disposable that . . . people have come to expect what they want - when they want it . . . what they don't get is quality - hand crafted "anything" comes with a price tag (and a time line) . . . it is up to us to "educate" them on what that looks like . . . it is up to us to never sell ourselves short on how much it will cost . . . and how long it will take . . . granted, it is not always easy to say "NO CAKE FOR YOU" . . . but it is "the right thing to do" . . . (and the subject of dealing with rude people with no manners is a whole other subject - bullies shouldn't get their way just on principle - and we shouldn't feel bad that we can't accommodate their unreasonable expectations - we should feel good about saying "NO CAKE FOR YOU" to anyone that swears at us or utters "threats" [which is what her vow to never come back was] thumbsdown.gif )

P.S. I doubt that she would have had the chance to utter her threat . . . I'm pretty sure I would have hung up on her with the "f-bomb" . . . (as Indydebi would say . . . "who cares . . . who's next" . . . )

SplendidMissM Posted 19 Sep 2008 , 7:32am
post #18 of 42

It's not just cake - people expect you to give them what they want for nothing and get mad and curse at you for standing up to them.

Yeah, that makes me feel SO BAD for not giving you what you want. Right.

SugaredUp Posted 19 Sep 2008 , 6:54pm
post #19 of 42

So how do you handle the ones that want an explanation of the prices/details/flavors about a million times over, then try to tell you you previously quoted them a lesser price, which you know you didn't? I think this lady is trying to confuse me and it's p***ing me off!

I want her to go away!!!!!!!!!!! How do I do it? As it is, I gave her a tasting for a baby shower cake, which is not my norm. I even went so far as to tell her I'd apply the $20 tasting fee toward her order, which, since it's not a wedding cake, isn't huge (more than likely under $200). Now that I want her to go away, I don't know what I should do. Should I refund the tasting fee? I don't want "mad" customers out there, but she is not going to be happy no matter what, I already know it.

HELP! (Sorry to hijack)

margaretb Posted 19 Sep 2008 , 8:14pm
post #20 of 42

SugaredUP -- Has she told you the date? You could tell her that unfortunately, the date she was looking at has filled up and you are unable to take her order, here are some other bakeries she could try. I would not offer to refund the tasting fee -- sounds like she has more than used it up in your time. I might if she requested it just to get her off my back.

You could stop responding to her questions.

You could let her know that you need written specifications (size, flavours, fillings, design) about her cake so you can provide a written quote -- maybe she won't be keen on doing homework.

As far as her saying you quoted lower, I would just keep saying "I'm sorry, you must have misunderstood. That quote was for a plain cake with no filling serving 20 or whatever."

Oh -- tell her that in order to properly quote for all the various flavours/fillings/designs she is proposing, she will have to book another appointment. You have time available at 8 am on Tuesday (or whatever seems most inconvenient to her). Or tell her that you can give her quotes on one or two more options. However, if she needs more than that, she will have to book another consultation with a nonrefundable fee of $20 or whatever.

Oh yes, quotes need to start increasing due to the PITA factor (or perhaps a "sudden increase in supplies").

SugaredUp Posted 19 Sep 2008 , 8:42pm
post #21 of 42

I never increased the price. I just quoted high from the start. It doesn't matter. She gave me a perfect "out". She said she is checking with 2 other bakeries and will let me know tomorrow. She said she has 3 other big events coming up and wants to hire one decorator for all of them, so I should consider giving her a discount. YA RIGHT!

Anyway, by tomorrow, I'm going to be booked.

AHHHH

marmalade1687 Posted 19 Sep 2008 , 9:27pm
post #22 of 42

I am proud to say that I pulled a Chutzpah...!! icon_biggrin.gif I had an extremely difficult customer that I finally, in Chutzpah's words, said "I am now unavailable for your date." Doesn't mean I'm booked, I'm unavailable for her! If you're reading this, thank you Chutzpah for the inspiration!! thumbs_up.gif

iamlis Posted 19 Sep 2008 , 9:43pm
post #23 of 42

Buck up, when she gets back with you, just say "sorry, we're booked" you owe her nothing more than that. The only way my customers can get a cake is when they pay me in full for the order. Whether it is in 1 year or 6 weeks or 2 weeks, first come first paid. You just tell her you can't do the cake. You don't even have to lie. It will let her know like the OP crazy lady that the world ACTUALLY does NOT revolve around them. I don't care if the lady had 10 huge parties coming up, you don't want to do even one of them for her! Set a limit with tastings too (sorry I am getting bossy!) If they want a tasting cake, she could have ordered a SMALL sheet cake for the baby shower as a taster. Because now if she was to be your customer all future orders she want a cake to try this flavor or that. Trust me, you are right...nothing makes these people happy. Sick them on your competition and let them deal with them. Just like you would weed a garden, weed your customers! HAHA! If she wants to haggle everything then she just may not have the BUDGET for the cake she wants and feels she can obviously bully you into making her cake by confusing you, and twisting prices and manipulating what you said (painting a picture of the kind of customer you need to run from!) If it were me (and I LOVE to be SNARKY to these kind of customers! LOL!) I would say, when she comes back for you to "meet" the price XYZ bakery quoted (WHICH IS PROBABLY FOR A TOTALLY DIFFERENT CAKE!), I'd say "Oh you should really go with them that price is great, I could only do a plain iced sheet cake for that price and since I have been getting other orders I don't think I would even have time for a sheet cake-THANKS!!" When she brings up the $20.00 (GOD DON"T GET ME STARTED icon_smile.gif) I would just say, "Oh didn't you get a baby shower cake from me? Let me ceck my prices on the baby shower cake" Because at this point do you know what the $20.00 is, IF you write her a check for that she will really think you are a push over as you are writing HER a check for $20.00 for a baby shower cake that SHE ATE?? So she gets $20.00 and a free cake, she really came out ahead. I am NOT trying to be critical REALLY I AM NOT! I am just trying to help you see someone elses perspective on the situation. RUN, and run fast..maybe just avoid getting back to her for a few days? That might give her the nervous edge to back off a little. She's seeming like a bully though-and I HATE BULLIES! GOOD LUCK DEALING WITH THESE LADIES...they sound like Whack jobs icon_smile.gif

SugaredUp Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 12:29pm
post #24 of 42

My grandma of all people convinced me not to give her the $20 tasting fee refund. She already ate that cake, and I never said that if she paid the $20 for the tasting she was guaranteed a hold on her date. It was not a deposit or anything, just a tasting fee. So I'm not going to refund it. Hopefully, she won't even bring it up. But if she does, I'll just have to explain it to her (not that she "gets" things easily).

Mizuki Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 12:52pm
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamlis

Buck up, when she gets back with you, just say "sorry, we're booked" you owe her nothing more than that. The only way my customers can get a cake is when they pay me in full for the order. Whether it is in 1 year or 6 weeks or 2 weeks, first come first paid. You just tell her you can't do the cake. You don't even have to lie. It will let her know like the OP crazy lady that the world ACTUALLY does NOT revolve around them. I don't care if the lady had 10 huge parties coming up, you don't want to do even one of them for her! Set a limit with tastings too (sorry I am getting bossy!) If they want a tasting cake, she could have ordered a SMALL sheet cake for the baby shower as a taster. Because now if she was to be your customer all future orders she want a cake to try this flavor or that. Trust me, you are right...nothing makes these people happy. Sick them on your competition and let them deal with them. Just like you would weed a garden, weed your customers! HAHA! If she wants to haggle everything then she just may not have the BUDGET for the cake she wants and feels she can obviously bully you into making her cake by confusing you, and twisting prices and manipulating what you said (painting a picture of the kind of customer you need to run from!) If it were me (and I LOVE to be SNARKY to these kind of customers! LOL!) I would say, when she comes back for you to "meet" the price XYZ bakery quoted (WHICH IS PROBABLY FOR A TOTALLY DIFFERENT CAKE!), I'd say "Oh you should really go with them that price is great, I could only do a plain iced sheet cake for that price and since I have been getting other orders I don't think I would even have time for a sheet cake-THANKS!!" When she brings up the $20.00 (GOD DON"T GET ME STARTED icon_smile.gif) I would just say, "Oh didn't you get a baby shower cake from me? Let me ceck my prices on the baby shower cake" Because at this point do you know what the $20.00 is, IF you write her a check for that she will really think you are a push over as you are writing HER a check for $20.00 for a baby shower cake that SHE ATE?? So she gets $20.00 and a free cake, she really came out ahead. I am NOT trying to be critical REALLY I AM NOT! I am just trying to help you see someone elses perspective on the situation. RUN, and run fast..maybe just avoid getting back to her for a few days? That might give her the nervous edge to back off a little. She's seeming like a bully though-and I HATE BULLIES! GOOD LUCK DEALING WITH THESE LADIES...they sound like Whack jobs icon_smile.gif




Too funny!! You're awesome! thumbs_up.gif

bpshirley Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 1:26pm
post #26 of 42

Raise your prices to what the market will bear,
charge a consultation fee that goes up according to the amount of time spent (doctors do this )
and charge a tasting fee per piece-fee due at the tasting.

You'll have fewer customers, less work, same money.

Your time is valuable =)

aligotmatt Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 1:39pm
post #27 of 42

For the OP, you do nothing. I have a feeling she didn't want to order from you anyway, she was throwing a whole shower for her sister, spending all of this money and then her sister said, 'oh I just HAVE TO HAVE a cake from this bakery...' and she was thinking, really?? I'm inviting all of your friends, coming up with games, snacks, party favors... and you're going to be picky about where the cake came from? Finally she conceded and decided to do what she wanted grudgingly and then you were booked. So I think she was just a generally annoyed and pissy person. This WILL NOT stop her sister from ordering from you. So, no worries.

SugaredUp: Just say you are no longer available. If she asks about the money, tell her it was a non-refundable tasting fee, not a deposit to hold the date. I've found in situations like this, it's best to tell her before she meets with the other bakeries if you can. If she meets with them and then decides to go with you, it could be a lot nastier than if she knows while going to one of the other bakeries that she needs to book them. know what I mean?

FromScratch Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 1:43pm
post #28 of 42

To the OP.. screw them. They are just angry with themselves for waiting until the last possible minute to order a cake that just HAD to come from you. It's not your problem.. it's theirs. Just brush your shoulders off and don't give it another thought.

The SugaredUp.. by accomodating her every last whim, you have told this person that you are a push over. Once you start commanding respect.. you will get it. (not that you don't deserve it already, but noone will give it to you if they think that you can be pushed around) The only person I bend over backwards for is my DH.. icon_wink.gif. Everyone else can piss off. What I would do when she asks for flavors and fillings and all that is to point her to the e-mail in which you already gave her that information or your website if you have one. Simply state "You may find information regarding pricing and flavors on my website/in our previous e-mail." Even forward it to her, but that's it. You ask how do you deal with people who are trying to confuse you.. you just don't let them. State the same thing over and over.. if she asks for a quote.. just copy and paste the previous quote and/or forward the e-mail. Once she sees her actions are getting her nowhere she may change her tune.. if not.. "So sorry, but due to your delay in booking your date has been taken." end of story.

SugaredUp Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 1:57pm
post #29 of 42

aligotmatt, you're right. I think I will send her an email right now telling her I'm booked so she knows.

I have to work on not being a pushover. It's truly a problem! UGH But it's my resolution to change.

Thanks guys.

FromScratch Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 2:04pm
post #30 of 42

Sometimes it takes a while for that backbone to develop.. it usually takes one a$$ of a customer who treats you like crap and is not thankful for everything you did for them. We have all bent over backwards for someone who didn't deserve it at one point in life. Learning fro it is the key. Now go tell her to shove her demanding e-mails up her bottom!! icon_wink.gif

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