I Never Thought This Would Happen To Me!! I'm Crying Rt Now!

Decorating By sweetneice Updated 21 Oct 2008 , 9:26pm by indydebi

sweetneice Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 9:26pm
post #1 of 26

OMG! I did a dummy wedding cake with a 6' real carrot cake on top alongside 70 mini 2 tier wedding cakes. I did a sketch with a square cake on the contract. She signed it, and approved. The mini cakes
original design were to have polka dots on them.

The morning of the wedding I discussed doing every other cake being decorated differently along with the polka dotted ones, she responded as long as a few them have polka dots on them, it's fine! I did just that, a few of them had polka dots and the rest were decorated differently. Upon delivery she said everything looked great and gave me hug.........Only to call me today and complain today! Saying the cakes were supposed to be round, I said the sketch was square and you approved! She responded "I didn't think you could draw a round cake on a piece of paper." WHAT! Anyway she goes on to say that she expected more dotted cakes than what she saw and that the border should have been blue and brown instead of white. When I left on Saturday guys....she said everything looked great and even gave me a hug and thanked me! Now, I feel so bad because I've never had a dissatisfied customer and I dont want her badmouthing my business and driving customers away, especially since I just started out. I told her I would refund her half of her money. By that, I mean half of the mini cakes and a few dollars for the stupid border, for a grand total of $85. She originally paid $296. I think that's a fair amount, especially when I only got 3 hours of sleep doing her cake! I'm really upset guys, It almost made me feel like quiting, but I love this too much and I know I do good work. No other bride has complained. Ok, I'm done now. Thanks for listening! icon_cry.gificon_sad.gif

25 replies
KoryAK Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 9:32pm
post #2 of 26

ho-ly-s**t... you only charged $296 for ALL OF THAT?! I think at that price she should be happy with whatever you gave her! That's nuts!

So, lesson #1 : charge more.

sweetneice Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 9:33pm
post #3 of 26

Believe me, lesson learned!

Tracy71 Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 9:35pm
post #4 of 26

OMG.....that is just awful. I think you are being awfully nice giving her back any money at all. My guess is that SHE loved the cake and then someone else told her they didn't like it. She then took her frustrations out on you. I might just consider clarifying to her that you are only going to refund her 1/2 of the mini cakes because she sounds like the type of person that is going to say you would give her back 1/2 of the ENTIRE cake. I think trying to satisfy her is nice of you, but she sounds to me like you might not be able to make her happy at all!!! You should keep your head up though, I have had plenty of things like that happen to me and I don't even do wedding cakes!!!! thumbs_up.gif

sweetneice Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 9:42pm
post #5 of 26

Thank you tracy! I needed that encouragement. I have to realize that some people will never be happy, no matter what you do. I will clarify to her that the total will be half of the mini's. Thanks for telling me that.

mcdonald Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 9:50pm
post #6 of 26

Okay guys... I think we are starting to feel the pinch of the economy. There was a post just a few minutes ago about someone who set up a cake and had to fix some stuff but got it all good and then it crashed. Mother of bride called and wanted refund. Yet everyone saw it standing when she left. Now your bride comes to you with a different story than what she gave you at the receptions.

I just wonder if she got the bill for everything and freaked out and started with you......

These times are hard but we all continue to work as hard as we did before the economy crapped out..... HANG IN THERE..

Tracy71 Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 9:53pm
post #7 of 26

No Problem. You should not beat yourself up. I have no doubts the cake was absolutely gorgeous and she is a total bridezilla. Maybe her fiance' didn't show up for the wedding or something. All I know is that karma has a way of coming back around and it will come back to her!!! You are awesome and don't let anyone make you feel like you are not....especially someone who doesn't appreciate your unique talents!!! icon_smile.gif

Melvira Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 9:59pm
post #8 of 26

No, no, no, NO!! You do NOT give her money back when you fullfilled your obligation above and beyond!! She didn't know you could draw a round cake on paper? Is she unfamiliar with CIRCLES??? Is she stupid or does she just think YOU are?? Honestly, you do not owe her anything except 'Thanks for your business.' She is simply trying to get back some money on her wedding. It's called buyer's remorse and I'd like to see her try it with her wedding dress. "Um, yes, I thought there would be more rhinestones on this dress, so I want half my money back... Well, yah, I wore it for the wedding... yah, I think I looked pretty nice... what? No refund? Kiss your what?"

summernoelle Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 10:00pm
post #9 of 26

I wouldn't worry about the bad mouthing. You did nothing wrong! If she is too stupid to not realize what shape cake she is getting, it's her problem. Also, once a cake is dropped off and accepted (and you are even hugged for it), it is no longer your problem. Period. No refund!

Melvira Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 10:04pm
post #10 of 26

Oh, hey, I wanted to add that I'm sorry if it sounded like I was yelling at you with my multiple no's!! icon_redface.gif I absolutely wasn't!! icon_lol.gif

But let me tell you, no matter how many people she complains to about the round/sqaure thing, the minute they hear her say, "Well, I didn't know you coudl DRAW round cakes!" They will know who was the real problem in this equation. ALSO, and this is important, if you give her money back, you are setting yourself up as a marshmallow to start refunding every job you do. You do not want to do that, especially as you are just trying to get off the ground. "Oh yah, go to her, then just tell her it wasn't perfect and you'll get half your money back!!"

Jenn55 Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 10:25pm
post #11 of 26

I agree with everyone!!!!!! I work for retail company along with doing my cakes!! We see people every day bring back 1/2 eaten items for a full refund among other things!!!Most of them know exactly what they are doing and just need money back or are scaming!!! You need to stick to your guns and If you didn't know how to draw a circle you obviously wouldn't be doing beautiful cakes!!!! You are a wonderful decorator and don't forget it!!! icon_biggrin.gif

grama_j Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 10:26pm
post #12 of 26

Oh I don't see that she should get ANY money back..... she is just trying to knock off the price of the cake....... which , by the way, you WAY undercharged !

KHalstead Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 10:31pm
post #13 of 26

this is precisely the reason I make my customers sign this puppy!!!

I agree that the ____________________________ for __________________________ was delivered and set up at the agreed upon time of __________ am/pm and that it was left in good condition (structurally and asthetically) and will not hold Tina's Sugar Shack responsible
for any damages occuring to the ____________________ because of surroundings (placement of table, guests, d.j. speakers/vibrations,etc.) after it has been signed for.


Date:

Signed: ______________________________________________ (responsible persons designated by person placing order)

Tina's Sugar Shack representative sig:____________________________________________________



then all I have to do is say......" why did you sign the paper if you weren't happy?", "I'm sorry, but you shouldn't have signed the paper if it wasn't what you wanted", there really isn't much to fight if they sign something saying they're happy with the outcome!! I 've never had to try to fight someone on it......but in the event I may have something like THIS happen......that's why I have this sheet for them to sign at delivery!

By the way......I'm super duper cheaply priced and I cannot believe you did all those mini cakes and a dummy cake and cupcakes for under 300 dollars!! You should have told her you only CHARGED her half the cost and you won't require the OTHER half of the money since she's not happy lol

TC123 Posted 20 Oct 2008 , 10:47pm
post #14 of 26

I'm not in the business, but I don't see any reason for you to refund her all that money. It sounds like you undercharged and she got a terrific bargain! I totally agree with Melvira's advice, and I think having a form like KHalstead's would be very helpful for your business. Don't let this bride bully you. I understand you don't want her saying bad things about you, but who's to say she won't anyway, even if you give her a partial refund? There are some people out there who will never be "satisfied", no matter what you do. Don't feel bad. I'm willing to bet that your wedding cakes were adored by everyone. icon_smile.gif

sweetneice Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 12:40am
post #15 of 26

Thanks guys for all your advice. I WAY UNDERCHARGED, and you're right I shouldn't refund her ANY money, but since I gave my word of refunding her half, I decided to just refund her for the mini's. For a total of $65 instead of 80 enclosed inside a card. That way she can't say even in her bogus complaint, that I was anything but helpful. If she doesn't like that then too bad, because I'm already doing too much. But, hey, it's a lesson learned. Especially when you're new to the cake world.

Melvira Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 12:44am
post #16 of 26

You're right, since you already verbally offered a partial refund you had to do something! I hope you included a note telling her you are only refunding part of the minis so she doesn't rag you out about how that wasn't half of the $300!!

And like you said, lesson learned! Put that one in the permanent files for future reference! icon_lol.gif

leah_s Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 1:01am
post #17 of 26

Are you kiddng me? The 70 minis alone should have cost $700.

jescapades Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 1:02am
post #18 of 26

that's a good idea to have them sign a delivery contract. i just did my first wedding a few weeks ago and when i got to the reception and started to put all the cupcakes on the table, it was soooo hot in the reception hall, the chocolate frosting started to melt. i was glad i didn't get any complaints, but maybe i should think about having someone sign something before i leave.

sweetneice, i am so sorry that happened to you. it's nor fair when someone makes you think they are happy with your work, then takes it back. big hugs

indydebi Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 1:14am
post #19 of 26

The problem about having "someone" sign before you leave is how do you handle it when the wedding is somewhere 20 minutes away and so there is no family member at the reception site because they're all at the church?

I delivered a cake this past Saturday. No family members were there. The facility staff and the florist saw the cake. It looked fine ... to them. An hour later I get a call from the facility telling me "My party is telling me there should be an "M" on top of the cake." OMG! I'd left the monogram topper at my shop!

The good news is my shop is 3 minutes from my house and the facility was 5 minutes from my shop. Told the guy I was on my way with it. I got there .... no wedding party in sight (off doing pics, I guess), most of the guests were just milling around and munching appetizers. I put the monogram in place .... let one guy at the facilty know the problem was corrected ... and left.

But if I required "someone" to sign off .... they may or may not have had any idea there was a monogram topper that I DIDN'T bring with me. They could have signed anything based on what they saw .... but not on what was expected.

How do you guys handle the wedding-one-place-reception-elsewhere thing?

sweetneice Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 2:00am
post #20 of 26

Thank you Jescapades, that was very sweet of you, and I appreciate the hugs! Lol! I can't wait to see the response to indydebi's question! That's an interesting question.

CAKESHERWAY Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 2:16am
post #21 of 26

Hi Sweetniece,
It looks like you and I both had a bad cake weekend! I am the other post that someone mentioned earlier about the cake crashing! I completely feel your pain and then some! BIG HUGS to you and to anyone else with a caketastrophe.

I too would like to know about the signed waiver before leaving the cake. I love that idea but have never had a bridal member or family member around and having the reception hall staff signing something seems pointless as they never signed the original contract. Can't wait to hear more on this idea as I really think it would help avoid these problems. Take care hun!

Melvira Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 2:30am
post #22 of 26

Debi, while I do not require that they sign anything at the reception site, I tell the bride several times (starting at the consultation, and ending with calling her and confirming the week of the wedding) that she needs to have SOMEONE at the reception site that knows what to expect and who can verbally sign off on the cake. I tell them that if they don't have anyone there to confirm that the cake is what was expected, I cannot be held responsible for it. I make it clear that I will do what is necessary to deliver what is agreed on, but she is responsible for having someone 'accept' the cake or she is just trusting that it will be right. And I don't mean aunt Gertrude who has no clue. I mean someone who has seen the details we've agreed on. Many times the bride will 'trust me' and decide to not have someone scrutunize it, and I've never had them complain!

Melvira Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 2:31am
post #23 of 26

Oh, also, in the event that someone who 'knows' is not available, the point of having (for example) a reception site staff member sign off on it is only to verify that it was delivered in good condition with no visible problems, that has no bearing on design flaws, etc.

KHalstead Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 1:32pm
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

The problem about having "someone" sign before you leave is how do you handle it when the wedding is somewhere 20 minutes away and so there is no family member at the reception site because they're all at the church?

I delivered a cake this past Saturday. No family members were there. The facility staff and the florist saw the cake. It looked fine ... to them. An hour later I get a call from the facility telling me "My party is telling me there should be an "M" on top of the cake." OMG! I'd left the monogram topper at my shop!

The good news is my shop is 3 minutes from my house and the facility was 5 minutes from my shop. Told the guy I was on my way with it. I got there .... no wedding party in sight (off doing pics, I guess), most of the guests were just milling around and munching appetizers. I put the monogram in place .... let one guy at the facilty know the problem was corrected ... and left.

But if I required "someone" to sign off .... they may or may not have had any idea there was a monogram topper that I DIDN'T bring with me. They could have signed anything based on what they saw .... but not on what was expected.

How do you guys handle the wedding-one-place-reception-elsewhere thing?




Debbie,
I tell my brides at the contract signing that someone will be expected to sign for the cake and I even make them give me a few names of people that will be available (even if it's the florist or the caterer) as long as they trust the person and give me the ok to let them have the final say! I write that person's name on the contract and again at the bottom of the page that they have to sign and get cell phone numbers. I tell the bride I will wait up to 15 minutes after I've finished set up, if the person/people are not there to sign...they get what they get, and will forfeit any refunds if it's not what they ordered. I leave it up to the bride to brief the person on what the cake should look like and I also bring along the original sketch with the contract so the person signing can see a pic to compare as well as the description of the cake with the bride's signature. I've never had a problem with getting someone to sign. The bride has always insured they were there!! One bride had the caterer sign, basically it's just to say that the cake didn't look like it was falling over and it was the basic decorations and number of tiers and shape the bride was after.

Auryn Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 5:30pm
post #25 of 26

I hope you sent the refund in the form of a company check and not cash.

indydebi Posted 21 Oct 2008 , 9:26pm
post #26 of 26

Thanks to everyone who offered insight to my question. Good suggestions that handle the "not so cut-n-dry" situation that I thought it was! thumbs_up.gif

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