tyandton Posted 27 Oct 2008 , 10:19pm
post #1 of

I need some advice. Here's the situtation. The bride called on the phone (never had a personal meeting, she was planning long distance.) and requested the cheapest cake that we made. She emailed me a photo of a 4 tier cake done in fondant with bows and pearls. She wanted cake for 40 people. We sent several emails and had several phone conservations regarding that fondant and buttercream DO NOT look the same. She was fine with that. In addition she wanted NO BOWS or pearls because she was going to fadd lowers that she purchased at Wal-Mart in the floral department and a topper she got on e-bay. So in order to size down the cake to the number of people she was feeding she reduced it to a 2 tier with buttercream. Over two weeks after the wedding she emails me a photo of the cake in the photograph and the cake we made, pointing out the differences. She is now asking about why her cake looks different? Well....Because the only thing that was the same was the shape is my first reaction. Does anyone have any advice on what you would do in the situtation. We have been lucky and this is the first complaint that we have ever had on a cake so we are somewhat at a loss on how to handle it. Any advice would be appericiated.

Tonia

77 replies
jjcakes Posted 27 Oct 2008 , 10:25pm
post #2 of

People are so dense sometimes. I would just reply back to her quoting or forwarding the emails where it talks about not having x,y or z on the cake due to cost. That is one nice thing about emails, she can't really argue to much if her own words are right there.

mixinvixen Posted 27 Oct 2008 , 10:29pm
post #3 of

i swear, just when i think i've seen it all, out comes another thread like this one!! i just don't get stupid people! i mean, we all have our moments, lord knows i may have someone elses share also, but for a client to show you a reference picture, take everything away by their own decision, then expect you to crumble and refund because you did exactly what they wanted....sheesh...are you kidding me?

i don't know who invented the word "bitchslap", but god bless 'em!

liapsim Posted 27 Oct 2008 , 10:50pm
post #4 of

I'm with jjcakes...she can't honestly expect the cake to look the same if she had you take everything away from it! Is she saying anything specifically doesn't look the same? Like did she think you could make smaller diameter tiers and have the same height as the reference cake or is just pointing out everything?

I had someone tell me one time that they thought that like a 3 tier wedding cake that fed 100 people could be made with smaller diameter pans and still have the 3 tiers to feed 30 people. I told her it doesn't necessarily work that way...so does your bride think that?

indydebi Posted 27 Oct 2008 , 11:57pm
post #5 of

I would tear her points apart one by one.

"As we discussed in our emails dated 5-15, 5-26 and 6-2, a cake to serve 40 cannot be made as a 4-tier cake, which is why it was agreed yours would be 2-tier. The original 4 tier cake in the photo serves about 175 people. Another of the differences you point out is your cake has no bows. In your 7-1-08 email, paragraph 2, you directed me to leave off the bows. Another difference you point out is no pearls. In your 7-4-08 email, paragraph 1, sentence 3, you directed me to not put on any pearls. We had a number of email exchanges where I informed you that fondant and BC do NOT look the same ... see our emails dated 6-25-08, 7-2-08 and 7-12-08."

Etc. icon_twisted.gif

Ironbaker Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 12:10am
post #6 of

Surely you don't need any advice on this one - it's a slam dunk. icon_lol.gif

Did she sign a contract outlining the details? Do you have the emails?
What differences did she point out and I hope she started with the Walmart flowers. Nothing against walmart flowers but that doesn't sound like bows and pearls.

MacsMom Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 12:11am
post #7 of

Seriously, we should all pitch in and pay indydebi weekly for the fabulous advice she doles out regularly... thumbs_up.gif

tinygoose Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 12:19am
post #8 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I would tear her points apart one by one.

"As we discussed in our emails dated 5-15, 5-26 and 6-2, a cake to serve 40 cannot be made as a 4-tier cake, which is why it was agreed yours would be 2-tier. The original 4 tier cake in the photo serves about 175 people. Another of the differences you point out is your cake has no bows. In your 7-1-08 email, paragraph 2, you directed me to leave off the bows. Another difference you point out is no pearls. In your 7-4-08 email, paragraph 1, sentence 3, you directed me to not put on any pearls. We had a number of email exchanges where I informed you that fondant and BC do NOT look the same ... see our emails dated 6-25-08, 7-2-08 and 7-12-08."

Etc. icon_twisted.gif





Indydebi, that is priceless, I'd send exactly the same email! Really, some people are just dense. Good luck.

tyandton Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 12:26am
post #9 of

Good to know ya'll are all on the same page as me. She hasn't stated any specific differences. she just sent an email with both photos and asked me to explain in detail why her cake looks differently from the photo. I was sitting there like "You have to be kidding me"! My husband stood over my sholder laughing his a@# off. To be perfectly honest with you I was impressed at how good the cake actually looked when they finished with it. I mean, really how good can you expect a 2 tier cake iced with BC to look? All White, No decorations, nothing. The cake was smooth and straigt which is about all that I could hope for in the situtation. Did I mention that they were 4 hours late picking it up? We made a special exception to meet them on a Sunday morning and had to call them 3 times asking where they were.

The joys of being an underpaid public servant!!!

Sweetcakes23 Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 12:26am

These are all just great learning experiences for all of us. Document, Document, Document! The emails with her words are good documentation. And next time when a bride starts out with a picture, but wants to start cutting corners on it, be sure to state: "We can do that, but please realize they WON'T look like the same cake then." And, my advice to everyone is, save all this documentation! Because if they decide to come back later and try to take you to court, you will have it. thumbs_up.gif

tyandton Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 12:30am

BTW... I do have EVERY single email. They were printed and in her file. I also made a point to follow up every telephone conservation with an email detailing our conservation and asked her to reply back. I used to work in the corporate world and learned to always CYA! This is the first time it might come in handy!

pmaucher Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 12:37am

Wow, I just dont understand some people. Sounds as though she showed you what she wanted (after telling you she wanted your cheapest cake), complained she didnt have the money (and needed to go to walmart), but was hoping you would still create what was on the pic (because it was her big day). While she was at Walmart, she should have gotten a Walmart wedding cake.

Is it just me, but are customers watching too much Duff and cake challenges, wanting high end cakes for "walmart prices". Food Network should start posting general prices of each cake shown, "And this cake would cost you!!" at the end of each episode icon_twisted.gif . Then maybe once the cheapies see what the cake cost, they will leave us alone and be happy with walmart.

lifonahil Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 4:39am
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmaucher

Wow, I just dont understand some people. Sounds as though she showed you what she wanted (after telling you she wanted your cheapest cake), complained she didnt have the money (and needed to go to walmart), but was hoping you would still create what was on the pic (because it was her big day). While she was at Walmart, she should have gotten a Walmart wedding cake.

Is it just me, but are customers watching too much Duff and cake challenges, wanting high end cakes for "walmart prices". Food Network should start posting general prices of each cake shown, "And this cake would cost you!!" at the end of each episode icon_twisted.gif . Then maybe once the cheapies see what the cake cost, they will leave us alone and be happy with walmart.


That is so true.

jammjenks Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 12:57pm

Just out of curiosity, can you post both pictures? I agree with the others and Indydebi's response is the way to go!

loriemoms Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 1:14pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacsMom

Seriously, we should all pitch in and pay indydebi weekly for the fabulous advice she doles out regularly... thumbs_up.gif




haha! I agree!!!!

This bride sounds like she is trying to take advandage of you..they always go after the bakers first when they realize they spent too much money! I agree with Deb...great advice as always!

loriemoms Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 1:18pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmaucher


Is it just me, but are customers watching too much Duff and cake challenges, wanting high end cakes for "walmart prices". Food Network should start posting general prices of each cake shown, "And this cake would cost you!!" at the end of each episode icon_twisted.gif . Then maybe once the cheapies see what the cake cost, they will leave us alone and be happy with walmart.




God, this is SO true!!! I get photos all the time from women who want to have a birthday cake for thier kid and they want to pay 20 dollars for it. I asked them "do you know how much time it takes to make all those gum paste cars and trucks or bows and animals??"

nanikins Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 1:23pm

Forgive a total newbie for sticking her two cents in...

Maybe if you get one of these in the future, in addition to your e-mails, you could provide a picture from your portfolio that shows the closest to what they are actually going to get. That way, she doesn't have unrealistic expectations.

Seems like you shouldn't have to do that kind of thing, but you just never know with some people these days.

BTW - thanks to all for sharing your stories and advice every day. It is like internet cake college! You are all so wonderful!

Big hugs to you, Tonia, for putting up with this chic - and for "the cheapest cake you make", too - geez!

alvarezmom Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 1:27pm

mpaucher---I totally agree with you! Some ppl will always have the frame of mind....cake=flour, eggs sugar, water/milk=$6.00 So the cost of cake should me around $10 including your labor. LOL

Debbie45628 Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 1:31pm

I would remind her about her request for the cheapest cake you could make and point out her request in the e-mails as the others have mentioned...I hope that you already have been paid for the cake. The bakery where I used to work had a policy that half of the money had to be paid down when placing the order to save the date and the full amount had to be paid at least 2 weeks in advance...I still use this policy. Debbie

costumeczar Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 1:36pm

PLASE let us know what her response is after you write to her! This is too bizarre!!

CakeChica Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 1:56pm

In my opinion, when someone askes for a cheap cake, that sets off a light in my head to beware of this person.

trishalynn0708 Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 1:58pm

After talking about it she doesn't get why her cake looks different? Pay the price if you want the exact same cake! See, i'm not sure I could run my own business because I get irritated very easily with people who just like to hear themselves talk and not listen to what is going on!....

Maybe she is being this way because she doesn't want to pay up? Or did she already pay you in advance?

lapazlady Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 2:06pm

Lord Almighty, that is exactly why I don't do wedding cakes. I sure hope you get paid for your work.

-K8memphis Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 2:22pm

For going forward on the next cake deal like this--I would mention to the bride that while the picture she initially provided expresses her expectation--the final order will bear no resemblance to the picture due to all the revisions and 'economic efficiencies' she chose. So at some point I would have reminded her the picture was moot. Her cake would look completely different.

So a thought for avoiding this next time.

loriemoms Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 2:31pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeChica

In my opinion, when someone askes for a cheap cake, that sets off a light in my head to beware of this person.




Yeah same here..I remind them this will be hopefully your only wedding cake. If they want to save money, serve less cake.

stephaniescakenj Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 2:35pm

Oh I love "economic efficiencies"! that's a great term and Indydebi's response is perfect as always. I wish I lived near you Debi, I would pay you if you would let me be your intern for awhile! I had a person who wanted a three tier square cake recently, she sent me a picture and told me to make it to feed 25, I told her how much it would feed and the cost for the smallest version I could make and she said well I only need it for 25 so just make the three tiers big enough to feed 25... um... cake pans are pretty standard lady and square cakes are big?!?
I hope it all works out for you! let us know what happens.

indydebi Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 5:32pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmaucher


Is it just me, but are customers watching too much Duff and cake challenges, wanting high end cakes for "walmart prices". Food Network should start posting general prices of each cake shown, "And this cake would cost you!!" at the end of each episode icon_twisted.gif . Then maybe once the cheapies see what the cake cost, they will leave us alone and be happy with walmart.



God, this is SO true!!! I get photos all the time from women who want to have a birthday cake for thier kid and they want to pay 20 dollars for it. I asked them "do you know how much time it takes to make all those gum paste cars and trucks or bows and animals??"




AGREE! I describe it as "Their eyes have seen the glory (on Ace of Cakes) but their brains haven't caught up (still thinking walmart price)."

Quote:
Originally Posted by alvarezmom

mpaucher---I totally agree with you! Some ppl will always have the frame of mind....cake=flour, eggs sugar, water/milk=$6.00 So the cost of cake should me around $10 including your labor. LOL



Hubby has a GREAT idea to battle this! We're going to put it together, I swear we are, and I'm hanging it in the shop!!

Picture of a rock .... picture of the statue of David. Sub heading? "Both made from the same ingredients."

Picture of a paint by number .... picture of a Picasso. Sub heading? "Both made from the same ingredients."

Picture of the ugliest cake in the world (butter knife iced, grocery store candy letters) .... picture of a Sylvia Weinstock cake. Sub heading? "both made from the same ingredients."

Headline at the top of the page? "YES .... THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!"

pmaucher Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 5:47pm

lol, indydebi take a pic when you hang this up. classic.

diamondsonblackvelvet13 Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 7:52pm

Indydebi, I'd like to order one of those! They ARE available for pre-order right??!!?? LOL!

tyandton Posted 28 Oct 2008 , 10:09pm

You guys are great!!! I have tried to post pictures and for some reason they won't go through. I have several cakes that I was wanting to post but I have never been able to get them to post. I have tried countless times. Anyway....Thanks you guys!!

I will let you know what she says when I email her back. I haven't done it yet. She did pay in advance and here's the worst part of it......I felt sorry for the poor girl and only charged her $100 for the d!@m thing. She hasn't come right out and asked for her money back-yet. But she will not get it. She lives 15 hours away and the wedding was in a town about 100 miles from me. I don't think that she can ruin our reputation. I just don't like that she complained after all that. I don't feel that she has a legitimate complaint. If I felt she did I would gladly work out something with her. Certinally not a full refund. They did take phtoto's with the cake, cut the cake & eat the cake. They were thrilled when they left the restaurant with it and didn't complain for over 2 weeks. She said she got to looking at the wedding pictures and decided she didn't like it. That's what happens when you try to be nice to someone!!!
She is young and it was a shotgun wedding, if you know what I mean. I understood her need to cut corners and what is irritating is that she has in almost every email acknowledged what the differences were going to be and expressed that she understood. I am working on a line by line list of her emails to send back to her with a reference sheet regarding each item that she changed from the photo. The only thing that she did not change was the shape of the cake. I see now that after seeing the picture and her listing all of her changes that instead of detailing all of the changes I should have just said "You basically just want a 2 tier round cake with white buttercream, no decorations for 50 people." Probably still would not have made a difference!

BTW. When you make that poster to hang on the wall please make sure and post it. I read it to my husband and he loved it! We should hang the same thing up!

T

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