To Refund Or Not !

Decorating By Cristacake Updated 4 Dec 2008 , 9:53pm by Cristacake

Cristacake Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 11:13pm
post #1 of 18

How do you do refunds?
Just labor amount given back, or the whole cake price?

Help Please!!!

17 replies
cakesbycathy Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 11:39pm
post #2 of 18

It depends on the situation. A little more info would help us give you advice.

Cristacake Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 5:49am
post #3 of 18

Situation was, TOTAL DISASTER !!!! icon_cry.gif !!!!!
I've done about 25 cakes and never had a disaster, Till now!

The bride and I are good and we are on good terms.
But she is asking for refund of some of her money back.

Here is were it gets tricky!
They are friends and I agreed to do there cake labor free!
I asked just for the cost of supplies on a 6 tier cake to feed 170.
39 of the servings were 2x2 square cakes!!!!! Everything covered in ganache.

The cake got to the reception site no problem. But in the time it took the hotel staff to get their act together, which was half an hour!!! The ganache melted in my car! I could not do anything more than ask, and ask to get the cake from the car to a refrigerator. Then the time I was told I could have to set up the cake which was at least an hour. Turned into 20 min. to set up a 6 tier cake with 39 2x2 cupcakes. The bride completely understands that that situation was not all my fault. But the lack of organization by the hotel staff, and the hotel period. She knows that the ganache was practically all off. An because I was prepared with extra ganache I was able to get 4 of the 6 tiers on their cake table. The design was not there but I served everyone I said I would. And I got nothing but compliments on the taste.

Now since I only asked for money to cover their supplies? What do I say? How does ever one do refunds when their cake goes wrong?
What is fair? Just your labor? Or do you refund the whole amount and just suffer the lost of funds?

Thank You,

emrldsky Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 3:30pm
post #4 of 18

So, all the servings were consumed? She paid for the supplies, the supplies were eaten, therefore no refund.

Obviously, SHE is not feeling so good towards you, even if she "understands it's not your fault." :/

You can always send her an invoice showing the discount of labor costs, and your refund of those costs: $0.00.

I really don't think she's as good of a friend to you as you think. I don't think it's fair of HER to ask for a refund in this situation.

stephaniescakenj Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 4:10pm
post #5 of 18

I would say refund what you can afford. Obviously you didn't make any money on this, so its hard to suggest a dollar figure. what you could do, is give her an invoice of what she would have paid for this cake elsewhere and show her the savings she already received. If you can't afford to give her any money back, offer a discount or freebie for the future. If you can afford to give her something, I would maybe offer 50%, I'm not sure of what you charged her to begin with so that might be too much. Regardless, I'm thinking you probably should have brought the cake in, even if it sat on a table for a half hour rather than the car if it was hot enough outside to melt the ganache. I read so many stories here about decorators letting the facility dictate the cake circumstances and then the cake flops, we have to stand up for ourselves! I sort of agree on the friend bit too, if she knows you only did this for the cost of the materials, its out of line to ask for money back.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 4:20pm
post #6 of 18

How can you refund something that you weren't paid for in the first place? She covered the cost of supplies which you used on her cake. Any refund or compensation should come from the hotel as the disaster was their fault. Any friend would have sense enough to understand this.

capitts Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 4:22pm
post #7 of 18

It sounds like the fault lies with the hotel, so maybe she should hit them up for the cost of the cake...

butterfly831915 Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 4:28pm
post #8 of 18

I work in a hotel and completely agree with adonisthegreek1. The hotel needs to give the refund not you. If the staff was prepared then it wouldn't have happened. I would also give an invoice showing the discounts she received as I'm sure you didn't charge her the delivery fee either. (If it was eaten and everyone was given cake then what does she really need to complain about considering you went out of your way and gave a really large discount. No labor charges means this was almost like a donation since they only paid for supplies)

kelleym Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 4:30pm
post #9 of 18

IMO, in one of these situations, when you have basically given your friend the gift of your time and talent, there is no question of a refund unless there is gross negligence on your part, which there certainly was not.

She paid for the ingredients. She and her guests ate the ingredients. Her friend provided the labor for free. Something went wrong that wasn't her friend's fault, and now she wants to be paid for it by her friend? Come on.

terrylee Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 4:43pm
post #10 of 18

The refund should come from the hotel. Their act should have been together way before you got there........You have no control over them.

FromScratch Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 4:56pm
post #11 of 18

I was thinking the same thing as Kelley.. No way would a friend be asking for anythng from you (the decorator). If the cake was eaten.. then there is no refund. You can't refund her for labor.. she didn't pay for it.

I must say though that I would have told the staff that the cake HAD to get inside or they would be paying for the damage. You do have to grow some cake balls in this business. It's easy to feel intimidated by the hotel staff, but you can't be. Your cake would have been fine had it not been for them dictating what you do. You can't be a mouse.

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 5:10pm
post #12 of 18

WOW. Are you sure she's a friend? I'm sorry. But the way i understood it, she paid for the ingredients for the cake. Everyone ate the cake. There should be NO refund. You worked your butt off for that cake (the 2x2 were a PITA I bet) for free.

Tell her in this case normally you would refund the labor fee and then give her a check for $ 0.00.

I'm so sorry this happened to you. *hugs*

FullHouse Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 5:28pm
post #13 of 18

I agree with cakeshoppe. She is not a very good friend if she is putting you in this position, she has A LOT of nerve. She should be THANKING you for trying your best and donating all of your time to give her an at cost wedding cake. I would absolutely tell her that while you are very sorry that her hotel staff was not cooperative and under normal circumstances, you would possibly be willing to refund a portion of your labor charge, you cannot give her money out of your own pocket for the cost of the ingredients, which were happily consumed by her guests. If she is to hold someone responsible, she needs to deal with the hotel manage; I'm sure she feels more comfortable and that she may have more luck approaching you and just wants someone to pay other than her. Sorry that this happened to you, I know that I will learn from your experinece not to let venue staff dictate the well being of my products (I probably would have waited too, reading this is educational for me).

kalamagal Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 5:29pm
post #14 of 18

WOW. Are you sure she's a friend? I'm sorry. But the way i understood it, she paid for the ingredients for the cake. Everyone ate the cake. There should be NO refund. You worked your butt off for that cake (the 2x2 were a PITA I bet) for free.

Tell her in this case normally you would refund the labor fee and then give her a check for $ 0.00.

Ditto!! I can't believe she would even ask.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 5:46pm
post #15 of 18

I have to agree with everyone else on this one...

* she is not a true friend to be asking you for money back

* it's the hotel's fault that their act wasn't together

I wouldn't give any money back. And I wouldn't do business with her anymore. Sorry this happened to you!

-K8memphis Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 6:30pm
post #16 of 18

I totally agree with the part about no refund. You can't refund something you never collected. She's gotta handfulla gimme and a mouthfulla much obliged (from the Beverly Hillbilly's song).

However, going forward you should have more control over your deliveries. A 30 minute delay should not come close to melting your product. I mean what if you got tied up on the interstate.

Memphis gets real hot and I use all butter icing. When I deliver I keep my babies as secure and temperature controlled as possible.

You need to learn to absorb a 30 minute or a two hour delay.

Now still no refund for sure but consider improving your delivery methods.

indydebi Posted 3 Dec 2008 , 1:53am
post #17 of 18

Her cake was free. She didn't pay anything for it. How can you get a refund if you didn't pay for it?

Yes, she paid for ingredients, which would have been the same cost if you had given her a list of things to buy and then she went out and bought them, then delivered them to your house and said, "There ... now make my cake."

The freakin' cake was free. YOu can't get a refund on free cake.

Cristacake Posted 4 Dec 2008 , 9:53pm
post #18 of 18

Thank You!

Reading every ones comments made me feel like I was not the crazy one!!! It also helped me stand my ground now, and for the future.

I defiantly should have been far more pushy about getting that cake inside. I am a shy person so for me to ask them several times was being pushy, I know it's pathetic of me icon_smile.gif!! I really need to not care about what the hotel thought about me, I had a job to do !!!! I should have had cake balls and stood my ground icon_smile.gif. Just a little something I learned on cake central icon_smile.gif he,he,he ! Thank You !!!

I have since talked to the bride/friend. After giving her the price of the others bakeries quotes for her cake. And laying the events down to her. She let the whole thing go icon_smile.gif!

Thank Goodness !!!!!!

Thank you for all your thoughts,

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