Worst Disaster Ever!

Decorating By missmersh Updated 29 Jan 2009 , 2:29pm by michellesArt

missmersh Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 3:35am
post #1 of 26

Ok, I am extremely embarrassed to post and admit this, however I need to know what to do.
I had 3 cakes scheduled this weekend and I thought I had everything under control and on schedule...I baked all day today and was doing really good....Then at 5:45 one of my customers called and said "where's my cake?" (very nicely). I WAS SO SO SO embarrassed! I totally thought her cake was due tomorrow and it was due TODAY! I have NEVER made such a horrible mistake in my life! I have the cake baked and I thought about going ahead and taking it to her tomorrow at her work (for free of course)....

She was so nice about it and said that it was ok and that she would use me next week for the same girl's 2nd baby shower. I don't want to offer the 2nd cake for free...but I don't know what I should do....She is a REALLY good customer.... and I just feel really bad!!!!

What would y'all do?

25 replies
summernoelle Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 3:43am
post #2 of 26

OK, you aren't going to like this, but you need to give her a big ol discount. I'm talking at least 50%, if not free. How would you feel in the same position? You are very, very lucky she is nice. I have had customers be terrible for much less, but she is a good person.

But, you do need to be easy on yourself. It was a mistake, and that happens. You are human, just make sure you check and double check your dates and keep them in a calendar.

FromScratch Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 3:43am
post #3 of 26

I would offer her the cake for free. Freeze the layers and give her the cake on the day of the 2nd shower and do it gratis. She doesn't need a cake for tomorrow and she does need one for the next shower. That's my thoughts anyway. icon_smile.gif This way you aren't out 2 cakes and she isn't stuck with a bunch of cake she doesn't need.

Ruth0209 Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 3:47am
post #4 of 26

I think I'd make the cake for next weekend but refuse payment. If she's a repeat customer, it's worth it. You'll have her as a loyal customer forever, and you'll gain a reputation for doing right by your customers.

FromScratch Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 3:48am
post #5 of 26

Oh and of course she gets a full refund for the cake she was supposed to get today. icon_smile.gif

adunfag Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 3:52am
post #6 of 26

I agree with what everyone else said. You are lucky she's so very nice.

missmersh Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:15am
post #7 of 26

UGH!!! I COULD KICK MYSELF!

Cause I really needed the money!
I didn't receive payment for this one. Now I can't ask for payment for the next one?

I had already emailed her and asked her if she wanted me to bring the cake up to her work.

NOW what do I do?

I understand what y'all are saying about customer service and offering up the next cake free...but I am not a 'company' that can just write off my loss. It is just really hard to swallow.

Y'all are making me feel really guilty.... icon_redface.gif

I appreciate all of your advice though!! icon_smile.gif

stephaniescakenj Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:32am
post #8 of 26

I think Jkalman had the perfect answer. if she doesn't want the cake for tomorrow, freeze it for next week and you're only out one cake. At least give a 50% discount if you can't afford free. The more likely scenario is that you'll say to the customer, it's free and she'll insist on paying you something anyway since she sounds like a really nice person.
think of it this way too... at least it wasn't a wedding cake! Someone on here posted that once, it was for a strange day like a thursday or friday and she thought it was for the weekend. her and her hubby had to throw the cake together in like two hours, she got it to the reception just as everyone was arriving.

summernoelle Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:38am
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by missmersh

UGH!!! I COULD KICK MYSELF!

Cause I really needed the money!
I didn't receive payment for this one. Now I can't ask for payment for the next one?

I had already emailed her and asked her if she wanted me to bring the cake up to her work.

NOW what do I do?

I understand what y'all are saying about customer service and offering up the next cake free...but I am not a 'company' that can just write off my loss. It is just really hard to swallow.

Y'all are making me feel really guilty.... icon_redface.gif

I appreciate all of your advice though!! icon_smile.gif






icon_confused.gificon_eek.gificon_confused.gif

It sounds like you don't feel bad about the position you put her in, only your own position.

You need to take yourself out of this, and deliver the cake to her, for free. It isn't appropriate for you to ask for money from her when you left her without a cake for an event. She hired you, and you completely dropped the ball. I know it was a mistake, but you are getting off easy with her being kind to you about it, and you need to do the right thing, which is not charge her.

Ruth0209 Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 4:53am
post #10 of 26

I completely agree with Summernoelle (although, ouch. Maybe a teeny bit harsh). : )

Presumably, this lady had to go buy a cake at the last minute for today, so she's already paid for one cake. It's really not appropriate to expect her to pay for one she didn't even order for next week. She's accommodating you, which is pretty nice. She could've said to just forget it and you would've been stuck with a cake you haven't sold. You're out either way.

It's tough to have to pay for mistakes (believe me, I understand the pain when you don't have the money), but it's really the only right thing to do.

summernoelle Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 5:01am
post #11 of 26

Sorry to be harsh. I didn't mean it to be. icon_redface.gif


I just got frustrated for a second. icon_redface.gif

Ruth0209 Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 5:09am
post #12 of 26

It's okay. I've read lots of your posts. I know you're a good woman!!

I do think sometimes the best thing we can do for people is to give it to them straight.

dailey Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 5:17am
post #13 of 26

ugh, that totally stinks BUT regardless of whether you're a company or not, you need to step up and do the right thing...

liapsim Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 5:19am
post #14 of 26

I'm with everyone else. I don't want to sound mean, but it's kind of your fault for not paying attention to the dates, so you need to be the one to eat the expense. It's not her fault you forgot. If she was having the baby shower today, then she had to run to the grocery store to pick up another one instead. At least she kept you in mind for the 2nd one.....which trust me, you will be extremely grateful for in the future....

Sorry it's hard to swallow! Good luck!

FromScratch Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 5:40am
post #15 of 26

You may not see yourself as a company, but you put yourself out there like one so you need to act like one. I am a company and I couldn't just write it off either if I made a mistake like that, but I absolutely would if need be. It's the right thing to do. If she had paid you for this cake you would have had to refund her money.. no question. You cannot expect her to take your (now) extra cake for payment for your mistake. Not to sound mean.. really.. but you should feel guilty. I know I would. This woman didn't have a cake for her party when she contracted with a professional to have one there. She is being VERY nice.. not many people I know would have been so kind to you about this. She deserves stellar service on this next cake that you are lucky she is still okay with you providing. I am willing to bet she will still try to pay you.. you make the call if you take it or not, but she shouldn't be billed for it. The best thing for you would be to save the cake from this first flub up and make the next cake with it.. this way you are only out the ingredients for one cake. icon_smile.gif (((hugs))) I know it sucks.. but you really have to (wo)man up on this one.

missmersh Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 5:59am
post #16 of 26

I TOTALLY agree with ALL of you. True, I was having a hard time taking myself out of the equation...and true, I owe it to her to do the right thing.

I would have been PISSED if I ordered a cake and the person just didn't show up! And she is being SOOO nice!

I hope you girls don't think I am selfish. I am TOTALLY not and I knew I wasn't going to be able to ask for any money from her...I was just still sorting through all my own butt kicking emotions at the time. icon_sad.gif

I would rather her keep ordering from me and tell all her friends that I am a good person in addition to being a good cake decorator, than for her to pay for a cake order that was TOTALLY my screw up and never order from me again! That way I build a better reputation for myself....and she still likes me! icon_smile.gif

Thank you ALL for being so honest and not sugar coating the situation or breaking down and telling me what I *thought* I wanted to hear!

I was TRULY gonna do the right thing all along.... I was just initially having a hard time accepting it icon_smile.gif

Thank you all so much!!!

morgnscakes Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 6:10am
post #17 of 26

I agree with those in this post, especially jkalman (hi buddy!). Here's the thing...I know just like you how it is to need the money. That's probably why you took the order in the first place. But I, too, have been in a position where I made a mistake and had to suffer the consequences. You just have to learn from your mistakes...no matter how big or small they are. This person sounds like she will be a customer for life. If you treat her with much respect and give her service out of this world, she will be a loyal customer and will talk about how good you were to her. It's better to just cut your losses than to tarnish your reputation because you "need the money". Just have faith and all will be well.

lostincake Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 6:13am
post #18 of 26

That's what makes this forum is so great!! Those that ask questions and those that contribute answers are really helping out everyone. I'd hate to be in the same situation but if I ever were, I'd appreciate having straightforward sound advice given when "not able to think clearly". It really helps to make it easier to decide what to do and I will be saving this link for future reference if ever something similar were to happen. icon_biggrin.gif

FromScratch Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 9:29pm
post #19 of 26

No worries.. it truely sucks to even have to think about this situation. But at least you can chalk it up to a learning experience and go on from here. Let us know how the next cake goes and how she really appreciated your thoughtfulness in giving her the cake for free. You will feel good about it.. she will feel good about it.. and your working relationship will not suffer at all. She seems like a very sweet person and I know that she will be a customer for a long time. Good luck with the next cake..

jammjenks Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 9:40pm
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by missmersh

I TOTALLY agree with ALL of you. True, I was having a hard time taking myself out of the equation...and true, I owe it to her to do the right thing.

I would have been PISSED if I ordered a cake and the person just didn't show up! And she is being SOOO nice!

I hope you girls don't think I am selfish. I am TOTALLY not and I knew I wasn't going to be able to ask for any money from her...I was just still sorting through all my own butt kicking emotions at the time. icon_sad.gif

I would rather her keep ordering from me and tell all her friends that I am a good person in addition to being a good cake decorator, than for her to pay for a cake order that was TOTALLY my screw up and never order from me again! That way I build a better reputation for myself....and she still likes me! icon_smile.gif

Thank you ALL for being so honest and not sugar coating the situation or breaking down and telling me what I *thought* I wanted to hear!

I was TRULY gonna do the right thing all along.... I was just initially having a hard time accepting it icon_smile.gif

Thank you all so much!!!




Wow. It took guts to say that. I applaud you and agree with this decision.

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Jan 2009 , 9:42pm
post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by missmersh

Y'all are making me feel really guilty.... icon_redface.gif




Nah...that's a power no human being posesses...but I digress. icon_biggrin.gif

Jkalman offered some good advice.

Ruth0209 Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 3:42am
post #22 of 26

Atta' girl! Life's good.

johnson6ofus Posted 17 Jan 2009 , 4:45am
post #23 of 26

It's refreshing to see a bad situation, a "slap in the face" (we all need sometimes) , and an OP who understands that "doing the right thing" means sucking it up sometimes and not WHINING that we are "being too tough".

Life is tough, mistakes happen, and consequences suck... but if all people learned that valuable lesson (consequences) life would be good! No harm was intended.... but you are doing your best to "make it right".

I congradulate the OP for "sucking it up", and the PP who were not too scared to say what had to be said, without the sugar coating.

Bravo ladies!

Rocketgirl899 Posted 18 Jan 2009 , 8:32am
post #24 of 26

I agree with your final decision.

I have complained to companies (big and small) and there is a difference between "making it right" and "making it up."

Making it right means--giving them what they initially ordered

Making it up means--going above and beyond what should have happened in the first place.

My own little vent below icon_smile.gif
___________________________________________
Ex. I fly frequently and when my boarding pass wasn't upgraded (I am an MVP flyer, with upgrade perks) I thought nothing of it. I was the last to board the plane and didn't see anyone in one of the first class seats. Still no biggy. Then I had a child who was poking me and grabbing my magazine and causing a ruckus on the red eye. I mentioned to the flight attendant ( we were at cruising alt) that I noticed the seat in first was still empty. She "kindly" explained to me that "people in first class pay lots of money" I know I am young (21 at the time), but please don't talk to me I am 5. ( I paid almost $600 bux for my seat! So if thats not alot of money....)and told me I could upgrade for like $200. I told her I was an MVP card holder and had requested the upgrade prior. She said there was nothing she could do. Okay whatever.

This was a cross country flight and afterward I sent a letter to the email. What I ended up getting was a one way upgradable fare (basically my perks for already being an MVP).

This would have only given me what I should have got in the first place. Needless to say, I was unable to use that upgradable ticket (I have flown about 6 times since I got it, and it has since expired).

What would have been better was to give me an upgraded seat on my next travel date, not a ticket I had to wait for ability.

-----------------------

Her being nice to you is a blessing, I have seen way worse for way WAY less.

She will be a repeat customer because you made it up to her... you didn't just make it right.

Best of Luck.

toricp Posted 28 Jan 2009 , 6:19am
post #25 of 26

The worst thing that ever happened to me was about 7 years ago.I just took an interest in cake decorating and decided to go to the only bakery in town (opened only a few months) and see if she needed help. After about a week, she decides to go to her old job and leave me to run the business. I loved it! I was doing well until she took an order for a wedding cake. Huge cake and a piano for a groom's cake. I made all the cakes for the weekend by lunchtime that Friday and started working on the piano. It would have been my first carved 3D cake. She came in and went to work on this huge cake that she insisted that she do. Anyway, we got a call about 7:30 wanting to know where the cake was. She got the dates mixed up. She thought it was for Saturday and it was for Friday. She finished the majority of the wedding cake but my groom's cake was not finished. She blamed me for the whole thing. It was not long after that, I left and took most of her customers (not meaning to). She closed down 2 weeks later. I learned valuable lessons from her. I have been blessed that I was able to learn from her mistakes.

michellesArt Posted 29 Jan 2009 , 2:29pm
post #26 of 26

well i'm glad that we can all learn from everyone's mistakes not just our own. and you didn't just make her happy by replacing the cake at your own expense. she will be talking about how you went the extra mile to make it up to her and that is what puts you above other places (even if your cakes are the best around if your customer service sucks that will speak volumes).

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