Customer Unhappy- But Its Her Fault!

Decorating By jenmat Updated 19 May 2009 , 10:16pm by wildwolves

jenmat Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 10:25pm
post #1 of 49

So I just got a call from my husband, who works at a hospital. Most of my celebration cake clients come from this hospital, and this client is in charge of the entire OR there. Last week Wed, she called and ordered a car cake, specifying she wanted a 2D cut out cake. I quoted her a price, and she said that was good for her. Then, I asked to make sure she wanted the 2D and not the 3D, which would be much more expensive, and I wouldn't have the time to do it for her (she wanted it for Friday). "Oh, no, 2D will be just fine for me."

So I did the cake like the Wilton cake pans, but just cut it out and detailed the picture on it. It was very cute.
But my husband says she came up to him today all angry because she wanted a "2D an entire car standing up!" (so she means 3D apparently) What did she think the 3D car was- a car flying through the air? Obviously, she just didn't understand the difference between the two. Now I need to call her and apologize, but how do I politely make it clear that it technically was her fault? Do I give her a refund? This is my first complaint in 3 years, and I'm kind of at a loss here!

48 replies
karateka Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 10:47pm
post #2 of 49

Do you have a contract?

I say she doesn't get a refund. I wouldn't even apologize. You need to tell her that you double checked with her as to whether she wanted 2D or 3D, and she said 2D would be fine. She got what she ordered. You are disappointed that she's unhappy, but based on what she ordered, you gave her exactly what she asked for.

I'm not a wordsmith, so I can't come up with the perfectly phrased customer response. A contract which clearly says she ordered a 2D cake would help you greatly here. But in NO WAY are you in the wrong, and in NO WAY would I offer her a refund. I wouldn't apologize, or even say "I'm sorry you weren't happy" because that "sorry" indicates that you may have been wrong. Which you weren't.

Deb_ Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 10:59pm
post #3 of 49

I agree with Karateka. You asked her if she wanted 2D or 3D and she said 2D would be fine, so that's what you gave her.

I definitely wouldn't initiate any kind of contact with her based on this info. If she phones you, I'd gracefully remind her that she did order a 2D cake and that's what she got.

A "sorry you were confused about the difference in 2D and 3D" would suffice.

I know it stinks when a client isn't completely satisfied, but the cake was eaten right? No refund judge.gificon_biggrin.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 11:14pm
post #4 of 49

It's true that it's not your fault and you don't owe her a refund.

If she has the power to make your husband's life miserable at work or if she will affect your ability to get other cake orders from the hospital, you might have to do a little bit toward making her happy. Maybe a note that says, "Sorry for the confusion about 2D and 3D. I thought I had explained the difference well enough in our phone conversation. I care about the happiness of my customers, so I'd like to offer you a discount on your next cake." Not a big discount, just something like 10 percent, so she feels like she got something. I wouldn't even suggest it if she weren't a coworker of your husband...only mentioning it because you wouldn't want her going around telling everyone "so-and-so's wife ripped me off," or however she might describe it.

indydebi Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 11:17pm
post #5 of 49

Ahhhh ..... the classic "I'm stupid so you owe me a refund" defense! icon_lol.gif And she's in charge of an OR? icon_surprised.gif

Dupl thread .... see other responses at

kjgjam22 Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 11:18pm
post #6 of 49

i was not your fault. and she did get what she asked for. and no she cant get a refund. the cake is probably all done. why should you pay for her misunderstanding?

i will tell you what my dad always tells me..." you will never be able to please everyone"

jenmat Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 11:23pm
post #7 of 49

She can't make my husband miserable, as she is in a different dept, but as I'm sure you can understand, gossip travels quickly in hospitals! I'll probably call her tomorrow to see where her confusion was, and then apologize. NOT that I owe her one!!! You're right, I can't please everyone, but I hate it that I can't! I'm still a people pleaser at heart! Yes, indydebi, she's in charge of the OR... the nurses at least!

DebBTX Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 3:09pm
post #8 of 49

It's too bad your customer is acting like this.

I agree that it would be best to politely walk her through your earlier 2D vs. 3D conversation. Maybe things will click with her and she will realize that she received what she ordered.

Let us know how things go.

-Debbie B.

GeminiRJ Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 5:34pm
post #9 of 49
Originally Posted by DebBTX

Maybe things will click with her and she will realize that she received what she ordered.

Let us know how things go.

-Debbie B.

I'm guessing no. I'm also guessing that nothing can be said to make her realize that the fault lies with her. When she obviously had no clue what 2D and 3D mean, you were doomed from the start.

sweetjan Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 5:47pm
post #10 of 49

Since a lot of your cake orders come from that hospital, I would call and offer a friendly explanation about why she got the cake that she got....."That's why I asked you if you wanted 2D or 3D, and you said 2D, so that's why I made it like I did...." in a very friendly manner since she and your husband work in the same hosp. Then it's over! You've followed up professionally and explained away the 'confusion' about the car. And no, no refund!
Best wishes to you!

Stephi1 Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 5:49pm
post #11 of 49

Ok, so someone who is in charge of the entire OR doesn't know the difference between 2D & 3D? People never cease to amaze me! No refund!!!! I might apologize and explain that she said 2D would be fine, that there was a miscommunication on what 2D means to her and what it means to rest of the free world.

OhMyGanache Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 5:50pm
post #12 of 49

Dear Customer,

I understand that there was apparently some confusion as to the difference between a two-dimensional (2-D) and three-dimensional (3-D) cake. Just to clarify, a two-dimensional cake is a flat sheetcake that is carved into the basic shape of the item before being iced and decorated - and is priced at $x.xx per serving to start. A three-dimensional cake, however, is far more detailed and takes the entire shape of the item - is not flat like the 2-D cake, and takes more lead time to complete. Three-dimensional cakes start at $x.xx per serving due to the increased time and labor to create them.

I hope this clears things up. I would hate to have any customer disappointed in any way.

Thanks for your business!

jenmat Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 5:51pm
post #13 of 49

That's probably what I'll do this afternoon. I'd have a hard time giving her a refund, since the cake was made to order- its not like I spelled the kid's name wrong or something!

__Jamie__ Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 6:02pm
post #14 of 49
Originally Posted by karateka

I say she doesn't get a refund. I wouldn't even apologize.

Ditto, ditto ditto.

Danielle1218 Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 6:02pm
post #15 of 49

She should have gone straight to you with her complaint and not gone through your husband. Sounds like a cop-out to me. If she was truly disatified, she should come to you first.....after all, you are the one who made the cake, not your husband.

Maybe you could find a picture on the internet of a 2D and a 3D Cake so she can "see" the difference.

I say no refund and to save face, give her a discount on her next cake like someone else on here suggested.

It does concern me that she runs an OR and doesn't know the difference....yikes icon_eek.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 6:03pm
post #16 of 49

No apology, but what Ganache said up there is a very diplomatic solution.

costumeczar Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 6:38pm
post #17 of 49

And set the price on 3-D cakes on the high side, so that she won't complain when you use the PITA pricing structure in the future!

jenmat Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 6:41pm
post #18 of 49

ha ha- I like that! It is almost double when I do the 3D cakes, which is why she didn't want one- I'm still wondering what in the heck she thought a 3D was- that it ran around a track???

jenmat Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 7:38pm
post #19 of 49

Okay- update-
I just called her and she was still upset- she did want the 3D. I told her I was sorry about the confusion, but that I did ask her about 2D vrs 3D. She couldn't believe the price difference and didn't understand why it was so expensive. uggghh... I didn't ask HER why THEY charge so much for hip replacement surgery! Because that's the price, silly woman!
Then, she basically hung up on me, but I'll put it up to being busy in the OR. Whatever, I did what I could for her. Thanks for all the input, I appreciate it!

indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 7:45pm
post #20 of 49
Originally Posted by jentreu

She couldn't believe the price difference and didn't understand why it was so expensive. uggghh...

I'm tellin' ya ... ever since I started using this line, it shuts 'em down fast:

"Did you know .....? That Duff from Ace of Cakes has a ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR minimum on his cakes? The good news is I'm not QUITE that expensive. Now .... what were you looking for?" icon_rolleyes.gif

DebBTX Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 7:48pm
post #21 of 49

Well, I was wrong... I guess reminding her of your previous conversation with her didn't make anything "click" in her mind ... icon_confused.gif

You did all you could.
Just remember, there were other people eating the cake who were probably enjoying every bite. thumbs_up.gif

-Debbie B.

tx_cupcake Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:01pm
post #22 of 49

I am simultaneously baffled and terrified that this person is the head of anything, let alone an OR.

Remind me to never get sick where you live! icon_lol.gif

jenmat Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:03pm
post #23 of 49

hee hee! We will never get paid as much as we're worth, unless we grow a goatee and land a tv show! Sigh..

OhMyGanache Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:07pm
post #24 of 49

Whenever someone has a problem, it's best to handle it in an e-mail - that way you can put ALL of your information into the message and the recipient has time to think about it before responding. They are also far less defensive over an e-mail than when getting a phone call telling them it was THEIR mistake.

jenmat Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:12pm
post #25 of 49

I agree- email would have been a MUCH better option. I like email best for everything, because there is never any confusion. Some people are old school though and can't stand emailing because its too "impersonal". I have a 2 yr old, and have begun to tell people that email is the best way to place an order because then I don't have to deal with a fit whenever I pick up the phone. Home businesses are great... most of the time!

indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:16pm
post #26 of 49

re: emails. Agree. Plus it's in writing what was said. I'm to the point that I just do not trust conversations. Even if I have a phone conversation, I will ALWAYS send an email "to confirm our converastion this date ...."

Cakes_By_Bright Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:22pm
post #27 of 49

I am so sorry this happened to you...and it must feel horrible....but I cannot stop laughing. icon_lol.gif I guess I'm not really one of the nicest people bcos I would LOVE for this to happen to me. I mean of course I'd reply as nice as I could, with some sarcasm underlining icon_twisted.gif . Again, sorry this happened to you and let's just hope she's telling others the correct story and also if you're EVER asked be sure to mention that you asked her and confirmed she wanted 2D. "If she would've told me she didn't know what 2D and 3D were I would've been more than happy to explain it to her." icon_smile.gif

aliciag829 Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:38pm
post #28 of 49

I think the client is embarassed by the fact that she's obviously a very educated woman (to be in the position she's in) and still doesn't know the difference between 2D and 3D. She's just being rude (the hang-up) and taking her embarassment out on you. You did nothing wrong, but I would probably avoid any contact with her anytime soon because she still seems P.O.


I'm curious to see if she approaches your DH about your phonecall at work.

summernoelle Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:38pm
post #29 of 49

LOL! That is sooo funny! I would politely explain to her the difference between 2D and 3D. And tell her you made what she requested. Any normal person would laugh once they realized their mistake, but she may not have a sense of humor about herself.

I would want to add a snarky photocopy from the dictionary with the definition of 3D and 2D, but of course, wouldn't actually do that.

OK, that was great for a laugh. That woman is, well, an idiot.

indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 8:39pm
post #30 of 49
Originally Posted by summernoelle

I would want to add a snarky photocopy from the dictionary with the definition of 3D and 2D, but of course, wouldn't actually do that.

Ya big chicken!! icon_lol.gif

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