First Disgruntled Client....any Advice???

Decorating By CanadianCakin Updated 13 Jun 2009 , 7:48pm by cakedesigner59

CanadianCakin Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:13pm
post #1 of 37

Well I have my first client who isn't happy and I haven't even made her a cake yet! So she approached me with a cake request like the cake in the pic but with two tiers an 8" and a 6". She asked tons of questions we went on the base price per slices of $96 and I told her once we work out all the details I could giver her a final total...we factored in the plastic accesories, delivery, etc. and I gave her the final total of $140.....and she hung up on me!
So I don't really know what to do now! Do I say whatever your loss, or try and come to a price that suits her better? There is only one 'real' custom cake business in my town and I know they would charge her way more...I don't know what do you all think? Am I being unreasonable for this cake, but with 2 tiers? Is the $140 too much I would have to deliver it about 30 minutes away so I had only done a $10 delivery fee??
I could really use any direct or advice cuz I feel like crap!
Thanks bunches,

Well apparently the pic is too many pixels to add so I'll try to describe it....it's lilac fondant with piped designs on it in pink and yellow and darker purple with some fondant flowers and fondant ruffled drape border. With a pretty jeweled plastic tiara and wand
Ashley

36 replies
__Jamie__ Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:16pm
post #2 of 37

Lol...if she hung up on you then forget her! Seriously! If she calls back, do your thing...tell her what it is, whatever it is! Don't beat yourself up over some twit that hung up on you!

SJ169 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:18pm
post #3 of 37

OMG what a biotch!!

No I wouldnt do a cake for someone like that. First of all your price is your price (and 140 for a two tiered cake is not bad at all). Secondly if you did make her the cake she will probably end up complaining about it in the end and try to get some sort of refund.
This lady sounds like trouble right away! I would run away and dont look back! icon_biggrin.gif
Good Luck !!

Kimmers971 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:18pm
post #4 of 37

How RUDE icon_eek.gif If she calls you back, I'd tell her I'm booked (unless you really need the business, but sounds like she'd be a headache either way).

Good Luck thumbs_up.gif

LynnZClaire Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:19pm
post #5 of 37

lol, yeah...forget her. If she was that rude, you don't want to work for her anyway!!!! You know what you need to make out of the cake and I don't think 140 sounds high...though I don't know your work (I'm a newbie) I charged 100 for a wedding cake (first one I EVER made) and everyone thought I was GIVING the cake away at that price. Don't sweat it. Forget her.

mariela_ms Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:19pm
post #6 of 37

DOn't change your price to accommodate her price needs. If she hung up on you, well first of all that tells you how rude she is, why would you want to work with her? If she calls that other bakery and finds out its a lot more than what you would charge her, she'll probably call you back.

People don't realize the time and materials it takes to make a custom cake. If she can't pay the $140 then she can't afford a custom cake, send her to Wal Mart.

__Jamie__ Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:21pm
post #7 of 37

There is a delicate balance of two attitudes I maintain. One, being "Yes, I am awesome and I know it. You don't like my price? I'm sorry, there are 10 other people who do, and that's who I care about. Next! (thanks for that one Indydeb! icon_wink.gif )" The second being "What can I do to serve you, I am here to help, and create the cake of your dreams!"

That's about it. icon_smile.gif

PennySue Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:22pm
post #8 of 37

Ashley,
I am assuming that the cakes are 2 layers, filled and all that. I don't think it's too much at all and I would never call her back and go down in price. That would be saying that you don't really think it is worth it either. People really do not understand what goes in to making a beautiful cake...and fondant is expensive. That she hung up on you was just plain rude of her. She might be someone to think carefully about in the future. If she calls back, fine, but stick to your price. Sorry that you had to deal with this! (((hugs)))

__Jamie__ Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:22pm
post #9 of 37

Hi Mariela!! It's getting hot in our area, huh?

mgwebb68 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:23pm
post #10 of 37

I only make cakes for my pleasure for friends and family so I don't have to deal with this type of thing, however, I do know what goes into a cake and your price seems quite reasonable.

She hung up on you, it's her problem, not yours. She was number 125, Now Serving 126, moving on. Don't worry about her. I don't know what it is about society these days that people feel the need to be just plain rude. Not worth it to deal with them. icon_smile.gif

Price Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:25pm
post #11 of 37

I totally agree. Your price is your price. If you went to a restaraunt for dinner and said, I don't want to pay $20.00 for my crabcake dinner, do you think they would say -- Ok, then just pay us $10.00? I don't think so. Stay firm!

tootie0809 Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:26pm
post #12 of 37

Not only should you not budge one penny on your price, but if she does call back, I'd flat out refuse to do that cake. I won't work with people like that. I'd flatly say something like "I'm sorry, I don't work with people who treat me with disrespect. Thanks for your time and have a lovely day." Who wants a client like that anyway?

CanadianCakin Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:32pm
post #13 of 37

Thanks ladies! I feel better and you even made me laugh!

smoore Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:43pm
post #14 of 37

When she calls the other custom baker she'll be given the reality check. If it's out of her budget, she simply has to choose something else .... from somewhere else. I agree with tootie .... you don't hang up on me and then call me back to continue that business. Now, if she comes back with her tail between her legs, head down, with sincere appologies, I may consider it. But I'll make her feel like a scolded child first and tell her that behavior will not be tolerated by me. If she does it again, all deals are off - with no return of any deposit!

nightmoon Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:43pm
post #15 of 37

First, you know she's gonna call back (unless she's just so embarassed she hung up on you) because after doing her research she's going to realize your price is probably 35-50% less than anyone elses.

When she does you have to be ready.

I agree with everyone else here that if she was so rude to begin with, you're going to have trouble with her every step of the way and it's not worth it. Walk away.

Think of something now to brush her off when she does call. One good way to get rid of people you don't want is to;

a) delay returning or don't return their call;
b) when they do reach you say it's not a good time for you, can THEY call YOU back?
c) put them on hold for 10 or 15 minutes at a time
d) say you'll have to check your schedule and get back with them. Take your time.

etc, etc,etc

Bellatheball Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:47pm
post #16 of 37

Why in the world would you want to accommodate a person who is rude to you? I would find myself very busy and unable to do her cake.

Bellatheball Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:52pm
post #17 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by nightmoon

First, you know she's gonna call back (unless she's just so embarassed she hung up on you) because after doing her research she's going to realize your price is probably 35-50% less than anyone elses.

When she does you have to be ready.

I agree with everyone else here that if she was so rude to begin with, you're going to have trouble with her every step of the way and it's not worth it. Walk away.

Think of something now to brush her off when she does call. One good way to get rid of people you don't want is to;

a) delay returning or don't return their call;
b) when they do reach you say it's not a good time for you, can THEY call YOU back?
c) put them on hold for 10 or 15 minutes at a time
d) say you'll have to check your schedule and get back with them. Take your time.

etc, etc,etc




Why be passive aggressive? Why not just come out and say I refuse to be treated in that way. Good luck with your cake. I'm sure someone else will be happy to help you.

There's no reason to be rude but beating around the bush just wastes your time and makes you look unprofessional or worse, as rude as the client.

tinygoose Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:55pm
post #18 of 37

OMG...Seriously if she calls back...you cannot do that cake!

Calmly tell her you don't think you two are a good fit to work together, and that you don't put up with being abused. I don't care how much they apologize. Then just refer her to a more expensive bakery!! I would never do a cake for someone after they hung up on me. It is not ok for people to treat you like crap, and get away with it. Sorry you had to deal with such a B****, I know that just leaves a lump in your stomach for the rest of the day, but at least it's over.

There are nice people out there who pay what is fair and are still grateful!! As soon as people start bickering about the price, my calendar books up. "What weekend? Oh sorry, yeah I'm fully booked! I'm sure "such and such" can help you."

springlakecake Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 7:58pm
post #19 of 37

Whether or not your price was too high, it doesnt give her the right to hang up on you! I would never, ever consider lowering my price to accomodate a rude person. All she had to say was "no thank you, it really isnt in my budget"

Franluvsfrosting Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 8:05pm
post #20 of 37

She hung up on you?!!?! There is no way I'd do a cake for someone like that if they called back! And I certainly wouldn't be calling them! I'm in the camp where if she did call back I'd simply let her know that I didn't appreciate her hanging up on me and would be unable to make her a cake...EVER! Sheesh, makes me mad for you!

BARBARAJEAN Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 8:32pm
post #21 of 37

Well, perhaps she was a little shocked at the 6.00 a slice. Not that she should have been rude. She could have nicely said "I can't afford that much". That is the reason I started making cakes. I have 11 grandchildren and I can't afford that much for a Birthday Cake. I would have a hard time paying that much for a wedding cake. We were so broke when our kids were little, I couldn't afford a Walmart cake. Just another point of view. I must add that I knew enough to not call the custom cake maker in town and try to talk her down though.

mariela_ms Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 10:58pm
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Hi Mariela!! It's getting hot in our area, huh?




Oh yes! I was letting my hair grow and it was below my shoulders already...but as soon I as started feeling the heat, I went and chopped it off! icon_biggrin.gif It's now below my ears! Don't you luv AZ?!?!! I need a tan!

BlakesCakes Posted 11 Jun 2009 , 11:57pm
post #23 of 37

Well, I'll play devil's advocate here and say that I don't know exactly what was said, or implied, during the first pricing discussions.

It sounds like many of the details were in place at the $96 price point, so to have a 50% increase would seem pretty extreme. Personally, it would leave me in sticker shock, too.

The customer may have been prepared to pay $3/serving, but not $4.50. No, she shouldn't have hung up without the courtesy of saying, "Thanks, but no thanks.", but many of us respond with knee-jerk reactions and speechlessness when we're rudely surprised.

I think that the OP should have/could have prepared the customer better for that much of a steep increase in price. If that much of the final price was up in the air, then no cost should have been given until the entire cake was priced. If the customer insisted on a ballpark figure, then a heavily padded quote might have led to a discussion about where she drew the line on price, saving the OP time and work and allowing the customer to move on gracefully.

If the customer was OK with $96 before the tiara, wand, and delivery, then I see a simple solution with customer pick up and customer provided & placed tiara & wand. Maybe this is too simple, but it might be worth a try.

Just my .02
Rae

tinygoose Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 1:53am
post #24 of 37

I'm coming up with $2.66 a slice -pre wand, tiara, & delivery and $3.88 after all that. (based on Wilton chart 12+24=36 slices) Am I missing something? This doesn't sound at all unreasonable to me.

BlakesCakes Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 2:13am
post #25 of 37

OK, I made the math simple by rounding numbers--forgive me. The end result is still A 46% increase.

The point is the same: such a huge increase, even if it were from $1/slice to $1.46/slice, would startle a lot of people.

Larger scale, but suppose you looked to build a house and the builder said, oh, it'll be in the neighborhood of $96,000. You think you can handle that, but you want to uprgrade the roofing. He comes back with a figure of $140,000--not only out of your budget now, but your gut reaction is that you'd think you shoud get a lot more house for that kind of an increase--at least I would.

Unless I read wrong, the increase here isn't due to more cake or actual decorating, but to the addition of purchased plastic items and a delivery charge. Those kinds of things can be very easily changed and negotiated.

Rae

BabeyCakey Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 2:14am
post #26 of 37

I agree with Merissa...the appropriate response would have been for her to tell you it was out of her budget. If she still wanted the cake, she could have asked if there was any way for her to make it a little more affordable (pickup instead of delivery, etc). Don't sweat it...by all means, do not be upset about losing her as a customer.

tinygoose Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 3:02am
post #27 of 37

Hey Rae, I'm not trying to stir the pot or get anyone upset. A $6.00 slice was mentioned, and that seemed off to me so I did the math. I didn't pay enough attention to the OP, I assumed the tiara/wand was fondant/RI. I was genuinely asking "am I missing something?" obviously I did.

CanadianCakin Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 4:59am
post #28 of 37

Not that I think the way she handled herself is appropriate I do want to clarify a couple of things.....I used the serving chart found here in the articles section which would give it 32 serving and did $3 a serving= $96. That was the BASE price I told her even before she picked a design. I thought that a $44 dollar increase in total would have been reasonable becaus eshe also wanted both tiers completely different flavours....I dunno maybe I`m in way over my head here...and need to rethink this. I`m not trying to be overpriced and break clients banks because I ahve a tight bank myself and know what its like. At the same time though I want it to be worth my while, I mean I have 3 children feed and clothe too

aliciag829 Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 5:05am
post #29 of 37

If she hung up on you over a simple price quote, just imagine the things she might have done to you had she actually been a customer. I wouldn't call her back and I wouldn't answer if SHE calls you back, either! That woman is someone else's problem now and I am sure (looking at how great youe cakes are) that your business won't suffer over one lost customer. She would have probably ended up being one of those problem customers who nit picks over everything anyway.

Ruth0209 Posted 12 Jun 2009 , 6:21am
post #30 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellatheball

Quote:
Originally Posted by nightmoon

First, you know she's gonna call back (unless she's just so embarassed she hung up on you) because after doing her research she's going to realize your price is probably 35-50% less than anyone elses.

When she does you have to be ready.

I agree with everyone else here that if she was so rude to begin with, you're going to have trouble with her every step of the way and it's not worth it. Walk away.

Think of something now to brush her off when she does call. One good way to get rid of people you don't want is to;

a) delay returning or don't return their call;
b) when they do reach you say it's not a good time for you, can THEY call YOU back?
c) put them on hold for 10 or 15 minutes at a time
d) say you'll have to check your schedule and get back with them. Take your time.

etc, etc,etc



Why be passive aggressive? Why not just come out and say I refuse to be treated in that way. Good luck with your cake. I'm sure someone else will be happy to help you.

There's no reason to be rude but beating around the bush just wastes your time and makes you look unprofessional or worse, as rude as the client.




You took the words right out of my mouth. I really hate this passive-aggressive approach. If she calls back and you don't want to do the cake, just tell her, "No thank you. I am not interested in making a cake for you. Good luck with your event." The suggestions above are unprofessional and say more about you than the customer (although I have to admit that it's very tempting to act badly in these situations!).

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