Bride is so angry.. asking for a full refund.. LONG story :(

Decorating By mandice Updated 19 Sep 2009 , 10:56pm by SugarFrosted

__Jamie__ Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 4:36pm
post #61 of 112

Oh well, in that case, I woulda kicked her a$$ out of my shop and thrown the cake on her after I tripped her going out the door. But that's just me. icon_biggrin.gif

Ruth0209 Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 4:57pm
post #62 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

I agree with K8. Like I said earlier, refund it, get it over with, BUT she did get what she paid for. For a cake that size, ingredients and equipment, would cost me around $200.




But the fact is, the bride didn't get what she paid for. She gave the OP a picture and said, "Can you replicate this for $250 for 200 servings?" and the OP said she could. But she didn't. The fact that the OP was willing to do it for a loss is not the bride's problem. She had a right to expect the product that had been agreed to.

I think in this case, it's appropriate to give a full refund especially because it's going to allow the OP to survive this trauma. I'm so sorry this happened to you!! I'd be so traumatized, too. Once you settle it with her, you'll feel so much better. Then get back on that horse...

__Jamie__ Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 5:01pm
post #63 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

But the fact is, the bride didn't get what she paid for. She gave the OP a picture and said, "Can you replicate this for $250 for 200 servings?" and the OP said she could. But she didn't. The fact that the OP was willing to do it for a loss is not the bride's problem. She had a right to expect the product that had been agreed to.

I think in this case, it's appropriate to give a full refund especially because it's going to allow the OP to survive this trauma. I'm so sorry this happened to you!! I'd be so traumatized, too. Once you settle it with her, you'll feel so much better. Then get back on that horse...




Exactly. I don't care if I said I'd do it for free, it matters not. It is still a representation of my work. I put just as much work (as far as finish and quality) into a free cake as I will the $1400 job later this year.

sleepy33 Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 5:05pm
post #64 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-



What do we think a judge would decide if it got into court since we all like to buffer ourselves from the very thought of it.




Well, from my hazy memory of my first year contracts class, I think a refund would be awarded here. Technically speaking, if a buyer of goods accepts goods that are 'nonconforming' (don't meet expectations), then they are entitled to the difference between the value of the goods as promised and the value of the goods received; i.e. if you contract for a 7 tier masterpiece and receive a Wal-Mart sheet cake, you get the $ difference between the two. This case is different since they basically contracted at a price that was lower than the market value of what was promised. However, since the bargain wasn't unconscionable, Bride should get the benefit of having made a keen bargain, and should be compensated. The refund of the fee is forseeable and therefore a legit measure of damages. I think, if the judge used the reasonable person test and determined that a reasonable person would consider the photo of the promised cake and what was delivered to be substantially different, she would award the fee as damages, or perhaps award the $ difference between what was paid and what was delivered, but again that's hard to determine since what was paid may not have been much more than the worth of what was delivered.
On another note, I am a newlywed myself. My decorator called me a couple days prior to my wedding and told me that the design wed discussed just wasnt working out. We had agreed that she was going to do a purple icing base and stencil a design with ivory icing on top. Well, the purple was bleeding into the ivory and it wasnt coming out right. She called to ask if I would mind if she reversed the design, stenciling purple on top of ivory. I told her that, faced with the alternatives of bleeding color or coming up with an entirely new design, I would much prefer to reverse the colors. I didnt mind at all, commiserated with her, and wound up with a beautiful cake. Much better than had she simply shown up with a cake neither of us was happy with.

auntbeesbaking Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 5:26pm
post #65 of 112

I'll be honest and say I dont want to face her in fear of breaking down in front of her because i am sensitive like that, but at the same time I dont want to seem like a coward.

What's the best way to handle this? What should I say? and how do i basically ask for banking information so i can transfer it without having to face her?

and a completely different story is now how do i face our mutual friend, because she is the one who referred me?




I feel your pain! In addressing the issue of facing her in person or not, I have a few thoughts. I am an avoidance-avoidance type person. As much as I don't want to, I wear my heart on my sleeve! It makes it difficult to carry on an emotionally charged situation with "professionalism." However, if I didn't "face" that person and just did things in writing, I wouldn't have peace about it for wondering what they thought of me, what their contact with "R" would be like about me, are they still upset, did I make things "right enough" with them...my mind would be in a whirlwind!

I know this isn't cake, but I had a horribly distressing situation with a hostess as a consultant for a well-known cooking company that supplies stoneware, etc. She took the situation completely wrong and tore me up one side and down the other, as did our mutual friend. I was devastated and stopped doing parties for awhile because I was so "traumatized." I'm trying to get back in it, but it's hard because of fear. I never had peace and am upset with myself that I gave her that much power. But, I am who I am and not amount of therapy hours has changed that, unfortunately. I often thought if I could have talked to her in person, maybe things would have turned out differently.

I don't want you to suffer with unrest. I completely understand about the cake not being up to your standards or hers because sometimes cakes just don't work out the way we want. I will be praying for you and the situation and hope you will have peace when all this is resolved.

HUGS to you!

-K8memphis Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 5:32pm
post #66 of 112

Well now there's a thought - how much should she give back if she had done it for free. But I mean she didn't. She almost did though if you're not buying wholesale you're sure gonna get right up close to $200.

Texas_Rose Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 5:46pm
post #67 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Oh well, in that case, I woulda kicked her a$$ out of my shop and thrown the cake on her after I tripped her going out the door. But that's just me. icon_biggrin.gif




icon_lol.gif
Sometimes people have to learn that behaving badly will not always get them their way. I had a customer once who was unhappy that he didn't get a refund. It was not a cake or any other sort of food item. But this grown man took the item in question out of the store, threw it in the grass, and then jumped all over it while he screamed (much to the amusement of the ladies in the beauty parlor next door, and the ones in the gym on the other side of the shopping center). Then he got in his car and peeled out, leaving it on the grass. He called me about an hour later to apologize and I thanked him for his apology. Then he asked again if he could have a refund. icon_eek.gif

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 5:48pm
post #68 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by michellesArt

i think i need to back track a bit and agree with indydebi-just because they ate it doesn't make it acceptable if the cake wasn't what they wanted (and the op agrees it wasn't even close to her standards either) yes it was out of her control but what else is the bride supposed to do? anyone watch Cake Boss lately? they've been running a marathon here lately and there was one involving a bridezilla ... - that can do a lot more to get your reputation back.




This was a topic of discussion elsewhere on CC. Apparently, the bride went on another site and said that the whole thing was a set up - she was told be a bridezilla, to do that to cake, that Buddy knew about it, was prepared to 'make her a new one', etc. The 'new cake' was the one originally ordered, but the 'ruined cake' was a set up from the get-go. The amount of work it took to create that 2nd cake - there was no way it could have been done in one day, even with his army of staff. Drying time takes more than that.

costumeczar Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 6:05pm
post #69 of 112

[quote="Texas_Rose But this grown man took the item in question out of the store, threw it in the grass, and then jumped all over it while he screamed (much to the amusement of the ladies in the beauty parlor next door, and the ones in the gym on the other side of the shopping center). Then he got in his car and peeled out, leaving it on the grass. He called me about an hour later to apologize and I thanked him for his apology. [b:6f417b31ad]Then he asked again if he could have a refund.[/b:6f417b31ad] icon_eek.gif
You have got to be kidding! (But I know you're not.) Too funny!

LaBellaFlor Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 6:21pm
post #70 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

I agree with K8. Like I said earlier, refund it, get it over with, BUT she did get what she paid for. For a cake that size, ingredients and equipment, would cost me around $200.



Ah yes, but LaBella, are you not as egotistical as me (ha!) that even if the cake was $10, and a wreck, you wouldn't refund it just as quickly and profusely apologize? icon_wink.gif





tapedshut.gif

DLo912 Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 6:45pm
post #71 of 112
Quote:
Quote:

That's a great attitude to have... if you don't want a successful business.




But this wasn't a business transaction... Not really. This was a favor for a friend. And you could counter and say that anything involving the exchange of money for a product is considered a business transaction, but I would disagree. Let's face it, if some random person off the street came in to her shop (or called her or whatever) and said, "Hey there, I need a cake that feeds 200 people and I want it to look exactly like this picture of a really expensive cake I found in a Bridal magazine...OH! And I would like it to only cost $250," she would have (hopefully) looked her dead in the eye and laughed heartily until she left the shop.

What it's going to come down to is what the OP will feel the best about doing. If that's giving back the money, then she should do it. If she thinks giving a partial refund and a discount will do the trick, then do that. At the end of the day, she has to do what's right for her.

__Jamie__ Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 6:53pm
post #72 of 112

DL, I take the attitude that anything I do, free, discounted, donated, whatever....I am always going to represent by business in the best possible light.

DLo912 Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 6:57pm
post #73 of 112

Jamie, I agree with that wholeheartedly. I believe that you should always do the best you can no matter what you're doing. All I was trying to say is that I hate when people want things for free and then complain about them. The OP did her best and things still ended up not working out for her. It's just an entirely messed up situation. That's all...

__Jamie__ Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 7:07pm
post #74 of 112

True, but if I made a decision to do something discounted or even free, even if it went against my better judgement, I still made that decision, and now owe the client my best work, and my best solution when and if things don't go right. OP will do what is do right. I just don't like the arguments of people being dismissed for situations like this because they didn't pay enough in the first place, or got it for free, or whatever. They are still a client, no matter what. And a client is a client, be it a budget cake or a gold encrusted 10 ten tier monstrosity.

emrldsky Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 7:30pm
post #75 of 112

To the OP: Do what YOU feel is the right thing to do. Only by doing what you think is right will you be able to move on from this. Also, maybe sit down and have a honest talk with your friend about the situation, and explain to her that you'd hate to have another situation in the future where she is in the middle, and that you would like to keep any business she sends your way as 100% business; no favors, no discounts, etc. Only then will you be able to keep that friendship AND a business relationship separate.

To some others...think of it this way. You buy a set of dishes and spend quite a bit of money on them, and you receive them. You open the box and notice that one of the plates is chipped! Do you send them back and ask for a refund/replacement? Or do you shrug and said, "Oh well, I can still eat off it."

Sure you can eat the cake, but it's still not what was agreed upon. The cake was "chipped" in this case. Just a thought.

alanaj Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 7:38pm
post #76 of 112

I am so sorry this happened to you! I am well aware of the weather last weekend and I was happy to only have 2 small orders. You sound like me before I realized it is NEVER too early to start a cake. If I have something I know I'm going to be stressing about I'll start GP decorations as soon as I get the order. (I had a slow week last week so I made several fall leaves for an October wedding cake.) Now I know it's not always possible to start that far in advance but if you can, do it. It'll save you the gut-wrenching feelings and headaches.

Everyone here has given you lots of advice on dealing with the situation and I agree that this is a big PR opportunity for you. Look at it that way, not as a failure. Give her a refund and speak to her either on the phone or in person. I'm sure some people would disagree but if it were me, I would offer to do their 1st anniversary cake (a small one with the decor the wedding cake should have had). Also, I would consider some cake dummy therapy. Pick up some dummies and decorate the heck out of them as gorgeous wedding cakes. It will make you feel better, give you stuff for your portfolio, and give something for your friend R to put in her wedding magazine. icon_smile.gif
Good luck and chin up.

Deb_ Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 7:45pm
post #77 of 112

To the OP, I also am very sorry about your mishap with this cake. As an owner of 2 businesses I am in total agreement with you about the full refund.




You're doing the right thing. Now, try not to beat yourself up about this any longer.......we're only human and mistakes happen.

Good luck to you!

CeeTee Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 7:52pm
post #78 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

True, but if I made a decision to do something discounted or even free, even if it went against my better judgement, I still made that decision, and now owe the client my best work, and my best solution when and if things don't go right. OP will do what is do right. I just don't like the arguments of people being dismissed for situations like this because they didn't pay enough in the first place, or got it for free, or whatever. They are still a client, no matter what. And a client is a client, be it a budget cake or a gold encrusted 10 ten tier monstrosity.




This thumbs_up.gif

-K8memphis Posted 27 Aug 2009 , 11:45pm
post #79 of 112

I totally totally get that the focal point part of the wedding was blown. However if I was a judge and I watch a lot of tv so I'm like way qualified icon_biggrin.gif
The caek was served so there was some value to the bride. Not at all what anyone expected I grant you but the bride received some value for her money. Where judges routinely draw & quarter babies for fun (ok so just threaten to cut them in half but you get my drift) can you see how a judge might assign some value to the stuff that got served.

They quantify--how bad was it --was it a 100% wash out?
No, she did serve it. Then it ain't 100%.

I think we are quick to offer refunds and cry our eyes out and be upset with ourselves because "it's not perfect" and I think we can sometimes cut ourselves a breakinstead of our own throats.

I don't think that because one part of the cake was messed up the whole thing should be refunded. Especially since she's not a professional. The bride got what she paid for. She expected a designer cake for pennies and she got the penny cake she paid for.

I honestly don't think a judge would require a full refund.

We think that alll the time--why?

Once again, good thing I sell books huh.

Hey, I don't refund those either. icon_biggrin.gif

costumeczar Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 12:12am
post #80 of 112

Yeah, but I used to work in a department store that took returns for the full amount, no questions asked. It always chapped me when someone would return the evening gown they'd bought two days before with perfume and sweat stains on it icon_mad.gif
I still think that the OP should just give the refund, since that seems to be what she thought would be the right thing to do. I also hope that the OP isn't all confused by our philospohical musings! Just do what you think is right in this situation. Other situations will come up and might require a different response, but I really do think that at this point it's more PR than anything, both PR for the bride, but also for your wedding magazine friend. It will show her how you handle bad situations when they arise, and facing up to it is going to reflect best on you for the future.

prterrell Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 12:30am
post #81 of 112

How you handle a dis-satisfied customer will have a larger impact on your business than your dealings with satisfied customers. Giving refunds hurts in the short term, yes, but in the long-term, it can pay dividends. The aim is to turn an unhappy customer into a happy customer, or at worst a neutral customer.

CeeTee Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 1:03am
post #82 of 112

K8: TV Law is not the same as Real World Law. People actually have to sign away their right to take their case to court and agree that whatever the TV Judge says is final, wether it's in full accord with the laws in their state or not. So a TV Judge can say "I don't think it's worth a full refund", but in a real court the Judge HAS to go by what the word of the law says, it doesn't matter if they agree with it or not.

Thing is, when it comes to Law, whatever is written out on the contract is what is binding in court.

EXAMPLE TIME (with credit to Cake Wrecks for the images):
If Contracted Decorator says (either via oral or written contract) "I will make you a cake that looks like this picture and it will cost $200" then they need to do that. Say this is the picture they are given and the cake they agree to do...
Image
It doesn't matter what the cake in the picture originally cost, or how much it would cost Baker X Shop to do it, Contracted Decorator said it's worth $200, so that IS what it is worth in the eyes of the Law.

So, if contracted decorator shows up with this...
ImageIs the cake edible? Yes. Did they present a cake at the agreed time? Yes. Did it look like the picture? Nope! In fact, it can be fairly said they breached their contract because they did NOT deliver the cake promised. ("Close enough" and "They got what they deserved" is not a valid defense when it comes to Law.) So, they would be entitled to a full refund. Heck, in some states, the contracted decorator might also have to pay court costs and "emotional damages" on top of the refund.


My day job IS Law, (Legal secretary for the state Attorney General. weeeeeeee) and I have a few years of Business/Consumer/Copyright Law under my belt. Really, don't get me started on the ins and out of how Law really works! It's not pretty! There's a reason I've been dragging my feet on going back to finish my Masters and take the Bar! icon_cry.gif
EDIT: THIS IS NOT THE CAKE THE OP MADE!! I got the images from Cake Wrecks to use as an example of the point I was trying to make. I am in no way, shape, or form implying this was the kind of cake the person in the OP made/got/whatever.

majormichel Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 1:06am
post #83 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeTee

K8: TV Law is not the same as Real World Law. People actually have to sign away their right to take their case to court and agree that whatever the TV Judge says is final, wether it's in full accord with the laws in their state or not. So a TV Judge can say "I don't think it's worth a full refund", but in a real court the Judge HAS to go by what the word of the law says, it doesn't matter if they agree with it or not.

Thing is, when it comes to Law, whatever is written out on the contract is what is binding in court.

EXAMPLE TIME (with credit to Cake Wrecks for the images):
If Contracted Decorator says (either via oral or written contract) "I will make you a cake that looks like this picture and it will cost $200" then they need to do that. Say this is the picture they are given and the cake they agree to do...
Image
It doesn't matter what the cake in the picture originally cost, or how much it would cost Baker X Shop to do it, Contracted Decorator said it's worth $200, so that IS what it is worth in the eyes of the Law.

So, if contracted decorator shows up with this...
ImageIs the cake edible? Yes. Did they present a cake at the agreed time? Yes. Did it look like the picture? Nope! In fact, it can be fairly said they breached their contract because they did NOT deliver the cake promised. ("Close enough" and "They got what they deserved" is not a valid defense when it comes to Law.) So, they would be entitled to a full refund. Heck, in some states, the contracted decorator might also have to pay court costs and "emotional damages" on top of the refund.


My day job IS Law, (Legal secretary for the state Attorney General. weeeeeeee) and I have a few years of Business/Consumer/Copyright Law under my belt. Really, don't get me started on the ins and out of how Law really works! It's not pretty! There's a reason I've been dragging my feet on going back to finish my Masters and take the Bar! icon_cry.gif




Point well taken, lol icon_rolleyes.gif

cookiemama2 Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 1:11am
post #84 of 112

Can we just see a picture? How many times have we seen a post come up saying this is the worst cake I've ever done and its really not that bad. What did the friend say about it, R is it?

Deb_ Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 1:27am
post #85 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by prterrell

How you handle a dis-satisfied customer will have a larger impact on your business than your dealings with satisfied customers. Giving refunds hurts in the short term, yes, but in the long-term, it can pay dividends. The aim is to turn an unhappy customer into a happy customer, or at worst a neutral customer.




I completely agree with you........as business owners we all should remember how important our reputation is.


I just recently had a "sticky" situation at my Salon.

A new stylist that I hired about 2 months ago did a haircut on one of my very good client's daughter last week. I wasn't in the Salon at the time so I didn't know that the haircut was very much "less then perfect".

Fast forward to this week......my client comes in and tells me how very disappointed her daughter is with the haircut, it's uneven, the stylist rushed the job, etc., etc., etc.............

My immediate reaction....."please give me the opportunity to make this right, ask your daughter to come right in."

Long story short......I re-cut and fixed this girl's hair (free of charge obviously), gave her a free reconditioning treatment, a free parafin wax hand dip, AND FULL REFUND for the original haircut.

Did she receive a haircut from the other stylist? Yes.
Was it a "perfect" cut? Hell NO
Could she have walked around with that haircut? Yes
Would she have "bad mouthed" my Salon? Hell YES

Moral of the story........Bend over backwards to protect your business's reputation and to keep your clients happy.

It only takes 1 unhappy client to ruin your good name.

This story did have a happy ending........this girl ended up booking a $150 foil with me next week.....so it was definitely worth my while to rectify a bad situation.

To the OP, your reputation is worth a heck of a lot more then $250, especially if this is a business that you are serious about pursuing in the future. That $250 will come back to you tenfold.

lthiele Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 1:36am
post #86 of 112

Ooh what a juicy debate you guys have been having while I've been asleep!

OP - please dont feel too bad for this bride who just HAD to have 200 people attend her wedding on a budget (yeah right - I had 40 THAT'S a budget!) She knew full well that getting a Pink Box lookalike cake for that price was the steal of the century. She took a calculated risk. Did she get her neighbour who's made a couple of kids fancy dress costumes to make her dress NAH!! Not saying she expected or deserved a wreck, just saying she gambled! You've agreed to refund and apologise - that's all you can do at this point.

What makes us innately and beautifully female is our ability to agonise over feelings for days and days - it drives most men crazy! It's massive for you because it's all you've thought about for days. To get perspective, presumably she has just had a week full of fun, love and happiness with a massive party (of which the cake is only a part) and a gorgeous husband to finish with! Hands up who's got a pic of their cake on their wall? Not me - I've got me kissing the sexy, gorgeous man I married! Feel better lovely girl - you did not ruin her day! JMO icon_wink.gif

-K8memphis Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 2:48am
post #87 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeTee

K8: TV Law is not the same as Real World Law.




omg--really??? icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 3:24am
post #88 of 112

Don't forget our op does not run a business. This was the friend deal that went awry.

With what I know at this point I'm much more pissed at OP's wedding magazine friend and the bride with the champagne taste on the proverbial beer budget.

I'm actually wondering if magazine friend was one of those most odious creatures with the "Oh you need to open a business" stuff. Because Op has some great cakes in her portfolio. Maybe she has other photos not posted and while they demonstrate lovely lovely work those are not near the same stratosphere of the cake that was ordered, was it pink cake box or something like that?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Don't even start with me about Santa, CeeTee, don't wanna hear it. icon_biggrin.gif
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The cakes pictured upthread are both brown ribboned, ivory iced tier cakes with blue flowers. Hey maybe they wanted all buttercream.

I totally completely disagree with you on the full refund. No way, Jose.
That's a cake! They can cut and serve it. Is it the smoothest most professional cake ever? No.

Did the bride have any clue as to the level of expertise required to produce a cake of that nature? Why not.

CeeTee Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 3:25am
post #89 of 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

Quote:
Originally Posted by CeeTee

K8: TV Law is not the same as Real World Law.



omg--really??? icon_lol.gif




Really!! icon_cry.gif
icon_lol.gif

madgeowens Posted 28 Aug 2009 , 3:26am
post #90 of 112

You mean Judge Judy is not Judge Judy? icon_sad.gif

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