Was I Fair?

Business By MikeRowesHunny Updated 13 Oct 2009 , 12:00am by Tee-Y

MikeRowesHunny Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 3:55pm
post #1 of 25

I delivered a cake today and it got damaged before I gave it to the client's sister who was collecting it. Long story short:- I was meeting her at the train station and whilst I was waiting for her, some great oaf who wasn't looking where he was going, backed into me squishing the side of the box he backed into and the side that was then pushed against me icon_evil.gif ! It was a meringue buttercream covered cake, so was inevitably damaged icon_cry.gif . When the sister arrived, I showed her the damage and explained to her what happened. I think it could be rectified into looking decent with a hot knife etc, so I explained how to do it when she got it home. Obviously, even though it was not my fault, I couldn't very well charge full price for the cake. It was originally meant to be 120 euros, I discounted it by 50 euros for the damage. Was that fair? I just have a feeling that the client is going to come back and be all pissy-pants about it.

24 replies
-K8memphis Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 4:13pm
post #2 of 25

I think it was a very great gesture to discount that deeply.

There is not much else to do honestly. You gave away any money you made on it. Any further refund would be unfair to you. As you have already donated your times and effort and any profit. The cake is edible and can be made presentable again--maybe not to the same degree as you could make it but still.

I feel you've been more than fair.

I feel anymore 'fairness' will create an unfair inbalance.

So sorry that happened.

If she bitches tell her you got the number of the guy who squoshed the cake and she can take it up with him, and that you'll happily back her up on it. icon_biggrin.gif

tatorchip Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 4:23pm
post #3 of 25

Sorry MikeRowesHunny, I would have to be on the her side, first of all she ordered the cake to be made by you and not her fault that happened, I would have offered her some options, like as is for free, with info on how to fix it (like you did) or no charge and no cake. I can not think of ordering something in the mail and it arrives damaged and the vendor tell me to fix it and then send me partial refund. Sorry but I don't think you were fair on this one, you asked HTH

Kitagrl Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 4:30pm
post #4 of 25

I dunno, she gave almost a half price discount...I think that's pretty fair! The thing is...by the time a cake is delivered, people usually do not have time to say "Oh no thanks, that cake is ugly" and then go buy a new one.

I guess I'd have to see a photo of the damage to know if the cake should have been given free...but from what she describes I think she was perfectly fair. And the sister had the choice to tell her on the spot if she was satisfied or not.

I had a purse cake where the straps came off...I had to do alot of repair work and still not sure if it ever made it to the party in one piece...I gave a small discount and the lady was fine with the discount and still came back and ordered more....so...just depends on the damage and what the customer is fine with I guess.

I'm thinking no free cake unless it was absolutely unpresentable.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 4:33pm
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tatorchip

Sorry MikeRowesHunny, I would have to be on the her side, first of all she ordered the cake to be made by you and not her fault that happened, I would have offered her some options, like as is for free, with info on how to fix it (like you did) or no charge and no cake. I can not think of ordering something in the mail and it arrives damaged and the vendor tell me to fix it and then send me partial refund. Sorry but I don't think you were fair on this one, you asked HTH




I said to the sister to tell me what she thought was fair - but she didn't know. We tried to call the client but it was on her voicemail. I don't think your analogy is quite the same thing. It was damaged, yes, but not beyond repair and fixable without much effort. We are talking about a bit of smooshed buttercream here ( a couple of 2x1in patches on the sides). It was still perfectly edible.

tatorchip Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 4:41pm
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

I dunno, she gave almost a half price discount...I think that's pretty fair! The thing is...by the time a cake is delivered, people usually do not have time to say "Oh no thanks, that cake is ugly" and then go buy a new one.

I guess I'd have to see a photo of the damage to know if the cake should have been given free...but from what she describes I think she was perfectly fair. And the sister had the choice to tell her on the spot if she was satisfied or not.

I had a purse cake where the straps came off...I had to do alot of repair work and still not sure if it ever made it to the party in one piece...I gave a small discount and the lady was fine with the discount and still came back and ordered more....so...just depends on the damage and what the customer is fine with I guess.

I'm thinking no free cake unless it was absolutely unpresentable.


that is why she should get it free, she didn't have time to get another one. I know Mike would be out the money he spent but he was responsible for the cake till in her hands. He didn't mention what kind of cake it was, wedding, bd or what, If pictures were taken or not I just think if it were my fault then I would not charge, that is me, he asked remember

CakeMommyTX Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 4:42pm
post #7 of 25

The cake was still edible, which is part of what she paid for, had she paid for a ceramic sculpture of a cake and it broke and she was left with nothing then a yes a full refund. But she didnt she asked for a pretty cake that she can eat, so since she was still able to eat it she wasnt left completely empty handed.
So yes I think you were very fair, like K8memphis said any more of a discount would have been unfair to you.
Plus as a customer I would have understood that it was not your fault the damage happened and probably have not even asked for a discount, but I am a very understanding customer and I rarely complain.
Bottom line , it happened and you did your best to make good on the deal.
A busy train station is not an ideal cake atmosphere anyways, that should be taken into account as well.
Hope it all turns out ok.

tatorchip Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 4:47pm
post #8 of 25

Mike, then what gives you the feeling that she will be pissy pants about it

Mike1394 Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 4:56pm
post #9 of 25

Perfectly fair.

Mike

-K8memphis Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 4:59pm
post #10 of 25

You cannot order a meringue iced cake in the mail.

I think it is more egregiously wrong to not supply the event at all than to discount and fill half the order at least. Not perfect but there's still work that was done, time and money invested, an immovable deadline to meet. There's still product changing hands and gonna be served.

If you're a big deal baker that has dozens of employees, you can conceivably absorb sucha deep monetray loss for your work hours. But for the individual caker? Come on.

To me it's just as unthinkable to give the cake for free if it's got a coupla little or big smooshes as it is to not supply the one you made.

They might (but not in this case) loose the focal point factor of the cake but they can still eat it--that totally counts for something in the real world.

Not only is art not precision neither is the above average cake precise. It's handmade and handmade has an 'organic' nature that is not grounds for divorce from reality.

Not to mention, the sister mighta squished it even more her own self getting it to the venue. I think she got a very very good deal (too good really) from an above board conscientious caker.

tatorchip Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 5:11pm
post #11 of 25

I am not saying that I am right on this but he asked and that is just what I think I am not always right on things and never will always be right lol my hubby can tell you that he knows I am wrong most of the time lol

littlecake Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 5:19pm
post #12 of 25

They still got to eat it, so they got some value out of the cake, not like it was useless and had to be thrown away.

I think you were fair.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 5:29pm
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by tatorchip

I am not saying that I am right on this but he asked and that is just what I think I am not always right on things and never will always be right lol my hubby can tell you that he knows I am wrong most of the time lol




Don't get me wrong, I value your input as much as the next person. I made her a cake last weekend (which we delivered to her address 1+ hours away in the car. I had other deliveries and errands to do today so I could not deliver this time), she liked the cake but was disappointed it was single tiered. I had told her from the get-go on that cake that 20 servings did not warrant a 2 tiered cake, and my invoice told her exactly what she was getting (it's the red/white/black recent photo in my album). Then she orders this cake on Thursday - I already had a jammed packed cake weekend, but said OK. First she orders cupcakes, then changes her mind. Asks for a cake flavour not on my menu (which I research a recipe for and have to shop especially to make), complains that the icing (fondant) on the last cake was too sweet (so I suggested the SMBC) etc. etc. etc. So I went above and beyond on this cake as it was. Plus she tried to cancel on me last night (I told her no way, the cake is finished!). Then I deliver it to the station for FREE, her sister was meant to come to my house to collect it, but asked me this morning if I would bring it to the station, again, I said OK.

I agree with K8 that this cake wasn't going to get to its destination undamaged anyway. Her sister was wearing needle-thin 4in stilletto heels and the way she left carrying the box almost guaranteed there would be even more damage done before it got there (although that would definitely be out of my hands).

My OH said after all the hassle she has caused me over the last couple of days, he didn't think she even deserved 50 euros back icon_rolleyes.gif

tatorchip Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 5:37pm
post #14 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRowesHunny

Quote:
Originally Posted by tatorchip

I am not saying that I am right on this but he asked and that is just what I think I am not always right on things and never will always be right lol my hubby can tell you that he knows I am wrong most of the time lol



Don't get me wrong, I value your input as much as the next person. I made her a cake last weekend (which we delivered to her address 1+ hours away in the car. I had other deliveries and errands to do today so I could not deliver this time), she liked the cake but was disappointed it was single tiered. I had told her from the get-go on that cake that 20 servings did not warrant a 2 tiered cake, and my invoice told her exactly what she was getting (it's the red/white/black recent photo in my album). Then she orders this cake on Thursday - I already had a jammed packed cake weekend, but said OK. First she orders cupcakes, then changes her mind. Asks for a cake flavour not on my menu, complains that the icing (fondant) on the last cake was too sweet (so I suggested the SMBC) etc. etc. etc. So I went above and beyond on this cake as it was. Plus she tried to cancel on me last night (I told her no way, the cake is finished!). Then I deliver it to the station for FREE, her sister was meant to come to my house to collect it, but asked me this morning if I would bring it to the station, again, I said OK.

I agree with K8 that this cake wasn't going to get to its destination undamaged anyway. Her sister was wearing needle-thin 4in stilletto heels and the way she left carrying the box almost guaranteed there would be even more damage done before it got there (although that would definitely be out of my hands).

My OH said after all the hassle she has caused me over the last couple of days, he didn't think she even desrved 50 euros back icon_rolleyes.gif


oh, now that makes me understand more, glad for the extra info. I now give in and agree that you were fair. My hubby thought you were fair from the get go without farther info. See he is right, I am wrong most of the time. (lol at myself) Sorry Mike that I caused such a stink maybe I have to find a hobby lol like making a cake. Sorry again didn't mean to make a stink, head down asking forgiveness

Tee-Y Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 5:37pm
post #15 of 25

More than fair if the squished icing was repairable.
Free????? I don't think so, not in this case as those in the cake making business know!!! There's a lot more to making cakes than a little squished icing for people to think every little mistake means a free cake icon_eek.gif ,refund-YES but free- NO WAY(in this case)!!!!!

cakesbycathy Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 6:00pm
post #16 of 25

Don't get me wrong, I value your input as much as the next person. I made her a cake last weekend (which we delivered to her address 1+ hours away in the car. I had other deliveries and errands to do today so I could not deliver this time), she liked the cake but was disappointed it was single tiered. I had told her from the get-go on that cake that 20 servings did not warrant a 2 tiered cake, and my invoice told her exactly what she was getting (it's the red/white/black recent photo in my album). Then she orders this cake on Thursday - I already had a jammed packed cake weekend, but said OK. First she orders cupcakes, then changes her mind. Asks for a cake flavour not on my menu (which I research a recipe for and have to shop especially to make), complains that the icing (fondant) on the last cake was too sweet (so I suggested the SMBC) etc. etc. etc. So I went above and beyond on this cake as it was. Plus she tried to cancel on me last night (I told her no way, the cake is finished!). Then I deliver it to the station for FREE, her sister was meant to come to my house to collect it, but asked me this morning if I would bring it to the station, again, I said OK.

I agree with K8 that this cake wasn't going to get to its destination undamaged anyway. Her sister was wearing needle-thin 4in stilletto heels and the way she left carrying the box almost guaranteed there would be even more damage done before it got there (although that would definitely be out of my hands).

My OH said after all the hassle she has caused me over the last couple of days, he didn't think she even deserved 50 euros back icon_rolleyes.gif[/quote]


I think your refund was fair.
I do have a couple of points though:
First (and this is a general statement to everybody, not just the OP) if an order is going to be a hassle because you are trying to squeeze it into your already crazy busy schedule, then either turn down the order or don't complain about it. Set some limits (about last minute orders or changes to orders or whatever) or you are in no condition to complain about bending over backwards to help out the client.

Second, OP - given the sister's footware, I wouldn't be surprised either if additional damage occurs to the cake. However, since she clearly is a PITA customer, be prepared for the client to complain about the damage. I think it's going to be very hard to discern what damage came from the clumsy oaf that bumped into you and what is from her sister. I think this could turn into a he said she said kind of thing and it could be hard to prove what damage came from which person (unless you have photos to back you up).

Good luck!

-K8memphis Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 6:11pm
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

...
I do have a couple of points though:
First (and this is a general statement to everybody, not just the OP) if an order is going to be a hassle because you are trying to squeeze it into your already crazy busy schedule, then either turn down the order or don't complain about it.
Set some limits (about last minute orders or changes to orders or whatever) or you are in no condition to complain about bending over backwards to help out the client.




Why can't yah complain? Complaining a bit helps.
Sucking everything up is like playing Old Faithful.
You might contain it for a while but girl, it's gonna blow someday and
blow big one way or another.

Yes it will.

Tee-Y Posted 3 Oct 2009 , 7:06pm
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-



Why can't yah complain? Complaining a bit helps.
Sucking everything up is like playing Old Faithful.
You might contain it for a while but girl, it's gonna blow someday and
blow big one way or another.

Yes it will.




Sure thing K8! thumbs_up.gif

You see, much as most of us have standards we follow, its not set in stone. Sometimes you just feel you can take on one more or the customer insists its your cake she wants and ple-e-a-se can you squeeze hers in etc- these things happen and you just learn to deal with issues as they arise which in this case was truly not the fault of the OP. She did the honourable thing giving the refund and the complaints she has made are basically her explanations to ''US'' the circumstances surrounding what happened.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 5:08pm
post #19 of 25

UPDATE: I have never been so wrong about a customer in my life! She chatted with me on Facebook yesterday and said she told her sister off for accepting such a large discount! She's going to mail me 30 euros back (so the cake would be discounted 20 euros), she said accidents happen and she knows that the margin of profit on my cakes is only just acceptable as it is! How sweet is that?

Lesson learned: I spend far too much time on here reading about horrible customers that I now expect mine to be the same *hangs head in shame*

Mike1394 Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 5:16pm
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRowesHunny

UPDATE: I have never been so wrong about a customer in my life! She chatted with me on Facebook yesterday and said she told her sister off for accepting such a large discount! She's going to mail me 30 euros back (so the cake would be discounted 20 euros), she said accidents happen and she knows that the margin of profit on my cakes is only just acceptable as it is! How sweet is that?

Lesson learned: I spend far too much time on here reading about horrible customers that I now expect mine to be the same *hangs head in shame*




Very Cool icon_biggrin.gif

tatorchip Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 5:21pm
post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRowesHunny

UPDATE: I have never been so wrong about a customer in my life! She chatted with me on Facebook yesterday and said she told her sister off for accepting such a large discount! She's going to mail me 30 euros back (so the cake would be discounted 20 euros), she said accidents happen and she knows that the margin of profit on my cakes is only just acceptable as it is! How sweet is that?

Lesson learned: I spend far too much time on here reading about horrible customers that I now expect mine to be the same *hangs head in shame*


Don't feel bad, just come meet me in the (hang head) corner, lol, I even thought you were a guy till later I realized you were Mike's hunny. Sorry about that. Anyway that was what I was wondering in the first place of the pissy pants. One thing is for sure you have a lot of friends on cc and they stood up for you FAST. That is great of them. Anyway come meet me in the (hang head) corner lol

MikeRowesHunny Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 5:31pm
post #22 of 25

[/quote] I even thought you were a guy till later I realized you were Mike's hunny. . Anyway come meet me in the (hang head) corner lol[/quote]

That's OK, I wish I really was Mike's hunny lol! I'll gladly join you in the corner, shall I bring some freshly baked choc chip cookies for comfort eating? icon_wink.gif

CakeandDazzle Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 5:48pm
post #23 of 25

Awesome outcome!!! All that worrying for nothing!! icon_smile.gif

tatorchip Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 5:56pm
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRowesHunny


I even thought you were a guy till later I realized you were Mike's hunny. . Anyway come meet me in the (hang head) corner lol[/quote]

That's OK, I wish I really was Mike's hunny lol! I'll gladly join you in the corner, shall I bring some freshly baked choc chip cookies for comfort eating? icon_wink.gif[/quote]

I'll get the milk lol

Tee-Y Posted 13 Oct 2009 , 12:00am
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRowesHunny

UPDATE: I have never been so wrong about a customer in my life! She chatted with me on Facebook yesterday and said she told her sister off for accepting such a large discount! She's going to mail me 30 euros back (so the cake would be discounted 20 euros), she said accidents happen and she knows that the margin of profit on my cakes is only just acceptable as it is! How sweet is that?

Lesson learned: I spend far too much time on here reading about horrible customers that I now expect mine to be the same *hangs head in shame*




Wow!That's so cool!Anyway all's well that ends well icon_biggrin.gif .

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%