Early last week, I had someone call to order a cake for Sunday. I was going out of town over the weekend, so the lady asked if I could recommend anyone because she really didn't want a cake from Walmart or anywhere like that. I gave her a friend's # who also makes cakes (the first time I have recommended her to anyone.)
Well, when I got back into town, my friend "D" (also a friend of the lady who had called to order the cake) told me that the cake was a disaster. "D" said that her friend and "the cake lady" had set up to meet at 9:00 Sunday before church. There was a no show/no call by "the cake lady". She (the orderer) called after church to see about getting the cake and they decided that she (the cake lady) would deliver it to her house. When the cake was delivered, it was on the verge of being late- again. The lady had ordered a pretty fall cake with fall leaves on it and Happy Birthday ("her hubby's name"). There were only a few fall leaves and nothing written on it. She said it tasted okay, but nothing special.
The "orderer lady" isn't upset at me, she just wanted to let me know so I wouldn't recommend her again. And you better believe that I NEVER WILL!! Oh my - did this EVER upset me! This "cake lady" was my WMI and I was friends with her and her husband. I have even gone to ICES meetings with them. I figure I know what happened, but that is NO EXCUSE in my book! I figure she got up Sunday morning remembered the cake that she forgot to bake and started baking it then. Everyone knows that it takes time to bake and decorate a cake! She was probably running late leaving her house (I have helped her set up a wedding cake before and she finished setting up when people starting coming in the reception hall) and just didn't do her best on it.
If she wants to conduct her business like that, that is her deal, but when I recommend someone - they better be on their toes because I am so anal when it comes to my cakes! I won't even let anyone else carry them, not even my husband!
I know it's over and done with - but I just had to vent to others that know how I feel!!!
Thank goodness the person who ordered the cake didn't hold it against you. At least you had this experience with a client who was understanding. It would have been worse if you lost a client forever because of this one referral.
Of course, you do realize that there are two sides to every story. Call your friend and ask what happened. She wouldn't still be in business if she ran it like this all the time.
You never know. ANYTHING could have happened. The customer could have been trying to get a free cake out of YOU and was trying to make you feel guilty. Ask your friend for a picture of the cake.
Besides that...be a friend. I have a friend that refers a lot of business to me, and I to her. (we live about an hour away from each other). The night before a wedding cake was due, her son was in a horrific car wreck and was life flighted. She called from the hospital at midnight and asked me to go finish her cake, so I did. BUT, I was late getting to the reception since I had two of my own deliveries to make as well. Her son lived, by the way, but it is not always poor organization.
The bride called my friend later and told her the cake was great. (I didn't explain what had happened, I just delivered an apologized, plus I was only 20 minutes late) The bride did complain about late delivery and at that point my friend told her about the accident and offered her a free anniversary cake, which the bride accepted. She has since ordered several cakes from my friend.
Oh no! I don't think the customer is trying to get a cake out of me at all. She really worried about my my friend "D" even saying anything to me. And knowing the "cake lady" like I do and knowing how she does things, I can honestly say that I believe the customer, which is the sad part. (I have gone to her house before to help her out because she is sooo very last minute - every time!) If she was having a problem with the delivery, I think it is only courtesy to give the customer a phone call. I know for a fact that she would never tell someone to call me, because to be honest, my cakes look much better than hers (although they are definately not as good as the ones I see on CC!) and I think she is afraid of that. The only reason that she is a WMI or makes cakes is for the money, which is not a bad thing at all, but there is so much more to making/decorating cakes. The "cake lady" is retired and I was just trying to help her and the customer out. She is sorta sloppy in her decorating, but I was hoping that since she knew I recommeded her, she would try to do something decent. Oh well...live and learn.
It's all water under the bridge now, but it still upsets me. That's all! :0)
If you already knew about the WMI work habits, why would you refer someone to her for a cake
I can see hoping that maybe because you refered her she might do a better job, but still. I would have thought twice about it. Or at least made a phone call the reiterate to her that you appreciated her being able to make the cake and you just know she'll do a beautiful job. Something like that.
IMO you're lucky the customer wasn't upset with you.