Am Feeling Very Down

Decorating By Bluesea Updated 25 Nov 2009 , 5:41am by matthewkyrankelly

Bluesea Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 2:32am
post #1 of 25

Dear Friends,

How do you all handle negative feedback? Just got my 1st negative feedback from customer. Cake was collected last evening. The customer wrote me an email to say that the design was nice but she felt that the price was too expensive since the cake toppers hand molded cow and puppy were not edible + a toy Thomas train.

2nd-ly, she mentioned that the cake was not cooked. Am really puzzled what went wrong here. The cake was a chocolate cake with nutella filling covered in fondant. When I sliced the cake to put the nutella filling, everything seemed ok. What would have gone wrong? Did I miss anything here?

I replied to her offering my sincere apologies that the cake didnt turn out well for her and offered to bake a complimentary 1kg chocolate cake for her next event.

I know negative feedbacks are good but I am not doing well handling this.

Thanks for reading guys.

24 replies
cabecakes Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 2:42am
post #2 of 25

Is it possible that the cake was done, but had absorbed some of the moisture from the filling. I am not familiar with nutella filling, so I don't know how much moisture is in it. As far as the cake not being 100% edible, did she specify that was what she expected. And as far as price, didn't she know the price before she picked it up? Sounds to me like she might be trying to get a freebie. Don't under-estimate yourself. Really stop and think about it. If the cake looked done when you put the filling in it, how could it not be done when she recieved it. The other matters, well she should have been a lot more specific before she purchased it as far as 100% edible at such and such a price.

Ursula40 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 2:46am
post #3 of 25

Perhaps the Nutella seeped into the cake and made the surrounding cake very moist, so that it seemed to be underdone. Nutella does get very soft when it is standing in warm surroundings, that is why i have to keep it in my fridge over here. in Germany it is fine in the cupboard.
Did the customer know, what the cake toppers were made of? I tell my customers that the toppers (if they are not made of clay) are in THEORY edible, but as they are dried, not reccomended. As for the trian topper, did she know in advance it was a toy? It's all about how you spoke and agreed with the customer in advance. I would think the bday boy would have been thrilled with an extra toy to play with

bbmom Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 2:49am
post #4 of 25

I agree, she was looking for a freebie and she got one. She knew ahead of time the price and what the toppers would be made out of I assume. You would have known the cake was underbaked when you filled and leveled the cake. There is no way you could have sliced into an uncooked cake! Maybe it was more moist than it should have been due to condensation or something under the fondant.

Cakepro Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 2:50am
post #5 of 25

I had my first customer complaint a couple of weeks ago on my Noah's Ark cake. The lady said it was amazing and beautiful but that the cake was dry, not chocolate enough, and did not have enough strawberry filling. She had a very different idea of what a strawberry filled chocolate cake should be...she wanted inch-thick layers, which we did not discuss and which I do not do. I would have actually given her "dry and not chocolate enough" complaint some credence had I not come home from delivering the cake and eaten the cake scraps, which were perfectly wonderful. Hubby also had the cake scraps and nothing was out of the ordinary. Her phone call a couple of days later floored me but I chalked it up to her expecting something different from what I do.

I did not offer her any money back and don't understand why, in virtually every thread I read here where a customer complained about a cake, people automatically start offering partial or full refunds. If you know your cake was baked through and through when you torted it to fill it, you know it wasn't underbaked. Why then would you offer to bake her a complimentary cake? To gain repeat business from her?

The feedback I received about my cake bothered me for a few days and then I shrugged it off and forgot about it. I hope you will forget about it too and not beat yourself up. icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 2:52am
post #6 of 25

Congratulations! You got your first negative feedback out of the way! You have burped your Tupperware-Feedback-Bowl! icon_lol.gif

Ok, now that I've tried to get you to smile, it sucks every single time someone says something bad about our cakes, when we KNOW they are great! icon_biggrin.gif Know that it WILL happen and it WILL happen way more often than you want it to. It doesn't get too much easier to accept .... but just know it now. 30 years doing this and it's still gut-wretching to me today, just like it was in the beginning.

I agree with the above post. If she knew the price and knew the design ahead of time, it sounds like buyer's remorse. The"unbaked" line sounds like she's reaching.

As far as something being "edible", I was talking to one lady who asked "By watching the cake shows, they make it sound like everything on a cake has to be edible?" I said, "First, those are usually competitions and it's to demonstrate the skill of the designer. Yes, gumpaste is edible, but I personally wouldn't eat it. Some do .... I won't." THen I told her, "Heck, technically DIRT is edible but I dont' think you want on your cake, either!" She laughed with me and said that made sense to her. So to my pea-brain way of thinking, something made of edible materials isnt' necessarily edible. It's probably something a customer needs educated on.

Bluesea Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 2:52am
post #7 of 25

Ive done many chocolate cakes with nutella filling was never an issue. The customer already knew that the train was a toy and I did tell her that the cow and puppy are made of gumpaste and fondant and that since they were done 5 days ahead not recommended to eat. Ya, she did mention that the bday boy was happy with the cake. Thanks for replying guys.

MrsNancyB1 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 2:54am
post #8 of 25

First and foremost, (((hugs))) to you. I'm sorry that you are dealing with this right now.

People who don't make cakes, have NO idea how personally we can take their criticisms. I jokingly liken my cakes to my children, since each of them is dear to me and really a part of me (as cheesy as that sounds).

I don't know why someone would say that a cake wasn't cooked, if you indeed torted it yourself and found that it was cooked. It smells like a case of buyer's remorse to me, and likely nothing to do with the cake at all.

I hope you start to feel better soon. icon_smile.gif

Bluesea Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:05am
post #9 of 25

cakepro - no, definitely am not expecting future business from her. she wasn't a easy customer right from the beginning. i offered a complimentary as this was my 1st negative feedback and i felt very bad.

indydebi - your 1st line made me laugh - i needed that. tks much

Bluesea Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:10am
post #10 of 25

MrsNancyB1 - hugs received with love. thank you.

BlakesCakes Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:20am
post #11 of 25

She just needed something to fuss about--my guess is that her hubby found out how much the cake cost and gave her some flak, so she got on your case.

As for the figures--I understand that they may have been hard, having dried for 5 days--but if they didn't have wires or toothpicks in them, they could have been consumed--carefully.

Rae

carmenid Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:35am
post #12 of 25

I don't take negative feedback well either, I get down too. I usually just make cakes for work, family or friends, I don't sell them, so it is extra hard when someone has something negative to say about my cakes. BUT, eventhough that it still affects me I have tried to use it in my advantage; for example I was told once that my cupcakes were always dry and I made it a point to learn tips to make them moist and I suceeded. I was also told that my cakes were not cooked as well, and I am working on correcting that.

I am always taking classes to improve my skills and asking for tips from fellow cake decorators... I do not want to make a business out of this but I want to be as good as I can on it.

Hope you feel better soon!

makeminepink Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:35am
post #13 of 25

People are so crazy, do what Cakepro said and forget about it. And by the way Cakepro-----------Someone complained about your Noah's Ark???!!! Unbelievable!
My daughter has a business and a customer came in to talk to the owner-- my daughter-- a little 4'11" go-getter. The woman was complaining about too much ice in her drink that she had gotten in the drive-thru. My daughter asked if she would like more soft drink or a new drink. She told her that next time if she would request "easy-ice" they would be happy to give her less ice. Well the woman announced that should would not be back! Some people just can't be pleased. Let's try not to let them ruin our day! icon_smile.gif

CarolAnn Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 3:54am
post #14 of 25

[quote="

People who don't make cakes, have NO idea how personally we can take their criticisms. )[/quote]

Actually, I think many of these complainers DO know that their criticizims hurt, and its exactly what they're going for, for whatever their lame reasons. I also feel that those who deliver these layer upon layer complaints via e-mail are spinless. You have a problem with me or my cakes then be "man enough" ( so to speak) to do it in person, or at least on the phone where I have half a chance to respond. Don't do it in e mail where you can fire off a hurtful/whiney message and check back later to see if I've gathered myself enough to respond. And don't forget to save it so you can re-read it to get more jollies at my expense. Sorry to go on, but stuff like this bugs the heck out of me. It's cake people!! I can't come to your house and feed it to you to check for perfection to the last morsel. Geez! Does your flaky cereal not get soggy if you pour on the milk and run out to gas your car before you sit down to eat it? Huh? Well creamy chocolate filling can actually absorb into the pores of a cake once it's been there a while. Get real!!!!!

Bluesea Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 4:03am
post #15 of 25

Well said CarolAnn.

Thank you guys...thanks much for reading my post and posting your words of encouragement...u guys were the 1st on my mind to get some pampering after reading her email.

JustToEatCake Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 4:34am
post #16 of 25

You can't please some people NO matter what you do. Try to forget it. Perhaps next time you might say "Something must have happened to the cake while you had it because at the same time I made your cake we had an event (might be watching TV) at our home and my family had the exact same cake that very evening. In fact it was baked right beside your cake with the same batter and frosted from the same bowl as yours and we didn't find it to have ANY problem.

Personally I would NEVER reply in email. I like the "say it to my face approach" and I'd respond to a email "if you'd like to discuss your issue please call me at 555-1212, etc)

You know we have a small Amazon DVD business and we have actually received negative feedbacks (more than 5 times) from people who bought the DVD they wanted from us, we ship FAST and they decided they didn't like the movie or the music (CD) so they leave US negative feedback. When I, very nicely, emailed all of them and explained that the feedback was supposed to based on our performance as sellers, they couldn't care less, not one of them removed it or changed it.

On a side note we (my SO and I) also sell vintage baseball cards. So this one guy emailed and said he wanted a refund on a set of cards because it wasn't as described (a big 300.00 set). In order for him to get a refund he has to send it back and have a delivery confirmation that it was returned. That's ALL he had to do. Well guess what? He sent back a package with a BRICK in it!!! I kid you NOT!! A BRICK. He wanted the baseball cards AND his money back. But thank goodness my SO had been talking with some people and they told him to open the box IN FRONT of the postal worker (PO Box) so he had proof and the PO wrote a note on their letterhead that we sent in and saved the day. My point is a lot of people know if they complain they get something for free.

On a second side note...lol..my niece's wedding cake was HORRIBLE!! It was so dry it was unedible and I am not picky when it comes to cake, I go to parties just for the cake sometimes...haha.. and even I didn't eat it but we never called and complained but in hindsight we should have. Knowing what I know now I am certain she had it sitting out or in the fridge for a loooooonnnnggg time.

Hope you feel better!

sherrycanary62 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 12:04pm
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabecakes

Is it possible that the cake was done, but had absorbed some of the moisture from the filling. I am not familiar with nutella filling, so I don't know how much moisture is in it. As far as the cake not being 100% edible, did she specify that was what she expected. And as far as price, didn't she know the price before she picked it up? Sounds to me like she might be trying to get a freebie. Don't under-estimate yourself. Really stop and think about it. If the cake looked done when you put the filling in it, how could it not be done when she recieved it. The other matters, well she should have been a lot more specific before she purchased it as far as 100% edible at such and such a price.




So how would you stop a filling from seeping into the cake and making it soggy? TIA

Rincewind Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 12:56pm
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sherrycanary62


So how would you stop a filling from seeping into the cake and making it soggy? TIA




pbi- I find that if I first spread a thin layer of buttercream over each cake layer, then pipe my dam and fill, it prevents the cake from soaking up too much filling.

cylstrial Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 1:36pm
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustToEatCake

You can't please some people NO matter what you do. Try to forget it. Perhaps next time you might say "Something must have happened to the cake while you had it because at the same time I made your cake we had an event (might be watching TV) at our home and my family had the exact same cake that very evening. In fact it was baked right beside your cake with the same batter and frosted from the same bowl as yours and we didn't find it to have ANY problem.

Personally I would NEVER reply in email. I like the "say it to my face approach" and I'd respond to a email "if you'd like to discuss your issue please call me at 555-1212, etc)

You know we have a small Amazon DVD business and we have actually received negative feedbacks (more than 5 times) from people who bought the DVD they wanted from us, we ship FAST and they decided they didn't like the movie or the music (CD) so they leave US negative feedback. When I, very nicely, emailed all of them and explained that the feedback was supposed to based on our performance as sellers, they couldn't care less, not one of them removed it or changed it.

On a side note we (my SO and I) also sell vintage baseball cards. So this one guy emailed and said he wanted a refund on a set of cards because it wasn't as described (a big 300.00 set). In order for him to get a refund he has to send it back and have a delivery confirmation that it was returned. That's ALL he had to do. Well guess what? He sent back a package with a BRICK in it!!! I kid you NOT!! A BRICK. He wanted the baseball cards AND his money back. But thank goodness my SO had been talking with some people and they told him to open the box IN FRONT of the postal worker (PO Box) so he had proof and the PO wrote a note on their letterhead that we sent in and saved the day. My point is a lot of people know if they complain they get something for free.

On a second side note...lol..my niece's wedding cake was HORRIBLE!! It was so dry it was unedible and I am not picky when it comes to cake, I go to parties just for the cake sometimes...haha.. and even I didn't eat it but we never called and complained but in hindsight we should have. Knowing what I know now I am certain she had it sitting out or in the fridge for a loooooonnnnggg time.

Hope you feel better!




Wow! The guy sent a brick to you? That is ridiculous!

To the OP - sorry about your complaining customer. It sounds like buyer's remorse to me as well.

Pookie59 Posted 23 Nov 2009 , 4:24pm
post #20 of 25

Isn't funny how one bad review seems to cancel out hundreds of compliments? Shrug it off and move forward.

And ... I wish people would stop giving refunds and freebies everytime one of these sour pusses moans. Those people are cake thieves - trying to get something for nothing. What they deserve is a kick in the pants and a week old Walmart cake.

JenniferMI Posted 24 Nov 2009 , 1:10pm
post #21 of 25

If you cut the cake open and didn't see anything unusual ...that is strange.

I think you handled it well..... you really won't know if she is trying to get something for nothing. Be firm with your prices...they are what they are. John public has NO idea what goes into making a cake!

Jen icon_smile.gif

cabecakes Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 4:58am
post #22 of 25

People who don't make cakes, have NO idea how personally we can take their criticisms. I jokingly liken my cakes to my children, since each of them is dear to me and really a part of me (as cheesy as that sounds).

MrsNancyB1 that is hysterical that you said that. I told a lady at work that I get attached to my cakes like they were one of my children, and she looked at me like I was crazy. LOL.

browniebatterer Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 5:06am
post #23 of 25

It hurts when it first happens, it really does, but you have to work past it. I've had that happen and have been so upset for days, but in retrospect, I should not have let myself be so affected by that negative feedback. Be confident in your abilities. icon_smile.gif

browniebatterer Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 5:07am
post #24 of 25

By the way, your cakes are great.

matthewkyrankelly Posted 25 Nov 2009 , 5:41am
post #25 of 25

You really couldn't have torted a cake that was not cooked. This was either a scam or the filling made it seem very moist.

To sherrycanary - the two ways I know of to prevent the extra moisture from getting into the cake depend on the filling. If it is an icing or frosting based filling, use the thin layer of buttercream. If it is a fruit filling, I like to use microwave melted jam. Brush it on the cake. It cools quickly and seals the cake. Very good. Very tasty. Great on blind baked pie crusts as well.

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