A Dissatisfied Customer.

Decorating By michaelahayes25 Updated 5 Apr 2010 , 12:58pm by tcakes65

michaelahayes25 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 12:07pm
post #1 of 165

Hi everyone thanks for clicking on my post to help me out. I most recently delivered a small smash cake which i made it an 8 inch instead of a 6 and one of those giant cupcakes. I got an email saying that the smash cake barely had any cake and too much filling, and the cupcake was supposed to be raspberry lemonade filling instead of strawberry. what should i do in this situation? the cakes are already eaten im sure, and i have never ever ever ever ever once had any complaints about my cakes. So i really do not know what to do. any suggestions or advice would be appreciated, thanks!

164 replies
Elaine2581 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 12:11pm
post #2 of 165

How could an 8 inch cake have hardly any cake? I think I would just send a return e-mail and tell her I was sorry for the misunderstanding in the flavor and that I had not been able to measure up to her expectations. If she didn't ask for a refund or discount, I probably would not offer one. Just my 2 cents worth.

Kimmers971 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 12:14pm
post #3 of 165

Do you have the order in writing? If so, end of subject on the flavors. An 8" smash cake? Way too big and at that size how could there be no cake? A smash cake is suppose to be enough for the birthday boy/girl (1 to 2 yrs old), so even a 6" in too big in my opinion.

Otherwise just apoligize for the misunderstanding on the flavor and do not offer any refund. They ate the cakes.

Kibosh Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 12:20pm
post #4 of 165

Hardly any cake??? First of all you, do you have any order form or anything?
I have the understanding that a smash cake is just an extra cake that the birthday kid (1yrs old) gets to dig into at their b-day. If this is correct, why did she need more that? If it's not, perhaps she cut big stinkin pieces!

I would not issue a refund, but perhaps to satisfy her, offer her a 1\\2 dozen free cupcakes. Never discount!

mireillea Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 12:28pm
post #5 of 165

more filling = more smash, so what is the big deal?

Don't let this client get you down!
You make amazing cakes!

tirby Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 12:33pm
post #6 of 165

This is a : what I would do in your situation... (again is the order written somewhere that you can check the flavor requested when the order was placed?)

1. double check the order

2 If the order is correct, send the reply (and copy of the order) as other had stated but in it note that filling to cake ratio is subjective and you will place a note in her file to limit the filling amount used) I love lots of filling others dont.( IF the cake was the smash cake then no one should notice or care. the kid smashed it) (sounds like they ate that gave the cupcake to the child maybe???)

3. IF the order is wrong. then sorry the order was wrong. (Just simply admit that to her, no one is perfect and they are better recieved when they admit when they are wrong) I am very much a customer service person. I would offer 10% off her next order or something.

(I mean if it were me and I was your customer I would be telling you ONLY for your sake, I would not accept a full refund but 10% off would make me happy) She may be telling you so you can pay more attention (again IF it is wrong) so you don't make the same mistake on a cake more important. (wedding cake or something)

4. Don't stress to much all you can do is your part of this she can accept it or not. But I actually have one family that I make all their cake and they NEVER order strawberry because they have a grandmother or aunt that is allergic to strawberries. so getting it right is very important.

Hope this helps. and keep us posted.

KHalstead Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 12:50pm
post #7 of 165

I would tell her that you already offered her a larger cake than normal and gave THAT to her at a discounted price and that you are sorry for her dissatisfaction but you cannot offer her any more of a discount than you already have!

dreamcakesmom Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 12:59pm
post #8 of 165

I'm not quite following the initial email.
Do you have an order form that the customer received confirning the flavor?
If so follow another posters advice and email it to her showing her the order was correct.

In terms of the smash cake not enough cake situation. My question is was the 8" cake supposed to be a smash cake? Or are you referring to the cupcake was not enough cake? If so was there filling in the cupcake she was referring to?

I agree with other posters this is really too big a cake for a smash cake. Typically when I provide 1st birthday cakes, I add a complimentary- jumbo sized cupcake (not the wilton pan but an actual cupcake) for the birthday child's candle and for them to smash.

Every parent has loved this and really when I have the batter already going to bake off an extra cupcake is super easy. In their eyes this was a huge gesture on my part.

Good luck- let us know how this turned out.

michaelahayes25 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 1:49pm
post #9 of 165

hi everyone i appreciated the comments sooo much! it has kind of stressed me out because i just received the email this morning and i did not get back to her just yet, because i do not know how to reply.

All of your comments are wonderful ideas on how to approach the situation! (Onceuponadreamcakes) she is referring to the smash cake which i made it bigger (8inch) that there was too much filling, and big cupcake was the one that had the wrong filling.

i will post to you guys what she said once i give her a call. thanks everyone! you guys made me feel alot better! icon_smile.gificon_biggrin.gif

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 1:53pm
post #10 of 165

Geez.... I've never heard of anyone complaining about a smash cake for goodness sake! I'm not sure about other areas, but down here a smash cake is just for the baby to smash... no one else actually eats the darn thing! Do you charge for smash cakes?

I throw in a 6" (1 layer, no filling, buttercream only) smash cake for free if they order at least a 2 tier cake. I usually just throw something together that matches the big cake, and it's free...so they can't complain! LOL

michaelahayes25 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 1:57pm
post #11 of 165

oh here is a picture of the two cakes for this subject matter, thought they might help. oh i also want to note that i really did not charge her much for these cakes they were 35.00 dollars each

sweetcakes Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:10pm
post #12 of 165

the cakes look great, but i agree that is way too big for a smash cake. what parents want with a smash cake is a photo opportunity, to get their kids hands in the cake and it all smeared on their face (the kids face!) so just for next time, make a small 4" and ice it simply in buttercream, no extensive details and dont use fondant, i and its probably only me, consider fondant to be a choking hazard on a cake for a 1yr old. But your cake may not have been for a 1yr old since it has makeup peices on it. I dont think you owe her anything, just an apology

GI Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:14pm
post #13 of 165

Your cakes are darling. I can't imagine someone complaining! Wow...... icon_confused.gif

Spuddysmom Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:21pm
post #14 of 165

Did the parents request the smash be 8"? From your photos, it looks to me like the parents had planned to serve the "smash" cake instead of letting their child destroy it. That's the only reason they could complain about too much filling. And, as has been pointed out, there are some choking hazards for a one year old on that cake, too.

tarheelgirl Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:34pm
post #15 of 165

WOW! For the $35 with all that work.. they already received a deal! I wouldn't offer anything else. If the flavors were wrong then yes, 10% off off their next order but definitely not money. icon_confused.gif

mamawrobin Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 2:40pm
post #16 of 165

Your cakes are very pretty but I have to say that I've never seen a smash cake look quite like that. Mine are 4" buttercream only decorated to match the big cake. I've always thought that fondant and one year olds weren't a good match. Am I wrong on that? I think they got a pretty good deal for $35.00 each I must say. Like I said your cakes are very pretty.

cylstrial Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:03pm
post #17 of 165

I do 4" smash cakes! So I really think 8" is a lot of cake!!

cakesbycathy Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:11pm
post #18 of 165

First your cakes are just adorable. icon_smile.gif

I think there was a major miscommunication about the definition of a "smash cake". Typically, a smash cake is a 4" or 6" single layer cake for the birthday child to dig into. The cake in your photo looks like a 2 layer cake.

If the filling was wrong in the cupcake, simply apologize for your mistake. If the client only paid $35 icon_surprised.gificon_eek.gificon_surprised.gif for both those cakes then she basically got it for steal. Do not offer any kind of refund.

In the future (if you didn't do it this time), make sure you have a written and signed contract for every order and that you get a non-refundable deposit before any work is done thumbs_up.gif

ttehan4 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:37pm
post #19 of 165

I would apologize for the wrong filling and move on. She is nuts to even complain about those two cakes that she stole from you for a measly 35.00 each. She owes you money!

I agree with the no fondant on smash cakes issue. If would definitely be a choking hazzard. The wires and the smash cake are a no, no too!

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:38pm
post #20 of 165

As far as the wrong flavor, this is what I would do. I would appologize for the mistake (we are all human and are going to make mistakes) and offer a discount for her next order. I would not offer a refund because they did eat the cake.

Just remember, the average person knows 200 people... the average person is more likely to pass on a negative experience with others than a positive experience. What this means is if the customer is not satisfied, they have the potential to pass on their negative experience with 200 potential clients.

I would offer a discount to satisfy the client (on the mix up in flavors). In my opinion, it will be far less costly for you to eat a 10% discount in the future than to lose potential clients she/he tells about being dissatisfied with your services. I've made mistakes, we all have.

KHalstead Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:46pm
post #21 of 165

i think the OP already ate the cost of those cakes to begin with. That had to cost you nearly $35 each just to MAKE those cakes!!

TexasSugar Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:49pm
post #22 of 165

For $35, did you even make any money off the cake?

Yes they got an awesome deal on the cakes, as well as got more servings than they asked for. But at the same time you can't always say that oh because you got a deal and more cake than you asked for your complaint isn't valid.

It would be like going to a resturant and ordering a 6oz steak medium rare and they bringing you a 12oz steak cooked done. Yes you got more steak than you asked for but you also didn't get it cooked how you asked for either. I'd much rather have the steak I asked for cooked how I wanted it than more steak cooked differently.

I would do as has been suggested, giving them a percentage off the next cake order.

Take it as a learning lesson. Write down all orders, and if possible get a signature from them saying that is correct. Or even if it is just all in an email where you list what they asked for and they write back with a, yes that is what I want. And then make sure you give them what they ask for. That way if there is an issue, you have your proof of what is ordered.

I'd also suggest sitting down and figure out how much making cakes is really costing you, and using that information for future orders.

jadak Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:56pm
post #23 of 165

I just wanted to point out that the OP said she charged $35 each for the cakes....not $35 total for both. icon_smile.gif

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 3:57pm
post #24 of 165
Originally Posted by KHalstead

i think the OP already ate the cost of those cakes to begin with. That had to cost you nearly $35 each just to MAKE those cakes!!

Hummm, your cost must be much higher than mine... it wouldn't cost me $35 to make either of those cakes (not counting my time). The fact is, that is what the OP charged for the cakes.... and the customer is dissatisfied with the mix up on the flavors. If the customer paid for a raspberry cake, that's what they paid for.

Just simply saying sometimes you have to make up for a mistake. I've had people order a tie dye inside from me before that I forgot to do... they still got the correct flavor, just wasnt tie dye... I still give a small discount on the next cake, because they didn't get what they paid for!

I don't want people going around telling my potential clients that I didn't give them what they ordered, and wouldn't make it right.

mireillea Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 6:10pm
post #25 of 165

What I don't understand: if the client agreed on a smashcake for $35, then she must have known it wasn't a 4" cake with barely any decorations, right? Who pays 35 dollars for a smashcake?

sgraff Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 6:25pm
post #26 of 165
Originally Posted by mireillea

What I don't understand: if the client agreed on a smashcake for $35, then she must have known it wasn't a 4" cake with barely any decorations, right? Who pays 35 dollars for a smashcake?

I definitely think there was confusion on what a "smash cake" was. As others posted, I do smash cakes as 4" rounds, 1 layer. They are iced in BC and have a border and a "happy birthday" message if that is what they want. I do not charge for these.

mamawrobin Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 8:50pm
post #27 of 165
Originally Posted by sgraff

Originally Posted by mireillea

What I don't understand: if the client agreed on a smashcake for $35, then she must have known it wasn't a 4" cake with barely any decorations, right? Who pays 35 dollars for a smashcake?

I definitely think there was confusion on what a "smash cake" was. As others posted, I do smash cakes as 4" rounds, 1 layer. They are iced in BC and have a border and a "happy birthday" message if that is what they want. I do not charge for these.

Exactly what I was thinking. I do 4" smash cakes/bc icing/border and I don't charge for it either.

michaelahayes25 Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 10:31pm
post #28 of 165

hey everyone! ok now the smash cake was not for a 1 year old she was 8 years old. She said that she specifically wanted the smash cake so thats what i made, i just tried to contact her and no answer so i sent an email stating that i was sorry for her disappoint in my cakes and that i would offer her 10% discount on her next cake order. will post her response, thanks everyone once again!!!! and yes i did not make any money off of the cakes if any by the time i delivered an hour away! ouch i know!

Spuddysmom Posted 30 Mar 2010 , 10:56pm
post #29 of 165

Never heard of a smash cake for an eight year old but that explains the decorations. (make-up); interesting.

michaelahayes25 Posted 31 Mar 2010 , 1:04am
post #30 of 165

(SpecialtyCakesbyKelli) Hi sorry i missed your question, i normally do small smash cakes that are 6 inch to match the decor of the big cake(35.00) because i personalize the smash cake. In this case however those two cakes were the only ones she ordered from me, so it was not a big order to begin with.

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