Do I offer a refund? I hated the cake!

Business By karenm0712 Updated 14 Apr 2010 , 11:35pm by Uniqueask

kellertur Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 12:43am
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by karenm0712

Does anyone send a follow-up email to customers to say "thank you"? I thought about doing that with a discount "coupon" for another order as a thank you for their business.




I'd be careful offering discounts as they can bite you in the behind when they expect a discount EVERY time after that first coupon. I'd put on the coupon that it's a "first time customer" thank you, or somehting like that...

I only charged $150.00 for an awesome Ocean themed cake for a boy's birthday, all sugar sculptures covering the cake, fondant, etc...and the guy seemed so apathetic, I panicked and took $10.00 off, he never said thank you ~ I'm serious...it's the BEST cake I've ever done and it was worth WAY more than what he paid. It Pi$$es me off when someone expects to pay nothing for a cake like that, especially when they own a successful company and can afford it! From the description he gave of what he wanted, I rocked that cake! I'm sure not sending him a coupon.
I just wanted to know if people wait a YEAR or do they say something right away regarding not liking design, flavor, etc. I guess I'll never quite understand the human species... icon_rolleyes.gif

Chef_Stef Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 12:51am
post #32 of 53

good Lord girl. I didn't see the cake, all I saw was "offer" a discount.

Are you KIDDING?

You NEVER never. never. "OFFER" a discount.
They ordered it. You made what they ordered. You are "zee artiste." It is your artwork, made to order, chosen by them. If you act like it's not what they wanted, they will start to see it that way too. If you act like it's perfect, they will see that (and it probably is). I make cakes where it turns out I'm not wild about the style, design (or my handiwork) often, and I just have to remind myself that, to them, it's AWsome. (and if they don't agree, I never hear about it, so I'm assuming I'm right, haha).

If, on the other hand, you used the wrong color, wrong flavor, piped it with your wrong hand while on a caffeine high and having a seizure, and then your dog ate the corner and you dropped it on the floor....then and only THEN, would I *offer* anything.

Relax, smile, and say "Here's your cake...isn't it COOL!??"

indydebi Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 12:53am
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by kellertur

I'd be careful offering discounts as they can bite you in the behind when they expect a discount EVERY time after that first coupon. I'd put on the coupon that it's a "first time customer" thank you,


Amen! A successful business man I know said, "When you do nice for people, not only do they NOT appreciate it, but they EXPEcT it each time.

When hubby was in banking, he also learned this the hard way. He'd be "nice" and waive a bounced check fee and before you knew it, that customer thought it was ok to bounce checks because "Hey! Phil will waive that for me! He did it BEFORE!"

kellertur Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 12:55am
post #34 of 53

chef_stef~ YOU are hilarious!!! icon_lol.gif

Chef_Stef Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 12:59am
post #35 of 53

Ah...thank you. I'll be here all week.

I've missed this place. icon_smile.gif

kellertur Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 1:09am
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

When hubby was in banking, he also learned this the hard way. He'd be "nice" and waive a bounced check fee and before you knew it, that customer thought it was ok to bounce checks because "Hey! Phil will waive that for me! He did it BEFORE!"




My DH deals with people every day who call and whine "my account is overdrawn...FIX IT!" Take some responsibility. There have been times where they had to call in security and the bomb squad at the call center because of nutjobs showing up or calling with threats. His life was threatened twice last year!!! It's ridiculous...if you can't ballance your checkbook or ATM card ballance, maybe you should just use CASH and store it in a tin can!
He works for a bank in the back office, yet has one of the most stressfull jobs...some people actually DO appreciate it, but then others...most...have a sense of ENTITLEMENT.

anasazi17 Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 1:20am
post #37 of 53

It looks great! I am the same way...I get a stomach ache thinking the cake is yuck...when the client really actually liked it. I have learned when I feel like this to not look at the cake for at least a week. Sometimes I will even send an email to the client asking for feedback...just so you can make sure they were completely satisfied or fix a situation, it helps!!

Kitagrl Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 1:33am
post #38 of 53

I'm the same way...sometimes I HATE my cake....but I smile and give it to the customer and usually they exclaim over it!

Keep in mind too that some of it is just the cake is not our "taste"...but it might be theirs! I personally don't like the original cake and would never have asked for it myself....but they did, and they liked yours too!

Rachie204 Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 2:47am
post #39 of 53

I think your cake is wonderful...And I would love to be able to write that well on a cake.

KarmaStew Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 5:41am
post #40 of 53

Word of advice.... all y'all who expect 'giddy' every time a client picks up a cake.... well, you're gonna end up starving to death.

It's just cake. That's right. For the majority of the population... it's just cake. They don't see all the work you did on it. They just phoned or e-mailed their order and then picked up the cake a couple of weeks later.

It's just cake.

KHalstead Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 1:53pm
post #41 of 53

I gotta agree with KarmaStew........I rarely hear back from people........I just took a wedding cake order a WEEK before the wedding because their baker bailed on them, and I didn't charge them a rush fee or anything on top of my normal pricing. They had to pay the balance in full of course (normally I require it 3 full weeks before the wedding) and they paid, no problem.

The cake turned out really nice (thanks to my cake safe) and I didn't hear ANYTHING back from them. However, I emailed them a link to a survey with a 10% off your next order coupon code..................well they filled out the survey and gave me a GLOWING report along with comments on how amazing my work is especially with such little prep time and how grateful they were to find a cake decorator that actually cared about their situation!

Had I not sent them the survey, I'd have never known just how happy they were with the cake!

Maybe you could fill out a survey on survey monkey dot com and email it to this customer.........then you'll know (thanks to Doug for this info)

marknelliesmum Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 2:42pm
post #42 of 53

I think the original cake was probably one of the ugliest cakes I have seen (sorry to whoever did it but that's my opinion) and based on that it's probably unlikely that i'd like it regardless of how perfect it was. Your version was way nicer and you were totally honest with the client and said you wouldn't be doing it exactly like the original. You also advised her that it would be better done another way but she chose to disregard that advice so she can have no cause for complaint. You can't be responsible for her lack of taste!

karenm0712 Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 11:50pm
post #43 of 53

I think I am going to create a survey through survey monkey for sure!

I also agree with not liking the original version of the cake. My hubby said the exact same thing! He thought it was hideous and told me he is going to be my "design consultant" from now on. lol I think I may even have him start talking to people for me via email too, he really has a creative eye. Had she let me take that pic and really "run" with the concept I think it would have turned out so much better.

Lesson learned on this order though is that I do not like doing intricate piping in detail like that only in BC. If I get another order like this and they have to stick to all BC I will refer them to someone else b/c that is definitely not my style. I know I am not going to please everyone, but to be that stressed out over a cake is not worth it in my opinion.

Thanks again for EVERYONE'S support - it is wonderful to have so many people behind me and supporting me!

MystiqueFire Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 12:33am
post #44 of 53

I just kind of skimmed through this post, but I'm putting my 2 cents in anyway.

I own a bakery, and I've done a lot of horrendous designs but the thing you have to keep in mind is 1) it's not a cake for you, so if the design sucks, they're the ones that are going to suffer with it, and 2) if they want to change the medium of the cake, then the design will change with it.

Recently I had to do a wedding cake which the design I really didn't like, and the original picture was of fondant, but the bride wanted whipped cream instead.... I should never have offered whipped cream but I did, and I mentioned to her that changing the medium will change the overal outcome of the cake, but I will stick to the design per my ability.

You are in no way obligated to give them a refund/discount unless 1) the cake is completely and totally unlike the design to the point where there is no similarities between the two, or 2) you made a mistake on the cake's flavor/insides of the cake. Besides, she didn't complain, and there was no contract to refute any of the work (I'm assuming) but I always give a copy of their order with their cake so if they have any questions on the decoration/flavor, all the information provided is on the sheet.

Dont worry about it, it's a business!

HTH
Jasmine

ecstaticjellybean Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 10:23am
post #45 of 53

i know this topic is kind of resolved, but i just wanted to say that your cake was really good, i liked it better than the original, which was too 'busy'. You took the elements she wanted and made a classier looking cake in my opinion.

I felt really worried about a birthday cake my husband took in for a woman he works with because i'm fairly new at decorating with fondant.

He's just phoned to say i have two more orders from people in his office based on that cake!
we're our own worst enemies! icon_biggrin.gif

karenm0712 Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 9:43pm
post #46 of 53

OMG! OMG! OMG!


She must have really liked that cake! I just got an email from her for a birthday cake for her soon-to-be step son's birthday this weekend! I must have really been stressing out over nothing! icon_wink.gif

tmac670 Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 10:07pm
post #47 of 53

Did it look exactly like the example cake- no- however, you did tell her that to begin with. I would probably not be satisfied with the cake I made either- because I am my own worst critic. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you cake! If she liked it- then you are good to go!

TucsonGina Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 10:25pm
post #48 of 53

See, all that wasted stress for nothing! This cake, as well as your others, are beautiful . . . I saved some of them in my favs!

Jayde Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 10:31pm
post #49 of 53

I honestly dont see anything wrong with it. You explained to her that it would not look exactly the same. I think people sometimes think we are machines, but we arent. No matter how hard I try I cannot replicate someone elses work, not that I would want to either. There will always be subtle touches that reflect my own personality and my expertise.

With that being said, my best cakes are the ones I design myself, not the ones that someone brings me a pictures of and says copy this. That is because I play to my strengths and leave my weaknesses, like piping, off the design. Next time you can surely try to steer the cutomer in another direction, or try explaining how fabulous it will look with fondant because it will create a depth that you cant achieve with BC. Or how much more detailed you can get with the fondant.

EvMarie Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 10:54pm
post #50 of 53

You are sooo like me! Freaked out & probably produced some kind of skin blemish over this thing & she was totally satisfied!!

Try not to stress yourself out!!!

karenm0712 Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 11:04pm
post #51 of 53

EvMarie - you called it! The side of my face has 3 nice blemishes that popped up on Monday.... LOL

EvMarie Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 11:19pm
post #52 of 53

Ha ha ha ha .....

Seeeeee, don't freak. Or, as the teenage folk say - "don't trip!!!!!"

Uniqueask Posted 14 Apr 2010 , 11:35pm
post #53 of 53

Well I saw this thread, when you first posted, and did not read to the end, today I read to the end, and I also looked at your cakes, and your cakes are amazing, and like others said, I liked your version better, and you see you were just stressing for nothing, the customer wants to order again, keep up the good work and Congrats.

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