I'm At A Loss

Business By momma28 Updated 10 Jul 2010 , 9:20pm by cs_confections

momma28 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 1:20am
post #1 of 67

Had my first complaint. Let me start by saying I had a not so great feeling about this bride. Can't put my finger on it. In response to my congratulations email she said that she had to admit she was dissapointed because the cake was stale. STALE???? Really??

I baked the cake fresh. Furthermore I had another wedding that weekend and made double of several batches and just baked all the rounds I needed for both so both cakes baked from the same batter at the same time. In addition I baked off 2 extra 6 inch rounds for a tasting with a venue several days later. The other cake got rave reviews, moist , wonderful, delicious (same batter). The rounds I baked off for the tasting were frozen and thawed almost a week later(which i was nervous about because i usually bake my tasting cakes fresh)....the manager and staff at the venue ....."Best cake I have ever eaten" And of course we ate scraps from leveling and a small 6 inch round that was some extra batter....cake was as it always is, moist and delicious.

How do I know how long the slices were left to sit after being cut?? It was not a catered event and the woman who signed for the cake said that she was sure she would butcher the cake when cutting it (oh joy) which made me uncomfortable but I am not responsible for how they handle the cake afterwards. All I know is that cake was wonderful.

I am not sure how to respond. Im sorry your dissapointed but the cakes were fresh and everyone else loved them??/ I am at a loss. I feel like she is fishing for a refund (which I am NOT giving) I know the quality and the time that went into it am proud of the cake. Any wisdom from those who may have encountered this type of bride??

66 replies
CWR41 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 1:27am
post #2 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma28

Im sorry your dissapointed but the cakes were fresh and everyone else loved them??




"I'm sorry you're disappointed, but the cakes were fresh and everyone else loved them." (sounds good to me!)

momma28 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 1:45am
post #3 of 67

I want to say that but I have never had to deal with an unhappy customer before and I dont want to blame her even if I know there is no way it tasted that way.

step0nmi Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 1:57am
post #4 of 67

Unless she has proof that the cake was stale...no refund! I'm sure they ate all the cake icon_wink.gif she probably IS trying to get a refund. I would say : I'm sorry you're disappointed, but the other wedding I had the same day was baked along with your cake and they loved their cake!

artscallion Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 2:04am
post #5 of 67

I hear so many stories just like this. I tell ya, it's enough to make you not want to even do weddings.

Carolynlovescake Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 2:29am
post #6 of 67

If it were me I would reply with "Please return any uneaten portions and I will refund accordingly."

If they bring you 30 servings then refund for 30 servings. If they bring you nothing then no refund.

If they can't prove it then you don't give a single penny back.

Chances are they probably overspent and the reality of post wedding bills are now glaring them in the face and they think by making a claim that you will roll over and let them get an easy refund.

ayerim979 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 2:36am
post #7 of 67

Is there ever a bride who actually brings in part of the cake she complaining about ?

I mean really, are (brides) that naive that think we are just going to give their money back.

mamawrobin Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 3:56am
post #8 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by ayerim979

Is there ever a bride who actually brings in part of the cake she complaining about ?

I mean really, are (brides) that naive that think we are just going to give their money back.




I agree.

minicuppie Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 2:02pm
post #9 of 67

There are always people that scam for a refund. In every type of business. The DH is in the petroleum support industry and a client sent an email with an attached pic showing that the material was fused. He opened a bag of the same size and density material and placed some side by side, touching and reproduced the pic exactly. Of course they didn't have any to send back for a quality check.

ddaigle Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 2:26pm
post #10 of 67

Food is so subjective. One thinks it's sweet...another thinks it's fine. One person out of 500 could've said something to the bride and she ran with it. People RUN with complaints. I see it everyday and it's a shame what the public has become. Especially since you had other cakes baked and received rave reviews, I'd just assure her they were baked "especially fresh just for HER"...and close the discussion.

Toptier Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 3:28pm
post #11 of 67

I'm so sorry momma, I had a bride like this. I just knew that she was gonna complain about SOMETHING, right from the beginning and lo and behold, my first complaint was from her, about, of all things, the sps support system I had used in her cake. She complained that they couldn't pull it out of the cake when they were dismantelling it and lost quite a bit of cake by having the cut around it. I had a bad feeling about her from the beginning, sometimes you can just tell. She was simply focused on price the entire time of the consult and kept trying to get the price down while adding complexity to her cake. My advice would be if you sniff ANY kind of trouble from a bride don't book it or you will pay!

momma28 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 7:24pm
post #12 of 67

I replied to her simply saying that I was happy that she loved the way her cake looked but truly sorry she was dissapointed with the texture. I added that her cake was baked fresh using fresh ingredients just as all of my cakes are.

I left it at that and havent heard from her. If she does respond again complaining I will bring up the fact that the other cakes for that weekend made with the same batches of batter and handled in the same way received rave reviews. Hopefully it wont get that far.

I told myhusband, the best thing that could happen is that she tells all of her friends not to get their cakes from me. I know it sounds horrible but they seem like the type of group I wouldnt want to work with.

I admit I much prefer working with the brides at several of the venues I am a preffered vendor at. They spend and they understand that they can't come looking for it later.

NerdyGirl Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 7:47pm
post #13 of 67

I hear so many of these stories and I wonder...when does a bride even have a chance to eat her cake, aside from the cake cutting? Holy cow! I was running around like a madwoman the whole night of my wedding. If she didn't get any of it until well after, maybe THAT'S why she thought it was "stale."

momma28 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 8:05pm
post #14 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettymarysunlight

I hear so many of these stories and I wonder...when does a bride even have a chance to eat her cake, aside from the cake cutting? Holy cow! I was running around like a madwoman the whole night of my wedding. If she didn't get any of it until well after, maybe THAT'S why she thought it was "stale."




I guess that is one thought but I have left my cakes (that I have made for us) out on the counter for an entire day and they are never stale tasting. They dont even dry out in that amount of time. I could go round and round in my head about this forever but I KNOW that cake was good. Some people are just going to complain to see what they can get.

LisaMarie86 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 8:48pm
post #15 of 67

Sounds like something for nothing for sure. Post when she responds hope shes not much more of a pain.

costumeczar Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 10:23pm
post #16 of 67

You could call the venue and ask how the cake was. I had one bride try a similar thing, she said that one tier was "inedible" and that it was almost totally left over. I called the venue and they said that the cake was fine, but she had about half the number of guests that she'd ordered cake for, so of course a lot was left over. I emailed her back and said that I had spoken to the venue, I was sorry that she had so much cake left over, but that was explained by the number of guests that she had vs. cake that she'd ordered, and that I'd tried the cake myself (same situation you have, I'd made samples, etc.) and there was nothing wrong with it. It would be good to hear from a third party what really happened in case she emails back.

momma28 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 10:33pm
post #17 of 67

I would if there were a venue. It was a stand alone bride with a small wedding at a church hall. I don't mean to be hateful but it was a fairly low class affair. Not like the weddings I do at several of the higher end venues around. There was no planner to call and ask. All I have to go on is the fact that I ate the same cake, the other wedding had the same cake, and the tasting had the same cake. We can't all be wrong.

I know all this but it still bothers me on a personal level. I pride myself on the flavor of my cakes (they are also beautiful but you know what I mean) I cant stand pretty but nasty tasting wedding cake. I have been scratch baking for 20 years, im very good at what I do.

Meowcakes Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 10:59pm
post #18 of 67

When you KNOW what your good at, you know it for a fact! Do not feel bad by this one person. I have left out scratch cakes for more then one day and they don't just go "dry" that fast.

cheatize Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 11:45pm
post #19 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettymarysunlight

I hear so many of these stories and I wonder...when does a bride even have a chance to eat her cake, aside from the cake cutting? Holy cow! I was running around like a madwoman the whole night of my wedding. If she didn't get any of it until well after, maybe THAT'S why she thought it was "stale."




This could be the answer. I can see the cake being cut and placed on plates for guests to pick up. If she had a piece that had been plated several hours before, the part that was exposed to air would be crusty and therefore might seem stale to those who don't know this happens.

costumeczar Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 1:02am
post #20 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma28



I know all this but it still bothers me on a personal level. I pride myself on the flavor of my cakes (they are also beautiful but you know what I mean) I cant stand pretty but nasty tasting wedding cake. I have been scratch baking for 20 years, im very good at what I do.




It's frustrating, I know how you feel. If you know the cake was good, though, don't stress too much about it. I know it's easier said than done, though!

minicuppie Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 12:03pm
post #21 of 67

Maybe that is the deal. Someone saved cake for them and stored it in the fridge without any plastic wrap.

Shelle_75 Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 4:23pm
post #22 of 67

I wouldn't worry about it anymore if I were you. You addressed her original email in a classy manner. I would not replay to any more emails from her unless she specifically comes out and asks for a refund. Then you can address it with the fact that you had sampled it, etc. Unless that happens, fugettaboutit!!

artscallion Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 4:49pm
post #23 of 67

My general policy with refunds is (unless it's clear to me that I did something wrong and they are due one) I never offer them anything; they have to ask for it. I'll discuss the issue with them. But I don't volunteer refunds/future discounts/cupcakes as a solution. I make them ask for it. That weeds out 60% of the folks who aren't really due anything. They wiggle around, hoping I'll come up with the offer. But they usually don't have the cake balls to come out and ask for it themselves if they know inside that they're being ridiculous by doing so.

momma28 Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 12:31am
post #24 of 67

Well I was hoping that would be the end of it but alas she emailed me again. She went on and on about how she helped her mommake wedding cakes for years and she knows good cake. And of course this time (drum roll please) she brings up price and how upset she is that her mother wasted money.

Im nauseas (not goo with confrontation) but I am still strong in my knowledge that the cake came out beautifully (reasons previously mentioned). From reading her email I think she expected her cake to be baked the day before the wedding. I am decorating the cake the day before the wedding! If she spent so much time making wedding cakes with her mom she would know that. Her delivery was at 12 noon 45 minutes away.

I dont know what to say to her next. Do I talk about the other cakes made with the same batter that got rave reviews? Do I direct her to page 3 line 10 of the contract she signs that says "All payments made toward your cake are non refundable". She was decisively more curt this time and I expect she will get nasty in the next email when she realizes that she wont be getting a refund.

I am not going to work with brides outside a venue anymore. At least then I have other people to be a witness to the quality of the cake (planner, manager and such) and I am not the only paid vendor at the wedding. You cant very well get your money back if Aunt Betty made your food, you had no dj and a friend took your pictures. {{{{SIGH}}}} I have never had a complaint before (quite the opposite, people rave about the flavor of my cakes) and I am obviously not dealing well.

artscallion Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 12:43am
post #25 of 67

I would email her only once more. I would say, "I'm sorry that you feel my cake was a waste of your mom's money. There's nothing I can do to address that since I am confident that your cake was up to my usual high standards. In fact, another wedding cake I'd made that same day was made with the same batch as your cake, simultaneously. I tasted both cakes myself and received rave reviews from the other party.

If you had something to show me that would clarify your case, that would be one thing. But I feel that it may be just a matter of your personal taste, and not a matter of the quality of my product. I'm truly sorry that this was not a positive experience for you and do wish you the best."

Then I would ignore any further emails from her.

johnson6ofus Posted 19 Jun 2010 , 1:59am
post #26 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

I would email her only once more. I would say, "I'm sorry that you feel my cake was a waste of your mom's money. There's nothing I can do to address that since I am confident that your cake was up to my usual high standards. In fact, another wedding cake I'd made that same day was made with the same batch as your cake, simultaneously. I tasted both cakes myself and received rave reviews from the other party.




This is perfect... and plenty. You did it, you stand behind it, thank you...

Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

If you had something to show me that would clarify your case, that would be one thing. But I feel that it may be just a matter of your personal taste, and not a matter of the quality of my product. I'm truly sorry that this was not a positive experience for you and do wish you the best."




Don't continue with it as in the quote above. DO NOT invite more discussions, whining, or price complaining. It is done. period.

Don't let one crazy bride ruin you day or bring you down. She wants $$$= maybe the cheapy wedding generated cheapy presents and not very many cash envelopes so she wants one from you. Hold you head high...

momma28 Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 1:13am
post #27 of 67

Ok, stomach still in knots. This is what I am planning on sending. My dh thought it not good to apologize again (I did in the first email response to her) because it makes it seems like I have something to be sorry for (quality that is) and I dont. She asked when her cake was baked because she was certain it was stale and could not have been baked within days of the wedding. Wedding was saturday.

so here goes:

Your cake was baked Thursday. It was baked at the same time as another wedding cake for that weekend using the same large batches of batter. I also baked off small rounds of both the yellow and chocolate for a tasting several days later and test rounds for myself. The other wedding and tasting cakes were met with rave reviews and the test rounds met with my approval.


Dreading another response. She reminds me of someone I know who just gets nastier and nastier with every correspondence when they feel wronged. icon_sad.gif

costumeczar Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 2:02am
post #28 of 67

If she writes back just tell her that as you said previously, there was nothing wrong with the cake based on the other ones that you had made, and that you consider the subject closed. Then direct her to your attorney if she writes back after that. As long as you're sure that it was okay, she's just complaining to complain.

kermitncupcake Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 2:35am
post #29 of 67

I tell ya, its people liek this that make me not want to go into business, and just keep doing it for friends and family. I am really not goof with confrontation, and I have OCD, so if a cake is made for someone else paying or not, it is PERFECT, or I remake or refund and sugges another baker or bakery to redo it for them. I havent made alot of cakes, but the ones that have left this house have been the absolute best I can do.
Im sorry that your bride is being a PITA, and your idea of sticking to venued brides is great if thats what you are most comfortable doing. It does sound like a money grab to me, and you just happen to be the vendour that seemed the easiest to do it to.

johnson6ofus Posted 20 Jun 2010 , 2:45am
post #30 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by kermitncupcake

It does sound like a money grab to me, and you just happen to be the vendour that seemed the easiest to do it to.




Or in this cheap event- the ONLY paid vendor. Like I said, not enough cash in the envelopes and rent is due in two weeks. <sigh>. PLEASE- stick to your guns and contract and don't give her a dime. You have more "test" evidence than most, and you KNOW in your heart of hearts, the cake was good. No cash for her... icon_evil.gificon_evil.gificon_evil.gif

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