Should I Give Her All Money Back

Decorating By pattycakes55d Updated 20 Jul 2010 , 9:15am by allaboutcakeuk

pattycakes55d Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 3:42am
post #1 of 92

Short story - everything was on the cake except Pooh/Eeyore. I was half way done figures and had a personal emergency. Put some flowers, etc on cake instead. I told the customer and even before she said anything I told her what happened and said that she didn't need to pay remainder. She paid $65 deposit and owed $60.00.

She said it was still a pretty cake and agreed. Put cake in back seat of car which was not level after I gave specific instructions prior. Next day Mother emails and wants all money back. Says cake only fed 25 instead of 40 (so they ate the cake) and the cake tasted dry. she said the cake was nothing what her daughter asked. She said cake leaned even before she took cake out of box.

I sent an email back responding to each comment she made. for instance, the cake was supposed to feed 40 and this is what the industry standards requires and if she didn't believe me to look herself online. I sent her a copy of the email her daughter sent me giving me design/color insts.

A little awhile ago I receive an email from her daughter demanding that I refund her the $65 or she was going to make my life hell, tell people and put an ad in the paper and run me into the ground. Said the cake was cracked in many places and sent pic. There is no way the cake looked like that upon pick up. I'd didn't get a chance to take a pic either. Obviously she's pushing.

Two choices - stand my ground and tell her about slander etc. if she says anything.

Or, give in and pay the $65 and get her out of my hair? To me that means I gave in and I can be walked on by other customers. If first choice, I should give her a cheque so I have proof, yes? I really don't want to see her but I thought of having her sign off on this somehow. What would you guys do? Thanks for your opinions.

91 replies
cupcake_cutie Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 3:52am
post #2 of 92

Pay the $65 and put them on your "no cake for you list". It will save you time and misery.

motherofgrace Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 3:58am
post #3 of 92

Becasue you didnt take a picture, you have no proof that the cake was ok...... So I agree with cupcake-cutie, Pay the money, and dont ever make a cake for them again

All in all, you probally wont ever sent a cake out without pictures again lol icon_wink.gif

mamawrobin Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 4:00am
post #4 of 92

Do you have your customers sign a contract?

icer101 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 4:01am
post #5 of 92

I would give the money back. i definetly would have her to sign off on it, someway. You will be glad you did and get her out of your hair forever. Really, by not putting on the cake , what they really wanted, even though you had a personal problem, they are not happy. They really don,t care about your personal problem. They want what they want. hth

JohnnyCakes1966 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 4:28am
post #6 of 92

This is the 2nd thread I've read today where the cake decorator changed the design from what the customer asked (and paid) for. No offense meant to the OP, but if someone pays for a specific cake and you deliver something totally different, I would expect them to be pretty upset and expect a full refund. IMO, they shouldn't even have to ask for it. icon_confused.gif

As for slander, it's only slander if you spread what you KNOW to be a lie about someone. If I truly think a cake decorator does bad work and I tell people that, it isn't's my opinion. Likewise, if my experience with a company is that they are shady in their business practices and I tell people, it isn't slander.

luvmysmoother Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 5:47am
post #7 of 92

Like the others said if you don't have pics and she does and if you didn't add Pooh/Eeyore...looks bad for you despite the fact the customer should have rejected the cake outright and not eaten it at all. They got away with having their cake and eating it too but at the same time if they were willing to pay the $65 deposit they were serious about paying a custom price for a custom cake and a custom cake should have everything the customer asked for. I think you should just give her the money back, put her on your bad customer list, and email that although you are giving her the money back you stand behind your product, the serving sizes, and that she should have rejected the cake up front rather than eating it all then wanting a 100% refund.

CWR41 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 6:00am
post #8 of 92

Wait a minute... nobody works for free, and she shouldn't get a free cake regardless. It couldn't have been that bad, or she wouldn't have taken it with her when the two of you agreed that she simply would not pay the remaining balance to make up for the two figures that were not included. She's changing her mind now, only after whatever she did to it once it left your possession, or else she would have walked away from it in the first place and never accepted the cake! You have a verbal agreement.

I'm sure she doesn't work for free and return her paycheck at the end of the week, neither should you. I'd turn her over to a collection agency first, and then be done with her. If she wants to discuss anything further, she'll have to deal with the agency.

elvisb Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 6:08am
post #9 of 92

This is a tough one. I'd agree that if she had a problem with it not being the right design, she should have said so when you told her about your emergency. I think you were very generous to waive the balance. On the other hand, I'd probably chicken out and fold and give her a refund just so I wouldn't have to worry about your reputation going through the mud. And definately be very, very booked or out of town the next time she calls. I would never make a cake for her again.

Paige_Pittman86 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 6:25am
post #10 of 92

If you pay them their money back that's admitting fault so to speak.. And if you pay it back that's saying pretty much what they are saying is true.

sweettreat101 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 8:06am
post #11 of 92

This is a hard one. I kind of agree with what everyone is saying. I had this happen one time and what I did was make them pay for the ingredients and i ate the rest so to speak. She was fine with that. I wasn't going to be in the hole and eat the cost. If she took the cake with her then she accepted what the cake looked like otherwise she should have told you up front that this is not what I ordered and I don't like it. Second if she ate the entire cake then obviously it wasn't that bad. If you don't like something you won't eat it. I let them know up front that they are responsible for the cake once it leaves my possession. If it were me I would politely tell her that I will refund the money minus 20.00 for the ingredients. She accepted the cake once you picked it up and if you didn't like it you should have told me upfront. And if the cake tasted so bad you should have returned the cake for a full refund not continue to eat it. I will no longer be available to accept cake orders from you and please be careful about what you tell other because it borderlines on slander. Have a nice day.

CakeDiosa Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 9:03am
post #12 of 92

[quote="CWR41" It couldn't have been that bad, or she wouldn't have taken it with her when the two of you agreed that she simply would not pay the remaining balance to make up for the two figures that were not included. She's changing her mind now, only after whatever she did to it once it left your possession, or else she would have walked away from it in the first place and never accepted the cake! You have a verbal agreement."

I totally agree with CWR41. Her acceptance of your discount is an implied resolution to your not fulfilling what you promised on the cake. She accepted. Matter resolved. This is why lawyers tell you not to accept anything - because if you do - you have no case. I'd shoot her and her mom and email apologizing profusely that the uneven surface in her car that you pointed out to her caused damage to the cake in transit just like you explained it would. They don't know you don't have a picture but you KNOW what it looked like when she left with it. Advise them that her acceptance of the discount and leaving with the cake satisfied your obligation to her.

She is going to trash talk you even if you do refund the money. She didn't object when she should and could have and they ate ALL of the cake. Must not have been that dry. Good luck!

neelycharmed Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 9:18am
post #13 of 92

Hard choices, but if it were me, I would give her the money and be done with her. just make sure its cheque so you have proof.
Especially since you don't have any pics to show what the cake looked like before they took it.
And not to sound too negative....she is probably going to bad mouth you anyway(sounds like it to me) icon_sad.gif

aprilblack Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 10:43am
post #14 of 92
Originally Posted by neelycharmed

Hard choices, but if it were me, I would give her the money and be done with her. just make sure its cheque so you have proof.
Especially since you don't have any pics to show what the cake looked like before they took it.
And not to sound too negative....she is probably going to bad mouth you anyway(sounds like it to me) icon_sad.gif

Thats my vote as well.. I work full time at a law office as a paralegaland we get clients ALL the time that pitch a fit and make a scene over something that is well, nothing. I like to call it extortion.. icon_smile.gif Its like they blackmail you to give them back their money or they will trash talk you to everyone in God's Creation.. In the end, sometimes your pride wants to take over and you want to fight it because you know you are right, but you have to go by the "customer is always right" and suck it up and write your losses.. Yes, you spent hours on the cake, but $65 is worth losing 5 or even 10 more customers... I would suck it up and be as nice as I possibly could and give the hag her $65 back and move on..

pouchet82 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 11:37am
post #15 of 92

I'm just wondering, do you have any cake scraps to know if the cake is dry? Is it a recipe you usually use and know how it comes out? Dry could be a matter of opinion. Did you include cutting intructions to show her how to get 40 servings? She may have cut huge peices.
Personally, |I would meet her half way. You still put a lot of work into the cake. What would you charge for a cake 25 servings with the design you gave her? Charge her half of that and refund her the rest. They still ate all the cake, so it couldn't be that bad.

BlakesCakes Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 11:41am
post #16 of 92

I refuse to reward extortion and bad behavior.

She'll never say a good thing about you no matter what you do, so why be out the money, too.

Ignore her, unless you find a bad review online and then post an honest, facts only rebuttal.


scoutmamma Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 11:53am
post #17 of 92

Ok, i will chime in here... if she ordered a custom cake and didn't get it, but she ate the cake... so lets pretend we are Judge Judy here for a minute... she would tell the person asking for a full refund... "Did you eat the cake? You did, well, you cant go to a restaraunt and eat your dinner and then at the end tell them you didnt like it. YOU ATE THE MEAL." She would then figure out what it would have cost her to replace the cake, i.e. walmart for a quick sheet cake or something, and you would refund the difference. So that is my suggestion. Figure out what would make her whole. What would it cost her to replace the cake. i would offer her 30 bucks, and be done with it. You might save her as a customer, you might not. but you have to try. HTH.

joaaaann Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:02pm
post #18 of 92

I dunno. My heart tells me to fight it and not give her the 60.00 back. You shouldn't work for free...that is unless you kept the product. She took the cake. Verbal agreement. Acknowledged before she took the cake that there were unforeseeable changes to the order. You don't want it to get around that you will make a free cake for someone if they will threaten you. To pay them, well, it won't make them like that cake anymore than they claim to have. It will still get around that they were unsatisfied customers. Might as well save face and not 'admit fault' by paying back. Even if they really did like it, this might be their 'character' type. Maybe they get many things in life for free this way. Then tell their friends and family who 'falls for it' and then their friends and family will be knocking on your door next. That might be a far stretch, but it's been known to happen. Fight fire with fire. Email them a detailed email explaining You will not be refunding the 60.00. That during the last conversation you had, it was agreed to dismiss the 60.00 and the cake was taken. Explain that had they not taken it, you would have refunded 100%. Include that you feel this is a threat for slander and or is extortion and remind them it is illegal. Apologize for any negativity on any level, but state 'in your defense' and 'in all fairness' that this debate should have been handled upon or before accepting the cake as it was. (I wouldn't admit not having pics, that for sure.) SO that's my heart talking. My brain says, "Are they red necks?!" lol. What if they are the type to break out house windows and key cars??'s only 60.00..take a chance to 'avoid the noid' and pay it. But still send that email, just don't include the 1st line icon_smile.gif

Karen421 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:04pm
post #19 of 92

This is a hard one because you don't have pictures as proof, and there is no guarantee that she won't be nasty after you give her the money back. You might just give her all but the cost of supplies, and state that since she did eat the cake you can refund all but the cost of supplies. In my opinion it's not worth dealing with her anymore and most definitely put her on the "no cake for you list"!

Doug Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:13pm
post #20 of 92

and once again we prove the need to CYA by:

always having a signed contract

a signed self pickup/no delivery waver


cutthecake Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:18pm
post #21 of 92

No. She ordered cake; she accepted cake; she served cake, which was cut into slices that were bigger than they should have been, so she thought she got too little cake; she paid about half the agreed-upon price, which you gave her voluntarily upfront because the cake wasn't exactly what she ordered; cake was eaten; there's no more cake. And she threatened to make your life miserable. She gets nothing else.
Cake is not free.

Karen421 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:27pm
post #22 of 92

My favorite Pastor had a saying: "A hound dog can whip a skunk; BUT is it worth the fight?" I think about this a lot when making a decision where I know I''m right, but is it really worth it?

online_annie Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:29pm
post #23 of 92

Tough one, but I always deliver unless they sign off on the cake and always...always take pictures! I review transportation checklist ( that's in the sign off /contract ) upon pick up with them. Always provide a cutting chart with pick up so there is no question as far as servings. There are several online, make some copies and keep them with your contracts so they are handy. IMPO I would review the conversation and verbal agreement. Then apologize if she feels she was "wronged" in any way, refund 100% of her money and place her on a No Cake List...(too busy..etc..) NEVER, EVER tell anyone who is on your list and there should be no further problems. It sounds as though she may shout it from the rooftops, but then again she could be all talk. In any regards, never, ever talk negative about any clients no matter how difficult they were. 6 degress of will get back to them and that makes you no better than them. There is always something positive to say. Plus, I would never hire anyone that spoke badly about customers in front of others, what might they say about me? Just food for thought, take it with a grain of salt.

smokeysmokerton Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:31pm
post #24 of 92

I agree with others who have said she shouldn't have accepted the cake if she wasn't happy with it. It's an unfortunate situation, but she took the cake and they ate all of it. I personally can't stand to be threatened, and if I were in your place I'd tell her where to go....but that's just me. If the cake was fine when it left my possession, and she agreed to keep the balance because of the figures and ate my cake, no way would I let her threaten me. It may have been different had she'd been the least bit respectful and taken some responsibility for what happened, but to come straight out with a threat? No way. You won't please everyone in this business, and no doubt she will bad mouth you no matter what you do.

Good luck with this one. I hope it works out.

leah_s Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:33pm
post #25 of 92

If you don't have a picture of the cake when it left your hands, then you have no proof that it was fine.

Refund the $. And always have your camera charged up and ready.

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:44pm
post #26 of 92

I would just refund, and move on.

Kimmers971 Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:48pm
post #27 of 92

No matter what you do, she will still bad mouth you - so it's a no win situation. Good Luck

cutthecake Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 12:53pm
post #28 of 92

pattycake said :
"She said it was still a pretty cake and agreed [with the discounted price, I assume]. Put cake in back seat of car which was not level after I gave specific instructions prior." Then the cake cracked, and the customer wants a full refund?
And it was dry?
And it only fed 25, not 40?
There was a thread a while ago where someone's husband (maybe Debi?) was quoted as saying that people who keep adding to their complaint are usually grasping at straws to get their way. (protesting too much)
She accepted cake, she mis-handled cake, she served cake, there's no cake left.
And she threatened to take an ad out in newspaper--for which she will have to pay?
I'm surprised to see so many posters saying to pay up. This is usually such a "No full refund" bunch.

CandystorePA Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 1:05pm
post #29 of 92

Here is a lesson you will learn and begin a new process in your business.
1) no cake leave your place without a photograh dated and timed
2) no customer leave your place without signed documented that they accept responsibility for the delivery of the cake.
3) No refund without the return of the cake. icon_biggrin.gif

leah_s Posted 16 Jul 2010 , 1:09pm
post #30 of 92

We're saying pay because the OP has no proof/picture.

Picture this: both parties are standing before Judge Judy.

JJ asks, "what'd the cake look like with the customer picked it up?"

OP "It was really pretty. It didn't have a couple of the characters on it, but I put flowers on instead. She *said* she liked it!"

Customer "What was I supposed to do? The party was later that day. I had to have a cake."

JJ "Show me pictures."

OP "I don't have a picture."

Customer "Oh I have pictures. here they are."

Judgment for the customer.

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