Evieart2656 Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 10:00pm
post #1 of

I did everything else on a beautifully stacked 3 tier cake but forgot the green ribbon at the base of each cake. Each tier was a different flavor, the construction was beautiful, and the house-made buttercream smoothed to perfection. My husband delivered it to a site out on a lake an hour away from our bakery following the purchaser's directions which were very wrong. Good thing my husband has a great sense of direction or he never would have found their home. After he took the cake in and started to put it in their spare fridge the people noticed there was no ribbon around each tier. The rest of the decor was in place which was brown branches piped up either side of the cake and then went up and over the top tier b/c she wanted no topper.
My husband and I decided the best thing to do was for him to go out to the closest shopping center and purchase some green ribbon and put it on the cake. He had a tool kit with him and did the best he could working on a very short table in their basement down on his knees. He managed to get it around the bottom tier. He was confused on how to get the ribbon around the other two tiers b/c the tree branches were in the way so he stopped with it just on the bottom tier. He confirmed the problem with the bride and the paying mother and they said it looked o.k. and they would except it for what he had done.
A week later the mother that had paid for the cake wrote me an email and said she was mortified and wanted 1/2 of the money back. I emailed her back right away and apologized and told her I would call her. I tried calling her that day 2x s and both times left a message telling her I was sorry and for her to call me so we could discuss it further. She never called me back until today and now 5 weeks have gone by since the wedding and I am now feeling like I just don't know what to say or do. I admitted that it was my mistake but yet we tried for an hour and a 1/2 to fix it. Please let me know what all of you others would do in this situation.
LL

34 replies
cakes47 Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 10:18pm
post #2 of

Is she freakin' insane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Half the money for 2 pieces of ribbon!!!!
She is a total whack job!! Offer her a dozen cupcakes (of your choice) if you
feel you need to give her something.
You did a beautiful job icing the cake, nice sharp edges.

Occther Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 10:35pm
post #3 of

I actually like the cake as it is. Think that adding the green ribbon -particularly around the top two tiers would have been tacky. If the bride and the mother okay'd the cake after it was delivered, they don't deserve a refund. If they weren't ok - they should have said so then - not a week later. They were obviously disappointed because they didn't receive enough $$$ as gifts and afterwards are trying to recoup some of their expenses.

cattycornercakes Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 10:45pm
post #4 of

A refund for half the price because of the ribbon is insane. Plus the cake would have looked ridiculous with ribbon on the other 2 tiers. It would have interrupted the line of the tree.

I don't know what I'd do in your case but I certainly wouldn't give them half of their money back.

indydebi Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 11:04pm
post #5 of

I think the green under the brown tree limbs would have been a very nice accent; a little green peeking out from under the tree branches ..... a natural color combination.

This is very similar to another thread that's running. The cake rec'd is not the cake that was ordered. 50% of the wedding cake is the visual effect. And the bride didnt' have the visual she ordered. Yes, they "ok'd" it at delivery, but come on people .... it's the 11th hour and what choice do they have?

The cake looks very nice. The smoothness of the icing is a superb job! But it's not what they ordered.

If it was me ......

In my first phone call to her, my message would have been a big apology and a commitment that a refund check for half of the amount was on it's way. I wouldn't have waited to talk to her. I would have already had it in the mail.

cheriej Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 11:10pm
post #6 of

I have to agree with IndyDebi. People on cc often complain that a bride complains when she got what she ordered. In this case, she did not order the cake the way it was delivered. She had no other option but to take it at that late time.

I don't think it is relevant if people think the ribbon would look good or not. She ordered it with the ribbon and it didn't come that way. I would agree with a 50% refund. I see this as a "reputational risk" issue now for you. Do you want to be known as someone who maybe will deliver what's in the contract or in the rare instance that you did not deliver, you did the right thing on trying to rectify the situation. Just my opinion.

Occther Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 11:18pm
post #7 of

I stand corrected!!

cattycornercakes Posted 22 Jul 2010 , 11:32pm
post #8 of

No...its really not relevant whether the ribbon would have looked good or not. A 50% refund just seems a bit excessive.

cakewhiz Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 3:00am
post #9 of

The bottom line is that you made a mistake. Hey, we all make them from time to time. We learn from our mistakes by making sure you read the cake contract. The part of the contract where it says "decoration of cake" should have included the words "ribbon around base of tiers". Did the contract include this description? If it did not, it should have because that is what the bride ordered. The bride and her mother were disappointed as well as they should be. So you need to pay up, put it behind you, and make sure this does not happen again in the future by correcting the way this mistake happened.

elegantwedding Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 1:07pm

the cake is still okay for me...but maybe if you added the ribbon, it would be better...but anyways, its good already

leah_s Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 1:57pm

Put the check in the mail and call it your tuition in the school of hard knocks.

cakes47 Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 2:01pm

Sorry! I stand corrected by indydebi.
It's just that everything is gorgeous on the cake & 50% sounds like a lot to refund.

marcx Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 3:16pm

Remember, the customer is always right (even if they just think they're right, it's a big part of our job to make them happy)
50% of the price they paid should still cover materials nicely, so it's not a total loss. A few dollars to keep the integrity of your business in tact is money well spent.

And out of curiosity, is there some sort of contract involved? Unless it's a good friend or immediate family, I always get things in writing with a sketch to show the original concept, just so there's no confusion. I always include how refunds would be handled as well (on the contract, I've always offered to give their deposit back and make adjustments to the cake on site until they're happy with it, but thank heavens I've never had it happen!) Maybe something to consider for next time?

You do such beautiful work! To let one bad experience haunt you the rest of your cake making career would be self sabotage. Give her the money and move on to bigger and better things.

indydebi Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 3:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcx

Remember, the customer is always right


No .... they are not. Sometimes they are just scam artists who spend most of their day trying to get something for nothing. Sometimes they are of the entitlement mentality who think the world owes them a life. Sometimes they are just a$$holes.

But they are NOT "always" right. If they were, we'd be doing cakes for free every single day just because a customer says we should. And if they are "always" right, then we can't argue with them at all.

Whoever coined that phrase never had to actually deal with a customer! icon_razz.gif

soledad Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 3:30pm

It was your mistake send the 50% refund, do not wait to speak to her. See it as a business public relation expense, your reputation is at stake.

marcx Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 3:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by marcx

Remember, the customer is always right

No .... they are not. Sometimes they are just scam artists who spend most of their day trying to get something for nothing. Sometimes they are of the entitlement mentality who think the world owes them a life. Sometimes they are just a$$holes.

But they are NOT "always" right. If they were, we'd be doing cakes for free every single day just because a customer says we should. And if they are "always" right, then we can't argue with them at all.

Whoever coined that phrase never had to actually deal with a customer! icon_razz.gif




Haha
Fair enough. Perhaps it should be changed to "The customer might be wrong sometimes, so make sure you have a contract to prove that you're right."

I gotta say, it just doesn't have the same ring to it!

Cindy619 Posted 23 Jul 2010 , 4:08pm

Contract or not contract, you know that what you provided wasn't what the bride ordered (even if it was still beautiful!). Unfortunately we are not perfect, and mistakes happen. Just think of it as an expensive reminder! They probably accepted it on site, because there was no other option for them - it basically came down to cake or no cake, and they chose to have cake for their guests.

I would suggest sending her a 50% refund with your sincerest apologies.

sberryp Posted 24 Jul 2010 , 1:39am

I understand both sides. As a bride, I would be angry. This happened to me and the lady never called me back or answered my calls. I guess I should have made my own cake. I do believe that a refund should be given, but not 50 percent.

katiemarie718 Posted 25 Jul 2010 , 5:33am

I am just a cake hobbiest for now but I think 50% is excessive too. I say this because first of all you deliverd a product and service that they can not return. Second they signed off on it ( I know that it was either cake they wern't happy with or no cake) if they were truly un happy I would have said that will work but I will be contacting you in no more than a week because of my dissatisfaction. From what I read they didn't say anything about it being unsatisfactory after you tried to fix it untill they called a couple days later. Like I said I don't profesionaly do cakes but I am a massage therapist ( a service you can't return ) and I waited tables for 2 years ( a product, being the food, that you can't return) I know that it wasn't deliverd the way it was orderd but just from my back groud it sounds like they just started thinking and talking about it and decided that they were going to be mad and demand a refund. I think a refund is neccisary but like I said 50 % seem exccesive.

Sorry it was long

MichelleB0802 Posted 25 Jul 2010 , 11:51am

contracts are normally set up to protect the baker but what about the customer? what if people started putting a line in the contract that specifically reads if something is left off of the cake a ___% refund is given. I'm not talking about placement of roses or things that are generally decided by the baker but it seems that problems are coming about for things that are stated in the contract and agreed upon by both parties.

this OP left off ribbon and another poster left off disney characters (eeyore i believe) by complete accident of course. one has to think about the customer.

just a thought...

Evieart2656 Posted 25 Jul 2010 , 3:34pm

I truly appreciate your thoughts, and replies to all that did. I am the one who is wrong, and I am big enough to admit that, and learn from it. I have decided to return 50% of the cost of the cake, with a card of apology. I think the cake would have looked much nicer with the ribbon, and I will chalk this mistake up for a good learning lesson, and move on. I guess I was in sort of a quandary because my husband really tried to fix the situation, and worked hard trying to please them. But, now I see where it just wasn't enough, and I need to return half of their money, and grow from the experience. I would imagine you all are like myself, when it comes to doing these cakes. You put your heart, and allot of hard work into them, and it's hard to take when you make a mistake. It's business though, and the road ahead is full of ruts, and hard knocks. We can only do the best we can to get back on it, admit our mistakes, and grow from them.

jillmakescakes Posted 25 Jul 2010 , 4:19pm

Evieart2656, and the fact that you can come back to the thread, own up to your mistake and fix it is what makes you a true professional. thumbs_up.gif

jenniboo Posted 25 Jul 2010 , 4:40pm

I am glad to hear that you issued a partial refund. Even if you tried to fix the situation, at the end of the day the bride didn't get what she ordered. Although I don't think I would ask for 50% (maybe 25%?) I can understand her frustration. If I paid a car mechanic to fix my car and then found out he left off some step.....I would want a partial refund. Even if he tried for an hour and a half to fix the last little thing, if it wasn't finished then it wasn't finished. I guess you don't need that analogy anymore since you've already rectified the situation. I just always think it's helpful to look at it from another profession's point of view. icon_smile.gif

cheriej Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 12:52am

You took the high road here and it will pay dividends for you later. Even though you left off the ribbon, your cake was very good and I'm sure others will see your talent and your honesty/willingness to do the right thing. I wish you all the best in your business.

Loucinda Posted 26 Jul 2010 , 3:29am

Eviart - you did the right thing. Kudos to you for making that decision. I am a firm believer in karma, and doing the responsible thing for this customer will benefit you in the long run.

JenniferMI Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 1:48am

Regardless of the refund...this may help you in the future. I always draw a picture of the cake and COLOR in the accents. With one glance you would see the green ribbon on the cake. We all make mistakes.... try to learn from it and go on icon_sad.gif

Jennifer

grossoutqueen Posted 20 Aug 2010 , 3:21am

Why do you "stand corrected" ?
Your opinion is just as welcome here as anyone else thumbs_up.gif





Quote:
Originally Posted by cakes47

Sorry! I stand corrected by indydebi.
It's just that everything is gorgeous on the cake & 50% sounds like a lot to refund.


moralna Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 6:34pm

Eviart - you are a class act and your cake is beautiful. If I may ask, how did you get your icing so perfectly smooth?

Ruth0209 Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 7:11pm

You did the right thing. Good for you.

jammjenks Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 7:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by grossoutqueen

Why do you "stand corrected" ?
Your opinion is just as welcome here as anyone else thumbs_up.gif





Quote:
Originally Posted by cakes47

Sorry! I stand corrected by indydebi.
It's just that everything is gorgeous on the cake & 50% sounds like a lot to refund.




I was just about to post the same thing.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

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