Upset Bride- How To Handle

Business By cakemeasIam Updated 27 Aug 2010 , 7:07pm by Ruth0209

cakemeasIam Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 3:48am
post #1 of 22

so i got my first unhappy bride...she sent me an email saying the cake was awful, the color was not right and the white cake was dry - in a nutshell. she then says she will not recommend me to anyone else nor will i have future business with me.
my question is do i respond? i feel that her complaints aren't validated- the white cake is a sponge cake (she never tried that) but i don't want to get into a ping pong match either..advice?

21 replies
cheatize Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 4:07am
post #2 of 22

Did you taste the cake before it left your place?
What wasn't right about the color?
What does your contract say?
Sorry, I don't have advice but I thought I'd post a few questions that others will probably ask so this thread would stay near the top and someone who has advice can see it.

cakesbycathy Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 1:18pm
post #3 of 22

Did the bride have a tasting with you before she ordered the cake? If so, why did she have a flavor she hadn't tried?

Did she provide you with a color sample?

jenmat Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 1:50pm
post #4 of 22

so, she's not asking for a refund? I guess it depends on what your contract says- if you didn't have a swatch, and she never tried the sponge cake, then she probably knows there is not much more that she can do but complain. Can you cut and paste the email?
I think at this point, with the limited knowledge provided in the OP, you WOULD be getting into a ping-pong match, as you so aptly described it. Even sending an "I'm sorry to hear that" email, may open you up for more arguments.

Denise Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 1:52pm
post #5 of 22

I always have a tasting with a bride and they get to taste the cake. As for color, I have to have a swatch of solid color. Once I had a blue cake that the bride sent a 1/4" sheer ribbon to match. I was so relieved when I got there and the cake matched the napkins on the table perfectly. MOB comes out and says she is "concerned" about how dark the cake is as it doesn't perfectly match the bridesmaids dresses. LOL I said well, if she is concerned there is nothing at this point that can be done about it. I tried to match the ribbon as close as possible and it perfectly matches the napkins." That was it but that is when I started insisting on at least a 4x4 square SOLID colored item to match AND my contract states that I will match as close as possible but that I will NOT guarantee colors as it is food. I let each and every bride know that both verbally and in writing.

If she has a problem with the color and the color was anywhere close I wouldn't worry about it - it is hard to match colors perfectly even with a computer eye. I work for Sherwin Williams - even using a color matching computer and electronic equipment matching colors on different materials is not always anywhere NEAR perfect!

As for the taste only you know how your cake went out. If I felt the cake was baked in a timely manner and not overbaked, kept in a manner to keep it fresh, I would request some of the cake back to taste. If I though the cake was not fresh enough or was not of the quality I would send out I would consider a refund of sorts. IF you think she is just having "I got all the bills in and now pocketbook is crying" day that is her problem, not yours and you wouldn't won't her as a customer in the future.[/i]

dreamcakesmom Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 2:58pm
post #6 of 22

I too wonder about the color piece. What color was it, did you have a sample, do you have a clause that informs of possible variations? When she said thee cake was awful, did she mean the taste or the execution of the design?

Without seeing the cake and a color sample to match and not knowing your baking it is hard to direct you. I think we all know when we produce good work and those other times when maybe we said it will have to be good enough for now.
Did they eat the whole cake?

Loucinda Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 3:26pm
post #7 of 22

As the above poster stated, I never promise to match colors. I have it in my contract that "I will do my best to match the color, but since they are different mediums, there is no way to match perfectly". I also go over this verbally.

sari66 Posted 24 Aug 2010 , 8:29pm
post #8 of 22

I think we need more info to help you out. Hopefully you had a contract and if the cake taste awful then she should bring it back so you can try it yourself although depending on when this wedding was she may not have any left. I have in my contract that customers need to call me asap and keep and return the cake within 24 hrs. As for the color I tell my brides that not all colors will replicate in sugar and I try my best to match it also it's on my webpage and contract.

cakemeasIam Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 3:09pm
post #9 of 22

sorry for the late response...she had supplied a picture of a cake. the color eggplant (dark dark) she wanted buttercream... the inspiration cake was fondant. i suggested that we do a lighter (much lighter shade) she was fine with that. she never sampled the white...
i apologized that she was unhappy and disappointed and said i hope that in the future she will give us chance to win back her business and that i welcomed that opportunity. the end.
i really don't feel her complaints are valid... but it always stings. and we live in a very small community we are bound to run into someone who knows someone who says, oh you were the one!
Thanks for all your support...

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 3:34pm
post #10 of 22

Sorry this happened to you but you are always going to get someone who isn't entirely happy with their cake.I have had it happen to and yes it stings!! I had a customer say the cake was raw inside..Funny..I torted the cake to ice it and it wasn't raw but that was their complaint.I guess all you can do is offer some sort of a refund and leave it at that.They will decide to return or not and you can't control what they are going to tell other people about you anyways so...Give people credit also..Just because someone tells me they had a bad experience with a business etc...doen't necessarily mean I will so I decide whether I want to do business with them or not and others will with you too!! I realize word of mouth in small town can hurt a business but if anyone says anything just be polite and say the issue has been resolved...nothing more or you end up looking angry and resentful.

dreamcakesmom Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 5:09pm
post #11 of 22

I am in the process of putting this together myself but a bakery I used to work at actually had paint sample swatches for brides to look at so when a bride came in and said I want lilac they actually could pick the paint chip that they had in mind. Sometimes with color my lilac is not the same idea as your lilac.

Loucinda Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 5:25pm
post #12 of 22

Even using "paint samples" it is very difficult to match colors in icing!

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 5:31pm
post #13 of 22

I've never had a problem matching colors. If you have just about every color already, it's a matter of taking your time, mixing carefully, using luster when the sample is shiny, rubbing with cornstarch if it's matte finished, just taking your time basically. A color wheel is a handy thing to have as well.

sweetheart6710 Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 6:10pm
post #14 of 22

I think having a painters color swatch is a great idea. Sure, its hard to match even that, but as you are sitting with your bride, you can both look through it and talk about what the brides definition of egg plant is. But also explain to them that this is a 'guide line' and you can match it as close as possible. I get that most people don't know what it takes to make a cake, but I'm sure most people have tried to make red frosting for cookies or cupcakes during xmas, and we can all agree, we usually get pink haha

MikeRowesHunny Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 6:29pm
post #15 of 22
Originally Posted by sweetheart6710

I'm sure most people have tried to make red frosting for cookies or cupcakes during xmas, and we can all agree, we usually get pink haha

Nope, red, red, red, everytime - you just have to know the tricks how to do it thumbs_up.gif !

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 6:42pm
post #16 of 22

Red every time for me too. icon_biggrin.gif

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 25 Aug 2010 , 7:01pm
post #17 of 22

I have a policy of never making dark colored BC ever for any reason, only fondant. Never have any problems that way.

costumeczar Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 12:56am
post #18 of 22

Always call the reception site and find out from a neutral third party what happened. Maybe they can give you some insight as to whether the cake really was dry and nobody ate any or not.

Kiddiekakes Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 2:07pm
post #19 of 22

me,blue,black everytime....

Penny7271 Posted 26 Aug 2010 , 2:19pm
post #20 of 22

My colors were never what I wanted them to instead of red.
Until I started using the Americolor gels. Now I always get RED icon_smile.gif

Of course, I have never made a cake that was ordered in a specific shade...I just make cakes for fun. But the colors have worked the way I have wanted them, too.

Good luck with your situation. I am sorry that you have to deal with this and I hope that it can be resolved easily.

leslieannec Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 3:32am
post #21 of 22

I just tried Americolor Super Red. It rocks.

Ruth0209 Posted 27 Aug 2010 , 7:07pm
post #22 of 22
Originally Posted by KimmyKakes4Me

I have a policy of never making dark colored BC ever for any reason, only fondant. Never have any problems that way.

THAT is very sound advice! I learned that lesson the hard way trying to make maroon colored buttercream. It was disgusting. I held my breath for two days waiting for the phone to ring with a complaint. Luckily, no one complained but I haven't gotten any repeat business from her, either.

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