Venting Unhappy Customer

Business By Giovanna68 Updated 2 Nov 2010 , 5:21pm by Redsoxbaker

Giovanna68 Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 1:47pm
post #1 of 30

i have been doing cakes for 10yrs now off and on and recently had several orders that i had committed to before i had an emergency surgery so i had to fill them. no big deal till this week. i had an order for a 16th birthday that was for 2 girls i know at a local club. i gave them 50% off so a 2 tierd cake for $75 with a lot of custom chocolate work. i gave them the invoice last month and never recieved thier deposite so assumed it wasnt going to happen and took anthor order. long story short the deposite came thru the week of and i didnt want to dissapoint the girls so i told them it would be modified. they agreed and i worked myself to the bone getting it done and big surprise, the parents wornt happy and siad the cake was dry and it wasnt what thy wanted. Hello morons!! i put in over 20hrs in 2 days to get it done...and the cake was good! they are now spreading lies at the club about how i do buisness! i am beyond upset as i have never had any complaints and i busted my butt for these girls. its not my fault they delayed in getting me the deposite and they are damn lucky i did it! now i have a parent calling me with threats! soo do not want to deal with this but have to do damage control as i get buisness from the club! sorry so long, and this isnt half the the story, thanks for letting me vent icon_mad.gif

29 replies
Herekittykitty Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 2:30pm
post #2 of 30

You do have a contract right?

Let them know they did not deiver on the deposit when it was due so you had cancelled their order (per your contract?), as a favor to them you squeezed them in at the last minute and they were lucky to get a cake at all.

They recieved a 2 tier cake w/ chocolate work for $75?! icon_eek.gif I'd like to see them do that anywhere else or through the country club.

If they persist, refer them to your lawyer.

Giovanna68 Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 4:10pm
post #3 of 30

i do have a contract and when they came thru at the last minute we changed it to a 12x18 sheet cake with my discreation on decoration on flavors and decorations. the cakes i do are custom flavors and custom "candy" decorations. so its all hand molded chocolate etc. they got a triple layered black and white filled and i hand painted lepord spots and did candy ribbon. they were apparently unhappy with the quality claiming it was dry-impossiable since the cake was made the night before and we were munching on the scraps and it was not the flavor they wanted or decorated. it was explained to them ahead of time that these changes were huge possiablities as i was doing them a favor by doing it. bottom line is they are full of crap and are now spreading it at the club where i get a lot of buisness and have done several cakes for. i am just ticked at thier attitude given the time etc. i put in for them including the design time several times over

Kiddiekakes Posted 26 Oct 2010 , 4:27pm
post #4 of 30

I would go talk to the manager of the club and let them know what has happened and hopefully when and if they get members commenting on your business or the situation ...they can step in and set them straight and stop it right there.Otherwise you will just have to hope people to listen too and fall into the gossip.

sweetcakes Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 12:17am
post #5 of 30

guess we can all learn from this too, when you send an invoice do you have a due date for payment? That might be something to implement on all future orders that payment must be recieved by ___, otherwise you will not be able to add it to your cake schedule. If you have a good standing with other members of the club then this wont hurt, i expect they are more disappointed that they didn;t get their 2 tier cake and ended up with a sheet cake instead. Just let it be known that they didn't pay on time.

Bluehue Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 12:37am
post #6 of 30

THREATS - good god - icon_surprised.gif
Think i would be straightening my back and shoulders and telling them in no uncertain terms...

"Spread malicious words and threaten me and you will find yourself answering to the Law".

Pointless going back and forth with people like that - just say your peice and leave the ball in their court - if they continue - do something about it - legally.
The more you try and talk your way out of a paperbag - the more you fall back down and get upset...
Deal with it head on - your reputation needs you to stand up and be business like about this situation...and stop this rot in its tracks.


Bluehue.

Saluna Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 12:39am
post #7 of 30

is the cake you are talking about the sweet 16 cake in your gallary?

Giovanna68 Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 1:46am
post #8 of 30

yes it was in the end they got what they paid for and nothing more,

indydebi Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 1:51am
post #9 of 30

What Bluehue said .... absolutely!

I tend to call these people "Front Stoop" people. They are nice and brave yelling their insults to you from their front stoop (front porch), but they turn tail and run if you start walking toward them to confront their sorry a$$.

Send them a letter in writing with your own "Threat" that the next "malicious rumor' that gets back to you will be forwarded to your attorney for handling.

3GCakes Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:00am
post #10 of 30

Hello!

I am sorry this order has turned into such a nightmare for you. It sounds like you really did try very hard.

Did I hear right that you charged them 75.00 for the "Sweet 16" cake that is pictured in your gallery (it has a date from 2007, but I know sometimes digital cameras have the wrong day on them).

What does "Black and white" mean? Choco and vanilla maybe?

I am going to say this as gently as possible, and only because you have come onto a forum where we are all here to learn as much as possible from our victories and our mistakes...

I can see where they may have been disappointed in that cake. It is a bit messy...and it is on a tin-foiled covered board that isn't very professional looking. Even if it was sold for half off, it never should have been priced at 150.-- and I don't think it looks like it would cost 75.00.

I'm sorry if I sound mean....but I am trying to be honest and constructive. Next time, maybe use a pre-made board to give it a more professional look. Perhaps work on your buttercream smoothing skills, or at the very least, add a bottom border to cover up any imperfections where the cake meets the board.

I know you said that you make custom decorations and that is good! They would be better served by a more professional and neat-looking presentation.

Kitagrl Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 2:14am
post #11 of 30

I have to gracefully agree with 3GCakes....

VickeyC Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:00am
post #12 of 30

Well said 3GCakes. I happen to agree with you.

bmoser24 Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:32am
post #13 of 30

agree...with others. Sorry

learningtodecorate Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 3:53am
post #14 of 30

I'm sorry, but I agree with3GCakes, I think at this point you could offer to do another cake for them to set the record straight, or return some of there money.

madgeowens Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 4:12am
post #15 of 30

Have to agree with 3gcakes on this

mom2twogrlz Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 4:27am
post #16 of 30

I'm sorry this happened to you. It is a blow to the ego when customers aren't happy with our work. Just learn from the experience, take the suggestions you got here to heart, and grow from it.

Hopefully your next customers will love your work and it will all balance out.

icer101 Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 5:25am
post #17 of 30

I am wondering why all your cakes are showing jan . 1 .2007.Little confused. I am saying this in a kind voice. you need to keep practicing, make your boards neater, smooth your icing neater, etc. Maybe offer some money back or offer to make another cake in the future. hth

Giovanna68 Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 12:18pm
post #18 of 30

thank you all, you are right about how it was presented and normally i do not use tin foiled boards. i ran out of my professional ones at the last minute and since i accepted thier order on monday and had anthor cake for friday night i worked non stop from wed. on and they knew this. thier issue at this point was that they did not get the tiered cake and yet they knew they wouldnt be getting that...also they complained about the quality of the cake itself something i know for a fact was never compramised. the parent complaining has not spoke to me directly but i found out thru someone else how she felt yet she told the other parent that she was trying to get a free cake from me thus she pawned off the payment on the other payment and lied about when she recieved the payment. like i siad it was a complicated situation. the 150 quote was initally for the 2 tiered cake they wanted. bottom line, i should have never accepted the order once they did not get me the deposite by the time specified. lesson learned

mombabytiger Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 5:51pm
post #19 of 30

I'm afraid that I would be complaining too if I had paid $75 for this cake.

Saluna Posted 27 Oct 2010 , 5:53pm
post #20 of 30

ditto

Giovanna68 Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 1:23pm
post #21 of 30

i do agree with all of you as far as the price, i did not change it for the customer however due to the issue of them not getting me the deposite on time and then comming thru on monday when the cake was for sat. and i had anthor order for the same day that i had accepted. thier main issue was the quality of the cake which i know was not compramised. unfortuately this was one of those customers that i should have never accepted, i have since found out that the parent that orginally ordered the cake was planning all along to try and get the cake for free so the complaints now were just a part of her "scheme". in the end part of what they paid for was the inconvience and they know i did them a favor.

i have since talked to the club and the manager was at the party that this cake was for and she siad the cake was fine and is still gladly recomending me to people and i have acctually gotten one order from a new customer that was at the event.

thank you all for your input and i will continue to practice and never will take on too much again forceing me to rush and compramise the final presenation

Bluehue Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 1:43pm
post #22 of 30

that good to hear - icon_smile.gif
Never say never - things always get better..

keep on caking... icon_smile.gif

Bluehue

cakes22 Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 2:42pm
post #23 of 30

I am going to be completely honest here.......

I would not pay $75 for that cake and though you stated that you ran out of pro cake-boards, your other photos show the same tinfoil boards.
I am not a pro caker like some of the members, and I don't claim to be, but I do take pride in my work. That cake to me, looked like it was done by some one with little or no skill. At that point, I would not be advertising/selling/charging any cake at any price, until I got some classes under my belt. You need to do more than just practice borders and smooth your icing. I don't think the issue is that you shouldn't have taken the order, I don't think you should have been selling in the first place if that is the quality of work that you are producing. A sweet 16 is a major event in a family's lives, not just for the teen turning 16 but for the parents as well. I understand the customer's complaint. No they shouldn't be bad mouthing you all over town, but honestly.....they do have reason for not beinig happy. The fact that you discounted them 1/2, thats a nice gesture, but still $75 is too much.
Giovanna68, can you honestly say that you are proud of that cake? That you did the very best that you could? I have had cakes that I sit back and go...."is this the best?" and I end up going over and doing it again, or scrap the cake down and re ice, or re fondant and lord forbid, but it has happen redo the whole darn thing.

You guys can rake me over the coals, but I think she isn't ready to start charging/selling her cakes yet.

jmo

tiggy2 Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 3:18pm
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakes22

I am going to be completely honest here.......

I would not pay $75 for that cake and though you stated that you ran out of pro cake-boards, your other photos show the same tinfoil boards.
I am not a pro caker like some of the members, and I don't claim to be, but I do take pride in my work. That cake to me, looked like it was done by some one with little or no skill. At that point, I would not be advertising/selling/charging any cake at any price, until I got some classes under my belt. You need to do more than just practice borders and smooth your icing. I don't think the issue is that you shouldn't have taken the order, I don't think you should have been selling in the first place if that is the quality of work that you are producing. A sweet 16 is a major event in a family's lives, not just for the teen turning 16 but for the parents as well. I understand the customer's complaint. No they shouldn't be bad mouthing you all over town, but honestly.....they do have reason for not beinig happy. The fact that you discounted them 1/2, thats a nice gesture, but still $75 is too much.
Giovanna68, can you honestly say that you are proud of that cake? That you did the very best that you could? I have had cakes that I sit back and go...."is this the best?" and I end up going over and doing it again, or scrap the cake down and re ice, or re fondant and lord forbid, but it has happen redo the whole darn thing.

You guys can rake me over the coals, but I think she isn't ready to start charging/selling her cakes yet.

jmo



I have to agree 100%

christeena Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 3:24pm
post #25 of 30

Very well put, Cakes22!

Chasey Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 3:35pm
post #26 of 30

Perhaps, comparatively speaking, Giovanna's cakes ARE professional compared to the kitchen mom creations, kwim ?

I do agree that the steep price made me expect a flawless cake on a professional platform...but maybe this community has different expectations?

Giovanna, I am sorry you discovered she was badmouthing you on purpose and with a plan in mind to get a free cake. Thankfully you didn't spend even MORE time on a tiered construction if she was not going to like it no matter what.

Sounds like your reputation is still in tact with that club and you'll hopefully continue to receive orders...and happy customers. icon_smile.gif

GL79 Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 4:06pm
post #27 of 30

I'm sorry Giovanna, but I'm going to agree with cakes22. I would consider taking a cake decorating class, believe me it helps tremendously. But please don't give up on your cake decorating.

costumeczar Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 4:11pm
post #28 of 30

I have to agree, you should take some time and work on getting your icing smooth, corners neat, etc. I'm glad that it worked out well for you and that the reception site isn't scared to refer people to you, but the quality of the decorating on that cake isn't up to selling standards. There are lots of tutorials online, so if you can't afford or find classes near you there's always youtube to watch demos of different decorting techniques.

vtcake Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 3:19pm
post #29 of 30

Live and learn, and you're going to do just fine. Keep on baking and posting.

Redsoxbaker Posted 2 Nov 2010 , 5:21pm
post #30 of 30

Giovanna68, are you a stay at home Mom? I don't know if you have transportation to get out, but there are great cake decorating classes at AC Moore's and Michaels that would really help. That's what got me interested in baking cakes and cupcakes. Decorating a cake is so much harder than it looks. Just take the advice of all the experienced bakers because most of them know from their experience! Good luck. icon_smile.gif

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