cai0311 Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:05am
post #1 of

Several months ago I received a phone call from a woman that wanted to order a wedding cake for your daughter's wedding. She was very annoyed with her daughter because she (the mom) was put in charge of the cake and decided to make it a star wars theme. The daughter found out and said "no way". So, she was now going to match the theme of the wedding which was fall (fall leaves, pumpkins...). Didn't want a tasting, never met her or daughter. Everything was arranged over the phone and email. She signed the contract I sent her and paid in full right away.

I get a call from the mom who is crying her eyes out 4 days before the wedding because she was emailed a picture of the custom cake topper she ordered and she hated it. She wanted more leaves on the topper than the woman that made it put. I told her I would add some leaves around, no big deal.

The topper arrived at my house 2 days before the wedding. My husband and I thought it was really cute and matched the theme really well.

Cake is delivered this past Saturday. The woman at the venue commented several times that the cake was pretty and the photographer said she really like the cake and the topper. I also made a dozen cupcakes of each flavor (redvelet and carrot) with the left over batter and sent them to work with my husband. All his work mates loved them.

Today I get an email from the mother saying:
I have kinda been putting this off all day and I am sorry. I wasn't sure exactly what to say.

I would like to thank you for being very easy to work with and putting up with my emotional state about the cake topper. It wasn't so bad and the "kids" liked it and that's what mattered the most to me.

I would really like to leave it at that. There is no point in going over the comments and details of the cake itself, I'm sure you did your best.


I have no clue what she is talking about. I plan on calling the venue tomorrow to see what "comments" were made. My husband thinks she is one of those people you can't please, I hope that is the case because I am proud of my cake.

(See last uploaded picture in my photos "Fall Themed Cake")

43 replies
costumeczar Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:14am
post #2 of

That's really weird, but if she said that "the kids" liked it, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. Sounds like she had some kind of a dispute with the daughter about the cake from the beginning, so it's a sore spot with her.

costumeczar Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:15am
post #3 of

But I will add that that was a rude email that she wrote!

cai0311 Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:20am
post #4 of

When she talked about "the kids" liking it, I think "it" was the topper, not the cake.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:31am
post #5 of

Oh wow. "There is no point in going over the comments and details of the cake itself, I'm sure you did your best."

I'd never contact her about that and hope she never decides to "share".

She's setting you up. "No point going over it." "I'm sure you did your best". Oh that's a loaded sentence.

cai0311 Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:36am
post #6 of

I don't plan on contacting her again. I figure if she really wanted me to know what she didn't like, she would have told me in the email. I think she wants me to inquire.

What I don't get is if I spent $400 on anything and didn't like it, I would tell the person. Kindly, of course, but to me that is good chunk of change and I would want to feel it was money well spent. Who takes the time to email someone and not tell them what they didn't like: taste, decorations, texture... It is killing me not to know.

costumeczar Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:36am
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by cai0311

When she talked about "the kids" liking it, I think "it" was the topper, not the cake.




Well, she did say that she wanted to leave it at that, so I'd just leave it right there! It sounds like she's trying to wind you up. Your idea about calling the reception site is good if you want to find out what really happened, though.

jenscreativity Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:40am
post #8 of

I would NOT try to talk to her!! SOunds like a set up too! Just let it be..it wasn't her cake anyways..her daughters'''soo who cares..

EvMarie Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:42am
post #9 of

Oh boy - all I can say is DON'T CAVE!!! Those comments sound like a serious attempt to stir your pot!

I freak on myself enough - I try at all costs to ignore people like this. Just give yourself a pep talk and let it go. That lady is just waiting for you to ask her what the problem was.

I agree about calling the site. Aren't they the fly on the wall? It seems they get to hear all kinds of unfiltered info.

step0nmi Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:44am

what a backhanded complaint? icon_confused.gif really strange...I wouldn't mention anything about it because she is hoping you will.

cai0311 Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:48am

I never had any intention on emailing her back. I don't want to open that door.

I am not fishing for compliments, but no one has said anything about the cake. Is it bad? You can be honest, maybe I am looking at it through "rose colored glasses".

cmerghart Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:49am

Maybe she wants you to call her and starts something cause maybe she wants to try and get some money back from you. I'd say leave it at that. I saw the cake it was beautiful... Honestly if it was really that bad then why didn't she say what it was? Don't worry, she got what she paid for. If it was the taste was so important to her then she should have asked to taste the cake first, that's her problem to deal with not yours. Don't stress it.

costumeczar Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 3:04am

I just looked at it, I don't think there was anything complaint-worthy about it. She's totally fishing for something.

idgalpal Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 3:16am

Boy, if I didn't know better I'd think that was my ex-mother-in-law that wrote that horrible email!!

jason_kraft Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 3:19am

To play devil's advocate, it is sometimes easy to misconstrue the emotional intent of phrasing in email, especially when you have preconceived notions based on previous experience. She may have simply been saying (albeit awkwardly) that there was no issue with the cake, and that you did your best in dealing with her emotional state.

That said, I would abide by the MOB's wishes and "leave it at that".

costumeczar Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 3:24am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

To play devil's advocate, it is sometimes easy to misconstrue the emotional intent of phrasing in email, especially when you have preconceived notions based on previous experience. She may have simply been saying (albeit awkwardly) that there was no issue with the cake, and that you did your best in dealing with her emotional state.

That said, I would abide by the MOB's wishes and "leave it at that".





Ah, Jason, you're giving this woman too much credit! I think that when someone says "I'm sure you did your best" there's no mistaking the passive-aggressive meaning. She's trying to get a reaction. OP-Don't let her even though I know it's killing you to know what actually happened!

Kitagrl Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 3:36am

Since you asked....I think your designs are very lovely and your cakes are great, especially the ones you made for the magazine!!!

I think you could really improve alot if you worked on your buttercream skills as far as icing the cakes....I can see where the cake in question seems to have some uneven icing....if the MOB is a perfectionist (which obviously she is, since she complained about the topper, which looks perfectly fine to me) maybe she thought the buttercream iced tiers were going to be a little smoother or something. (I know I've had several customers lately nervous to order buttercream instead of fondant because they wanted smooth tiers so maybe with the advent of fondant, smooth tiers is important to some customers...?)

Regardless...she either liked it or she didn't and it was unfair of her to write you an email to make you second guess yourself...so...I wouldn't write her back!!!! She seems kind of condescending to me. If it wasn't bad enough to ask for a refund that means the cake was fine and they enjoyed eating it...so no worries!!!!

And again, your designs are great! I just thought I'd mention the buttercream because you asked, and I think if you practiced some smooth icing techniques it would really make your cakes that much more professional looking (than they already are).

Happy caking!

jason_kraft Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 3:41am
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Ah, Jason, you're giving this woman too much credit! I think that when someone says "I'm sure you did your best" there's no mistaking the passive-aggressive meaning. She's trying to get a reaction.



Perhaps, but since the customer has taken herself out of the equation, it is up to OP to infer her intent. Given the choice between interpreting her remarks as either a passive-aggressive insult or a sincere appreciation for putting up with her in difficult times, I'd pick the latter every time.

To me, the risk of possibly giving someone I will never see again undeserved credit is well worth improving my own peace of mind.

This is also a great way to defuse escalating confrontations in real-time with someone using passive-aggressive tactics -- by projecting sincerity onto their statements they are forced to deviate from their preferred argument style, usually resulting in a more productive conversation. The trick is making the other party believe that you think their statements were sincere.

fairmaiden0101 Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 4:08am

Well I thought your cake was just lovely! The only thing I seen that could be considered a slight flaw was the ribbon..to me it just looks slightly wrinkled, not sure if it is just the pic or if it was just a wonky ribbon. Otherwise your cake is just gorgeous!

cai0311 Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 12:42pm

The ribbon was not the one I wanted to buy. I hate using wired ribbons but that was all the store had.

Karen421 Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 1:04pm

Your cake was lovely, just leave it alone and move on. For ribbon with that pesky wire in it, you can pull it out. If I don't have any one to hold one end - I wrap it around a door knob or something stable and pull it out that way. Works great! icon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 1:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen421

Your cake was lovely, just leave it alone and move on. For ribbon with that pesky wire in it, you can pull it out. If I don't have any one to hold one end - I wrap it around a door knob or something stable and pull it out that way. Works great! icon_lol.gif




I din know that--cool!

johnson6ofus Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 1:43pm

My 2 cents- how can you go from Star Wars to classic fall theme and expect MOB to be happy? I think you did great- and were TRAPPED from the start. There is no way she was going to like it (cake) unless Luke Skywalker was gonna hold a pumpkin. icon_biggrin.gif

I agree with a pp who said there was cake drama going on before you mixed your batter.... ignore her and move forward. I was a great cake.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:01pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

My 2 cents- how can you go from Star Wars to classic fall theme and expect MOB to be happy? I think you did great- and were TRAPPED from the start. There is no way she was going to like it (cake) unless Luke Skywalker was gonna hold a pumpkin. icon_biggrin.gif

I agree with a pp who said there was cake drama going on before you mixed your batter.... ignore her and move forward. I was a great cake.




A distubance in the force to be sure.

NatalieC923 Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:17pm

I think the cake was beautiful. I agree with your husband -- this was just not a woman that was going to be pleased. I mean she didn't care enough to come to a tasting or sit with you in person to finalize what she wanted, then she suddenly cares enough to poke you about some detail so insignificant she can't even bother to write it down?

I had the same thought about the Star Wars to formal fall theme -- how would a Star Wars cake have ever looked right in that room??? From my point of view, this also brings her judgement into question. It may very well be a compliment that she didn't like the cake. I would take it as such, forget her, and move on. thumbs_up.gif

aligotmatt Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:45pm

My mother would say something like that. "I'm sure you did your best" That is absolutely a situation where you don't respond and you don't worry about it.

As far as the cake, sure I can see where it needs some more polishing, but the price to size to quality is MORE than fair. Don't stress about it. I agree 100% with whoever said that she wasn't going to be happy before you even baked.

Enchantedcakes Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:53pm

I have in my contract that if a bride or a MOB in this case wants ribbon around their cake they can buy the ribbon and supply it to me or they can pay for fondant ribbon band. I do not have the time to spend in craft stores looking for their ribbon. I also have a dummy cake that I can put the ribbon around when they bring me the ribbon so they will see how it looks around the cake.

Kitagrl Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 2:59pm

I like to get my own ribbon because sometimes brides don't know how to buy it and they get stuff that looks dumb, or too narrow, etc.....or they won't get enough.

cai0311 Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 3:01pm

She was to supply the ribbon but doesn't live around here and asked if I could get it instead.

On a side note, I wonder what she thought of the bride's hot pink and orange wedding dress. She also had black hair with large chunks of hot pink through out it.

indydebi Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 3:07pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enchantedcakes

I have in my contract that if a bride or a MOB in this case wants ribbon around their cake they can buy the ribbon and supply it to me or they can pay for fondant ribbon band. I do not have the time to spend in craft stores looking for their ribbon. I also have a dummy cake that I can put the ribbon around when they bring me the ribbon so they will see how it looks around the cake.


same here. I actually give them a choice. If they want "blue ... just blue. plain blue." then I'm happy to pull some from my stash. If they want "blue ... peacock blue ... with a hint of purple ... but not too purple." then they buy it themselves and bring it to me. We review how much is needed. I show them samples of ribbon in my stash as far as sizes, material, and how big the reels are. Never had a problem either way.

And I specifically told them "No wire ribbon. Ever." Learned that one the hard way. That photo will never be posted anywhere. Ever. icon_redface.gif

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