Customer E-Mailed Cake Fell Apart!!

Decorating By cakeladytx Updated 8 Nov 2010 , 3:08am by cakeladytx

cakeladytx Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 7:48pm
post #1 of 47

I had a customer pick up a 3 tier cake today and not even an hour later I get an e-mail that the cake collapsed and that the fondant pieces were falling off. The party is tonight and she is upset she doesn't have a cake. I use bubble straws for supports between my tiers and have never had an issue like this before, so I don't understand why it collapsed.

I tried calling her as soon as I got the e-mail to see if there is any way I can fix it but I am not getting an answer. I sent her an e-mail back when I didn't get an answer for to call me or send me a pic of the cake so I can see if I can fix it.

I don't know if I should offer a refund or not. I moved the cake several times before she picked it up and it was sturdy when I moved it. I am trying to upload pics of the cake but having problems

46 replies
Auryn Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 8:05pm
post #2 of 47

Did you have any kinds of boards in between the cakes??
When they picked it up did you have them sign a release??

How did they transport it??

mjandros Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 8:08pm
post #3 of 47

Make sure she shows you proof (a picture) that the cake fell apart before offering up any type of refund. There are toooooo many folks out there looking to get refunds on cake that "suddenly collapses" but never have the proof to back it up. icon_rolleyes.gif Good luck and keep us posted.

jo3d33 Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 8:08pm
post #4 of 47

If u can go fix it then I would fix it. If its a matter of construction then yes u need to fix it and maybe give a partial refund. . But if she slammed on the breaks and the cake went flying then that is not your fault and I wouldn't give a refund.

Kiddiekakes Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 8:10pm
post #5 of 47

Sorry this happened..but I would never use bubble tea straws to hold up any cake...IMO just not sturdy enough...Try and fix it if you can get ahold of her...Bummer...

cambo Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 8:39pm
post #6 of 47

Was the cake also doweled thru all layers (I'm sure it was)? I use bubble tea straws religiously, so I don't think that is the problem. As far as the customer picking up a tiered cake, I NEVER allow it unless they insist becaue they don't want to pay for delivery, and even then, they must sign a waiver before the cake leaves my premises. Folks that don't work with cakes the way we bakers do, have no idea how to drive responsibly with them.

I think the fact you offered to fix the cake and called/emailed, is great! It's up to the customer now. Don't assume it's something you did...wait to get the proof/pictures, etc., before offering any money back.

Hope all ends well....((((hugs)))) to you! Keep us posted!

BluntlySpeakingKarma Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 9:10pm
post #7 of 47

I think it's ridiculous to send someone off with a three tiered cake, just ridiculous. Waiver or not, assurance by customer to take care of it, not enough. No one takes the care we do when we deliver our cakes, not the customer, not anyone. I can't imagine honestly sending a several (or couple, whatever) hundred dollar creation off to meet it's maker in the car of a customer. I don't get it.

KoryAK Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 9:50pm
post #8 of 47

It's not ridiculous. I don't have a magic van, do you?

I make sure the cake is chilled though, assembled well, etc... and help them out to the car so I can see how it's going to be sitting (and help when they inevitably want to do something stupid). I tell them to drive like an old lady and watch stops, starts, and turns - then they know my responsibility ends. I have only had one cake fall and they held it for HOURS (warming up all the while) then drove 1.5 hours to the event. Not my problem.
It's not the greatest idea even generated, but it's their cake they can do what they want with it.

BluntlySpeakingKarma Posted 5 Nov 2010 , 9:52pm
post #9 of 47

I do actually. icon_biggrin.gif

mombabytiger Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 12:13am
post #10 of 47

I've seen customers on Ace of Cakes pick up cakes all the time. Even tiered cakes. Plunk them right down in the back of a hatchback. I would have a customer sign a waiver though.

cakeladytx Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 1:30am
post #11 of 47

I have added a picture of the cake before she picked it up and pictures of what she sent me that it looks like now they are in my cake gallery. I have always used foam cake boards and the bubble straws for support and have never had this happen and most of my customers pick up their cakes. I started out doing this as a hobby and through friends and family I get more requests to make cakes. I have had cakes travel to Dallas which is 4 hours away and made it ok and it had a strawberry cream cheese filling, and I was a little worried about it but the customer said they travel with cakes all the time and they made it fine.I know she put the cake on her front passenger floorboard and it kinda looks like she may have slammed on her brakes or possibly when she tried taking the cake out she hit it on her dashboard or something. I don't have a waiver for them to sign but I might make one up now. She's not asked for a refund, so I wander if it something she did or if I should offer one. They were already heading out of town so I couldn't go fix it.

Kitagrl Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 1:41am
post #12 of 47

I always use Bubble Tea straws too...the most important thing is to chill the cake before transport.

Kellbella Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 1:49am
post #13 of 47

The cake absolutely looks like it was smashed... like she did slam on the brakes and it went flying. Such a cute cake though. You can absolutley see it wasn't a structural problem.

CakeMom5001 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 1:54am
post #14 of 47

By the pictures she sent you ... it looks to me as if she was trying to take off the top 2 layers and the cake was damaged in the process. The icing isnt damaged on the top of the bottom tier, which to me would mean it didnt slide off.

I only do this as a hobby - but that is what it looks like to me.

Kitagrl Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 1:58am
post #15 of 47

Yeah I think it looks like somehow it slid off the board and against the side of the box, too....like someone slammed on the brakes, or like it was transported on a back seat at an angle or something...(People do that!!!!).

It does not look like it collapsed under its own weight.

Vanessa7 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 1:58am
post #16 of 47

I find it curious that she says the cake has fallen when the top tier looks smashed as well. I could understand it if it was the bottom tier or maybe even the 2nd tier, but the top tier???? Hmmm . . . To me it looks like the customer did something to smash the cake. Like you said, either slammed on the brakes or really rammed it into the dashboard while trying to get it out. I'm still kinda new to the cake world, but "I'm just sayin!!!!" icon_confused.gif BTW, cute cake before the accident.

awatterson Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 2:10am
post #17 of 47

I think that it happened from her driving. I agree that it looks like she slammed on the brakes. Transporting a cake is very scary. I bet she didn't realize that she couldn't stop so quickly with the cake in her car.

cakeladytx Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 2:11am
post #18 of 47

Thanks, for the comments. I really appreciate your input. When she sent me the pictures I was expecting that the bottom tier would be destroyed. Her exact words in e-mail was the cake fell apart the top layers crushed the bottom layer. It was to heavy for transport. But the bottom didn't look like the top layers crushed it. I guess I need to make up a waiver for them so sign when picking up cakes. Should I offer any kind of refund or to make another cake. I don't feel I did anything wrong and I know it can't make up for someone not having their birthday cake, but I hate to have unhappy customers either. I know a bad reference can do alot more harm than a hundred good ones.

Karen421 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 2:25am
post #19 of 47

I agree with everyone, it doesn't look like a structural problem, the cakes are not squished. It does look like she slammed on the breaks or knocked off the top 2 tiers while taking the cake out. So Sorry this happened, Waiver, waiver, waiver!! icon_smile.gif

cakegirl1973 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 2:37am
post #20 of 47

Would someone kindly share the language that they use in their waiver? After reading this thread, I think I need to have one for folks to sign. Thanks!

Vanessa7 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 2:37am
post #21 of 47

I have never used a waiver either. Does anyone have one they would be willing to share?

G_Cakes Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 2:38am
post #22 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakeladytx

Should I offer any kind of refund or to make another cake.




Unfortunately the event has come and gone... if you were able I am sure you would have fixed it, but they had left for the venue.

I agree with everyone else, it does look like she stopped suddenly, causing the damage to the cake.

I would not offer her a refund at all but it you wanted to you could offer her a discount towards a future order like 10% off.

This will encourage repeat business...but make sure she signs a waiver first (all your customers) icon_smile.gif

Great job on the cake though it was lovely icon_smile.gif

CocoaBlondie Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 2:49am
post #23 of 47

Your cake was so cute! Sorry not everyone @ the event could see how good it was. She obviously had an accident. She isn't asking for a refund because of the guilt she has for blaming you in the first place. NO REFUND. The suggestion about the disc. on future orders sounds good though.

Irish245 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:13am
post #24 of 47

It looks to me like it was smashed against the glove box or something as she took it out of the car. If you look at the top tier, you can tell because the icing from the top tier is smeared downward onto the middle tier.

The other thing I was thinking may not have helped is if she had her heater on. If she had it down on the front passenger floor, it would also not be good as the heat may have made the icing melt along with her smashing against the car while removing.

peaseofcake Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:13am
post #25 of 47

Cakeladytx,

Here is one that I use. It is for an outdoor delivery/setup however you can change it to fit your needs...hope this helps. I also ask who will be taking responsibility for the cake at the venue if I am delivering and the host/hostess is not available. I have this as part of my contract and fill it out so there are not surprises upon delivery. If they are picking it up I would change "following set-up at event once company departs venue" to once company secures cake in customer's vehicle. I do modify this form depending on the cake order.

OUTDOOR/DELIVERY DISCLAIMER

I, _______________________________, accept this cake as meeting/exceeding the contract agreed upon and understand that (insert company name) is not responsible for the condition of product(s) following set-up at the event once (insert company name) departs venue.

Since this celebration is being held outdoors and due to the effects of outdoor weather conditions, table on un-level ground, wind blowing undesirable atmospheric items (ex: dirt, leaves, branches, sunlight), insects and other wildlife, I understand that products such as icings, fillings, cake decorations, etc, may not hold up and cannot be insured past satisfactory delivery and set-up. Initial please

Upon receipt of delivery and signing disclaimer, (insert company name) liability ends and the Celebration begins. If any problems should arise, please contact (insert company name) within 24 hours of delivery.

Client Signature ________________________________________________

Delivery Representative ____________________________

Date _________________________

JanH Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:45am
post #26 of 47

What a neat cake, and it's so sad that the customer is trying to make you responsible (when it's obvious that she either stopped short while driving or smacked the top of the cake box against something when removing from the car).

Your work is wonderful, please don't let this less than forthright customer make you think otherwise.

Only thing I could suggest, is perhaps start using the SPS support system (and pass on the cost) since it was developed for bakeries that didn't deliver:

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-603925.html

HTH

amygortoncakes Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 4:03am
post #27 of 47

In my original contract I have in bold writing that delivery is recommended and that there will be no refunds given for cakes that are picked up. I have the customer initial on the contract that I informed them that I recommend delivery on all cakes.

Then if someone decides to pickup their cake I again tell them and have them sign a waiver that basically says that the cake is in good condition as what they ordered...and that once they step out of my door I am not responsible for it at all...and no refunds will be given.

I would of course refund if there was a structural problem of my own, but so far no accidents. Fingers crossed...LOL

I don't think the cake destruction is your fault, but I am with you on making people happy. I am always so nervouse about leaving even one customer dissatisfied because of how strong word of mouth is. I don't think you should have to refund her money, but maybe you should offer something back and explain to her that it was your fault for not having a waiver in place.

cakegirl1973 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 5:04am
post #28 of 47

Would someone kindly share the language that they use in their waiver? After reading this thread, I think I need to have one for folks to sign. Thanks!

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 5:08am
post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarmaCakes10

I think it's ridiculous to send someone off with a three tiered cake, just ridiculous. Waiver or not, assurance by customer to take care of it, not enough. No one takes the care we do when we deliver our cakes, not the customer, not anyone. I can't imagine honestly sending a several (or couple, whatever) hundred dollar creation off to meet it's maker in the car of a customer. I don't get it.




I agree with you on this Karma. My policy is delivery only on tiered cakes with 3 or more tiers, absolutely no pick up. I understand the reason for a waiver, but in reality this is my business reputation on the line here so I would rather be sure that the cake gets to the venue in one piece.

cakegirl1973 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 5:13am
post #30 of 47

Would someone kindly share the language that they use in their waiver? After reading this thread, I think I need to have one for folks to sign. Thanks!

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