oakleygirl77 Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 9:47pm
post #1 of

OK....I need help on figuring out what to do with an un-happy customer. I made a cake for a lady (that I have done lots of cakes for) and she just sent me a message that said she hated to complain but....she said the cake I made her last week was dry and the icing tasted "funny". It was a different recipe for the cake and I did use a lot of airbrush color on the icing to get the color that she wanted. The airbrush color said it does not change the taste????

So she wants to know if I will make her 2 dozen cupcakes for her office AND her money back for the other cake??
Should I do both????

28 replies
theonlynameleft Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 10:00pm
post #2 of

I certainly wouldn't do both. Unless she could give you back some of the cake to sample the taste its pretty much just her saying that there was an issue rather than there being any actual proof of a problem. I am presuming it was edible enough that they must have polished it off otherwise she would have cake she could return to you assess the taste.

If you give her a refund I certainly wouldn't give her free cupcakes as well.
As an act of goodwill you could offer to possibly do the cupcakes but certainly not give her her money back as well. Cheeky wee minx! icon_rolleyes.gif

kathys90 Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 10:02pm
post #3 of

Nope....

Is she returning the un-eaten portion of the cake? If it tasted funny, then she should be returning it for you to compare to your usual.

I say you could offer her a discount on her next purchase, and consider a partial refund, but if she isn't returning the "funny tasting" cake then she shouldn't get anything for free.

jerseygirlNga Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 10:03pm
post #4 of

You said you do lots of cake for her. Only you can decide if you should do both but if she is a good, repeat customer; is it worth losing her business?

emilykakes Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 10:14pm
post #5 of

Hey, I got a hamburger from McDonalds last week. I ate it but now that I am thinking about it , it really wasn't that good. You think maybe I could go get my money back and another burger? lol! Since you think that your cake may not have been up to your usual standards and she is a regular customer you may want to do something for her but what she is asking for is a bit much.

theonlynameleft Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 10:16pm
post #6 of

Agreed.... and tasting funny is quite often just a matter of opinion. I think licorice & aniseed taste funny, and oysters, and cabbage, and mushrooms, but that doesn't mean there is anything wrong with them.

artscallion Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 10:18pm
post #7 of

Refund AND free cupcakes?!?! I don't know how some people walk with cake balls that big.

That said...How much are we talking here for the refund? If it's not a lot, and she's usually a reasonable customer, I tend to agree with jersygirlNga. Throw her a bone and chalk it up to an investment in future business from an otherwise good customer.

Jenn2179 Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 10:50pm
post #8 of

No way would I give a refund and free cupcakes.

linstead Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 10:54pm
post #9 of

Give her back her money and apologize for cake tasting badly.

costumeczar Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 11:01pm

Airbrush color will taste weird if there's a lot of it. I wouldn't give her back both, though. If she's a repeat customer I'd just refund the cost of the sheet cake, but I wouldn't hand out free merchandise.

TexasSugar Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 11:05pm

If it was a different recipe then chances are it really didn't taste or have the same texture as the last. And while airbrushing shouldn't add flavor, we know form adding colors to buttercream that some are prone to leaving a taste behind.

Does she have a habit of complaining about orders? Has she ever asked for money back or another product from an order?

I'd offer her one or the other, but not both personally. To me that is asking a bit much.

fairmaiden0101 Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 11:32pm

[quote="artscallion"]Refund AND free cupcakes?!?! I don't know how some people walk with cake balls that big.

I burst out laughing at that one!! It does take a lot of nerve to call up and request free stuff. I say if she didn't return any of the uneaten cake to you then why give her anything?? Perhaps to apease her you could do a discount on her next order but free cupcakes and a refund...how bout take a long walk off a short cliff lady!

JanH Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 11:32pm

Yes, as has been said I would offer her something... Let her choose refund or free cupcakes, but certainly NOT both.

HTH

Erin3085 Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 11:37pm

icon_eek.gif Wow, I can't imagine asking for free stuff AND a refund just because it didn't care for the taste of something. If it were me, I wouldn't offer her a refund. The cupcakes, sure, but not the money back, unless it was a really small (READ...>$30) order. Unless she is a big-time customer who orders from you a lot, and you would really miss her business, I'd say no to both. Chances are, she might try to pull it again in the future anyway. thumbsdown.gif

cakegirl1973 Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 11:44pm

How about offering her a discount on her next order?

cownsj Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 12:09am
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanH

Yes, as has been said I would offer her something... Let her choose refund or free cupcakes, but certainly NOT both.

HTH




That's just what I was thinking as I've been reading through......

sugarlovemom Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 12:14am

I would lelt her know how much i appreciate her business, tell her i'm truly sorry she didn't enjoy the cake this time and make the cupcakes and offer her a discount on her next cake.... but never both! if she isn't happy i would give her the money back and still would add the next order discount....

neelycharmed Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 12:23am

I would make her choose one or the other.
No way (repeat or no repeat customer) that I would do both.
Jodi icon_smile.gif

pixiefuncakes Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 12:31am

Did she choose the recipe or did you? Did she order a particular cake and expect the usual recipe or specifically ask for the 'new' recipe?
If she is a repeat customer then she has come to expect a certain standard from you she obviously feels that she didn't get it this time. If she hasn't complained before, that means she has been happy with the product. I agree with sugarlovemom, cupcakes or discount and a sincere apology and explanation.

oakleygirl77 Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 12:33am

Wow....I really feel like she's asking for alot after reading all of the responses. She is a really good customer....kinda picky sometimes. But I feel like I should atleast make my money back from all of the supplies that go into making a cake.
I guess I need to grow my own "cake balls" =) and not feel so bad about it.

Redsoxbaker Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 1:29am

I think you need to do what's right for you. Every situation is different so you need to do what's best for your business. Does she give you a lot of business? Is it worth it to keep her happy or do you feel she's taking advantage of you? I'm sure you will come up with the best solution. Good luck !

adventuregal Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 5:28am

wow...what a trainwreck of a customer. I get that she's a repeat, but she's totally trying to see where your limits are. She did not buy a cake and cupcakes that tasted bad; she bought a CAKE that tasted bad. If you refund something you refund the cake. I don't know where some people get these ludicrous ideas. Hang in there and don't feel bad for saying no! I am sending you cake courage thumbs_up.gif

sweettreat101 Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 8:24am

Sounds to me like she is trying to get her money back and a freebie. Did she call you after eating the cake to tell you she wasn't happy or did she wait a week or two? If she waited then the cake wasn't as bad as she said it was. Someone who really doesn't like something would have contacted you immediately.

I think she needed to bring something to work for a party and doesn't want to have to cough up the cash. If you want to keep her business then offer her one or the other but not both. If I ordered a cake and it was that bad I would have taken the rest of the cake back to the bakery and said this wasn't very good can I get a refund. I bet they ate the entire cake.

Don't let people walk all over you. Just send her an email as she did you and say I'm sorry you were not happy with your cake order I would be happy to refund the cost of the cake or make the two dozen cupcakes flavor of your choice. Thank you for your continued business.

I look at it this way. Do I want to continue making cakes for impossible people? There will always be another customer that will come your way. Sending cake courage your way.

AbouttheCake Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 9:50am

The fact that she's a previous customer, and assuing from your post that she's ordered several cakes, chances are there was a real issue on this cake. That's assuming she's never complained before. I would be inclined to offer her the option of a partial refund (equivelant to the 2 dozen cupcakes) or the 2 dozen cupcakes for free. Not both. Although in the past, I have done both because it was a fantastic-don't want to lose this customer type customer.

moralna Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 2:39pm

I agree with everyone else, requesting a refund and 2 dozen free cupcakes is out of line. Here are my questions: 1) how long did she wait before she contacted you about the problem with the cake? 2) why didn't she save a sample of the cake for you to inspect? 3) why, if you did a cake for her, do you now have to offer her cupcakes for her office? 4) when you say she is picky, do you mean she is particular about certain designs or is she picky about how things taste? 5) is there anyone else that you know that tasted the cake that you can contact to see if there was actually a problem with the cake? My last question: how did she come up with 2 dozen cupcakes - why not a dozen? Why not another cake? Seems to me that she is trying to get her money back and feed some of her co-workers at the same time.

The final decision is up to you and you have to do what is best for you, but think about this - if you do the 2 dozen cupcakes, she will let people know that she got the cupcakes and a refund for a problem with a previous order - that my friend opens the door to a whole lot of other problems. You will now become the cake lady who gives back money and free stuff whenever there is a complaint.

3GCakes Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 3:27pm

How do you complain about the taste of cake and them demand some more of it for free?

SugarNSpiceDiva Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 3:37pm

Maybe I'm harsh, but I don't think it matters if she is a repeat customer or not. I haven't been in the cake business long enough to experience this, but asking for a refund AND a free order?!? icon_confused.gif

I do however know a little about business itself. I also know that just because I shop at Wal-Mart frequently doesn't mean that I can go up in there, buy a t.v. and when I realize they didn't give me exactly the one I wanted, go back up there and ask for my money back, keep the t.v. plus get another for free. It just doesn't work that way.

My first thought was did she know you were using another recipe? If not, then personally, I would figure which of the orders (cake or cupcakes) was the lesser value and offer that to her. So if the cake was $30 and cupcakes were $32, I would refund the $ for the cake. If the cupcakes were the lesser value, I'd decline the refund, but do the cupcakes free of charge.

Now, if she did know about the new recipe, then I would only offer partial. So whatever % you decide, then take that and do the same to where you are offering the lesser value--either a partial refund, or a % discount on the cupcakes.

I wish I could get away with what she is trying to get away with. lol. Get double the product for nothing? That's a win-lose situation and you're on the wrong end.

Good luck. icon_smile.gif

MyDiwa Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 3:49pm

My thoughts are that while she is a repeat customer, in fact especially because she is a repeat customer who is likely to repeat what has been done in the past, you have to be very business like about every transaction. She may not have enjoyed the taste of the cake but it was consumed was it not? So therefore one of the purposes of the cake was in fact served - people had something to eat and ate it. I would very politely explain that because she and her guests did actually consume the cake, only a partial refund is applicable in the amount of $xx. If you want to go the extra mile for her, offer a small discount on her next order but let her know you're making a concession because she's been such a good customer.

costumeczar Posted 19 Nov 2010 , 4:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3GCakes

How do you complain about the taste of cake and them demand some more of it for free?




Hahaha!

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