ylil Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 8:16am
post #1 of

I recently made a cake for a business acquaintance. I was sick the day of delivery and my husband took the cake for me. Sadly - somehow the cake was jostled, top layer slid (even though it was doweled) and collapsed the bottom layer. Again, I was sick, but went to try to salvage the cake - there was no salvaging for presentation, but I did go to a great local bakery and buy a new cake (and cupcakes to make sure there was enough). I salvaged all of the hand made decorations that I could, placed them as well as I could on new cake (along with bought figurines). I spent every penny I made on buying the new cake. Should I offer her $ back as well? Thanks for your input!

Lily

13 replies
lauriekailee Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 8:35am
post #2 of

Is she asking for her money back? Or is she happy with what you did to rectify the situation? If she is fine, I don't think you should refund the money. Accidents happen.

bakingpw Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 1:20pm
post #3 of

I'm sorry you were sick - that must have made the whole situate feel even worse! It certainly sounds as if you did your best to meet the customers needs and rectify the situation.

Had the customer paid for a "custom" cake? My customers paid more for a "custom" (designed) cake, so if it were me, I'd pay her the difference. ($3.50/serving for "standard" and $4.50/serving for "custom designed". So if it were my customer, I'd return her $1./serving). Otherwise, unless she asks for more payment, she probably accepts your replacements.

leily Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 1:27pm
post #4 of

If the customer was happy with your replacement then i would give a percentage off of her next purchase (anywhere from 10-25% depending on what you want to do)

And next time i would use SPS, it's is so full proof expecially when you have someone else transporting your cake that isn't always aware of how easy it is to have a cake shift in transport.

A top layer can slide from side to side with dowels under it, the dowels are there to keep it from falling down into the cake below, not necessarily keep it from moving side to side. The SPS system has a little point in the middle of the plate that is inserted into the board so the cake doesn't move side to side. Love it!!
http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-603925.html

Karen421 Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 1:30pm
post #5 of

I second the SPS! It has saved me several times! thumbs_up.gif

neelycharmed Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 1:34pm
post #6 of

icon_sad.gif sorry you were sick, and sorry that the cake didn't go as planned...
What did the say they wanted, or did you just want to fix it and make it better?
Jodi

leah_s Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 2:01pm
post #7 of

Well, of course I'm also going to advise to use SPS next time. It was created for non-cakers to be able to pick up the transport their own cakes from bakeries who don't deliver. It likely would have saved your cake.

-K8memphis Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 2:57pm
post #8 of

If it was me and I spent all the money I made to save the day, I would put up a fuss about refunding if she asked. First of all I would make sure she understood all what happened and then I would explain that all the money had been reinvested into saving the day.

I have a minimal 'order blank.' One thing it does say is that I reserve the right to produce the cake to the best of my ability. I think that covers me for cases like this. And I would be hard pressed to cough up more money.

I could see someone asking and expecting it and I would have no trouble saying, "You ate it".

artscallion Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 4:05pm
post #9 of

Here's hoping there's not a 'next time'...but if there is...

a good way to get the refund issue out of the way is to say (before you do anything), "I'm so sorry this happened. I can either give you a full refund OR I can use that refund money to run to a bakery and make it right for your event. That way she doesn't get both. And you don't end up in the hole.

- I forget who said, "...no refund, accidents happen...", but this accident didn't happen to the customer, it happened to OP...so OP should bear the consequences.

ylil Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 4:37pm

very understanding - I just want to make sure to do the "right" thing - I'm just a little fuzzy on what that is. Like the last person said - it was my fault, I know that, I'm just not clear on how much is enough. It was the TS/Little Mermaid cake in my photos - I'm a hobbyist, not a professional. I only charged $60 (I wanted to do her a favor because I know a relative of hers and she is a dear) and it cost me that for replacement cake. Most of the figurines that I made were salvaged, the fence for Woody and Jessie was lost. I guess my ? is should I pay her for her disappointment? Just to do the right thing is all I want to do. I know she was disappointed - *I* was disappointed! In a similar circumstance, what would you do?

Thanks so much!!

Win Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 5:00pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ylil

very understanding - I just want to make sure to do the "right" thing - I'm just a little fuzzy on what that is. Like the last person said - it was my fault, I know that, I'm just not clear on how much is enough. It was the TS/Little Mermaid cake in my photos - I'm a hobbyist, not a professional. I only charged $60 (I wanted to do her a favor because I know a relative of hers and she is a dear) and it cost me that for replacement cake. Most of the figurines that I made were salvaged, the fence for Woody and Jessie was lost. I guess my ? is should I pay her for her disappointment? Just to do the right thing is all I want to do. I know she was disappointed - *I* was disappointed! In a similar circumstance, what would you do?

Thanks so much!!




Gosh, I looked at the picture and am wondering as to what there is to be disappointed in? You did a great job with recovery IMHO. Even if there is a "bakery" cake in there as a replacement, I find nothing amiss with the presentation. I like the idea of offering up a discount on the next cake. I think that is completely sufficient based upon the fact that you already went the extra mile to have presented a true "cake" and not a 'wreck."

artscallion Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 5:42pm

Is the cake in your pics the before or after?

obsessed Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 6:41pm

My two cents...in response to your question, "How much to make it right?"

Replacing the cake (and doing such a good job of it!) was enough. I agree with others...offer a discount on her next cake if you feel you must but do not offer a refund unless she makes a fuss and demands one.

Win Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 7:00pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Is the cake in your pics the before or after?




I think I misunderstood and the cake in the pic might be the "before" since the OP speaks of losing the fence. My bad. However, IF the replacement cake was anything close in size (and she did say she bought cupcakes as well) and the cake was salvageable in the most part by being able to save many of the original figures, I still believe she went the extra mile and the discount option is viable.

I just saw a rerun of a AOC where they speak of a cake disaster where two cakes being delivered to different venues slid into each other. When one of cakes got to its event, the caterer hid the delivery guy from the Wedding Coordinator while he made repairs and the general comment was that 'No one was wise to the situation."

It happens to the best of us...

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