Noah's Ark Cake Cratered....what To Do About Refund?

Decorating By CarolLee Updated 22 Feb 2011 , 10:12pm by LNW

CarolLee Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 4:07pm
post #1 of 14

Saturday I delivered a Noah's Ark cake about 30 miles away - sort of bumpy along the way but the cake seemed to do fine. Got to the venue, set up the cake (chocolate Butter cream on chocolate cake for ark - sitting on top of 14" sheet cake).
What I worried about until I got it there was the ark sinking down into the bottom although I used supports. What actually happened was the border on the Ark fell off during the baby shower after I had gotten my money and left.

My question is do I refund the whole $65.00? Or do I take out for materials. I feel really sad and discouraged. Anybody have an opinion?

13 replies
Crazboutcakes Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 4:34pm
post #2 of 14

Sorry to hear that, did the person that ordered the cake contact you to let you know? And how long was it after you left did it fall? Did they say it couldn't be eaten? Was it only one side of the boarders or all the boarders. did you get compancated for the delivery? Could have been many variables there. It could have been warmer in the building from the cake sitting,could have been from the car ride, somone could have bumped the table ect... If it didn't fall apart or crush inside it's self because of the ark and it was fine when you left than, and then I would probably offer her a free 6 " smash cake(for her troiubles) for the baby's firt birthday or something. and a picture of the origanl cake all in tacked for the baby's firt birthday. But for $65.00 it doesn't sound like you got your money's worth either for your work. Just my thought!

cakegirl1973 Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 4:56pm
post #3 of 14

I think the pp's idea is right on target. I would offer a free smash cake for the baby's first birthday. Is she asking for a refund?

CWR41 Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 5:13pm
post #4 of 14
Originally Posted by CarolLee

What I worried about until I got it there was the ark sinking down into the bottom although I used supports. What actually happened was the border on the Ark fell off during the baby shower after I had gotten my money and left.

Did the ark sink down into the bottom cake or not? If so, how since it was supported? If the only thing that happened was the border falling off after delivery, I don't know that it warrants a refund of any kind.

CarolLee Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 5:50pm
post #5 of 14

No, the cake never sunk - The customer told me that after I left and during the shower a border on the ark fell onto the cake. She didn't mention how the cake tasted, if anyone bumped the table etc. I have no reason not to trust her. It's just one of those things that flattens your confidence.

And...I know $65.00 is laughable but I'm still learning. I've never had a cake border to "fall" before and I've never had to give a refund.

TexasSugar Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 6:41pm
post #6 of 14

Which boarder feel off? Was it around the top edge? Was it on top of the cake or just on top of the sides icing? How long had the boarder been on there before you delievered the cake?

CarolLee Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 8:05pm
post #7 of 14

Well...the cake had been chilled since Friday. I'm guessing a small side. I just can't figure out why it would fall off. I've never really had butter cream to do that. I'll try to upload a photo from right before I loaded it up and took it.

TexasSugar Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 8:26pm
post #8 of 14

Because the sides are sloped, it is possible that the border wasn't on the edge of the cake but on top of the side icing and the weight of it could have caused it to fall off. I've seen this happen with basketweave cakes and borders where the border was piped on the top of the basket weave. The icing gets heavy.

Having it in the fridge would have stiffened the icing up, which is why it probably traveled fine. But it would have returned to room temp, or if it was on the warm side (mine house was warm this weekend) it could have gotten soft as well.

When she called you did she seem really upset, ask for a refund, or was she just informing you?

Because it wasn't anything major, and everyone got to see the cake before the damage, I would probably stick with something like making a small cake or some cupcakes. Or if you think she'll be a return customer then a percentage off her next order. I'm not a big fan of those for big issues, but with something like this, it says I'm really sorry you had a problem, maybe this will help.

ChRiStY_71 Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 8:29pm
post #9 of 14

If she isn't pushing for a refund, I would offer a discount on her next order.

CarolLee Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 10:44pm
post #10 of 14

I appreciate everyone's reply. I think I'll probably some of her money back. She did tell me earlier everyone ate the cake and it was a small part of it that fell. I sampled the cake and icing and it was top notch.

When you're just starting to make a go of it in a small town everything is magnified! I don't care if she comes back or not - I get plenty of orders. I just don't want bad publicity by a lot of mouthing about it.

TexasSugar Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 10:53pm
post #11 of 14

You don't want bad publicity, but you also have to be careful about the opposite. Being the one that if they give a small complant they get a free cake.

CarolLee Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 11:09pm
post #12 of 14

This is very true Texas Sugar. Your words are well taken. I'm calling her mother tomorrow to get her story on it.

lynn1968 Posted 21 Feb 2011 , 11:17pm
post #13 of 14

i feel your pain. as mentioned, there are a lot of variables involved, and you can't say one way or another what really happened. by way of making amends, i, too, think a discount off her next purchase is in order, say 10% up to $50 or something.

unfortunately, some customers want something for nothing and will lie like a dog to get it. not saying your customer did, but they're out there. ya always want to think the best about people, but i've learned long ago that some customers will fleece you in a nanosecond given the opportunity. sad but true.

someone bumps the table and something falls off, then clams up when the buyer asks what happened to their cake. it's human nature, i guess. or grandma comes in and turns the thermostat up to 95, then says that never would have happened to the cakes they used to make, back when cakes were cakes (and you had your choice of 3 flavours; vanilla, chocolate or sawdust, dagnabbit).

ah, try not to fret over it. wait till you have a *real* disaster. icon_smile.gif

LNW Posted 22 Feb 2011 , 10:12pm
post #14 of 14

ITA with TexasSugar about heavy icing. Basketweave happens to be my favorite way to decorate a buttercream cake and I have to be careful of those top borders sliding off when the weather gets warm. I have had them fall right off a cake before.

It was a very cute cake! Great job.

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