I'll Give You $25 For Your Troubles...

Decorating By SophisticatedSweets Updated 13 Mar 2011 , 5:47pm by dreamcakesmom

SophisticatedSweets Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 9:54pm
post #1 of 25

I worked on a 3-tier Hello Kitty themed cake from 9pm last night until 4am this morning and then was back up at 8:30am to put final touches on it until 10am. Before delivering the cake I uploaded pictures online to rave reviews.

When I delivered the cake I was informed that the cake was ugly, my skills were not up to par and she was now going to have to go to WalMart to buy sheetcakes because this cake was NOT the image she wanted at her party. She then offered $25 for "my troubles" which I declined (all while battling the urge to cry." When I went to leave I went to pick up the cake and she literally screamed at me demanding to know where I was going with the cake. She then informed me that she offered me $25 for the cake and she supposed it was good enough for the kids so I needed to leave it there.


I had all I could do not to lose my cool on that one. The situation immediately red flagged as someone who couldn't afford a cake that I had already discounted to $100 (yes...that alone was idiotic.) and yet still deep in the back of my mind I am self-doubting all of my abilities.

Needless to say, despite her screaming, I took the cake with me. I maintained my composure, despite the harsh things that were on the tip of my tounge, and walked. I ended up bringing the cake to one of my friends who is the charge nurse at a local hospital for her to share with all of the nurses. In the end, the nurses all gave money to my friend after hearing about the situation and during her lunch break she brought me a check for $150. I refused but she wouldn't have it any other way...she wanted me to know it was appreciated and my labor was worth something.

How would you all have handled this situation? I have second guessed me decision to take it a few times because what if she really thought it was bad? Most people are saying they thought she couldn't afford it but why would someone insult another person's skills? That is just...wrong. Kicker is, if money was the issue I run a charity that donates cakes to low income families and families just going through hard times.

I cannot get this off of my mind!

24 replies
JanH Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 10:02pm
post #2 of 25

I take it, this wasn't one of your regular customers.....

Sounds to me like this customer tried to run a scam on you. icon_eek.gif

Good for you for not falling for that one. thumbs_up.gif

After all, who wouldn't want a freshly baked and custom decorated cake for practically free but this woman is a scam artist extraordinaire!!! Wonder how often she runs this scam (and succeeds) and how many decorators she's been through.

#1 - I'd get at least 50% down on a cake costing that much (with no refunds on cancellations). And then if the customer balks on delivery, at least you've got your ingredient costs covered and a little bit for wasting your time.


Lizzard1 Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 10:06pm
post #3 of 25

This makes me sooo sad!! That women is way out of line to treat anyone that pourly. Bravo to you for sticking to your guns and keeping your comments to yourself. Your cake was excellent, its her loss. Just wondering how did she hear about your business? Was she a first time customer? icon_cry.gif

MHubbard Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 10:06pm
post #4 of 25

You handled that a lot better than I probably could. I have come to notice that with gas prices going up and everyone being in such a tough spot, everyone who has asked me to do a cake ( because the want the love and care that goes it to it and for it to be original) expects me to do it at bi lo prices, which is very very diffuclt and sometimes impossible to do! I am afraid I would have said some of the thing that were on your mind as much as I would have tried not to! You did a wonderful job handling it the way you did, and its a good thing you have friends like that nurse that was very sweet of them!!!

artscallion Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 10:09pm
post #5 of 25

I would have done exactly as you did.

icer101 Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 10:11pm
post #6 of 25

i would love to see your hello kitty cake. I am not on facebook ,etc. Are you going to put it on c/c. i know it is pretty. i am sorry you go done this way. you did the right thing, taking it back with you. I am laughing at the woman who has no cake. you are the winner(charlie sheen, ha!)

grandmomof1 Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 10:11pm
post #7 of 25

Good for you for taking your cake and walking out AND keeping your composure.

cupcake_cutie Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 10:13pm
post #8 of 25

Oh my goodness! You did the right thing by walking out with the cake and without throwing it in her face. Do not doubt your skills. This lady just wanted to pay you $25 for a cake worth 5 times that! If it wasn't up to par, she wouldn't have offered you anything and she definitely wouldn't have wanted to keep it!
Regarding the check from your friend and those sweet ladies at the hospital, I would take the money and use it to make them a nice cake or cupcakes or something. icon_smile.gif
Keep your head up and don't let people get you down! I am so sorry that this happened to you, but I'm so glad that you did not leave that cake there! Also, next time get a deposit that is nonrefundable!

cutiepiecupcake Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 10:49pm
post #9 of 25

Oh my.. oh my.. GGGGRRRRRRR. I just read this story out to my husband.. we were both disgusted with her rudeness and cruel attitude. Don't take this experience to heart.. hold your head up high and know that she was just a small percentage of people out there that live their life scamming others. Karma is a beautiful thing icon_wink.gif You are so lucky to be blessed with such a beautiful friend.. lovely souls such as hers' restore your faith in people at times like this. BTW - I'm so proud of you for holding your tongue and walking out with cake under your arm.. GOOD FOR YOU! You know you are worth more than that scum.. I bet you left her feeling like a fool.

Coral3 Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 11:00pm
post #10 of 25

So glad you took the cake away with you. I've noticed over the years when dealing with people through work that the ones who yell/scream/abuse the loudest are the ones who have no intention of paying.

platinumlady Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 11:26pm
post #11 of 25

You did the right thing...don't second guess yourself ... when you uploaded the pic people loved it & the nurses paid you $150 for it. (and probably would have given you more if they had it) Once she said she was going to Walmart to get a cake that right there was saying she didn't want it. And offering you $25 was just like spitting in your face. She was trying to run game but it didn't work. Set up something that will work for you to get part or all your money up front so you don't have to worry about this again. She should have said she couldn't afford it in the first place instead of trying to waste your time. But in the end she was the one that was messed up...People still enjoyed your cake & you got paid more than what you originally asked for & she had to find a last minute dry cake that was probably nasty..

Hold your head up ... you did right

Sangriacupcake Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 11:57pm
post #12 of 25

I read about nasty customers all the time on CC, but this is just shocking. I don't know how you professionals manage to deal with this kind of thing and maintain your passion for caking--not to mention your sanity!

cabecakes Posted 12 Mar 2011 , 11:58pm
post #13 of 25

You would be surprised the depths that some people will sink to. My own sister-in-law tried to scam me on a three tier wedding cake I did for her. She told me it collapsed and that she had to go to walmart and buy another one for $20.00 and just have congratulations put on it. I was devistated. I told my husband that I had to give her her money back (I only charged her $20.00 to cover some the ingredients cost), my husband said just to hold off until she asked for it. I knew what he meant, because we both know how she is always pulling scams. I found out before I gave her the money that it was all a lie, and she actually did deliver the cake (it did have a small piece fall out in the back, because she stuck a fondant covered cake in the freezer and then tried to deliver an hour away on a near 100 degree day). I spoke to the bride, and she told me she loved the cake and that it tasted wonderful. I was like...uhhh, wait I thought she had to get a walmart cake. Then the whole story came out. I haven't spoke to her since.

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 2:59am
post #14 of 25

So sorry you had such a bad experience, you handeled it as best as your could. Its simple.... no $$... no cake. So people wqould do anything to get a freebie, don't let this person shake your confidence.

SophisticatedSweets Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 3:11am
post #15 of 25

Thank you all for the support; this has been irking me all day long! I must be more naive to the world and it's people than I thought. I could never imagine trying to pull a stunt like this. I can be a tough cookie when I want to be but but this is just unfathomable. I try to be a good person and for someone to pull this on me...I just cannot get it out of my head. This single incident makes me second guess everything I am doing; kind of the straw that broke the camels back. I'm so tired of people trying to screw me over because they cannot afford a custom cake. Sometimes I get the urge to email Food Network and tell them to stop letting the world think cakes are so dang easy, and inexpensive, to make!! icon_wink.gif

For those of you that asked, she wasn't a regular customer. When we initially met I had actually asked her how she came across me, as I do referral points to my regular customers, and she said through google. Quite the lesson learned on this one...I've implemented a 25% deposit fee to my contract and am asking myself if I should go up to 50%.

gr8yf Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 3:35am
post #16 of 25

I had the exact experiance. I hate myself because after 45 mins. of debating I gave in and took the money. These are scammers who found a weak person in me but never again. Paypal will be your new BFF. 100% before you arrive.

Cakepro Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 3:57am
post #17 of 25

Even my best clients have to pay a 50% non-refundable deposits. Everyone else, ESPECIALLY strangers, pay their order in full no later than two weeks before the event date.

I'm sorry you suffered a hard lesson. $25 is an absolute insult. I would not have been cool and composed like you were.

cs_confections Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 5:04am
post #18 of 25

Wow what nerve! This lady (term used loosely!) most definitely was trying to scam you. If this cake was so horrible and didn't portray the image she wanted for her party and would cause her to buy walmart cake, why on earth would she have had a problem with you taking it? After all, she couldn't stand to look at it, right? You wouldn't want to trouble her with having to serve....I mean dispose of it, right? I probably would have pointed that out to her and still left with cake, even if it suddenly became more valuable to her. Would rather donate it to those who would appreciate it and laugh at her stupidity!

Please do change to getting 1/2 up front and the rest in time to clear before delivery or pick up. I'm a hobby baker, but if I'm ever in a position to sell, after reading all of the horror stories about shady "customers" on cc, I don't want to have to deal with putting time and ingredients into a cake that won't be fully paid for. A lot of custom cake decorators have similar policies and if the customer doesn't like it, they can order elsewhere. Not worth the headache, wasted time, or ingredients!

I love your story's ending, though! That was very sweet of those ladies to show you they appreciated your work.

jo3d33 Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 6:23am
post #19 of 25

I'm so sorry this happened to you. I think you did the right thing, good for you. I always get 50% upfront and the rest in cash the day if delivery. No cash, no cake.

krisindaa Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 8:15am
post #20 of 25

I agree, a lot if times we do as decorators, bakers & artist "discount" out of the kindness of our heArts. I am here with my hubby stationed in S. Korea-where baking items are minuscule, high & hard to find.
I am waiting on my moolah as we speak for a cake for an aquaitance I did at the last minute. $85. and discounted. She picked up yesterday-asked if she could pay me the next day. Today, and waiting. Yes 50% non refundable upfront.

I would have done what u did but if I had a "Act a fool moment", I would have left it there after I put my whole hand thru all three tiers or dropped it on her floor! And left without the $25 since she tried to insult u!
I hate when people do that like our time or ingredients are not valuable.

corpsequeen Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 10:23am
post #21 of 25

icon_surprised.gif the nerve of some people! i think you handled yourself beautifuly..i would have been in tears and prob threw the cake at her out of pure rage lol. i agree with others that it sounds like she was trying to scam you, i couldnt imagine trying to deal with a person like that!

and your friend (and her friends!) sounds like a true keeper. its good to know that while there are such horrible people in the world that are still some that are truely amazing! dont let her get away! icon_wink.gif

LindaF144a Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 3:51pm
post #22 of 25

Absolutely you did the right thing to take the cake. Good for you for sticking to your grounds. She obviously wanted a cheap cake and you didn't let her.

I'll bet you the sheet cake from whatever grocery store she went to cost more.

sugardugar Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 4:46pm
post #23 of 25

I'm so proud of you for standing your ground!!!

Mac Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 5:08pm
post #24 of 25

I had a MOB call me after the wedding...groom's cake was a melted mess...Consultant had set groom's table in direct sunlit as I was setting it up and it was starting to melt, I kept asking them to move the table to a shaded area "It would mess up the flow".
MOB called and told me how disappointed they were and when I explained that they would not move the table, I had no choice but to leave it as is. Then she dogged the wedding cake, too. Said it was burnt on the inside. I told her that I was sorry she was disappointed in the cakes, however, I was not the one that sat the table in sunlight (which I have now added to my contracts) and all of our cakes are taste-tested when we trim them to insure they are correct flavor and tasted good.

I told her I would refund a portion of the groom's cake but I stood by my wedding cake.

dreamcakesmom Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 5:47pm
post #25 of 25

So many lessons to be learned 1st always get at least 50% deposit before you put anything in the oven.
2nd- when she said she was going to have to go get a cake a walmart my response would be, sorry your feel that way, I'll take my cake and let you get on with your day. There's no negotiating. If she didn't like the price she shouldn't have ordered the cake
Lastly- the pictures you uploaded are cute but I always try and get a full picture top to bottom so you can see a cake head on.

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