She Told Me She Hated It...now What Do I Do???

Decorating By creativecreationsbykamica Updated 16 May 2011 , 6:34pm by jules5000

creativecreationsbykamica Posted 9 May 2011 , 1:37pm
post #1 of 68

Ok! So...about 2 months ago an old friend comes to my house and asks if I would be interested in making her wedding cake for May 7! I have only made one wedding cake before but many other tiered cakes, So of course I said yes! Well she told me their colors were coral & turq & they wanted to feed about 260-270! So when she told me that I got nervous the largest cake I had made feed 150! But I asked her if she had a pic of what she wanted & she said no but she would start looking then get back with me!! About a week later she cake up with a picture from PinkCakeBox! (I'll post pictures at the end) It was a 6 tier monster icon_smile.gif but a really gorgeous cake! But she wanted to change EVERYTHING!! Instead of the rhinestones she wanted a turq fondant ribbon & instead of the creamy ribbon & bows she wanted it coral & coral bows & no rhinestones! So I did some research thanks to my fellow CCr's & figured out how to get it just right & then I plugged everything into my cakeboss $561.50 + a $55.00 deposit on the cake board and cake dummy that I had to use! I did everything that she asked except I forgot to put the icing dots on the square tiers!


Yesterday she came to return my cake board and dummy! The dummy had been cut on a corner, but I just ignored it! I asked her how it was & she said awful. She was nicely rude about it if that makes any sense! She told me they were disappointed that they had to spend $600 on a cake that they didn't even like! Then she said well it's not like we had many choices on who to make it!! I held back the tears as long as I could I asked her well what exactly was wrong well she said first of all you didn't put the icing donts on the square tiers & I told her I was really sorry & I didn't take any materials with me when I set it up!! & I like 30min away from the reception cite. Then she said when they got ready to cut the cake that the fondant was just sliding off & crumbling! So I asked her if it was hot in there (b/cwhen we went to set the cake up it was kinda warm but they had the a/c's going! & she said no that they had it kinda cold in there & everytime more ppl showed up the would make it colder! (I asked a few of my close friends who had actuallly went and they said the cake looked & tasted amazing and that it was VERY HOT in there!! I even had a couple ppl I didn't know facebook me and tell me how beautiful it was that they would like me to make them cakes!!! But the bride just kept saying she was disappointed & it just wasn't what she wanted!!!

So my main question is what do I do?? Do I try and give her a refnd, which by the way is super hard b/c we are super tight on money right now!! Or jsut forget about it and play it cool? Or give her alittle of her money back?? I just don't know & She ruined my mother's day telling me that!!! I cried like a baby all night & my hubby was also upset that I was upset icon_sad.gif


HELP!!!!!


I tried to upload pics but I'm not seeing them so here is the PCB link:
http://blog.pinkcakebox.com/bows-and-bling-wedding-cake-2010-03-06.htm

here is the link to mine!
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150591629405722&set=a.415176760721.373289.505745721&type=1&ref=nf

67 replies
live2create Posted 9 May 2011 , 1:56pm
post #2 of 68

I would lik to see a pic but I don't do face book..No Time. Anyways is there anyway you can post a pic on here for all to see?

cakegirl1973 Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:08pm
post #3 of 68

Did any of your friends who attended the wedding notice if the fondant was falling off? I think she is entitled to some amount of a refund, because you did not have the dots on the side of the cake, and she paid for you to do that.

GI Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:17pm
post #4 of 68

I looked at your FB. Your cake looks fine to me, for what she paid.
If any money is refunded for the missing dots, then it should be very minimal...BUT....did she ask for some money back? A cake that size would cost more than 2.22 a serving in my book! A cake for 275 would run at least $1,100. So for you to give back a*n*y cash at all is NOT required! As for the other's testimonies, I would consider what they said, also. And if the venue was HOT then of course it can affect a cake, but whoever accepted it, bought off on it, took it. Period. The temperature of the room, etc., rest is out of your hands. You know?

Pat yourself on the back. You did fine, missy!

I personally would not give her any cash back. She already got a heckofadeal on a cake that size in my book! If she couldn't afford to buy a $600 dollar cake, she should have had less people attend!! thumbs_up.gif

Marina Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:19pm
post #5 of 68

Ditto on what GI said!

love2makecakes Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:27pm
post #6 of 68

I can't really say whether I would offer a refund, but did she ask for one? She will bad mouth you either way so if she didn't ask, maybe you should not offer....

In my opinion looking at the two cakes they look nothing the same (other than number of tiers and square/round tiers)... with that being said she dictated the differences she wanted (coral and turquoise) which really changed the entire look of the cake. Maybe she didn't think her choices through enough when doing so and wasn't expecting such a different looking cake.

GI Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:28pm
post #7 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by creativecreationsbykamica

She told me they were disappointed that they had to spend $600 on a cake that they didn't even like!




THIS is where they could've cut down on their monstrous guest list! icon_confused.gif They didn't *HAVE* to have SOOOO many people if they couldn't have afforded it!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by creativecreationsbykamica

Then she said well it's not like we had many choices on who to make it!!




I'll bet a Diet Coke she shopped around and could not find a better bargain for a cake that size! So for her to have buyer's remorse is uncalled for! icon_rolleyes.gif

And I just had to get my TWO cents in on this! icon_twisted.gif Your did great, so chin up and quit cryin' !!! Celebrate your mother's day TODAY! icon_biggrin.gif

creativecreationsbykamica Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:38pm
post #8 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by live2create

I would lik to see a pic but I don't do face book..No Time. Anyways is there anyway you can post a pic on here for all to see?




It is now under my photos!

creativecreationsbykamica Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:41pm
post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakegirl1973

Did any of your friends who attended the wedding notice if the fondant was falling off? I think she is entitled to some amount of a refund, because you did not have the dots on the side of the cake, and she paid for you to do that.




NO one saw fondant falling off! They said that after it was on the plate it wasn't staying on the cake!! & I never charged her for the dots b/c at first they didn't want them then after they already had the prices the decided they wanted them.

Kristie925 Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:41pm
post #10 of 68

I think she made changes to a design without having a clear picture in her mind of how it would look. They cakes look nothing alike except for the general shape and size, but that's what she wanted! You did give her a great deal on a cake that size, and you gave her the design she wanted! I'd tell her since your cake dummy was damaged and you missed the dots, you'd call it even!

Texas_Rose Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:42pm
post #11 of 68

I'm going to be honest here...she took a classy design and personalized it into something that wasn't as nice, giving you less to work with. At the same time, your cake looks nothing like the original. Some of that is the colors, some is the tier height and the uneven ribbon. So I can see both sides of it.

I'm sorry she was rude to you and spoiled your Mother's Day. At the same time, any time someone is paying you for an item or a service, they should be allowed to tell you if they're not happy with the item or service they recieved. Would you have been any less upset if she told you today? It's more about what she said than about when she said it.

Refund? I wouldn't. The fondant crumbling as they cut it was probably because of the knife they used rather than the weather...it gets softer and stickier in the heat, not crumbly. You put a lot of effort and ingredients into that cake and she did serve it to the guests. She wanted a giant cake on a budget, and that's exactly what you gave her.

creativecreationsbykamica Posted 9 May 2011 , 2:43pm
post #12 of 68

Thank you EVERYONE! I just haven't decided exactly what to do but I'm not gonna worry about it for now! Stress isn't good for the baby icon_smile.gif

Lcubed82 Posted 9 May 2011 , 3:06pm
post #13 of 68

<<well it's not like we had many choices on who to make it!! >>

I guess I don't understand this comment. They were not REQUIRED to use you. She asked. Someone else commented that maybe they new they wouldn't be able to afford the cake from anyone else at that price. She USED the "friend" (discount) to try to get more.

MamaDear Posted 9 May 2011 , 3:50pm
post #14 of 68

[quote="creativecreationsbykamica"]Ok! So...about 2 months ago an old friend comes to my house" Was she a good friend or just someone you used to be close to?

It sounds like to me that she just had buyers remorse for paying the $550(they got the deposit back I assume) on a cake because you said "She told me they were disappointed that they had to spend $600 on a cake that they didn't even like! Then she said well it's not like we had many choices on who to make it!!" - these words were chosen to make you feel guilty and make you feel like you owed her because she chose you to be her baker.

1. You told her up front you had not made wedding cakes specifically,
2. You asked upfront what she wanted and she gave you a pic then changed virtually every aspect of it,
3. You held your end of the bargain with the exception of the dots and since it sounds like you gave her a discount on that shouldnt be a "You ruined my wedding because of dots and crumbles disaster".

My Advice --- Don't worry about it. Nobaker is perfect, not Duff or Sylvia or Kerry or Bronwynn or Collette. If she was a friend she wouldn't have treated you that way and if she is just a customer then she got what she paid for. Learn the lesson that friends make the worst customers most of the time and Let it slide off your back like hot butter on a warm day and most of all Keep on Frostin Baby!

sadsmile Posted 9 May 2011 , 4:08pm
post #15 of 68

Anyone trying to replicate a major cake decorators work need to seriously assess their own skill level before charging or promising to replicate their work even with changes. I'm not trying to dog your skill level or say you didn't try. That's a huge cake to take on! But honestly PCK is amazingly perfect- especially that cake. Yes with out the bling it will look very different and the color changes.

This is where attention to details come into play. Near perfectly matching up color swatches. Doing the bows perfectly and setting them to dry enough they don't droop when put on the cake. Practicing how to apply fondant bands on a cake that they look like smooth draped fabric ribbons. It isn't easy. It takes a lot of practice. The corners, my gosh the corners on the PCK cake are so perfectly smooth and level. The PCB cake also had a delicate shimmer on the ribbons which were turned under at the tops, to add to the fabric like illusion.

Mother's Day vs Wedding... there is a Mother's Day every year, but hopefully only one Wedding.

She was polite and putting it gently and told you she was disappointed on her Wedding Day with the cake. I don't fault her for being honest with you. And it is hard to take criticism. But take it in and let it rest a while and go back and look at things again.

She should have looked at your portfolio and recognized where you are skill wise in making cakes right now. If she did look through your cake pics then I don't feel sorry for her one bit. She was trying to save money and pressed on your friendship for a good deal.

You've come a long way, but there is so much in caking to learn. You were hesitant to do it, and in hind sight probably wish you had followed your gut on this one. Take time to practice the finer details of getting cakes perfectly level, icing perfectly level with sharp corners and edges and fondant-ing really good so you have a near perfect base to start decorating. (No one is perfect) Learn to manipulate fondant so you can smooth the ribbons down and apply them so they look graceful, smooth and delicate. And then you will have more confidence and not have someone coming back disappointed. And if you don't feel you can deliver what is expected don't take the order.

Another thing that makes your cake not resemble the PCB cake is the tier sizes and heights. When someone brings in a picture of a cake they may not recognize all the details they like about it because they are looking at the whole picture. A baker/decorator's job is to pull that design apart and figure out what sizes the tiers are how tall they are how tall the ribbons are, how big the decorations are etc... that's if you are replicating something. Where I work we usually change things up so we are not directly copying another cake and the customer gets something more custom. The end result is an overall picture that should match the original design.

Work on your skills and hopefully you will be able to do what you want and whip cake into the shape you and your clients desire.

Do you own a shop or are you doing cake from home? I see you are in Texas and if you are doing it from home I suggest you look into the legalities of that whole ball of mess. Nobody wants to see you get into trouble over cake. OK

Sangriacupcake Posted 9 May 2011 , 4:10pm
post #16 of 68

Is she aware of the price of a Pink Cake Box wedding cake? The cake pictured is at least $3000!!!!

joyfullysweet Posted 9 May 2011 , 4:31pm
post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile



Do you own a shop or are you doing cake from home? I see you are in Texas and if you are doing it from home I suggest you look into the legalities of that whole ball of mess. Nobody wants to see you get into trouble over cake. OK




I took note of that as well, but didn't want to open that can of worms! icon_wink.gif

cakeninja82 Posted 9 May 2011 , 4:38pm
post #18 of 68

Honestly this comes down to both you and the bride needing to recognize your skill level.

We all started somewhere and I doubt any of us where cranking out PCB designs right out of the gate.

Wanting to practice larger wedding cakes is fine and dandy, practicing on paying customers (unless previously agreed upon) isn't so dandy.

Take this as a lesson learned, next time someone asks for a cake that is beyond your current skill then let them know, it's better to be upfront then to have a disappointed customer to deal with.

sadsmile Posted 9 May 2011 , 4:40pm
post #19 of 68

I hope it isn't taken badly. I'm not over here throwing cupcakes or anything. People do need to be informed about it if they don't know.

costumeczar Posted 9 May 2011 , 4:47pm
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sangriacupcake

Is she aware of the price of a Pink Cake Box wedding cake? The cake pictured is at least $3000!!!!




But if she had paid $3000 from PCB then that's what she would have received. The cost of the original is irrelevant, unfortunately.

I personally wouldn't give any refund until I got a bunch of third-party reviews. If people have told you that the fondant wasn't falling off, then there you go.

It's also irrelevant what the original cake looked like if she changed that many thngs about it. The actual cake ended up looking nothing like the original, though, so that's something that you have to take into account too.

Norasmom Posted 9 May 2011 , 5:00pm
post #21 of 68

Your time alone is worth what she paid, forget about how the cake came out. It was quite nice, especially for $600. You are learning lessons about brides and the cake biz, keep having fun and DO NOT offer a refund.

carmijok Posted 9 May 2011 , 5:35pm
post #22 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

I hope it isn't taken badly. I'm not over here throwing cupcakes or anything. People do need to be informed about it if they don't know.




Hey, I'm totally in agreement here with sadsmile. I too don't wish to dog your efforts, but honestly, if I'd been the bride I think I would have had to say something too. But then, I put a majority of the blame on her for expecting results like the PCB cake. I know you put tons of time and effort into it, and with time and practice you WILL get better. But I don't take wedding cake orders simply because I don't want the pressure of THE cake which is usually the showpiece of the reception...at least not just yet...I'm getting there I think. But honestly, this is not a showpiece cake. Sadsmile touched on all the areas that needed improvement so I won't go into them again. Just chalk this up to a learning experience and go forward. Remind your client that she was aware that you did not do wedding cakes and that you are sorry she was displeased, but she should not expect $3,000 results on a $600 budget. Technically, you did everything she said to do with the only exception being the dots which you should have done (another learning experience...always take supplies with you when delivering). TECHNICALLY you lacked the precision needed for this cake. You might offer to do another cake for a birthday or something at no charge. (obviously not as grand a scale), or maybe do an anniversary top tier...done with the improvements that you no doubt will have learned in the time being. It's tough taking criticism I know, but it's how we learn. You definitely have been through the wringer. Just know that practice and lots of questions and tutorials will only help...and you've got the talent to get there! thumbs_up.gif

Sangriacupcake Posted 9 May 2011 , 5:49pm
post #23 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sangriacupcake

Is she aware of the price of a Pink Cake Box wedding cake? The cake pictured is at least $3000!!!!



But if she had paid $3000 from PCB then that's what she would have received. The cost of the original is irrelevant, unfortunately.

I personally wouldn't give any refund until I got a bunch of third-party reviews. If people have told you that the fondant wasn't falling off, then there you go.

It's also irrelevant what the original cake looked like if she changed that many thngs about it. The actual cake ended up looking nothing like the original, though, so that's something that you have to take into account too.




My point was that if she wanted a $3K cake she should have paid for it. Quite relevant. I was not referring to the refund/no refund issue at all.

joyfullysweet Posted 9 May 2011 , 6:10pm
post #24 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

I hope it isn't taken badly. I'm not over here throwing cupcakes or anything. People do need to be informed about it if they don't know.




thumbs_up.gif

sadsmile Posted 9 May 2011 , 7:19pm
post #25 of 68

Yeah could you imagine if the bride was so upset and she sought legal action on a Bakery-less cake maker? Yikes!

costumeczar Posted 9 May 2011 , 7:40pm
post #26 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sangriacupcake

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sangriacupcake

Is she aware of the price of a Pink Cake Box wedding cake? The cake pictured is at least $3000!!!!



But if she had paid $3000 from PCB then that's what she would have received. The cost of the original is irrelevant, unfortunately.

I personally wouldn't give any refund until I got a bunch of third-party reviews. If people have told you that the fondant wasn't falling off, then there you go.

It's also irrelevant what the original cake looked like if she changed that many thngs about it. The actual cake ended up looking nothing like the original, though, so that's something that you have to take into account too.



My point was that if she wanted a $3K cake she should have paid for it. Quite relevant. I was not referring to the refund/no refund issue at all.




What I meant is that people say "She got what she paid for" all the time on here. But if someone brings you a picture of a cake and you say that you can do it, it doesn't matter how much you charged them. If she had paid $5 for it, she should have gotten what she expected if the baker said that she could do it.

I don't know if the bride knew the baker's skill level going into it, and the bride also changed the design so much it wasn't really the original cake to begin with. But what's irrelevant is the amount that you charge someone for something if you say that you can do a cake that looks like a picture. In general, not just in this case.

It just seems like when someone on here has a problem with complaints, there are plenty of people who pop in and say "well, you undercharged her, so she shouldn't complain because she got a bargain." It's more like a bonding-with-the-baker comment than anything rational.

In this case, it sounds like there was responsibility on both sides. I personally wouldn't refund her any money if I had delivered what I told her I would, especially since it sounds like she's exaggerating problems to get a refund. BUT...saying that the original cake was expensive is irrelevant.

KHalstead Posted 9 May 2011 , 8:01pm
post #27 of 68

I would be tempted to offer her at least some restitution because of the forgotten dots on the square tiers and her dissatisfaction........not to say that she should necessarily receive $$$$ back.........i would definitely call her, apologize, and ask what you can do to rectify the situation? If she said "I want a refund" I would calmly (very business-like manner) explain that the cake was made for the cost of materials (this is not far fetched, I'll bet if you really sat down and figured up your costs you probably spent at least $400, not to mention things like gas, water, electricity, cleaning supplies, etc........this doesn't even account for an hourly wage for you or compensation for the time you lost with your family)

I would be more tempted to offer her a free birthday cake, or a % off her next order and explain that you really didn't build in a "profit" to this cake, because she was a friend. I'm very frugal and I would imagine you spent quite a bit replicating that cake.

On a side note, I do agree that your cake was completely different (mostly due to the bride's color choices). I don't think your cake looked like a novice did it, it was done nicely IMO...but the shorter tiers and more rounded corners on the squares and less voluminous bows gave the entire cake a different feel.
PCB's cake was very high-end/elegant looking because the tiers were so tall and the bows were kind of exaggerated in their size, your cake seemed like more of a birthday/party cake with a more fun/funky look to it (maybe that is what the bride wanted though...her color choice definitely added to that feeling too)

Sangriacupcake Posted 9 May 2011 , 8:04pm
post #28 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar



What I meant is that people say "She got what she paid for" all the time on here. But if someone brings you a picture of a cake and you say that you can do it, it doesn't matter how much you charged them. If she had paid $5 for it, she should have gotten what she expected if the baker said that she could do it.

I don't know if the bride knew the baker's skill level going into it, and the bride also changed the design so much it wasn't really the original cake to begin with. But what's irrelevant is the amount that you charge someone for something if you say that you can do a cake that looks like a picture. In general, not just in this case.

It just seems like when someone on here has a problem with complaints, there are plenty of people who pop in and say "well, you undercharged her, so she shouldn't complain because she got a bargain." It's more like a bonding-with-the-baker comment than anything rational.

In this case, it sounds like there was responsibility on both sides. I personally wouldn't refund her any money if I had delivered what I told her I would, especially since it sounds like she's exaggerating problems to get a refund. BUT...saying that the original cake was expensive is irrelevant.




Thank you for your explanation. I understand your position better now.

ChilliPepper Posted 9 May 2011 , 8:07pm
post #29 of 68

I have to be honest, I would have been disappointed having paid that amount of money for a cake where the tiers are not exactly level and the fondant ribbons are a little mishapen. Also you did not follow her exact design request.

I've been decorating for less than two years and to be honest I would never have taken on such a demanding job. I have a couple of wedding cakes to do later in the year and these are 3 and 2 tiers respectively. I would never take on more than that at this stage.

I hope you take this in the spirit it is meant - constructively. I feel for you I really do as I have had some disasters myself but I recognise this before the cake goes out and if I am not satisfied with my work I always give a discount to my customers.


Keep your chin up,

CP xxx

LKing12 Posted 9 May 2011 , 8:33pm
post #30 of 68

The bride was shopping for a deal and got it! The baker was looking to make money and received it. No refund-more experience. It is a simple matter of biting off more than you can chew-for both parties.
If you are going to charge for cakes-have the ability and a legal kitchen.

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