Just Started Legal Biz And Customeor Unhappy. What Do I Do?

Decorating By mommykrmt Updated 24 Jul 2011 , 9:15pm by warchild

mommykrmt Posted 14 May 2011 , 3:12am
post #1 of 66

Hi all, been here a while but have not posted yet. Went to all the trouble getting legal and have had really good experiences with customers. Until...Last Wed I got a call from someone referred by the lady whose comm kitchen I may be using at some point. She said that she was having her fiance's 40th birthday party on Sat and was going to get a tiramisu from another bakery (who i know from my old neighborhood and they are wonderful) but cancelled the order because "it wasn't what her friends wanted, they wanted a cake". She asked if i could do something for her, her budget was $75 and she needed it delivered over a hour away. She wanted at least 25 servings and she wanted it to capture her fiance's love/lifelong career in mixed martial arts, in a tasteful way. I asked her to send me some images/ ideas and she emailed me 3 photos 1. her and him (wearing an affliction MMA shirt) together 2. their dog 3. the cage they fight in. She did not send any pics of cakes that she liked. I suggested a 14" round with a black/silver airbrushed design similar to the "affliction" style logo and some piped "chain link fence" around the outside walls of the cake. She wanted writing piped on the cake. She told me i should just "be creative" with it. I told her that usually a do drawings and email confirmation but since it was so rushed I would do that. I added a (ridiculously low-stupid me) rush fee. And only charged $10 for the delivery. The total came to $100 and she confirmed by email.

The traffic was terrible and i knew I would be late so i called the client and told her that i was at said point with the cake and that i felt it would take me a certain time longer. She was not happy, i apologized for the inconvenience and kept driving. I got there nearly an hour after the arranged delivery, which was 30 minutes into her party. I knocked on the front door, was told to come in and take it to the back. The client made room for the box and opened it up to look at it. She said it was not what she expected and asked where the fence was. I pointed out the design on the side (which was somewhat covered by the box). I also told her that I would only charge $75 since I was late. She made a comment and asked me to meet her on the porch so she could get her shoes and pay me. When she came out she had her purse and came up with $50. She said she had to go back in for the rest. A few minutes later she came back with the $25 and was telling me how grateful that she was to have gotten the cake and asked if i wanted to come in for food or a drink. I said your welcome and no thanks and left. The following Thursday I received this...
I was so disappointed in the cake you made for ---. Let me begin by saying I know it was a ordered last minute. There is no doubt about that. I wish you would have told me you couldn't fit me in. When you dropped that cake off on Saturday I almost started crying. I was so busy, you were so late and I felt so bamboozled. You came in the middle of the party, walked across the living room (we do not allow shoes throughout the house) and I felt I had no choice to accept it. There was absolutely NO design. It was a black metallic cake (which doesn't fit Phils personality whatsoever). When you put the cake down, I said "this isn't what I was expecting", I asked where the cage was and you showed me your fence design. This was an awful experience all around for me. You were so late and called 45 minutes to tell me you would be late. I feel like you made a quick buck from me. I realize it doesn't take 2 minutes to "whip up a cake", but I can't believe I paid $75 dollars for that cake. I would have paid $200 for the cake I wanted. There was no "wow" factor whatsoever.

ARRRGGH. Now what do I do? Do I reply, what do I say, do I give the money back? Please help!

65 replies
Bettyviolet101 Posted 14 May 2011 , 3:40am
post #2 of 66

Hello,
I am so sorry this happened to you. She sounds a little crazy. The pics for you to go off of were totally weird and she didn't give you any details to go off of. She acted like everything was good when you got there and then went crazy on you in an e-mail later. I don't think you owe her anything unless the cake was a disaster. She didn't say anything about the cake presenting in a bad way just that it wasn't what she wanted. I guess its a very hard lesson to always take the extra time to make sure exactly what someone wants. Could you put a pic up of the cake?

CreativeCakesbyMichelle Posted 14 May 2011 , 3:45am
post #3 of 66

She told you her budget was $75 and you designed a cake to meet her budget. If she wanted a cake with more "wow factor" and "would have paid $200" for the cake she wanted then she should have told you this beforehand so that you could design a more elaborate cake. She also didn't send you any pictures of the type of design that she wanted. And when you told her you usually do drawings and email confirmation she told you to just "be creative". I think that giving her $25 off of the $100 original price since you were late due to traffic was sufficient. She really has no basis for compaining about not liking the design when she gave you essentially no input into what the design should be and okayed the design you suggested.

And really, she compained about you walking through the house with your shoes on?? When she calls a plumber does she expect him to remove his shoes? The A/C repair man? If it was that big of deal she should have asked you to take your shoes off.

Bettyviolet101 Posted 14 May 2011 , 3:56am
post #4 of 66

I think CreativeCakes is spot on! I agree with the shoe thing too. The thing is, she never asked you to remove your shoes. Were you supposed to just know shoes weren't allowed in her house? Wow. FIgure out an e-mail that is as nice and polite as possible with as few words as possible to respond to her. I am not good with what words though but I am sure someone on here can help you with that part! Good luck!

pixiefuncakes Posted 14 May 2011 , 4:17am
post #5 of 66

'I'm very sorry that the cake did not meet your expectations, I believe that I presented you with a lovely cake which fit the limited description you gave me' Perhaps the time to inform me of your unhappiness with the cake would have been at the time of delivery, when I was left with the impression that you were satisfied and in fact grateful that I had managed to deliver a cake at such short notice. I have addressed the issue of my lateness by giving you a significent discount and did all that was reasonably possible to ensure the safe delivery of your cake'

Or something like that.

AnotherCaker Posted 14 May 2011 , 4:23am
post #6 of 66

Wow. $75 wouldn't have covered the delivery charge alone! That sucks. You were both in the wrong. Last minute or not, you should have given her a better idea of what she was going to get with her budget or at the least let her know what you could fit in, pointing out what would not be included. Gotta CYA, eh? And she's a doof.

mommykrmt Posted 14 May 2011 , 4:24am
post #7 of 66

Thank you all SO much. I posted a picture of it in my album if you want to take a look. I really appreciate the help since I am new to this and this is my first toughie. Pixie, I really think the wording is great and helps me tons!

jason_kraft Posted 14 May 2011 , 5:40am
post #8 of 66

This thread underscores the importance of having an invoice or a contract that details what you will be making so the customer is not surprised. TBH it doesn't look like the theme was reflected on the cake, I didn't see any fence piping around the sides (if that was done in fondant and extended up past the cake that would have been a cool effect). It's a nice looking cake, it just doesn't say MMA to me.

I also agree about the delivery charge being way too low, for a 2-hour round trip I would have charged $100 for the delivery fee alone.

Paperfishies Posted 14 May 2011 , 5:41am
post #9 of 66

She was upset that you walked through her living room *gasp* with shoes on and felt the need to mention it in the letter? What a psycho!

CakeMixCakery Posted 14 May 2011 , 6:15am
post #10 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

This thread underscores the importance of having an invoice or a contract that details what you will be making so the customer is not surprised. TBH it doesn't look like the theme was reflected on the cake, I didn't see any fence piping around the sides (if that was done in fondant and extended up past the cake that would have been a cool effect). It's a nice looking cake, it just doesn't say MMA to me.

I also agree about the delivery charge being way too low, for a 2-hour round trip I would have charged $100 for the delivery fee alone.




I completely agree with this post

Foxicakes Posted 14 May 2011 , 6:29am
post #11 of 66

I agree about the MMA theme not exactly being obvious in the cake. Nor do I see any type of fence. To be quite honest, I think that if I were the one that had ordered the MMA fighting theme cake, I would have been disappointed too. However, I also know that when someone is late and shows up in the middle of a party, it is not exactly reasonable on your part to expect her to leave her guests and discuss the fact that she felt her expectations were not met. She did say that it wasn't what she was expecting, which is probably exactly what I would have said had I felt really disappointed and put on the spot in the middle of entertaining a bunch of friends. As for the shoe thing, I think that the lady is pissed off and is basically letting you know in any way possible. It's not what I would have said to you, but some people just don't know how to handle confrontation so they find any little thing to pick on...
I'm not sure what the "right" thing to do here is for you. Maybe ask her what SHE would prefer that you do. Certainly, I would keep the money that you spent for fuel (especially at $4 a gallon!) and ingredients. Good luck!

mommykrmt Posted 14 May 2011 , 7:08am
post #12 of 66

do you think this is appropriate?
"I'm very sorry that the cake did not meet your expectations, I believe that I presented you with a lovely , custom, all-natural, gourmet cake which fit the limited description you gave me' I understand that the MMA them was not obvious but, I was trying to keep it classy as you had requested. Perhaps the time to inform me of your unhappiness with the cake would have been at the time of delivery, when I was left with the impression that you were satisfied and in fact grateful that I had managed to deliver a cake at such short notice. I have addressed the issue of my lateness by giving you a significant discount to the already discounted price that I quoted you because you are a friend of ---s. Generally I do not take orders that are less than 2 weeks away and I spend quite a bit of time with drawings and going back and forth with the client in order to get the design to be just what they want, so I agree that perhaps it would have been more professional of me to decline making the cake for you. I am sorry that I disappointed you and I hope that Phil still enjoyed the beautiful celebration that you arranged for him despite the cake not being exactly what you had hoped for."

BakerAnn Posted 14 May 2011 , 4:20pm
post #13 of 66

Your response sounds very professional to me. I'd love to see it, but can't seem to locate the photo of this cake.

Although you were late you did compensate her for that. Some incidents you just have to chalk up to people who are of- the-chart crazy. Complaining about you leaving your shoes on (I can't imagine what her guests must think) was completely nuts - not to mention griping you out after the fact!

indydebi Posted 14 May 2011 , 7:09pm
post #14 of 66

slightly off topic but on the issue of making guests remove their shoes, Miss Manners, the authority on etiquette and manners, finds this appalling. Those who cite the Japanese tradition of doing this, she replies with "But you're not Japanese and we're not in Japan."

My sister had a "no-shoes" rule. Her kitchen always had a pile of shoes in the corner when visitors came over. I refused. I've had foot surgery and can NOT go barefooted. I know how to wipe my feet and how to NOT walk thru mud puddles before going into a house. I just find it insulting, as does Miss Manners, to be told that I'm too stupid to wipe my feet upon entering a home and that someone's carpet is more valuable than treating your guests well.

Paperfishies Posted 14 May 2011 , 7:18pm
post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

slightly off topic but on the issue of making guests remove their shoes, Miss Manners, the authority on etiquette and manners, finds this appalling. Those who cite the Japanese tradition of doing this, she replies with "But you're not Japanese and we're not in Japan."

My sister had a "no-shoes" rule. Her kitchen always had a pile of shoes in the corner when visitors came over. I refused. I've had foot surgery and can NOT go barefooted. I know how to wipe my feet and how to NOT walk thru mud puddles before going into a house. I just find it insulting, as does Miss Manners, to be told that I'm too stupid to wipe my feet upon entering a home and that someone's carpet is more valuable than treating your guests well.




Agree. My husband and I went to one of his coworkers house for a dinner party once. We walked in and everyone was barefoot and shoes were lined up in the corner (those awful shoes must have been in time out, lol)

I refused to take off my shoes, how weird. I don't want to stare at a bunch of strangers bare feet, yuk.

Navyempress Posted 14 May 2011 , 11:19pm
post #16 of 66

Even in my hillbilly raisin', it is extremely rude to leave your shoes on if you plan to go farther than just inside the door. It is the same way in my home. If you plan on walking farther than the foyer and onto carpet, you better take off those shoes. I don't care how clean they are, they have been walking outside, and I bust my bottom vacuuming and shampooing my carpet so my baby can crawl around safely and cleanly. I always wear clean socks and take my shoes off when I enter someone's home if I intend to walk further than the welcome mat.

indydebi Posted 15 May 2011 , 12:19am
post #17 of 66

Well, all things considered, I'm not taking off my pants to sit on someone's couch either. icon_lol.gif

OMGitsaLisa Posted 15 May 2011 , 12:40am
post #18 of 66

I've had a no-shoes policy in my home ever since I moved out of my parent's house. Not everyone was raised that way - I was not, and got hell from my and my husband's families because they weren't either and thought I was being ridiculous. I have since lifted the shoe ban since we moved into a house that lacks carpet downstairs. In the last year since the move, I have had more than a few sets of wet and/or muddy footprints to clean up so while you may know better, Debi, apparently not everyone else does. I have no regrets.

But either way you feel about it, it's silly to be upset at someone for not just knowing that you have such a rule if you never told them. Not everyone is that observant or would even consider that such a policy exists because it's so foreign an idea to them.

seedrv Posted 15 May 2011 , 12:40am
post #19 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Well, all things considered, I'm not taking off my pants to sit on someone's couch either. icon_lol.gif



You're so funny! I'm north of you near ND and they all expect you to take off your shoes. I guess I shouldn't think that's weird since I'm originally from western KY and there nobody wears shoes anyway so you don't have to take them off!

ChRiStY_71 Posted 15 May 2011 , 12:40am
post #20 of 66

I take my shoes off and insist that my kids do the same at my house...my husband has arthritis and gout so, of course, he does not. I would never insist that guests in my house take their shoes off...quite honestly I think it would be rude to ask them to do so. icon_smile.gif

artscallion Posted 15 May 2011 , 1:05am
post #21 of 66

I'm in New England and I've never heard of such a thing as taking your shoes off in someone else's house. It would never even occur to me to do such a thing. In fact , even if I wanted to get comfortable while visiting, I wouldn't do it because I'd consider it impolite to do so...way too familiar! And if someone asked me to I'd politely decline saying, "no thank you. I feel more comfortable in my shoes." And if anyone outside of my own immediate family and best friend ever took their shoes off in my house, I'd be kind of mortified! And I'd certainly never ask them to.

This is not to judge others for having this policy. Just to illustrate how different things can seem in different areas.

cakification Posted 15 May 2011 , 1:28am
post #22 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

I'm in New England and I've never heard of such a thing as taking your shoes off in someone else's house. It would never even occur to me to do such a thing. In fact , even if I wanted to get comfortable while visiting, I wouldn't do it because I'd consider it impolite to do so...way too familiar! And if someone asked me to I'd politely decline saying, "no thank you. I feel more comfortable in my shoes." And if anyone outside of my own immediate family and best friend ever took their shoes off in my house, I'd be kind of mortified! And I'd certainly never ask them to.

This is not to judge others for having this policy. Just to illustrate how different things can seem in different areas.




Things are definitely different in different areas! Where I'm from, I have never heard of people NOT taking off their shoes inside their home and/or someone else home. It would never occur to me to leave my shoes on inside my home, or someone else. If someone came over to my house and didn't take their shoes off, i would ask them to, and if they declined, I don't think I would let them in! Lol.. To me, its just disrespectful, and in all honesty, its just something that everyone does here!
I don't even have carpet, I have all hardwood!

Sangriacupcake Posted 15 May 2011 , 1:48am
post #23 of 66

I grew up living in drafty houses in Minnesota, and from September through March, all we kids ever heard from moms, grandmas and aunties was, "Put your shoes on--it's cold!" I still don't like being shoe-less in the winter. icon_smile.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 15 May 2011 , 2:12am
post #24 of 66

As a KY girl, (transplanted from AZ, but raised here) I NEVER wear shoes, except when I go somewhere. I have driven to my mom's house a couple miles away barefoot as well. She has a no-shoe policy, but I never take my shoes off in her home. I wear shoes so infrequently that my shoes are cleaner than my feet! lol

I once went to the nursery at church were they have a no-shoe policy in the baby room, and when I took off my nice clean shoes, the sides of my feet had dried mud on them, and the bottoms were black...lol classy, huh?

BTW, Indy Debi, I was literally cracking up when I read your pants comment! Too funny! I read it to my husband, and he was laughing too!

genevieveyum Posted 15 May 2011 , 2:32am
post #25 of 66

Did the OP already remove the photos? I was actually curious to see it.

sadsmile Posted 15 May 2011 , 2:47am
post #26 of 66

I'll take cleaning up mud or soil vrs someone's sweaty foot gunk ewww!!! Keep your shoes on people and yes please wipe them. Seriously some peoples shoes stink and so do their socks and feet. I'll take the earthy dirt please.

dulcearoma Posted 15 May 2011 , 2:50am
post #27 of 66

Its funny how the topic turn to SHOES OR NO SHOES IN THE HOUSE icon_biggrin.gif

genevieveyum Posted 15 May 2011 , 3:14am
post #28 of 66

Yeah- I'm feeling kinda like cc is int he Twilight Zone tonight. I've tried to follow a couple of threads and they've ended in messages saying that they didn't exist. Now there's this one with people mentioning a posted photo, and I can't find it. Maybe it's just me.

costumeczar Posted 15 May 2011 , 3:29am
post #29 of 66

I can't find the photo either, but I'd prefer that people leave their shoes on, I have no desire to look at feet. I have an anti-foot fetish. Ironically, my daughter wants to be a foot surgeon.

SammieB Posted 15 May 2011 , 3:51am
post #30 of 66

Within my family and friends honestly we take off our shoes, but it's just because it's more comfortable. Most of us very rarely wear shoes around the house anyway. I'm a stay at home mom, what am I going to do, wake up and put on my tennis shoes to go to the kitchen? Nope. In the winter wool socks is good enough for me. If there's a huge get together shoes usually stay on because we're busy chasing kiddos in and out of the house. Only my mom actually has a rule for no shoes. The rest of us are just country. icon_smile.gif

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