bellaudreycakes Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 9:36pm
post #1 of

Ok so I had a customer have their 18 year old pick up their graduation cake today, party tomorrow, and when she left we told her how to handle the sheet cake and lay it on a flat place in the car. So an hour later the dad calls complaining how the cake looked like crap it was falling apart and the "frosting must not have been set up" those were his exact words. The cake had been done for 5 hours so it was "set up". Now my question is what to do about it? We are so booked this weekend with cakes that to do a whole new cake double layer sheet cake would even put us here that much later, especially when I don't think it was our fault. Whatever happened, obviously happen in the hour it took her to get home, I am thinking she may have put it in the back and turned corners sharp the cake could have been sliding side to side hitting the edges of the car? I don't know? All I know is that it was perfect when it left our shop.

So I told the dad to bring the cake back we could look at it see if its fixable or what may have happened but he acts like he wants a whole new cake.

This is not the first time customers have picked up a cake from my shop and just "throw it in the back seat" so to speak, I just don't understand them its like you spend so much on the cake and its the centerpiece but yet instead of putting in the back of the SUV on a flat surface they put the beer there, really??? Even after warnings of what may happen.

Sorry for the vent, but do you all use forms that they have to sign when they pick up the cake that everything looks ok and your not responsible after it leaves the shop?? If so can I have a copy of it lol

I don't have time to do another cake but I don't want this girls graduation party to be ruined either, what to do?????

50 replies
cakesbycathy Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 9:44pm
post #2 of

It's not your fault the kid doesn't know how to drive. The cake was fine when it left your house.

I have anyone that picks up their cake sign a waiver saying that I am no longer responsible for the cake once it leaves my possession.

Did you take a picture of the cake before it was picked up? I would send it to the Dad to show him it was fine when it was picked up.

jenmat Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 9:44pm
post #3 of

While I totally feel for you, graduation season is super draining, as the cake decorator, it should be your responsibility to make sure the cake is stable enough to last through transport. It was a sheet cake- was it properly boxed? Too much powdered sugar in the icing so it cracked all over? Icing too moist in humidity? Not chilled properly so in the heat it melted?
While it could be the result of carelessness, I would not go to the customer with that approach. Just take the cake back, figure out what you can do to fix it, and refund part of the money.

A sheet cake should be able to withstand a lot of bad driving, IMO.
Good luck.

bellaudreycakes Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 9:51pm
post #4 of

yes I took a picture, the frosting is the same recipe I always use and never had a complaint, like I said it was sitting there for 5 hours before she came and got it, the only thing I can think of is she probably made some stops before home? The cake might have slide from side to side? I don't know, obviously I am not going to approach it this way to the customer but it just ticks me off when people don't use common sense when driving with a cake, yes it is only a sheet cake but still, you can't take corners at 90, not saying thats what happened, just saying...
I am getting forms for ever customer to sign from this point on...

Kiddiekakes Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 9:52pm
post #5 of

Well..It's pretty hard to wreck a flat sheet cake unless it has been inproperly handled during transportation...I think the 18 year old drove like a maniac and the cake flew all over like you suspected.

I have a statement on my website that clearly states I am not responsible for cakes once they leave my care..That means improper handling due to driving or leaving a cake in a warm vehicle and such.

I would simply state that time does not allow you to rebake and that the cake was in perfect order when it left your shop and that you cannot be responsible for what happens to it after it leaves..Yah he is going to be mad but why should you replace a cake that you know you didn't damage.

It really is a personal decision and I do understand where you are coming from..I had a bride pickup a 6 inch mini wedding cake one time from me and called about an hour later..She said the groom dropped the cake..How do you drop a 6 inch cake??anyway I told her to bring it back and I would see what I could do with it...well it was totally smashed.It needed to be rebaked but she didn't want to pay for it.I ended up re-doing it on a Saturday night at 8:00 when I could be spending time with my family so that she could have it for the wedding next day and I didn't want to be the reason her day was ruined..I never got a Thankyou..nothing...no email saying Thanks etc...I was pissed...It hasn't happened since but I do understand being caught in between...

jason_kraft Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 9:54pm
post #6 of

You may want to consider refrigerating cakes so they are chilled when the customer picks them up, they tend to be more durable when cold.

cakesbycathy Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 9:57pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by bellaudreycakes

yes I took a picture, the frosting is the same recipe I always use and never had a complaint, like I said it was sitting there for 5 hours before she came and got it, the only thing I can think of is she probably made some stops before home? The cake might have slide from side to side? I don't know, obviously I am not going to approach it this way to the customer but it just ticks me off when people don't use common sense when driving with a cake, yes it is only a sheet cake but still, you can't take corners at 90, not saying thats what happened, just saying...
I am getting forms for ever customer to sign from this point on...




If it was a sheet cake and it sat out for 5 hours beforehand then it's definitely the kid's driving. If it's me, I'm not replacing the cake unless they want to pay for another one. There's no reason I should be out the time and money for another cake for something you can't control.

I would send the dad the picture and politely tell him that since the cake was in perfect condition when it left you (as evidenced by the photo) that you cannot be responsible for what happens after it leaves your possession.

Kiddiekakes Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 10:01pm
post #8 of

I do agree with jason_kraft...I refridgerate all my cakes right up until they are picked up.A cold cake is a decoraters best friend I think!!

amygortoncakes Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 10:55pm
post #9 of

I am not in business...

But...

I agree the girl probably drove like a jack a$$..but for some reason, not sure if I am in a good mood I think you should make another one. If only for the reason that it makes for good customer service. If everyone has all these problems with cakes not making it when customers pick them up, maybe there should be a delivery only policy and charge them for it. Its a no win situation when the cake is damaged along with the deorators reputation. Yes you are out materials, but think of all the people that will likely hear about your good deed tomorrow rather than the cake lady that couldn't make a sheet cake hold up on the drive home.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

bellaudreycakes Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 10:58pm

I posted a before pic and after pic of the cake when she brought it back...what do you think happened? To me it looks like it was dropped. It wasn't a hard cake to do and I wouldn't mind redoing it if they would be honest about and if the dad wouldn't have called and talked to my employee the way he did. I understand accidents happen, but this cake sat there for 5 hours and was fine I don't see how it could have went from that to the way it was an hour later?

I would refrigerate it but we are a small bakery and our fridge isn't big enough to put every cake in there....like I said never had a problem like this before and the weather isn't any hotter than usual actually cooler today.

AnotherCaker Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:01pm

Looks dropped to me.

NerdyGirl Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:18pm

I wonder if it was put on the backseat and she stopped suddenly, making it a projectile. The dad is kinda off his rocker if he's going to blame you for this one. Who would let THAT leave their shop? Definitely send him a picture and a "sorry...can't help you." Now that the girl is becoming an adult, she gets to learn responsibility for her actions. You're super busy. You didn't cause this.

Plus, in the future, you can show the before and after pics to prospective clients to show what could happen if they aren't careful with their cake! icon_wink.gif

Candice56 Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:24pm

Yep that's one banged up cake, maybe girl is afraid to tell dad she damaged it on the ride home. I would think once the Dad saw how it looked before and the after he would ask the one who brought it home to fess you w/the truth. Yep make up a form and have the one picking it up sign it along with a pic of them and the cake before it left your shop besides the photo you take to put on your profile. A picture tells a thousand words.

Bettyviolet101 Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:30pm

That being the before and after pic I really think these guys screwed up the cake by dropping it or something and are now trying to be dishonest about it and blame it all on you to get another free cake. That does not look like bad driving unless she really was going 90 with sharp turns. It looks like it was dropped. I don't think he will tell everyone about your "good deed". People tend to bad mouth even if you make it right so the extra money and time may not be worth it. There are lots of people out there who are dishonest and feel entitled to everything. Its sad but true. Its possible the 18 year old dropped it and was dishonest to the dad. Regardless you have a before pic so thats that.

KakeMistress Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:33pm

maybe she got it out of the car and tripped? thats the only thing I can think of or decided to go 4 wheeling LOL

carmijok Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:33pm

This is a tough one. I might go ahead and make another one, but I would pointedly tell the dad that out of the kindness of your heart you're doing this, because that cake was dropped and really not your responsibility but you don't want to have a disappointed grad.

Then I would never send a cake that wasn't cold to be driven for an hour in the trunk of a hot car (not sure if it was hot or not, just assuming). And then just to CYA some more, if a customer is picking up an important cake, take a piece of that rubber mesh drawer liner and put that underneath the cake so it will not slide in the car. I am also assuming you were the one to place the cake in the car? If not, always be that person.

Then, with signed paper in hand absolving you of further responsibility, wave goodbye and good luck because it's all in their hands now!

Bettyviolet101 Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:36pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by prettymarysunlight

Who would let THAT leave their shop?





Yeah no kidding. Really does he really think a professional bakery would say "here ya go don't mind the giant crack in the middle and the sides falling off. Its just part of the design." Thats nuts!

BlakesCakes Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:43pm

OMG, that's one mistreated cake!

I say dropped, slid off the seat, or bounced to death, possibly after being allowed to overheat.

If you can't do another, PAID FOR, cake to replace it, then so be it. Daddy dearest will have to deal with it.

It was in his daughter's care when it was damaged after being picked up in perfect condition.

If I don't deliver it, then I can't be responsible for what happens to it between here & there.

Rae

bellaudreycakes Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:43pm

She only lives 10 mins away they called an hour later. That's my other point why would you call an hour later? Oh well, my business in pretty new so I will probably make a new one even though my husband will kill me, he says no way, they ruined it! But still I would hate to know this could ruin her party...[/quote]

SammieB Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:51pm

I also can't imagine this dad thinking his daughter wouldn't have refused a cake that looked like that at the bakery. He's got to know that something happened in transport, or he's got a very apathetic kid. No girl is going to go pick up her graduation cake, see it destroyed before leaving and think, "I'll take it anyway! It's so pretty all messed up!"

tarheelgirl Posted 2 Jun 2011 , 11:58pm

Definitely looks dropped and slammed around. I'm not sure where you are located but I'm in the south and today it was 100 degrees! If the cake was already sitting at room temp for hours and she put it in the summer heat along with the crazy driving then this was definitely the result. As soon as I have finished decorating a cake it immediately goes into the fridge. Makes for a very stable cake delivery!

jenmat Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:01am

oh wow. just wow. I stand corrected. That thing was NOT damaged via decorator error.
I'm sorry, but if they REALLY think you did that to the cake, then I would be yelling at the daughter for accepting the cake from you. This little girlie must really have daddy dearest snowed if he's going to believe she "didn't DO anything" during the hour drive back home (that should take 10 minutes...)

What was said when he dropped the cake back off? I would be VERY tempted to charge him replacement cost for another cake.

The only way I can see that it would be your fault is if the icing wasn't strong enough and the cake was really warm inside. I've seen this happen where the cake just breaks apart under even slight jostling because the icing is too tender and the cake was too warm. But I don't think that was the case if it sat for 5 hours just fine.
I really do think you should look into another cooler though, cakes are just so much more secure when refrigerated.

ramie7224 Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:02am

Nobody in their right mind would pick up a cake that looked like that... And it is obviously NOT a problem with the icing not "setting up"...This guy is looking for a freebie because he's out the $ for the cake his daughter destroyed and he doesn't want to foot the bill for another one. If he had approached you with a "we had an accident, what can you do" attitude, I'd say make another one, but since he immediately tried to put the blame on you I say NO SECOND CAKE.

Jennifer1970 Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:15am

I wouldn't make another one, e-mail the dad the before picture. You shouldn't be penalized for his daughters carelessness! If she's graduating high school she should be smart enough to know to drive carefully with a large cake in her car! I think that's the problem with kids these days, they are never held accountable for their actions, they blame it on someone else! Stand firm.

Bettyviolet101 Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:16am
Quote:
Originally Posted by ramie7224

If he had approached you with a "we had an accident, what can you do" attitude, I'd say make another one, but since he immediately tried to put the blame on you I say NO SECOND CAKE.




That is EXACTLY what I was thinking! If they were just honest then I say do it but they weren't AND blamed you. Shame

Nancy_TX Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:16am

Is that a double layer sheet cake sitting on a single layer, uncovered cardboard cake board?

cakification Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:23am

Wow! That is one seriously messed up cake, there's no way that was caused by the "icing not setting up properly"! Im assuming you showed the dad the before picture right? He has to know it was his daughters driving, he just doesn't want to pay for a new cake.

terrylee Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:43am

There is no way that was set-up failure....that was bad driving or they dropped the cake. I agree, if they had approched the problem with "we had a bit of an accident" that would have been a different story...I don't think you owe them anything....when that cake leaves your hands, and is in their car....it's their baby.

katnmouse Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:44am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennifer1970

I think that's the problem with kids these days, they are never held accountable for their actions, they blame it on someone else! Stand firm.



Not just kids...the adults are just as bad about readily throwing blame on others. Responsible adults would look at their teen and say "I know that cake didn't leave the store like that...what did YOU do to it?"

gingerpup84 Posted 3 Jun 2011 , 12:56am

That cake was definitely dropped. Although I will say that I have dropped a cake right after taking it out of the fridge and it was more or less ok. Dropped it upside down too!! So yes, I would recommend refrigerating cake before pick up and recommending on waiver form that cake be chilled. I would write up something like a pick up ticket that verifies who picked up the cake, what time, that they accept condition of the cake, and any specifics about care such as keeping chilled. I liked the idea someone posted of attaching a picture to the pick up form. From experiences of purchasing cakes, most bakeries have never reminded me when ordering or picking up a cake that it would need to be chilled. Before I started doing cakes I never thought about it. Now I know to keep them chilled, especially after my dropping experience!!!

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