catcreations Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 6:09pm
post #1 of

Hi everyone,

In two years I have now experienced my first cake disaster. I had a couple who wanted a pool table for their wedding cake. I placed their names on the balls. I thought I made sure when I wrote them I got everything correct. Apparently I mispelled last name, and I was late even after I confirmed time over email. I feel horrible and I can't stop crying. They spent $230.00 on the cake. wanting 4 full sheet cakes to create the table, and apparently I got that wrong too. He did on brighter side say it tasted great after yelling at me. What should I do?

22 replies
cakegirl1973 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 6:23pm
post #2 of

What did they want instead of the four sheet cakes? Did you have a contract? If you followed what the contract said, including spellings and delivery time, then I would say that it is the customer's responsibility to review the contract and to make sure the information was correct. If you did not have a contract, have you reviewed the situation to determine where the break down of communication occurred? If so, if it is your error, then a partial refund may be due. What kind of resolution does the customer want?

kakeladi Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 6:45pm
post #3 of

That was one BIG cake - 4 *full* sheets! AND......you only got $230 for it?????? that's llike 175-190 servings! (As I remember each full sheet 4" tall serves 90) So you got not much over $1.75 per serving - You paid them to let you bake icon_sad.gif

Ok you misspelled their name (a VERY important feature) and were late (sounds like they had some degree of mistake in this). What should you do?
I would offer a % off - like 50% OR even make it free - a cake in the near future - like a gift certificate w/some restrictions to keep the size about equal to 1 or 2 cake mixes - not some 3 tier monster and within like 2 monthsicon_smile.gif

catcreations Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 6:46pm
post #4 of

I have a contract with them and yes the time was their fault, spelling was mine, As far as a picture Apparently she wanted the sheet cakes to be side by side, laying flat not 2 full sheet cakes side by side that's what I thought that's what she wanted after showing her a picture. They would like half the money back.

LKing12 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 6:54pm
post #5 of

Misspelling of a name is a real problem to me. Growing up everyone spelled or even pronounced my maiden name incorrectly. I have a habit of respelling first names to people.
Size of cake-should have been "spelled out"-no pun intended- in an email or a contract.
Late-not unless you were stuck in traffic for at least two hours, had a flat tire or the van broke down.
Did the groom ask for a refund? Being yelled at might be refund enough.
Sorry that this happened to you and the couple. Sounds like a real lack of communication between all parties.

cakegirl1973 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 7:18pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by catcreations

I have a contract with them and yes the time was their fault, spelling was mine, As far as a picture Apparently she wanted the sheet cakes to be side by side, laying flat not 2 full sheet cakes side by side that's what I thought that's what she wanted after showing her a picture. They would like half the money back.




Only you can judge whether you should issue a refund and how much that refund should be. Since the time was incorrect on the contract, I would point that out to them. As long as you arrived at the time specified in the contract, that should not be an issue. As for the design, did the client sign off on the design, and did you deliver what was spelled out in the contract? The contract is to protect both parties. If you delivered what the contract said was supposed to be the design, then I would point that out. If you didn't deliver per the specifications of the contract, then some refund would be due. As for the misspelling, that is a problem, and I would offer some kind of refund or free anniversary cake for that. IMO, from what you have described, I think a 50% refund is too high. Sorry you are having to go through this. Hang in there!

LKing12 Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 7:24pm
post #7 of

Four sheet cakes, side by side? That would be an extremely large cake. Would it even go through a door?

BlakesCakes Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 9:02pm
post #8 of

As I see it, your only real mistake was the spelling---and that, in no way, merits a 50% refund. Maybe a 25% discount on a future cake, but that's about it (oh, and your prices will have gone up by the time they redeem, too, right?????).

As for the size, they got the servings they needed/sorta paid for, & they got a pool table. Done.

If no one specified 4, 2" tall cakes placed to form a rectangular pool table, then 2, 4" tall cakes placed to form a rectangular pool table will have to do. If it was so unworkable for them, then they should have refused delivery.

As for the time, THEY TOLD YOU THE WRONG TIME. Not your problem. Done.

Off them the % off a future order and bid them a happy married life. Done.

Rae

peetz Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 10:10pm
post #9 of

I will have to say misspelling the name is huge. But that is just me. I would give them the 50% refund to to make sure when they tell any body and every body what happened, and they will, they have a positive note at the end of their story. Your reputation is worth 115$ right? Move on knowing that you made it right in the customers eyes and live and learn from the mistake. We will all have cake disasters, it is not a matter of if, it's a matter of when.

BlakesCakes Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 10:30pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by peetz

I would give them the 50% refund to to make sure when they tell any body and every body what happened, and they will, they have a positive note at the end of their story.




Sorry, but I think that's very wishful thinking. There's no reason to expect, at all, that they'll put a positive spin on this, no matter what the OP does.

Nowadays, people always start with the negative drama and forget to mention that someone went out of their way to make it right. It's just not as spectacular a story when it ends on a good note.

She can't exactly extort a promise from them to only say something nice if she refunds all of that $$$$. More than likely, they'll just give others the impression that if they complain, they can get $$ back.

If the cake tasted good, as reported by the angry DH, then they'll order again and get the value out of a % off a future cake.

JMHO
rae

gatorcake Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 10:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by peetz

I would give them the 50% refund to to make sure when they tell any body and every body what happened, and they will, they have a positive note at the end of their story.



Sorry, but I think that's very wishful thinking. There's no reason to expect, at all, that they'll put a positive spin on this, no matter what the OP does.

Nowadays, people always start with the negative drama and forget to mention that someone went out of their way to make it right. It's just not as spectacular a story when it ends on a good note.

JMHO
rae




What good are these generalizations? Frankly this is an unfair assumption about clients you know nothing about. While the OP cannot demand or "extort" good comments, why assume the worst? There are plenty of people who appreciate folks who attempt to make things right and note that when they discuss service they received. I guess it is easier to assume the worst of people.

BlakesCakes Posted 12 Jun 2011 , 10:54pm

No problem.

Your assumptions are no better, no worse, than mine.

We're both drawing conclusions, most likely based on our personal experiences. That's very reasonable.

I confronted another poster's assumptions and you've confronted mine.

NEITHER OF US IS NECESSARILY RIGHT, BUT THAT'S FOR THE OP TO DECIDE, RIGHT?

Rae

mombabytiger Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 2:55am

I would refund every penny. You don't misspell someone's name, you just don't. I would write a letter apologizing profusely and state that your standards are higher than that and that you are mortified. Sorry this happened to you though. I'm sure it's very upsetting.

CWR41 Posted 13 Jun 2011 , 3:26am

Misspelled names would have been easy enough to scrape off and then rewritten. A simple fix to solve the problem if you were prepared with a repair kit during delivery. (never leave home without it!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

That was one BIG cake - 4 *full* sheets! AND......you only got $230 for it?????? that's llike 175-190 servings! (As I remember each full sheet 4" tall serves 90) So you got not much over $1.75 per serving - You paid them to let you bake




Four full sheet cakes serve 400... that's .58 per serving.

kristiemarie Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 7:39pm

I'd refund half. You misspelled their name on the most important day that their name needed to be spelled right.

In the future, you might want to submit sketches for approval to your clients. That way, they can see what you've visualized to make sure it's what they visualized. Sometimes, we see things in our minds eye that aren't quite what the actual product will look like.

TexasSugar Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 8:43pm

I'm curious how bad the misspelling was? Are we talking one letter off, are we talking a whole different name? I'm not asking for you to tell us their last night, but just how off were you?

Honestly I can't see giving a full refund or a half refund ($115) for a name? When you add in the other stuff, maybe, if it was your fault. It sounds like their was a misunderstanding about the size, and in the figure you will probably want to spell it out more. But if the amount of cake given was what they ordered, then again, I'm not sure a full refund would be in order.

With everything, the name, the size being off, and being late, I would probably do something, but I'm not completely sure what.

catcreations Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:01am

Thanks for those who commented, I guess I needed to be a little more specific with what I was seeking. I had already decided to give half back that was not the issue. I wanted to know how do you recover emotionally from something like this. Even now that I had agreed to half he has been calling and making threats. I'm a very sensitive person and I have helped many couples who are paying for their wedding by not charging what I should. They both have kids from a previous marriage and I know what its like to pay for your own wedding. As far as time and style of cake I do drawings and show them samples of photos to get a good understanding of what they want. I spend alot of additional time trying to make sure I understand their vision. I had never had confirmation on times. I send emails so I have documentation. I'm not trying to justify anything you can not talk with someone who wants what he wants and does not care if they are at fault. I'm just trying to see how those of you recover from making a mistake. Thanks

sugarandstuff Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:25am

What kind of threats is he making? That's crazy

SarahBeth3 Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:35am

catcreations, I am sooooo sooooo sorry this has happened. I know you have to be thinking over and over "if only this, if only I had done that..." but you have to learn what you can learn from this and then try as hard as you can to move on. It's hard,(especially while the client is still calling) but take what you can from this, and be even better than you already are. You will be stronger, and more careful and all those other things that you are now thinking "what if" about. You make beautiful cakes and even the troubled client says they taste great. You will continue to make beautiful delicious cakes, this was just one of them. This will soon all be in your past. Hang in there. I'll be praying for you.

tokazodo Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:36am

Catcreations: We are mere humans and we make mistakes. Oh well. I've mispelled a name on a cake too. Jeffery was Jeffrey. But I never noticed it until after I delivered the cake and the photos were posted. I felt like a horse behind. Jeffrey's mother was not worried about it in fact she's ordered many cakes from me since. People make mistakes.

As far as the groom yelling at you for whatever he is asking you for: You have decided to refund part of the money, stick with your decision. . At the price you charged for the cake, the part of the cake cost you have decided to keep should pay for at least some of your ingredients.
People will bully and yell at you like whiney babies. When he realizes you are going to stick to your guns he will leave you be.

I looked at your cakes and kid, you got skills! Don't let a bad day drag you down. Learn from your mistake and move on, let it go and breath!
And you owe it to yourself to charge a little bit more for your cakes!

YummyCreations Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:15am

I'm really sorry this has happened to you! You sound like a very nice person and perhaps it would help you to think about and look at pictures of all the cakes that you did "get right" and how happy you have made people with those cakes. Don't let one bad experience ruin your desire to continue. This person sounds like he has his own issues by not letting it go and I'm sure he eventually will. Hang in there as time will heal how you are feeling. Just look forward to your next cake project and put your focus on that thumbs_up.gif

Angfastic Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:56am

I agree with everyone else. Try and let it go and not get you down. However, after having my own mishap this weekend due to my own stupidity, I know how hard it is. I made cupcakes for a friend for her birthday. A few days before she decided she wanted vanilla and strawberry instead of chocolate. I tried a new strawberry recipe and it sucked. So I decided to make WASC and use half for the Vanilla and the other half I added pureed strawberries. I didn't think about all of the extra liquid going in and to top it off I didn't make an extra cupcake for me to test. I put the extra batter in an oval pan and kept going. After a good 30 minutes the toothpick came out clean on the cupcakes. I let them cool and decorated them. Later I discovered the oval cakes wasn't quite done. Something told me the cupcakes may not be done, but instead of checking one to see I let it go. I did mention to my friend I wasn't sure about the strawberry ones. Sure enough I get a text the next day telling me no one liked them, they were gooey. I felt so bad, embarrassed and stupid. I told her I'd make more cupcakes and have them to her the next day. I made 10 chocolate cupcakes with a chocolate filling and buttercream frosting and 12 strawberry with strawberry cream cheese filling and cream cheese icing. I tasted these and they were good. I also delivered them. She confirmed today they were good. Luckily she was understanding and didn't pitch a fit or demand her money back.

Hang in there and keep baking.

catcreations Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:41pm

Thanks everyone we have VBX this week at church and I completely broke down. All the kids in our youth group from junior high to high school were trying to be so loving. Reminding me that we are not perfect, and what may be big to us is small to God. The encouragement to keep going has been very helpful. I know we all error and we use it to better ourselves it's just hard going through it. Again I thank you for your words of wisdom and your prayers. God Bless!

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