Had To Refund A "donation" Pymnt :(

Decorating By fedra Updated 16 Nov 2011 , 3:40pm by Cakery2012

pinklatte Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 5:12pm
post #61 of 100

What a situation to be in. You offered the cake for free stating you never made a wedding before, could not replicate the cake she wanted, and she forced the tip on you by giving it to your daughter. And now she wants it back? That's just not right.

Norasmom Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 5:38pm
post #62 of 100

Was this a clown wedding?? What a horrible, horrible MIL.

cs_confections Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 6:42pm
post #63 of 100

Don't return the money - it was given as a tip/gift and that shouldn't be returned. Plus you purchased the topper and loaned out your stand - if anything, it covers the cost of those two items and delivery. Even with that $70, you are out money. If they wanted high-end, they should have paid for it.

We went cheap on our wedding since we were paying for it on our own and refused to use credit cards. We hired a new photographer/videographer and he brought down his listed price for us. He also loaned his screen and projector to help my brother-in-law "attend" from Afghanistan. It took a little longer than promised to get the final picture disk and DVD. When we watched the video, we realized he didn't do a few things that were supposed to be included in our package and the shots weren't as great as other weddings we've seen. But we didn't ask for any type of refund - we figured in the end, we still go what we paid for. It didn't ruin our day and we worked with the funds we actually had to spend. Would we have liked more artsy photos and do we wish we had all of the parts of the video - yes...but we didn't have twice the budget to spend! I also wouldn't write a bad review of him - he was good for a new, inexpensive photographer. Exactly what we paid for.

Keep your head up. You did a great job for that being your first wedding cake. Unfortunately, there are so many people who are quick to take advantage of others (or at least try to) and don't give it second thought. If anything, I'd makes copies of all of the receipts or make up an itemized list of the cost of everything, down to cake boards, etc and send that to her. Be sure to include how much time you spent on it - on that you can list your cost as $0 since you said it would be free, but they should still know at least how much you're already given. The MIL probably won't be ashamed, nor feel she's in the wrong, but maybe it'll give your "friend" something to think about. And the next time this "friend" calls, let her call go to voice-mail hell!

KoryAK Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 7:09pm
post #64 of 100

I haven't read all the posts but I was expecting SO much worse than that cake by your first post! That cake was very well done for a beginner! Don't let one snotty lady upset you forever icon_smile.gif

laceycake Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 7:18pm
post #65 of 100

That lady sure is a piece of work. I wonder what we could say in Canada for Bless your heart. lol

sugarlover Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 7:36pm
post #66 of 100

keep the money and tell the mother to kick rocks!

Kaykaymay Posted 22 Aug 2011 , 8:08pm
post #67 of 100

Keep the money!! Even for a beginner you could see the effort you put out on the cake. If she took her $70 and went shopping for the wedding cake all she would have is a pile of items to show for it. She would then need to find the skill & time or pay someone an additional $430.00 to make it a cake! She got a FREE cake so there is NO REFUND to be had.

What a way to bring yourself some bad karma. You screw other people on your wedding day I hope other people won't be screwing her DH after the wedding!

ihateveggies Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 2:10pm
post #68 of 100

wow! I can't wait to hear your update about whether she contacted the other vendors too! I can't believe that she thinks she can get away with this? I'd be keeping the $70 - it wasn't fee for service it was a gift. That is ridiculous! Your cake was not bad - sure it was a little different from the picture but you told them that from the start! it was in no way a cake disaster at all!

WillowsCry Posted 23 Aug 2011 , 2:19pm
post #69 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by laceycake

That lady sure is a piece of work. I wonder what we could say in Canada for Bless your heart. lol




Well Bless your Moose!

cakesbycathy Posted 24 Aug 2011 , 3:06pm
post #70 of 100

I'm glad you got your stand back!

I would not contact anyone in this crazy family again. IF anyone calls wanting to know where their $70 is tell them that since the $70 was a gift/tip you are under no obligation to return it and you have changed yoru mind and will now be keeping it. What's she going to do? Sue you? icon_rolleyes.gif

I would tell her you have also been in contact with the other vendors and understand she is demanding refunds from everyone. See what she says about that. I'll bet she doesn't think that you all know what is going on and just hopes to get refunds from everyone.

Seriously, what a whack job.

thecakeprincess Posted 24 Aug 2011 , 3:53pm
post #71 of 100

I just viewed the cake in question and I think you did a GREAT job for a beginner. You did explain to MIL that you were a beginner, so i wouldn't give her a cent back. Some cutomers are looking for something for nothing. I know a few so called "professionals" that can't do as good a job as you did on that cake. You should definitely put a clause in your contract about refunds. If the cake was good enough to eat, I wouldn't return the $70.00. I think she got a lot of cake for just $70.00. Take it as a lesson learned and don't get down on yourself.

cai0311 Posted 24 Aug 2011 , 4:54pm
post #72 of 100

I think for your first wedding cake you did a great job!

I saw the cake picture they gave you as what the bride wanted. The cake you gave them was not the same, but I do believe you were honest with them up front about your ability as a newbie and they should not have expected the same cake. Plus, the cake in the picture they gave you is fondant. Now, even with perfect buttercream - it doesn't have the fondant "look". I don't think that is a bad thing - but to me comparing a fondant covered cake to a buttercream iced cake is apples to oranges.

I do not think the MIL should not have demanded a refund. But since she did, and you already agreed to it, I think you should give her the $70 back minus the topper you purchased. I would include a copy of your receipt to show why she didn't get $70 back. Send the refund to the bride with an explanation - not the MIL.

Spuddysmom Posted 24 Aug 2011 , 5:34pm
post #73 of 100

Wow, this thread is better than a soap: "Cakes of Our Lives"?
After reading the whole thread (with it's decidely clever plot complications, varied characters and suprising twists) I've changed my mind three times over the refund. Do whatever you feel is right but, please, do compose a little e-mail to the Bride to inform her of her MIL's wheeling dealing AND that your decision is based on the conversations you had with other vendors and MIL. Oh and CC it to dear ol' MIL. And then, move forward, don't look back.
We now know who wins the Emmy for Best MIL villain, betcha Susan Lucci is dying to play her![/b]

Transformergirl Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 2:55pm
post #74 of 100

"Don't bring me a picture of a fondant cake as reference for a buttercream cake and expect the same thing. Different mediums, different look."

I have a feeling this will be my Cake motto for many years to come. I have only been a cake decorator for about two years (work in a grocery store bakery) but from my experience thus far, people for the most part seem incapable to distinguishing one icing from another, be it BC, Whipped icing, or fondant, and even when you tell them "This icing is different than what you're ordering and will not have the same look" they don't understand or put up a mental block of some kind. It always leads to problems...


The whole situation with the MIL seems fishy to me. I'm familiar with the 'I'll complain about my cake so I can get it free" card. People pull it on me at the store all the time and they're easy to spot. No matter how up front you are with them about your ability to make the desired design, in the end they will demand a free cake.

I find it fantastically more difficult to make a completely smooth buttercream cake than a fondant cake and the picture of the cake in question is really good! Considering the different mediums and the situation, they should have been very happy with it.

'You get what you paid for' is all I can say. Or...didn't pay for in this case.

Claire138 Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 3:37pm
post #75 of 100

That woman is an idiot, the cake is beautiful & as it's your first wedding cake - wow! Sounds like she doesn't want to pay for anything for this wedding.

On another note, how did you get that gold colour? I love it!

kmstreepey Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 3:39pm
post #76 of 100

I have been doing free cakes for friends and family too, but have been thinking that I would not agree to do a wedding cake no matter who it is or how well I think I could do on it. Weddings just seem like a whole different ballgame to me and much more stressful for all involved. It seems from stories here on CC, like yours, that people will always find something to complain about, even if it means making something up! Your experience confirms my policy of no wedding cakes for me! Not until later on. I will do wedding cake-like cakes for practice but none for an actual person's wedding while I am still learning. People. They're the worst... (remember that from Seinfeld?? - still cracks me up and still so fitting in some situations!) Hang in there. You did a fine job. Don't let this take away your caking mojo!

fedra Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 4:06pm
post #77 of 100

Just an update:
I've mailed her the refund she deserves, with a note explaining it:
Bride:
Per your MIL's refund request: Enclosed is a check for $14.60. I used the $70 gift your MIL gave my daughter to give to me to purchase the topper, which cost $16.20. I also deducted the rental and delivery of the cakestand which is $40. The remaining is $14.60.
Thank You,
Fedra

I really don't think she even deserves this. I am waiting for my phone to BLOW up! As for the gold color (I feel humbled another caked even asks for "technique" advice after that cake!), I used gold Amerigrl color and handpainted it all. I also used gold luster dust.
Fedra

ReneeFLL Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 4:17pm
post #78 of 100

fedra,
I am glad that you did not give her a full refund. You told her that you would try to make the cake as close as possible, but your ability was not up to the standard of that cake. She knew it in advance and still ordered the cake.
With that said, I think that you did a very good job on it. I have seen some "professionals" whose cakes look like that.
With your abilities where they are now, you are on your way to even bigger and better things with practice.

Claire138 Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 4:17pm
post #79 of 100

Don't feel humbled at all, I've looked at your cake gallery and everything looks gorgeous!
Thanks for the tip. I made a gold and white cake last week & got the gold with wiltons pearl gold dust but it didn't have that rich colour.

TinkerCakes Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 5:03pm
post #80 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmstreepey

I have been doing free cakes for friends and family too, but have been thinking that I would not agree to do a wedding cake no matter who it is or how well I think I could do on it. Weddings just seem like a whole different ballgame to me and much more stressful for all involved. It seems from stories here on CC, like yours, that people will always find something to complain about, even if it means making something up! Your experience confirms my policy of no wedding cakes for me! Not until later on. I will do wedding cake-like cakes for practice but none for an actual person's wedding while I am still learning. People. They're the worst... (remember that from Seinfeld?? - still cracks me up and still so fitting in some situations!) Hang in there. You did a fine job. Don't let this take away your caking mojo!




This is how I feel, so scared of wedding cakes...and bridezillas!

cakesbycathy Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 5:12pm
post #81 of 100

I think that you worded the note perfectly. thumbs_up.gif

DO NOT answer any of their emails or phone calls.

ConnieJ Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 5:19pm
post #82 of 100

i'm glad you only gave her the difference after your expenses for those items!

mariacakestoo Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 5:31pm
post #83 of 100

People, you do not need to be scared of weddings. It's still a cake. Decorated like whatever the client thinks it should look like for some random event, which happens to be a ....wedding. Bridezillas are usually only found on television, and you do have some control over them. An ironclad contract, explaining things to them, sticking to your deadlines, and being polite will usually prevent any zilla behavior.

You need to develop a spidey-sense also. If they are acting funny before you even talk price or contract, decide whether or not they need special handling (and documentation for later need if be) or if you would rather cut them loose. I'll take a $200 cake and sweet nice gal anyday over a $1,000 cake with a bitchy bride attached to it.

indydebi Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 5:56pm
post #84 of 100

maria is right. I've seen too many threads on here where mom ranted and raved how the wrong shade of blue "just RUINED!" the birthday experience of her one year old little diva, who had no idea what the heck was going on anyway. I'd much rather deal with brides and MOB's than I would want to deal with the mom of a little princess who is having a party for 100 of her closest and dearest friends. dunce.gif

KoryAK Posted 26 Aug 2011 , 5:58pm
post #85 of 100

Make sure you write in the note field "cake compensation" or "cake refund" or whatever then IN FULL. She can't say crap after that if she cashes the check.

costumeczar Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 2:31am
post #86 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by fedra

She brought in a pic as a reference. She left with the understanding that I would TRY and duplicate and that it would not look the same given that I had never made a wedding cake and this one was basically free. I never intended to mislead her and I don't believe I did. I do this for family and friends only. I had worked with this girl about 6 months ago and she came to me knowing my background and experience. I did this for her because I still considered her a friend (now not really).




I'd say that if you had told her that you'd duplicate the cake then I'd see how she would be mad, because it doesn't look the same. But since you were clear with her that it wouldn't be the same, and she was clear on your skill level, then she has nothing to complain about. She's obviously just trying to get money back from everyone, so tell her to go suck a rat.

BizCoCos Posted 28 Aug 2011 , 2:47am
post #87 of 100

Goodness, what a saga, I love your refund note, don't let one bad experience ruin your caking love.

Becca1007 Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 8:48pm
post #88 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmstreepey

I have been doing free cakes for friends and family too, but have been thinking that I would not agree to do a wedding cake no matter who it is or how well I think I could do on it. Weddings just seem like a whole different ballgame to me and much more stressful for all involved. It seems from stories here on CC, like yours, that people will always find something to complain about, even if it means making something up! Your experience confirms my policy of no wedding cakes for me! Not until later on. I will do wedding cake-like cakes for practice but none for an actual person's wedding while I am still learning. People. They're the worst... (remember that from Seinfeld?? - still cracks me up and still so fitting in some situations!) Hang in there. You did a fine job. Don't let this take away your caking mojo!




I have done a few cakes for friends and family; of those 3 have been wedding cakes. This is what I did, I asked the bride what colors her wedding was going to be, asked if she wanted a round or square cake, asked what flavor she wanted and asked if there was anything she absolutely didn't want on the cake. Then I told her that I would do the cake, but I was going to have complete creative control. This way I could do cake designs I was comfortable with and the bride had no preconceived idea of what her cake "should" look like.

All of the brides and their families were astounded that I made the cakes and everyone was in love with the cakes they received.

The greatest thing was seeing people rave about how amazing the cakes were on the FB pages of my friends, (these were people who didn't know me and were just other guests at the wedding or seeing the cake in pictures).

So my advice is don't be afraid to do a wedding cake, just make sure to manage expectations and take on only what you are comfortable with.

To the OP, you did a great job on your first wedding cake. I think the MIL would have been "unhappy" with any product that she received, and you did the right thing refunding only the amount of money over the specific costs you had.

Osgirl Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 6:32pm
post #89 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

If it were me, I would send the $70. directly to the bride, not the mother. I would include a note saying, "I'm sending this back per your mother's request since she was so disappointed in the cake. (bride may not even know mother is doing this) I'm doing this against my better judgement as I believe you were well aware that I was a beginner when you came to me, a former coworker, in order to save yourself eight or nine hundred dollars by asking me to do your cake for free.
Now, not only have I spent tens of hours of labor on your cake, but now my costs are not even covered because your mother didn't feel my beginner efforts were up to the standard of a seasoned professional that would have charged you eight or nine hundred dollars. So I am in the hole because of this "favor" you've asked for.

Please take this $70 and spend it on something nice for your mother. And please do not ever call me for a cake again."




I couldn't agree more. This is what you need to tell her. Instead of them making you feel bad, you should let them know how rude and cheap they are. People want everything for nothing. thumbsdown.gif

Kitagrl Posted 25 Sep 2011 , 6:59pm
post #90 of 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by fedra

I guess it didn't post. Here is the link:

http://static.weddingandcakes.com/wcakes/2010/08/gold-wedding-cakes-3.jpg




First of all, she should have asked for the white scrollwork. Sometimes brides think they know how to design cakes and they do NOT. Its not your fault they wanted black scrollwork.

Secondly...you warned them many times you are new...you offered it for free....they can NOT expect a bakery-quality cake as a freebie from a new decorator! And your work is very good for a beginner...I've seen much worse as far as a family member doing a cake as a favor for somebody....much worse!!!! Your corners were pretty level and even....and painted gold shimmer fondant ribbon is VERY difficult to get smooth and you did a great job with that!!!!! That was a challenging cake for a newbie...you tackled it well!

They tried to cheap out on their wedding...they should have been thankful for the favors they got instead of complaining they didn't get a Lexus on a Kia budget. (And I have a Kia...nothin' wrong with it! haha.)

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