Wedding Cake Drama

Business By l_rock Updated 7 Nov 2011 , 4:34am by happigolucki35

l_rock Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 11:47am
post #1 of 35

I just got an email today from a client regarding a wedding cake that was delivered last night. the client claims that the cake didn't look like the discussed design,that she isn't happy and wants to know what i'm going to do about it. i had a delivery driver drop off the cake and they accepted delivery - the only comment they gave the driver was "its not exactly what we expected " but still accepted the cake delivery.

the cake design we dicussed was a combination of 4 different designs they provided images of...i'm a bespoke baker who generally makes/designs cakes to order. i have never had a client not like the design or missed the mark before....

either i completely missunderstood what they wanted or they didn't understand what they ordered....either way i feel stuck with what to do - part of me feels like they accepted delivery so they accepted the way the cake looked... the other part of me is considering giving a partial refund to make this all go away.

34 replies
Karen421 Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 11:54am
post #2 of 35

If they accepted the cake and served it, then I would not do a full refund. Maybe a small refund, I would talk to the client and get more feed back before I decided. Sorry that happened icon_smile.gif

kakeladi Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 11:55am
post #3 of 35

I can understand why they might accept delivery - it's their special day and didn't know what else to do, not wanting to be totally without. In my thinking you should offer a partial refund. If the design was not exactly what they wanted they still served the cake (I'm sure) so a partial refund is all that is necessary.

btrsktch Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 12:45pm
post #4 of 35

I wouldn't be quick to offer any refund. What is the client unhappy with? Did the colors not match, the size, flavors or shapes different? Did the cake appearance show significant flaws (i.e. bulges, not level, etc).

Since you are a bespoke baker, did you provide the client with a mock up or rendering of some kind to show them what the cake would look like prior to delivery?

I'm definitely one to right a wrong (and offer refunds) when I know it has been something significant that I have done as a cake artist. However, I don't offer refunds because 'you weren't expecting it'. I'd ask them to be very clear and specific on what they were unhappy with, and if its a design interpretation, then it's an 'I'm Sorry You Were Unhappy'. And that's it.

Kiddiekakes Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 12:53pm
post #5 of 35

Hmm..I may be an idiot but what is a Bespoke Baker??? icon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gif

prchick Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 1:25pm
post #6 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

Hmm..I may be an idiot but what is a Bespoke Baker??? icon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gif


mean an item custom-made to the buyer's specification

Kiddiekakes Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 1:27pm
post #7 of 35

Ohh...okay..I guess we are all like that then...Hmm.learn something new everyday!!LOL

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 1:41pm
post #8 of 35

I agree, I would try to get more details from her. What about it was "not what she expected"? Doing a sketch does help, just so all parties are clear on the design. If you did do a sketch, she approved it, and you did the cake exactly as the sketch, I don't see what the issue would be.

cakestyles Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 1:45pm
post #9 of 35

I was wondering if there was a sketch provided and approved by the client during the ordering process, as well.

Do you have a photo of the cake and the inspiration designs?

I just glanced at your photos...is it the "oversized rose" cake that you're referencing? It's beautiful...nice job!

BizCoCos Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 2:25pm
post #10 of 35

yes, a sketch is key for these type of issues, if no sketch was provided then a very detailed order page. let us know what occurred.

mariacakestoo Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 2:49pm
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiddiekakes

Ohh...okay..I guess we are all like that then...Hmm.learn something new everyday!!LOL


Well no, not really. Some people only do custom designs, and some only/in addition to, make cakes from pictures brides bring in, or they have to pick something from a book.

Kiddiekakes Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 5:29pm
post #12 of 35

Ahhh..I get it now..Thanks!!

l_rock Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 5:44pm
post #13 of 35

the cake was the "rose present" cake image. A sketch was provided to the client and she approved it. everything from the amount of flowers to the colours used were the clients choice. the only way the client would have had more say in the cake is to make it herself. i tried calling the client,but was unable to get hold of her. so i have sent an email to her advising that i'm sorry that she felt the cake wasn't what she was expecting and i would like to speak with her to find out what exactly what she had issues with. so until i get a response from her i'm a bit at a loss.

Osgirl Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 6:21pm
post #14 of 35

I'm no expert but I would talk to her first and find out what she didn't like before offering any type of refund. You provided a sketch, and she chose the flowers and colors. What more did she want?

I understand that she would've served it regardless. If it was delivered and she didn't like it, she couldn't really go without a cake. That said, if she knew what she was getting and you made the cake as you had both agreed upon, what does she expect?

PeggyMichel Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 6:35pm
post #15 of 35

I had a similar situation recently. In our first consultation the bride brought a pic of a 4 tier square with piping and ribbon border. The florist would supply fresh hydrangeas. A change from the pic is that each tier would be off-set. With the number of servings needed, and the off-set design, the top tier would only be a 4" square. When I delivered to the venu, the bridal party wasn't there yet, so no one made any comments. Weeks later I got an email from the bride saying that she hated it but couldn't do anything about it at the last minute. She had apparently changed her mind and no longer wanted it off-set, and was upset that the top tier was smaller. (I don't torte a 4" because it is so small, and it's hard to keep it sharp and straight with slippery fillings inside. So the 4" tier was slightly shorter than the other tieres.) The florist only had limp looking hydrangeas left to use for the cake, so she substituted calla lilies instead. The flowers were corrected before the reception began, but the bride was already very upset by this time. Ultimately, I gave a 50% refund. I don't want any negative advertisement, or ill feeling with the venu, so I think it is the cost of doing business. Sometimes we have to just make it right with the bride. Unfortunately, I can't seem to upload pics right now, so I can't show the finished cake. It really looked fine, but it is the bride's opinion that matters, I guess.

BizCoCos Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 7:06pm
post #16 of 35

I would talk to them first, and find out the reason why they are unhappy so that you can correct it in the future, I believe a refund is in order.

cakestyles Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 7:37pm
post #17 of 35

Is the middle tier sinking into the bottom tier?

MimiFix Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 7:57pm
post #18 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMeSomeCake615

I agree, I would try to get more details from her. What about it was "not what she expected"? Doing a sketch does help, just so all parties are clear on the design. If you did do a sketch, she approved it, and you did the cake exactly as the sketch, I don't see what the issue would be.




The bride saw your sketch? Simply tell her you're sorry she approved a design she's not happy with. The overarching issue might be that the couple spent too much money on the entire event and are looking for ways to recoup.

ritterwoman Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 8:58pm
post #19 of 35

Yes I would ask "what exactly was it you did not like about the cake." Then I would pull out her file/info and let her know what it was she ordered to the detail. Kind of reminds me of the cake boss episode where the bride squirts icing all over the cake because she didn't like it. But yes it sounds to me too that she is trying to get money back for the cake.

cakelady2266 Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 10:12pm
post #20 of 35

If the sketch was approved by the customer and the cake looked like the sketch then don't sweat it. I would find out in detail if the clients problem was with the design on the cake, the workmanship, or what before I would consider a refund of any kind.

mbark Posted 2 Oct 2011 , 10:33pm
post #21 of 35

that cake is pretty simple, it's not like she could be expecting much else (lots of piping, flowers etc) if that's what the sketch looked like. I wonder what her complaint is? Unless she's just trying to get money back after the fact, buyer's remorse?

costumeczar Posted 3 Oct 2011 , 4:21pm
post #22 of 35

You should definitely get more information from her about what she thought she was getting, if she approved the sketch. Could it be that she thought the tiers would be more rotated? Sometimes people don't understand that you can't rotate the tiers all the way around based on the tier sizes.

If the design was what she ordered I wouldn't give any refund. If the sketch shows the tiers more rotated and that's what she's referring to, then I might. I'd have to hear specifically what she said, though.

This kind of thing has happened to me a couple of times, but each time the cake was exactly what they ordered, but it wasn't what they were imagining in their heads. It's like the tv shows where the girl orders her wedding dress, then four months later goes back to get it and doesn't believe that it's the same dress. They've changed what it looks like in their heads, so when they see the real thing it's not what they were visualizing.

cupncake1 Posted 3 Oct 2011 , 5:37pm
post #23 of 35

I wouldnt give a refund, it doesnt help, the only person that wasnt happy with one of my cakes (family of course) was my grandma who asked for a seahawks cake for her husband, she wanted a fondant seagull, I told her a seahawk and seagull are two different things, she laughed and told me to put a seagull anyway, (she has a funny personallity) so I made the seagull and it happend that her son was there when I dropped it off and made fun of the seagull until she got pretty ticked off, I tried to make it right by giving her a dozen of assorted cupcakes (which she loves) but to this day she complains and only remembers "what a terrible job I did on HER cake" and it was a dang $25.00 cake! I would offer 15 to 20% off her next order depending on what she has to say her actual complaint was, the cake is very nice and served it's purpose, if she wasnt happy for some reason shes still going to complain or let her family know she wasnt happy

costumeczar Posted 3 Oct 2011 , 6:34pm
post #24 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupncake1

I wouldnt give a refund, it doesnt help, the only person that wasnt happy with one of my cakes (family of course) was my grandma who asked for a seahawks cake for her husband, she wanted a fondant seagull, I told her a seahawk and seagull are two different things, she laughed and told me to put a seagull anyway, (she has a funny personallity) so I made the seagull and it happend that her son was there when I dropped it off and made fun of the seagull until she got pretty ticked off, I tried to make it right by giving her a dozen of assorted cupcakes (which she loves) but to this day she complains and only remembers "what a terrible job I did on HER cake" and it was a dang $25.00 cake!




I can totally imagine that one of my grandmothers would do this kind of thing...Bitter, bitter memoires that are never her fault icon_wink.gif

BizCoCos Posted 3 Oct 2011 , 7:29pm
post #25 of 35

I saw the picture of the cake and I would talk to the people at the venue; they accepted the cake, yes, I understand they had to if they wanted a cake, but it seems to me that they either jostled it and caused the layers to fall or dropped it a short distance. As another member said, it is buckled on one side and the fondant looks as if they attempted to recut or replace it since it is unevenly cut on the tiers? Definitely, I would talk to the venue people and see what occurred.

Annabakescakes Posted 4 Oct 2011 , 2:12am
post #26 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by cupncake1

I wouldnt give a refund, it doesnt help, the only person that wasnt happy with one of my cakes (family of course) was my grandma who asked for a seahawks cake for her husband, she wanted a fondant seagull, I told her a seahawk and seagull are two different things, she laughed and told me to put a seagull anyway, (she has a funny personallity) so I made the seagull and it happend that her son was there when I dropped it off and made fun of the seagull until she got pretty ticked off, I tried to make it right by giving her a dozen of assorted cupcakes (which she loves) but to this day she complains and only remembers "what a terrible job I did on HER cake" and it was a dang $25.00 cake!



I can totally imagine that one of my grandmothers would do this kind of thing...Bitter, bitter memoires that are never her fault icon_wink.gif




Costumeczar, I think we must be related! That sounds exactly like my own mother. Oh, the stories I could tell! Bitter, bitter, hateful woman...she has been picked on since she was born, she was even writing a book about about it icon_confused.gif Thank God she doesn't finish anything!

costumeczar Posted 4 Oct 2011 , 10:58am
post #27 of 35

Meh...some people just like to complain and stew in their own juices. Let them.

l_rock Posted 5 Oct 2011 , 4:52am
post #28 of 35

still waiting to hear from client - after leaving enough messages and emails to border on stalking.
so i called the venue today to see if they could shed any light on the subject......turns out that she is doing the same thing with them. pulled the manager aside on the night claiming that the room was "not what she was expecting and would speak with him the next day to find out what he was going to do about it" then sent them an email claiming that the room wasn't what she had requested and wanted to know what their refund policy was.
after talking to the venue manager - its clear to me that she thinks that she can recoupe some of her wedding budget. i'll still hear her out when/if i ever get in contact with her... but at the moment i'm putting this down to a learning experience

Annabakescakes Posted 5 Oct 2011 , 5:38am
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by l_rock

still waiting to hear from client - after leaving enough messages and emails to border on stalking.
so i called the venue today to see if they could shed any light on the subject......turns out that she is doing the same thing with them. pulled the manager aside on the night claiming that the room was "not what she was expecting and would speak with him the next day to find out what he was going to do about it" then sent them an email claiming that the room wasn't what she had requested and wanted to know what their refund policy was.
after talking to the venue manager - its clear to me that she thinks that she can recoupe some of her wedding budget. i'll still hear her out when/if i ever get in contact with her... but at the moment i'm putting this down to a learning experience




Oh wow! She used the same line on him??? What a tool!

Foxicakes Posted 5 Oct 2011 , 6:40am
post #30 of 35

PLEASE DON'T BE OFFENDED by what I'm about to say. I've looked at your photos of your other cakes and they are all done beautifully!! That being said, I'm sure I won't be popular on the forum for this, but...I don't think I would have been happy with the cake either. To me, it DOES look a little "off". The center tier is smooshed a little on the right hand bottom side and IMO I think that the fondant ribbons on the presents could have been done a little differently. I understand that she wanted them "off-set" but somehow it just doesn't look right.
However, if and when you do get to speak to the bride and she doesn't bring up the middle tier issue, I certainly wouldn't. If all she has to say is "It's not what I was expecting" and you DID make the cake according to the sketch that you provided her, I wouldn't refund her at all. ESPECIALLY after hearing that she pulled the same thing with the venue!! I agree that sometimes people think about things so much in their heads and have these grand visions that they get disappointed when things don't look exactly to them as their own elaborate visions do.
Either way, good luck and we'd love to hear how it turns out...

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