I've Done Something Really Stupid, Now What?

Business By karateka Updated 5 Mar 2012 , 6:33pm by karateka

karateka Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 8:20pm
post #1 of 33

I just realized that I booked a wedding that I won't be in town for. These people paid for a second tasting so they could pick flavors. Their wedding planner just booked a HUGE retirement/birthday cake with me. And I won't be back from my cruise until the Sunday AFTER their Friday wedding.

I really thought the cruise was earlier. What am I going to do? This will murder whatever rep I have. icon_cry.gif

32 replies
Toptier Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 8:43pm
post #2 of 33

Maybe you can find someone else in the area to take it on?

Can you reschedule the cruise (drastic I know)?

So sorry -

CreativeCakesbyMichelle Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 8:45pm
post #3 of 33

Do you know any other bakers in your area whose skills are at the same level as yours that could help you out? I don't know if you usually bake ahead and freeze but if so maybe you could bake and freeze, maybe even make frostings and fillings ahead of time, so that the other baker would just be assembling and decorating.

That way since the couple has already had and paid for 2 tastings with you they would still be getting the same cake and stuff. And you could work out something between you and the other baker to pay them for their work.

And of course explain to the couple what is going on so it doesn't seem shady. I've never done a wedding cake so I don't know if this would help or even be feasible but this is just what I came up with off the top of my head.

The_Sugar_Fairy Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 8:48pm
post #4 of 33

Hire an employee and do it quickly. Seriously.

karateka Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 9:01pm
post #5 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Sugar_Fairy

Hire an employee and do it quickly. Seriously.




I wouldn't have the faintest idea how to get a qualified decorator hired before then. Plus, they'd be in my house while I'm not there....

I'm too stupid to draw breath.

gigiel Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 9:13pm
post #6 of 33

refund their money for the tasting(s) & explian the situation just as you did up there^. give them your profound apologies & explain that the vacay is already booked. they still have time to look for someone else, explain that to them also. integrity will take care of itself if you let them know the truth.

SammieB Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 9:19pm
post #7 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigiel

refund their money for the tasting(s) & explian the situation just as you did up there^. give them your profound apologies & explain that the vacay is already booked. they still have time to look for someone else, explain that to them also. integrity will take care of itself if you let them know the truth.




Agreed. If you have networked with any other decorators in your area that have cakes with your level of expertise, I would call and check their date availability, maybe explain the situation to them, and possibly refer the bride to them and let her know as of now the date is available.

carmijok Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 9:19pm
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigiel

refund their money for the tasting(s) & explian the situation just as you did up there^. give them your profound apologies & explain that the vacay is already booked. they still have time to look for someone else, explain that to them also. integrity will take care of itself if you let them know the truth.





agreed! thumbs_up.gif

QTCakes1 Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:06pm
post #9 of 33

I know some may not believe this, but I would not be going on that cruise. I agree your rep. is going to be shot on this one. They even paid for a second tasting, so that means they are serious about you doing their cake. I would have to taske the L on the cruise, cause your biz. rep. is always. I know I would be out cruise money, but I would be out a lot more long term on my business reputation.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:19pm
post #10 of 33

Wow... that's a tough one. How far out is this wedding?

I would call your travel agent and see what can be done. Ask if it is it possible to cancel/reschedule the cruise without a huge penalty. I would call, not email, your client right away and let them know that you are extremely sorry for your oversight and that you are trying to see if you can rebook your cruise for another weekend, but it is not likely possible. Let them know that you had it wrong on your calendar and you will help them find another baker that can perform at the same level. Refund them their money for their second tasting and make sure that you let them know how awful you feel. That will go a long way. I know it sucks to be out money that you have earned, but it's well worth it.

We are only human and we make mistakes... ALL of us. They way you handle letting your client know will set the tone for how they feel about from this point on. If you handle it with grace and professionalism you might be able to come away with your reputation fully intact.

aligotmatt Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:21pm
post #11 of 33

I do not think THIS will shoot your whole rep. What I would do if it were me is call around, find at least one, but hopefully 2 other people that are available and comparable in price and skill. Write your regrets, give them their money back, tell them that you have spoken with other people and found people available for their date. No worries.

If someone says something about it, you tell them just that, I made a mistake booked a cake on a week I will be on a cruise, how often does that really happen? once every 6 years?! You'll be fine.

lilmissbakesalot Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:36pm
post #12 of 33

I agree... this won't break you so long as you handle it quickly and professionally.

cakestyles Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:41pm
post #13 of 33

If this is next year I'd reschedule the cruise. What date is it?

I've been on many cruises and it is possible to change the date as long as you're not leaving within the next week.

You may have a penalty charge but it won't be that bad...we've changed dates before when I had a death in my family.

Now if you can't change the date and there's ample time for the bride to find another baker, than I'd just be honest with her about your mistake and refund all monies paid. I'd probably give her a gift certificate for a future order, just to show how sorry I was.

Good luck!

carmijok Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 10:55pm
post #14 of 33

This will not kill your reputation. A mistake was made. It happens. As long as you refund for the tastings and do what you can to help the bride find someone else...even offer to do her anniversary cake for free next year if you feel you must, I doubt seriously anyone is going to go ballistic.

What's she going to say? "That B---had the audacity to refund our money and help us find a new baker for our cake! The nerve of her taking a cruise she had scheduled before our wedding!"

I'm looking on it as a customer. If the baker that did my daughter's wedding cake called profusely apologizing about the mix-up on dates and such and gave us our money back and helped us find someone else to our liking, then I may be disappointed but I'd not try and ruin someone's reputation just because of a scheduling mishap.

karateka Posted 12 Nov 2011 , 11:27pm
post #15 of 33

I am talking to DH about rescheduling. It is within the realm of possibility but we will pay a $130 fee each to change the flight (4 of us going) and my parents, who were coming with, would have to pay to change theirs, too.

Plus, we paid for the cruise with timeshare points so I'm not sure if we can rebook or not. Still checking. I mentioned me not going, but DH mentioned the possibility that we wouldn't have a 21st anniversary if I did that. (I'm sure he was about 50% joking...)

I wonder if I can get another decorator to be my consultant for this order? Yikes, what a hole I dug for myself. icon_redface.gif

LisaPeps Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 12:28am
post #16 of 33

After hearing that it'd cost $520 to change the cruise details, I'd just tell the couple the truth and apologise profusely. Losing that much money, it'd be like making their cake for free twice over! Give them names of decorators in the area who are available on the date. Any reasonably and rationally minded human being would understand that errors happen.

aligotmatt Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 12:42am
post #17 of 33

When is the wedding? I really think you should stop stressing about it, don't change the date of your cruise, she will understand. If you're really questioning it, talk to the planner that she's working with and explain it to them and get their advice on how to handle it. Before going to them, find other decorators that are available.

aligotmatt Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 1:05am
post #18 of 33

to clarify, not advice on whether or not you should change your cruise date, but advice on how to cancel the order.

karateka Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 2:38pm
post #19 of 33

Wedding is late February, 2012. I've got feelers out to 2 decorators I refer to when I'm booked but haven't heard back yet.

This is really eating at me, but I guess I have no choice, I have to cancel. I don't see how I'd have time to vet a decorator to hire as a consultant type employee, considering we are approaching the holidays.

Annabakescakes Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 8:26pm
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

Wedding is late February, 2012. I've got feelers out to 2 decorators I refer to when I'm booked but haven't heard back yet.

This is really eating at me, but I guess I have no choice, I have to cancel. I don't see how I'd have time to vet a decorator to hire as a consultant type employee, considering we are approaching the holidays.




Send them to me! See if they like my work and I will give them a free tasting since they paid for yours. Or you can bake and freeze and I will decorate. I hope you would do the same for me, if you could. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

Taterfink Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 8:39pm
post #21 of 33

If I wanted to release the client from their contract so I could go on the cruise, I'd do as the others have said. I'd be honest, I'd tell them that the date was previously booked (which is true, just not with a cake!) and that I'd made an error in booking their wedding for the same weekend. That I'd located however many other equally talented decorators that have that date open and I'd be ready to supply her with all the contact info.

I would NOT tell them I was going on a cruise.

My point is: They have a right to know basically why you have to back out, they just don't necessarily need ALL the details.

Taterfink Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 8:47pm
post #22 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

Wedding is late February, 2012. I've got feelers out to 2 decorators I refer to when I'm booked but haven't heard back yet.

This is really eating at me, but I guess I have no choice, I have to cancel. I don't see how I'd have time to vet a decorator to hire as a consultant type employee, considering we are approaching the holidays.



Send them to me! See if they like my work and I will give them a free tasting since they paid for yours. Or you can bake and freeze and I will decorate. I hope you would do the same for me, if you could. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif






Anna, I think you deserve something really special in life for making this offer. You ROCK!

SomethingSweetByFlo Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 8:53pm
post #23 of 33

I would deal with this immediately by explaining the situation to your clients. Kindly return their money and refer them to another great baker in your area. You shouldn't put your family on hold for an order. You only live once. Mistakes happen, this won't ruin your biz.

GL I hope you resolve this delimma.

Annabakescakes Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 8:58pm
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taterfink

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

Wedding is late February, 2012. I've got feelers out to 2 decorators I refer to when I'm booked but haven't heard back yet.

This is really eating at me, but I guess I have no choice, I have to cancel. I don't see how I'd have time to vet a decorator to hire as a consultant type employee, considering we are approaching the holidays.



Send them to me! See if they like my work and I will give them a free tasting since they paid for yours. Or you can bake and freeze and I will decorate. I hope you would do the same for me, if you could. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif





Anna, I think you deserve something really special in life for making this offer. You ROCK!




icon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gif haha I just love decorating, it would be nice to not have to bake first!

Thanks

cakesbycathy Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 9:25pm
post #25 of 33

Ok first...deep breath. You made a mistake. It happens.

At this point she still has time to find another decorator. It is a winter wedding so I am betting someone in the area is not going to be booked for the date.

DO NOT try and change the cruise. It is not fair to the rest of your family and does not make sense financially. DO NOT consider not going.

Offer sincere apologies and full refund and the names of other decorators/bakeries that may be able to help her. Throw in some cupcakes as a good will gesture or offer to make a 6" anniversary cake for free.

karateka Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 9:54pm
post #26 of 33

Anna, thank you! I've gotten 2 offers including yours, and I'm going to be speaking with the bride today.

At least this will serve as a huge lesson learned: be much more careful in putting vacations in the calendar. Sigh...


edited to add:

Of course, I'd do the same for you! And I hope I'd be able to help out any decorators around here, if the situation came up.

Spills Posted 13 Nov 2011 , 11:10pm
post #27 of 33

I'm glad things are looking better for your situation now, but I just wanted to add:

Decorating may be the world to a lot of us on here, me included, but I've also found out, you can't postpone your life just for a cake - it may include letting someone down, but what would you rather...letting down someone that you may not know over a cake, or letting down your close friends and family for putting them aside for a cake order.

I've made this mistake and a vow to not do it again - I have a life beyond cake and I would like to share it with my friends and family, not my customers.

Go on your cruise...and don't forget to pack me in your suitcase icon_lol.gif

karateka Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 10:46pm
post #28 of 33

I know it has been a while since my post, but this just came up.

Originally, the bride postponed her wedding until after the cruise (not because of me!) then cancelled it outright. I refunded her $$ because of the original screwup.

Now the groom is emailing me asking if I am free for a wedding reception, same cake and all, on April 20!!!

The only wrinkle is that he is asking if I still have the topper. Which I don't....I don't think it was ever handed over to me. I think the coordinator had it, to get the picture put in and have at the venue for me. But I don't have it. I hope this doesn't become a new problem for me!

My life is so freaking weird.

FullHouse Posted 4 Mar 2012 , 10:56pm
post #29 of 33

I would say their life is weird, needing to change a wedding date 3x's. I hope its not due to illness and, since you mentioned it was the groom looking for the topper, I sure hope its the same bride.

Bridgette1129 Posted 5 Mar 2012 , 2:23am
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullHouse

I sure hope its the same bride.




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