An Example Of Walking Away With The Cake

Business By costumeczar Updated 22 Feb 2012 , 6:06am by lorieleann

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 1:52am
post #1 of 48

I know that there have been situations where we've talked about whether you'd actually go through with taking a cake if the client didn't comply with the terms of the contract, or for whatever reason...Here's what happened to me today.

A woman ordered a phantom of the opera themed quince cake, and I sent sketches that she chose from. I delivered exactly what she wanted, down to the refusal of any color on it other than hot pink and black. I had suggested gold candles for it but she said no gold,only hot pink and black. She had come for a tasting and I showed her how tall the cake would be using dummies.

So I set it up, left the restaurant, which was also decorated in hot pink and black with lots of bows tied to the back of chairs, and left. I got a call from her about 40 minutes later and she was ranting, this isn't what I wanted, blah blah blah.

I was genuinely confused because I'd done exactly the design that she approved. I told her that she chose the design, I delivered exactly what she chose, and she says "well, i wish that you had sent a picture so I could see it." Which I told her was what I did with the sketch. So after she railed into me for a while I still didn't know what she was upset about because she was all over the place. She said she didn't want that cake, so I told her that I would come pick it up and give her all of her money back, because although I usually wouldn't do that I could tell that she wasn't going to be straight with me and I wasn't going to play with her. She said that she'd go get a cake from somewhere else.

I told her that if she didn't want it, to have the staff take the cake out of sight and I would pick it up and give her the money back. She didn't know what to say to that, I think that she wanted me to give her a refund and still keep the cake. So she said okay then hung up on me.

So I got down there and the party was already going on. The mom came out and the complaints started with the cake wasn't tall enough (I showed her how tall it would be with dummies at the tasting appt.) So then it changed to it wasn't what I expected. I told her I checked the sketch before I came out and it was exactly what she ordered.

So then it changed to the cake is falling apart, so I went to look at it. They had shoved a bunch of roses into each corner of the cake, and then said that one of the corners was messed up. I told them that I couldn't tell what was going on with the flowers and they tried to say that I was blaming them for it, I said no, I just couldn't see the corner because of the flowers. Then they complained that the lace wrap on it wasn't one piece with the cake. I said that they're two separate pieces, so they moved on to the top tier wasn't sunken into the next one. I told them about dowels and said that it isn't supposed to be sunken in, so they moved on to say that you could see that the fondant candles had been inserted into the cake. Uhm yeah....

So they said that they wanted half of the amount back. I told them based on what they were complaining about I'd give them $50 but the flaws-that-were-not-flaws didn't justify half of the money back (we're talking $300.) And then they started talking in Spanish...and they apparently didn't know that I understand Spanish. So after I listened to the "how much can we get out of her?" conversation for a while, the mom told me that it was the qualtiy of the work they were mad about.

I told them that based on what I'd seen there was nothing wrong with it, and that I'd give her $50, or the whole amount and I'd take the cake with me. So the dad starts in about "is this the quality that your business is happy with?"I told him yes, it was, and that if he wanted the full refund I had the check ready, and that I had someone else who would be happy to get the cake lined up already. He said "those are the two options then?" and I said $50 and keep the cake, full refund and I take it.

So back to Spanish they went, talking about would I really take it or not. So the dad said fine, we'll go get sheet cakes from somewhere and stomped off. I gave the mom the check and told them that we needed to get the manager to get the cake. By the way, the mom had told me that the staff at the restuarant had said that the cake was really bad.

So the manager came out with the cake, and he said to me "She didn't like it?" like he hadn't heard anything bad about it yet. I told him it was what she'd ordered but she wasn't happy so I gave her a refund. He said "sorry about that." I wanted to tell him that he'd better watch out because she was probably going to be calling and complaining about something about the resturant tomorrow.

The best part is that they picked the cake up and carried it out in front of all of their guests, who were probably wondering why the cake was leaving. And who will be enjoying a Walmart sheet cake later.

So I took it to the Ronald McDonald house downtown, and they were very happy to get it. He said that they'd take whatever their guests didn't eat to the hospital for the nurses. Then he asked if I'd be willing to do the cake for their fundraiser auction they have every year. They didn't seem happy with the cake from last year, so if I can get in on that good for me! I'll just have to watch out for bad reviews that they'll inevitably post online, oh well.

That was my super-fun evening icon_rolleyes.gif

47 replies
LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 1:58am
post #2 of 48

Wow. That is so crazy. What a bunch of jerks!

skeet1zp Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:07am
post #3 of 48

WOW! I am sorry that happened to you. LOVE that you speak spanish and understood the game that they tried to run on you. GOOD for you.

KoryAK Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:15am
post #4 of 48

OMG! I'm glad that happened to you not me! Interesting read (you know we all love these stories) and kudos to you for keeping your head and sticking to your guns (not that I expected anything less!) icon_smile.gif

karukaru Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:17am
post #5 of 48

That's crazy! You should have said something in Spanish at the end so they would know you understood everything! Hahaha

mom2twogrlz Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:28am
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by karukaru

That's crazy! You should have said something in Spanish at the end so they would know you understood everything! Hahaha




HAHAHAHAHA!!!! That is what I was thinking!!! Wouldn't that be a hoot!!!!

Glad you stuck to your guns, most decorators wouldn't have. Actually, this is one of the reasons I am hesitant to go into business, I don't want the "bad customers". If my family and friends don't like the cake it's just too bad, it's free!!!!!!!!

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:31am
post #7 of 48

Here's the sketch...
LL

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:33am
post #8 of 48

here's the cake. She denied the red and the gold from the sketch, only wanted pink and black. I left off two roses becasue I figured that would be WAY too much pink, but other than that...whatever. That wasn't even on her list of complaints.
LL

BlakesCakes Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:43am
post #9 of 48

Fantastic!

So glad that you had time to handle such a bunch of wackos and show them that you meant business!

You called their bluff and the RMH won!

You earned a lot of good karma today and I'm sure that it'll pay dividends for you.

My guess is that Papi had a fit with Mami over the price of the cake and she decided to make it her mission to get it for nothing (or next to nothing). He sounds too happy about having to trot out and buy a crappy sheet cake.............but she's probably happy to not have to listen to him kvetch for months about the "$300 dollar *&^%&*$# cake".

I think I'd write them a nice thank you note, hoping they had a wonderful party and telling them how delighted RMH was with the beautiful cake..............

Rae

mommachris Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:46am
post #10 of 48

Although you can understand Spanish, it was definitely to you benefit not to let on.
Once they knew you'd heard them being sneaky...that may have actually poured fire on an already hot situation. Best to keep your cards close to your vest sometimes.
You were smart. If what they were trying to pull had worked don't you know you'd have ended up with all their family as clients.
" Just pitch a fit and she'll cut her prices"
Glad your donation was a double blessing for both you and the Ronald Mcdonald families.

( By the way, I've been a guest in a house like this in the last two years so you really don't know what a kindness you have shown to them. thumbs_up.gif

mommachris

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:46am
post #11 of 48

Looks just like the scetch to me. I saw your post on fb ans was wondering what went down.
good for you, sticking to you guns

metria Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:50am
post #12 of 48

you're my hero! thanks so much for sharing this with us.

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:55am
post #13 of 48

I've never been in the situation of actually walking out with the cake before, but it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

When the guy at the RMH said that they'd give the extra cake that they didn't need to the nurses at the hospital I was sold on plan B. My daughter had surgery last year and the nurses were great...They took some serious crap from some of the doctors and stayed cool, so they deserve cake!

ChilliPepper Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 3:01am
post #14 of 48

Sorry but I would not have been happy with that cake. I know you put a lot of work into it but it looks lopsided and the black bits on the corners don't look good.

Maybe it's the way it's been photographed!

scp1127 Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 3:11am
post #15 of 48

Chil Pepper, that's pretty harsh. Maybe you could give her pointers on how to make copyright/trademark protected cakes. Looks like you do pretty well with them.

I cannot believe that you would criticize one of the members who is one of the most successful and considered an expert in her field nationally. She shares so much with CC members and in no way deserves your abuse.

Yes, the picture is obviously crooked and those "bits" are candles.

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 3:17am
post #16 of 48

That's fine, I know it was straight. The candles on the corners had black chocolate dripping down from the tops, so they're not perfectly straight in the photo, that's the "wax" dripping down them on the sides.

My point is that they kept changing the story about why they were not happy, and that asking for half of the cost of the cake back was excessive. I'm not going to set the precedent of giving in to that, because I don't know who they're sending to me who's going to pull the same thing.

BlakesCakes Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 3:26am
post #17 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I'm not going to set the precedent of giving in to that, because I don't know who they're sending to me who's going to pull the same thing.




Exactly ! Who needs the rep of the caker who caves to complaints and will eagerly hand over half the price just to silence the squeaky wheel................that news would spread like wildfire.

Rae

QTCakes1 Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 3:42am
post #18 of 48

Dude, I think that is so funny you knew Spanish. Two Ba, bams for them. I, for one, am glad you took the cake. Though that pink is crazy looking, that is what they ordered. All I can do is shake my head and take a sip of my wine in your honor. I had a good cake delivery day myself. icon_wink.gif

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 3:47am
post #19 of 48

I don't know if you can see the table runner in the picture, but it was even pinker than the cake. That's the color they had throughout the room. It was a 15-yr-old girl so it made sense in context. icon_rolleyes.gif

abchambers Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 4:01am
post #20 of 48

Glad you stuck to your guns! This story reminds me of when I used to be a server. We had a certain group of people that would ALWAYS come in and by the end of the night they had their whole meal comped and left with a free dessert. They complained that the food was burnt, didn't taste good, didn't taste right, etc etc etc......whatever excuse you could come up with, they had. The problem is, the managers would always comp their meal, so they'd continue to come back and do the same thing over and over.

If you don't nip that kind of behavior in the bud, they'll continue to get away with it. Sounds like they wanted a grand cake, but didn't want to pay for it. Hope they liked their "cheap" sheet cake icon_wink.gif

QTCakes1 Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 4:01am
post #21 of 48

I am not saying the color was off for 15, just that I think it is crazy. That is probably right for 15...though my 15 yr. old is all artsy and probably would think it is too much. I guess I am going off my teenagers. icon_wink.gif

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 4:13am
post #22 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by QTCakes1

I am not saying the color was off for 15, just that I think it is crazy. That is probably right for 15...though my 15 yr. old is all artsy and probably would think it is too much. I guess I am going off my teenagers. icon_wink.gif




no, I thought it was crazy pink too, but she insisted on nothing other than pink and black! that's why I didn't do as many pink roses as in the sketch, one was enough!

@Abchambers, why didn't the managers just ban the freeloaders from the restaurant? I don't get that kind of thing.

QTCakes1 Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 4:31am
post #23 of 48

Dang, all I can think is sheet cakes from Wal-Mart. How tacky is that for a quince!?

mommachris Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 8:04am
post #24 of 48

I may be wrong ( please correct me) but around here different members of the family pay for different things in the party as their gift to the birthday girl. One aunt pays for catering, one for the cake, the God mother will spring for the dress...for example.
If that is the case here, I'll bet there was some explaining to do to the family member that coughed up $300 and ended up eating a grocery store sheet cake.

mommachris

ChilliPepper Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 1:09pm
post #25 of 48

SCP127 - I apologise if you think I was being abusive. I was actually stating an opinion and I stand by it. Not all of our cakes turn out perfect and I always discount if the customer or I am not happy with the finished product.

karukaru Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 1:35pm
post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommachris

I may be wrong ( please correct me) but around here different members of the family pay for different things in the party as their gift to the birthday girl. One aunt pays for catering, one for the cake, the God mother will spring for the dress...for example.
If that is the case here, I'll bet there was some explaining to do to the family member that coughed up $300 and ended up eating a grocery store sheet cake.

mommachris



That is probably not the case. Maybe they do it if they cannot afford the party. where are you located? I'm from Venezuela and live in Miami and I never heard of such a thing. Parents usually pay for the Quinces and it is usually as big as a wedding. In any case, ir sounds like these people are incredibly tacky and had second thoughts about how much money they spent on the cake. I can't imagine them having a nice party and serving sheet cakes! It's crazy, they would be better off serving desserts. I'm glad the poster didn't give in. The people were probably used to do doing this and getting away with so it is great they didn't get their way.

sillywabbitz Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:13pm
post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommachris

I may be wrong ( please correct me) but around here different members of the family pay for different things in the party as their gift to the birthday girl. One aunt pays for catering, one for the cake, the God mother will spring for the dress...for example.
If that is the case here, I'll bet there was some explaining to do to the family member that coughed up $300 and ended up eating a grocery store sheet cake.

mommachris




We call those sponsors or patrons in my family. We're Mexican on my mom's sideicon_smile.gif I've heard of them for weddings as well. I got married late in life so we didn't do them, but I'm pretty sure my parents wedding cost very little to my grandparents. What I really love about it, is the sentiment. I love that one of sisters paid for her bible, her godmother for the dress etc. It just made everything very special.

FYI, to the OP, you are awesome! I am so glad people who appreciated the cake and your work to to enjoy it.

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 2:59pm
post #28 of 48

I was wondering about the sponsor thing too...the mom dragged a guy over to argue with me about it and she said that he was the one who had paid for the cake. I assumed that it was the dad, though. It might have been a family member. He's the one who tried to get insulting when it was clear that I wasn't going to go along with their idea of a discount, and he was he one who told the mom to go get sheet cakes. She said to me "we could go buy sheet cakes somewhere and they would look better than that." so I told her that I'd be glad to refund their money so they could do that, but I would also be taking the cake with me.

I think that they do sponsorships around here, it isn't unusual. I was not going to be a sponsor, though! icon_rolleyes.gif

costumeczar Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 3:02pm
post #29 of 48

Meanwhile I was so p.o'ed last night I didn't get any sleep, and I have a full day of tastings. The last girl who came booked with me, and I was telling her the story about last night. I told her that I wouldn't take her cake away, and she said that if she ever got to the point where she was such a raging freak like those people, she wanted me to take her cake away! thumbs_up.gif

QTCakes1 Posted 19 Feb 2012 , 3:20pm
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChilliPepper

SCP127 - I apologise if you think I was being abusive. I was actually stating an opinion and I stand by it. Not all of our cakes turn out perfect and I always discount if the customer or I am not happy with the finished product.




Chillipepper do not apologize for giving an opinion. You were not rude in it. The funny thing about you saying if you ever have a type of complaint, you give some type of refund, is that Scp has said that is the exact same thing she does, time and time again on here. Doesn't matter if the customer has a valid complaint or not, she refunds. icon_wink.gif

And yes, there are sponsors for everything in a quince, so I wonder how that went over for who ever paid for the cake.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%