SweetsbyLadawn Posted 20 May 2012 , 10:53am
post #1 of

I dont know what to do. I had my first cake disaster. It is like the movie sceen right before an accident. Yesterday keeps replaying in my head. Three hexagon tiers....ruined! How did this happen??? When I opened my trunck and saw the "cake" I died inside...This is what I do and I messed up, and messed up badly. I dont know what to do. But this is what I did yesterday. People from the hall grabbed a tray and helped me place the "cake" on a tray- what was left of it...I jumped in the car and drove like hell to Sams club I purchased 4 half sheet cakes and two 2 layer 10" rounds....Thankfully I have a DH that was talking me through this madness...I cursed and screamed all while speeding to Michaels to get more specialty ribbon the couple wanted for their "special day"...I convinced a worker to help things go faster by opening another check out line after what seems like a lifetime I grabbed the ribbon and ran! Speeding I drove home my DH helped me grab everything that I needed even making me stop to think about things left behind. I feel terrible...I drive to the hall faster than my GPS anticipated....I go down then up the steep hill that caused the first cakes death finally parking and running to try and not mess up the perfect day of Monica and Bryan. I removed all of the tacky pink and blue borders and flowers that where meant for a birthday or graduation celebration and tried to recreate what took me hours at home the previous days....God what has happened? What went wrong?...What do I give the couple back?....Am I forgetting something I keep asking myself...They wanted specific fillings...I get them in between the cakes. The worker helped me put the two color ribbons together while I focused on the cake...hands work, work, think, think, go, go!! I look at the clock. I finish 15 minutes after the due time. Thankfully only a hand full of folks are in thier seats as I place the non hexagon three tier cakes on the table. I die inside...How much of this couples money do I give back to them...They did not receive the cake that they had planned they received a double half sheet cake with two, two layer ten" cakes.I wait in the back room of the hall (AKA- the new triage work area for sweets by Ladawn) for 61 minutes after the cake was placed waiting for tears, hollering and screams...but nothing....weird...the couple should know the cake on the table isnt a three tier hexagon.....But I should go...I am physically and metally exhausted.....
How much do I give this couple back?....I have to make this right...No email, no call yet from the newly weds...I sit and wait. Today the next morning after this disaster and I have two more cakes due and cant get it together...I am tramatized....

15 replies
karateka Posted 20 May 2012 , 10:58am
post #2 of

Write an apology note and send them 100% refund, no questions asked.

I'm sorry this happened to you. It sounds like you did everything you could to rectify the situation. See what you can learn from this so it isn't a total loss.

MimiFix Posted 20 May 2012 , 11:23am
post #3 of

I'm sorry for your awful experience. And I'm impressed with your resourcefulness. Hopefully, you'll learn why the disaster happened so it won't happen again. But I agree with karateka, the customer should receive a full refund and your apologies.

leah_s Posted 20 May 2012 , 11:27am
post #4 of

Yes, 100% back. Although you saved the situation, you did not provide what was ordered.

I always accepted payments via Paypal. On my one and only non recoverable disaster where the cake had to be replaced, I delivered the replacement , came hone and immediately refunded their entire payment via Paypal so that it was already there waiting for them.

Fortunately for me, the couple was so pleased with the replacement cake that they refused the Paypal refund which sent the money back to me. However, I think part of their acceptance of the situation was my quick refund.

VanillaSky Posted 20 May 2012 , 11:29am
post #5 of

Another baker had the same experience as you in the past two weeks and posted it here - the cake was damaged in transport and she was able to save the bottom tiers. Nearly everyone agreed the bride was entitled to a full refund. I think you should refund the full price to the bride as she did not get the custom cake she requested.

That said, you had the cake decorator's worse nightmare happen to you and you handled it like a pro, putting together a backup cake. I know you feel horrible but that is because you care about your cakes and your customers. (It's when you stop caring that it's time to find another job IMO).

Move on to the next cakes, knowing you are wiser and more experienced.

escaliba1234 Posted 20 May 2012 , 11:30am
post #6 of

I am so sorry for you, too, but you coped brilliantly!
Do you know exactly what happened?

CWR41 Posted 20 May 2012 , 2:38pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetsbyLadawn

When I opened my trunck and saw the "cake" I died inside...




Icing melts around 85 degrees. You can't put a cake in an un-air-conditioned trunk... it melted.

AZCouture Posted 20 May 2012 , 7:16pm
post #8 of

In the trunk???? I hope you just mean the back area, and not literally *the trunk*.

BlakesCakes Posted 20 May 2012 , 8:36pm
post #9 of

Baker's are basically "self-insured". It means that if something goes wrong while the cake is still in your hands or the result of your actions, all of the costs to fix it are on you--in this case replacement of the ruined cake to the best of your ability in the time available (done) AND a full refund (to be done).

Rae

dawnybird Posted 20 May 2012 , 9:32pm

I, too agree with the others - full refund. I think it would be better for you to call and apologize and explain to them rather than wait to see if they call you. Your reputation is everything. I'm so very sorry you had this nightmare. I think it's what we all live in fear of!

SweetsbyLadawn Posted 23 May 2012 , 2:54am

I will replace the cake for a second reception that the couple will be having in June. They understood. I thank God!!!

AMACakes Posted 23 May 2012 , 2:17pm

Disasters happen, it's how you handle them that defines you. You handled it like a pro and probably better than I would have. I'm amazed at your resourcefulness and glad that the bride and groom understood.

cupncake1 Posted 23 May 2012 , 3:56pm

I'm very interested in seeing the patchwork cake if you have a picture? That's crazy, I dont think I could have made that work icon_surprised.gif

jgifford Posted 23 May 2012 , 4:04pm

Every baker's worst nightmare! But you did great. You held it together and remedied the situation. You and your dh are to be congratulated. So glad the newlyweds understood. I haven't had a major disaster happen yet, but I hope I have the presence of mind to handle it as well as you. thumbs_up.gif

Amberwaves Posted 24 May 2012 , 11:49pm

Wow, good job on your professionalism! Accidents happen sometimes and you did a remarkable job of remedying the situation. I am so happy for you that they are OK with you making another reception cake instead!

labelle24 Posted 27 May 2012 , 3:46pm

you poor thing, I know exactly how you feel. This happened to me one time about a year ago, it was a birthday party not a wedding, but I remember the long walk to the front door in tears....and the hour spent "fixing" it in her kitchen while children gathered around me to watch. I joke that I lost 10 years off my life that day. I also refund through paypal immediately, thankfully they were incredibly understanding... I just delivered the cake for this year's birthday party last week (it made it in one piece)

Moral of the story, apologize, do everything in your power to rectify it, and at least your integrity will make it out of the situation intact. I'm happy you too were blessed with understanding clients, I hope you are finally starting to feel better!

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