Unhappy Customer

Decorating By jnwoods386 Updated 14 Jul 2014 , 7:51pm by DeniseNH

jnwoods386 Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 10:20pm
post #1 of 28

AI made this cake for a customer today and she was completely upset and unhappy with it. She had sent me a pic of a cake and I felt that I duplicated it as much as I could. I offered to give her the money back and however she told me to give her half payment. Her complaint was that the color was all wrong. I tried to to explain to her that it's not possible to duplicate a cake from someone else exactly. What do you all think? The cake price was $100 and I gave her $60 back. [IMG ALT=""]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3262259/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

27 replies
jnwoods386 Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 10:22pm
post #2 of 28
icer101 Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 10:24pm
post #3 of 28

Hi, your cake is beautiful. Sorry, you did not charge her more than a $100.00. She had nothing to complain about.

kakeladi Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 10:34pm
post #4 of 28

Yes, the color is wrong.  I don't think I would have refunded that much but chalk this up to a learning time.  You could have made the blue darker and they probably would have been very satisfied.

TheItalianBaker Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 10:36pm
post #5 of 28

AIm sorry but I totally see why she is upset, it's a completly different cake due of the color! ..even if it was incredible cheap! How did you price it only $100?!

as you wish Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 10:47pm
post #6 of 28

AHonestly, at first glance I thought it was a cake for a baby boy. I understand that it is difficult to match a colour exactly, but that isn't even close. Did she want the stripes to be the way you did them, or was she expecting them like in the picture? Because that is a very different look and feel from what she sent you. I think a full refund was fitting, but if she was happy with partial then I guess that's what you do!

jnwoods386 Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 10:47pm
post #7 of 28

AI only charge 100 becauseI've only been baking a year

-K8memphis Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 11:02pm
post #8 of 28

two ideas to minimize/eliminate issues like this:

  • maybe present a sketch of your plan before sealing the deal --
  • or just tell them you're picking the colors and a similar design -- nothing is exact -- if they want a steal of a deal they get it your way -- that you use the picture as a suggestion of decor nothing is absolute -- either way make it clear so this doesn't happen again

 

the pinstripes represent their uniforms -- that color blue is not difficult to make -- royal blue + black --

 

although she stole home plate with paying $100 for a three tier cake then getting $60 back -- dang you got skewered on this one -- like you didn't know already but i'm just commiserating w/you --

 

plan better -- charge more -- you're on the fast track to burn out --

 

best to you

MimiFix Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 11:47pm
post #9 of 28

Sorry this happened, but I'm glad you gave her a refund. If you're going to continue in business it's important to deliver a quality product. And remember that excellent customer service is critical; your competitors are only one Facebook page away.   

gatorcake Posted 12 Jul 2014 , 11:55pm
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnwoods386 

I made this cake for a customer today and she was completely upset and unhappy with it. She had sent me a pic of a cake and I felt that I duplicated it as much as I could. I offered to give her the money back and however she told me to give her half payment. Her complaint was that the color was all wrong. I tried to to explain to her that it's not possible to duplicate a cake from someone else exactly. What do you all think? The cake price was $100 and I gave her $60 back.
 

 

While you have a point that it is difficult to copy someone else's cake exactly unfortunately that does not address her concern. It is clear from the photo she sent you that she wanted a Yankee's themed cake. Central to any sports team is their colors and their logos. When I first glanced at the cake I thought hrmm Carolina blue (UNC Chapel Hill). Then I noted the Yankee's logo, at that moment I thought there was a significant disconnect between the theme and the color palette (this was confirmed when you posted the image of the cake she wanted). If you are going to take a job for a cake for a sports team you have to be able to replicate the colors--you may not get it the exact shade (the shade of your blue is not close), but it should be close. When the client sees the cake they should think yeah this is Yankee blue or Carolina blue or Blue Devil blue. Coming up with something "close" is not going to cut it even if you execute every other part of the design exactly. Her complaint is quite valid. 

pastrypet Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 12:21am
post #11 of 28

And the pin stripes are important. The customer didn't want picket fence stripes.

morganchampagne Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 12:58am
post #12 of 28

ARaise. Your. Prices. Doesn't matter if you wouldn't have executed this cake perfectly. You still would not have made much money on it, if any at all.

If you don't feel confident enough in your skills to raiSe your prices, I would close temporarily until you do.

****Of course it does matter if you execute a cake perfectly, but you already got advice on that part.

cakesbycathy Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 1:00am
post #13 of 28

While I agree you can't copy another cake design exactly, in this case your cake did not really come close to her pic at all.  I can see why she was upset.  You did the right thing by refunding her the money.

Norasmom Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 1:41am
post #14 of 28

For 100 bucks what the bleep did she want ???

 

When you don't charge enough you are saying you are not up to snuff.  The color is completely wrong but you made a beautiful cake otherwise.    Next time charge  WAYYYYY more and make a perfect cake.  Like, as in, $250 more or so, which is what that cake should cost (proper color, of course).  The picture is dark blue, although you cannot get 100% matches on color it's possible to get close enough.  You have learned a lot from this.

 

Don't get too down about it, you have talent.  I'm a Red Sox fan so I don't like the cake in any color :-D

costumeczar Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 1:45am
post #15 of 28

Your cake isn't bad, but it also isn't at all like the original. if she wanted the original it isn't what she got, so you were right to give her a refund.

cakesbycathy Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 1:49am
post #16 of 28

So what if the client HAD paid $250?

 

While I agree the cake is totally underpriced (and that could be a whole separate thread!), it doesn't matter.  The cake the client received is not like the cake the client wanted.  Do I think it's a nice cake?  Sure.  But it has some flaws and not just the color.  I still think the client got a steal at $100 (and really $40 after the refund) but in the end the client didn't get what she wanted and the decorator is responsible.

Norasmom Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 2:45am
post #17 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by cakesbycathy 
 

So what if the client HAD paid $250?

 

While I agree the cake is totally underpriced (and that could be a whole separate thread!), it doesn't matter.  The cake the client received is not like the cake the client wanted.  Do I think it's a nice cake?  Sure.  But it has some flaws and not just the color.  I still think the client got a steal at $100 (and really $40 after the refund) but in the end the client didn't get what she wanted and the decorator is responsible.

of course.  That's why her next cake should be perfect and she can charge her worth.

morganchampagne Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 4:32am
post #18 of 28

AFor what it's worth, I showed this to a completely non cake person. They really got stuck on that color difference. And they even said they liked your cake but it wasn't Yankee blue. So now you know :). Good on you for just giving a refund and not quibbling with the customer. At least you can be known as a person who they won't have to fight for a refund. That goes a long way

costumeczar Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 1:26pm
post #19 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by morganchampagne 

For what it's worth, I showed this to a completely non cake person. They really got stuck on that color difference. And they even said they liked your cake but it wasn't Yankee blue. So now you know icon_smile.gif.

Very true...when you do sports cakes you need to really make sure that the colors are right. If someone is enough of a fan that they want a cake with their team on it, it can throw them into a tizzy if you accidentally put their enemy team's colors on it. Especially for colleges, so many of them have similar colors, if you don't get it right they'll have a little hissy fit.

MBalaska Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 7:05pm
post #20 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
Very true...when you do sports cakes you need to really make sure that the colors are right. If someone is enough of a fan that they want a cake with their team on it, it can throw them into a tizzy if you accidentally put their enemy team's colors on it. Especially for colleges, so many of them have similar colors, if you don't get it right they'll have a little hissy fit.

 

Isn't that pretty true for anything that is well established, well known, or has a big fan base.

A company logo, a cartoon character, or a sports team.

MimiFix Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 7:32pm
post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MBalaska 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 
Very true...when you do sports cakes you need to really make sure that the colors are right. If someone is enough of a fan that they want a cake with their team on it, it can throw them into a tizzy if you accidentally put their enemy team's colors on it. Especially for colleges, so many of them have similar colors, if you don't get it right they'll have a little hissy fit.

 

Isn't that pretty true for anything that is well established, well known, or has a big fan base. A company logo, a cartoon character, or a sports team.

 

Yes, quite true, but sports fanatics have a certain, um, reputation :roll: 

costumeczar Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 1:17am
post #22 of 28

A

Original message sent by MimiFix

[SIZE=14px]Yes, quite true, but sports fanatics have a certain, um, reputation :roll:  [/SIZE]

Yeah, they'll lose it if you make the colors too close to their rival teams!

cakefat Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 3:43am
post #23 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by jnwoods386 

I made this cake for a customer today and she was completely upset and unhappy with it. She had sent me a pic of a cake and I felt that I duplicated it as much as I could. I offered to give her the money back and however she told me to give her half payment. Her complaint was that the color was all wrong. I tried to to explain to her that it's not possible to duplicate a cake from someone else exactly. What do you all think? The cake price was $100 and I gave her $60 back.
 

 

I think that you should have given her a refund because the colors/design are nothing like what she ordered/wanted. Getting the color somewhere close to Yankee blue is nothing at all like what you're claiming above- that you can't possibly duplicate a cake. That's a really weak excuse and has nothing to do with getting the color close to being right. 

 

Also,  you're like the cheap FB cake maker now (how much 4 dis?). On the other hand, a 3 tier cake for $100, you do get what you pay for.  

 

In the end, you did this cake for $40-  you paid her so you could make this cake for her- and one that she wasn't even happy with.

 

IMO, You shouldn't really be in 'business' yet, you're not ready skill wise (cake decorating and math skills). 

AZCouture Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 3:53pm
post #24 of 28

AHow much 4 dis? Ha ha....ugh, yes. Delete!

Claire138 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 6:58pm
post #25 of 28

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

Very true...when you do sports cakes you need to really make sure that the colors are right. If someone is enough of a fan that they want a cake with their team on it, it can throw them into a tizzy if you accidentally put their enemy team's colors on it. Especially for colleges, so many of them have similar colors, if you don't get it right they'll have a little hissy fit.

 

I also agree with this, I do a lot of football themed cakes (soccer for the Americans on here) and I once had a women who ordered a cake for her sons birthday (PSG T-shirt) who must have called me 20 times to make sure the colour would be exact. I had done plenty in the past but she felt that the colour had not been exact in those cakes and she wanted to make sure it would be exactly as the team colours. I actually appreciated her calling bc I was so worried that I went a tad overboard with the colouring but it turned out perfectly and she was thrilled.

aneal Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 7:19pm
post #26 of 28

AThe cake is beautiful but the color is way off. I can't beleive you only charged $100 dollars but do understand because you are just starting out. I would gave her a refund but it would not have been $60 dollars. Keep up the good work and try and price your cakes accordingly.

MimiFix Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 7:38pm
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

How much 4 dis?

 

That's exactly what I thought when the OP wrote, "I only charge 100 because I've only been baking a year." The cake was nice but had a few problems. There's a disconnect between running a quality business and selling practice-level cakes. It hurts everyone but it's not acknowledged by everyone. 

DeniseNH Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 7:51pm
post #28 of 28

Make sure to ask about the colors specifically.  If she sent you the photo then you should have followed the color exactly.  If no photo then insist on a color sample.  Your cake looks like a baby shower cake - not for a 60 year old and hers could pass for a teens or adult cake.  Also the top tier is a bit lumpy under the fondant but I agree with the others, it's a great cake for that price.  And I'm very happy she settled on half off.  We all feel your pain cuz we've all been in your shoes.

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