First Complaint

Decorating By SweetShop5 Updated 21 Nov 2014 , 4:15pm by cakeladywalker

SweetShop5 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 8:37pm
post #1 of 49

Hi guys,

 

After 2 years of successful business, we received our first complaint. Let me start off my explaining the story. We made the wedding cake below for a bride, and we delivered it ourselves to the venue. This is a picture taken at the venue after we delivered it. Everything was perfect. 

 

 

 

The bride had called us just a couple of hours before the wedding saying the color on the flower petals didn't match her wedding colours. We then informed her we could make arrangements later.

 

We received a phone call from the coordinator saying the rose petals started melting after they removed it from the fridge. We then explained that we are not responsible for whatever happens after we deliver the cake, and that there must have been a problem with the temperature in the fridge.

 

The next day we received the email below. 

 

 

 

Quote:

 

Just wanted to let you know that the cake really didn't turn out as expected.  The ribbon was white instead of purple, the flower pedals were air brush pink instead of purple and in addition the flower pedals all melted to the bottom of the cake. With many people telling me that the pedals melted do to weather conditions in which the cake was transported as the room itself was well air conditioned. I have pictures of the above and of the cake melting which I can send to you. I am currently on vacation and will be returning in one weeks time. Overall, I'm a dissatisfaction customer and had I known the outcome, I would of looked at more expensive options in order to avoid this resolution. This day was extremely important as I'm only getting married once and as a result my standards are high. I will leave it in your hands to suggest what type of compensation would be appropriate in this situation. Owning my own business I have a strong appreciation for customer satisfaction. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

What would you suggest we should do?

48 replies
-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 8:44pm
post #2 of 49

Aa few questions -- are the colors correct or not -- and what did you mean by "make arrangements later" to correct the color of the flowers a few hours before the reception--

how far in advance was this delivered and why--

did you know they were going to fridge it?

SweetShop5 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 8:49pm
post #3 of 49

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

a few questions -- are the colors correct or not and why did you not fix them as you stated on the phone call--

how far in advance was this delivered and why--

did you know they were going to fridge it?

 

We had bought purple dust specifically for the cake, but when applied it turned into pink/purple. As arrangements, we meant a partial refund. We couldn't go to the venue and dust the petals again because it would go all over the cake.

 

We delivered the cake at 9am, she said it was the earliest we could be there so we decided to go at that time.

 

Yes, we knew they were going to put it in the fridge. 

 

We had done the exact same cake last weekend, and the cake was put in the fridge and then taken outside in 30 degree celcius weather for the ceremony, and nothing happened to the cake.

Cakespirations Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 8:56pm
post #4 of 49

Just curious, what were the petals made of?

SweetShop5 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 8:56pm
post #5 of 49

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cakespirations 
 

Just curious, what were the petals made of?

 

Gumpaste

klan30 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:04pm
post #6 of 49

Do you have the photos the bride took of the cake?

SweetShop5 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:07pm
post #7 of 49

Quote:

Originally Posted by klan30 
 

Do you have the photos the bride took of the cake?

Nope, weirdly she never sent them.

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:11pm
post #8 of 49

AWas the cake left in a box to protect it from the moisture in the fridge?

wow I hate that this happened to you and your cake-- if the cake was left unprotected and you knowing it was gonna be fridged-- i think a major refund should be issued -- me, i would refund 100% on that

VanillaSky Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:15pm
post #9 of 49

AWhat about the ribbon borders? Were they supposed to be white or purple?

SweetShop5 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:18pm
post #10 of 49

Quote:

Originally Posted by VanillaSky 

What about the ribbon borders? Were they supposed to be white or purple?

We had understood white, its what we had in our notes, but from this email seems like she wanted purple.

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:23pm
post #11 of 49

but i'd really want to see those pictures first -- 

 

your cake is lovely -- nothing doubting-- but even the slightest bit of moisture difference in the gum paste and in the fridge and in the atmosphere -- a perfect storm --

 

in your photo the petals do look a bit limp so if if it did encounter the perfect storm... but i'd totally wait to see the photos

SweetShop5 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:26pm
post #12 of 49

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

but i'd really want to see those pictures first -- 

 

your cake is lovely -- nothing doubting-- but even the slightest bit of moisture difference in the gum paste and in the fridge and in the atmosphere -- a perfect storm --

 

in your photo the petals do look a bit limp so if if it did encounter the perfect storm... but i'd totally wait to see the photos

But we made the same exact cake last weekend, everything was done the same way. The cake was delivered by us, put in the fridge, to the be taken out in 30 degree Celsius weather and nothing happened to the cake. Thats why I'm a little confused with the situation.

 

They might look limp, but I can assure you the petals were rock hard. They would shatter if dropped.

VanillaSky Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:29pm
post #13 of 49

AThe cake is beautiful by the way.

My two cents (and this is truly how much the advice is worth):

1. Petals. Color is important for wedding cakes. The purple fading to pink is understandable and now you know that purple has the tendency to fade. You were already thinking of rebating X%, so you know a partial refund is called for this mistake.

2. Ribbons. Your error here may have been in not writing down the brides choices somewhere besides your notes. If you don't have a record or receipt of color and design choices that you gave her or that she gave you, you lose this battle, even if the bride said white originally. I'd refund 25% for this mistake because again color is important as is giving the bride what she requested.

3. Melting. I'd ask to see the pics. She should provide them. But I think based on 1 and 2 she is looking at a pretty big refund. If her cake was damaged and melted in the pics she provides , unless you can show it was clearly someone else's fault, I'd be thinking full refund or, if the damage was minimal and the cake still looked good, at least 50-75%. Because the mistakes you made in 1 and 2 make it hard to argue you were faultless in 3 - even if you were.

And I'd chalk this one up to experience.

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:31pm
post #14 of 49

Quote:

Originally Posted by SweetShop5 
 

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

but i'd really want to see those pictures first -- 

 

your cake is lovely -- nothing doubting-- but even the slightest bit of moisture difference in the gum paste and in the fridge and in the atmosphere -- a perfect storm --

 

in your photo the petals do look a bit limp so if if it did encounter the perfect storm... but i'd totally wait to see the photos

But we made the same exact cake last weekend, everything was done the same way. The cake was delivered by us, put in the fridge, to the be taken out in 30 degree Celsius weather and nothing happened to the cake. Thats why I'm a little confused with the situation.

 

They might look limp, but I can assure you the petals were rock hard. They would shatter if dropped.

 

it could be the lighting in the photograph -- 

 

was this other cake to the same venue and fridge? i ask just because there's different moisture content in fridges --

 

and that's why you need her photos too

SweetShop5 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:33pm
post #15 of 49

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

 

it could be the lighting in the photograph -- 

 

was this other cake to the same venue and fridge? i ask just because there's different moisture content in fridges --

 

and that's why you need her photos too

Different venues and different fridges.

 

But the temperature of the fridge is beyond our control, they told us they would take care of the cake and put it in the fridge.

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:43pm
post #16 of 49

Quote:

Originally Posted by SweetShop5 

 

Different venues and different fridges.

 

But the temperature of the fridge is beyond our control, they told us they would take care of the cake and put it in the fridge.

 

 

 

yes i agree that fridges are out of our control and because fridge issues* are out of our control we do what we can to control what we can which is box the fragile cake to protect it from it's harsh environment -- nobody will take care of the cake for us the way it should be done -- we have to do all their thinking for them --

 

* if they set it near smelly fish or cut onions, a leaking condenser, if they park it on a recently hot stove top so they can get their shrimp in the there -- you never know -- if it gets poked --

 

i usually delivered 2 hours in advance of the reception-- 

SweetShop5 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:45pm
post #17 of 49

Quote:

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

yes i agree that fridges are out of your control and because fridge issues* are out of your control you do what you can to control what you can which is box the fragile cake to protect it from it's harsh environment -- nobody will take care of the cake for you the way it should be done -- you have to do all their thinking for them --

 

* if they set it near cut onions, a leaking condenser, if they park it on a recently hot stove top so they can get their shrimp in the there -- you never know -- if it gets poked --

 

i usually delivered 2 hours in advance of the reception-- 

Ok. Thanks for the advice.

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:54pm
post #18 of 49
and don't let it get you down -- part of doing business -- wait for her pictures 'cause she needs to provide them to prove her case -- do you know the dj or florist or anyone else at the venue you could call and inquire as to what they observed?
 
you are only 17, 18? you're a rock star! 
SweetShop5 Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 9:57pm
post #19 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

It's a little disappointing but it happens, and yes, I'm 18. Thank you very much :)

 

Yeah, her best friend was actually at the wedding, and wanted to order the same exact wedding cake for her wedding in August, thats why I'm thinking the cake couldn't have been as bad as she's making it sound like.

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 10:05pm
post #20 of 49
Quote:

Originally Posted by SweetShop5 

It's a little disappointing but it happens, and yes, I'm 18. Thank you very much :)

 

Yeah, her best friend was actually at the wedding, and wanted to order the same exact wedding cake for her wedding in August, thats why I'm thinking the cake couldn't have been as bad as she's making it sound like.

 

the plot thickens!

-K8memphis Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 10:21pm
post #21 of 49

so did you pop the picture on your way to the fridge with it? because if later on it came out of the fridge and was placed in front of that window and the sun was streaming through it would condense more -- just a thought -- but since your friend wants one like it -- it must have dried off by then --

FioreCakes Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 11:06pm
post #22 of 49

I just want to make sure you understand what may have happened to prevent future mistakes. Our fridges at home are usually low moisture, therefore, gumpaste does fine in home fridges. Refrigeraters at restaurants and bakeries do not contain a moisture trap and they will definitely wilt gumpaste. I would be surprised if the client knew this was a possibility if it didn't really happen. I am convinced she is telling the truth, so I would protect your reputation (because you make a beautiful cake) and just give her the refund and like others said, take it as a learned lesson. 

morganchampagne Posted 17 Jul 2014 , 11:21pm
post #23 of 49

ADidn't know that about commercial fridges. Duly noted!

maybenot Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 12:09am
post #24 of 49

Yep, commercial fridges are very wet vs. home fridges which are very dry.

 

I have no problem envisioning how bad the cake might have looked when taken into warm room:cry:

 

As for the colors, those are big issues that should have been nailed down before making the cake.

 

I think a nice refund is in order here.

cai0311 Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 2:21pm
post #25 of 49

A

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetShop5 

 

We had bought purple dust specifically for the cake, but when applied it turned into pink/purple. As arrangements, we meant a partial refund. We couldn't go to the venue and dust the petals again because it would go all over the cake.

 

We delivered the cake at 9am, she said it was the earliest we could be there so we decided to go at that time.

Is there a reason you delivered the cake so early? I understand according to the venue you could come as early as 9 am, but why did you decide to go that route instead of waiting closer to the reception time so the venue didn't have to store the cake in the fridge?

I deliver all my cakes 2 hours before the reception starts. That way I can set up the cake up on the cake table and it stays there until cut and served. If the ceremony is at the same location as the reception, then delivery is 2 hours before the ceremony. If that is the case and the cake will be out for a long time I tell the bride she can't have any filling that will require refrigeration.

As for the petal dust, once you put it on the petals and saw the color was pink/purple and not just purple (which would have been on the first petal) you should have stopped and purchased purple petal dust. Because in that picture the color looks pink. I think that should be a 50% refund.

I have the bride supply the ribbon that way the color is exactly what she wants. This also makes sure I don't put the wrong color ribbon on the cake.

cai0311 Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 2:23pm
post #26 of 49

AI don't know what my above post looks like the entire post is a quote. Only the top couple lines is a quote. The rest is my response.

SweetShop5 Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 2:48pm
post #27 of 49

Quote:

Originally Posted by cai0311 

I don't know what my above post looks like the entire post is a quote. Only the top couple lines is a quote. The rest is my response.

To answer your questions, we delivered in early because we had other places to be which we had explained to her during the meeting. As for the dust, it was too late, they dont sell purple dust where we live so we had to order it online. Guess we should have done it earlier and tested it out.

-K8memphis Posted 18 Jul 2014 , 2:55pm
post #28 of 49

Ayou can get some colored chalk (not oil chalk just plain old colored chalk) and scrape it off with a razor and mix it in to make your color-- nice to have on hand as insurance -- I've dropped those dang little jars before --

please post when she coughs up the pictures

SugaredSaffron Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 9:48am
post #29 of 49

I would not recommend putting cakes in the fridge at the venue. So many problems can arise from putting the cake in the fridge and I personally don't think it's fair to wash your hands of what happens after you leave IF you're letting them keep it there. Venues say they will take care of everything so don't trust them too much, they don't know what temp to set the fridge to make sure your cake isn't a melty mess

And how late did you discover that the flower petals were not going to be the right colour? It looks like she wanted them graduated but could you have not coloured some gumpaste a pale purple instead? The cake is 100% beautiful but it would have made more sense to have the flower graduating from white to purple, even if the petals are not individually graduated. Purple is not pink so if it was my wedding I would have been miffed about that too.

Claire138 Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 3:09pm
post #30 of 49

I haven't much to add to any of the above, I agree with it all (I'm a big no no for cakes in fridges) I just wanted to say that the cake is beautiful, so classy and clean.

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