Wedding Cake Issues And Disagreement.

Decorating By NikkiHino Updated 22 Aug 2014 , 11:13pm by DeniseNH

NikkiHino Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 6:58pm
post #1 of 51

AOkay guys. So I got a last minute request for a wedding cake. Order was placed on Saturday, they picked up today. Cake was 12 inch and 8 inch tiers. So the cake was supposed to be picked up Friday evening. Late Wednesday night, the woman who ordered told me she needed it at 6 pm Thursday. So I was working on it Thursday and seeing where to place the colored roses when I noticed some small tearing on the back and that in two places you could see the cake. Well at this point(145 in afternoon) the woman called and said she was going out to dinner that evening and was on the way to get the cake then. I told her I wasn't ready and needed until the normal time, she said she was on way and needed cake. So with the time crunch I did not have time to take off the fondant and re lay it. So I made a panel, and covered the back and blended it in. You could see a seam around the sides, but I took photos from every side to make sure they did not show. She picked up the cake, looked at it and said it was great and left few hours later she said she found the seam and the entire cake is unpresentable and she wants a refund and is horribly disappointed. She sent me a picture of the seam and the corner, where apparently she tried peeling it off. I feel horrible, but explained everything to her and told her I could not do a refund and that the seam would not show in photos. I am including pictures. She paid $80 for this cake. Opinions?[IMG ALT=""]http://www.cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3275863/width/350/height/700[/IMG] [IMG ALT=""]http://www.cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3275864/width/350/height/700[/IMG] [IMG ALT=""]http://www.cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3275865/width/350/height/700[/IMG] [IMG ALT=""]http://www.cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3275866/width/350/height/700[/IMG] [IMG ALT=""]http://www.cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3275867/width/350/height/700[/IMG]

50 replies
NikkiHino Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 7:00pm
post #2 of 51

AI did not mean to include a picture of the shoe.

Dayti Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 7:17pm
post #3 of 51

This is a tough one. I personally could not let that cake out of my door looking like that. I would have offered to deliver the cake later on at no extra charge, so I could fix it properly (remove fondant, recover, etc). If there was no way you could deliver the cake later on (she lives 2 hours away, you don't have a vehicle, whatever), then I do think some kind of a refund is in order. Cakes are often viewed upon from all angles unfortunately and it is not the customers fault that the fondant cracked, let's be honest. I think you should have pointed out the mistake upon her arriving and try to work out a way to fix it nicely, rather than her having to find out later on.

 

However, since you sold the cake at less than $1 per portion, I'm not sure how much of a refund you should give. I really don't think you will have made much profit on the cake after all the costs involved, including wages for you. Yes, she got a cake, but no, she could not display it proudly.

 

Hopefully more people will stop by and give you an opinion.

NikkiHino Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 7:38pm
post #4 of 51

I did tell her there was a problem and I would deliver it that evening or the next morning, whenever worked, so I could recover and repair. and I could do it in an hour or so. She told me she had an evening planned and was getting the cake then and just fix it. She looked at the cake and said it was good and took it. Then a couple hours later she sent the message saying she found the line and had tried peeling it off. I offered to come get it and recover. But when she told me no. I told her that since she did pay less than a dollar a serving, and that I had offered multiple times to fix it and have it to her by the time she had wanted it originally, there was nothing more I could do.

-K8memphis Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 7:42pm
post #5 of 51

Athis is a little jingle/song we sang incessantly to our kids growing up

"3 little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head, went to the doctor and the doctor said, 'that's what you get for jumping on the bed'"

she ordered late -- she upped the pick up time twice -- she let it sit in her car maybe while she ate out -- I doubt she woulda took it in with her -- haste makes waste -- that what she gets idk -- she accepted it -

honestly I would not have let it go like that in the first place but she took it idk

so are those her pictures? what do your pictures look like back there?

-K8memphis Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 7:51pm
post #6 of 51

Aoh you advised her about it, she took it anyhow, she diddled with it and you offered to fix it and she refused?

"... And the doctor said, 'that's what you get for jumping on the bed!'"

no refund, no mercy --

-K8memphis Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 8:07pm
post #7 of 51

Ahave you done very many fondant cakes? even in the front, the fondant looks rugged

thecakewitch Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 8:15pm
post #8 of 51

Even if your customer has out-of-this-world demands/request, if you agree to it then you have to deliver and provide the customer a professionally made cake. I would have refunded right then when the cake was picked up since you know it has some problems. And it's not the customer's fault that you're selling your cakes less than a $1 per serving.

shanter Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 8:39pm
post #9 of 51

Full refund.

FioreCakes Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 9:04pm
post #10 of 51

If you want to be in business you need to develop a backbone. No bakery lets people pick up their cakes days early unless by some chance they are completed. She pushed you around and now you are paying the price by having your business ill-represented. For the sake of business, refund it, and take it as a lesson learned that a contract is signed with a pick up time and it is up to you and your professional discretion if that can be altered. 

-K8memphis Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 9:21pm
post #11 of 51

Adid she make matters worse by holding it in her car while she had her evening?

Rfisher Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 9:36pm
post #12 of 51

AI think the photographers for the wedding will have pictures that are sharper than yours and they will show the errors. With that said: < $1 a serving, super rush order squared, she got what she paid for. No refund. And not directed at the OP: I am in the minority here in thinking once customers realize a "buyer beware, you get what you pay for" mentality will be beneficial to this industry. As opposed to refunding every order where the customer has unrealistic expectations of an under skilled baker/decorator. I wonder why that is?

ellavanilla Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 9:47pm
post #13 of 51

I am in a mood right now, so I say she's SOL.

 

But you can't let people push you around. If you can't have the cake done early, you just can't. You've got to say no. She bullied you and now she's bullying you again. 

AZCouture Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 10:06pm
post #14 of 51

AThere shouldn't be any unskilled decorators selling, period. Get good, then sell.

Gingerlocks Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 10:24pm
post #15 of 51

I say she got what she paid for..less than $1.00 a serving for a fondant cake! No, it was her own doing..if she wanted a better looking cake then she should have waited until it was done. No refund, in my books. 

FioreCakes Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 11:00pm
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rfisher 

I think the photographers for the wedding will have pictures that are sharper than yours and they will show the errors. With that said:
< $1 a serving, super rush order squared, she got what she paid for. No refund.
And not directed at the OP:
I am in the minority here in thinking once customers realize a "buyer beware, you get what you pay for" mentality will be beneficial to this industry. As opposed to refunding every order where the customer has unrealistic expectations of an under skilled baker/decorator. I wonder why that is?

 

I see your point, teach the customer a lesson. I was giving advice based on the OP fixing her good reputation as a business, if she is in fact a business. 

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

There shouldn't be any unskilled decorators selling, period. Get good, then sell.

yeah, I thought to say the same thing as well. Not being able to make the cake the OP promised is really where the problems started. 

Bunny0410 Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 11:22pm
post #17 of 51

That cake should not of been given to the customer.

 

Time constraints aside, that cake is not at a wedding cake standard.

 

Who orders a wedding cake on the week of the wedding?

cakefat Posted 14 Aug 2014 , 11:48pm
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

There shouldn't be any unskilled decorators selling, period. Get good, then sell.

 

This is the best advice yet.  I can't even think about the issues of this cake (unhappy customer, whether they get a refund or that fact that you have no idea of how to price your cakes yet)

 

OP- what are you doing selling cakes in the first place?!   

Sorry if you're offended by this, that is not my intention but it just has to be said.

Gingerlocks Posted 15 Aug 2014 , 2:15pm
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunny0410 
 

That cake should not of been given to the customer.

 

Time constraints aside, that cake is not at a wedding cake standard.

 

Who orders a wedding cake on the week of the wedding?

This is an excellent point...she ordered a wedding cake the week of, and for a very low price, and then demanded it before the agreed upon time. What exactly was this woman expecting? No the cake was not perfect..but she got exactly what she paid for..and that may sound harsh, but that's just how I feel. I think it's unreasonable for her to come back to you given all of the above and then say this isn't a magazine quality cake..you don't go to McDonald's and order off the value menu and then come back saying "well this was no Micheline star quality meal" she was getting the cake for under a dollar a serving! She must have known that was far under market value when she was getting quotes; and in my opinion she has no right to complain she got her Value Menu Cake..now eat it. 

morganchampagne Posted 15 Aug 2014 , 2:32pm
post #20 of 51

A

Original message sent by FioreCakes

If you want to be in business you need to develop a backbone. No bakery lets people pick up their cakes days early unless by some chance they are completed. She pushed you around and now you are paying the price by having your business ill-represented. For the sake of business, refund it, and take it as a lesson learned that a contract is signed with a pick up time and it is up to you and your professional discretion if that can be altered. 

This. Letting her push up the day AND come early would have NEVER flied with me. I would have told her I have nothing to give you come at the scheduled time. I may have allowed the day change if it was a true emergency.

MimiFix Posted 15 Aug 2014 , 8:06pm
post #21 of 51
Whoa, back the wedding cake up. The argument for siding with the OP is that substandard cakes are okay to sell. Are we here to encourage unqualified people to start a business selling cheap inferior products? Unfortunately, this philosophy downgrades the entire home-based baking industry.
MimiFix Posted 15 Aug 2014 , 8:12pm
post #22 of 51

Whoa, back the wedding cake up. The argument for siding with the OP is that substandard cakes are okay to sell. Are we here to encourage unqualified people to start a business selling cheap inferior products? 

 

Unfortunately, this philosophy downgrades the entire home-based baking industry. It's far better that we hold high standards (in both business and product quality) that shows the public we are an industry to be trusted. 

Rfisher Posted 15 Aug 2014 , 8:44pm
post #23 of 51

A

Original message sent by MimiFix

[COLOR=404040]Whoa, back the wedding cake up. The argument for siding with the OP is that substandard cakes are okay to sell. Are we here to encourage unqualified people to start a business selling cheap inferior products? [/COLOR]

[COLOR=404040]Unfortunately, this philosophy downgrades the entire home-based baking industry. It's far better that we hold high standards (in both business and product quality) that shows the public we are an industry to be trusted. [/COLOR]

I agree. I see way too many instances here of sub par work getting advice to give refunds because it's a service based industry. Don't want to get a bad reputation! Keep your "business" going.... This is in context of constant sub par work, not the occasional mishap. Maybe it's the thinking of all the recommendations to give all these refunds is a back door approach to hope the underperforms ultimately shut down? Back to the OP, if they refund money...I hope they realize they are not out 80- or-whatever dollars. They are out much more.

jgdorothy Posted 15 Aug 2014 , 8:53pm
post #24 of 51

It is a shame that this happened. However, you have no idea what happened to the cake after it left you. It looks to me like it was bounced around in the car and possibly was allowed to get too warm.

 

I have always bent over backward to help people and be accommodating. However, I rarely let someone pickup their wedding cake. As you now know, it is probably the one cake that people are the most demanding about (and rightfully so - it's a big day). That said, deliver them to protect yourself and your reputation when possible.

 

When they insist on picking up, provide them with a 2" piece of foam (add to the cost of the cake to cover your expense) and help them load the cake in their car to ensure it is level and protected. I would also have them sign a form that says they are responsible for the cake after it leaves your premises.  There is a reason why people have companies deliver their purchases, regardless of the item. The seller is legally liable for that product until it is delivered to its final destination. By the same token, pickup items become the buyer's liability the instant it leaves your possession.

 

No refund, in my opinion. The cake looked great, seams or no seams, and I'm certain they ate it.

 

Thanks,

JudyZ

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 15 Aug 2014 , 9:17pm
post #25 of 51

Honestly, the time constraint surprises and price have no impact whatsoever on the situation. You agreed to it, you set the price, and you didn't deliver what you should have.

Sorry to say it, but a refund is owed.

 

I understand how easy it is to get pushed around by a client, I have let it happen to me a few times, but in the end you do have the right to say no.

morganchampagne Posted 15 Aug 2014 , 9:31pm
post #26 of 51

AI totally get and agree with what you guys say. But honestly I don't waste time anymore because what are the chances someone who is currently selling is going to stop? I just see too many people say "well someone is buying it" and I don't have the energy to fight it

NikkiHino Posted 21 Aug 2014 , 1:27pm
post #27 of 51

Thank you all for your opinions and for those telling me I should not be doing cakes. I have never claimed to be a professional.

 

I am a hobby baker, I only make things for people I know. This was a woman I had met at a party. Friend of a good friend. 

 

No I am not a business, I have had no formal training in cake decorating, and I have almost no experience with Fondant. Yes this woman knew that. No it was not her wedding, nor a wedding at all. The couple is moving in together, before the wedding, in six months.

 

Messaging me and saying I should be ashamed of myself and should never do cakes again and am horrible is not appreciated.

 

Yeah, the cake was pretty much a disaster. And yes, it would never be sold in an establishment. I am learning by trial and error, and this was one giant error.

 

However, I applaud those of you who started playing doing cakes in your spare time and with no training or advice were immediately fantastic and problem free. You are far superior to me.  

 

 

To the four people in this post who messaged me and told me that I should get off this site and am the problem with home based bakers these days, thank you for telling me. 

-K8memphis Posted 21 Aug 2014 , 2:27pm
post #28 of 51

Athe very first wedding cake I did was as a pro in my approved facility -- never decorated a cake before, first paid cake, first tier cake -- did not know what i was doing -- i was So Way self taught-- far as quality, subpar and beauty is in the eye of the beholder -- there's Kerry Vincent competition perfect and there's 'professional' that scrapes a decorating comb across an overbaked cake covered in holey icing with dark patches of cake showing through found anywhere cakes are sold -- different strokes for different folks --

so while I am not crusading for unqualified people to be satisfied with sub par i am also not sitting in judgment on more than they asked me (in this case)nor am i going to try to draw random boundaries around a fellow baker just trying to get by, just trying to get good just because they don't fit the mold -- i never have fit those molds either --

i am faithful to my point of view --

in this case, the fondant does look a little rugged in the first photos-- some people (clients) don't care-- they chop it up and eat it after all --

i don't know how long the cake was in the car after pickup so i can't ascribe 'blame' for the resulting pictures --

i roll with the 'philosophy' that anyone can do it anywhere they want because they can

gscout73 Posted 21 Aug 2014 , 2:39pm
post #29 of 51

Don't be discouraged, NikkiHino. I am a hobby baker and make cakes for friends, relatives, coworkers, friends of friends, etc. This site is for everyone. No one here, except for Jakie, can tell anyone they don't belong and should not participate in this community. We learn from each other, and our skills develop with practice, encouragement, and coaching from veterans and pros. It is one thing for a member to give constructive criticism, it's another for members to go so far as to message you with such rudeness and appalling statements. Please look past those people and don't give up.

-K8memphis Posted 21 Aug 2014 , 2:43pm
post #30 of 51

AI am sorry that some people private messaged you and used you as their whipping post to unleash their bitterness -- please don't believe a word they said!

i once said on here that I did a couple cakes A YEAR for pay and I got the same treatment -- 'they' insisted I was a business and of course at 2-3 cakes a year? a business? hahaha

you can flag those nasty private messages -- there's a little red flag at the bottom of the message -- to bring that cowardly ugliness to the attention of a moderator --

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%