How Do You Deal With Unhappy Customers?

Decorating By MissCuteCupcakes Updated 26 Sep 2014 , 1:49pm by aprildaisy

MissCuteCupcakes Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 3:26pm
post #1 of 37

I recently did a cake for someone and she flat out told me she didnt like it. She told me she wanted a small 2 tier cake airbrushed gold, with roses. She emphasized that she didnt want a big cake because she would be going to dinner with her boyfriend, but she still wanted a cake to stand out. So she bought some faux red roses from Michaels (which were a little too big, but I didnt notice until the night before the cake was due) Me personally, I thought the cake looked fine but I made it so of course I would think it looked good.

 

Here's the pic of the design she sent me: https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2739/4501206382_d18c444e14_z.jpg

 

Here's the cake I made for her: http://instagram.com/p/s2NOkQvtKb/?modal=true

 

I apologized and I was really sincere, and I even went ahead and offered her a 50% refund thinking this is "good customer service" but after sleeping on it, I woke up not knowing if that was the correct thing to do. She has her cake and I only got paid half the money.

 

Did I handle this correctly?

 

How do you all handle disgruntled or unhappy customers?

 

And feel free to give honest opinions on the cake I made. I really would like to know

36 replies
Dayti Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 3:32pm
post #2 of 37

What was it she didn't like? The cake inside? The looks? I mean, did she try it and come back to you or did she just turn her nose up at it when she saw it? Because in terms of looks, it's not really different from the one she wanted, just smaller and with bigger roses. Your gold is a bit more matte but honestly...it looks just fine. 

Siany01 Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 3:32pm
post #3 of 37

AWhat did she say she didn't like about it?

Your cake is a small version of what she sent you, I agree the flowers are a little large but as she provided those you can't be held accountable for that I don't think.

MissCuteCupcakes Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 3:40pm
post #4 of 37

I dropped the cake off to her hotel and her boyfriend came to the car to get it at around 8pm. At 8:15 pm I received a text from her, and here is what she said, verbatim:

 

"I dont care for the cake...thank you for working with me but I would've bought smaller glowers or paid you to do it larger or just went with a solid color if I knew it would've came out like this. If I look at the picture of what I wanted and what I received it's totally different. Def unhappy with it"

 

I apologized to her and reiterated that she told me she wanted a small 2 tier and she provided me with the roses.

Then I told her since she's unhappy I will refund her half her money (not including the delivery fee I charged her) and that was it. She didnt respons after that

Norasmom Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 3:41pm
post #5 of 37

Not sure what her complaint is.  She bought the roses and asked for a small cake…

It looks very similar to the picture she provided.    It is always a tendency to offer a discount to make someone happy, though.

thecakewitch Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 3:44pm
post #6 of 37

AThe only thing you did wrong is making a decision under stress. You should've given yourself time to think/investigate the problem and not give the 50% off right away.

MissCuteCupcakes Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 3:48pm
post #7 of 37

thecakewitch, I absolutely agree. I think I made that decision to quick and after sleeping on it and waking up I realized that I wont do that a second time around. Its not like the cake fell apart or something

 

Whats the best thing to do in these situations?

thecakewitch Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 4:00pm
post #8 of 37

ASince you already said that you'd give her 50% off refund, give her the refund. Next time, even for small orders, write down everything and make the customer sign or agree to it.

remnant3333 Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 4:37pm
post #9 of 37

I think your cake represents exactly what she wanted. Though the flowers were a little big, she bought the flowers for it and your cake looked almost identical to the picture she sent you. I see nothing wrong with the cake you gave to her.   I don't think she deserved a 50 percent discount.

 

Did she eat the cake? Did she complain about the taste of the cake? Did she bring back part of cake to you? If the cake tasted good then you fulfilled your obligation to this customer.  It appears that your customer is taking advantage of you. Sorry this happened to you!! As the cake witch said make sure your customers sign a contract agreeing to the terms. I would put this customer on the "no cake for you" list in the future!!! Good luck!!

Lizzybug78 Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 5:17pm
post #10 of 37

AI think your cake was lovely fwiw. If anything I rather like the oversized roses. He cake was smaller, like she asked, and had fake roses instead of real, again not your decision.

To say she would have chosen a matt colour if she'd known what it would look like is nonsense - she had an image that she sent you so she knew exactly what she was asking for.

I agree that you are a bit bound to honour your discount offer, but I think I would have offered money off a future cake instead as there is nothing wrong with your take on the design. Either way, you're not going to want her as a customer again!

Norasmom Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 5:17pm
post #11 of 37

I actually like the cake you made better.

johnson6ofus Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 5:38pm
post #12 of 37

NO REFUND! (Well, OK, you already offered... case closed). 

 

(Customers should) Pay for the original cake artist, or accept a "knock off" or variations. I have modified things I ordered, and didn't like it... MY lose. It's not like you delivered her a cake wreck cake. 

 

Your work is clean, nice, and as ordered. She should have paid as agreed, and accepted any changes as within the realm of "artistic interpretation".  

 

Accept that some people just like to *****, and others consider it a sport to "get what they can" in the form of free stuff or discounts. 

Goreti Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 5:42pm
post #13 of 37

I like your cake (large roses & all) much better than the original.  Don't like how the original has a silver board with a gold cake.  Can't really understand what she didn't like about it.

johnson6ofus Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 5:46pm
post #14 of 37

Quote:

Originally Posted by MissCuteCupcakes 
 

I dropped the cake off to her hotel and her boyfriend came to the car to get it at around 8pm. At 8:15 pm I received a text from her, 

(my version of what her text probably should have said...)

 

"My stupid boyfriend yelled at my about how much this cake cost. He said, "You paid WHAT?" And the lousy boyfriend didn't have the ring I was hoping for, so my "romantic evening, expensive hotel, etc" did not get me an engagement ring. So I want my $$$ back--- it's all because the cake was wrong. If the cake had been bigger, my boyfriend would have been down on one knee, in a tuxedo with a Tiffany box in his hand...."

denetteb Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 6:17pm
post #15 of 37

I think where the problem occurred was not establishing with the customer what the exact size of the cakes would be.  Agreeing to "two tier" doesn't indicate the size you will be providing.  If she knew it would be a 6-8 or whatever then she would have no reasonable excuse to complain and would have been better able to buy the proper size roses.  And yes, your cake is a perfectly lovely looking cake.

vldutoit Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 7:25pm
post #16 of 37

AI totally agree with johnson6ofus. She is blaming you for her inability to conceptualize the original cake in a smaller version. Obviously you have already offered the discount so you should abide by your word but put her on your no cake for you list. If not, this will become a regular habit with her.

MissCuteCupcakes Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 7:30pm
post #17 of 37

Thank you everyone for the compliments. I really didnt think the cake looked bad at all. Its just a lesson learned. And will I be wrong to never do a cake for her again? Thats the first thing that came to my mind after I sent her the refund??

 

Johnson6ofus: I literally busted out laughing after reading your comment lol but I do agree that I will not be so quick to give them a refund, especially not a 50% refund. Unless the cake was wrecked or something. I'll know better next time around

 

Denettb: Good idea. I usually dont do cake contracts for regular cakes, only for wedding cakes/events. But I think this was a eye opener and I would like to have everyone sign a cake contract from here on out

 

I might have to create another post, but how do you all go about cake contracts? I usually do everything via email (paypal invoice, etc)

MBalaska Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 7:46pm
post #18 of 37

Quote:

Originally Posted by remnant3333 
 

I think your cake represents exactly what she wanted. Though the flowers were a little big, she bought the flowers for it and your cake looked almost identical to the picture she sent you. I see nothing wrong with the cake you gave to her.   I don't think she deserved a 50 percent discount.

 

either do I !!

-K8memphis Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 7:51pm
post #19 of 37

me too -- it's buyer's remorse

-K8memphis Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 8:07pm
post #20 of 37

and i think it would be wrong for you to accept another order from her -- just say no thank you -- i mean if you were a storefront maybe go a second round with her but not a from home cakery --

 

we had one notoriously difficult lady come to the bakery and NO ONE ever wanted to deal with her -- but i took a shot at it and she liked what i did for her so difficult people sometimes can become successful customers -- but if there's only one or two employees -- it's too hard to experiment/play the game --

 

i love your cake

Dayti Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 8:11pm
post #21 of 37

Quote:

Originally Posted by MissCuteCupcakes 
 

Thank you everyone for the compliments. I really didnt think the cake looked bad at all. Its just a lesson learned. And will I be wrong to never do a cake for her again? Thats the first thing that came to my mind after I sent her the refund??

No, you are perfectly within your rights to not have to bake or decorate a cake for her again. If she does contact you again, you can just be fully booked when she tells you the date. Your business, your rules. She had no grounds for complaint at all. 

 

To save yourself hassle in the future, you could mention cake sizes (diameter and height) to customers, just so you know you are on the same page. 

Lizzybug78 Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 8:13pm
post #22 of 37

ANo, you wouldn't be wrong to say no to any future orders - it's your business after all and you have every right to refuse service to difficult customers if you want to. Of course that's not what I'd tell her, I'd just be busy every time she calls!

Cevamal Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 8:15pm
post #23 of 37

A

Original message sent by vldutoit

She is blaming you for her inability to conceptualize the original cake in a smaller version.

Bingo.

cait1219 Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 9:49pm
post #24 of 37

I agree, I think your cake looks better!  What size are the 2 tiers in your cake?  It's so hard to tell in the picture. 

Apti Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 10:22pm
post #25 of 37

Quote:

Originally Posted by johnson6ofus 
 

(my version of what her text probably should have said...)

 

"My stupid boyfriend yelled at my about how much this cake cost. He said, "You paid WHAT?" And the lousy boyfriend didn't have the ring I was hoping for, so my "romantic evening, expensive hotel, etc" did not get me an engagement ring. So I want my $$$ back--- it's all because the cake was wrong. If the cake had been bigger, my boyfriend would have been down on one knee, in a tuxedo with a Tiffany box in his hand...."

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jchuck Posted 12 Sep 2014 , 11:15pm
post #26 of 37

AMissCuteCuocakes Firstly, sorry this happened to you. I think you got taken.…“buyers remorse”. She is the one who provided the flowers to you. So she couldn’t complain about that. Your cake looked fine, a mini version of what she asked for. I wouldn’t have refunded her anything. No payment….no cake. I hope you had a signed contract via paper copy or email. Once everything is spelled out, accepted and signed for…there can be no argument about what was expected. If you had no contract, lesson learned. And you should have also received a small deposit to secure making of the cake and pick up. I had an experience where there was a discrepancy about the look of the cake….but I had several emails with clients A-Ok on everything. So she had no re-course. She actually cowardly complained to my sis-in-lw, who she works with, about the cake…which, of course, got back to me. I emailed client feigning feedback on my cake. She then mentioned her disappointment. I know she was fishing for money back. No go. I forwarded cake discussion emails back to her, proved she had approved of exactly what I made her. Case closed. I’ve never made a cake for her again.

kakeladi Posted 13 Sep 2014 , 3:12am
post #27 of 37

........will I be wrong to never do a cake for her again?.........

 

Nope, not wrong at all.  Keep her on your "NO cake for you" list.

 

I definitely agree that it is buyers remorse - and probably had something to do w/the boyfriends reaction.

Those roses were much too large.  I probably would have cut off some of the petals to make them smaller.

maisie73 Posted 13 Sep 2014 , 4:03pm
post #28 of 37

AOP I think your cake is better than the original, yours has a much better finish. You offered her a refund so you had to honour that but I don't think she should've had one. And I think if you'd cut her flowers down she'd have had another excuse to complain.

-K8memphis Posted 13 Sep 2014 , 4:08pm
post #29 of 37

AI think both cakes are lovely

MarleyCakesVT Posted 22 Sep 2014 , 9:34pm
post #30 of 37

I think you made the cake she asked for, if not better. I understand feeling like you need to keep her happy and I have struggled with this before too. Stick to your guns and make sure you stick with a policy. Chock it up to lesson learned and move on.

 

The cake was great by the way, that person clearly had buyers remorse :-)

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