Unhapy Customer

Business By Renee6431 Updated 22 Apr 2015 , 8:51pm by MKC

Renee6431 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 12:53am
post #1 of 50

I made a 3 teired wedding cake for a customer.  She picked it up this afternoon for a wedding tomorrow.

The cake is ivory fondant with burlap ribbon and blue and burlap flowers.  The flavors were, which in this case dosen't matter, but were carrrot cake, chocolate and french vanilla.

The bride who ordered the cake was from out of state, all transactions were over the phone and internet.

Her fiance came in and picked up the cake around 3:30.  I got a call from the bride around 6:00.  She claimed that the cake was Pink and the burlap bow was suppose to be a blue burlap.  My daughter had told her a few days ago that we could not fine blue burlap for the bow, the bride told her that would be ok.

I don't have a picture of the cake, but it was beautiful.  I would have to admit that the ivory color fondant did come out to be between a ivory and a very lite pink, why  it did that , I don't know.  I did not try to make the fondant anything different for fear it would make it too dark.

The bride called me this afternoon and brought this to my attention.  She said that she would have brought the cake back if I was open and in town.  I did admit that the ivory was not a pink, not was it ivory and that I would compensate her when I got back to my Bakery.  She told me that she wanted the blue burlap bow and that was not what she got.  But That discustion happen a few days ago in which she oked the regular burlap bow.  When I told her I was sorry, that I would refund some of her money back, she said that she hated Pink and wants a full refund.

 My question to all who is reading this, the total amount for the 3 tired cake was 425.00.  The cake was beautiful, and it will be served at the wedding tomorrow for all to eat.  What would yiou think is the Proper way to handle this and what refund should I give her back?

Renee   

 

 

 

49 replies
cakegrandma Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 1:02am
post #2 of 50

I think I would have asked her to email the OK on the burlap bow and if the fondant did have a pink cast then I feel that she should have some money back.  I think either 10 or 20% would be more than enough. The cake was edible it was just the pinkish color and burlap that she did not like.  If her check has cleared or however she paid you then that is all I feel she should have back.  Sorry for this problem but, I bet in the future you get everything in writing.

costumeczar Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 1:51am
post #3 of 50

Considering that she okayed the burlap, I would disregard that part of the complaint. Seriously....

If you know that the color was off I'd offer her the cost of the fondant back, so if you charge $1 extra for fondant instead of buttercream, and it was 100 servings, I'd offer $100 back.  

If she insists on a full refund I'd tell her that she can return the cake to you and you'll give her a full refund. I'm done playing with people after doing this for almost 20 years... There's no reason that she should get a wedding cake and a full refund too. If she opts for that you'll have to write it off as a lesson learned, but the local hospital,  Ronald McDonald house, or any kind of homeless shelter etc would be happy for the donation of a pink cake.

oftheeicing Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 3:30am
post #4 of 50

I agree with costumeczar.... full refund = returned cake. 


What works for me..... I speak to the bride, personally, at least twice (at the initial consult and then a few days before the wedding to confirm)... after the initial conversation,  we converse via email several times just so that I have everything in writing. I sketch, show color scheme and go back to the drawing board if the bride depicts something different in her mind. If an icing or fondant color is not right by my eye, I would rework it at my expense before finishing the cake.  Some people are happy with low - budget grocery store cakes, but brides that want the wow-factor seek a custom bakery.   They have every right to expect their perfect cake.... even if it is beautiful. With that said, unless she returns the cake, no full refund.  If you have all of her wants and okays  in writing, and if you feel that the cake was sub-par in comparison to her wants, I would give her the cake at cost.  if everthing was verbal and over the phone, I would only give a 20% discount,  since it's her word against yours.











johnson6ofus Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 5:33am
post #5 of 50


Quote by @costumeczar on 3 hours ago

 I'm done playing with people after doing this for almost 20 years... There's no reason that she should get a wedding cake and a full refund too. 

^^^^^^^ THIS!^^^^^^^

Where did anyone get the idea that a slight shade difference = free cake for 100+ people? Are you kidding me? 

bakernoob Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 5:37am
post #6 of 50

I ordered customized t-shirts from a company years ago and they had accidentally added something I did not want. They gave me the option of the t-shirts with a discount or a full refund without the t-shirts.  Made sense to me then. Makes sense to me now. If she really hates pink as much as she says she can return it if not then the cost of the fondant should be plenty. Everything else was as expected. 

rachelliz1 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 7:34am
post #7 of 50

What have you suggested to the bride? Has see agreed to return the cake & recieve a full refund?  

Maybe in future you should take a photo. This way you can prove that you followed the brief & that your cake matches the sketch that she confirmed. Along with that and the correspondents you are in a much better position. 

costumeczar Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 10:49am
post #8 of 50

You have to be serious about being willing to take the cake back, though. If you say that you have to mean that you'll take it back and not give in to her badgering.

I once got a call from a client whose cake I had made, and whose sister I was going to be making a wedding cake for in a couple of months. I delivered the cake, then went home. The call came about 5 minutes after I got home, and she basically had a complaint about everything and said that the cake was totally wrong (it wasn't), that it wasn't what they had ordered (it was), it was hideous (it was their design) and a grocery store cake would have been better. So I said I'd be right there, but before I left I wrote out a check for the full amount, because based on what this loon was saying she wasn't going to be reasonable.

 Now I had had a feeling bout these people from the beginning, they were very pushy and loud, just a weird bunch. 

 Long story short, when I got there they spent twenty minutes telling me I'd done this wrong or that wrong, and every time I showed them on the contract where they said that what they wanted they moved on to a different complaint. In between this they would stop and talk to each other in a foreign language WHICH I UNDERSTAND but they didn't know it. So I was basically listening to them discuss what they should say to get the biggest refund out of me. I let that go on for a while because it was amusing, until the sister whose wedding cake was coming up said something insulting, and I stopped them and said that I was giving them a full refund but I was also taking the cake with me. And that I would be refunding the bride-to-be's deposit as well because I wasn't going to be insulted. She shut up real fast and turned pale, and I walked out with the cake and drove it straight to the Ronald McDonald house, which was very happy to get a donation for the families who were staying there.

I found out later that they had gone to another baker I know for the wedding cake, and when I told her about what had happened she said that they had been very polite and meek with her and not pushy at all, so maybe they learned that they can't get away with BSing a refund. I think I did the world a favor.

Annelie76 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 12:20pm
post #9 of 50

I can't believe what i´m seeing here, of course she should have a FULL refund AND get to keep the cake. She should get the refund for not getting what she ordered, and also get to keep the cake as compensation for you ruining her wedding (cake)! 

It´s not like she can do this over next year like a birthday cake, this is a WEDDING cake!!! And also they live far away so they have wasted time and effort picking up a cake that was not up to par. 

Having your wedding cake be the right color is a big deal and she is not likely to find a new wedding cake the day before the wedding so you need to make this right. Money back, and let her keep  the cake. 

rachelliz1 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 12:55pm
post #10 of 50

I think the point is that the cake design was agreed and that the customer agreed the change as explained few days before. I agree that a wedding cake Is of huge importance however the cake was made to the brief!   The brief that she wanted and that she agreed! 


Do do you have any emails that show she sgreed these changes or was it discussed via the telephone. 




TheNerdyBaker Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 1:10pm
post #11 of 50


Quote by @Annelie76 on 48 minutes ago

I can't believe what i´m seeing here, of course she should have a FULL refund AND get to keep the cake. She should get the refund for not getting what she ordered, and also get to keep the cake as compensation for you ruining her wedding (cake)! 

It´s not like she can do this over next year like a birthday cake, this is a WEDDING cake!!! And also they live far away so they have wasted time and effort picking up a cake that was not up to par. 

Having your wedding cake be the right color is a big deal and she is not likely to find a new wedding cake the day before the wedding so you need to make this right. Money back, and let her keep  the cake. 


I really hope this is sarcasm =/ 

-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 1:21pm
post #12 of 50

i think the cake should not be eaten -- there's a random unplanned pink factor in it that cannot be explained so the whole thing is suspect -- of course we think it's food color but are we sure?  no -- what is it -- is it edible -- i don't know -- what if someone gets sick from something else and still you can't explain the pink -- this can't end well -- should not have gone out like this -- full refund plus no cake for them -- should never have gone out --

no at first i was "no full refund" but then after i thought it through -- yes full refund and it should not be consumed since you can't even explain the foreign color -- you had time -- you could have re done it and delivered it yourself -- 

hope this gets resolved for you

Gingerlocks Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 1:42pm
post #13 of 50

Just going to throw in my two cents here; yaaa no full refund, she agreed to the beige/brown burlap. It's too late to complain now! Do you buy the ivory fondant or did you make it yourself? I do find Ivory fondant in the wrong lighting can look completely different; I find they can be a nightmare to photograph and get a true to life colour. If the colour truly is wrong then a partial refund, but defonately not a full..I also find it fishy that suddenly the burlap is 'wrong'. 

I had a woman make a last minute order for her daughters 1st Birthday, she literally made this order 4 day's before the party. I had a opening so I took the order, but I told her it was too short notice to do that exact design and she also agreed to a different colour scheme (which she had asked for). So come pickup time, the design  is not the same as the photo she send (which she knew full well was being changed) and  the colours are all wrong (which she asked for) and she started screaming irately about it; like in my face screaming. I pulled out the invoice, which states by paying a depost you are agreeing to the details laid out on the invoice; still no good! So mid yelling I just looked at her and said, "I'll give you a $20 cash refund right now if you just leave"..she stopped smiled and suddenly everything was fine..some people just want a "deal" or in your case a free wedding cake. Just give her something back and hold firm that if she wants a full refund the cake needs to be returned in perfect condition.  

Gingerlocks Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 1:42pm
post #14 of 50

Just going to throw in my two cents here; yaaa no full refund, she agreed to the beige/brown burlap. It's too late to complain now! Do you buy the ivory fondant or did you make it yourself? I do find Ivory fondant in the wrong lighting can look completely different; I find they can be a nightmare to photograph and get a true to life colour. If the colour truly is wrong then a partial refund, but defonately not a full..I also find it fishy that suddenly the burlap is 'wrong'. 

I had a woman make a last minute order for her daughters 1st Birthday, she literally made this order 4 day's before the party. I had a opening so I took the order, but I told her it was too short notice to do that exact design and she also agreed to a different colour scheme (which she had asked for). So come pickup time, the design  is not the same as the photo she send (which she knew full well was being changed) and  the colours are all wrong (which she asked for) and she started screaming irately about it; like in my face screaming. I pulled out the invoice, which states by paying a depost you are agreeing to the details laid out on the invoice; still no good! So mid yelling I just looked at her and said, "I'll give you a $20 cash refund right now if you just leave"..she stopped smiled and suddenly everything was fine..some people just want a "deal" or in your case a free wedding cake. Just give her something back and hold firm that if she wants a full refund the cake needs to be returned in perfect condition.  

rachelliz1 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 1:47pm
post #15 of 50

This is why i never copy a cake. If someone shows me an image of a cake I  say i will not copy. I work to a similar idea but always make every cake unique and explain that to the person I'm making it for. 

on my sketch I include all the details, sizes, colours, toppers to be made etc. I also confirm the spelling of names etc. 

Gingerlocks Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 1:50pm
post #16 of 50

Well I have the skill to replicate that cake I just didn't have the time because it was so last minute...which she knew full well and agreed to. 

rachelliz1 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 1:52pm
post #17 of 50

Yes but I think it's nice that it wasn't replicated, it was unqie, and you explained that it wouldn't be a replica 

dm321 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 2:01pm
post #18 of 50

Did you start with white fondant, then mix color to create the "Ivory"? 

Meaning -----

Did you make it homemade (which means starting with whatever color that is, and probably mixing in color to create the Ivory)?  

Or did you buy premade fondant?  If so, did you buy Ivory - or did you buy White and mix in color to create the Ivory? 

This is a huge factor that needs to be taken into consideration.  

If the fondant was premade by a reputable company, (say Satin Ice), and the was supposed to be Ivory, then we can assume that their Ivory is Ivory - and their White is White.



Dr_Hfuhruhurr Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 4:08pm
post #19 of 50


Quote by @Annelie76 on 3 hours ago

I can't believe what i´m seeing here, of course she should have a FULL refund AND get to keep the cake. She should get the refund for not getting what she ordered, and also get to keep the cake as compensation for you ruining her wedding (cake)! 

It´s not like she can do this over next year like a birthday cake, this is a WEDDING cake!!! And also they live far away so they have wasted time and effort picking up a cake that was not up to par. 

Having your wedding cake be the right color is a big deal and she is not likely to find a new wedding cake the day before the wedding so you need to make this right. Money back, and let her keep  the cake. 


Disagree. If someone breaches a contract with you, you should be made whole. Full refund + no cake = whole. Full refund + cake = unjust enrichment.

Renee6431 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 4:57pm
post #20 of 50

I am totally upset by this.  I am hoping that the bride calms down and realizes she had a beautiful cake that taste good, and people at the reception tell her how beautiful it really is.

Unfortunately after they came and picked up the cake, I left town for an event for a few days,  otherwise I would have taken the cake back and gave her a full refund.

I told her when I get back,  that I would review the e mails and try to make things right. 



costumeczar Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 10:18pm
post #21 of 50

 

Quote by @Renee6431 on 5 hours ago

I am totally upset by this.  I am hoping that the bride calms down and realizes she had a beautiful cake that taste good, and people at the reception tell her how beautiful it really is.

Unfortunately after they came and picked up the cake, I left town for an event for a few days,  otherwise I would have taken the cake back and gave her a full refund.

I told her when I get back,  that I would review the e mails and try to make things right. 



 Dangit...

 Well, I'd stick to the refund for the fondant only. Don't let her gripe you into giving more than that.

Also, complaining about the color not being right is apparently the new "thing" to do to get refunds. Just this week I'm hearing of two other people who complained that the color wasn't exactly right. Complaints kind of go in trends...For a while it was dry cake. But that tends to be one that they fall back on after everything else is shown to be okay. 

 

Annelie76 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 10:20pm
post #22 of 50

The bride is stuck with a pink cake, she ordered ivory, that is unacceptable. She should not only get her money back, she should be compensated (get to keep the cake) since it is too late to order from another baker. 

MBalaska Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 10:24pm
post #23 of 50

 And thanks to the instant media their games travel fast and hard.

Quote by @costumeczar on 1 minute ago

..... ""Also, complaining about the color not being right is apparently the new "thing" to do to get refunds. Just this week I'm hearing of two other people who complained that the color wasn't exactly right. Complaints kind of go in trends...For a while it was dry cake. But that tends to be one that they fall back on after everything else is shown to be okay. ""

johnson6ofus Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 10:31pm
post #24 of 50

annelie.... my DH complains the "beige" I pick for our flip houses is too peachy/ pink. It is named "Arabian Sands" by the manufacturer. The point?

Just because the bride is complaining it is "pink" doesn't mean others see it that way. I see a warm beige, he see a peachy/ pink hue, OK, so if the OP made a neon pink cake, I get that.  But it appears in this case, we are discussing "hues". ... so the "compensation" being a full custom cake for free? I don't think so!

Order a royal blue cake and a pink one gets delivered---- I get that. Hue discrepancy.....nah...


Annelie76 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 10:39pm
post #25 of 50


Quote by @johnson6ofus on 2 minutes ago

annelie.... my DH complains the "beige" I pick for our flip houses is too peachy/ pink. It is named "Arabian Sands" by the manufacturer. The point?

Just because the bride is complaining it is "pink" doesn't mean others see it that way. I see a warm beige, he see a peachy/ pink hue, OK, so if the OP made a neon pink cake, I get that.  But it appears in this case, we are discussing "hues". ... so the "compensation" being a full custom cake for free? I don't think so!

Order a royal blue cake and a pink one gets delivered---- I get that. Hue discrepancy.....nah...


I dont agree. If the bride wants an ivory cake she should get an ivory cake, not pink.. even if it is a light pink. Would you be happy if your wedding dress came out pink instead of ivory? I don't think so...

dm321 Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 11:25pm
post #26 of 50


Quote by @Annelie76 on 2 minutes ago

The bride is stuck with a pink cake, she ordered ivory, that is unacceptable. She should not only get her money back, she should be compensated (get to keep the cake) since it is too late to order from another baker. 

I agree with Annelie76 here.  That's why I asked if the baker purchased Ivory fondant or made "Ivory" fondant. Complaining about different shades of a color or weather or not a color is as vibrant as expected - is comparing apples to apples. I get that. People will look for things to complain about in attempt to get a discount. But a pink cake is not an ivory cake - apples and oranges.  The baker even mentioned that the color "came out to be" between ivory and light pink, and that she didn't try to fix it for fear of making it worse.

The bride would have known to expect the burlap bow after giving verbal phone approval on it - however when the entire cake shows up differently than expected, why not bring that up too. 

...And just because the cake was beautiful, does not make it the cake she ordered - and definitely does not make it right. 

...And we allllll know that a wedding isn't a wedding without the cake. Add in that they live hours away, and ordering from another source the day before is not an option - they are obviously keeping/serving it.  Good thing it's beautiful and probably tastes great!

Since the cake will be (is probably being right now) enjoyed, the contract was partially fulfilled. Like half-way-ish fulfilled. I'd say 50% refund is in order.  

That's my two cents. (And now I'll probably get bombarded with ugly notes. Ugh!)

~dm321


-K8memphis Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 11:26pm
post #27 of 50

renee, i am sorry you are in this pickle and i hate that you are feeling upset about it -- i can see how it would be very frustrating -- i hope you can compartmentalize it till you get back in town to take care of it -- i know you will make it right with your client and that you will do your best to resolve it --


Quote by @Renee6431 on 22 hours ago

Her fiance came in and picked up the cake around 3:30.  I got a call from the bride around 6:00.  She claimed that the cake was Pink ...

  I would have to admit that the ivory color fondant did come out to be between a ivory and a very lite pink, why  it did that , I don't know.  I did not try to make the fondant anything different for fear it would make it too dark.

... I did admit that the ivory was not a pink, not was it ivory and that I would compensate her when I got back to my Bakery.  


it's true that beige can be pinky but ivory is not -- and i do not like a pinky beige at all fwiw -- however -- varying hues is not exactly the issue -- op does not even know how this happened -- she noted it and out of fear of making it worse did not correct it -- idk -- that's not good -- even some powder brushed on could have helped tamp it down --

i am sorry that this happened but it was something in her power to correct -- not knowing how your icing turns an unintended color is not good since this is food for a hundred people -- full refund and the cake should have been pulled -- breech of contract on caker's part unfortunately --

but under these conditions with everyone out of town at least the bride could have used it as the focal point and then not served it -- then gotten a full refund -- and i am a very 'don't refund' or 'don't refund much' type person -- sadly this is not one of those --

Nadiaa Posted 18 Apr 2015 , 11:42pm
post #28 of 50

I mixed ivory fondant for the very first time last week. I had white fondant and coloured it with Americolor Ivory gel colouring. I put quite a small amount of colour into the fondant (or so I thought) and it turned an ivory colour with a pink hue. Not what I was after at all! So I ended up having to take a small amount of that and mixing the pinky fondant with some more white fondant. Eventually I ended up with a true ivory. So, lesson learned! You only need a speck (and I mean a speck) of ivory colour when you're making ivory fondant. 


I think in this case the OP shouldn't have sent the cake out. If it looked pink to the decorator then there was time for it to be fixed. Even if she went out and bought a tub of Satin Ice ivory fondant or something. The colour of a wedding cake is important and I'd be upset if I got a pink cake.

costumeczar Posted 19 Apr 2015 , 12:55am
post #29 of 50

Hues of a color are subjective. Especially with ivory, that can mean anywhere from slightly off white to a pinky beige to yellow tan depending on who you're talking to. There's no 100% method to 100% get a color 100% right, especially since food colorings tend to change a little as the fondant or icing sits on the cake. I've had purple icing turn blue in an hour's time, and I've had ivory fondant get darker than it started out. There have been times when I needed to put a fondant border on the day after I covered a cake with the same color, and the colors were different already because when the fondant sits out in the air it changes, that's just how it is. The OP said that the ivory was pinky, but that doesn't mean that the cake was flaming hot pink. I stick with the refund for the cost of the fondant, there's no reason to give 50% or more.

Also, unfortunately for us, weddings are happening without cakes more and more these days. Another trend. But when I got married 23 years ago I didn't have a cake either, I had a  dessert buffet, so I guess I was ahead of my time ;) 

costumeczar Posted 19 Apr 2015 , 12:56am
post #30 of 50

And be ready for her to say that the cake was dry, too! ;)

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