Okay, Okay, I have to "vent" a minute. On Saturday, as I was leaving a banquet (putting my coat on and talking) a woman I've never met asked me if I could do cakes. I said yes, I could. (still putting on my coat!) She asked me if I could do Spongebob. I said I could. She said, "Oh, it's for Thursday evening!" I said, "Yes, I'm free Thursday, but I don't take orders like this. Here's my number, please call me by Tuesday at the latest and we'll discuss the details." As I said this, I was grabbing my purse and walking out the door...I also handed her my name and number. Well, she didn't call. No biggie. I figured she found someone else or changed her mind. NO!! She showed up on Thursday wanting her cake!! I said, "You never ordered a cake." She said, "I talked to you about it and you said you could do it." I said, "I said, I COULD do it, not that I WOULD. I specifically asked you to call to order it. We didn't discuss what size, what flavor, any writing, what time, how much.. nothing! I don't have a cake for you." At this time, she went BALLISTIC!! "My son is waiting for his Spongebob cake that YOU said that you would do!!! What am I going to tell him!!" and on and on and on. I've handled awful customers before at bakeries and such, but never ON MY DOORSTEP!! I stayed calm and told her that she should have called as I asked her and ordered the cake but that there was nothing that I could do now. It takes hours to bake, cool, ice and decorate a cake when it's made from scratch, as I do them. She was HOT and stomped off. Normally, I would think, "What a @*$%^&!" But, I'm thinking of the spin that she'll put on the story and the damage to my reputation that she can do since I live in a very small area. What a nightmare!! - Kim
That really sounds terrible. I think I couldn´t stayed calm, but you are right to do so. It´s funny how some customers think, that you just have to open your fridge and there it is: a ready made cake, just as they wanted it Hopefully it wount be to ruinous to your business. Best wishes Tuggy
Kim...girrrrrllll! I cant imagine being in that position. See thats why I worry about things..... Family Support here has mentioned that they need a cake for a family day here... our commanders wife told them to get me to do one so I wait for word if I am doing it or not... its April 1st. Meanwhile I am sick to my stomach because there is at least two other women here that decorate too.... I think they are much much better, and I worry that at least one would say I could have done better....so its like just because I have an "in" being friends with the commanders wife I shut them out....... I hate confrontations and I dont envy you for having such.... I dont think you will have any damage done... it sounds like maybe shes a b...... and perhaps others know that and it will promote your business!!!
I work in customer service for a hobby industry and deal with people like that almost on a daily basis. From my experience in dealing with irate customers, everybody around them ignores them. They've become accustomed to their constant out bursts that they just ignore them and their rants fall on deaf ears. 9 times out of 10, if she was a @#$%^&* to you, then she's like that to everybody and probably nobody listens to her.
i'm so sorry that happened to you. yeah, i worry about my reputation when each cake leaves my house. just concentrate on your craft and your quality and your cakes will speak for themselves!!
Having spent years in retail and now a while in my own business, I've come to believe that the kind of customer you describe has some kind of psychological disorder or has an ulterior motive; like getting something for nothing. The fact that she bothered you while you were putting on your coat and speaking to another person is the first sign. No sane, logical person would act the way you described this woman. As for her damaging your reputation, think of it this way: if she acts like this to other people, no one will listen to her most likely because she's the one with the bad reputation. It's been my experience that these people just go on to another "battle" and nothing ever comes of their outrageous behavior.
Just keep on doing what you do, do it well, and things will be fine.
Oh my gosh, the woman wasn't thinking at all if she thought she'd actually placed a cake order in that brief exchange. Years ago I might have gotten worked up about something like that but uh uh, not now. The fact is she wasn't listening to you and her ding-a-ling way of thinking presumed herself right out of a cake for a special occassion. I wouldn't worry about your reputation. I'm sure your work and good reputation will hold up strong under anything the woman could say if she decided to try badmouthing you. Probably the worst thing to come from it is she'll never order from you AGAIN!! LOL
Thanks everyone for your support. I've been doing cakes on and off for about 20 years, and I've had my share of irrational customers, but they've always been at the bakery, never at my home. Thanks, though, because even though I KNOW I'm in the right, I still feel shaken. Thanks!
I love the work, I love the artistry about it, I love the creativity and being able to "make" a party or event with a beautiful cake... but sometimes... the people you have to deal with.... "I won't pay because that color isn't EXACTLY the right shade of pale pink that I was thinking."... etc... I think that I'm just going to sit down, have a beer (after all, I DO live in Germany where Beer is a food group) and blow it off... until the next time.
Have one for me Kim!
We all have run into people like that........it's so hard not to feel bad and worry about your reputation. BUT.......you did the right thing I believe. She will not order from you.....no loss.......it's hard but let it go.........forget about it.....you have plenty of customers you please....she probably makes a fool of herself everywhere she shops.........we can't please EVERYONE now can we........keep smiling..........
I've had this happen once. I require a deposit up front for all cakes, even birthday cakes.... so I asked her for a receipt for the deposit and a copy of the contract when she exclaimed I promised to make her a cake... that was the end of that.
I also do not chase after customers. I send them one reminder... maybe... then I'm done and moving on.
That's one of those stories that makes ya shake your head, now isn't it? Wow. I think you've received some wonderful advice here. I'm sorry for the stress, but on the bright side, now you have a very funny--in a disturbing kind of way --cake decorating story to share with others.