So I just made this very pretty tree stump cake and I always send a picture to the customer before they pick it up. Well I sent the picture and she says that she didnt want chocolate pieces she wanted frosting like the picture she sent me...well the picture she sent me was of chocolate pieces and not frosting and she wants me to change the entire cake. I told her I could not due to I have to go to work soon and dont have enough time...but I am just sitting here so upset because every cake I make I make with alot of love. I know that its chocolate pieces but I just need someone else to tell me the same! Please help me keep my sanity! :) And just an fyi I am new to this business so this is my first "complaint" I guess you could say. And now she is messaging me and not going to get the cake and said that she has a super busy day... well so do I... and that the chocolate pieces dont look melted... Well I did have to melt a huge chunk of chocolate on a sheet pan and melt it.. so im just so very frustrated right now
Yes, they're chocolate pieces. She doesn't know because she doesn't work with sugar, but they're chocolate.
Has she paid you already? If she has, tell her that she has until X time to get her cake, and after that you'll put it on your front porch in a box for her to pick up at her convenience, but you can't vouch for what the neighborhood dogs will do to it.
If she hasn't paid for it chances are she won't pick it up, and you'll be stuck with it. Change your policies so that you get full payment in advance from now on.
And stop sending photos of the cake to people before they pick it up. That's just asking for critiques and requests for changes.
Also, if someone sends you a photo of a specific cake, it's a good idea to go over what it is. I have people tell me all the time that they want this cake, and when I say "okay,t hat's fondant" they say "but I don't want fondant." That gives me a chance to clarify what they're expecting, because like I said, people who don't work with cakes don't know what they're looking at when they see a picture of one.
Thank you so much for that!! I will not send pictures from now on to customers! And I will also change my policies. In the area that I live it's not a very "rich" area I guess you could say most people live paycheck to paycheck so I normally and weary about asking for payment upfront because I don't want someone to not book because they don't have the money right then. Honestly that you so very much.
Agree with everything costumeczar said. Also, want to add- when you take an order make sure everything is in writing from the cake flavor to what the decorations are made of. The client would have known then that it was chocolate and you could have nipped this in the bud.
Take it as a learning experience. You have to be one step ahead of the client because, sadly, some people can be awful.
You did a nice job on the cake though :)
Oops, costumeczar beat me to the punch, haha! What she said!
Thank you very much I did tell her in the beginning that it was made of chocolate. Maybe she thought chocolate buttercream? Not sure but from not on in my invoices I will have every little detail spelled out even if I think it's obvious! :) Thank you jinkies! I love the cake as well
The cake looks great! I agree with everyone else. At least try to get a deposit. I usually do 50% non-refundable deposit for regular cake orders. It ensures you get something for your work if they flake out and it can help people who live pay check to pay check. Then they aren't shelling out the entire amount at once. Good Luck!
Really, if people want a custom cake they need to pay for it up front...Don't feel bad for that. It costs you time and money to make them so you should be paid before you turn the oven on. It also eliminates the "Oops, I forgot my checkbook, I'll pay you tomorrow" shenanigans that happens when you only take a deposit and let them pay when they pick up the cake.
A lot of time what happens when someone doesn't pay up front is they'll realize that they can't afford to pay for the cake, and then decide to complain that it isn't what they wanted to not have to pay for it.
And @Jinkies suggestion about writing everything down and having them sign the order is good, that way you have everything in writing WHEN they decide to complain to get some money back.
Thank you all so very very much! I have learned some new things that I can do from now on and you have all made me feel so much better!!! :) I love this CC family! :)
I just wanted to add that you did a very good job and it looks so much like the picture and why on earth would she not want the chocolate? I mean YUM. But do make sure that your clients understand 100% what a cake is made out of when they send you a photo- they are truly clueless and have to be taken through it step by step. I know it's not fun but better to be safe. You did such a good job though and my goodness I would love all that chocolate and I don't see why she wouldn't want it.
That sucks, I'm sorry!
I wonder if part of the problem could be the quality of your photo. Just like some people can't appreciate a house for sale until it's staged, your customer's disconnect could be an inability to separate the differences between the carefully styled feeling of the photo on the right and the one on the left from the cakes themselves. I'm not saying it makes sense, necessarily, just a hunch. You could start by choosing an angle closer to eye level (we don't bend down to look at cakes but they seem to look better from there in photos) and meter the photo (use the camera's sensors to set the exposure) on the cake. You don't need a fancy camera to do this - on my phone, I just tap the area of the screen I want to meter on and it adjusts the exposure. I hope this helps! Your cake is super cute.
Thank you so very much!! Yes the photo on the right was taken with a 700$ camera lol which I definitely don't have I will try that on my phone and see if it works I was also consideringredients buying a backdrop!
Man that really sucks, so sorry! Costumeczar told you everything you should do in the future but it still stings big time for this cake. Can you go on Facebook and offer it for what would be a fair but ever so slightly discounted price?
In another thread about this cake, you said "The customer wanted chocolate buttercream." Did she want that on the sides of the cake (rough iced buttercream)? If she wanted that, then I can understand she didn't like the chocolate pieces, even though that is what is on the sample cake. That underlines the idea of writing down every single thing the client wants on the cake down to the type of icing and decorations.
I was saying she wanted chocolate buttercream underneath everything they were telling me to use vanilla buttercream with cocoa powder to do the top of the cake :) I did tell her that the pieces were made of chocolate prior to making the cake. But she misunderstood I suppose. I blatantly said that the bark was made out of chocolate then proceeded to ask her what flavors she wanted she said marble with chocolate buttercream.
Like all of the above said. I wanted to send people pictures of their cake in advance before they collected it once until I saw an episode of Cake Boss where the customer saw their unfinished cake and hated it. Thereafter, never again! Lol. Buddy to the rescue!!
I also take full payment in advance of any cake. 50% is on booking, the balance is a fortnight before the party for a birthday cake. I know some people do payment on collection but I don't think I could take the cake away with me if they didn't have the payment ready...so I don't put myself in that situation. Good luck :-)
My rule of thumb is a cake (or any decorated item) is never finished until it's packaged or the box is taped. I've never sent a picture to a client and never will bc I could see something right before I box it up and want to change it and it made the cake that much better! Also pictures really sometimes don't do justice to cakes the lighting could even be off and change the entire look of the cake. we took pictures in our commercial kitchen and then at the venue and the difference was unbelievable it to me looked like a different cake. One thing I'm learning over and over is sometimes people don't know exactly what they want or what they are looking at and most people DO NOT READ things all the way through so it's our job to reiterate the details. Ultimately it falls on our shoulders to have the details accurate so I always check double check and finalize and have them sign off in approval and I keep a hard copy as well as a saved copy of each order in great detail. It happens and we live and learn and move on :)