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THIS takes the Cake! so mad!! advice?

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
5 months ago I did a wedding cake, I think I posted a question about a refund on here...anyway here is what happened: It was a 5 tiered cake. the 8" tier was to hang over the edge of the 10" cake. it was awesome, but I didn't think it through, I dowl rodded the heck out of it BEFORE delivering it. (don't ever do this! I should have known better!) anyway, the 8" tier split in half. I left cake in the back kitchen of the reception site an rushed back to the bakery and got supplies...I re-applied the fondant on the 8" cake but it was to unstable to put the 6" and the 4" tiers on top. so I put the cake back together with out the 8" tier and put the 8" tier on the back of the cake table, in a corner with flowers on top. it looked very nice.

I contacted the bride that night via email and told her that I was sorry that the cake wasn't exactly the way she wanted and I was sorry, and offered her a $100.00 gift card to use towards any cake in the future. she was pissed. she wanted 100% of her money back. me being me, told her that I couldn't give her a 100% refund....they served the cake, they ate the cake and I was very sorry but offered her half her money back. I sent her a check. she cashed the check.
5 months go by. Today I get a letter from the BBB saying she is complaining about my company and I need to resolve this. she told them she wouldn't be happy with anything less then 100% of her money back.
she wants her other $225.54 back.
She said I was rude and unprofessional. and that my company was a scam, and we scammed people...ect. ect. she said she ordered a 5 tier wedding cake and got a 3 tiered crumbely cake.

she got a 5 tiered cake....it just wasn't stacked exactly the way she wanted.....and the 8" cake was the only one with a problem....which is why she got a refund.

I am floored.

this bride wanted fondant people on the top of her cake, a bride and a groom. I made these.....for FREE (don't hurt me) she sent me a picture of her and the groom. I made these. she then sends me an email and says she likes them, but groom shaved his beard off, so can I make them again w/o the beard.....being stupid me, I do it again...w/o the beard, and for FREE. then she changed her mind and went with a different topper.
Do I sound like a scammer? good grief.

so, I will respond to the BBB but feel like I am being blackmailed into paying this bridezilla.
I had the understanding that if there was a conflict in any business matter, and one party gives any refund back to the other party and the other party accepts the refund...then that is the end of it. am I missing something?
I am not too worried about the BBB saying something bad about me...apparentely they have to write a report about the incident.
what worries me is that this nut is going to go all over the internet and tell prospective customers that I am a "scammer" ect. and bad mouth me. I've worked very hard to build my business up. at the same time....as a new business I really don't want her to cost me business.
If I make a mistake, I learn from it, and always make my customers happy. Even if that means a refund, even a refund for a misunderstanding on their part. (I'm getting better though)

what the heck would you guys do?

I already hear Chuzpahs answer in my head now.

I do not want to give her a dime. so what I am asking I guess, is has anyone ever been in a situation like this? what does the BBB do?
if there is something written neg. about me, do clients get to read the details and decide for themselves? does any one even read the BBB reports before deciding on a cake, a car dealer, grocery store, ect?

is there any thing I can do if she goes all over the internet and leaves neg. reports if the BBB sides with me? (which I am sure they will. come on....)

thank you for your help.
post #2 of 43
I have been complained on to the BBB in a different line of work--which ironically was because I adhered to my company's established credit guidelines and the big deal bale out currently going on in the government right now is because credit was not extended properly anyway I digress--yes I've been personally complained on and all you have to do is respond--respond everytime and you'll be golden with the BBB. My company's marketing division did all the paperwork but just copy & paste & send to them most of what you wrote up there and you'll be fine.

Sorry about the issues with the cake and the bride who refuses to understand.
read the ingredient label

 

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read the ingredient label

 

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post #3 of 43
if you still have the emails, I would provide those to the BBB along with your explanation. Just because she complained to them doesn't mean she is right. If you have a picture, I would also provide them with that to show that you provided her with what she requested and explain what happened and how you tried to resolve the issue, along with the credit you gave the bride. Then see what happens and where it goes from there
make life what you want it to be
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make life what you want it to be
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post #4 of 43
I agree, send all your emails and photos to the BBB...they are also on your side, and know a nut case when they see one. I beleive they just put that an issue was raised and was or was not resolved, they don't really put details on their web site, I don't think. I am so sorry this happened to you! I know it happens to everyone eventually...Brides are just so emotional!!
Gotta have more cowbell!
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Gotta have more cowbell!
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post #5 of 43
Funny, I just filed a complaint with the BBB yesterday about a survey company that keeps stalking me for an interview. (yes, they park outside my home and wait for me to get home). Beware, they are SOOOOO ignorant and aggressive!

Anyway, I would make a copy of the cashed refund check and send this along with your explanation. Tell them as far as you're concerned this matter was closed months ago. No, they cannot make you pay her......and you can post a response to her complaint on their site stating that she "ACCEPTED" partial refund as restitution.......and they consumed the cake.

Sorry this is happening. I'm sure most brides don't go on the BBB to read about cake decorators, they usually are referred by one of our prior clients.

Good luck........let us know how it turns out.
post #6 of 43
Y'know how to word this though? Say yes Ms. Bride was correct and that you agree with her that she unfortunately lost a significant component of her wedding cake ambiance because of the 'accident' and that you valiantly did your best to keep it as close as humanly possible to the original plans. The cake otherwise performed to the utmost in serving her guests. Which is why you refunded half the price and she accepted. Then say the stuff DKelly said.

Keep it real simple. As few words as possible.
read the ingredient label

 

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read the ingredient label

 

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post #7 of 43
Sorry shoot me, but you didn't give her what she paid for. It doesn't matter all of the free stuff. She wanted/payed for five tiers, and didn't get it.

Mike
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Sorry shoot me, but you didn't give her what she paid for. It doesn't matter all of the free stuff. She wanted/payed for five tiers, and didn't get it.

Mike



Normally i would agree with you Mike, but she did except the refund check and cashed it. Had she not done that, i would say she might have a leg to stand on. JMHO
post #9 of 43
I agree with the others. I have been told by lawyers, arbitrators, etc ( in another line of work ) that once the refund was accepted and cashed all bets are now off. I would present the cashed check record/emails etc to the BBB and that is it. NO more refund.
Sugar Artist in Progress
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Sugar Artist in Progress
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post #10 of 43
I have to deal with the BBB regularly in my other line of business. Don't let them throw you off. You have good facts to present to the BBB and they will forward your response onto the other party. Just state the facts, have your evidence to submit to support your position and you'll be fine.
post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Sorry shoot me, but you didn't give her what she paid for. It doesn't matter all of the free stuff. She wanted/payed for five tiers, and didn't get it.

Mike



As I mentioned in another thread about a cake refund, there was a similar case on Judge Judy. She said that although the bride did not get the cake that she paid for, she was not entitled to a 100% refund. Judge Judy said that the guest consumed the cake and the only way she would have been entitled to a complete refund was if they were so devastated that they did not cut and serve the cake.

Given that, I think you've been fair. Also, she cashed the check that you refunded to her. I'd say case closed.
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by adonisthegreek1

As I mentioned in another thread about a cake refund, there was a similar case on Judge Judy. She said that although the bride did not get the cake that she paid for, she was not entitled to a 100% refund. Judge Judy said that the guest consumed the cake and the only way she would have been entitled to a complete refund was if they were so devastated that they did not cut and serve the cake.

Given that, I think you've been fair. Also, she cashed the check that you refunded to her. I'd say case closed.



. . . . ditto . . . . judge.gif
. . . Think of things not as they are . . . but as they might be . . . Don't merely dream . . . but create!!!
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. . . Think of things not as they are . . . but as they might be . . . Don't merely dream . . . but create!!!
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post #13 of 43
Although it's tough to think about refunding all of the money for a cake that was consumed, I have to agree with Mike. The bride ordered a five tiered cake, and that's not what she got. I think the fact that they ate the cake is irrelevant. After all, what else were they going to eat? It's not as if they had time to get a replacement.

However, once she accepted the check you offered to make it right, it seems like that closed the issue. If she wasn't happy with your settlement offer, she should have returned the check and told you or gone immediately to the BBB.

This is such an unfortunate thing. I'm sure you feel terrible about not giving her the cake she wanted, and it sounds like you worked really hard on it. However, I do think it's unrealistic for strangers to care about the extra efforts we may choose to put into the product. If she asked you to change a feature you'd already completed, you had the power at that time to say, "Sure I can do that, but there will be an extra charge." If you are going to resent doing things for free, don't do them.

She'll probably bad mouth you no matter what, so at this point giving her the balance probably won't help you. It will come down to what you're comfortable with from an ethical and business standpoint.
It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

Winston Churchill
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It's not good enough that we do our best; sometimes we have to do what's required.

Winston Churchill
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post #14 of 43
I agree with the others.

The bride might not have accepted your answers to her but she did CASH the refund and by doing that she accepted your "refund". Obviously the cake tasted good because they ate it. you accomodated her with the cake topper which I think was WAY generous (esp with her changing the design and THEN didn't use it). Most designers would not have changed a "free" topper like that. It's not your fault the groom shaved!

The BBB is actually on your side and like everyone else suggests. Send them a picture of the cake (hopefully you have a picture of the cake at the venue where you left it). Along with that I would send every email you received as well as your order sheet if you have one. Accept and admit that you did have an issue with one of the layers but that you went over and above to try and fix the mistake.

But most of all be prepared.. She will slam your name every time she hears someone ask about a cake within her ear shot. Whether you give her a complete refund or it stay like it is- she won't be happy and she will tell everyone she knows. BUT most people probably already know that she is a bridezilla and that she can't be pleased. I bet if you did some digging she probably griped about everything that day...

Good luck
Don't back down- you are right here not the bride.

mommakristin
Kristin
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Kristin
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post #15 of 43
I feel sorry for the groom....he is doomed.....


I totally disagree with Mike here....as a former civil administrator, here is my opinion:

She cashed the check....she lied about the cake, and she was a bridezilla to boot. AND, if you have a signed contract with standard language, you are good to go. Always have a contract.....always...

If you have pictures of your work, copies of the e-mails between you and the client, then that is all you need to set the record straight.

If you provide the BBB with all that documentation there is no way that they can do anything but call a "Duck a duck" and send that ladies complaint to the rubbish pile where it belongs.

No refund for her beyond what you already did, in fact after all the free work...and what nerve that girl had for that...you really didn't need to even do that!!! And it sounds like she got a very large and very expensive cake anyways for very little money. Don't give it a second thought. Send the documents to the BBB and your own letter of explaination if you like, and leave it at that.

We are all going to run into this type of a client from time to time, we just have to make sure we are keeping our records in order and that our work will speak for us and then whoever is the "Whiny hiney" after that, can just blow it out their ears.

Never give your work away for free, and don't let the "bad apples" get you down. And this bride is definately a very "Bad Apple"....I feel sorry for her new husband...he is in for a long sad life if this is how his bride acts....
Tell me I can't, and it will be done....
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Tell me I can't, and it will be done....
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