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Did I do the right thing with this complaint?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I've only been doing cakes for 6 months, so I'm still new to all this. Client ordered cake via internet for her's daughters's first birthday. . She showed me a pic that she liked and asked for a bear on top and more purple butterflies.

I made the cake, except I couldn't put the gumpaste blocks with her daughter's name on top as the cake in the pic was larger than hers. I put her name right at the front of the cake. I did not do the exact same flowers and the design on the butterflies. The cake was pretty.

We agreed on a location to meet to give her the cake. It was only 5 minutes away from her parents home. I arrived and she looked over the cake with a fine tooth comb, which I guess is ok. She did mention that she would have liked the blocks and when I told her why she said ok. She kept saying the cake was cute and pretty, she loved the butterflies and her husband and Dad agreed. I handed the cake over to her. I drove away.

10 mins later she called and said that during the drive, one of the flowers at the bottom back of the cake came off. I told her how to fix i and we said goodbye.

The next afternoon, I looked at my facebook only to find that she picked apart the cake. She said I did not use the exact same flower design as in the pic and that the flowers were not in the same spot and the butterflies looked plain and cut from a cookie cutter. She really wanted the blocks on top. She asked why I didn't tell her about not being able to put the blocks on. (I do have to agree with that, I should have called, but I was so busy).

I emailed her back asking why didn't she tell me when she called me about the dropped flower. Or before she took the cake. Or even in the email I just received. I said I could have make a few changes to the cake, but I didn't know. I asked her what she wanted.

She replied saying she wanted a 50% refund. I remember seeing on CC not to give refunds.

I replied saying that she had 3 chances to tell me she was unhappy and did not take them. I could have helped. I said that I could offer her a 25% discount on her next cake.

She replied: "was I supposed to say I didn't like it to your face". she wanted a 50% refund. Her husband didn't want to drive back and forth as they had other things to do. She said the cake was in Surrey when she looked at it, when she was at her parents not 5 minutes away. She lied.

I just replied reiterating she had 3 chances and never took them. That i was willing to help, but if I didn't know I couldn't and the responsibillity was hers. I said that even if she couldn't see the cake in the dark she certainly saw it at her parents and could have told me then and I would have turned around. That her parents could have driven the cake or I could even have driven over to pick up the cake. She had options.

I am absolutely sick over this. I agree that the cake was not exactly as in the picture. It was a 2 tier, a 9 and 6" and I charged her $90.
All ingredients were made from scratch and the bear was made from chocolate. I didn't scrimp.

Oh, she also said the cake was dry and IT WASN'T!!!

Am I wrong? I am afraid she will badmouth me on Facebook and I will lose customers. I know I will hear from her again. What should I do?

HELP!
post #2 of 34
Breath...just breath. You will have customers like this, I did and I'm still in business. Stick to your guns, if you give a refund to here she will tell her friends and the conversation will go like this.

Her friend "I have a birthday for little joey, where did you have that cake made for little suzys bday."
current problem customer "oh some lady, she didn't listen to me the 'negative comment" and then she "negative comment" you wouldn't believe what I had to do and finally "negative comment" *followed by sly smile* but I finally got a 50% discount.
her friend: oh okay.

You don't want this woman in your business, don't reply to her facebook, don't say ANYTHING to ANYONE on your facebook critiquing her. Take the high road, read old emails sent by customers, bask in your successes and leave her rolling in the muck she is creating. thumbs_up.gif
Being up to my elbows in cream sounded a lot more glamorous!
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Being up to my elbows in cream sounded a lot more glamorous!
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post #3 of 34
I agree that you should have told her in advance about the blocks on top. So for that, I agree that a 25% off the next cake is good.

As for exact replication of the flowers and butterflies.....

I always tell my clients that all cakes are individually designed and no 2 are exactly alike. Therefore if they pick a previously designed cake, they are made aware that it will not be a cookie cutter replication.

I agree totally that she had options to tell you she was unhappy. When she says "I was supposed to tell you to your face I was unhappy?" you answer..."yes....how else am I supposed to fix it?"

I think if she picks apart your cake on FB you calmly respond with something professionally and calmly stated about your efforts to remedy the situation, the opportunities she had to have you fix it, and be done. Everyone gets a customer at some point or other that is less than thrilled, and it's how they are responded to that sways the opinions of future customers. Calmly state your case and your offered remedy....I'm sure someone more articulate could help you with exact wording.


I hope it all works out for you....
Fall down 7 times....get up 8
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Fall down 7 times....get up 8
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post #4 of 34
Don't pay attention to her, sounds like she's one of those "I want a free cake" person, she had opportunities to speak up and she didn't because in reality there was nothing wrong with the cake, obviously she's making up excuses to get her money back! IMO you shouldn't give her a penny back!!! Sorry this happen to you.
After Jesus, there is nothing better to ease the pain than a good piece of cake!!!
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After Jesus, there is nothing better to ease the pain than a good piece of cake!!!
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post #5 of 34
Take her off of your friends list now. icon_biggrin.gif
post #6 of 34
Thread Starter 
I didn't think a contract for birthdays, showers, etc was necessary. However in light of this, I think I should prep one and send it out along with my confirmation. Do you think so too?
post #7 of 34
Lol....the only person I have not done a contract with, wedding/party/whatever is my webmaster. Every cake gets a contract. Period.
post #8 of 34
Yeah, that's why I don't like Facebook.

People get bored, want to try to sound cool, so they just write rubbish, forget that they've got 200 friends listed who can read what they're saying and people get hurt.

There are some friends you would say some things to and others you wouldn't.

As far as your cake, I agree with karateka. I tell people that their cakes won't turn out exactly like the ones in the picture. Especially since I haven't been caking for long either.


If you're really concerned tell her you will give her a discount if she doesn't say anything more about the cake on Facebook and deletes what she has already said (can you do that, delete old posts?).
post #9 of 34
Remove her from the friend list. You also have the ability to delete the comment she made. DELETE! Mail her the 25% off coupon and don't think about her again. She is not worth your time.
post #10 of 34
That's really unfortunate--not being given a chance to do anything to make it better when so many opportunities existed & passed by. I think you handled it well and learned a lot too. Good job. She should not get a discount on that cake.

And as has been mentioned, when I do a cake from a picture I always say I will do my interpretation of that cake.

I can't stress enough how great I think you did being put on the spot like that and holding your ground--brilliant.

Going forward, another idea is to say, 'I'll need to discuss this with my business partner and get back to you'--this can provide you time to think--even if your business partner is just talking to yourself in the mirror when you're not being put on the spot--in other words I think a 10% discount on a future order is sufficient here myself. Why should you loose that much on a future order because she has buyer's remorse. You're barely getting $2 a serving as it is. So now you should work for her of all people for $1.50 a serving?

I'm curious--what's the child's name?

I'd love to see a photo.
anytime you judge somebody and
you judge something that makes them happy 
that's your weakness speaking ~~ hilaria baldwin
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anytime you judge somebody and
you judge something that makes them happy 
that's your weakness speaking ~~ hilaria baldwin
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post #11 of 34
Thread Starter 
That's the other thing, I don't have a camera, so client's have been sending me pics. I can see now that pics are important for many reasons. A client could change a cake and say anything they want and I don't have any proof. That's why I haven't posted any of my photos on CC. I will go and get one this week. I will ask someone to help me put some photos up here for everyone to see.

The cake was for a little girl named Sienna who was turning 1. In my heart of hearts, I am a perfectionist and will not allow anything to go out that is not good quality to go out. Everything looked good, the cake was level, nothing wrong with the fondant and I even made a bear out of white chocolate with a little pink dress and bow in her hair. I even decorated the board to make it look pretty for a little girl. I am not as experienced as some of you, but I take pride in what I do. I take the time to make everything from scratch and I care. There were no smiles on peoples' faces at Sienna's Bday party and that is what I am angry about. It didn't have to happen at all.

If anyone would like to let me know what things I should put in a general contract, I would really appreciate it. I don't want this to ever happen again.

Thank you very much for all your kind comments and good suggestions. This one really hurt.
post #12 of 34
some contract threads -- while they talk about wedding cakes, they could be easily adapted by just changing "wedding" to "special occasion"

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-630887-contract.html

http://www.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-22336-contract.html

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-39020-cake.html+contracts
Keep on cakin'!
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Keep on cakin'!
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post #13 of 34
Thread Starter 
thanks again for the help and wisdom. Doug, I looked at the contract and you definitely didn't leave anything out. It covers everything. Thanks a lot. I will be sending the contract via the net, so would they just respond with a yes, or should I ask them to send it back with a signature or an acknowledgment paragraph?

I will try and put pics up here and I think everyone will get a message.
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattycakes55d

thanks again for the help and wisdom. Doug, I looked at the contract and you definitely didn't leave anything out. It covers everything. Thanks a lot. I will be sending the contract via the net, so would they just respond with a yes, or should I ask them to send it back with a signature or an acknowledgment paragraph?

I will try and put pics up here and I think everyone will get a message.



paper! -- have them print it out and mail it back to you with the deposit.

if ever sued would have to have a paper copy for evidence.

REMEMBER -- have your lawyer look at it FIRST before you use it.
Keep on cakin'!
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Keep on cakin'!
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post #15 of 34
Oh yes, must print out, retain a copy for their records, and return signed copy with deposit.
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