Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Help! My customer is asking for a refund!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Help! My customer is asking for a refund!

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
This is one of those customers that was a pain in the butt from the first second... she was nitpicking the price and the serving size (she wanted an EXACT serving number and not any more). Because of that, we decided on a 1/2 size tier for the middle tier. I normally charge $4 per serving, but because she was referred by someone who had paid $3 per serving for their cake over a year ago; and because she was being such a pain about the price, I agree to do it for $3 per serving ($180 total). I deliver free within my area, but I agreed to deliver 40 minutes away free also...

I never copy any cake exactly, but we agreed on this design: http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&biw=1066&bih=570&tbm=isch&prmd=imvnse&tbnid=LSAG1uVb1LsbFM:&imgrefurl=http://andeverythingsweet.blogspot.com/2010/10/jessie-cake-toy-story.html&docid=2WT0PgB4oRCNMM&imgurl=http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_zcjdiTWj_0U/TMH5ov9sXRI/AAAAAAAADCo/LFS9HnS9jQ0/s400/IMG_2661.JPG&w=260&h=400&ei=XqL5T6WEDYWpqQGLiM2LCQ&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=839&vpy=106&dur=337&hovh=119&hovw=71&tx=146&ty=145&sig=109352889774445239571&page=1&tbnh=119&tbnw=71&start=0&ndsp=22&ved=1t:429,r:7,s:0,i:97

She asked specifically for her daughter's name in rope letters, so I added that. Anyway - I delivered the cake and it was her daughter who was there to receive it and paid me the remaining balance. I get about 10 minutes down the road and she calls me - very upset because the cake didn't have the 'cowgirl jessie' belt on the middle tier. I told her there wasn't much I could do to change the design since I was 40 minutes away... I said I was very sorry the cake didn't have that specific element, but that it was still a very cute cake. She said she thought it 'looked weird' and it wasn't what she ordered or expected. I offered a discount on her next order and she wasn't happy with that. She is asking for a partial refund because of this. I told her I would offer her a partial refund, and she should call me tomorrow (now today) since I was pulled over on the side of the freeway, and we could figure out what was fair.

SO -- I'm really not sure if I owe her much since I already bent over backwards for her. I do admit the cake probably should have incorporated a belt, but I guess I just see it as that important for the overall design. Here's a link to my cake: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=471428246203814&set=a.396164097063563.101329.396098917070081&type=1&theater

Please... thoughts?? Do I owe this woman something?
LL
"Life is a river always flowing. Do not hold onto things. Work hard." Siddhārtha Gautama
Reply
"Life is a river always flowing. Do not hold onto things. Work hard." Siddhārtha Gautama
Reply
post #2 of 29
If you never copy cakes exactly, then why did you accept this order from a person who made it clear that she expected exactly that?

Give her $20 off for the belt, and don't do business with her again.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the reply. I guess I didn't realize she expected it exactly that way. In the future, I will be sure to clarify that the agreed upon photo is only a generalization, and if they want to see something specifically, than they need to say so. I never imagined someone would be upset like that over a small element.
"Life is a river always flowing. Do not hold onto things. Work hard." Siddhārtha Gautama
Reply
"Life is a river always flowing. Do not hold onto things. Work hard." Siddhārtha Gautama
Reply
post #4 of 29
No way she got a very cute cake and i would tell her that she already got a discounted price when you lowered your price from $4 a slice to $3 a slice
post #5 of 29
I agree with BakingIrene - - give her $20 and chalk it up to a very cheap lesson. Don't ever let your customer bully you into anything, whether it involves design or price. "This is what it is. If that's not acceptable, then we won't be able to do business. Good luck with your event."

This situation is a wonderful argument for having an ironclad contract in place for even the simplest of cakes. Then it would have been spelled out exactly what each of you expected, and there wouldn't have been any misunderstandings.
post #6 of 29
I dont think the belt is a small element in this cake.. it's pretty much all the decoration of the second tier!
did she tell u how much she wants back? anyways I think 20-30$ is enough
post #7 of 29
I agree with jgifford about letting your customer bully you. It's one thing to go the extra mile but quite another to bend ovet backwards for them.

I also agree your customer is due a refund. While your interpretation is cute, I felt that the cake was missing something. By the tier having belt loops it draws your eye to it.
Our chronic flaw is partiality of judgement: we exaggerate the wrongs done to ourselves, and underestimate the wrongs we inflict on others - unknown
Reply
Our chronic flaw is partiality of judgement: we exaggerate the wrongs done to ourselves, and underestimate the wrongs we inflict on others - unknown
Reply
post #8 of 29
I bet $20 wont shut her up she will be demanding lots more. Im sorry i didnt see did she sign a contract? She will either demand all of her money back even though she used your cake and im sure her guest ate the cake. This is the exact reason why i went to classes to learn all about cakes i got a cake that i was very unhappy with ( my DH went and picked it up and had no idea what the cake was suppose to look like) anyways i paid a arm and a leg for this cake and was very unhappy with it but i severed it to my guest and it tasted fine so i never called the lady and complained i just went and signed up for the cake classes and have never had to buy another cake from someone else again
post #9 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by myslady

By the tier having belt loops it draws your eye to it.



This ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ... belt loops without a belt?
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheItalianBaker

I dont think the belt is a small element in this cake.. it's pretty much all the decoration of the second tier!



I agree, I can understand why she would have expected to see the belt buckle.

Definitely write up an order form with ALL of the details of the design for all of your orders in the future. This avoids any unhappy surprises with the elements of design. Your order form should have a description of what the cake will look like on each tier. Have them sign it indicating their acceptance of the design. This would be their chance to say "I actually wanted the second tier to look like this" or whatever the case may be.

I agree that $20-$30 refund is fair.

In the future, do not let your customer dictate to you what the price and terms of the order will be. If you want to give a discount, great, but if you don't, stick to your guns on price and don't let them talk you into lowering your price just because someone else got it cheaper.

I hope she is happy with the refund and all goes well! Good luck!
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
Reply
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
Reply
post #11 of 29
I agree that the belt is definitely an important element in the overall design. To me, the belt makes it 'Toy Story'. I also agree that $20 is enough. She already got a discount PLUS free delivery (40 minutes....that alone was a HUGE discount!), so she really shouldn't expect much.
post #12 of 29
I am sorry this happened. YOu know now not to ever do any cakes for her and also for anyone so demanding. I learned that at the beauty shop long time ago. I would rather sit and twiddle my thumbs, before i would do a demanding cusomer. YOu can never please them, no matter how hard you try, Yes, i could know, just talking to them. Wouldn, t do them. Thats my reasoning with cake clients. My nerves are more important. We all learn a lesson everytime we do something. good luck with finishing up dealing with her.
post #13 of 29
Sorry you had to deal with a picky customer but it probably won't be the last time either. First of all I don't think I would have reduced my per slice charge even though she was a referral from a year ago customer. You could have explained that cost have gone up to justify you now per slice charge.
As far as copying what someone has done, you did this time and you should have tried to get it as close as possible as far as looks go. The belt is an important detail and there are none of the ball decorations that go around each tier. That is what I notice first and to me the cake, although nicely done, did not look finished.
I think that with all you have done for this client, like others have said, that $20 is more than enough of a refund. If she complains more tell her all the discounts you already gave her and leave it go. She is going to be a PITA no matter what.
Good luck

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

Reply

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

Reply
post #14 of 29
I don't see any daisies, unless they are behind the red bow, and there is no topper as on the original. I agree with the $20 refund.

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply

There. Their. They're not the same.

 

I hope I die before "your" becomes the official contraction of "you are."

Reply
post #15 of 29
Anyone else having trouble viewing this thread? It's all stretched out for me and there is a pop up over it too.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating Business
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › Help! My customer is asking for a refund!