I think that's the biggest point of contention here, people just don't act that way in my experience. Maybe I've been spoiled by having good customers or maybe it's a regional thing, I don't know.
I should also clarify that a refund would not be issued if someone just "changes their mind". If the customer stated that there was a quality problem with a cake, and the order was big enough to warrant spending time on an investigation, I would investigate. If it was a small order, they would get the refund.
I totally get what you are saying here and I think with the business you had in a specialty product (allergies) you hardly see this. I have not yet (knock on wood) have had to deal with this myself yet but if you give a refund to someone because they did not know how fondant was going to taste the $58 here and there add up after awhile. It is not worth the headache of the $58 to you I get that but for some of us $58 is more flour, more sugar, more advertisement. When the complaint is not warranted than that $58 is very hard to hand over when you have spent time on the cake, be it 5 mins or 5 hrs it is still time you took to make the cake you were asked for. This industry is packed and there is always another shop on every corner it seems these days, good business practice is not just about satisfying the customer it is also about being strong enough to know what you produced for someone is worth what went out.I also think if you wait until last min to order a cake but yet call it the focal point of the event you have just stuck your foot in your mouth. This lady is worth the $58 in the OP's pocket because she did take a last min order for this woman, she produced the cake she asked for on short notice and it is not the OP's fault the children did not like fondant that is on the buyer.If you look at everything this lady has said to the OP it is all about sticking her foot in her mouth. I truly believe this is not a situation of quality control.
I do get where you are coming from Jason and that is another way to look at it .