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Dissatisfied client?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone I need advice..

 

i have been doing this for about three years now, i recently started promoting my business a lot more and I have been packed with orders. People love my cake and designs I can't say I've had a customer who has complained before...till Saturday.

 

 

she had shown me a sheet cake with a FAKE doll on top pipped with buttercream for the pjs, while talking I told her why not make a 3D baby? We eliminated the sheet cake and just stuck to making the newborn then from a purple pipped buttercream outfit she changed it to something camo. I made a 3D baby cake that everyone loved my clients when picking their cakes saw it in the box and I got mad compliments on it. 

 

When she came to pick it up she said well I'm not happy with it. I looks too real the eyelid looks creepy bc it looks shut i said that's what an eyelid in a baby looks like...she said its just not what I had in mind I said I'm sorry.. (Mind you I was so excited for this cake) I was crushed..I love seeing clients expressions and they are always good specially the kids. 

 

Anyhow I had taken a last minute order for another baby shower and from the same cake batch as the 3D baby It was enough for the other cake as well. Today the lady from the 3D cake said the cake tasted not better than it looked and how would I make it up to her...yet the other lady text me thanking me for the delicious cake I had made that everything turned out wonderful and the cake was amazing ...SAME batch, 

 

 

 

image.jpg 533k .jpg file

 

 

 

and to top it off one of her guests who tried the cake at her shower just placed an order for her kids bday..... so I'm confused?

 

Im not sure what to do or what she wants when she says what I intend to do about this situation..has anyone been through this? And also should I give her half of her money back if I made the cake and can't give it all back or does anyone have any ideas? 

 

Please share your stories or any advice,would be greatly appreciated!!

post #2 of 17

Sometimes people just want to complain to get free stuff.  I don't know.  In all honesty, 3D babies creep me out, too!  Maybe the level of artistry wasn't what she was expecting for what she paid?  Sculpted cakes are are true art to pull off correctly and I very kindly suggest making them for friends and family first to gain more experience.  The edges are a little rough and the cake underneath looks bumpy.  The little mouth and face are adorable, but maybe could have used some color?  Blush on the lips and cheeks?  To make it look alive.  I would offer at least a 50% refund and request her to let you know specifically and HONESTLY what she didn't like about it.  Be sure to tell her that you can only improve when people give you honest feedback.

 

It will sting, as I still get a yucky feeling in my gut when I think about my first disappointed customer (which ironically was my old boss before i started caking - and it wasn't even a sculpted cake!).  I wanted to throw up AND throw in the towel.  I look back at some of my first sculpted cake pics and want to burn them they look so bad - even some of my pics on here are pretty bad and if I did them again I would change sooo much about them!

 

But you can only learn through experience and your own natural eye for art and design.  And I am not saying this because I think I am perfect, but as many of us on here can attest to, you can only improve with experience and constructive criticism. 

 

Just think of all those American Idol contestants that think they can sing but no one ever had the heart to tell them they can't!  You don't wanna be THAT person!

 

I almost don't want to hit the submit button because I don't want you to think that I am being mean.  But I will because I would want someone to be honest with me when I ask for advice.

 

And check out the new forum that just started about peer critiques.  You can post your pics and get honest, constructive feed back on your cakes.

Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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Aah, cake. . .the 5th food group!!
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post #3 of 17
How much did you charge for the 3D baby cake? The customer still took possession of the cake and paid full price even though she wasn't happy with it? Did the customer sign a contract or invoice, and what does your refund policy state?
post #4 of 17

She should not have taken delivery on the cake if she was unhappy.  That is why many bakers ask for deposits and/or payment in full up-front, it protects from those who do not take delivery, as the ingredient cost has been covered.  How are refunds handled in your policy?  If you are doing business legally, you can argue with her about the fact she took delivery despite telling you she was unhappy.

Maybe you can give her a refund in the interest of customer service.  Feel her out, is she a "I want a free cake type" or is she truly being honest?

It's hard.

Keep practicing!

post #5 of 17

*Puts on bullet-proof vest, discards barge pole* Um, gotta agree with the customer as far as creepy-looking goes. Kudos to you though, at least you attempted one and it does look like a baby.

 

Like others have mentioned, your refund policy would be the way to handle this case. Do you have one? It could be that she's just using that excuse as a way to get a refund or some compensation for the design which she was not happy with. 

post #6 of 17

Well...I am going to agree with vgcea. I don't care for this cake at all. Not only is it very creepy, it's not smooth, and the shapes are not quite right....there is also some bunching up under the neck and weird folds under the baby. The best part and most realistic part of the cake is the bow and the blanket. Now, I have never attempted to make a 3D baby, so I give you KUDOS for doing it...but if it were me as the customer, I wouldn't have been happy with the end result.

 

Something else to consider when someone is ordering a cake, or gives you a picture of what they want, it's best not to talk them out of it unless it's something you can't do or wouldn't be stable. You convinced your customer to go into a completely different direction. Sure, we all want some artistic freedom, but ultimately it's about pleasing the customer. I'd say that didn't happen here. If you don't have a refund policy written into your contract, you need to get that done right away..In the meantime, since I don't know what she paid for this cake, I would offer her a refund of half.

“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

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“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

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post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky316 View Post

Well...I am going to agree with vgcea. I don't care for this cake at all. Not only is it very creepy, it's not smooth, and the shapes are not quite right....there is also some bunching up under the neck and weird folds under the baby. The best part and most realistic part of the cake is the bow and the blanket. Now, I have never attempted to make a 3D baby, so I give you KUDOS for doing it...but if it were me as the customer, I wouldn't have been happy with the end result.

 

Something else to consider when someone is ordering a cake, or gives you a picture of what they want, it's best not to talk them out of it unless it's something you can't do or wouldn't be stable. You convinced your customer to go into a completely different direction. Sure, we all want some artistic freedom, but ultimately it's about pleasing the customer. I'd say that didn't happen here. If you don't have a refund policy written into your contract, you need to get that done right away..In the meantime, since I don't know what she paid for this cake, I would offer her a refund of half.

I agree, it's not as smoothly done as it could be.  Practice and your next cake will be perfect.  

post #8 of 17

Ok, so I took the time to review other cakes in your gallery.

 

Like the others, I am hesitant to share my honest criticism.  It's important that you take it in the spirit it is given.  This is not your best work.  As a client, I would set my expectations according to your previous work as well as your reassurance of your own capabilities.  This cake had some serious issues.  The shape is very flat and not at all right.  I'm not sure if the folds are arms or the chest.  The blanket doesn't look camo to me.  It looks like a cow pattern or something else.  The fondant is bumpy and the seams are jagged and thick.  Even the bow in the hair is droopy and thick.

 

You really did an amazing job painting the hair.  I know this took a long time.  I also know you were proud of some of the elements like the eyes and mouth.  But when you stand back the cake as a whole doesn't compare to some of your other work.

 

You are not me.  If I was in this position, I would be giving her a partial refund.  She did still take the cake.  I'm not entirely certain I believe the comments about the taste.  I think she was just adding insult to injury.  Doesn't matter.  

 

Also, I hope you don't mind me asking, I'm curious...how much did you charge her?

www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
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www.VeryDeliciousDesserts.com

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Delicious-Desserts/207874222593145

 

It's never "just cake!"

 

You may get a cake for $way to little but you won't get this cake!

Animal
(4 photos)
 
Reply
post #9 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratch04 View Post

Hi everyone I need advice... When she came to pick it up she said well I'm not happy with it....she said its just not what I had in mind I said I'm sorry..

...Today the lady from the 3D cake said the cake tasted not better than it looked and how would I make it up to her...yet the other lady text me thanking me for the delicious cake I had made that everything turned out wonderful and the cake was amazing ...SAME batch, 

 

 

and to top it off one of her guests who tried the cake at her shower just placed an order for her kids bday..... so I'm confused?

 

Im not sure what to do or what she wants when she says what I intend to do about this situation..has anyone been through this? And also should I give her half of her money back if I made the cake and can't give it all back or does anyone have any ideas? 

 

Please share your stories or any advice,would be greatly appreciated!!

 

 

so after she states she doesn't like the sculpture she took the cake anyway and served it and now she says didn't like the flavor either?

 

if i got the story straight--then she should get no more than 50% imo.--especially since one of her guests placed an order

 

if the guest is trying to get a free cake too then you need to hedge that bet by only going 50%--not saying she is just saying

 

if the guest liked your cake that much to place an order then 3d baby cake lady shouldn't get a full refund for bad flavor 'cause obviously it was good

 

baby lady took it in the first place unhappy--i think she's going for a full court press saying it tasted bad

 

if you were a grocery store--sure give her a full refund no worries--deep pocket

 

since you are not a retail storefront (are you?) i think half is very fair

 

you acknowledge her concerns and are not out all the work and all the money when she had a choice to take it or not at the beginning

 

 just my opinion

love me some cake buzzzzz

 

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love me some cake buzzzzz

 

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post #10 of 17

I really have to agree with the rest. I would've refused  pickup if I had been the customer. The shape is all wrong. 

 

Actually, since i reall try to avoid confrontation, I probably would've picked it up, and kicked myself for it, and just replaced it at Walmart. Then gave you a call after the party. 

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes View Post

I really have to agree with the rest. I would've refused  pickup if I had been the customer. The shape is all wrong. 

 

Actually, since i reall try to avoid confrontation, I probably would've picked it up, and kicked myself for it, and just replaced it at Walmart. Then gave you a call after the party. 

Exactly! She may not have wanted to say to her face she wasn't happy...afraid of confrontation...Not only that, when you've ordered a cake for an event and you're not happy with it, you're kind of screwed! There's not really enough time to get another unless you drop by the grocery store....YUCK!

“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

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“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

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post #12 of 17
Oh my. I would not have been a happy client if I had come to pick up my dead baby cake and it looked like that.

I would have refused to pay AND left the cake right where it was.

I would never accept an order for a cake that I didn't have the skill to make.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Yes it will sting and it does. I do thank everyone for replying some harsh others honest and sincere not as harsh however I will take all of it into consideration bc to the really harsh ones well you helped me get tough skin and want to excel on my next 3D cake. 

 

Perhaps it wasn't my best cake but I also don't do bad work at all and to delicious desserts I do want to thank you for taking the time to look into that. 

 

I did offer her a partial refund however her daughter contacted me (the cake was for her) and said she liked the cake and the taste of the cake as well if she could give my number out to someone else. I had also asked if the cake was gone or they had to buy another one (bc of taste) and she said there were crumbs left to it...so about the taste I definitely know it isn't true. 

 

I took the cake because I have done a lot of 3D before (unfortunately we had a break in at our house and my Mac was stolen this was before I promoted my business) so I have a lot of work gone..sadly anyway perhaps I took too much this weekend and I didn't perform right at all..I didn't take y'all's criticism in bad spirit by no means I am new to this business situation so I need guidance and I know a lot of people have been doing this for years so I thought I would ask the pros.

 

I am a pleaser and I guess when someone doesn't like my work (first time) i take it to heart I haven't been able to stop thinking about it but itll definitely help me in the long run. 

 

So thank you to everyone. 

post #14 of 17

Well, I don't think you asked for only pros to comment...This is easy for anyone....

“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

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“If I was made of cake I'd eat myself before somebody else could.”
Emma Donoghue

Reply
post #15 of 17

I am so glad you didn't take it badly, I have seen a good thread go toes up very quickly when a cake is critiqued, and I commend you for it. 

Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
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