That's not how that works. It's not a mess... it's a wrestling ring... I've made one before in the past, they are hard. Yours turned out way better than mine... Lol.
First of all... You didn't really get enough money to make it much better than that. I usually tell people when first talking about their order with them... I have people say to me all the time "I have XX amount of dollars and I need to work something out". I tell them that I will call them back and that is when I do the research. I may take up to a day, but I get all the aspects of how I'm going to make their cake and what all that will cost. I tell them the basic price of the cake and buttercream and I never, NEVER budge on my per slice price. Then I go through and tell them what the rest of their money will buy. If they don't like it... too bad, so sad. Go someplace else. I don't have time to work for nothing. If this is your only job, you need to quickly adjust to that mentality otherwise it's going to quickly loose it's appeal and not be right for you anymore because every Harry and Sally that doesn't like x, x or x on their cake is going to be mad and you will be affected.
Second... You need a new rule. No refunds without the return of the WHOLE cake. If he wanted his money back, he should have brought the whole cake back. No cake, no refunds. Anyone can say they don't like the way something looks to get their money back... but, even at the store you need to bring the item back. You don't buy a sweater at Walmart and go in and say "Well... I don't like the way it looks, so could give me 1/3 back because you didn't have the color I like?" Your food at taco bell was wrong? You bring your order back... not keep it and expect more. See what I mean?
Just because you are making custom cakes, you also need to realize what is within your range of ability, also. It's really easy to get super excited about things and say "Yeah, I can do that!" If you aren't sure and you've taken an order... it might be time to get some practice dummys and work it out a time or two before hand. Jumping into a cake without a plan, especially something you haven't done before, is scary. This way, you can say "I know this is the way I want to do this cake".
LOL you are too much but thanks for this advice. It was just hurtful that he said that and I knew I was actually giving away the cake, because I had never done a cake like that...mainly more women order cakes from me so a girlly cake I can do with no problem. This is not my only job and people in my area want something for nothing they expect to get a 2 tier cake with a 10000000000000000000 details for 45 dollars "what the what" I dont budge on my prices either and when they ask, "why is it so high" I simply reply "go check the prices on sugar, butter, milk, cream, and eggs!" LOL and I am to serious.
Although he did call me and told me how awesome the cake was and that it tasted like cakes his grandmother use to bake when he was younger. Well it is my great grandmothers pound cake recipe that I have altered a little. I still felt some type of way, but when he refused to give me the cake back the refund was out of the question and part of his refund was out becasue I cant take half the cake back.
Thanks you guys are awesome I love CC