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My first cake complaint! I feel so discouraged.

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 

I usually require more than a weeks notice on all cake orders so that I for sure have all the supplies and enough time to fulfill it. I got a call on wednesday asking for a cake for sunday (yesterday). So  I went ahead and took the order just because she said she knew my aunt. 


I did not have enough fondant for her order on such short notice & I told her that I was unable to make exactly what she wanted and that I just couldn't make her cake. She didn't want to take my no for an answer and said to make it work with just buttercream instead. 

I tried my best to match what she wanted with the buttercream, but it's hard to do when it was all supposed to be fondant. I had only 4hours of sleep trying to finish her order (I was booked this weekend with cakes).


I don't usually deliver cakes but she wanted it done so I agreed. I took it to the party and she went bonkers! She was screaming, crying and yelling! She said "this is not what I wanted" "where's the fondant black band around the top not this thing" "it's all wrong" "NOOOOO" 

I apologized & so did my boyfriend (who went to carry it in for me since it was heavy).  


I've never had someone hate my cake before. I've made so many with all nice things to say but she HATED IT. She threw a tantrum. It discouraged me so much I cried for 2 hours...and even now I feel sick to my stomach. I knew it was ugly, but I warned her it wasn't going to be perfect, because I didn't have the fondant.  


I originally charged her $130.00 but after that happened I sent my boyfriend with an envelope with all her money in it. So I made nothing off of this order & I spent a lot of my own money. He said she answered the door and was eating my cake! With a smile on her face...she took her money back and said she wishes the cake came out the way she wanted and that it's a good thing it tastes good. 




I need help coping with what just happened. I've never experienced this before. Have you guys had complaints before like that? I'm so sad. How was it like for you guys when it happened? Did I do the right thing giving back the money? 

post #2 of 88
I think your cake is lovely. To say that was on short notice is a real accomplishment.

I would have done what you did, and say ICant do the cake. But in this instance she seemed desperate and you tried to make if work. All I can say is brush your shoulders off. This kind of thing happens. Rest assured that this isn't the end of the world. It will all be ok
post #3 of 88
That cake is sooo pretty!!! Don't feel discouraged, you are very talented and she was acting like a spoilt brat! If you told her in advance that you couldn't make what she wanted what did she expect?! You will come across people like her a lot don't let them phase you.
post #4 of 88

I'm so sorry this happened to you,the cake was really cute and her reaction was rude and not to mention you worked like crazy to get it done for her. Brush it off, those kind of people are out there, and no matter what you had brought her it wouldn't have been right.

post #5 of 88

Don't let people bully you.  There are some cakes which just can't be translated into buttercream from fondant.  That's the reality of it.  I don't want to say it was your fault, but if you knew the design couldn't be executed according to the customer's specs (in fondant) then you should have told her to go elsewhere or to choose a different design. 


I don't think the cake is ugly and I wouldn't have given her a full refund.  I would have given a partial refund.  This is indeed a lesson learned.  Don't take any crap from anyone and use your best judgment. 

post #6 of 88

I don't understand why people are so quick to refund money when they delivered what the customer asked for? Did you have emails of texts where she told you to do it in buttercream? DO you have pictures of the cake she asked for to share with us? Did you not have time to buy or make any fondant? Some customers are just difficult and some are just in their complaints. If they are just being ridiculously difficult in my opinion I would come here and ask advice BEFORE I was so quick to refund the money. You don't want to be known as the pushover or you will have a lot of customers who will be unhappy with their cake just to get their $$ back!

post #7 of 88

I agree with AnnieCahill, and I think you did a good job.  Don't feel obligated to take on orders you know are going to be an issue..I bet we've all learned this the hard way.  Chin up, buttercup!  ;)

post #8 of 88

You should also make a contract if you're running a business.  That way everything's in writing and nothing is ambiguous. 

post #9 of 88

An email chain is always going to be helpful in these situations.  Some people don't understand that fondant doesn't always translate well into buttercream.  It was good of you to offer a full refund, but her behavior was over the top rude.  Sorry you cried.  I would have cried too!

post #10 of 88

Oh my goodness. How awful and rude of her. There was absolutely nothing wrong with your cake. It came out lovely and tasted good. That is a victory! I'm sorry you cried about this order.


To echo many other remarks...if you're not comfortable, don't take the order. It doesn't matter how much a customer begs. If you don't feel that you can confidently deliver your best work, don't let anyone goad you into it. Maybe you gave the full refund because you were caught off guard and stunned by her reaction. But if a customer keeps the cake AND eats it, then a full refund should not be warranted.


This cake is gorgeous! Get back on that horse because you have talent!

post #11 of 88
Let this be a very expensive lesson in when to say no. Sometimes it's better to just walk away, I know it's easier said than done in the moment but this lady will be telling everyone she knows about her delicious free cake now and they'll all be wanting one.
post #12 of 88
I agree your cake is beautiful I work for a very popular bakery and I see people do this a LOT. They only want a free cake.
post #13 of 88

The cake is NOT ugly.  It is cute and she was lucky that you were able to pull this off on such short notice.   I wonder if she has pulled this stunt on others in order to get a refund.  I have a funny feeling she has and that is why she didn't have a cake for her party.

post #14 of 88

I feel for you:( I've started turning down last minute cake orders for just this reason. I also learnt the hard way, I took an order from someone who needed it within the same day and I figured I could do it. The decoration was perfect but the cake completely crumbled when they cut into it. She sent me photos so I know it was true and the only thing I could think of was bc it was too fresh without having time to rest properly between baking and decorating (maybe someone here will have another theory). I offered her a discount on her next cake but also felt very discouraged for a few days. Truth be told I still don't feel good when I think about it. Chin up though, that's what this amazing site is for.

post #15 of 88

that client did a very mean thing--i hate stuff like that 


do your best as you work through this to eventually get it firmly behind you--i know you will be reliving it but as soon as you can get it tucked away down in the memory banks the better you will be--try to go through all the emotions including getting angry with her for her narcissistic behavior


and fwiw--i am cussing her out for you--that b----! 


that chick abused you verbally and that is far beyond absurd--so be aware that in time you will have much tougher skin to protect you from the devious mentally ill amongst us


also consider getting this into your modus operandi--into your future game plan--take the (effing) cake back next time -- hopefully there won't be a next time but you'll be prepared if there is one


mean people suck (and damage others) more than can be told


so very very sorry you encountered sucha nasty little person -- and hoping your recovery is quick 

one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
and in other news -- "never trust an atom they make up everything"


one baker's 'never ever do' is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
and in other news -- "never trust an atom they make up everything"


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