I delivered a cake at 1pm today. My client met me in a parking lot 15 minutes from where she lives to transfer the cake into her hands. At 3pm I get a call that my cake was falling apart. The bow had fallen off and the circles were sliding down on the cake and the stripes were as she put it -just falling off. I asked her how can that be as it was fine at 1pm. I had let it sit decorated overnight and refridgerated it for 5 hours this morning to firm the icing and the bow for travel. It didn't move and was very secure when I left it in her hands packaged in a box. She told me she had just gotten home at 3pm, she went 10 miles an hour and drove very carefully - 1 1/2 hours???? to go 15 miles??? (which this little voice in my head told me she stopped somewhere at the store and left the cake in a warm car). It is very warm and humid today although there are clouds and rain. When I questioned her about how long it took to get home and told her how buttercream would get soft left out in the heat she hung up on me. I feel bad that her cake is ruined. She gave me a check for the cake but asked me not to cash it until after Friday when she gets paid. She seems like a nice lady but I don't feel like her driving and lack of judgement is my fault either. I'm returning her check in a letter because I'd rather take a loss than to have my reputation bad mouthed. I'm thinking I will be too busy for any future business from her. Pam from Bama
its a beautiful cake! im so sorry it didn't survive her driving home. i agree that she prolly stopped somewhere and let it sit in the warm car. it doesn't seem reasonable that it would take her 1 1/2 hours to drive 15 miles. i think i would do just a partial refund, since you delivered it in perfect condition, and it was not your fault the deco started sliding.
just wanted to say I am so sorry this happened to you.
and if that's her "smarts" quotient ---
well, I wonder if the check is any good any way (posted date and all)
pam, I agree with you, she probably stopped somehwhere... it is hot here in bammy today.... and she stopped no doubt... doesn't take that long to get home 10 miles... not even that slow! Plus I am sure she had an AC.... I have a policy about my layered cakes... I only deliver.. maybe next time you can do this, even if you have to add $5 to your cake to ensure safe arrival, they will appreciate it in the long run... just a thought! I haven't had anyone bat an eyelash at that price for delivery for a safe cake over a demolished one! good luck and gorgeous cake by they way!
The cake is stunning! I also agree with a PARTIAL refund. Clearly alot of work went into that cake & it was delivered intact!
It really was a beautiful cake. So sorry that happened! There is no way it should have taken that long to go 15 miles!
We all learn lessons thru such experiences. It may hurt at times, but it'll make us stronger and wiser.
For your future customers, let them know full payment is expected at the time of delivery, no post-dating, prefer cash.
2nd, you are not liable once the cake leaves your hands. Easier said than swallowed. It could have taken you 15-20 more minutes to deliver that cake and charged a delivery fee.
Pam, I agree that she left it in the car somewhere along the way for who knows how long.
I don't know where you are but it was cloudy here in B'ham earlier but still hot and humid. Since the cake was in perfect condition when it left your car, I don't know that I would be inclined to give her a refund. I would consider a partial, if at all. You would think that she would know not to leave ANYTHING in her car in an Alabama summer.
She is probably the type of person who would leave her dog in the car, on a day like this, and go shopping for an hour or two and then wonder why the dog died of heat exhaustion in the car.
I'm sorry this happened - that's no good. I agree with others here - she obviously stopped off and left it in the car. It doesn't take anyone 1 1/2 hours to drive 15 miles. People are ridiculous! She knows she's in the wrong, why else would she hang up on you?
I can understand about you wanting to give her a refund, but like others, I'd go with partial - you can't take a total hit for her lack of common sense. Hang in there - the cake was beautiful!
well, 15 miles at 10 miles an hour would take an hour and a half, but that is silly. Even driving in a hot car for an hour and a half would do the trick. Heck, did she put it in the trunk of her car? You have to take some blame, lady (not you, your customer). I find it interesting that she hung up on you.
The cake is beautiful.
I disagree with refunding any of her money. As AZrunner
said, "you are not liable once the cake leaves your hands. ".
If she had bought the cake at any grocery store, and that happened after she left the store, that is her fault.
I once had a customer that while I was delivering the cake part of the cake slid and damaged the decorations. I felt so bad, it was for her sons Christening. She had ordered a cake from me before and also referred me to others. I still charged her for 1/2 the fee, to cover my ingredients, since the cake was still edible. It was my fault and she was upset at the time, however, she just ordered another cake from me for her daughters birthday.
I just feel since it was her fault, you should not feel obliged to refund anything.
I agree with the others. If you return the full payment it will look like you are admitting fault. I would send partial and a note explaining why.
Beautiful cake BTW, I bet she was bummed.
I also agree with the others. You handed the cake over in perfect condition. The fact that she hung up would make me suspicious that she may have known more that she was sharing (and may have been at fault!) I wouldn't give a full refund. If you give a refund, it should be a partial and a note like keepontryin said.
I had a lady do the same thing to me..........picked up the cake from my shop and then let it sit in her suv for 2 hours while she talked........I live in Florida.I just laughed when she brought it back to the shop for me to fix.HA!!!People crack me up!!!
why in the world would you give her a refund for something she did wrong?
people are so stupid it amazes me....one lady started to put a buttercream wedding cake in the trunk of her jaguar...in july...outside my shop in oklahoma...
i asked her if jaguars are so fancy they have air conditioned trunks?
she said they didn't...i asked her how far she was going...30 miles!
i told her she'd have soup by the time she got there!
i'm amazed at how many people ask me if the cake will be ok in the car...while they run in the store to pick up a few things.
i vote no refund, would ya give her a refund if she dropped it on the floor?
I also agree on the absolutely NO refund group here in this circumstance. Especially where you have a pic of the cake to show what it looked like and that everything was fine with it. As others have said, and I have it in my contract as well, once the cake is delivered, it's not my problem. I build my cakes like brick houses, if something happens to it, it's not my fault, but I'll come back to fix it for a nominal fee if someone wasn't smart enough to know "Don't TOUCH!"...
There is absolutely NO way she drove only 10mph to get it home.. NONE. She would have had to have been in low gear going up hill the whole way or she would have been driving at least 20
Yes, she did stop somewhere else along the way and left the cake in the warm car. She could have paid you an extra $20 to deliver it and she'd have been ahead.
Thanks everyone. I had to sleep on it last night and pray about it. This has definitely been a learning experience for me. I'm returning her check. I do believe she used poor judgement in getting her cake home right away. She drives a mini van so it would have stayed cool for the short ride home. Positive on that. And trying to place the blame on everyone else is common these days isn't it when we make stupid mistakes? By returning her check I'm not taking the blame just being kind. I think she's complusive, you know buying things and then not having the money to pay for them. I fear she will probably have unsuffiecient funds when I go to cash it. Yes it did cost me to make the cake but I think the Lords going to bring blessings out of this experience. It isn't always about money. I won't be doing anymore cakes for her. I will be unavailable if she calls. Pam from Bama
You are just too sweet! It's so kind of you to be thinking about her.
To be honest though, I would not have returned the check. You presented the cake in perfect condition, you cannot be held responsible for a customer's silliness. She may also tell everyone that you knew that you messed us, so you refunded her money.
Glad you will be busy the next time she wants a cake.
First I would like to say, your cake creation was/is absolutely beautiful!!!
I would agree that she probably made a stop somewhere, and it got a little too warm.
A partial refund would have probably sufficed. You were out the cost of materials.
You done a good job.
Sorry that this happened to you.
My recommendation is that in the future, I'd ask the customer(s) to take a picture and send it to you so you can see to what extent the product is damaged first hand. Perhaps the damage wasn't all that bad and could have been repaired. A picture could help you to figure out exactly what went wrong so you can prevent future similar situations.
Technically if its a postdated check you don't even have the payment yet! Just personally, having had a few checks bounce on me, I'd never accept a postdated check for any reason.
Since she hung up its most likely she left the cake in a hot car for awhile. Especially if you refrigerated it...a refrigerated cake should last for a LONG time in an a/c car.
I would definately say no refund.
I've learned a very valuable lesson. My new policy will clearly state that on tiered cakes I will deliver. If they insist on picking it up themselves I will not be responsible for any mishaps and make them sign for it. I knew when she first arrived and she started with the sob story on their finances and their bad luck and wanted me to wait until she got paid on Friday to cash the check that the deal was soured. I really just do not want to deal with customers who want to shift blame on everyone other than themselves or back out of an order by any means. She's just not the type of customer that I want in my database. If she calls with another order I will just explain that I'm really busy and won't have time to do her a cake. I really doubt that I'll hear from her again. Pam from Bama
I guess the only good thing about returning the check is that she won't get the satisfaction of giving you a bad check...which after her mishap, I would not be at all surprised if she made sure the thing wouldn't clear anyway.
I have to say I see your point perfectly Pam. And like you said this is just sowing blessings. Who knows, maybe she really doesn't have the money to pay and by you returning the check it may just help her to see her impulsive spending down fall.
Now having said that, you delivered a perfect cake. It is her fault completely that she left it in a hot car. You did your job, she failed at hers. Period.
I would return the check explaining you feel just awful that she had problems with her cake due to the heat in her car. So you are returning the check for "her stress" and hope she got to enjoy the wonderful tatse of the cake at least.
Kill em with kindness! It spreads.........
Amen! My thinking exactly! Pam from Bama
Sounds like she hung up because she knew she was at fault.
I'm sorry this happened and I also think you deserve some (really, all) of that money because of your hard work and time. It was a lovely cake. I understand wanting to protect your reputation but you also shouldn't have to pay for her lack of common sense.
And you know it was still eaten and enjoyed! I seriously doubt she threw it out.
Have you thought about this?!?!?! Was the cake really damaged at all? It could be that she didn't have the money to pay for the cake or just wanted a free one. I hate to think someone would do that but they are out there.
one more thing........ can you put fondant in refirgerator?