First Complaint, Need Some Honest Advice! *more Pics Added*

Business By tatania199 Updated 26 Jul 2007 , 9:12am by Alwayzmakincake

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tashaluna Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 4:59pm
post #91 of 108

well all I have to say is wow!!!!!! I paid $700 for my wedding cake from publix it was less cake and less beautifull that is for sure. that is one great cake.

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BaltimoreCoutureCakes Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 5:14pm
post #92 of 108

The only thing I can say is that the problem maybe the colors. Your cake is prefect, but the colors may have made the cake look undecorative. Different colors tend to make the same cake look totally different. Some colors are just more bold than others. I wouldn't let it bother me. Your cake is perfect in every aspect.

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Luxe42 Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 5:21pm
post #93 of 108

Those are amazing cakeSSSS -plural - as in more than one. As in... you probably worked your little heineees off all week on that cake. $600 for that much way!

As for the decorating and she thinks it was "under decorated" the only diff I see is that Kathy's cakes have a bit of texture to the decorations. The border on the blue and white one, and the leaves on the brown cakes. That does give it a little more pop - but in no way does your cake look under-decorated.

I'm just amazed because I am literally sitting here picturing how hard you worked and a complaint just pulls the wind out of your sails. How sad!

I really don't think the bride had valid complaints enough to write you a letter about it. It's kind of cruel. I mean if her cake was totally wrong I can see that but come on!!!

I would write back and tell her that you worked very hard, you felt confident in the results of the cake. If she had been more specific about exactly what she wanted you could have avoided her displeasure. Your goal is to give your customers exactly what they want so they enjoy their event with no stress or unhappiness. You would love to serve her again with perhaps a discount on a future cake or make them a 6" anniversary cake for free. You want her to think of your business with satisfaction not displeasure.

I wouldn't give her any money back. The cake was too fabulous to discredit yourself like that. But def address her letter or email. Customer service goes a long way!!! Even if the customer is rude or impossible to please. Sometimes they just want to feel important. But you have nothing to apologize for in my book. Sounds like she was vague in what she wanted from the get go.

Sorry I talk alot, I'm done now. Have a great weekend!!

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Marina Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 5:33pm
post #94 of 108

1st off, your cake is amazing! I would be proud to have that as my wedding cake. 2nd, have her price that Colette Peter's cake and she'll see that your cake was a steal! What is her problem??? Don't give her a discount on any future cakes, in fact, steer clear of this bridezilla in the future.

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Ldydesignr Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 5:49pm
post #95 of 108

First off, you did a wonderful job on that cake. It is very apparent that you put a lot of work into it. It was a very professional job. Don't let the bride get to you because of her negative comments. I do think a lot of her problems is because she has no experience with fondant. Did she really think you could separate two layers of the cake and the icing stay untouched on the bottom layer? Get a grip! She got a great deal for the money on the cake. Too smooth things over you might offer her a discount on her next cake. IF she does accept that discount...then you didn't do a bad job! If your cake was so bad, no discount would be worth getting a dry cake again. So you will know that she was just wanting to get some money back. Good luck with this woman! Don't let her get you down, you did a great job. thumbs_up.gif

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churchmouse Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 6:07pm
post #96 of 108

Your cake is beautiful and you should be very proud of it. Some brides live in fantasy-land and I think that she is one of them.

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Lalana Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 7:42pm
post #97 of 108

I agree that you made a beautiful cake and that she paid a fair price for sure. I don't believe that she is trying to get a discount for no reason though. Each individuals reality is based on expectations and many times ignorance. I think she saw a picture of a cake that had "perfect" piping so that's what she expected, and she doesn't have a clue about how cake handles and what happens when sugar comes in contact with anything. She had a vision in her head and the reality wasn't that vision. You did what she asked to the best of YOUR ability, time and what was being paid. I am sure Collette and Kathy probably charged 3 times or more what you did so she shouldn't expect the same results, you aren't them. And she can call Collette or Kathy and ask them what happens when someone takes a layer off of their cakes. Pretty sure it will be the same as what happened to yours if it's served by the same people. She may have never really thought of it that way so it is a good defense for you if you feel like pointing that out to her. You did a wonderful job and I think that it's just a matter of what's envisioned vs. what's realistically possible for you. Ignorance breeds dissapointment. I think many people have given a perfect solution which is a discount on a future cake. She can't accuse you of not addressing the issue and she can decide if she wants to continue business with you. If she does, definitely get very explicit with her on how icing handles and all the other little details. You should feel great about your cake, you know your abilities and if this meets your expectations then it's a wonderful success for you!

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flavaz scoop shop Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 8:07pm
post #98 of 108

I haven't been decorating cakes that long, but I have had 1 or 2 complaints and my policy is if you are not satisfied with the product bring the product back for a refund, but if it was good enough to eat then i don't feel that a refund is due. I will not give a refund on a product that has been eaten because it must not have been too bad if they ate the cake. your cake is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

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Cancook Posted 20 Jul 2007 , 8:20pm
post #99 of 108

Hi Tania,

I saw the cake. Looks so beautiful! If I would be the bride, maybe I would not choose the brigth blue instead a ligther softer blue but even with that blue I still liked! I think that 600.00 was cheap! THat was a cake for 1000 or more!
I would like to know how things worked.
Also, this may help you in the future...I tell EVERYONE that brings me a pic...listen, I will try my best but will have to change sligthly due to copy rigths. So, in this way...if something does not work with me,they know what to expect.

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okieinalaska Posted 22 Jul 2007 , 11:26pm
post #100 of 108

I think you did a very nice job on a very difficult cake. And I agree with almost everything that was said about what to do in this situation. : )

I do have one thing to say and I really hesitate to say it because I don't want to sound critical.

I think you did a great job on that cake and it was a huge cake too and totally worth $600...

but....while I think your piping was very good, I don't believe it was totally up to par with the piping on the second cake she showed you.

The cake was still totally worth what she paid for it, you still did a great job on it. It's just when you get to that level of very good vs. excellent that's the difference between a $600 cake and a much more expensive cake. But the customer has no way of knowing that. This woman obviously has even less of a clue than most cake customers I would say.

My piping skills stink btw, and I totally think you still rocked this cake. I am not sure I made sense at all and hope I am not flamed.

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weirkd Posted 22 Jul 2007 , 11:51pm
post #101 of 108

I totally agree with everyone here! Your cake looked just like the others except for the color. And I know the darker color would of made it look busier and thats probably what she is getting at. But if she chose those colors then its too bad for her! I also agree with the RI falling off, ya that happens when cake is cut but who cares its being eaten, not judged!! Who is this woman? Sandy Hardgrave? lol

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beachcakes Posted 23 Jul 2007 , 2:39am
post #102 of 108

I am so sorry you have to deal with this - your cake is gorgeous!! Don't let this bridezilla get you down - it certainly sounds like she's looking for $$.

I'm confused how her guests were getting pieces of cake w/ no frosting - weren't they covered in MMF? Who the heck was cutting this cake??

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2sdae Posted 23 Jul 2007 , 12:13pm
post #103 of 108

please let us know an update after you speak with this woman again.
Sounds like the royal broke when cutting and that is just what it does!
You cant tell me they wouldn't eat it because of that! I have had people say fondant is dry to them maybe this is what she meant by dry cake? Because you said you tasted it and it fine before. And after a butter cream coat and being filled there is no way that cake could've been dry by the time they cut it. Sounds like a mix of buyers remorse and unreal expectations due to cake inexperience on the Bride's side.

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Kathyf Posted 23 Jul 2007 , 2:26pm
post #104 of 108

I'm the Kathy who did the cakes the bride provided for examples of what she wanted and I don't mind you posting them. We don't always know where brides get their pictures from and that's one reason mine have my name on them before they go online.
And Shirley - thank you very much for posting that this is a copy of Colette Peter's original design. I started reading this thread and the first thing that popped into my head was that Colette needs the credit for the unique design, not me! I also give Colette credit under these pictures on my site. For anyone interested you can find the cake and instructions for it in Colette's Wedding Cakes, available on her website -
Tatania - Amy is right that your piping is the main difference in the way your cake compares to mine and there is a very good reason for that - mine is not piped except for the words on the blue cake. Colette's original is also not piped. There is no way I can keep piping that straight while going over the edges and over that large of areas. I find that the larger I pipe scrolls the worse they look. The designs on these cakes are all done with chocolate paste, also called candy clay, chocolate leather or modeling chocolate. That's why mine are all so straight and look more textured. The bottom borders are done with chocolate paste ropes that were indented with a ball tool.
Where your bride mentions something being dry, I didn't take it as her complaining that the cake was dry, but that the frosting falling off was dry. She probably wouldn't be familiar with royal frosting and I could see someone seeing it as dry, especially if they expect it to be regular frosting.
Good learning opportunity for all of us - if a design requires royal frosting we should explain to the bride what it is and what will happen when it's cut. I've never thought of that before and I use royal for scrollwork most of the time.
The other big difference I see in your cake is the size of the tiers and without Colette's excellent instructions it would be very difficult trying to figure the sizes out from only a couple of pictures. Especially when those pictures show 2 completely different sizes. The brown and ivory one serves 350 people and the largest cake is an 18" layer that is 4" tall. The blue and ivory serves 162 and the largest tier is a 16" layer that is 3" tall. In both of my cakes you had for examples the layers all vary in height while yours are more even and while that changes the look some, your overall cake shape is similar. Most of my reproductions of this Colette design have been done with the half size due to the cost per serving so I made my own cutting instructions. I'll include part of it because it explains the tier size differences.
Due to the unusual heights of these tiers please use the following.
1. 5 tier - save for 1st anniversary (5x2")
2. 4tier - cut into 5 pie slice shaped servings (4x3")
3. 8 tier, 2 high cut slices 2 deep and 2 wide - 10 servings
4. 12 tier, 3 high cut slices 1.5 wide and 2 deep approx 40 servings
5. 16 tier, 3 high cut slices 1.5 wide and 2 deep approx. 75 servings
6. 6 tier - Cut into 6 pie slice shaped servings (6x2")
7. 8 tier, 3 high cut slices 1.5 wide and 2 deep 15 servings
8. 10 tier, 2 high cut slices 2 wide and 2 deep approx 12 servings

When I'm asked to copy someone else's cake I tell the customer that I can't promise an exact replica because everyone's decorating styles are different. I can't even promise to match one of my own designs exactly because changing sizes or colors can change a look so much and matching all the detail exactly is nest to impossible.
Tatania - only you can decide how to handle this bride's complaints. You know how hard you worked on this cake and you know what she was expecting. Try to decide what outcome you will feel best about 6 months from now and then respond to her complaint the best way you can to get that outcome.
Ashley - thanks for posting the link to my site. That's how I found this thread.

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nicolevoorhout Posted 23 Jul 2007 , 10:15pm
post #105 of 108

That's great advice Kathyf! How nice of you to take the time to post especially your the cake sizes and servings, questions like that crop up here all the time, so it's pretty cool to be able to look at a design and understand how many it serves! icon_biggrin.gif

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apclassicwed Posted 25 Jul 2007 , 6:21pm
post #106 of 108

Tatiana- your rendition is beautiful ! I wouldn't be unreasonable to offer a free/discounted cake to this bride for later, just as a good will, customer service tool; NOT as an admission of poor work !
I truly hope all works well for you and keep up the great work!
Kathyf--thank you so much for posting here and giving such great adice and directions to making this spectacular cake. I would have NEVER guessed to use modeling chocolate for the scroll work--just goes to show that we all need to research for directions when we are shown a specific type of cake to replicate

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MsCakeLady Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 2:30am
post #107 of 108

Wow Wow Wow. WOW. There is no way A person could be unhappy with such a wonderful cake.

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Alwayzmakincake Posted 26 Jul 2007 , 9:12am
post #108 of 108

Oh My God! I think it's absolutely gorgeous. What a spoiled brat that bride is!


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