Wedding Cake Fell, How Much Do I Refund? (Long)

Decorating By Cakenator Updated 20 May 2008 , 12:39am by diane

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Cakenator Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 6:53pm
post #1 of 70

Ok, I'm going to try and make this as short as possible.

I delivered and set up the cake at 9:30 am. I stayed with it until around noon. Everything was fine, cake was not leaning or anything. I took pictures like I always do.

The DJs I guess arrived around 2pm to set up.

I received a phone call around 3pm saying that my cake had fell over and it was completely ruined.

I drove back to the reception site to try and fix it as best as I could. When I arrived the caterers there told me that the DJ's had been playing their music very very VERY loudly and had the bass all of the way up and that is what caused my cake to fall over. The speakers were pointing straight at the cake. The top two layers had fallen off, I managed to salvage the bottom two and reattach the toppers.

My mom brought extra sheet cakes from our bakery to make sure that they had plenty of cake to serve.

The mom of the bride arrived and I talked with her she was very appreciative of the fact that I came back to fix the cake, etc etc etc. I told her to call me on Monday to talk about it.

So she calls today demanding a full refund. I allegedly ruined her life, etc etc.

I am more than willing to give a partial refund for the cake that fell off, which would be right around a 30% refund.

I need advice, any would be appreciated. Thanks

Here is a picture of the cake when I left:

69 replies
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tiptop57 Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 7:18pm
post #2 of 70

OMG you need to add a clause to your contact ASAP and everyone else who reads this thread put this language into your contract as soon as you read this:

When the cake is set up at delivery place and signed by contact person the cake decorator is no longer responsible for the cake(s).

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Beckalita Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 7:21pm
post #3 of 70

Partial refund of 30% as you stated. No full refund unless they can prove that you didn't use proper supports, or you were somehow else at fault. If anything, they should be demanding a refund from the DJ since the vibrations more than likely contributed to the cake collapse.....and they should be kissing your feet for coming back & attempting to salvage the cake AND bringing extra sheetcake so they had enough to serve the guests! Sheesh!!
Stand firm on this one!!!

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christeena Posted 21 Apr 2008 , 8:10pm
post #4 of 70

just added that to my contract!! What a bummer! I agree that you are being more than fair with 30%! After all they still had a cake and enough to serve their guests!
Have you actually talked to the bride yet???

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mommachris Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 4:27am
post #5 of 70

The cake fell due to circumstances beyond YOUR control...the loud music.
You came to fix the cake promptly and provided enough for her guests.
A small refund just to keep the peace...she didn't get her cake cutting picture...but beyond that she had cake, ate cake and so she must pay for said cake.

Adjust the your contract since you can't be held responsible for a leaning table, kids that trip and fall into your cake or grooms men that get into a fight next to your work of art and knock it over or a stray dog that licks one side clean of icing. Once you leave it, it is their responsibility to take care of it.

It really is a lovely cake, nice work!


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famousamous Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 5:01am
post #6 of 70

Id tell her to go ask the dj for the refund. lol

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tonedna Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 5:34am
post #7 of 70

You deliver a cake in perfect condition. The problem is not yours!..

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LeanneW Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 5:36am
post #8 of 70

I'm sure this isn't much comfort right now but the cake is beautiful, I would have no idea that it was a repair job.

The original cake must have been just stunning.

I think that you provided the cake just as you agreed you would and your responsibility ends there. I can sympathise with the feeling of doubting yourself. Perhaps you think that maybe you did do something wrong, maybe you are second guessing your construction, transportation, or set up method.

If you truly feel in your heart that cake represented the best work you can do and that you did everything with in your means to be sure the cake was stable then I wouldn't give them anything back.

At best I would offer condolance that they had to deal with this on their special day, but IN NO WAY OFFER AN APOLOGY FOR THE CAKE FALLING, that is like admitting it was your fault.

I would offer them a voucher good for any where between 30% to 50% of the value of their cake, give them a 6 month expiration date on that voucher too and make sure it says that it is not transferable to another customer.

that way you give them something but you also have a chance to redeem yourself and prove to them you do good work.

Maybe they don't need a cake for a couple hundred dollars in the next 6 months but chances are one of them will have a bday or host a party, you can make them a cake that costs you very little but is worth very much.

Sorry to be so long winded

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all4cake Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 6:02am
post #9 of 70

Unless, like leannewinslow stated, there is reason to doubt your construction, I wouldn't offer anything. I would, however, show her your photo of the cake at time of leaving and make mention the damn thing remained upright for 3 hours taboot....aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand direct her to the caterers who will vouch that it was standing and (not wanting to be a tattletale)the dj's disregard for the presence of the masterpiece CHOSE to blast the speakers with full bass....I know first-hand what just the bass from auto speakers can do to the side of a cake(yessssssssss, I love bass and loud music...aaaaaaaand, I was delivering a cake that I placed next to my speaker...I truly had NO idea before this that this would happen....ever watch the movie, The Money Pit w/ Tom Hanks? Remember when the bathtub fell through the floor? Yeah, that was me when I went to get the cake from the back of the Suburban...I was laughing hysterically at my own stupidity0 Sorry, flashback...

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dandelion56602 Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 6:05am
post #10 of 70

I agree that you're not responsible. You delivered at 9:30 & it didn't fall until 3!!!!!??? So, apparently it was a stable cake or it wouldn't have made it almost 6 hours. I wouldn't offer any refund, especially since you provided sheet cakes to make sure the guests were fed. That is sufficient "refund" IMO

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AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 6:16am
post #11 of 70

Isn't it weird that the cake fell 30 minutes after you left? when you were there for hours and it didn't even budge?

give her the 30% refund. tell her you'll give her the full refund if she returns the cake uneaten.

it was a beautiful cake too, btw.

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MacsMom Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 6:35am
post #12 of 70

Looking at the pic I just don't understand how it could've fallen! It looks like a sturdy construction to me!

You paid for sheet cakes to serve, you shouldn't have to pay for any more than that. It couldn't have been your fault -- and like iother's have said, once you leave it's no longer yours.

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Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 6:37am
post #13 of 70

I think that by offering her the 30% refund you're showing that you're taking into account your customers' feelings and the fact that they didn't get the cake for which they paid. But you also provided the sheet cakes so that there would be cake. I believe your responsibility ends there.

You certainly cannot be held responsible for the errors, actions or stupidity of another person(s). Get yourself a witness from the hall who will vouch for the fact that you delivered and setup the cake without incident and even stayed there for all those hours.

Once you're done with this meeting with the MOB, try to forget about it (but keep in mind the name of said DJ in case you ever share another event)!

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flowers40 Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 6:38am
post #14 of 70

I think 30% is being more than fair. Most people try that I want a 100% refund, because they think they can bully you under those circumstances. Hold your ground! If the cake was that unstable, it would have fell before you left. Please, please added the no responsibility after set up clause in your contract. People these days are always looking for something for nothing and will try anything to get it! I saw on one of the bride reality shows that some bakers offer cake insurance, just incase something wired like that happens. Maybe you should offer cake insurance for such events, otherwise, no refund after set up.

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xstitcher Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 6:48am
post #15 of 70
Originally Posted by tonedna

You deliver a cake in perfect condition. The problem is not yours!..

I agree with Edna. The cake was fine for nearly 6 hours, so I don't think it had anything to do with your setup. You went back and fixed it and you provided more cake. I think you already did enough!
She's probably hoping you'll give her a refund because you told her to call you to talk about it. She's hoping you'll cave. Please don't!

BTW, your cake looked great!

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Karabear1125 Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 7:11am
post #16 of 70

I wouldn't give a refund at all, you came back and even provided sheet cakes to make up for what fell. It's not your fault, so don't feel bad about it (easier said than done, I know) Tell her to suck it up and move on to the DJ for the money like someone else mentioned lol. Honestly though if it were me I wouldn't refund her a penny, it wasn't your job to babysit the cake..only to provide the cake and you did just that.

Just wanted to add, if you feel you have to give her something then give her a credit or a voucher for a free 6" anniversary cake or something..

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ccr03 Posted 22 Apr 2008 , 1:35pm
post #17 of 70

I would give a partial refund as a sign of good customer service (I'm BIG on customer service).

Question, who actually paid for the cake? The bride or the MOB? I had a cake disaster once and someone else called me and when I offered a 50% discount on a future order she angrily said that wasn't good enough. When I talked to the person who actually ordered and paid for it, she was like great, that'll work.

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elainec Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 4:21am
post #18 of 70

I think you were very kind. The same thing that I would do in that situation since we are both caring people. It was not mandatory that you go back but
very considerate!!

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chinadoll652003 Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 5:10am
post #19 of 70

I have to agree with the other posts.

You deliviered and set up the cake. Stayed for hours with no problems.

The DJs arrive,start booming their music and suddenly the cake falls!! Hello, not your fault!

The bride should be asking the DJs to refund the price of the cake,not you.

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jammjenks Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 2:24pm
post #20 of 70

I don't normally chime in on subjects like these because I don't feel like I have been in the "business" long enough to give much advice. Having said that, I don't think you owe this lady anything. You did her a great service by providing her with sheet cakes to serve and salvaging as much as you could of your original creation. Do what you feel in your heart is the right thing and stick to it. By the already babysat the cake for hours, which is more than I would've done. Once the cake is up and a pic is taken, I'm outta there...

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tiptop57 Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 3:14pm
post #21 of 70

A a story similar to the cake:

She just bought her very first new car. It was lovely and she just adored the new car smell, the admiring looks sent her way, and the way the engine purred when she started it. The dealership where she purchased it was going to apply a small bit of graphics to the trunk and door handles but the person responsible was on vacation until the next week. So she took the car home over the weekend excitedly waiting until Monday.

Monday came and she brought the car into dealership trusting they would do the job properly as she already paid for the work. The expert took his time and created a lovely graphic above each door handle and the trunk. He then drove the car across the street to the car wash to clean up the bits of dirt and to show off the car properly when the women came to pick up the car.

The car was washed and parked in the parking lot. Unfortunately the gas tanker did not see the car and backed into the driver side and trunk area and crunching the car It was still drivable but looked awful.

Now who is at fault? The graphic craftsman, the dealership where he worked, the car wash company or the tanker driver?

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ziggytarheel Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 3:54pm
post #22 of 70

Unless the carwash rendered the car invisible, or invisible ink was used on the entire surface of the car, the tanker truck driver (and probably the company he works for) would be held responsible.


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tiptop57 Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 3:56pm
post #23 of 70

Zactly - tanker driver - and wouldn't that be the same as the DJ?

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ceshell Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 10:46pm
post #24 of 70

No, the manufacturer should have built a car that could withstand the force of a tanker truck.


(did I use enough smileys to convey the sarcasm here??!!)

Anyway good luck in whatever you do. Although I think you are generous in offering a refund or some sort of compensation, I do think you need to make it perfectly clear that you are doing so out of the goodness of your heart, not because you did anything wrong. Kinda like when you go to McDonald's and drop your meal, sometimes they might be kindhearted and give you a new one even though it's not their fault you dropped your own tray... Except in this case you already DID give her a "new meal" (sheet cake)...??

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thatcakechick Posted 23 Apr 2008 , 11:03pm
post #25 of 70

You're so nice to be concerned about this. I agree, it's not your problem after you deliver.

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Cakenator Posted 24 Apr 2008 , 5:04pm
post #26 of 70

Well, I guess I finally learned my lesson! I updated my contract to include the "not responsible for the cake once it is signed for" Claus.

I called the Mother of the Bride back late on Monday and offered her 25% back.

She said she deserved more because all of the pictures were ruined (i guess I made the brides makeup run all over her face when I ruined her wedding day). Oh and the sheet cakes weren't decorated like the original cake!!

I tried to explain to her about the music but she just screamed that all weddings have music. I told her to call the caterer and she would explain just how loud the bass was up.

So I apologized for the DJ ruining her cake and told her that her 25% refund would be in the mail.

I'm just glad that this whole thing is over!

And also thanks to everyone for your kind words icon_smile.gif

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Sun11598 Posted 24 Apr 2008 , 5:54pm
post #27 of 70

Why not make out an invoice for the sheet cakes then refund whatever percentage that comes to?

I think it's very nice of you to refund 25%.

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xstitcher Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 12:12am
post #28 of 70

What I'd like to know is how is getting more $$ back going to fix the wedding pictures?

Like I said before, I think you went above and beyond (going back & fixing said cake and bringing sheet cakes with no compensation for them and offering a 25% refund) for something that was not your fault. She should be tickled pink for what you have given her already! Some people will do anything for $$, even when they know that they should rightly get nothing and should be thanking you profusely instead of screaming at you for more $$!

I'm just happy for you that it is all over and you can put it behind you as a lesson well learned! I'm glad you have updated your contract so hopefully you won't have this problem again!


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all4cake Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 2:39am
post #29 of 70

Sometimes, it takes people longer to realize they're being irrational. Maybe, when this person gets her revelation Cakenator's generosity will be repaid with new customers who appreciate her deeds.

All the best to you!

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TheButterWench Posted 25 Apr 2008 , 2:53am
post #30 of 70

,,,, Story sounds so familiar. Remember the Golf bag incident?

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