Our First Unhappy Customer

Business By atschnet Updated 10 Nov 2008 , 9:39pm by springlakecake

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atschnet Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:42pm
post #1 of 27

okay we have been in business for a few months now and we just got our 1st unhappy customer. This customer was actually an old friend of both me and my partner. This was a baby shower cake, very simple a sheet cake with polka dots and ribbon to make it look like a gift box. Well she was suppose to bring me the ribbon 2 weeks before the shower and she never did, nor did she tell me what flavor until 2 days before. She never brought me anything with the colors, all she said was fuchsia, black and white. Well when she came to pick it up she brought the ribbon so i had to finish the cake right there while she was waiting, and she was running late. So she takes the cake. Later that evening i got a call from one of the other host NOT our customer saying that the "colors" didn't match and they wanted their money back. I told her that i was never given anything to match colors with and i will not give a refund for something like that. If she didn't like it, she should of said so when she picked it up.

So i guess my question is did i do the right thing and what do yall do with unhappy customers??

26 replies
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julzs71 Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:47pm
post #2 of 27

Well if the customer has a legit complaint I would give a refund. If the costumer is a dumbask not a darn penny.

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beth2027 Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:48pm
post #3 of 27

I don't sell cakes as I am not licensed, but I can tell you that if you have no colors to match with, you can't match. So they need to take it up with the person who ordered the cake.
I would not do a refund, but I would explain that the person who ordered did not provide colors to match with and did not provide you with the needed information to complete the cake.
I would be sure all that type of info is in the contract next time also.

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sari66 Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:53pm
post #4 of 27

no refund for ribbons that you dont recieve in time to make the cake. If the customer picked it up and didn't tell you the colors weren't right then that's not your fault.

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antonia74 Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:54pm
post #5 of 27

No refund!

I'd love to tell her "Ma'am...the cake's colors were perfect, it was your ribbon you brought me that didn't match!" lol icon_lol.gif

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sweetcakes Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:54pm
post #6 of 27

I would not give a refund for this either. Even if i had recieved the ribbon in time i will still not guarantee an exact match as icing changes as it dries, that goes for buttercream, fondant and gumpaste. but the colour will be close. They served the cake, didn;t they??

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antonia74 Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:55pm
post #7 of 27

Yeah, tell them to return the portion of uneaten cake and you'll refund them that % of the cost. icon_lol.gif I'm sure it's all eaten!

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Ayanami Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 8:58pm
post #8 of 27

No refund! Be firm. thumbs_up.gif

It was the responsibility of the person ordering the cake to provide you with the details & specific info required for the cake. It was her fault for not doing so & you are absolutely correct in saying that if it was "wrong" something should have been said at the time of pick up.

If the host was not the person who ordered & paid you for the cake, then it is between her & ther order person to settle the dispute of money. You made the cake to the best of your abilities given the info you had to work with, & the order person did not dispute when she took delivery of the product.

If the host feels that she deserves her money back, then the order person should be the one to refund her since it was the order persons fault that you did not have the required info.

You are in the right. Keep the Money!!

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atschnet Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 9:02pm
post #9 of 27

The lady who called and said it didn't match, said the customer went to Kroger and got another cake so they didnt even serve it. So i asked how did you get a cake from Kroger to match any better? She said that it was just white!!!!!!

so i would have no problem doing a refund if it didn't taste good or something but just because the fuchsia on the cake didnt match the rest of the decorations......i dont think so.

i did offer the lady who called and complained a discount on her next order though, to try and keep business.

And we do have contracts 2 actually 1 that is signed at pick up saying the cake is what they ordered and up to their expectations and she signed it!!!!!

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chutzpah Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 9:03pm
post #10 of 27

You could have and should have nipped this in the bud at the get-go. It's your responsibility as a business owner to make sure you have all information before the cake is finished (or even started, for that matter). Yes, she should have delivered the ribbon before pick-up, but you should have insisted on both ribbon and choice of flavor WAY ahead of two days before due date.

That said, running a business is a never-ending education, and hopefully most people learn from their mistakes.

I wouldn't give a refund, either. I never promise to match colors exactly as I am working with food products. I tell them I will do my best, but I never promise.

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kellymarie Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 9:03pm
post #11 of 27

without something to go by, they cannot blame you. they had the chance to bring you the ribbon, and did not. tough luck!!

Don't feel bad, they ate the cake, and that's what counts. icon_smile.gif

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Bethkay Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 9:11pm
post #12 of 27

I agree with everything that has been posted thus far. It particularly irritates me when someone other than the person who ordered the cake calls and demands a refund. The first complaint I ever received was a similar situation. Not only was the complainer not the person who ordered the cake, but she waited four days to get in touch with me, and then didn't have the nerve to make a phone call. icon_eek.gif She sent me a nastygram via email! She wanted me to refund the money to the person who ordered the cake. I never heard from the person who actually placed the order, so I politely declined to issue a refund. I know you probably feel bad about the whole thing, but I think you handled the situation appropriately.

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tonicake Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 9:19pm
post #13 of 27

NO REFUNDS! NO REFUNDS! NO REFUNDS! Say this over in your head and then out loud with a little tune. I bet you'll feel better about the entire situation.

Since you have a signed contract, make a copy and send it to the complainer. She cannot argue with that.

If they bought a cruddy grocery store cake - that was thier choice! You didn't suggest that or force them to do it.

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-K8memphis Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 9:21pm
post #14 of 27

I used to work for someone who would try to match ivory, champagne or off white, ecru or whatever name they were calling an off white iced cake. Made me flat nuts. Just toss in some real vanilla or ivory color and go. You can't be responsible for the stuff matching. I mean it's also a product of the lighting at the venue too.

Anyway--great idea to have them sign off at pickup. You go! Yeah, no refund. No worries either, idiots happen huh.

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nickshalfpint Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 9:25pm
post #15 of 27

What did they do with the cake if they didn't serve it? I think you should talk to the actual customer and see what she has to say. I find it hard to believe that she didn't notice that it didn't match when she picked it up. I'm sure it wasn't even that bad. I wouldn't give a refund. And if you do decide to give a refund, I would ask for the cake back since they didn't serve it.

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jouj Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 9:36pm
post #16 of 27

NO REFUND!!! I don't think the person who picked it up was blind, huh?? And if she waited for you to fix the ribbon, then she had plenty of time to look at the cake!!
Last year, a new customer ordered a cake for 30 persons, and she told me that she has 50 kids + aduls at the birthday!! The next day she called me to say that the cake was not enough!!! well this was what she ordered. She didn't dare ask for a refund. A week later, a friend of that customer called to place an order, and she told me that she heard that the lady's cake was small, so she didn't want a small cake!! I told her that the lady ordered it for 30, while she had more than 60 persons, so she was shocked!!

When you're in a business, you see all kinds of people, just get used to it!

Good Luck.

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jennifer7777 Posted 4 Nov 2008 , 10:13pm
post #17 of 27

You did the right thing! Technically, you don't even have an unhappy customer...you have a complaining host, who wasn't the one who made the order, and therefore who you owe no explanation or responsibility to. This other host needs to talk to the girl who ordered the cake, that didn't give you anything to go by, and seemed to be last minute with everything. If SHE didn't complain as she was watching you decorate the cake, then there is no problem.

Don't sweat over this...and definitely no refund!!

ETA: this is just like Indydebi says...somehow it's always the decorator's fault when something goes wrong. Whatever!!
I would want to tell her "no we are not playing the "pin the blame on the decorator's ass" game today!

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jammjenks Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 12:52am
post #18 of 27
Originally Posted by atschnet

i did offer the lady who called and complained a discount on her next order though, to try and keep business.

Why? She wasn't your customer anyway, correct?

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jouj Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 6:13am
post #19 of 27

I have had many customers who place an order for cakes, cookies AND cupcakes, they just give me the quantities and the theme. I keep on calling them and running after them to ask about colors, flavors, cookies on a stick or without, arranged like a bouquet, or just in a box, delivery time etc.. People are in just a hurry to finish with their order, that they forget the most important things. icon_rolleyes.gif

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Denise Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 6:36am
post #20 of 27

I do not guarentee colors EVER. It is in my contract that I must have a 4x4 inch swatch of solid fabric and I will do my best to match but it is not guarenteed to match.

When I take the order they must specify flavor and colors, etc. I always strive to please my customers and will do whatever it takes to make their cake dreams come true, but I would not refund in this case. You were never provided with a color to match and when she picked it up and left with it that was an acceptance of the order. Hugs to you...it bites to take those calls.

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Frankyola Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 6:49am
post #21 of 27

NO REFUND AT ALL!!!! I don't sell cakes but I would never give her the money back, the lady who picked the cake was your direct contact so why the other lady call you you have to deal with your contact (I think icon_redface.gif ) icon_smile.gif

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Ayanami Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 9:48pm
post #22 of 27

I have a very basic order form that I created for myself when I got into doing cakes for other people, and I won't let a customer leave or hang up the phone until I have every question on that order form filled out. This way I know exactly what they want & I have it straight from their mouths to my paper. I also request any color samples or a piece of the party decorations (napkins are great) that I may use for inspiration.

I try to get them to describe the color to me (hot pink, blush pink, salmon pink, baby pink, dinner mint pink, regular crayola crayon pink, etc) most people are good at "labeling" their colors.

Most party supply websites will have pics of their plates-napkins-cups-etc if you can't get your cust to bring you a piece. Just ask them what the theme is & where they purchased their supplies at then you can find it online. The colors are pretty accurate.


PS. NO REFUND!!!! icon_lol.gif

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littlecake Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 10:03pm
post #23 of 27

some people will try anything to get stuff for free.

it's sickening but true...my first year of being open, i had a gripey customer, i told her to bring back the "unused portion" she went home and brought back like a 3by 3 inch piece...ha ha ha...i gave her 4 bucks...(just to be ironic)...she threw a big a$$ fit because she thought she would get a full refund ha ha ha....i ended up calling the police cause she wouldn't leave...i swear some people need to take some meds.

i never ever give a refund unless i feel like i did something wrong...i must have that rep now, cause i haven't had anyone even try to get any money outta me in years.

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jouj Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 11:18pm
post #24 of 27

littlecake, your story is funny. i'm sure this customer was PMsing or something icon_biggrin.gif !! She ate the cake AND she wants her money back!! I'm sure the police had a good laugh when they came!!

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marmalade1687 Posted 5 Nov 2008 , 11:22pm
post #25 of 27

I always remember the old TV commercial for paint where the guy is complaining to the paint salesman that he never knew that there were so many colors of "white" until his wife "educated" him while trying to pick a color for the living room!

That said, I ALWAYS get a color sample from clients if they specify a color, and even then, I don't promise color match. My idea of fuchsia is not necessarily your idea of fuchsia! icon_rolleyes.gif

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solascakes Posted 6 Nov 2008 , 12:11am
post #26 of 27

REFUND? what does that mean. The only thing anyone is getting out of me is an apology no money. I have spent time,gas,electricity,gas,blood,sweat,u ain't getting jack out of me. I dont care if u bring the cake back,i'm not about to be stuck with half eaten cake i'm probably going to chuck,so no cake back and no money back.And it feels so good esp. when u know you've done a jod job on the cake.

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springlakecake Posted 10 Nov 2008 , 9:39pm
post #27 of 27

for goodness sakes! It's nice and all if there is a theme and everything is "matchy matchy" but come on....so what if the cake doesnt EXACTLY match! It's cake...it's meant to be eaten. They arent going to shellac it and put it in the baby's room !

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