Passive Aggressive Client

Decorating By Jenniferkay Updated 14 Jan 2009 , 1:48pm by costumeczar

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Jenniferkay Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 9:41pm
post #1 of 21

I did a cake back at Thanksgiving. The client wanted a birthday cake for her sister's birthday and wanted something like shopping related. She had said she wasn't a fan of fondant and wanted chocolate cake. I said ok sounds fun, this was all through a mom forum I belong to. She found The Pink Box cake blog and asked about it. I told her that it was a fondant covered cake, she said that was fine. Well when it came time to do this cake my mother flew in my grandmother from Michigan last minute and I was the one who had to do all the running around to get her and she was to be staying at my house and all the craziness that comes with that. So I held off this cake until I knew I could get in my zone, well Grammy didn't want to go to bed....she wanted to stay up with me and "help." It threw me off. I didn't do all that I could and it disappointed me. And I just wasn't happy with it. When the client came I realized I had forgotten to get more boxes when I was out the day before so that was an embarrassment too. Especially when I had my Grandmother point it out!
So to make it all worse. The client has never made comment whether she liked or disliked it. Though I know she disliked it. There is another woman who bakes on our forum and when people talk of her cakes she will make comments like "fondant is the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted", or "does sheprovide you a box to take it home in?" or my favorite " the best in town I don't know why anyone would go anywhere else." She knows I see these comments and I think it's just rude. The cake was great and the filling awesome. I did Rhonda's MMF and I amped the BC b/c I knew she wasn't a fan of fondant so made sure there was a good layer in there. It just stinks when your failure is always haunting you.

Here's my take on the Pink Box cake.

20 replies
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stephaniescakenj Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 10:15pm
post #2 of 21

that is incredibly rude to be posting comments like that, it would crush me to be in your shoes. I might privately approach her if it's hurting your business, as kindly as possible of course. I think your cake is very nice so the comments are really unwarrented and so petty.

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JanH Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 10:16pm
post #3 of 21

Wow, I'm impressed! Great looking cake, IMHO. icon_smile.gif

Not providing a box, while unfortunate is not an unforgivable oversight. (Were you able to cover the cake with plastic wrap, etc. to keep it dust free?)

Did you not apologize, and instead, just shove the cake at the customer while pushing her out the door. icon_lol.gif

In my experience, unhappy people complain to everyone, about anything, all the time. icon_rolleyes.gif

But truly dissatisfied customers will take the time to complain to the service provider! The fact that she hasn't contacted you directly would seem to indicate that she wasn't displeased with the cake.

The fact that she is sniping fondant cakes, etc. on the mommy board says more about her than about you. She might be projecting positive comments about other bakers/decorators simply because she hasn't dealt with them and fantasizes that "they" would have satisified her every unspoken cake desire and charged her next to nothing.....

Buyer's remorse doesn't negate the fact that a great custom cake was handcrafted at a satisfactory cost. judge.gif

You have assumed an unwarranted case of the flux (slang for when something is out of whack)... thumbsdown.gif

Let me just say it out loud, It's NOT YOU - it's HER!!! icon_twisted.gif

P.S. (I'm assuming the cake was significantly as promised in the design requested. If not, then perhaps a small refund or gift certificate might be in order.) tapedshut.gif


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summernoelle Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 5:05pm
post #4 of 21

I'm confused-is it the client saying these things, or your competition?

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Jenniferkay Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 5:41pm
post #5 of 21

the client is saying these things...I know a little strange.

I did wrap the cake before she left b/c I was out of boxes and apologized profusely. I really couldn't sit there and explain to her, nor would I, all that I had been through in past 3 days with my Grandmother's unexpected arrival.

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__Jamie__ Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 5:49pm
post #6 of 21

I'm confused too. The person saying the things about providing boxes or why would anyone go anywhere that someone on here? I mean another baker, NOT that client of yours? Talking negatively in a round about way about you? That's what I interpreted through your post.

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IcedTea4Me2 Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 6:01pm
post #7 of 21

That's just rude. I have some passive aggressive people in my life and it seems to work better for them if I approach them with the issue because they're never going to bring it out in the open. It's like they just shoot arrows at you in the shadows and when you turn on the light and there are no more shadows things can be worked out. The problem is they don't know how to turn on the light. If it is really bothering you, then I would try to resolve it with her. If not, then ignore her. I'm a big fan of airing things out and getting it all in the open.


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Jenniferkay Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 6:12pm
post #8 of 21

It's not on this forum she's talking about me, it's on a "mom forum" and it's the client. Sorry, I typed all that after I had just read another comment from her about me in a passive tone.

If she would come to me and tell me she had a problem with the cake, that it wasn't all that and a bag of chips then I would totally work with her. I don't want anyone unhappy, especially if she's going to continually dog me. If I approach her, am I admitting failure? My failure was a box and she doesn't like fondant.

My DH and I both tried the fondant and both thought it was much better than all previous batches of MMF since I used Rhonda's MMF. It had a nice lemony after taste and wasn't overly sweet. My DH asked, did she eat the lipstick? icon_lol.gif

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sweetjan Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 6:48pm
post #9 of 21

Well, I can't imagine someone not liking it. I think it's just perfect!

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raynedanser Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 7:02pm
post #10 of 21
Originally Posted by Jenniferkay

I don't want anyone unhappy, especially if she's going to continually dog me. If I approach her, am I admitting failure? My failure was a box and she doesn't like fondant.

If you approach her, you are NOT admitting failure. You're asking her what her beef is, which is a completely legitimate question after the petty way she has behaved.

I wouldn't call the box bit an actual failure. Stuff happens, things go crazy. It could have been worse. And the fondant was definitely not a failure. She asked about that specific style, right? Did I understand that correctly? And you told her that it was fondant and she said it was ok. She gave you the go ahead to make it. That is on HER. If she didn't like it, she shouldn't have said it was ok.

Definitely a talk in in order because she's acting like a spoiled child.

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Ruth0209 Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 7:08pm
post #11 of 21

Well, the dopey broad. If she knows she doesn't like fondant, she shouldn't have ordered fondant. You asked her if that's what she wanted and she said okay. I tell people who hate fondant if I can't do a cake they want without it. Then they have to decide. Some designs just cannot be executed without it.

I don't think that not providing a box is that big of a deal as long as it's well wrapped in plastic wrap. A lot of the cakes I do just don't fit well into boxes and I've never had anyone tell me they expected one or were unhappy about not getting one.

I think you just have to ignore her. She has a right to her opinion unless she says something that is not true about you or your cakes. Then you give it to her with both barrels and tell her to knock it off. And I'd do that publically in your "mommy forum" so everyone sees it and knows she's been saying untrue things about you. I would avoid an open war on the forum though. I think that just makes you look petty if you get into the back and forth. If she tries it, I'd just post something like, "I've expressed my feelings about your comments and I will not dignify any more comments from you with any further response."

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qt601 Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 7:12pm
post #12 of 21

You can't please everyone all the time. By her posting comments about you and not being woman enough and approach you to tell you she wasn't happy just goes to show you how less of a real woman she is. If I purchase something from someone that is made by that person, I will let them know if I liked it or not. When I make cakes for people I like to include a comment card. I let them know please return the card and be totally honest about the cake that I created for them. I let them know they will get $2.00 off their next cake purchase. I know it's not a big discount, but I just like to know how my customers really feel. In order to run a successful buisness you need negative and positive feed back. If I had encountered a problem like yours, I would be a bigger person amoung the situation and call or email the lady and let her know that from your understanding and her little posts that she is not happy with the product that she recived, and because she was not woman enough to come to you and let you know she wasn't satisfied, that you will be woman enough and apoligize that she was not happy with the product that she asked for and give her a full refund. The reason I will give her money back is just to show her that you are a bigger person than her and to make her feel really small. And as far as the money--write it off as a small loss and just learn from the experience.

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Deb_ Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 7:35pm
post #13 of 21

This happened at Thanksgiving time and she's still making snide remarks?

If it were me even though she hasn't "named" you personally to anyone on this forum I would e-mail her something like this...........

Dear...............(PITA fits icon_lol.gif )

I have read several comments that you've posted on the Mom Forum and I can't help but think that these comments are being directed at me. Does this in any way have anything to do with the fondant covered cake that you purchased from me way back in November? If so, I would hope that you would have contacted me directly about this order so that I could have rectified the problem if at all possible.
If this is not the case and these remarks are in no way meant to reflect on me or my business than please accept my apologies.


I wouldn't offer anything about not having a box or her stating that she doesn't like fondant. Just a simple note to let her know that her behavior is rude and childish. By saying nothing, she will continue to bash you, knowing that you are seeing everything she writes.


Another way to handle this is to post something on the Mom Forum about a PITA client that ordered a fondant cake from you even though she told you she hated fondant and now you know she's bad mouthing you publically. Turn the tables on her and see how she reacts. Chances are she won't order from you again anyway, so you may as well have some fun with the situation icon_twisted.gif

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FromScratch Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 7:38pm
post #14 of 21

A full refund?? No way. She agreed to the fondant and the design and she got the cake she asked for. No way she should be out the ingredients and time she put into that cake.

I would contact her nicely and see what she has to say. Simply.. "Hey (so-and-so), From the tone of your comments on (insert mommy board here) I get the impression that you were unhappy with the cake you recieved from (insert your bakery name here). I strive to have great customer service and customer relations and I would like to rectify the situation as soon as possible. If you could let me know where the problems were I would really appreciate it so I can better my business. Sincerely, (your name here)"

She is beig childish and you need to approach her like an adult. Don't be emotional about it. If she comes back saying the fondant was awful and there was no box, simply say.. "I am sorry that the fondant wasn't to your liking. You had stated your dislike of fondant and when you picked your design I informed you that it was done in fondant and you said that it would be fine. I applied a full layer of buttercream under the fondant so that you and your guests could remove it from your slices of cake and still have an icing to eat. Again, I appologize for not having a box for your cake. I truely thought I had one. I would like to offer you a 10% discount on a future cake for your inconvienience. Sincerely, (your name here)"

If after that she keeps this up there is nothing you can do. Going after her agressively will only provoke more bashing. I am willing to bet though that simply letting her know that you know what is going on will curb it.

The internet gives even mousy people the anonymity they need to be real jack asses.. by letting her know that this is effecting a real person you remove that anonymity and she will most likely stop. ((hugs))

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summernoelle Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 7:44pm
post #15 of 21

OK, if the client is doing this, then she has some major issues! I'm not sure speaking to her would do anything but cause more problems and stress you out. You would be opening yourself up to more rude and uncalled for comments. But, be wise enough to never take another order from her.

Sorry this happened! Your cake was very cute, and there was no reason to criticize it. If she hated fondant, she should have insisted on no fondant.

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Deb_ Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 8:04pm
post #16 of 21

jkalman.........I think we were typing our responses at the same exact time, it's funny how we were thinking the same thing icon_wink.gif

cake sisters rock!!!!

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mzsassy Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 10:24am
post #17 of 21

Listen, I have friend who does this kind of thing to everyone she buys something from
she is trying to get it for free or some kind of discount. Best thing to do is go to that forum
Tell her she has one of your most loyal customers and that you want her to be happy what
can you do to make it right by her, because her satifaction is your number one priority! It will
show the others on the forum that you are a professional and that you are concerned about
your customers, it not a matter of I'm right /shes right it a matter of letting her know that she
will not post such things w/o a comment from you, and keeping your repretation intacted.
Most Passive/aggressives
dont like one on one confrontation and this is how they communicate.
Dont be confrontational just be Sweet! thumbs_up.gif

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banba Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 11:11am
post #18 of 21

My way of looking at this would simply be that if she did not complain to you or make any comment to you about the cake then you technically have a happy customer.

If she wants to carry on in the manner she has been on the forums that is a reflection on her and will someday probably come back to bite her in the ass.

I know it is not nice for you to have to deal with this but as no complaint was registered with you then you are actually "sitting pretty".

Put your best side out and just ignore her. She will become tiresome to others too!

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Jenniferkay Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 1:28pm
post #19 of 21

Well I did end up writing her a small note. Just a personal one, no one else saw. She wrote back stating that she never used my name or screename, which is true. But if anyone knows hers they know she ordered a cake from me.... Whatever. icon_confused.gif Anyway she apologized if she hurt my feelings...I wrote back that my feelings weren't hurt, that it was more that if you were unhappy with your cake I would've rather made it better than had an unhappy client. I offered to rebake her a cake at no cost, she declined (I knew she would) and that's the end of it. Thanks for all the encouragement. I really needed it. I just wasn't sure if I was losing my marbles or what over a box! (Which is what she was most upset about!) I wasn't going to offer a refund since she wasn't the one who "officially" complained. IF she had been the one who had come to me and said she had had a problem with the icing/fondant and was upset about the box the I would've, but since I was the once who intiated then I don't see that a refund is in order. icon_biggrin.gificon_twisted.gif

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tx_cupcake Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 1:47pm
post #20 of 21

I just wanted to add that I popped over to Pink Cake Box to look at the inspiration cake, and yours is pretty darn close! I think you did a great job. thumbs_up.gif

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costumeczar Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 1:48pm
post #21 of 21

Good for you, that should put an end to it. Like someone else said, passive-aggressive people don't like to be confronted directly, so telling her that she should come to you instead of posting snarky remarks should shut her up. If she knows that you're not afraid to call her on what she's doing, she probably won't do it anymore.

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