Difficult Customers

Business By kwanghui Updated 21 Apr 2009 , 1:43am by classiccake

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kwanghui Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:23pm
post #1 of 18

how do I deal with this lady, with one week until her order is due. This is now the second order I will be doing for her. She wants a "Bunnytown" cake made EXACTLY to her specifics. Colors, placement of every single detail, down to the grass. She calls every two days asking about how I"m going to do something and then telling me how she wants it done. I have told her I'm not Mike's Amazing Cakes, and will do to the best of my ability. She has seen the work on my website and sees I"m not just starting out here. Besides the fact that I have way undercharged her, why??? do not know! I am so irritated with all her requests that my stomach is upset and am not sleeping. What do I say to her? icon_mad.gificon_mad.gif I sent her another email today stating I cannot create the "perfect" or "exact" cake that she wants, but the best of my creative ability. Do you decorators do EXACTLY what the customers wants? or am I just being difficult here?

17 replies
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costumeczar Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:29pm
post #2 of 18

Tell her that you can't change any details now since the deadline for changes has passed. Then don't answer the phone for a week. icon_smile.gif

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Ruth0209 Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:31pm
post #3 of 18

Sounds like you'll have to muddle through this and then NEVER do another cake for her again. I think you are right to keep insisting that you cannot re-create a cake precisely, but that you will apply your own creative touch to get something that may be slightly different but will be just as nice.

If the customer wants something you think will be ugly, then I think you need to tell her, but after that if she wants it, just do it.

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BlakesCakes Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:34pm
post #4 of 18

No cake is worth an ulcer.

If it were me, at this point I'd tell her that I won't be able to do the cake (especially if you have no deposit) due to....pick any reasonable excuse you want--you're sick, a family member is sick, your oven died, etc.

I find it hard to believe that she'll be happy with the cake, anyway. I doubt that you'll enjoy doing it.

I'm dealing with a fussbudget right now, too. Asks for things well after the final details were to be decided, makes cracks like "I don't want it to be dry"--well, guess what--neither to I icon_cool.gif, asks for a weird filling combo and when I tell her how I'll accomplish is, she says, Oh, don't bother if you've never done it before icon_eek.gif

Good luck, whatever you decide.

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Rocketgirl899 Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:36pm
post #5 of 18

uhhh as a customer i want exactly what i ordered.... I also wouldn't demand every blade of grass being in a specific direction. but no doubt she is abusing that... but if she is paying you (you undercharging her isn't HER fault...) she deserves to the cake she expects. Colors, if I gave a color swatch of lime green, I wouldn't want moss green.

whats your website?

I would from now on, say no changes a week (2 weeks, after final payment whatever) before the cake is due.


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newmansmom2004 Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:43pm
post #6 of 18

There's gotta be a way to tell some of these nitpickers to go pound sand and make it sound like it's their idea and they're happy to do so! icon_razz.gif

Maybe Indydebi knows??? icon_biggrin.gif

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Tee-Y Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 8:50pm
post #7 of 18

[quote="Rocketgirl899"]uhhh as a customer i want exactly what i ordered.... I also wouldn't demand every blade of grass being in a specific direction. but no doubt she is abusing that... but if she is paying you (you undercharging her isn't HER fault...) she deserves to the cake she expects. Colors, if I gave a color swatch of lime green, I wouldn't want moss green.

DITTO to that!!!

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cakedesigner59 Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 10:44pm
post #8 of 18

I had a potential bride client once that was so picky she wanted to go thru my decorating tips and tell me which ones to use. I knew there was no way I could ever make her happy, and quite frankly, she didn't inspire me to even WANT to make her happy. I told her that she should find someone else to make her cake. It's wonderful when you have your own business and can say NO.

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sweetcakes Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 12:33am
post #9 of 18

you say you have undercharged? has she paid yet? every time she makes a change to the first placed order then that price quoted is no longer valid. she makes a change, you make a change in the price. Next time she calls tell her this is the order i have written up, go over it with her on the phone, tell her the price for that order. and that you will make the cake to the best of your ability and no 2 cakes are ever the same. stand your ground, she can hardly order this cake anywhere else now, its too late.

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elvis Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 2:59am
post #10 of 18

What a pain! I would just e-mail her -- subject line should be FINAL ORDER CONFIRMATION with the details that you have discussed and a High Priority flag.

I would list the order that you have agreed upon and state something like....thanks so much for your order-- I look forward to it. Please note that I cannot make any further changes to the design of the cake from this point forward, to allow for necessary planning. Don't be stressed, if you've done a cake for her before, she already knows your style and liked it.

As a side note, there is a huge difference between customer input and overly controlling customers. I've only had a few that were that way...and while I always did what they requested, with each one I felt that their cakes could have been so much better had they trusted me to be creative. We know how to showcase our strengths better than anyone.

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littlecake Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 3:44am
post #11 of 18

do this order...and take the life lesson....you do not have to take everyones order.....an ocd person gets thru every now and then now...but i've told peeps more times than i'd like to admit..."i'm sorry, i don't think i can please you."

you could do that now, since she hasn't paid you, it's VERY empowering.

life is a lot easier with no PITAS to deal with.

i've been thru this when i first opened...i avoid it like the plauge now.

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kwanghui Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 3:04pm
post #12 of 18

I don't have a problem doing what my customer has requested regarding style and colors. What I DO have a problem with is her telling me where to place every grass stand, every pebble, how to anchor the embellishments and the exact font to use, which I've told her I cannot do. She just keeps pushing the issue of things that I won't do. She is controlling every aspect of how I am creating this cake, I told her I cannot guarantee "perfection" which she has used this word several times in describing how she wants it to look. It's a cake for gods sake not open heart surgery! As for the quote I gave her, that was in the beginning before she kept adding things. How do I tell her that the price keeps changing once I've given her a quote? I will NEVER do a cake for again. I too am about getting what I ordered, but I don't tell my mechanic how to change the oil!

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cakedesigner59 Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 3:12pm
post #13 of 18

Wow... she sounds horrid. I would tell her only one person was ever perfect, and they crucified him. icon_smile.gif Nah, I probably wouldn't say that...but I might find some way to get out of it. It's not worth it (you already know that). Luckily, 99% of clients are a delight to work with, or none of us would do this at all!

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TexasSugar Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 8:05pm
post #14 of 18

I think at this point you have to deal with the underpricing and chalk it up to a learning experience. In the future have a contract that states changes can not be made after a set date, such as a week or two weeks before the due date. You can also add in a clause that some changes in design could change the cake price.

If she has been changing things for weeks I don't think it is fair to change the price now, even if she is being annoying.

Next time she asks for a cake be honest and tell her you do not think you can please her and she needs to find another cake decorator. OR nip it in the bud really fast, but not allowing changes after a certain point.

I totally agree with emailing her at this point and telling her you can not accept any more changes in the cake. I would also once again remind her that you will do your best to please her, but that you can not promise her the cake will be to her exact specification.

I once had to match a invite and I was very quick and honest to tell her, that I would try to match the colors as best I could, but I could not promise an exact match. I tried my hardest to match the colors, but because she was already aware of that they may be slightly I didn't stress over it.

Consider her a learning experience and use what you learned on future orders.

Next time around do not be afraid to tell her no I can not do that or I'm sorry but I don't think I will be able to please you. You do not have to except every cake order you get.

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DebBTX Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 9:38pm
post #15 of 18

What does she envision a Bunnytown cake would look like?

-Debbie B. icon_biggrin.gif

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kwanghui Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 9:47pm
post #16 of 18

Bunnytown is a disney channel cartoon. If you google search it, she wants the scene with the reddish tiled house, benches & chairs, all of the grass, pebbles, lamp post, big tree and the four bunnies from the show. ALOT of detail and color, ALOT! Did I mention she wants it to look EXACTLY like the picture?!

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cakesbycathy Posted 20 Apr 2009 , 10:49pm
post #17 of 18

Well, if you are really fed up and desperate to get out of it you could always tell her that you cannot make the cake since it is copywrited and it is illegal for you to make the cake for profit.

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classiccake Posted 21 Apr 2009 , 1:43am
post #18 of 18

And Disney is one of the worst...tell her she is asking you to do something that is illegal!

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