Do I Offer A Refund? I Hated The Cake!

Business By karenm0712 Updated 14 Apr 2010 , 11:35pm by Uniqueask

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karenm0712 Posted 10 Apr 2010 , 10:32pm
post #1 of 53

I made a double layer 11x15 cake and for a bridal shower today. The design that the bride wanted was the paisley (vera bradley) like design and she wanted it all in buttercream. Piping the design in BC proved to be way more of a challenge than what I originally thought and I seriously dislike the cake. I hate my handwriting, the design, everything about it.... almost 100% of my cakes are iced in BC with fondant accents, but she wanted to stick to all BC because she really liked the pic she found. I told her that I wouldn't be able to make her cake exactly like the picture, but that I would use the picture as my guide to create her cake. But I just hate it... she picked it up this morning and said she liked it, but really, I think she was saying that to be nice...

Do I refund? I am embarrassed to even post a pic of it here... she is a new but repeat customer.... I think that I should and so does my hubby, but want to get your opinions.... I should add that I was up all night, and I mean ALL night working on this cake, but ugh, I don't even know what to say to her or how much to refund.

Opinions/advice appreciated!

52 replies
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JGMB Posted 10 Apr 2010 , 10:41pm
post #2 of 53

Honestly, I'm not trying to be pushy and make you post it, but it's hard to have an opinion unless we see it. Even if it were horrible looking, it was a big cake that I'm sure was eaten, so I wouldn't give a full refund. JMHO

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karenm0712 Posted 10 Apr 2010 , 10:52pm
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I know, ugh, okay, as soon as I get home (at my parents right now) I will post...BUT I think that the pic via the camera makes it look better than what it really was...

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jenscreativity Posted 10 Apr 2010 , 10:52pm
post #4 of 53

I understand your concerns..but NO WAY! IF client liked it,,let it go girl! There is a point in life you want to give it all to someone, but you have to look out for yourself all nighter cake decorator is the key of what you deserve..let it me! It's ok..and god let it be ok!

Some people think the worse of their work, but ends up being better than you may think

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Doug Posted 10 Apr 2010 , 10:55pm
post #5 of 53


she hasn't said anything but that she liked it.

end of story. end of discussion.


whether or not you liked it matters not a twit not mote not an iota

not at all.


it's done

spend your money on something you want

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costumeczar Posted 10 Apr 2010 , 11:14pm
post #6 of 53

If she said she liked it, you don't give a refund. Don't worry about it!

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indydebi Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 12:53am
post #7 of 53

Agree....unless the client doesn't like it, your opinion really doesn't matter (and that's a GOOD thing! thumbs_up.gif )

Definitely post the pic. I've got some pics posted that I use as examples of "this is what it looks like when you do it wrong!" icon_lol.gif , but seriously, even our bad cakes are a great learning tool. I love posting links to my bad cakes when I can show someone "here's what it looked like when I tried to skip letting the cake settle first...."

Post it. thumbs_up.gif

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karenm0712 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:08am
post #8 of 53

Okay, here you go...

This is a link to the cake that she found online -

In case the link doesn't take here it is with some spaces www. bredenbecks .com/uploads/images/BridalGallery/Paisley-Shower.png

I just uploaded the my cake to my photo's...can't miss it... it's purple & pink

I also wanted to mention that we talked about scalling (sp) back on the size of the decorations because she didn't want the words to get "lost" in the cake. And again, I told her that I would use her picture as a guide and that her cake would not be 100% like the picture...

One more thing to mention is that the Bengals/Golf cake in my pictures was her very first order a couple of weeks ago. I just look at the two and think how horrible this most recent cake turned out! icon_sad.gif

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LindseyLoocy Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:20am
post #9 of 53

Ok, you are waaaay too harsh on yourself. I think it's great. It's not as elaborate as the picture, sure, but it looks great and you should not worry about giving a refund. She liked it and that's all that matters. You did an awesome jobicon_smile.gif

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pastryjen Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:23am
post #10 of 53

I think you are worrying for nothing!

To be perfectly honest, I prefer your cake to the original. It's neat and clean.

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csorrell71 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:30am
post #11 of 53

Just looked at both pics and based on what you said, she got what you all talked about. If she said she was happy, you should believe her. You did a good job! Just because you didn't like it doesn't mean that others won't.

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HipnotiqGlamour Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:31am
post #12 of 53

Yup you are just like me and waaaay to hard on yourself. I have learnt that most cake decorators our, our own worst critics. Your cake looked great, I wouldnt worry about it and keep up the good work!

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enoid Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:35am
post #13 of 53

Seriously? We are our own worst critics. Your hand writing is very nice and you can easily tell you took inspiration from the cake photo she provided. Give yourself a break, I'm sure she was genuinely pleased with the cake.

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nicoles0419 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:38am
post #14 of 53

your handwritting looks amazing!!! great looking cake

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cakemom42 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:39am
post #15 of 53

What a Great Cake!! You are too hard on yourself... Sometimes we are too close to our own work & have to take a break & a step back to breathe...
Take your experience & learn from it, but don't give a refund on this one :0)

Pat yourself on the back & have a glass of wine :0) or like on another post yesterday a jumbo margarita!! :0)
Job Well Done!

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liha21 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:46am
post #16 of 53

#1 best advice ever given on this website is "THAT WE ARE WAY TO HARD ON OURSELVES". Like my husband is always telling me, are you making a cake, or are you on one of those cake challenges, lol. The customers never see all the flaws that we see in our cakes.

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EvMarie Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:11am
post #17 of 53

I do this too sometimes. I deliver the order and every insecurity I have about it feels like it's just flashing across my forehead in neon lights. And, before the client gets to read my forehead, I feel like I just gotta point something out that I had trouble with or make an excuse about some aspect of the product. From my end, it's me being nit-picky and a perfectionist. From their end it may look like I am not capable and therefore lose confidence in my business.

I've learned to keep quiet. It's almost like we have a body image problem. You know those girls who look in the mirror and see fat. When really, they are just a skinny rod? It's sorta like that.

Anyway, I think the cake is lovely. I like the bright colors & it's clean. The only difference between that cake and yours is "more". You just needed more. BUTTTTT, she said she didn't want more because of the wording. And, your writing is great. I wouldn't fret.

If you feel real horrible about it, make her a little cake or cookie as a "thanks for being a client". No excuse attached. Just a nice gesture.


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kickasscakes Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:23am
post #18 of 53

my two cents worth:
It is amazing. You did an awesome job! I would be terrified to do a piped cake like this- FONDANT is MY best friend. You did great. I think most people, even people that DON'T do cake, realize the talent in piping.

Great job! You should be PROUD

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KarmaStew Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 5:24am
post #19 of 53

I do cakes I hate all the time. I have good taste, and occasionally my customers don't. Why should I offer a discount because they chose a design I hate?

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cakesbycathy Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:23pm
post #20 of 53

Okay I didn't even look at the cake and this my 2 cents:

If she doesn't ask for a refund you don't offer one. We are our own worst critics and as professionals see the flaws others miss or aren't even there.

There have many cakes where I have not been happy with how they turned out. But the client says they like it and that needs to be enough. You can drive yourself crazy thinking "Well, maybe they were just saying that to be nice." Let it go and move on to the next cake. icon_smile.gif

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Denise Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:53pm
post #21 of 53

The cake looks great. She wanted the designs scaled back so the words popped more...she got what she asked for. Your borders are neat and straight. Let it go...I know that is hard - there are some cakes I have done that I thought looked like poopydoody and the clients were thrilled. Beauty is in the eye of the just ask any mother!

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Spuddysmom Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:53pm
post #22 of 53

Your writing/piping is good. Looking at the original you do lose the word "of" with all the extra swirly parts around it. Nice clean buttercream work. The part that threw me was the color difference, but that must have been what she ordered - purple ( a whole lotta purple) instead of all the pink on the original - would you have been more satisfied if the color was more like original? If that's what she ordered, she was probably genuinely happy, no refund.

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thats2cute Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 2:56pm
post #23 of 53

I think your cake looks great!! thumbs_up.gif Your handwriting is great too! I wouldn't issue a refund, especially since she did say she liked it! IMHO it looks better than the original, because like your client said, the words get lost in the design.

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SUUMEME Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:11pm
post #24 of 53

I make cakes I hate all the time, but then once I take a photo of it it looks fantastic, strange but true. I think the customer sees the cake from that view of the camera, it looks great to them cause they couldn't have done it. Don't be so critical of your work, the cake lookes beautiful- I know the camera did help, been there, but still the client loved it and w/ good reason. thumbs_up.gif

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Sandysdream Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 3:22pm
post #25 of 53

I think your cake looks great, better I think than the one she chose (maybe it is just me, but it is not my taste). icon_lol.gif

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cylstrial Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 7:22pm
post #26 of 53

I also think your version of the cake looked better than the one that she originally chose.

You are worrying too much! No refunds - unless they complain!

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karenm0712 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 10:32pm
post #27 of 53

Thank you all for being so supportive! I will say that I tell myself the same things everyone has said all the time (as well as with this cake) - but I just didn't like it so I kept questioning myself! I do think that part of what I didn't like was having the entire cake iced in purple (and purple is my FAVORITE color!). She did say that she liked it, but her reaction wasn't nearly as "giddy" as the reaction of the first cake I did for her. I keep on checking my email, but nothing - I guess I am just being way too hard on myself.

I really do appreciate all of your kinds words. It means a lot to have a support network of people who know exactly what I am going through. {{{Hugs}}} to everyone for all of your support!

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kellertur Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 10:55pm
post #28 of 53

I love the writing and the pattern matches beautifully.
I doubt you have a thing to worry about. icon_smile.gif

Sorry to take over here, but:
If someone hates the cake soon will they tell us?
Is this the sort of thing that festers while they spread rumors, or do they call the next day demanding a refund or what? I realize "no news is good news" most of the time, but I made a kick A$$ cake over the weekend, only charged $140 for it and the man who picked it up barely flinched when he saw it. Seriously, when would they say something?

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karenm0712 Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 11:03pm
post #29 of 53

kellertur - I know, right?! I guess if they don't call the only way we know they are really pleased is if they come back and order again??! icon_wink.gif

Does anyone send a follow-up email to customers to say "thank you"? I thought about doing that with a discount "coupon" for another order as a thank you for their business.

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Doug Posted 11 Apr 2010 , 11:15pm
post #30 of 53

ok having now seen the cake

1) speaking as a GUY -- eeewwwww! ick! -- PINK! and GREEEN!!!!!!! --- it's a GUY thing. (and even paisley....oh my I left the 70s behind a LOOOOOONNNNGGGG time ago!) (there - ya happy????? someone - albeit a guy -- said something was ugly. I know, I know - who cares what a guy thinks! icon_razz.gificon_wink.gif )

2) speaking as a fellow cake decorator -- shudupayoumouth! --- Girl, you rocked that cake. (Oh and the green eyed monster has reared it's head -- I'm so jealous of your excellent piping) thumbs_up.gificon_biggrin.gif

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