What Words Do I Use? I Had An Cake Accident-Long

Business By IsaSW Updated 3 Aug 2010 , 9:11pm by IsaSW

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IsaSW Posted 1 Aug 2010 , 10:35pm
post #1 of 18

It happened yesterday, my 5 tier cake was being transported in two sections.
The 3rd tier, didn't have enough pegs I guess, and when my husband made a sharp turn, the cake tilted, half of the bottom tier got totally destroyed, the top two got saved because the center pole was sticking out like 12 inches, and it hit the window. So we drove back home, to try to fix the problem.
Immediately contacted the wedding coordinator, explained what happened told her I would go back home, decorate a dummie cake and try to repair it as much as I could. The flowers were gumpaste, and I had plenty extra.
She was really cool with it, even say thank you, yes just bring me something for the picture. The bottom tier was fake anyway.
I told her It would not be there on time.
This was 3:15 p.m. I was suppose to deliver at 4 pm. the reception was at 6 p.m. I was 45 minutes from the venue.
So I rushed home, cut the third tier in half, boxed the half that didn't get damage and delivered together with the two sheet cakes I was also providing. Made a new batch of buttercream and thank God I had some styrofoam available, cut it to size and re-did the 12 " tier.
I got at the Venue around 6 pm, assambled and finish decorating with the roses, they were not done decorating the tables, so it wasn't just me delaying the entrance of the guest, they had the doors shut, and nobody was inside the room. When I finished at 6:24 I heard the coordinator yelled, I need to open the door, and the photographer yelled I am not ready give me 5 more minutes.
So at least it wasn't me delaying the whole thing.
My question is? Do I e-mail the coordinator tomorrow first thing in the morning and offer a refund for the servings I did not provided, I am estimating 30 servings. or for the whole tier(72) that didn't make it into the cake.
Is this the right thing to do?
The cake turned out the way they ordered it, with not so perfect buttercream smoothing my husband said. He told me I need to take some classes, I agree, I am ordering Zambitos DVDs today.
But the cake looked like they order it, and if they didn't say anything to the bride, she would have not guess all the drama I went through.
So what words do I use to sound professional in my e-mail tomorrow.
Thanks for your help. Here is the pic.

17 replies
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Elcee Posted 1 Aug 2010 , 10:50pm
post #2 of 18

How awful...but the cake turned out lovely. Great save!

I don't think you should offer, though, nor should you wait for them to ask. I would recommend that you call her and tell her the check is already in the mail (or credited card, or whatever). As someone who has worked in customer service for many years, I truly believe being proactive is the way to go. That kind of customer service will override the cake accident in their memories.

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smbegg Posted 1 Aug 2010 , 10:55pm
post #3 of 18

My thought is that you should refund for the amount of cake not given, and possibly a discount since it was not delivered as ordered. But I would not give a full refund since the cake already had a fake tier and you provided the rest of the cake.


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dorie67 Posted 1 Aug 2010 , 10:56pm
post #4 of 18

I agree with Elcee on both accounts- your cake is absolutely beautiful!, and I always say it is best to be pro-active instead of re-active! princess.gif

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kansaslaura Posted 1 Aug 2010 , 11:23pm
post #5 of 18

When ever I see a question like this I always go with how I'd want to be treated as the customer. It's easy. Do as you would want them to do for you. I agree--right now, figure the damages, write the check and let them know it's on the way.

Nice save, btw!

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leah_s Posted 1 Aug 2010 , 11:45pm
post #6 of 18

You absolutely should NOT wait. Put that check in the mail or process a Paypal refund NOW. That will diffuse any bad feelings that could develop. And the coordinator will be more than understanding, since you delivered a cake and the cutting cakefor the back. That's the "standup" thing to do.

I had a similar experience about a month ago. I had refunded the bride's money before she even knew there was a problem.

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IsaSW Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 1:12pm
post #7 of 18

Thank you so much for your advice!
Too bad I don't have an address to mail to. So I have to contact the event coordinator and ask for it. But I will do this at 10:30 am. And yes I agree a phone call will be more personal.
I will also give her an extra credit for her next order.
The check to the bride and the cake credit to the event coordinator. They told me they want to start working with me, when they first contacted me, so I think this will be an incentive to them to come back to me for more cake.
Thanks! Thanks! Many Thanks!

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online_annie Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 1:55pm
post #8 of 18

I too, would write the check and drop it off with the event coordinator immediately. IMO Do not wait for them to contact you and ask. Call the Bride or leave a message if she can't be reached personally. Keep it short and to the point, let her know a check was left with the event coordinator. I wouldn't apologize, I would simply thank her. Too many times people over apologize. Also, do not weigh the explantion down with needless details of the accident. There was an accident, you dealt with it quickly & professionally, and following up with a partial refund for missing cake. They will know that you can be counted on in the event the worst case situation happens. This will go over great with the event coordinator and the bride.

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indydebi Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 2:00pm
post #9 of 18

Nothing to add to the great advice already given. The cake does look really good.

A plain iced cake like that is always difficult to do and make it look perfect. You did a fabulous job on the smoothing. When I'd get a bride who wanted "something simple ..... no borders or decorations or anything", I'd tell her "Oh! So you want me to work harder on your cake!" icon_biggrin.gif

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Marianna46 Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 2:29pm
post #10 of 18

Just having been through a cake disaster this last Friday, I loved reading this thread. Mine was for a family affair and totally due to the heat. I had to remove the top tier (only 4", so not much cake was lost) and the cake ended up looking okay, but I spent all weekend shuddering at what would have happened if this had been a paying job (which I hope to get more of over time). Your answers have been inspiring!

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indydebi Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 2:34pm
post #11 of 18
Originally Posted by Marianna46

. but I spent all weekend shuddering at what would have happened if this had been a paying job!

I know the feeling! I gave my nephew his reception at cost .... cake was free, and the food-buffet was at cost. It was 75 miles away, and I went over checklist after checklist to make sure I had everything.

I forgot the chocolate for the chocolate fountains. icon_eek.gif

So they had a larger than average appetizer table (just moved the dippable foods to the appetizer table which made it look HUGE!) but like you, I kept thinking about the BIG refund I would have had to give if it had been an actual paying gig! icon_lol.gif

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tootie0809 Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 4:51pm
post #12 of 18

Wow, gorgeous cake and great save! You handled it like a pro. Can't add anymore to the great advice already given, but pat yourself on the back for handling a very stressful situation well and having a gorgeous final product.

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All4Show Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 5:11pm
post #13 of 18

Tell your husband you did a great job on your buttercream. Simple is always more difficult.

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DefyGravity Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 6:20pm
post #14 of 18

Ugh, I hate smoothing BC. I pretty much fail at it and would rather use fondant any day of the week.

I think your cake was still lovely and refunding for the unprovided portions is definitely the right thing to do.

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Lizmybit Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 6:35pm
post #15 of 18

I agree 100% with everything! You're cake turned out great! Your gum paste roses are beautiful! Great job! I am sure you will get a lot more business after this! A little money lost now will be a lot of money returned to you later. Great job!

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mamawrobin Posted 2 Aug 2010 , 6:51pm
post #16 of 18

I agree with Leah...refund money NOW.

Great save...your cake looks amazing. In a cake where both dummy and real cake is used I love it when the real cake looks just as good as the dummy. thumbs_up.gif I honestly cannot tell the difference in your 'real' cake and the dummies. Very nice work. icon_smile.gif

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JulieMN Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 12:17am
post #17 of 18

Oh what a challenge....nice save!

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IsaSW Posted 3 Aug 2010 , 9:11pm
post #18 of 18

Everything went well.

I heard back from the coordinator today.
This what she wrote:
Thanks for asking, everything went very well. you can make the refund payable to XXXX (this is her mom she paid for the cake) but please mail to out address at XXX to ensure we receive.

Thank you so much for the $100 credit (we will be getting something for our selves) and your cake is so good. We will defiantly be referring and using your services again.

I had a happy ending!
Thanks everybody!

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