I Need To Vent :(

Decorating By vaniti716 Updated 25 Oct 2011 , 2:43pm by RetiredNavyChief

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vaniti716 Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 4:56pm
post #1 of 33

So here it goes.....I am a small business but i have been baking and decorating cakes for a few years now....I bake and decorate all types of cakes including Dominican Cakes which is a big hit in the spanish community...well first of all because I work by myslef and have a small child i only take a few orders a week...first i would like to mention cakes that are decorated in fondant in the spanish community is not a normal thing, Dominican cakes are normally only done in Meringue buttercream with fruit fillings like Guava, Pineapple and Dulce de Leche any other filling is considered out of the norm...most Dominican cakes are sold by the pound at about $40-60 (1 pound is a cake pan of 10 inches) anyway bc i am a small bakery and like having everything fresh i dont have dominican cakes or any other cakes already made (everything is made per order) so back to the topic...this couple comes in to my store front on Wends and asks if i do Dominican Cakes which i said yes i do, well they proceed to tell me that they want a Monsters High theme cake for 40 people I advised that although i do make dominican cakes i use Swiss Meringue buttercream bc Meringue is too soft....they agree on the price for the cake and after i had given them the reciept they decide to tell me that the cake is not for next week but for the coming Sat.....I normally do not take cakes that late in the week especially a cake that would require hand made flowers....I decided against my better judgement to go ahead and do the cake anyway....well these people came to the shop 3 other times...first the husband came back to tell me that the cake was too expensive and wanted something cheaper that would feed his guests but still look hot...we agreed on a sheet cake covered in fondant with a skull head on it but after i looked at the picture of the cake there was no way that i would have been able to make the cake look really nice and feed his guests so I told him that we would need to change the design...well his wife came in and I told her that we can do the original design a 3 tier cake with fruit filling with the flowers and everything with a discount in order to be able to make it cheaper for them...she left and looked happy...well a few min later she came back looking like she wanted to cry and said she wanted something regular...i explained to her that I do not do reg and that Hot Pink and black are not reg colors so that is still considered custom...she was very upset so I said I will do a cake with buttercream and give her fondant accents for an additional $5 which she refused bc she said her husband was bugging out well to make a long story short I asked how big she wanted the cake and she said 2 pounds which would mean she would pay alot less for a 3 tier cake....i would have charged her more bc of the colors and also bc i dont do regular dominican buttercream or reg dominican design cakes....I have been doing these types of cakes for a few years now and I have never had any complaints in ref to the flavors....this gentleman calls me yesterday and tells me that my cake didnt taste dominican and that no one aet the cake...i at first thought he was playing bc how can a cake not taste the way the recipe calls for so I just laughed and said no for real how was the cake and he told me that no one aet the cake bc it was tooo american ....i was appalled...i advised that it was imposible for anyone to say that the cake I made didnt taste authentic when I have been doing a recipe handed down by one of the biggest Dominican cake bakers that originated in the Dominican Republic...anyway my hubby is saying that he probably wants his money back icon_sad.gif I am sooo upset i cant even think right now....the nerve of this man if they wanted a reg deisgn dominican cake then they should have just gone to the shop up the block now he is talking stuff about my cakes and there is really nothing i can do...sorry this is sooo long i just needed to vent icon_sad.gif

32 replies
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cakification Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 5:02pm
post #2 of 33

First of all, your post is very hard to read being mostly one gigantic paragraph, and its little bit hard to follow, so you might not get a lot of responses because of that.

Second, I'm sorry that he was not happy with your cake. Maybe you could ask specifically what they didn't like about the cake. Was it the different icing? Did you make that clear that it would be different?

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Rosie2 Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 5:23pm
post #3 of 33

If it was me, I'd tell him that since no one eat the cake then bring the whole thing back to me. Not until then I'd give his $$ back...

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JSKConfections Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 5:47pm
post #4 of 33

Rosie good response...yep if no one ate it, he should return it to you. I have a feeling he is looking for a refund and your cake was fine. Gook luck, let us know what happens!

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naunie2 Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 5:58pm
post #5 of 33

I agree, he wants a refund, no cake, no refund! If no one ate it, just saying

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kakeladi Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 6:42pm
post #6 of 33

This was a total set up. When they give you that much trouble just ordering you can see how they will come up with any excuse just to get their money back. Like the others who posted, tell him to return the cake to you for a refund.

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MamaDear Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 6:46pm
post #7 of 33

This is a hard lesson learned because you took on a cake at a late date that kept changing and to me it was clear from the beginning that they wanted lots of cake for little money. You even said you gave them a discount so that they could afford the cake, its not your responsibility to balance their big cake desires with their little cake budget.

Also, I agree with the posters above. Let him bring you back the cake if he wants the money back. Sounds like to me he just wants to guilt you into giving him back some now.

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vaniti716 Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 8:58pm
post #8 of 33

OMG thank you all so much for your reply.....i am really sorry that my post was soo long and confusing I was just sooo upset that i couldnt keep my typing straight....i was going to ask him for the cake back but i was not going to give him anything back even if it was true what he said bc i am 100% sure that there was nothing wrong with his cake.....i told them both in the beginning that the buttercream would be different and they agreed so in my opinion I gave them more than what I should have for what they paid and I will never go against my better judgement....I do want to say I do not know where i would be with out all of you...thank you again icon_smile.gif

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Panel7124 Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 9:12pm
post #9 of 33
Originally Posted by Rosie2

If it was me, I'd tell him that since no one eat the cake then bring the whole thing back to me. Not until then I'd give his $$ back...

Yeah, it was the first thing that came to my mind! Usual couple with few money and big cake dreams. Sorry this happened to you! I am always nervous to make some particular type of cake and flavour that corresponds to particular taste of other nations (dominican, italian..) and if you are not a native and they know it, they will try to find all the excuses to get the money back. I had dominican clients once, they always came to discuss the cake as a whole family icon_lol.gif , every time at least 3 people - wife, husband, child, brother of the wife, sister of the husband......... They wanted fruit cakes - pineapple, cocconut but with fondant. The wife was an incredible PIA, called at least 6 times to be sure the cake is ok. When the husband came to pick up the cake, she called him and asked him to make sure that the bottom tier of the cake corresponded to the color of the small girl's party dress icon_smile.gif But in the end they were very pleased and really happy, no money problem. Sorry for this story, you were right, you had to listen to your instinct. I would not refund anything if they don't bring the leftovers.

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lomikesa Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 9:29pm
post #10 of 33

First I want to say that I am of Dominican roots, I was born in the USA. but my mother was a die hard Dominican so I know about the famous Dominican cakes and that Dominicans are very particular about their Dominican cake.
This cake is very buttery, soft tasting and they also use their famous Dominican vanilla and it must be done with meringue frosting, any other frosting would not do. I refuse to make this cake for many reasons, but the main reason is the meringue frosting which you have to do with egg whites and for health reasons I will not do, I also find it time consuming and not profitable as they don't want to pay for the labor.

I just tell them to go to a Dominican Bakery.


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vaniti716 Posted 17 Oct 2011 , 9:54pm
post #11 of 33

Hello lomikesa
I am also Dominican Born there and raised in Washington Height believe me I know about that cake and that is the reason why I explain to every customer that I do not use the regular meringue only Swiss Meringue espceially if they want it covered in fondant, but the cake itself with the filling is 100% Dominican Recipe given to me by a big time Dominican Bakery owner in the NY....you are right making Dominican cake is a pain and most of the customers that want dominican cakes do not want to pay for the work and want to haggle for everything.
I only make dominican cakes bc of the area that my store front is in but when i get another customer like this one i will def listen to you and send them to another bakery bc i really do not need this stress or for someone to bad mouth my cakes when i know my cakes are authentic. I can not afford someone trying to hurt my business in any way icon_sad.gif

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vaniti716 Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 2:23am
post #12 of 33

You guys are not going to beleive this!!!!
The Aunt of my customer called me to tell me that she wanted to give me a complaint in ref to my cake and she basically told me that I was trash and so was my cake...she told me that my cake was thrown out and told me that she was going to tell everyone she knew not to go to my shop bc I am a thief and am selling a product that i do not know how to make.....yes that was the icing on my day today....oh and she told me that the only reason she even sent her nephew to my shop was bc a previous customer had refered her.....after she cursed me out she hung up on me and wouldn't let me say a word to defend my product or even find out was exactly she didnt like....needless to say this stupid customer got to me icon_sad.gif
thank you all for allowing me to vent

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southerncross Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 3:11am
post #13 of 33

vaniti...I'm sorry this has been such a rough day for you. I'm not Dominican ...just Irish, born in Scotland, grown old in the USA....but my advice is that if the Aunt or anyone else calls you to curse about his cake, you have a good old curse ready to hurl back...not swear words...I mean a real curse like this "Go n-ithe an cat thú is go n-ithe an diabhal an cat." as my ma would say in Gaelic...or
"May the cat eat you, and may the devil eat the cat"

I know that our business are dependent upon the good will of our customers but sometimes we can draw the line. If you are honest and forthright in your dealing and the customer doesn't reciprocate then you don't need them. You've been in business long enough to rest on your good reputation and won't be harmed by one crude customer. I figure if those customers treat you dishonourably, then they are doing it to others and their word won't have any effect.

I'm ifacinated with the Dominican cake and now have to find out where I can get one!

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vaniti716 Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 3:39am
post #14 of 33

You have made my night southerncross lol....i always try and treat everyone i come across with the respect that i expect to be treated and i guess this is the reason why this hurts sooo much....even though i know my work speaks for itself and I have many satisfied customer this family has somehow gotten to me and I honestly would have given them a credit had they simply asked for one and told exactly what they didnt like instead of trying to hurt me.....Tomorrow is another day and I know things will get better and if someone from their family calls me i will do what you said lol thank you again icon_smile.gif

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ReneeFLL Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 4:04am
post #15 of 33

Don't let these people get to you. Sounds like they are just trying to bully you into giving them back some money. If I bought a cake or anything else that was so terrible, I would not throw it away. I would take it back to the store. I think they ate and enjoyed it, but that great cake was not really in their budget so now they are being total jerks to you.
If they are spreading the word to their friends, you probably don't want them as customers anyway. They would probably want a Dominican cake and not want to pay what it is worth. You don't need the hassles.

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Tails Posted 19 Oct 2011 , 10:40am
post #16 of 33

After she said the cake was thrown in the trash, I would have calmly replied "Oh what a pity. Had you been able to bring me the uneaten cake, I could have made a partial, if not full, refund."

Call their bluff, and make them feel stupid for throwing it away. If they do suddenly produce it, then say something like, oh well I cant taste it after you've thrown it away, so here's a voucher for 10% off your next cake".

You know they prob wont use it, and you cant be blamed for not trying to "fix a wrong", cos afterall, you gave a voucher. If they do use, you can be sure they prob wont use it for a dominican cake, and if they want that type of cake, you have a right to refuse it politely, given the trouble the last one caused. Maybe add in small print on the voucher "not valid for dominican cake" or something.

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vaniti716 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 3:07am
post #17 of 33

you are so right i dont need them as customers and i would think they would bring the cake back but all they want to do is make me doubt my abilities as a baker icon_sad.gif

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vaniti716 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 3:14am
post #18 of 33

LOL tails u r sooo right i wish i would have thought of that but at the time i was too upset and hurt to think of anything this cool to do....but its ok i know this lady and her nephew will somehow eat thier words bc i believe in Karma icon_sad.gif but thank u very much for the advise icon_smile.gif

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MelaMang75 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 3:49am
post #19 of 33

Truth is, if you gave them every penny back, do you really think your name would be cleared with them?? Jerks are jerks! Sometimes you bend over backwards, and still, younger jerks. Be mad, be sad, and then pick yourself up! You deserve better!!! icon_smile.gif

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YummyCreations Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 4:51am
post #20 of 33

I'm so sorry this happened to you! I have already read so many similar stories of people wanting extreme cakes but didn't want to pay much for them and after they got and ate the cake they contact the bakery to complain that the cake was horrible trying to get a refund. Shame, shame on all of them! Don't let them make a victim out of you.

Believe in yourself and your abilities and keep on baking. You don't want them or their aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and whomever else they'll badmouth you to as your customers. I'm sure you have made plenty of people happy over the years who are now loyal customers.

The only time I can remember eating a cake that was terrible was a Tres Leches cake that had literally gone bad. The milk in it had gone sour. All it took was one bite from everyone to know this. So there was plenty of cake to return to the bakery the next day and a refund was gladly given. Maybe it's time to focus on them and I agree with everyone else "no cake, no refund!".

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scp1127 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 11:29am
post #21 of 33

vaniti, pm me and I'll share my refund policy with you. It will help you with this type of situation. It won't help with the bad customers, just the process for determining the refund. My customers must agree to terms and conditions before the invoice is generated. With a stated policy, I'm not in the position to be a pushover.

I completely understand the fine line between safety and authenticity. Because of this, there are just some cakes I don't offer. I'm not worried about my handling, but the abuse it may take with the customer.

About the bad customers... sometimes these people test you to see who they can maneuver and push around. If you are just too nice and too accomodating, breaking your policies, you may be the baker they are looking for. Having clear policies will help you to stay focused and turn away those people who are looking for an easy refund target.

Bottom line, it's business, but don't forget to go with your gut feelings when it doesn't seem quite right.

I know you explained everything, but maybe on these variances from authentic ethnic recipes, putting the changes in writing with a signature may be the lesson we can all learn from your unfortunate experience.

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RetiredNavyChief Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 1:56pm
post #22 of 33

Wow really a comment about her post being one long paragraph! Get a life! I have read ones on here that can't even spell! Who cares. Anyway sorry this happened to you. We have all dealt with whiney customers. If you know it was good then don't worry about it, take a deep breathe and move on to the next cake!

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southerncross Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 6:57pm
post #23 of 33

Good grief, RNC, please be careful how you throw your stones. OP has a life and it includes baking. She obviously values her reputation and was a bit shaken when she ran up against a rude and crude customer. You are right that we've all had to deal with whiney customers and OP certainly wasn't saying she was the only one ever to deal with this. She posted, I suspect, because she knows we are kindred spirits and who better to vent to than those who know what it's like. After all, she titled the post "I just need to vent" so it shouldn't come as a surprise when you read it. Those of us who read the post and responded, do care...about someone who is upset. If you don't share those feelings, I don't recall any requirement that you post a response or ever read the original post.

As for spelling, grammer, run on sentences, lengthy paragraphs, etc. this isn't an English 101 class otherwise, I'd start to pick apart your response.

Peace, love and understanding ...that's all we can ask and all we need to give.

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MyDiwa Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 7:14pm
post #24 of 33

I think RNC was referring to this post:

Originally Posted by cakification

First of all, your post is very hard to read being mostly one gigantic paragraph, and its little bit hard to follow, so you might not get a lot of responses because of that.

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rara1975 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 7:45pm
post #25 of 33

Im sorry this happened. Sounds like you made it very clear what they would be getting, although they seem to be difficult from the start! Dont let it put you off.

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cupadeecakes Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 7:58pm
post #26 of 33


I too am sorry to hear this happened to you. It definitely sounds like buyer's remorse to me.

I think you have handled the complaint responsibly and if another "aunt" calls and uses foul language just hang up on them. If they show up. call the police. You provided them a product for a price and if they can't bring back any of the cake then in this situation you have done all you can do.

Someone else mentioned getting a policy signed beforehand. This is great advice.

My other advice: If a customer is being a real pain before you have ever cracked the first egg, then cancel their order and refund their money. You will learn to spot these "client-zillas" a mile away and avoid them like the plague! Your customer has a choice where they shop, and you have a choice in the clients you accept.

Don't let this weaken your resolve or passion for what you love to do! Stay strong!

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cownsj Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 8:19pm
post #27 of 33

I think a very telling statement is the one from the aunt saying they were referred to you. Clearly, if they got a good referral, then they know you make a good Dominican Cake. So I have to agree with the others that they couldn't get you to "give" them the cake upfront, so they believed that your kind nature would break and you would give them a full refund after the fact.

That good referral means that your satisfied customers are telling others about your delicious cakes. And as someone else mentioned, if these customers are always bad mouthing people, that gets around too.

You're doing good, because you didn't just give them a refund on demand. You are a step ahead because of it, and that is a good business decision. icon_biggrin.gif

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cai0311 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 9:16pm
post #28 of 33

I am sure you are right - there was nothing wrong with your cake. I think the couple didn't understand just how different the icing was going to be.

When it comes to certain types of foods straying from the custom will make a big difference especially to people that grew up on that type of food. For example, my husbands family is Italian. His grandma on his mom sides doesn't speak any English, straight from the boat kind of Italian. There is no way I would ever make cannolis for them let alone say "I am cannolis but with a totally different type of filling than you have only known it to be served with".

In my opinion, I would suggest either serving the cake with the MBC like it should be or not at all. I know others have loved it, but you could be setting yourself up for failure with the changed recipe.

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carmijok Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 9:37pm
post #29 of 33

If this issue with the changed icing recipe comes up again, you might consider them tasting the difference rather than just telling them.

These people sound horrible...and why is it always the bad reviews the ones we take seriously? Most people could have 100 positive rave reviews, yet one really negative person can make us doubt ourselves and abilities.

Don't let this happen to you! And trust your instincts next time. It's much better to turn away a bad customer than have them turn on you later. thumbs_up.gif

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southerncross Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 9:51pm
post #30 of 33

RNC, I owe you an apology. Sometimes, especially after too much coffee, I tend to fly off the handle. Please accept atonement for misreading your posting. As the daughter of a sainted retired CPO, I should know better.

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