Okay so a customer sends me an image of a cake which she wants me to recreate; I do so and the day before despatch send an email with the despatch confirmation and a pic of the cake - she gets back on the day of despatch calling it a monstrosity and saying it's nothing like the pics she gave. I gave a full refund but am feeling pretty bad on the confidence front - who's in the right here? I've included an image of the cake I made below. Any advice?
AWe'd need to see the inspiration cake to be able to compare.
AI agree. I'm not familiar with that bear so I don't know if its supposed to look like that. Showing te inspiration photo will help us compare.
Based solely on the cake, I don't see any "monstrosity." There is a bit of a bump on top & a few fondant blemishes but nothing that would warrant such a strong reaction.
My personal opinion is that when a customer gives a photo as "inspiration", that's a jumping off point. You've done a fine job so don't beat yourself up. Let this one go and chalk it up to experience and if that customer ever calls again, maybe you're just too busy to accommodate them. Since the Internet where people can look up elaborate cakes, it has added a whole new dimension and they want exact duplicates. Cakes are personal artwork and so many don't appreciate that fact.
That's the exact picture! I said at the start it wouldn't be an exact replica but that I could do something very similar - her emailed reply was:
"I'm sorry that looks nothing like the picture I sent you the writing is wonky and a mess and that huge monster looks nothing like gummy bear not even a number one on the cake its nothing like I ordered I would be embarrassed to put that out at my sons 1st birthday party in front of all our family and friends what do you expect me to do with this monstronsity???"
That cut deep! I know you shouldn't get so emotionally invested in customer complaints but that was a VERY harsh reply! :-/
there's 'recreate' and there's use as 'inspiration'--so to me it depends on the initial communication
the client got a real cute cake that falls under 'inspired by' not 'recreated'
but in this case--are you saying you got the picture late in the game or something?
so for going forward it's important to narrow that all down before you begin baking the recreate or inspired by part
Very true - That's the exact picture as above and she asked for the gummy bear to be recreated exactly however asked for alterations along other areas of the cake so we could fit in the writing. She referred to the bear as a monstrosity and actually asked for it not to be despatched (so she didn't get the cake) - that was a very disappointing and hurtful reaction - I know though that you shouldn't feel hurt as it's business and I should expect this but when so much time and effort is put into something its tough not too! Thanks guys for all your input it really helps! :-)
OP, the cake you made for the customer looks nothing like what she asked for. I'd be angry too, unless I had looked at your previous work and knew what I was probably going to get. Sorry to be so tough, but let's just cut to the chase to save you and your customers future disappointment. The example pic has clean uniform borders, smooth sides and tops, and clean cutouts for the bear and other details. Yours does not. Big difference. Practice with making your work clean and polished and study some figurine tutorials. Sorry, but this lady is 100% legit with her complaint.
AAhhh thanks CrazyGray. We need the op to confirm this photo. Even if it isn't the same cake, I'm willing to bet that is the character.
If so, I can see why the client might be a bit disappointed. I still wouldn't call it a monstrosity! I can say I never would have guessed that was supposed to be a pacifier. I thought that was the bears nose. The green is a bit dull, & I'm sure she envisioned the stars being above the character's head.
This is Not a disaster. It is a learning moment. In the future, try I be as specific as possible about design as well as your skill level.