Cake Decorating Community - Cakes We Bake

A new customer contacted me about a xbox cake, for 20 to 30 ppl I quoted her $55, she then changed her mind to the stacked camo cake.  I told her 75.  I made her a 3 tier camo cake with gumpaste antlers, gun and shells.  the cake batter was camo, cake was covered in fondant(camo) except the bottom layer.  The top tier was 6 in. double, the middle was 3 8 in.  and the base was 10 in.  I gave her the deliver option, of $1 per mile, she lives 20 miles away.  She said no she would get it.  I did her a favor and deducted 10 miles because I had to be in the area that day.  so we could me at 1 p.m.  She text me at 12:35 and said she couldn't make it til 2:15(i was already in town).  Ugggh.  So I tried to accomodate, and she said she would send her parents to meet me to get the cake.  They picked it up, paid me, all was good, til I got back into my van and saw a text that said, I thought the cake was only 55.  I explained the previous cake was quoted 55.  I told her I would refund her $20 for any misunderstanding.  I got no reply until 20 minutes later... she complained the cake was sooo small. she needed to feed 20-30 ppl(note sizes above)  I am sooo disgusted right now It makes me want to quit doing what I love to do...I feel my prices are already too low... I just make a few bucks over cost.  I'm trying hard not to let one persons complaint ruin my day and my passion but its hard. :(

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Cake sounds great Tracy. Would like to see a picture. There was more than enough cake to feed 20-30 people. So you were way OK on that score.   And no way should you have to refund for a "misunderstanding", unless it was a colossal one. You should always get a depoist up front, and get full payment before delivery, otherwise.... crap happens. I have my customers pay me  at least 3 days to a week before they get the cake. Most pay me through email. And If I don't have a  email with all the cake particulars of what they want, I get them to sign a contract, so there is no....he said... she said. Everything is in black & white.  Not all customers are like her.  Usually when they start changing there mind, the red flag comes up. You will be able to spot a customer like that again a mile away.  Live & Learn Tracy.   Don't give up, just cake smart. 

Thanks for the advice June I've definitely learned a lesson and there is a pic attached to my post you have to click on it though. 

That was SOooo worth $75-80, plus delivery charge. It looked great. When I was as young as you, I might have done the same thing. But I never was one to take "crap". Never under sell yourself. You are very talented. You will learn to weed out those pesky customers. Thank goodness there are more good than bad customers that make caking worth it. I'm retired now, so caking is a hobby. So I can do as I please. If I smell trouble, all of a sudden, I am just too busy to fill a order. Hee Hee

I've been "too busy" to fill orders before, but I really didn't see this one coming.  Guess my radar needs fine tuned.  I've been decorating for over 20 years.. guess it is time for a tune up, lol

Cakes is too small?!  What are they having cake for dinner?  That is more than enough cake for 20-30 people.  That cake was worth $75 and then some.  Don't let this bad apple get you down. I agree with June I don't think I would have refunded her any money.  How convenient that she thought the cake was $55 that you quoted for her original request.  Funny how it's never the other way around.  

Oh my... with your experience, you need to be giving me advice & not the other way around!! You sound like a very smart cookie, so the odd ball customer just snuck under your radar. It happens. I've been skunked too. Think most decorators have at one time or another. :0)

OMG! How could she possibly think in a million years that that cake was only worth $55.00?? Even at our best bakery in town, which in no way has that detailed of a cake, would charge over $125.00 for a cake like that. Even $75.00 was way too cheap for that cake.

I had a customer similar to that years and years ago, and I know how you feel, Tracy. You put your all into what you think is the best of your best, only to have someone shoot you down or take advantage of you. Mine was a black and red wedding cake, and the bride was out to scam me anyway. She had already done it with some of the other people who were doing other services for her wedding, and I had already gotten a heads up to her scam from one of them. Thank God, because I called her bluff and she had to pay. I told her if she didn't pay the remainder of the cake, it was going home with me. She complained that I hadn't followed the instructions that she had supplied, ect., and she wanted her money back plus the cake, but I stood my ground. Once I said I would just take the cake with me....She paid. Don't give up, Tracy...just get wise.

People are amazing sometimes - stand your ground and don't take it personally (I know...easier said than done!) We've all been there - thank goodness the orders that go great far outweigh the ones that don't.

tell her to take a hike you did exactly what she wanted and was being more than accomodating, there is no way you should have to grovel to people like this they just want something for nothing none if us need clients like this.

Well Tracy, I know you have already had these answers and comments, but I'm going to add mine to them anyway, just so you know YOU ARE NOT IN THE WRONG!  How in heck did she quantify that cake as small?  Your bottom tier and one other would have done that number of people and some depending on your portion sizes.  If I may say so, I think she saw you coming.  You accommodated too easily, too early on and she was obviously out to wring you as much as she could.  I have worked with that kind of client all my working life (not in caking, but the principle is the same) and if you show any weakness they will have you in a heartbeat.  The sad thing is, when you stay strong and firm, they respect you more for it and will come back again and again.  This woman was just an old rotter who doesn't deserve your angst.  Great cake btw. xx

Thanks everyone, I've picked myself and dusted my self off, the compliments far out way the complaints... it is another lesson learned.  I am definite going to reconsider my pricing scale... in my favor.  I rarely get a complaint, but there are those who want a "cake boss" cake at a Wal mart price, lol.

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