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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 16923
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I make bespoke celebration cakes and am presently dealing

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I make bespoke celebration cakes and am presently dealing with a difficult customer who is demanding a full refund.
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I’m in West Yorkshire, UK
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: There was a issue with the colour, which I appreciated and offered a sum in compensation. But she is complaining about the quality of the cake (saying it was very dry) I have an issue before, so asked to see the cake so I can understand the problem. There wasn’t any left
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Sorry, mistake above. Should have said I have never had an issue before. Another concern was that she refused to pay the balance by bank transfer before delivery (my policy, since not wanting to handle cash during Covid)

Welcome to Just Answer.

I will be happy to assist with your question today. I need some time to consider this and compose a response. There is NO need to wait online because you will get an email when I respond. Sometimes it will be minutes, sometimes longer.

I apologise for any unavoidable delay, but rest assured I have not forgotten your question.

how do you trade?

as a ltd company or sole trader?

and what are the terms of sale/service?

what did the cake cost and what did you offer?

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
I work at home, sole trader.
Terms -apart from general terms concerning quality of ingredients and aim to satisfy requirements etc. I say no cake, no refund.
The cake was £110 (this price included a purchased feature which cost £21) There was an issue with the colour. I offered £10 refund for this.

If the cake was unsatisfactory, to the point where it was inedible, then surely it would all be left!

There is no point in hanging around, I would tell her that either she pays the balance by 4 PM this Friday, 18 September 2020, failing which you will issue Small Claims Court proceedings without further notice. is quick and easy. You can prepare the proceedings now, and save them online ready to issue them whenever a deadline for payment (you have to give them a deadline in writing and it has to be reasonable period to pay up) expires.

I am glad to help.

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Thank you.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 4 days ago.
Sorry for the delay, I hadn’t seen this come in. The lady has already paid in full (sorry I didn’t clarify that) but is asking for a full refund. Thank you for your point that a bad cake wouldn’t have been eaten! I have pointed this out, along with the fact that it is not common practice to refund a product without inspection. She calls me arrogant. You have given me the confidence and legal backing to stand my ground. Thank you very much for your help

Please not apologise. Sometimes I am off-line for hours at a time.

I would tell her that you have no intention of refunding anything and that your offer to refund GBP10 is now withdrawn.

If she believes that she has a claim, then you will defend her claim on the basis that she has no evidence-because it was eaten!

I have known people do this with a bottle of wine in a restaurant. They drank almost three-quarter is of a bottle and then decided it wasn’t satisfactory. The cheek of some people never fails to amaze me.

I hope you get it sorted.

Kind regards

Customer: replied 4 days ago.
That’s great support, thank you again. Just for your interest, I was complimented at the venue on the (appearance of) the cake at on delivery and shared a photo with another professional for a second opinion in view of the issue with the colour. She could see no problem. So...onwards and upwards! Best wishes

Thank you for the kind words. Really appreciated. I hope you get it sorted.

F E Smith and 2 other Law Specialists are ready to help you