Drawing the Line: The Controversial Impact of Tattoo Design Fees in the Digital Age

In May 2023, a video went viral on social media where a woman sought the services of a tattoo artist named Joseph. She sent him two reference images of a fox tattoo, to which Joseph responded with a rough draft. However, the client was not pleased with the design – she found the fox incomplete, and there were unwanted additions such as flowers. The crux of the issue was that she couldn’t back out as she had already paid the so-called “design fee”.

The client was furious and felt that it shouldn’t be this hard to negotiate. The artist stated that the $2600 only covered one revision, but because the client was entirely unsatisfied, it would need a complete redesign, and thus, she would have to pay another full fee. If she didn’t agree, no tattooing would occur, and the artist wouldn’t refund the money.

Following this incident, the artist received serious backlash online, with many negative reviews, one-star ratings on Google, and even death threats. Many people on the internet empathized with the client’s experience.

Key Takeaways

Happy customers bring satisfaction and growth. We don’t need to please everyone, but we should never underestimate the impact of an unsatisfied customer. In the unpredictable world of the internet, this might be a wise strategy to protect one’s business.


The “Cake Gate”: A Delicious Drama of Customer Satisfaction in the Social Media Era

In April 2023, the owner of a cake shop revealed that she had received her worst customer experience since opening the shop. This customer ordered a rainbow cake with six colors. The owner even showed in a video how she made this cake. The cake was quite labor-intensive, dyed layer by layer, covered with cream layer by layer, and decorated with multi-colored sprinkles. This 8-inch cake was sold for $76. Then the owner exposed herself that the customer was very dissatisfied after receiving it and even complained on Facebook that they didn’t like the sprinkles. The customer felt the cake was not worth the price. The owner’s post about this difficult customer initially attracted quite a lot of positive response.


Worst client experinece so far 😅 #cake #cakes #cakedecorating #cakedecorator #rainbowcake #fypシ #fyp #sprinkles #cakesoftiktok #karen #badclient

♬ original sound – Kylie Allen

A few days later, however, the customer posted her version of the incident. She showed the photo of the cake she received, and the internet went crazy because this cake was completely different from the demo cake by the owner. The real cake was very small. The owner claimed it could feed 17 people, which was too obviously impossible. Then the words “Happy Birthday Trilby” were written in black sauce on top. Trilby is the name of the customer’s mother.


Replying to @sarahkaitlyn9 #cakedecorating #cakedrama #rainbowcake #kylie #cakeandtea

♬ Titanic flute fail – Funny/Awesome Vids

People started to blame the owner. The fury made both the owner and the customer’s videos go viral. The funniest thing was that it attracted many cake makers to post their attempts to make a better cake. They made similar rainbow cakes, got them well sprinkled, and wrote the same “Happy Birthday Trilby” on top. Trilby was really lucky, as she attracted so many bakers to make birthday cakes for her.

Key Takeaways

The cake shop owner seemed like a combative person on the internet. As a result, her posts attracted backlash. Most articles analyzed the so-called “Cake Gate” and considered this owner a failure and even thought her cake shop might not survive. One critic said, “In business, you should always take the high road,” meaning business people should be cautious and speak elegantly.

However, after several months, it seems that the smarter one was the cake shop owner. She took the initiative fearing that the customer would complain about her first. So she complained about the customer first and confessed first. The result was successful: Her video’s views were more than 10 times that of her customer’s. The customer’s video was watched by 1.2 million people, while the owner’s video had been watched by more than 10 million people. The articles and magazines referring to the Cake Gate mostly referred only to the original video (the owner’s video), not the follow-up video (the customer’s). Most importantly, after the incident, the view count was generally two to three times higher than before, meaning people would continue to watch the owner. And cake is something everyone has a chance to buy one or two of, so it seems this owner’s business should be getting better.