How To Handle Customers That Wrote Bad Check-Suggestions?

Decorating By ChristineMarie Updated 29 Oct 2007 , 5:05am by RobzC8kz

ChristineMarie Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:18pm
post #1 of 24

I have this customer.

First cake order- I go to deliver. She says can I pay you in a check. I hadnt ever taken one before. But Im like ok fine she was refered from someone I knew.Works for the same university I work for. As I am leaving she says ...."can you wait til Friday to cash it" Grrr I am a student /singlemom/cake on the side for extra money and am delivering it to a huge house (If you cant afford it dont order it is my motto).
So I say ok...and leave tail between my legs.

Second cake order-I deliver Saturday and leave. On Monday I recieve an email "Hey if you havent cashed the check please dont I am having a dispute with the bank" etc etc. I didnt write back as I had just cashed it the day before (sunday) Come Wednesday or Thursday she emails to say the check bounced and she will repay me the cake and the back charge.OK GRRRR.DAYS pass before she comes by to give me cash....If it were me I would be there that same day or at worst the next with cash/some extra and apologies.

Third and Recent Order-I didnt say no. She placed an order.Emailed to increase by 10 more servings. I redesign original cake to include way more than needed. Give her a price break for being a repeat customer and refering someone. I am such a dummy. She said she would have CASH for me when I deliver.

I just want to know what you have or would have done in a similar situation. I am very uncomfortable with the aspect of the business and pricing issues.

23 replies
Shyanne_Mommy Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:26pm
post #2 of 24

Well I would make sure that if there is no cash given when you deliver I would make this my last cake order from her unless she pays up front and if it is by check I would require 3 to 4 days for the check clear before makeing and delivering a cake to her.

Also I am not for sure what state you are in but in Tennessee if someone writes you a bad check and refuse to pay it you send them a letter certified mail requesting your money back in full plus the bounce check fee by cash or money order or cashier check ONLY....and if they still refuse some attorneys will help you for a small amount...

HTH

lu9129 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:28pm
post #3 of 24

Are all three orders from the same girl?

Lu

Luxe42 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:20pm
post #4 of 24

Sounds like she wants you to be her cake gal. Since she's ordered a few times. She made the point that she is going to pay you in cash this time. If she doesn't screw you over, I say cut her a break. Things happen sometimes. Big house or not, we never know somebody's financial situation. She could afford the cake.....just, on payday icon_biggrin.gif

ChristineMarie Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:29pm
post #5 of 24

She did repay me but not until a week later. I am going to go back to a cash only policy. This was very uncomfortable and not fun to deal with. Thank goodness I did not NEED the money when it happend.

Cakery Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:31pm
post #6 of 24

I take reading this, that she is a repeat customer? From now on....if she orders cakes from you.....I would just let her know that you take cash only. I know it can be a real issue that something happened with the bank, or a deposit didn't get in on time, etc....but if you get burned once, ok, but a second time...NO! Learn the lesson and just let her know in the future you will deal with CASH only for payment. I had a customer that paid me with a bad check....it had been sent through 2 times and I also had to pay the extra fees with my bank for the check. What I did next....I went a couple of times to the bank of the customer and they let me know when the funds were in the bank account and they issued me a cashier's check in the amount. I know it probably caused this customer to have another insuficent check elsewhere, but I did at least get my money for the cake amount.....but was out the extra bank fee at my bank. Believe me....we learn as we go along in this cake business adventure, but it's like any other business....they all get bad checks now and then too.

Sandra80 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:31pm
post #7 of 24

i tell my customers upfront, cash only. the only one who gets away with not doing that is my boss but that was because he paid 1/2 of his 1st cake before i even started so i assumed (and what happens when you ASSUME?????) he would pay me the rest when i dropped it off but no, he just took a huge discount on my son's birthday pics and i am not ok with that because technically that's stealing from my company and when they catch him, i seriously don't want to go down with that ship! well cake #2 i did for him, i have received $0. he says he's just going to give me my next set of pictures for free. sooooooo not comfortable with this!!!! so i decided that the next cake he needs, i am going to be busy.

ChristineMarie Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:35pm
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by lu9129

Are all three orders from the same girl?

Lu




Yes all 3 were the same woman. I am spposed to deliver the 3rd order this Saturday

shadowgypsie Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:36pm
post #9 of 24

I would not have taken a check from her after the first incedent.

I learned the hard way as we all do- don't take checks if you can help it, if that is the only way they have to pay with Don't Cash IT at your bank, Cash it at their bank that way it dosen't screw up your account.

AND HERE IS A BIGGIE-NEVER EVER TAKE A NEW ACCOUNT CHECK.

cwcopeland Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:34pm
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shyanne_Mommy

Well I would make sure that if there is no cash given when you deliver I would make this my last cake order from her unless she pays up front and if it is by check I would require 3 to 4 days for the check clear before makeing and delivering a cake to her.

Also I am not for sure what state you are in but in Tennessee if someone writes you a bad check and refuse to pay it you send them a letter certified mail requesting your money back in full plus the bounce check fee by cash or money order or cashier check ONLY....and if they still refuse some attorneys will help you for a small amount...

HTH




I live in TX. If someone writes you a hot check, you can take it to the DA's office, they will send that person a letter giving them 10 days to pay up (with lots of fees). If they don't pay up, they will issue a warrant for "theft of property" (which is exactly what it is) and go arrest them. If you know where they work they will go to their place of employment. They don't tolerate it and take it very seriously. We've dealt with that before (unfortunately from inlaws) and I use the law to it's fullest extent.

I wouldn't put up with it if I were you, but like several people here have said, to have her pay up in cash (probably in advance would be best) if you want to continue to do business with her.

Good Luck.

heather1 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:35pm
post #11 of 24

I agree with everyone else on this one: CASH ONLY!!! I work at a bank and I see this stuff every day, alot of people never get to collect their money because the bank collects their part first.
And for Sandra80, next time I got pictures done I would order a big package and tell him I'll give him a discount on his next cake and see how he likes being done that way. How rude. icon_mad.gif

shadowgypsie Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 5:54pm
post #12 of 24

I would not have taken a check from her after the first incedent.

I learned the hard way as we all do- don't take checks if you can help it, if that is the only way they have to pay with Don't Cash IT at your bank, Cash it at their bank that way it dosen't screw up your account.

AND HERE IS A BIGGIE-NEVER EVER TAKE A NEW ACCOUNT CHECK.

Cake_Mooma Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 6:09pm
post #13 of 24

I have taken checks but there is a catch. It has to be in my hands at least two weeks before, if not, well no I won't take it. And if they don't have the money they don't have a cake. It sounds so harsh but think about it like this, If you went to let say Walmart and went to buy $100 worth of stuff and you couldn't write a check but didn't have the money either, they wouldn't let you walk out with the items. So why should you and a cake be any different. You have an item she wants to buy with no money, than why order. It bites me when people say I will pay you on payday. Uh, if you have no money than why are you throwing a party. Uh, No, NO cake from me. I know it sounds mean but hey I have to pay my bills too.

Vicky

gr8yf Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 6:28pm
post #14 of 24

If thier bank charges to cash the check, then ask thier bank to verify the funds are in thier account and then RUN to your bank and deposit it, no fee.

1nanette Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 7:48pm
post #15 of 24

She would have to pay cash only and upfront. Ladies we have got to stand up for ourselves. It makes me so sad when I hear stories like this. If you dont already watch the Suze Orman Show please start. She helped me to be able to say "No Im sorry I dont take checks unless its for your deposit 4 weeks in advance."
The last time I took a check for final payment the client called me on my cell about 10min. after I had delivered her cake to say please hold the check for 3 days. Her cake costs $300 her final payment was $175.00. I phoned her back to tell her I was not able to wait so I would have to give the check back and pick up the cake. By the time I got back to the hall she was pulling up with cash.
I only take checks for deposit payments. No exceptions. Final payment is due 7 days before your event.
BTW, good for TX. Here in MI it takes a month to get the ball rolling.

Shyanne_Mommy Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 7:48pm
post #16 of 24

Tina here in Tennessee you can take the check to the DA but only if it is over a certain amount....and They charge depending on the amount of the check...

I would only take a check if I have to deposit the check and verify that it clears before I even begining make the cake.

cwcopeland Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 8:00pm
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nanette

She would have to pay cash only and upfront. Ladies we have got to stand up for ourselves. It makes me so sad when I hear stories like this. If you dont already watch the Suze Orman Show please start. She helped me to be able to say "No Im sorry I dont take checks unless its for your deposit 4 weeks in advance."
The last time I took a check for final payment the client called me on my cell about 10min. after I had delivered her cake to say please hold the check for 3 days. Her cake costs $300 her final payment was $175.00. I phoned her back to tell her I was not able to wait so I would have to give the check back and pick up the cake. By the time I got back to the hall she was pulling up with cash.
I only take checks for deposit payments. No exceptions. Final payment is due 7 days before your event.
BTW, good for TX. Here in MI it takes a month to get the ball rolling.




Good for you. I'm so impressed that you turned around and went back. Way to go!

cwcopeland Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 8:10pm
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shyanne_Mommy

Tina here in Tennessee you can take the check to the DA but only if it is over a certain amount....and They charge depending on the amount of the check...

I would only take a check if I have to deposit the check and verify that it clears before I even begining make the cake.




What a shame. We have categories, "theft by check UNDER $20, theft by check OVER $20", and I think it goes up from there to over $500 which is a felony. We've only dealt with the "over $20". There is a fee involved BUT the hot check writer has to pay that fee to the DA (this includes any fees you have too like what the bank charges and I think up to $30 just for your inconvenience) and the DA will write a check to you after they get their money. The writer also has to pay a fine and I think it's at least $200. Luckily, our DA is awesome about this. We followed our case(s) to make sure they got followed through with and they took care of it. In fact, there was just a "hot check roundup" last month and they were on the local news telling everyone to take care of their hot checks or they'd come get them and arrest them at home, work, etc. They also urged the public to call in information on anyone they knew had hot checks out (where they lived, worked, etc).

jmt1714 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 9:27pm
post #19 of 24

i would continue to let her order, but only if she pays cash WHEN SHE ORDERS. not when you deliver.

indydebi Posted 19 Oct 2007 , 3:34am
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8yf

If thier bank charges to cash the check, then ask thier bank to verify the funds are in thier account and then RUN to your bank and deposit it, no fee.




Hubby used to have to verify checks in a previous position and, having been a banker for 25 years, he said this is pretty much a joke. He said he could have a customer standing in front of him while he called and verified the money was there. He accepts the checks for payment. Nothing stops that customer from walking across the street and pulling money out via the ATM so by the time the check gets to the bank, it will bounce.

Calling to verify funds only tells you that the money is there at that very moment. It does not put a hold on that money. It doesn't guarantee that the money will be there by the time the check gets from your bank to theirs. Do not fool yourself into thinking that doing this guarantees you some financial security.

Shyanne_Mommy Posted 19 Oct 2007 , 1:18pm
post #21 of 24

debi you are so right about the bank issues .....I know that when I call one bank to see if the client's check is any good......they state"the funds are available at this time BUT that does not promise the funds will be there up submitting the check for payment. With that being said I usally send my boss to that persons bank ASAP.

Iloveweddings Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 3:44am
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristineMarie

Quote:
Originally Posted by lu9129

Are all three orders from the same girl?

Lu



Yes all 3 were the same woman. I am spposed to deliver the 3rd order this Saturday





Did you deliver the thrid cake? How did it go? What state are you in?

newlywedws Posted 28 Oct 2007 , 4:42am
post #23 of 24

Cash only...or how about paypal?

RobzC8kz Posted 29 Oct 2007 , 5:05am
post #24 of 24

I take checks all the time. In your situation, it sounds like the customer made amends with the bounced check and has put herself on a CASH ONLY basis. That's good because it saves you the trouble of telling her she's a cash only customer. If anyone bounces a check with me, any future orders are surely going to be cash only. If they bounce a check and make no offer to repay, then they'll be seeing Judge Judy! (Hahahaha...everyone always referrences her...wanted to get my own in there!)

But it sounds like you have a fairly reliable customer. As the one poster said, you cannot judge someone's financial situation by the size of their house. A lot of people in this country are living paycheck to paycheck...even people in big houses!

Keep the customer but keep her on a cash only basis.

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