What Do I Say?(Long)

Decorating By NrsL22 Updated 23 May 2008 , 1:51am by Sugar_Plum_Fairy

NrsL22 Posted 22 May 2008 , 1:14am
post #1 of 34

I need some advise. I make cakes for family, friends and co-workers. I do donate most of my cakes as I'm still learning.
Well a girl at work wanted a large cake for her mother, she wanted gumpaste flowers and the "works" to make it pretty. SHe stated that she would pay me for the cake. I quoted her 150.00 which was pretty cheap cosidering what she got. I made the cake, drove 20 miles to set up. Everyone there loved it. She told me she was sorry, but hadn't brought the money with her and she would pay me Monday at work. So ok I can deal with that. Well on Monday I ask again what everyone thought of the cake, and she stated they all loved it and it it tasted great! She couldn't pay me until today(payday) as no one else was helping her buy the cake. WELL, today was payday. I spoke with her and she started telling me all her financial troubles, I listened and didn't say anything. Well there was a inservice for all staff, and guess what , she left without attending. She was leaving on vacation today and won't be back for a week. I'm angry and upset!! What should I say to her when she comes back? I want to say not so nice things!! I worked on those darn flowers for a week!! Not to mention all the money and time baking. The cake is the Tulip cake in my picts.

33 replies
pam08 Posted 22 May 2008 , 1:27am
post #2 of 34

The cake you made is beautiful and well worth the amount of $150 or more it looks as though you put a lot of work into this cake and you deserve to get paid!!!! I am sorry I am not really good at collecting money but hey she went on vacation she should be able to pay you for your time and I would sternly tell her this when she gets back. Sorry I am not much help. I did want to tell you that I thought the cake was very very pretty!

summernoelle Posted 22 May 2008 , 1:29am
post #3 of 34

Well, her finacial troubles are not your problem. And she ordered the cake knowing the state her bank account is in. When she gets back, go a nicely tell her you need the money by after lunch in cash. Try not to back down (like I would), and never EVER trust her again! If she ever wants another cake, tell her NO, I'm booked, sorry.
I have had this happen too, and now will not give a cake to someone or let it leave my hands until I have full payment.
I'm sorry this happened! This lady is a manipulative jerk.

wgoat5 Posted 22 May 2008 , 1:30am
post #4 of 34

If this is at work I would be very careful BUT... keep asking her politely.. tell her the expense you are out.. Tell her about how you can't afford it..

Then remember this the next time... NEVER do anything unless you get paid a deposit or even paid in full before delivery.

Your work deserves to be paid for. icon_sad.gif

I'm sad for you!

rozben Posted 22 May 2008 , 1:34am
post #5 of 34

I would send her an invoice hahaha in the mail so its waiting on her when she returns, if that doesn't work, put it down to a lesson learnt.
next time ask for a holding deposit, and balance on delivery.
sorry it happened to you, but your cake and flowers are gorgeous and even with conversion to aussie prices way to cheap.

yummymummy Posted 22 May 2008 , 1:36am
post #6 of 34

Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry that happened to you! You're cake is incredible! I would send her a bill and note on it that if payment is not recieved by xx date, you will no longer provide cakes for her at any event in the future.

You really need to be straight forward with her. I hope she pays you in the end! HUGS! thumbs_up.gif

cariage Posted 22 May 2008 , 1:48am
post #7 of 34

I had almost the same thing happen to me last weekend with a grad. cake (I haven't posted pics yet). I was promised $150, but when I delivered the cake she said "it was so nice of you to make this for my daughter, I really appreciate you doing this". NO MONEY. so I wait until 2 days later and call to see how everyone liked the cake. She said it got rave reviews, but no mention of money. Well I am too much of a wimp to come out and ask for it. so today I finally got paid for my cake.......2 candles. WHAT??????? I was speechless. I guess I should be thankful...at least the candles smell good. LOL Hope you get paid better than I did.

tdybear1978 Posted 22 May 2008 , 1:49am
post #8 of 34

I can not stand when people do crap like this, it has happened to me twice and my suggestion would be (only because that is a lot of money and I am a little mean sometimes) I would ask her for the money again anf if she does not pay you I would tell her (and have one in your hand) that you have a card that you will be mailing to her mother (since you do know where she lives) telling her that you hope she had a wonderful birthday and you were so happy to hear that everyone enjoyed the cake that you provided and how much you wish that you could do cakes for their family in the future however, due to non-payment by the person/her daughter, that you would not be able to do business with them in the future. I bet she comes up with some money pretty quick icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 22 May 2008 , 2:14am
post #9 of 34

What is it with people who think just because they don't HAVE the money, that it means you don't NEED the money? icon_confused.gif

wgoat5 Posted 22 May 2008 , 2:29am
post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

What is it with people who think just because they don't HAVE the money, that it means you don't NEED the money? icon_confused.gif




it's the curse of cheap ass

buttholes

Batter-UpBakery Posted 22 May 2008 , 3:14am
post #11 of 34

I would definetly NOT do another cake for this lady in the future unless she made the full payment before anything was ever started on the cake. When I finally get up and swinging there will have to be a deposit paid before I turn my oven on.

ccr03 Posted 22 May 2008 , 3:22am
post #12 of 34

I find it easiest to collect payment upon delivery. Well, this one girl asked - what if we don't pay? I told her straight up - I'll take the cake and my family will have a party.

I haven't had to enact that policy, but trust me I won't blink an eye to do so if I need to!

cakesbycathy Posted 22 May 2008 , 3:23am
post #13 of 34

I'm just mean in general, but if it were me I would send her an email rehashing how she said she was going to pay me the $150 but still hasn't and then "accidentally" send it to everyone in the office. Embarass the hell out of her.

But that's just me.

wgoat5 Posted 22 May 2008 , 3:26am
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I'm just mean in general, but if it were me I would send her an email rehashing how she said she was going to pay me the $150 but still hasn't and then "accidentally" send it to everyone in the office. Embarass the hell out of her.

But that's just me.






LMAO

BlakesCakes Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:54am
post #15 of 34

I'd start with the e-mail. When she responds with more excuses, you then have it in writing that she acknowledges the debt.

If the payment isn't forthcoming in a time frame set by YOU, I'd then show her the "Happy Anniversary" card I have written out and addressed to her mother telling her, as suggested above, about the non-payment. Hell, I might even drive back to "Mom's" and ask HER for the $.

No payment after that--I'd send her an invoice by certified mail, give her 10 days to pay, and then file in small claims court--NOBODY STEALS FROM ME AND GETS OFF LIGHTLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If she doesn't show up, you automatically win, she gets hit with double or treble damages, and you can put a lien against her. You still may never see the money, but no one will pull a stunt like that again.

Rae

LeanneW Posted 22 May 2008 , 6:20am
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by rozben

if that doesn't work, put it down to a lesson learnt.




I am sorry I have to politely disagree.

Do not conceed to not be paid, you deserve every penny for that cake.

I can't offer much advice except 2 things:
-Stand up for your self
-Stay professional, this is not work related even though you are co-workers, do not use work email or work time to handle this issue.

ellepal Posted 22 May 2008 , 6:37am
post #17 of 34

I would behave as any business person.......give her one more chance to pay you and a one week time frame. If she stalls or gives excuses, get mean. Tell her that you are left with only one option, and that is to head down to small claims. Believe me, she does not want to go to court over 150.00. Then stick to your guns....if she does not pay you, you may have to take her to court.

fondantfrenzy Posted 22 May 2008 , 6:50am
post #18 of 34

So what happens in a situation like this? I know in California, you are not supposed to sell food out of your kitchen at home? I dont know how it is anywhere else, but if one is not really a "business" what are the rights of the person baking the cake? I am in California and if i did that for someone and they didnt pay, would I even have a leg to stand on? I guess I dont really understand the whole law about that? Can you bake cakes and charge people for them as long as you are not selling them as a business and advertising? For example, just making them for friends and charging them for materials? Is that how its justified?

Texas_Rose Posted 22 May 2008 , 7:01am
post #19 of 34

Someone else brought up what I was going to, that unless you have a licensed kitchen, it would be hard to take her to court.

I used to have a babysitting customer who liked to give me excuses instead of money. One weekend when she launched into her excuse for the day, I told her, "I know what you mean. Things really are tough right now. My daughter's down to her last Pamper and I was counting on this money from you, considering that I already babysat all week for it. If you're not going to pay me, then let me go back inside and start looking for things to put on Craigslist so maybe I can sell something before she fills this diaper." She paid me.

You could suggest to your customer that she pay you whatever she is able to right now, then the balance on her next payday. Some people are more likely to pay a debt if they can hand it over a little bit at a time.

It sure was tacky of her, feeding her mom a stolen cake for the anniversary...that's what it amounts to if she doesn't pay you.

LeanneW Posted 22 May 2008 , 7:02am
post #20 of 34

[quote="fondantfrenzy"]So what happens in a situation like this? I know in California, you are not supposed to sell food out of your kitchen at home?quote]

really good point. you may draw attention and then fines for operating without the correct permits and lisences.

hopefully the threat of small claims court will be enough to get her to pay.

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 22 May 2008 , 7:29am
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I'm just mean in general, but if it were me I would send her an email rehashing how she said she was going to pay me the $150 but still hasn't and then "accidentally" send it to everyone in the office. Embarass the hell out of her.

But that's just me.




This was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw the amount of work you put into that cake. Generally I can be wimpy, but anyone who knows anything about cakes knows that took you a long time and you did it with such care. Hey, if she doesn't pay you after you remind her a few times, post it on the 'company' bulletin board (accidentally, of course - partially sticking out from another paper) and you might want to send a copy to her mother in a card saying that you really hope she enjoyed the cake because her daughter was too cheap to buy one and you'd like to make sure this woman knows it's a 'gift' from you!

Sugar_Plum_Fairy Posted 22 May 2008 , 7:35am
post #22 of 34

Oh, one more thing (this has gotten me really p.o.'d), keep sending her invoices for a miniumum of three months and each month, add a penalty, like 15%. If, after three months, she still hasn't paid you in full, then threaten her with small claims court. Sometimes people just need a scare and a little bluff here and there doesn't always do harm, but can do some good. How does she know you can't sue her if you're not licensed?!

Mike1394 Posted 22 May 2008 , 10:35am
post #23 of 34

Take her out back, flatten the tires on her car, put exlax in her coffee cup. Oh sorry. I'm sure you already thought of those things. I'm sorry that it happened. I would let her know how happy you were she was able to afford to go on vacation while your electric got shut off. I was going to use the money that you owe me to pay for my electricity. Make her feel guilty as ever. She's a butt

Mike

lu9129 Posted 22 May 2008 , 11:10am
post #24 of 34

First off OMG, I can't believe you are just learning.
That is a beautiful cake!

Second, I would be careful using email at work to settle this. You can't settle a personal business problem with your professional work place. (Don't know if I said that right.) You don't want to loose your job. You also don't want to be told that you can't get orders from co-employees on work time.

I'd keep this between her and you and do all of your communications from your home.

I did like the card thing to mom though!

Lu

lu9129 Posted 22 May 2008 , 11:15am
post #25 of 34

P.S.

I would say in front of her if anyone else orders a cake from you.

"Unfortunately I didn't get paid for my last cake that I did, so I must ask for the money in advance!
Don't mention a name though. And then you could say. "Yes, I am going to have to take that person to court to get my money!"

Lu

springlakecake Posted 22 May 2008 , 11:41am
post #26 of 34

Well if she knew she had all kinds of financial problems, then she shouldnt have ordered $150 cake!
She must have been trying to make you feel badly and tell her you'd give her a discount or something.

indydebi Posted 22 May 2008 , 11:48am
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by lu9129

P.S.

I would say in front of her if anyone else orders a cake from you.

"Unfortunately I didn't get paid for my last cake that I did, so I must ask for the money in advance!
Don't mention a name though. And then you could say. "Yes, I am going to have to take that person to court to get my money!"

Lu




THis gets my vote!

kristykgs Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:02pm
post #28 of 34

My suggestion is a combination of everyone else's suggestions.

I've had a similar situation with a different business and here is what I did, and it worked.

1st, as stated above, do not use work email or work time to handle this.

2nd, send and invoice giving her a specified time frame to pay it, and send it certified return reciept so you know she got it.

3rd, see if anyone you know (or maybe you know) has a friend who is an attorney that will write a demand letter to her. If not call around and see how much they cost.

I am pretty sure she will pay after that, because usually in the demand letter the attorney will state that if payment is not recieved by his/her office by a certain time than other measures will be taken and she will be responsible for all attorney fees. After they see this, they will more than happily pay.

This may be hard if you don't know anyone. Might not be worth it. You might even try writing a certified letter yourself telling her the same thing.

Good luck. It's unbelievable how some people think.

CelebrationCakery Posted 22 May 2008 , 12:23pm
post #29 of 34

Ok, this is right back in the, "stolen cake" part of the cake world. Again, this would not be legal in any way anywhere...When can I go to the market to "buy" a cake, go to the register, let them see me with it and once they say the amount due...just walk out with it??? NEVER.
(Before I go on...just all know that this is not at all pinpointing anyone that has responded so far....)

Now of course we are getting lots of people saying, "lesson learned"...and we have all learned lessons along the way. But handle this as if it "is" a business for you...once you change the way you are thinking about your cake "business" you will then be able to to give yourself the respect you deserve.
You need to mail her an invoice. With a date of when the payment is due. (or past due...in red) And note on it that there will be fees added if not paid immediately. There is not one reason in the world that you should have to pay for her mother's cake...which is what has happened thus far....not to mention she is on vacation right now drinking that tall one on the beach with your $150....

diane Posted 22 May 2008 , 5:45pm
post #30 of 34

o.k...let this be a lesson to all.
DO NOT deliver or have the customer pick up a cake until you get ALL your money.
i've seen this happen...had it happen to me.
if a customer were to get a cake from the store, would she leave without paying for it?? icon_confused.gif

i sure do hope that you get your money. icon_wink.gif

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