I booked a wedding cake last week and took a $75 deposit on it to be deducted from the price of the cake (wedding is 9/17). I cashed the check the day after she gave it to me on the second and today it came back to me returned for non-sufficient funds. I am just so upset. I don't know how to handle this. This is my first wedding. I thought I had all my bases covered. Now I am going to have to contact her and talk to her about it. I did have her sign a contract but it doesn't have anything in it about a returned check fee. I do think I will have to charge her one though b/c I may have a NSF fee on my account now b/c I paid a bill with it.
How do I go about all of this?
call her and in a very calm voice, tell her what happened. 9 times out of 10, it's easily fixable and she'll probably be very emabarrassed and will want to make it right asap.
If you get some attitude, at least you're finding it out in time to tell her that it's cash from this point forward.
Ditto to indydebi's suggestion.
Next time cash the check at the customer's bank if possible. Or call the customer's bank to verify funds before you deposit it in your account.
I have a note on my contract that return checks will incur a fee of $50. I have not run into this problem yet. (Thank God). I would suggest calling her and letting her know that the check came back NSF. Or send her an email expaining what has happened and let her know that the wedding cake is not considered booked until the payment has been made.
99% of the time it's an accident.....it'll be ok.
sometimes i just run em back thru
Ditto on what has been said already. This is another reason I have in my contract that cakes have to paid in FULL 3 weeks before the wedding set up. This gives you plenty of time to cash that check....then if it bounces....you will not have made the cake up and then not get your money for it. Most are just accidents.....but I learned a long time ago....some are out to get a free cake. Thinking we small time cake decorators will not pursue trying to take them to court to collect, etc. I ended up having to go to the ladies bank....call a number of times till the money was actually deposited....then they cut me a cashier's check. I was out the NSF amount with my bank...however I was not left with loosing the price of the cake. That happened about 25 years ago....now I have not had any problems like that. Not that you won't....but you sure learn as you go along. Good luck!
if you arecharged a fee b/c her check bounced, or if you want to charge her a bad check fee, go for it. but don't charge her b/c you had an NSF b/c her check didn't clear. you should never write a check on money that hasn't cleared into your account, for this very reason.
Agree with IndyDebi! I did a small sheet cake for a girl who was renewing her vows for her 10th anniversary. She picked up the cake at the end of the day after writing checks all day and not deducting them from her balance. She wrote me a check for $50, I deposited it only to have it come back NSF. I called her right away, she was totally embarrassed. Her bank had just contacted her, so she came back and paid me $75, I got hit with a $25 charge from my bank. Her bank also charged her a $25 returned check fee, so her small cake ended up costing her $100. I'm sure it was probably an oversight.
I should have been clearer. I would not write a check from an account that didn't have a cleared check. I paid the bill (for my kitchen loan) to the bank where I cashed the check (which is also where I have my checking account. They just cashed part of it and and put it straight onto the loan and put the rest into my account. I knew I wouldn't have a bounced check fee, but I didn't know if they would take the money from my account to pay the loan or what exactly would happen. I think I was pretty clear in my post though, that I didn't want to charge her if I didn't need to and I really don't see how you differentiate between just a bad check fee and a fee to cover my own charge that was from a bad check. I also was only asking how to handle it with the customer, not asking for a rudimentary lesson in check writing.