Repeat Customer Behaving Badly

Decorating By summernoelle Updated 16 Sep 2008 , 12:39pm by SweetResults

summernoelle Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:28am
post #1 of 81

The main dilema with this for me is that this girl is a repeat customer, so I don't want to misstep or be rude. But, it's still a business, right?
So this customer lives in my town and I let her pick up cakes at my home. She borrowed a stand from me 10 days ago with her order of cupcakes. I didn't hear back from her, and contacted her, which with she replied
"Oh, I tried to stop by earlier today, but you were out."
This bothered me, because I feel like it is inappropriate for clients to stop by my home unannounced. Yes, she was trying to return the stand, but it is still my home and I would like some notice or an appt. But anyway, I sent her an email saying fine, please just stop by Tuesday after 2:30 and return it.
Guess what. She didn't show up.
So...do I cash her check, and then hold the cash until she shows up with the stand, just to ensure that she didn't stop payment on it?
She already went against my policies and paid with a check when she picked up the cakes (big no no for me. I take cash only at that point, which I told her when we discussed pick up times).
Any help would be great. Thank you!

80 replies
aligotmatt Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:33am
post #2 of 81

Ifyou have a check that contains part of her order money as well as her deposit, then yes, cash it! And even if it is a deposit, she's probably passed your time limit on returns.

krystyne_wilson Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:42am
post #3 of 81

Cash the check. Let her know when you next speak with her about how it made you feel when she had stopped by unnanounced (that you don't want that anymore) and that you were upset when she missed your appt to return the stand. Then don't loan out anymore stands, include them in the price and if they return them refund them if not you're not out anything. HTH

liapsim Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:43am
post #4 of 81

I would CASH THAT CHECK!!!!! She might put a stop on it. No matter how much of a repeat customer she is....she hasn't done what she's supposed to until this point...what makes you think she won't stop that check?

Also, I wouldn't do another think for her until she returns that stand.....

Gingoodies Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:43am
post #5 of 81

I would go ahead and cash the check. Send her an email telling her that the check has being cashed and when she returns the stand on xx day at xx time you will be happy to give her back her money. If she chooses not to return the stand. You keep the money! AND I hope you charged a large enough deposit to replace that stand! Good Luck.

LetThereBeCake07 Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:45am
post #6 of 81

Cash the check, at her bank to make sure she has the funds. Then give her a curtisy call and let her know you cashed the check and when it is convieniet for her she can call to make an appointment to drop off the stand and recieve her deposit back (or a portion of the deposite depending on what the signed contract states)
be extra nice, friendly and cheerful about it since you never know what you may be getting into. Hopefully nothing but better safe than sorry.

If you feel guilty you can even say you have another person renting the equipent she has out or something like that.

good luck!

summernoelle Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 12:55am
post #7 of 81

OK, that's what I was thinking. I HATE conflicts, so I didn't know if cashing the check was a good idea, because it will likely make her angry. But at the same time, I was afraid that by telling her I was going to cash it, it would giver her time to stop the check, which means I would be out the $$ and the stand.

indydebi Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 1:20am
post #8 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by summernoelle

OK, that's what I was thinking. I HATE conflicts, so I didn't know if cashing the check was a good idea, because it will likely make her angry. But at the same time, I was afraid that by telling her I was going to cash it, it would giver her time to stop the check, which means I would be out the $$ and the stand.




(worried look on face, wringing hands, voice all distraught, as she says in a whiny little girl voiceicon_smile.gif

Quote:
Quote:

....I didn't know if cashing the check was a good idea, because it will likely make her angry.


Oh, Pul-lease!!! I don't have money for a plane ticket to come out there and slap you silly in person, so you need to get over this.

What? Is she a first cousin to Tony Soprano or something? Is that why you're "afraid" to make her "angry"? icon_confused.gif

Why is SHE not "worried" about making YOU "angry" because she's an inconsiderate "B" who didn't return a borrowed stand? Why is SHE going to be "angry" because you cashed a check given to you as a security deposit for a stand THAT SHE DIDN'T RETURN???? Isn't the purpose of the check to compensate you for A STOLEN STAND that was never returned???????

And why didn't you cash that check the day you got it? Holding a check for the return of the stand is the same as not taking a deposit at all so why bother?

It's time to put your big girl panties on!

summernoelle Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 1:33am
post #9 of 81

I love you Indydebi. lol

You should know by now that I am the biggest wimp in the world.

indydebi Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 1:38am
post #10 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by summernoelle

You should know by now that I am the biggest wimp in the world.


stick with all of us, kid! We'll get ya there! thumbs_up.gif

Gingoodies Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 1:45am
post #11 of 81

Just a little something to think about for the next time... get your deposit for a loaned item in CASH. Put the cash in an envelope. Give your customer a specific time frame to return the item. If you dont get it back, the money is yours. If the customer insists (and you are willing to accept) on giving you a check, tell them you are going to cash the check immediately and hold the cash till the item is returned. Again, please make sure the deposit is large enough to replace the item in question. As far as this particular customer is concerned, don't be afraid of her anger. Even though she is a repeat customer, if she gets bent out of shape because of this situation, you are better off without her as a customer. Believe me, two more will come along to replace her. (I know from experience thumbs_up.gif ) Again, I hope this works out for you and your customer.

lilyanddayne Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 1:52am
post #12 of 81

Indydebi
you ALWAYS say exactly what I am thinking!!!!
My motto is if you think it you may as well say it!
Also, I never read in the OP anything about a deposit check it just said she paid with a check at pickup. Am I missing something here?

SugarFrosted Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 2:17am
post #13 of 81

Did we not already have this conversation about this client of yours in a thread a few days or a week ago? I know we did! MANY people told you to cash the check when you asked then. Grow a BACKBONE, summernoelle! (said with love and encouragement icon_smile.gif )

indydebi: Amen, Sister! AMEN!

summernoelle Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 2:38am
post #14 of 81

Sugarfrosted-it's the same woman. That was when I contacted her (right after posting the other thread) and she said she had stopped by. Which really really bothered me. So, we set up the time for today (after 3 day weekend), which she skipped out on. No offense taken.

Her husband wrote me two checks on a Friday almost 2 weeks ago-one for the cake and a 2nd for the deposit. He was suppossed to have cash, but didn't.

How would this sound. Pretend I've just gotten back from the bank:

Dear _________

I wanted to let you know that I cashed your deposit check this morning. It has been 13 days since you rented the cupcake stand, and it is my policy to cash deposit checks when my items have not been returned. I also requested that you return it to me on Tuesday afternoon, which you did not.

If you do return the stand, I will be happy to refund you the cash, minus the fees charged to me by your bank. If the stand is not received by Friday afternoon at 5, your deposit will be forfeited.

Thanks,

and, would it be too much to add: If you plan to return the stand, please set up an exact time with me to do so, as I am uncomfortable with clients arriving at my home without an appointment. ?

SugarFrosted Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 3:24am
post #15 of 81

That is a very good email, she should have no doubt about what she did and why you did what you did (will do) and yes, include your additional statement.

People can only walk on you if you let them.

What fees will her bank charge you?

playingwithsugar Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 3:35am
post #16 of 81

Call her bank and verify the funds in the account before you cash it.

Better yet - cash it directly at her bank. That way, if the funds are insufficient, it won't reflect in your bank account, only hers.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

mommy_of_3_DDs Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 3:39am
post #17 of 81

Most banks charge like $5 to cash checks if you don't have an account with them... icon_wink.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 3:41am
post #18 of 81

Here, they do not charge to cash checks if the check is drawn off one of their accounts, whether you have an account with them or not.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

summernoelle Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 4:13am
post #19 of 81

I think it depends on the bank. I used to work somewhere and when I would cash the checks, they charged me like $5. I don't know if Wells Fargo does that or not-that's who the check in through.
I'm going to go tomorrow morning to cash it.

playingwithsugar Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 4:15am
post #20 of 81

Let us know what happens, and if she responds to your latest requests to get your property back.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

TexasSugar Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 4:19am
post #21 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy_of_3_DDs

Most banks charge like $5 to cash checks if you don't have an account with them... icon_wink.gif




Cashing a personal check from someone at their own bank is not the same as cashing a paycheck from a company, especially if it is not from a local bank.

I work at Michaels and when I would cash my check at the grocery store or at Walmart, they would charge, usually $3. If you cash it at one of the cash store places they charge you a percentage.

I have cashed countless personal checks from people at their banks and have never been charged a fee. They will ask if you have an account with them, my offer to set you one up, then will probably ask for your right thumb print on the check.

summernoelle Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 4:43am
post #22 of 81

Yeah, the bank that used to charge me was Compass Bank, which is a crappy bank anyway. It was also a long time ago. I'll let you know how it goes!

mommy_of_3_DDs Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 5:16am
post #23 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy_of_3_DDs

Most banks charge like $5 to cash checks if you don't have an account with them... icon_wink.gif



Cashing a personal check from someone at their own bank is not the same as cashing a paycheck from a company, especially if it is not from a local bank.

I work at Michaels and when I would cash my check at the grocery store or at Walmart, they would charge, usually $3. If you cash it at one of the cash store places they charge you a percentage.

I have cashed countless personal checks from people at their banks and have never been charged a fee. They will ask if you have an account with them, my offer to set you one up, then will probably ask for your right thumb print on the check.




Which is why I said MOST! Here in OHIO most (pretty much all) charge if you don't have an account... even if the check writer does have an account.... the person was asking about why there would be fees... and that is why there might possibly be fees... cause some banks DO charge.

CakeRN Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 5:27am
post #24 of 81

Ok....so I don't understand WHY you took a check from them when you told her you don't accept checks. If her hubby showed up with the check then you should have said...." I'm sorry but I don't take checks for my cakes and would you please go to the bank and bring cash back. No cash...no cake. Then for you to hold on to the check and not even cash it after you accepted it REALLY doesn't make sense. Cash it and forget about telling her. That is what the check was for and the stand was not returned. If she ever brings the stand back then you can give her the money back ( only if the check has cleared though).

Solecito Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 5:52am
post #25 of 81

I have in my contract that if the stand is not returned within a week of the event, I will use the deposit to buy a new one, they don't take that long to come back and if they can't make it in time, they sure call me to ask if they can be a couple of days late.

So I don't think you should wait at all, cash the check. Or maybe you want to tell her in your email that if she doesn't return your stand by "X" day you are not giving her back the money, she just bought a stand.

FromScratch Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 6:27am
post #26 of 81

I have the same thing in my contract.. one week to return the stand or the deposit is forfeited.. period. If they call and ask if a couple days late would be okay I will accomodate, but if you don't call.. I don't care. icon_wink.gif

Cash the check.. and send the e-mail.. since she is a regular you want to try to salvage some rapport with her.. so do her the courtesy of letting her know what's up.. but only after you cash that check.

Deposit should be full replacement value (this includes shipping charges) and be cashed immediately. Either hold the cash or put it in the business account. I do the latter and issue a check when the equipment is returned. Don't fel bad about it.. she signed the contract and it was explained to her.. it's not like you are springing some big news on her.. she knew that not returning the stand = not getting her deopsit.

ceshell Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 6:33am
post #27 of 81

I wasn't quite sure what which bank you decided to cash it at, but more important than cashing at her bank to verify the funds is: if you don't cash it at her bank she can still stop payment on it after the fact. That happened to me once...cashed a check, once the person found out I had cashed it they stopped payment. The fact that I'd cashed it at my bank already was irrelevant; it hadn't cleared her bank yet so poof it became invalid. icon_mad.gif (Of course you may already know this.)

I would definitely add the part about making an appt if she is going to return it, but do not say "uncomfortable about clients dropping into my home" - you've now just turned yourself into a home, not a business. I'd say "To ensure that we are both available at the same time, please schedule a specific time and date" yada yada yada.

Mike1394 Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 8:33am
post #28 of 81

Cash the check, go to HER house to pick up the stand. Give her what's left after the inconvience fee.

Mike

summernoelle Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 1:28pm
post #29 of 81
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeRN

Ok....so I don't understand WHY you took a check from them when you told her you don't accept checks. If her hubby showed up with the check then you should have said...." I'm sorry but I don't take checks for my cakes and would you please go to the bank and bring cash back. No cash...no cake. Then for you to hold on to the check and not even cash it after you accepted it REALLY doesn't make sense. Cash it and forget about telling her. That is what the check was for and the stand was not returned. If she ever brings the stand back then you can give her the money back ( only if the check has cleared though).




Yes, it was naive of me. 3 reasons:

1. Repeat customer. No problems in the past.
2. Late afternoon on Friday, on my way out of town about 6 hours away, just wanted the stupid cakes out so I could leave.
3. He had a very small baby with him and seemed totally frazzled.

He kept saying he had the check somewhere, was searching all over the car for it. I finally said, just write me a new one then and waited awhile for him to figure all that out.

Yes, I realize that they were taking advantage by ignore the request for cash only. It had just been a super long day after a cake disaster and I seriously just wanted it all done with. So yes, I may deserve a hand slap for that. thumbsdown.gif Hopefully they didn't cancel payment and I won't have to pay the Stupid Tax! icon_razz.gif

summernoelle Posted 3 Sep 2008 , 5:53pm
post #30 of 81

Well-check deposited, email sent, and butterflies in stomach. I'll let you all know how it turns out!

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