What Is This Girl's Problem??

Business By CakesByJen2 Updated 14 Sep 2008 , 11:07am by jules1719

CakesByJen2 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 1:17pm
post #1 of 22

Okay, this is turing into a saga, LOL! This is the same girl I've posted about twice already. Long story short, I had done her older sister's cake seveal years ago and she was all set to order, but then MOB freaked at the price, evidently thinking my prices should be the same as 6 years ago. MOB insisted she shop around and I didn't expect hear back from her, but almost three weeks later I got an e-mail from bride saying they had been to several others and none compared to mine, and was I still available on that date, and if so could she send the deposit right away to reserve it because she really wanted me to do their cake.

Again, she sounded like she REALLY wanted me to do her cake, and I e-mailed her back saying I was still available, and though we still needed to get together in person to finalize the contract, she could mail the deposit to be sure to get the date, and I had a couple of follow-up questions. I didn't hear back from her, nor did I receive the deposit, so I followed up with a phone call several days later to be sure she had gotten me e-mail. She had, but said she had been out-of-town and didn't have a chance to get the check in the mail and would drop it off that night. Well, she didn't show or call (we didn't have an actual appt; she was just going to drop it off).

Now I'm getting really annoyed, and I'm not sure whether she is really not committed to having me doing the cake, or just being an airhead about getting the deposit in. I'm wondering if she's having this much trouble paying the deposit, am I going to have trouble getting the final payment, too. I did not have ANY problems like this with the first daughter; she was great to work with and has referred other brides to me.

At this point, IF I hear from her again, I'm tempted to tell her I'm no longer available, except that it would be a fairly sizeable order, and right before Christmas when I could really use the income. I'm so hoping someone else will come in and book that date!

21 replies
ccr03 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 1:31pm
post #2 of 22

A few months ago I had an initial phone conversation with a MOB and boy do I wish I would have gone with my gut! Talk about a momzilla and the wedding it's until January!
Luckily it worked out for me because they cancelled and I couldn't be happier.
Point of the story - follow your gut! If you don't think it's going to work out/be a good transaction jump ship now. Yes the money may be good, but it may not be worth it.

michellenj Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 1:58pm
post #3 of 22

If you really want to do the cake, then you need to make it clear to her that she must follow your deadlines. It sounds like she's a little bit disorganized and casual about the whole thing, but let her know that your deadlines are there for a reason. There have been times that I have been a little less stern than I should have been, and once my client saw that I was flexible, they completely took advantage of it.

CakesByJen2 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 4:02pm
post #4 of 22

The longer this drags out, the more I am inclined to decline the order, if I even hear from her again. I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt for now, because I did have a previously good experience with her sister, and the initial consultation went well. I had a good rapport with the bride and her fiance and there were no red flags at the time. Things didn't go sour until the bride went to pick up the check for the deposit from mom, and mom said no, shop around first. Maybe that threw a wrench in the works for the bride, too, and she'd expected to have the cake issue settled three weeks ago, and the timing's bad. Like I said, I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt for now, but I hate it when things drag out; I like things settled one way or the other.

If I end up doing it, I will definitely make is VERY clear that the payment deadline is NOT just a guideline, and that non-payment = customer cancellation and NO CAKE. I have all that spelled out clearly on the contract, too.

I wonder if I should give her a "nudge", like a courtesy e-maill reminder her that the date is not reserved and she may lose it, or just let it go.

Carolynlovescake Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 4:04pm
post #5 of 22

Dear Bride to Be,

Greetings.

I just wanted to confirm with you that you are still interested in me baking and decorating your wedding cake. You have indicated you would be dropping the deposit off and I have yet to receive it.

As a courtesy to you I am letting you know that my December dates are filling up fast and I can not hold your date past Sunday September 14th at 5:00pm with out a deposit.

If I have not received the deposit and the contract has not been signed to hold your date by the time stated above I will have to decline the opportunity to bake for you and will be giving the date to some body else.

Sincerely,

Your cake decorator

_____

Translation:

PAY ME THE DEPOSIT OR YOU ARE FIRED AS MY CUSTOMER

debster Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 4:17pm
post #6 of 22

I have to say I too agree with CarolynGwen!!!!!!

Kitagrl Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 4:24pm
post #7 of 22

Yep I have customers at times that give me every detail they want on their cake, yet a week or two will go by without the deposit they had promised. I just say "Hey, just wanted to let you know, I am filling up and if I don't receive a deposit by xx date, I will no longer be able to fill your order. Thanks!" And then I usually either get a deposit, hear nothing (cancel the order), or get an "Oh yeah sorry, I cancelled and forgot to let you know."

I know what you mean about wanting the money, so hold out as long as you want, but don't let her force you to hold out any LONGER than that.

loriemoms Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 4:25pm
post #8 of 22

Very good letter!!!! Go with your gut....

step0nmi Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 4:26pm
post #9 of 22

Carolyn! that is a great email! icon_biggrin.gif

I just want to add one thing...if the mom was going to pay for the cake she may be having trouble actually getting the money from her mother...with that said, you have deadlines and if she doesn't pay up then you are booked. you have to be stern with people on dates...or they will walk all over you.

my last bride was the same way (oddly enough she was a wedding planner) but she thought because we were doing everything by phone and email that it was a 'casual' transaction...after I told her I needed the deposit by a certain date she got her but in gear! icon_twisted.gif lol

Pookie59 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 4:29pm
post #10 of 22

I see this as a lack of commitment by the bride - either that or her mother is still not satisfied with the price and won't cough up the deposit money.

I'd send a last email and if you don't get a response, including the money, by a certain date, I'd let this one go. I'd bet you'll have trouble getting the balance owed too and then gripes after the wedding from the momzilla about the cake not being worth the money, blah, blah, blah.

Mandica12182 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 4:46pm
post #11 of 22

Weird I am having the same problem!! But, these people already paid their deposit and had an idea in mind what cake they wanted but I told them everything had to be final and paod for in full 2 weeks prior and Saturday is 2 weeks prior and I have NADA!! LOL, she said oh yeah I;ll definetly have my design picked out before then, ha!!

I feel weird by it though because she's my sisters soon to be SIL...so I feel like I am putting my sister in a weird place. But, I am not going to be a softy and let her not pay me in full by Saturday!!

pastrylady Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 5:13pm
post #12 of 22

I would just send one final email reminding her that her date is not secured until you have a deposit in hand and that if another customer wants the date it is theirs. Then, the ball is in her court. If she calls later and you are either booked for the date (or don't feel like doing the cake anymore), too bad for her.

I don't set any time limit on how far ahead cakes must be booked. But, I also will not babysit my clients. I always tell people that no deposit in hand means the date is not theirs and is still open on a first come/first serve basis. I'm not gonna chase them around asking them for money.

indydebi Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:12am
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mandica12182

I feel weird by it though because she's my sisters soon to be SIL...so I feel like I am putting my sister in a weird place. But, I am not going to be a softy and let her not pay me in full by Saturday!!




Your sister has nothing to do with this. If she complains or whines or says anything to your sister, then her response should be no more than "I'm not involved in my sister's business ... you'll have to talk to her about it." let me repeat this ... your sister has NOTHING to do with this. It's not personal .... it's business.

Mandica12182 Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 11:56am
post #14 of 22

Thanks Indydebi- I know it' business...which is why I hate to do business with family or anything close to family!!
BTW- still haven't heard a word from the bride and tomorrow is Saturday!!

lflowermoon Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:22pm
post #15 of 22

Great letter! Do not "chase" the bride by phone or email. Just send the letter ( maybe to her mother as well?) icon_twisted.gif

aswartzw Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:30pm
post #16 of 22

When you send the letter, require a signature that way you can prove that she received it. I really think Carolyn's email is the way to go. If you don't hear anything by then, drop her. No more contact. If she contacts you after the date you can use the signed letter to protect yourself.

Eisskween Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:31pm
post #17 of 22

Just my honest opinion, but I would decline and leave the date for another customer. If she is giving you this much trouble before she even reserves the date, I have a feeling you will be getting a hard time about the way it looks, the way it tastes, the color, etc. (in an attempt to get a refund). Just my gut feeling.

People that don't make cakes have no idea what is involved, they think they are just pulled out of the sky.

Save yourself the aggravation and tell her thank you for your inquiry, but unfortunately someone has already reserved that date and I am unavailable.

Just my feeling on this. Have a wonderful day! icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:38pm
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisskween

Just my honest opinion, but I would decline and leave the date for another customer. If she is giving you this much trouble before she even reserves the date, I have a feeling you will be getting a hard time about the way it looks, the way it tastes, the color, etc. (in an attempt to get a refund). Just my gut feeling.




Agree. when my brides are at my samplings, they are interviewing their cake maker. What they dont' understand is that I am also interviewing them. There has been more than one quote that I just didnt' send out because I chose not to deal with the bride. I was not going to invest my time and rack up expenses for $1000 worth of food, plus employee payroll, not to mention all the hard work, just so I could argue with them on how wet or dry the scalloped potatoes were and why that did or didn't warrant a full refund.

sometimes you can just tell.

CakesByJen2 Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 12:43pm
post #19 of 22

Finally! I just got the deposit check from her this morning. She said things had been crazy at work and she just didn't have time to get to her mom's and get the check and drop it off. Which I understand, but what I don't get is why she didn't just mail in her own check just to get it done(she's out of school and has a real job) rather than risk losing the date, or have her mom bring it over since she is just around the corner from me??

I was going to give her until today, then send one final reminder. I don't ever "chase" after orders, but on the other hand, I don't want someone coming back right before their wedding thinking they have an order only to find they don't and whining that I didn't make it clear that the date wasn't reserved. And the off-chance that they actually did send the check and for some reason I didn't get it (that did happen once; the mailman had delivered to the wrong address and it eventually got returned to the bride a week later, but she would have lost her date if I had not followed up with her). So I do follow-up IF they have indicated they've made a decision and are sending a deposit. This was the first time I didn't get a check immediately after the first follow-up, though.

Like I said, there were no red flags at the consultation, and I think things would have been fine if the MOB hadn't had sticker shock and insisted the bride wait and shop around before paying the deposit. The bride was fully prepared to go ahead with it that day, and I guess the delay just caused her to get caught at a bad time.

I have twice had trouble getting a final payment, in both cases it was the parent paying who was the problem, but when I contacted the brides and let them know they would not get their cake, they made sure mom/dad got me the cash right away.

Thanks for all the input!

arosstx Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 1:20pm
post #20 of 22

I hope the check clears...I would cash it today! icon_smile.gif Good luck to you on this one, she sounds like fun.

marmalade1687 Posted 12 Sep 2008 , 2:36pm
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

when my brides are at my samplings, they are interviewing their cake maker. What they dont' understand is that I am also interviewing them. There has been more than one quote that I just didnt' send out because I chose not to deal with the bride. I was not going to invest my time and rack up expenses for $1000 worth of food, plus employee payroll, not to mention all the hard work, just so I could argue with them on how wet or dry the scalloped potatoes were and why that did or didn't warrant a full refund.

sometimes you can just tell.




I totally agree. The only time that I ever had problems "chasing down" a bride to get a deposit, she turned out to be a nightmare bridezilla. I had trouble getting the final payment, then she complained about the cake right down to the colour of the fondant ribbon (which turned out to be right, but she wanted money back). I learned my lesson - I interview couples while they are interviewing me at the consultation, and have no trouble telling them that I am unavailable for their date if I know it won't work out between us.

jules1719 Posted 14 Sep 2008 , 11:07am
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eisskween

Just my honest opinion, but I would decline and leave the date for another customer. If she is giving you this much trouble before she even reserves the date, I have a feeling you will be getting a hard time about the way it looks, the way it tastes, the color, etc. (in an attempt to get a refund). Just my gut feeling.



Agree. when my brides are at my samplings, they are interviewing their cake maker. What they dont' understand is that I am also interviewing them. There has been more than one quote that I just didnt' send out because I chose not to deal with the bride. I was not going to invest my time and rack up expenses for $1000 worth of food, plus employee payroll, not to mention all the hard work, just so I could argue with them on how wet or dry the scalloped potatoes were and why that did or didn't warrant a full refund.

sometimes you can just tell.




Sing it. Sing it out loud.

But it is hard when you take people at their word and find they are ... less than truthful. I've found nearly 100% of clients who claim they will be back to give a deposit never return. What I mean is, the ones who ASSURE me they are coming back, never do.

I love the email, and it is worded perfectly. BUT, why not just let it go? If someone else fills her date, then great. You are essentially trying to "force her hand". Why? Do you really want this client?

Keep in mind the two most beautiful words in our business... RUSH CHARGES. Anything under a month is subject to rush. Hope that she books, but don't chase her.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%