Client Driving Me Nuts

Decorating By cakegirl0905 Updated 10 Sep 2008 , 11:17pm by mixinvixen

cakegirl0905 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:23pm
post #1 of 23

I am so incredibly frustrated right now. I know that no one can take advantage of you without your permission, so please know that I understand that! But I have allowed a customer to totally walk all over me and need some advice.
A repeat client contacted me a few months ago to reserve a date for her. I said OK, but told her I would need a deposit. She said sure. Didn't get it. I've attempted to get it from her several times, she keeps promising, and nothing. So the cake is due on Saturday, and I still haven't gotten it! I've emailed, talked to her in person, and she always says she will give it to me, I should also add that since she didn't give me any capital to work with, I had to order fondant and cake stuff with my family's budget, which is now depleted since we don't get paid until Monday. Sad, I know. lol.
In normal circumstances I would boot this customer to the curb. I have enough customers to not put up with this type of you-know-what. But it is more complicated, because she is one of those people who knows everybody, tons of friends, etc. She is pretty much one of the pretty popular friendly girls from high school who everyone LOVES. Our kids are also in school together, and since she is friends with the other moms, I am afraid she would make it more difficult for my daughter if I decided to be a hard ass and not make the cake.
So, seeing how my daughter is entangled in this, and that she pretty much has completely ignored requests for a deposit, and I have spent my last dime on her cake, what do I do? I am so frustrated and angry that I don't want to make this cake!

22 replies
terrig007 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:29pm
post #2 of 23

I can understand why. It always amazes me that the "in-crowd" can still get away with things no matter how many years after high school. Then they have kids and their kids are the in crowd too, a vicious cycle.
I would do the cake but she doesn't get it in her manicured hands until she puts the cold, hard cash in your lovely cake hands. I know what you mean about getting paid on the 15th, I have a cake for a neighbor on the 20th and they haven't paid me yet either and hubby is complaining about the expense too. I'm sort like you, I have to live next door to these people.

shanasweets Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:31pm
post #3 of 23

I guess, I would tell her you need all cash in hand by thursday or cake will not be made. You are already out supplies, but at least you could use for someone else later. But if you bake it and she flakes out your out even more. I know it is hard sometimes, but as you said she knows alot of people. What is she telling those people now, if she can get away with no deposit other people will try to. I just sell to friends, so I don't require a deposit. Not sure down the road when I start my business if I will. Do you only require deposit on all cakes or cakes over certain amt of money.

christeena Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:33pm
post #4 of 23

What's more important - teaching your daughter that no-one can push you around and take advantage of you and your business or "pleasing" the popular spoiled brat and kissing A$$ to get business??? I mean, really, not to sound harsh but I would not have a cake for her on Saturday! I bet she won't pull this crap a second time and AND YOU CAN HOLD YOUR HEAD UP HIGH!!! For me, it would be more important to stand by my business
ethics and show my daughter that I have a backbone!!
Come on, INDY, what is your take on this??

nannie Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:34pm
post #5 of 23

cakegirl

I have absolutly no suggestions on how you should handle this but I wanted to send you an electronic hug (for what it's worth).

I'm so sorry that you and your family have been put in this postition. and your daughter in the middle. People like that always seem to get away with things.

sari66 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:39pm
post #6 of 23

This may not be what you want to hear but why on earth did you buy supplies for this cake without the deposit? You say that she's ignored requests for payment so how do you know that she'll pay you for the cake when it's done?
Just because this woman is the popular one and your kids go to school together doesn't mean that you should treat her any differently than any other customer. What is she gonna do to your business? Tell your other friends that you wouldn't make her a cake without payment? Tell this woman that if no payment is made by the end of business tomorrow that she will have no cake and be done with her!

beth2027 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:45pm
post #7 of 23

If you've not already told her you have the supplies, give her a call and sweetly ask her for the money explaining that the deposit pays for the supplies and you can't make the cake without the deposit. That should kicker her but into gear.

stsapph Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:46pm
post #8 of 23

I say make it and charge her double for the inconvenience to you, your business and your family. Hopefully she will get the point and not do it again. On the other hand, if you decide not to do it, make sure she is fully aware as to why you could not compete her order a few days in advance so she can go somewhere else to get a cake and advise her that the next time she needs a cake, you really need a deposit or she will not be getting a cake again.
What ever your decision is, my thoughts are with you and big hugs!

krystyne_wilson Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:47pm
post #9 of 23

I agree with terrig007...no cake without money! Make it but don't hand it over until you have FULL PAYMENT!!! If she doesn't give it to you you have a cake and supplies for another time... and you've learned a lesson I'm sure. If you say deposit up front, then nothing happens until you get that money!!!

Best of luck, sorry that you're in this position icon_sad.gif

cakegirl0905 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:48pm
post #10 of 23

I'm not so much worried about what she will do to the business because I do quite well. I am more worried about the social issues. You know-dirty looks from other moms or my daughter being left out for get togethers, being made an outsider.

Normally, I would NEVER make a cake or buy supplies without a deposit. She just gets special treatment because she is a repeat, and because of the school connection. I thought she would be good for it, because she was in the past.

cakegirl0905 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:50pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by beth2027

If you've not already told her you have the supplies, give her a call and sweetly ask her for the money explaining that the deposit pays for the supplies and you can't make the cake without the deposit. That should kicker her but into gear.




Already did that. She was suppossed to bring it by today, but never showed up. thumbsdown.gif

summernoelle Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:52pm
post #12 of 23

I don't know what advice to give except I am really sorry you are going through this. I would say no deposit, no cake like the others, but it is still a tricky issue.

I'm going through something similar, so I am really interested to know how your problem turns out.

beth2027 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:57pm
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakegirl0905

Quote:
Originally Posted by beth2027

If you've not already told her you have the supplies, give her a call and sweetly ask her for the money explaining that the deposit pays for the supplies and you can't make the cake without the deposit. That should kicker her but into gear.



Already did that. She was suppossed to bring it by today, but never showed up. thumbsdown.gif




Then when she wonders where her cake is, she'll know it's because you didn't have the money to buy the supplies.
icon_wink.gif
I do understand how hard it is to deal with the "popular" crowd. But do you really want your daughter to have to deal with those types of people anyway?
Anyway it goes, I hope it works out for you in the end. Good luck.

cakesbycathy Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:58pm
post #14 of 23

This is definitely a tough situation, since it involves your DD! But this may be her way of seeing if she can get away with it.

A little white lie might be in order here. I would give her a call and have the conversation go something like this...

"Hi Sue (or whatever her name is), just wanted to say how sorry I am that I won't be able to make your cake for you. I was unable to purchase any of the supplies since I didn't get your deposit. Hopefully next time, we'll be able to work it out. Of course, if you can get me the whole payment by tomorrow night, then I could definitely get it done. Otherwise, I would call X Bakery. Their cakes are pretty good. Not as good as mine of course (insert sweet little laugh here), but still okay."


Good luck!

BabyBear3 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 10:59pm
post #15 of 23

wow, I can completely understand where you are right now.

I had a VERY similar situation a couple of weeks ago and I had to do the hardest thing ever -- I called her and basically said "I will not make this cake until you give me my deposit". It was a sister of a close colleague (my paraprofessional in my classroom). Fortunately, once I made that point very clear, I had the deposit the same day.

It's goign to be very hard but you need to put your foot down especially since you are usuing you own money to buy the supplies.

Deb_ Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 11:01pm
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakegirl0905

I'm not so much worried about what she will do to the business because I do quite well. I am more worried about the social issues. You know-dirty looks from other moms or my daughter being left out for get togethers, being made an outsider.

Normally, I would NEVER make a cake or buy supplies without a deposit. She just gets special treatment because she is a repeat, and because of the school connection. I thought she would be good for it, because she was in the past.





Cakegirl you're not gonna like what I'm going to say but I think it will help you in the long run........
YOU'RE NOT IN HIGHSCHOOL ANYMORE!!!! You are a grown woman with children. Why is it so important to you to have this woman's approval. Is this the kind of household you want your daughter invited to anyway?

Do this, tomorrow morning when you see this A$$ standing in the schoolyard with her little Coach handbag and matching sneakers, walk up to her and say "Good morning ladies, (insert A$$' name here), I never received payment of deposit for that cake you need for Saturday, so I will assume you are getting it elsewhere". Than, say "Have a nice day", hold your head up high and walk away. And......be happy if she doesn't include your daughter in her kids playdates, your daughter deserves better friends than ones who will end up walking all over her.

Sorry to be harsh, but I hate people that make others out to be a fool, and I don't want that to happen to you. We cakegirls need to stick together icon_wink.gif

cakegirl0905 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 11:09pm
post #17 of 23

dkelly-that sounds great. I need a giant slap on the head. What is the worst that could happen? I HATE feeling like I am in highschool still.

SugarHighCakes Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 11:09pm
post #18 of 23

So...since you say you already told her you needed money for the supplies, and she didnt show up - it is obvious she is not serious about this cake.

I think at this point it would be best to call her and tell her that you are going to be unable to make the cake for her. Let her know you have given her several oppotunities - and she hasnt obliged. You make cakes to make money - not to lose money.

Although it sucks you already bought supplies, you will have it for future cakes or possibly some of it could be returned? Hopefully she will get the hint that she was being VERY rude and she will have to scramble and find somebody else to do the cake because of her poor decision.

Another thing you could tell her is that you have taken a deposit from another customer and you have to proceed with THEIR cake since they gave you a deposit. Maybe then she will get the hint.

I dont know how your daughter could be in the middle? I know you say she knows EVERYBODY - but what can she really say? "I screwed up..I didnt pay a required deposit...so she didnt do my cake even though i didnt pay her...what a terrible cake lady she is!"

Besides that...if she or people she knows really does give you dirty looks over a situation like this...shame on them. They obviously havent moved beyond their highschool years. Also, with that being said....she is just one person who it sounds like you can afford to lose. Give the special treatment to somebody who truly deserves and appreciates your extra time and effort.

apetricek Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 11:11pm
post #19 of 23

I hate when this happens!!! icon_mad.gif And unfortunately I know all TOO well about this, I have been chasing a customer for the past month now. Her cake is also due on Saturday. I called her this morning and told her that if I do not have the money in the next day, not to expect a cake at her lavish event. Well that opened her eyes! She sent the check out first thing this morning, and said if I don't get it tomorrow that to call her and she will give it to me. OK sorry to ramble on there is a point here. 1) I have learned that new customer or regular customer from now on will have to sign an contract and give a deposit, or there will be NO ORDER!!! You have a business and a family to care for you can't worry about giving favors or being nice to everyone! I know I give my regular customers a break, but if they would ever try to take advantage of me. I would not put up with it!!!! I know it puts you in a bad spot with your children being involved, but I would call her and tell her that you need the money NOW, and that you have already put the money that you don't have out for her supplies. Tell her that you have someone else wanting the date, that is willing to pay up front, if she doesn't want the cake anymore...sometimes if they think they will loose the cake, it wakes them up...but honestly I am SO TIRED of playing games, and chasing people around for an order!!! I am know locally as taking so much time, and effort with my clients, and that I am willing to work to make their cake anyway they like it, but that is also bad, because sometimes with this rep, I feel like a butt wiper!!!! Best of luck with it, don't let her push you around girls like this have done it with everything over time....stand your ground, and just be a little mean if you have to be....good luck hope things work out well for you!

SugarHighCakes Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 11:13pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Quote:


Do this, tomorrow morning when you see this A$$ standing in the schoolyard with her little Coach handbag and matching sneakers, walk up to her and say "Good morning ladies, (insert A$$' name here), I never received payment of deposit for that cake you need for Saturday, so I will assume you are getting it elsewhere". Than, say "Have a nice day", hold your head up high and walk away. And......be happy if she doesn't include your daughter in her kids playdates, your daughter deserves better friends than ones who will end up walking all over her.




Love it...do that! That way everyone else will know she is a wench~! haha

indydebi Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 11:15pm
post #21 of 23

What dkelley said ... with lots of exclamation points.

I really do understand your dilemna with your daughter being involved. But the point has been made a couple of times .... what kind of life lesson do you want to teach your daughter? When she turns 14, do you want her saying ok to what the "POP!-ular" kids want her to do? Or do you want her making decisions based on the morals and principles you've taught her? Do you want her to think it's more important to placate the POP!-ular kids? Or to make the right decisions for self-esteem and sticking up for herself?

My husband tells the story of a thought he had on the day of graduation from high school. As he's standing around, seeing the jocks and the cheerleaders, and the POP!-ular kids, the thought that puts a big grin on his face was, "Guess what, folks? We're all the same now. Jock status ... POP!-ular status doesn't apply anymore." thumbs_up.gif

CIndymm4 Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 11:15pm
post #22 of 23

I have been exactly where you are before.....and this is what I did......I told a lie. I was so upset that this person was completely ignoring my repeated requests for my deposit, that I call her, this 3 days before the cake was due.....I'd been trying to get the money for 2 months......and told her I had another client call and wanted a cake for that same day....I explained that I wanted to check with her because she asked me to save that date but had not recieved a deposit yet so, wanted to check before agreeing to make someone else a cake. I told her that I needed to know by noon, so I could give the other client a definate answer. I left that message on a answering machine. Well, as you might guess, she never called me.......she was an important, well known person, but in my mind, that didn't give her a right to take advantage of me either. I did not make the cake. I got a call about a half hour before she was suppose to pick up the cake, she was just checking to make sure I was done. I said, I'm sorry, I called you, left you a message, you didn't call me back so I assumed you had changed your mind or made other arrangements........her response was, you knew I wanted the cake.....I said I asked you on numerous occassions to provide me with the deposit to hold that date and I called you 3 days ago and left you a voice mail......she said, yes, well, I understand, but you knew I would pay for the cake and now what am I going to do. I said, I'm sorry for the misunderstanding but I have a business to run. I said, you can try Wal-mart, they may be able to help you out. It was about 3 months later, I got a call, she wanted a cake. I said fine and asked the date. She told me and said, can I drop the deposit by while I'm out today.... I said that will be fine. It turned out well for me.....yes, I lost that one sale.....I didn't have another client for the day she wanted a cake but I didn't want to be taken advantage of, I wasn't just a SAHM at the time who had extra time to bake cakes.... I had a business going.

I wish you much luck!!

mixinvixen Posted 10 Sep 2008 , 11:17pm
post #23 of 23

don't mean to be harsh, but for the life of me, i can not figure out why us cake designers are inflicted with this need to chase clients!!!!!!!!! you lay out the rules in the beginning of the contact, they don't abide so you give them one notice...hey! emergencies and brain farts in general happen all the time...after that one notice though, leave them alone...they obviously are not serious about your business transaction!

RUN YOUR BUSINESS LIKE ANY OTHER BUSINESS...DOES YOUR NAIL GIRL, MASSAGE GIRL, EVEN YOUR DOCTOR HOUND YOU MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK OR MONTH IF YOU DON'T HAPPEN TO DROP BY WHEN YOU SAID YOU WOULD? THEY WRITE YOU OFF, GO ABOUT THEIR BUSINESS, AND USUALLY END UP CHARGING YOU ANYWAY FOR THE TROUBLE!

cut her loose! cut her loose! good riddance to her! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

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