Ok, I Was Really Stupid..now What Do I Do?

Business By loriemoms Updated 1 Oct 2008 , 3:50pm by whimsette

loriemoms Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 5:12pm
post #1 of 41

I got a cake order about a month ago for a sculpted cake, fairly small, for just 10 people for a Xbox cake. It was for a this girls boyfriend. after two weeks, I called her and told her that she still had to pay in advance, that I do not take payment at pickup. She said she was having car problems and couldn't pay (70 dollars) in advance but said she wanted to cake, she had all these friends coming over and it was going to be a great party. I told her I would expect at least a deposit and she said she didnt have that either. I told her ok, no cake. She begged and pleaded and against my better judgment, I told her ok, she had to pay at pickup (she didnt want to even give me a CC number)

Well, you guessed it. She wrote me an email an hour before her pickup time that she wanted to cancel the cake due to an "emergency"/

I have on my invoice (that she received THREE of since we kept sending them to her) that all cakes are to be paid in advance and you still have to pay for the cake unless you give 48 hours notice. I have it in my email...you just can't miss, I say it so many times.

I wrote her an email saying she had to at least pay the deposit (as I am being nice) that will cover the materials used (two edible images were used on this cake as well!) . I have not received any response.

Should I consider this a "oh well, learn next time" and just be more hard nose or should I keep buggin this girl, trying to water from a stone?

The cake is being happily donated to my husbands office, who are a bunch of geeks and love these kinds of cakes.

40 replies
chutzpah Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 5:14pm
post #2 of 41

Don't let her get away with it.

ShopGrl1128 Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 5:48pm
post #3 of 41

what a B#$$TCH!!!
Have her pay you at least the cost of the ingredients...that 'cancellation due to an emergency' is pure BS.

indydebi Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 5:55pm
post #4 of 41

threaten her with small claims court for breach of contract. icon_rolleyes.gif

Deb_ Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:04pm
post #5 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

,
I have on my invoice (that she received THREE of since we kept sending them to her) that all cakes are to be paid in advance and you still have to pay for the cake unless you give 48 hours notice. I have it in my email...you just can't miss, I say it so many times.


Should I consider this a "oh well, learn next time" and just be more hard nose or should I keep buggin this girl, trying to water from a stone?

.



An e-mail is not a signed contract.......did you have a signed contract? If not than unfortunately yes, you should consider this a lesson learned the hard way. No contract......she owes you nothing and there isn't a whole lot that small claims will do for you. Sorry. Some people's word means nothing nowadays and you can't build a business on someone's word, you need a signed contract. You should have ended this order with the "sorry no money no cake". icon_sad.gif

loriemoms Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:20pm
post #6 of 41

I hate to do a contract with every single cake order I get..I only do them with the larger orders. I would be processing a million contracts a day.

I sent her an invoice...a professional, this is how much you owe invoice. Just like the phone company would send you or your gas bill. Is that considered a legal binding acceptance?

This is why I do not take orders on the phone as final....I send out an invoice.

loriemoms Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:21pm
post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeGrlPA

what a B#$$TCH!!!
Have her pay you at least the cost of the ingredients...that 'cancellation due to an emergency' is pure BS.




I am trying to at least get this out of her. I wish we had a network of bakeries that you could warn each other! What a little creep...

littlecake Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:23pm
post #8 of 41

i won a case in small claims court...for 500 bucks, had to hire a process server...

and went back to court 3 times total...

they said he owed the money, but heres the kicker...they don't MAKE them pay....

so i was out fees for a process server, court costs and still didn't get any money off him.

small claims court is a big joke.....it's like they just agree these deadbeats owe you money....the judge basically told us to work out the payments ourselves.

i think it's VERY hard to get blood out of a stone.

holoien003 Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:26pm
post #9 of 41

Tell her you will send her to collections.......

Kiddiekakes Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:36pm
post #10 of 41

I hate to say it but you are probably never going to see the money for the cake.I thankfully have never had a problem in 7 years of people not paying or even cancelling.Knock on wood!! Next time it is strictly business...no deposit or payment...NO CAKE!! period!

FromScratch Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:37pm
post #11 of 41

You had a verbal contract.. it would hold up in court.

Threaten her with small claims.. it costs little to file, and sometimes that's all it takes.

Don't let her get away with it..

stephaniescakenj Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:46pm
post #12 of 41

what a PITA! for future, do you have a paypal account? You can send them an invoice through there and request payment. she can link her paypal account directly to her bank account even if she doesn't have a credit card. Or at a minimum going forward tell your customers you've been left high and dry in the past and you require the deposit. You could have made her get a money order from the post office or walmart and mail it to you also but i know how difficult that can be when the cake order is small. I work in property management. My hubby and I manage rental properties for property owners that don't want to deal with the day to day hassle of collecting money and billing tenants. You have no idea how many times we have completely bluffed our way through getting money out of crappy tenants. For starters you could send her a certified letter seeking the money and threaten legal action if she doesn't comply or for a few bucks, you can have your attorney write her a letter seeking the money and see what happens. it's not worth the hassle to take her to court but if you send her a nasty gram, and maybe follow up with a phone call, you could eventually say well let's strike a deal, you owe me $xx, I am willing to call it even if you give me half or whatever the material cost is so at least you're not at a loss.

OhMyGanache Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:53pm
post #13 of 41

I think your time is valuable, and worth more than the $70 she didn't pay you.

Even if you took her to court, how many hours would you have invested in filling out the paperwork, having her served and appearing in court? Even if you won your $70 (plus court costs), there's no guarantee she will ever pay it - and if if she does, you will never get that time back. (Personally, I would only take someone to court if it were over $500 - or I felt REALLY strongly about "the principle")

I would chalk it up to "lesson learned" and let it go. That is why I NEVER even accept an order without a deposit - I don't care HOW badly someone wants a cake - if they can't come up with the money now, how will they come up with it then?

Deb_ Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:53pm
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

You had a verbal contract.. it would hold up in court.

Threaten her with small claims.. it costs little to file, and sometimes that's all it takes.

Don't let her get away with it..




It's her word against yours and if she never signed anything there is no "real proof" that she ever placed the order.

I had a client come in to my hair salon for a perm/cut....$90 service. Her daughter was a client of mine and said that she would pay me for her mom's service when I saw her 2 days later for her appt. Her Mom passed away that week, unfortunately, and needless to say, I never was paid for the service. Oh, I've never heard or seen from the daughter again either, and she was a client of mine for about 7 yrs.
My niece and her husband are both attorneys here in MA, and they told me unfortunately without a signed invoice/contract, it's very hard to collect on "verbal" agreements. You end up spending more on fees in the end........for me $90 wasn't worth it. For a $70 cake, probably not worth it either. Live and learn...........I kind of felt good knowing that the poor old lady died with a fresh cut and perm icon_wink.gif But, it's the last time I ever do that........hair or cakes. Now $500 that's a different story icon_rolleyes.gif

MaisieBake Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 6:53pm
post #15 of 41

Unfortunataly, I think this will end up being a $70 lesson for you.

In the scheme of cakes, that could be a LOT worse.

doughdough Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 7:00pm
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by stephaniescakenj

what a PITA! for future, do you have a paypal account? You can send them an invoice through there and request payment. she can link her paypal account directly to her bank account even if she doesn't have a credit card. Or at a minimum going forward tell your customers you've been left high and dry in the past and you require the deposit. You could have made her get a money order from the post office or walmart and mail it to you also but i know how difficult that can be when the cake order is small. I work in property management. My hubby and I manage rental properties for property owners that don't want to deal with the day to day hassle of collecting money and billing tenants. You have no idea how many times we have completely bluffed our way through getting money out of crappy tenants. For starters you could send her a certified letter seeking the money and threaten legal action if she doesn't comply or for a few bucks, you can have your attorney write her a letter seeking the money and see what happens. it's not worth the hassle to take her to court but if you send her a nasty gram, and maybe follow up with a phone call, you could eventually say well let's strike a deal, you owe me $xx, I am willing to call it even if you give me half or whatever the material cost is so at least you're not at a loss.




I agree with this strategy, and I also think you should contact EVERY bakery in the area and warn them about this little turd!

Yeah, she had an emergency...which was she had no money to pay you & wasn't honest enough with you to just come out and say so!

michellenj Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 7:14pm
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

You had a verbal contract.. it would hold up in court.

Threaten her with small claims.. it costs little to file, and sometimes that's all it takes.

Don't let her get away with it..




Absolutely! Even though it wasn't a written contract, a verbal is no less valid than a written one. Take her to small claims court, you will win.

And unfortunately, like the other poster said, they can't make her pay, but at least you'd embarrass her. She'd probably pay up as soon as she was served.

loriemoms Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 8:58pm
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

Unfortunataly, I think this will end up being a $70 lesson for you.

In the scheme of cakes, that could be a LOT worse.




Yeah, that is pretty much what I figured. LIke I said, I was really stupid! I won't fall for the sob story again. At least I have made this cake so many times, it didnt take much of my time. (I don't believe in small claim courts or anything either...It makes me sad too to see that people take advandage of other people like this..)

loriemoms Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:00pm
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakerbear



I agree with this strategy, and I also think you should contact EVERY bakery in the area and warn them about this little turd!

Yeah, she had an emergency...which was she had no money to pay you & wasn't honest enough with you to just come out and say so!




I am very tempted to do so..we are a pretty close knit group in our community and I may pass out her name to everyone, to just "be careful". Let her go to walmart...

SugaredUp Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:14pm
post #20 of 41

Try (I know it will be hard!) to move on and forget about her and remember to never let someone do this to you again no matter what. It's not worth your time and energy for $70. If you took her to small claims, you'd be out your time, filing fee, gas money. You already wasted enough on her! It totally sux though! I'm sorry it happened!

ccr03 Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:20pm
post #21 of 41

I hope you are kidding about passing out her name - that would just show people that you are even more childish than she is. And as a customer that would turn me off from you.

I would just let it - it's going to be more trouble than it's worth. Just never take any more orders from her.

indydebi Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:27pm
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccr03

I hope you are kidding about passing out her name - that would just show people that you are even more childish than she is.




But gosh, if I just HAPPEN to be around other cake people and we just HAPPEN to be sharing war stories, and her name just HAPPENS to come up ...... ? icon_rolleyes.gificon_biggrin.gif

ccr03 Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 9:36pm
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Quote:


But gosh, if I just HAPPEN to be around other cake people and we just HAPPEN to be sharing war stories, and her name just HAPPENS to come up ...... ?




Well, that's completely differently story now icon_wink.gif

FromScratch Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 11:48pm
post #24 of 41

Judge Judy would tell her that they had a verbal contract and that she would be responsible.. take her to Judge Judy.. icon_wink.gif

I can see it now..
did you get your cake? "yes"
did you eat your cake? "yes"
Then PAY for your cake.. judgement for the plaintiff in the amount of $70.00 *smack of the gavel*

CakeDiva73 Posted 29 Sep 2008 , 11:58pm
post #25 of 41

May I just say this??? Word of mouth work both ways!

If she made a cake and it sucked, this sneaky little heathen would tell all her friends....... the cutsomer finked out on a cake deal. The baker has every right to mention this fact to other cake decorators she may know. If I was a decorator in her area, I wouldn't object to getting a heads-up about people like her. I don't think it's childish at all.

Now if she printed her name and address on a flyer and was putting in on all the windshields at the local mall, well I guess that would probably be going too far. icon_biggrin.gif

MaisieBake Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 12:06am
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Quote:

this ...heathen




Is that supposed to be a good thing or a bad thing?

bettinashoe Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 12:12am
post #27 of 41

Some states do not recognize verbal contracts, so before you even think about proceeding you will want to check for your specific state. I personally think you should not put any more time and attention towards this person and her deceitful ways as it does nothing but affect you negatively! You have learned a valuable lesson and hopefully will trust your instinct from here on out! Consider it an important lesson which really didn't cost you much financially but is costing you emotionally. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again! Be glad your husband and his co-workers enjoyed the cake! I'm sure it was much more appreciated by them than it would have been by the girl who ordered it!

newman14n Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 12:19am
post #28 of 41

As a former legal assistant, I offer my advice. Take it as you wish.

Facts: Dead beat customer orders cake. Customer agreed verbally to pay for services rendered. Dead beat cancels order after minimum allowed time has passed. You provided contracted service, Customer failed to uphold her end of agreement. Customer owes said fee.

It is true, if you spend the time in small claims court, you will be awarded judgement of the amount you wish to collect.

My advice is this:

Take your invoice to a collection agency, employ their services. They will drive her nuts, then they will file in small claims court on your behalf, hire the attorney, show up in court, do all the hard stuff for you. Most likely, they will have no luck either in this process. The benefit, now its your turn to be the PITA, she feels the discomfort and you are not wasting your time. You are continuing doing a splendid job making money doing what you love to do.

Outcome: You lose the time and materials, she thinks twice about being a deabeat client, and her credit is shot for seven years or until she pays your bill. You learn that you have a policy for a reason, and to uphold it at all times.

indydebi Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 12:32am
post #29 of 41

I vote for newman's idea!!!

CakeDiva73 Posted 30 Sep 2008 , 1:09am
post #30 of 41

'heathen' is what I call my children when they are driving me bananas.......

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