poshcakedesigns Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 10:35pm

O.k. last week I get a last minute for order Dec. 20th for a wedding.

The bride contacted me via email and had indicated that she had read my booking/reservation policy. Which states NO cash refunds and if the event is cancelled 2 weeks prior to the event the monies paid can be applied towards another order.

Well here is my delima - the bride paid for the order and I met with them 3 days later and provided a sample and they read and sign my contract which again states NO cash refunds. So I get a call today saying they do not for whatever reason like the sample I provided and want a refund.

Well it caught me off guard, in 10 years never had this problem but on well can't please everyone. Well I couldn't understand the guy very well he was on his cell phone and he said for me to refund his money to his credit card. I said o.k. but now I'm not sure if I should refund the entire amount even though my contract states no cash refunds for any reason.

What should I do? I don't want to seem unreasonable but I have already turned down 2 orders for this same day. He caught me completely off guard on the phone and I could hardly understand him but I'm sure he heard me say o.k. I really didn't know what to say but they did sign a contract.

Any advice?

67 replies
lindambc Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 10:41pm

I'm sorry this happened to you! People are so weird sometimes, especially around the holidays.

Personally, I keep the deposit, I explain this to the customer, primarily because I turn other potential customers away.

But I will bump this for you to keep it going, so someone else can give more advice.

cakedivamommy Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 10:43pm

You are in a very TOUGH situation. I personally would not give a refund back since in your policy that they signed states no cash refunds within a certain time frame. BUT since you told him on the phone that you would give him a refund you are in my book obligated to refund him the money. It doesnt matter that they signed the contract, when you said "OK" the contract disappeared. I hope that someone else comes along and can offer more advice.

Sorry you are in this situation.

__Jamie__ Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 10:46pm

Did you mean to say that they paid after their tasting session?

Eisskween Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 10:46pm

I agree with lindambc. It states in your contract "no cash refunds." You turned away other clients to do this last minute order, which was something you were kind enough to do. Mail them a gift certificate toward another order. If you do it for one person and break the contract, if it comes up again, others might expect it.

You have a contract and unless you go against your own words, legally you are entitled to keep the deposit.

YALANTZI Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 10:47pm

I would not refund the money, you lost 2 orders because you took their order. If they did not like the cake they should of mentioned it at the tasting. Or you can give them half of the money they can at least pay you for your samples.

I had a girl order a cake and not pick it up, she is a good friend of my friend so I told her to pay me when she picked it up, and she never came.
It is a small cake but believe me it won't happend again.

kaat Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 10:55pm

I have to agree with lroberts74. Up until you said "ok" I would have said stick with your policy, now you have already agreed to refund him. It's unfortunate and he probably caught you off guard at that moment but I have a feeling it will be more of a pain to fight him on it now.
Sorry icon_sad.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 11:03pm

Yeah, I would eat this one. You may never hear from them for another orderif you give them the refund, but you may also never know how many friends they would tell about you being difficult with the refund. I'm not saying you're being difficult, but it's what they could potentially tell other people. Other people who may have wanted a cake at some point from you.

summernoelle Posted 1 Dec 2008 , 11:40pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamie85364

Yeah, I would eat this one. You may never hear from them for another orderif you give them the refund




If they cancelled like that, she won't hear from them anyway.

If you had not turned down other orders, I would eat it. But if you did, then, NO refund. You lost business because of their wishy-washyness.
But, my goodness, that would be hard for me to actually say!

BlakesCakes Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 12:29am

If they paid by credit card, you may be cooked, no matter what you want to do---if he doesn't get the refund, he can dispute it with the CC company and make life very hard for you until it's cleared.

If he paid with cash, or a check that has cleared, I personally wouldn't refund any money (and if I hadn't cashed the check, I'd rush it to the nearest branch of their bank and leave with the cash--no matter what fees they charged for cashing it!).

I'd call them and explain that I was caught off guard by the phone call and that after considering the amount of business I turned away for their request, I can't in good conscience give the money back.

The way I see it, they knew at the tasting exactly how they felt about your cake. If they paid then, it shows that they were happy with the taste, design, price, etc. I believe that they found a better offer after the fact (free cake by family member jumps to the top of the list), and now have "buyer's remorse". For whatever reason, they thought that you would renig on your own policy.

Show them that YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND, TOO!

Rae

johnson6ofus Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 12:50am

Sorry to disagree, but a verbal "OK" doesn't negate a written contract. If they called and said change the yellow to pink, again, it doesn't apply until it is in writing. You are under no legal obligation to refund.

"Morally", you do as you think is fair--- considering you turned away other orders. Legally, ONLY the written contract prevails.

I would offer a small "freebie" later... but you are under no obligation to do so.

kalamagal Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 12:51am

By no means should you give their money back. They signed your contract and knew your policy.
Sounds to me like they probably found a cheaper cake and are trying to lay the old "we didnt like it" on you.

This will be a lesson for them on how a business is run - you even turned down jobs for the same date.

Stick to your policy - you are not going to lose business because of these people.

Good luck!

-K8memphis Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 1:40am

I think it is especially conniving of them to dis your cake saying that they did not like it. That is so way hitting below the belt. I mean I've never had your cake, but if you've been in business for ten years you have to be doing something right. I mean it's cake--it's just not that hard. They have an ulterior motive for requesting their money back. They probably found someone cheaper or Aunt Louise volunteered to make it or something.

Screw them.

And how it can be right like when folks upthread say oh because you agreed to it you have to stand by your word--well he77 she also has it in writing that she will not refund-- why come down on the side of her loosing money? Makes no sense.

I say don't refund.

But it is true that if you accepted a credit card you might lose anyhow. Drat that.

Hope all goes well. Hope some nice people call & you can fill the spot nicely.

CreationsByCaryl Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 1:57am

UM....wedding is 20th of December. Your contract states that no refunds if event/order is cancelled within two weeks prior to the contract date. They've cancelled before that date. Cut off would be 6th of December or 5th of December.

CakeMakar Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 2:02am

I'd call them. Say you were driving and couldn't hear correctly and wanted to make sure you talked to them. Confirm they are cancelling. Then remind them of the details of the contract, read word for word from it. If they push that you already said OK after that, I'd let it go, minus a deposit if your contract says you can.

Deb_ Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 2:07am
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreationsByCaryl

UM....wedding is 20th of December. Your contract states that no refunds if event/order is cancelled within two weeks prior to the contract date. They've cancelled before that date. Cut off would be 6th of December or 5th of December.




Good point, I was ready to say no refund, but they have cancelled within the "contract" allowable terms.......you have to refund it or put it towards a future order per your own contract wording.

Edit to say.............I reread the original opening post and I'm completely confused by the contract wording. If you "never" refund money for a canceled order than why do you mention the 2 week time frame? icon_confused.gif

-K8memphis Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 2:07am
Quote:
Originally Posted by CreationsByCaryl

UM....wedding is 20th of December. Your contract states that no refunds if event/order is cancelled within two weeks prior to the contract date. They've cancelled before that date. Cut off would be 6th of December or 5th of December.




What I'm reading says no refunds and (for some reason) if they cancel within two weeks she lets them apply it to another date.

Quote:
Originally Posted by poshcakedesigns

...The bride contacted me via email and had indicated that she had read my booking/reservation policy. Which states NO cash refunds and if the event is cancelled 2 weeks prior to the event the monies paid can be applied towards another order.




There's that "NO cash refunds and if"...

But you know what? I think I'd let them charge this back through their credit card company. This is kinda creeping me out that maybe they are scamming you.

How did they pay you? What tender did they use? I'm feeling like you're gonna refund and find out the initial transaction was illegitimate and be out all this money. I mean unless it was cash or something.

Whatever you do, you won't regret moving slowly.

tracey1970 Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 2:09am

I think her contract says no cash refunds, but if you cancel more than two weeks before the event, you can get a credit for the amount toward another order. I gather, then, that if anyone cancels with less than 2 weeks' notice, they get no refund or no credit. Since these people cancelled with more than 2 weeks left, they wouldn't get a refund, but they could apply the money they've paid to a future order(s). Is that what it means?

poshcakedesigns Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 2:20am
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracey1970

I think her contract says no cash refunds, but if you cancel more than two weeks before the event, you can get a credit for the amount toward another order. I gather, then, that if anyone cancels with less than 2 weeks' notice, they get no refund or no credit. Since these people cancelled with more than 2 weeks left, they wouldn't get a refund, but they could apply the money they've paid to a future order(s). Is that what it means?




Thats correct if they give me 2 weeks notice I'll apply the money towards another cake but less than 2 weeks you don't get anything.

Yep they paid with CC - my luck. I emailed them and told them I'd refund part of the money but not all of it because I lost business due to taking their order. I haven't heard back from them yet. icon_mad.gif

poshcakedesigns Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 2:21am
Quote:
Originally Posted by tracey1970

I think her contract says no cash refunds, but if you cancel more than two weeks before the event, you can get a credit for the amount toward another order. I gather, then, that if anyone cancels with less than 2 weeks' notice, they get no refund or no credit. Since these people cancelled with more than 2 weeks left, they wouldn't get a refund, but they could apply the money they've paid to a future order(s). Is that what it means?




Thats correct if they give me 2 weeks notice I'll apply the money towards another cake but less than 2 weeks you don't get anything.

Yep they paid with CC - my luck. I emailed them and told them I'd refund part of the money but not all of it because I lost business due to taking their order. I haven't heard back from them yet. icon_mad.gif

all4cake Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 2:31am

Return the call,

"Hi, .... . This is ..... . Your call took me by surprise the other day. I understand that you would like a refund of the monies paid for the order placed with me for your wedding cake on 12/20. Although the contract that was agreed upon and signed by you and .... , clearly states no cash refund, I am going to refund 100%. Monies were paid before you had the opportunity to taste my cake and make an more informed decision. I will have to wait until the funds have cleared before crediting you with that amount. Thank you for considering me for this event. I hope to do business with you in the future. If you would like, I can call you when it is credited back."

I wouldn't credit it back until AFTER it's been completed on your end. I've heard of cc fraud that involved transactions and cancelling of orders....

-K8memphis Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 2:36am

This just smacks of an Americanized version of the age old scam where they say, "Makie me cakie prease and say Happy Married Day on it. Take to Mississippi river and float cake down to me I will wait on shore down river. Don't sink my cake. I will send you lots of money soon very soon.

I don't know. Think they are trying to make some Christmas cash?

-K8memphis Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 2:37am

double post

tenlyk Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 2:59am

I think this is your own personal judgement call. What do you feel comfortable with doing? Have you tried to call the other orders you turned down to see if they are still in the market for a cake?

Do you have terms in your contract regarding changes to the order? If you have a term that suggest changes to your contract are to be made in writing then the verbal modification you agreed to is invalid unless it is agreed upon in writing.

Were you under duress when you made the modification? (not sure this applies) If so and this goes to court then that is a valid reason to overturn your verbal agreement (made under duress).

You can legally verbally amend a written contract (unless it is for certain things like real estate, tenancy, etc..) It seems like you have agreed to refund the money and unless you were under duress or had terms in your contract that stated changes must be agreed upon in writing then the verbal modification to your contract would probably hold up in a court of law.

Contacting a lawyer is always a good option!

cakesdivine Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 3:03am

Maybe just give them half back, that way you don't loose out totally and they at least don't feel totally ripped off (which they will claim eventhough you have every right to keep every penny!) Just split the difference with them.

-K8memphis Posted 2 Dec 2008 , 3:09am
Quote:
Originally Posted by all4cake

Return the call,

"Hi, .... . This is ..... . Your call took me by surprise the other day. I understand that you would like a refund of the monies paid for the order placed with me for your wedding cake on 12/20. Although the contract that was agreed upon and signed by you and .... , clearly states no cash refund, I am going to refund 100%. Monies were paid before you had the opportunity to taste my cake and make an more informed decision. I will have to wait until the funds have cleared before crediting you with that amount. Thank you for considering me for this event. I hope to do business with you in the future. If you would like, I can call you when it is credited back."

I wouldn't credit it back until AFTER it's been completed on your end. I've heard of cc fraud that involved transactions and cancelling of orders....




Does it seem like she's agreeing with the mistaken idea that her cake sucks by the 'informed decision' part? Cake is cake is cake is cake is cake. A ten year old business cannot make cake so disagreeable as to so mightily offend a Johnny come lately bride & groom for them to cancel on taste. That's absurd. I mean unless it was horseradish cake with garlic infused honey mustard filling, blue cheese icing and an aged balsamic vinegar splash.

And I would never ever want to do business with them again! In a soft sweet breathy voice: "Why yes I'd love to give you folks another opportunity to screw me, I can't wait."

(Funny, I didn't think I was in a bad mood.)

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