Need advice on how to handle a hateful bride...

Business By pnnllj Updated 3 Feb 2009 , 9:28pm by summernoelle

miss_sweetstory Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 3:27pm
post #31 of 62

I hope your dear boy recovers quickly!

Whatever the situation, rudeness, foot-in-mouth, temporary insanity, etc.; she has used up your goodwill. If ANYTHING else occurs with this bride I would suggest you cut her loose. In a case like this "Two strikes, you're out" seems more than fair.

pinkbox Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 3:31pm
post #32 of 62

[quote="pnnllj"]I had to call and cancel a 2nd consultation tomorrow because my son has come down with a kidney infection and I have to get him to the doctor in the morning. She was very put out and said 'well I guess your son in more important than my wedding cake'. quote]

I would cancel her now!! If this is any indication of how she will be... you are headed for trouble AFTER the wedding too. Mark my words. I've been there. NO BRIDE is worth STRESSING about! Especially if you want to ENJOY doing cakes for long. I almost stopped doing wedding cakes b/c of this.

I now do not accept the down payment until after the consultation, so I can get a feel for the brides... just in case I need to tell them (my niece is getting married that same day and Im doing her cake)sorry.

Good luck.

summernoelle Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 3:48pm
post #33 of 62

This is what I mean by Brides and their princess complexes. I'm getting married, so I am The Center Of The Universe. Yuck. Drop her now!!! The money she wants to pay you is in no way worth it.

I hope your son is OK and not too uncomfortable. Just remember that someone cake can never be more important than your child, and put this out of your mind.

summernoelle Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 3:53pm
post #34 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly27



her response was not "I'm sorry" like any person with a heart would have responded with, but she said "so I can't come for my consult?" icon_eek.gif
Emotions got the best of me and I told her that I didn't think I'd be able to work with her on her cake at all. Looking back, I'm not sorry that I sent her on her way.




First, I am so sorry that this happened to you. Your father of all people, my gosh you poor thing.

I actually dropped my kids Pediatrician over something like this. I had a 9 AM appointment for yearly checkups, but the night before, my 2 kids and I were in a hit and run with a drunk driver. We were not hurt, thank God, but the car was, so I had no way to get there. I called them right when they opened (9 AM) to cancel, and the receptionist was very rude and started lecturing me on their $100 no show policy. Nothing about are the kids OK, etc. And this was their doctor's office! People never fail to amaze me with their selfishness.

loriemoms Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 4:44pm
post #35 of 62

I still will never ever understand why people feel they should be nasty to someone who is making their wedding cake! Don't they realize that they are just going to harbor ill feelings to the baker or decorator and they will end up with a cake well, that I know I could care less how it came out. I must rather give the cake of the dreams to a bride that has respected and understood my profession.

I hope your son is doing better..and screw her! (I am afraid I would be less nice and tell her to go jump in a lake! haha)

Deb_ Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 6:54pm
post #36 of 62

Thanks, summernoelle I appreciate that. It was 2 yrs ago this past Saturday that my Dad died and I still miss him so much.

I can't believe that receptionist at your kids Pediatrician's office. Wow, that's just being completely heartless. It's as if she didn't even hear what you were saying, she just focused on their last minute cancellation policy. Well, thank God you and your kids weren't hurt, that's the important thing.

The only positive thing that I can take from dealing with these selfish clods is, it really has made me more aware of how I treat others in customer service. Treat others how I want to be treated, KWIM?

pnnllj Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 9:21pm
post #37 of 62

Hello Cake Friends,
We just got back from the doctor and he is improving already, yay! My bride is coming at 4pm, we'll see how that goes. I'm going to give her the benefit of doubt and see how she is today and then decide if I will do her cake or not. And, yes this is her 2nd consult, she has already changed the date, theme and colors...ugh. I have on hand some phone numbers of other cake decorators ready to give her! Thanks everyone for all the well wishes, advice and support, it helps so much.

doughdough Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 9:29pm
post #38 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnnllj

She was very put out and said 'well I guess your son in more important than my wedding cake'.




Seriously???? icon_eek.gif

If it were me, I would have just cut her loose. If she's that much of a PITH about a consultation 8 months before her wedding, I would hate to think what she'll be like in September!!!

MaisieBake Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 9:34pm
post #39 of 62

This sounds to me like a poor fit between decorator and client.

You have your reasons for doing what you did; presumably she has her reasons for saying what she did (if she's taking lower priority before she pays you a cent, what's her guarantee that she'll be worth more once you have the sale)?

IMO? When home-based businesses portray themselves as businesses and charge as businesses they need to behave as businesses as well.

mommyle Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 9:50pm
post #40 of 62

OMG!!! I had a bride e-mail me and wanted to get together this week for a consult. Her wedding is the last weekend in June. I told her to call back in May and we'll get together the. We have an agreed price and size, so she can change all that she wants between now and then and NOT bug me about it. I flat out refuse to meet someone more than 3 months ahead. I'll book your date, but I don't want to see you before then. That keeps the crazy away from me for that much longer!!!

Neicey76 Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 9:51pm
post #41 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

This sounds to me like a poor fit between decorator and client.

You have your reasons for doing what you did; presumably she has her reasons for saying what she did (if she's taking lower priority before she pays you a cent, what's her guarantee that she'll be worth more once you have the sale)?

IMO? When home-based businesses portray themselves as businesses and charge as businesses they need to behave as businesses as well.




icon_eek.gif That a bit cold but then thats my opinion and we are all certainly entitled to our opinions. I feel a person's health and well being should always be priority. icon_cool.gif Life can't be replaced.... cake can wait and if she has been a difficult client already (second consult, changed date, etc.....) then hey.........

I have a 6 year old with Autism, Seizure disorder and ADHD and best believe everything and eveyone would be put on hold if he came down with a serious illness. A minor sniffle no biggie but something like a kidney infection (or in our case a seizure) you would have to wait. If it were the actual wedding of course you will do your best to accomodate your client and give them the cake of their dreams! But its just a darn consult. RELAX! lol

Carolynlovescake Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 10:01pm
post #42 of 62

When I was doing weddings our shop gave one free redesign up to 90 days prior to the event.

Any date changes 90 days prior or they asked for additional consults to redesign or color change etc. was $50. That was in addition to the cost of the cake and must be paid at the time of the consult. We got smart and used "let's go ahead and have you pay for that consult now and get the money part of of the way so we can get to the fun part!"

So many brides on that first chargable consult got a blank look and said "really, I thought you were joking!" We'd smile back and nicely say "nope, it's written into the contract (show them copy) and this is where you signed and dated that you understood that charge."

Oddly enough we didn't have that many redesigns.

Lostinalaska Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 10:05pm
post #43 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

This sounds to me like a poor fit between decorator and client.

You have your reasons for doing what you did; presumably she has her reasons for saying what she did (if she's taking lower priority before she pays you a cent, what's her guarantee that she'll be worth more once you have the sale)?

IMO? When home-based businesses portray themselves as businesses and charge as businesses they need to behave as businesses as well.




WOW, that was alittle harsh, I'm a true beliver that you can replace a cake order but you can NEVER replace your family (FAMILY FIRST)

Deb_ Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 10:15pm
post #44 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

This sounds to me like a poor fit between decorator and client.

You have your reasons for doing what you did; presumably she has her reasons for saying what she did (if she's taking lower priority before she pays you a cent, what's her guarantee that she'll be worth more once you have the sale)?

IMO? When home-based businesses portray themselves as businesses and charge as businesses they need to behave as businesses as well.





I fail to see your logic here. A business is a business period. If my child is sick that takes priority over anything else, I would grant that same courtesy to the client if they had to phone and cancel.

I really hate when people don't give the same respect to a "home" business as they do to a "store front" business.

Constructive criticism is one thing, but you WAY over stepped your boundaries on this one with your rude and uncalled for comment, shame on you. Maybe you allow your clients to buy you, I like the OP choose not to prostitute myself out for a stupid cake. They can buy my cake they cannot buy me (Thanks Indydebi for that one)

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 10:26pm
post #45 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

This sounds to me like a poor fit between decorator and client.

You have your reasons for doing what you did; presumably she has her reasons for saying what she did (if she's taking lower priority before she pays you a cent, what's her guarantee that she'll be worth more once you have the sale)?

IMO? When home-based businesses portray themselves as businesses and charge as businesses they need to behave as businesses as well.




That just doesn't make sense....You can possibly believe that "businesses" do not have emergencies come up. That has got to be the most asinine thing I've ever seen on these boards. Who do you think run businesses??? PEOPLE do! All I can say is...Ignorant to the extreme....

summernoelle Posted 2 Feb 2009 , 10:38pm
post #46 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by dkelly27

Thanks, summernoelle I appreciate that. It was 2 yrs ago this past Saturday that my Dad died and I still miss him so much.



I'm really sorry-I've always heard that anniversaries are tough. I haven't lost a parent, but my mom has a hard time every year with the anniversary of her dad's death, so we try to do something to keep her mind off it.

MasieBake-that seriously makes no sense. Even if it was a store front, she would have closed down for the day to take care of her son!

To the OP-Let us know how it goes this afternoon! And also, I am very glad he is feeling better.

MaisieBake Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 5:04am
post #47 of 62

Businesses with more than one person cross-train. If Susie is out today for some personal emergency, Betsy can cover for her. One-man-bands, not so much.

It's cold, but then again it's business.

mommyle Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 5:27am
post #48 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

Businesses with more than one person cross-train. If Susie is out today for some personal emergency, Betsy can cover for her. One-man-bands, not so much.

It's cold, but then again it's business.




Well, perhaps with some businesses that is true, but ask a teacher what happens in a class when you get a substitute. If the head of a corporation has to call in sick, ask what happens. When my DH is sicker than a dog he HAS to go in for at least 1 hour in the morning to get the day going, otherwise 150 employees are at a loss. And I'm actually serious. I was a day-care worker and my GF worked with me, and we were the only ones who were licensed to drive the kids to school. So I went into labour 4 days early and they actually asked my GF (who was my labour partner) if she would leave me and drive the kids to school. So although someone SHOULD be cross-trained, it doesn't necessarily mean that it acutally happens.

So perhaps you might want to not be so incredibly snide and self-righteous the next time, and consider that what SHOULD happen in real life "real businesses" doesn't necessarily happen at all. And I don't apologize for my lack of professionalism, since I am just an at-home, insignificant little mom and pop job.

littlecake Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 6:41am
post #49 of 62

health should always come before business....i got a "real" business with a storefront....

a few years ago i had surgery on my back....yeah, 3 weeks later i tried to suck it up and make a wedding cake (with 150 staples in me)

i almost fainted....it was a good thing i didn't...that would have really messed me up....and for what????? because the customer JUST HAD to have me do it????

NEVER AGAIN

my kids are grown ups....but if i had to choose between business and my kids, it would not be a hard choice.

things come up...if you are home based, or a "real" business....it's just a cake, not a matter of life and death.

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 11:49am
post #50 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

Businesses with more than one person cross-train. If Susie is out today for some personal emergency, Betsy can cover for her. One-man-bands, not so much.

It's cold, but then again it's business.




I resent your reasoning that "One-man-bands" aren't equal to a real business...

A small business is just as legitimate as those with several employees....you really are being completely ignorant here...I'm sorry - that's just how I see it and something tells me I'm not the only one!

twooten173 Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 1:05pm
post #51 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

Businesses with more than one person cross-train. If Susie is out today for some personal emergency, Betsy can cover for her. One-man-bands, not so much.

It's cold, but then again it's business.




Actually they TRY to cover. In my REAL job, I've had to call and cancel an integration more than once at 10pm - 12am because one of my technicians had a family emergency or had been in an accident themselves. I TRY to get someone to cover for them but I'm not always successful. And this is for a telecommunications provider which is way more important than cake.

Deb_ Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 1:24pm
post #52 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

This sounds to me like a poor fit between decorator and client.

IMO? When home-based businesses portray themselves as businesses and charge as businesses they need to behave as businesses as well.




This is the kicker. "When home-based businesses PORTRAY"..........Many, many of us here have Legal, Licensed, tax paying home businesses, so for you to suggest that what we've all been doing for so many years is "pretending" to run a business is just ludicrous. We do get paid in real money not Monopoly money like you may think.

I agree with the others about your ignorance here. Maybe you feel threatened by the "home based business" in your area and that's the reason for your obvious contempt.

I also think it's funny how you changed your tune in your second post by bringing up the "someone" to cover for you thing. Nice try, but none of us are buying.

karateka Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 1:58pm
post #53 of 62

When I talk to my brides or other clients, talking up my pros, they generally ask me for a con.

I tell them right up front: I am a one woman operation. If I drop dead or my husband/child does, then you won't have a cake. I'll do my best to find a kind soul to help me and you out, but there is no guarantee. It's in my contract that the limit of my liability in these instances is a full refund of monies paid.

They tend to book with me anyway. I believe most people understand that businesses are run by people who, at some point, have had to call off work. Few people have gone through life without illness or tragedy.

Neicey76 Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 2:16pm
post #54 of 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by MaisieBake

Businesses with more than one person cross-train. If Susie is out today for some personal emergency, Betsy can cover for her. One-man-bands, not so much.

It's cold, but then again it's business.




icon_confused.gif Right and I have seen plenty of "store front" business who close down if something happens to the owner/supervisor so once again your argument fails to make any sense to me. Stop the hating & ignorance and use some common sense & compassion in this issue. Sheesh. icon_mad.gif

nutcase68 Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 2:17pm
post #55 of 62

My brother and I use to work for the same chain drug store, just different locations. We both ran the liquor departments. When people came in obnoxious and drunk we would tell them
"It is a priviledge to buy from us, and we are not extending that priviledge to you." Maybe you could tell her that.
No, our bosses never knew we said it, but who cares.
Mary

alvarezmom Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 2:26pm
post #56 of 62

After reading to the 2nd page I had to stop and start writing.......I know some ppl come off as being rude when they arent, but there is one thing that you never tell/ask a person which is "Your son/daughter is more importnant than me/or what ever". My answer will always be "You damn right my kid is more important"!

I agree with previous posters that you should think real hard about doing her wedding cake. If it turns out you do it and it's not to her liking she will probably say it was because your son got sick and you put him before her stupid 'ole cake!

With that being said...I would have to decline her order. I like to please my customers and do extra for their cakes to make sure it's perfect and they love it. But this is just crazy! If she is willing to make stupid comments now she will be making them for the next 8 months and on top of that she will probably call you every week at least 3x's a week and ask "How's my cake coming along"?! And she will be serious when she asks you!

JillK Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 3:32pm
post #57 of 62

I hope your little boy is doing OK, pnnllj!

icon_mad.gif The whole business-before-anything-else-in-the-world mindset is one that really burns me.

DH lost his job a few years ago. (Turns out the big boss hired one of his golf buddies to fill it a week later.) But one of the reasons given to him? He DARED to take a week of vacation time (planned months in advance) when (one) his first child was born and (two) when his 5-month-old son was having open heart surgery! It "didn't show a commitment to the company."

icon_mad.gificon_evil.gificon_mad.gificon_evil.gificon_mad.gificon_evil.gif

The thing is, in this situation ... it wasn't even the cake itself that was delayed! (She might have had a slight leg to stand on if that had happened.) It was a consultation! Which the client had already delayed once!

Oy.

cfao Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 4:26pm
post #58 of 62

I am like a lot of you, home based yes, but Fully Licensed, Pay Taxes, Board of Health inspected, Servsafe Certified, yes everything that makes me "a REAL business"! The big difference I see with customers in general is that if you are a store front busines, there are set business hours that most people recognize, BUT if you are home based, they have the attitude that you're home anyway, they just do not respect your business hours. I have set times for cake pick ups, especially on the weekends, On Sunday, pick-ups are from 8:00-12:00, I even call each one to remind them of my hours. They still wander in up to an hour late. We do wedding consultations by appointment only, but so many just show up, again because they figure I'm home anyway. So the idea that a storefront location is the only way to have a "real" business and home businesses should try to act more professional, we have to deal with people just showing up because they think it's ok. Most people will give you the respect you deserve, but some just look at you like you are doing a hobby.

pnnllj Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 4:50pm
post #59 of 62

First of all, my son is doing much better today and thank you all for your concern.
The consultation went better than I expected. First thing she did was apologize for her comment and ask after his health. I told her a little history, that he was born with a heart defect, had open heart surgery at 5 1/2 months old so that any and every little issue with his health is priority. I also told her that I would never and have never missed a cake deadline, that I have people who would step in and help out, but that when it comes to a consulation I feel that I have to do that myself so that we have a complete understanding. She left with a smile on her face and I got paid in cash, so I am hoping this is the end of the problems (cross my fingers).
As for being professional or not, I may work from home, but I do work. Just because I don't lease a building down town doesn't mean I am not serious about what I do. I also am fully licensed and pay my taxes too. Looking back at my original post MaisieBake, you will see that I did not comment to her as my gut wanted me to, but did try to remain calm and accomodating. I don't see how postponing a consult by a few hours to take my child to the doctor can be considered unprofessional. I feel I did suck it up by not telling to stick her cake where the sun don't shine.
I am going to be adding to my contract a clause about emergencies for BOTH parties. Thank you for that wonderful idea.
I would also like to thank everyone again for all the advice and well wishes, you guys are great!

Deb_ Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 7:28pm
post #60 of 62

I'm so glad your client realized what an uncaring brat she was and apologized..........there is hope!

I think you handled yourself perfectly and a lot better than a lot of us here admitted we would have. You kept your cool and acted in a professional manner.


So happy your son is feeling better......and never let a client or another baker let you feel guilty for putting your family's needs first. Clients will be long gone, but we'll always have our family. As you can tell, I agree with you 100% and so do 99% of the others. icon_wink.gif

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