Just Need To Vent

Decorating By bellalex Updated 25 Mar 2009 , 9:55pm by giggysmack

bellalex Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 9:05pm
post #1 of 54

A week ago I dropped off a 9X13 cake to a kids bouncing place. The person it was for was not there and I was not able to stay to collect the money. It was a camp rock cake and I spent a lot of time doing 3-D work (like a sign, the fire, an electric guitar, etc). I only charged her $30. When I called about collecting the money, the lady said it was not the cake she ordered. She said it was suppose to be a full sheet cake with a picture of the Jonas Brothers on it. I know for a fact she never mentioned that. I asked her if she really thought she was going to get a full sheet cake for only $30. She said "yes, I always get character cakes for that much!". I can't believe she thinks she can get a cake to feed 50 ppl. for only $30! I sort of believe she may only be trying to get out of paying me because she had to go to a grocery store to get another cake to feed all the people who were coming to the party. It makes me so mad, and I didn't know what to say. I just let her get by with it because I don't know if it's worth trying to get money out of someone like that. ARGHHHH!!!!

53 replies
JanH Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 9:26pm
post #2 of 54

Unfortunately, experience is what you get when you DON'T get what you want. icon_sad.gif

In the future, don't use terms like full or half sheet cake; instead get the number of servings needed. (And advise that the party serving size is 1-1/2x2x4 or 3x2x2 - so the customer can order more if she wants larger servings.)

Use a work order to notate cake particulars from servings, cake, frosting and/or filling flavors, design and specific decorations. (A work order template is available in the sketches/templates gallery.)

Get a deposit at time of ordering, with balance due before or at time of delivery. No payment = no delivery.

Seems there was poor communication between the two of you. Hopefully, that won't happen again.
You aren't the cheap baker, you're the baker of homemade and custom decorated edible works of art. If customers want cheap, send them to a big box warehouse club.

HTH



(

kakeladi Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 10:09pm
post #3 of 54

Jan has some good points - listen to hericon_smile.gif Don't 'drop off' anywhere unless the cake has already been paid for.

bellalex Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 10:19pm
post #4 of 54

You are right.... I guess I have just been too trusting. I have been doing cakes for a long time and I have never had anyone do this to me. I am going to have to be more careful and make sure I get the money first!

indydebi Posted 24 Mar 2009 , 11:58pm
post #5 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by JanH

In the future, don't use terms like full or half sheet cake; instead get the number of servings needed. (And advise that the party serving size is 1-1/2x2x4 or 3x2x2 - so the customer can order more if she wants larger servings.)



To me, this is the biggest issue. People who live and breathe cake here on CC disagree with what a full sheet and what a half sheet is, so how can we expect cake civilians to know what it is?

Never use those terms again. You'll avoid a LOT of confusion.

solascakes Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 12:26am
post #6 of 54

Wooooow icon_eek.gif bellalex,$30,what is that,i swear to God i wouldn't even get out of bed,when i read some posts here about the cost of cake in America it makes my blood boil.I do that size for £50 i.e $73. And after doing all that and delivering,the person then wants to get out of paying me?,it can never happen,i will make her vomit the money if i have to. icon_evil.gificon_evil.gif .One thing i have learnt in this business is that NOBODY wants to pay for the cow when they've either gotten the milk for free in the past or they feel they can by criticising your work.She is just trying to get out of paying or she should not have touched the cake since it wasn't what she ordered. I wish i lived in your city so i can go and help you collect your money,plus an apology.

PinkZiab Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 2:10am
post #7 of 54

I don't even turn my oven on for less than $100 lol... Not trying to make you fell bad, just driving the point home: NEVER EVER EVER "drop" a cake without payment (never even START a cake without a deposit). Business is business. The grocery store won't drop ingredients off to you to make the cake and let you pay them later, would they?

giggysmack Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 3:23am
post #8 of 54

When I quote on my cakes I always use the pan size such as 9x13 or 11x15 and tell them how many it feeds/ I've had a few customers confused by this and say well no I want a quarter slab. Then I just ask them how many people they want to feed. As far as the different designs do you have any proof of this change.

indydebi Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 3:26am
post #9 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by giggysmack

I've had a few customers confused by this and say well no I want a quarter slab. Then I just ask them how many people they want to feed.



icon_lol.gif I pull my "look confused and blonde" look out of the closet and ask them "how big is that cake?" 9.9 times out of 10, they tell me "I dont' know". icon_confused.gif

Kills me. It just kills me that they order something and they've NO IDEA what it is they are ordering.

LaBellaFlor Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 3:38am
post #10 of 54

"I will make her vomit the money"!!!!!!! LOL!!!!!!!!!!!! On the ground LOL!!!!! That is so awful of you solascakes! Can you show me how you do that. Lol! icon_biggrin.gif

IcedTea4Me2 Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 3:39am
post #11 of 54
Quote:
Quote:

Unfortunately, experience is what you get when you DON'T get what you want.





I love this! I have a lot of experience. LOL


Lisa

cakesdivine Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 3:50am
post #12 of 54

My policy is any cake $300 or under must be paid for in full at time of order. If it is over $300 you pay $300 when you order and the balance 2 weeks prior to event. No payment no cake!

solascakes Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 10:15am
post #13 of 54

LaBellaFlor i will just show her that i'm a proper British born African woman and that i'm not playing.U might not order from me again o,but you will pay for that one that you've already gotten.And i'll remind them that costco is still in business of cheap cakes.That usually does the trick. icon_twisted.gif

cakes22 Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 12:22pm
post #14 of 54

That's harsh. But it's a learning experience. I had someone ask me to leave the cake on my doorstep, cause they were unable to pick it up when they said they would. I still got the $ ahead of time though. Sometimes when you are trying to be nice, it bites you in the a$$. Like the old saying goes "Nice guys (girls)finish last".

On a seperate note: why aren't there standard sizes for slab cakes? I mean for me a 1/4 slab is 9 x 11, half slab is 18 x 22 , etc..... Is it a differnce in the pans used for commercial use vs. home use? icon_confused.gif
Slab is such a funny word! icon_biggrin.gif

fabulosity Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 12:44pm
post #15 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by solascakes

Wooooow icon_eek.gif bellalex,$30,what is that,i swear to God i wouldn't even get out of bed,when i read some posts here about the cost of cake in America it makes my blood boil.I do that size for £50 i.e $73. And after doing all that and delivering,the person then wants to get out of paying me?,it can never happen,i will make her vomit the money if i have to. icon_evil.gificon_evil.gif .One thing i have learnt in this business is that NOBODY wants to pay for the cow when they've either gotten the milk for free in the past or they feel they can by criticising your work.She is just trying to get out of paying or she should not have touched the cake since it wasn't what she ordered. I wish i lived in your city so i can go and help you collect your money,plus an apology.




You are my hero! No seriously, you are. icon_lol.gif

I HATE that people look at you like you have 2 heads when you quote them a price. And then they start the "Well...what if we just..." NO, there is no "what if". What if STILL costs money! Geeze...what makes people be like that. I would never do that to someone that was putting their time, care and attention to detail into a cake for me. They just need to go to Wal-Mart and get a bad tasting slapped together cake...and choke on it. I feel like I channeled you there. icon_lol.gif

Kay_NL Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 12:45pm
post #16 of 54

It does sound like a learning experience, unfortunately it hurt you. icon_sad.gif

About a week or two before any order (after I already have the 50% deposit, otherwise it isn't really an order) I write an email titled "Cake confirmation - Wall E cake, March 14, 2009," for example, and put all the details in there of flavors, theme, colors, torting, delivery or pick-up (date and time), balance paid, balance owing, servings, sizeof cake, size pieces should be cut, basically everything about the cake that we both need to know. When they reply I print both and keep them in a folder. It helps to remind me of all the details, and ensures that I get the order right and they supposedly know how much and what type of cake they are getting!

When I was trying to set pricing for myself I called the grocery stores/mass cake suppliers around and asked about their sizes (it was always 1/4 slab, 1/2 slab and full slab) and when I asked what size that was they had to go find out.. Each store had different sizes! Some 9x13, others 8x11 for 1/4 slab. I always call it a 9x13 sheet cake, or an 11x15 sheet cake, or whatever! Slab is a word for grocery store cake buyers. lol!!

I really hope that you do get your money, but it doesn't sound hopeful.

KookieKris Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 1:03pm
post #17 of 54

I am truly sorry for your misfortune with a rude customer, I would probably continue to pursue the money. You earned it after all!
BUT, this is why I Love CC!! We can all learn from each others experiences and the helpful advice we receive from the great CC support system!

Thanks for being there everybody! icon_smile.gif

giggysmack Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 1:04pm
post #18 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kay_NL

Each store had different sizes! Some 9x13, others 8x11 for 1/4 slab. I always call it a 9x13 sheet cake, or an 11x15 sheet cake, or whatever! Slab is a word for grocery store cake buyers. lol!!




I agree each store had different sizes and heights for their "slab cakes" It does make it hard and confusing for the customer. I had a customer order a cake I asked her how many people she wanted to feed she said 12. So I baked a cake for that many. Later she told me she loved the cake but was dissapointed that there was not enough leftovers. She said there was only 2 pieces left. I asked how many people ate cake she said 10. And then said when I usually order a cake there is lots left over for the next day. So I explained to her that she has probably been regularly ordering a cake to feed 18-24 which is usually a 1/4 slab size and she had ordered what would be considered an 8th of a slab. Sometimes it can be tough to be on the same page.
On another note I reall don't like the term slab I prefer sheet cake. Slab sounds like it's dead.

Brownie1954 Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 1:13pm
post #19 of 54

This is weird that this very subject came up now....Exactly one year ago today I delivered two cakes to a house for this woman. It was a German Chocolate cake, and then a Budwieser Select Beer Can cake sitting on top of a square cake.
When we got to her house, she ranted and raved how wonderful the cakes looked, and how happy she was with them. I gave her the invoice, she took a look at it, and said she was happy with the amount too. Since she worked at a bank right near my shop, she said she would be on Tuesday to pay me. Well like a REAL dumba$$.....I say "OK...that will be ok" I have never gotten paid. I even had my business lawyer send her a letter, and we heard nothing. icon_cry.gif
I have never felt so stupid in my life. That was the END of me being nice about it. From that day on, my customers pay, or they don't get the cake. Like a lot of you have said, they pay ahead, or if it's a wedding cake, half down at the time of ordering, then the rest two weeks before the wedding.

DebBTX Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 1:16pm
post #20 of 54

Bellalex,
Would you feel comfortable sending her a bill for the entire amount, due upon receipt?
She needs to pay for her order.

-Debbie B.

bellalex Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 1:28pm
post #21 of 54

I really appreciate everyone's input on this. I may go to where she works because I don't have an address for her and give her a bill. See, I never deal in 1/4, 1/2 sheet cakes, etc. I think what the conversation was with her was that she wanted a sheet cake, so I said "a 9X13 size?". If she had said she was feeding 40-50 ppl. I know I would have told her that a 9X13 would never have fed that many. However, if she ate the cake anyway, she should have to pay for it. We will see, but I have a feeling she is just a big redneck (we have a lot of those around here) who wants to get out of paying. I have never worked with her before and will never work with her again. She has taught me a real lesson for the future!

pouchet82 Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 1:35pm
post #22 of 54

I say bring her a bill where she works, and don't forget to tack on 18% interest (the credit card companies do it when you don't pay!), AND make sure to give her the bill in front of people at her work. If she has any brains at all, she will feel very uncomfortable, and maybe even pay you up front (very evil grin that cannot be shown by an emoticon alone....)

cakes22 Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 1:44pm
post #23 of 54

Okay, this is me being dumb & inexperienced icon_eek.gif
Is sheet & slab the same thing? I have read somewhere (not sure if it was here or not) that slabs are torted and sheets aren't? Or is just a preference that the customer wants?
(sometimes I feel soooooo silly for asking these types of questions, but you guys are experienced and I get & read great advice all the time!)
CC'ers totally rock icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

Nestley Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 1:49pm
post #24 of 54

I am so sorry to hear about your misfortune. I believe in Karma and what goes around comes around. Trust me; she will PAY for this cake in one way or another! Who knows, maybe your cake was soooo good that it sparked a cake craving and she has gained 50lbs eating cake trying to find one that taste as good as yours! icon_wink.gif

-K8memphis Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 2:12pm
post #25 of 54

Yes! My little heart is beating faster for you when you say you know where she works!

You must be careful and respectful and not emotional at all--stay uber professional--very dry and matter off fact. I would call her at work every day until she says not to. I would recommend that you peruse the pertinent parts of the FDCPA--In fact I'll go find them for you...

Hey--another idea is to go the place where the party was & see if you can get a home phone number for her.

brb

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 2:23pm
post #26 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Yes! My little heart is beating faster for you when you say you know where she works!

You must be careful and respectful and not emotional at all--stay uber professional--very dry and matter off fact. I would call her at work every day until she says not to. I would recommend that you peruse the pertinent parts of the FDCPA--In fact I'll go find them for you...

Hey--another idea is to go the place where the party was & see if you can get a home phone number for her.

brb




I think it is ridiculous to find it acceptable to hassle someone at work until they ask you not to??? What is this world coming to? I know where you work - I'm going to hassle you at work every day until you pay me. Whatever happened to professionalism? Just because the customer has no class doesn't mean you shouldn't have any.

The professional thing to do is send a certified letter to the address you have for her with a bill and time line to pay it. But be prepared to follow up any "threats" you might make in your letter with real action so don't make baseless threats. If you say you're giving her 2 weeks to pay the bill before you pursue this legally then really have the intention of filing a civil suit for non-payment. If you feel this is too much hassle for such a small bill then don't threaten a lawsuit - just send her a final bill with a payment due date.

I know this is a difficult situation for you but please try to remain professional at all times...I wish you luck and I hope your recover your money!

Tammi

-K8memphis Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 2:33pm
post #27 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsHowTcakesRolls

Quote:
Originally Posted by k8memphis

Yes! My little heart is beating faster for you when you say you know where she works!

You must be careful and respectful and not emotional at all--stay uber professional--very dry and matter off fact. I would call her at work every day until she says not to. I would recommend that you peruse the pertinent parts of the FDCPA--In fact I'll go find them for you...

Hey--another idea is to go the place where the party was & see if you can get a home phone number for her.

brb



I think it is ridiculous to find it acceptable to hassle someone at work until they ask you not to??? What is this world coming to? I know where you work - I'm going to hassle you at work every day until you pay me. Whatever happened to professionalism? Just because the customer has no class doesn't mean you shouldn't have any.

The professional thing to do is send a certified letter to the address you have for her with a bill and time line to pay it. But be prepared to follow up any "threats" you might make in your letter with real action so don't make baseless threats. If you say you're giving her 2 weeks to pay the bill before you pursue this legally then really have the intention of filing a civil suit for non-payment. If you feel this is too much hassle for such a small bill then don't threaten a lawsuit - just send her a final bill with a payment due date.

I know this is a difficult situation for you but please try to remain professional at all times...I wish you luck and I hope your recover your money!

Tammi




Tammi, then never do this. However you should know that it is illegal to threaten someone when you are collecting a debt.

There is no law anywhere that says it its illegal to call someone at work especially the way I worded it in my post.

Especially since I said I'd get more information and be right back.

What is the world coming to you ask? It's a world where people do not pay their debt and laws have been made to collect those debts and clearly that is what I am proposing, following the law in order to collect a rightful debt.

-K8memphis Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 2:37pm
post #28 of 54

And so, do you see how effective it is to call someone at work. You never mention to anyone but the client the purpose for the call. Just say your name and the name of your business. Leave a message with your name, the name of your company and you phone # if she cannot be contacted by phone.

Oh hell yes do this starting once a week. See how it goes.

And if she or her work place ways you cannot call her there then you have to stop but you don't have to stop just because it ruffles Tammi's feathers. It works.

This client of yours is a crook and I hope you get your money.

ThatsHowTcakesRolls Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 2:49pm
post #29 of 54

K8 - I respectfully, but completely disagree with you. The "threat" I mentioned was simply following through on legal action to collect a debt by filing a civil suit. If you had read my answer you would see that I was not suggesting anything except to file a civil suit to collect payment. If it were illegal to offer a time line for payment and what the consequences will be for not making the payment timely then credit card companies would have been shut down LONG ago... Please don't try to twist my words and make my statement mean anything other than what I explained above.

While there may not be a law that outlaws phoning people at work - it's unprofessional and MANY employers and bosses look down on it. I'm sorry but $30 means a lot to even me but it doesn't mean enough to me that I would want to cause any trouble for someone at their job. That's just not the kind of person I am - it's low class and rude, to say the least. I'm not a trouble maker and I never will be! In many of my jobs past it was frowned upon to get personal phone calls at work and I doubt it's much different today, especially in this economy when people are looking for reasons to trim their payroll.

-K8memphis Posted 25 Mar 2009 , 2:58pm
post #30 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsHowTcakesRolls

K8 - I respectfully, but completely disagree with you. The "threat" I mentioned was simply following through on legal action to collect a debt by filing a civil suit. If you had read my answer you would see that I was not suggesting anything except to file a civil suit to collect payment.



Interesting that you noted how important it is to read one's entire post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThatsHowTcakesRolls



K8 - I respectfully, but completely disagree with you. ...

... it's low class and rude, to say the least. I'm not a trouble maker and I never will be! In many of my jobs past it was frowned upon to get personal phone calls at work and I doubt it's much different today, especially in this economy when people are looking for reasons to trim their payroll.




Tammi, it is not respectful to say my ideas are low class and rude.
I will not let you have it both ways.

It is not ok to talk to me this way.

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