Newbies Beware!!! Lesson Learned!

Decorating By whisperingmadcow Updated 14 Apr 2009 , 9:00pm by jescapades

whisperingmadcow Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 12:08am
post #1 of 26

Ok so here is my little rant!

A co-worker of mine asks me to do a cake for him. I am so excited because this is only the second time I have sold one of my cakes. I am so happy someone finally wants me to do a cake for them in exchange for money! thumbsdown.gif

Everything goes as planned. I meet him at the location and he gives me a check, loves the cake. I don't really think anything of it because I know that I didn't tell him I needed cash up front. I guess my first clue should have been that he post-dated the check!

As you can probably guess, THE CHECK BOUNCED!!!! I got a notice from my bank today saying that they are taking the money out of my account AND charging me $7, like its my fault! I am so pissed! And oh course this is the weekend that he is taking his GF to Vegas so I wont be able to get in touch with him until Monday or whenever he is getting back! icon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gif

So newbies, never never take a check!

25 replies
Ladiesofthehouse Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 12:16am
post #2 of 26

Sorry this happened to you, but look at the bright side--at least you know where he works and can still collect funds!

Kiddiekakes Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 12:18am
post #3 of 26 try getting him to pay now!! Sorry this happened.I have never had a cheque bounce but I tend to push the cash more so that doesn't happen.

pipe-dreams Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 12:21am
post #4 of 26

OH my gosh, I am so sorry to hear that. Who would have the balls to pay for a cake made by a Coworker with a bad check?? I wouldn't! I know you're pissed, as I would be too. But maybe he didn't actually do it on purpose. You said he's in Vegas, maybe he lost a ton of money there, or thought he might and that is why he post dated it. IDK, but I would talk to him first thing Monday. It may be a little awkward, but you deserve to get paid for your work!

loriemoms Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 12:22am
post #5 of 26

This is why I invoice all my orders and it has stated on it there is a 25 dollar service fee for any NSF check. This seems to discourage passing a bad check...

momvarden Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 12:37am
post #6 of 26

Just look at it this way at least you have a few days to think about how you want to approach him and you have every right to be upset. Just pull him aside and tell him. He could have also had something happened like a pay check not making the bank before your check. NOT making excuses for him. He should have not given you a check post dated. He should have just paid you with cash. I am sorry that this happened to you.

sadsmile Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 1:58am
post #7 of 26

Wow that's terrible. Let me clerify first that I do not agree with him thinking he could give you a post dated check and technically even if it is postdated you can present it at the bank.(not sure about the legalitties of postdating)

My question is did you put it in before the date he put on the check just hoping that it would go through anyway?
And one sure way to avoid this is to walk into the bank(his bankas printed on the check) and cash it at the counter. Sure it's extra effort but then you don't get into trouble with your bank and cause a chain reaction to your account.

pipe-dreams Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:05am
post #8 of 26

I don't know if it's the same at every bank, but MY bank says it does not have to honor post dated checks. They will cash them as usual, not according to the date on the check. Definitely go to his bank next time! Sorry again!

ptanyer Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:09am
post #9 of 26
Originally Posted by sadsmile

And one sure way to avoid this is to walk into the bank(his bankas printed on the check) and cash it at the counter. Sure it's extra effort but then you don't get into trouble with your bank and cause a chain reaction to your account.

One thing to consider when you take a customer's check to their bank to cash it: do you have an account with that particular bank? If not, they may charge you a $3 to $5 charge for cashing a check written on their bank. That's what they do in NC, so in addition to having to walk into the bank (can't use drive through if you aren't a customer at most banks) you face a service charge to cash the check. Might have to tack that fee onto what you normally charge for your work. HTH icon_smile.gif

cakesthatrock Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:14am
post #10 of 26

In the state of North Carolina, you can cash a check the same day the person gives it to you, does not matter if it post dated for 30 days from that day. I would just go to their bank and cash it do not do this at your bank. To save gas and time I would call their bank first to make sure the money is in the account.
It is illegal to write a post dated check. I am sorry about your loss, I guess we all get burnt once.

Margieluvstobake Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:15am
post #11 of 26

If his check is written on a local bank, you can go into the bank as a pp has said. You can also call first to the bank's (the bank the check is written on) customer service, and tell them you want to verify funds in an account. This would keep you from making a useless trip. They will ask you the account number, the amount, and may want the name on the account and the check number. If they say the funds are available, GO THEN to the bank to cash the check. Of course, this is only if he does not fork over the cash right away. Hope you get your money back.

bethola Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:17am
post #12 of 26

Okay, soooo let me get this straight. He pays YOU with a postdated, rubber check and he's taking his GF to VEGAS! UMMMMMM, "I" think he has priority issues!

Beth in KY

tiggy2 Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:19am
post #13 of 26

Post dated checks are illegal! I worked at a bank for 3 years and it doesn't matter what date you put on it it can be cashed the day you get it.

enoid Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:23am
post #14 of 26

Not all banks will tell you if there are funds in someone's account. We called a bank just recently and the customer service person told my office manager they no longer can give out that information. icon_confused.gif Yea they want their overdraft fee instead. icon_mad.gif I am sorry this happened to you and hope it comes out okay in the end.

cakedoll Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:30am
post #15 of 26
Originally Posted by bethola

Okay, soooo let me get this straight. He pays YOU with a postdated, rubber check and he's taking his GF to VEGAS! UMMMMMM, "I" think he has priority issues!

Beth in KY

Unfortunately, HE obviously thinks HIS priorities are just long as they benefit HIM. I don't know how he'll be able to look you in the face when he gets back to work. I certainly couldn't. What a jerk. He should be ashamed of himself.

I know when I had my business, I threatened to turn a couple of rubber checks over to the state attorney's office when several attempts to cash them failed. That got me my money very fast.

MACakes Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:37am
post #16 of 26

Wow what a nasty experience just as you get started. I have just sold my first couple of cakes to coworkers as well, but I right from the start I told everyone I deal in cash only and they must pay me 50% up front. I've heard too may horror stories of people getting stiffed at the last minute.

I hope you get your money and chalk this one up to lesson learned. icon_wink.gif

all4cake Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 2:38am
post #17 of 26

This is why I require payment to be made in advance. If someone writes me a check, it gets taken to THEIR bank. I've not yet been assessed a fee for cashing their check to me at their bank. I consider doing it this way as a major stress reducer....I do not like being mad at anyone for any reason...least of all, over money.

whisperingmadcow Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 6:52pm
post #18 of 26

I have read on here a thousand time how people ask for a deposit and they get a contract but I guess I figured that because I worked with him, he would have more honor then that. Does anyone have a good contract that they use? I am not sure where to find something like that and I am not really sure what to put in one if I made it up myself.

As for the post dated check, i didn't deposit it until the day that was stated on the check because I didn't want this to happen. I figured he would know when he would have money in his bank so I waited until that day (I gave him the cake on Saturday and the check was written with Mondays date). But it looks like I still got screwed anyways. I think I will probably try to ask him nicely when I see him again, explaining that I need cash ASAP plus the money to cover the fee. If that doesn't work, then I will get heavy handed about it. I hope he just works it out without all the problems this might turn into! GGRRRRR! icon_mad.gif Never Again!

Bethkay Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 4:15pm
post #19 of 26

I require first-time customers to pay me in full via PayPal before I will begin their order. Although I never had a check bounce prior to establishing this policy, I did have to chase a few people around for payment. thumbsdown.gif

Repeat customers and friends/family can pay me by check at the time of delivery. I guess that policy might have gotten you in trouble if you considered the co-worker a close enough "friend" to accept payment upon delivery.

Overall, using PayPal has saved me a lot of stress in the payment department!

__Jamie__ Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 4:22pm
post #20 of 26
Originally Posted by loriemoms

This is why I invoice all my orders and it has stated on it there is a 25 dollar service fee for any NSF check. This seems to discourage passing a bad check...

icon_twisted.gif $50 here!

KHalstead Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 4:45pm
post #21 of 26

Why not charge an automatic additional say..........$10.00 in order for them to write a check (to cover the cost of taking it to THEIR bank and the additional fee you may incur by not having an account there) I'll bet that would make more people want to deal in cash?

Then maybe tack on a $25 per $100.00 check if someone bounces say a $300.00 check then they owe you $75 in addition, for bouncing it! That would get people to make sure they've got the money.

I had the same thing (kinda) happen to me. I had a lady order a wedding cake, write me a check for full payment (close to $400) and I took it to her bank (because she was super late paying and it was the morning OF the wedding, I was giving her the benefit of the doubt)...the check cashed no problem (I did have to pay a $6.00 fee for not having an account, but she told me she'd pay me back for that too).....she still owed me $65.00 for delivery and asked if she could pay that with a check when she sent me back the plates/pillars.....I had no reason to believe a $65.00 check would bounce when a $400.00 check didn't!! However, what I didn't anticipate is that she NEVER SENT THE PLATES/PILLARS OR CHECK FOR DELIVERY......that was in Dec. I have yet to see that money. So now, because of her!!!!!!!!!............NOBODY else gets the benefit of the doubt. Your payment is due 2 weeks before the wedding (or any occasion where the total amount is over $100.00) and every day past the 2 week mark that your payment is late you incur a fee of $25/day!! This gets them moving!! I email or call them 3 days before the 2 week mark and remind them of their balance and the extra fee and also tell them that if they plan to write a check, the date of payment is the date the check CLEARS, not the date I get the check!
So far THIS policy is working, hopefully it will continue
So sorry you had to figure all this out, especially about someone you work with ((((((((HUGS))))))

Maybe if you go up to him on Monday at work and get real close and whisper "I'm not sure if you realize this or not, but your check bounced!" "If you were having money troubles you should have told me, and we could have worked out some type of payment plan for the cake"

men tend to have inflated egos and I"m sure that would get him to rectify the situation rather quickly, just to PROVE he's not incompetent. LOL

sarah0418 Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 4:46pm
post #22 of 26

OK. You still have a few options. My husband and I run a trucking company and we have had 2 checks bounce before (LARGE sums of money icon_mad.gif ). So, your bank will send you a "legal copy" of the bounced check in about 10 days. That copy is legally as good as the original. If, for some reason, this guys tries to blow you off, you can take that copy to his bank and try to cash it there. Like someone said before, they will charge you about $10 to do it. If you don't want to do that, you have every right to redeposit that legal copy into your bank as many times as it takes to go through. The only problem is that if it does bounce again, you will be charged another $7 for a returned deposit...but remember, he will also be charged on his account for non-suffiecient funds too. (usually $30-40). Hope this all works out for you.

lostincake Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 5:36pm
post #23 of 26

I hope you get your money in the end...sorry this has happened to you...thanks for sharing so others like me will not put ourselves in the same boat.


whisperingmadcow Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 6:00pm
post #24 of 26

Thank you everyone for your kind words! And thank you KHalstead for the ideas! I was wondering how I was going to get around taking checks in the future and adding a change might just be the way to go!

sarah0418, thank you for letting me know that his bank will take the legal copy check! I was wondering about that! I guess getting some of the money back would be better then not getting anything.

We will see how this all goes down on Monday. I am totally willing to play ball so long as he takes care of this ASAP! But if not, i am glad I have some options!

Thanks to all again!

whisperingmadcow Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 7:43pm
post #25 of 26

Here is the end result:

I talked to him today. He says that he will give me $75 on Friday on cash. This is $12 more then both the original cost of the cake plus the fee my bank charged me. I guess we will really see what happens on friday, but I feel pretty happy with that.

(He said he thought his tax returns would have hit his account before the check did, but I guess not!)

jescapades Posted 14 Apr 2009 , 9:00pm
post #26 of 26

i don't think i would even accept a post-dated check.

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