Ok, here's the story. I had been in contact with this supposed customer for the past month or so. WE talked about the cake and more importantly where we were going to meet for the cake pickup. We had decided to meet each other half way to save each of us some time. We picked 1pm in front of a particular restaurant. The morning of the scheduled delivery I was busy with consultations, pick-ups, etc. I left my home at 12:25 and arrived at 1:00 on the dot. I waited for 15 minutes and there was no sign of the customer. So I called my home to see if there was a new email from the customer and to get her phone number off of the email. There was a new email stating that she had left a message earlier on my phone making sure we were still on for 1. I had my daughter email her back saying it was now 1:15 and I was at the designated location. I also got her home and cell #'s. I proceeded to call her cell and home leaving messages. I then waited another 35 minutes, bringing my total wait time to 50 min!!!! By now I was fuming I left her yet another message on her cell, I had left about 4 or 5 by this point, saying that I was going to have to leave, that I had other commitments and had been waiting over 50 minutes which was above and beyond!! All along I had been leaving my cell number and paging her on her cell. Well, it's the next morning and I still haven't heard from her. As soon as I got home yesterday I emailed her with the details of my wait and the phone calls I made. The weird thing was that she called me on my biz phone at about 12:25 saying that her husband would be there to meet me. Of course, the one thing I'm thinking is that he was in an accident. Hopefully, not , but now I'm not sure what to do. Of course, I feel terrible for leaving and that they did not receive their cake, but I guess they were never really going to get it????? My dad said I should email her with an invoice and make sure she knows that this does not even include the charge for my wasted time. What would you do? This is the first time it has happened to me.
Your story is why I would never meet someone halfway for anything. (Ex-hubby wanted to do that on our kids' visitation weekend, and I refused to treat my son like a piece of cargo that we were transferring from one truck to another!).
Anyway ...... If you (generic you, the cake maker) delivered the cake to the customer, or if the customer comes to your place to pick up, neither of you are inconvenienced by the other party not making it there. (yes, I know there is the risk of the customer not showing up to pick up, or the customer not being there, but I think that risk is MUCH lower.) I just never wanted to be sitting in a parking lot, in January, with snow up to my ankles, freezing to death, waiting for someone who MIGHT eventually show up.
If someone from my hometown (75 miles away) buys a cake from me, they should assume they are going to have to drive 75 miles to pick it up (and yes, I've had people do that). It's part of their decision process on whether they want to buy a cake from someone that far away.
When I set an appt at my shop, I consider 15 minutes without a phone call as a no-show. I pack up and go home. Any other business with set hours does the same thing. If you aren't there by closing, then you lose out on whatever it was you were going to buy.
All of this is tempered by an unexpected event (like a car accident or a severely sick child ... and we hope neither happened).
So with all of my soapboxing here about a big peeve of mine, I dont' have any good advice for what to do next ... except add it to your collection of "lesson learned"!
Thankfully, I have read enough posts like this in here to never allow a situation like this to happen. I can see myself going out of my way for delivery and all that "halfway" crap....but if they didn't show..no problem. Because I would have had payment wayyyyy before I ever baked that cake. So, nice fancy cake for me and my family! So sorry to hear that this happened to you. There won't be a next time, eh?
i think this has happened to all of us at one time. You learn quicky when things dont go as planned. and this is why all my cakes now have to be prepayed. those that really want your cake will not hesitate to pay on ordering. and you can bet if something happens that they cant pick it up they will let you know. you wont have to chase them down. so from now on get them to pay first , or no cake.
I don't know. I have to say the first thing that went through my mind was broke down or accident as well. If they hadn't called you to make sure you were on for 1 and called letting you know her husband would meet with you then I would think stood up. I honestly don't think so. Maybe it is because of my situation with all that happened yesterday with my husband's heart. We never expected his internal difibrullator to start going off and shocking him. I was on the phone with a customer when it happend and basically was screaming and pretty much hung up on the customer to call 911. I know the lady must have thought the worse of me but when my husband starts screaming blood curdling screams and is being shocked because his heart is trying to stop, well, I am no longer thinking about that cake order, the customer or anything like that.
Now once things calmed I did email her today to explain. But I have no idea that she will still place her order. I was suppose to deliver 2 cakes yesterday. For some reason I did them early and asked the customer to get them Friday instead. They were fine with it and I am glad. Delivery was suppose to be at 5 pm yesterday....we were in the ER at 5. They would have been my last concern honestly.
So don't jump the gun yet. It may be that something out of their control happened. I hope that nothing bad happened but I do hope there is an explanation so that you didn't get stood up.
I would sent the invoice explaining you stayed for x amount of time and hope that nothing happened to them but don't understand where they were. I would not accuse or be rude as you don't know what they are going through at this point (trust me I had a very hateful and rude nurse relieved of her duties last night..you don't screw with me when I am upset). But let them know that unfortunately the cake was made and you held up your end and will need payment within x amount of days.
Just really remember you don't know what another is going through at any point and myself I just try to expect that generally people are good and honest (I know Debi...I am living in my own little world here aren't I? LOL)
I just try to expect that generally people are good and honest
They tend to be more good and honest when they've paid you in advance though!
patticakes, I hope your husband is doing well...
Next time get the full payment first then either deliver it or have them pick up.
patticakes I hope your hubby is doing better today.
I think I'm eliminating deliveries all together, except for weddings of course. It takes so much of my time on the weekends, I feel like I never have time to spend with my kids. Or maybe I'll only deliver for orders over $200.00. Something like that. If they want the cake badly enough, they won't mind picking it up. I've been so busy anyway, I've been turning orders away.
I hope your husband is doing better!!
I would not deliver a party cake, and I would not accept an order for a custom cake without payment in full. That would solve all the problems.
We all learn by experience and that is why I have those policies. If they want the cake badly enough, they will follow your business policies.
Sometimes we have to take lumps and move on. I always evaluate why those "lumps" happened and figure out what to do to not let it happen again.
I really hope your husband is doing better.