The entire background of this situations is that a friend of someone who I have made several cakes for called me for a wedding cake. She is from Ark and i am from Louisiana. Well she gave me a $200 deposit. I had to move only 3 hours away, but I was still going to do it. I emailed her the contract. About a month before the wedding she said she couldnt open it. i then told her that i had to move, but was still close enough to do her cake. She flipped and got really nasty saying she would only pay me two days before the weddindg. I told her I couldnt do that and needed the money three weeks prior to the wedding. She told me to call her three weeks before and we would discuss the payment arrangments. Well I called her, she told be to call her back the next dday. I have yet to hear from her. i have called her several times and have emailed her , alot. I still havent recieved payment and have stuff to order. I put in the contract that I needed payment by the 13th of this month or she forfits her deposit. If she doesnt sign the contract is she still held to it? and at what point do I tell her i am no longer doing her cake. I am so afraid she is going to try and take me to court if i dont do it. Her wedding is the 27th, and I dont want to get the stuff if i might not get paid. I am sorry if this is choppy or confusing? Thanks in advance.
Email her today that due to nonpayment. the contract is cancelled. And run like mad! This has disaster written all over it.
Then, thank Heaven that you dodged a bullet here. There is no possibility of a happy ending for this transaction. Good luck!
If she hasn't signed the contract, then I would email AND phone her telling her that because she has not signed the contract and not paid the final balance on the cake, you will not be able to do her cake. In this case, no contract, no money, no cake. Since you have no contract, you need to send the check back to her registered mail so that she has to sign for it - that way you can prove that she got it. Don't send it regular mail - she sounds like she'll give you trouble for a long time!
Do NOT order anything. Do NOT do her cake. She does not get the deposit back, since you most likely kept that time open for her. No payment, no cake.
OR: Tell her she can pay you late for the cake if you can deliver it late. If the payment is 5 days late, the cake will also be five days late!
I would mail her back the 200 deposit, with the contract not signed I dont see how you could justify keeping that so that would be the only thing I can see her trying to make a case about. Mail it back and run away!
Give her the $200 back. No signature, no contract. Run!
Exactly what Nchanted1 said!
I agree with everyone else, send the money back, tell you don't have a signed contract and you're not making the cake.
"OR: Tell her she can pay you late for the cake if you can deliver it late. If the payment is 5 days late, the cake will also be five days late!"
Agree with all.
Agree with everyone - dont order or do anything with the cake. Simply email her saying since you contacted her several times and recd. no reponse the contract is void.
I would NOT return the $200.
No contract; NO cake; NO return of deposit. period.
I agree w/ everyone, marmalade said it best! send her the money via certified mail and RUN!!!!
Give he the money back and thank your lucky stars you did not get stuck with her cake! No Happily ever after here she would have found something to complain about either way!
Agree 100% with what marmalade said. Send her back her check - registered mail with return receipt requested - to prove she signed for it and received it. And tell her no contract, no cake, and her check is in the mail.
Since the contract wasn't signed, I wouldn't keep the deposit. Send the deposit back certified mail (make her sign to CYA) and wipe your hands of her. She just screams trouble!
Depending on your states laws, the exchange of money implies the approval of the contract, signed or not. If she paid the deposit, then she was agreeing to the contract. I believe most States business law reads this way.
Do not send her back the deposit, that is what is paid to secure her date, which means you loose biz if they break contract. You have EVERY right to that deposit.
Send her the money back and drop her! LOL
I would NOT return the $200.
No contract; NO cake; NO return of deposit. period.
I agree. When you collect a deposit/retainer you need to have a receipt that your clients sign that says: They are giving you $200 to retain your services for such and such date. This is non refundable....blah blah blah.
This way they know that they aren't getting this $ back if they fail to not return the full contract and keep d$icking around.
IF you gave her a receipt indicating that the $200 retainer/deposit is non-fundable, then don't return it.
HOWEVER, if the non-refundable deposit is only listed in your contract and she didn't sign it, you have no claim to it.
If she hasn't signed the contract then you are not obligated to do her cake are ya? She didn't finalize the deal.
But since you have been in cominucation with her even though she hasn't signed the contract then that could be taken as you aren't enforcing your contract. She isn't answering you because she is pushing the payment issue. She has figured out if she keeps blowing you off, she can put off sending the payment.
Email her and call her (leave a voice mail) and be firm in your wording. If you are still willing to do the cake then tell her if you do not have payment by such and such day and such and such time you can not do the cake. You must have the payment so you can buy the supplies as well as order items you need for her cake.
I would also send an revised contract with the new date payment and information. And point out of that if the payment and contract are not received by such and such date she will not be receiving a cake by you.
If you do not want the hassle of this cake at this point, then call her and email her and leave her a message stating that because she did not sign the contract nor send payment by the cut off date that you can not do her wedding cake.
Either way you need to make it clear to her that you need the answer now, not next week. And if you are not doing the cake she needs to know that know so she can make other plans as well.
Chances are if you get firm and stand your ground she is going to except that. If she thinks she can push you around, she will. Don't let her.
It's already down to the wire for you to order your supplies. I would return her deposit via registered, return receipt mail like so brilliantly suggested before me and be glad it's over. There is a lack of respect for you in the way she is dealing with your contract and I don't see any good coming from it.
I agree here also. If the contract was signed then I would say keep the deposit. But since she hasnt signed anything I would send it registered mail with a return receipt required. Dont forget the return receipt because this will be your proof if something should happen and she tries to take you to court.
Dont ever proceed with any cake without a signed contract. Just a no-no. I would further make sure that when you do another wedding cake to make sure on their receipt of the deposit, that it clearly states that if they do not sign the contract, that their deposit is forfeited to compensate for having held the date and given up business. You have to keep yourself one step ahead and CYA or someone will try to take you over the hurdles!!
This call/email is to inform you that since I do not have a signed contract with your final payment I will not be able to make your cake. I am returning your $200 deposit via certified mail. Best wishes for a beautiful wedding."
I would do both - phone call and email.
This one is not worth the trouble.
agree with cakes by cathy. without signed contract I don't see how you can keep the deposit.
There's an option at the post office that you can request, I don't recall the cost. I think it's called restricted signature or restricted delivery, where only the person who the envelope is addressed to can sign for it. If she is not available, they will leave one of those tan pick-up tickets for her.
What bugs me about this is that now, you're going to have to go into about $7-8 in postage just to make sure that she signs for this.
Hey Pros, does she have to eat this money, or can she cash the check, buy the postage and money orders for the balance, and send that? Or must it be previously implied?
So glad you didnt have to make a cake for her because if you did this would later have turned into a thread about a bridezilla who was making false accusations about her cake asking for her money back after eating the entire thing.... have seen way tooo many of those threads latley...
Yes! You can send her something and make sure she has to sign for it. I would send her her $ back that way. (Delivery confirmation w/ signature) With no signed contract you can't keep her $. I would enclose a small note telling her that her cake is canceled due to not upholding her end of the agreement.
Thank of it this way: She is not going to get anyone to make her a wedding cake this close to her event. MAYBE just MAYBE a Walmart bakery. She may have to serve sheet cakes and then explain why she doesn't have a real cake! And you wouldn't want to do a cake for a person like her anyway- think of what she could complain about!
In the future you may want to think about not even holding a spot open until you have the signed contract. That's what I do, they are on my calendar when I have the contract signed, AND 1/2 of their wedding cake cost. The other 1/2 is due AT LEAST 1 month before their wedding. PERIOD. If someone doesn't want to play by my rules, they can get their cake from someone else. This is your business. Not hers.
Don't waste $$$ postage--- it is already a lose. Regular 44 cents 1st class is considered legal delivery. That is all you need. I imagine by now, the $200 deposit is cashed, and then YOU cut a check for $200 back. No contract, no signatures--- it is all your word against mine stuff. Not waste any $$$$, so just do the 44 cent thingy!
I disagree, you NEED to spend the money to send it back with delivery confirmation. This girl has already been dishonest and a witch. Spending the $4 to send it and get a signature is worth the $$ and in the future consider this a learning lesson that only cost you the postage. NEVER EVER set a date before getting and cashing the deposit WITH signed contract.