Stupid People - Waiver Needed?

Business By FatAndHappy Updated 31 Aug 2009 , 1:24pm by MissyTex

FatAndHappy Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 2:41pm
post #1 of 16

OK - we finally opened our bakery 8 weeks ago. We are doing so much better than we ever expected (8-10 weeks booked in advance)! So here is our new problem...
StUpID PeOpLe!!!!!!!!!!

They pick up these 3 tier cakes expecting to hold them on their laps. They think it is OK to leave a HUGE cake in the car for 3-4 hours when it is 90 degrees outside. They drive 75 miles an hour like maniacs and think the cake will be just fine. They leave the plastic cover over the cake (even though we tell then to remove it IMMEDIATELY!!! and the plastic wrap makes a humidity tent. What do we do???

We drove 2 1/2 hours to fix a huge cake - only to discover the drive took the customer 1 hr 20 mins. She left the plastic cover on even though when she called I told her to remove it (it was so humid the fruit got moldy). It was about 90 in the house with no air on. We are in serious need of help!!!
Do you have people sign something - if so...what? A waiver? A sign on the counter?

Sorry so long - we are going crazy with these stupid poeple!!!

15 replies
Kiddiekakes Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 2:55pm
post #2 of 16

Yes..I would create some sort of waiver that they sign when the cake is picked up basically stating that they are responsible for the cake once it leaves your shop...meaning.....your are not responsible for careless driving.....inproper handling...inproper storage of cake left in a get the drift...I would make them sign it before the cake is taken and if they cake!You would have to find a copy of such a waiver and maybe Indydebi has a copy.

minicuppie Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 3:02pm
post #3 of 16

Educate don't litigate! (learned that in nursing school over 20 years ago)

Kiddiekakes Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 3:07pm
post #4 of 16

I agree with minicuppie also but you don't want to be running out every weekend fixing a cake that someone has not handled properly either..that takes extra time and money.The waiver/contract would give you some sort of legal ground to stand on if people try to sue you for damaged cakes and wanting refunds for dissasters caused by them.Maybe you could offer a delivery service and of course charge extra and that way you know it will get there safe and setup properly.Just a suggestion!

dsilvest Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 3:08pm
post #5 of 16

You might want to give them a print out of things to do or not to do when transporting and handling their cake. This could be what they sign two copies of. One for you, one for them.

mackeymom Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 3:16pm
post #6 of 16

Ask Doug! Everyone complins about a 16 page contract, but there are very important things in there that need to be covered. I fyou don't fell the need to use all 16 pages, just break what you need down to one page. I tell you it covers everything, it covers everything! Even acts of God! And has a section to tell them how to drive, where to put the cake in the car, etc etc. And had a section that says if they damage the cake after they take it in there possession, you are not responsible for what happens to it.

CakeRx Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 3:23pm
post #7 of 16

I agree. If you don't offer a delivery service within a certain area (should be their first choice), have at the ready a form for them to sign with items notated that specifically pertain to their cake. When I take an order, I let the customer know in advance what to expect as far as handling for their particular design, decoration, cake covering choice, etc. I deliver most of mine so usually a verbal reminder to remove a cover or refrigerate, etc. is all that is needed. I found a sample cake order form some time ago in templates. You might try looking there for a standard waiver, too.

jillmakescakes Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 3:41pm
post #8 of 16

First, congrats on the shop and the advance bookings!

Second, yes, you must educate them. Explain when they order the cake what is necessary to ensure safe transport. If possible, have a "Tips for safe arrival" section on your website. Also have a waiver.

Third, welcome to dealing with cake muggles!!!! I actually just had someone pick up a cake where the lid had to be propped open just a bit because of a tall decoration. When I watched her walk to her car, I saw her DOG running loose in the car! icon_confused.gif People are crazy.

leah_s Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 3:58pm
post #9 of 16

Everyone's on a good track here.
Definitely write out your directions, 'cause people DO NOT listen. Tell them exactly how to care for the cake, don't leave it in the hot car, etc.

In my contract for wedding cakes, I tell them "Do not put your cake table in the middle of the dance floor, in a doorway, or traffic pattern."

Remember, Common Sense just isn't very common.

And absolutely have them sign a waiver - you left with it, it's yours.

marmalade1687 Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 4:04pm
post #10 of 16

This is a waiver that I downloaded from CC a few months ago (I'm sorry, I just don't remember who was the original author of it was! So, just to be clear, I can't take credit for it, but whoever wrote it has gotten me out of a couple of binds - thanks! icon_biggrin.gif

FatAndHappy Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 4:30pm
post #11 of 16

Thank you so much! We did cakes out of our houses for 4 years and NEVER had a problem! Now that we have the shop and our volume has increased, it seems all common sense has left the building with our customers!

We will be putting up a sign and also a waiver.

Thank you Marmalade for your copy!

MikeRowesHunny Posted 30 Aug 2009 , 4:36pm
post #12 of 16

I have a word document that I send to people who are planning to collect their cakes (covering all aspects of transportation, storage & serving. I will happily mail it to anyone who wants it if you let me know your email address icon_smile.gif!

LaBellaFlor Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 1:49am
post #13 of 16

My contract is 3 1/2 pages long and it covers anything from placing a cake in hot weather to Acts of God. I also have a waiver if they opt to pick up the cake themselves. I am NEVER going to go & fix a cake that somone has decided to pick up themselves...unless they pay me for all my time (driving included) in cash, whne I get there. Basically, yes, you gotta have a lot of "stupid, don't have any common sense clauses".

indydebi Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 2:06am
post #14 of 16

There was a HUGE bakery operation here in town that used to have a great section on their website (I believe they've stopped doing retail because their nationwide wholesale business is just booming.

Anyway .... they had a section that said (bolding added by me):

Customer takes possession of cake once it leaves the bakery. The bakery is no longer held responsible for your wedding cake once customer takes possession and leaves the building
Emergency Conditions:
Customer requests us to come on site to repair the cake. Fee: In zone, $100.00 plus $2.00 per mile, prepaid via credit card prior to us leaving the bakery. Out of zone, this service is not available.
Customer may bring cake back to bakery for repair, and repairs will be done at rate of $150.00 per hour, minimum $50.00.
While these policies seem harsh, they were motivated by over 20 years of real experience.

Why do we have to have such long contracts? I listed a few reasons on my blog:

Doug Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 2:24am
post #15 of 16
Originally Posted by marmalade1687

This is a waiver that I downloaded from CC a few months ago (I'm sorry, I just don't remember who was the original author of it was! So, just to be clear, I can't take credit for it, but whoever wrote it has gotten me out of a couple of binds - thanks! icon_biggrin.gif

aw shucks -- it's the one I posted long ago....

as for the "ask Doug" ---

here's the original thread with instructions on how to get both the contract and the waiver as Word files:

MissyTex Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 1:24pm
post #16 of 16

I did a grooms cake for the daughter of a friend last year, a bucket of beer. She sent her husband to pick it up and I carried it to the car for him. He was just going to put it on the seat! I flat out INSISTED that he put it on the floor. He looks at me like Im nuts and I said Believe me, Im just watching out for YOU.

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