Customer Late For Pickup--Late Fees Or Other Ideas?

Business By KitchenConvert Updated 7 Sep 2009 , 4:39am by BakerInHeels

KitchenConvert Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 3:55pm
post #1 of 27

I am currently waiting for a customer to pick up the wedding favors (cookies) for her daughter's wedding tomorrow. She called at 7:45 (for an 8:00 a.m. pickup) to let me know that she would be here closer to 10 or 11 (unfortunately, I didn't get the message until 8:30). I don't have a retail location, so I usually have to arrange to be at the bakery space at the designated time, and basically have to wait for the customer to show up.

Does this happen a lot? What are different techniques to deal with this? 30 minutes late I can understand...but 3 hours does get to be an inconvenience. Does anyone charge late fees, etc. for this type of situation, and what is a reasonable amouht? Basically, whatever you think your time would be worth to sit around and wait for her?

I ended up telling her that we had made plans for the day, based on the fact that she'd be picking up the cookies at 8 a.m., and to see if anyone could come pick them up earlier than 11. She is trying to find someone now to pick up the cookies. I'm trying to be professional yet still have a backbone. Any other suggestions?

26 replies
LaBellaFlor Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 4:05pm
post #2 of 27

Absolutely! My charge fee is ridisulous, cause I feel people tend to blow people's time who bake at home. If they miss their pick-up time, I let them know I msy not be htere,casue of other possible deliveries. so they will have to come back, if they leave me waiting, $20 bucks an hour, for every hour, paid in cash when they get there or they won' be taking their cake. Harsh, I know, but time is money. And no, people don't show up late.

StaceyCakes75 Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 4:29pm
post #3 of 27

I fully understand this. The last cake I did the customer told me she would pick up in the afternoon. I never nailed down a specific time because I was going to be home all afternoon so I blame myself. As the afternoon went one I started getting more and more mad. I called and e-mailed with no answer. 5pm came and she still was not there and I had plans in the evening. I don't know about you but 5pm is NOT the afternoon!!! Finally just after 5pm she showed up. Lesson learned...Always set a specific time.

As for having to meet a custom at a separate location, I would most definitely have something in your contract stating a time of pick up and a late fee!!

I worked in day care for 10 years and it was 1.00 a minuet when the parents were late. People just amazes me that they think its no big deal to be late. Like we dont have anything else going on in our life except to sit around and wait!

indydebi Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 4:30pm
post #4 of 27

I had one late cake pick up. It was a free anniversary cake so it wasn't a "big" deal to her, but come 5:00, I closed my doors and went home.

When I send my sampling appt confirmation email, I ask them to let me know if they run late or run into traffic .... because at 15 minutes past the appt time, I pack up and go home. Yes, I do put that right in the email.

I've never had a late arrival since I started using that.

This client is dictating your time. SHE is telling YOU when you'll be there for her. ("Oh I can't get there until 11, so you just sit around and wait for me."). One idea in responding to her voicemail would be "I'm sorry but I won't be here at 11:00. What time tomorrow do you want to pick these up?" You do not have to agree to whatever time they dictate. Yes, working with a client on a time that's convenient is part of customer service .... but she's not working with you on a time that's convenient to BOTH of you ..... 11:00 work for her so that's all thats important (to her!).

Kitagrl Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 4:37pm
post #5 of 27

I do have late arrivals....sometimes they get caught in traffic, or other times they planned too much to do in too little of time (party prep or etc).

I just work from home, so usually its ok...if I have something I have to do, I warn them ahead they MUST be on time or I'll be gone. And then they are definitely on time.

KKC Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 4:54pm
post #6 of 27

I charge $15.00 for every half hour you are late picking up. I started that at the beginning of the year when one of my customers was 5 hours late picking up her cake. My hubby stayed at the shop to wait for her because I sure as hell wasn't going to wait around for her. She finally did come at 11:30pm to get her cake. She had ordered another cake which she wanted 2 days later..I told her that we were not going to be waiting around for the next pick up so she either be on time or pay the fees. Of course she came like 1/2 hour earlier than she was suppose to.

leepat Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 5:21pm
post #7 of 27

I have set hours for pick ups. If you don't show up within those hours I close up and go home. Which is just a walk through the door. (I have an attached licensed commercial kitchen attached to my house) After hours I do not answer the door nor the phone. So far I have only had to eat 1 cake.

indydebi Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 5:48pm
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KKC

She finally did come at 11:30pm to get her cake.




Who even THINKS this is ok? icon_surprised.gif 11:30 at night? Do you have a big "walmart" sign outside your door?

People are idiots! icon_evil.gif

KKC Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 8:14pm
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by KKC

She finally did come at 11:30pm to get her cake.



Who even THINKS this is ok? icon_surprised.gif 11:30 at night? Do you have a big "walmart" sign outside your door?

People are idiots! icon_evil.gif




Tell me about it! My family were telling me that I WAS WRONG for not waiting until she came and got her cake. My time is valuable and I'm not about to sit around and wait for anybody! They felt because she paid for the cake that she should be able to get it...ok, why don't you come here and sit and wait till whatever time she decides to show up icon_mad.gif

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 8:17pm
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by leepat

I have set hours for pick ups. If you don't show up within those hours I close up and go home. Which is just a walk through the door. (I have an attached licensed commercial kitchen attached to my house) After hours I do not answer the door nor the phone. So far I have only had to eat 1 cake.




Well, at least in this line of work, we CAN eat the no-show product, so it does have it's perks! What if you were a dressmaker?

I like the idea of having set business hours, even if you do work from home. Once it's past 'closing time', unless the customer has pre-arranged a late pick-up well in advance, the business is closed -- even if you're sitting in the backyard or livingroom, you're on your own time now. Was that the doorbell? Nah, must have been hearing things. icon_wink.gif

Mensch Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 8:18pm
post #11 of 27

Your family is stupid, then.

I pay the dentist, but I don't miss my appointment and then show up to her office 6 hours after she closed for the day and demand my appointment then.

Man, ya'll need to stop letting your customers dictate how you run your business. You're making me angry.

__Jamie__ Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 8:48pm
post #12 of 27

Doormats!

dorie67 Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 8:57pm
post #13 of 27

You really need to set a specific time for the pick-up, don't leave it open (i.e some time in the afternoon) that just gives the customer the "right" to show up whenever the notion hits them and because you did not agree on a specific time, it would your bad fortune. princess.gif

indydebi Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 9:01pm
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dorie67

You really need to set a specific time for the pick-up, don't leave it open




.... and tell them 15 minutes past the appointed time, you consider it a no-show and you're giving the item away to a food bank, a soup kitchen, whatever ....

leepat Posted 5 Sep 2009 , 9:25pm
post #15 of 27

Well, I didn't really eat the cake we donated it to the hospital.

KKC Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 5:08am
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mensch

Your family is stupid, then.

I pay the dentist, but I don't miss my appointment and then show up to her office 6 hours after she closed for the day and demand my appointment then.

Man, ya'll need to stop letting your customers dictate how you run your business. You're making me angry.




My dear, you don't know my family to be calling them stupid. They're kind hearted people who felt bad that the girl had no one to help her with her party, which is why she was late picking up...of course I didn't care, I left.

If anyone is making you angry, then why don't you move on from this thread. I get so sick of people such as yourself that always have to unleash some kinda negativity. But from what I can tell by the things you post, its people like you who thrive on drama! Everyone comes here to ask for advice and they don't need people attacking them or how they do things. Why don't you grow up and keep your negativity to yourself...now you've made me ANGRY!!!

KitchenConvert Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 6:43am
post #17 of 27

I appreciate everyone's responses and I have no qualms about implementing a late fee policy going forward. I'm just starting out and will be learning these lessons along the way. Thanks for everyone's insight!

Mensch Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 7:14am
post #18 of 27

Aw, KKC, my dear. I'm sorry you felt attacked. I hope you feel better soon and can have a great day.

MustloveDogs Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 9:08am
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Quote:

Aw, KKC, my dear. I'm sorry you felt attacked. I hope you feel better soon and can have a great day




ooh, that is condescending. Take the advice and choose another thread.

Mensch Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 9:29am
post #20 of 27

Advice not taken. I happen to like this thread.

I can't believe so many people allow their customers to dictate how they run their business!

MustloveDogs Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 9:47am
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Quote:

Advice not taken. I happen to like this thread.

I can't believe so many people allow their customers to dictate how they run their business!




Whatever!
Go eat a cake, I think you need some sugar.

Well, this thread is actually about the OP, and she is telling her first late customer collection that they need to pick it up before 11am, so I hardly think she is being dictated to.

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LaBellaFlor Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 4:20pm
post #22 of 27

JMO, but I don't think Mensch was saying your family is stupid, but maybe what they said was. This is also JMO, if I come on here and say my Dh just did this messed up thing (whatever it may be), I'm openeing myself up to someone making a negative comment. I will correc them, but not take it personal. They're only making the comment to be on my side. JMHO

KKC Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 4:45pm
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

JMO, but I don't think Mensch was saying your family is stupid, but maybe what they said was. This is also JMO, if I come on here and say my Dh just did this messed up thing (whatever it may be), I'm openeing myself up to someone making a negative comment. I will correc them, but not take it personal. They're only making the comment to be on my side. JMHO




Well maybe you should go back and read the first thing he or she said. Had he or she said, 'what your family said was stupid', then I would've taken it a little different. But he or she flat out said, 'Your family is stupid then'. And then she goes and say 'You're making me angry'. icon_confused.gif You tell me then how am I suppose to take that? Am I suppose to say, 'you're right my family is stupid' ? icon_confused.gif Whatever, I'm over this...moving on!

LaBellaFlor Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 4:47pm
post #24 of 27

Like I said, MY opinion. Evey one has their own way of saying things. Don't attack me and thanks for moving on.

sew4children Posted 6 Sep 2009 , 5:03pm
post #25 of 27

I had a bouquet pickup yesterday for 11am. I was to meet her at a restaurant in town that is down the street from her home. She paid the delivery fee and 75% of the cost up front so she only owed me a couple of dollars. At 11:15 I called her and her daughter in law because they also owed me their deposit for her wedding cake. The customer returned my call around 11:20 and told me her son would be there in five minutes. She didn't want me to deliver the cookies to her home because she wanted to surprise her husband. At 11:45 she showed up with the deposit and cookie balance.

About an hour later, she called and complained because one of the cookies was broken when she got home. It was intact when I gave it to her and given her screwing up my Saturday delivery schedule, I couldn't believe her nerve. I so desperately wanted to tell her that the bouquet was fine when I gave it to her and that she should be grateful I didn't charge her for my time (I just remembered that they were 30 minutes late for the bridal consultation also).

I feel like I am still too new to be firm on these things, but they sure do drive me crazy!

CambriasCakes Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 4:20am
post #26 of 27

Some people can post some unbelievable rude things on here...it's called "couth" - get some!

BakerInHeels Posted 7 Sep 2009 , 4:39am
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CambriasCakes

Some people can post some unbelievable rude things on here...it's called "couth" - get some!





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