What Do I Do? Angry Customer!

Business By Karema Updated 30 Dec 2009 , 3:12am by MJP548

Karema Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:00am
post #1 of 31

Hi all, Happy Holidays...I had a lady order two cakes and two pecan pies. I had a Holiday Special of 1 cake and two pies for forty dollars and I gave her a second cake for $22. So she had a huge discount. Her order should have been $88. Well she put down a deposit of $40 and I made the order. My husband called to deliver on Christmas Eve and she was frazzled saying that her son just got robbed at gun point at the liquer store. Well he asked if she still wanted the order delivered and she said yes please bring it. Well we got there and she wasnt home.

We called several times then went to dinner and went to the house again and she wasn't there and called again. Then we called Friday and no answer and we left messages. She called today saying ok I want my cakes and I explained I had just donated it to the police station and fire department. So she wanted to know can she get her deposit back and I said no but was getting ready to explain why and she hung up on me! What should I do? Should I call her back? Should I give her a discount later? I feel bad but I only made $40 and now she wants it back.

30 replies
verisimilitude Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:05am
post #2 of 31

I wouldn't give it back to her. She renegged on your agreement, was uncontactable, and generally stuffed you around. You can't be expected to store people's orders at length without explanation - as far as you knew, she was avoiding you and had no money to pay the balance!

I'd explain it to her politely if she tries to call you back, but if she doesn't I'd consider it a blessing and blacklist her for future purchases.

lilthorner Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:06am
post #3 of 31

wow.. that was a mess! I probably wouldn't have donated it.. she didn't get it on Thursday and you donated it on Friday? I don't know the lady so her story could be a crock LOL but still it was only one day.. I'd rather have kept the cakes at least until today..
you didn't give this as one of the options but I would remake her stuff (i think it was dessert cakes, not decorated right?) Pecans are expensive, but according to my food costs I still wouldnt be out $$

aundrea Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:07am
post #4 of 31

huh?!?
heck no would i give her money back. it sounds to me that you made every attempt to deliver her cakes/pies. i think it was wonderful that you donated the items. and im sure police/fire dept appreciated your gesture.
i think if this customer wanted her order she would have been home or made an attempt to make other arrangements.
let it go- and move on.

kakeladi Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:10am
post #5 of 31

If there is any way you can verify her story then I would offer her a future order. Keep it w/in the price range of what she paid you.....in other words, don't give her what she ordered in the 1st place, but what is = to what she paid.
I can understand the problems of her not being available is the family really was involved in an armed robbery.

globalgatherings Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:12am
post #6 of 31

Don't call her, I agree with let it go and move on

all4cake Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:15am
post #7 of 31

Her total would've been $66, wouldn't it? 1 cake and 2 pies for $40 plus another cake for $22...=$66. I would've left 1 cake and 2 pies(equal to the special and the amount of her deposit) and if she failed to contact, donated the other cake.

I would refund her money and use the ACTUAL value of the cakes as a write off/credit/loss/whatever on my taxes....I don't expect anyone to agree with it...

DeeDelightful Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:18am
post #8 of 31

When you left her a message, did you explain that your next action would be to donate the cakes? Because she made a deposit, I would have held onto her cakes until i was able to speak to her personally. Then would have explained that i empathize with her situation, made several attempts to contact her, but after "x" days, I won't guarantee the same freshness as day 1. I really don't know what i would do. That's a hard one.

becky27 Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:24am
post #9 of 31

move on..and do not give her her money back...you can consider it a delivery fee and or storage fee...she could have easily called you and told you she had to go out but she specifically said bring it over and she was not there...you can't hold on to cakes/pies what does she expect??? keep the money and move on...

jamiekwebb Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:48am
post #10 of 31

If her story is legit than it is understandable as to her not being home. I would refund or remake her the $40.00 dollars worth. It was only one day and you never got to talk to her so... Yeah, she deserves something. That is a lot of $$ to pay to have something made than to have it thrown away (donated I know but thrown away for her) after one day of being late.

aundrea Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 2:52am
post #11 of 31

if you feel bad- and her story is legit (which can easily verfied). and she was busy dealing with her sons trama. then you can make one more attempt and offer her some type of refund or discount off of a future order.
but if she hung up on you-it sounds to me like she might not be so easy to reason with.
good luck

Karema Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 3:02am
post #12 of 31

I waited two days before I donated. I delivered it twice thursday, and called three times. I didnt hear from her on friday so I donated it today saturday. I feel like I'm already out of money because I didnt get the balance. How much money do I deserve to keep for buying the ingredients, making the cake and delivering it twice? I would offer her a small discount but I feel cheated already.

FromScratch Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 3:07am
post #13 of 31

She wasn't there on Thursday and she called today looking for her cakes (from what I am reading). She should have called on Friday... I know it was Christmas, but if she had called and even left a message you would have known. I mean I assume the cakes and pies were for Christmas?? I hope her son is okay.

cookiemama2 Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 3:09am
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karema

I waited two days before I donated. I delivered it twice thursday, and called three times. I didnt hear from her on friday so I donated it today saturday. I feel like I'm already out of money because I didnt get the balance. How much money do I deserve to keep for buying the ingredients, making the cake and delivering it twice? I would offer her a small discount but I feel cheated already.





I agree, you shouldn't feel bad. The cake/pies were to be delivered for Thurs. I don't believe a store would keep it for 2 extra days. Or try to deliver twice.

leah_s Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 3:21am
post #15 of 31

You more than did your part. Walk away.

LaBellaFlor Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 3:31am
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karema

I waited two days before I donated. I delivered it twice thursday, and called three times. I didnt hear from her on friday so I donated it today saturday. I feel like I'm already out of money because I didnt get the balance. How much money do I deserve to keep for buying the ingredients, making the cake and delivering it twice? I would offer her a small discount but I feel cheated already.




I think you did all you can and was great of you to donate them to the police. I'm just wondering where your profit would have been anyway selling 2 pies & 2 cakes with 2 free deliveries for $66. Heck, my pecans cost $10 for 2 lbs. And no refund. she wasn't there, twice.

Edited*

lilthorner Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 3:39am
post #17 of 31

u get to keep how ever much you feel entitled to keep.. ultimately it's your decision.. a 2 layer cake cost me (food, not time) about 3 bucks, unless I don't know how to add.. the icing maybe another buck.. I use 8 ounces of pecans in one pie so using labellaflor's pricing the nuts for the pie would cost me 2.50-sugar about .16, eggs about .30, vanilla .05 (maybe). karo .72 so I'm looking at no more than 5 bucks to make a pie that I charge 15 for (or maybe 13)

whatever u decde to do, just do the best for you

Karema Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 3:48am
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Quote:

a 2 layer cake cost me (food, not time) about 3 bucks, unless I don't know how to add.. the icing maybe another buck.. I use 8 ounces of pecans in one pie so using labellaflor's pricing the nuts for the pie would cost me 2.50-sugar about .16, eggs about .30, vanilla .05 (maybe). karo .72 so I'm looking at no more than 5 bucks




So $4 plus $4 plus $10 so that's $18 plus delivery. You said I should make it again so that would be $36 for ingredients plus cost of four cake boxes that cost about $1.50 each. So that's $6 so it would cost me $42 to make it twice and then she only owes $22. So I would only make $20 on the order? Not including delivary, gas and electric?

verisimilitude Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 4:06am
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karema

Quote:
Quote:

a 2 layer cake cost me (food, not time) about 3 bucks, unless I don't know how to add.. the icing maybe another buck.. I use 8 ounces of pecans in one pie so using labellaflor's pricing the nuts for the pie would cost me 2.50-sugar about .16, eggs about .30, vanilla .05 (maybe). karo .72 so I'm looking at no more than 5 bucks



So $4 plus $4 plus $10 so that's $18 plus delivery. You said I should make it again so that would be $36 for ingredients plus cost of four cake boxes that cost about $1.50 each. So that's $6 so it would cost me $42 to make it twice and then she only owes $22. So I would only make $20 on the order? Not including delivary, gas and electric?


That's just crazy, nobody in their right mind should expect you to do that. You went above and beyond, and it's not as if you ate the stuff yourself, you donated it. The woman rightfully lost her deposit - just like she would with any other business, had she behaved in the same manner.

LaBellaFlor Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 4:07am
post #20 of 31

So I see you figured you ingredients and extra pricing, but not labor. Your not making ANY money if your actually paying yourself...unless your telling me you can make 2 cakes & 2 pies in 5 mins.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 4:13am
post #21 of 31

You don't owe her anything, not any type of refund, not any type of explanation. She hung up on you remember. She owes you for gas. Even if she can verify that her son was robbed that still does not entitle her to a refund. After talking about the robbery, she still said that she wanted the order so whether it actually happened or not is irrelevant.

Karema Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 4:14am
post #22 of 31

Thats not my pricing I was using was using the example on the previous post. It cost me about $6 just for ingrediants per cake then $4 per pie so thats $20 just in ingredients then $3 for boxes and about $5 in lights and gas plus $5 in gas to deliver twice. So thats $33 then $20 in labor so that is $53 so she only gave me $40. Hey she still owes me $13! lol

LaBellaFlor Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 4:20am
post #23 of 31

Her order total is $63, less cost leaves $30. How long did it take you to make 2 cakes & 2 pies. I bake everything from scratch, so I know my time is a little longer. How long did it take you to make them? Also, how do you only get $5 to cover 2 deliveries? Is that to just cover your gas cost? What about how long did it take to do 2 delveries? How much are you charging for the time it took to deliver? Thats the actual expense in delivering, not so much the gas.

kathik Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 5:03am
post #24 of 31

I think you went above and beyond for this customer. The robbery is not an issue, because she requested you deliver it. You did and she wasn't there. You called multiple times and again tried to deliver it. I certainly wouldn't leave baked goods on her doorstep so I think donating it was a great solution.

Did you get a receipt fro the donations? If so, I might (if I was feeling VERY charitable) make a copy and send it with a short note stating that due to your inability to contact anyone either in person or on the telephone you donated the items before they went bad.

As for her being angry, I don't think she has any right, since you wasted the time and energy (not to mention ingredients) making the cakes and pies, calling her, and attempting multiple deliveries. It isn't like you didn't have things to do on Christmas eve and Christmas day besides think about HER cake.

I know it's hard when someone is angry, but it's not your fault!!

Kathi

indydebi Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 5:07am
post #25 of 31

This is why I nevered delivered non-wedding cakes. And I didnt' hang around for hours waiting for them to show up. One bride didnt' get her 1st anniv cake because I closed at 5:00 and she thought she could waltz up anytime after 5:30 and I'd be sitting there like a good little girl. Tuff toenails, babe. I have a family and things to do. She had to make another trip to pick it up.

Mensch Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 10:41am
post #26 of 31

i agree with the others.

1) You charged way too little

2) You went above and beyong the call of duty for this customer.

3) You should have saved them for more than a couple of days, and given the customer an ultimatum, for example that she must pick them up no later than XX time on XX date. After that they're being donated.

Mike1394 Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 10:45am
post #27 of 31

First off it doesn't matter what it cost you to make the cake, and pies. This doesn't figure in to the refund/norefund. You ran a sale.

I would've wrapped them, boxed them whatever, and saved them. How long would I have them ???? I don't know, but more than two days.

Mike

_Jamie_ Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 3:15pm
post #28 of 31

Geeeeeez. Collecting money on Christmas Eve???? Ugh! Paid in full! No exceptions! Especially on a holiday. What a bunch of stress and general crap. So glad I don't do this. How do you guys do this????? Seriously?? Not being a smartass, it honestly boggles my mind that anyone hangs hopes on being paid. Cause basically, all you can count on is the deposit they paid. Man oh man.

Deb_ Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 3:16pm
post #29 of 31

I doubt this woman will contact you again Karema concerning this matter.

I probably would have wrapped the items really well and put them in my freezer.....that way IF the customer decided to contact me I'd have product to give to them. Just a thought for you in case it happens again.

Did you have a contract or signed invoice?

lilthorner Posted 27 Dec 2009 , 4:09pm
post #30 of 31

i didn't say you should remake, I said I would remake the stuff.. that doesn't answer to the fact there there are quite a few things I would have done differently.. like paid in full. there is no way I would have baked anything for her without receiving payment in full. I also don't really have "specials" like that.. I also don't pay that much for my boxes.. LOL there are alot of reasons why everybody can give you different advice and it is great to see what everyone else would do.

I came from a customer service background, but I also know that "customer always right" isn't always the case.. on holidays, I don't deliver to individual locations (well I did for my fav customer.. but her order was about 225! I usually go to a central location and have the customers meet me.. like "my San Francisco meet location is at such and such place around this time.. it happens to be my husbands place of biz so I can be there as long as I need..

as I have said before, you gotta do whats best for your bus..

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