Dilemma

Decorating By mireillea Updated 3 Apr 2010 , 6:33pm by cakesbycathy

mireillea Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 3:58pm
post #1 of 14

Hi guys,
I hope you are willing to give me some tips on how you would handle this!

I made a Giraffe cake (my avatar) last December. It was ordered by the head of a hospital department, whom unfortunately also happens to be the husband of a very dear friend. He ordered the cake for the associates in this hospital department.
You have probably guessed already: the cake has still not been paid for. About two weeks after delivery and sending the invoice, I asked my friend, who was visiting, if she could take care of payment. She said that I should really take it up with her husband. He made the order so please send the invoice to his work.
Well, I did. And I have sent a reminder. And then a second reminder. And then I sent an invoice to his home address. And another one. I confronted him with it a month ago on her birthday. He would take care of it.
But so far no payment.
I really don't know what to do now. I don't want to turn this into a distressed relationship. We sometimes go to dinner with this couple. We sometimes come over to each others house for a drink. This doesn't happen very frequently, maybe three to four times a year. But I do see my friend every week. I don't want to get into trouble with her!
Thanks for your help in advance!

13 replies
Ruth0209 Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:07pm
post #2 of 14

You don't want to turn it into a distressed relationship? It already is. It's just that you're the one who is distressed and everyone else is perfectly happy. Who wouldn't be? They got a free cake.

Everyone has a boss. It's time to turn this bill over to the boss of the man who ordered the cake. You need to write them a letter with copies of all your requests for payment. He has been completely thoughtless to you, so if he's embarrassed by being called out, so be it. Either do that, or call and tell him that's what you're going to do if he doesn't show up on your doorstep within 24 hours with cash to pay for his order. Then if you have to go tell his boss, it's his own fault.

You sound like you are pretty close with the wife, but if she's aware of this, in my estimation she's not a very good friend.

And for future reference - NEVER, EVER leave a cake without having payment in hand. That's a really risky business practice.

catlharper Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:08pm
post #3 of 14

I would make the rounds one more time with invoices and speak to them in person as well. But you may have to take this as a lesson learned. All cakes need to be paid up front BEFORE delivery so this very thing doesn't happen. I'm so sorry it happened to you.

Cat

Ruth0209 Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:09pm
post #4 of 14

And totally off topic, my DH and I had the good fortune to visit your country a few years ago, and we were charmed by it. What a beautiful and friendly country. It's all I can do to keep him from moving us there!

bashini Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:09pm
post #5 of 14

Hi, I really don't know what to say, since you have reminded him so many times. You have to keep on asking for the payment till you get it. But next time, make sure you get the payment before hand from any friend. icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:14pm
post #6 of 14

You may just have to choose what is more important, the payment or the friendship.

Regardless...I guess no more cake for them unless they pay! And no more cake without payment at least at the time of pickup or drop-off.

Eisskween Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:18pm
post #7 of 14

Gee, I wonder how he would feel if he didn't get his paycheck at the end of the week? You did a job for him, you deserve to be paid. I'm sorry, but when she said take it up with her husband, that said a LOT about the so-called "friendship." I've been there, it's hard to admit when you're kindness in misinterpreted as weakness by a friend.

One more notice and then to the attorney. That would be my route. Business is business, friendship is friendship, the two should be kept separate.

mireillea Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:24pm
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

You don't want to turn it into a distressed relationship? It already is. It's just that you're the one who is distressed and everyone else is perfectly happy. Who wouldn't be? They got a free cake.

Everyone has a boss. It's time to turn this bill over to the boss of the man who ordered the cake. You need to write them a letter with copies of all your requests for payment. He has been completely thoughtless to you, so if he's embarrassed by being called out, so be it. Either do that, or call and tell him that's what you're going to do if he doesn't show up on your doorstep within 24 hours with cash to pay for his order. Then if you have to go tell his boss, it's his own fault.

You sound like you are pretty close with the wife, but if she's aware of this, in my estimation she's not a very good friend.

And for future reference - NEVER, EVER leave a cake without having payment in hand. That's a really risky business practice.




Hi Ruth,

You are so right, but it is just that it is a close relation (with his wife, you know the kind of relation where she tells you about marital problems and such), that I just don't dare to take the step to 'his boss'. He pretty much is a big shot around there and I think that he made the order by himself but in his position as head surgeon. In other words he gets all the cheers for it but doesn't have to pay for it himself. He will ultimately invoice it to as expenses.
If I make trouble at the hospital they will probably see me as the odd cake lady, but I doubt they respond in a serious way. And... his wife will probably also hear about this which will definitely cause a crack in our relation! I would so much want to be able to solve this without those cracks! I hope you understand!

mireillea Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:26pm
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209

And totally off topic, my DH and I had the good fortune to visit your country a few years ago, and we were charmed by it. What a beautiful and friendly country. It's all I can do to keep him from moving us there!




Thanks Ruth! That is the nicest thing to say! If ever you and your husband choose to move: you won't regret it! Netherlands is a small country, but we have lots of possibilities.

cheatize Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:27pm
post #10 of 14

Business is business. Why are we the ones to feel distressed? I ponder this quite often. He purchased something and did not pay. Send the invoice to the boss with as little explanation as possible. Let him explain to his boss why the boss got the invoice.

joenshan Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:37pm
post #11 of 14

Do you know for certain that the hospital is not paying for the expense? Perhaps you could ask him if there is someone in Accounts Payable at the hospital that you could contact directly. The reason I say this is that I worked in Accounts Payable for 10 years and I can't tell you how many times a vendor (including caterers) would call me looking for payment and the person who ordered it never submitted the invoice. All I needed was a copy and I walked it over to the person for approval and it was paid immediately. Just a thought...

MyDiwa Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 4:48pm
post #12 of 14

I know the wife is a good friend and I understand your reluctance to involve her and be on bad terms with her. I would suggest talking to her about it and saying "I know you don't want to be involved and you had said to take it up with your husband, but he still hasn't paid and it's putting me in a really bad situation. I feel taken advantage of and that's not fair. I juts wanted to give you a heads up, in honor of our friendship, that I'm now forced to take it up with someone at a higher level than your husband so I can get paid. This is my business and my livelihood and I delivered what I promised. I deserve to get paid. So I just didn't want you finding out that that's what I've done. I thought you should know where I'm coming from and what I'm going to do."

mireillea Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 6:05pm
post #13 of 14

Thank you all for the tips! The Accounts Payable route seems worth a try. And talking to his wife, o well, I have been trying to avoid that all the time. Especially, since she specifically told me that it was a business thing and that I had to take that up with her husband.
I am also thinking that he might find it 'too expensive', although he never said anything about that.
His wife ordered a 20 servings cake (3-D) a few years earlier for her FIL and I gave her a mega bargain for 40 euro. When her husband ordered this giraffe cake, he never asked for a price, it was 'just fine'.
Now, I never doubted the payment. They are a very wealthy couple, living in a superb villa. The week before she showed me a new rug under the sofa costing 4000 euro, and their new designer bed with a price of 4 zero's!!! Okay, I know, that is not my business, but these things did cross my mind when he ordered the cake. It is probably very unprofessional but I thought, 'they are good for it, they can afford it, he is probably not used to talking about a price, he just orders'.

I had been wondering about giving him a discount (because of her) but at the particular moment I asked her for the payment, she not only referred me to him, but also said 'and don't forget to ask your normal price, because the company is paying."
Well, I felt like I couldn't ask the now normal price, because, at that time, I had just raised my prices a week earlier. I ended up invoicing 150 euro. Not a bargain, but IMO still quite cheap for a detailed 3-D cake serving 40.
Unfortunately not in his opinion.

cakesbycathy Posted 3 Apr 2010 , 6:33pm
post #14 of 14

Keep the wife out of it. You already mentioned it to her once and clearly she does not want to be involved. Plus, she was not your client. He was.

You have given this man PLENTY of opportunities to make payment. Contact the accounts receivable payment with copies of all the invoices and any correspondence. Tell them you expect payment in one week or you will go to his boss.

Too freaking bad if it embarrasses him. He deserves it at this point.

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