Weird Client Situation

Business By tootie0809 Updated 20 May 2010 , 2:08pm by Sweet-Sensation-Cakery

tootie0809 Posted 14 May 2010 , 1:21pm
post #1 of 37

I got a few emails from a potential client a few weeks ago asking if I did consultations. Most of my clients who email me give me their names or at least sign the end of the email with their names and give some sort of information on what they want. This client was just "Hi, do you do appointments in the evenings and do you have cakes to taste?" I emailed back that I do and to please call me when she is ready to schedule. The reply was "Great I will let you know in a couple of weeks." Again, no signature, no additional info. I figured at that point they would not contact me again. No biggie.

Earlier this week I get an email from the same person saying "Do you have any appointments on Friday?" I emailed back and gave her a couple of time slots I had available. The reply was "great, the 4:00 is fine." I then emailed back and said I need some information before the appointment (like her name, what samples she wants to try, date of event, how many people are coming with her). I asked her to please let me know this by the next day so I had time to prepare. No reply. Emailed her again the next day asking again nicely to please let me know the information by that afternoon. Again, no reply.

The appointment would have been for this afternoon but I just have a weird feeling about this person. Why wont she email me any additional info other than she wants to meet? Now I must say that this person did respond from an email blast I had sent out from a bridal show last month. I got the bride list and emailed all the brides who attended that show and this person replied to that email from me, so its not some random person. On the bride list there is no information other than this persons email and her name, so I cant find any phone number etc. I just wonder why she refuses to email me back any information on what she wants but just wants to meet. She was really fast at emailing back when she was asking questions, so I dont think its that she isnt getting my emails. I think shes just ignoring them and I dont understand why? Would you be a little apprehensive about this one? I just dont let random people come into my house to just taste cake at will, so I ended up emailing again last night saying nicely that I have yet to hear from her with the information I need in order to proceed with the appointment and that I need time to prepare for it and get the samples ready and that if I dont have that information by the end of the night that I would have to cancel the appointment. Ive heard nothing yet. I just have a funny feeling about this one.

Sorry this is so long, but Im perplexed by it and wonder if any of you would have handled it different. Was I right to just cancel the appointment or should I still be available should this person show up at my door and still meet with her?

36 replies
sherry_lyn Posted 14 May 2010 , 1:33pm
post #2 of 37

You gave her an appointment time & your address without even getting the event date? I don't do anything without a date at the very least... how do you know if you're even available?

indydebi Posted 14 May 2010 , 1:36pm
post #3 of 37

*IF* she shows, just look puzzled and tell her, "I'm sorry, and you are .....?" Let her know that you had an inquiry for a 4:00 appt but since you didn't get an answer to the last email so everything could be confirmed, there is no appt. However, you would be HAPPY to take her info NOW and set an appt for LATER! icon_twisted.gif

tootie0809 Posted 14 May 2010 , 1:40pm
post #4 of 37

No I never gave her my address, so that was another thing I wondered about is how she thinks she's going to find me. Another thing I thought was weird. All I had said was I had an appointment available at a couple different times and she replied back saying that's great and then I emailed saying I need some information before we meet, and that's when her emails stopped. If they google me, they can find my address on google maps so it's still possible they could show up even though I didnt' give them my address.

Debi, I think that's a great idea. IF she shows, I'll do just as you've suggested! icon_smile.gif

all4cake Posted 14 May 2010 , 1:56pm
post #5 of 37

Sometimes, I get emails sent from Blackberries (looks funny to make it plural like that...n e way) with no signature...matter of fact, the only ones I get without a signature are ones sent from Blackberries...

Maybe she lost her service...maybe?

dchockeyguy Posted 14 May 2010 , 3:44pm
post #6 of 37

That really is weird. I'm not sure I'd even want the business. I have a feeling this person would be difficult to deal with. That, or she's really not serious. Like she wants to run around tasting people's cake.

LilaLoa Posted 14 May 2010 , 3:59pm
post #7 of 37

She'll probably email you at 3:30 asking for your address and letting you know what flavors she wants to taste!

If the tastings are at your HOME and you feel uncomfortable --- don't do it. You're not obligated. It IS weird.

tootie0809 Posted 14 May 2010 , 4:28pm
post #8 of 37

Okay, so she just emailed me now finally. Still not giving me what flavors she wants. I'm definitely having my husband be at the appointment with me. Normally I kick him out of the house when I have consults, but today he'll be sticking around. Will let you know how the consult goes....if it happens. LOL!

costumeczar Posted 14 May 2010 , 7:00pm
post #9 of 37

Get ready to charge her a PITA fee up front, becasue she's going to be one!

dchockeyguy Posted 14 May 2010 , 7:09pm
post #10 of 37

I keep your dog around too! icon_smile.gif

pugmama1 Posted 14 May 2010 , 7:18pm
post #11 of 37

Absolutely have your husband present if and when she comes. Too much crime these days. And stay firm on your request for information beforehand. Someone who is difficult in the beginning often does not get easier to deal with over time.

linstead Posted 14 May 2010 , 7:49pm
post #12 of 37

So you are doing what I would do - keep the husband there. Even if she (if it is indeed "she") responded to your email blast who knows these days where emails come from. I am always suspicous and since you do this in your home would be extra cautious. Let us know what happens...

tootie0809 Posted 14 May 2010 , 10:30pm
post #13 of 37

So here it is 30 minutes past the appointment time and no call and no show. Surprising? Uh no, but very annoying. I just wonder WTH? She emailed this morning saying she's coming with 3 people and then doesn't show up? I wonder if this is someone with no life who thought it would be funny to set up an appointment and not show? Maybe one of my competitors who has nothing better to do and is jealous of me?!?!! LOL!

I really have to wonder about certain people sometimes. Oh well, other than the annoyance of getting samples and other things ready for the appointment, I'm glad the little witch didn't show. I really would have been extremely apprehensive about taking her on as a client anyway. Like others pointed out earlier, probalby would have been a major PITA. I don't need clients like that. I'm perfectly busy enough with nice, normal, respectable brides. I still think something fishy was up with this and it wasn't real to begin with and it's just some loser with no life.

Lesson learned. Never scheduling an appointment again by email. New policy is they must contact me by phone to schedule. No exceptions.

Anyway, off to enjoy my weekend now! icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif

KHalstead Posted 14 May 2010 , 10:47pm
post #14 of 37

New policy should be that you secure a credit card number and if they don't show, they PAY! lol

Auntie_RaRa Posted 14 May 2010 , 10:48pm
post #15 of 37

Hate to hear that happened to you. Funny though, majority of my clients set up appointments via email and for the most part no problems. A few called have called via phone to schedule. I had one this week who called by phone to schedule and she was a no show. It's a gamble either way.

jammjenks Posted 14 May 2010 , 11:00pm
post #16 of 37

I think you should name this new policy after her. "My Jane Doe tasting policy is that..."

icon_lol.gif

tootie0809 Posted 14 May 2010 , 11:31pm
post #17 of 37

Yeah, I've actually had one no-show from someone who called, so calling doesn't mean they will for sure show, and I have scheduled appointments before by email with no problems, but I think it's easier for those who aren't as serious to email and set up an appointment. Thankfully, this is probably only my 2nd or 3rd no-show in the past year, so it's definitely not a problem and even those that have had to cancel in the past have called or emailed. Just the way the whole thing has gone from the beginning had me suspicious that something was "off" about it, so I'm just wondering what the motive was. I truly feel this person never intended to show up at all. I'm just glad I have a life and somewhat of a brain. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 15 May 2010 , 12:15am
post #18 of 37

yeah, I made all of my appts via email, and the very very few who called to set one up ... it was all confirmed by email.

tootie0809 Posted 16 May 2010 , 4:52am
post #19 of 37

So I get an email tonight at about 6:00 p.m. (24 hours after appointment no-show), saying "Sorry I missed appointment. Something came up. I'd like to reschedule for sometime on Tuesday afternoon. Let me know what time. Thanks."

Uh, seriously? She's getting chirping crickets from me!

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 17 May 2010 , 12:59am
post #20 of 37

Cut her loose. Seriously, no name, no flavors, was she even going to pay for this tasting?

Unless I get at least a name so I know who I'm dealing with, then I don't consider anything reserved. After all, who are you reserving it for?

Tug Posted 17 May 2010 , 1:14am
post #21 of 37

Why would you even bother responding to her at this point?

tootie0809 Posted 17 May 2010 , 1:21am
post #22 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tug

Why would you even bother responding to her at this point?




Exactly! I have no intention of replying at all to her. She did finally give me her name when she'd emailed me the morning of the appointment, but after the no show and just the whole thing from the beginning and the way it's gone, I am not even going to think about responding to this little twit. Even if she begged at this point for an appointment, I'm not desperate enough for business from people like her. No way!

Sweet-Sensation-Cakery Posted 17 May 2010 , 1:43am
post #23 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by tootie0809

So I get an email tonight at about 6:00 p.m. (24 hours after appointment no-show), saying "Sorry I missed appointment. Something came up. I'd like to reschedule for sometime on Tuesday afternoon. Let me know what time. Thanks."

Uh, seriously? She's getting chirping crickets from me!





lol chirping crickets, thats funny! icon_lol.gif

cai0311 Posted 17 May 2010 , 3:19pm
post #24 of 37

Personally I would have told her "no problem, we can schedule an appointment Tuesday but because of the missed appointment the Tuesday's tasting will cost $30 and must be paid in cash by noon tomorrow". If she showed to pay you then you would know she was serious about the appointment and if she didn't show to pay then you knew with plenty of time that the appointment was off.

I would be annoyed if a vendor never replied to my email - even if I was in the wrong. Plus, she could tell people that so-and-so never replied to her email and leave out the other details that lead up to that.

cakesbycathy Posted 17 May 2010 , 5:16pm
post #25 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cai0311

Personally I would have told her "no problem, we can schedule an appointment Tuesday but because of the missed appointment the Tuesday's tasting will cost $30 and must be paid in cash by noon tomorrow". If she showed to pay you then you would know she was serious about the appointment and if she didn't show to pay then you knew with plenty of time that the appointment was off.

I would be annoyed if a vendor never replied to my email - even if I was in the wrong. Plus, she could tell people that so-and-so never replied to her email and leave out the other details that lead up to that.




IMO this is a more professional approach than just blowing her off.

tootie0809 Posted 17 May 2010 , 5:49pm
post #26 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by cai0311

Personally I would have told her "no problem, we can schedule an appointment Tuesday but because of the missed appointment the Tuesday's tasting will cost $30 and must be paid in cash by noon tomorrow". If she showed to pay you then you would know she was serious about the appointment and if she didn't show to pay then you knew with plenty of time that the appointment was off.

I would be annoyed if a vendor never replied to my email - even if I was in the wrong. Plus, she could tell people that so-and-so never replied to her email and leave out the other details that lead up to that.



IMO this is a more professional approach than just blowing her off.




Good points! I hadn't thought of it that way and realize I need to remain professional. I like the idea of requiring a fee up front though in order to continue with another appointment. I normally don't charge for tastings, as no-shows are a very rare occurence for me, but in a case like this, I think it is definitely a good idea. I think once she realizes she will need to pay first, she'll probably not even schedule the 2nd appointment anyway. Thanks for the good suggestions!

carmijok Posted 17 May 2010 , 5:50pm
post #27 of 37

I don't know...even if she paid you something for the missed appointment, she sounds like a flake and not worth the effort. She sounds like the type who won't make up her mind about what she wants until the last minute and then complain about it after it's over. She wants you on HER time.
Drop her like a rock. Just tell her you're already overbooked on her date. And in the future when you get an email like hers requesting an appointment I'd just send one back with the following:

Before any appointment is set I must have the following information:
Your name
Phone number
Type of Event, Time and Date
What flavors you wish to try.

Appointments must be confirmed or canceled 24 hours prior to meeting.
No confirmation will result in an automatic cancellation of the appointment.

Just an idea. We used to tell our brides this at the bakery I worked for and it was no problem. This chick is no doubt a Bridezilla. Good riddance.
thumbsdown.gif

dchockeyguy Posted 17 May 2010 , 7:56pm
post #28 of 37

Personally, I think at this stage of the game I'd write a very professional sounding e-mail to her telling her that you aren't interested in working with her (or something along those lines). I don't think she is worth your time at this stage of the game.

weirkd Posted 17 May 2010 , 8:17pm
post #29 of 37

I agree with the fee. Email her and tell her that your in a business and that missed appointments mean time away from other clients (even if its not the case). Tell her that setting up an appointment means that you have to have 24 hours notice since it takes you a day to prepare everything because its baked fresh. And that if she is still interested she needs to give you the following information (event date, time, etc) because you may already be booked.
Then, you want to add to your website or whereever they are getting your info, in deep dark letters "There will be a $30 charge for missed appointments. If you are unable to make your appointment, please give us a courtesy call". Ive NEVER had a no show. Wait, I had one girl who said that she had a flat and wanted to reschedule a week later and I assured her that I was not going to rebake everything all over again. She was very flaky at first. But she ended up following threw and booked, etc. So like the other person said, make sure you dont handle it as personal, handle it as a business.

tesso Posted 17 May 2010 , 8:19pm
post #30 of 37

just a suggestion...

when someone sends an email like that I reply with, a standard email that I can sendquickly. Thank you for your inquiry, yes, I do provide tastings, and consults, in order to book a tasting you will need to complete the attached questionnaire, and send back to me etc..etc.. you get the point.

It really helps weed out the no-shows and the "let me waste someones afternoon" people.

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