Dealing With This Bride, Any Help?

Business By shorty56 Updated 11 Jun 2010 , 1:18am by hsmomma

shorty56 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 1:47pm
post #1 of 39

i booked this bride for sept 4 (labor day weekend, always very busy). at the tasting she told me her reception is at a venue that is 45 min drive away, about 40 miles. i already had 5 other weddings booked for that day, so i knew the only way i could deliver it that far away was if i could deliver it in the morning. i told her that and she said "i'm a very determined bride, i'll make it work" and seemed to think it wouldn't be a problem. so i booked her cake. now she sends me this email:

"I spoke w/ the owner of the venue; who oversees the events there. She stated the earliest that you could potentially get into the place is Noon.
Also, I want to go ahead and pay for the wedding cake; now.... Will you be in at all??"

to which i reply:

" don't know if a 12:00 or later delivery will work for me. As I said at the tasting, I have 5 other wedding cakes to deliver that day and with your venue being so far away the only way I know for sure that I can deliver is if I could get in early in the morning. I won't be able to confirm my delivery schedule for that weekend until much closer to the date (most venues attempt to book multiple events in a day, and won't tell me this early on when I can deliver). If you want me to do your cake, but 12:00 is the earliest it can be delivered then you need to be open to the option of picking it up.

If you are willing to consider picking the cake up, we can proceed with further payment. If you know for sure you will want 100 servings, then the cake is $400, minus the $50 deposit, the balance is $350.00. ($75 delivery will be added on if I end up being able to deliver the cake).

Let me know what you would like to do!"

to which she says:

"As XXXX (fiancee) and I stated during the tasting; we are not open to the option of picking up the cake. We are giving you 3 (plus) month notice of the time; which from below is not what you are getting from others.
The wedding isn't until 630pm; giving a 6.5 hour window for delivery. Please advise; Thanks"

and i said:

"I know it seems like 12-6 is plenty of time to get things set up, but please understand that it will take me over 8 hours to get all of my cakes delivered that day (including driving time to and from each venue, loading/unloading and set up). With all of my weddings starting at around 5 or 6, I knew the delivery schedule would be tight if I booked your cake, which is why I only booked it after you assured me you would be able to "work it out" with a morning delivery. With your reception being so far away, I can't be as flexible with set up times as I can with local deliveries. I will do everything I can to work with your venue, but there is a chance that after 12:00 just won't be possible. I will call my other venues again and see if they can be more flexible than XXXXX (reception site), and perhaps allow me to set up a cake in the kitchen. But in the mean time please check with XXXX again and ask if someone would be willing to unlock the door earlier in the day, as a plan B. Even if the table isn't set up, I can leave the cake in the kitchen and it can be moved out later in the day if necessary. "

now she's saying:

"t's not that the XXXXX (reception site) isn't being flexible; it's also a factor of a cake sitting out for that long and in the area of setup and other vendors. Plus the fact that the staff themselves do not show up until Noon.. At the tasting (fiancee) and I both said that we would think they can be flexible, but would have to ask. I asked and gave you plenty of notice; in my opinion w/ the fact that the other venues haven't given you time I should have precedence because you know the time. I think it sounds as if you just do not want to deliver out that far at all. I mean a 75.00 delivery fee is hefty compared to others I have spoken with.

At this point; (fiancee) and I have decided to part ways with you and contract another Bakery. I am really disappointed in the fact that I don't want to wait to the last minute and have issues. I have a ton of other pieces and parts that I am working on and I can't be stressed about delivery.
We would like our deposit back due to the fact that you let us sign knowing that you were going to push against the delivery. "

how do you think i should respond? i most certainly did not "let htem sign knowing i was going to push against deliver". THEY signed knowing i could only guarantee delivery if it was in the morning. i'm thinking of refunding her the deposit just to get rid of her, but how to work it right, so she knows i'm not the problem here?

any advice? TIA

38 replies
ShopGrl1128 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 1:59pm
post #2 of 39

Advice???? yes: DROP. HER.

Irish245 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:01pm
post #3 of 39

I would kindly let her know that the other cakes were booked before hers and therefore they get first choice in delivery, and if it can't be delivered in the morning and/or she is not comfortable in you doing that and in the fact that she can get one delivered from another bakery for less, then you will be happy to return her deposit and she is free to find another baker that can accommodate her.

tesso Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:01pm
post #4 of 39

first off ... so sorry about that.. what a headache.

How aboutthis: in leu of the delivery misunderstanding, I have decided to refund your deposit. I hope you can find someone who can work within your delivery time frame. Best of luck in you upcoming nuptials..blah blah blah..

and be rid of her !!

Auryn Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:05pm
post #5 of 39

Oy vey what a piece of work.
On the contract that they signed does it say anywhere that you require the delivery to be done in the morning of that day???
If the contract does state it and they signed it- tough noogies for her you don't owe her anything.
If however the contract does not state the you require them to accept delivery in the morning,
I say send her a certified letter that requires a signature with her check back.
With this kind of person It doesnt matter how you state it to make them understand it their fault. Its never their fault because they are awesome and perfect and everyone else is a jerk for not bending to their will.

Just be happy this happened now so you can be rid of her and not 2 weeks before the wedding.

mamawrobin Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:10pm
post #6 of 39

I agree with all of the above. Refund the deposit and be done with her. thumbs_up.gif

GeminiCake Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:11pm
post #7 of 39

WOW!! Perhaps if she'd booked a little earlier then she would have first dibs on the time. But there are 5 people ahead of her, therefore, she doesn't get to choose, JUST BECAUSE she knows what time is available for delivery.

-Tubbs Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:14pm
post #8 of 39

But didn't you know? HER wedding is the most important, so HER's should take precedence.

I think you're well rid of this one. $50 is cheap to pay her to go away.

spring Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:20pm
post #9 of 39

Give her back the deposit and get rid of her.


Minette

all4cake Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:30pm
post #10 of 39

you have all her info...write out a check along with a copy of the cancelled order...(maybe write on the check...deposit refund/cancelled order)...and not email her again...you'll know she got it when the check goes through your account. Done!

shorty56 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:31pm
post #11 of 39

i've been working on composing a response (with DH help! what would i do without him?) how does this sound? suitably professional? i haven't sent it yet, so i can make changes if any of you think i should.....

"The cake will be fine sitting in the kitchen all day. There are no quality concerns with that, they're completed the night before, so it sits in a room all day regardless of whether thats at the venue or at my shop. We seem to be remembering differently whether you assured me that a morning delivery would be fine or not, but you clearly remember that I did have concern about timing and that I needed to get in early. I have been consistent in that concern, and getting this information this early doesnt change anything. No one bride gets priority over others. These time constraints are for your benefit as much as the other brides to ensure that Im able to set up properly without cutting corners or rushing at the last minute. Another baker may not have the same time constraints as me that weekend, so if you need to get your cake from someone else I understand.

I want to assure you that there are no hard feelings on my end, so I will refund your deposit even though I have been upfront about these concerns from the very beginning."

all4cake Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:35pm
post #12 of 39

I like that shorty

MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:46pm
post #13 of 39

Hi shorty56 ~ Just one thing to note... IF the building is not open at that hour and if they could even accomodate having someone open it just for your delivery, the kitchen room itself might be on the warm side (if the cake sits out and is not placed in a frig). Thinking of your best interest, I would be concerned delivering a cake at that time and then leaving it somewhere to most likely be moved several times (possibly by several people) before it is finally set up on display by someone else. ... I'm not in this business, though, but it's what came to my mind, and this particular situation worries me. Best wishes with however you handle this. icon_smile.gif

oceanslayer Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:50pm
post #14 of 39

You are all better people than me because I wouldn't refund a penny of the deposit. I would consider it payment for the amount of time spent trying to appease her.

jewels710 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:54pm
post #15 of 39

Did you have a fee for the tasting that was to be applied to the cake if ordered from you?
If so, I would subtract that from her "Deposit", refund her the remaining amount and be done with her.
She obviously promised something that she could not work out with regards to her venue. That is not your fault.
Let her be someone else's headache.

shorty56 Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:55pm
post #16 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuBakinBarbie

Hi shorty56 ~ Just one thing to note... IF the building is not open at that hour and if they could even accomodate having someone open it just for your delivery, the kitchen room itself might be on the warm side (if the cake sits out and is not placed in a frig). Thinking of your best interest, I would be concerned delivering a cake at that time and then leaving it somewhere to most likely be moved several times (possibly by several people) before it is finally set up on display by someone else. ... I'm not in this business, though, but it's what came to my mind, and this particular situation worries me. Best wishes with however you handle this. icon_smile.gif




i understand the concern, but this is a venue that does weddings a lot. i would expect them to be professionals and know how to move a cake. its not an unheard of thing (at least in my area) for venues to need to move a cake to its final location. theres one particular venue here that does it almost every week, because they set the cake up on an alter right next to where the brides get married, and the brides don't want hte cake out during the wedding! it might be a little warm, but its a fondant iced cake, so it should hold up fine. its not like its in 100 degree weather in the sun.

i think i'm going to go ahead and send that and hope she doesn't decide to go online and bash me to other brides. thats the worst part of being in business. even when you're not in the wrong, nothing stops brides from badmouthing you if you weren't able to accommodate their every whim.

indydebi Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 2:56pm
post #17 of 39

I also like the response.

As far as sitting on the counter "all day", what I've actually told people, "It sits on your counter or it sits on mine, it makes no difference to the cake."

As others have already mentioned: 3 months notice doesn't change the time constraints. If she was one of your already-booked-brides, would she be fine with you throwing HER to the curb because some other bride came in, stomped her little foot, and demanded that her cake be delivered FIRST?

Return the deposit and be done with her. THen say a little prayer for her new husband.

leily Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 3:04pm
post #18 of 39

just wondering, have you contacted the venue? Maybe they really don't have a problem opening up early and she just doesn't want her cake "sitting out" that long.

MalibuBakinBarbie Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 3:07pm
post #19 of 39

Hi shorty56 ~ Oh I completely understand about the professionalism of moving cakes and how often venues are required to do it. My concern (I should have been more specific) was if you delivered it without any kitchen staff being present to take accountability for it. But ~ as I said ~ I'm not in the business and don't know "the norms". I hope I wasn't out of line posting my thoughts in this particular forum category. Thank you, though, for taking the time to reply to my post. icon_smile.gif

jsmith Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 3:09pm
post #20 of 39

I think I agree with the bride. That would be an awful long time for her cake to sit out unattended, especially with all the set up an decorating that would be going on around it. I prefer to deliver my cakes as close to the reception time as possible so there's less chance of a disaster. I believe you overbooked your weekend. If the bride is paying the same amount for her cake as your other brides, then hers shouldn't get last priority just because you have too much on your plate for that day. If you wanted to take the order, then you should have hired someone else to deliver it for you within a reasonable time frame. I would refund her deposit and apologize.

Chasey Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 3:21pm
post #21 of 39

If you want to have the final word, then send your hubby's well thought out reply.

If you want to keep the order, that might do it for you....or she might have made up her mind since it sounded that way with the "parting ways" email.

IMO, if I were the bride, I would read that as someone trying to back peddle and change what was agreed on.

**PLEASE note that I totally agree with you, the baker!!!**

I am just reading this from the bride's point of view since she appears to be in diva mentality. (you know, it's your 103rd wedding and her first. icon_wink.gif )

If I were you, I would email her with something short and sweet:

I am happy to refund your deposit to hold your wedding date as we can not gaurantee an after noon delivery. Our recollections of the delivery time discussion appear to differ. I am placing your voided check into the mail today. I wish for you a beautiful ceremony and reception and congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!

carmijok Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 3:30pm
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsmith

I think I agree with the bride. That would be an awful long time for her cake to sit out unattended, especially with all the set up an decorating that would be going on around it. I prefer to deliver my cakes as close to the reception time as possible so there's less chance of a disaster. I believe you overbooked your weekend. If the bride is paying the same amount for her cake as your other brides, then hers shouldn't get last priority just because you have too much on your plate for that day. If you wanted to take the order, then you should have hired someone else to deliver it for you within a reasonable time frame. I would refund her deposit and apologize.




I believe she TOLD the bride that she had 5 other deliveries and what her situation was. The bride assured her that SHE would make it work. She didn't and now wants special treatment. And yes, hers SHOULD get last priority as she booked her cake last and knew the special circumstances. When I booked cakes, we could only take a certain amount and if they didn't sign up before another bride, well, you snooze, you lose! And if someone dropped out the deposit was non-refundable. In this case I think I would return the deposit as this was an add-on anyway. Hiring someone would have made it work...but maybe it's hard for her to find someone to trust to deliver it properly! I think a returned deposit with a note that expresses her disappointment that it didn't work out is sufficient.

KASCARLETT Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 3:30pm
post #23 of 39

I wouldn't go into a big discussion about anything, I'd just do something short and sweet like a few have mentioned.

CakeandDazzle Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 3:55pm
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanslayer

You are all better people than me because I wouldn't refund a penny of the deposit. I would consider it payment for the amount of time spent trying to appease her.


costumeczar Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 7:48pm
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by spring

Give her back the deposit and get rid of her.


Minette




Yeeessssss...... It shouldn't even be a question of what to do, you should be happy to be finished with this.

cheatize Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 8:13pm
post #26 of 39

I agree with Chasey. Don't fuel her little fire because she'll nitpick something and bash you all over town. Refund the money and be done with the mess.

jenmat Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 10:43pm
post #27 of 39

another thought, if you choose to deliver that early, and IF it sits out in the kitchen all day, it doesn't matter- she will find SOMETHING wrong, or someone who had a stomachache (from too much guinness) and blame it on you.

The only thing is that a deposit is used not only to book the date but in my opinion as a good faith "I am taking up your time and I intend on paying you for your time."

You have already put time into her cake (consults, sketches, etc.) so if it were me, she would get a PARTIAL refund because of the time you have spent with her.

JMHO!

catlharper Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 11:14pm
post #28 of 39

I have to say I have to agree with those who have said, refund the deposit and be done with it. No more discussion. If you MUST send a reply email then it would say something like "It's terribly regretful you were not able to work out an early delivery time with the venue. Of course I'll be happy to refund your depost and will mail it off to you today. My best wishes for your wedding day and to your and your fiance." Then mail it off certified mail and be done with it. And then realized you just dodged a bullet with this one! (((HUGS)))

Cat

mindydaile Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 11:15pm
post #29 of 39

Tell her that cake priority goes by date booked (first to last) NOT by when the venues can confirm delivery time. She seems to think that just because her venue can tell you a time she should get to jump ahead of people who planned and booked way in advance!

costumeczar Posted 2 Jun 2010 , 11:20pm
post #30 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by shorty56




At this point; (fiancee) and I have decided to part ways with you and contract another Bakery. I am really disappointed in the fact that I don't want to wait to the last minute and have issues. I have a ton of other pieces and parts that I am working on and I can't be stressed about delivery.
We would like our deposit back due to the fact that you let us sign knowing that you were going to push against the delivery. "




The OP said that the bride had basically fired her, so it isn't a matter of calling the venue and checking on times, etc. Just give her the deposit back and be happy that you're done with her. You're right to watch the wedding review boards, though, this is the kind of person who will go on and exaggerate everything.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%