Ok I Have Heard It All Now....

Business By loriemoms Updated 10 Sep 2010 , 2:26pm by emrldsky

loriemoms Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 11:38pm
post #1 of 16

People are so friggin fickled, and every day I always get a new surprise.

A couple of weeks ago this lady walks into the shop and orders a very simple cake. two tiered, with polka dots. 80 bucks. I was out on deliveries that day and the girl who took the order didnt know how much deposit to collect and she said we would be contacting her for her deposit. She said this because she didnt know how much the cake would cost. So I send the lady an invoice, with our typical email attachement that basically describes the cake order and that 50% is due upon order, with the price, etc. Now fast forward to this week. I am going over my baking schedule and I see we still do not have a deposit. I have been burned a lot and I dont even bake the cake till the deposit is paid. So I call her and leave her a voicemail that we still do not have a deposit and if I don't hear back from her by Wednesday, I will consider the cake canceled. I do this all the time, as again, I have learned you gotta give them your policy!
We hear nothing. Today she writes me this email stating that she wants to cancel her cake because she felt all I was interested in was collecting the deposit and that I didn't thank her for ordering the cake. Thank her? She said I was too "business and generic" and should be freindlier and she expected more of a thank you and I guess kiss her ass for ordering an 80 dollar cake...I told her that we send out these emails all the time, have been for years and they are business like BECAUSE we are a BUSINESS> I am not her friend, I am not her buddy pal. this is a business transaction, and if she doesnt like the fact I am calling to collect money then I am sorry, but that is what I have to do. I told her its too bad that her little girl is not getting a cake now! She felt that my giving her a deadline was "rude". (I guess she calls her credit card companies and tells them the same thing? To me, Its clearly a case of buyers remorse and I dont get why people jsut can't say "I deciided not to get the cake" instead of coming up with LAME excuses!!! (especiaally since my DH says I am a pushover all the time...so this was really funny to me) I geuss she wanted a perfumed letter?

15 replies
MariaK38 Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 11:52pm
post #2 of 16

... sounds like somebody changed her mind about paying $80 for a cake and didn't want to admit that she was looking for a bargain and tried to put it back on you. I hate it when people do that!
Take care!

jason_kraft Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 12:18am
post #3 of 16

To play devil's advocate here...you could consider this customer's reaction as constructive feedback and add a "thank you" or two to your standard email template.

And remember that as a business owner you should always communicate in a professional manner even when the customer is not. I don't think it's too much to ask for a local bakery to provide more personalized and friendly service than a credit card company.

I really hope you were exaggerating about your reply...you have no idea why this customer canceled her order, and you just lost her future business and potentially the business of anyone she talks to.

Kitagrl Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 12:51am
post #4 of 16

Is there a way you could give your helpers a standard deposit amount so that they can take the deposit even when you are gone (like $25 or $50)? Then you can follow up on the deposit with a "Thank you for your deposit" and then confirm the order or whatever you usually do.

I think the lady was acting a little silly.....but she may have felt funny about the way the helper didn't know how to help her complete the order with pricing and deposit information...maybe she felt it was unprofessional and she had second thoughts about ordering?

Just trying to think....if I went into a bakery and they couldn't give me pricing information or a deposit amount...I'd probably find another bakery. Although I wouldn't have been rude or mean about it...I'd have thanked them for their time and then quietly gone somewhere else.

Sorry this happened to you.

johnson6ofus Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 12:52am
post #5 of 16

Just can't make some people happy... professional billing is all that is required. A generic "thank you for your business" printed at the bottom is great. It doesn't come with a massage and a manicure...

cakesbycathy Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 1:23am
post #6 of 16

Oh for heavens sake!!
I have no doubt that your email to her was polite and professional. It really does sound like she was looking for an excuse and was using the "you didn't kiss my a$$" attitude as her excuse.

It's a business. Yes there is customer service involved but in the end it's a business and should be treated as such. And really, if the client behaves like that do you really want her as a client anyway? icon_confused.gif

indydebi Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 1:36am
post #7 of 16

oh my gosh how DARE you remind her that she has to PAY for her cake! Geesh, what kind of person are you anyway? dunce.gif

I have sent similar emails, and the one that comes to mind is the prom committee who was detailing me to death a week before the event (trying to order a special chocolate-fountain-chocolate that has a 4 week lead time) and I told her:

"I'm sorry but that chocolate has a 4 week leadtime so it's not possible to get it at this late date. however, that is the least of your problems. I have yet to receive payment for your event. If I don't receive full payment from you by 5 o'clock today, Cater It Simple will not show up at your event." I rec'd a call from the prom sponser and payment in full by noon the next day.

Your "customer" is just a b*tch.

Move on.

frankdiabetes Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 1:53am
post #8 of 16

I read so many posts here that make me glad I am a hobbyist who does only free cakes for family and friends.

You should consider this a bullet dodged, she definitely would have been one who comes back with a complaint and a demand for a refund. It was clear from the get-go that she didn't want you to have any of her money, it's lucky that you realized that BEFORE you provided her with a cake.

laboti Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 2:38am
post #9 of 16

i think it was a fair response from you by calling her and sending the email telling the price and the deposit that it is require for the cake , however maybe u should have a list of an idea of the deposit amounts that they need to get from the customer when u are out! good luck .=)

Auryn Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 11:49am
post #10 of 16

Don't even worry about her. Stash this away in your "some people are so bizarro" box so you can have a chuckle about it once in a while.

Quote:
Quote:

Just trying to think....if I went into a bakery and they couldn't give me pricing information or a deposit amount...I'd probably find another bakery. Although I wouldn't have been rude or mean about it...I'd have thanked them for their time and then quietly gone somewhere else.




- really you've never worked a job where maybe you didn't know everything and hoped that a customer would maybe give you some slack.
Would you prefer that the employee who isn't allowed to handle quoting or doesn't know how give you a totally random number that she came up with out of her head??

If the customer was that interested she should have called the next day to find out pricing- who orders something without at least following up to find out how much they are spending?

loriemoms Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 11:59am
post #11 of 16

Yes, my emails state not only thank you, but also have a We appreciate your business statement on the invoice. Many of my customers don't even READ the invoice which I think was the case with this lady (it is a PDF attachment) I am sorry, but I honestly do not have time to call every single customer and send them perfumed letters and hugs and kisses. I personally would not walk away from a business because I didnt get 100 thank yous. Not only have all my people been told to take SOME kind of deposit, but it is written on the order form right where they sign it! When you have employees, some of them you can talk till you are blue in the face with policies and how to do things, and they still don't listen. Just the fun of owning a business I guess.

I am afraid I just have the same kind of additude IndyDeb has...I work very hard, 12-16 hours a day, 7 days a week and I feel my cakes are pretty damm nice and delicious, and a pretty good value. But I have bills to pay, and baking and decorating cakes that never get picked up isn't going to pay the bills. A person who orders a cake 2 weeks ago should understand that three days before the cake is due, and they haven't paid a deposit is going to get a reminder that this is due. It is really people like this that does make those of us who have doing this a while a little more businesslike I guess! Wait till your first cake you worked hours on and haven't been paid for sits in your fride, unclaimed. YOu too will be alittle less "pretty" when someone ownes you money!

loriemoms Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 12:02pm
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by frankdiabetes

I read so many posts here that make me glad I am a hobbyist who does only free cakes for family and friends.

You should consider this a bullet dodged, she definitely would have been one who comes back with a complaint and a demand for a refund. It was clear from the get-go that she didn't want you to have any of her money, it's lucky that you realized that BEFORE you provided her with a cake.




I agree!! I also think she was hoping I would say Oh So sorry and give her cake for free or a discount or something....

loriemoms Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 12:03pm
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Auryn

Don't even worry about her. Stash this away in your "some people are so bizarro" box so you can have a chuckle about it once in a while.

Quote:
Quote:

Just trying to think....if I went into a bakery and they couldn't give me pricing information or a deposit amount...I'd probably find another bakery. Although I wouldn't have been rude or mean about it...I'd have thanked them for their time and then quietly gone somewhere else.



- really you've never worked a job where maybe you didn't know everything and hoped that a customer would maybe give you some slack.
Would you prefer that the employee who isn't allowed to handle quoting or doesn't know how give you a totally random number that she came up with out of her head??

If the customer was that interested she should have called the next day to find out pricing- who orders something without at least following up to find out how much they are spending?





Thank you!! YOu said it quite well!

cakeythings1961 Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 12:39pm
post #14 of 16

You didn't thank her for her order? HaHaHaHaHaHa icon_lol.gif If I walked away from every business that didn't show me some love, well, I'd have no groceries in the cupboard, no clothes in the closet, no kids in college, no cable TV, no gas in the car...........get the picture? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Sheesh. Everybody knows that custom work requires a deposit. icon_rolleyes.gif

NerdyGirl Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 1:14pm
post #15 of 16

I'm sure the assistant said "thank you for your order" or some variation, too.

There are very sensitive people out there, who just need coddling every step of the way. If it's a business message sent to me, I'd rather they just get to it rather than try to butter me up with pleasantries.

emrldsky Posted 10 Sep 2010 , 2:26pm
post #16 of 16

When you email your invoices out, does the email itself contain a text-version of the invoice? I do that because not everyone is comfortable opening up attachments.


She doesn't deserve a thank you, unless it's a thank you for walking out the door. icon_wink.gif She was rude and probably embarassed that she forgot or didn't know about the deposit deadline and was throwing it back on you instead of fessing up. People do this all the time.

Also, maybe I'm just a bit too nicey-nice, but whenever I send a first-time email to a client, I start by saying, "Thank you for choosing A Case for Cake!" and continue my email.

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