Help!!! Customer Bought Another Cake.what To Do?

Business By haymeli Updated 8 Nov 2010 , 2:13am by cakesdivine

haymeli Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:05pm
post #1 of 21

I need immediate help. I just finished decorating a cake for 150 guests. I call the customer to double check on the delivery time and she tells me that because she was not able to communicate with me this week she went and bought another cake. What do I do? She says she tried to call me, but I never received any calls. I would usually call ahead, but I spoke to her the week before and told her that everything was all set. What do I do now? Do I still deliver and demand payment? Do I keep the cake with the deposit and cut my loses? Please advice.

20 replies
-K8memphis Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:09pm
post #2 of 21

With what you've related there--I'd say cut your losses and cut me a piece of cake. No refund on the deposit.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:11pm
post #3 of 21

Was there anything in writing that she can come back & say she gets her deposit back because you did not fulfill? She can deny the phone call or change her tune to get money back--not saying she would but you have no documentable proof at this point do you?

Kiddiekakes Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:14pm
post #4 of 21

Who the H#**Does that....I wouldn't deliver it either and NO refund on deposit..What an ignorant thing to do..My guess is they went and bought another cake for another reason not that they couldn't get ahold of you.Why not donate the cake to a seniors home or shelter..Hope your deposit covered the loss...Some people are just stupid....

tarheelgirl Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:27pm
post #5 of 21

No refund on the deposit.. I hope you do have something in writing stating this. I always get full payment way before the delivery date.

itsmylife Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:33pm
post #6 of 21

Keep cake & donate & keep the deposit. It's too bad you didn't get full payment before delivery. I'm guessing she had buyers remorse & found something cheaper.

With so many ways of communication these days, I seriously doubt that there was no way that she could not get a hold of you. If she won't pay you, I don't think there is much you can do (i.e. take her to court..... you would probably end up spending more for that than the cake itself).

Incredibly rude and thoughtless of her to do this to you.

Sorry you have to go through this.

artscallion Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:35pm
post #7 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by haymeli

... She says she tried to call me, but I never received any calls. ...




I would ask her to be more specific about this statement. What does that mean? What happened when she tried to call? Did she get busy signals? Was your line not working? verify the number she was using. How many times did she try? Did your machine pick up? Did she leave a message? Was it with a person or on your machine? Did she just try calling once or twice, get a busy signal and give up?

The answer to these questions would help me decide how I'd handle it.

Ruth0209 Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 3:56pm
post #8 of 21

Take this as a learning experience. You never, never even turn on the oven until you have full payment (2-4 weeks before delivery date) for the cake. I don't know where you live, but this is a standard business practice everywhere I know of.

If she's told you she has another cake, don't bother to try delivering it. If you don't have a contract, she doesn't owe you anything.

haymeli Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 7:51pm
post #9 of 21

Thank you everyone for your help. I have not heard anymore from her and I will leave it as that, eventhough I just want to tell her off. Lesson learned the hard way. I have made close to 100 cakes and never thought something like this would happen.

BoozeBabe Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 8:14pm
post #10 of 21

Your cakes are beautiful....especially the wedding cakes. you must have found a real "flake" in that bride. OOPS maybe it wasn't a bride. Anyway, I hope the deposit covers your expenses other than your labor. Some people can be such jerks. Maybe party got cancelled and "couldn't communicate" is just the excuse. I think a senior center or homeless shelter donation would be a good idea. You could never eat enough cake for 150 icon_eek.gificon_eek.gif

apetricek Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 8:38pm
post #11 of 21

what an a$$!!!!!! I actually had someone call me in the past (the cake was done and ready to go in my fridge) and tell me that she wouldn't be able to get the cake, she was having a breakdown and a bad day ......WHAT? icon_eek.gif
I wouldn't worry a thing about what you did, sounds like she is an ignorant person...I agree with the others, any cake I do that is a large cake, full payment is due 1 week prior, in cash ( had a horror check experience). IF you don't have a contract GET ONE! So worth your time doing it, as it protects you and your time. KEEP her money...I also say donate it, I am sure there is somewhere that would LOVE and enjoy it! What an idiot...I can't stand people sometimes, no regards for anyone else...I think there is more to it, and it was easier for her to blame you....

Chef_Stef Posted 6 Nov 2010 , 11:14pm
post #12 of 21

No contract, and yeah, you're probably outa luck. I'm not sure I'd follow up toooo much with her, regarding the whole issue of: "when did you call? what time? how many times? Did you leave a message? why not?" etc...you may be asking for more trouble than it's worth. Obviously she's not getting your cake and has moved on, (case closed, in her opinion), but if you call to try and work out the details of 'why', you may find she wants money back if she gave you any, and again, without a contract, that won't be a fun conversation either. Your call, of course.

My advice:
1. Keep any deposit money.
2. Write contract for any future cakes.
3. Expect FULL PAYMENT 2 weeks before cake is delivered. Do NOT bake without payment.
4. Contact brides the week of, preferably 1-2 days prior to, the wedding.
5. Have a large party and tell everyone there's cake for dessert. icon_smile.gif

springlakecake Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 1:10pm
post #13 of 21

Were you available this week to recieve a phone call? I agree with the poster above that would question when did she call? Did she lose the phone number? was your email not working? etc.

costumeczar Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 1:37pm
post #14 of 21

If there's no contract then there's nothing you can do. It sounds like you've written her off already, but I wanted to reiterate other people's advice about getting payment in full in advance, and not just a day or two ahead. I have three weeks as my deadline, because that would give the bank time to report any bouncy checks to me before I started baking the cake.

DDiva Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 2:28pm
post #15 of 21

Chef_Stef and CostumeCzar said it all!!
Full payment in advance is the only way to go. I only take deposits on orders over $200 (50% non-refundable). Balance is due three weeks before the event date. On any order less than $200, full payment is due at the time the order is placed.

I teach a 'cake business' class. I use this analogy a lot....'if you buy a computer from Dell, you pay for it before they build it. Why would you do anything less?

You should also have a contract or posted policy for your customers. It protects BOTH of you.

This is one of the many 'lesson learned' moments that we have in this business. I don't turn on my oven unless I've been paid. Neither should you.

Love2BakeCakes Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 2:48pm
post #16 of 21

I say ... no return on the deposit, chalk it up as a lesson learned, and enjoy some cake with your family and friends, or donate it.

neelycharmed Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 3:03pm
post #17 of 21

Sorry that happened to you..
I had the opposite happen to me... She wanted a cake( spoke on phone and through FB), 2 weeks went by, never heard from her and never got the payment...
So I wrote her 6times, and called 3( left messages) the week of the party... never heard from her, so I didn't make the cake.
She showed up at my house wanting the cake.. I was in the back of the house and didn't hear her, so she then called demanding her cake and I told her that I didn't make it because I never heard back from her..

She blamed me, her husband, the phone company( for not getting the messages I left) icon_confused.gif and then she blamed her kids... then she told me that I need to communicate better with my customers and that she didn't use FB all the time (which is how I get 95% of customers) then she was yelling at me and hung up! icon_mad.gif
Sorry to hijack but just had to vent too.lol
Jodi icon_smile.gif

haymeli Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 4:36pm
post #18 of 21

I do have a contract, so I am not worry about loosing the deposit. I was just very upset for not getting paid for my hard work. It is Ok I have moved on.

costumeczar Posted 7 Nov 2010 , 4:41pm
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by neelycharmed

Sorry that happened to you..
I had the opposite happen to me... She wanted a cake( spoke on phone and through FB), 2 weeks went by, never heard from her and never got the payment...
So I wrote her 6times, and called 3( left messages) the week of the party... never heard from her, so I didn't make the cake.
She showed up at my house wanting the cake.. I was in the back of the house and didn't hear her, so she then called demanding her cake and I told her that I didn't make it because I never heard back from her..

She blamed me, her husband, the phone company( for not getting the messages I left) icon_confused.gif and then she blamed her kids... then she told me that I need to communicate better with my customers and that she didn't use FB all the time (which is how I get 95% of customers) then she was yelling at me and hung up! icon_mad.gif
Sorry to hijack but just had to vent too.lol
Jodi icon_smile.gif




What, you didn't read her mind? How RUDE of you! icon_rolleyes.gificon_lol.gif

cakesdivine Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 2:02am
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by haymeli

Thank you everyone for your help. I have not heard anymore from her and I will leave it as that, eventhough I just want to tell her off. Lesson learned the hard way. I have made close to 100 cakes and never thought something like this would happen.




It doesn't matter how many good experiences you have had. All it takes is one bad apple to cause a loss financially. You must have a firm contract in place and NEVER even bake the cake until the cake is paid in full, a good 2 weeks PRIOR to the event. Event days are way too hectic to try and collect funds on that day. You should charge at least 50% nonrefundable deposit on all orders. (I have a 50% or $300 deposit required, which ever is largest). So basically if a person's cake order is $300 or less they owe the entire amount at the time of booking. I have never had a cancellation once I began implementing this policy. The client knows you mean business. If you present yourself professionally you will be treated as a professional. If you present yourself as a person who does this as a hobby you will be taken advantage of at some point.

cakesdivine Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 2:13am
post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by haymeli

Thank you everyone for your help. I have not heard anymore from her and I will leave it as that, eventhough I just want to tell her off. Lesson learned the hard way. I have made close to 100 cakes and never thought something like this would happen.




It doesn't matter how many good experiences you have had. All it takes is one bad apple to cause a loss financially. You must have a firm contract in place and NEVER even bake the cake until the cake is paid in full, a good 2 weeks PRIOR to the event. Event days are way too hectic to try and collect funds on that day. You should charge at least 50% nonrefundable deposit on all orders. (I have a 50% or $300 deposit required, which ever is largest). So basically if a person's cake order is $300 or less they owe the entire amount at the time of booking. I have never had a cancellation once I began implementing this policy. The client knows you mean business. If you present yourself professionally you will be treated as a professional. If you present yourself as a person who does this as a hobby you will be taken advantage of at some point.

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