ok, I have a story for your opinions. A month or two ago I decided to quit doing cakes for random people. Just close friends, church, family. I had already promised a few cakes and i promised to keep those promises. One cake i had scheduled was a wedding cake for June 26 for my son's karate instructors daughter's wedding. that's alot to follow.
Well, the karate school owners have a reputation of bouncing checks and other "questionable" things, but I have always given them the benefit of the doubt. We agreed on a price for the wedding cake and I gave them a "description of the cake" along with a price. I asked them to sign it and return with the deposit which was $100. Charging them $200 for the whole cake.
So she kept pressuring me to do some other cakes for her daughters birthday, graduation and wedding shower, but I refused since i was giving it up for my family and gave her another girls name that does cakes. On occassion at karate the owner has complained to me about the girl keeps changing her price or says she cant do this or that. I felt like she was trying to pressure me into changing my mind about doing the cakes.
Anyway, today I got an unexpected call from the other cake baker, Katie. I have never talked to this lady in person, so i was surprised by her call. She told me that she had a customer who ordered a cake for today. They had talked all week about the details of the cake. This morning she recieves an email saying she no longer needs the cake after it is already made.
She asked me if i had ever had this happen and how do i handle it. I told her i had never had that happen. Didnt know what she could really do without a written contract or a license at leaset in a court of law. I suggested she donate it or try to sell it to someone else for half the price.
I then asked her if the person was someone i sent to her and she said yes. I asked if it was "so-and-so". She said yes. I was so mad that my customer did this to another cake baker. I emailed her and told her how upset i was and how wrong it was because this person put alot of time and money into this cake. She deserved a weeks notice.
Then i proceeded to tell her that she needed to find another cake baker for her wedding cake because i did not intend to get screwed like this. I have not recieved an email back but Katie called me saying that she called her very mad and blaming her that she now doesnt have a wedding cake.
She said that she intended to pay for the cake or the materials if it hadn't been made yet. (like you can make a cake in 10 minutes or something) Claims that she sent another email saying that, which apparently got lost in the system. Katie told her she wasn't going to argue about it, but she was giving the cake to her grandmother and to forget it.
Now I am feeling a little guilty for saying I would not do the wedding cake for her. In a sense, I think she deserves that just for being so inconsiderate, on the other hand, I am not one of those people who like to be vengeful and not live up to my promises.
Do you think I should keep my promis to do the wedding cake and just ask for full payment up front or should I stick to my guns and not do the cake. I was giving her a really good deal on the wedding cake and I think anyone else would chage $350 or more for the cake based on servings.
Wow...I can't believe she did that to your friend! After reading all of that, if you have the slightest of doubt in your mind that you will have the same or similiar problem...(clearly you do, otherwise you wouldn't pose this question) then you have your answer.
It's NOT worth it. Even IF she does pay in full up front (good luck with that), she sounds like the type of person that will FIND something wrong with it after the fact and demand some refund. And days after the wedding, you'll be posting a new topic: "should I refund all or partial"?
It sounds like your kindness and generosity is being taken advantage of. Save yourself the headache and rid yourself of this person. Just my .02 cents...
I would cancel. I would not do a cake at a discount for a person who disregards someone else's time and money. Dump her on someone else. I might say that I would do it if she pays the other lady in full even though she got no cake. Business people do tell other business owners about clients that don't pay. But, again, if someone made me look bad to another busiess, I would leave her without a cake.
I agree with all that has been suggested so far. I am very easy to get along with and tend to give just about everyone the benefit of the doubt. But prove just one time to me that my trust is misplaced and that person will have to work pretty hard for a long time to win back any confidence from me.
Just my opinion, but I believe that you will be better off breaking off any connection with this person.
My reaction to this will be to advise the customer that it is very unfair to the other baker in this manner and to pay her for the cake and that I will think carefully if I want anything to do with her in the future but as I have got a contract, I will go ahead and demand that she pays the full price before i turn the oven on for her cake.
thanks guys! as of right now, she has not responded to my email or contacted me about her wedding cake. My child did not go to his karate class last night...lol. he wanted to quit anyway to play baseball, so this seems like a good time to pull the plug. I know that my friend Katie scrapped off the name on the cake and is giving to her grandmother for her birthday this weekend. IF she contacts me, I might be willing to negotiate a full payment, but at this point I think she knows she was wrong and she will just avoid me. So I won't push it anymore unless it comes back up.
oh and I was her second wedding cake baker....the first one bailed as well. Wasn't sure why...but now I am getting a better idea.
I didn't see that you had a contract when I first responded. If she doesn't respond or pay by the correct date, drop her... no reminders... unless you want the money. But it looks like it will resolve itself with you keeping the deposit. Good luck.
actually i dont have a contract. She never signed and returned it to me and I have not recieved any deposit.
I agree that you should get out of providing the wedding cake. You should tell the woman that because you didn't receive her signed contract/deposit you did not hold the date and now have a family obligation that day.
However, I completely disagree with how you handled the situation. It was not your place to contact the woman about a cake you did not make for her. It was also very unprofessional to put blame on not providing the wedding cake because the woman did not pick up/pay for a cake from another baker.
I can see why the woman would be upset and blame the other baker for your refusal to make the wedding cake. While the woman was wrong by not paying for the cake, the other baker should have protected herself by having a deposit, full payment, contract...something. That is just smart business.
i would not have contacted the customer if I had not been the original baker for her. I feel somewhat responsible considering I told the customer to contact this other baker and also the fact that I knew their reputation of "not paying bills". Like I said, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and considered all I had heard gossip and hearsay. In a way, I felt like the baker and the lady were my customers, so I felt partially to blame. The baker told me that she did not blame me in any way and that I should quit apologizing.
So maybe I didnt handle it right, but I was upset. thank you for your honest opinion.
You can also remind the lady that since she did not sign the contract and make the deposit by said date (if you gave her a deadline) you are not responsible for making the cake regardless of what she did to the other cake baker.