What Would You Do? Problem Customer (Long, Sorry)

Decorating By chilz822 Updated 19 May 2011 , 9:44pm by sugarlover

chilz822 Posted 18 May 2011 , 12:11am
post #1 of 19

Heres my scenario, what would you do?

My business is bake per order, no storefront (but completely legal! icon_biggrin.gif ). I make a lot of contacts and generate my business through word of mouth, referrals, the Farmers Market, and Facebook. When a client and I agree on their design, price, date, etc I let them know that I charge a non-refundable deposit upfront and the balance due at delivery. Pretty standard, I think.

So, I have a client who attended a party where I supplied the cake, cookies, & cupcakes. She emailed me and wanted the exact same setup, same pricing, with a few very minor tweaks. No problem. We spoke on the phone to confirm and elaborate and finalized everything via email. She informed me that she didnt get to actually taste the cake at the party she attended and would I bring her some samples to try. She named specific flavors and I obliged. We delivered them to the address she requested (not her home, but her boyfriends), in a very un-savory area of town. We drove more than 20 miles to take them (at no charge). We collected the deposit when we delivered the samples. The next day she emailed me to tell me that they didnt care for any of the flavors they tried and would I bring more. I declined stating this was not within our budget nor our time to continue to drive to this location and bring them more free samples. At that time, I offered to refund their non-refundable deposit since they were not satisfied and this would still give her time to locate another baker. At this point, I obviously have a bad feeling and reservations.

I did not hear back from her for a couple of days. When I did, she said she would find someone else for the cake but still wanted the cookies and cupcakes. I replied back with an OK. She immediately emailed me back to tell me to disregard her last mail and that she would use me for everything but she was attending another party I was supplying and wanted to try that cake first. (sigh!).

She emailed me again 2 days after that party to tell me that the cake had cracked and 'fallen apart' and was there anyway to prevent it from happening to her cake (the cake was fine when we delivered and left it but they transported it somewhere else after that). I told her that no one had emailed or called me about any damage and could I see a photo. I again told her I wanted to return her deposit and cancel her order as I felt we were not making good progress and did not want to waste her time (right!). This was 2 days ago. I have re-sent the email twice and still have not heard back. I have a gut feeling that I am going to show up at her door with a 3-tiered cake, 36 cookies and 36 cupcakes, only for her to find something she doesnt like and send me away, taking a huge loss.

How the heck do I handle this? We are going to try to call her again in the morning and ask for an address where we can mail (certified) her deposit back. I do not want her trashing me on FB or anywhere else but I feel I have gone above and beyond and we are just not connecting...

18 replies
tiggy2 Posted 18 May 2011 , 12:20am
post #2 of 19

What address are you suppose to deliver the cake and cookies to? Send the deposit there or to her boyfriends address.

sugarlover Posted 18 May 2011 , 12:33am
post #3 of 19

send her deposit back to her.

Karen421 Posted 18 May 2011 , 12:36am
post #4 of 19

I would send it back, but send it, Return, Receipt, so you have - in writing - a confirmation that she got the check back. thumbs_up.gif

costumeczar Posted 18 May 2011 , 1:53am
post #5 of 19

Write Void on the check, rip it in half, photocopy it next to the envelope you're sending it in, and mail it back to her.

chilz822 Posted 18 May 2011 , 1:57am
post #6 of 19

my thoughts exactly, thank you. icon_smile.gif
tiggy, she hasn't given me a delivery address yet and I didn't want to send it somewhere that wasn't her home... but you'd better believe it'll be sent certified requiring signature. icon_wink.gif

indydebi Posted 18 May 2011 , 2:03am
post #7 of 19

ditto all of the above.

the first red flag in this story to me was "I want the WHOLE thing that you supplied at the party!" but she didn't eat ANY of the items at the party?

chilz822 Posted 18 May 2011 , 2:08am
post #8 of 19

debi, it's too funny that you responded to this because I was just about to inbox you directly because I had read some of your articles of advice recently...lol
Thank you!

chilz822 Posted 19 May 2011 , 3:25am
post #9 of 19

OK, so yesterday she emails me her flavor choices for the cake - red velvet, marble, chocolate chip cookie, and white. AFTER she originally was so adament about NO chocolate whatsoever... so she chooses 3 chocolate flavors and one flavorless flavor?

Tonight she emails and asks when I'd like to meet to collect the deposit ... the deposit was collected the day we dropped off the samples.

It's like I'm dealing with multiple people here. Soooo... I did it. I emailed back and declined the order and laid out my reasoning and asked for a mailing address so the moeny we have can be returned.
now I'm sitting back waiting for the fallout... sheesh.
Crazy I tell ya!

Cakechick123 Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:34am
post #10 of 19

so this person was at a party, didint taste the cake, but wanted the exact setup
then she tasted flavours she didnt like
she was at a second party where the cake fell apart
she then picks flavours she didnt want in the 1st place
and finally she wants to pay the same deposit again?

I think you are righgt on the multiple personalities, abviously they dont chat to each other icon_biggrin.gif

I would run as fast as I can icon_smile.gif this woman sounds like BIIIIG trouble

costumeczar Posted 19 May 2011 , 10:50am
post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by chilz822


It's like I'm dealing with multiple people here. Soooo... I did it. I emailed back and declined the order and laid out my reasoning and asked for a mailing address so the moeny we have can be returned.
now I'm sitting back waiting for the fallout... sheesh.
Crazy I tell ya!




Even if she doesn't write back, don't cash the check. If she doesn't have proof that it was cashed she can't say that you accepted the deposit. Which she probably will say, since she seems like a loon.

Chasey Posted 19 May 2011 , 12:07pm
post #12 of 19

Sounds like she is running some kind of scam and can't keep straight what she has said and done with each baker so far.

SO glad you aren't going to try and work this out with her!

chilz822 Posted 19 May 2011 , 12:29pm
post #13 of 19

Oh yeah! I received her reply this morning stating that she had already found someone else and that noone ate any of the cake at the 2nd party because it was 'too sweet'... ummm... hello! it IS cake, frosting, & fondant, right? lol
They paid the deposit in cash. I am on my way to the post office to purchase a money order and a 'signature required' mailer and wash my hands of this silliness.
Thanks for all youe feedback, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't acting unprofessionally!
icon_smile.gif

YellowBrickRd Posted 19 May 2011 , 12:33pm
post #14 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen421

I would send it back, but send it, Return, Receipt, so you have - in writing - a confirmation that she got the check back. thumbs_up.gif


thumbs_up.gif Amen Sister!!!!

YellowBrickRd Posted 19 May 2011 , 12:33pm
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen421

I would send it back, but send it, Return, Receipt, so you have - in writing - a confirmation that she got the check back. thumbs_up.gif


thumbs_up.gif Amen Sister!!!!

CakeDiva101 Posted 19 May 2011 , 12:49pm
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karen421

I would send it back, but send it, Return, Receipt, so you have - in writing - a confirmation that she got the check back. thumbs_up.gif




I would also send her an email explaining why you are no longer doing her order. Trust me,,,she is reading them but choose not to reply.
...and then...RUN!!!!!!!

robinmarie Posted 19 May 2011 , 12:57pm
post #17 of 19

she is probably going to do the same thing with the other person she hired. i am glad you didn't take the order, she sounds like trouble.

chilz822 Posted 19 May 2011 , 1:11pm
post #18 of 19

robinmarie - no kidding!

sugarlover Posted 19 May 2011 , 9:44pm
post #19 of 19

Good 4 u!

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