Refunding Deposit, HELP!!

Business By KalisCakes Updated 16 Jun 2011 , 6:50pm by bakingatthebeach

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 3:21pm
post #301 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaniti716

but after seeing the other couple that paid their entire balance but never got their cake or their money I am a little confused....i know things beyond our control can happen and when things happen to our children there is no in between as to where your priorities would be...but why have you not contacted the bride yourself and explained what happened to her????



Based on her email to the reporter (which was buried at the very end of the print story I linked to above), she contacted the customer on the day of the event and explained the situation. She also requested the customer's mailing address so she could send a refund check -- not sure why the customer didn't provide their mailing address on the day of the event but emotions were probably running high.

Normally I would suggest a face-to-face meeting to hand over the refund check, but apparently the customer's family has been sending her threats so that's not really a possibility anymore.

cs_confections Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 5:22pm
post #302 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by vaniti716

but after seeing the other couple that paid their entire balance but never got their cake or their money I am a little confused....i know things beyond our control can happen and when things happen to our children there is no in between as to where your priorities would be...but why have you not contacted the bride yourself and explained what happened to her????


Based on her email to the reporter (which was buried at the very end of the print story I linked to above), she contacted the customer on the day of the event and explained the situation. She also requested the customer's mailing address so she could send a refund check -- not sure why the customer didn't provide their mailing address on the day of the event but emotions were probably running high.

Normally I would suggest a face-to-face meeting to hand over the refund check, but apparently the customer's family has been sending her threats so that's not really a possibility anymore.




Out of curiosity - do most baker's contracts not get contact information from the buyer, such as a mailing address? Personally, I'd want the address in case a check I received was bad - if they don't fix it right away, I'd want an address to send the certified letter to and an address to give the DA. I'd also want their address to be able to send them future mailings such as a coupon near their first anniversary or notice of specialty items for sale during the holidays. Or, if things went horribly wrong, so I'd have an address to send a refund.

The contracts I deal with are big on having current contact info, but this is property management, so there are laws about what type of correspondence we have to send in certain ways (such as certified letters for non-payment or bad checks).

As for the op, I'm on the fence. At first I was fully on her side. At this point, even if she's not setting out to screw people, things are going really wrong with her business and she may need a real hiatus (not taking on any new business) to re-access if this really is working for her and her family and what she can do to provide the best product and customer service. I completely understand things happen and there may be occasional problems or emergencies, but at this point, it seems the op is trying to juggle too much and not able handle it all.

Also, for the more recent story - I'm wondering about the truth of the situation. She called the day of the event saying her son was in the hospital and would be late with the cake. I realize that would be a very scary time for a parent - I completely get that. That said, you're under contract to provide an important part of someone else's very special day - while to you, it's small potatoes compared to a kid in the hospital, at that time for someone else, it's their most important day. Why didn't the cake, in some form, make it to the wedding? I'm trying to think of what I'd do in her shoes and I'd think if the cake wasn't finished (I'd have it covered in fondant or smooth iced at the least by that point! So it wouldn't be terrible - just plain) I'd offer to have someone (a friend or family member) take it in the condition is was with the acknowledgement of a refund (at least half) to be issued OR grocery store cakes to be picked up and delivered to at least be served with a full refund. Maybe it's what would be expected or maybe it's more than most bakers would do (or maybe it's less - I don't know), but I do know that that's the minimum I could do and still be able to sleep at night, though I'd still feel terrible.

I wish the op the best and hope she's able to salvage her business and can turn it around with more focus to her customer service. Best wishes!

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 6:52pm
post #303 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by cs_confections

Out of curiosity - do most baker's contracts not get contact information from the buyer, such as a mailing address?



Ideally yes, but it's possible OP only recorded the address of the venue on the contract (another lesson learned).

AnotherCaker Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 7:47pm
post #304 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxicakes

....probably shouldn't follow it because her business went under and she had to declare bankruptcy




Oh that reminds me of a link someone on here posted a couple of years ago. Some mechanics forum or something, or maybe lawn mowers....either way, whatever. Anyways, there was this guy who practically ruled this particular forum, had more posts than anyone, was always on there giving out advice that was so outdated, recommended cheap subpar fixes to the (mowers or cars, I forget), recommended pricing structures that weren't in keeping with most successful businesses, and made most people raise their eyebrows, the ones who knew better. Turns out, the guy had lost his shop and went bankrupt a couple years before, but was still on there recommending people follow his business model and advice! Needless to say, the rest of the board was pissed.

cakegirl1973 Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 8:22pm
post #305 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by cs_confections

Out of curiosity - do most baker's contracts not get contact information from the buyer, such as a mailing address?


Ideally yes, but it's possible OP only recorded the address of the venue on the contract (another lesson learned).




Another possibility is that the contract contained the bride's mailing address where she lived prior to the couple establishing a residence. I could be mistaken, but I do not think that Certified mail is forwarded to the new address.

WykdGud Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 8:39pm
post #306 of 413

More couples complaining? I can't say I'm surprised.

And not contacting the second couple because she was "on vacation"? Isn't that the same excuse she used in this story? Two long "vacations" in the first few months of the year? She must have more money than me - I just week camping/fishing for three days... I have a sucessful business and 3 days in a tent was a TREAT for me! LOL!

Sorry to those who think I'm "stirring the pot"... what I'm actually doing is pointing out the obvious (what's obvious to me at least). There's some serious snookering going on here, and while I admire those who want to give this woman the benefit of the doubt (I have done the same thing here more times than I can count), I feel confident in saying that in this instance I don't think it's deserved.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 8:48pm
post #307 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

More couples complaining? I can't say I'm surprised.



I got the impression this couple was the same one mentioned in the initial story who declined to be interviewed.

Quote:
Quote:

And not contacting the second couple because she was "on vacation"? Isn't that the same excuse she used in this story? Two long "vacations" in the first few months of the year?



Sounded like the same vacation to me.

Quote:
Quote:

She must have more money than me - I just week camping/fishing for three days...



So that explains why there were no flame wars here the past few days! icon_wink.gif

cakegirl1973 Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 8:48pm
post #308 of 413

Double post.

WykdGud Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 9:02pm
post #309 of 413

The wedding in the second news story happened 2 months ago, and the vacation mentioned that time was taken during the planning stages of that cake, so no Jason, it was not the same vacation. Or should I say "vacation"?

Bettyviolet101 Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 9:04pm
post #310 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

More couples complaining? I can't say I'm surprised.

And not contacting the second couple because she was "on vacation"? Isn't that the same excuse she used in this story? Two long "vacations" in the first few months of the year? She must have more money than me - I just week camping/fishing for three days... I have a sucessful business and 3 days in a tent was a TREAT for me! LOL!

Sorry to those who think I'm "stirring the pot"... what I'm actually doing is pointing out the obvious (what's obvious to me at least). There's some serious snookering going on here, and while I admire those who want to give this woman the benefit of the doubt (I have done the same thing here more times than I can count), I feel confident in saying that in this instance I don't think it's deserved.




haha I am pretty sure you said you were done with this post. Not so much huh?

WykdGud Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 9:09pm
post #311 of 413

I said I wasn't posting any more that day as I was leaving for a (real) vacation and would be away from the computer. Unfortunately, I keep getting the email updates about this thread... and I must say it's nice to see more evidence that I was correct all along. Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. icon_smile.gif

Texas_Rose Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 9:12pm
post #312 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

More couples complaining? I can't say I'm surprised.

And not contacting the second couple because she was "on vacation"? Isn't that the same excuse she used in this story? Two long "vacations" in the first few months of the year? She must have more money than me - I just week camping/fishing for three days... I have a sucessful business and 3 days in a tent was a TREAT for me! LOL!

Sorry to those who think I'm "stirring the pot"... what I'm actually doing is pointing out the obvious (what's obvious to me at least). There's some serious snookering going on here, and while I admire those who want to give this woman the benefit of the doubt (I have done the same thing here more times than I can count), I feel confident in saying that in this instance I don't think it's deserved.




thumbs_up.gif
There are a lot of people here who think that the baker is always right, but that's not always the case. It takes courage to go against the common opinion, especially in the face of criticism like this. I don't think you're stirring the pot, you're just looking at this whole issue from a less emotional and more factual point of view.

What I see as the lesson from this entire thread (all 22 mind-numbing pages of it) is that cake skills do not equal business skills, and it takes both to be successful in this business.

Bettyviolet101 Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 9:16pm
post #313 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

I said I wasn't posting any more that day as I was leaving for a (real) vacation and would be away from the computer. Unfortunately, I keep getting the email updates about this thread... and I must say it's nice to see more evidence that I was correct all along. Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. icon_smile.gif




Welp I am glad to hear you get your warm and fuzzies from thinking you are right. I just find it funny that you care THAT much about this situation. Honestly if I were you I would be tired because of investing so much time and energy in here!!!!

WykdGud Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 9:23pm
post #314 of 413

I haven't put any more time into it than anyone else - just reading the thread and watching the news story. I'm just able to pick out the inconsistencies easier than most because that's what I've done for many years.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 9:36pm
post #315 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

The wedding in the second news story happened 2 months ago, and the vacation mentioned that time was taken during the planning stages of that cake



You might be right, but the timeline isn't all that clear to me. The couple from the second story got married April 16th (so that definitely fits with the unnamed couple from the first story), so that would seem to place the vacation sometime in March. The couple from the first story signed the contract "several months ago", so if the contract was signed in early February and planning work was done in late Feb, the March vacation would still fit. But the first story also says the communication problems happened "recently", so that points to a separate vacation.

So far the OP has been honest with the mistakes that were made so hopefully she will fill us in here.

And looking at this from a macro perspective, we have complaints from 2 customers here. I would be curious to know how many customers the OP has served over the life of her business.

jason_kraft Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 9:38pm
post #316 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettyviolet101

Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

I said I wasn't posting any more that day as I was leaving for a (real) vacation and would be away from the computer. Unfortunately, I keep getting the email updates about this thread... and I must say it's nice to see more evidence that I was correct all along. Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. icon_smile.gif



Welp I am glad to hear you get your warm and fuzzies from thinking you are right. I just find it funny that you care THAT much about this situation. Honestly if I were you I would be tired because of investing so much time and energy in here!!!!



Never underestimate the potential of Schadenfreude.

MamaDear Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 9:56pm
post #317 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettyviolet101

Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

I said I wasn't posting any more that day as I was leaving for a (real) vacation and would be away from the computer. Unfortunately, I keep getting the email updates about this thread... and I must say it's nice to see more evidence that I was correct all along. Makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. icon_smile.gif



Welp I am glad to hear you get your warm and fuzzies from thinking you are right. I just find it funny that you care THAT much about this situation. Honestly if I were you I would be tired because of investing so much time and energy in here!!!!


Never underestimate the potential of Schadenfreude.




Thank you Jason Kraft for quoting a quote which was quoted - teaching me my "required learn something everyday". icon_cool.gif

cakestyles Posted 14 Jun 2011 , 10:21pm
post #318 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxicakes

Personally, I have taken my own amount of abuse when voicing my opinions on these forums. For whatever reason people don't feel as though they are speaking to real live human beings when they sit at their computer and spew their venom. However, the point should be made that we ARE humans--with feelings and if you have a differing opinion, that's fine. But to flat out call someone a liar and a thief totally crosses the line and is completely inappropriate.
I am sick to death of the "Pot Stirrers"! I come to this site and read these forums for support and help when I have an issue with caking. I do NOT come here for the negativity and to read posts where people feel the need to be ugly and call each other names!!! If you feel the need to say those things to someone, then at least have the common courtesy to take it off of the public forum and PM that person. If they don't answer you back, then obviously THEY don't want to listen to your crap either.
It still astounds me how completely Middle School some people still are well into their adult years! I actually had one of these "chronic pot stirrers" PM me recently when I had mentioned a member having great business advice. This person started the email off by saying that the member had "great advice" but that I "probably shouldn't follow it because her business went under and she had to declare bankruptcy!! She followed that by saying that she "really likes" this person. Wow. REALLY? What would you say if you DIDN'T like her??

We just don't need that type of people on here!! I'm not naive enough to think that everyone is always going to get along and agree on every point. However, I also don't think that I am out of line in believing that we should all be able to voice our opinions or discuss things that are going on without the fear of being ganged up on and called a liar.
As for the OP, I think that SCP said it best when she pointed out that this OP has admitted fault where there was fault. And, yes, there are several of us that would have handled this differently...we hope. Truth is, that you never know HOW you will handle a situation until you are knee-deep in the middle of it! And, to say you do, is only fooling yourself. But, again, as SCP stated earlier in the thread, this OP has stuck around and answered all of our questions and even addressed the accusations. So, it would seem to me, that if she were lying or had something to hide, she would have stopped answering and addressing comments a while ago...
In my opinion she has handled all of this with grace, dignity, but most of all, humility. . . I wish you luck LeeAnn.




Please don't be too naive when it comes to believing everything that everyone says on a public forum foxi.

I too received an e-mail with the same bit of info you speak of and I too was flabergasted and shocked by the accusations, until I did a google search of this person and found the info to be true.

Not everyone on here is who or what they claim to be and it's a shame that they dish out business advice to people who are thirsty for any information they can get...but these people are the last people anyone should take advice from.

This is why I have so few posts...I'd rather stand back and read and than filter carefully what I've read.

Just a little something to think about.

witchee13c Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:30am
post #319 of 413

I never post here , just lurk and read. I was flabbergasted and shocked when I did a google search and looked at the cached pages of the many, many photos.

cakestyles Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:39am
post #320 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by witchee13c

I never post here , just lurk and read. I was flabbergasted and shocked when I did a google search and looked at the cached pages of the many, many photos.




????

HUH??

Foxicakes Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 2:30am
post #321 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxicakes

Personally, I have taken my own amount of abuse when voicing my opinions on these forums. For whatever reason people don't feel as though they are speaking to real live human beings when they sit at their computer and spew their venom. However, the point should be made that we ARE humans--with feelings and if you have a differing opinion, that's fine. But to flat out call someone a liar and a thief totally crosses the line and is completely inappropriate.
I am sick to death of the "Pot Stirrers"! I come to this site and read these forums for support and help when I have an issue with caking. I do NOT come here for the negativity and to read posts where people feel the need to be ugly and call each other names!!! If you feel the need to say those things to someone, then at least have the common courtesy to take it off of the public forum and PM that person. If they don't answer you back, then obviously THEY don't want to listen to your crap either.
It still astounds me how completely Middle School some people still are well into their adult years! I actually had one of these "chronic pot stirrers" PM me recently when I had mentioned a member having great business advice. This person started the email off by saying that the member had "great advice" but that I "probably shouldn't follow it because her business went under and she had to declare bankruptcy!! She followed that by saying that she "really likes" this person. Wow. REALLY? What would you say if you DIDN'T like her??

We just don't need that type of people on here!! I'm not naive enough to think that everyone is always going to get along and agree on every point. However, I also don't think that I am out of line in believing that we should all be able to voice our opinions or discuss things that are going on without the fear of being ganged up on and called a liar.
As for the OP, I think that SCP said it best when she pointed out that this OP has admitted fault where there was fault. And, yes, there are several of us that would have handled this differently...we hope. Truth is, that you never know HOW you will handle a situation until you are knee-deep in the middle of it! And, to say you do, is only fooling yourself. But, again, as SCP stated earlier in the thread, this OP has stuck around and answered all of our questions and even addressed the accusations. So, it would seem to me, that if she were lying or had something to hide, she would have stopped answering and addressing comments a while ago...
In my opinion she has handled all of this with grace, dignity, but most of all, humility. . . I wish you luck LeeAnn.



Please don't be too naive when it comes to believing everything that everyone says on a public forum foxi.

I too received an e-mail with the same bit of info you speak of and I too was flabergasted and shocked by the accusations, until I did a google search of this person and found the info to be true.

Not everyone on here is who or what they claim to be and it's a shame that they dish out business advice to people who are thirsty for any information they can get...but these people are the last people anyone should take advice from.

This is why I have so few posts...I'd rather stand back and read and than filter carefully what I've read.

Just a little something to think about.





I am anything but naive, I can promise you that. And, I too, know that the information that was sent is true...about the bankruptcy thing. However, I am NOT gullible enough to just broadly think that just because someone had a business failure that they don't have advice that is worth sharing and heeding. Take Dave Ramsey for example. He has declared bankruptcy TWICE!! Yet people still listen to his radio show daily for advice on managing their money. . . Now, what that tells me is that he learned something from these life lessons. He has learned what NOT to do. So, then, isn't it possible that our fellow CCer has the same wisdom to share with others?
My entire point in that was: What was that person's MOTIVE for sending me that information? Certainly it wasn't because she felt the need to "save" me or my business (especially since I have said on here many times that due to my failing health, I do not have one to be concerned for!) No... To me, it seemed like some sort of personal attack on our fellow caker. Taking the time to even cite the fact that she has a "friend" that lives in the CCer's area.
Or, what's more likely is that she has Gladys Kravitz syndrome, in that she's just an old bitter woman with nothing better to do that worry about other people's business and feels like SHE needs to police the rest of us. I mean, God know's we aren't all adults here and can't make our own decisions or do our own research!
To me, that mindset is similar to that of the person that drives in the left lane doing exactly the speed limit and refuses to move over for faster moving traffic. Or, maybe a better example is someone that feels the need to "investigate" every thing someone says, looking for holes in their story, just so they can point them out and call them a liar. Yet these are the same people that don't put up examples of their own work (even though they discuss their business frequently) Nor do they put up their company name OR their website information. My opinion is that if you are going to throw daggers and spew venom at everyone else, then at least open up the playing field and stop hiding in anonymity. My guess would be that if the truth were known, it is the one's that scream the loudest about others being deceptive that are probably the MOST deceptive in the bunch.
It gives a new meaning to "Takes one to know one".

WykdGud Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 2:50am
post #322 of 413

There's something wrong with wanting to keep your info private?

For me, it's a privacy issue. Most people in business don't want to come here and post personal information for our customers to find - and wouldn't it be hard to say "how do I do this?!?" and have a customer Google you and assume you don't know what you are doing since you are always asking questions on the internet? Or venting about something annoying (a customer or your mother-in-law) - do you want people to know that much about your personal "buttons"? Sometimes remaining anonymous has nothing to do with what you think it does...

Perhaps that conspiracy theory is more fun to believe though. Please continue... icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 3:08am
post #323 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eltorro

I have been following this and Just thought everyone should know there are more complaints about this business. http://www.kfoxtv.com/video/28227643/index.html The woman crying is so sad, the uncut interview is worth watching as well. I don't know what to believe all I know is I got interested because I am going to need a cake soon icon_smile.gif




Whoa, this bride is a tad melodramatic, IMO...but maybe I'm just not the weepy type. I dunno. I bet the news lady was eating this up....

I don't care who was in the hospital or what was going on....I'd leave my house unlocked and call a friend to deliver my cake, and pay them to do it. Obviously the cake was not even done, which means the emergency happened before the date without anything being said.

I dunno, I've gotten away from this thread awhile, have also been sympathetic with the OP...but seems like a lot of poor business practices are being done here that need to be fixed before business continues.

Kitagrl Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 3:18am
post #324 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by hellie0h

Hmm, there are so many holes in this story you might want to call it swiss cheese.

If you have ever been in law enforcement or an investigator, you are trained in techniques such as Wykd mentioned. You become callous in all aspects of your life, even family and friends are not safe from your analysis. You will look for discrepancy in statements, such as persons changing bits of their story, body language too. With that said, whether or not Chasing Butteflies is telling the truth or not is not the point really.

I won't elaborate on what has already been stated, but you have done yourself some pretty severe damage by just granting an interview...why would you do this? If some reporter called me or came to my door, I would tell them to hit the road. You need to give the refund to this woman, for whatever reason if not just for trying to salvage your business. I looked at your contract, if I were a perspective customer I would be looking elsewhere mainly because of the portion, stating if YOU meaning Chasing Butterflies, break the contract for whatever reason, they meaning the client will get refunded but not until 90 days....what's up with that?

If you don't have working capitol maybe you should not spend the deposit before the cake is to be finished and paid in full. CYA is all I have to add.




That's a tough call because around here if they try to interview you and you tell them no, then they tell the whole world that you refused an interview and they make it a point to make you look like a crook. Once somebody sends a reporter to your house, I think you're done for either way.

Its a good idea, though, I agree, to try your best to keep in your account at least enough to refund a full cake plus a few deposits, should any emergency arise....just remember its really not your money until you have a satisfied customer.

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 4:03am
post #325 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl


....just remember its really not your money until you have a satisfied customer.




You said it! That is the way I go about my business. I never spend more than enough to get the ingredients until after I deliver the cake. I figure whatever happens after that is not my fault, since it is in the contract that once I leave, it is no longer my responsibility. I know my cakes are good because I always try them by eating pieces of the part I cut off to level. If it isn't delicious, I re-bake.

If I think there is something that isn't quite up to my standards, i keep some money back, just in case there is a complaint, but the only complaint I have ever gotten in 20 years of caking is "It is too pretty to cut!" We watch our finances, though, so we always have money in the bank should we need it, or have an emergency.

Noobz Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:40am
post #326 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by witchee13c

I never post here , just lurk and read. I was flabbergasted and shocked when I did a google search and looked at the cached pages of the many, many photos.




Same, especially the cached facebook pages :/

jason_kraft Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:03pm
post #327 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobz

Quote:
Originally Posted by witchee13c

I never post here , just lurk and read. I was flabbergasted and shocked when I did a google search and looked at the cached pages of the many, many photos.



Same, especially the cached facebook pages :/



Which google search are you referring to, and which photos?

Noobz Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:33pm
post #328 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noobz

Quote:
Originally Posted by witchee13c

I never post here , just lurk and read. I was flabbergasted and shocked when I did a google search and looked at the cached pages of the many, many photos.



Same, especially the cached facebook pages :/


Which google search are you referring to, and which photos?





She has deleted it now to be fair.

I just think it is bad practice to have 10's if not hundreds of photos in your business fb profile. Especially if its not made clear that it isn't your own work.

Jenniferkay Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 2:09pm
post #329 of 413

This is why every baker should have a back up baker friend. One that can come in and do your delivery for a family emergency or if you get sick. I've had to use mine and I've been used. (I'm a migraine sufferer...poor hubby was on box up duty this weekend!) These things happen. My gut just tells me it wasn't completed b/c I don't think any baker would not let a cake go out. Especially if we were texting the bride already... I've tried to give the benefit of the doubt. And I don't think this has been an intentional deception, I think it was more of an over promise, under delivering ordeal.

KalisCakes Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 6:47pm
post #330 of 413

Oh wow, I didn't realize this thread was still continuing or I'd have been around to answer more questions. So... here goes:
1) I have been in contract with the bride who did not receive her cake from the beginning. I have offered a full refund, plus a new cake and a photo session for the cake cutting. I know this bride is heart broken, and from the beginning I have been working to make it right. I was not in the habit of taking clients addresses, only the venue address, and have since learned to get this information as well when meeting with clients. I ceased one-on-one contact with these clients when they said they "had the ability to take me to court and sue me for twice what they paid for the cake, but if I wanted, I could sign over the title to one of my cars and we could call it even." At that point I informed them all communication would be through written for and/or email. To this day I still have not received their mailing address. They filed a police report, in which I told the investigating officer I'm waiting on an address for them so that the refund can be issued certified mail, still no address. I informed the media I needed their address.... still no address.

2)My emergency: my son was rushed to the hospital, unconscious and not breathing. I contacted the bride; I believed I would still be able to deliver the cake. In the emergency room my cell phone was off, where I remained with my son all evening. I have hospital papers to prove I was at the hospital. I am not going to broadcast the entirety of that situation because it's my son and I don't feel everyone needs to know how sick he was, nor do I feel that my son's medical emergency should be used for sympathy.

3) I have learned I need a back-up plan. The wedding cake was not the only cake to not be delivered, though it most definitely was the most important cake not delivered. All the other clients have received their choice of a full refund or store credit plus 15%. The money is not an issue; I keep the cake money in the bank until I know the client has received their cake, cut it, eaten it, and is happy. The quote from the news story about "not having the money" was a bit twisted. At one point, when the father of the bride came to my home demanding money (I was working a wedding that day) he demanded my husband give him cash right there on the spot. My husband told him "No, I don't have that much money on me for one, and two, that's not the way my wife runs her business."
I now have a back up system in place. I wish this was something I had learned through others' experience and not my own, and had been able to save this bride from her heartache, and mine as well. But no, this was another lesson I have learned first hand.

4) Whoever said cake skill doesn't = business skill: THAT'S THE TRUTH! As business has increased this past year I lost focus of the business side of things. April was when I realized I needed to get everything back on track, get regrouped and refocused, and be ready for the upcoming busy season. Lots of lessons these past few months. Caches pages of pictures: again, what happens when you loose focus of the business side. I wasn't checking the website or the facebook page, but instead allowing it to be run by someone I had hired to help me out on that end. Obviously,a very poor choice, and one I have changed.

5) The number of customers I've had in my lifetime... too many to tell you off the top of my head? Last year alone (June-April) I had 62 wedding cakes, which doesn't include grooms cakes, graduation cakes, shower cakes, bday cakes, etc.

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