Refunding Deposit, Help!!

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

jo_ann Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:22pm
post #361 of 413

This is what I understand

1 - Delivered a wedding cake - damaged because having to slam on brakes in a parking lot to avoid someone. Supposedly settled with refund?

2 - Bride and groom want to cancel their wedding cake because of issue #1 - baker refuses. They go to tv station

3 - Deposit paid on a birthday cake - no final pymt = no cake. They show up wanting their cake.

4 - Another wedding cake not delivered on date due - fully pd for - due to emergency with her son.

She went on vacation/hiatus without informing her clients.

Issue with her website, facebook and now the knot.

I think I got it all. Did I miss anything else.

Kitagrl Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:27pm
post #362 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by jo_ann

This is what I understand

1 - Delivered a wedding cake - damaged because having to slam on brakes in a parking lot to avoid someone. Supposedly settled with refund?

2 - Bride and groom want to cancel their wedding cake because of issue #1 - baker refuses. They go to tv station

3 - Deposit paid on a birthday cake - no final pymt = no cake. They show up wanting their cake.

4 - Another wedding cake not delivered on date due - fully pd for - due to emergency with her son.

She went on vacation/hiatus without informing her clients.

Issue with her website, facebook and now the knot.

I think I got it all. Did I miss anything else.




Pretty much. You get an A+ for Reading Comprehension. haha. thumbs_up.gif (You did better than me!)

HappyCake10609 Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:28pm
post #363 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyCake10609

I have to disagree with the people who say that they would (or could) take care of business while their child was in the hospital. We don't know what happened, but she said he was rushed to the hospital unconscious. I would be beside myself!

I was in a car accident a few years ago, in my panic I completely blanked on the number for my job to let them know I wouldn't be in (I ended up dialing what I thought was the number and left a message but it was the wrong number)... I can't imagine how I would react if it was something that happened to my son. In a situation like that you go into panic mode, in your concern/shock/hysterics you forget things you know or otherwise don't react the way you would without the stress...



I'm really not trying to be mean...and I'm so sorry if anyone thinks so. Hopefully everyone around here knows I try to be kind and fair.

She did have the foresight to call the clients to let them know the cakes would be late....That's GREAT! But since he was that sick, she should have known the minute they stepped in the ambulance that the day was shot...over...done....may as well figure out what to do now, other than just call everyone to tell them she'd be late.

Anyway....enough....I'm so sorry for your son and so glad he is okay now.... What a horrible day for you. thumbsdown.gif

I hope things start looking up from here.




I don't think you're trying to be mean... And you do have a point... just that in times of stress we don't always think clearly.

I don't sell cakes (yet), but regardless of what the truth is, this has given me a lot to think about.. as far as how I would handle things and be prepared in an emergency. I'm a stay at home mom and my 1 1/2 year old son is fearless, I've learned that I ought to plan for the unexpected because stuff happens!

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:30pm
post #364 of 413

I have been doing cakes for 20 years, off and on, and I have had a single unhappy customer. The cake she showed me a picture of was 3 single layers and she said she wanted them bigger and had 100 guests, so I made them bigger. Come to find out, she meant 2 layer by saying "bigger". (double layer cakes would have been 150 servings) This was 7 years ago.

The only other "complaint" I have gotten is it is too pretty to cut/eat. That is common.

This whole thread has been flabbergasting. I cannot imagine 1 person making all these mistakes. I was 11 when I started doing cakes, i just don't get how I was more professional at 14 (my first "wedding cake" (a small 2 tier sugar free for the many diabetics))than the OP is now, as a woman. It really seems to me like she can't possibly care, and just isn't serious about having a business.

WykdGud Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:31pm
post #365 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by jo_ann

This is what I understand

1 - Delivered a wedding cake - damaged because having to slam on brakes in a parking lot to avoid someone. Supposedly settled with refund?

2 - Bride and groom want to cancel their wedding cake because of issue #1 - baker refuses. They go to tv station

3 - Deposit paid on a birthday cake - no final pymt = no cake. They show up wanting their cake.

4 - Another wedding cake not delivered on date due - fully pd for - due to emergency with her son.

She went on vacation/hiatus without informing her clients.

Issue with her website, facebook and now the knot.

I think I got it all. Did I miss anything else.




You're missing one:

Client A: Wants a refund because she lost faith in OP due to the collapse of cake delivered to Client B.

Client B: Their cake was ruined and they supposedly refused to allow it to be repaired.

Client C: Went to news station stating they wanted a refund because OP wouldn't return calls.

Client D: Paid in full for cake that was not delivered due to "family emergency".

Client E: Purportedly only paid a deposit and never paid the balance and showed up demanding cake.

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:33pm
post #366 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Quote:
Originally Posted by jo_ann

This is what I understand

1 - Delivered a wedding cake - damaged because having to slam on brakes in a parking lot to avoid someone. Supposedly settled with refund?

2 - Bride and groom want to cancel their wedding cake because of issue #1 - baker refuses. They go to tv station

3 - Deposit paid on a birthday cake - no final pymt = no cake. They show up wanting their cake.

4 - Another wedding cake not delivered on date due - fully pd for - due to emergency with her son.

She went on vacation/hiatus without informing her clients.

Issue with her website, facebook and now the knot.

I think I got it all. Did I miss anything else.



You're missing one:

Client A: Wants a refund because she lost faith in OP due to the collapse of cake delivered to Client B.

Client B: Their cake was ruined and they supposedly refused to allow it to be repaired.

Client C: Went to news station stating they wanted a refund because OP wouldn't return calls.

Client D: Paid in full for cake that was not delivered due to "family emergency".

Client E: Purportedly only paid a deposit and never paid the balance and showed up demanding cake.




That is same thing, right? Just said differently.

jason_kraft Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:34pm
post #367 of 413

I believe Client A and Client C above are the same.

WykdGud Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:34pm
post #368 of 413

She listed 4, by my count there are 5.

WykdGud Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:36pm
post #369 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

I believe Client A and Client C above are the same.




I believe OP said that they were in fact NOT the same person. Feel free to go back through the thread and check though...

jo_ann Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:39pm
post #370 of 413

Your issues a - b & c were covered under my issues 1 & 2. I forgot to mention that they issue 2 said it was also lack of communication from the baker. But if you read on page 1 the baker stated that they called and said they wanted to cancel because of the problem with issue 1. icon_smile.gif

And Kitagrl gave me a A+ Thank you.

WykdGud Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:44pm
post #371 of 413

Actually, the contradictions in her story started by saying that the couple in the news story was NOT the couple she was talking about in this thread. After all, how could it be anyway - she had been communicating with the couple referenced in this post (them wanting a refund, her telling them no, them threatening to the alert the media, etc.) - but the couple in the news story got NO response from the OP. She said herself that they were supposedly not the same people.

I realize it's pretty confusing. Someone should copy all of her posts into one succinct timeline.

Kitagrl Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 9:54pm
post #372 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Actually, the contradictions in her story started by saying that the couple in the news story was NOT the couple she was talking about in this thread. After all, how could it be anyway - she had been communicating with the couple referenced in this post (them wanting a refund, her telling them no, them threatening to the alert the media, etc.) - but the couple in the news story got NO response from the OP. She said herself that they were supposedly not the same people.

I realize it's pretty confusing. Someone should copy all of her posts into one succinct timeline.




I don't suppose it matters any longer....the OP is done with the thread, and none of us are in her area, nor do any of us order cakes (we make them) so....guess the party's over. haha. Move along....

Bettyviolet101 Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 10:01pm
post #373 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Actually, the contradictions in her story started by saying that the couple in the news story was NOT the couple she was talking about in this thread. After all, how could it be anyway - she had been communicating with the couple referenced in this post (them wanting a refund, her telling them no, them threatening to the alert the media, etc.) - but the couple in the news story got NO response from the OP. She said herself that they were supposedly not the same people.

I realize it's pretty confusing. Someone should copy all of her posts into one succinct timeline.



I don't suppose it matters any longer....the OP is done with the thread, and none of us are in her area, nor do any of us order cakes (we make them) so....guess the party's over. haha. Move along....




Can I get an AMEN???!!? lol!

Annabakescakes Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 10:08pm
post #374 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bettyviolet101

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Actually, the contradictions in her story started by saying that the couple in the news story was NOT the couple she was talking about in this thread. After all, how could it be anyway - she had been communicating with the couple referenced in this post (them wanting a refund, her telling them no, them threatening to the alert the media, etc.) - but the couple in the news story got NO response from the OP. She said herself that they were supposedly not the same people.

I realize it's pretty confusing. Someone should copy all of her posts into one succinct timeline.



I don't suppose it matters any longer....the OP is done with the thread, and none of us are in her area, nor do any of us order cakes (we make them) so....guess the party's over. haha. Move along....



Can I get an AMEN???!!? lol!





AMEN!!!!

jo_ann Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 10:11pm
post #375 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisCakes

I know this seems obvious, but hear me out: I have no clue how to handle this situation. I have a couple who want to cancel their wedding cake with me. They attended another wedding where we did the wedding cake, and unfortunately we had a bit of a cake delivery disaster there resulting in one tier being damaged. Because of this, these clients say they have "lost faith in my ability to produce the cake they are wanting".

Their wedding is June 25th (just a few weeks away.) They signed my contract in February, and left their deposit. They are now wanting their deposit refunded. I explained to them they signed a contract, and that deposits and prepayments are non-refundable, though should they choose to cancel, and prepayments would be applied to another event occurring withing 90 days, as is stated in their contract.

This didn't go over well, and they began to make threats of taking me to court (okay, I have contracts for that reason) and going to the news stations, etc. I don't want to deal with the hassle of the news stations in the event they actually do some kind of report, nor do I want negative publicity. But I also am not inclined to train anyone that a contract is non-binding. Help!!!





2. The wedding cake from the previous event had damage to the second tier. In the midst of slamming on my brakes at the venue when a member of the wedding party stepping in front of our delivery van, the cake went sliding. The cake was scheduled to be delivered at 9PM for cutting at 10PM. We arrived at 8:30, and I had the intention of taking the cake to the hall's kitchen to do the repair work of attempting to repair the tier (which I'm pretty confident I could have), or removing the tier. Instead, as we began to remove the cake from the van, the wedding party member rushed inside and brought the bride, groom, and wedding party out into the parking lot (no rear entrance at this venue). Of course, the bride was upset, as I would have been had it been my wedding. I apologized profusely, explained we had to slam the brakes on to avoid an accident. I explained I needed a few moments to access the damage and repair her cake. Long story short, she wanted to argue, demand money right on the spot, and even had her new husband threaten myself and my crew. When I began to put the cake back into the van, her father insisted she go back inside, and asked us to go ahead and just put the cake on the table as-is. (Mind you, this current client was part of that wedding party). At that point, as the cake was stacked the entire time, the leaning of the cake continued, so by the time it was placed on the table, the lean was pretty noticeable. The cake was served. The refund that bride is getting has already been settled and mailed of certified mail.
I've done numerous cakes for this group of people, so they have seen/tasted first hand the quality of the work I do. This group of people have actually been put on my "no more cakes for you" list because I have problems with them (ordering late, haggling price, not returning equipment) but this contract was on that I took before I put them all on that list.

3.
Thank you all so so very much! I couldn't have worded this email without all of y'all input. I am doing all further communication with her through email so that I can have written accounts of everything should she decide to waste her time and take me to court over a $190 deposit.... and I am most DEFINITELY changing my policies of delivery times!!!!! In this situation they wanted the cake "presented", but did not want the venue to move it. So in the future should they want me to "present the cake", it'll cost the same as my cake cutting services do since I have to return to the venue after delivery. Here's a copy of the email I sent:

She then explains her policies, then state this.(This is on pg. 2, in case anyone wants to read it)

What happened at the other wedding you attended was very unfortunate. It was an unforeseen situation, and I appreciate the concern it has caused you in regards to your event. However, since such disasters are not the norm, and because this account is separate from yours, I am unable to refund you the amount deposited. I understand you are upset, however these are the terms and conditions of the contract, which is in place to protect both you as the client and us as the vendor. When we met last Wednesday, I explained the reason retainers are non-refundable is because other business is turned down in order to focus on your cake. These deposits also cover preliminary expenses, as well as the time spent in the consult, tasting, and design process.

I would love to continue to move forward with you on this contract, and will be happy to provide references from past clients to help ease your apprehensions and concerns. If, however, you would like to continue with the cancellation of this order, I will email you a creative rights release for the cake design that was previously emailed to you so that you may find another vendor for your wedding cake. I'm sorry you are considering not to have us create your wedding cake. As per our contract signed by you on February 16, 2011, the policy clearly states that the deposit is non-refundable. I would be happy to work with you and apply it to another order cake should you so choose.

Thank you, and feel free to email me back with any questions that may arise.

4.Oh, and should she actually want the references (which I kinda doubt, but maybe she will so she can say ugly things to them..." the reference list is actually a group of friends (and I have done cakes for all of them, so I'm being honest in using them as references)... but yeah, they're all aware of the whole story and have given me permission to use them should I need to have clients of mine set her straight about the kind of work I do.

5.
Actually, yes, you both are ready that part of the contract correctly. It's a section my lawyer edited in for my protection, but it's also one I keep thinking about changing back to the way I had it. I'll explain my lawyer's reasoning though: He explained that this covers me for situations such as the one I'm going through now should I be the one to back out, or situations like the one I went through with that delivery where I had the wedding party threatening me. I could have (probably should have) loaded the cake back up and just left without another explanation.
So basically it's there to protect me from bridezillas when I've already invested time/money into their cake consults/custom tastings/custom design process, and sometimes even put money into their cake (special stands, etc.) But thank you for bringing this part of the contract up, because it does bother me to. *I* know that I would never just have people sign contracts and then take off with their money, but how are *THEY* supposed to know that, especially when the contract says I can?
Any ideas on how to reword it to include "no deposit refund if you become a crazy client or make threats of lawsuits/slander... but other wise you'd get a full refund if I back out"?

6.
Thanks, SCP, for the alternate view. I really appreciate hearing all sides of the argument. I actually have a bachelor's in Sales and Marketing, as well as my MBA, so PR issues are ones that I'm familiar with, and also the reason for my hesitation regarding this issue. The lawsuit wasn't what I've been concerned with; it's the negative publicity. This is a group of people I have done many, many cakes for over the years, and this is the first time a cake disaster has happened. As I had mentioned earlier, though, this group has become increasingly more difficult to deal with, and are ones I personally and professionally, no longer wish to do business with. I made the mistake of letting a sob story pull at my heart string and I lowered my price greatly on a cake I did from them, and from there on out they have expected/demanded that same discount, while also wanting more and more in regards to their cakes, deliveries at unusual times, and constantly ordering cakes late (ie: call on Monday for a 4 tier cake to feed 300 on Saturday). I already tried explaining things to this group to try and get this professional relationship back on track, but they have flat out said that because they have been long time clients of mine, they deserve the discounts and special treatments. So, as far as my reputation within their group, eh. I hate to see it tarnished because they know first hand the work I do, but I also don't want their business anymore.
I will say, though, that had this entire situation happened with a different group of people, a group that truly has never seen my work, or maybe just seen a few examples and then experienced a cake disaster, my reaction would have been different. I more than likely would have refunded the money, and still offered to do the wedding cake for free, or offered a groom's cake or other cake, as a chance to redeem myself. (Assuming of course, the original wedding party hadn't threatened bodily harm to myself and my staff, and these clients hadn't barged into my office with threats of lawsuits and negative media coverage.)... In fact, even in this situation I might have done something similar if all that hadn't happened. It's the whole honey and vinegar mentality.

7.
HaHa, Very True Jason! And many of my long term clients DO get special treatment, but what I love is that they don't EXPECT it. They appreciate it. And, the ones that get the special treatment as the ones who shell out $$$$ for cakes, not $$ for cakes. Another good way of getting a lot of extra for little $$ with me, and getting on my preferred client list, is to tell me I have complete creative control and can do whatever I want. lol
And yes, having a cup of coffee and chit chat with me while we design the cake/talk about a contract will gain more points than arms crossing, feet stomping, and a bad attitude. It works both way.
The common phrase is "It's just business." Well, with me that's a yes and no. I spend a lot of time with clients during the design phase and tasting phase, and I meet with clients in my home office the majority of the time because 1)gas prices are HORRIBLE! 2) it's more convenient for me 3) it gives me more room at the bakery for... well, BAKING! and 4) It IS more personal. So these kinds of issues, while I know they happen, are really few and far between, and also take me aback and require quite a bit of thought and analysis on my part. My clients know that I put a personal touch on everything I do, so having a client come into my office where they've been many many times, where I've designed birthday cakes, anniversary cakes, even funeral cakes, and treat an issue like "it's just business".... well, it's really unfortunate. But I guess if they want to treat it like just business,then, okay, it's just business. Read the contract, end of story.

8.I just had one of the local news station come by my home requesting an interview. They're got a friend at one of the stations. Thankfully, I have all paper trails, etc. so I've printed everything out, contracts included, photos, etc. We'll see how this goes.
Any advice on what to say/not to say??

9.Well THAT was fun! (NOT!!!) The thing about this particular news station is that they don't do investigative reporting; they do one sided "already formed an opinion" reporting. They weren't interesting in non-refundable deposits, contracts, or previous work. They just wanted to know why I don't give out refunds, if I think this is acceptable business practices, if I think it's right to have my clients meet with me in my home office for their consults, if I think it's right that I have my clients contact me through email/online appointment booking, what am I going to tell other clients who want refunds after they see this airing, etc etc....So, whatever damage that's going to be done is done. I stuck to the facts, recorded the interview with my digital recorder, and now we'll see how they edit it tonight.
But to try and look at the bright side, the majority audience for this news station are usually the Jerry Springer clients I don't want.
*sigh* And this city wonders why there are very few high end vendors, and not just for cakes, for EVERYTHING: floral, venues, restaurants, shopping, etc.

10.
Actually, my best friend is a civil attorney, and my uncle is a lawyer in corporate law The 6 o'clock news didn't air anything, so we'll see what happens at 9 (have an hour and a half to go, my time). I did have the reporter read the contract, and have added the contract to my website under the new "Our Policies" link. I also just made a twitter account, and am about to subscribe to this reporter's tweets.... She posts all her stories that are about to air, and so far no tweet about this "story". And, in the event it is aired at 9, there's an arsenal of my clients who are ready to post their experiences as well.

Haha, this news reporter said she tried calling me a month ago, but that I didn't answer.... ummm.... this wasn't a situation a month ago. She also said she had already looked at my website and facebook, to which I restrained myself from asking, "Well, then, why didn't you schedule an appointment online or send me an email like both my website AND Facebook say to do?"

11. Well, I watched the story, and while it's obviously not a positive one, I think it could have been a lot worse. here's the link: http://www.kfoxtv.com/news/28150072/detail.html

12. Thanks so much Shannon!!! I think that the only ones who are really responding right now are the ones that started all this, and the ones firing back are long time loyal clients (some of whom yes, happen to be friends as well.)
My personal facebook status currently is "Gosh, I suppose could email all 300+ of my current contracts to tell them I'm going to be out of town/unavailable for a couple of weeks. I could also email them monthly letting them know my menstrual cycle, but that doesn't mean I'm GOING to!"
I won't be posting any remarks on the news station site, or on Facebook, unless it gets truly ugly where I do need to make some type of rebuttle.

She then explains her policy on how you order a cake (Pg6)

12.
I'd like to thank everyone for their love and support through all of this. Running a business is never easy, and while we pour our hearts and souls into what we do, unfortunately we will never be able to please everyone.
I am saddened when any situation goes this far, because I feel it is unnecessary. In this forum, we are all supposed to be professionals and use it as a means for advice, tips, professional criticism, unbiased opinions to situations we deal with, to learn from each other and to come together as professionals with a common interest.
Again, I'd like to thank everyone for their time and attention to all of this, the input everyone has given, the many views and sides offered, and for the encouragement that has been presented thus far. I truly value each and every comment, post, suggestion, etc. that has been given, and will use this wealth of knowledge to further my business, and help better myself as a business owner and cake decorator.

13. As with any situation there is a long, lengthy story full of details, all of which has not been discussed here. And with the direction this is taking, I have been advised it would be unwise for me to reveal and details about any of these clients that could be deemed personal or make them identifiable given that it involves more than one client. My lawyer and I are going to go over this entire thread to determine what clarification is necessary, and how it should be worded.
I strive to be ethical and honest in EVERYTHING I do, business and personal.
Thanks again so much to everyone for their continued interest and support. I simply pray that as a business I am able to move on from this, that my current clients know how much I value them, and that all parties involved are able to have the cakes they deserve.

14. Just another quick update: due to the responses the news station has had, they have already released the full, un-cut interview and linked it to the story.

I have received several wonderful emails, and with the permission of one client, I'm posting hers:
"Hello LeeAnn,
Hope this email finds you well. As you might imagine, I recently saw the article published about chasing butterflies on KFox. I was relieved to find that it appears that the article was a gross exaggeration of actual events. I am looking foward to seeing your wonderful creations on my wedding day and trust that if you were unable to fulfil our contract you would not hesitate to inform me.


Have a wonderful Day!!!!!"

Thank you again everyone, for all your love, support, advice, and encouragement!

15.
I'm very sorry you feel I've been dishonest here, WykdGud. If there's a specific question you have, it may be one I can answer without going against what I've been advised to say/not say. As I stated at the very beginning of this thread, this involves a group/family; not just one specific client.
For the record though, I have been EXTREMELY honest, because quite frankly, I'm not smart enough to keep up with a lie.

16.Are y'all talking about the background on the site? That was done for me by the company that set up the site for me. They are definitely cakes I could do, but are not cakes I have done.
I want to have some type of inspiration gallery that shows cakes that I COULD do, but haven't had orders for... Have any of y'all done something like that on your pages? And how would you go about doing that? Posting pics and linking those pics to the maker's page?

17.
Thanks for the info Caker. It would never be my intention to mislead anyone, and definitely not steal anyone's work. That's one reason when client's come in with a picture of a cake, while I may use it as inspiration, I wouldn't do the exact cake (well, obviously that can't be done) or even attempt to try. I'll most definitely call IT right now and have them take it down and just use a standard background until another is designed.
That being said, I'm no Sylvia Weinstock or Ron Ben Isreal, but I'm certainly no WalMart either. And I see nothing wrong with showing client's pictures of other cakes that I DO have the skill for but have not done yet, provided I make no claim that they are my cakes, and give credit where credit is due.

18. There are? In my gallery? I'll go check right now. I'd love to know which one.
19.
Thank you Joy, for showing me which one so that it can be taken down and the correct picture put up. Yes, that is not mine. That is the picture that I was sent of a cake a guy ordered for his kid.
20.I know enough about computers to turn them on and use them, and that's about it. My site was designed and set up by a girl in our area who was recommended to me. The Plex cake was my mistake 100%; I emailed her the wrong picture.
Thank you, Cakes and Joy both, for pointing out errors in the site that could potentially be misleading and/or get my and my business in trouble.
21.
Thanks for the link to the article!! And yes, I just went over the photos, and the Plex cake is the only one that isn't mine. I need to start blowing up the thumbnails before I email pictures; that or invest in some new glasses. Now I need to find the pic of the ACTUAL Plex cake I made!
22. The website, as I am learning, I have royal messed up on in my selection of who helped me. And thank goodness for this forum otherwise I would have been none the wiser! So now to find a new web page developer.

As far as being calm: I'm actually anything but calm! The photos totally freaked me out, and the conversation I just had with the girl that does my site was not at all pretty (because of the pictures and because I've just learned from you all that I may have been ripped off.) But because everything is viewable to all, the only place I get to flip out is at home in private by my self in the middle of the night. Everything from tears to wanting to scream to scrubbing the house with bleach. (Does make for a very clean house, btw
So let's talk about the article:
First complaint at the end of April: The client who didn't pay for the cake by the deadline.
The story that aired June 6: Does not match up with the previous complaint because the previous complaint received no cake due to non-payment.
The other of the two complaints that was received: I have a very good idea where it came from, but have not been told, so I won't say. But it all does relate to the beginning of this thread.
...take from the article: "is my understanding that Mrs. Wells did not take a simple vacation. She completely fell out of contact with customers for several weeks, holding clients' deposit money. They had no idea what was going on or what was to happen to their cakes."
As I explained in the interview, my "vacation" was a year end review of my business, what I needed to change, improve on, adjust, etc. as well as to prepare for the upcoming busy season. During this time I DID NOT answer emails, though for people who scheduled appointments online, I did accept. I do not answer my phone. It says clearly on my website to schedule an appt online. I do not accept contracts or deposits until the cake design process and flavor tasting and selection as finished. I have learned from this that, and perhaps this is because of these wedding shows, some clients are feeling they should have constant contact with me even after the design, tasting, and contract process. This is a point I will from now on be more clear about as far as "what clients should expect". When I sign a contract, I EXPECT the contract to be upheld, on my end and the business' end. It seems not everyone has the same expectation.
"since this story has aired, we've received several similar calls and emails regarding Mrs. Wells business practices. Many of their stories are similar to the one that ran on Monday." So people are calling and saying that after they finalize the design and tasting, and do the contract and deposit... what...? This event has yet to occur, therefor what exactly is the issue?
Part of this "vacation" time has been to evaluate areas in the business that need evaluating. Communication is one of those areas, hence why I have chosen to go to a no-phone, just email or schedule online system. Because unless I start charging more, I can't afford a receptionist. And in this area, people are still learning what these kinds of cakes cost.
23.
Thank you, CakeStyles, for asking.And for showing me this. I just got off the phone with the news station because that all is a flat out lie.
That was the cake that was not paid for. Depoit left April 15th for event April 30th. Final pmt due April 22. No pmy recieved. Client said pmt would be brought by before April 29th. No pmt on April 29, no cake on April 30.

And phone numbers they found disconnected would probably be person, private landline numbers. the phone number where in extreme cases clients can text me as listed on my website has been in service for OVER 6 years.


This is her posts from the first 13 pages

jo_ann Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 10:13pm
post #376 of 413

Is the answer in there Wykdgud

KoryAK Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 10:18pm
post #377 of 413

Good god!! You people just kept me from baking mt cakes for an HOUR poring over these 26 pages!

I feel for the OP, I say you should start ignoring this thread right now (which I think you have already) and get back to your regularly scheduled program. It will blow over eventually, just learn your lessons and do the best job you can from here on out icon_smile.gif

shelly-101 Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 11:04pm
post #378 of 413

oh wow.....i just sat and read all 26 pages of this story watched all of the news stories my brain hurts. But i do have to say that the whole child in the hospital happened to me this last weekend things do happen but i made sure that my wedding cake made it to the wedding i was late but i got it there maybe i have my priorities mixed up and i am a bad mother for having my husband stay with my daughter for a little while at the hospital while i delivered the cake keep in mind that i was frantic and worried about my baby girl the whole time. in the end the bride liked me even more due to the fact that even though my daughter was in the hospital i still went out of my way to make her special day perfect. am i the only one who would do that? I'm like katgirl i sure in the heck did not want to have to refund 600.00 that one cake paid for my daughters hospital bill. oh and i sure in the heck did not turn off my cell phone in case my family wanted to get a hold of me for updates on my daughter. i dunno maybe I'm wrong.... icon_confused.gif

lorieleann Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 11:40pm
post #379 of 413

brain. hurts. 26 pages icon_eek.gif Since the topic of the moment is having the wherewithal to take care of business even in light of personal crisis, I can say that I think that that is mostly a product of personalty. Some people can really only handle what is right in front of them, and others can compartmentalize and think of big pictures. I know that as i get rolling that I need to make contact with other cakers in town to call on for emergency situations, and get that basic wedding dummy complete for emergencies. I do know that if I was placed in crisis, I would probably be able to get deliveries or arrangement made.

We still get a chuckle out of the mass compartmentalization i went into when i found out my mother had suddenly passed. There was a good 4 minutes of pacing and disbelief, then i snapped out of it, called my director "Hi Tim? I'm going to need the rest of this and next week off. My mother just died. Yes, I'll let you know when services are. The files for the blank reception is on my desk and I have two appointments tomorrow that need to be handled or cancelled. Thank you." Then back to sobbing as my husband drove us to the hospital.

I wish the OP all the best in her business, but I do think that she needs to really reevaluate what she is capable of in a professional aspect. Its one thing to operate a one-woman-show for cakes and catering, but if one is going to market themselves as a high-end service provider, then there has to be the high-end customer service, communication, and contingency plans to go with the customer's expectations. I think that the OPs willingness to admit shortcomings and remain off defense on this points that this might be a learning experience that she can work past. Now if her market will look past the damage down in the press.

cakestyles Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 1:32am
post #380 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxicakes


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".




Phew....I can almost read the stress in your post. You may want to consider switching to decaf.

It's noble of you to defend her. Here's my issue. Dave Ramsey is upfront about his bankruptcies. This person is not.

HUGE difference. You may not be naive enough to take her advice, but I can guarantee you there are hundreds of people on here who are. That's sad.

dawncr Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 2:08am
post #381 of 413

I'm unsure why some people are continuing to target the OP and to assert her lack of business acumen or professionalism. (Of course, all the while they are noting their own professionalism.)

She's admitted she's made mistakes and she's learning from them. What more do you want from her? She's not on trial here, and a few posters are beginning to look like a bunch of bullies.

Posters on this thread are getting nastier and nastier. The hostility is expanding to other CC posters, and it's out of hand.

Let's think about taking the high road.

CakeRN Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 2:37am
post #382 of 413

Wow...long long thread...can't believe I read the whole thing! Where is the alka selzer!

people make mistakes...we are all human. This is not a court of law and no one should be put on trial here but it sure sounds like that is what is happening. I am sorry for the whole lot of them...including the original poster.

As far as the person who filed bankruptcy and gives out advice...give that person a break too. Just because you file for bankruptcy doesn't mean you don't know what you are talking about. Do you even know what that persons finances were or their personal life is ? Maybe they didn't charge enough and thought they were. Maybe they had health issues that made them have medical bills that became overwhelming. We don't know their circumstances and until we walk in their shoes we should not judge. There are all kinds of people out there that give out advice that have failed in their businesses. Does that mean that they don't know what they are talking about ...Does that mean they haven't learned from their failings? Heck no...
Just because I have lost weight, gained it back and lost it again doesn't mean I don't know how its done . I can give advice because I have done it and succeeded at it then failed at it and succeeded at it again.
KEEP YOUR FRIENDS CLOSE AND YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER! To bad the person who filed the bankruptcy has so called "friends" like that who talk about them behind their back....yeah with friends like that who needs enemies....

WykdGud Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 2:54am
post #383 of 413

Guess I've been out of the loop too long since I have no idea who the mystery bankrupt member is. Not that it matters. Just glad it's not me. Yay.

And no, the OP is not on trial and I could care less how this affects her business - personally, since she has kids, I just hope it works out for their sake. The problem I have with the OP is the continual blowing of smoke up my backside. If she would have had the thread removed or at least stopped coming back and embellishing more and more, I'd have let it go a loooooooooooong time ago.

Texas_Rose Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:06am
post #384 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

And no, the OP is not on trial and I could care less how this affects her business - personally, since she has kids, I just hope it works out for their sake. The problem I have with the OP is the continual blowing of smoke up my backside. If she would have had the thread removed or at least stopped coming back and embellishing more and more, I'd have let it go a loooooooooooong time ago.




Exactly. For everything that comes out, OP has an excuse.

It really sounds to me like she got herself way in over her head, getting lots of business with those pictures that weren't hers (never, ever heard of someone having a web designer run their facebook page and post photos on it for them) and then she couldn't keep up with the demands of her business. The excuse of being young, which I've seen several times in this thread, doesn't fly with me...when you're old enough to have a couple of kids, you need to be able to function as an adult.

I hope everything works out for her, and for her customers.

What a mess...but an entertaining mess at that icon_biggrin.gif

cakestyles Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:06am
post #385 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeRN

There are all kinds of people out there that give out advice that have failed in their businesses. Does that mean that they don't know what they are talking about ...Does that mean they haven't learned from their failings?





Yes, that's exactly what it means.


The person who tipped me off didn't claim to be her "friend". I have no idea who he/she is because they didn't tell me their cc name in the e-mail so it could be any of you for all I know.

But, that doesn't matter.

cakestyles Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:09am
post #386 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Guess I've been out of the loop too long since I have no idea who the mystery bankrupt member is. Not that it matters. Just glad it's not me. Yay.




I can't believe a "super sleuth" like you hasn't figured it out for yourself. detective.gif

Kitagrl Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:12am
post #387 of 413

Beautiful weather outside today, here in PA...

So..

How is the weather for all of you?

Gotta go put a cake up now...for my son's birthday! So glad he only wants jello cake with cool whip and berries. Phew. That was easy!

Y'all have a great night! icon_biggrin.gif

cakestyles Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:15am
post #388 of 413

Sounds good kitagirl.

I think I'll take your cue and stop watching this one. It's mind numbing.

Night all!

gatorcake Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:21am
post #389 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas_Rose

Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

And no, the OP is not on trial and I could care less how this affects her business - personally, since she has kids, I just hope it works out for their sake. The problem I have with the OP is the continual blowing of smoke up my backside. If she would have had the thread removed or at least stopped coming back and embellishing more and more, I'd have let it go a loooooooooooong time ago.



Exactly. For everything that comes out, OP has an excuse.

It really sounds to me like she got herself way in over her head, getting lots of business with those pictures that weren't hers (never, ever heard of someone having a web designer run their facebook page and post photos on it for them) and then she couldn't keep up with the demands of her business. The excuse of being young, which I've seen several times in this thread, doesn't fly with me...when you're old enough to have a couple of kids, you need to be able to function as an adult.

I hope everything works out for her, and for her customers.

What a mess...but an entertaining mess at that icon_biggrin.gif




And what you see as an excuse others see as an explanation. The OP long ago acknowledged her suspect business practices. Yet you and others would rather guess at what happened and assume the OP was lying. The stories since page 1 have been consistent, the claims of another to find inconsistencies which amounted to nothing more than their assumptions about how people would run a business.

That other clients emerged claiming poor service is not a sign the OP lied about the original client. All it is a sign of is poor business pratices which she admitted to.

You would rather continue to beat a dead horse and take pleasure from it than simply walk away from the thread. That does double for the super sleuth who obviously takes pleausure in beating the OP and then tries at wear their "investigating skills" as a badge of honor.

WykdGud Posted 16 Jun 2011 , 3:23am
post #390 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Guess I've been out of the loop too long since I have no idea who the mystery bankrupt member is. Not that it matters. Just glad it's not me. Yay.



I can't believe a "super sleuth" like you hasn't figured it out for yourself. detective.gif




I only figure out what is presented in front of me. I don't have any need to dig any dirt about anyone. I did suspect, and someone confirmed my suspicions. I'm no Sherlock Holmes...

I did figure out it wasn't me though, kudos to me!

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%