I Found It Very Hard To Bite My Tongue Today

Decorating By KellyJo3 Updated 26 Jun 2011 , 3:05pm by KellyJo3

KellyJo3 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 5:51pm
post #1 of 27

I had a 1/4 sheet cake order with 6 dozen cupcakes for a lady today. When I originally set up this order with her I stated that she needed to read over and sign our contract and send it back to me via her computer and if she could not do so that she could at the time she picked up her order.

Well about 15 minutes before she was suppose to arrive she called and said that she was sending someone else to pick the order up and I stated to her then that it was fine as long as whoever was coming would need to sign the contract.

When they finally arrived a little over an hour late the two ladies walked in and I could tell by the look on thier faces that they were already not in a good mood so I mentioned nothing about them being late. I proceeded to get their order together and mentioned that they would have to sign our contract.

One of the ladies very rudely commented on the fact that they had to sign a contract just for cakes and cupcakes and how ridiculous it was as she abrubtly grabbed the contract off of the table as I was getting ready to go over it with them. I explained to her that it was for legal reasons to protect me as well as them when ordering cakes. It was also to confirm that I informed them of certain things like allergens, cake transport recommendations etc. Also they were renting a cupcake stand from me and it had it's own contract that needed to be signed to guarantee we get the cupcake stand back or the deposit was not going to be refunded back. She continued to complain and said that she has never had to sign a contract just to order cakes or cupcakes and I politely suggested that maybe she bought her cakes from a retail bakery like Walmart because they do not require you to. (Probably not the best professional thing to say, but I was meerly trying to figure out how the heck she never had to sign a contract from a custom bakery before)

This enraged her and said "you don't know me, you don't know that I don't live in this state! I buy mine from a bakery!" "To which, I replied and they don't require you to sign a contract? They could possibly be operating illegally." Mind you I kept a polite tone this whole time as she was yelling.
I was so upset that I started to shake, my 7 year old daughter was there and my husband and both looked as though they were ready to hold me back. I know other states do things differently and that they have other laws, but to have no type of contract for a custom bakery sounds fishy!

Finally the other lady said "Maybe we better get out of here." like this lady seriously would pick a fist fight with me in front of my child and husband, and she signed the contract, to which I had to make copies of which upset the rude woman even more. How dare I make copies for them and waste their time even more! Luckily my husband stepped in and started to get the order together to load into their vehicle.

What a day I tell ya, People like that make me sick! My husband did suggest that instead of calling it a contract that it be called an ordering agreement to not scare people, I'm guessing he may be right on that one!

26 replies
charliecakes Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 6:10pm
post #2 of 27

oh wow...sorry that happened but yeah I'm with your husband on that one. I simply call mine a detailed order form/copy of their order/receipt. People will never refuse or argue about a receipt. Now for my wedding cakes or really large party cakes then yeah it's a full fledge contract.

KellyJo3 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 6:33pm
post #3 of 27

I hear ya and defintley agree with ya, I do have a seperate contract for wedding cakes. For other orders, I will just simply call it an agreement.

jason_kraft Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 6:39pm
post #4 of 27

It's been my experience that most traditional retail bakeries don't have contracts, especially if you just buy a cake from the case and have someone write on it. The customer is probably used to dealing with those types of bakeries as opposed to custom cake shops.

FWIW I have all our customers sign an "invoice", only larger orders like wedding cakes have a separate contract.

charliecakes Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 6:40pm
post #5 of 27

Yeah and don't take what that lady said or did personally. I find most times that when the person who ordered or whoever picks up the cake, normally they are running around doing last minute things, they are sometimes late and a lil frazzled from all the planning and stuff. Sounds like your customer was just having a little bit of a bad day and it came off on you.

KellyJo3 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 6:52pm
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

It's been my experience that most traditional retail bakeries don't have contracts, especially if you just buy a cake from the case and have someone write on it. The customer is probably used to dealing with those types of bakeries as opposed to custom cake shops.

FWIW I have all our customers sign an "invoice", only larger orders like wedding cakes have a separate contract.




That's kinda what I figured and why I suggested she may have bought her cakes from a place like that, I'm thinking I shouldn't have said that though, because I think she took it the wrong way, as it was bad to do so. Which I still buy bakery items from Walmart. My birthday is the 8th and my husband will be getting me one of their cheesecake samplers as always mmmmmmmmmmm!!!

KellyJo3 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 6:54pm
post #7 of 27

Thanks Charliecakes, That could possibly be it. I did wish her a wonderful day as she left as did my husband, who they were very very kind to. Which made them even more irritating, my husband wasn't up all hours working on their stuff! : )

Kitagrl Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 7:14pm
post #8 of 27

I usually have anything that needs to be signed, signed ahead of time. For pickup orders I do not require a contract, only for deliveries, and they are signed just after the deposit is made, and always signed by the person paying for the order.

gatorcake Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 7:18pm
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyJo3

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

It's been my experience that most traditional retail bakeries don't have contracts, especially if you just buy a cake from the case and have someone write on it. The customer is probably used to dealing with those types of bakeries as opposed to custom cake shops.

FWIW I have all our customers sign an "invoice", only larger orders like wedding cakes have a separate contract.



That's kinda what I figured and why I suggested she may have bought her cakes from a place like that, I'm thinking I shouldn't have said that though, because I think she took it the wrong way, as it was bad to do so. Which I still buy bakery items from Walmart. My birthday is the 8th and my husband will be getting me one of their cheesecake samplers as always mmmmmmmmmmm!!!




If that is what you thought then suggesting she bought from WalMart was more than unkind. WalMart may sell baked items it is not a retail bakery.

This may sound harsh but how could she not take it the wrong way? Your way of responding to her made it about her and not you. To your credit you emphasized the value of your business practices. However you changed your focus of the conversation from your practices to where she shopped.

Yes she opened the door by comparing you to other bakeries, but you then presumed to make assumptions about what where she shopped--assumptions many will find insulting. In fact there are many who would never dare set foot in a WalMart and to assert they shop there is seen as quite insulting. And you accused her of supporting illegal businesses. Even a customer who was not having a tirade could find this insulting.

I am not saying it is your fault rather that you would have been better served by keeping the focus on the value of your business practices--which is where you started. Although given the discussion of the situation I would also have been hard pressed not to say something similar.

sherrycanary62 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 7:36pm
post #10 of 27

I wouldn't have wanted to sign a contract if I was just picking up a cake for someone else either...not because of the size of the order...because I didn't order the cake, I don't know what you and the customer agreed to...It's not my job as the picker upper to impart information, such as allergens, to the customer...that's your job...I'm just doing a favor...I wouldn't have signed it.

A better business practice would be to get your customer to sign the contract at the time of order....no contract...no order. Waiting until pick up to have the contract signed (no matter by who) is like holding the cake hostage...you could have put all types of addendums that were never discussed........

just trying to give a customers perspective.

KellyJo3 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 7:58pm
post #11 of 27

gatorcake,I think you are misunderstanding me as the lady did. I meant that she may have bought her cakes from a retail bakery like Walmart that did not require a contract. I did not know it was insulting to call Walmart's bakery a retail bakery. I actually really thought that's what it was, as I thought retail bakeries had cakes on hand and made mass productions of them. I was meerly suggesting that as a way to make her understand why I had a contract because I make custom cakes and my bakery does things differently.

As my post from early stated, I shop at Walmart and even get my birthday cheesecake sampler there. No digs on Walmart folks. I'm about to go shopping there in a few.

Also as far as her being offended that I may have suggested that she may support an illegal business, I coud care less wether her bakery is legal or not. I have no opinion on that so please let's not get that subject going. I was just trying to help her as well as myself understand why she did not need to sign a contract with them, but as I can see from everyone's posts on here, that it is not that uncommon. Mind you this was after all of my explaining of why I have one and why I thought it was a common thing and she was just not satisfied with the fact that I did things differently than her bakery. Just chalk that comment of mine to ignorance, inexperience and uhh well fart mouth. (When things come out of your mouth when you don't exactly want them to)

I personally felt bullied and backed into a corner so I may have said things in the wrong way, but she came at me with an attitude that I was not expecting nor was prepared for therefore excuse the expression "Sh*t happened". Now I know how to handle a similar situation in the future by keeping my fart mouth shut! : ) Thanks for your input though.

KellyJo3 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 8:10pm
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sherrycanary62

I wouldn't have wanted to sign a contract if I was just picking up a cake for someone else either...not because of the size of the order...because I didn't order the cake, I don't know what you and the customer agreed to...It's not my job as the picker upper to impart information, such as allergens, to the customer...that's your job...I'm just doing a favor...I wouldn't have signed it.

A better business practice would be to get your customer to sign the contract at the time of order....no contract...no order. Waiting until pick up to have the contract signed (no matter by who) is like holding the cake hostage...you could have put all types of addendums that were never discussed........

just trying to give a customers perspective.



I hear ya, and great advice. I do send a copy of the contract at the time of the order and make sure to state in the email that they read it over. It is also posted on my website. But I do see what you mean about addendums, which I have never done. Usually I do have them sign it at the time their order is finalized via thier computer or scanner etc. Most of my orders are placed online rather than in person. But sometimes they are not able to sign it wether their word program is outdated, they don't have a scanner etc. so I do let some sign them at the time their order is picked up and they are informed that if they do not pick up their cake, that whoever they elect to, will be responsible for signing it. This has only ever happened twice though. This time and one other time where the woman's husband picked up the cake. I think I will not allow it anymore, as it really does need to be signed at the time the order is finalized. Thanks for the input!

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 8:20pm
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyJo3


I hear ya, and great advice. I do send a copy of the contract at the time of the order and make sure to state in the email that they read it over. It is also posted on my website. But I do see what you mean about addendums, which I have never done. Usually I do have them sign it at the time their order is finalized via thier computer or scanner etc. Most of my orders are placed online rather than in person. But sometimes they are not able to sign it wether their word program is outdated, they don't have a scanner etc. so I do let some sign them at the time their order is picked up and they are informed that if they do not pick up their cake, that whoever they elect to, will be responsible for signing it. This has only ever happened twice though. This time and one other time where the woman's husband picked up the cake. I think I will not allow it anymore, as it really does need to be signed at the time the order is finalized. Thanks for the input!




Hey. we're all learning! thumbs_up.gif

With every cake order, I make note of some thing or another to do better or differently next time, whether it be something with the cake itself, or more related to customer service, etc. Usually it is something that I have just not encountered as a problem yet, and then when I do, I say, "OOOOK, got to change THAT! " icon_biggrin.gif

sherrycanary62 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 8:26pm
post #14 of 27

As CakeMaster said it's all a learning experience...since most of your orders come through online, I can see why occasionally you can't get a contract signed until pick up.

KellyJo3 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 8:29pm
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMaster2009

Hey. we're all learning! thumbs_up.gif

With every cake order, I make note of some thing or another to do better or differently next time, whether it be something with the cake itself, or more related to customer service, etc. Usually it is something that I have just not encountered as a problem yet, and then when I do, I say, "OOOOK, got to change THAT! " icon_biggrin.gif



Thanks CakeMaster2009 Yes, this was a first for me, and I learn something new everyday in this business. I always make changes to better my business, this is just going to be yet another adjustment. That's why I appreciate constructive critism, advice and tips as I would not post on here if I didn't expect to get it. : )

artscallion Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 8:31pm
post #16 of 27

Isn't one of the purposes of a contract to cover you from loss if a cake isn't picked up. Are you getting paid in advance? What happens if you are waiting there with a cake and an unsigned contract and no one ever shows up? Or someone shows up and says, "no I wanted chocolate, not vanilla." What good does an unsigned contract really do at that point?

It seems odd, to me, to have a contract signed at that point. Contracts should be signed at the time the order is placed. That way you are sure you're both in agreement on how you should proceed with the cake, how it should be paid, procedures if there are problems, etc. If you wait until pickup time, most of these points are hanging at the whim of the person picking it up.

What would you have done if the woman had refused to sign? Kept the cake and lost the sale, leaving yourself stuck with the cake? At that point the customer really has you over a barrel.

If it were me, I would say that if a customer doesn't have fax or scan capabilities or whatever, they need to do it through mail or in person, or take it to the local copy store and have them send it before the order proceeds.

KellyJo3 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 8:41pm
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by artscallion

Isn't one of the purposes of a contract to cover you from loss if a cake isn't picked up. Are you getting paid in advance? What happens if you are waiting there with a cake and an unsigned contract and no one ever shows up? Or someone shows up and says, "no I wanted chocolate, not vanilla." What good does an unsigned contract really do at that point?

It seems odd, to me, to have a contract signed at that point. Contracts should be signed at the time the order is placed. That way you are sure you're both in agreement on how you should proceed with the cake, how it should be paid, procedures if there are problems, etc. If you wait until pickup time, most of these points are hanging at the whim of the person picking it up.

What would you have done if the woman had refused to sign? Kept the cake and lost the sale, leaving yourself stuck with the cake? At that point the customer really has you over a barrel.

If it were me, I would say that if a customer doesn't have fax or scan capabilities or whatever, they need to do it through mail or in person, or take it to the local copy store and have them send it before the order proceeds.



All of my cake orders are paid in full before the cake is delivered or picked up. I honestly can say I don't know what I would've done if she refused to sign. Good question. But like I said in my last post, looks like I'll be making a few adjustments and also like I posted last this has only happened twice, and most of my cake orders are done online not in person. But, yes I understand your points here and gives me something to think about. Thanks.

warchild Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 9:12pm
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyJo3

She continued to complain and said that she has never had to sign a contract just to order cakes or cupcakes and I politely suggested that maybe she bought her cakes from a retail bakery like Walmart because they do not require you to. (Probably not the best professional thing to say, but I was meerly trying to figure out how the heck she never had to sign a contract from a custom bakery before)

This enraged her and said "you don't know me, you don't know that I don't live in this state! I buy mine from a bakery!" "To which, I replied and they don't require you to sign a contract? They could possibly be operating illegally." Mind you I kept a polite tone this whole time as she was yelling.




I'm sorry, even if you kept a polite tone, you were out of line with such a comment. This was a woman picking up a cake for a friend. Someone who most likely had no idea about a contract agreement between you and your customer. I can understand her getting miffed about the whole thing, but do think it was inexcusable for her to go into such a rage as you say she did.

That being said.. The fault I hate to say, belongs to you, as you did not follow your own cake ordering "rules."

You state you require your customers to sign a contract for your cakes & cupcakes. That should have been taken care of when the cake was ordered, not when ever your customer got around to it.

A signed contract would have prevented your very unpleasant cake pick up.

KellyJo3 Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 9:57pm
post #19 of 27

ok so obviously I need to not any cake orders from people that cannot meet me to sign a contract, or sign it over their computers. Done deal.

I can see how someone would take my comment about walmart and her bakery possibly being illegal as a rude comment as none of you know me personally. But rest assure, if you did know me personally, you would know that my comments were not meant to offend anyone. Which is why said the comment about having a fart mouth.

I did not have time to think of a professional way to say things with a women twice my size (I am only 5') standing in my face as my 7 year old looked on as she was yelling at me. I do not know people who conduct themselves in such a way so you can say I was caught offguard and panicked a little.

So please forgive me if I came across as rude and offensive, but where is the line drawn for the saying the customer's always right. I know where I draw the and that's about 2 feet away from my personal space.

jason_kraft Posted 25 Jun 2011 , 10:21pm
post #20 of 27

For smaller orders we only require payment upon delivery or pickup, and there have been several occasions where someone besides the customer has signed the invoice. The customer always sees the invoice though, as we send it via email when the order is placed.

I really think just calling it a receipt or invoice instead of a "contract" will be enough to curb this type of situation going forward.

sweettreat101 Posted 26 Jun 2011 , 12:59am
post #21 of 27

I'm sorry that happened to you. At that point I would have told the ladies that the person who placed the order would have to come in a pick it up and have a nice day. There is no reason why anyone should talk to you in that manner even if they don't like that fact that you call it a contract. It is what it is they either sign or they leave with no product in hand. I personally would rather take a loss on ingredients and time than let someone talk to me that way. I have a lady who always tries to place orders at the last minute. I used to give in but I have learned to say no. It feels so good. She calls late last night wanting a cake for today. I told her I was already booked with a huge order of cheesecake wrapped strawberries. So she tells me well make ten for me and call me. I politely said no. She looked shocked. Maybe one day she will understand that I am busy and need plenty of notice.

gatorcake Posted 26 Jun 2011 , 1:26am
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by KellyJo3



I personally felt bullied and backed into a corner so I may have said things in the wrong way, but she came at me with an attitude that I was not expecting nor was prepared for therefore excuse the expression "Sh*t happened". Now I know how to handle a similar situation in the future by keeping my fart mouth shut! : ) Thanks for your input though.




After reading through to the end I don't think we misunderstand each other. I was just trying to focus on the communication strategies involved. My only point was to encourage you to focus on your practices not theirs. And of course this is very easy for me to say as I sit here behind the computer screen. And since you did not slug her I can say you did handle it better than I would have icon_razz.gif

bohemiagetsajob Posted 26 Jun 2011 , 1:43am
post #23 of 27

Sweettreat- cheesecake wrapped strawberries sound amazing!

KellyJo3 Posted 26 Jun 2011 , 11:59am
post #24 of 27

Sweettreat, Strawberries wrapped in cheesecake does sound very very good!! : )

I had to share this little part that you all may find odd, but that's me-odd- lol, but I thought this was kinda funny so I had to share.

The night before this all happened, I had a dream that I was delivering a whole bunch of cupcakes to these girls and when I got there, they attacked me and held me down while they shoved handfuls of glass in my mouth! I know weird huh?

I'm thinking that the dream was warning me about the incident coming and to keep my mouth shut, how ironic lol. I should've listened!!

cutiepiecupcake Posted 26 Jun 2011 , 1:11pm
post #25 of 27

I either email my Terms & Conditions via PDF attachment or via postal mail at the time the customer accepts my quote and proceeds with an order. I state that when the customer accepts my quote and proceeds with an order that the customer is accepting my Terms & Conditions.. this acts as my contract. I do request a signiture of acceptance upon either pick up or delivery of all orders to ensure that my cakes have been received in good order.. this obviously only covers me for the visual appearance and not the taste lol.. although, touch wood, I have not had a bad experience yet icon_wink.gif

airedalian Posted 26 Jun 2011 , 2:55pm
post #26 of 27

I get it being a pain to sign things and maybe not having accessible equipment to do it electronically. I had to stop by the office on my way out of town recently to print out an authorization form, sign it, scan it, and email it back to the folks who needed it asap, and it was a real pain.

However, I just filled out a medical release form for my son to attend a camp at the Naval Academy. It was word document that I could return by email, and there was a line on there that if the document was returned electronically then the typed signature was valid. I guess if the Navy's willing to take my kid to the hospital on a typed signature, then that type of agreement ought to hold up for you for a pickup, especially if you already have the payment.

KellyJo3 Posted 26 Jun 2011 , 3:05pm
post #27 of 27

Love your method cutiepiecupcake! What a way to minimize the hassle of getting signatures! Great idea thank you!! Although, I will still keep my contract for wedding cakes though, as that has more to it.

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