Am I Obligated To Make This Thing?

Business By jenmat Updated 26 Jul 2011 , 4:24am by johnson6ofus

jenmat Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 1:08pm
post #1 of 16

Ok, 10 months ago I met with a bride and groom to design their wedding cake. At the end of the meeting she mentioned she MAY want a gumpaste topper of them in camo attire. (on an orange sherbert, beautifully elegant cake, mind you). I said, I would bid it out when they made their decision, and to let me know as soon as they knew about it so I could get started, since the summer gets busy.

So, a month and a half ago I emailed to bride to finalize. I mocked up her invoice, sent all the details, and in the middle of everything asked her about the topper.
She approved the invoice, (without the topper) said everything looks great and etc etc.
I was a fool and didn't see that she never answered my topper question.
Her payment was 3 days late, I emailed her and told her finance charges would begin to apply. I get a response saying, "I'm SOOOO sorry I will send it out Monday morning. And, by the way, the gumpaste topper I want is a camoflauged CONVERTIBLE with the bride and groom riding in it."
icon_confused.gificon_eek.gif
I told her there wasn't enough time to complete something that detailed and now I get an angry email this morning saying how bummed and disappointed she was that she can't get what she wants, that I never told her when she had to order it...blah blah blah.
SO I haven't answered her, but in this case, because I didn't nail her down about it a month and a half ago, am I obligated to do this for her....
She's now 5 days late on payment. argh.

15 replies
Lemmers Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 1:28pm
post #2 of 16

I'm not inbusiness myself yet, but I would say technically you aren't obligated as she had a chance to read the invoice etc and no mention of the topper, however if it was me I'd be tempted to do the damn thing IF I HAD TIME just to keep her on side and avoid her bad mouthing you when it was her fault.

I would make it clear though that "although the topper was never agreed on, I am doing this as a gesture of good will to make sure you have the cake you really want".

Just my thoughts anyway!

brenda549 Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 1:41pm
post #3 of 16

If the topper is not included in the contract, I say no, you are not obligated. However, if you want to make it just to keep the peace, I would inform the bride ASAP that you will do it for an additional charge.

gatorcake Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 2:01pm
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmat

. I said, I would bid it out when they made their decision, and to let me know as soon as they knew about it so I could get started, since the summer gets busy.
.




On my view this is the problem as it implies they have no firm deadline as to when they need to let you know about the topper. That it is not in the contract does not necessarily absolve you of responsibility as the prior statement lets the client know you will simply bid it out once they decide.

That is it overlooked in the finalizing of the contract could easily leaves the client with the idea that the topper will simply be added when she finally decide what they want per the prior comment. Who knows what she specifically remembers, however, it is not that hard to believe that what she remembers is you saying as soon as you decide, just let me know as soon as possible.


All this is said I do not believe you are obligated because you did tell her that the summer gets busy so she was risking not getting the topper if she waited too long. I think you could easily bracket the entire contract question by simply referring back to the initial consult and tell her she simply waited too long and it is not possible to produce the topper given the time left. However I do agree with others, if you have the ability to do it, it might be worth it to do it, with a premium charge for do it.

pinkpiggie78 Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 2:01pm
post #5 of 16

Maybe it is just me, but I am so sick of feeling like I need to be someone's mother... calling to remind people of appointments, balances due, etc. When do people become responsible for themselves?

It seems to me she had two specific chances to speak up about the topper, the first when you were going over the details, and secondly when she approved the invoice. So no, I do not feel you are obligated to make one. Maybe you can suggest a simplified topper that would appease her and not add too much to your workload? Of course, this is only if she actually pays you...

QTCakes1 Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 3:40pm
post #6 of 16

Uh, no. She saw the invoice and then she even changed the design last minute, so double no. And then she hasn't even paid you yet. I am tired of these people too. I would tell her you saw the invoice and that there was no topper on it, so I took that as no for topper.

jenmat Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 4:28pm
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gatorcake

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmat

. I said, I would bid it out when they made their decision, and to let me know as soon as they knew about it so I could get started, since the summer gets busy.
.



On my view this is the problem as it implies they have no firm deadline as to when they need to let you know about the topper. That it is not in the contract does not necessarily absolve you of responsibility as the prior statement lets the client know you will simply bid it out once they decide.

That is it overlooked in the finalizing of the contract could easily leaves the client with the idea that the topper will simply be added when she finally decide what they want per the prior comment. Who knows what she specifically remembers, however, it is not that hard to believe that what she remembers is you saying as soon as you decide, just let me know as soon as possible.




This is kind of where I am. I think I made it too ambiguous for her and that is MY fault. We discussed it MIGHT be an option and she really wasn't sure WHAT she wanted. It was in no way, shape or form discussed as a serious possibility, and I am surprised I even took notes about it. BUT she thinks she meant she was serious. The sad thing is, she says she saw it a few months ago in a magazine, has NO photo of it, and didn't let me know until her invoice is 5 days overdue.
In reality, I am definitely going to offer her something, but between now and then I have 13 other weddings, all with their own needs and THEY all finalized their invoices, made sure to make decisions, AND paid on time.

I've never made a gumpaste topper, I know I can do it, but with 25 days to go and 13 other brides to please, AND no photo, I simply can't do a detailed gumpaste car with 2 detailed human sculptures. I'm not superwoman.

When you're in the thick of busy season, it is SOOO frustrating to babysit people. I know it is my responsibility. It really is, that is why they come to me and pay more for me to do their cake than a regular bakery. They want to think they are my only bride, ever.

But I can't read minds. Reading minds is an extra $.50 a serving for sure. icon_cry.gif

cai0311 Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 6:20pm
post #8 of 16

Is there a deadline included in the contract when no changes can be made from that point forward? My contract states "no changes after final payment" which is 30 days before the wedding. If your contract has anything similar I would point to that and tell her she needed to add this to the order before the cut off point.

If your contract doesn't have any deadlines and you never verbally gave her one, then I think you should make the topper. But send her a second invoice for the topper. Make sure you charge her for it. You never know, she may change her mind when she realizes she has to pay extra for it (since the price for it was not included in the original invoice.

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 6:28pm
post #9 of 16

I agree with most of what has been posted...She has had ample time to make up her mind whether she wanted this topper or not and a contract was sent for her to review and sign off on..Decide if you want to do the topper and send her another invoice for the topper amount only.As Cai0311 stated..It wasn't included in the original invoice anyway...If she wants it..you will get paid for your aggrevation..if not you are not obligated to do it..Let HER decide and you won't look like the Ogre...LOL

jenmat Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 6:48pm
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cai0311

Is there a deadline included in the contract when no changes can be made from that point forward? My contract states "no changes after final payment" which is 30 days before the wedding. If your contract has anything similar I would point to that and tell her she needed to add this to the order before the cut off point.

If your contract doesn't have any deadlines and you never verbally gave her one, then I think you should make the topper. But send her a second invoice for the topper. Make sure you charge her for it. You never know, she may change her mind when she realizes she has to pay extra for it (since the price for it was not included in the original invoice.




My contract says final payment is due 30 days prior, with change adjustments permissible up to 2 weeks prior. It then states that my business must approve all change requests according to availability and time needed to complete the submission.
So, while I do allow changes, I get a say in what changes I can do. I will definitely charge her. I emailed a VERY nice email apologizing (professionally) that she can't get what she wants, and offering her several options, including a bride and groom riding on a camo ATV, which will be MUCH easier than a to-scale convertible. Hopefully she will be all over that and will let go of the hissy fit.

kaciealexa Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 6:49pm
post #11 of 16

"In reality, I am definitely going to offer her something, but between now and then I have 13 other weddings, all with their own needs and THEY all finalized their invoices, made sure to make decisions, AND paid on time. "

Playing devils advocate here,.... so you are going to take time away from the 13 orders you have that the customers did everything right, paid on time,ect. and devote some of your time (thier time) to making a cake for someone who is adult enough to get married, presumably has a job with responsibiities and deadlines, and still feels it's okay to just 'wing it' for her wedding cake' , with regards to topper and payment as per contract... i say, let her know immedialty that due to falilure on her part to pay balance, you have 'filled her slot'... why should the other 13 brides have less time devoted to thier cakes?

cakesbycathy Posted 25 Jul 2011 , 8:40pm
post #12 of 16

She's 5 days late with her payment. Forget about the topper. I'd be calling her to tell her she's not going to have a CAKE if she doesn't get you the full payment in cash by tomorrow.

costumeczar Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 2:19am
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

She's 5 days late with her payment. Forget about the topper. I'd be calling her to tell her she's not going to have a CAKE if she doesn't get you the full payment in cash by tomorrow.




That's the one!

jenmat Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 2:43am
post #14 of 16

Yep, that part's taken care of, I have been paid, we discussed it, and she's going with the atv thing. All is better. She's not as happy with the atv versus the convertible, but I just didn't have it in me.
SO we all win, right?

GuiltyPleasures Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 4:08am
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmat

Yep, that part's taken care of, I have been paid, we discussed it, and she's going with the atv thing. All is better. She's not as happy with the atv versus the convertible, but I just didn't have it in me.
SO we all win, right?




I have found that often you bend over backwards (spending WAY too much time on something) to please someone and they still have nothing but bad things to say. Then on the other hand you do a quick sheet cake that took maybe 20 minutes and that person is so grateful they can't stop saying enough good things about you...go figure!

johnson6ofus Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 4:24am
post #16 of 16

She will probably still be ungrateful.

I had the same situation with a pool pump. We discussed 2 speed, along with LOTS of other details. 2 speed pump never made it to contract, <sigh>. When a written contract is signed, all oral promises go out the window--- as it should be. I lost on this one, but it is MY fault and the pool guys fault too. So be it...

Your bride is responsible to get what she wants down on the contract, as much as it is your responsibility to present a complete contract. Life goes on, and boo-boos happen.

Good luck with the work overload! thumbs_up.gif I am sure you will pull it off with grace.

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