A Little Positive Reinforcement Re:payment Needed

Business By cakesbycathy Updated 3 Aug 2011 , 8:47pm by costumeczar

cakesbycathy Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 8:55pm
post #1 of 19

So I have this woman that called 2 weeks ago to order a baby shower cake for this Saturday. We get all the details worked out and I email her the contract. Email comes back as failed delivery and the phone # she gave me has been changed. I send her a FB message (where she originally contacted me) to tell her this. She calls me back.

I tell her to email me directly and then I can hit reply and send the contract that way. This was last Tues. On Sun (2 days ago) I talk to her to confirm that she got the contract and that I haven't received payment yet. She changes her order to a tiered cake and now she's having it delivered.

I tell her that since we are so close to the party she needs to pay by Paypal that day. I give her very specific instructions on how to do it via my website. Tells me her mother will do it. I call yesterday and tell her I either have payment by noon today or no cake. She says her mom's check gets direct deposited at midnight and they will Paypal first thing this morning (and call me when they make the payment).

You know where this is going right? icon_rolleyes.gif
No payment and it's almost 5pm.

Now normally I would have absolutely no problem calling this woman up and telling her she is not getting a cake. And I am going to do that. It's what I would (and have) tell anyone on CC that's ever complained about the same problem. The thing that's just killing me is that I could really, really use the money right now. icon_redface.gif I'm finding it very hard not to just extend the deadline until tomorrow but I'm sure it won't arrive then either icon_cry.gif

Anyway, I just wanted a little pat on the back that I am making the right decision.

18 replies
jason_kraft Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 9:06pm
post #2 of 19

If I were in your situation, I would call her up and say that she needs to drive over and give you the cash in person by 8pm, otherwise she will not get a cake.

traci_doodle Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 9:10pm
post #3 of 19

That's hard. icon_sad.gif I say go with with jason said. It's hard when you need money, but you know that you'll be out more money if you go ahead with the order and never get paid for it. I totally think you're making the right decision!

Melvira Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 9:11pm
post #4 of 19

I agree 110%... if you really need the money right now, tell her she can bring cash tonight or no cake. She doesn't need to know what your situation is, but she can be glad Karma is giving her a final shot at this cake. If no money tonight, then yah, just like you said, stick to your guns and no cake. The good part about being the boss is that you can bend the rules if and when you need/want to. But you if you decide not to give her that chance, you are still doing the right thing. You can see trouble coming and you are being smart by avoiding it. Best of luck to you, and here's the pat on the back you were needing! *pat pat* party.gif

MimiFix Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 9:21pm
post #5 of 19

Jason's suggestion is good, since it's clear that if she wants a cake she must pay immediately.

However, when a potential customer creates these kinds of issues, all I see are red flags. They will be nothing but trouble; one problem after another. Is it worth chasing down this kind of client? Personally, I'm too old and cranky to deal with them.

cakestyles Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 9:29pm
post #6 of 19
Originally Posted by MimiFix

However, when a potential customer creates these kinds of issues, all I see are red flags. They will be nothing but trouble; one problem after another. Is it worth chasing down this kind of client? Personally, I'm too old and cranky to deal with them.


I hope she pays, but she sure sounds sketchy.

TexasSugar Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 9:30pm
post #7 of 19

Honestly, this sounds a lot like a 'the check is in the mail' situation.

You have already given them several chances, and each time they sound like they will pay but don't come through? It sounds like they are stringing you along. If they were waiting for a direct deposit, why didn't she tell you that right away. Why did she agree she'd pay, then wait until you called again to explain why she didn't, and then still not pay again?

I can understand needing the money, but honestly it doesn't sound like they have the money at the moment to spend, and in that case I'd be afraid they'd come back after wanting a refund for some reason on another.

gatorcake Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 9:31pm
post #8 of 19

I do not understand those saying give her another chance because you need the money. Why give her another chance? She has, by your account, had plenty of time to get you the money. So say you give her another chance to get you the money as others are suggesting and she does not do it? What has changed in that event? Not much, you still need the money, so why not simply extend the deadline again?

If you extend it once for that reason, why is it finally that time that says you should walk away? The point for you to enforce your payment rules has come--now is the time to walk away. I know this is rough because you need the money, but your decision to tell her no cake now is the right one.

And as for the client not knowing your situation--it would not be hard to deduce that if you give her another extension. Or she potentially already believes that now. Point is her actions all demonstrate that she does not believe you will turn away her business--otherwise she would have paid the bill. Giving another extension only reinforces her belief that there is little reason to pay on your terms. There is simply no urgency on her part.

Melvira Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 9:46pm
post #9 of 19
Originally Posted by gatorcake

I do not understand those saying give her another chance because you need the money. Why give her another chance?

Because if she really needs the money and is willing to give this chick the final chance to pay in cash, she is not out anything either way. Either she makes the money or she doesn't. Sometimes if you really need the income you are willing to relax your rule.

But I will agree that customers like this usually end up being more trouble than they're worth. And yes, relaxing your rule can lead to 'repeat offenses'. It's a personal choice that you have to make.

Chonte Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 10:06pm
post #10 of 19

walk away.... this lady sounds like nothing but trouble

stormrider Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 10:22pm
post #11 of 19

Even if this woman offers to pay when she picks up the cake, if she shows up with nothing you'll be out the money for your ingredients, energy costs, time and labor even if you don't give her the cake. Make her pay now or no cake!

yummy_in_my_tummy Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 10:42pm
post #12 of 19

That's a toughy. I understand that you may need the money right now, but the problem with clients like this, is that once you give them an inch, they take a mile. She'll come back to you for another cake, and walk all over you again. Even though you might need the money, is it REALLY worth the time and stress and any other issue that she's going to bring up?

southerncross Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 10:57pm
post #13 of 19

As I've said before (and as my sainted ma always said) "They bite the hand that feeds them, and lick the boot that kicks them". Right now you're wondering if you should play the odds, make the cake and hope that she pays. I suggest the better odds are that with you if you hang tough and demand the money up front.

chrisviz Posted 2 Aug 2011 , 11:55pm
post #14 of 19

Keep us posted Cathy!

cakesbycathy Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 12:15am
post #15 of 19

Thanks for all your feedback. I would never had made the cake without full payment (I've learned a lot from CC thumbs_up.gif ).

I left a voicemail a few minutes ago stating that since I had not received any kind of payment from her that I was unable to make her cake and I consider her order to be cancelled. I also sent an email stating the same thing and wishing her luck with her baby shower.

I'll see if she calls me back but I'll still have to tell her I'm not making the cake. Maybe it was meant to be since Sat is also my DD 7th birthday party and while we are having something simple now I'll be able to totally focus on that.

Melvira Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:15am
post #16 of 19

That does sound like fate, doesn't it? I'm glad you'll be able to give that important event all your attention! thumbs_up.gif Best of luck, and enjoy the weekend.

Lili5768 Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 1:27am
post #17 of 19
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

I'll see if she calls me back but I'll still have to tell her I'm not making the cake

Good for you!
Yet, if you really need the money, and she pays you in time (let's say tonight or tomorrow morning) for you to be able to comfortably make that cake, why not?

scp1127 Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 8:13am
post #18 of 19

You haven't lost the money because it isn't a sale. It sounds like she may be waiting on funds herself. If she pays you, great. Otherwise, you can't count this as money lost.

When I was just out of college, and for many years, I was on full commission. I never counted one penny as income until the name was on the dotted line. You just have to look at it that way. Then you won't be so concerned about the ones that don't work out.

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2011 , 8:47pm
post #19 of 19

If you had let her bring you the payment late I'd be willing to bet it would have been a check that would have bounced away if you dropped it.

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