Customer Hasn't Paid And Wedding Is On Saturday! Advice?

Business By puddles_gal Updated 14 Sep 2011 , 12:23pm by cakestyles

puddles_gal Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 5:20pm
post #1 of 58

I just need a little advice. I have an order for some cupcakes for a wedding on Saturday that is about 1.5 hours away from where I live. It is for a bride that I do not know, but we have a mutual friend who is the one that put her in contact with me to begin with. I had the bride sign a contract which clearly states that final payment is due 2 weeks before the event date, and if not received by then, the order will be cancelled and I will not make her cupcakes.

Well, that date already came and went and I did not receive the final payment, so to be nice, I sent a friendly reminder to the bride. She emailed me back and said she would send a cheque in the mail and apologized.

Well, it's 11 days later since she sent the email, and still no cheque and her wedding is in 3 days! So now I don't know what to do- I don't want to send her another reminder b/c I shouldn't have to chase people down, and the one reminder was more than enough.

I wasn't going to bake the cupcakes until Friday, so should I just wait until then to see if the cheque arrives in the mail? Should I contact our mutual friend and see what she has to say about the situation? This has never happened to me before, and I honestly don't know what to do. If I was a bride and someone told me they cancelled my order, I would be devastated, but at the same time, I know I can't be responsible for her lack of time management or forgetfulness.

57 replies
jenmat Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 5:28pm
post #2 of 58

You have a contract. Plain and simple.
Send her another email, saying that since you have not received payment you are forced to cancel the order.
Then send an email to the referred friend to let her know what happened.
She can find cupcakes at a grocery store if she needs to, you're not responsible for her inability to respect a business contract.

ReneeFLL Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 5:35pm
post #3 of 58

I would send her an email asap and tell her that if you don't have the cash in hand by tonight or tomorrow by 9:00 am that you will not be doing her cupcakes. If you do them and expect to get paid when they are picked up or delivered then there is a big big chance that you wont get paid. Friend of a friend or not, get cash now! I have read horror stories on here about not getting paid. One lady even sent her kid to get the cake with no cash and the baker gave him the cake thinking she would get it later. Didn't happen.

cakesbycathy Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 5:38pm
post #4 of 58

You CALL her and tell her if you do not have the full amount due in CASH in your hand by 8pm tonight she will NOT have a cake.

Tell her if the check ever arrives in the mail you will either tear it up or return it to her but you aren't waiting any longer. If she gives you any excuses as to why she can't bring you the money tell her she either needs to figure it out or she will NOT have a cake.

GatuPR Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 5:40pm
post #5 of 58

Personally, I don't think you should accept a check after the final due date stated on your contract. It should only be cash and/or paypal.

I would send her a final e-mail telling her that since you did not receive her payment and is now 3 days until the event, that you will not be providing her with the cupcakes and cancelled her order.

Why would anyone so irresponsible consider marriage is beyond me.

jason_kraft Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 5:45pm
post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

You CALL her and tell her if you do not have the full amount due in CASH in your hand by 8pm tonight she will NOT have a cake.



This. If the cash is not hand-delivered by the end of the day today, no cake.

ApelilaRains Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 5:54pm
post #7 of 58

I agree with the other ladies, call and remind her of the amount due IN CASH. Otherwise she's out of luck. Remember, you are a professional baker and if she ordered her cake in a store, they would have required full payment upfront or by a certain due date. Otherwise they won't make the cake. Don't feel guilty!

pugmama1 Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 6:10pm
post #8 of 58

I agree. Make it cash, not a check. Did you ever get a depostit?

Cakewishes Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 6:24pm
post #9 of 58

I know that you want to be kind to the bride, but if you don't respect your own contract then why should she. You have already sent her a reminder note and still nothing - end of contract. If you want to be kinder further, then send her another e-mail - but it should be the e-mail stating that since you never received the full payment, that her order is now null and void. I understand that as a bride she may have many things going on, but as a previous poster noted, had she gone to a bakery, she would have already had to have paid the cake in full.

CiNoRi Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 6:24pm
post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

You CALL her and tell her if you do not have the full amount due in CASH in your hand by 8pm tonight she will NOT have a cake.

Tell her if the check ever arrives in the mail you will either tear it up or return it to her but you aren't waiting any longer. If she gives you any excuses as to why she can't bring you the money tell her she either needs to figure it out or she will NOT have a cake.




Yes CALL and CASH only. No checks... by the time you cash it, make the cake, and deliver.... you could then find out that the check was no good, and you would be even more screwed.

Also give her a deadline of a date and time- She can or should send someone to bring you the money)...technically you dont want to start work till cash is in hand (and tell her that).

good luck!!!

ReneeFLL Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 7:06pm
post #11 of 58

Also, be sure to set the time to receive the cash so that you have more than plenty of time to make the cupcakes. You don't want to be up all night working on them since she could not get her act together.

QTCakes1 Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 8:12pm
post #12 of 58

CASH IN MY HAND BY 8 TONIGHT just like CakesbyCathy says. Period. This is business. Please do not get shorted. If she had the moeny she would have sent it.

cakestyles Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 8:18pm
post #13 of 58

I disagree with "cash now" and you'll still make the cupcakes.


You had a contract, she didn't adhere to the terms of the contract so the contract is void.

I would personally call her and let her know the order is cancelled due to non-payment. If she doesn't answer than send her an e-mail.

You have a contract for a reason. She's not a child, she knew when final payment was due and she didn't pay by that date.

If you keep giving her more chances to pay past the due date then the original contract you had her sign is meaningless.

It may sound heartless but it's business....it's not our job to hold their hand throughout the process.

costumeczar Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 8:23pm
post #14 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

I disagree with "cash now" and you'll still make the cupcakes.


You had a contract, she didn't adhere to the terms of the contract so the contract is void.

I would personally call her and let her know the order is cancelled due to non-payment. If she doesn't answer than send her an e-mail.

You have a contract for a reason. She's not a child, she knew when final payment was due and she didn't pay by that date.

If you keep giving her more chances to pay past the due date then the original contract you had her sign is meaningless.

It may sound heartless but it's business....it's not our job to hold their hand throughout the process.




I tend to agree with this. "Cancelled for non-payment" is the perfect way to phrase it, and now you get a weekend off!

Crazboutcakes Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 8:36pm
post #15 of 58

I hate when people do this and it stinks that you have to track her down like this. I don't have very many suggestions but what has helped me in the past is being able to except credit cards! I have a home business and people seem like they can take more advantage of you but I have found a solution to the problem, as far as getting payment and you can also look into it becasue it defenatley helps go to www.intuit.com it is a service that you can hire to collect debt/credit cards payments for a small fee and than your money gets deposited into your account.

I have only used is a couple times and when I have I have had no problems. At least you can get money over the phone or swipe it with a decoder that hooks up to your smart phone, instead of by snail mail! Just a thought and it is well worth it

kenidicalamity Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 8:38pm
post #16 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestyles

I disagree with "cash now" and you'll still make the cupcakes.


You had a contract, she didn't adhere to the terms of the contract so the contract is void.

I would personally call her and let her know the order is cancelled due to non-payment. If she doesn't answer than send her an e-mail.

You have a contract for a reason. She's not a child, she knew when final payment was due and she didn't pay by that date.

If you keep giving her more chances to pay past the due date then the original contract you had her sign is meaningless.

It may sound heartless but it's business....it's not our job to hold their hand throughout the process.




I agree with this also. Except I would send an email to her whether she picks up the phone or not. Make sure you keep a copy of the contract, the reminder email, and this email where you clearly state the order has be cancelled for non payment. That way if she tries to do something stupid and tries to recoup her deposit or even seeks legal action, you will have a lot of physical proof that you are not at fault.

catlharper Posted 7 Sep 2011 , 8:44pm
post #17 of 58

What is done is done but learn from this one. Next time make sure you get a deposit of half the order fee. Then make sure you have wedding orders PAID in full ONE MONTH out...yes, even for cupcakes. This way you do have a week to reserve in case they forgot to send the check. When the due date comes you can then tell them, on that day, to send you a money order if they live out of town or bring cash by the end of the biz day in order to keep the date on the books. Otherwise they have forfeited their deposit and their order is cancelled. If they are sending the money order give it to the last day of that due date week, letting them know that if you do not recieve the money order in the mail within 7 days then they will forfiet their deposit and the order will be cancelled. Worse case senario, you have the money 3 weeks before the event date or you have that date freed up for paying customers.

I just went through this with a client I knew was flakey. I know her thru friends and knew that she would be difficult. So I purposely set the deposit date a full two weeks earlier than normal. And yup, sure enough, she JUST mailed the check. The actual deposit date is Sept 15th but I told her the first. Now I'll have the check in time for the real date. I WILL be emailing her one week before her final payment date to remind her to send the final payment check or I know that won't make it on time either.

The final word is that this is a business. Cancel this order and be done with clients like this one.

Cat

puddles_gal Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 2:36am
post #18 of 58

Wow-thank you everyone so much for sharing your experiences and advice with me! It is very appreciated! After some thought, I decided to follow some of the advice and I sent her an email telling her I need payment by tomorrow, and if not recieved by then, her order will be cancelled and the contract will be null and void. I haven't heard from her yet, so will wait and see what happens tomorrow.

LKing12 Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 3:03am
post #19 of 58

Had this happen to me-the check is in the mail...gave it 5 days to get to me and when it didn't I called the bride and emailed the fact that she needed to cancel the check because it must be lost in the mail.
She made a gulping sound and I told her I would send an invoice for her to pay online, or she could bring me cash by >>>pm. If it wasn't received/processed by that time, the order would be cancelled. Got my money-she got her cake!

carmijok Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 7:19pm
post #20 of 58

Please pick up a phone and call. I know you sent an email, but she can always say she didn't get it or see it, or whatever. Phone her and if you can't speak to her, leave a message. Then email her again and tell her you tried to reach her by phone as well. (paper trail).

cai0311 Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 7:45pm
post #21 of 58

I agree that you need to call her. I don't check my personal email very often. I was really bad about checking my email the couple of days before my wedding. There is a lot going on during that time. There is a chance, she really won't see the email.

You must call her.

cakestyles Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 8:21pm
post #22 of 58

Oh yes you absolutely should call her too. I always call first and than send a followup e-mail.

If she doesn't answer, leave a message or call the other contact number you have listed on the contract, i.e. her planner or the groom etc.

Never assume that an e-mail was received and opened, especially 3 days before the person's wedding. They may not be checking e-mails.

nanefy Posted 8 Sep 2011 , 9:05pm
post #23 of 58

Oh I'm dying to find out what she replies! Some people are just beyond belief!

Taterfink Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 2:27am
post #24 of 58

Well? Well? what's happening? Did she or didn't she pay? does she get the cupcakes? Ooooh, the suspense! detective.gif

cakestyles Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 2:30am
post #25 of 58

icon_biggrin.gif

OhMyGanache Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 2:45am
post #26 of 58

I would never feel good about cancelling a cake just because you didn't get a check that was supposedly mailed. The post office does make mistakes and delivers the mail to the wrong house, envelopes get stuck in machines and torn, it happens all the time. I'm still waiting on a tax refund the IRS system says they sent out on August 19!

I would ask for cash immediately to replace the missing check. Maybe she never sent the check, or maybe she forget in the wedding preparation frenzy. I know I couldn't live with myself if I was that callous (contract or not) - I would give someone the chance to make good on the contract and receive what they contracted (and paid a deposit) for.

scp1127 Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 3:46am
post #27 of 58

If you have a contract and don't abide by it, then the customer will think you are a pushover. And as far as the check in the mail, Paypal offers bank transfers. You should have a Paypal account just for this one scenario. The customer can set up and pay within a few hours. There is absolutely no excuse for the check in the mail story anymore. Tell the electric company that story. You can bet the bride pays her necessary bills.

If the money is not there, after an attempt to get contact the bride... we don't miss texts... let them know that there will be no contract. I'm all for a reminder, but not babysitting grownups that know good and well that the cake has not been paid and may not be delivered. They don't forget the cake and they do get the reminders. Do you really think they don't have a checklist? This is just amoney scrambling game when the money has run out.

For those of you who accept final payment less than a month before the date, are you not setting yourself up to be the last paid, possibly long after the money ran out? That is why the pros on this site demand payment in full so early.

cakestyles Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 12:18pm
post #28 of 58

I completely agree. Final payment 2 weeks before a wedding or any other event is not enough time...especially if you're willing to accept a personal check at this point.

The "check is in the mail" excuse is so old.

I recently had to mail my daughter (who lives away at college) a very important piece of mail...I mailed it Priority, with tracking and confirmation of receipt. If it had gotten lost I would have known about it.

There are ways to safely mail a check to insure that the person will receive it...especially when it's to pay for something as important as wedding cupcakes.

If this bride was really that concerned about her order she would have paid in time OR mailed that check overnight delivery.

Chiara Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 12:59pm
post #29 of 58

I agree with everyone here but I would mention one thing. You can do the phone call if you wish but you have to record of it and she can state that she did not get it.
I would send her an email right away so that you have an actual printable document as proof that you made the effort to contact her.

I hope it turns out ok for both of you.

Cosima Posted 9 Sep 2011 , 1:32pm
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by GatuPR

Personally, I don't think you should accept a check after the final due date stated on your contract. It should only be cash and/or paypal.


TOTALLY AGREE ON THIS ONE.

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