Your Thoughts On How To Address This...

Business By CiNoRi Updated 29 Mar 2012 , 2:33am by CiNoRi

CiNoRi Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 8:58pm
post #1 of 17

Hi all!

I need you advice please icon_wink.gif I have customer who over 2 weeks ago first contacted me about doing an order due in almost a month. We nailed down a plan, I sent her the contract with instructions to mail it back signed with payment in full <normally if a person is order so far out I say 50% down, the rest due 2 weeks before deliver- being this order was smaller than my usual it wasn't worth splitting it out like that) All good no problem.

Over a week goes by, & I had not received anything (from the time they get the contract i hold the date for a week, if nothing is done, the date could then be picked up by someone else (Also stated on contract) - So I contact her.

She said that she had sent it [and she quickly offered to resend the next day] I respond back telling her that it sounded good and I would contact her if the old check/ contract did come through [at that time part of me figured it never was sent]

I never get a response from her or my last email...

....soooo okie today marks another week... and still no contract/ check ... not the so-called original .... or the one she "re-sent. Mail does not just disappear...postal mail can be slow, returned to sender.... or whatever... but i just dont feel that it (or 2 for that matter) just goes away. I have had no other issues lately with my mail so i'm getting less leery on the USPS side of things icon_wink.gif

It's all just too wishy washy

How would you respond?
I dont want to look like an idiot, nor do I want to offend... if something is truly wrong.... im just having a hard time giving the benefit of the doubt... especially being this is the second problem. I would love to do the order, but again its not worth my time if I can't get paid! icon_wink.gif

I was going to tell her the only other option is to pay with credit card... using paypal (which there is a 3% fee) should i offer that? <if so how do i word it> oooor should i just run & tell her the date has been filled?

ACK! What to do?

16 replies
jgifford Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 9:08pm
post #2 of 17

I don't believe you should be required to do anything. It doesn't sound like she truly wants the cake and you followed up with her once already. I'd say write it off and let her contact you. She has the contract and is well aware that you have completely fulfilled your obligation to her. I would set an absolutely last possible minute deadline (for myself) to hear from her and if that time arrives and no word - - no cake. And I would count myself lucky.

mom2twogrlz Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 9:20pm
post #3 of 17

I am not a business, but here is my opinion. I would send her an email stating that since you did not receive the payment or signed contract as discussed you will not be making the cake for her. And I would appoligize for any inconvience this may cause her and wish her well on her special day. Plain and simple. Then consider yourself lucky. If she still wants the cake insist on same day cash payment in person. No same day payment, no cake!

auntginn Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 9:27pm
post #4 of 17

I agree with jgifford. I think you have given her plenty of time to decide if she wants to do business with you. I don't know about you, but I have plenty of other things to do besides following customers around to make them pay. Its just business. Clear up your calendar and look for another customer to replace it.

MsGF Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 9:33pm
post #5 of 17

I agree with the other posters. it is not your responsibility to chase after people. You gave her your requirements and she hasn't met them. Let it go. See if she contacts you. I would not contact her again. I totally agree with jgifford, not your problem. I don't know why we all get so stressed about this stuff, think about how a big company treats you, they don't chase you for cheques or dates, they tell you their requirements and expectations and if you don't meet them they right you off. They don't care. They won't bend all their rules just for you. We and They have rules for reasons. People need to comply or go else where.

Just see if she gets back to you. If she does and you feel you can still do the cake, make sure you get cash up front first.

Good Luck & Don't Stress About It

cakeyouverymuch Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 9:58pm
post #6 of 17

I'm with 'mom' except for one thing. DO NOT apologize for inconvieniencing her. Any inconvienience she suffers for not having followed your business rules is not your fault, and you have nothing to feel sorry for. As for if she still wants her cake, mom's right, you want cash in hand before you crack an egg.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 10:06pm
post #7 of 17
Originally Posted by mom2twogrlz

If she still wants the cake insist on same day cash payment in person. No same day payment, no cake!

This. As a one-time courtesy, offer a 24 hour grace period where you will still accept the order if the customer hand-delivers the cash. If she does not deliver the cash within 24 hours of when you talk to her (make this offer over the phone, not via email) you will consider the order cancelled.

I don't see the big deal with apologizing to the customer for the inconvenience. Yes, it's the customer's fault, but as a business owner it's a good practice to take the high road and give the customer the benefit of the doubt in terms offering the apology (considering it costs you nothing), even if they don't deserve it.

ReneeFLL Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 10:11pm
post #8 of 17
Originally Posted by mom2twogrlz

And I would appoligize for any inconvience this may cause her and wish her well on her special day.

Just curious, but why would you apologize to the bride?

I would never apologize for any inconvenience that it may cause HER! I personally think she is just screwing with the OP and possibly still looking for a cheaper baker. I would send her an email stating that I have not received either check and as per the contract her date is no longer being held or that it is already taken. I would then count my blessings that I don't have to deal with someone like that.

Apti Posted 27 Mar 2012 , 10:51pm
post #9 of 17

I agree with everyone else. Once you have done your due diligence, STOP. If the customer wanted the cake, you would have the money and the contract.

P.S. I went to your website--You do LOVELY work.
On a different topic; I can see Jason_kraft's point, it costs nothing to "apologize for a possible inconvenience". Some cultures have mastered the art of letting another "save face".
I personally believe that our Western culture does not allow enough opportunities for others to "save face". Doing so would diffuse many a situation.

lorieleann Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 3:50am
post #10 of 17

i agree with the previous posters about contacting her at your final notice date and giving her 24 hours to respond and pay with cash.

I also don't think there is anything wrong about being sorry or apologizing for the order not working out. Your 'no cost to you' apology can be for her not getting cake, her being a poor planner, not having money when she needed to make the order, and for the general disappointment of her not getting one of your awesome cakes. WIthout being specific (as you would never say those things) you can show empathy for the situation without the apology meaning you were at fault. People say "I'm sorry" for all types of things they aren't specifically involved with. If your friend's dog dies, you don't take responsibility for that by saying "i'm sorry your dog died."

cakesbycathy Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 1:43pm
post #11 of 17

"Dear Client,
As of today I have not received your signed contract or payment for your cake. I need to receive both the signed contract and FULL payment in either cash or Paypal payment by 7pm TODAY (or insert whatever you are comfortable with) or I will NOT be making your cake.

CiNoRi Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 3:34pm
post #12 of 17

Thanks guys I feel so much better hearing you all chime in agreeing. I currently am out of state so giving her the option of meeting her in person for cash, is not doable for a while. Do you think at least I could:

Contact her one LAST time telling her I have not received anything again... and stating that she has x amount of time (I was thinking a couple business days) to email me a scanned copy of the signed contract and payment via credit card. If both are not received by x date, I will be forced to give up slot to someone else.

This order is really no sweat off my back, getting it great... OR not ...won't hurt my feelings... I just want to remain as professional as I can... but not necessarily come across as a complete hard nosed jerk icon_wink.gif LOL

jason_kraft Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 3:36pm
post #13 of 17

If she's out of state, insist on immediate delivery of a cashier's check via a trackable shipping method, and if she doesn't email you the tracking number within 24 hours the order will be cancelled.

CiNoRi Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 3:49pm
post #14 of 17
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

If she's out of state, insist on immediate delivery of a cashier's check via a trackable shipping method, and if she doesn't email you the tracking number within 24 hours the order will be cancelled.

I don't want to wait on mail anymore, hence the Paypay Credit Card idea.

jason_kraft Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 3:52pm
post #15 of 17

Paypal and credit card payments can be easily reversed (not to mention you would have to pay an extra fee unless you pass it through to the customer), but unless she wants to incur the expense of sending an empty UPS or Fedex package you will know right away whether or not an irreversible method of payment is on its way.

Apti Posted 28 Mar 2012 , 4:57pm
post #16 of 17

CiNoRi~~I agree with Jason_kraft's last 2 posts, and the wording suggested by CakesbyCathy.

(Personally, I think you've already done your due diligence, but if you feel one last effort on your part is appropriate, go for it. It costs you nothing and will only take a moment.)

CiNoRi Posted 29 Mar 2012 , 2:33am
post #17 of 17

I never really thought about the idea of reversing credit card payments..... makes me rethink taking credit at all...

I responded but did give a deadline in getting a tracking number/money order and such....we will see icon_razz.gif

Thanks for your help!

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