Mirestella Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 5:27am
post #1 of

This is my first post on here - so I apologize if this has been discussed to death already!

I will try to keep this short-
8 months ago, my coworker and Groom approached me about making his wedding cake. I gave him an initial break down of base pricing and design. He agreed and we would meet closer to the wedding to sign contract, get deposit, etc.

I verbally asked him on about 5 separate occasions to set a time for us to sit down and finalize all plans.

Two weeks ago I sent a formal message saying I had a lot to schedule the next month, if we are moving forward with this, I need to know now. No response.

Tonight (two weeks later), I get a text "When can (bride) and I meet with you to talk about the cake?"

The wedding is now less than a month away. I realize that if this were a normal client (and I know most of you will say- it IS a normal client) I would say that after repeated attempts to sign a contract, I received no response and assumed you have moved on.

But this is a coworker - whom I have to see on a regular basis. And just because the Groom is an idiot - does the bride have to suffer the possibility of not having a wedding cake? I have a heart, and while business is business...I do this because I want to make people happy.

Also - the bride is a bit vengeful...is it worth the risk of receiving bad reviews/public insults on platforms like Facebook?

Wanted to get a general idea of your thoughts on how to respond. I decided to sleep on it (not responding to his text immediately) until I heard a few people's thoughts.

Thanks. icon_sad.gif

41 replies
jason_kraft Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 5:45am
post #2 of

Set up the appointment with the bride and groom. If they don't show (or if they show and don't want to put down a deposit), wait a few days and send them an email saying you are no longer available for their wedding date.

I also recommend not communicating with customers via text messages, emails are more professional.

Evoir Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 6:05am
post #3 of

Hmmm...if you do get them to come in, at this stage a last-minute order charge would also be in order. AND they have to pay up the entire balance immediately, or no cake.

All of that IF you have time to fit the order in.

scp1127 Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 6:18am
post #4 of

I agree with Evoir about the full balance paid at time of contract.

jason_kraft Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 6:22am
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir

Hmmm...if you do get them to come in, at this stage a last-minute order charge would also be in order. AND they have to pay up the entire balance immediately, or no cake.



I agree with paying the entire balance immediately given the communication difficulties, but I don't think a last-minute charge is warranted unless there are less than 2 weeks until the wedding.

MimiFix Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 12:27pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirestella

Also - the bride is a bit vengeful...



This is the part that gets me nervous.Think about why she seems vengeful. I'm also guessing irresponsible and self-centered. She's the bride - in all this time it hadn't occurred to her to get wedding cake plans set? Nothing you do may meet her standards or make her happy.

Situations like this can get sticky. If this were my business, I would apologize and say that the date is no longer available. Then (since you work with the groom) offer to make something small (platter of mini-cupcakes, brownie plate, or cookies, etc.) as a peace offering.

leah_s Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 12:37pm
post #7 of

IDK, I've had good orders come in at the last minute for a variety of reasons. I would require full payment at the consult, though. Anything less than 3 months out is "last minute" in wedding world.

BakingIrene Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 1:21pm
post #8 of
Quote:
Quote:

... She's the bride - in all this time it hadn't occurred to her to get wedding cake plans set?...

Situations like this can get sticky. If this were my business, I would apologize and say that the date is no longer available. Then (since you work with the groom) offer to make something small (platter of mini-cupcakes, brownie plate, or cookies, etc.) as a peace offering.




I completely agree.

But set up one more appointment anyway. Dollars to donute she will cancel ***again*** and when your co-worker comes back from his honeymoon, you will find out that the bride had intended to order from another baker all along.

I also agree about the use of emails for appointments and contracts NOT texts.

HalifaxMommy Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 1:44pm
post #9 of

If the bride & groom are not willing to take the initiation to book an appointment with you at this point, I would move on. It's not your responsibility to keep after them to get them to make an appointment.

cattycornercakes Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 2:10pm

I had a similiar situation last year. A lady my husband works with mentioned early in the year that she needed a wedding cake for September. Plenty of time. She made and cancelled several appointments for tasting. I even offered to make some things for her to taste and send it with my husband to the office...we already had everything down via email as far as the cake design. Less than a month before the wedding, she finally contacts me saying we can skip the tasting and she wants the cake. THEN I find out the venue is at least an hour away. I already had another big wedding cake for that day. So I told her I couldn't deliver it but that someone could pick it up if she still wanted it. NEVER heard a thing back. And my husband says now she's not too freindly to him in the office.....lol. Luckily its not a big deal to him.

cakesbycathy Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 4:31pm

Set up the appointment but make it crystal clear that because they are so close to the date they will need to give you FULL payment or you will NOT be making the cake.
If she cancels or is a no show then tell them you are no longer available to make the cake.

SoFloGuy Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 4:59pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirestella

This is my first post on here - so I apologize if this has been discussed to death already!

I will try to keep this short-
8 months ago, my coworker and Groom approached me about making his wedding cake. I gave him an initial break down of base pricing and design. He agreed and we would meet closer to the wedding to sign contract, get deposit, etc.

I verbally asked him on about 5 separate occasions to set a time for us to sit down and finalize all plans.

Two weeks ago I sent a formal message saying I had a lot to schedule the next month, if we are moving forward with this, I need to know now. No response.

Tonight (two weeks later), I get a text "When can (bride) and I meet with you to talk about the cake?"

The wedding is now less than a month away. I realize that if this were a normal client (and I know most of you will say- it IS a normal client) I would say that after repeated attempts to sign a contract, I received no response and assumed you have moved on.

But this is a coworker - whom I have to see on a regular basis. And just because the Groom is an idiot - does the bride have to suffer the possibility of not having a wedding cake? I have a heart, and while business is business...I do this because I want to make people happy.

Also - the bride is a bit vengeful...is it worth the risk of receiving bad reviews/public insults on platforms like Facebook?

Wanted to get a general idea of your thoughts on how to respond. I decided to sleep on it (not responding to his text immediately) until I heard a few people's thoughts.

Thanks. icon_sad.gif




Your first mistake was asking 5 times. I understand that it was for your benefit as well as his, but he's not in this business so he doesn't know things. You ask once and the second time is your final time and let them know it. If not he's gonna think you are begging him for the job. So after the second time you ask, you tell them they have 2 weeks to decide at which point you will need a deposit to hold the day, and that it is not refundable because you will be turning down other orders for that day because of them.

Don't worry about the bride not having a wedding cake, she will get one regardless. If she is so concerned she should have seen to it that the plans for it were made a few months ago.

They were very disrespectful in not getting back to you in a timely manner and you should not feel bad because of it.

You say the bride is a bit vengeful, dealing with someone like that is asking for trouble, you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Decline the order and let them know that you can't fill the order because you are already booked for that weekend.

If your coworker does not understand it's his problem and it didn't cost you anything to get a person like that out of your life. Just be cordial with him, but realize that some people are petty and won't be cordial with you in return, but it's their problem. If he brings it into work let your superiors know.

Like you said in your title, you felt taken advantage of, don't let people do that to you.

Good luck whichever way you decide to go.

Mirestella Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 5:14pm

Thanks for all your advice and insight. I think I will set up the one last appointment and request the full payment - that definitely makes me feel better about the whole thing. It's hard not to let personal feelings get involved - I'm not sure I would want a frustrated baker working on my wedding cake.

And as far as the texting goes - that was only one sent from them, I always use e-mail or in person/phone as contact.

SoFloGuy Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 5:17pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cattycornercakes

I had a similiar situation last year. A lady my husband works with mentioned early in the year that she needed a wedding cake for September. Plenty of time. She made and cancelled several appointments for tasting. I even offered to make some things for her to taste and send it with my husband to the office...we already had everything down via email as far as the cake design. Less than a month before the wedding, she finally contacts me saying we can skip the tasting and she wants the cake. THEN I find out the venue is at least an hour away. I already had another big wedding cake for that day. So I told her I couldn't deliver it but that someone could pick it up if she still wanted it. NEVER heard a thing back. And my husband says now she's not too freindly to him in the office.....lol. Luckily its not a big deal to him.




The problem is that you allowed her to make and cancel more than one appointment and then you even went out of your way to try to get her to have the tasting to no avail. You even tried to find other solutions for her and told her you can make the cake, but can't deliver it and it still wasn't good enough for her. You should have asked her if she wants you to cancel the other wedding order to see if she has the nerve to say yes. icon_biggrin.gif

People like her want to blame others for their own mistakes, you husband is right not to care.

Pearl645 Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 5:19pm

This happened to me recently with two brides and both worked out really well in the end. Give them the opportunity to meet with you and request full payment / balance paid at the meeting. I had a client who was very skeptical to pay me the entire wedding cake cost even though her wedding cake was due 3 weeks away.

When I came out in my branded chef jacket she wrote me back immediately to say how professional I was and she felt safe having me do her wedding cake.

Sometimes people have delays on their end that we may not understand or know of. One of my brides was waiting on her dad to give her the cheque for the longest while to pay down on her wedding cake and I thought she was going to be a difficult client. She is now a loyal and regular customer.

cattycornercakes Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 5:25pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy


The problem is that you allowed her to make and cancel more than one appointment and then you even went out of your way to try to get her to have the tasting to no avail. You even tried to find other solutions for her and told her you can make the cake, but can't deliver it and it still wasn't good enough for her. You should have asked her if she wants you to cancel the other wedding order to see if she has the nerve to say yes. icon_biggrin.gif

People like her want to blame others for their own mistakes, you husband is right not to care.




It was a problem for me. I have a full time day job and I was doing cakes on the side at the time so its not like I need the business. I decided early on I wasn't going to "chase" her for the order...other than offering to send in samples with my hub. And in the meantime, I got a much larger wedding cake order from a friend who was great to work with for the same date. I honestly think this lady thought she was doing me a "favor" by ordering the cake from me. lol

SHYLERScakes Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 6:29pm

I agree with everyone about getting the payment in full (if they show up). You don't want to hunt people down for payment! Hope this works out
icon_smile.gif

karateka Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 9:14pm

Knowing that the bride is vengeful, I think I'd pass on this one. Better that she badmouth you for not making her cake, than for making her cake, if you know what I mean. You have a perfect response to the former: They never got back to you and the date is no longer available. If even the slightest little thing irritates her after you've made the cake, you could end up in a customer service nightmare. Maybe I just don't have the stones for this type of work, but if it were me.....I'd pass.

SoFloGuy Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 9:21pm

Here is something that I learned online. Doubt means Don't. If you have doubts about doing something, don't do it.

BlakesCakes Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 9:43pm

All I can add is that they need to understand that they have put themselves in the position of being "beggars" and because of that, they have to be fully prepared to commit to all choices at the tasting--no options for any changes once they sign the contract & pay in full.

If they waffle---on anything---tell them that you're just not their baker, wish them luck, and don't look back.

Rae

MimiFix Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 9:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

If they waffle---on anything. Rae



Hey Rae, what a great new flavor idea: Waffle. Wonder what it tastes like...

costumeczar Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 11:04pm

I've noticed a trend of grooms being "assigned" the cake to arrange. He's probably been telling the bride that he's got it under control this entire time, so don't blame her for it. Also, a lot of wedding magazines tell brides that the timetable to confirm details is a month before, so they might not be thinking of this as being "last minute." Grooms are not the most reliable of planners, nor do they have the same sense of urgency that the brides usually do. The bride might have been badgering him for your information and he never got around to giving it to her, you never know.

What I'd worry about is that when they finally do show up after not communicating with you that they'll expect a big discount because you work together. Watch and see if I'm wrong...I bet he told her that you'd give them a good deal, and when you tell them the price they'll both turn pale and act shocked. Don't budge on that. Also, even though I wouldn't consider a month last-minute in this case, I would consider them PITA clients, so you should add on an inconvenience fee for your inconvenience icon_rolleyes.gif

Ekaba Posted 8 Jun 2012 , 11:25pm

I am in the midst of something similar with a lady from my church(her granddaughter ordered a cupcake tower from me last year and was a great client - no probs and they paid three months in advance in full) that sent me another family member for a cupcake tower because they were at the wedding for the one I did last year and they had a consult with me last month, nice people. But here it is, the wedding next saturday, and they still owe me 3/4 of the money...they only put down less than 1/4...excuse after excuse for the last two weeks and I just call now to find out the bride didn't show with the money this afternoon because she just had an appendicitis attack and she's at the hospital as we speak. So help me God, I will NEVER do this again without getting full payment with such short notice. I don't like to start work on something unless I have ALL the money....And I have about 150 flowers to make(molded, not petaled) but they still take time to do! I did about half of them already, because I am feeling really nervous about the missing 3/4 payment, but I can't wait til the last minute in case she actually comes through in time. I am still learning too, and I feel bad, but if she doesn't pay me before this wedding on the 16th she will have no cupcakes. I will feel really bad about it, but I don't have time to hunt her down at the reception/wedding when I have other things to do. Bottom line, we are all learning and let this be a learning experience to you. I am actually ameding my contract right now since this is happening to me. Best of luck with things!

costumeczar Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 12:00am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekaba

I am in the midst of something similar with a lady from my church(her granddaughter ordered a cupcake tower from me last year and was a great client - no probs and they paid three months in advance in full) that sent me another family member for a cupcake tower because they were at the wedding for the one I did last year and they had a consult with me last month, nice people. But here it is, the wedding next saturday, and they still owe me 3/4 of the money...they only put down less than 1/4...excuse after excuse for the last two weeks and I just call now to find out the bride didn't show with the money this afternoon because she just had an appendicitis attack and she's at the hospital as we speak. So help me God, I will NEVER do this again without getting full payment with such short notice. I don't like to start work on something unless I have ALL the money....And I have about 150 flowers to make(molded, not petaled) but they still take time to do! I did about half of them already, because I am feeling really nervous about the missing 3/4 payment, but I can't wait til the last minute in case she actually comes through in time. I am still learning too, and I feel bad, but if she doesn't pay me before this wedding on the 16th she will have no cupcakes. I will feel really bad about it, but I don't have time to hunt her down at the reception/wedding when I have other things to do. Bottom line, we are all learning and let this be a learning experience to you. I am actually ameding my contract right now since this is happening to me. Best of luck with things!




This happened to me, and I told the bride that unless I had the full payment in my bank account by the Monday before, my oven wouldn't be turned on and she'd have no cake. Don't let them not pay you, because they won't pay you afterward if they don't pay you before.I'd call and tell them that regardless of how many appendicitis attacks she has (I bet she isn't having one, haha!) she needs to pay you by Monday or there will be no cupcakes. None, zero zilch! Then don't change your mind.

johnson6ofus Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 2:19am

150 flowers = 150 cupcakes?

1 sick bride, and 149 expected guests= 149 potential people who can do the poor sick bride a favor and deliver the cash.

No cash= no cake for you!

icon_biggrin.gif

SoFloGuy Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 2:49am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ekaba

I just call now to find out the bride didn't show with the money this afternoon because she just had an appendicitis attack and she's at the hospital as we speak.




What a coincidence. I would ask to see the wristband that they put on you when you go in the hospital. And it's not an appendicitis attack unless they remove it, so unless she got surgery she is lying. that's what would annoy me more, if you are going to lie, you better make it good and not take me for a fool.

I also would have called their bluff.....really? what hospital, I will go there to see if she's okay, and she probably has the money that she was going to bring to me right?

A lost of people mistake kindness for weakness and try to put one over on you, don't get taken, especially by a con artist with a sob story.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 2:53am
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

What a coincidence. I would ask to see the wristband that they put on you when you go in the hospital.



Not sure how useful this would be. If you did this and the customer was telling the truth, you would have one seriously pissed-off ex-customer. If the customer was lying...how does that help you?

If you aren't comfortable with the order and you think the customer is lying to you, just cancel the order instead of playing games.

SoFloGuy Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 2:55am
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

What a coincidence. I would ask to see the wristband that they put on you when you go in the hospital.


Not sure how useful this would be. .




It's incredibly useful. It tells you if they are telling the truth or just wasting your time.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 3:01am
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

What a coincidence. I would ask to see the wristband that they put on you when you go in the hospital.


Not sure how useful this would be. .



It's incredibly useful. It tells you if they are telling the truth or just wasting your time.



Look at the results of asking that question for both cases. In either case you end up with a customer who hates you: either for being forced to show proof to a baker that they were in the hospital, or for being caught in a lie.

BlakesCakes Posted 9 Jun 2012 , 3:05am
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy


What a coincidence. I would ask to see the wristband that they put on you when you go in the hospital. And it's not an appendicitis attack unless they remove it, so unless she got surgery




Well, not quite accurate. There are some appendix issues that CAN be treated without surgery. If caught early enough, they can try antibiotics first--and given that she has a wedding coming up, they may be trying to avoid surgery at all costs.

http://ehealthforum.com/health/appendicitis_treatment-e13.html

I don't think it's up to us to try to out people we think may be lying to us--for whatever reason.

We just need to do what allows us to do our jobs well, get paid, and sleep at night.

Give her the "rules" and the results when she follows them and the results when she doesn't. It's her choice. Done.
Rae

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