Help Pls :) How To Tell Someone You Won't Do Their Cake

Business By erin2345 Updated 4 Jul 2012 , 2:38pm by erin2345

erin2345 Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 12:11am
post #1 of 16

Hi business ladies and men icon_smile.gif

I have a PITA customer and I want to break up with her! Basically we are about 18 emails and one free sample deep in this, and after changing her order slightly, I realized that my math was off from the first email. I had the per unit price listed, the total for each group of items, but the addition of each group into a grand total was off. She kept repeating the price back to me, which I thought was odd, but now I realize why. When I sent her the revised total and my apologies, she said she noticed the price was wrong but 'assumed i was giving her a bundle price'. The she throws some other number at me like we are bargaining. Which we are not icon_smile.gif

Is there a nice way to say, "I think it is best you go elsewhere"? Her event is not for over a month. I am not a huge company that a) offers bundle discounts or b) has any claims to honouring a misquoted price.

Thanks for any advice - I always find you guys so helpful!

15 replies
LKing12 Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 12:23am
post #2 of 16

Tell her it was not a "bundle price" and that the price is actually >>> and you are sorry for any confusion this may have caused and set the date for a deposit and signed contract. If she wants you to do her event, she needs to comply.

southerncross Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 1:08am
post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LKing12

Tell her it was not a "bundle price" and that the price is actually >>> and you are sorry for any confusion this may have caused and set the date for a deposit and signed contract. If she wants you to do her event, she needs to comply.




great advice. short and to the point...and it's not negotiable.

Pearl645 Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 1:31am
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by LKing12

Tell her it was not a "bundle price" and that the price is actually >>> and you are sorry for any confusion this may have caused and set the date for a deposit and signed contract. If she wants you to do her event, she needs to comply.




Precisely.

Apti Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 1:31am
post #5 of 16

She was hoping that the mis-quoted price was the correct one, but you have told her it was an error. She now has an amended written statement with the REAL price of the cake. From your post, it sounds as though you may have told her verbally the correct price of the cake earlier. In either event, you apologized, she accepted your apology and is simply trying to negotiate a lower price. There's nothing wrong with her trying to negotiate a lower price. You might have said, "Yes", to a lower price.

You do not have to tell her to go elsewhere. You do NOT need to apologize for your error again! You and she have discussed it, she acknowledged that she knew the price was off; it's over. You do not have a signed contract, so you are not liable in any way for the lower price to be honored.

Tell her that the correct cake price for all the elements discussed in the emails is $$$$. If she wishes to have the cake at that price with those design elements, then a 50% non-refundable deposit needs to be placed by July 6th to reserve the date. Let her know that once the non-refundable deposit has been received on July 6th, no further changes can be made to the cake design or flavors. The remaining 50% is due 7 days prior to the event.

erin2345 Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 2:25am
post #6 of 16

Thank you for the advice - I am glad that you agree that I do not need to 'honor' this misquote. But now I really just don't want to do the order - before this whole price debacle, she was being a huge pain. I suppose I can't really tell her to bug off at this point. But then I fear she is not going to like what I make her. It is a simple, SIMPLE design, she is just making it 100 times harder than it needs to be.

MimiFix Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 10:58am
post #7 of 16

"I'm sorry but that date is now taken. Thank you for your interest."

johnson6ofus Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 12:54pm
post #8 of 16

If you don't want the order (and the PITA customer), don' take it. YOU decide. After 18 emails, you know her well enough to know if you want to do it. "Wimpy" or "polite" way out--- yes, I agree with the pp... "Sorry, I am no longer available for that date....."

If you still want to do it, finalize a contract and take a deposit, making sure the "no changes after_____ date" is clear (today's date I hope...lol). You may use the the game of a new pending customer, to force her to make a decision and sign up, or go away. "Dear PITA customer. I have another inquiry for an event on your date. Since we have been working on this order, I wanted you to have the opportunity to reserve the date. I need a deposit of $______ by ______ or I will accept the order from the other customer and will then be unavailable for your order."

Good luck...

cai0311 Posted 3 Jul 2012 , 1:54pm
post #9 of 16

Just tell her the date is now unavailable. She doesn't have to know why you are no longer available. It could be for another cake order, or s scheduled nap icon_lol.gif

costumeczar Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 12:54am
post #10 of 16

I vote for the nap! If your psycho radar is goiung off now, it won't stop ringing if she hires you. Save yourself a lot of aggravation and tell her that the date is unavailable because something personal has come up. If she asks what, say that it's personal. If she asks again, say it's personal.

Baker_Rose Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 1:59am
post #11 of 16

I always balk when I hear "I have a vision......"

Sends shivers up my spine every time.

Sometimes you just have to go with your gut.

Apti Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 4:37am
post #12 of 16

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I vote for the nap! If your psycho radar is goiung off now, it won't stop ringing if she hires you. Save yourself a lot of aggravation and tell her that the date is unavailable because something personal has come up. If she asks what, say that it's personal. If she asks again, say it's personal.




Good one! icon_lol.gif

vgcea Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 10:04am
post #13 of 16

Here's an excerpt from the Cake Boss' book on dealing with customers whose cakes he didn't want to do:

"If, however, I saw trouble on the horizon [...] I'd do an end run by jacking up the price ("No problem that'll be $10,000, payable now, and in cash, and no refunds, for any reason.") or feigning unavailability ("Oh, you know what, I misread my schedule. Can't possibly work this in. So sorry. Nice to meet you."). These tactics usually succeeded in driving the sure-to-be-dissatisfied customer off to some other baker's shop" (Cake Boss, pg 111).

MimiFix Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 11:22am
post #14 of 16

Erin, your instincts are good. I hope you keep us updated.

Unfortunately, many times a novice wants/needs business so badly that s/he will do anything to secure an order, even if the PITA customer is waving a red flag. Those new business owners may read horror stories on CC but pay no attention to the warnings. (But I suppose we all have stories of our own.)

Cupcakeluv24 Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 11:54am
post #15 of 16

Sounds like a nap and spa day is going to come up on that day real sorry icon_smile.gif

Good luck let us know what happens

erin2345 Posted 4 Jul 2012 , 2:38pm
post #16 of 16

I love the nap idea!! I responded to her bargaining counter offer, with my actual price (again) and said if she still wanted to order than I need a non refundable deposit by XX and until that happened there were no guarantees the day would remain free. I also said that I totally understood if she wanted to find a baker who could accommodate her budget. I never heard back from her - thank goodness!!! Now it has been 2 days so if she does reply I will say I am already booked.

After dealing with this crazy lady, I had a lovely bride send an enquiry - I replied with my tasting package details and she said "Oh your reviews look great, I just want to book, where do I drop off the cheque?" icon_smile.gif

Thanks for the advice everyone!

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