Do you send an email to your client to let them know that the contract is now nul and void, that you will not be making their cakes and that they have lost their deposit (that's what my contract states)? Or do you just let it go?
I am asking because I sent a reminder to a client last week and the payment is due this week. I have a feeling I will not get the final payment but that they will still expect a cake on the wedding day.
This client is a big PITA so I wouldn't mind loosing him as a client.
No payment by final date stated in contract...No cake..as simple as that!! Too bad if they call kicking and screaming..Not your problem....Whip out that contract and hilite the area that states final payment by such and such a date and you are done with it...
If you want to do the cake, I would phone them too. If they don't answer, send another email saying you tried to call and they have until tomorrow to bring you the remaining balance in cash.
If you don't mind not doing the cake, which is what it sounds like, leave it be, don't call them and definitely don't do any more work on their cake. And no refund of their 1st payment obviously.
I make 2-3 attempts to contact a customer. Email, txt, phone or snail mail. I live in a suit happy state so whether I feel like making a cake or not, I protect my business. A judge will see it fair if I do that.
Keep documentation of all your attempts. Remind them of the date of final payment and in your last correspondence something like; I am sorry, I have made several attempts to reach you and have not heard back from you, therefore I assume you are no longer interested in my services/products and will consider this contract void. Good luck on your upcoming event.
They usually get back to me with that.
Definately call - not e-mail - before cancelling. Most of the time mine have come up with the $$ right quick.
If they don't pay by the date due call and tell them that payment wasn't received, and per the contract that they signed, they've cancelled their order and forfeited any deposits etc. You'll be sure to get a call back within about 5 minutes.
I agree with costumeczar and the others, communicate with the customer. Let them know that their final payment is past due and if you don't receive payment within "X" days that you will not be delivering a cake on their wredding date.
It's horrible, but I have to remind my brides ALL the time that their payments are over due. Not to take up for them, but they do have a lot going on and a lot of payments to make.
And that late payment by the client who did not get back right away after repeated attempts, cash only. Be firm. The cash will appear. I have only had one, but that email that states the order is cancelled gets answered right away. Just know they will call and give you the money, but the cancellation may be the only way to get their attention.
I'm a very small, home-based business. I am not a business woman... I am a woman who has a business. I try to keep things light and friendly for as long as possible.
For larger value cakes, I ask for the balance 3 weeks before the date. I will leave it about 4 days after that day before I send something along the lines of:
I hope you are well and that your wedding (or insert other celebration) plans are all going well.
I know there's a lot to organise in the run-up to a wedding, so I thought I'd just remind you that balance for your cake was due on xx/xx/xx.
I'd be grateful if you could let me have the balance of £xxx by xx/xx/xx. If a direct bank transfer is easier for you than a cheque, please let me know and I will let you have my account details.
They usually email straight back with an apology and a promise to put the cheque in the post that day ... which they do.
I've never had to take it any further than this.
Good luck with your non-payment!!
Is the client your only source to contact? If they have left a secondary number contact that also. Since you are living in a "sue happy" state, make the calls from your cell phone or some phone that you can easliy get a copy of your phone records to so if it does come to that, you have documentation that a call ( or several) were made to the clients phone number. If nothing else and you have time for a snail mail, sent it registered, that way it is documented also that it was delivered to them.
I would call and also send a certified letter with receipt confirmation, just to protect yourself.
I would email and call.
Like the judge said on Peoples Court last week...you must show something in writing to prove you tried to contact or resolve an issue. Definitely do not just call...send an email as well, saying that you called on this date, what contract said, and that you will be considering it null and void as of this date.
If you give them say 24 hrs to respond, then follow up at hour 25 and say Null and Void.
Thank you everyone for your help. I will send an email if I don't get my payment.