andreamak Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:01pm
post #1 of

A couple of weeks ago, a customer of mine placed an order for some mixed cupcakes for me to deliver to her work while she was away. They were for her coworker for helping out etc. So I charged her a couple of dollars extra for delivery an used one of my own thank you cards to write a note, and had my husband bring them down there. She specified the date/time of delivery. He went down there and it turns out the office was closed that day and I couldn't contact anybody as the customer was on vacation. I didn't want to sell them to someone else because she had prepaid, so I sent her a message on facebook as well as a voice mail saying that they were here waiting for someone if she wanted to have her friend come pick them up.

Like a week passed and she sent me a facebook message asking for a refund. I was unsure of what to do, so I told her I would refund all but the delivery fee. I had mixed feelings on this as I had wasted my own product and my time/card/etc.. but did it anyway as the "customer is always right" ...

She had also placed an order for a cake coming up next weekend. That was all fine and dandy, but I feel like I've been screwed by her and don't want it to happen again, so I sent her a message yesterday confirming her order and asking for a deposit. I know she's seen it, but hasn't responded. Was I in the wrong doing this? Would you have a sour taste in your mouth as the customer? Should I make the cake anyway if I don't hear from her? What would you do?

16 replies
DeliciousDesserts Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:10pm
post #2 of

Shame on her for asking for a refund. You made them, you attempted delivery, you emailed & called, & you held them for pick-up. Shame on her!

I would certainly be concerned that she may cancel/forget another order. I don't know that I would have asked for a deposit, but I would absolutely call to confirm the order.

I would give her another day. Then, I would call & remind her again of the order. If I still didn't hear from her, I would call & tell her that I need to hear from her by X or the order will be canceled.

"Kelly, so sorry to bother you. I just wanted to confirm your order of X for X day. Please let me know if your plans have changed."

"Hey Kelly, sorry to bother you again. I've really tried to contact you regarding your order for X. Please call me. If I don't hear from you by X, I will have to assume you made other arrangements. I really don't want to loose you as a client, but I also don't want to make a cake you don't need. Please call me."

vgcea Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:17pm
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by andreamak

A couple of weeks ago, a customer of mine placed an order for some mixed cupcakes for me to deliver to her work while she was away. They were for her coworker for helping out etc. So I charged her a couple of dollars extra for delivery an used one of my own thank you cards to write a note, and had my husband bring them down there. She specified the date/time of delivery. He went down there and it turns out the office was closed that day and I couldn't contact anybody as the customer was on vacation. I didn't want to sell them to someone else because she had prepaid, so I sent her a message on facebook as well as a voice mail saying that they were here waiting for someone if she wanted to have her friend come pick them up.

Like a week passed and she sent me a facebook message asking for a refund. I was unsure of what to do, so I told her I would refund all but the delivery fee. WHY?! How is the office being closed your fault? I had mixed feelings on this as I had wasted my own product and my time/card/etc.. but did it anyway as the "customer is always right" ... UM, No.

She had also placed an order for a cake coming up next weekend. That was all fine and dandy, but I feel like I've been screwed by her and don't want it to happen again, so I sent her a message yesterday confirming her order and asking for a deposit. I know she's seen it, but hasn't responded. Was I in the wrong doing this? Would you have a sour taste in your mouth as the customer? Should I make the cake anyway if I don't hear from her? What would you do?




What does your contract say about the deadline for receiving the deposit? Make her aware and if she decides to miss the deadline, then per your contract the 'order' is cancelled.

andreamak Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:21pm
post #4 of

It's not my fault at all, you're right.. and looking back I wish I would've said that I couldn't refund her.. but I didn't icon_sad.gif

Unfortunately I don't have a contract for anything but wedding orders. Her cake is a $75 cake and she has always been a great customer, so I didn't ask for a deposit to begin with. Maybe I made another mistake by asking for one - I don't know! I just don't want to get screwed again!! I have 3 little kids and every cake order I receive is more time spent away from my kiddos.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:22pm
post #5 of

Did you try contacting the office the following day? Unless it was closed permanently the office shouldn't be closed for more than 2 days at a time.

andreamak Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:24pm
post #6 of

It was a doctor's office, and the delivery was set for a Friday (which was when they were closed).. and they didn't reopen until Monday. No, I didn't reattempt on Monday because I would never sell an order of cupcakes that was that old.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:26pm
post #7 of

Unless the cupcakes contained fresh fruit you probably would have been OK putting the cupcakes in the freezer (wrapped well) and taking them out 24 hours before the delivery.

andreamak Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:28pm
post #8 of

I realize that, and that's not really what I'm asking for but thank you for the advice icon_smile.gif (some did contain fresh cherry filling, and some fresh raspberry)

BakingIrene Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:30pm
post #9 of

Let's go back a step.

Ask this person to tell you why the place was closed when she asked for the delivery to be made. Does this business really just up and close their doors at the drop of a hat? Your customer owes you this much info, because you made the effort to deliver her order.

Or maybe she is forgetful. You have sent enough emails to remind her. Don't lose any sleep over her until she makes a positive commitment to her next cake.

You should ALWAYS ask for a deposit for cakes over $50 unless you like losing money on groceries. Rewrite the contract to a general "cake" never mind what the occasion is--it's all cake right?

andreamak Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:33pm

Since taking her cake order I *have* added to my website that I take deposits on all orders of $50+ so I have that part covered - thanks! Stupid mistake on my part for sure.

I'm not really losing sleep over it, but I don't want to have her show up for a cake that I haven't made icon_razz.gif

fbaaheth Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:35pm

Hello I' ve been burned like that before. Now I have a contract and require half deposit and confirm with them 3-7 days in advance. My TRUE loyal clients understood where I was coming from and graciously complied. I had a problem cause my feelings was always getting in the way. This is our business and we have to have guidelines just as other small businesses to insure we are taken care of in any situation. Please get you a contract for ALL your products not just wedding cakes. Dont worry you will be fine.

fbaaheth Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:36pm

Hello I' ve been burned like that before. Now I have a contract and require half deposit and confirm with them 3-7 days in advance. My TRUE loyal clients understood where I was coming from and graciously complied. I had a problem cause my feelings was always getting in the way. This is our business and we have to have guidelines just as other small businesses to insure we are taken care of in any situation. Please get you a contract for ALL your products not just wedding cakes. Dont worry you will be fine.

andreamak Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:40pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by fbaaheth

Hello I' ve been burned like that before. Now I have a contract and require half deposit and confirm with them 3-7 days in advance. My TRUE loyal clients understood where I was coming from and graciously complied. I had a problem cause my feelings was always getting in the way. This is our business and we have to have guidelines just as other small businesses to insure we are taken care of in any situation. Please get you a contract for ALL your products not just wedding cakes. Dont worry you will be fine.




Thank you icon_smile.gif I'm going to write up a contract tonight for other orders. I haven't been doing this long so I guess I have a lot to learn!!

cheatize Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 10:41pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts

Shame on her for asking for a refund. You made them, you attempted delivery, you emailed & called, & you held them for pick-up. Shame on her!

I would certainly be concerned that she may cancel/forget another order. I don't know that I would have asked for a deposit, but I would absolutely call to confirm the order.

I would give her another day. Then, I would call & remind her again of the order. If I still didn't hear from her, I would call & tell her that I need to hear from her by X or the order will be canceled.

"Kelly, so sorry to bother you. I just wanted to confirm your order of X for X day. Please let me know if your plans have changed."

"Hey Kelly, sorry to bother you again. I've really tried to contact you regarding your order for X. Please call me. If I don't hear from you by X, I will have to assume you made other arrangements. I really don't want to loose you as a client, but I also don't want to make a cake you don't need. Please call me."




I agree with this. Give a couple of chances to contact you and if she doesn't, you must assume her order is cancelled.

cakesdivine Posted 27 Aug 2012 , 11:42pm

I have a strict policy of NO REFUNDS! PERIOD! Store credit only if the cake/cupcakes haven't been made.
And all cakes under $300 must be paid in full at time of order, anything over $300 requires a minimum $300/50% down (whichever is largest) with balance due 2 full weeks before due date. The ONLY time I would or have ever refunded money was if I made a mistake on the order which has only happened twice in my 25 year cake career (knock on wood).

pattycakesnj Posted 28 Aug 2012 , 12:13am

I require 50% deposit at ordering and balance due 30 days before event. In what other business can you special order something and not pay in full at time of that special order? Cakes are no different. You need to get your money upfront, no exceptions. Doesn't matter what the price of the cake is, big or small, you are running a business.

costumeczar Posted 29 Aug 2012 , 1:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by pattycakesnj

I require 50% deposit at ordering and balance due 30 days before event. In what other business can you special order something and not pay in full at time of that special order? Cakes are no different. You need to get your money upfront, no exceptions. Doesn't matter what the price of the cake is, big or small, you are running a business.




Yes! Plus, if you do contact her about the cake, don't apologize and say "sorry to bother you" when you do it. I know that (to make a sweepign generalization) we women are taught to be nice and not bother people, but there's no reason to apologize when you're telling someone how they have to pay to receive their merchandise. It's business, not personal, and we need to get a backbone and realize that sometimes. If you act like doormat then people will treat you like one!

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