puddles_gal Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 8:35pm
post #1 of

AAfter a lot of thought and frustration, I have decided to start implementing late fees for clients who do not arrive on time to pick up their orders. I would like to inform everyone about this beforehand- any ideas of how I can word this without sounding like I am ranting? Lol.

16 replies
Annabakescakes Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 8:45pm
post #2 of

I started a thread like this last year, and I was basically told there was something wrong with me that my clients disrespect me, and that I am stupid to expect people to be on time, anyway, and I need to just get a store front, where it wont matter what time they come, as long as it is before I close. icon_rolleyes.gif So I will be watching... 

puddles_gal Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 9:01pm
post #3 of

AOh no! Well, I do think that people do not respect our time, that's for sure. This is something I do in addition to my regular full time job, and I don't think a lot of people know that. They assume that this is my job, and that all I do every day is bake! Lol. I would love to have a storefront, but I live in a small town that has a hard time sustaining independent businesses. If I'm busy, great, and if not, that's okay too. Either way, an appointment is an appointment,and should be honoured as such. I figure if I can have their cake ready on time, then the very least they could do is arrive on time. I understand that things do come up and I do allow for a 15 minute window, but its getting to the point where I'm hearing every excuse in the book!

jason_kraft Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 9:40pm
post #4 of

AWe didn't have late fees, we had 1 hour pickup windows for customers. If the customer hadn't shown up as the pickup window was ending I would call the customer and ask to schedule a new time to pick up their cake since we would be "closing" in a few minutes. The vast majority of the time the customer would be there in the next 10-15 minutes.

You could potentially use late fees as a tool to help improve customer compliance, but if you actually do charge late fees the negative impact to the customer's experience might outweigh the additional money you get.

Annabakescakes Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 9:47pm
post #5 of

AGetting additional money is just more of a threat to the customer, to try to get them to move their @$$ and get the damn cake, it's not the point.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 9:54pm
post #6 of

A

Original message sent by Annabakescakes

Getting additional money is just more of a threat to the customer, to try to get them to move their @$$ and get the damn cake, it's not the point.

That's why it might make sense to waive the late fees as a "courtesy" once for each customer.

kikiandkyle Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 11:30pm
post #7 of

I think you'd just get more of the same 'excuses' as to why they shouldn't be charged if its down to a fee, whereas the idea of telling them the bakery will be closed kind of forces them to move, or get organized and have someone else get their cake. 

1234me Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 5:45pm
post #8 of

if it makes you feel any better, it happens to me ALL THE TIME!  Here is an example:

 

I work out of my home.

 

Customer was to pick up at 1:00 last week. 

She hadn't showen up at 1:50 so I emailed her and told her I had to leave and would be back by 4:15.

 

She told me she would be there at 4:30 as her party started at 5:00

5:30 she sent a friend to pick it up.

 

This is a longtime customer of mine! 

 

Very disrespectful - and I THOUGHT she was a classy person!

VicB213 Posted 11 Feb 2013 , 6:36pm
post #9 of

First I will start with that I do not have a business and I am just a hobby baker... however I have done a few cakes for "friends" and on several occassions they have been late to pick up. What boggles my mind is how they think because I am not business I do not deserve the same courtsey as if I were a real business and have had a couple of these "friends" tell me that.  Bottom line if I tell someone I will be there at a certain time I am there and if not I have called ahead to let them know. It is simple respect and I think that late fees are very reasonable.

puddles_gal Posted 12 Feb 2013 , 12:26am

Thank you everyone for your replies! I'm still sitting on the fence about the late fees, especially considering I have a few repeat clients who are late every single time! 

tdovewings Posted 12 Feb 2013 , 12:48am

Before I got into this business I mostly ordered from storefronts. The first few times I ordered a cake, I would get there and to my surprise it wasn't ready. So I fell into the habit of giving a pickup time 2-3 hours before I actually wanted it so I didn't have to wait around for it.  Perhaps, they don't distinguish the difference between a store that has known closing times and a home-based business that juggles pick-up and deliveries. Do you tell customers of your pickup policy upfront? 

-K8memphis Posted 12 Feb 2013 , 3:25am

i don't know--late fees sound like overdue library books--i think it would make the cake 'taste' dry

 

icon_biggrin.gif

 

but i just told my peeps you wanna pick up at noon or at six o'clock--

 

i never really had a big issue with late ones thankfully

SaltCakeCity Posted 12 Feb 2013 , 6:30am

Hey everyone,

       I am also a licensed home caker too and I had the same problem of people coming late. After almost deciding to leave a cake on the porch because I had to leave (don't worry, I didn't!!), my solution was to create a "pick up instruction" sheet that I email over to all of my clients. I have directions, tips on how to transport a cake safely, contact info and at the end I have a note that says **Please note that if you are more than 30 minutes late without prior notice, a $10 late fee will be added to the total cake charge.

 

Then, I end the document with "** If you elect to pick up and set up the cake, you assume all liability and responsibility for the condition of the cake once it leaves Salt Cake City possession. Now just know that you can do it! :) "

 

So what I tried to do is couch the good stuff with the bad stuff. I always make sure to get cell numbers for all my clients (I learned that the hard way too!) and that way, if they are late, I can call and say "I have to leave for a delivery very soon and was just checking to see if you're on your way." I haven't had any problems after I implemented these changes. (knock on wood!) I hope that helps and I'm so sorry that some people don't understand the difference between a bakery and a home business. Happy caking!
Jennifer

mcaulir Posted 12 Feb 2013 , 6:39am

I read a story once about a child care centre that charged parents for every minute they were late to pick up their kids. It actually increased the number of late pickups, because rather than mostly being on time because they were loathe to cause inconvenience to the staff, now many parents saw it as a 'user pays' system where they could be as late as they liked as long as they paid for it, which many were willing to do.

 

I have zero experience with any of this personally, but it's just another idea to consider.

Crazy-Gray Posted 12 Feb 2013 , 8:30am
Quote:

I read a story once about a child care centre that charged parents for every minute they were late to pick up their kids. It actually increased the number of late pickups, because rather than mostly being on time because they were loathe to cause inconvenience to the staff, now many parents saw it as a 'user pays' system where they could be as late as they liked as long as they paid for it, which many were willing to do.

 

This has become a very useful example in teaching economics; you're creating a sitting service for which people are willing to pay; their time it worth a lot to them too so you have to charge more than they are comfortably willing to pay for sitting their cakes else the exact same thing will happen to you

tabathaba Posted 12 Feb 2013 , 12:33pm

I tend to meet at a location (such as a centrally located Starbucks) to drop off the cake. It avoids having to give directions to my house, and also promotes being on time.  I have never had anyone late to a meeting at a location such as this. I guess they view it as different then my house where I'll be home anytime and they can just drop by.

 

It is easier for me too because I can plan around that meeting instead of waiting around for them to show up. It works for me!

javajammer Posted 12 Feb 2013 , 1:04pm

I always offer to deliver for a small delivery fee. I've never had anyone turn me down, and my cakes are always on time. I prefer it this way:)

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