Does Anyone Else Have "gypsies" As Customers? (Long.)

Business By SuzyXD Updated 8 Apr 2013 , 2:52pm by kikiandkyle

SuzyXD Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 3:27am
post #1 of 56

I have a custom cake shop with a retail storefront; we've had gypsy customers for several years now.  I never really knew what they were, but knew they were a very unorthodox style extended family unit.

 

Anyway, they spend a lot of money with us, but they are super obnoxious...really horrible to deal with; loud obnoxious, always haggling, then paying with 100 dollar bills. I could go on and on, but we  believe they fund their extravagant lifestyles with money they've somehow obtained illegally.  They are very secretive, so it's hard to figure out anything solid. If there's a question about their order, and you call the phone number they give you, they will tell you you have the wrong number. Your jaw would drop at some of the things they do; it's absurd.  Well, a customer is a customer, so we just cater to them the best we can.

 

Problem is, for the past 6 months, their new con has been: asking for refunds for bogus reasons.  The first time I went ahead and granted it, because we will usually refund someone who is that unhappy. But I knew it would probably become a pattern. Well, it has. On Friday one of them called to let us know she needed a refund because her guest bit a piece of plastic that was inside the cake and broke their tooth to the tune of $900.

 

We told her to bring in the remainder of the cake along with the "plastic".  She became very irate that she would have to do such a thing and hung up.  She showed up a few hours later with the remainder of her sheet cake with a Cars deco pac on it.  She handed me a napkin with a balled up blob of spit out cake.  I had to dig thru it with my fingers for several seconds until I unearthed the 1/4" plastic tip of a checkered racing flag cake decoration.  

 

I informed her that since they must have cut the cake with the toys in it, slicing the end of the flag off, there would be no refund.  

**Now, please note that any other customer would have received a refund from us, in this case, just to keep the peace.  If we felt that this had been done intentionally by said customer, we would just avoid taking another order from them in the future, and that would be the end of it.**

But since we now expect the gypsies to ask for refunds as a part of their usual con artist behavior, and since there is really no other way that this tip could have magically severed itself from the flag, I refused.  (In fact, I don't believe they cut it while slicing, I believe they cut it with scissors, and poked it into a ball of chewed cake.  When you bite something hard that shouldn't be there, you spit out the piece to see what it is, right? Not the whole ball of chewed stuff...and then save the ball.  And how did she know it was plastic if I had to spend so long unearthing it from the goo-ball? I tried to snap off the tip of other checkered flags later.  You have to bend them a full 360 degrees until they snap...and then they are curved. It had to be cut.)

 

So this lady went completely ballistic. We had to have the police remove her.  When the police asked me for my side of the story, I tried to give him some background, and he said, "Oh, are they gypsies?" When I said yes, he told me I had to "be careful with these people" and that they will attempt to escalate a situation until you do something you shouldn't, so they can sue you, etc. Yikes.  

 

So this lady is screaming at me that she's taking me to court for this broken tooth, blah blah blah.  I'm pretty mellow, so I stayed pretty quiet during the whole thing; it was obvious she was trying to bait me, and she was excellent at it.  Truly a pro.

 

Anyway, there are tons of these family members; it seems someone from the group orders from us almost every week.  I want to be rid of them all, but how?  They are not afraid to make a scene; for such a secretive group, they sure love attention.  I'm just ill about the whole thing.  Has anyone had dealings with these people, and how do you handle them? :(

55 replies
Cakepro Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 3:40am
post #2 of 56

Yikes!!

 

I've watched the "reality" shows about American gypsies and if you are talking about dealing with this group of people, I really feel for you.  :(

 

I also feel bad for you because I believe some people here will jump all over you, accusing you of using a derogatory term and stereotyping a group of people.  Ignore them.

 

Is it possible for you to no longer take orders from these people?  If the reality shows are to be believed, there are many, many businesses that refuse to do business with them.

kikiandkyle Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 4:06am
post #3 of 56

AWhile I think it's always a shame that the more honest members of the family will be penalized because of the actions of the few, I understand your position. I don't know what the legal position on gypsies is here in the US, but you have to be sure that you don't refuse to serve them in any way that gives them an angle to come after you. If you have an attorney, contact them to discuss the best way to ensure you don't have to deal with them anymore. Sadly they'll move on to the next baker who gets conned like you did.

Bakingangel Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 5:02am
post #4 of 56

That is really a shame that you are going through this.  Best thing is to talk to an attorney. They can be a tough lot to deal with. 
 

Jx2MAMA Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 5:09am
post #5 of 56

I don't have very much advice on how to handle the situation but I do have my own personal experience for you to hear. I was the manager of an Edible Arrangements for 3 years and often had gypsies come in and place orders with the SAME outcome as you. The policy there was the replace the product if customer complained of quality but at the end of the day, if refund is demanded, we had to refund them. I guess EA didn't want ANY negative comments or feedback spreading. Anyway, in one particular case, a gypsy lady came in and made an order. Long story short, she wanted the cheapest smallest arrangement we had and SPECIFICALLY asked for the fruit to be dipped in peanut butter chocolate and delivered to the local children's hospital for a little girl patient. I personally took the order and was haggled the entire time over price, and explained at least 5 times prices were corporate set and absolutely non-negotiable. 3 weeks later, I received a phone call from a woman IRRATE and completely irrational about how her daughter had received an arrangement with peanut butter and she had a peanut allergy, she went into shock and had been in the ICU because of it, blah blah. I informed her that the customer who sent it specifically requested PB chocolate. She then told me that there is NO way the customer did because the customer was the kid's grandma and she knew she had been allergic from birth. On any normal day, someone else answering the phone would of refunded her but since I was the one who took the order, I knew and remembered exactly what happened. I told her we also place allergy warning stickers on each side of the arrangement and in the card delivered as well so she should of known it had PB before the girl ate a piece. She got frustrated and then told me that the fruit was rotten on the arrangement also. Even though I knew it wasnt, I told the lady I would send a fresh arrangement with REGULAR chocolate out immediately to the girl. The mom said they were still in the hospital and would call when they got home to have the arrangement delivered there. 2 weeks later, the lady called and I put the order back in the system for delivery that weekend. My co-worked called the day it was delivered and asked me if I was sure that the order was for the small arrangement. I said yes and he said apparently when the delivery driver got there, the lady went off to the point of near violence because she said the arrangement they got was one of our $250 ones that fed 100 people. He said there was some kind of party going on at the residence when he delivered it. I called the lady the next day when I came into work and she DEMANDED I give her $500 cash for her troubles and for the arrangement. I told her no, she threatened to sue and for once, i said go ahead. She never did but just wanted to let you know you arent the only one that happens to.

Godot Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 5:19am
post #6 of 56

AWell, I disagree. A customer is not just a customer.

Say you are fully booked when they order.

Your premises - your rules. Stop tolerating their unacceptable behavior

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 5:28am
post #7 of 56

AI just have to say, "holy crap!" Watching for updates...

kazita Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 5:36am
post #8 of 56

A

Original message sent by Annabakescakes

I just have to say, "holy crap!" Watching for updates...

Lmao me too!!!

SweetMelissa730 Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 5:42am
post #9 of 56

You did the best thing by staying calm and calling the police. I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. It's a shame everyone can't just be honest and pay for the things they want without trying to get something back or even worse trying to drum up a phony law suit. Sad. 

SweetMelissa730 Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 5:49am
post #10 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

I just have to say, "holy crap!" Watching for updates...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kazita 


Lmao me too!!!

 

Me three! You never know what crazy stuff other people have to deal with!! lol

SugaredSaffron Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:02am
post #11 of 56

AFricking hell xenophobic or what! Replace gypsies with jews or black and this post would be completely unacceptable.

Sorry about what happened but that's because they are a-holes, not because they are gypsies. And assuming they fund their lifestyle illegally? No wonder they're secretive, with such judgemental people.

And the police officer should be reported for his comment about 'being careful' with gypsies. What a prejudiced idiot.

kazita Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:03am
post #12 of 56

AI would of for sure called BS to the lady handing me a blob of cake that I had to dig the piece of plastic out of!!

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:07am
post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakepro 

Yikes!!

 

I've watched the "reality" shows about American gypsies and if you are talking about dealing with this group of people, I really feel for you.  :(

 

I also feel bad for you because I believe some people here will jump all over you, accusing you of using a derogatory term and stereotyping a group of people.  Ignore them.

 

Is it possible for you to no longer take orders from these people?  If the reality shows are to be believed, there are many, many businesses that refuse to do business with them.

I'm an adopted Roma, and it is incredibly offensive to ball up obnoxious people into a stereotype like that. I have tons of relatives who are nothing like OP described, they are kind loving people who just live a different lifestyle.

 

If you replaced every time she said gypsy with the word 'black', I doubt you'd be making callous remarks about just 'ignoring' people.

And really, basing everything you know about someone by a reality TV series? I guess you think everyone who lives in Jersey is like Schnooki?

 

There are clusters of idiots in every race and culture, they seem to attract each other. Unfortunately for OP, a group of them are coming to her shop, probably because one friend came and started referring her.

Just start telling them you aren't available on the date they requested, or raise your prices and include contracts to make sure there is nothing they can sue you over.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:10am
post #14 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugaredSaffron 

Fricking hell xenophobic or what! Replace gypsies with jews or black and this post would be completely unacceptable.

Sorry about what happened but that's because they are a-holes, not because they are gypsies. And assuming they fund their lifestyle illegally? No wonder they're secretive, with such judgemental people.

And the police officer should be reported for his comment about 'being careful' with gypsies. What a prejudiced idiot.

This, exactly.

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:11am
post #15 of 56

AI thought gypsies was a name for a lifestyle, not a race class...

SugaredSaffron Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:12am
post #16 of 56

AHahaha I missed that preemtive post by cake pro. Of course you're going to get called out!

vgcea Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:15am
post #17 of 56

Looks like you'll have to run it by an attorney. Here's an article I found online: http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/restaurants-right-to-refuse-service.html

IAmPamCakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:21am
post #18 of 56

ALike Anna and a few others, I'm watching this one play out.

*goes back to sidelines with morbid curiosity*

Paperfishies Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:45am
post #19 of 56

A# 1 stop taking their orders #2 if you can't or won't stop taking their orders, work with an attorney to draw up a contract....anytime they place an order with you, ask for a deposit and make them sign the contract. No contract, no deposit, no order.

I would also reach out to other small businesses in your community and ask if they've had problems.

Paperfishies Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:03am
post #20 of 56

AHave you've directly dealt with gypsies? Gypsies aren't a race. It's a life style, a CHOSEN lifestyle. Being black or being Jewish, or being gay isn't a choice. Living the gypsy lifestyle, IS a choice.

I've dealt with gypsies extensively, not only in the US but in Europe. In Italy, gypsy families often train their young children to run up to tourists and "hug" them, while shouting they're starving and are orphans...while these 5 and 6 year old children are "hugging" these unsuspecting tourists, they're pick-pocketing them and stealing them blind. They also train their children how to act as if they have disabilities, to try and scam money off of tourists.

I waited tables at a restaurant here in my state..."gypsy" families would come in, about 30 at a time, one large party...they would eat, drink and eat some more...running up a $700 tab. Well, the adults would trickle out a couple at a time, eventually leaving only small children at the table. The the children would get up and leave, you can't really stop children from leaving and make them pay the tab.

And yes, gypsies often partake in illegal activities to fund their lifestyle. It's also in many circles a very misogynistic community. I have a very close friend who grew up a Roma gypsy, she escaped the life because she didn't want to raise children in that community. I also know a few Irish gypsies...of course not every single person who has made the choice to live the gypsy lifestyle are terrible con-artists...just like every man in a biker gang is not a violent maniac. There are sects who truly just like the community aspect of it and keep to themselves.

Ethnically, I am Jewish. One can not be "prejudice" against gypsies. They are not a protected group of people. That would be like saying one is prejudice against biker gangs.

Original message sent by SugaredSaffron

Fricking hell xenophobic or what! Replace gypsies with jews or black and this post would be completely unacceptable.

Sorry about what happened but that's because they are a-holes, not because they are gypsies. And assuming they fund their lifestyle illegally? No wonder they're secretive, with such judgemental people.

And the police officer should be reported for his comment about 'being careful' with gypsies. What a prejudiced idiot.

Paperfishies Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:12am
post #21 of 56

AIt is a lifestyle...not a race, not an ethnicity.

Original message sent by Annabakescakes

I thought gypsies was a name for a lifestyle, not a race class...

Paperfishies Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:27am
post #22 of 56

A

Original message sent by Paperfishies

# 1 stop taking their orders #2 if you can't or won't stop taking their orders, work with an attorney to draw up a contract....anytime they place an order with you, ask for a deposit and make them sign the contract. No contract, no deposit, no order.

In your contract you can state that if at any time, any customer becomes belligerent, verbally or physically abusive, you reserve the right to never do business with that person again. So, if any one of these customers so much as raises their voice, you can not ever do business with them again.

I would also reach out to other small businesses in your community and ask if they've had problems.

SugaredSaffron Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:30am
post #23 of 56

AWhat are you talking about?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romani_people

Jews are money hungry. Black people are often criminals. Gypsys are scum.

Sorry to break it to you but it's the same old trash and your attempt to sugarcoat as some life experience is pretty poor. But you are from the other side of the pond and I know you guys still have a lot of issues you need to work through regarding race and culture, so I shouldn't be too harsh.

And yes I'm from London, so Romani gypsys and Irish gypsys are not just a people I've watched on a TV show.

A way of life, how ignorant are you?

Paperfishies Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:44am
post #24 of 56

AGypsy isn't, nor has it ever been a race or ethnicity. Romani would be the ethnicity and "gypsy" would be the sub-culture. Not all Romani are "gypsy" and not all "gypsies" are Romani.

Much like goth, punk, or skinhead, they're lifestyle choices and sub-cultures, not ethnicities, not races, not protected groups.

You can't accurately compare being a "gypsy" to being black or Jewish, since gypsy is a lifestyle choice.

You can however compare being Romani to being black or Jewish, since none are lifestyle choices and each is either a race or ethnicity.

SugaredSaffron Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:51am
post #25 of 56

AYou're completely wrong and what your saying doesn't make sense. How can gypsy be a sub-culture for a nomadic people? :s

Romani are called gypsies in most of the english speaking world and are a nomadic people. This is established fact. Did you even read the wiki or are you standing by your incorrect assertions despite being proven wrong.

Why do keep bringing up goths, punks etc? It makes your non-arguement 10x worse.

Gypsy is a sub-culture but being a jew is a race/ethnicity. Erm, right.

SweetMelissa730 Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:04am
post #26 of 56
Paperfishies Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:05am
post #27 of 56

AActually I'm not wrong and your Wikipedia "source" contradicts what you're saying, did you read the wiki article in it's entirety? I don't call Romani gypsies because not all of them are gypsies and in fact many of them consider the label gypsy a derogatory term. I call Romani people, Romani.

In the US, gypsy is a lifestyle and a subculture. we call Romani people Roma or Romani, not gypsy because not all Romani are gypsies and not all gypsies are Romani.

Oh and your jab about living in London, and how gypsies aren't something you just see on a TV show...that Wikipedia article you cited, states that there are 1 million Romani living in the US and 90,000 in the UK. So, they are not something I've just seen on TV...nor is my experience just in the US.

Lets try to keep this as civil as possible, I don't want this thread to be locked because this thread could contains useful information for any business that could be going through what the OP is going through.

Original message sent by SugaredSaffron

You're completely wrong and what your saying doesn't make sense. How can gypsy be a sub-culture for a nomadic people? :s

Romani are called gypsies in most of the english speaking world and are a nomadic people. This is established fact. Did you even read the wiki or are you standing by your incorrect assertions despite being proven wrong.

Why do keep bringing up goths, punks etc? It makes your non-arguement 10x worse.

Gypsy is a sub-culture but being a jew is a race/ethnicity. Erm, right.

kazita Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:11am
post #28 of 56

A[quote name="Paperfishies" url="/t/756650/does-anyone-else-have-gypsies-as-customers-long/15#post_7380253"]Actually I'm not wrong and your Wikipedia "source" contradicts what you're saying, did you read the wiki article in it's entirety? I don't call Romani gypsies because not all of them are gypsies and in fact many of them consider the label gypsy a derogatory term. I call Romani people, Romani.

In the US, gypsy is a lifestyle and a subculture. we call Romani people Roma or Romani, not gypsy because not all Romani are gypsies and not all gypsies are Romani.

Lets try to keep this as civil as possible, I don't want this thread to be locked because this thread could contains useful information for any business that could be going through what the OP is going through.

If this thread isn't deleted I will be completely shocked! ! It might be very informative but there have been harsh words spoken.

SugaredSaffron Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:27am
post #29 of 56

AIt wasn't a jab, I live in London. But I can tell facts and you don't mix well together.

I'm glad you've got a merry band of helpers but you are still talking crap, and if it make people uncomfortable to read, oh well.

How on earth people can have these backward stereotypical views and not even be ashamed of them is beyond me. And then to try to peddle them as legitimate is a joke.

The thread isn't useful, it's just reinforcing prejudice.

SugaredSaffron Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:34am
post #30 of 56

A

Original message sent by SweetMelissa730

Excuse me... first of all, if you would read the entire article you posted...

"However, as a term 'gypsy' is considered derogatory by many members of the Roma community because of negative and stereotypical associations with the term.[ [COLOR=0645AD]37[/COLOR]] "" In North America , the word [I]gypsy[/I] is commonly used as a reference to lifestyle[38]  or fashion, and not to the Romani ethnicity"

So no she is NOT ingnorant...

Thanks for that Melissa, I did read the article and if you want to point the finger about using the word gypsy, then you have a few more posters to take up including the one you're defending.

And you should try to read things in context. We are talking about gypsys, so lets not play with semantics.

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