Ugh! Friends Make The Worst Customers! (This Is A Rant!)

Lounge By as you wish Updated 7 Aug 2013 , 10:33pm by DeliciousDesserts

as you wish Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 12:10am
post #1 of 55

AI really, really wish I had never started treating friends any differently than anyone else when it comes to cakes. I offer my friends a small discount, for reasons I don't really remember, and it seems to have led to that old "give them an inch and they'll take a yard" situation. I have had friends come to pick up a cake and forget their wallet, saying they would pay me later. When I remind them, they either look surprised I would ask or say they thought they paid me. Once I delivered a cake to a friend and she told me I would have to take a post-dated cheque for her (discounted) cake. I know that I need to put my foot down here; I just cringe at the thought. For anyone out there just starting out, take my advise: treat your friends the same as anyone else when they order a cake. Make it clear right from the start that no payment=no cake. I really wish I could just go back and redo that part.

54 replies
MimiFix Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 12:46am
post #2 of 55

We have a tendency to call everyone a friend. But there's a difference between a friend and an acquaintance. I give friends a discount. Acquaintances pay full price in advance.

taartenmaker Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 1:21am
post #3 of 55

AI've been making cakes for about 2 years now and I already have a lot of friends wanting a free cake( which I did not do!). They are like:"you like to bake cakes, so bake me one cause you like to do it"). It really annois me how they think the cake ingredients grow on trees (some do gorw on trees lol). I promesed myself never to do a cake for free, cause if you do it once, it wil follow you forever by people saying they also want one!

denetteb Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 1:29am
post #4 of 55

ANo need to look back. That is past. From today and going forward treat all your customers the same. It is fine to give a friend discount but all your other business practises remain the same.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 12:35pm
post #5 of 55

A

Original message sent by MimiFix

We have a tendency to call everyone a friend. But there's a difference between a [U]friend[/U] and an [U]acquaintance[/U]. I give friends a discount. Acquaintances pay full price in advance.

THIS!

I had a "friend" who only called me near her daughter's birthday. Actually, there are a few of those. I especially dislike the ones that have all kinds of friendly get togethers and parties but only invite me to the birthday party when they want a cake. I know they expect the cake as a present.

I use my husband as the bad guy. The year he purchased the fridge, he made me promise no free cake. I told all my "friends." I even posted the new fridge & conditions on Facebook. The next year, he purchased the website & made me promise no discounted cake.

Made it much easier for me.

remnant3333 Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 3:51pm
post #6 of 55

Some people will take advantage of you when they see you have a soft heart!!! Sounds like your so called friends never meant to pay you for their cakes!!! You just need to get payment before the cake is due or tell them they will not receive a cake!!! Good luck, I know it is hard!!!!

tdovewings Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 5:01pm
post #7 of 55

When a friend inquires about a cake, I tell them to send me all the relevant info at my business email address.  I send them an email with a quote, tax included, delivery fees, and payment terms (my standard business language). I end the email with, "let me know if you want to go forward". In fact it is the same email I send to all my customers.  I often get the response "you are so professional", to which I don't comment on.  About half the time, that's the end of that. We continue on chatting on facebook, meeting at the park, etc.  No hard feeling from me or them.

 

My advice, treat them like a regular customer upfront and they will treat you like a respectable business. 

 

I look at it this way. When I give away free cake, I really am out of twice the cost of the free cake. The one I made for free and the one I couldn't take because I was working on a free cake. 

 

Be firm, and treat everyone equally. 

MimiFix Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 5:29pm
post #8 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdovewings 

When a friend inquires about a cake, I tell them to send me all the relevant info at my business email address.  I send them an email with a quote, tax included, delivery fees, and payment terms (my standard business language). I end the email with, "let me know if you want to go forward". In fact it is the same email I send to all my customers.  I often get the response "you are so professional", to which I don't comment on.  About half the time, that's the end of that. We continue on chatting on facebook, meeting at the park, etc.  No hard feeling from me or them.

 

My advice, treat them like a regular customer upfront and they will treat you like a respectable business. 

 

I look at it this way. When I give away free cake, I really am out of twice the cost of the free cake. The one I made for free and the one I couldn't take because I was working on a free cake. 

 

Be firm, and treat everyone equally. 

 

Very well done! I like the way you handle this potential problem, especially the underlined words above.

BatterUpCake Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 5:48pm
post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeliciousDesserts 


THIS!

I had a "friend" who only called me near her daughter's birthday. Actually, there are a few of those. I especially dislike the ones that have all kinds of friendly get togethers and parties but only invite me to the birthday party when they want a cake. I know they expect the cake as a present.

I use my husband as the bad guy. The year he purchased the fridge, he made me promise no free cake. I told all my "friends." I even posted the new fridge & conditions on Facebook. The next year, he purchased the website & made me promise no discounted cake.

Made it much easier for me.

I have a "friend" who I have only see socially one in the last 8 moths. Never met her kids or been to her house. The other day I got I got invited to her child's 1st birthday party. I don't even have kids (I have adults on their own, wheww thought THAT would never happen..lol) I did not RSVP...still thinking how to do that. It is a FB invite.

AZCouture Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 5:50pm
post #10 of 55

AFriends make awesome customers if you treat them the same as normal clients. I think mine appreciate the business like arrangement. I pay for their services, they pay for mine. I might throw a little extra in, but otherwise, it's business as normal.

MimiFix Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 5:54pm
post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

I have a "friend" who I have only see socially one in the last 8 moths. Never met her kids or been to her house. The other day I got I got invited to her child's 1st birthday party. I don't even have kids (I have adults on their own, wheww thought THAT would never happen..lol) I did not RSVP...still thinking how to do that. It is a FB invite.

 

Just ignore it. (My three words of advice for the day.)

BatterUpCake Posted 28 Jul 2013 , 6:08pm
post #12 of 55

I have a very hard time not RSVP'ing..same with not sending formal thank you's and all that other stuff is "out of style" I will probably thank her for the invite, wish he little one the best but let her know that my calender is full...she never came right out and asked for a cake. Given the circumstaces though it is either a gift grab or "ooooh maybe she will make a free cake" Te old me thinks...Oh what a great opportunity for people to see my cakes...but yeah...not so much any more

zahnby Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 7:42pm
post #13 of 55

I LOVE what you wrote. I imagine many of us seems like a 'pushover' with or 'friends'  if they wre true friends, they would not expect something for nothing. I, also,find it difficult to put a price on my cakes even though I know i put a lot of money and time in making them. I have just stopped making them.........

as you wish Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 7:53pm
post #14 of 55

AI think the thing that makes this feel particularly difficult is that these really are friends, not just acquaintances, but they just don't get it. They simply haven't thought through to the fact that I have already paid for their cake, both in ingredients and time. They know me to be a generous person, I frequently give away non-cake related things (books, kids' clothes, etc.) and never accept money for them and my friends don't seem to see the difference. I know this is all my own fault and it is up to me to make them understand, I just really wish I had done this differently from the beginning. Thanks for all the support and encouragement here. :)

CakeRae80 Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 8:07pm
post #15 of 55

There is a woman I know that we were friends with each other.  Then there was a big falling out and after several months we met and discussed everything and are friendly again.  By no means was this woman ever a best or true friend.  She now wants me to do her wedding cake in October.  I have the feeling that she thinks I will give her a discount for this cake (which I won't). She is also very picky and I'm not sure that I want to deal with that from her.  Everything has to be perfect in her eyes.  She is the kind of woman who if she had flowers on a cake and they weren't placed exactly where/how she thought they should be (even if everything had been talked about) she would go ballistic.  Now that I've said that, it's needless to say that when she thinks something isn't up to her standards, she should be refunded in full for the item.  I've witnessed this first hand!  So I will quote her a price when she comes to me, and I'm very sure it will be too much and she'll forget about having me do it. 

texas_mom Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 8:15pm
post #16 of 55

My situation is the opposite. I only bake for family (and some friends but never for acquaintances or friends I rarely see).  I see family often and I am able to get paid.  Acquaintances or friends got into the habit of sending someone else to pick up the cake with the message that the person who ordered the cake would come by and pay me later  because they were just too busy at the moment to come pick up the cake themselves...I never got paid.  Everyone now knows I only bake for family.  My family keeps me very busy that I do not miss other customers.

Annabakescakes Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 11:10pm
post #17 of 55

I had a friend several years ago that I gave a discount to, when I was just getting started, and my prices were horribly low to begin with. She did pay more than I asked, and has 2 daughters and a husband she bought for. She has a cake coming up on friday, and I realized that I am still giving he discounts, but we haven't been more than friends in years. She doesn't call at all anymore, and just texts when it is about a month before her daughter's birthday, to tell me what she wants. Recently, she has been piling on the "poor me" crap too. For example:

 

T: this is going to K's cake this year (pic attached)

A: how many servings?

T: don't know?

A: how big do you want it? how many people are invited? Budget?

T: DH may lose his job, don't no what we are going to do. we'll lose house, cars everything!

A: Oh man, that stinks, how many people are coming? 

T: can't talk right now, sobbing. TTYL

 

And week goes by

 

 

T: this is the new cake K wants now (pic attached)

A: Guests? 

T: um, 30

A: that cake is a 3 tier, serves 60, we'll have to do just 2 tiers, which 2?

T: um, top and bottom?

A: okay, I can do a 7" and 5" to serve 24 for (ungodly low price) or an 8 and 6 to serve 36 for (ungodly low price) regular prices are this and this

T: were going to have to move I need a job, I have no skilz just people skilz, don't know what to do?

A what happened to Beauty school?

T: (insert ailment here)

A: that stinks, which cake?

T: um, 36 servings I am having 20 10 year old girls plus parents

A: you probably only need the small then, girls don't eat much and parents will be drinking, right? 

 

 

Week later

 

T: K now wants this cake

A: ? where is it?

T: picture attached

A: that is a topsy turvy, I only do those in fondant, and they are a PITA. I HATE THEM! Double the price, actually, to discourage people from ordering

T: oh gawd, I can't do this right now, I am just going to have to stoop to a costco cake. I can't manage that

A: let me know

 

week later

 

T: where we at on K's cake? 

 

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! 

as you wish Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 11:16pm
post #18 of 55

A

Original message sent by Annabakescakes

I had a friend several years ago that I gave a discount to, when I was just getting started, and my prices were horribly low to begin with. She did pay more than I asked, and has 2 daughters and a husband she bought for. She has a cake coming up on friday, and I realized that I am still giving he discounts, but we haven't been more than friends in years. She doesn't call at all anymore, and just texts when it is about a month before her daughter's birthday, to tell me what she wants. Recently, she has been piling on the "poor me" crap too. For example:

T: this is going to K's cake this year (pic attached) A: how many servings? T: don't know? A: how big do you want it? how many people are invited? Budget? T: DH may lose his job, don't no what we are going to do. we'll lose house, cars everything! A: Oh man, that stinks, how many people are coming?  T: can't talk right now, sobbing. TTYL

And week goes by

T: this is the new cake K wants now (pic attached) A: Guests?  T: um, 30 A: that cake is a 3 tier, serves 60, we'll have to do just 2 tiers, which 2? T: um, top and bottom? A: okay, I can do a 7" and 5" to serve 24 for (ungodly low price) or an 8 and 6 to serve 36 for (ungodly low price) regular prices are this and this T: were going to have to move I need a job, I have no skilz just people skilz, don't know what to do? A what happened to Beauty school? T: (insert ailment here) A: that stinks, which cake? T: um, 36 servings I am having 20 10 year old girls plus parents A: you probably only need the small then, girls don't eat much and parents will be drinking, right? 

Week later

T: K now wants this cake A: ? where is it? T: picture attached A: that is a topsy turvy, I only do those in fondant, and they are a PITA. I HATE THEM! Double the price, actually, to discourage people from ordering T: oh gawd, I can't do this right now, I am just going to have to stoop to a costco cake. I can't manage that A: let me know

week later

T: where we at on K's cake? 

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! 

Wouldn't it be awesome if we could say exactly what we are thinking sometimes?! I mean without it doing any damage. "Where are we at on K's cake? Costco, as I understood. Okay, bu-bye."

Annabakescakes Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 11:41pm
post #19 of 55

That would be wonderful! I think I will have to say it one day, It is killing me this time. Of course, I will be such a female dog.... but whatever, right? It is not like I am going to miss out on anything, I only do cheap cake 3 times a year, the friendship is long gone. 

BatterUpCake Posted 29 Jul 2013 , 11:45pm
post #20 of 55

you can say it without being catty...Just say "Oh the last time we talked you said you were going to go to Cosco. SInce I thought that was what you were doing I booked another cake for that day."

Annabakescakes Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 12:06am
post #21 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

you can say it without being catty...Just say "Oh the last time we talked you said you were going to go to Cosco. SInce I thought that was what you were doing I booked another cake for that day."

What is the fun in that? lol

elizamtz Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 12:26am
post #22 of 55

A

Original message sent by as you wish

I really, really wish I had never started treating friends any differently than anyone else when it comes to cakes. I offer my friends a small discount, for reasons I don't really remember, and it seems to have led to that old "give them an inch and they'll take a yard" situation. I have had friends come to pick up a cake and forget their wallet, saying they would pay me later. When I remind them, they either look surprised I would ask or say they thought they paid me. Once I delivered a cake to a friend and she told me I would have to take a post-dated cheque for her (discounted) cake. I know that I need to put my foot down here; I just cringe at the thought. For anyone out there just starting out, take my advise: treat your friends the same as anyone else when they order a cake. Make it clear right from the start that no payment=no cake. I really wish I could just go back and redo that part.

BatterUpCake Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 12:30am
post #23 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

What is the fun in that? lol

Well you still get to watch her struggle. And maybe even beg...lol. Sooo mean!

as you wish Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 12:44am
post #24 of 55

AOkay, I have to tell you about this one. I was contacted by a friend today (let's call her "friend 1") on behalf of another friend ("friend 2") who is throwing a gender reveal party for her pregnant sister. ("Uninvolved third party") They are going through these channels so that friend 2 will be able to throw the party without discovering the gender of the baby before everyone else at the party. Friend 1seems to think that friend 2 has been in touch with me about this cake. She has not. I have no idea about size, flavour, decoration... Nothing. Oh, except I do know the gender of the baby! And did I mention the party is this Saturday? So, friend 2 is picking up the cake, but friend 1 is ordering it. Friend 2 has some idea what she wants but hasn't contacted me to tell me. Friend 2 is paying for the cake but friend 1 is going to approve the price. Friend 2 still owes me for the last cake I made her. How do I tell friend 1 that the cost of the cake is $x, plus $x from the last cake, bringing the total to $xx? That would put friend 1 in the awkward position of relaying the information of debt to friend 2, and probably make friend 2 upset about being humiliated like that before friend 1. I don't know. This is nuts! It would be entertaining if it was someone else's life!

BatterUpCake Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 12:55am
post #25 of 55

I would have refused to do a cake until friend #2 paid for cake #1 and placed a deposit on cake #2....

as you wish Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 12:59am
post #26 of 55

A

Original message sent by BatterUpCake

I would have refused to do a cake until friend #2 paid for cake #1 and placed a deposit on cake #2....

Yep, I probably should have. Caught off guard again by the sideways order. I agreed to it thinking friend 1 was ordering and paying, that I was making the cake for friend 1. By the time I realized it was for friend 2 I had said I would do it already.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 1:24am
post #27 of 55

Can you not get in contact with flake #2? Tell her you need to know flavours and design by *such and such a time*, the cost will be $123 + $123 from previous order, and you need payment in full by, oh, let's say an hour from now? :)

 

When dealing with friends/acquaintances I find keeping everything as professional as possible works best. Extra chatter always seems to result in miscommunications or 'interesting' interpretations.

rsaun Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 2:12am
post #28 of 55

I have one of these "friends" too.  We were BFFs and then she lied to me about her past, got embarassed when I noticed 2+2 did not equal 4 (even though I never called her out on it) and then gave me the silent treatment for a long time.  I am a peacemaker and hate conflict, so when she called me again, I was happy to think things could be "healed" between us.  She then asks me if I would make 2 cakes for her husband.  He was getting his PhD and they wanted to celebrate with 2 very different cakes.  The bleeding heart that I was, I quoted her $100 for the 2 cakes.  I figured it would cover my costs plus a little more.  I would have probably charged Joe Schmoe up the street $250 for these cakes.

 

Day of party arrives, I have not been paid, but trying to be nice, I said she could pay me the next day.  That turns into the next week, then the next month.  Finally, she comes to me and gives me an envelope.  She said, "I'm so sorry...this is all I have to pay you."  I opened the envelope and there was $25 cash and a $50 pre-paid Visa card.  I was upset at only getting $75, but figured a month late, I was lucky to get anything.  That weekend, my husband and I went out and I tried to use the pre-paid Visa.  It was declined.  I called the 1-800 number on the card.  I was told that the card had no value.  It had been purchased 4 years before and because of non-use, they had taken a fee off every year and so now it had zero value.  So, not only did she underpay me by $25, she gave me a useless pre-paid visa card.  I asked when it had been purchased and the month and year lined up with when they got married, so I figure she found an old wedding gift card and thought she'd pay me with that.

 

So, that's my best "friend" experience with cakes.  I have come to the conclusion that if they're not related to me by blood or marriage, they don't get a discount.  Plain and simple!

 

Ugh!  This makes me irritated just thinking about it and it was 4 years ago!icon_mad.gif

BatterUpCake Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 2:29am
post #29 of 55

No money, no cakey!!! Go to the ATM then come back to pick them up!

Annabakescakes Posted 30 Jul 2013 , 2:59am
post #30 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by rsaun 

I have one of these "friends" too.  We were BFFs and then she lied to me about her past, got embarassed when I noticed 2+2 did not equal 4 (even though I never called her out on it) and then gave me the silent treatment for a long time.  I am a peacemaker and hate conflict, so when she called me again, I was happy to think things could be "healed" between us.  She then asks me if I would make 2 cakes for her husband.  He was getting his PhD and they wanted to celebrate with 2 very different cakes.  The bleeding heart that I was, I quoted her $100 for the 2 cakes.  I figured it would cover my costs plus a little more.  I would have probably charged Joe Schmoe up the street $250 for these cakes.

 

Day of party arrives, I have not been paid, but trying to be nice, I said she could pay me the next day.  That turns into the next week, then the next month.  Finally, she comes to me and gives me an envelope.  She said, "I'm so sorry...this is all I have to pay you."  I opened the envelope and there was $25 cash and a $50 pre-paid Visa card.  I was upset at only getting $75, but figured a month late, I was lucky to get anything.  That weekend, my husband and I went out and I tried to use the pre-paid Visa.  It was declined.  I called the 1-800 number on the card.  I was told that the card had no value.  It had been purchased 4 years before and because of non-use, they had taken a fee off every year and so now it had zero value.  So, not only did she underpay me by $25, she gave me a useless pre-paid visa card.  I asked when it had been purchased and the month and year lined up with when they got married, so I figure she found an old wedding gift card and thought she'd pay me with that.

 

So, that's my best "friend" experience with cakes.  I have come to the conclusion that if they're not related to me by blood or marriage, they don't get a discount.  Plain and simple!

 

Ugh!  This makes me irritated just thinking about it and it was 4 years ago!icon_mad.gif

Ugh, that makes me mad and I had nothing to do with ! 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

What is the fun in that? lol

Well you still get to watch her struggle. And maybe even beg...lol. Sooo mean!

LOL.

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