Business By debgolden Updated 1 Mar 2014 , 4:30am by leah_s

debgolden Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 12:33am
post #1 of 21

ASo if you have a bride that calls and says her wedding is off and asks for a refund of her deposit which you explain that your web site clearly states all deposits are non refundable. She then asks to have a cake made that is not a wedding cake for the same value as the deposit. What would you do?

20 replies
klan30 Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 1:15am
post #2 of 21

Make whatever cake she is asking for.  What difference does it make if it's a wedding cake or a birthday cake if the dollar amount is the same.

VanillaSky Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 1:21am
post #3 of 21

Ait sounds like the OP is not being asked to bake a cake that is the same size and value as a wedding cake, but rather a cake that is valued at the deposit. If that's the case, I would not agree to that. But maybe I'd try to work something else out.

liz at sugar Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 1:27am
post #4 of 21

How much was the deposit?


I don't think that is an unreasonable request by your customer.  I would oblige.



natt12321 Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 2:05am
post #5 of 21

I don't think any wedding gets cancelled under good circumstances so I have to say in this instance I'd probably do the cake she wanted.

Sassyzan Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 2:26am
post #6 of 21

AHmm...unless I had an order minimum that was more than the deposit amount, I'd make her a cake. And maybe throw in a free bottle of wine. She could probs use a little kindness right now.

leah_s Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 3:27am
post #7 of 21

AWould and have made a cake for whatever the deposit will buy. I cant understand why you wouldn't.

shaunana Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 3:43am
post #8 of 21

AI can understand why you wouldn't want to spend time and money to make a different cake in place of a lost deposit. Especially if you've already invested time and money in the design of her original wedding cake. If you wish, you could create a written policy for the future. But sometimes it's just best to be charitable. :) I think I'd make her a cake. Good customer service is often more rewarding in the end!

BeesKnees578 Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 3:57am
post #9 of 21

Maybe she got the memo about Weddings on a Super Budget...Small awesome cake and sheet cakes from the grocery store.


I would hope she wouldn't be snowing you....I'm not normally a pessimist, but is the cake she wants very much like the wedding cake?


Maybe someone offered to make her cupcakes or something for her wedding because she's blown her budget and she doesn't want to lose her deposit money and also doesn't want to pay you any more than the deposit.  


I guess, for her, I would rather make her the smaller cake than have her wedding called off!  


But I would be mad if someone else were providing cake.  What can you do though?  Gotta give her what she's paying for.


Just a thought.....and some drama!

debgolden Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 12:17pm
post #10 of 21

AHer deposit is $250.00. I don't have any regular cakes that would come close to that amount. She has not told me what she is looking for in a cake. I have already bought supplies and made prep work for this cake. I don't want negative customer experiences but at the same time I don't want to have to make a cake a give credit for future products. I did have to turn away another couple for the same date because I had her cake booked.

VanillaSky Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 12:24pm
post #11 of 21

AI know I'm in the clear minority here because every other poster is advising you to bake the cake as requested by your customer, but it don't think her request honored the spirit of the agreement you entered into. The deposit was non refundable for the reasons you just noted - you spent timing prepping and purchasing items, you passed up equally lucrative cakes.

She is asking you to treat a non-refundable deposit as a credit. You both had already agreed its non-refundable.

As I said in my first post above, I would not agree to her request but might do something else for her. If the deposit was $250, I'd give her a $100 cake, but only if I liked her and she was asking nicely. Not demanding. She is not entitled to anything here, so anything she gets is charitable from you. I would offer the $100 cake, and tell her why - that the deposit was no refundable, you passed over another big job, you incurred time and costs.

ONE caveat: is she arguing that she did not know the deposit was non-refundable? How clear did you make this to her when she paid it? Did you at least tell her when you collected the deposit? Just having it on your website is not enough. Or she should have gotten a receipt that stated the policy, even if you don't use contracts.

Relznik Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 1:07pm
post #12 of 21

I agree.... 


My deposits are non-refundable and not transferable to another order. Depending on the attitude of the customer and circumstances, I MIGHT make something for them.  But I'm under no obligation to, under the terms and conditions they've agreed to.


As you have already bought items specifically for the cake, and starting prepping for it, AND you have turned away other orders, I would not give her the deposit back.  I would also want more info about what cake she was requesting in its place before I can comment about whether I'd do it....

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 1:13pm
post #13 of 21

i agree with vanillasky and relznik--i had a bride pay the second of three payments--i waited a week and cashed her check in order to buy the ingredients as i had explained at the consult--and then she notified me that the wedding was off -- the order blank clearly states non refundable non-transferable therefore she did not expect her money back -- after a while she found the right guy and came back & ordered another cake--had a gorgeous wedding overlooking the mighty mississippi on top of a high rise--


she had the choice of making the third payment and getting a cake--she cancelled

liz at sugar Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 1:26pm
post #14 of 21

I didn't realize you were so close to the date when she cancelled - you should certainly deduct any expenses you've incurred, and then make her a cake with what is left.  Explain it to her, and as long as she gets something out of it (a small cake) you should be fine.



cupadeecakes Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 2:27pm
post #15 of 21

To those that don't get why the OP shouldn't just make a cake to match her deposit:


There is no mention here of a contract, but the OP did say she has a non-refundable deposit.  So that should be the end of the story.  But OK, it's not.  Cake business is generally weekend business, and try as we might, a small business can only make so many cakes  to be ready and fresh in a 2-day (usually 1 day) period of time.  So when the OP agreed to do the cake for the client, she was expecting to make a cake for X number of people, and get a "paycheck" of $Y.  At that point the OP did some basic calculating and said "OK, so if I do this cake, I can only take one other cake that weekend"  Maybe not, maybe they decided not to take any additional cakes that weekend.  So when the client backs out, especially at the last second, she severely cuts the OPs paycheck for the week with little to no way to recoup those funds (being so close to the date).


The deposit holds the date, just like when buying a house - earnest money tells the seller "Hey, here's $1000, don't sell this house while I'm trying to get my finances in order".  At that point the seller has to refuse all offers on the house until you either follow through or back out of the purchase.  You don't get that earnest money back.  And you can't trade it in for a tool shed or free landscaping.  That money was never intended for that purpose.


My suggestion to the OP is to do what you feel is right, but if I had made expenditures and turned down other business I would not be offering any type of refund.  And if you don't have a good contract that covers all these items, get one ASAP!


FYI: I require a 50% deposit up front with the remainder due 90 days before the event.  The deposit is non-refundable and non-transferrable.  Having said all that, I can and have worked with clients with unexpected circumstances - but it was my option to offer, not theirs to demand.

morganchampagne Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 4:23pm
post #16 of 21

AI really do understand your predicament and I'm a stickler for following details to the letter....

From just a public relations stand point I would consider doing SOMETHING. It's not your fault that her wedding got cancelled and I'm sure she's not getting her money back from other cases. If its not too much troubled for you I would really try to make it

KathleenC Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 5:48pm
post #17 of 21

By making a cake for the value of the deposit, you run the risk of creating a precedent.  Word travels, and if your bride mentions that you did that for her, then others might feel they may have that same option for any number of reasons.  Some customers may not be as nice about it, and more demanding, with "But you did it for her!" being flung at you.


If you do choose to make a consolation cake, then make sure she knows that this is a strict one-off, and that she's not to spread that news.  If your contract is very clear that deposits are non-refundable, then you have no obligation.


On the other hand, as K8 mentioned, if you do choose to do a consolation cake, then you will probably get her return business.  :-)


Difficult decision.

cakesbycathy Posted 28 Feb 2014 , 7:07pm
post #20 of 21

Since your cakes cost more than her deposit, I would explain that if she wants to use her deposit towards another cake she will still have to pay the difference. 


Weddings get cancelled.  I wonder if she is asking the caterer to still give her food just because she paid him or her a deposit.

leah_s Posted 1 Mar 2014 , 4:30am
post #21 of 21

AMany years ago I had a bride of a solldier. He was in training and they were getting moved every 30 days or so. She finally gave up trying to plan her wedding. (They got married at the courthouse before he deployed.) EVERY vendor gave her the value of her deposits in product. She had the venue for 2 hours, the florist made a few centerpieces, the caterer made snacks and I made a cake and she threw her mom a fabulous birthday party.

Quote by @%username% on %date%