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FURIOUS about late payments

post #1 of 96
Thread Starter 
Here is my situation....I am having to remind brides two and three times about their balances being due.

When I conduct the bridal consultation, I am firm about telling them that all balances are due on/before 30 days prior to the event date, or the event will be cancelled. Again, in the contract, there is a stipulation reminding them of the above. I have had TWO brides to pay on time this entire year. TWO...out of twenty? Ridiculous. This follows two weeks prior to the due date...an e-mail reminder. One week prior to the due date...an e-mail reminder. I've had it.

My husband says to do what the contract states and cancel the event, and if they'd like to pay a late fee, along with the balance due, then to do that.

Anyone have any suggestions or how do YOU handle this? I've had no problems at all with wedding balances in years past - other than one here and there.

Thanks so much!
Amy
Wife of Audy since 9-12-92

Mama to Ethan (7-19-96) & Gracie (11-08-00)

Proud owner of a licensed home bakery since 2006
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Wife of Audy since 9-12-92

Mama to Ethan (7-19-96) & Gracie (11-08-00)

Proud owner of a licensed home bakery since 2006
Reply
post #2 of 96
Simple,

No final payment, no cake. Stick to your contract.
I can do all things through Christ. Without HIM, I am nothing.
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I can do all things through Christ. Without HIM, I am nothing.
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post #3 of 96
Maybe add a clause to your contract that states: "Payments received after due date will be cash only and $100 will be added to reinstate contract".
A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!
Glenda
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A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands!
Glenda
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post #4 of 96
You definitely need to enforce your contract. Send a "notice of cancellation for unpaid balance" e-mail and letter to their home along with a phone call.

Be sure you copy and save your letter and e-mail and be sure it is very clear that you will not be baking them their cake since they failed to meet the payment deadline.

Yes, I have had to do this, but only 2 times in all the years I've been selling cakes. Both times I never heard from the couple again, they either forgot that they paid me a down payment or they just didn't care. I kept the deposits.


I haven't had this problem with my cake business lately but I have at my hair salon. I've had people who are sitting in my chair say to me "can I post date my check to next Friday, that's when I get paid?"

First of all, I don't even accept checks and secondly why the heck would you come in for a color or haircut if you knew damn well that you didn't have the money for it?

My answer is "Sorry, I can't post date my rent check, so you'll need to reschedule when you have the money or I accept credit cards"

I just can't believe the nerve of some people nowadays. icon_rolleyes.gif
post #5 of 96
I'm going to throw my two cents in here. Does anyone get the feeling that businesses without an actual storefront don't get taken as seriously as real bakeries? Not that you might not have a storefront, but I get a feeling that sometimes people just think of us as "cake ladies". I lost a job to another "cake lady" the other day (bride's words, NOT mine), I could care less about the job, she's a huge flake anyways, so I was glad. What infuriated me was the reference to "cake lady". It's so disrespectful. Like, "oh, cute little cake lady, I can pay her whenever. She's just waiting at home knitting between cakes." URG!!!
post #6 of 96
thumbsdown.gificon_mad.gif cakesbyamym....I would be reinforcing that contract like has been stated here! I visited your website....GORGEOUS WORK, by the way! icon_smile.gif
You have been given some excellent advice and ideas and I would put them in effect TODAY. icon_wink.gif

I like the ideas that you have gotten here...and I would let them know, no payment, no cake..and add the late fees as well. They have to pay their electric or phone bills on time, or they get no service....same goes for the cake!

_Jamie_ you hit the nail on the head to a 'T'. I TOTALLY AGREE with your statement. thumbs_up.gif
post #7 of 96
I have a legal home bakery, and usually am not offended by being called the "cake lady". icon_wink.gificon_smile.gif

I have that same clause in my contract - and it has never been an issue - I have not even had to remind my brides that their time for payment is close. (mine is due 30 days before the event).

Are you in an area that has been particularly hard hit by the economy (big businesses closing down/job losses??)

I go over my contract and make sure they initial the part about the payment due date - not sure if that helps you or not.

Good luck!
Knowledge is a candle that when shared, doubles the light, but the insecure person believes knowledge is a candle that is diminished when it is split between two wicks.
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Knowledge is a candle that when shared, doubles the light, but the insecure person believes knowledge is a candle that is diminished when it is split between two wicks.
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post #8 of 96
Thread Starter 
Thanks so very much for the input everyone.

I have sent the bride another e-mail letting her know that as of today....no payment in today's mail either....her cake order would be cancelled. I added that if she chose to reinstate the contract and order, there would be a $100 late fee due in addition to the final balance. If I don't receive both by Wednesday of this week, no cake would be made/delivered for her wedding.

From now on, I will make the clients who book sign a preliminary agreement stating that they understand that their balance is due in full by the 30 day mark prior to their date, or no cake will be delivered. No late fee. No nothing. I'm not running a daycare. I shouldn't have to check behind brides. If it's important enough to them, they'll remember to pay for it. God knows, I don't "forget" about my mortgage payment. icon_smile.gif

Thanks again!!!!
Wife of Audy since 9-12-92

Mama to Ethan (7-19-96) & Gracie (11-08-00)

Proud owner of a licensed home bakery since 2006
Reply
Wife of Audy since 9-12-92

Mama to Ethan (7-19-96) & Gracie (11-08-00)

Proud owner of a licensed home bakery since 2006
Reply
post #9 of 96
Any news! icon_biggrin.gif
post #10 of 96
Amy how about making it in your contract where they have to initial beside a paragraph stating they undertand the payment set up and include another line for them to initial agreeing to the late fee. I feel people are more pron to "READ" an area if they have to initial it.

Also I have been meaning to email you. Linda and myself are starting a bakers group and we are going to have monthly get togethers. Didn't know if you have time to come join in. There are 5 of us right now going to get together and swap tips, stories, etc. Let me know what you think. Our first get together is July 11th and we plan on doing it in Conover right now.
post #11 of 96
If you have a set time in your contract then you need to stick to it. Send a reminder email and a phone call if you wish then cancel if you don't hear from them in a set time.
post #12 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by patticakesnc

Amy how about making it in your contract where they have to initial beside a paragraph stating they undertand the payment set up and include another line for them to initial agreeing to the late fee. I feel people are more pron to "READ" an area if they have to initial it.

Also I have been meaning to email you. Linda and myself are starting a bakers group and we are going to have monthly get togethers. Didn't know if you have time to come join in. There are 5 of us right now going to get together and swap tips, stories, etc. Let me know what you think. Our first get together is July 11th and we plan on doing it in Conover right now.



I'd be VERY interested to join the group. I couldn't do 7/11; however. I have a wedding that day, and am also a guest. icon_sad.gif Please let me know of the next date, and I'll do my best to be there. Thanks for the invite!
Wife of Audy since 9-12-92

Mama to Ethan (7-19-96) & Gracie (11-08-00)

Proud owner of a licensed home bakery since 2006
Reply
Wife of Audy since 9-12-92

Mama to Ethan (7-19-96) & Gracie (11-08-00)

Proud owner of a licensed home bakery since 2006
Reply
post #13 of 96
The whole thing about reinstating might become tricky. What if they didn't pay by the 30 day before the event mark, so then you booked another event, then they tried to pay you the late fee for their cake? So if you wanted to do a small time window of when they could pay that late fee and still get their cake made, I could see that. Like 24 or 48 hours or something after the 30 day mark before the event. Who wants to have to wait on other people??
post #14 of 96
Thread Starter 
I haven't heard anything back from the bride. No surprise since I didn't receive a reply from either of my previous reminders either. That's okay. The booking deposit is non-refundable. I'll definitely be spending some extra time on my contract tonight to cater it more to occasions such as this. As far as I'm concerned....I'm doing her a favor by extending the payment due date to Wednesday. We'll see what happens.
Wife of Audy since 9-12-92

Mama to Ethan (7-19-96) & Gracie (11-08-00)

Proud owner of a licensed home bakery since 2006
Reply
Wife of Audy since 9-12-92

Mama to Ethan (7-19-96) & Gracie (11-08-00)

Proud owner of a licensed home bakery since 2006
Reply
post #15 of 96
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aliciag829

The whole thing about reinstating might become tricky. What if they didn't pay by the 30 day before the event mark, so then you booked another event, then they tried to pay you the late fee for their cake? So if you wanted to do a small time window of when they could pay that late fee and still get their cake made, I could see that. Like 24 or 48 hours or something after the 30 day mark before the event. Who wants to have to wait on other people??



I thought about that. That's why after this particular bride, I will NOT offer any extensions or late payment options. It's either paid by the 30-day mark or no wedding cake. I need to know that if the $$$ isn't here on time, that I have time to schedule other orders.
Wife of Audy since 9-12-92

Mama to Ethan (7-19-96) & Gracie (11-08-00)

Proud owner of a licensed home bakery since 2006
Reply
Wife of Audy since 9-12-92

Mama to Ethan (7-19-96) & Gracie (11-08-00)

Proud owner of a licensed home bakery since 2006
Reply
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