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Client fails to pick up 3d cake- lives in different state!

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
What would you do?

I had a client email me and order a 3d unicorn cake a month ago.
I do all my payments through Paypal invoicing. Mt invoice has my name, address, phone number etc. on the top.

I spent 16 hours on this cake ( in my photos) and grossly undercharged client as I had never done a 3d horse ( and knew it would be hard to make look right!)

Client has emailed me 11 times about cake this month.

Today was pickup day. I raced home to meet her, only to find a frantic email where client realized I'm in FL and she is in KS. She asked me for a refund or to mail her cake.

I told client I'm sorry she made that mistake, but everything says I'm in FL. ( I was in KS 3 years ago but have deleted all listings for KS that I could- although 3rd party places have collected info and listed me)

Anyway, I donated the cake today to the children's hospital and told client my time and money had already gone into this cake so I could not refund her nor could I ship it ( it would never make it!)

I'm just curious as to how you would handle such a mess up??
Mummy of 4
Lover of cake.
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Mummy of 4
Lover of cake.
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post #2 of 50
Really? She wanted you to ship the cake?

I think you handled it well. A clients mistake does not equate to you losing money.
post #3 of 50

luvscakes - I probably wouldn't have refunded either.  But when you received her Paypal payment, it should have listed her address as well.  It would have been nice if one of you had caught it.

 

But in the 11 e-mails, no asking directions of how to get to you for pickup?  Seems surprising that someone would enter into an internet transaction like this and have no idea the seller was halfway across the country from them. (????)

 

By the way, your signature line here still says Kansas, too . . .

 

Liz
 

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #4 of 50

OMG!! If the paperwork she received (and hopefully signed) has all your details on I would definitely not refund her. Surely you check the address where you have to pick a cake up?

 icon_surprised.gif

the same thing also almost happened to me a while back. There is a company with a similar name about 6 hours away from me, the client accepted my quote via email but wanted me to deliver. At the time the suburb she gave me didn't ring any alarm bells as we have  one in Johannesburg, but thankfully I asked for a street name to calculate the delivery. I realized there was no such street in Johannesburg, but google found one in Durban. At the time I said to my husband I would not have refunded her as my area is clearly stated on my website

post #5 of 50

I have had some similar experiences.  My bakery's name is Unique Cakes by Regina and it states on my website that I am in Texas as well as on my paypal invoices and in any listing you come across has it as well.  But for some reason I have had tons and tons of Canadians emailing me wanting cakes because they think I am in Regina Canada.  My contact page requires a phone number so if it is not an area code I recognize I will make sure they know I am in Texas.  I have had one go so far as to make the deposit before I realized she did not live in Texas.  I would not have refunded as well since it is her duty to make sure you are close enough to her that she could easily pick it up.  I would ask her if she found a listing that still had you in Kansas though so that you could change that if so.  Also, since she paid via paypal I would be nervous about her disputing the charges.  And if she does there is nothing you can do, I have had a customer dispute charges before and nothing I said made any difference. 

post #6 of 50
Thread Starter 
Yes, I did email her to ask where she found my info. I have a feeling someone referred me to her, but if not, I need to get it taken care of.

I looked up my PayPal receipt and it doesn't show me her address, just an email and a place for them to give me a message, (at least in the message I get in my inbox.) It might when I log in but I don't do that for every payment/ that would waste my time!

Ugh. It's just a mess. I cannot imagine ordering something custom ( I dunno a dress, a purse?) and not making sure I know where to pick it up. And since all my info is on an invoice I don't ask if they know where to come... I assume as adults and the customer that they have my address. Yikes!
Mummy of 4
Lover of cake.
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Mummy of 4
Lover of cake.
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post #7 of 50
Generally it's a good idea to get the phone number and address of the customer to include on the invoice, mostly so you know how to reach the customer in case there is a problem, but in this case you would have realized that the customer was out of state.

I would watch your PayPal account carefully since the customer may end up disputing the charge. PayPal tends to favor the customer so be sure to have your documentation in order.
post #8 of 50
Aww. What an unfortunate situation for the both of you. I wouldve refunded half because its just a mistake its not like she was trying to take advantage of you. but thats just me and I don't have a cake business.
Hey everybody! Check out google.com ! This is clearly an attempt to direct traffic onto that site and away from cake central. Because everyone knows you can only have one browser open!
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Hey everybody! Check out google.com ! This is clearly an attempt to direct traffic onto that site and away from cake central. Because everyone knows you can only have one browser open!
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post #9 of 50

I would not have refunded the money. You put a lot of time and work and $ into making the cake. It is unfortunate but you should not LOSE $$ because of her mistake...I hope she is able to find a replacement on short notice icon_sad.gif Also it is not like she is going to be a repeat customer or recommend you to her friends. Any reasonable person would not expect a refund.

post #10 of 50
She asked you to mail it, and if she paid for it, she's entitled to it, no matter the condition it would arrive. Since it was you who refused to "deliver" (by mailing)her cake, Paypal will give her a refund.
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

She asked you to mail it, and if she paid for it, she's entitled to it, no matter the condition it would arrive. Since it was you who refused to "deliver" (by mailing)her cake, Paypal will give her a refund.

Not necessarily. If the invoice clearly states that the order will be picked up, it would be expected that delivery/shipping would cost extra.
post #12 of 50
You could always bake a cake, ice it, cover it in fondant make a unicorn horn and throw it in a box and ship it (for cost plus handling).... No on e would know it wasn't a unicorn before it arrived, it will be a mess just the same.
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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post #13 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post

Not necessarily. If the invoice clearly states that the order will be picked up, it would be expected that delivery/shipping would cost extra.

My guess is that the invoice didn't state that. Regardless, if the client requested shipment, the right thing to do is collect postage and mail it. If it is covered in fondant, it could be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and would arrive in one piece. It wouldn't look as nice but it would still be edible.
Plank.
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Plank.
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post #14 of 50

I disagree..if your business does not offer shipping and you are not familiar with shipping food products you just open a can of worms.

post #15 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandisBaked View Post

My guess is that the invoice didn't state that. Regardless, if the client requested shipment, the right thing to do is collect postage and mail it. If it is covered in fondant, it could be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and would arrive in one piece. It wouldn't look as nice but it would still be edible.

In order to ensure a cake arrives in one piece you need to package a cake very carefully to ensure the temperature is controlled, and you would probably need to sent it overnight (especially over the summer). Shipping and packaging costs would be in the $100-200 range or more. You can't just wrap it in plastic.

Even if the invoice does not specifically say that the cake will be picked up, OP still has emails from the customer indicating the expectation that the cake would not be shipped.
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