Am I Wrong?

Decorating By twistedsplinters Updated 29 Sep 2008 , 5:22pm by twistedsplinters

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twistedsplinters Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 7:06pm
post #1 of 36

Hello all,

I had this customer today get mad at me bc of my policy.
She had a meeting with me today to pay for her cake that she made meeting for a month ago. I sent her a confirmation email two days ago to just make sure she hadnt forgotten bc it has been a month. She says she remembers and calls me this morning to tell me that her husband will be there at 10 this morning. well I waited for about 20 minutes. I send her an email stating that I was unable to make her cake due to payment not received. And told her that she can reschedule but there will be a 10.00 rescheduling fee added to her cake total.

She said she was so sorry that she had the wrong day down. I told her that was fine but there still will be a fee added. She then goes to say that 10.00 is too much and that she is sorry I wont waive the fee. No this is stated in my ordering policy. And also she kinda double talked saying that she had it down for tomorrow when I talked to her today about it.

Am I wrong in having this fee for rescheduling bc I have to wait to meet these ppl twice and that is time I could have spent today finishing up cakes I have for tomorrow.

35 replies
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MaisieBake Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 7:13pm
post #2 of 36

How big an order is this?

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jammjenks Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 7:14pm
post #3 of 36

Policies are policies. She knew that. Stick to your guns.

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Auryn Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 7:34pm
post #4 of 36

wait a minute
her appointment was lets say tuesday
tuesday morning you talk to her and she tells you her husband will be there at 10
then when he misses the appointment she claims she wrote down the wrong day???

shes an idiot
stick to your guns
the light company doesnt waive late payment fees

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twistedsplinters Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 7:39pm
post #5 of 36
Originally Posted by Auryn

the light company doesnt waive late payment fees

I like that quote

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MaisieBake Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 8:58pm
post #6 of 36

Where else can you get lights?

Where else can s/he get cake?

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Rose_N_Crantz Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 9:03pm
post #7 of 36

I agree with the majority vote. Sucks to be her, but you gotta sleep in the bed you make.

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tanyascakes Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 9:06pm
post #8 of 36

Stick to your guns, honey!! A policy is a policy. She should argue with her hubby about the fee, if he missed the appt.

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twistedsplinters Posted 26 Sep 2008 , 9:47pm
post #9 of 36

You know thats probably what happened especially since I talked to her this morning about our meeting to day. that he just forgot and she tried to come up with something. Ppl like that are the reason I made the policy up bc it takes away from me doing the stuff I need to be doing.

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Mike1394 Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 12:35pm
post #10 of 36

So if I read this right at 10:20 you sent an email stating the resched fee? Because the 10 appoint was missed?


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-K8memphis Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 12:45pm
post #11 of 36

If I was your customer I'd be pissed.

For me, I allow wiggle room in my deadlines to give people a chance to be people.

It just seems like you had a stop watch out--times up!

Then again this is how you weed out deadbeats--y'know, if you are willing to loose customers that don't pay within 20 minutes of deadline you'll be fine.

Just some deadline thoughts for you.

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cakedesigner59 Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 12:56pm
post #12 of 36

Just my two cents: seems harsh to me. Kinda cake-nazi-ish.

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SugaredUp Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 1:03pm
post #13 of 36

In the end, it is your policy, and if you feel comfortable with it, you should stick to it. If you bend on it, then why have the policy at all?

I think I would've called her at 10:20 - not emailed her - and politely asked if she was still coming. At that point, you would've found out she had the day wrong, but you could have offered for her to come by right away to avoid the fee. Then if she couldn't make it that day within a reasonable time, you could charge her the fee.

But, again, it's your policy. You made it for a reason. I wouldn't feel too bad about sticking to it.

Good luck!

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dmhart Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 1:16pm
post #14 of 36

Stick to your guns!!! icon_twisted.gif I hate it when you set a time for people to come talk to you about a cake or to pick up a cake and they are late or don't come at all. I have had people not show up until the next day to get their cake icon_mad.gif . I have a schedule and I plan my day around my orders and customers if they are late it drives me crazy. I am doing the part I told them I would do at least they could do theirs! A simple phone call would make everything okay. And I do understand things come up, but when it happens more than once with the same customer, that has changed the way I handle all my customers. I make sure I have a home phone, work phone, cell phone and email address for them when I take their order or appointment. That way I should be able to get them if they are not here. thumbs_up.gif That has helped.

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Sammysue00 Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 1:17pm
post #15 of 36

I think you should stick to your policy and not feel bad about it. Yes, people make mistakes and forget sometimes.... but if you are really busy with lots of other cakes then that time that you sat around waiting is very valuable. Also, maybe in other circumstances it wouldn't have been as big of a deal... but she said her husband would be there in 10 ten minutes that day, then after finding out there is a fee she says "I had the day wrong"?? Something sounds fishy there to me on her part. Just my opinion though... icon_smile.gif

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-K8memphis Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 1:37pm
post #16 of 36

Maybe consider having a range of time for making payment for going forward? Making it so pinpoint can become awkward yes?

Just a money up front thought for you.

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Mike1394 Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 1:45pm
post #17 of 36

OK I don't think I read it wrong if others read it the the same way. The issue I have with it is the lack of flexibility. Would 15 minutes been to late, would 5, why 20. Hell one accident at a cross street would've been twenty minutes at least. Also, if it was her stopping by, maybe, but it was her hubby. She had no control over the situation at all. Maybe he got tied up, who knows. Like was said though it's your business not mine.


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veronica720 Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 2:06pm
post #18 of 36

Some don't agree about the fee, that your being to strick, But the argument about having traffic or something is not an excuse. Neither is running late. You should always be prepared for the unexpected by leaving a little earlier, why do people wait till the last possible minute. Be early!!!!

She might have just been stalling and trying to wait another day for money reasons or something also.
But that still doesn't give her an excuse.

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JenniferL Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 2:07pm
post #19 of 36

I get the feeling that it's more about the fact that they lied to you about not knowing the appointment was that day when you had already confirmed it with them. If they were stuck at an accident scene or got lost of their way there and called you, your reaction probably would have been different. It's really frustrating when you know people are lying to you, and for me it would be a lot harder to be understanding. You figure if they're lying about something like that, what else are they going to lie about? If they had been honest and apologetic, then I probably would have waived the fee and given them another chance. I hope that makes sense.

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twistedsplinters Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 4:37pm
post #20 of 36

Thank you everyone for the opinions. I tell everyone when they are ordering a cake from me that I am only one person I take orders, answer questions, meet for payments, make the cakes, delivery them so please be ontime. I tell them that I only wait for 20 minutes past the meeting time and if they think they are going to be late to please call me and let me know.
She had my number bc she called me that morning telling me her husband would be in his vehicle and would be meeting me. Then all of a sudden she had it down for the wrong day. I cannot sit forever and wait for someone to show up so I made the rescheduling fee so ppl would want to be ontime and not miss their appointment. If I hadnt of talked to her that morning about an hour and a half till the meeting then I would have maybe understood that she might have had the wrong day down.

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-K8memphis Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 4:44pm
post #21 of 36

Gotcha--that makes sense now.

So why do you feel bad?

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twistedsplinters Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 5:35pm
post #22 of 36

I dont feel bad, I just wanted opinions from here bc you all have your own businesses and know that time is one thing you cannot get back when you have cakes to make.

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dawncr Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 6:30pm
post #23 of 36

First caveat: I don't make cakes as a business, so that might color how I perceive the situation. I defer to others who do so, because they understand your perspective better.

Second caveat: Your actions were perfectly within your policy on your contract, and therefore are justifiable.

However....... (here comes the 'my opinion only' part)

If you sent an email at 10:20 to me, stating that you'd canceled my cake, and then were charging me a rescheduling fee, you wouldn't ever have to worry about me being late again. That's because you'd lose my business.

Did you wait someplace special for him, or do you bake out of your home? I know it technically doesn't make a difference, but if you were waiting around your home, I'd be doubly upset. What was stopping you from doing other things during those 20 minutes? (I'm just asking to understand the situation...)

When I spoke with the customer via phone, I'd say something like, "I have to leave here at 10:30 to deliver another cake, so he needs to be here at 10 o'clock sharp." Of course, that's if you really did have to leave. I also agree that at 10:20, I'd have called and asked politely if he was coming.

To me, this falls into the category of adhering strictly to a rule only for the rule's sake, and not truly examining the underlying circumstances (the "A rule's a rule" argument). The purpose of the rule is that you want your customers to respect your time and your schedule, because you have other things you need to be doing. I'm not sure your actions will bring that respect from them now. (Being punitive often fails to generate respect.) It's also possible you've lost future customers because of lack of referrals from this particular customer, or worse yet, because of possible negative comments about your service.

Is there truly *no* leeway in this? I can understand if someone is a week late with payment for very large order, but twenty minutes?

To sum up my perspective, I'd say, yes, you can be as indignant and justified as you want, but at what cost?

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SugaredUp Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 6:38pm
post #24 of 36

Well put, Dawncr. Ultimately, it's her decision, her policy, but I think it could've been handled more gently..

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all4cake Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 7:09pm
post #25 of 36

There's plenty of times I put off getting started on something(meringue buttercreams, for one)until after a meeting. Her waiting on him longer than 20 minutes could've made her late for one of her own appointments....really doesn't matter. If I don't have a walk-in shop, you can't just come anytime you feel is good for you...that's the reason for the appointments.
If they know they aren't going to make the appointment time, why wouldn't they give her the consideration of a call..."Hey, this is Jack. I have a 10 o'clock appointment with you. I ran into an apparel malfunction that is gonna throw me like 30 minutes late. Would that be a problem or do I need to reschedule?" She, in turn, could either accept the tardiness and go on or inform him of the rescheduling fee and ask if he'd still like to reschedule. That would've been the considerate thing to do on both sides. She, however, wasn't given the opportunity to make that choice. She was immediately put into the "bad guy" position.

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-K8memphis Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 7:34pm
post #26 of 36

I think Dawncr made great points too.

Which is why I recommend considering a range of time for money to be paid because it is more professional.

I mean nobody wants to wait around and then get shafted on top of it. I get why even if you are at home, sometimes you can't stop stirring the meringue to go answer the door but you just have to weigh whether it's worth the mental fatigue to enforce your policy.

Just some other money up front thoughts for you.

It gets complicated huh. 'The check is in the mail' is only as reliable as the people licking the envelope too. But I don't know, I have a couple weeks built into my deal (for the off times I ever accept an order) 'cause I'm allergic to situations like this.

Best of the best to you.

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twistedsplinters Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 7:39pm
post #27 of 36

I do make them from my home and meet ppl at neutral locations and had to leave to meet and wait around for them. I schedule customers 30 minutes apart bc I am only one person and can do only so many cakes along with meetings a day.

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-K8memphis Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 7:44pm
post #28 of 36

Gotcha, Cake-Buddy -- the devil is in the details huh.

Whenever there's a pick up here at the house or a consult--dang but I gotta clean up the whole place. Doing cakes is bad enough but you gotta be suzy homemaker too??!! icon_rolleyes.gificon_biggrin.gif

(I need to move to a different county so I can do cakes from my house--yeah just any minute now...)

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MacsMom Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 8:15pm
post #29 of 36

IMO a phone call her to her instead of an e-mail after a mere 20 minutes would have been a better way to handle the situation.

If I were that customer I would have cancelled my order and fumed about it to my friends had this been my first incidence of either lateness or confusion. Perhaps her DH thought he just had to drop the money off and didn't realize you'd be waiting on eggshells.

A policy is a policy, I understand, but that time you lost waiting would've been time away from decorating anyway, had she kept her meeting.

I don't know your history with your client, but from what I read it does seem a bit harsh to not give any wiggle room and to not have called wondering where he was.

I hate leaving negative messages, I am just hoping that it helps in the case that you do end up losing clientelle. But you are probably busier than you want to be, anyway.

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twistedsplinters Posted 27 Sep 2008 , 8:36pm
post #30 of 36

I wanted THANK YOU ALL for giving me your opinions. I do want to keep my policy to deter "sp" ppl from being late. I guess I could have called her but I didnt. bad judgement on my part perhaps. I guess next time 10 minutes into someone being late give them a little call.

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