Customer Hasnt Paid, Order Being Picked Up Tomorrow Morning.

Decorating By JCE62108 Updated 18 Sep 2010 , 1:00am by JCE62108

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JCE62108 Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 10:25pm
post #1 of 16

This is the second time this has happened and I would kind of like your advice on what I should say to her or how I should handle it. Im a little upset.

This girl ordered from me before maybe 6 months ago. She signed the contract stating she understood payment was due 2 weeks in advance. I send the PayPal invoice at 2 weeks. No payment. I let a few days go by and give her a call. She says she is short on money, can I give her another 3 days? So I did. One week before the cake is due, I send a reminder invoice. No payment that day. The next morning I call her. Can I pay you by wednesday? I was frustrated but since she had given me a deposit I trusted she would finish paying. I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt and allow her to pay wednesday. Sooo, guess what happened come wednesday? Yeah. My emails and calls arent answered Thursday and Friday. Saturday morning, I call her and she answers. Do you still want your cake? I need to know what is going on! She said she had issues with her paypal and that is why I didnt have it. She used a family members paypal and paid me that morning, 20 minutes before delivery was scheduled, and it would take me an hour once I left to get to her address. Anyways, it got there, she loved it, I let it go.

She called me about 2 months ago wanting another cake. She said she got the issue fixed with her account and would have no problem paying. I got the deposit right away. She was informed that her payment would be due in full 2 weeks before the event date. Same, same. No payment. One week prior, no payment. She says she will pay wednesday. No payment. Now it is the day before her delivery is due. I called her at 10am. She said she would pay it when she got home in an hour. It's nearly 6:30pm and she is coming at 9am to pick it up, and no payment as of yet.

Not only is it extremly inconsiderate, but I could have possibly just wasted a full day of my time making her cake only to get a $50 deposit out of it. This is my only paycheck and I could have booked someone who would have actually paid me, so now Im worried Im going to loose income for this week because I took this order.

Im really upset by this and dissapointed that someone would be so inconsiderate of another person. She never even bothered to call either time to let me know that she was having issues. I had to keep bugging her for a payment. Its not right, and Im just wondering what to say to her and how to handle this.

Do I refuse her orders from now on? What would you do. Realistically. This business is based a lot on word of mouth and reputation, just like anything else. So I want to be polite about it, but get the point across that this is wrong. Im just also not sure if I should continue to book her in the future. Input?

15 replies
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KristyDi Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 10:40pm
post #2 of 16

There are a few past clients that my DH has decided never to work for again. He tells them that he "dosen't have a place in his schedule" for their jobs.

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cattycornercakes Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 10:40pm
post #3 of 16

Going forward I would require she pay in full at the time she places the order. You shouldn't have to waste your time chasing her down.

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JCE62108 Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 10:43pm
post #4 of 16
Originally Posted by cattycornercakes

Going forward I would require she pay in full at the time she places the order. You shouldn't have to waste your time chasing her down.

Good point. Maybe I will just do this from now on instead of refusing her business. At least if I do it that way, I am still free to book other people for that weekend, and if she doesnt pay up before the weekend is full, she looses out! Great idea. icon_smile.gif

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Adevag Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 11:00pm
post #5 of 16

My guess is that since this method (empty promises about paying by a certain date) worked for her the first time, she in continuing to use it on you.

For your best benefit, you need to put value in your words (or sentences in your contract) by sticking to your final payment being paid 2 weeks in advance.

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Herekittykitty Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 11:01pm
post #6 of 16

I think making this particular client pay in full up front is a good idea. However, I do forsee a problem with this along the lines of what she is doing now.

Have her sign a contract stating payment in full is due 2 week prior to the event and any payments not recieved by this time will result in a cancelled order. End of discussion.

This is your business, she is not your friend, and if she is, shame on her. No $$, no cake. Once she is clear on this concept (via cancelled order) it will probably never happen again but if it did, drop her. You don't need the hassle.

Always begin as you intend to continue; unfortunately, you have already begun by giving her leeway so there will be some retraining involved.

Good Luck!! thumbs_up.gif

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cutthecake Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 11:03pm
post #7 of 16

And it's cash only tomorrow at 9 am.

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brincess_b Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 11:06pm
post #8 of 16

You know why she's doing this? Because you let her do it last time! It's good you have the payment dates in your contract, but if you don't enforce them (or at least add on rush fees) then they lose their purpose.

Think how much extra time you spent on her case - all she is owed is the reminder of the due date. No cake if she doesn't pay on time - which is stated in the only reminder as well. If she's late, extra $$ - but adage has already broken the contract, your not obligated to make the cake. (most people would not bake without full payment - then it's her tough luck if there's not enough time to bake something)

Should she come back for another cake, full payment 2 weeks in advance (if not a month) or that's it. Like a child, if u give them an inch they will take a mile!

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thumbs Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 11:11pm
post #9 of 16

Simply don't make it! I have a guy that I have been having the same issue with. I have double/triple checked with him to ensure he still wants the cake, reminding him payment is due. I keep getting the "oh, I forgot I will send you the money tonight" Well it hasn't come and I didn't bother making his cake.

It is due Sunday and I can't possibly bake and make all the pieces for the cake. So simply put I guess he will be running to the grocery store to by a last minute cake for his party.

So I now have the weekend off. Yes I could have done another job, but at least the deposit was paid so it's not a total failure.

The nice side of me wanted to get it ready for him, and just trust he would bring the payment. However that is not good business to have a cake sitting here if he shows up without payment (as he's not leaving with it without payment)

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Ruth0209 Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 11:12pm
post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by cattycornercakes

Going forward I would require she pay in full at the time she places the order. You shouldn't have to waste your time chasing her down.

Absolutely. I'd require 100% payment at the time of order in cash only. She doesn't deserve any more consideration than that.

Some of my customers pay on delivery (the ones I trust), but for all others I never even start baking a cake if I don't have payment in full. Next time you have a person who has not paid you by the deadline, I recommend you tell them they have to bring you the balance in cash by the end of the day or the order is CANCELLED. Period. Keep the deposit and move on to paying customers.

This kind of issue will burn you out. Hold firm to your contract and it'll save your sanity.

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artscallion Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 11:36pm
post #11 of 16

Have you thought about what you will do if she shows up tomorrow to pick up the cake but with another excuse for when she can pay the money?

Don't let the element of surprise be on her side. Plan out ahead of time how you will react if she shows up with no money. I would keep the cake in another room until she puts cash in your hand. If she doesn't have the cash and says she will paypal you on Wednesday for a cake today, I'd tell her you'll hold the cake for her until Wednesday...or you'll wait there with the cake while she runs out to get the cash.

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Eisskween Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 11:39pm
post #12 of 16

Personally, I would put her on the "No Cake For You" list, unless she was one of my regulars that was well known and trusted.

Other than that, 100% paid in full at the time of order if you want to retain her business.

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step0nmi Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 11:40pm
post #13 of 16

i have a customer who i tell cash or money order in full when she places the order. she has no problem with it and sends it right away now. i think she got the clue the first time i did it icon_wink.gif

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psmith Posted 17 Sep 2010 , 11:46pm
post #14 of 16

How frustrating! I would have serious reservations about dealing with this person again unless, like the others said, she pays in full at the time of booking. I wouldn't have any problems telling her why you are doing it either. It is her choice, either comply with your new policy for her or she can go annoy another unfortunate baker. I wouldn't let her take this cake unless she gives you the cash on the spot. No more excuses. No money-No cake. You've been way too nice and she hasn't appreciated it.

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costumeczar Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 12:47am
post #15 of 16

I agree with the no cash, no cake, and practicing what you'll say so that she can't weasel it out of you. Next time, payment in full or no cake.

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JCE62108 Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 1:00am
post #16 of 16

I called her at 7pm and left her a very polite message, but basically reminded her that her payment was due two weeks ago, and that I rescheduled it several times to accomodate her, and I felt it was inconsiderate to ignore all the dates and wait until the very last minute to pay.

I told her I was dissapointed that it happened again this time and that from now on this is no longer acceptable. I explained that this is my only source of income, so I cannot do things like this in order to protect myself. I told her I was dissapointed that I had to chase her down, instead of her calling when she knew she couldnt pay when she promised.

Basically, there was so much honey in my voice Im sure it was like the biggest guilt trip ever. But you know, Im so used to working retail that Ive learned to force myself how to talk like that even when Im livid. Isnt that amazing? That a resume-worthy skill, I think.

Anyway, 30 minutes later she calls me to let me know that she got my message and paid right on the spot. icon_smile.gif So Im not worried anymore. She seems like a nice enough girl, but the way she handled these situations was just wrong.

Thanks for your input guys. I think she has to be put on "the list". Payment up front when the order is placed. Otherwise, I keep the date open to book other people and if you miss out, OH WELL!!! icon_smile.gif

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