Need Advice Quickly. Cusotmer Cancellation. Sorry Kinda Long

Business By auntginn Updated 3 Oct 2010 , 3:48pm by auntginn

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auntginn Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 7:50pm
post #1 of 13

Just got a call from a customer about her pending wedding cake order.

It appears she wants to cancel her wedding cake order because she was given a wedding cake as a gift. She claims the "doner" is a distant relative and did not consult her about the gift.

She is relative of a friend. I gave her a good price as well. Her wedding is Oct 30th. Her deposit is about 1/3 of the bill.

She does however want to order a smaller cake because she apparently wants a particular flavor from me.

So she is really not cancelling the entire order just downsizing.

My question??? How would you handle this?

12 replies
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dacash Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 8:42pm
post #2 of 13

I say that she paid a deposit for a certain sized caked that was going to serve a given number of people. I'm sure that you have had to pass on other orders due to the fact that you had her cake to do, so that means you have lost out the potential to make money on another cake order for that same day. So if her deposit was non-refundable I definitely wouldn't give it back to her. I personally would agree to make the smaller cake that she wants & take the cost of it out of her deposit. If her deposit was more than the cost of the smaller cake, I would keep the extra to supplement any other customers you lost for that date. JMO

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auntginn Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 9:58pm
post #3 of 13

Thank you dacash, I knew these things already. I guess I was just upset with this happening.

I passed on 3 other orders to baker friends because her whole order was large. This is not even the first change she has made. I know that regardless of what I do I'm gonna come out on the losing end of this one.

Goes to show like in so many other post, we should stick to our guns when it comes to pricing.

Thank you again.

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leily Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 2:09am
post #4 of 13
Originally Posted by auntginn

It appears she wants to cancel her wedding cake order because she was given a wedding cake as a gift. She claims the "doner" is a distant relative and did not consult her about the gift.

This doesn't make sense to me, i mean why would the bride now cancel it? and how would she not "know" about the gift? I mean i'm guessing she had already previously spoke with you about the cake, design, flavors etc... Sounds like she just changed her mind somewhere along the way and is trying to get out of it someway by still making herself feel good about it.

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costumeczar Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 2:43am
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What does your contract with her say? I had a bride cancel her cake last week for a wedding today, and my contract states that there are no refunds with cancellations less than a month ahead of time. She got no refund because I can't rebook the date with that little notice. If your contract says no refunds then no refunds. Do you have anything in your contract about transferring payments from one cake to another if the order is cancelled or the date is changed?

To me it sounds like she's got the idea of getting cheap cupcakes and a smaller cutting cake, and she's trying to get out of paying you.

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jason_kraft Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 2:44am
post #6 of 13

The reason for the cancellation is irrelevant...she is within her rights to cancel and forfeit the 1/3 deposit. I would keep the 1/3 deposit (since she is canceling the order) and charge her for the new order on top of that, since the new order is smaller and you are incurring an opportunity cost for the business you turned down.

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theonlynameleft Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 2:58am
post #7 of 13

I would stick to your contract, definately keep the deposit. That is the whole point of having the deposit to begin with to protect yourself from people wasting your time and I would say that is exactly what is going on here. Who gives a wedding cake as a surprise gift! Obviously would have to be a good cake decorator who is close enough to them that they would be gifting a wedding cake - hence being so close wouldn't they have known about this person's cake decorating skills and approched said friend/family member from the get go about producing a wedding cake.... sounds like cold feet to me!

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cakesbycathy Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 4:23am
post #8 of 13

Keep the deposit and I personally would not be making the smaller cake. I have a sole source requirement in my contract.

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apetricek Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 5:43am
post #9 of 13

I had a similar situation...I think brides sometimes over spend and when things get closer they try to "figure out" where they can squeeze out another penny. Sounds odd to me...I know it sucks when you turn away others that you could have made more on. I think she is just trying to save some money and figured she could do it with the cake...the famous line, "not everyone even eats cake". With the experience I had it was for a sweet 16. The mom ordered sent the deposit (which I clearly have as NON refunable, for any reason other than a death). She booked for 100, then called me a month later and said I am still having 100 but only want cake for 30. HUN?????? I told her that I wasn't comforable making the cake for such a different head count and that I was afraid of my reputation, hey that baker knew how many people I was having..and SHE didn't make enough no thanks, so she canceled. People are NUTS, the more I deal with them I realize this.

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auntginn Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 6:35am
post #10 of 13

This person has changed her order already twice before. This will be the third change. By change I mean the design. Which also means another consult and I cannot order anything I might need. Each time I have written up a new contract and voided the previous just to make it clear what she wants.

I have not called her back wanting to think things thru. I want to word it in such a way that it will be clear. My contracts read "No Refunds" My exception to the rule is in case of Natural Disaster refunds are at MY discretion (living in earthquake country you know).

I don't mind giving her the smaller cake or cupcakes but I'm definately not refunding or giving credit either since I am loosing business.

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auntginn Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 6:39am
post #11 of 13

By the way today, I posted a cake I made on facebook. Someone jokingly posted they needed my services. Jokingly because the distance was substantial.

Also the time frame would not have allowed me to travel and be back to keep my obligation with this bride.

While I was flattered by the compliment, This to me proves that my services are useful and needed and what I would be loosing.

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brincess_b Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 7:25am
post #12 of 13

this is when you also start adding on consultation fees, and changes fees - add in to your contract no changes after X date. then changes are at your discression and at a mega charge to cover what you may have already made, or now need to over night deliver.

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auntginn Posted 3 Oct 2010 , 3:48pm
post #13 of 13

Thank you all for your help. After sleeping on this problem (or loosing sleep over it icon_cry.gif ) I have decided to let her know this;

She has a contract with me for a wedding cake and other items. The "family member " who purchased a wedding cake for her has a contract with another baker and the two are totally separate from each other. How she wants to handle her family is up to her but I will expect her to honor her contract with me or forfeit her deposit.

I will also mention as I'm sure it will come up in conversation the time and money already spent on her order.

And I will take the advice of brincess (thank you for that icon_smile.gif ) and change my contract to reflect how much time is alloted (if we can really do that icon_rolleyes.gif ) to an order, after which fees will incur.

Thank you all for your help. thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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