HELP!!! I made a 4 tier triangular cake for a wedding. The bride was sent 4 seperate quotes all detailing her requests for the cake. She didn't return or sign any of them. I had to chase her until 2 days before the wedding for the deposit. She crowed poverty so I told her she could pay afterwards.
ANYWAY......cake was delivered looking like this.....
Bottom 2 tiers are rainbow sponge (6 layers of sponge in 6 colours), next is dummy, top is lemon.
This girl has had cake from me before and loved it. She now WON'T PAY! She says her cake wasn't what she wanted!
WHAT do I do?
Why isn't it what she wanted?
I'm not sure there is a lot you can do. You don't have any emails from her confirming the cake order so I'm not sure a collection agency could take care of it for you, and I don't think it would hold up in court unfortunately, even if it was worth your while going that route...
You should NOT deliver ANY cake without having the payment in your pocket or bank account beforehand, and you might just have to chalk this up to a beginners mistake I'm afraid.
AI wouldn't have made any cake (least of all a wedding cake) without being paid first and having a signed contract. I require a deposit and final amount due two weeks prior. I've made the mistake of taking an IOU and I didn't get paid for at least a month.
Unfortunately, I'm not sure legally what you can do aside from taking her to small claims court. I would send her a detailed bill by mail, stating payment is due in full by whatever date today is. If she doesn't pay within a week I'd send another letter stating it will be sent to collections if not paid by _____. Either that or you might have learned an expensive lesson. Im sorry this happened, the cake looks nice.
What is she stating is wrong with it? They let you set it up and they served it, right? I'm sorry to say but trouble with the deposit should have sent up red flags. If a customer wants a cake they will pay for it or I won't make it, again I learned the hard way from a 'friend'.
AShe just said she was unhappy with it. Its my own fault. Unfortunately not beginner, been running my cake business 3 yrs, it was a favour for a friend. NEVER again. Ive never put myself in this position before, I dont know why i did it! Mega mistake.
AHow much does she owe you?
I'm not loving that cake - nothing personal!! If thats what the bride designed ? she has NO style at all !
AIm in the UK so she owes £210 which is around $320. Its my own fault, I just wondered if anyone had experienced this.
ADesigned by the bride, the whole wedding was "different". the instruction i got was exactly this, she even dictated the measurement of each tier
We have all made mistakes but I bet you will not make that mistake again. Anyone who says they can't pay once cake is delivered will try anything and everything to get out of paying you after cake is delivered. Like Dayti said always make them pay up front within two weeks of the cake being delivered. BTW, your cake is very pretty. I have never seen a triangle cake before. It is pretty cool looking!!!
ASome friend! I'm so sorry this happened. It's a nasty situation anyway you play it. Did they sign an initial contract? I realize you said she never responded to any of the changes you emailed her but dictating the measurements, wow by the way, do you have anything in writing that you could send along with your side of the emails. It's still a verbal contract, he said she said, but that still has some legal merit doesn't it?
ANo I most certainly won't. Thank you for compliment on the cake. It was the brides design, its different.
A"Good afternoon jerk face, it has come to my attention that the balance owed for your wedding cake is now xxxx days overdue. I can meet you (today tomorrow, whenever) at either (morning hour, later hour) to collect payment. I will accept cash only. If you fail to pay this balance, I will be contacting an attorney to file a criminal complaint. Blah blah blah...."
Now, never let this happen again. :-(
AI have her original sketches with measurements on and several mobile phone text conversations regarding her order and payment.
i have attempted to e-mail her but have had no response. I think I will follow your advise and try a letter.
AAZ I love this! I have been so close, especially when she told me of her £8k ($12k) luxury honeymoon to florida!
AShe made the sketches-and doesn't like her design! Yes, skip the email-it didn't get her attention before. Address the letter to both of them along with copy's of the original design, hopefully he'll just take care of it. I imagine he knows how she is. If she continues to protest send her copies of all communications, I sent you this email (date), this one (date), etc. Hopefully the threat of collections will be enough.
AThank you! its always nice to get other people's opinions and experiences.
Unfortunately they are a lot of people that do these things and don't feel bad about it . I did catering for more the 30yr part time and a lady that I know very close friend to the Governor wife ask me to do a couple of dishes to serve 50 they were going to have other people doing the rest of the catering they just love my rice I am Spanish born here in the USVI she toll me she would pay me later ok this is the governors wife best friend am not thinking bad it was a 250.00 catering is very expensive she call me the next day and told me she was sending the check in in the mail. by the way she said the food was so good it was the fist thing to go I got the mail and she send me a check for 35.00 she said it was foundraiser for the governor that was it for me.she knew i charge for my work. for election week she left about 10 massages on my phone when she got me I told her that I was not going to do anymore catering for her and I explain her why she wanted me to cook for campaign night no no no no that was my answer!!
Original message sent by AZCouture
"Good afternoon jerk face, it has come to my attention that the balance owed for your wedding cake is now xxxx days overdue. I can meet you (today tomorow, whenever) at either (morning hour, later hour) to collect payment. I will accept cash only. If you fail to pay this balance, I will be contacting an attorney to file a criminal complaint. Blah blah blah...."
Now, never let this happen again. :-(
LOL love that letter! but yes seriously this will most likely be a loss for you. Sorry that happened :( its amazing how dishonest and rude people can be... You can always find out who your real friends are when you do business with them...she designed the cake but then doesn't like it??? that is a load of crap she knew all along she wasn't gng to pay you...unbelievable...
AWhere in Florida is she going? Maybe one of us can go shake her down!
I'll volunteer! I'm already in FL
I don't know what recourse you might have in the UK.
Here in the US, if we can prove a contract--and I have no doubt that her e-mails, texts, sketches, etc. would certainly prove that--we can file in Small Claims Court. The amount to be recovered varies from state to state, but in most cases anything USD$5000 and under is covered. There is no need for a lawyer and the fee to file is low [where I live, about USD$40].
If she ignored the filing and didn't show in court, the judge could order treble damages.
Now, the problem is collecting the award. If she didn't pay after having a judgement against her [and often, people don't], liens can be put on her personal property [cars, houses, boat, etc.] and when she sells those, the judgement gets paid from the proceeds.
It's not a quick way to get your money, but it can be time consuming & embarrassing for a "jerk face".
How much was the deposit she gave you, and did you tell you exactly what she wasn't happy with? I have to say t's a very strange cake, maybe it looked better in her head?
AThank you everyone for your help (and empathy). I could take it to a small claims court, but the costs incurred would probably be more than the outstanding bill! She paid a deposit of £50 ($75), which only barely covered the ingredients.
she said it is squashed together. I agree, but those were the sizes she chose. I think she had an idea of a huge impressive structure of a cake and although it as tall, it wasn't what she imagined.
I have a new quote/contract system in place already which I have spoken to all my upcoming brides about and they are quite happy to comply with.
I think you are right sc, she had no plans to pay. And kiki, she is back home in the UK now, which s not working in her favour - my mum is her boss!
There is ANOTHER lesson to be learned here. As cake designers I feel we have an obligation to speak up if we are given a set of dimensions and a design from a client that we know MAY not look right. I know in the past I have gone the extra mile to try and 'educate' a client or two - I will sketch and colour and either stack dummies or cake tins to give a visual. If after having ALL the information we can possibly give them - they still insist on having what they want...... at least they would not be as quick to blame the decorater!!
It is much the same as other 'creative' things - often the picture in their mind is NOT transferred well in communication - its a bit like paraphrasing what they have said.
So if they say they want a blue and brown cake..... you pull out a swatch or two and say...... like this??? and they point to the RED and say ..... NO more like that!!
AThe nerve of some people.
Let me design myself a super specific cake then complain that I shouldn't have to pay because I don't like my design.
She ate the cake. She pays.
This is so funny well said kikiankle
ASounds like she has been splashing cash she didn't have, and someone put it in her ear that since she knows your mum, the cake should have been cheaper or free. I would just be straight with her and say
"I'm sorry if things are tight now that you're back from your honeymoon but I made the cake you asked for, it was delivered and eaten, and I need to be paid".