I've been in the business for 2 years now and have lots of difficulties getting clients to place an official order and sign the contract. One of my current clients is no different. She paid her booking deposit of $75.00 back in early August, which reserves her date in my books - AND that is all I state that the booking deposit is for. She also requested quotes for desserts and a cake to feed her guests, but said it was over her budget and needed to go back to the menu and reorganize her finances before she made the order and signed the contract. This happened back in the beginning of August as well.
I have increased prices since she put in her booking deposit and requested quotes on items. This week I reached out to her wedding planner who is now the main contact facilitating the order stating that I have changed my pricing and that since she has not signed the contact or made the order she will now be paying these current prices. My pricing changed from $4.00/serving to $4.25/serving for buttercream finishes and $4.50/serving to $4.85/serving for fondant finishes. So the pricing increase was not extravagant.
To me, getting estimates for your order or paying a booking deposit does not mean you are locking in a price, however, the wedding planner says that the booking deposit does mean you have locked in a price. Am I wrong to think the way I am? How do other people handle something like this?
Thanks for your time!
I would agree with the planner
......... paid booking deposit of $75.00 back in early August, which reserves her date in my books - AND that is all I state that the booking deposit is for.....
Are you sure you made it perfectly clear that the booking fee was only for holding her date?? I feel that is strong and agree w/K8. I think this case comes down to whether or not you want to do the cake. The difference in the amount isn't worth being hard-nosed here -- do you want to do the order or not? Sometimes it's worth relaxing our policies - I'd say this is one of them.
I agree. You discussed your fee schedule with her at the time of the deposit and had set the date. I would feel that is equivalent to a verbal contract and would feel honor bound to stick to that. As a customer, I would not consider placing a deposit for a commodity that could increase in price before the transaction was complete. And word gets around.
I agree with the planner and the other posters as well.
If you continue with this practice then you need to have the customer sign something at the time of deposit noting that they are well aware that until the final contract is signed prices can change. As a customer, I would not be very happy to know that after discussing pricing and locking in my date with a deposit (which in my mind would mean locking in the pricing discussed) that you then decided to increase your pricing and push that price increase on me. I guess I just find it odd that no contract of any sort was signed when the deposit was made. All the times I have ever made a deposit for something I have had to sign a contract as well.
I will say that getting estimates on something is very, very different than paying a deposit. One is just getting an idea of the prices you charge for the product you provide while paying a deposit means that they are wanting to use you according to the prices you provided them.
yeah freckles -- you hit on a good point -- if she had only gotten an estimate then all bets are off -- the price increase would be legitimate -- but she put money down so that makes it go toward those prices she was already quoted ----
I agree that if I had paid a deposit it would be based on the information provided by the seller. Changing the prices after the deposit was paid is dirty IMO.
Your only opportunity to increase the price with this customer was at the time they paid the deposit. At that point you should have informed them so that they could look elsewhere if they needed to, you already know they were struggling with the finances prior to the increase.