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Refunding Deposit, HELP!! - Page 2  

post #16 of 413
I personally never understand the "partial" refund mentality. If they bad mouth you, they bad mouth you. If the deposit is $250, and you kindly give them $100 back- they will still bitch. If you give them the whole $250 back, I bet they still bit that YOU canceled THEM "at the last minute" when then find that they have trouble replacing you this late. Some crazies are never happy- so why even try?

Keep the deposit, and keep them on the "no cakes for you" list. icon_biggrin.gif That is what a contract is for!

I would say, "Sorry, you booked a date and signed a contract, and I turned down other brides to concentrate on your cake. That is why I don't refund deposits."

Hugs to you... I hate a PITA....
post #17 of 413
I insist that I arrive no less 2 hours before the event begins - I'm usually there and out even before the bridal party is. I insist on this or this don't take the job.

Life happens. It really does. And I'm so happy I have this policy. I once had an incident on the way to the venue. But I got there 2 hours before anyone else other than the folks making pretty in the hall. I ran in, found the person in charge, explained, she showed me a place where I could fix things in private. It took about thirty minutes and I was set up and gone long before anyone of substance arrived.

Brides don't need to know a thing if we can help it. That's part of our job. They are too easily upset in the best of circumstances. I would never agree to a 9:00 delivery for a 10:00 cutting. What if something were to happen?

And yes, Ive turned down business for this... just in case. I'm honest and tell them why and stress that it's for their own benefit. Just in case. Just in case that 1% chance of trauma happens.
post #18 of 413
Why even have them sign a contract if you don't plan on honoring it? The contract clearly states the refund situation. They are the ones choosing to end the relationship, not you. They can 'threaten' all they want. Nothing will happen because they have nothing to stand on except stupidity. Believe me, news stations have a lot more interesting stories to cover than a pissy bride to be.
And yes, they will bad mouth you whether you refund them or not, so why do it? Trust me. Don't refund!
I would say:

'I'm sorry you have chosen not to have us create your wedding cake. As per our contract signed by you on (such and such date), the policy clearly states that the deposit is non-refundable. I would be happy to work with you and apply it to another order should you so choose.
Thank you.

You don't need to say another thing. Just move on and enjoy your good clients!

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

Then plug me back in.  See if that works!

post #19 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by tryingcake

I insist that I arrive no less 2 hours before the event begins - I'm usually there and out even before the bridal party is..... I would never agree to a 9:00 delivery for a 10:00 cutting. What if something were to happen?

Just to share add'l viewpoints on this aspect, I always set a delivery time of a minimum of one hour prior to when the first guest was scheduled to arrive at the reception hall, not one hour prior to scheduled cutting. So if the wedding is at 2:00 and the reception is at 4:00, I would want to deliver by 2:30; 3 at the very latest.

If the wedding and reception are at the same venue, then I would want to set up and be out of there by 3:00. I actually am one that loves an audience when setting up a cake, but I don't think guests should be milling around. Let me rephrase that .... I don't think vendors should have to work around guests when trying to do their job.

Many receptions cut the cake WAY into the event, and I think the cake should be set up and on display when the first person walks into the room. Good heavens, did she have the florist setting up centerpieces a few minutes before dinner was served? I don't think a vendor should be setting up during the reception. I find this to be poor planning on the bride's part if this is how she set everything up.

Just some FYI for contemplation and consideration on future bookings. thumbs_up.gif
post #20 of 413
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so so very much! I couldn't have worded this email without all of y'all input. I am doing all further communication with her through email so that I can have written accounts of everything should she decide to waste her time and take me to court over a $190 deposit.... and I am most DEFINITELY changing my policies of delivery times!!!!! In this situation they wanted the cake "presented", but did not want the venue to move it. So in the future should they want me to "present the cake", it'll cost the same as my cake cutting services do since I have to return to the venue after delivery. Here's a copy of the email I sent:

Thank you for your patience as I took this past week to go over your concerns regarding your wedding cake order. I truly wanted to give careful thought and consideration to all aspects of this situation. I would like to start this email by quoting and highlighting a section of the contract you signed:
"CANCELLATION BY CLIENT

All prepayments and deposits are forfeited if you, the client, cancel the event at any time. Chasing Butterflies will apply the entire balance of your deposits and prepayments, less $100.00 towards another event occurring within 90 days of the original event date; subject to our availability provided the cancellation was within 7 days of the event.



CANCELLATION BY VENUE or ACTS OF GOD

All prepayments and deposits are forfeited if the event is canceled by your venue or acts of god (i.e. fire, flood, terrorist activity) prevent Chasing Butterflies from performing your event as agreed. Chasing Butterflies will apply the entire balance of your deposits and prepayments, less $100.00 towards another event occurring within 90 days of the original event date; subject to our availability.



CANCELLATION BY CHASING BUTTERFLIES

Chasing Butterflies reserves the right to terminate this contract for any reason. IF Chasing Butterflies terminates this contract for reasons other than violation of contract by the client, all prepayments minus deposit will be returned within 90 business days."


What happened at the other wedding you attended was very unfortunate. It was an unforeseen situation, and I appreciate the concern it has caused you in regards to your event. However, since such disasters are not the norm, and because this account is separate from yours, I am unable to refund you the amount deposited. I understand you are upset, however these are the terms and conditions of the contract, which is in place to protect both you as the client and us as the vendor. When we met last Wednesday, I explained the reason retainers are non-refundable is because other business is turned down in order to focus on your cake. These deposits also cover preliminary expenses, as well as the time spent in the consult, tasting, and design process.

I would love to continue to move forward with you on this contract, and will be happy to provide references from past clients to help ease your apprehensions and concerns. If, however, you would like to continue with the cancellation of this order, I will email you a creative rights release for the cake design that was previously emailed to you so that you may find another vendor for your wedding cake. I'm sorry you are considering not to have us create your wedding cake. As per our contract signed by you on February 16, 2011, the policy clearly states that the deposit is non-refundable. I would be happy to work with you and apply it to another order cake should you so choose.

Thank you, and feel free to email me back with any questions that may arise.
post #21 of 413
First, that response is written very well; professional; it shows concern but it's not emotional. Very good job.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisCakes

In this situation they wanted the cake "presented", but did not want the venue to move it.

You know, I WONDERED if the bride was looking for a Buddy V "cake boss" moment like when they wheel the cake into the reception room and everyone applauds!

Thanks again, TV cake shows! (big sigh!!)

And I agree with your idea of future "presented" cakes. If it were me, they'd have to pay me my hourly rate to arrive WAY before the event starts and pay my rate for me to sit in the kitchen and read a book for 4-8 hours. ANd hubby figured my hourly rate once: $100/hour. icon_twisted.gif
post #22 of 413
Thread Starter 
Oh, and should she actually want the references (which I kinda doubt, but maybe she will so she can say ugly things to them..." the reference list is actually a group of friends (and I have done cakes for all of them, so I'm being honest in using them as references)... but yeah, they're all aware of the whole story and have given me permission to use them should I need to have clients of mine set her straight about the kind of work I do. icon_smile.gif
post #23 of 413
"CANCELLATION BY CHASING BUTTERFLIES

Chasing Butterflies reserves the right to terminate this contract for any reason. IF Chasing Butterflies terminates this contract for reasons other than violation of contract by the client, all prepayments minus deposit will be returned within 90 business days."

I have to admit, this would stop me from signing a contract. It seems to say that if you decide to cancel for any reason, you still keep the deposit. Am I reading that wrong? Seems like you could just make money signing contacts, canceling and keeping the deposits. I must be reading that wrong! icon_razz.gif

However, I love your letter!

ORIGINAL creator of Gelatin Bubbles

ORIGINAL creator of Gelatin Bubbles

post #24 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetflowers

"CANCELLATION BY CHASING BUTTERFLIES

Chasing Butterflies reserves the right to terminate this contract for any reason. IF Chasing Butterflies terminates this contract for reasons other than violation of contract by the client, all prepayments minus deposit will be returned within 90 business days."

I have to admit, this would stop me from signing a contract. It seems to say that if you decide to cancel for any reason, you still keep the deposit. Am I reading that wrong? Seems like you could just make money signing contacts, canceling and keeping the deposits. I must be reading that wrong! icon_razz.gif

However, I love your letter!



I have to agree with you on this one. If the client did not cancel the contract, but the bakery did, all prepayment PLUS deposit should be returned to the client. Why would the deposit be kept? The bakery is the one that has defaulted, not the client.
Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.
Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners.
post #25 of 413
These are the sections in my contract that pertain to refunds and cancellations. I had a contract attorney look this over and she reworded some things that I had (she added the part about terrorism icon_eek.gif ), so I THINK that this pretty much covers anything. They cancel, I cancel, they don't pay the balance, they pay the balance but the reception site burns down after the cake is made, etc.

What do other people have in their contracts? It might be interesting to see.

Cancellation and Rescheduling
All cancellations must be verified in writing. If for any reason the event is cancelled or rescheduled, the client must contact A Cake To Remember immediately, as the requested new date may not be available. The $100 retainer fee is non-refundable and non-transferable to a different date or client, even if the new date is not available, or the event is totally cancelled. In the event that the client decides to hire another baker and does not pay the balance due, the retainer is not refundable. No refunds will be issued for cancellations less than two weeks before the event. For cancellations more than two weeks before the event, when the balance due has been paid, any refunds are subject to fees based upon work already done on items for the cake by A Cake To Remember as well as time spent on appointments up to that point. If, for any reason other than nonpayment or cancellation/rescheduling by the client, A Cake To Remember of its own accord cancels the contract, all payments, including the non-refundable retainer fee, will be refunded in full. Client assumes responsibility for any and all collection costs and legal fees incurred by A Cake To Remember in the event that enforcement of this contract becomes necessary.

Limitations of Liability
  If A Cake To Remember cannot perform this agreement due to a fire, casualty, strike or other civil disturbances, Acts of God, including but not limited to, road closures, severe traffic, fire, terrorism or other causes beyond the control of the parties, or due to the baker's illness, then A Cake To Remember shall return any money paid by the client, less expenses, but shall have no further liability with respect to this agreement. In the event A Cake To Remember fails to perform for any other reason, A Cake To Remember shall not be liable for any amount in excess of the money the client has paid. In the event of personal emergencies that prevent A Cake To Remember from doing the delivery and setup, A Cake To Remember will attempt to make arrangements with alternate cake providers to do the work, and will provide refunds to the client in proportion to the amount of work A Cake To Remember was not able to do. In the event that any of the above conditions prevents A Cake To Remember from delivering a completed cake, no refunds will be issued, but the client will be given the option of picking the cake up the day of, or within one day of, the original date.
post #26 of 413
Thread Starter 
Actually, yes, you both are ready that part of the contract correctly. It's a section my lawyer edited in for my protection, but it's also one I keep thinking about changing back to the way I had it. I'll explain my lawyer's reasoning though: He explained that this covers me for situations such as the one I'm going through now should I be the one to back out, or situations like the one I went through with that delivery where I had the wedding party threatening me. I could have (probably should have) loaded the cake back up and just left without another explanation.
So basically it's there to protect me from bridezillas when I've already invested time/money into their cake consults/custom tastings/custom design process, and sometimes even put money into their cake (special stands, etc.) But thank you for bringing this part of the contract up, because it does bother me to. *I* know that I would never just have people sign contracts and then take off with their money, but how are *THEY* supposed to know that, especially when the contract says I can?
Any ideas on how to reword it to include "no deposit refund if you become a crazy client or make threats of lawsuits/slander... but other wise you'd get a full refund if I back out"?
post #27 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisCakes

Any ideas on how to reword it to include "no deposit refund if you become a crazy client or make threats of lawsuits/slander... but other wise you'd get a full refund if I back out"?



Hahaha! I know one photographer who actually does have in her contract that the bride isn't allowed to be a bridezilla. I don't know how enforceable it is, but it's funny.
post #28 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisCakes

Any ideas on how to reword it to include "no deposit refund if you become a crazy client or make threats of lawsuits/slander... but other wise you'd get a full refund if I back out"?



Hahaha! I know one photographer who actually does have in her contract that the bride isn't allowed to be a bridezilla. I don't know how enforceable it is, but it's funny.



If the terms of the contract specifically define what a bridezilla is, then it could be enforceable, at least in my state. icon_smile.gif
Check out my cake blog at: http://adventuresofacakediva.com
Check out my cake blog at: http://adventuresofacakediva.com
post #29 of 413
Hmmm, I see. I don't know if the part about 'violation of terms' in your contract might cover bridzillas or the situations you've had so you could keep the deposit, those would certainly be things to think about.

As a consumer I would worry about a company cancelling on me if they thought I was being difficult, which I can be. And brides are very nervous and stressed anyway, so it's a tough call. Maybe wording to say if you cancel, returning of the deposit would be a case by case scenario dependant on circumstances. I don't know, wording isn't really my forte. I would discuss it with the lawyer, they do know best and are someone I don't argue with (I used to be a legal secretary) icon_smile.gif

ORIGINAL creator of Gelatin Bubbles

ORIGINAL creator of Gelatin Bubbles

post #30 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisCakes

Any ideas on how to reword it to include "no deposit refund if you become a crazy client or make threats of lawsuits/slander... but other wise you'd get a full refund if I back out"?



Hahaha! I know one photographer who actually does have in her contract that the bride isn't allowed to be a bridezilla. I don't know how enforceable it is, but it's funny.



If the terms of the contract specifically define what a bridezilla is, then it could be enforceable, at least in my state. icon_smile.gif
Check out my cake blog at: http://adventuresofacakediva.com
Check out my cake blog at: http://adventuresofacakediva.com
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