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Refunding Deposit, HELP!! - Page 3  

post #31 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisCakes

Here's a copy of the email I sent:



Very nicely written...wish you the best of luck with this situation and now that you have peaked my interest, I hope to hear more if anything else comes about. ImageImageImage
post #32 of 413
This caterer flat out calls it his "Bridezilla Clause" (scroll to very bottom of this pageicon_smile.gif

http://www.jbarhtexasfoods.com/aboutus.html
post #33 of 413
Do Not Do Not give that deposit back. If she didnt read the details of the contract then thats her problem!
post #34 of 413
From a PR standpoint, I disagree with most of you. We are supposed to deliver cakes as ordered. The last cake has put doubts in the customers' minds. We are supposed to be driving slowly, anticipating pedestrians in parking lots and we are supposed to transport these centerpieces of a monumental event in such a manner that they do not get damaged (extreme circumstances excluded). Had you just given back the deposit and explained that you understood and hoped you could regain their trust in the future, the issue would slowly die. Now you have infuriated these customers. I don't think some of you realize how far-reaching this situation will be on this business. The negative story of this decorator already delivering a destroyed cake and then refusing to return the deposit will be told for years to come every time wedding cake decorators come up in conversation. Not to mention the damage on the social media sites. And for those of you who say that this would not impact your business, you are not correct.

Newspapers and other news media do not report on hearsay. Normally, the person wronged must file a police report or a lawsuit. Then the media starts a story based on the formal accusation. Just running a story because someone is mad opens the media up to lawsuits. That is why reporters reasearch a story to get the facts.
post #35 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Had you just given back the deposit and explained that you understood and hoped you could regain their trust in the future, the issue would slowly die. Now you have infuriated these customers.


By refunding the deposit OP would also have lost the ability to redeem herself...if the customers decide to go ahead with the cake anyway since the deposit is non-refundable, and OP does a great job, she will have salvaged the business relationship. As it stands now, the only thing the customer remembers is the failed cake from their friend's event.

Of course, there is the risk that the customer will end up canceling, but if they are willing to go so far as to forfeit their deposit over this there would probably be no pleasing them anyway.
post #36 of 413
Thread Starter 
Thanks, SCP, for the alternate view. I really appreciate hearing all sides of the argument. I actually have a bachelor's in Sales and Marketing, as well as my MBA, so PR issues are ones that I'm familiar with, and also the reason for my hesitation regarding this issue. The lawsuit wasn't what I've been concerned with; it's the negative publicity. This is a group of people I have done many, many cakes for over the years, and this is the first time a cake disaster has happened. As I had mentioned earlier, though, this group has become increasingly more difficult to deal with, and are ones I personally and professionally, no longer wish to do business with. I made the mistake of letting a sob story pull at my heart string and I lowered my price greatly on a cake I did from them, and from there on out they have expected/demanded that same discount, while also wanting more and more in regards to their cakes, deliveries at unusual times, and constantly ordering cakes late (ie: call on Monday for a 4 tier cake to feed 300 on Saturday). I already tried explaining things to this group to try and get this professional relationship back on track, but they have flat out said that because they have been long time clients of mine, they deserve the discounts and special treatments. So, as far as my reputation within their group, eh. I hate to see it tarnished because they know first hand the work I do, but I also don't want their business anymore.
I will say, though, that had this entire situation happened with a different group of people, a group that truly has never seen my work, or maybe just seen a few examples and then experienced a cake disaster, my reaction would have been different. I more than likely would have refunded the money, and still offered to do the wedding cake for free, or offered a groom's cake or other cake, as a chance to redeem myself. (Assuming of course, the original wedding party hadn't threatened bodily harm to myself and my staff, and these clients hadn't barged into my office with threats of lawsuits and negative media coverage.)... In fact, even in this situation I might have done something similar if all that hadn't happened. It's the whole honey and vinegar mentality.
post #37 of 413
Long-term customers should get special treatment? BAH! Tell that to McDonald's! I've been eating Happy Meals since 1974 and I get no special treatment. icon_sad.gif
post #38 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Long-term customers should get special treatment? BAH! Tell that to McDonald's! I've been eating Happy Meals since 1974 and I get no special treatment. icon_sad.gif



hahahahahahahaha
post #39 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Long-term customers should get special treatment? BAH! Tell that to McDonald's! I've been eating Happy Meals since 1974 and I get no special treatment. icon_sad.gif


High-end custom cake shops aren't exactly comparable to McDonald's...frequent customers of upscale restaurants often get perks including preferential seating and invitations to special events. We have several regular customers who get special treatment such as extra product thrown in for free, priority on our baking schedule, and so on.

Of course the value of said special treatment is inversely proportional to the bad attitude of the customer. icon_smile.gif
post #40 of 413
*GROAN*

It was a JOKE! I was mocking the sense of entitlement...
post #41 of 413
Thread Starter 
HaHa, Very True Jason! And many of my long term clients DO get special treatment, but what I love is that they don't EXPECT it. They appreciate it. And, the ones that get the special treatment as the ones who shell out $$$$ for cakes, not $$ for cakes. Another good way of getting a lot of extra for little $$ with me, and getting on my preferred client list, is to tell me I have complete creative control and can do whatever I want. lol
And yes, having a cup of coffee and chit chat with me while we design the cake/talk about a contract will gain more points than arms crossing, feet stomping, and a bad attitude. It works both way.
The common phrase is "It's just business." Well, with me that's a yes and no. I spend a lot of time with clients during the design phase and tasting phase, and I meet with clients in my home office the majority of the time because 1)gas prices are HORRIBLE! 2) it's more convenient for me 3) it gives me more room at the bakery for... well, BAKING! and 4) It IS more personal. So these kinds of issues, while I know they happen, are really few and far between, and also take me aback and require quite a bit of thought and analysis on my part. My clients know that I put a personal touch on everything I do, so having a client come into my office where they've been many many times, where I've designed birthday cakes, anniversary cakes, even funeral cakes, and treat an issue like "it's just business".... well, it's really unfortunate. But I guess if they want to treat it like just business,then, okay, it's just business. Read the contract, end of story.
post #42 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

Long-term customers should get special treatment? BAH! Tell that to McDonald's! I've been eating Happy Meals since 1974 and I get no special treatment. icon_sad.gif



You go to the wrong mcdonalds then icon_wink.gif Once a month or so I'll comp out my regular's breakfast or lunch, or I'll buy the senior's coffee occasionally icon_smile.gif
post #43 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

*GROAN*

It was a JOKE! I was mocking the sense of entitlement...



Double *GROAN*

Not a thread goes by.......
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 #44 of 413
Quote:
Originally Posted by WykdGud

*GROAN*

It was a JOKE! I was mocking the sense of entitlement...



Well I thought it was funny icon_lol.gif
post #45 of 413
KalisCakes...you are doing exactly what you should be doing...divesting yourself of toxic customers!!

SCP's post tells me that they think a business runs on the basis of fear...fear of bad publicity. Sorry, but while you may get some bad PR from these particularly PIA people, in the long run it will work out better for you. And you know that because of how you're responding to them.

Believe it or not SCP...this will be a non-issue in a few weeks. Most people don't spend their days thinking about the next cake they're going to buy. We think of it because we're in the cake biz. Most people really don't care until they need one. If they are friends with the PIA people, then they are probably of the same ilk so who needs or wants their business? As long as you continue to please other customers, network with the right people and put out a good product, that's where you will get your business.
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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!

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