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HELP! customer stopped payment on cake they already ate!

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
made a beautiful 3 tier fondnat covered cake with different flavors on each tier..posted it and everybody loved it..ppl said it was awesome..go to the bank today and they said customer stopped payment on the check..fb the daughter and she told me to take it up with her mom..called her mom and shes not answering the phone..starting to get scared cus this was a 365 check..and that cake took alot of time so im freaking out a little that they are going to stiff me..what can i do???somebody help icon_sad.gif((( its my wedding anniversary and i feel horrid..hate this!!
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post #2 of 54
Leave a message for the mom that if you don't hear from her within 24 hours you will be contacting a collection agency. In the meantime you can put together a list of collection agencies in your area so you can make some calls on Monday if necessary.

Also if the daughter's name is on the contract you should let her know that collections will be going after her too.
post #3 of 54
So sorry this happened to you! Sounds like Jason has already told you what to do for this situation, but for the future, ALWAYS get payment in advance for cakes!!! And if you are going to take personal checks, always get them at least 3 weeks in advance of the event date so that if it bounces or they stop payment, you can come back to them and say "no money, no cake". I hope you are able to get your money for this one!!
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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post #4 of 54
It shouldn't take more than 7 days for a check to clear (from the date of deposit) if you deposit it at a different bank from where the check was drawn, so 2 weeks should be plenty of time.
post #5 of 54
Who do we need to whip? Tell me! I'll break both legs! How rude!!!!! I am so sorry!!! And on your special day??? Keep us posted.....but I wouldn't threaten or mess with collections, I would go monday and file with small claims court.....or is there a minimum? I can't remember what it is...or is it that it has to be under a certain amount? Why can't I ever remember that part? But I would take it before a judge! I hope you have a good anniversary and can put this behind you until Monday. Hugs!!!!
post #6 of 54
Thread Starter 
definatly learned a lesson here..but im wondering if i can take her to a small claims court cus this is theft!! you dont go to a resteraunt and eat the food and decide after your done that you didnt like it as much and didnt think it was worth what they payed and get your money back..this is flat out stealing..this cant be legal!!
KINDNESS is just LOVE with work boots on
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KINDNESS is just LOVE with work boots on
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post #7 of 54
You can certainly take her to small claims court, but you would still need to collect the debt when you win the case. If she's not paying you now chances are she won't pay the small claims judgment either.
post #8 of 54
Thread Starter 
feel kinda sick..i know you cant please everyone but they really gave no evidence that they were unhappy with the cake and to not even talk to me just go strait to the bank and stop payment..thats horrid..i feel liked they robbed not only my income but my time and energy..and tottaly ruined a nice day
KINDNESS is just LOVE with work boots on
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KINDNESS is just LOVE with work boots on
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post #9 of 54
Thread Starter 
what?? they cant make her pay..whats the point in taking her to small claims court then?? surely somthing can be done..she cant just steal from me like this
KINDNESS is just LOVE with work boots on
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KINDNESS is just LOVE with work boots on
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post #10 of 54
This is why bakers and decorators ask for payment well in advance of the event.

Last Thursday I got a call from a frantic lady saying her baker was just admitted to the hospital because her boyfriend broke her jaw in two places. Get the picture? This was a client that had no business buying a $330 cake. She had already paid for the first cake that the woman couldn't make that was much less than mine. I asked if the baker was licensed because this is the cost of a cake that size when the business is licensed. She said she wanted it anyway. It was for two days later. She asked to write a check or use a credit card and I insisted on cash immediately. She pulled up in an old van, told me the air just went out, she only had the $600 to fix it and she was giving me $333 of that money. That handwriting was on the wall. I told her to make sure she read my policies. I knew when she got in that hot car she was going to regret the cake.

Two days after the party, she told me that it was inedible. She said "no one" could eat it and that "all of it" was thrown away. I asked did she have the leftover cake? She said yes but it had been sitting out for two days uncovered.

I told her I not only taste my batter and my cakes, I torte to inspect the crumb and taste the batter. It was Warren Brown's vanilla, chocolate IMBC, Duff's fondant in buttercream. It also happened to be one of the best I had made (a chunk came off on one of the cake pans). Of course there is no evidence now. She wanted a refund. I referred her to my refund policy and she said she was taking me to court. I politely told her that it was her right and I thought she should do that since she felt so strongly.

I have a foolproof refund policy on my site, make sure I have real money ( cash or cleared check) before the cake is delivered, and check every cake. I really knew better than to do business with someone who had no business buying my cakes... I mean way out of my target market... or anyone's target, even Walmart.

The fact that the person will not return your calls is on your side. They need to contact you right away when there is a problem. Make sure you note when you called by getting your cell records. You will get a judgement because they have to prove there is something wrong. If the design is wrong, they may have evidence, but for taste, this is timely. You can't wait for days and abuse the evidence and then complain.

I told that woman that if they really threw that cake in the trash, she would have delivered that trash bag to my door. If she had said some didn't like it, that was believable. But this was Warren Brown's. Some may be indifferent to the taste, but not go so far as to spit it out.

I truly hope this woman takes me to court so that I ca report back. I have written down our conversations and documented the calls.

If a cake is good, they cannot bring you the piece of good cake, properly wrapped on the next day and ask for a refund. If it is good and they want a refund, they will wait until the cake is old or say they threw it away.

Anyone who wants to use my refund policy is welcomed to it. It's on my site.

Lesson... get your money in advance. If the date is close, insist on cash. My lesson, don't sell to someone who's car is worth less than the cake. But I do have the cash and I happily spent it on inventory for my other business, not worried a bit about court.

I would call quite a few more times from a cell where you can get the records. Be proactive. You will probably have to persue this in small claims court, but you get the fees back.
post #11 of 54
The main purpose of small claims court is to settle legal disputes, they are not in the collections business. If the customer had claimed that she didn't have to pay you because of XYZ, then you would go to small claims so the judge can decide if the customer had a valid point, but that's not the case here.

Another tactic would be to have a male friend or family member contact the customer as your "business manager" in an attempt to collect the debt.
post #12 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

It shouldn't take more than 7 days for a check to clear (from the date of deposit) if you deposit it at a different bank from where the check was drawn, so 2 weeks should be plenty of time.



True, I guess I was speaking from what our policy is for personal checks. We won't accept them less than 3 weeks out. Some people don't accept them at all.
Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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Before you ask- I'm licensed, inspected, insured, and all that jazz.
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post #13 of 54
Thread Starter 
thank you..yea i tried calling her and emailing her and so on and so on...i saw face book comments from other ppl that were at her party saying the cake was amazing so im hoping i can use that..this really is a learning experience...ive never had a customer do this to me..but will definatly change my check policys..they never told me anything so i was blind sighted by the check stoppage..even now..ive been messaging her daughter and all she has said is she will have her mom call me asap! ive asked her if everyhing is ok but all she says is ill have my mom call you..i think they spent alot of money on a party they couldnt afford and now they are regretting it now that the balloons have popped..
KINDNESS is just LOVE with work boots on
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KINDNESS is just LOVE with work boots on
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post #14 of 54
If mom won't answer the phone, it's time to report the theft. You can call the daughter and give her the heads up ( if she was the one that signed your contract) that you are taking the check into the police department that afternoon. He butt on the line, too.
She may think you are too gentle to make a fuss. You're just the cake lady, and they're pushovers, right. icon_rolleyes.gif

Do you know any other venders from the event. Give them a call and see if she's pulling this on the florist, the caterer or the party rentals. Chances are you aren't the only one getting stiffed.
If several of you show up with the same issue it's going to look very bad for her.

Don't sit there frustrated and in disbelief. She wouldn't have tried it if she had thought you'd get tough on her. What they did is criminal and they need to be held accountable.
Hope this is quickly resolved.

mommachris

wife to David for 25 years
mom to 13 blessings
Nine who are still living at home that range from 22 to 4 years old.
Holly, Amy, Aaron, Evelyn, Zebedee, Melody, William, Melissa and little Tobin
and four more sweet babies in heaven.

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wife to David for 25 years
mom to 13 blessings
Nine who are still living at home that range from 22 to 4 years old.
Holly, Amy, Aaron, Evelyn, Zebedee, Melody, William, Melissa and little Tobin
and four more sweet babies in heaven.

Reply
post #15 of 54
I have a judgement from a small claims court some 30 yrs ago.......never could .....never will collect icon_sad.gif
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