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HELP! customer stopped payment on cake they already ate! - Page 2

post #16 of 54
Your county district attorney should have a fraudulent checks division. Tell the customer you're turning it over to them for prosecution. It is a crime to write a check with the intent of stopping payment on it.

From the Bexar county DA office: (I know you're in Bee county, but the law still applies)
http://www.bexar.org/da2/body_pages/body_checks.html

"Under penal code section 31.03 Theft, a person commits an offense if he unlawfully appropriates property or secures performance of a service from the owner by deception. The key under the law is that the owner must give the merchandise at the time the check writer renders the check. Furthermore, inducing a provider of services to provide services by giving the provider a check which the issuer knows will be dishonored by the bank qualifies as deception. Again, the key under the law is that the owner must provide the service at the time the check writer renders the check."

Good luck to you, hon.
post #17 of 54
Thread Starter 
im trying to be amicable..but im not going to let her get away with it...i heard even if you dont collect it will be on her credit report and what goes around comes around...so hopefully we can work this out outside of court but with the silence on the other end its starting to look like thats not going to happen,,trying to not let this bother me cus it is my anniversary and my hubby made reservations at an awesome resteraunt..i will keep everyone posted.
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 #18 of 54
In terms of you "gathering evidence" you mentioned seeing positive comments about the cake on her facebook page. Take screenshots of that page and save them and do it frequently if the comments continue to increase. She can delete those comments if she chooses to do so and you won't have any proof that the guest loved the cake, contrary to what your customer has told you. Good luck with this.
post #19 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmarks0

In terms of you "gathering evidence" you mentioned seeing positive comments about the cake on her facebook page. Take screenshots of that page and save them and do it frequently if the comments continue to increase. She can delete those comments if she chooses to do so and you won't have any proof that the guest loved the cake, contrary to what your customer has told you. Good luck with this.



That's what I was going to say, too. Plus call the reception site and talk to them to see who cut the cake that day so that they can attest to the fact that the cake was eaten and nobody had a problem with it.

Something must be in the water these days, because a couple weeks ago I had a client complain about a cake that had nothing wrong with it. I gave them a refund for various reasons (they are the harassing type and they weren't going to give up until I gave them something back, also complained to the venue about a bunch of stuff to get refunds too), and as soon as that check cleared they contested the credit card charge for the balance payment, so they're basically trying to get more money back than they paid me. I contacted the bride and she said that her mother pulled the complaint, but in the meantime the payment was pulled back and it's sitting in limbo while they figure it out. Clients are getting bolder and more dishonest.
post #20 of 54
Definitely continue collecting evidence -- most importantly, your signed contract and invoice -- and try not to let it bother you. There's a chance (albeit a small one) this may all be a misunderstanding.

You can try following up with the local PD or county DA but with staffing levels as they are a $365 theft probably won't get any attention.

At the very least you can write off the value of the order as bad debt on your income taxes.
post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by pmarks0

In terms of you "gathering evidence" you mentioned seeing positive comments about the cake on her facebook page. Take screenshots of that page and save them and do it frequently if the comments continue to increase. She can delete those comments if she chooses to do so and you won't have any proof that the guest loved the cake, contrary to what your customer has told you. Good luck with this.


Something must be in the water these days, because a couple weeks ago I had a client complain about a cake that had nothing wrong with it. I gave them a refund for various reasons (they are the harassing type and they weren't going to give up until I gave them something back, also complained to the venue about a bunch of stuff to get refunds too), and as soon as that check cleared they contested the credit card charge for the balance payment, so they're basically trying to get more money back than they paid me. I contacted the bride and she said that her mother pulled the complaint, but in the meantime the payment was pulled back and it's sitting in limbo while they figure it out. Clients are getting bolder and more dishonest.


Always give refunds in the same form that you received the payment. Credit card payment = credit card refund.
post #22 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmarks0

In terms of you "gathering evidence" you mentioned seeing positive comments about the cake on her facebook page. Take screenshots of that page and save them and do it frequently if the comments continue to increase. She can delete those comments if she chooses to do so and you won't have any proof that the guest loved the cake, contrary to what your customer has told you. Good luck with this.



I was just coming here to post this.
post #23 of 54
From my own previous experience (not cake business) here is what you do. Collect your evidence and send her a certified, return receipt requested letter demanding payment. State in the letter that failure to make good on the check within a reasonable amount of time (I would not give her more than 7 days) will lead to delivering the check to the DA fraud division and a case in small claims court. The judge will appreciate your effort to contact her by phone and in writing. Small claims cannot collect, however it does give you the right to garnish her wages (at least it does here in Georgia).

ETA: In some small claims courts, you can add in all the fees you incurred in order to take her to court.

There are times when I think I can help. Other times I think, given an already shallow gene pool, I am doing more for humanity by just letting go...

 

www.brendabakes.com

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There are times when I think I can help. Other times I think, given an already shallow gene pool, I am doing more for humanity by just letting go...

 

www.brendabakes.com

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post #24 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Definitely continue collecting evidence -- most importantly, your signed contract and invoice -- and try not to let it bother you. There's a chance (albeit a small one) this may all be a misunderstanding.

You can try following up with the local PD or county DA but with staffing levels as they are a $365 theft probably won't get any attention.

At the very least you can write off the value of the order as bad debt on your income taxes.



If I were a deadbeat customer, the threat of being arrested would do a lot more to motivate me than the threat of a collection agency. Also, collection agencies usually take 40-60% of any monies collected. While that's still better than nothing, it still means a $100+ loss for the OP. I'd be going the route with the DA. In my county in Texas, bad check writers are in big trouble for crap like this. Maybe it's different in California.
post #25 of 54
Jason, our magistrate (small claims) does handle non-payments such as stop payments.

It sounds like you have plenty of evidence. If you do get a judgement, you will probably need to act on it by getting it from their bank account or from their paycheck. This is an extra step in my area.

Costumeczar, I didn't offer a refund or partial credit because this group couldn't hurt my business no matter how much they bad-mouth. They are the kind who if they showed up to clean your house you would tell them never mind. I don't think we know the same people.
post #26 of 54
Please be aware of your local laws. In my are you MUST send a certified letter before any further action can take place. It can then be forwarded to the local PD for criminal action and they have to pay at the criminal level. If you decide to go small claims, be aware there also, in my state it is treble damages up to $500 plus court costs and they have 30 days to pay, if not it is then handed over to the sherrif for collection. But everything has to be completed in order for either court to award. Good Luck!
post #27 of 54
Here is the number for the County Attorney of Bee County. I'm sorry that this website is somewhat lacking in information. This office will be able to tell you what to do.
http://www.co.bee.tx.us/ips/cms/countyoffices/countyAttorney.html

Here are the procedures in my county. They are not messing around.
http://www.wilco.org/CountyDepartments/CountyAttorney/HotChecksDivision/tabid/224/Default.aspx
post #28 of 54
wow! i just wanted to say ditto to everyone else and i'm sorry this has happened to you. it does make it slightly worse that it's during your anniversary. but, PLEASE make sure to get a certified letter out that you are aware of what she's done with receipts of everything. the certified letter will be sent with a confirmation that they received it and if no response, then you do what the others have said with all of your evidence. screen shots are really easy and can definitely be used in any kind of case.

WOW! good luck
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It's not "just" cake...it's my life!
WI State Representative for Icing Smiles...start 'Baking a Difference" today!
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post #29 of 54
And for the future...
either do not accept personal checks or
Final payment is due 2 weeks before cake is due or if it's past that time then cash or money order.

Then make sure you cash or deposit that check the day after you get it.

Sorry this happened. Let us know how it turns out.
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
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post #30 of 54
Don't forget to save a photocopy of every document you mail to her.
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