Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › is she trying to pull a sly one on me?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

is she trying to pull a sly one on me?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I have a customer who contacted me 3 weeks ago thru a friend of a friend of a friend. She came for a consult on a 3 tier blinded out birthday cake for 75 people and plans were made with pics and everything was finalized except for her downpayment. She said use didn't have a check or cash on her. She gave me nothing except the pic, phone number and her nickname, Dee. So since then she has texted me many times going over details and said she was referring other customers to me. I've asked several times when she planned to make her downpayment. She's always on the road and can't come by. (My shop is on her way home I just found out). So in anticipation of the order, I went ahead with plans and baked the layers, placing them in the freezer last Sunday. She calls Tuesday and wants to know the details on delivery for today ( Friday). I tell her to send me her address and we will deliver. Again, I ask for a downpayment. She's out of town. She texted again on Wednesday night showing me the toppers she has chosen and can't decide on which one. She's all excited. So I pull the cake on Thursday morning and begin. She texts me at 7:00 pm and asks what flavors are in the cake. I tell her yellow butter cake with buttercream icing just as her order states. She texted back, "OH NO! My DAUGHTER HATES YELLOW CAKE! SHE WANTED CHOCOLATE!" I told her I was sorry but this is what it is and can't be changed at this time. The cake is finished. (By the way, I still don't have an address or money). After several texts about how she doesn't know what to do now, I call her and tell her she doesn't have to take the cake. Its a beautiful cake and I can most likely sell it without a problem. ( I was so angry with her that I could care less if it sold at this time)But she says that her daughter wouldn't have beautiful birthday cake then cause it's too late to order somewhere else. ( she never asked if I could bake a chocolate in addition to the 3 tier, which I would be glad to do with her paying for it). That was the last I heard from her at 8:30, still not knowing is she was going to want it. She never said she wanted it or not. I asked again for her address and she said she'd send it. At 11:00, with no address, I called several customers and it sold within 1/2 hour. The lady gave me her CC and it's to be picked up today. So now get this...Dee texts me at 1:51 a.m. with her address and says she can't wait to see her gorgeous cake!!! She's all happy with smiley faces and LOLs. What do I do? I hate for this young lady not to have a beautiful cake for her 16th but feel like Dee wanted something for nothing. I think she wanted me to come down in price but I was so fed up with her, I didn't care.
post #2 of 27
No deposit means you should never have started making this cake. I'm glad you sold it so you are not out the $$$.

DO NOT wait for this original inquisitor (she is NOT your customer) to come by. Email her with a cc and say that there is no cake to pick up because she didn't pay your deposit on time.

I would bet $20 to a charity of your choice that she will come by with a cheque that will end up NSF when you try to cash it. Or that she will harass you after the party and demand a full refund for the "bad" cake...or any of the other recent scenarios posted here.

You are a business person and you have NO obligation to even continue the conversation until after a customer shows their intent to pay by providing a deposit that clears you bank. It takes about a minute to put a cheque in the mail if you are on the road...or call in a cc. I don't need to tell you that.

In future you have to be firm when you email "please pay a deposit before I go on with details" or "this is not an order until a deposit is made" or something similar.. NOBODY has the right to waste your time like this.
post #3 of 27
It sounds like she was scrambling to come up with the money. You can just tell her that since you didn't have her down payment, you sold the cake to someone who did. She can just pick up her daughter's cake at the grocery store....
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input. I am just feeling so bad ( and guilt for some reason) for the young lady on her 16th but certainly not the mother. I knew I could sell the cake if she didn't get it, otherwise I wouldn't have pulled it and began on it. I have a clientele base of businesses that can always use cakes on the weekends. It is a beautiful cake and will be enjoyed. I agree on the backlash I could have received too. Bad checks, badmouthing, etc.,etc. I'm probably going to get much badmouthing anyway at this shindig when she doesn't have her cake. But..it's too late for me to do another even if she shows up with money in hand. I have enough orders without her headache.
post #5 of 27
I'm sorry but I don't think this was about scraping together the deposit. A person in that position would say something like "can I please pay you $10 a week" and they would have paid in cash.

If this was innocent, then I think this was an over-the-top cake fantasy. But she kept at it---and that indicates something real fishy to me.

And I am dealing with my own fishy situation now--the same persistence for a custom order of my work from a person who saw fit to threaten me with bogus police actions a week ago. So I am being extra careful about the patterns of behaviour and which way they really point. Here's my fact: the person who made the threat also violated our labour laws.
post #6 of 27
Your first mistake was to bake the cake without being paid in full. I'm glad that you were able to sell it to a PAYING CUSTOMER, which the original woman was not. It isn't your fault that the daughter isn't getiing a nice cake, it's her mother's fault, so don't feel guilty.

Talking about ordering and sending emails with details is not the same as ordering. If I started sending emails to the furniture store telling them about the couch I was going to buy from them, they wouldn't make the couch for me even if I emailed them every day with details about it. Until I paid for it it's only speculation, not an order.

In the future, you might want to change you policy to a pay-in-advance scenario, and only cash three weeks or less before the event. And a time limit of how many days in advance things had to be ordered, or it can't be done. Also, if someone starts sending tons of emails like this lady did, just respond that until she's paid for the cake she doesn't have a spot on your calendar. No matter how many times she writes, just send her the same message. And don't bake the cake.
post #7 of 27
The way I usually frame this with customers who don't give a deposit right away is by accepting the order, then after a week or so tell them their order will be cancelled in X days if the deposit is not paid. This really drives the point home that they will no longer have an active order.
post #8 of 27
I agree with all the pp's statements but I also think it was MANDATORY for you to send her a final text saying "if the cake is not paid by Xpm I will be selling it to someone else" and maybe even a "the cake has now been sold" after it was.

This entire game should not have been played for a multitude of reasons but the fact of the matter is that you DID play it with her so she had no reason to believe that you would suddenly stop playing and sell her cake to someone else with no (real and definitive) warning. As a customer, I would be livid. JMHO
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
I know that you didn't just blame me?!!! I SPOKE with her at 8:30 PM. SPOKE not texting. That was the last contact I had and she said she was sending her address right then.
I DID NOT play games with her and I resent you implying that I did. What you don't get is that the ONLY communication I've had with this crazy woman is by phone and the initial consult. I took her order and gave her the benefit of the doubt all along. I didn't change anything. She did. I don't owe her a penny, an apology or a text. I'm sure she is livid. I am also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK

I agree with all the pp's statements but I also think it was MANDATORY for you to send her a final text saying "if the cake is not paid by Xpm I will be selling it to someone else" and maybe even a "the cake has now been sold" after it was.

This entire game should not have been played for a multitude of reasons but the fact of the matter is that you DID play it with her so she had no reason to believe that you would suddenly stop playing and sell her cake to someone else with no (real and definitive) warning. As a customer, I would be livid. JMHO
post #10 of 27
To be fair, instead of asking when she would make her down payment, you should have told her that she does not have a confirmed order and work will not start until she makes her down payment. Considering she had texted you several times since the initial consult there should have been ample opportunity to do this.

At the very least, when you spoke with her at 8:30 you should have told her that the cake was being sold to someone else because she hadn't paid for it.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

To be fair, instead of asking when she would make her down payment, you should have told her that she does not have a confirmed order and work will not start until she makes her down payment. Considering she had texted you several times since the initial consult there should have been ample opportunity to do this.

At the very least, when you spoke with her at 8:30 you should have told her that the cake was being sold to someone else because she hadn't paid for it.



I hadn't decided to sell her cake at 8:30! I gave her time to all she should have done!!!!!! Good grief!!!
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CLW

I hadn't decided to sell her cake at 8:30! I gave her time to all she should have done!!!!!!


That's my point...if you spoke with her the night before the delivery and she still hasn't paid (not to mention not providing a delivery address), you need to tell her right then that her cake will be sold to someone else. If you are feeling generous you could have given her an hour to drive to you with the cash if she still wanted the cake. From the customer's perspective you committed to delivering the cake, and while at least you didn't lose any money you'll probably get some negative PR.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLW

I hadn't decided to sell her cake at 8:30! I gave her time to all she should have done!!!!!!


That's my point...if you spoke with her the night before the delivery and she still hasn't paid (not to mention not providing a delivery address), you need to tell her right then that her cake will be sold to someone else. If you are feeling generous you could have given her an hour to drive to you with the cash if she still wanted the cake. From the customer's perspective you committed to delivering the cake, and while at least you didn't lose any money you'll probably get some negative PR.



I kind of disagree with this...it sounds like the client had plenty of time to answer questions and put down deposits, and she chose to ignore that part of the transaction. With that kind of behavior there's a good chance that if she DID pick the cake up she would have arrived without her checkbook, and promised to pay later, which wouldn't have happened. Or if she DID pay, then she would have had something to complain about and wanted a refund. Just speculation on my part, but I see a lot of that kind of behavior happening recently to people.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

I kind of disagree with this...it sounds like the client had plenty of time to answer questions and put down deposits, and she chose to ignore that part of the transaction. With that kind of behavior there's a good chance that if she DID pick the cake up she would have arrived without her checkbook, and promised to pay later, which wouldn't have happened. Or if she DID pay, then she would have had something to complain about and wanted a refund. Just speculation on my part, but I see a lot of that kind of behavior happening recently to people.


I can see your point. It's a lose/lose situation either way, all the more reason to cut off the customer well in advance so these last-minute issues don't happen.

We've had customers show up for pickup without enough cash or a checkbook for their cake (we only require deposits for orders above a certain threshold), we kindly direct them to the closest ATM.
post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by CLW

I know that you didn't just blame me?!!! I SPOKE with her at 8:30 PM. SPOKE not texting. That was the last contact I had and she said she was sending her address right then.
I DID NOT play games with her and I resent you implying that I did. What you don't get is that the ONLY communication I've had with this crazy woman is by phone and the initial consult. I took her order and gave her the benefit of the doubt all along. I didn't change anything. She did. I don't owe her a penny, an apology or a text. I'm sure she is livid. I am also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoryAK

I agree with all the pp's statements but I also think it was MANDATORY for you to send her a final text saying "if the cake is not paid by Xpm I will be selling it to someone else" and maybe even a "the cake has now been sold" after it was.

This entire game should not have been played for a multitude of reasons but the fact of the matter is that you DID play it with her so she had no reason to believe that you would suddenly stop playing and sell her cake to someone else with no (real and definitive) warning. As a customer, I would be livid. JMHO




I'm sorry that my post upset you so badly. I did not mean to say that you were playing games with her, more that she was playing games (ill intent or not) with you this whole time by giving you half the info, no payment, changing the flavor, etc. By not putting your foot down early on (you were giving her the benefit of the doubt) you did play along. Because that is the pattern you let be established, the customer has a reasonable expectation that the pattern would continue and she would be able to pay on pickup or whatever silly idea she had in her head of how this would end. It would have been the most fair (and the most cover-your-own-butt) to let her know in no uncertain terms that this transaction was over and the cake was being sold to another before doing so - or at the very least after doing so. Now you are faced with the unfortunate situation that she still expects a cake and will likely give you negative PR (because in her mind she is totally in the right).
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating Business
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating Business › is she trying to pull a sly one on me?