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Help in dealing with PITA customer

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I'm sure you know the type, the contact you, they have all these grand ideas and you spend so much time researching design inspiration, emailing back and forth etc. etc. When you send the quote, they agree and decide on a time to pay their deposit but then something always "just comes up" and they cancel on you.

 

I have one such customer and she is driving me to drink. I made her daughter's 1st birthday cake when I was just starting out and, while she was a bit of a pain in the ass to deal with, she did pay and pick up her order and even sent me another email afterward to say just how much they loved the cake. In the 3 years since then, I have been contacted by her for not 3, not 4, but 5 different cake orders, none of which she has gone through with. icon_mad.gif

 

The latest one was a wedding cake for this August. I spent HOURS emailing back and forth with her, suggesting things, offering design ideas, answering questions, etc. etc. etc. and now she's backed out on me yet again. In a matter of 2 minutes, she sent one email to say that she "is going another way" for her wedding cake, and sent another email to ask me to make her daughter's 4th birthday cake! I'm done with her SO FREAKING DONE. 

 

But...

 

What do you do with "customers" like these? Put me on a first class train to cake-making-hell, but I told her I was booked for the date she inquired about and put the kybosh on it right away. I don't want to spend another second on her. Should I have done that? I was polite, but it was completely a lie.

 

What do you do with the tire-kickers who never actually book?

post #2 of 21

If she's contacted you for 5 orders and then flaked on them, you did the right thing by telling her you were booked.  You don't have time for her nonsense!  I would have done the same thing, there's not much else you can do except "be booked" f you want to remain cordial and polite.

post #3 of 21
With this customer's history I would require a nonrefundable deposit before spending any more than a few minutes discussing the order.
post #4 of 21

Sounds like she's just using you to plan her cake, quote it, and then taking that to the competition. You are being used.

post #5 of 21

I agree, you are doing all the work for her then she's taking it to someone else for less. 

elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyro View Post

Sounds like she's just using you to plan her cake, quote it, and then taking that to the competition. You are being used.

EXACTLY what I thought also!!

Army wives****Sexually deprived for your freedom***
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Army wives****Sexually deprived for your freedom***
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post #7 of 21

I was thinking the same thing about her taking it to someone else. 

post #8 of 21

I surprised you've allowed this to go on for so long!

 

I have certain 'customers' that I'm fully booked for every time they call or e-mail.  Fully booked until the end of time, for them.

post #9 of 21

She is a waste of your precious time.  Even if she does give you an occasional order she is still not worth it

post #10 of 21
She may even be competition.
Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now. -quotebites.com

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Life is short. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now. -quotebites.com

http://m.facebook.com/Edible.Elegance.cakes.Zimbabwe
http://www.flickr.com/photos/73178569@N05/
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post #11 of 21

I agree.  If she isn't a cake maker herself, then she's certainly is using you to get ideas and prices and then go elsewhere where they're prepared to undercut.

 

 

Next time she contacts you, the first thing you ask is 'when is it for' and then reply 'Thank you for your enquiry.  Unfortunately, I'm unavailable that week.  Sorry I can't help you'.

 

Personally, I have no qualms about telling big fat pork pies (lies) to customers and telling them I'm fully booked when I'm not if I don't like the sound of the order or I feel they're going to be a PITA.  But if you have more morals than me, then saying you're unavailable isn't exactly telling a lie.  You're just not available for HER!!  Eventually, she should get the hint. icon_wink.gif

 

Suzanne x

Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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Inside this fat body, there's a thin woman screaming to get out...... but I can usually shut her up with chocolate!
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post #12 of 21

This woman is screwing with you.  As soon as she calls the FIRST thing you ask, before she even starts talking, you ask the date and then immediately say unfortunately I am booked that day.  Just keep repeating it no matter what date she gives you.

Or stop taking her phone calls and/or emails.

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 #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApplePomme View Post

I'm sure you know the type, the contact you, they have all these grand ideas and you spend so much time researching design inspiration, emailing back and forth etc. etc. When you send the quote, they agree and decide on a time to pay their deposit but then something always "just comes up" and they cancel on you.

 

I have one such customer and she is driving me to drink. I made her daughter's 1st birthday cake when I was just starting out and, while she was a bit of a pain in the ass to deal with, she did pay and pick up her order and even sent me another email afterward to say just how much they loved the cake. In the 3 years since then, I have been contacted by her for not 3, not 4, but 5 different cake orders, none of which she has gone through with. icon_mad.gif

 

The latest one was a wedding cake for this August. I spent HOURS emailing back and forth with her, suggesting things, offering design ideas, answering questions, etc. etc. etc. and now she's backed out on me yet again. In a matter of 2 minutes, she sent one email to say that she "is going another way" for her wedding cake, and sent another email to ask me to make her daughter's 4th birthday cake! I'm done with her SO FREAKING DONE. 

 

But...

 

What do you do with "customers" like these? Put me on a first class train to cake-making-hell, but I told her I was booked for the date she inquired about and put the kybosh on it right away. I don't want to spend another second on her. Should I have done that? I was polite, but it was completely a lie.

 

What do you do with the tire-kickers who never actually book?

YOU need to control the amount of time you waste on non-orders. You can provide 15 minutes of basic contact such as getting the details of the event down etc.

 

If these time-wasters want more, you can quote them your hourly rate for consultation.  Trust me they will vanish into the woodwork...

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relznik View Post
Next time she contacts you, the first thing you ask is 'when is it for' and then reply 'Thank you for your enquiry.  Unfortunately, I'm unavailable that week.  Sorry I can't help you'.

This is exactly what I did in response to her birthday cake inquiry. I didn't even bother with "Hello Xxxxx, Thank you for your inquiry..." bla bla bla. It was a simple "What date did you need this for?" and once I got a reply, it was another short one liner of "Sorry, I'm booked." Period, end of story. I hope she gets it through her thick skull that I'm not interested in dealing with her any longer.

 

Thank you all for your replies! I never considered that she might be using me to get another quote elsewhere. That pisses me off. I feel no guilt at dumping her.

post #15 of 21
Easy. " When is a good time for you to meet to discuss this order?" That will make it or break it right there.
"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
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Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
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"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Birthday Cakes
(2 photos)
Reply
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