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Customers who threaten

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone! Been a fan of CC for a couple of years now. Have enjoyed the humor,the humbleness and the talent of so many great professionals- but most of all the wise advice I have gleaned from so many of you. I have had my own shop now for 2 1/2 years and what a learning experience it has been! I finally  find myself facing a situation that made me get my own account so I could ask your advice. Here is my dilemma-I have an order from a customer who was referred by another bakery (often get referrals from them because they "book up" with orders and recommend my shop). Took the order and informed her I would need X amount of money for a deposit-she didn't have that much on her that day so I accepted a smaller amount with the understanding I would need X amount more by a certain date to consider her order placed ( I also get "booked" and she wanted to be sure she would have a cake). She calls the last day possible to give me her card number for the remaining deposit and ends the call with these words" It better look nice or I'm not paying". I am left feeling that no matter what kind of a job I do it will be wrong and she won't pay for the rest of the cake. I am going to spend the time required to do the order right but in the end it won't matter because she will not be happy regardless so I will have wasted my time and efforts. How to proceed? Thanks in advance for your responses.

post #2 of 32
Have her pay the remainder of her balance in cash a week or so before the order is due. If you don't already have a signed contract, get one when she pays the balance.

The other alternative if you really get a bad feeling from this customer would be to return her deposit, apologize, say that you don't feel you can meet her needs at this time, and wish her the best of luck with her event.
post #3 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft View Post



The other alternative if you really get a bad feeling from this customer would be to return her deposit, apologize, say that you don't feel you can meet her needs at this time, and wish her the best of luck with her event.

If you do this, you might get an angry call or have to deal with her one more time, but you definitely won't be stressing out while you make her cake or holding your breath after the event wondering if you're going to get an angry call. I don't work with people who act like that, I just don't. I've returned a deposit before after some comments were made that I didn't care for.

"I can do that, because this is my sandbox and I've got the bullsh*% shovel." ~Dianne Sylvan, Author and Lunatic
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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
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post #4 of 32
Red flag!

What did she order? Is it something you can sell in the case if she doesn't come through with payment? Do you have a signed contract?

What about replying with a statement that you sense concern on her part and advise her to look at your website to see the quality of your work. If she is not satisfied with those examples you can cancel her order; however, payment is due in full by x date (Prior to the pick up/ delivery date of course) or the order is cancelled.
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I'll never fit in a size 6 if I keep having cake for breakfast.
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post #5 of 32

I agree with the above posters. If you're concerned about not getting payment, have the balance paid in full at least a week or two prior to the event.

 

I'm sorry, that remark from the customer would have left a bad taste in my mouth. That's way too much pressure and it was down right rude. I would be leaning towards returning the money she has paid and let her know you're not available to do her cake. Just think, you had a hard time getting the deposit out of her. I can't imagine trying to get the remainder paid. Like you said, even if you do a great job, there's a chance this customer may dig up a complaint as a reason to not pay. You don't need that.

post #6 of 32

Return the deposit and cancel the order.  Explain that based on your last conversation you do not feel she is going to be happy with your work no matter what you do and that you are no longer able to work with her as a client.
 

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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 #7 of 32
Thread Starter 

Here's my problem-order is due this weekend! I have a contract for wedding cakes but did not want to think they would be necessary for other cakes-my mistake I know. A cake is a cake,regardless of the event-right?! May take Jason and Melmar02's advice and ask her to look at my other work and if she's not confident then we need to part ways.

post #8 of 32

I can understand everyone's concern, but none of us know this customer. She may have simply made a thoughtless remark. (Nothing we would ever do, right?)

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post #9 of 32
Just trying to clarify--the cake is for this weekend? When do you require the balance to be paid?
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Let's eat grandma. Let's eat, grandma. Punctuation saves lives.
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post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 

My policy is that the deposit be paid 2 weeks before the order is due-but didn't hold to that with this customer-with her attitude from the beginning I felt "bullied" and gave her an extension on time. I did contact her on the deposit due date to find out if she still wanted the order but had trouble getting her to respond, when she did, I allowed the extra time. It is all becoming crystal clear to me that I have no one to blame but myself for the circumstances I now find myself in-if I had stuck to my policy the situation would have worked the way it should-that's why we have these rules-right? I find myself at odds having to decide what to do sometimes-I am still growing my relatively new business and need customers and their business but do I have to go to any length to please them? Sorry for the musing...mama never told me how hard this might be!! Ha.

post #11 of 32
Thread Starter 

Sorry sixinarow-just realized the question was about the balance-my policy is that it is due on pick-up. But that will be changing-I see the wisdom of having the order paid in full beforehand.
 

post #12 of 32

@ Number2, don't beat yourself up about this. It may not turn out as badly as we speculate. You said you're starting to grow your business. These are things that are better to learn in the beginning instead of down the road. If the cake is due this weekend, I hope you'll update us on how everything goes once it's over. What kind of cake is it?

post #13 of 32

Well, if you're committed to completing the cake and accepting payment at delivery, then I'd tell her NOW that it's CASH IN FULL at delivery--ONLY.  She also is told that there are no refunds.  If she balks at that, then NO CAKE.  If she fusses at delivery, then the cake goes back out the door with me and it gets delivered to the firehouse or the police department as a thank-you for their services.

post #14 of 32
I'm with the others. I've had customers like this and they are never happy no matter what. Even if she pays for the cake that day she is likely to call later to complain about something. I would try to cancel the order. If you can't cancel the order I would already have a plan in mind just incase she decides not to pay when she picksup the cake. It's not worth stressing over if you don't have too. And that's time you could spend making your other customers cakes more beautiful.
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by maybenot View Post

Well, if you're committed to completing the cake and accepting payment at delivery, then I'd tell her NOW that it's CASH IN FULL at delivery--ONLY.  She also is told that there are no refunds.  If she balks at that, then NO CAKE.  If she fusses at delivery, then the cake goes back out the door with me and it gets delivered to the firehouse or the police department as a thank-you for their services.


That comment would have made me so angry I would have cancelled the order then and there. I would have told her that I don't appreciate being threatened.  I don't have a cake business (just a hobby baker), but my husband and I do have a business raising and selling  animals and I would never let someone talk to me like that. I wish you well with whatever happens. I hope it turns out well for you, I truly do.

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