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ARGH.. Why me?

pchefinski

Advanced Member
Oct 7, 2005
664
0
I'm so upset right now. I had a show that the host blew off, and I worked my butt off for it. There was supposed to be 42 people there, but she blew off the reminder calls and then didnt' follow up to get outside orders. I submitted her show on 12/30, and I had a bunch of shows going right then, plus some monetary transactions through family for Christmas, that I confused myself and thought that I had her entire show accounted for in my bank account. Turns out, the biggest order of her show ($160) gave the check to her instead of me.. I thought that was what happened, but she kept insisting I had the check. And I couldn't get ahold of the guest to find out. So, here I am, the show already submitted a day before I even find the paperwork that says the check was written to the host. I can't get ahold of the host for 2 days to tell her, and when I finally get ahold of her, it's just her machine. (She never answers her phone). So I leave a message, then email her. And a day later try calling her again, no answer. I've emailed her twice, called her more times than I can count, and still nothing. She told me when she was giving me her show order amount the morning of the 30th, that if there were any problems, she'd be more than welcome to fix them (monetary). so I can't get ahold of her, we have some personal financial difficulties, and I have to take money from my PC account that I had in there to cover the show, out. my paycheck deposited though, so there was some money in my PC account. but the next day my account bounced because she didn't get me the check in time. It's been 13 days now! She can't call. she can't email me. I can't get ahold of her no matter how hard I try. The order was delivered to her house almost a week ago now, so no doubt each of the guests including the one who ordered the $160 of stuff has their product by now. So, I'm out the $160 for the woman's order (over half of which is actually my PAYCHECK!), the $30 it cost me to buy the two recipe's ingredients for her show (that only had 3 people at it) that she told me she'd reimburse me for, and the $64 for the overdraft charge! $254!! I'm out $254! We're having to borrow money to get gas so my husband can go to work, and to buy food for our son. I've got bills to pay and a budget to keep up, and we're only on one income.. And I can't submit another show (with the exception of payment through credit cards) until this is fixed.. Which really screws me up b/c I got a show coming up soon!
Now, I know I should have been more careful and I goofed up when it came to making sure the funds were in there before I clicked the button. I deposited about 15 checks at the bank that afternoon, so it was partially my fault. And I know that I can't automatically throw stones of blame and anger at her, because I don't really know her situation either. But I'm so frustrated and upset.. I guess I just needed to vent. From now on, my rules will be more strict when it comes to this stuff, and it may seem harsh, but I can't afford this if it should happen again--and there is always a chance when the only form I have of PP payment is my PC debit card. Again, sorry for me ranting, but I really just needed to let it all out so I don't scream and wake my little one, who's sleeping in the next room. Please tell me that all PC hosts are not like this.. because this woman has made the last 2 weeks of my life so frustrating it has seemed like an eternity--and has almost tempted me to put PC on the back burner for a bit.
 
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pamperedbecky

Legacy Member
May 6, 2005
4,488
0
Amanda,
I'm so sorry to hear you're going through all of that! That's terrible. NO, not all hosts are like that. I've been doing this nearly three years and I've NEVER had a host as horrible as that. I've only had probably 2 or 3 checks bounce and luckily the guests have all corrected it with no problems and lots of apologies. I don't do anything different than most people I'm sure. It just all depends on the type of person the host and/or customer is and that's impossible to predict unfortunately. Have you sent her anything in writing?? I would summarize most of what you just typed and send it to the host (and maybe a version to the guest) and send it certified mail or return receipt requested. Not that this will solve anything, but it may show her that you're serious and this is your business. I know there have been consultants who have had to take matters further legally and maybe some will post a reply.

Good luck to you! It's not a good way to start off the year, but hopefully this will be all the BAD stuff you'll have to deal with this year. You're getting it out of the way right off the bat. :(
 

pamperedbecky

Legacy Member
May 6, 2005
4,488
0
Oh and maybe next time don't do two recipes at a show like that. I know she was expecting 42 guests so you had to come prepared with the ingredients, but maybe make one of the recipes a back up that you can easy pack the ingredients up and take home to use for another show or something. That way you're not actually making two recipes even though you came prepared to do two. And she's not getting to keep all the leftovers, which I am assuming she did.

Just a thought! :)
 

pchefinski

Advanced Member
Oct 7, 2005
664
0
yea i learned my lesson NEVER to do two recipes fully prepped at the show.. that was my first mistake. but i made one beforehand so i thought that it would be okay. and i had it done beforehand b/c i knew i couldn't do the crostini and the savory sandwich ring both at the show. which it was alright b/c it was pretty much done by the time i arrived. but since i paid for the ingredietns, i should have just taken the ring home with me for dinner for my husband! lol the only reason i shopped for her was b/c she didn't call me back until the night before the show for me to find out whether she had the ingredients for the recipes or not. so there i was, out shopping at 8pm the night before her show, and then i came home and baked off the bread ring/crostini. and i did the show that she put off for a week, on the only day my husband had off.. all b/c i thought it was going to be a great show for her. that was the PERFECT day for her, so i wanted her to have the best show possible. that's why i sacrificed time with my husband at Christmas, and money to buy the ingredients... and then i end up in this situation. it's just so frustrating.. it makes me feel as if she didn't respect my devotion to her, my host. i can pull together the show at the last minute, with tons of stuff going on and a toddler at home, and she can't even call/email me back! it takes two seconds.. i know it shouldn't because some people are just like this, and you have to take the bad with the good, but it's just really upsetting me.
 

Sooner PC

Member
Sep 30, 2005
247
0
I'm not as nice as you are. I would have already been over to her house and asked her point blank for the money - then I would have been in contact with the small claims court to see what action I could have taken. I had 2 checks bounce in November - 1 was from an outside order. She had a money order to me within 2 days. The other was a less than $20 and we have talked. Her daughter has a show booked and we will connect there - but I didn't have a problem calling and getting it worked out.

There are people out there that will take advantage of you if they can. My husband does electrical work on the side at night and weekends. We had one customer who thought we over charged them - the bill was $125 and paid us what she thought he earned - $100. I am considering calling all the other electricians in town and blacklisting her. Maybe you should contact the other consultants in your area and give them a heads up on her.

I don't mean to sound cold, but this is a business.

Boomer Sooner
Shannon Overstreet
 

ange13

Member
Nov 2, 2005
430
0
This is the unfortunate part of this business! I can't even count the amount of times I've had someone bounce a check on me. Most of them have paid up, but I'm still trying to collect on one from last June and I have another one who was the host whose credit card denied, so I told HO to just put it on my card and now I can't get ahold of her either (from Sept)!!!! Plus, I had ordered something for someone else on her show that she now has too. So I completely feel your pain!!!!

If their houses weren't an hour away (downtown Chicago), I'd show up at their house, but it's way too inconvenient just to find parking!!!

On the other hand, I had a host back in April that I ordered something for my mom and we have never hooked back up (schedules) but she is still holding onto my item! She booked another show with me next month, so I know I'll get it then. Ya just never know how things turn out!!

Just keep your head high and know that this too shall pass! It seems tough right now, but you'll pull through. This isn't the norm!

Keep smiling!

ange
 

bbauman07

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Apr 12, 2005
1,473
2
Amanda,
I understand your frustrations!!! :eek: My bank lost a $400 deposit and since it was a night drop I have no proof I ever made the deposit. :eek: I'm out $420.

You can still hold and submit shows you just have to mail them in to HO with a money order. You commision is put on hold till you cover you over draft with the company. You can pay with personal check or debit card but they will put your show on hold for 10 days.

If I were you I would find some show order forms and sell like crazy to repay your debt. You could try to get your money but chances are you are not going to see it. She already has the products and your host probally cashed the check and already spent it. You can check and see if there is anything you can do legally. But since she has the products and receipt, I don't think there is much you can do. She does have proof she paid for it. You would have to prove that she owes you money. Also just because you get a judgement in small claims court doesn't mean they will pay you back. I was in a very bad car accident and I'm still waiting for payment from the person who hit me. On top of the cost to fix my car and doctor bills I had to pay court fees. Yet still I'm waiting for payment, and was told I by the arresting police officer that I probally won't get it.

When you can submit your shows through your PP again make sure you enter all of the payments. It will show you if someone hasn't paid. Also I have learned that an incentive is not worth risking it, I never submit a show until I have all the payments and they have all cleared. You could also let your hosts know that all checks need to be made out to you not them.
 

GeorgiaPeach

Veteran Member
Silver Member
Jan 22, 2005
1,371
1
I would suggest contacting the guest and explaining the problem. If I found out my friend (host) cashed my check and didn't pay the consultant I would be very upset. She might be able to help you get your hands on the money. If the guest says the check never cleared the bank, I would offer to pay the stop check fees and have her write you another check. Usually stop fees are about $20...worth it to get the $160.

Also, as for missing time with your husband at Christmas. This is a perfect example of why the HO suggests blocking out our family time and committments first and THEN book shows. We don't always do that though <<yikes!>> but it only hurts us when hosts don't live up to our expectations. Face it, our business isn't as important to our hosts as it is to us. Every consultant will at one time or another be "dissed" by a host. Just continue to handle your business with integrity and don't stoop to a low level of criticizing them to the other guests or anyone from that area. What goes around, comes around.

I have been a consultant for over 7 years. I have never had a host not make a bounced check good...take heart that this is a rare occurance. Keep your head up!!
 

pchefinski

Advanced Member
Oct 7, 2005
664
0
Well I finally got through today.. only to find out she's out of town until the 18th. So I can't do anything until then. I WILL get my money out of her. I'm going to mail her a letter, and keep a copy for myself, as well. Hopefully if she sees it in writing, she'll feel its important enough to call me back about it. I cant do anything about this until the 18th, but until then, I'm not going to hold back on my sales/shows. I'll just ask my hosts if they can pay with a credit card to cover their show (everyone writes them a check/gives cash).. I can't spend anymore of my precious time being upset over this. Although I am writing up specific guidelines to use for my shows from now on. I want to prevent this from happening again. It really takes the simplicity and joy out of this business--two of the reasons that I joined TPC to begin with.

Thanks to everyone who was so supportive during my rant. I'm sure this will get cleared up in time. Sometimes we have to wait things out, and it will be okay until then.. I'm just having faith that it will. All of your suggestions were great, and with the help of a director friend of mine, I'm going to ship-shape my business so I can run it as efficiently and smoothly as possible, both for me and my hosts/guests.
 

DZmom

Veteran Member
Jun 20, 2005
1,063
2
Thought I was the only one!

I thought I was the only one things like that happened to. I've had to borrow quite a bit of money from friends and family to cover the financial mess a host has put me in. I had a host tell me she MAILED the check and that it's been cashed, but I've never received it and certainly have never cashed it. Otherwise, my account wouldn't have been sitting at -$1200 two days before Christmas. :eek: I went against my better judgement and submitted the show for a friend of a friend so they would have stuff before Christmas. I told her that I had to have the money by the 14th. She said "No Problem!" Anyway, when her show went through it was paid, but the checks I had wrote ALL bounced. The checks for my car payment, credit cards, electric, water, 3 checks to Walmart, one to the shoe store, and one to Kroger! I went on vacation and was gone for over a week and had no idea until I came home with a sick child and checked the bank account 2 days later. Each one of those checks went through the bank TWICE and cost me $34 every time they went through. So, needless to say I am now on money order status for the next 6 months, because it bounced the other 2 shows that I did have the money for! We had opened a NEW account for the house funds, but hadn't gotten the checks yet, so I transferred all the money to the TPC account so I could write the checks for the bills. Of course the hubby's check is direct deposited into that account and it gobbled that up, too, because his company hadn't had time to switch the direct deposit information! So, I am LIVID to say the least! :mad: I spoke with my friend about the situation and apparently she just found out her son has been doing drugs heavily and he probably stole the check and cashed it!

Tuesday at my show I explained to my guests and the host that the show would be held for 10 business days after closing to allow for the checks to be processed and cleared. Only one person complained and when I explained to her what had happened to me she just said "God Bless you sweetie, of course I understand!" So, I will be going directly to their bank to cash the checks and if that's not feasible then I will be holding their shows!

Sorry this is so long, but I wanted you to know that you're not the only one!
 

GeorgiaPeach

Veteran Member
Silver Member
Jan 22, 2005
1,371
1
pchefinski said:
I'll just ask my hosts if they can pay with a credit card to cover their show (everyone writes them a check/gives cash.

Just remember that an entire show cannot be put on one credit card. The home office won't accept it that way. I have heard of consultants offering a small gift to anyone paying with credit or debit card. Might be worth it to stock up on paring knives or SB cookbooks to save the hassle of dealing with checks.
 

Jennie4PC

Legacy Member
May 24, 2005
3,360
1
I am so sorry to hear about both of you guys that is a bummer. I have been lucky not to have a bounced check yet (knock on wood) Good luck to both of you guys.
 

pchefinski

Advanced Member
Oct 7, 2005
664
0
GeorgiaPeach said:
Just remember that an entire show cannot be put on one credit card. The home office won't accept it that way. I have heard of consultants offering a small gift to anyone paying with credit or debit card. Might be worth it to stock up on paring knives or SB cookbooks to save the hassle of dealing with checks.

I've done this before though, so it must be possible.. or at least must have been, as I did this in October. I submitted an entire kitchen show with the host's credit card. It went through as timely as all my others, and I didnt' get any notification of any problems. Is the inability to do this a new thing for 2006?
 

GeorgiaPeach

Veteran Member
Silver Member
Jan 22, 2005
1,371
1
This is a policy that has been around as long as I have (7 yrs +). I just looked through my Recipe for Success and it is not addressed. I just called the HO and this is what I was told. It is the policy of PC to not have an entire show submitted on one credit card. They are able to catch this on shows that are mailed in and shows with problems. Yes, a show can go through on one credit card if sent via PP but they STRONGLY discourage this. The reasons are (1) if there is a problem it is easier to deal with if everyone has their own card and (2) in the future if someone needs to return an item for a refund, they will have to refund the host credit card. The guest will then have to approach the host for their money.

Amanda...I am sending you a private message.
 
Jan 3, 2005
16
0
Hang In There!

Amanda-
Hang in there! I'm knocking on wood.. I've done this for a little over a year and have had only 1 bounced check.. which the person called and told me about before the bank! I don't have everyone write their check to me. I have all the guest write the check to the host, then after we close the party I give the host the total owed on the show... the host gives me 1 check. This way if there is a problem with a guest, the host fixes it! Just something you might want to try.... Good luck!
 

janel kelly

Advanced Member
Feb 19, 2005
939
1
Amanda,
Can you call the guest and explain the situation? Ask her if the check has been cashed and taken out of her account. That way you will know if the host cashed it or not. If it hasn't been cashed then maybe your guest can write you a new check. I can't imagine anyone not wanting to work with you when you've provided such good services for them. I would definately keep on that host and get at least the money for the bank fees. If she is a pain about it all I may just forget about getting money for the recipes but at least get her to pay the fees. I hope you are able to get everything all worked out.
 

pchefinski

Advanced Member
Oct 7, 2005
664
0
Thanks for the support everyone! I found out that she's out of town until the 18th, but after that, I'm going to try to make an appointment to meet with her. I'm sure it will all go smoothly, as I know she's a business woman, just as I am. I'm sorry for getting all uppity the other day when I posted the first message. I'm new to this, and I'm in the process of learning how to run my business.. But every mistake is something you learn from and move on, so that you don't repeat it again (if you can help it) and it betters both you and your business. So, again, thank you for all your help. I really do appreciate it.
 
Oct 17, 2005
5
0
When I have to deposit checks at the bank, I drive to each bank and cash the checks. That way if the funds aren't available, I am told that by the bank and me and the person who wrote the check aren't charged any fees. I have only had that happen once, and when I talked to the check-writer, she explained why it had happened and corrected it immediately. Also, checks can take a few days to post to your account (if you deposit after 2pm or whatever), but the cash hits immediately. That way I KNOW the money is in there ASAP for PC to take out. :)
 

DZmom

Veteran Member
Jun 20, 2005
1,063
2
Driving to each person's bank.

That's not always possible for me. I sometimes do Saturday shows that are several hours away. Yesterday my show was 3 hours one way. So, there is no way I'll drive all that way to cash those checks. I'll be holding that show until the checks clear!
 

DebbieSAChef

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2006
2,153
0
HOSTESS Writes one check!

With strangers and friends of friends you should get in the habit of having the guests write out a check to the hostess instead of you. Write this on the outside order forms also "Please make checks payable to: Your hostess!"
That way you can total up the entire show and get the hostess to pay you the grand total with one of her checks (less cash and credit card payments). That way she can chase after non payers because they are her friends and family. This has worked out well for me. I don't have the money to put up front for people whose checks bounce. I have bills!! Also it is a GREAT idea as someone else said to give out small gifts to those who pay with Credit card or cash. I make my own chocolate bars in a mold that says thank you and I add a citrus peeler, twixit clip, or scraper. Whatever I have on hand. Usually with close friends and family I don't have to do this. But it's a great rule to follow and discuss with your hosts during host coaching. Explain how it is easier for you to use this policy so that you can get the products ordered quickly and shipped to her ASAP without having to wait for checks to clear. They understand.
Debbie
 

jenniferlynne

Veteran Member
Jun 29, 2005
1,998
0
One check!

I agree with the one check rule. I actually haven't done this with my kitchen shows, but always do it with my catalog shows. I tell the hostess to have everyone write the check to her unless they are paying with a credit card. I haven't had a bounce check problem yet, but I did have a hostess take 3 weeks to get her check to me. I refused to close the show until I got it. A lot of times I will even offer to have the order shipped to my house if they don't live too far away. That way I can hold the order for ransom until I'm paid or until everything goes through.
 

fruit76loop

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Sep 13, 2005
1,159
0
Not me.

I would rather have 1 check from a customer bounce than the hostess check for the entire show! I have done over 200 kitchen shows and I have only had 3 customer checks bounce. However, the one time I tried to have the hostess write a check for the entire show, she bounced a check for $986!!! Again, I would rather try to collect on a $50 check than a $900 check!

Just my though! :D
 

jenniferlynne

Veteran Member
Jun 29, 2005
1,998
0
fruit76loop said:
I would rather have 1 check from a customer bounce than the hostess check for the entire show! I have done over 200 kitchen shows and I have only had 3 customer checks bounce. However, the one time I tried to have the hostess write a check for the entire show, she bounced a check for $986!!! Again, I would rather try to collect on a $50 check than a $900 check!

Just my though! :D

Yeah, that is a good point too!! Guess there is really no guarantee on anything unless it is a credit card!! And I guess even those can be declined! Anyone had a credit card be declined? If so, how long did it take to find out and did it effect the order?
 
C

clpopiela

Guest
Credit card decline

jenniferlynne said:
Yeah, that is a good point too!! Guess there is really no guarantee on anything unless it is a credit card!! And I guess even those can be declined! Anyone had a credit card be declined? If so, how long did it take to find out and did it effect the order?

I've had a credit card be declined for one of my shows back in May. I found out within 24-48 hours after I submitted the show(more like 12 hours). HO held onto the order, and we had to arrange for another form of payment. HO called right away, but then I had to play phone tag with the person whose cc was declined.
 
Nov 23, 2005
68
0
I submitted a show yesterday afternoon and this morning I had an e-mail from The Pampered Chef® Solution Center Team stating that a guests CC had been declined. It was an outside order brought in by a guest so I had not even met this person. Luckily after calling and leaving a message the customer returned my call this afternoon with another CC # and all is resolved and the show is being processed. I have had to deal with only 1 returned check so far and I was lucky then too as the customer contacted me before the check was returned to let me know what was going to happen and to make payment in cash. So I am giving serious thought to having people write their checks to the host instead of me but I hate to do that as I want my hosts job to be as easy as possible. *sigh*
 

BethCooks4U

Legend Member
Gold Member
Jan 21, 2005
13,007
42
I always have the guests write the checks to me. I don't want to take the chance of checks not clearing the host's account and then her check bouncing. That would make her one frustrated and unhappy host and it wouldn't do much for me either.
 

DebbieSAChef

Senior Member
Jan 17, 2006
2,153
0
Hostess check never bounced

I have never had a hostess check bounce. The hostess understands that I shouldn't have to chase down her friends and family. It actually works out better because she is able to better handle people she knows. I don't think it puts more work on her, I think it encourages her to invite people who will pay and people we both can trust. I have always told my hosts to check and make sure all of their guests checks clear. They have a week before I close their show anyway. That is usually plenty of time for a check to clear.
Debbie Mireles
 
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