Man went ordered a cake, he called back within 3 hours, cancelled the cake, the owner refused to cancel the order. Owner called, texted and researched the customer. Customer again said I don't want the cake. Owner sued for cake $70, court cost $145 and $80 for storing the cake 90 days til he could get in court. Judge Milan gave the owner $70 and she said the customer had no right to cancel the cake. What do you think? 

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7 Answers

Barb Cala Profile
Barb Cala answered

It all depends what the "contract" was the man had with the baker.  Was he informed there were no cancellations?  If there were no cancellations, then the customer had no right to expect a refund if they cancelled.  Normally, customers are informed about that when they order merchandise of any kind.  Business owners would lose a lot of money if they allowed customers to cancel any order.  Even if it was just after 3 hours .. You never know what kind of preparations had already been made or planned for by business owner.  We have no idea how far ahead the cake was ordered either. 

Bikergirl Anonymous Profile

I guess it depends on a number of things .. Especially a timeline.  If this cake was ordered with an immediate timeline .. The bakery would have already started on it, and reasonably would expect to be paid for it. There would be a consequence to the baker now if the order was cancelled. They would have to try to sell a cake to someone that has already been baked .. And mostly likely at a discount. This would be a consequence to the bakery.

On the otherhand .. If this cake was ordered for sometime in the future, the baking process and preparation would not have been started .. And the cancellation would offer no consequence to the bakery .. Therefore,  as far as I know, according to typcial contract law, the customer has a 'window of opportunity' to cancel the contract.  Typically, that could range up to 3 days...and that would depend on local contract laws.

If the customer signed or even acknowledged a 'no contest' agreement (or someting similar in terms of the bakery's cancellation policy) he has agreed that once the order has been placed, that he could not cancel it.

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Jann Nikka
Jann Nikka commented
My friends have a very good afternoon 😎
Bikergirl Anonymous
Ok .. I just saw the episode in question. The guy lost the case because it was argued that he did not cancel his order .. He had no proof that he did. He didn't bother to pick it up. Time was invested in the baking of the cake, which was also decorated.
Cindy  Lou
Cindy Lou commented
@bikergirl---Well well well...how interesting. A whole other different story ...how about that!!!
Virginia Lou Profile
Virginia Lou answered

Dear Jan,

Difficult to jump into the situation you describe because had I been the customer, I would not have handled it like that.

Calling back within three hours, I would have said I don't need the cake after all, and what is their cancellation policy?

If the owner was really hard-nosed as this one seems to be, I would have paid the $70 and simply never return to that bakery.

Tinkerbell St. Basil Profile

I am completely on the customer's side on this one. I can't believe that they would have started making the cake within 3 hours of the phone call. A cake worth $70 would have taken some time to both plan and bake. I doubt it would have been done the VERY second he hung up the phone.

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Jann Nikka
Jann Nikka commented
@Tinkerbell, the cake was not baked, when he called to cancel it. The woman said ok and hung up.
Bikergirl Anonymous
Curious .. jan .. Was it ever discussion 'who' said it was 'ok'? Was it someone who worked there, or was it the owner of the bakery herself?
Jann Nikka
Jann Nikka commented
Hi Bikergirl, He said the woman the owner had in court with him. The woman said thought it was someone else in the shop. So he did call.
Cindy  Lou Profile
Cindy Lou answered

A $20 non refundable deposit by the bakery would have prevented the whole thing.

Someone cancels, deposit is lost.

Deposit is based on order total.

Customer has a right to cancel,  but bakery has a right to their deposit.

For the time and money and reputation lost for the bakery, they will go out of business's anyway after this-

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Bikergirl Anonymous
Yes .. that would have been the proper way of handling this .. clearly! A non refundable deposit would have comensated for any expense that the bakery would have experienced .. or at least a good portion of them. A very common and acceptible practice.
Bikergirl Anonymous
*compensated
Nina Varganov Profile
Nina Varganov answered

I think the customer should ask about the return policy before purchasing anything ever.

Tom  Jackson Profile
Tom Jackson answered

Was there an "opportunity" cost that the baker had already incurred by the time the order was canceled?---Perhaps in the sense of "substantial compliance?"

If so, the judge may have used the concept of "implied contract."

And of course you certainly have the right to cancel a contract at any time, but since that is a "breach" of contract, you may still have monetary obligations that arise as a result of your cancellation.

Contract law can seem trickoy, but at this level, it's usually pretty straightforward and the principles involved are pretty clear if you know them all.

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