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Thread: Not Getting Paid...

  1. Default Not Getting Paid...

    I have just started my event videography business fairly recently and this is the first time I have run into this problem, and would appreciate some advice.

    (My payment structure was 10% deposit followed by the full amount on receipt of DVD. I have since amended my contract to 50% before and 50% after...)

    I filmed a wedding four months ago and have the DVDs sitting waiting for the bride and groom to collect. I managed to get the groom on the phone once (a few weeks after the wedding). I had a creative question about the editing of the wedding service. He said the bride would get back to me. Not a word. I have emailed three times since then - without a response. Have tried calling once more and got voicemail. Left a text and heard not another word back.

    What's my next step, and what has everybody else done in this situation?

  2. #2
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    I'm not pro as a videographer, but I am self emploted in another area.

    Assuming they haven't seen the DVD and are refusing to pay because you didn't give them what they believed was stated in the contract ....

    You should send at least one letter via snail mail, reistered and signed for clearly stating the applcable terms from the contract. if no time limit is set in the contract then you should make one now (or at least give them a sensible period in which to respond if they want to suggest alternative timescale.
    Then I'm afraid it's time to head for the small claims court.
    Tim

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by TimStannard View Post
    I am self emploted in another area.


    .
    ouch ! you wanna be more careful Tim !

  4. #4

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    Your current terms, especially regarding weddings is fatally flawed. The bulk of wedding day vendors require 100% payment prior to the wedding.
    We ask for £200 non refundable deposit and the balance 30 days before the wedding.
    Why? After the wedding everyone is broke and they will seek any excuse/reason not to pay.
    Do not, under any circumstances, leave a copy of the DVD with them at this stage. They will copy it and return the original with an endless list of alteration requests, culminating in a 'not fit for for purpose' statement. Which means even more work and no money at all which means a court challenge by you, which will cost you even more time and a lousy reputation.
    Learn the lesson with this one and ammend your terms. No-one will argue with the 100% up front as it's the norm.
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by enc View Post
    ouch ! you wanna be more careful Tim !
    Fortunately accurate typing is not the area in which i'm self emploted (obviously "emplotted" should have a double t)
    Tim

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zero View Post
    Your current terms, especially regarding weddings is fatally flawed. The bulk of wedding day vendors require 100% payment prior to the wedding.
    We ask for £200 non refundable deposit and the balance 30 days before the wedding.
    Why? After the wedding everyone is broke and they will seek any excuse/reason not to pay.
    Do not, under any circumstances, leave a copy of the DVD with them at this stage. They will copy it and return the original with an endless list of alteration requests, culminating in a 'not fit for for purpose' statement. Which means even more work and no money at all which means a court challenge by you, which will cost you even more time and a lousy reputation.
    Learn the lesson with this one and ammend your terms. No-one will argue with the 100% up front as it's the norm.
    Thanks very much for the advice. This is trial-and-error on my part, and have learned a lesson with this couple. I'm getting full payment from now on.

  7. #7

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    I have found (not in this business but others) one way to go form here, with the situation you have found yourself is to try for an arrangement with the couple. ie get them to pay so much per week until the debt is clear, then you can give them the DVD. Sometimes a solicitors letter can work but that depends on the the people involved. If this fails I wouldn't even bother going to the court it's often a waste of time. BUT at the end of the day that decision is up to you.

  8. #8

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    One more thing - Don't ask clients questions about creative editing of any part of the DVD. They booked you for the creative part and that is what they will receive.
    A few clients ask if they can have any input on the editing side. I always reply that each person will see the shots differently and it will make the editing so much longer of anyone sits in. They have to trust you, as you have the experience to filter the wheat from the chaff to make an interesting interpretation of their wedding day.
    If they really insist on having input or making alterations that weren't requested to be filmed/not filmed on completing our booking contract, (they see themselves as creative as they've already had a few videos on you tube) I mention the charge of £45 ph and stay as long as they want. No-one ever has!
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

    Ex A.P.V Videomaker of the year - Ex M.M. IOV Come join my EXclusive club

  9. #9

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    Make sure you have paperwork and terms in place if not already
    Last edited by Z Cheema; 08-10-2011 at 03:25 PM.

  10. #10

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    Zero is bang on when he says your terms for weddings are fatally flawed and Im sure you'll correct this next time. Personally I would draft a letter to the effect that you are about to wipe the beautiful footage you have due to them contravening your T & C's and give them a date to clear the outstanding balance by.

    The court route will most likely cost you more in time and expense than what you will recover.

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