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Thread: Regarding Refunds

  1. Default Regarding Refunds

    I filmed a wedding a few months back for a reasonable price considering what the client was getting. My day started at 10am (went round to her home before the church to get lots of footage of her at her home, completely gratis) and stayed until midnight. The problem is this: it says in the contract she signed that I would stay until 2.30am, the end of the night. My bad. (I now have this as an optional extra for an extortionate price). The reason I went home early was because the evening do was particularly rowdy and aggressive and, having filmed so many back-to-back weddings, I was simply too tired to deal with it. Also, the journey home was 2 hours. This was a complete error on my part and I should never have left, so I don't absolve myself. I have since been corresponding with the bride who is furious I never captured "her divorced parents dancing" and "Tom singing The Killers" etc, etc, etc.

    Now, the total cost was $800 - she has only paid half. She is asking for the completed DVDs and I am guessing (with her long list of things I didn't film) she won't be expecting to pay the remainder. Is this reasonable on her part?

    This has been a huge lesson learned.
    Last edited by griffinmill; 07-18-2012 at 01:48 PM.

  2. #2
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    On the face of it you've broken the contract so anything she offers you is a bonus. What's better $400 in return for completed DVDs and a grovelling apology or nothing and potential bad publicity (that is potentially worse publicity than if you let her have the video withoy the midnight to 230am bits).

    However, the one possible argument in your favour was that the evening do became "particularly rowdy and aggressive". You could argue that it was clearly unreasonable for you to be expected to work under those circumstances and had to leave (a) for your own protection and that of your equipment (b) for the protection of the client's guests (as your equipment may have caused a hazard) and (c) it was impossible to obtain any usable footage under the circumstances.

    Leave the fact you were tired and had a long journey home out of it - that's something you would have/should have foreseen and is not the client's problem.
    Tim

  3. #3

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    No, it's not reasonable for her to demand full service and only pay half. Explain that the bridal prep was done in exchange for the extra evening coverage and you left because of aggresive behaviour from her guests.
    Don't waffle, don't let her demand a thing. The extra hours were more than compensated for in bridal prepping and in the extra editing involved.
    Your contracts seem to me a major headache for you and your eagerness to secure bookings overrides sensible boundaries that should be applied to, and covered by, your terms and conditions. If you want a copy of our T&C just let me know and I'll email them to you for you to twitch to your company name.
    Do not, under any circumstances, release the DVDs until full payment has been received! She'll no doubt squawk and threaten to blacken your name, but she'll do that regardless, as she seems to be desperately trying to recoup her wedding expences.
    If you're canny, ring round her other suppliers from the day and ask if your mutual client has paid all of her bill? You may find she's done the same with many others and you can issue your own threats to expose her as a serial money grubber.
    It always helps to be prearmed

    p.s. as a matter of interest our 'extra hours' charge alone till 2-30am would have racked up the whole of your fee for the wedding DVD.
    Our last point of coverage is 9pm or 2nd dance, for very good reason. Even the most distinguished wedding guests at the finest establishments, turn into a*shol*s after that time.
    We have had clients insist on 'more' dancing, but that's all it is . . . more dancing and really, really boring to watch stone cold sober.
    We have a wedding in the next month who wishes us to stay till 10pm for the fireworks and was happy to pay the 150ph for the extra time. She understands that there's 2 people for one hour extra on the day and a few hours extra editing involved.
    Great value!
    Last edited by Zero; 07-18-2012 at 05:06 PM.
    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

  4. #4

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    Interesting fore's and against's here. You have still got the DVD so you could play for time and hope she gets desperate gives up and pays the full wack. As its just a one off put it down to experience.

  5. #5

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    I'd personally go with Zero's advice on this one, Yes you left "early" but wait a second.

    Gig finishes at 2:30, You leave at midnight?...How does 400 of costing end up in 2 and a half hours? She has not got a leg to stand on and in your T&Cs clients should not have specific level of control over what you put into the final edit i.e Tom the drunk dancing around.

    I think you should seriously take Zero up on his offer, even if you do not want to throw out your T&C entirely you should do an exercise of lining up yours and his and going "He has that do I have that? Oh no, I'll add that in"

  6. Default

    Zero, if you could PM me your terms and conditions that would be much appreciated!

    Thanks to everyone for all the helpful advice on this one. I have offered her a slight reduction of $150 from the remaining debt as I think that is more than fair, but if she starts to grumble about that and demands it for just the amount she has already paid - then I am going to just have to bite the bullet and concede. I don't want a war.

    Put it down to experience.

  7. #7

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    PM me your email and fire one over to you.

    P.S. With the greatest respect griffinmill, I have looked at many of your previous postings and they seem littered with problems with clients/payment and contracts.

    The sooner you get your contract in order, start to take pride in your productions and a firm line with clients who question your decisions then you will face much more of these self inflicted business wounds.
    We all make silly mistakes and I'm not immune either . I'm not sure what part of the world you're in, but if you ever need advice on business, or weddings just phone me, I'm happy to help with my hard earned knowledge of both . . . mistakes and success.
    Last edited by Zero; 07-21-2012 at 09:03 PM.
    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

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