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Thread: Payment and Nervous Clients

  1. Default Payment and Nervous Clients

    I get paid upfront 95% of the time, unfortunately the other 5% of the time I face the nervous client who thinks that the business will go bankrupt between payment and wedding, so I always offer this payment plan: 1/3 deposit, 1/3 on day of wedding, 1/3 on completion of DVD. Upon completion of a recent DVD, one of these particular clients has alluded to receiving the DVDs first before final payment. I would suggest meeting them to complete the transaction, but they live too far away.

    How does one deal with this tactfully?

  2. #2
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    I don't know what he thinks you're going to do with the DVD if he pays and you don't send it. Perhaps he's worried you haven't really completed it.

    Presumably you have a contract? Just send it to him with a final invoce. If by any chance you don't receive payment a polite reminder then a small claim through the courts.
    Tim

  3. #3

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    Just tell him you'll send the DVD when you have received the payment as was stated in the agreement. That's what was agreed wasn't it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    Just tell him you'll send the DVD when you have received the payment as was stated in the agreement. That's what was agreed wasn't it.
    I was assuming that "on completion" is what is in the contract and delivery is not mentioned, otherwise what Midnight says is correct.
    Tim

  5. #5

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    Never, ever release the DVD without cleared payment. Do you know what would happen if you did? There'd be a fault with the edit (nothing's perfect . . . ever) and the re-edited DVD would go round in circles till you were totally fed up and offered a massive discount.
    In the meantine they would have copied the original and be enjoying their wedding DVD at your expense.
    I know, because I know other gullible companies that have fallen for this one over the years.
    Even though the clients seem to have genuine concerns, the worst elements of human nature take over and it becomes a blag..

    I've had nervous clients too, but every one has paid in full before the big day. It's a wedding, so every supplier has to be paid upfront before they commit their resources to their clients. As MB says, it should be in your contract which the client signed - He did, didn't he?
    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

  6. Default

    My contract states final payment on delivery but I've been in similar situations a number of times and posted with an invoice. I've never had any non-payers. I understand the suspiciousness of some people towards others, it works both ways, but I've tried to treat my customers the way I'd expect to be treated and on the whole believe that most people are trustworthy, I can usually tell if someone may not be.
    I'm not advocating that what I do is right, but I wouldn't want to be involved in a business working so directly with peoples' private life if I was so cynical as to believe their main aim in contacting me was to turn me over for a wedding video. There's too much mistrust in the world when most people are honest and trustworthy, not just us (the service providers).

  7. Default

    Thanks for all the replies.

    For the small number of nervous clients I amend my contract to state that upon completion of DVD, the remaining debt (that is, the remaining 1/3, must be settled). Not after delivery.

  8. #8

    Default

    Good to hear you have a contract that works for you.
    In our early, serious hobby days of producing weddings, we used to ask clients to bring the final balance + music etc to the dress rehearsal. At least 50% let us down with all sorts of believable excuses.
    Since we went full time, we soon realised that other wedding service providers requested the final balance 1 month before the wedding, for very good reason - afterwards, they're always skint.
    Since we applied these terms in our contract no-one has either questioned it, nor let us down.
    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. Default

    I understand why people are nervous of clients not paying, it can be a large amount of money and especially so if it's your main or only income and you have experience of 50% or more not making the payment when required to. I may just be lucky as this has been my main income since 1989. In all that time I've had some late payers but I've only had difficulty with getting payments from three clients; two weddings and one business. One resolved itself after a year, one I wrote off, and I still have the unedited work from the third. I know that almost everybody in the wedding industry requires their payment before the day and I understand why that makes perfect sense but I just want to reassure those new to the wedding business that not all married couple are out to do the videographer down or rip them off despite the anecdotes that are heard. I've had mostly positive experiences. In the end you will have to make your own value judgement as to whether you trust your clients or not, as they will have to with you.

  10. Default

    I can appreciate how some people, especially in this current climate, are worried that a business will go under and they will have paid without receiving a DVD. But a wedding videography company can't really go bust. At the very least you'll always have a PC to complete the edit even if you go bankrupt two days after filming the wedding.

    In my personal opinion, it's the videographer who is risking the most when choosing to get paid afterwards. When I used to collect payment after the fact, I was mostly successful with getting paid - except for 3 occasions. Not bad, but still a royal pain. If the client has done their homework and hired a reputable company who they have visited, who they have thoroughly checked out (or been referred to), and has a website with relevant contact details on it - it will be very hard for that videographer to then disappear with their payment.

    On the other side of the coin, it's pretty easy for a client to drop off the face of the earth.

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