Client Rebooking a New Date? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 17th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Client Rebooking a New Date?

So I've had a few clients in the past who had to move their wedding date for one reason or another, and I always just accommodated them. Lately I've been thinking I need to have a system in place that penalizes moving the date. The reason?

Well, if a client's wedding is 2 months away and they decide to move the date to next year, then I lose out in potentially 2 ways. First, it's highly unlikely that I will rebook their original date with only 2 months to go, so I'm losing a date where I could have booked another wedding. Second, my prices will likely increase every year and if I give the couple a date for the next year then I'm giving away a date where I could have booked a wedding that was paying more.

So I was wondering how everyone here handled this situation. I was thinking of having a 3-way system. If your wedding is more than 6 months out when you want to rebook a different date, then I just accommodate it. If it is 3-6 months out then you pay a fee of like half of the original retainer amount. If it is less than 3 months out then you would have to pay a brand new retainer in full. Thoughts?
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2008, 06:06 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Sacramento, Elk Grove. Calif
Posts: 305
My feeling is that if that works you are REALLY good.
__________________
Puttin the wet stuff on the red stuff!
Terry Esslinger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2008, 06:15 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Esslinger View Post
My feeling is that if that works you are REALLY good.
I guess the idea is that if the client really doesn't like the policy and decides to not rebook with me, I'm really probably not out anything. They were moving their date anyways, so the original date will still remain unbooked probably. And for the date for the next year ... I'll probably book that anyways at my new prices. So I guess that's how it "works". Doesn't really have anything to do with how good I am I don't think. Maybe I'm wrong.

The only real downside to this I can see is that I don't want the couple to get irritated with me and not rebook with me and then not have good things to say about me. But I also don't like "giving away" wedding dates that I could have booked.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2008, 10:24 PM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Yeppoon, Queensland
Posts: 332
I think what you have in mind is pretty good option. Most people respond well if the information has been given to them initaly. I think most people would only speak bad of you if you have a crap product and if they have a bad experience during the day relating to the videographer, really if they change their date so late they should know that everything else they have booked for as well will incur fees of some sort. So if you can add that into your contract why not.

How often have you had date changes?
Peter Szilveszter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 17th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 419
Travis, I think having something in your contract that says if the client changes their date from lets say August 3, 2007 to Sept 3, 2008 with little notice ie. 2 months or less...there will be a charge of "X" amount of dollars. I think you should come up with a fair amount that everyone can live with. I understand your point about this subject but I think this sort of thing is a rare deal. I've only had "one" client change their date from one year to another in all my years of producing wedding vids.
I think if it's happening to you frequently this year....it's just one of those rare things that you get the pleasure of experiencing;)

BTW, the bride who moved her date on me did it with at least 6 months notice...not to mention she is one of my favorite brides. She has also referred me several times...so clients like that I go the extra long mile for.

Good luck, Joe
Joe Allen Rosenberger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 12:39 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 991
Travis,

This is not a common thing to occur, so I would just let it slide.. if it happens more often, then you should have a clause in your contract to outline the additional fees.

Or you can also draft up a new contract with them and make them pay for your higher fee for next year.
Yang Wen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 02:42 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Well, judging from the comments so far it sounds like no one else is really enforcing anything like this. Myself, I've only had a few clients do this in 6 years of filming. I did have one client postpone twice, making their wedding date 2 years beyond the original date, but the groom was in Iraq and I had no problem with that.

I guess I'll have to mull it over. I can always have it in the contract but only enforce it when I feel I need to.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 09:12 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Madison
Posts: 330
I have a rescheduling/rebooking fee in my contract that I go over with brides.
It says (going from memory) that there is a $100 fee to reschedule that date and there's a 6 month window to do it.

If the wedding was April 1st and they want to reschedule to May 1st... fine as long as the date is open. Just add $100. If it's not, we cancel.

If the wedding was April 1st and they want to reschedule to November 1st... no dice. We cancel or rebook.
Blake Cavett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 11:47 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 304
You MUST have a section in your contract regarding this....in short, here's what I do...

90 days prior to event, client must inform of cancellation or postponement

all monies paid are not refundable and can be used towards a future date wtihin 24 months of the original date and for the services available at that time, at a prorated amount

if the original date is rebooked, the difference of which is given back to the client.

I've done seminars in the past on contract law (part of my background) and am hoping to do it this coming year at Weva and 4EG. We'll see what happens with that.
Marshall Levy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 01:38 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Ahhh, so there are some people who do this. Thanks for the comments.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 01:44 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Denver, Colorado USA
Posts: 654
Quote:
First, it's highly unlikely that I will rebook their original date with only 2 months to go, so I'm losing a date where I could have booked another wedding
I guess I don't understand. Don't you already know if you turned somebody away for this original date? If nobody's inquired about it, then you haven't lost anything so why are you concerned about this? And of course if you aren't free on the new date it's all moot anyway - retainer is yours.

If you have no way of telling whether people didn't even bother to inquire for this bride's date that will now be free (because of a web calendar that publicly shows you are booked or something), then I would definately put a penalty clause in my agreement and just treat each case indvidually (like the Iraq soldier post above).

Again, I think your delima depends on whether you lost $$$ as a result of the bride's change but you don't say.
Rick Steele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 02:04 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele View Post
I guess I don't understand. Don't you already know if you turned somebody away for this original date? If nobody's inquired about it, then you haven't lost anything so why are you concerned about this? And of course if you aren't free on the new date it's all moot anyway - retainer is yours.

If you have no way of telling whether people didn't even bother to inquire for this bride's date that will now be free (because of a web calendar that publicly shows you are booked or something), then I would definately put a penalty clause in my agreement and just treat each case indvidually (like the Iraq soldier post above).

Again, I think your delima depends on whether you lost $$$ as a result of the bride's change but you don't say.
Keep in mind there are 2 concerns I have; not rebooking the date, and booking a date for next year at this year's pricing.

To be entirely honest, I get enough calls and emails from a variety of sources on wedding dates that I wouldn't necessarily remember if I turned down a client for their date unless it was a special date (like July 4th weekend, or New Year's Eve). So unless I know for sure, I need to assume that I turned down a client. Also, moving a wedding to the next year affects my business budgeting for this year. And like I also mentioned, now I'm giving away a date for next year at this year's rates.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 03:19 PM   #13
Trustee
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 1,997
Moves into the future

Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Keep in mind there are 2 concerns I have; not rebooking the date, and booking a date for next year at this year's pricing.

To be entirely honest, I get enough calls and emails from a variety of sources on wedding dates that I wouldn't necessarily remember if I turned down a client for their date unless it was a special date (like July 4th weekend, or New Year's Eve). So unless I know for sure, I need to assume that I turned down a client. Also, moving a wedding to the next year affects my business budgeting for this year. And like I also mentioned, now I'm giving away a date for next year at this year's rates.
Huh... this is making me think a bit, but fortunately I have not had this situation. So that means now is the time to develop a policy regarding it.

I'm probably of the opinion that a re-booking of more than 6months difference (usually back in time as opposed to forward) will go under new pricing (if applicable), otherwise I'll honor the initial pricing. Incidentally, my April wedding was booked back in November under previous pricing arrangements which I (and most videographers) would consider "introductory" which is part of the reason they are getting a killer deal. I'll probably need to take that into account for any future bookings that are close to or earlier than 6 months in the future.

As far as changes to or forfeiture of the retainer, I'm not sure. I have a 30 day policy (no refund if less than 30 days), but I have not addressed the issue of cancellations with more notice that precluded getting other work.

As far as short little moves back forward a week-month, etc..... I don't know. I personally don't have enough clients for that to be likely to run into many conflicts (I actually had conflicts this year for the first time ever). Since your situation is different, your guidelines will need to be be different than mine.
Jason Robinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 03:23 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Denver, Colorado USA
Posts: 654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
there are 2 concerns I have; not rebooking the date,
But again, there's nothing to rebook... it's not a cancellation, it's a swap.

Quote:
To be entirely honest, I get enough calls and emails from a variety of sources on wedding dates that I wouldn't necessarily remember if I turned down a client for their date
This thread is why you should be tracking *all* inquiries and double bookings. If you had then you could call one of them to say their date just opened.

Quote:
now I'm giving away a date for next year at this year's rates
Then charge them next year's rates. What would you do if somebody out of the blue called and booked you far in advance? Treat this "swap" bride the same way.
Rick Steele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Steele View Post
But again, there's nothing to rebook... it's not a cancellation, it's a swap.

This thread is why you should be tracking *all* inquiries and double bookings. If you had then you could call one of them to say their date just opened.

Then charge them next year's rates. What would you do if somebody out of the blue called and booked you far in advance? Treat this "swap" bride the same way.
On point #1, it IS a rebook. For example, a client books me for June 7th 2008 (a popular summer date). Then, 2 months before the wedding they decide to move the wedding to July 18th of 2009. Even though June 7th was a popular date, it's very unlikely I'll book it again considering it's only 2 months away. The vast majority of couples will have already spent their budgets at that point. July 18th of 2009 is also likely to be a popular date, so I'm not gaining anything by moving a 2008 client to it because I most likely would have booked a 2009 client for that date anyways.

I think what you're missing is that this one client has essentially locked out two dates; first June 7th ... and then July 18th. If the client hadn't chosen to move their date, I would be filming 2 weddings, but because of their decision I'm now only filming one. You see what I mean?

Also, I can't just "upgrade" their rates when they move their date. The reason? It's April when the client is deciding to move their date, and I don't finalize next year's pricing until July, so I would have no idea how much additional to charge them. Once we redo the contract and move their date, I can't just raise the prices on them when I finalize my new pricing because they already have a contract with the old pricing. It won't work.

I do agree I should probably do a better job of tracking requests for dates. You make a good point there.

I think my new policy is going to work like this. If the client decides to move their date and they are more than 3 months out, then I will do it as a courtesy. If they are less than 3 months out then they must rebook with a new retainer (which will be refunded in the event that I rebook their original date). This is what my contract would specify, and then I could always make exceptions as I see fit. I think this is a reasonable approach.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Special Interest Areas > Wedding / Event Videography Techniques

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:49 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network