One year later... still waiting to be paid at

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

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Old September 25th, 2007, 08:56 PM   #1
Major Player
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Conway, NH
Posts: 574
One year later... still waiting to be paid

Okay, I'm not sure how to handle this. I shot a wedding last October and the check bounced. The bride's mom (who wrote the check) said she would take care of it right away. One year later, all I've received is a $400 check back in February. Every time I contact her, she says she "hopes" to pay me in the coming weeks. This has been playing like a broken record. Now the last couple of emails have gone unanswered. I'm thinking I need to send a "signature required" letter basically demanding final payment. Is this the way to go? Should I mention the consequences of non-payment (ie, small-claims court), or is that a given? Should I hire a collection agency?

NOTE: I have not delivered the final product, nor will I until I am paid and the check clears. Also, the initial check they wrote included a tip of $250. Should I just assume that won't be part of the balance they still owe me?
Bill Edmunds is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 25th, 2007, 09:32 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
First try a signature letter, then have your lawyer send them a letter on his letterhead, then send Joe and Da Boys to get you're money ;-)

Seriously if the 1st 2 methods don't work, then wirte it off but don't send the finsihed product to them unti lthey do pay. As for the "tip" - well it's not a tip unitl they pay in full so figure that amount in to the total balance.

This is a very good reason why I get paid 30 days IN ADVANCE of the event and have for about 10 years. I've had 3 brides question it and my answer is real simple. That's my policy-either you follow it or we have nothing more to talk about. Harsh perhaps but it's better than working and not getting paid. BTW 2 0f the 3 hired me and paid in full. So over the years IIRC I've lost 1 to my policy.

Write a strong letter and go from there.

Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26th, 2007, 01:45 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
Posts: 471
It depends on how big the production was. Did you have multiple cameraman, and did you have to pay out a lot of money for their help?

Were you depending on the final payment to make up for these payouts?

Did you do the taping for cheap, with the idea that you would make a lot of money on the editing?

If you are owed less than $1,000, I would write it off and forget about it, but that's just an opinion from someone who has no idea regarding the circumstances.
Scott Jaco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 26th, 2007, 02:50 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
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"Should I hire a collection agency?"

Depends on how much the job was worth but since you still have not delivered I would just keep the dvd's in a safe place. With a little luck eventually they will come and pay for the dvd. If not then I would leave it at that and it might be a good idea, as Don said, to get paid in advance on future weddings.
Noa Put is offline   Reply

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