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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 8th, 2009, 12:27 PM   #16
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We had problems early on with people not paying after the work had already been put in, or paying late and causing lots of hassle on our end. We've been doing the pay before we show up thing and haven't looked back.

I'd keep the full payment up front policy for everyone, but be flexible enough to accommodate the skiddish bride now and again. I don't see why this wouldn't work out.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 04:28 PM   #17
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Actually just came across this issue with our client's dad ..One of his family members have been burned by a videographer who received full payment b4 but didn't deliver the DVD until 3 years later...our policy is deposit and balance due b4 the wedding..he said no he wants to do 3 payments..just like the photographers...deposit, day of the wedding and on the delivery of the DVD... We are reluctant but want the business for exposure.

I've heard horror stories from other videog in my area whose client's either has no money, moved away, watched the DVD and didn't like it and refused to pay..or worse copied the DVD and tried returning it after for a refund...
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Old July 6th, 2009, 05:09 PM   #18
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old thread but here's my $.02 worth.
Payment in full BEFORE the wedding.
I get it 30 days before so if the check bounces (it has happened) I have enough time before the job to get it straightened out.
I started this policy about 15 years ago after being burned by a couple that got the marriage annuled BEFORE I finished the edit and of course I didn't know. Actually I just got rid of the VHS tape about 3 years finally.
I can't speak for other areas of the country but around here most (probably 99%) of all vendors get paid in advance. Here's my comeback to anyone that doesn't want to do that.

I've been doing video weddings for going on 26 years and if I didn't show up at the job OR took more than my scheduled delivery time as stated in my service agreement I wouldn't be in business for almost 26 years.

Burn me once, shame on you...burn me twice, shame on me.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 05:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
I'd keep the full payment up front policy for everyone, but be flexible enough to accommodate the skiddish bride now and again. I don't see why this wouldn't work out.
Exactly what I was going to say. I did this once for a customer. It turns out they decided to just pay the full amount anyway 2 weeks before their wedding.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #20
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This has been discussed before, as I have mentioned back then, I use to have have 50 % DP, balance upon delivery scheme and I have been burned 2 times, sometimes client just disappear for some reason. I have implemented a Full payment on the day off and I am happy with the result. I have a client who divorced 2 weeks after the wedding, I am pretty sure I won't be able to collect on the remaining had I stuck to my the old payment scheme.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 05:22 PM   #21
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yeah it's kind of a rite of passage in the business. If you haven't been burned at least once, stand by, you will be.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 07:30 PM   #22
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This has been discussed before, as I have mentioned back then, I use to have have 50 % DP, balance upon delivery scheme and I have been burned 2 times, sometimes client just disappear for some reason. I have implemented a Full payment on the day off and I am happy with the result. I have a client who divorced 2 weeks after the wedding, I am pretty sure I won't be able to collect on the remaining had I stuck to my the old payment scheme.
But Noel, you didn't put any time into editing did you?
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Old July 7th, 2009, 08:34 AM   #23
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But Noel, you didn't put any time into editing did you?
Hey Joel, I did not but where I am getting at is this, they did not call me right after they divorced ( I don't think the Video guy will be on top of their call list) .So I have finished the edit, printed the Album and it became a tug of war as to who gets who. Imagine if I have done all the edit, printed the Album and the discussion is who pays the bill.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 03:25 PM   #24
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Hi Don,

I agree . however how do you respond to a client when they say " i do not have the final product yet so paying in full before i get th DVD doesn't make sense?"

Oh also we make them sign an agreement stating all significant information (delivery date 6-12 weeks, amount paid, recourse if something terrible happens..etc.....etc...)

Thanks,
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Old July 8th, 2009, 04:01 PM   #25
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Payment up front or dont press the button !!!

We require payment in full before the wedding.

There is to much work that has to be done not to be paid up front. Everyone in my area has the same policy. Photo guys and video guys. There are many unseen cost the consumer just doesn't under stand.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 04:38 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Kren Barnes View Post
Hi Don,

I agree . however how do you respond to a client when they say " i do not have the final product yet so paying in full before i get th DVD doesn't make sense?"

Oh also we make them sign an agreement stating all significant information (delivery date 6-12 weeks, amount paid, recourse if something terrible happens..etc.....etc...)

Thanks,
My service agreement also states clearly, delivery, insurance, acts of God etc etc.

As for the scenario you stated, honestly it has never and I mean never happened. As I said before, in this area, virtually EVERY vendor be it video, photo, DJ, band, reception venue florist, ceremony musicians, get paid 100% up front be it 1 day or 1 month. It's pretty much a way of life here. However, IF a client WERE to bring that up to me, it's quite simple. While I understand where they are comig from they too have to understand where I'm coming from and that is this. First, I've been burned before. Second, I've been doing video for 26 years and some of my clients have been the children of some of the first weddings I did years ago and I wouldn't be in business for that long IF I ripped people off. Thirdly and to me, the most important, I have a reputation that took me years to build and there is NO amount of money that can buy your reputation, so if a client were to feel that strongly about paying in full prior to the event and if I couldn't convince them I wasn't a con man and wasn't going to rip them off, then we have no business doing business together and frankly I would pass on the job. This "job" HAS to have, I'll say again, HAS to have trust between the vendor and the client, if not, then honestly I can't think of any good reason to do the job.
Now having said that, I will say again that it has never happened to me and perhaps because of the length of time I've been doing first, still photography and then video (37 years in total) and my age (62) I have reached a place in life that if I pass a job because of a trust issue, well, so be it. That would be another day I get to spend with my wife, my kids and my grandkids BUT keep in mind, that's just me and my personality.
YMMV ;-)
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Old July 10th, 2009, 05:13 PM   #27
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So.. do any of you offer a sort of "pay it all now, we'll knock $200 off" up front policy.. so that you get the contract signed and paid for up front day 1?

Second, what is your refund policy on situations like.. your camera got broken by a guest.. who pays for the break? How do you work that into the contract? Or.. if your batteries die (really that should never happen.. but I am new so I am bound to make a mistake or two), etc.. do you do full refund or partial? What if weather turns bad.. especially if you're already shooting.. you don't want your gear ruined.. how do you handle that situation.. naturally most people move inside so I would assume you dont refund any portion for that reason? What about unruly people getting in your way.. not working with you despite your best efforts and you miss some key important shots.. they see the video and are upset you missed the cutting of the cake or the speeches.. or your audio goes out or your audio solution is not allowed (wireless in some settings for example) and so forth?

Thanks.
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Old July 10th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Kevin Duffey View Post
So.. do any of you offer a sort of "pay it all now, we'll knock $200 off" up front policy.. so that you get the contract signed and paid for up front day 1?

Second, what is your refund policy on situations like.. your camera got broken by a guest.. who pays for the break? How do you work that into the contract? Or.. if your batteries die (really that should never happen.. but I am new so I am bound to make a mistake or two), etc.. do you do full refund or partial? What if weather turns bad.. especially if you're already shooting.. you don't want your gear ruined.. how do you handle that situation.. naturally most people move inside so I would assume you dont refund any portion for that reason? What about unruly people getting in your way.. not working with you despite your best efforts and you miss some key important shots.. they see the video and are upset you missed the cutting of the cake or the speeches.. or your audio goes out or your audio solution is not allowed (wireless in some settings for example) and so forth?

Thanks.
Can't speak for anyone else but for me to answer your first question the answer is NO. I don't offer it. If THEY do, we'll talk.
As for refund policy, it depends. My service agreement states very clearly that if they cancel the services more than 90 days prior to the event they receive their retainer back in full. If it's less than 90 days they get 1/2 of the retainer back. PERIOD! I'ts in writing and they signed it. I do go over the terms and conditions with them when we meet or on the phone before I send the paperwork out.
As for gear getting broken, first I have insurance BUT my agreement also states that if the gear is damaged by a guest the person who breaks it buys it. Now this has never happened but you need to protect yourself.
I have never run out of battery power ever. Shooting small form factor camera I have 6 batteries all the Sony 960 and 970 so I could go for a very long time. When I used full sized cameras, I had 4 AB Dionic 90s and 2 Hytron 50s and even powering the light and receiver off that I could go for up to 16 hours.
I can't control the weather but I have rain covers for my cameras. Last week was a good example. It rained before, during and after the ceremony. They did a walk out and everyone got wet but my camera stayed dry. You work with what you got. We didn't do anything else outside except the walkout even though the original plan was to do so. No reason to even think of refund, you don't control the weather and they know it.
As for people getting in the way, if you're talking about the recpetion, well, there again, there isn't much you can do except changre position. I'm there to document their day and if someone gets in the way I move. Now during the ceremony most times it doesn't happen except during the processional when people stand for the entrance of the bride but I know thery're going to do that so I move a bit closer towards the aisle to get her comeing down the aisle without heads in the way.
If you miss the cake or a speech SHAME ON YOU!. Sorry but there is no excuse for that. In all my years I have never been blocked out of that and IF people get in my way I move THEM out. I'm getting paid for the job and I need to get that.
I use both a wireless and a hypercaroid and the only time I have an issue is when the person speaking (best man, maid of honor, dad...) hold the mic down by their belly button and even then it's not a hugh issue. A little work in post and it's fixed.
I don't know what else to tell you but it sounds to me like you might be overthinking some things.
Listen, things happen and they happen fast and always at the wrong time but that's the way the cookie crumbles. It's a live event that NEVER goes quite as planned but 99.5% of what you'll do will be fine as long as you relax, breath and do what you know how to do.
Shooting a wedding is like being in combat (I've been there so I can say this) Hours of boredom and moments of terror. You learn to deal with it.
Relax, have fun.
HTHs
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