A customer cancelled a wedding 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 May 5th, 2010, 12:38 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Auburn, Washington
Posts: 231
A customer cancelled a wedding

Hi, I have a customer who signed the contract 3 days ago with a $200 deposit. Today, she just called me to cancell it. It states in my contract that the deposit is not refundable, do I have to honor my contract or just go ahead refund her money back?

Jun
__________________
Sony Z7U, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105 F4L, Canon 70-200 F2.8L, Canon 580 EXII, Zoom H2.
Jun Galinato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 12:48 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
I wouldn't refund the money unless there is a death in the family. That deposit is to lock down your service and you won't accept other inquiry on the same day.

btw, I charged $800 deposit. =)
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 01:02 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Auburn, Washington
Posts: 231
Thanks. That's what I thought. I e-mailed my customer and will wait for her reply.

Jun
__________________
Sony Z7U, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105 F4L, Canon 70-200 F2.8L, Canon 580 EXII, Zoom H2.
Jun Galinato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 01:05 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bronx, NY
Posts: 99
If it was only 3 days ago and, probably, you did not refuse any other offers for that date, I would refund the deposit. It's just me though...

Anyway, I'd ask for the reason nevertheless...
__________________
Thank you.
Ilya Spektor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 01:08 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,109
It is of course totally up to your discretion.

I came across the same situation when I first started in the business. I asked a wedding planner how would she handle it. She told me the same thing, except one time the groom died. She returned the deposit. I asked how would she know if the groom really died or it's a lie. She assured it is real as she attended the funeral.
__________________
LA Color Pros Blog
RODE Authorized Reseller . Comer LED Camera Lights . TakyBox HTML5 Menu Generator
Taky Cheung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 02:17 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Virgo Supercluster
Posts: 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilya Spektor View Post
If it was only 3 days ago and, probably, you did not refuse any other offers for that date, I would refund the deposit. It's just me though...

Anyway, I'd ask for the reason nevertheless...
I agree. Find out the reason, if she hints of a better deal or a different videographer, etc, then keep the money however if the whole wedding is cancelled, then perhaps try to get a sale out of her and tell her that whenever her wedding is back on, she can use this as the deposit if she decides to book you and you are available on the date. At the end as Taky said, it is at your discretion.

Let us know what happens.
Hameed Aabid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 03:40 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Hi Jun

Some countries have an automatic "cooling off period" Here it's 30 days. If it's only $200 then check it such a proviso is enforced in the USA.
You also have to think about bad publicity if the client "bad mouths" you. It's really a small amount of money we are talking about so refunding it may get you more points than refusing!!

As long as the bride has a valid reason then I would do a refund rather than get into an arguement!!

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 06:16 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 6,609
in the USA the 'cooling off" period only applies to sales made in the home by a solicitor, IE; encyclopedias (for those to young-the info from the internet used to be in these books that had all the sutff you wanted to know in alphabetical order and people really had these books at home) aluminum siding, carpet, etc etc. IOW, if the person in the house bought something that was unsolicited there would be a 3 day cooling off period.
I work from home and almost all sales are made from my home-but there is no cooling off period.
As for the OP s question of returning the deposit (retainer), I would ask the bride why she cancelled and then make a decision based on that but honestly, 3 days? The check hasn't even cleared the bank yet so...it just sounds "off". Ask her why before doing anything.
__________________
What do I know? I'm just a video-O-grafer.
Don
Don Bloom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 08:28 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Flint, MI
Posts: 212
3 days? Return it. $200 isn't going to make or break you. Unless you truly lost money by telling another potential client you were booked.

She'll never say "Jun is so great for returning my money, I'd recommend him". What you will get is her not telling her friends of about how she lost money booking with you.
__________________
www.styleandmotion.com - Modern Wedding Films based in Michigan
www.miweddingblog.com - Michigan's dedicated wedding blog
Aaron Mayberry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 391
in NJ, there is a 3 day cooling off period for contracts .. not sure if same applies in WA
Dave Stern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
A "customer" who changes her mind like that isn't one you want anyway (imagine the bridezilla when under full stress) - unless this was a short term booking and you lost another job because of it, return the money once it's cleared (make sure it's not being "kited", i.e. bad check), back away slowly and forget about it. Book another job if you can, hopefully it's a far enough out date that you can just find a GOOD customer.

Stuff happens, the "economy" is a wreck, she may have a "good" reason or none at all, and it's certainly an inconvenience for you, but better to be done and move on, IMO.
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 11:05 AM   #12
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Renton, WA
Posts: 43
Jun, I haven't heard of anything here in WA about a cooling off period for this type of scenario. I with everyone in asking why... if the wedding is off, then I personally would be a sport and either refund it or rip up the check if you haven't cashed it yet. If she found someone else, well, easiest $200 you ever made =)
Mike Harvey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 03:02 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 2,933
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jun Galinato View Post
Hi, I have a customer who signed the contract 3 days ago with a $200 deposit. Today, she just called me to cancell it. It states in my contract that the deposit is not refundable, do I have to honor my contract or just go ahead refund her money back?

Jun
My first thought is that it seems like your deposit amount is too low. It's just too easy to walk away from $200. I'd consider increasing it to $500 or more, depending on your package pricing.

As for whether or not to return the deposit (which by the way, you should call a 'retainer' for legal reasons), I would say 'no'. I would let the bride know that retainers are non-refundable per the contract, but also let her know that you will apply the retainer forward when she decides to re-book.

I know it's hard to enforce your policy since it has only been 3 days, but if you start returning retainers then there is no point in having a retainer in the first place. People need to understand that if they sign and contract and put money down, it is binding. They can't just change their mind later.
__________________
Black Label Films
www.blacklabelweddingfilms.com
Travis Cossel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 522
No. I would...

Since it's only been 3 days and you probably haven't lost any other clients over it, I would say return it all, but wait!! Think about all the time you spend obtaining this client. (emails, phone calls, contract, driving, meeting w client) Add all those up and if it's under an hour take half and give the other half back. If it's more than take $150 or more.

She knows how a contract works. Is she asking or demanding it back? Most clients will ask JUST TO SEE WHAT THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH! She is probably afraid of you and that you won't give it back.

So I would go from there. If you keep any of it explain why to them.

I take 50% down and 50% due on the wedding. I've never had a issues with deposit or payment. If a client is going to give me $1000 down payment, I bet the are going to make extra sure they are willing to sign a contract. Asking for only $200 then you will attract the flakes or what I call Flies.

Good luck.
Kelly Langerak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 5th, 2010, 06:22 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Auburn, Washington
Posts: 231
I have e-mailed the customer and never got a response yet. The reason they cancell is the husband don't want it anymore, but I guess they found a new one or a better deal. They didn't say that the wedding was cancelled. They even send me an invitation already. It also states that the $200 deposit is transferrable as stated in my contract, so if they have a relative that needs my service, they can use it. Thanks all.

Jun
__________________
Sony Z7U, Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105 F4L, Canon 70-200 F2.8L, Canon 580 EXII, Zoom H2.
Jun Galinato 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 06:13 AM.


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