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Old March 29th, 2013, 04:39 PM   #1
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Missing videographer

Bit weird title but that's what the case for me now; last week Wednesday I received a mail if I could take over a wedding from another videographer who was too sick, I had contact by phone with her, she send me all the details by mail, then she contacted the client explaining that she was too sick to do the wedding but that she found another videographer (me) that would take over from her. The client was ok with that so no problem.

There was only one small issue, the sick videographer had already received a 30% advanced deposit from the client that she would transfer to me.

I check out her website to get an idea what her style was (handheld docu) and adapted mine to that since the client did choose for that. I did the wedding Saturday and all went well.

Now I mail the videographer to deal with the deposit but she doesn't answer my mail, I send a new one, still no reply, I phone her but get an answering machine and leave a message, still no response and I called her several times today getting the answering machine each time.

My first thought was that she might have been hospitalized, which is a possibility, but then I found out yesterday her website is gone, and that is very weird. She has been doing weddings for years and has had a online presence during all that time so it's not like she just started.

I do hope she is alright but the missing website made me suspicious, I talked to the client today telling above story (as I can deliver the dvd's next week) but not sure how I have to deal with this, I can't ask them to pay me in full so they have to deal with getting the 30% deposit back, or can I? If I invoice them the remaining 70% only then I have to go after the other videographer to get my remaining 30%.

This is the first time I encounter something like this, has anyone else ever had to deal with such a situation? I hope it will all turn out alright and that it was just a silly misunderstanding but it got me thinking what to do if I ever run in a similar situation.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 04:45 PM   #2
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Re: Missing videographer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post

I do hope she is alright but the missing website made me suspicious, I talked to the client today telling above story but not sure how I have to deal with this, I can't ask them to pay me in full so they have to deal with getting the 30% deposit back, or can I? If I invoice them the remaining 70% only then I have to go after the other videographer to get my remaining 30%.
Noa,
this is truly a weird situation but honestly it seems to me that the only way to handle this is the way you just described and they have to get the deposit back since they are the ones that made the deposit to the other person. If I were you I would also have them sign paperwork turning the job over to you and you should be prepared do the job for the 70% only and if you get the other 30% or any part of it, be happy, don't worry and lesson learned.
BTW, I do hope nothing bad has happened to the other videographer.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 05:38 PM   #3
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Re: Missing videographer

Is it just a coincidence her website has gone down? may be her hosting has expired and she hasn't renewed it.

And she is hospitalized.

Wait it out for a bit and see what happens. Atleast you will get paid the 70% so it isn't a complete loss just yet.

Im sure she has a good reason.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 06:14 PM   #4
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Re: Missing videographer

Noa,

My contract specifically says that "the contract cannot be assigned without the consent of both parties."

Read the other contract before making any decisions. You may find out that you are not able to collect from the other vid.
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Old March 29th, 2013, 07:02 PM   #5
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Re: Missing videographer

Hey Noa

As the saying goes "half a loaf is better than none" and you have at least got 70% and a happy client who might even give you some good referrals. All you can do is accept the balance from the client (rather keep her happy!) and then if you are unable to retrieve the rest it's not that bad. Yeah, hope the videographer is actually OK!

Chris
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Old March 30th, 2013, 12:00 AM   #6
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Re: Missing videographer

It could be there are health issues, or other financial things going on, or both. My first thought is that the client is ultimately the one getting the "full" service you are delivering, and should be the one responsible to get the 30%.

It sounds like this is a "developing story", I think you should let the client know the other vendor has NOT paid/transferred the agreed upon deposit and you are unable to contact her - if they are still "on honeymoon" you may have to wait to bring them up to speed? That may allow things to resolve themselves, if you're lucky. But letting them know there is/may be an issue ASAP would at least be the professional thing and hopefully help you get the whole amount before delivery.

In theory you should collect the full 100%, and not be "out". One factor might be how the amount relates to your "usual" charges? IOW, if 70% of this job is close to your "100%", you're at least "covered".

The problem lies with the "mystery videographer", who is NOT entitled to the 30%, but has now "disappeared" - the clients could certainly consider contacting media or law enforcement to lodge complaints, and that might get results if you're being "ignored".

Just be sure you are the consummate professional so you don't end up being the object of anger/frustration - you're the "good guy" who stepped in to save the day, hang onto that high ground!

Hopefully it will all work out fine, but somehow I suspect the other vendor may have more "issues" than illness, just don't end up being burned if you can help it!
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Old March 30th, 2013, 03:02 AM   #7
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Re: Missing videographer

I think I will not charge the client that full amount, the thing is I don't have a contract with them because it was a last minute booking (I spoke on Wednesday with the videographer and on Friday with the client and did their wedding on Saturday) and since the only written and signed agreement they have is with their old videographer I"ll just let them pay the 70% and try to get the remaining 30% myself. (I called the videographer again just now and she still doesn't answer her phone)

Next time I"ll ask to transfer any deposits the same day I first have contact with the videographer, this might be very important when they received full balance just before a wedding in which case I might end up getting nothing for the job. It probably will just turn out alright but it's good that it happens so I know what to do when it happens again, maybe even make a new agreement with the "new" couple that needs to be signed and delivered before the wedding that they will cover for any deposit's made if those are not transferred by the other videographer (meaning they should always pay me in full) and that it's their responsibility to get those deposits back.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 03:46 AM   #8
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Re: Missing videographer

I know you said she's a well established videographer judging from her website...

But I can't help but wonder as it also sounds like a very profitable scam.

Bait clients into giving you 30% deposit, find another videographer last minute. Remove website, disconnect simcard.

Repeat steps again with a different company name.

The videographer is unlikely to go to the police over 30% the client is happy.

You have cowboy builders, you also have cowboy videographers.

I wish this isn't the case.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 03:50 AM   #9
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Re: Missing videographer

I can't believe it's that bad, a videographer I know that attends wedding fairs (not sure if that's the right name but think you know what I mean) has seen her there for several years as well trying to sell her services and she has been in the game at least as long as I have. There must be something completely else going on here, it was only the removed website (which is still not online btw) at the same time she stopped responding that made it weird.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 05:01 AM   #10
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Re: Missing videographer

There you go then. She obviously has a legitimate reason.

See what happens, but realistically speaking there isn't much else you can do with out causing a headache for yourself.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 07:10 AM   #11
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Re: Missing videographer

The couple must have the other videographer's address if there was an exchange of contracts. Why not just pay her a visit!

Roger
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Old March 30th, 2013, 07:50 AM   #12
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Re: Missing videographer

Noa, I completely agree with your way of seeing this. You will collect the 70%, so you are getting paid, just not top dollar. Ideally you should get the whole thing, of course. However, by you choosing to just go with it and getting it done you can put it behind you and concentrate on your life instead of getting caught up in drama, which you do not need.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 08:05 AM   #13
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Re: Missing videographer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Gunkel View Post
Why not just pay her a visit!
She lives about a 1,5 hour drive from me but if I haven't heared anything by next Tuesday I"m driving to her place since I need to be in that area for work next week.
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Old March 30th, 2013, 08:20 AM   #14
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Re: Missing videographer

I want to know how this mystery ends! Please let us know!
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Old March 30th, 2013, 08:43 AM   #15
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Re: Missing videographer

I have already been contacted for the rights to make a movie, I"ll make sure you all get filmtickets. :D
Yeah, once this gets solved I"ll post a update.
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