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Old February 17th, 2014, 10:34 PM   #1
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How long do you wait?

Hi All

For the very first time I have a bride who refuses to contact me regarding delivery of her DVD sets. Her wedding was on 29th November last year and in early December I sent her an email saying he product was ready (and please pay the remaining balance ..just a small amount for extras of $267) ..I heard absolutely nothing and eventually in early January she emailed and told me her baby got sick then she got sick and she will organise everything. Subsequent emails and phone messages (she never answers her mobile) are ignored and now it's coming close to 3 months since the wedding day.

I really couldn't care less about the small extras amounts as I have been paid in full for the wedding BUT what do you guys do if brides don't contact you??? How long to you have to wait while the DVD's sit on the shelf ?? I find it amazing that she has paid out all this money and got nothing for it so far.

Chris
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Old February 17th, 2014, 10:52 PM   #2
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Re: How long do you wait?

Well it wasn't a set of DVDs but a VHS tape that sat on my shelf for about 20 years maybe more. I couldn't make myself toss it but I FINALLY manned up and got rid of it about 5 years ago or so. They got divorced BEFORE I finished the edit (remember deck to deck edits and the time they took) and neither one ever returned a phone call or a letter (before the unlimited use of cell phones and email-you know when people actually took the time to talk to one another face to face) and since they still owed some money they never got the tapes. I hung onto them on the off chance one of them would respond, pay me the couple of hundred owed and I could then deliver them. NOT!
Hang on to it Chris then you too will have a chapter for your book! ;-)
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Old February 17th, 2014, 11:19 PM   #3
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Re: How long do you wait?

It's a reminder to make sure your contract has it spelled out about what happens if they don't contact you within a certain amount of time.

I'd hit them up with email, text, voicemail, and a letter, letting them know to contact you within (choose your time frame).
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Old February 18th, 2014, 12:14 AM   #4
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Re: How long do you wait?

Thanks Guys

Yeah Don ..maybe it can be a nice sample to show brides and one for the book anyway.

Rob? I have left emails every two weeks, plus voice mail on her cell phone. Good idea on time limits too .."if you don't respond to my message/ email before 15/03/2014 then .........." What do you guys do, just put the DVD's in a cupboard for 20 years like Don?? I might not be around in 20 years!!!

Hmm they bought a house and have a baby so it would seem weird if they have split up already ..in this world however, anything can happen!!

Chris
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Old February 18th, 2014, 02:49 AM   #5
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Re: How long do you wait?

Chris you should really change your policy! I get 250 deposit and 30 days before the event full balance is due! If they do not pay they lose their deposit and I do not film! This takes away the have no money after the event. Steve
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Old February 18th, 2014, 03:12 AM   #6
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Re: How long do you wait?

18 months currently for an Indian wedding Chris - I agreed (covered by my PRS Licence) that they could have a selection of music over some of the sequences but since filming the wedding (they paid in full prior to the day - this is a must for me) I cannot get in touch - I have tried groom/wife/groom's sister email and left voicemail for the groom. I have also written to the address where I had a pre-wedding meeting. My next step will be a personal visit but I'm pretty busy at the moment so it will have to wait, also it can wait until I'm in the area - it's quite a drive and I don't see why I should put myself out to such a degree under the circumstances.

As it's an Indian wedding the music will have culturally more significance than western music so I can't just use anything. So I'm pretty stuck at the moment, I just hope that they don't deem to get in touch in the middle of July when I'm maxxed out! It was a long wedding and although I've edited the ceremony and speeches there's an awful lot still to go when (if) I get the music.

Pete
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Old February 18th, 2014, 05:18 AM   #7
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Re: How long do you wait?

Hi Pete

I try and make sure that I have everything before the big day so I'm not waiting for the bride to give me media of any sort. If it's a special and she wants, say, photos of themselves in younger days, I make sure that they give me everything before their wedding day.

This wedding is complete and ready to deliver .. they just don't seem to want it!! If I had paid for something at the very least I would take delivery instead of getting absolutely nothing for my money.

Strange situation .. and the first one I have had where I collected the money up front. I can only guess that maybe the marriage went sour like Don's client??

I did have one wedding where the couple went on honeymoon and the bride asked for separate rooms. It was annulled when they got back but they still took the DVD's and paid for them.

Chris
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Old February 18th, 2014, 05:59 AM   #8
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Re: How long do you wait?

I did a photography job few years back, they were separated before i could get the photographs to them.
Did a combined one in September last, still laying on a shelf here!
Seems like theres lots of reasons why couple's dont respond, but i'd say the main one is money.
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Old February 18th, 2014, 06:01 AM   #9
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Re: How long do you wait?

I take about 8 weeks to deliver each wedding Chris, a long time for some I know but my customers are happy with that - I start off in the season delivering them within a few weeks but as the season goes on I tend to backlog - usually waiting for people to get back to me with music choices - for this season I've been asking people to give me a selection up front - hopefully that will cure it.

I had one couple who had split up 4 weeks after the wedding, before the DVD was ready - I still have it and neither of them want it - I got paid though!
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Old February 18th, 2014, 07:13 AM   #10
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Re: How long do you wait?

Hi Chris,

I would be inclined to send them a final email stating that you need to clear their footage from your hard drives to make way for other weddings, and that in view of the time that has elapsed, if you haven't heard from them within 7 days, you will forward the finished work to them with an invoice for the balance with a time limit on payment.

I filmed a wedding 11 years ago, waited a few weeks to hear from them about the music and details for credits that they wanted. when I didn't hear from them, I tried to contact them again and found that they had run up massive debts and done a runner? As I have always been paid on delivery, I put the unedited tapes and their contract on a shelf and didn't do any more. Early last year, I was contacted by the bride's sister who told me that their parents who were paying for the wedding, had split up and both refused to pay, so as the couple had booked it they became liable for quite a few thousand pounds and decided to disappear. A couple of years ago, the groom was diagnosed with a terminal illness and by the time the sister contacted me had only a few months to live.

She had phoned to appologies to me on behalf of her sister, who was highly embarrassed at having let me down, but even more so because her foolishness had lost her the memories of her wedding day and soon her husband. When I told her I still had the original recordings, she was speechless and ithen asked if I would be prepared to edit them of she paid the current rate. I said I would and delivered them a week later, but charging the original contracted price.

Shortly after, I had a lovely letter from the Bride, apologising, but very emotional saying that I had given her something to cherish for the rest of her life. I also heard that the Groom had passed away at the latter part of last year.

My contracts now though have a non payment penalty clause that starts two weeks after the video is complete, just in case they decide they have run out of money or try to stall for time. Interest is charged at the rate of 1% per week.

Roger
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Old February 18th, 2014, 07:53 AM   #11
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Re: How long do you wait?

Thanks Roger

Good idea but I'm hardnosed so the DVD sets are staying right here...if I deliver and send her an invoice she simply will not pay it, based on her current performance so it sits on my shelf and when (if) the money is paid for the extras THEN I'll deliver. She is not disputing any prices and hasn't mentioned money issues so I'm not sure what the problem might be at all???

It doesn't look like she wants to tell me either! Shucks, I'm a nice guy and if a bride was a bit broke I would be quite happy to accept any money owed in bits and pieces BUT at least communicate with me!!

I "trusted" one bride a very long time ago who owed me the balance of her shoot (it was a tiny one too ..just ceremony) so she owed me a couple of hundred at most. I foolishly delivered the DVD's and she promised to put the payment thru that very night. I gave up waiting and trying to communicate after 12 months but, of course, had delivered the product. Nothing moves from my office until it's fully paid for now!!

Chris
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Old February 18th, 2014, 08:28 AM   #12
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Re: How long do you wait?

I do agree with that Chris, I don't leave any dvds on delivery unless they have paid, and the penalty clause is invoked from completion date not delivery date. I expect to deliver within a week of completion, but the clause is to avoid any stalling.

Perhaps you can just invoice them for the balance, with a late payment surcharge if they don't pay by a due date. Make sure that they know that delivery is following payment. If they still aren't responsive, you could also suggest that they are in breach of contract, which I assume they are anyway.

Roger
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Old February 18th, 2014, 10:19 AM   #13
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Re: How long do you wait?

I suppose I would deliver anything that is already paid for.

From here on out, an email won't cut it. You'll have to do a certified letter where they have to sign for it, if you want to pursue the rest. Keep records of all your actions, in case 2 years from now, they cry foul.

In our contract, they have fourteen days to contact us back. I'm pretty lenient, though, and the 14 days would begin from where you are: after numerous and thorough attempts to get a hold of them. I have to send an official notice of the deadline.

I once had a wedding where they were split up within 3 months - he was a long haul trucker and she started cheating with someone from the wedding. Fortunately, that's a minority. I'm always glad when I run into couples years later and see them still together (just happened at Christmas, a couple from 8 years ago).
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Old February 18th, 2014, 12:43 PM   #14
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Re: How long do you wait?

Is there only me that gets paid before hand? I would not work one hour if they did not pay me 30 days before the date. Been stung once never again. steve
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Old February 18th, 2014, 01:12 PM   #15
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Re: How long do you wait?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bleasdale View Post
Is there only me that gets paid before hand? I would not work one hour if they did not pay me 30 days before the date. Been stung once never again. steve
No you're not. The vast majority of us get paid up front for everything because we all know they'll be no money left after he honeymoon!

Even the OP seems to have been paid up front, but there are a few add-ons that needed paying afterwards.
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