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Old May 9th, 2014, 12:40 PM   #1
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Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

Hello there everyone,

The venue that we've got a wedding booked for is trying to charge all vendors of the bride we're shooting for a "policy acknowledgement fee" of $100 per vendor. I have never heard of any fee like this, and it makes me pretty upset that the venue would try to do this. The venue even goes as far as to only allow brides to book vendors off of an "approved list", and the only reason she was allowed to use us was because the bride complained that there were no good videographers on the list.

I don't want to pay this fee based on principle alone - I couldn't care less about the money. Not only that, but the owner of the place that we've been dealing with has been extremely rude with us for absolutely no reason. It's come to the point where we have decided that we won't be accepting any future weddings there.

Any opinions? Has anyone else ever had a venue try to charge them a fee?

Thanks!
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Old May 9th, 2014, 12:43 PM   #2
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Eggerton View Post
I could care less about the money.
I'm assuming you mean couldn't care less?

Perhaps the approved vendor list is giving him back handers (commission) and he wants some way of recovering this from you.

However, my question are.... what happens if you don't pay it? He just doesn't acknowledge something that you sent? Do you care if he acknowledges it? Does the Bride? Will he turn you away on the day and deliberately upset the bride? Have you mentioned it to the Bride?

Either way, we've never paid commission to a venue and never will. You have the power to make them look great or to record things that aren't so great. OTOH, they can also make life miserable on the day, lighting, sound systems etc.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 12:57 PM   #3
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

I'd contact your state's attorney's office and talk to them about it. It's possible this is against the law.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 01:26 PM   #4
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

Don't know what your contract states but all extra costs the day of the wedding, like for parking are for my client to pay, if a venue would charge me to allow to shoot that would also be for the couple to pay, no way I would pay them.
Guess how long they will be in business with an attitude like that...
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Old May 9th, 2014, 01:52 PM   #5
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

sounds completely bogus. Do you have contact with the other vendors?
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Old May 9th, 2014, 02:19 PM   #6
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

There is a very popular venue here in Houston that tried to charge me 10% of the price I charged the bride for her video. She said "We do that for all of the videographers". So, I said " That means, if I charge the bride $3k, you get $300 out of my pocket and if another videographer comes along and shoots at this venue for only $1500, he only has to pay $150 for occupying this facility for roughly the same amount of time I did. (Most of the weddings at this venue are on a strict schedule, so no matter how much the bride spends on her wedding at this place, they all usually end at the same time of night). I let the venue coordinator know I wasn't going along with that scam and since then, I have only shot one wedding there. Prior to that "conversation" and so called "new" policy, I had shot at least a dozen or so weddings there. It appears as though they are screening the bride for her choice of videographers and then making recommendations as to who she should pick...You know, the ones that will cough up the cash to shoot there.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 02:22 PM   #7
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

That is a crock full of it. The bride chooses her vendors. The Limos, florists, photogs, videogs, music, etc. The venue is really a glorified restaurant with fancy dressed waiters. They are in business to provide food and that is as far as their jurisdiction goes. I never heard of that ridiculous, absurd, pile of rhino dung anywhere. Let them try that stunt on me or my client.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 02:23 PM   #8
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

But Arthur, how do you Really feel?
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Old May 9th, 2014, 03:18 PM   #9
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

The "preferred" vendors list at many venues has been around for a long time and I do recall 1 banquet venue trying to charge if a vendor wasn't on the list and they had a job there. First it got splashed in the newspaper (remember those) then they were sued by a vendor that wasn't going to pay (didn't go anywhere but it did cost the venue some money to fight the suit) at some point it got on the wedding websites and brides all over were mouthing off about it then the venue went out of business. Gee, I wonder why.
UNLESS they have it in writing that no other vendor can work there unless they pay, it's extortion which the last I heard is illegal in all 50 states. Go in, work, if they say anything, have him show you in writing where you have to pay to work. I bet he can't. IMO, it's just a way for the venue owner to pick up a quick hundred bucks.
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Old May 9th, 2014, 04:03 PM   #10
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

This has long been a problem in photography especially in the States. It is widespread. Sometimes it can be quite subtle in the way the wedding co-ordinator brings pressure on the couple by implying that experience of working at their particular venue is vital or that booking someone outside of their approved list is taking a huge risk. Or it may be more direct like charging the client more to use "outside" vendors. Unfortunately sometimes these fees are expected in cash direct from the vendor to the co-ordinator :- (

Many UK DJs find themselves having to pay fees as the practice has taken a hold.

Of course the clients are lead to believe that recommended vendors are on the list because they are the best whereas the reality is that they are the mugs who pay the fees.

Sometimes venues require you to place an expensive ad in some useless wedding guide in order to be in with a shout. Thats how indirectly they get their money. We used to get plagued by these sales people but it seems to have largely died off now. Some of these guides never even get published.

Sometimes it can be justified that the vendors allowed onsite be controlled from an approved list. Caterers might be one.

Try making contact with local groups of photographers - there are bound to be several in the Dallas area. Some groups have successfully campaigned against venues and the charging policy has been dropped.

I'm pretty sure Cliff Mautner was at the vanguard of one such successful campaign. He is not in your area but he is very helpful and approachable and may be able to offer some advice.

http://www.cmphotography.com/

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Old May 9th, 2014, 04:33 PM   #11
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

Sounds like a "venue" that wants to milk every "cow" that passes through... probably don't appreciate that you are a BULL, and don't like being "milked"...

"Policy acknowledgement fee" sounds like something someone made up as an excuse to play games and squeeze money out of anyone who is silly enough to get sucked into it.

I've seen more than a few ridiculous attempts to impose highly questionable "terms and conditions" on others, sometimes you just have to laugh, knowing these things come back around...

I wouldn't be surprised if this was some way to attempt to weasel around contracts with EXISTING vendors, who probably already got "milked" and wouldn't be too happy about an "exception"... Giving a vendor an "exclusive" in exchange for a fee is one I've seen a few times, and of course when there's such a marginal ethical position to start from, it shouldn't be a surprise when there's some other "trick" when it means lost business. Pity the people doing "business" (or is that being "given the business"?) at a venue like this...
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Old May 9th, 2014, 09:16 PM   #12
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

Like Noa, if the bride insists on using a venue that milks suppliers then it's the bride who needs to cough up the money if she is stupid enough to use the venue.

I wonder if the bride knew about this arrangement when she booked the venue. To be honest I have never heard of any venue ever doing this and I would certainly not give them a penny!! You will probably find their "approved" list of vendors insist on this so they get the work rather than an outsider.

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Old May 10th, 2014, 12:19 AM   #13
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

I would inform the bride about the fee, let her know she needs to deal with the venue. This "fee" is of no concern of yours.

I promise you when you remind her that her deposit is non-refundable it will work out perfectly.
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Old May 10th, 2014, 03:35 AM   #14
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

I know of a high end venue that asks 30% of your rate only for mentioning your name to a couple, that's ofcourse only applicable if you make an agreement with that venue, I only found those large percentages (20% is often asked in general) a rip off as well. I mean, they only have to mention your name and tell teh couple how great you are and if you get booked they put hundreds of dollar in their pocket, that's a very easy way to earn extra cash.
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Old May 10th, 2014, 08:34 AM   #15
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Re: Venue trying to charge all vendors "policy acknowledgement fee". Opinions?

If i ran into such a venue, i would kindly let them know that they will need to speak to their clients about it, namely the bride and groom. Since i am not their client, and the bride and groom hired both myself and the venue separately, if there are any additional fees involved with the venue, than they're speaking to the wrong person about it.

If they pushed the matter, i would CC them and the bride in the same message to the tune of: Hi X! hope you're getting excited for your big day! The venue reached out to me about some additional fees that they require for you to have a videographer present on your big day, I'm not sure if you were aware of such fees but please get in touch with mr X who is CCed here, as any venue related fees i'm sorry to say are not inclusive of our contract.


I ate at a restaurant on the beach once, and when we got the bill, there was some extra "10% service charge"
I asked what it was and the waitress said it was for the location of the restaurant being on the boardwalk. I asked for clarification about whether she, the server would get any of this service fee, and she said no, it was separate from gratuity and just goes to the owners. I paid, and then looked high and low for any sign whatsoever that would give fair warning about such an extra fee, none to be found. Guess where i'm not going again?

There are sh*tty people in the world, not much more to it than that
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