A dilemma - what would you do 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 April 23rd, 2015, 05:29 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
Posts: 2,066
A dilemma - what would you do

Hi all - I got a late booking with a deposit a few weeks back from a couple who had been let down (they'd paid a deposit) but a company who they had booked, but ever since they had booked they could not get in touch with them - phone calls not returned, emails not replied to etc. With only a few weeks to go and the company had not replied or had any details regarding their wedding so they were very worried about them not turning up.

I did not know these details at the time of the booking, but now they have booked with me and with only a few weeks to go before the wedding, the original company has got in touch with them.

The couple have explained to the original company their concerns, and reasons for going elsewhere, but have been told they must go ahead and use them or will be taken to court.

Now they are saying how bad they feel and are talking about having both of us to film the wedding but the original company have said no way - they have exclusivity!

HELP - I've never come across this - BTW I have turned another late booking down for the same date since!
Peter Rush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2015, 06:08 AM   #2
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Romsey, UK
Posts: 1,105
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

I'd consider charging a late cancellation fee and then let the Wedding go. The other company really should have got in touch, but then you only heard the couples side of the story. They didn't advise you on the circumstances when booking; if they had, you could have better advised them and even contacted the other company to let them know you were being asked to take on a booking originally theirs. Plus didn't the couple at least warn the company that unless they got in touch soon, they'd consider the booking cancelled. Write a letter to them; I know I have a clause that says cancellation must be done in writing. So the couple never cancelled the other Videographer and hired you instead - idiots. Sounds like they were hedging their bets and you've been left with the short straw.
Steve Burkett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2015, 06:13 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

Hi Pete

Technically (if your contract says so and they signed one) you are entitled to keep the deposit as you could have booked another wedding on that day. Did you go and see them and spend time with them ? If so you are entitled to retain a portion for your time. What I would do is tell them IF you can book another wedding on that day you would be happy to refund their deposit less your costs to process the order, otherwise if you cannot book the date you have lost an income shoot and are quite entitled to keep the deposit

What would have been the case if they booked you 6 months ago and then cancelled? They would forfeit the deposit right?

That's the way I see it

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2015, 07:54 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 1,353
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

Here in the U.S., this would be in small claims court and, even if the other company didn't have a clause about returning phone calls or some such, a judge might rule against them because of a reasonable expectation of the business to be available.... depending on exactly what the couple actually did. If that happened, the company might have to return the deposit and pay court filing fees.

For you....I'd try to figure out a way to help the couple get away from the other company, of course. Not even for self serving reasons, but because my impression of them is already unfavorable, and that they're possibly scummy, and I want the best for people.
Robert Benda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2015, 09:14 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 8,421
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

If you turned away another booking, you could keep the deposit and be morally right to do so.

I believe your decision should be based on how you feel about it. If you feel badly about the couple's problem AND if you would feel guilty about keeping the deposit, then you should return it, for your sake, not their's. You should do so with a smile and be nice about it.

If on the other hand you can keep the deposit and feel ok about it you should keep it after explaining to the couple you you turned away a booking.

Which way you go should depend on your gut feelings.

Look within, and do what you feel is right.
__________________
http://JeffHarperVideo.com
The horror of what I saw on the timeline cannot be described.
Jeff Harper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2015, 06:02 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

Ultimately this is up to the couple to "sort out" - they have reasonable reason to cancel the other company, and state that due to lack of communication, they believed they would not have reliable "service" - if they can show a paper (or electronic) trail with unresponsiveness, they can certainly argue (either if sued as an "affirmative defense" or as a counter suit to recover their original deposit) they were worried they would never get what they paid for, and decided to "cut their losses" and "mitigate their potential damages" from a flaky video company.

They can easily find news spots about flaky vendors to illustrate their reservations.... Should be an easy win if the ducks are in a row in small claims or whatever you have in the UK to settle minor disputes.

AS far as your position goes, you booked the job in good faith, and so any "retainer" (as per "the Don") should be yours for reasons given by previous posters. You've already suffered a "loss" by turning down another gig that day... you're taking a loss either way, and it's not a reasonable expectation to return any good faith funds at this late date. Returning it would be optional and your call if your contract is properly structured.... BUT, you may want to be on "standby".... I could see the already flaky vendor flaking on "game day" at this point...

The one thing that comes to mind is that given the flakyness and already "hostile" (threatening to sue) posture of the other vendor, I would think that the couple would be well within their rights to bar the other vendor from the event (in advance in writing to the vendor and the venues), and have it enforced if they did show up. I would not want a vendor within 10 miles of the event under the circumstances you've described...
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 23rd, 2015, 06:39 PM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Denver
Posts: 255
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

It sounds like the husband/bride have a dispute about which videographer to use and are making it your problem. They contracted for two companies, they are adults, you turned down income to be with them that date. I find it difficult to believe another company requires exclusive coverage of THEIR wedding. Who is in charge? Show up and suit up. Then hand them a reasonable bill.
Tim Paynter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2015, 03:27 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: UK/Yorkshire
Posts: 2,066
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

Thanks all - was a potential nightmare, but as the date I turned down was a referral from a previous wedding, I made a few quiet enquiries and found out the the couple were still on the hunt. So I have by agreement returned their deposit, and managed to re-book the couple who I had declined - for me all's well that ends well but will that guy turn up on the day and deliver? I doubt it
Peter Rush is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2015, 05:36 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

Have faith in Karma Pete ... if the guy actually does turn up and does a shoddy job then they only have themselves to blame ... Glad you didn't lose on the deal and the new couple with most probably be way better to work for anyway. All's well that ends well
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2015, 10:18 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Charlottesville Virginia
Posts: 128
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

What a nightmare. I'm glad it resolved well for you. Phew!
Ian Atkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2015, 10:37 AM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,124
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

I'm a bit surprised by this. with a contract signed, surely the deposit is simply an advance on the final fee (did we not do this a while back?) and if you got gazumped, then you would be able to take action to recover any losses from the day, not just keeping the deposit - if you stood to make two grand, and the deposit was a grand, then you still lost a grand? Surely the contract commits them to the quoted and agreed price, or do you normally keep the deposit and take the loss of the rest on the chin?

For once, maybe my events world has the advantage. We don't, as I've said before, take deposits - but once the day is in the diary, and the contract in the file, if the event gets cancelled at the last moment, we still charge the agreed fee, and the clients pay. This for us happens not often, but one this year since christmas, and I think 3 last year. We also can substitute people, so if we get a double booking, we do it, and pay somebody else to do the least critical of the two jobs. We don't have, though, any form of exclusivity deal - for us, we really don't care if there's another crew present - sometimes we even do a little deal with them to share certain material - which seems to work well. We know most of out competitors and are on pretty good reciprocal terms with them - which is a nice way to work.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 24th, 2015, 08:20 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

Hi Paul

Do they still pay you before the wedding though?? I have changed my 1/3rd booking fee within 7 days, 2nd 1/3rd 2 weeks before and final payment when the DVD's are ready and scrapped the final payment option and make them pay everything 2 weeks before the big day.... I cannot fathom why a bride would pay me $1000 in advance and then neglect to pay the other $500 ??? Her DVD's have been sitting here since January

Chris
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 25th, 2015, 08:21 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,124
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

Chris - I don't do weddings at all, events and entertainment are where we are based. I mentioned before that we don't get deposits and it's an invoice on completion and then typically 30 day terms. I had teased the wedding people for front loading payment, and then having an age to hand the finished product over - hence my surprise that they don't go for claiming payment in full.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 25th, 2015, 09:00 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,222
Re: A dilemma - what would you do

Thanks Paul

My realty work is much the same. I shoot houses over the month and on the 25th I send the companies an invoice summary and they pay me a few days later. Easy and simple. With brides I think they often over spend and when the wedding video is ready for delivery and final amount payment they are flat broke so it sits with us until they can afford it!! All my 2015 bookings however have been full payment before I shoot!

I still however have just one straggler left who hasn't paid yet but she has already paid 2/3rd's of the package price, I have the video and she has nothing but it won't happen again of course!!

Chris
Chris Harding 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 09:31 PM.


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