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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old June 10th, 2015, 08:42 AM   #1
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Checking transactions and poor admin!

Just thought I'd share a story.

I have a wedding in my calendar for tomorrow. A week ago I sent an email to the client asking about the times and details of the day.

No reply.

I sent two follow up emails yesterday and again this morning.

Lesson one: I need to start asking for mobile numbers of my clients!

Still no reply.

Onto Facebook, and i find the clients profile. She had just uploaded photos showing the venue - so I knew she was staying there a few nights before.

I called the venue and explained - I asked them to get a message to the bride.

I then get a call from the grooms man asking odd questions like 'What's your company name?' What's your name?' 'Did the B&G pay you a deposit?' He then tells me he will call me back.

So at this stage I start to wonder and go through the email communication.

In email last august I see the bride say
"If you give me your Paypal email, I can pay you the deposit today"

To which I responded (within the hour) "Here's me email, Paypal would be great - Thanks."


There is no more communication after that.


So what happened?

I obviously marked the bride as confirmed without checking the transaction actually happened and sure enough, no Paypal payment was ever made for the deposit!

So ultimately It was my mistake, but seriously, after various communications and expressing a desire to pay up instantly, who does that? who just walks away without saying anything??

Thankfully I have a considerable amount of work this year and so I'm not overly bothered to find I've one wedding less.

I just really dislike admin and the amount of my time it eats up!
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Old June 10th, 2015, 09:14 AM   #2
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Re: Checking transactions and poor admin!

Ha! I had almost the same issue for the wedding last weekend, I call the bride one week prior to the wedding to go through the planning but get an answering machine so I leave a message, 2 days later no response, I call again and get a answering machine again so I send an email but no reply. Luckily I knew who the photog was and call her and she tells me the wedding has been moved to October this year! So I call again to the couple leaving a message on their machine saying I was pissed for not informing me.

2 days later i receive an email, they told me they send a letter (which had to be signed at receipt) weeks ago saying they didn't want video anymore but the letter had been returned to them because I didn't pick it up at the postoffice, they said for them it was a closed matter because they did inform me. I only never received anything and told them that if they had the letter returned to them they knew I never got it in the first place and why they didn't bother sending me an email or phone me.

I didn't mind actually because that gave me a free weekend when it was 34 degrees :)
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Old June 10th, 2015, 09:28 AM   #3
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Re: Checking transactions and poor admin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
2 days later i receive an email, they told me they send a letter
People can be so weird.
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Old June 10th, 2015, 10:02 AM   #4
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Re: Checking transactions and poor admin!

At a guess I'd suggest Noa's contract says something about cancellation 'in writting'. Still though - An email would have done no harm! Same as my (non) client could have said 'Actually, sorry, we've changed our minds!'
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Old June 10th, 2015, 10:21 AM   #5
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Re: Checking transactions and poor admin!

Stories like these are why I like doing digital online contracts.

They're easy (click to sign), and then easy to keep track of, since they're sorted by date of event.

I recently had a cancellation for a big wedding (DJ and video), but they never actually cancelled with me. Before Christmas they asked about my policy because they were considering postponing due to an impending baby. When I didn't hear from them 6 weeks before the wedding, I finally confirmed with the venues.

------
P.S.
Digital contracts are extra useful for me since, after my last service raised their rates way too high, WeddingWire started offering it as part of their paid advertising service.

The extra bonus being, that paid listings get 2 spots. We're both a DJ and a video company, so that's big for us. People actually use the WeddingWire around here. I can directly attribute 4-6 bookings this year to it. Because we're a low population area, there aren't a massive number of listings, so its worthwhile to be listed, as long as their price stays down for me (about $600 and my old contract service wanted $280 for the year).
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Old June 10th, 2015, 12:46 PM   #6
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Re: Checking transactions and poor admin!

It sounds to me Clive that you had no actual confirmation of the wedding and no contract between you. I am surprised that you have waited until a few days before the wedding with no contact details apart from email, no details and no times.

I will reserve a date for a client and it goes into my diary as a held date, until they return a signed booking form with all details filled in. That then goes into the contract file and a full signed copy is returned to the client. The diary is also updated to 'Confirmed' on receipt of the contract. It is a basic, simple and pretty much fool proof system that takes very little time to do. If there is no contract in the file and no completion in the diary, it is obvious. I also have a year planner on the wall which I update with sticky labels for enquiry, or booked dates, so if an enquiry comes in I can see immediately if a date is available.

Good admin is not difficult but essential for peace of mind.

Roger
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Old June 10th, 2015, 07:32 PM   #7
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Re: Checking transactions and poor admin!

Wow

That's quite risky!! They book me and have 7 days to get 1/3rd in the bank ... if that doesn't happen they will get a barrage of emails and text messages etc etc until the money is in my account ... and that's just the booking deposit!!

The total amount needs to be in my account 2 weeks before the event ...if it's not there and they don't respond to calls/emails I simply don't shoot the wedding! Simple as that!!
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Old June 11th, 2015, 02:56 AM   #8
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Re: Checking transactions and poor admin!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Ha! I had almost the same issue for the wedding last weekend, I call the bride one week prior to the wedding to go through the planning but get an answering machine so I leave a message, 2 days later no response, I call again and get a answering machine again so I send an email but no reply. Luckily I knew who the photog was and call her and she tells me the wedding has been moved to October this year! So I call again to the couple leaving a message on their machine saying I was pissed for not informing me.

2 days later i receive an email, they told me they send a letter (which had to be signed at receipt) weeks ago saying they didn't want video anymore but the letter had been returned to them because I didn't pick it up at the postoffice, they said for them it was a closed matter because they did inform me. I only never received anything and told them that if they had the letter returned to them they knew I never got it in the first place and why they didn't bother sending me an email or phone me.

I didn't mind actually because that gave me a free weekend when it was 34 degrees :)
Hope you kept the deposit Noa
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Old June 11th, 2015, 03:01 AM   #9
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Re: Checking transactions and poor admin!

I guess I've always known that my booking system was well below par. Doing it part time for years probably made me lazy in this regard.

Talk to me about systems.

At present I use Freshbooks to send invoices, and google calendar, and gmail.

Is there something you would suggest that deals with invoicing and electronic contracts?

Without having to change my email address, is there any way to categorise my wedding related email?

Need to shape up!
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