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Old March 23rd, 2016, 05:36 AM   #1
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Double bookings

I think every one of us have had a running inquiry for a wedding where the client have visited you and you made them a quote but they have not yet signed it or paid a deposit. It can happen that during that time you get a new request in for the same date which can make things a bit complicated.

In the past I would give the first client a quote and tell them that once I receive the quote and a deposit then I am booked but as long as that is not the case, the date is open to other inquiries. If I got a second inquiry for the same date I would inform the first client about this and give them 2 days to respond and I would tell the second client I had a running inquiry but no confirmation yet but that I would contact them again in 2 days if I was still available or not.

Personally I don't like that because if the first client tells me after 2 days, "no" and I go to the second client they might say that they visited another videographer and booked him so I loose both.

But, and this is my question, if the first client doesn't respond anymore to my mails or phonecalls and I tell the second client they can come and visit me, what if the second client books me on the spot, signs the contract and pays a deposit but a week later the first client comes back and says 'sorry but we where out of town but here is the signed quote and I have just paid you the deposit."

Then I would have 2 confirmed bookings for the same date, would there be any legal consequences by telling the second couple, sorry, but you are too late and give them their deposit back?

I have not been in such a situation but I wonder if a client can go to court for that reason? Often my clients take their time to send the signed contract and I have had one occasion where a second client called for the same date and said, "can I come over now? I would like to book you". I always hate it to tell them then that they have to wait a bit.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 10:25 AM   #2
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Re: Double bookings

Noa, once they sign and pay a deposit then the date is secure! If they got the quote but never signed and you book someone else then tough, you have to think about yourself...The second lady gets the date for me, i have been in countless situations where i am still waiting for the first lady's deposit and someone else came in and i said its booked without getting the deposit and then still waited for the deposit but never got it then i lost out to the second lady who then went elswhere because i said it was booked... first to pay and sign is the key... If they say yes and you both agree a price and package but no deposit then its still open for someone else...Steve
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 12:04 PM   #3
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Re: Double bookings

If they were out of town and you did your best to contact them, and they did not respond then IMO you would be within your rights to go with the second couple. I once pussy footed around 2 couples like this and ended up loosing them both.

Pete
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 12:12 PM   #4
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Re: Double bookings

Thx for the responses, I just wondered how binding such a contract would be if they signed it, send to me and that I then tell them, "sorry, I just have received a signed contract from another couple". Would they have a case in court if they demanded me to shoot their wedding?
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 12:25 PM   #5
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Re: Double bookings

Signed is signed. Up until then it's an option. It works the other way too. We recently turned down a job in a foreign country, all expenses paid, exciting, and interesting because we signed a contract for one in a miserable part of the UK, at the end of a rotten road, with a grumpy client. Then somebody shone down on us from above, and the client cancelled, meaning a cancellation charge, and we're now renegotiating to pick up the nice one on that day. Sometimes it works for you sometimes against.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 12:44 PM   #6
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Re: Double bookings

My advice is either be upfront, and say you only 'book' the date when the deposit is received, or, tell couples you will hold the date for a period of time (1 week, 10 days etc). Then if you get a 2nd inquiry you can give them that date, which wouldn't be all that far away, for you to await a response.

Me, admittedly I only do a handful a year, so it's rare I do get double booked like that, tho it happened once of twice. I think it worked out where the first one did book. I also only do this if they respond back to me, with further interest. The vague "We're getting married on October 10th, are you available and what are your rates" I just respond yes I'm available and link them my site and rates. THEN, if they respond with interest, I'll hold the date for a short period.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 01:55 PM   #7
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Re: Double bookings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Thx for the responses, I just wondered how binding such a contract would be if they signed it, send to me and that I then tell them, "sorry, I just have received a signed contract from another couple". Would they have a case in court if they demanded me to shoot their wedding?
I don't know about you, but both the client and I have to sign my contract, and I don't sign it until after them. Buried in my contract is the language that says I'm not booked until 1) I sign the contract; and 2) I receive the first payment.
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Old March 23rd, 2016, 07:14 PM   #8
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Re: Double bookings

When they sign my terms and conditions they also have signed the clause that says "the client will pay the amount within 7 days" However for me it's not booked until the money is in my account!! If I get a second booking and the payment has not been made within the specified time I will call the bride and find out the issue. After that you can safely book the other person as your contract with the first has been breached by non payment.
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Old March 24th, 2016, 11:50 AM   #9
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Re: Double bookings

In the future, let all parties know that you cannot hold dates. Make it clear that whoever sends in their signed contract AND deposit first gets the day reserved for them. First come, first served.
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Old March 24th, 2016, 04:36 PM   #10
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Re: Double bookings

I havnt read all the replies but for me it's simple. Who handed over/ transferred money first is the winner.

Of course it's never fun having a conversation like that with the runner up while you send their deposit back.

I had an enquiry once who I sent a quote to, and hadn't heard another thing from. Turns out she transferred money and I didn't see it. All my invoices state "you must inform me if you make a bank transfer so I can check and confirm".

That wasn't a fun conversation!
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Old March 24th, 2016, 09:41 PM   #11
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Re: Double bookings

To add to what's been said, I would have some verbiage on the head of the contract to the tune of...

This contract, delivered on date xxx, is only valid and confirmed if signed and returned by date yyy along with cleared deposit funds. If another booking inquiry arises, you will have first choice, but must be in reachable contact or risk losing the booking after date yyy
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Old March 25th, 2016, 08:50 PM   #12
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Re: Double bookings

Surely the safest way to handle this is make sure you have plenty of contact numbers! Nothing sorts out an issue like a personal call. " I have not received your deposit that was supposed to be paid 3 days ago to confirm your wedding day .. I also have another bride standing next to me who is eager to take the date ... What's happening??"

It would be quite important in situations like this to not make assumptions but actually contact the first bride and get an updated situation otherwise you can easily lose both bookings!

Probably the key word here is communication and also make sure the bride totally understands your payment terms. If you do upset or double book a bride the last thing you want is someone bad mouthing you to friends and social media.
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Old March 26th, 2016, 04:32 AM   #13
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Re: Double bookings

I find it interesting that in the discussion we have not yet heard anything about having a preference yourself!

Being honest, when I've been in these situations, I've always had a preference, and would give the preferred enquiry a better opportunity to book me first.

I can't be the only one can I???

But yes, on my 17hats account when I set up contracts it asks me if my signature is ato be added when it is sent, or counter signed after the client signs. This means that even if you have sent the contract, you can withdraw it as long as the client hasn't signed. If you send a contract out that you have already signed, and they sign within the due date, you are stuck.

Well... almost - I still believe it would come down to who signed and paid first. A judge cannot make you become two people and shoot two weddings!
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Old March 26th, 2016, 06:27 AM   #14
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Re: Double bookings

Hi Clive

I don't think I have ever had two wedding enquiries for the same date and on the same day that would allow me to decide which to give preference to! If it did, then I'm sure most of us would take the more profitable deal wouldn't we.

I see brides in their homes and 99% will sign the contract there and then and promise bank transfer the next day or so. The few that hum and hah and want to think about it seldom book anyway but we get very few of those that are essentially a waste of a visit!!

After contract sign they have 7 days to have the money in our account and most will be prompt or if pay day is the week after will ask "Can we pay next Thursday" I will follow up with a call after 7 days if the money is not in with the warning (put very nicely of course) that the booking is only confirmed if payment is made. I tend to be brutally honest too ..if a bride hasn't paid I will phone her and let her know I have another couple waiting in the wings ..that usually forces them to act one way or the other. Unless it's a very desirable date (I remember the 1th December 2013 was in high demand purely due to it's numerical sequence (11-12-13) but apart from that I must admit I get very few booking enquiries whilst a pre-booked bride's contract is awaiting payment.
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Old April 4th, 2016, 10:10 PM   #15
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Re: Double bookings

I go through many same date inquiries per year and I was burnt a few times in the past by leaving one to decide within a week and holding the date only to have another client for the same date that wanted to book immediately. Telling the second one to wait till I get an answer from the first resulted in losing both. I solved this dilemma once and for all 2 years ago when I don't book any date without a CASH 1st deposit and absolutely don't "hold" a date for a client to decide upon. First with the CASH has the contract, no and ifs and buts. If they want to pay by cheque I politely tell them that an ATM machine is open 24 hours about 2 blocks away from my house. I also make sure they see my collection of bounced NSF cheques that are scotch taped behind my desk as a reminder. No CASH, no cigar.
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