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Taking Care of Business
The pen and paper aspects of DV -- put it in writing!

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Old September 10th, 2022, 05:45 AM   #1
Inner Circle
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Lowestoft - UK
Posts: 4,000
How do you deal with domestic customers?

Most of my work, video wise, comes from specific business areas. I don't do weddings, parties, and that kind of thing - but every now and then, usually in a dry spell, I'll say yes or maybe to a job en query on the phone or email. Normally it's "I'm sorry, but we usually do commercial video work, and we're very busy so I'm really sorry we can't help..." You get the idea. In leaner periods, if the client is happy for me to fit it into days when I'm not busy, I say yes. Normally, because they always think I'm expensive when I'm not compared to wedding work, I end up giving them a ceiling, and a promise that as my hours approach the ceiling I'll let them know.

No proper contract unlike my usual clients, so contract legal stuff tends to always be in an email in friendly wording, but would work in a court - I'd say "I think it unlikely the video as you have described would take more than X hours, so that would be typically £X - if it gets more complicated, as soon as we get to £X (about 75% of the agreed rate) I'll ask you how you would like to proceed?"

That kind of stuff and their response I use as evidence they understood and accepted.

I really do not want to use my business type contracts which are much more business oriented - with penalties and dispute processes and all that rubbish.

My query is what happens, like this week, when I put the video as a private video on YouTube, a memory card/USB stick and hand it over, and then two days later, he says "I'm really sorry, they didn't get married on the 1st April 2002, they got married on 4th May 2004 - I gave you her birthday".

The reality in this one was that the date magically grew to fill the frame, started the spin and transitioned to something else. So the re-edit was around 30 minutes real work, then it took time to export and upload. Totally his fault, and he cheerfully admitted it - but what would you guys have charged for fixing it?

I'm comfy with talking money with business clients, they understand what real life costs, but to domestic clients, they simply think National Minimum Wage. My usual comparison with how much a Happy Meal now costs usually puts it into perspective - but retyping a caption to a non-video person is a ten minute job, isn't it!
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Old September 11th, 2022, 02:24 AM   #2
Inner Circle
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,509
Re: How do you deal with domestic customers?

Some weddingclients I deal with don't understand the amount of work that goes into what appears to be very small changes to them (just change the number in a date, right?) but I have had too many negative experiences with couples that didn't understand why they have to pay extra, those discussions can be very time consuming and you can't charge that time, there is also a risk that client is going to trash you online afterwards so I decided to just make the changes without charging extra, collect my money and move on, the client also will be happy and send their friends who are about to get married your way.

Only when I get a list of changes that take hours of time to change I"ll give them a call to discuss charging extra, it is very rare but it has happened, especially with weddings that have different cultures.
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