Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations? - Page 2 at DVinfo.net
DV Info 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 July 10th, 2017, 02:53 PM   #16
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,874
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

You can't "charge" if you didn't have a properly worded contract, and "retainer" or "reservation" fee (words are CRITICAL, if it goes to a court).

You certainly won't get very far trying to "charge" something you haven't already taken for your time/trouble.

IF you have your contract carefully worded, and you've already taken a fee that sets aside a specific date and time (that you may or may not be able to "re-book"), it's likely you could keep an amount you've already been paid as a "cancellation" fee (think cable or cell phone... although they don't take it up front, they certainly expect it if you bail).

Of course you can choose to refund (or allow a reschedule) or not on a case by case discretionary basis.

As a "service provider" you are "selling" a block of TIME required to create the deliverable, as well as the final delivered product. It's not always easy to differentiate between the PRODUCT the client receives and the time where the CONTENT is captured, processed, etc., but there are costs and expenses at each stage (including investment in equipment, travel, etc.), so you in theory can reasonably claim a non-refundable portion of the total "price" (for "lost" time and opportunity), and likely defend it if there's a "breech" on the client's side.

Reasonable of course is a matter of opinion, and opinions can get expensive, so a properly worded contract is a must before you even try to defend your "opinion", should things get confusing!

Hopefully this will be helpful (and read that linked article!) in your contract revisions....
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2017, 03:28 PM   #17
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,426
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

Recently there was a videographer who got sued by his client because she canceled his services and she wanted the retainer back but the videographer refused.

The judge had a hard time understanding why the videographer wanted to keep the retainer because there where no services performed but the judge did rule in favor of the videograher as he found that the clients explanation why she cancelled the videographers services was not a valid reason to cancel.

I think much depends on the judge and the reason why the services where cancelled.
Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2017, 03:48 PM   #18
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Newark, CA
Posts: 324
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

By the way be careful that you may get what you ask for when you take a retainer!

If you are the one who got payed a retainer to perform a service at a wedding and you cancel you could be liable for damages as well.

These things work two ways!
Cary Knoop is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2017, 04:47 PM   #19
Major Player
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Philly, PA
Posts: 949
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

I find it odd a judge wouldn't be able to grasp the concept of 'booking' a date, and the videographer therefore 'making themselves unavailable' on said date.

Admittedly if it got to the point of a couple legitimately trying to sue (and really taking the steps, not just emailing me 'you'll hear from my lawyer'), I'd probably just give in & refund the money.

I take a small $200 to book the date. Sortof works both ways in that they won't put up a fight to get it back, and I won't if they get pushy. I had one instance this winter for a September wedding cancelled, claiming the boyfriend was in a motorcycle accident? I'm not sure if that meant wedding was cancelled, or they became low on funds. She asked for her money back. I gave 100 back as courtesy, keeping the other 100 for the bothersome & paperwork etc.

To answer the OP, I wouldn't go trying to 'take' funds after they cancel. That'd be bad practice imho. I would only keeping funds paid to date, or a contracted portion.
David Barnett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2017, 07:08 PM   #20
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 33
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

I don't think it's unreasonable to keep a booking fee even after cancellation since that date has potentially been lost custom for me thanks to the client booking that date. But I urge you all to look at various websites and their policies regarding bookings - for example holiday websites - and see just how many will say how you're liable for the remaining balance even after cancelling or so on... The point is, it seems to be a really common policy.
Lewis Raymond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2017, 12:01 AM   #21
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,530
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

If you charge a deposit/booking fee/retainer you need to make it large enough that the client won't just cancel on a whim or because they find a better or cheaper videographer. I would suggest that 100/$100 is too low & 500/$500/30% is large enough to make the client think twice about cancelling.
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2017, 04:01 AM   #22
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 33
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

That's a good point, and something I'm seriously considering. I am 100 just now and I think 200 might be more suitable. Having said that, there is a good photographer near me who just charges 100 deposit and his prices start at 1000.

I don't want to make my deposit too high to put people off booking me, but I don't think anyone would argue that 200 is too high.
Lewis Raymond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 13th, 2017, 05:14 AM   #23
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,441
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

Hi Lewis

Go for 1/3rd !! I have never had a bride tell me the booking payment is too much and it puts them off cancelling too!! I have a friend who charges $100 (he does photos) and tells brides if they change their mind, he will refund the $100 .... He has lost quite a few jobs to cheaper photogs because they book the cheaper guy AND get his $100 back!!
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 16th, 2017, 04:29 PM   #24
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 33
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

My full day package is 800, so I think 200 will be a fair deposit. Thanks to all for their contributions.
Lewis Raymond is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 20th, 2017, 10:48 AM   #25
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 3,065
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
I have a friend who charges $100 (he does photos) and tells brides if they change their mind, he will refund the $100 .... He has lost quite a few jobs to cheaper photogs because they book the cheaper guy AND get his $100 back!!
Yeesh, I would nix that policy.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 25th, 2017, 08:10 PM   #26
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 8,441
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

I guess you have to find a nice "middle point" where the client outlays just enough money to not make them change their mind and also low enough as to not detract from booking! We don't want them put off because they need to find $1000 upfront for next year's wedding that has a total price of $1500

Brides seem to feel that 1/3rd of the total price is not excessive and for us it's enough to stop her going with another vendor
Chris Harding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 26th, 2017, 12:38 AM   #27
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 504
Re: Do You Charge Clients For Cancellations?

Yes, I do charge clients for cancellations. That charge is their initial deposit of 50%. If they don't like this condition then they don't have to sign below this clause and go somewhere else. I only give them back their full refund if and only if I cannot show up due to health reasons, act of God, death in family. In which case I give the client the option of a qualified replacement videographer or their money back, no questions asked.
I never got sued, never argued, never had issues with this subject. We both signed and both agreed BEFORE the money was given. Nothing to be sore about and cry over. Business is business.
Arthur Gannis 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...

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY USA

Scan Computers Int. Ltd.
+44 0871-472-4747
Bolton, Lancashire UK


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

 



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:51 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2021 The Digital Video Information Network