Vendor Problems – Need Advice (Sorry, very Long)

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
11740 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Here’s the thing – no contract = no case.  Sometimes a deposit is refundable if it says so in the contract, sometimes it isn’t.  You didn’t bother to get a contract, so you’re out the money.

A contract protects both parties and outlines expectations and obligations.  You didn’t have any of that, but willingly paid for his services anyway.  Unfortunately, you’re up the creek without a paddle.

Post # 4
Member
4760 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@abbie017:  +1

Not only that deposits are usually not returnable for the reason that the photog does not get along with bride’s sister. Hell, usually if you call off your wedding you’re still out of your deposits. 

Sorry, but I don’t see you getting your money back.

Post # 5
Member
2885 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

@abbie017:  +10000

The man place where you lost me is the point where you did not do a contract.  Contracts are actually more important with “friendors” than they are with established vendors.  Setting clear expectations at the beginning of the process is key.

The other part of this, if he is going bankrupt, you are completely out of luck no matter what.  If he truly has no money to pay you, the best you could do, even with a contract, is take him to court.  You would be responsible for fees.  You would then get a judgement.  2 months later, the guy files bankruptcy, and your judgement amount id dismissed based on him having no money.  So now you are out the money and court costs. 

I hate to say it, because the guy screwed up, but at this point, you need to cut your losses as they stand.

Post # 8
Member
11740 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@alzell02:  In every wedding contract I’ve ever seen or heard of, no deposit was refundable.  You pay the deposit to save a date, which, in turn, makes the vendor pass up any other business that may come along for that day.  It protects them.  It’s common knowledge that deposits are generally non-refundable.  Your employer may handle things differently.  It just boils down to the fact that it was your responsibility to get something in writing to protect your investment (contracts protect you just like they protect the vendor), and you opted not to do that on his word that his brides were all happy in the past.

Post # 9
Member
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@alzell02:  Deposits in the wedding world generally aren’t refundable unless it’s for something like a cake or something, where the bakery can just not make the cake and not be out anything. Venues and other service vendors book your day and turn down other work for that day so when you put down money it’s really more of a retainer than it is a deposit. I hate it for you, but you made a mistake with the contract issue and there’s just nothing you can do about it. You would likely invest more money taking him to court just to lose. It’s an expensive lesson. 

Post # 10
Member
788 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

He needs to give it back. Its needs to be in writing, his own fault. He has no backing, you have a cleared check/or CC payment for no services rendered. You gave him money for a job he is not doing. Period. This IS a case of he needs to give the money back.

Where I am from deposits are given back retainers are not. Its about $80 to take someone to small claims court in my area… Its worth it if its hundreds of dollars. He has nothing to back him up so they would probably rule in your favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Post # 14
Member
631 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

@alzell02:  Right. WHEN LISTED in a contract as such it may be refundable, but it is standard for most photographers that the “deposit” is non-refundable. I’m not saying you don’t deserve your money back (he should do the right thing and offer at least some of it back if he hasn’t shot with you), I’m just saying that you’re at fault here too for not making sure you had a contract that outlined these issues for you. How much was your deposit? 

Post # 15
Member
951 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2014

@alzell02:  If he is in fact going bankrupt, there’s really no point.  I hate to say it.  But there are filing fees associated with small claims courts that you’ll be paying only to never be able to collect on a judgment, IF you were to win. 

Also, deposits are generally refundable if it’s the vendor that has cancelled, not the customer.  And unless I missed something, you cancelled him.  Rightfully so, I agree with the reasons, but because it was your choice and not his inability to photograph your wedding, the deposit is most likely non-refundable.

 

Post # 16
Member
1287 posts
Bumble bee

As a pro photog, if it isn’t in a contract, refundable or non-refundable, you aren’t getting it back.  Chalk it up as a loss. You should have had it in writing.  Anything you do with anyone in business, it should be in writing.

Typically, 99% of the time, photogs don’t refund deposits.  That money is to save a date and block out their calendar from others booking that date.  If you cancel on them, they keep the money because they miss out on other potential clients for booking on that day.  

He doesn’t HAVE to give it back.  A nice guy would, but he won’t. Don’t count on it, sorry.  I would, if it were a family emergency, death, etc…but if your sister is feuding with him and YOU cancel on him because of it, i don’t think so. Your loss. Sorry.

ETA:  and THIS is why i don’t do business with friends and family 😉

 

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