Post # 1
In January I volunteered at a charity event and ended up winning a calligraphy package in the silent auction (I was going to hand address my envelopes myself before this happened). I sent my addresses and envelopes (including extras) to the calligrapher and told her the date I wanted to have them back. Because we are sending our invites in batches (another story) we got the first set back on time. We hated them. They looked completely different than her samples. But they were done so whatever. We mailed them.
I sent her an email 8 days ago reminding her that I wanted to mail my next batch by March 12th. Yes, today. She responded saying she hadn’t forgotton about me and I would have them soon. This morning she sends me an email saying oops, I screwed up, but don’t worry I sent them FEDEX and you will have them soon. And then she told me it had cost her $35 to send them to us. She hasn’t directly asked me to send her a check, but the way it is phrased everyone at work and my Fiance agrees that she wants us to send her the money.
If she had called me I would have told her regular mail was fine. Yes, I wanted to send them today, but we have plenty of time, so it would not have been worth the extra expense in our already tight budget.
She made the mistake, she decided to send the package FedEx.
So, hive, do I really need to send her a check?
Post # 3
This is tough. My initial reaction was absolutely not b/c she’s the one who didn’t have your 2nd batch done by the time you wanted them. But…you did win the package. I know you said you weren’t happy with the way they turned out, but at least it saved you hours of writing them out yourself. I would probably cave and send her a check for the $35. I know it was her issue for not getting them to you on time and she could’ve asked you if you were ok with her sending regular mail, but she did do what she could to get them to you by the date you requested. So, I think I would cave and send her a check.
Post # 4
I would have asked her to mail them all back and done the rest myself after seeing that the entire first batch was messed up, personally. So, the 35 bucks would have been a non-issue.
Post # 5
That’s hard. Did you pay for shipping on the first batch? Also, being that it was a charity event purchase I’m not sure what the aggreement was when she donated the item
Post # 6
Well, she didn’t get them to me by the date I requested. I was very clear that I wanted to MAIL my invitations today and she just sent me the package last night that I should receive today so there is no way that is happening.
And yes, I won the package, but it wasn’t free. She donated her services to the charity and I paid the charity for them. The charity is run by her husband.
Post # 7
@melissabegins – we thought about it, but while I didn’t like her work, it was fine and it did still save me time so we just let it ride (trying to not let the little mishaps in wedding planning stress me out!)
@vintage – no, i offered and she said she would take care of it since it had not been clear that she didn’t live where the auction happened. i live in LA, she’s in Berkeley and never mentioned that this would all be done by mail, so we agreed I would pay to send things to her and she would pay to send them back.
Post # 8
No, don’t pay. I regularly receive services I won at charity auctions (I am that person, the whole reason they have charity auctions). If this were a regular vendor relationship, you wouldn’t pay, and that is how you should treat it.
Post # 9
No, this was her error, and she should handle it exactly as she would for other paying clients.
Remember that even though you didn’t technically “pay” for these services (although, of course, you did bid for them!), she made this donation to the auction and is, I’m sure, recording it as such for tax purposes (as most businesses who make in-kind donations do). It does not get treated differently from a professional perspective simply because the services were donated. (I would feel differently if this were a friend with a calligraphy business who’d offered to do your invites as a favor, and was trying to squish them in with paid gigs—but that’s not the case here.)
So, I say no check, and just let it be unless she brings it up again (at which point I would simply remind her that you gave her ample notice and a clear deadline, per her requests—if she felt she could not make the deadline, it was her responsibility to notify you). Good luck!
Post # 10
I agree that this is a tough call. Even though you won the package, you still technically paid for it. The calligrapher was offering the service for free so the winner would use her in the future or recommend her to others. Personally, I would not offer to pay the $35. She knew what your deadlines were when you went into this. This is a business expense that she will have to incur for failing to uphold her end of your deal.
ETA: I agree with the above bees that if you were a “paying” customer you would not be responsible for the added expense. You should not be treated any different because you “won” the service.
Post # 11
@ladyrox – that’s probably wise 🙂 I was like that with a lot of other facets of wedding planning, but I’m interested in starting a paper business, so I would be more apt to take that kind of DIY over something like florals or something, ya know?
Maybe you could write the $35 check in the name of the charity instead of the woman, since she really wasn’t meeting the expectations she set by her own sample work. that way you’re not stiffing her, PER SE, but not paying for something you’re not happy with.
Post # 12
Do not pay her. She messed up, not you.
Post # 13
I agree with the PP’s who say do not pay her. You bid on her work in an auction, you paid – she donated her time for a charitable purpose. If she couldn’t do the work in a timely manner (even after you gave plenty of notice in advance AND allotted for the work to be done in batches) she shouldn’t have offered her services.
Bottom line: She didn’t meet the deadline you both agreed on – you shouldn’t have to pick up the tab for her slacking.
Post # 14
Don’t pay her a dime. She did nothing to deserve it. Its not your fault she screwed up.
Post # 15
Nope. As you say, she made the error and she decided to FedEx the package. We send lots of documents at my job, and if they don’t go out timely and we wind up paying extra for shipping we don’t bill the client for the extra.
Post # 16
I wouldn’t pay it. It was her perogative to send them FedEx.