Post # 1
I don’t know what to do and need to vent a bit. I’ve already mentioned how disappointed we are with our wedding photos. http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/received-our-wedding-gallery-disappointed/page/2#post-8298308
A short explanation of why we are disappointed is that we had 9 hours with 2 photographers and (off the top of my head) I did not receive any photos of the groom’s reaction during our first look, the groom’s reaction as I walked down the aisle, our wedding rings, invitation suite or save the date, bride and Maid/Matron of Honor, groom and Bridesmaid or Best Man, bride and mom, groom and each Groomsmen, bride and each Bridesmaid or Best Man, table numbers, and ONE photo of the wedding party- just ONE. And many of the photos we did get are poorly edited and there is a big chunk of hair going across my chest and down into my dress in all of our bride and groom photos after the wedding that makes me hate them.
Our photographers asked what they could do to make us happy customers and I gave a list of options (giving us additional photos from the wedding- like more of the ones of the bridal party that I know they took, editing some photos we aren’t happy with, taking additional photos they missed (which would be easy enough for photos of our wedding rings, invitations, etc.), giving us a partial refund to pay a photographer to take these photos). Today I got an email from some out-of-state attorney that our photos are fine and we aren’t entitled to a refund (without even mentioning any other options) and that we must contact the law firm (and not the photographers) if we have any questions. I am so disappointed that they never even tried to talk to us to work anything out.
I guess I need to start writing reviews about their abysmal customer service? (that are obviously accurrate and truthful)
Post # 2
HeartsandSparkles: Don’t write any reviews if lawyers are involved, especially because it will be painted as retaliation for the letter if it does go to court or some other form of mediation.
Edited to add: a letter from a lawyer like this is usually standard. That does not mean that you cannot respond. I would suggest showing your full package of photos to some other wedding photographers and asking them to write a letter confirming if the work is subpar or if it is just a difference in artistic expression. Maybe one or two of the photographer bees could help with that or give suggestions on how to best tackle the situation.
Post # 3
It has come to the point where you should seek your own legal counsel. Do not talk to the photographers lawyer as they will try and con you in favor of the photographer.
Post # 4
j_jaye: I’m not sure if I should write anything or not. The letter from the attorney just “kindly requests” that we refrain from “posting any negative comments online or in any public forum against the Studio that are inaccurate or untruthful.” They really don’t seem like they are interested in doing anything towork ths out- it seems their position is that they completed their contract and don’t owe us anything.
Post # 5
Wow. I can’t believe how horrible that is! They sound like a terrible business. I would write honest reviews about them, but with lawyers involved I wonder if the PP is right. Might be better not to.
I really don’t know what you can do at this point.
Post # 6
HeartsandSparkles: I added an update to my first post.
But I agree with Pantone032: some legal advice might not be the worst thing.
Post # 7
I would have a look in your contract….mine says the photographers are not responsible for any “missed” shots, it’s basically up to me to communicate what I want. I know they told that they didn’t need a list, but if its in the contract that they aren’t responsible, you may be SOL. While it would be great for them to make up for their mistakes, that’s not something you’re entitled to so they may have decided its just easier to scare you off with a letter from a lawyer.
Post # 8
ClaudiaKishi: I agree about the scare tactic, pretty common.
The thing is art is subjective so I think the only way you will have a case is if they contractually didn’t do something or if you can show some sort of variance between their portfolio and what you recieved. Their portfolio (unless you specifically asked them to change their style) is an example of their standard of work and sets expectations in the quality a customer can reasonable expect.
Post # 9
Ugh, I don’t really have any advice but I have my own story of unnecessary lawyers.
I ran into someone else’s car (more like rolled into it, minimal damage) and gave him all my details, name, license, registration, phone, address, insurance company. It was dark and he wasn’t sure there was any damage at all. Told him to just call me if he needs to. Didn’t hear from him for 3 months. I go away for a week, first day back and the next thing I know I’m being served! At my new job too, so embarrassing! Turns out I’d forgotten I’d changed insurance companies and accidentally told him the wrong one. Instead of just calling me, he SUED me! What a tosser. I check my mail that evening and his lawyers had sent a letter a week earlier, but only gave 5 days (including the time in the post!) for me to respond before bringing legal action. Ugh. My insurance company sorted it all out for me, but what a waste of everyone’s time and money!
Post # 10
Directing the rest of the comminication through a lawyer is pretty extreme. Maybe they felt like you were going to try to sue them so they wanted to take a strong offense? At any rate, do NOT post anything further in public. Close but do not delete this thread and your other thread. If they are aware of it and you end up in court, you’ll be accused of destroying evidence and while you might not face sanctions for it, it won’t make your life any easier. Preserve any emails and sit down and write notes about any phone conversations. These a&e all precautions just in case you go to court and while you might think it’s over the top, lawyers will try to discredit you. One statement taken out of context might blow your whole case.
Then, wait a few weeks. Let your emotions calm down. Then talk to a lawyer of your own to determine if you might be able to recover enough to make it worth filing suit. Unfortunately once the lawyers are on the scene, your situation won’t be resolved via normal customer service.
Post # 11
HeartsandSparkles: ask around and find out if any of your close friends know of any one working in the legal industry.
an old boss told me, “There are only five people between you and the person you need to meet.”
Post # 12
Consult an attorney but this seems like a big overreaction by the photographers. I personally would still write a review that is short and sweet. If there is a rating system, give them something middle of the road.
“I wasn’t happy with some of the photos that I receieved and communicated this to the photographers. They asks what they could do to make me happy. I replied with some suggestions such as x,y,z and instead of a response from the photographers, I receieved a letter from their attorney telling me my photos did not have any issues and wasn’t entitled to any further actions by the photographers. It would have been nice to ger a response from them, feeling disappointed with their choice of communication”.
I wouldn’t want other brides to end up in the same situation so I would write something. But you may end up in a stickier situation (they seem to be the type to blow things out of proportion) because of a review so chose wisely.
Post # 13
Pantone032: I happen to be an attorney- I am just so emotional at the moment, and I don’t feel super logical. I do have friends who are attorneys and could be more objective, so maybe I will reach out to them. I just don’t understand why a business owner would resort to scare tactics and extreme measures.
ClaudiaKishi: They do have a similar clause in our contract. 🙁 And if it was one photo, that would make sense. But this is a significant amount of photos on every must-have list that I’ve seen. I don’t think that clause means they can botch their job- they still need to meet minimum standards. I am not a photographer but I personally think that the photos we received are below-standard for the industry. Plus, they took all of these photos at other weddings, just not ours apparently.
Post # 14
I am currently in the process of suing my terrible terrible photographer who we contracted with. luckily, we were able to terminate the contract after the included engagement session. However, he decided to not honor the contract and keep the balance paid, even though he’s only entitled to the retainer per his contract. my attorney also strongly urged me to not post any reviews until ecerything is done with because he could turn around and sue for…I forget the exact words. But basically he could accuse me of damaging his reputation and business for posting before this is cleared up. Though with the way he’s acted I wouldn’t have to say much to accurately detail his unprofessional behavior to potential clients. But anyway, reach out to an attorney of your own and get advice before acting. It’s smart to lawyer up on your end too if they’re working through their own attorney.
Post # 15
HeartsandSparkles: speaking as a fellow lawyer, have an objective attorney friend take a look at your contract and the letter from the attorney and go from there.