(Closed) lost photographer and he wont refund!!

posted 6 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 3
Member
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad.  I can’t even imagine.  It is a typical practice by photographers to keep deposits in situations like this.

However, I’m not positive what his insurance has to do with any of this…

 

Post # 4
Member
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

You are cancelling your wedding three months out?  That is going to get hairy with a lot of your vendors.  Most will keep at least part of the deposit at this point.

I would work really hard at trying to find a bride to take over your contracts.

As far as the insurance policy excuse, I have no opinion because I have never heard of that.  However, it would be a better business practice to refund at least part of the deposit based on the situation.

Post # 5
Member
484 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@honeybeelove:  I hate to tell you this, but he’s not being unreasonable.  My wedding photography contract that I give to clients says that once they sign and pay me the deposit, I don’t have to refund it for ANY reason.  ANY reason.  Regardless of what happens to you.

This is a standard practice.  Technically he doesn’t even have to give you back the deposit even if he does rebook your date (unless it says he will in the contract).  As far as I’m concerned, he’s being extremely reasonable to offer to honor your money toward a new date, or to refund it if he rebooks.  This is something that not all photographers would do, and under most standard photography contracts, they wouldn’t have to.

Why is this the case when it seems so unfair?  If you booked a prime Saturday during wedding season, chances are pretty good that your photographer has been turning away potential clients from that date ever since you booked it.  If he refunds your deposit this close to that date (it’s only 3 months out) chances are he may not be able to book another bride…. so he’s been turning away business for that date, now you’ve cancelled and he has to return your money to you, and not work on that date and end up with absolutely no money for that weekend?  That’s not fair for the photographer.  That is why we keep your deposits regardless of what happens.  Because for full-time photographers, this is our only source of income, and we only get paid when we work, and there are only so many days in the year that people are getting married that we CAN work.  It’s entirely possible that he cannot afford to refund your money unless he gets another bride for that date.  This is perfectly reasonable.

I’m very sorry for what happened to you!  I can only imagine what you’re going through and that is so tough.  But your photographer is being reasonable.

Post # 6
Member
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m so sorry about your loss.  This is standard practice.  Deposits are kept because he lost out on the chance to book that day for another wedding, but he is being nice in that if he rebooks that date he will give it to you.

Post # 7
Member
5956 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@honeybeelove: …..I am an insurance agent and this is the DUMBEST thing I have ever heard in my life.  I have never in my career heard of an insurance company giving a flying freak about a policyholder giving full refunds or not….if it’s in his contract, it’s in his contract and that’s fine…but to tell you that the big bad insurance company is keeping him from giving you back your money so that he’s not to blame, is a pretty weak move…

Post # 8
Member
344 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I’m very sorry for your loss. The reality is that no one ever cancels a  wedding for happy reasons. Every time a wedding is cancelled it’s a death or illness or cheating. I’ve only had one wedding ever cancel and thankfully I was able to rebook and return the retainer but its was also cancelled almost a year out. I think your photographer may be making an excuse because he doesn’t want to feel mean. It is very standard to keep the retainer. By turning away all other buisness for that day he has earned your retainer and will be losing income over this cancellation. It’s a terrible situation all around. I wish you the best. 

Post # 9
Member
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@seAprilbride:   I think she understands that part of it all, but he pinpointed it on being an insurance issue.  What does that have to do with it?

Post # 11
Member
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think he is being absolutely reasonable.

A nonrefundable deposit is nonrefundable.

I think he is actually going beyond what he needs to do with regards to a refund if he rebooks the date, or if you reschedule your wedding.

Your family emergency doesn’t excuse the cancellation, unfortunately. Just because you needed to cancel for an extreme reason doesn’t make it any different contractually.

Post # 12
Member
3941 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@honeybeelove:   I don’t think you can really say how well off he is and that he wouldn’t suffer financially from this loss.  Being a photographer comes with a great deal of expenses.  I have clients booked until June (non-wedding) and I’ll be lucky to make a profit at all after all of my expenses.

It really is an awful situation all around, but if he started making exceptions he would constantly be losing money.

Post # 14
Member
3141 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Sorry for your loss and his response is standard as he could have booked someone else in your spot and made his full amount in high wedding season. Sounds like he is willing to work with you to compromise. And like pp stated other vendors will most likely respond in the same manner, if not just tell you that you lose your deposit period. 

Post # 15
Member
5956 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

@honeybeelove:  If his contract states that he doesn’t refund deposits, and you signed that, he’s under no obligation to refund a cent. 

I’m very sorry to hear about your father, but did you take a minute to consider his side of things?  How many times do you think he’s been lied to by brides and grooms about family emergencies, deaths in the family and other things because people found a cheaper deal and wanted to back out of their deal with him under less than honest circumstances?

It may seem unfair, he’s just being savvy and adhering to the verbage in his contract, which is the earmark of a professional.

Post # 16
Member
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@honeybeelove:  I would tell him that I was calling his bluff about the insurance company.  The truth is, he already spent your deposit and there isn’t anything to refund anyway.  If you get another bride to book I bet he will have another excuse as to why he can’t refund you the deposit.  He sounds like a liar to me and I would feel uncomfortable referring anybody to him.

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