Post # 1
I am a few months from my wedding so my fiance and I email our photog to reach out and set some time to get together. He writes us back and says he relocated his business so we can’t meet in person but can talk later much closer to the date. He plays it off like he told us when he really did not.
We also find that he completely changed his website and business name. My finance and I email him to schedule a call and he does not give his number, says he will call us (we will see) and the only number we have says it is no longer in use when you call it. Photographer is claiming he told us about the business relocation but that is not the case and we are worried that they will either not show on our big day.
They have our deposit and we are wondering if anyone has any advice as to how we can get our deposit back (we paid via paypal / credit card a few months ago). Any advice is greatly appreciated and at the current moment we are thinking that if we can get our deposit back we would feel much better about finding a new local photographer that is not acting shady. Any questions or more info I can supply pls let me know and I will.
Thanks so much!!!
Post # 3
if you paid via paypal, you can file a dispute. all those changes and his behavior sound really shady and if you have a bad gut feeling about it, do not give him another penny!
Post # 4
Um, would it not make more sense to just see if he calls? I don’t think you really need to meet face-to-face months before the wedding. Our phtographer lives across the country and we may not meet her until the day of. I think you should be able to most things by phone and email. And I don’t really see why it’s a problem if he’s changed the website and buisness name. I mean I assume you hired him because you like his photography, not for the website or name.
Now if he truly won’t communicate with you in a reasonable amount of time then I might consider trying to go with someone else, but it doesn’t really sound like he’s done anything truly problematic at this point, in my opinion.
Post # 5
@dec102012: Your photographer is definitely exhibiting some strange behaviors. We’ve relocated our operating city twice since being full time, and while it can be a strain to go back and cover events you just suck it up and do it. It shouldn’t hamper communication, honesty, or enthusiasm. You definitely don’t need to meet in person before the wedding, but you also shouldn’t feel like the photographer is being weird about their whereabouts or plans. I think that you should talk to them, and communicate your concerns. I would definitely talk to them about getting the deposit/retainer back, but if the language of their contract says it’s non-refundable they technically haven’t breached the agreement so you may be out of luck. I would definitely give them the chance before you attempt to dispute the charge.
Post # 6
What does the contract say about the deposit and cancellations? Your photographer has been reserving your date for months which is why most deposits/retainers are non refundable. You may be able to break the contract and forfeit the deposit if you are reallyuncomfortable but it sounds like they’re having communication issues that could be resolved easily and may have everything to do with it being busy season and them relocating. I have a wedding in December and it is not even on my radar right now because I’m finishing summer weddings and getting time lines in order for fall weddings. Yours is in December if your date you listed is right so that’s not unreasonable.
Honestly it sounds like you already made up your mind about trying to get the deposit back. With PayPal I believe you can only dispute tangible goods, not a payment for something like this. Doing that is going to draw a line in the sand and you may end up losing your money and your photographer. You signed a contract and you are bound by those terms unless there is gross negligence or some other really crazy situation and this doesn’t really fit that bill at this point.
Post # 7
@mariematt: Agree you need to check your contract but I also don’t see why this is a big deal. Businesses move location all the time and given that it is wedding season I can see their point of making contact at a later date especially given that the wedding is in December. That is still 5 months away.
A lot of wedding photographers I know do not give out their phone numbers but use email and contact forms on their websites. This is so that over eager or persistant customers can’t repeatedly call them (not saying that is you but just a reason why). He answered your email right? So he is in contact with you. i would only be concerned if he ignored all your attempts at communication.
I think you need to take a deep breath and relax a little bit. And I certainly wouldn’t confront him about getting out of your contract and paying the deposit back unless you are sure that under your contract you are able to. You will create bad blood and do you really want a photographer that is happy to be at your wedding and giving you 2000% and going above and beyond the contract terms or a grumpy photogrpaher giving 100% and the minimum required by the contract terms?
Post # 8
Moving is one thing. But changing name? That sounds like he has something to hide! I assume you put a deposit down based on a contract written in the original name? Is your contract even still valid?
Post # 9
@ladyartichoke: If the business has moved to another state then they may have been required to change names due to a business already having that name etc. Not everything is sinister or shady!
Post # 10
The only way you can get your deposit back is if it is a refundable deposit. Either way, at this point, I would bite the bullet, and hire a new photog quick (making sure to cancel in writing.)
Some really understanding and high quality photogs will take the work with a discount, so you might even be able to keep your same budget.
But, moving business location isn’t illegal, and he isn’t breaking the contract, so there isn’t much else you can do.
Post # 11
@j_jaye: Agreed. I rebranded because I grew into something else so my name needed to change with it.. My name did not refect who I was anymore.
Opps old thread..