Unsatisfied Customer.

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by red1013, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. red1013

    red1013 TPF Noob!

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    I was approached by a rafting resort to take a days worth of promotional photos. I gave my price of 1000.00 and they managed to talk me down to 700.00. I drove 92 miles to get there, shot photos for 10 hours, spent an additional 12 hours editing. I ended up with around 400 images which I supplied a usage license for.
    So, I get an email today that they were disatisfied with my photos and that they wouldn't be able to use them. They would like a partial refund or a re shoot. My problem is that when I go their Facebook page they have about 7 pages of them posted so in my eyes they are NOT unable to use them. Also since I already reduced my price and have so much time and mileage invested in it I don't think a refund is in order, also because they are using the photos.

    Any advise???????
     
  2. AlexColeman

    AlexColeman TPF Noob!

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    No refund, you sold them the license, and they used the photos.
     
  3. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Talk to them not us. Was a contract signed? Are they aware that 23.5 hours of your time went into the shoot? My point is that commercial shoots are only successful when both parties know all of the details of the work involved. You as the photographer must control the shoot. If the client detects weakness they will pounce.

    Personally. I would bend over backwards to correct the situation. With out knowing all the details I would say that this could be a big client. Not only are they buying commercial work; you could also hit the retail market by photographing individuals going down the river every year.

    Photos on facebook really mean nothing.

    Love & Bass
     
  4. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    Eh, but photos on Facebook does establish legal precedent that, yes, in their view the photos are usable and of a high enough quality for public display. That invalidates their asking for a refund on that basis. Take some screenshots of that just in case things go south, but I of course can only echo what Craig has said; bend over backwards to fix it and clear things up. There is indeed opportunity here.
     
  5. HeY iTs ScOTtY

    HeY iTs ScOTtY TPF Noob!

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    looked at your river photo pics and i thought they were very good.
     
  6. astrostu

    astrostu I shoot for the stars

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    First, in the future, negotiate travel separately would be my advice when driving nearly 200 miles round-trip.

    My refund advice comes from an old Judge Judy episode. The case was where a woman had had a chocolatier make 2 boxes of custom chocolates with an image of a horse she shows on them, the idea being she would give the chocolates out for promotion. She was suing for a full refund because the pictures on the chocolates did not come out the way she wanted. The chocolatier wouldn't give her the money back because they were custom orders, she had opened one box, and she had opened a few of the chocolates.

    The case hinged on the idea that even though the horse lady claimed she couldn't use the chocolates, the Judge ruled that she had "used" them because she had opened a few and shown them to her associates (basically to say, "These suck!") and they HAD eaten a few. But, she still had a whole, unopened box. The judgement was that she was to get 1/2 refund for the unopened box, the opened box she could do whatever she wanted with.

    Based on that case, I would say do not give them a refund. They obviously have used your photos if it's on their Facebook page. They may claim they can't use them for promotion in a trade show, in posters, or whatever else, but they HAVE used them. Because photography is not like two boxes of chocolate where one is still unopened, I would definitely not give them any kind of refund. You can point out that you already lowered your price, and they are already using them.

    Now, in terms of customer-relations, it's a different issue. The Judge also pointed out to the chocolatier, who admitted that the horse owner had been a very good customer in the past, "Why would you alienate such a good customer over 2 lousy boxes of chocolate?" He really couldn't give a good answer.

    I personally, if I had time, would try to re-negotiate with them. I would say something along the lines of, "If you will pay for my travel this time, I will spend 2 [for example] hours re-shooting whatever you would like me to re-shoot."

    Another question is the perpetual: Did you have a contract? If so, and you include a limited liability or guarantee of quality clause, then you're definitely fully justified, I think, in not feeling in any way obligated to do re-shoots.
     
  7. HeY iTs ScOTtY

    HeY iTs ScOTtY TPF Noob!

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    good advice - seems like a good fair idea. if they are being jackass's i would say screw them though. you know they will find some way to make miserable.
     
  8. lschaaf

    lschaaf TPF Noob!

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    10 hours of shooting for $700?? Plus all the driving and editing time. I'm not sure if you should care if they are repeat customers! But go with your gut. If they are a pain, I wouldn't jump through hoops. Did they say why they weren't usable? If you don't think you can take new shots and you want to keep them happy, you can always go for the partial refund. Sounds like they realize you should be paid for your time and the images they are using.
     
  9. red1013

    red1013 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks everyone. I think everybody feels pretty much the way I do. I think if it were to go to court I would win based on the fact that they are using the images. I do have a signed contract. At this point I don't think I would want them as repeat business. So we'll see where this goes. I'll let you know. Thanks again.
     
  10. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    yea i would say you've already given them the photos at $700. as for a big repeat customer? who cares... do you really want to go through this every time you do a shoot for them? because that's exactly what would happen.
     
  11. UUilliam

    UUilliam TPF Noob!

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    You travelled 100 miles...
    and worked 24 hours... and gave them usage license all for $700...
    Tbh, your a mug, they should have just anal raped you...
    even for $1000....

    Travel time for 100 miles is about 3 - 4 hours...
    + about $25 - 50 in petrol / diesel
    Plus you have to drive the 100 miles back...
    that is 200 miles, 6-8 hours travel time and about $50 - 100

    so you worked 24 hours, traveled 6 hours (at least)
    which in total is 30 hours work meaning you only charged them $24 per hour...
    with no travel expnses covered...
    Since you had to use $100 out your own pocket, I would have charged them about $150-$200 for travel expense alone.
    then ATLEAST $100 an hour work, + the licence for Commercial usage rights would be atleast $500 for 5 images, then an extra $50 per image after that...
    Then you could offer them printing rights for $25 per image
    totalling (at the minimum) $3700
    a whole $3000 more than you charged...

    then you could have started charging for bull**** stuff like Equipment insurance (in the case of any of your equipment failing at the event by cause of a participant/customer of the raftng company (probably only $50 but it is $50 more...)
    then any other bs you felt was "necessary"

    Dont worry, This post wasn't to offend you or call you an idiot for charging so little (hey it's your choice!)
    but use the information i have just told you to show them how much of a deal they got already, and explain they are using the images already on their facebook,
    It is too late now to chage them additional charges but hey it is a good lesson learned!
    Take a leaf from 3rd world merchanters,
    Charge accordingly, For people who can afford pricy stuff, Add additional costs, to people who you know cant afford allot, just charge your standard / reduce a little,
    I would rather reduce my price by $200 than to loose a client all together (depending on HOW much they were expecting me to reduce e.g. if it was more than 25% of original price, i would turn the down.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2009
  12. benhasajeep

    benhasajeep TPF Noob!

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    First thing I would do is a print screen of everyone on facebook. They are using them for advertising. Protect yourself before contacting them. Once you have copies of the web pages. Then contact them stating they are using the photo's. But again first thing is to make copies of the pages. If it comes to court action they can delete them from the site. So, get some proof first they were used.
     

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