wedding cancelled, do i give back the deposit?

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by swoop_ds, Dec 17, 2010.

  1. swoop_ds
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    swoop_ds New Member

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    A client just emailed me, saying that they are cancelling their wedding until they are in better financial shape. I already have the deposit, and my contract clearly says that there are no refunds. Should I just keep it and say too bad so sad? I feel bad but its not my fault they cancelled their wedding.

    -Dave
  2. Robin Usagani
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    Robin Usagani Well-Known Member

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    Yes, keep it. For good gesture, maybe offer them to use the deposit toward a photo shoot. You basically blocked that date for any other potential weddings, thats why you are entitled to keep it.
  3. Christie Photo
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    Christie Photo New Member

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    Refund only AFTER you take a deposit from another couple for that same date.

    -Pete
  4. Robin Usagani
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    Robin Usagani Well-Known Member

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    Thats a great idea!
  5. swoop_ds
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    swoop_ds New Member

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    Agreed, that idea seems very fair
  6. Big Mike
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    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member

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    You could tell them that they could apply it toward their wedding, when/if they finally do decide to get married.
  7. Robin Usagani
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    Robin Usagani Well-Known Member

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    That is a nice gesture as well... but remind them your price may not be the same in the future.
  8. Bynx
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    Bynx New Member

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    I dont know if you are a professional wedding photographer or not. If you are then the last suggestion of returning the deposit only after you get a booking for the same date seems pretty reasonable to me. That money is your family income, your equipment should have a greater cost etc. If you are an amateur and are not out any out of pocket expenses and wouldnt have had any booking for the date then why not give them back their deposit or at least half of it. Remind them there is a no refund policy but you are willing to give them back half. A lot of wedding shoots are based on word of mouth and good will goes a long way. If they do decide a date, Im sure they will keep you in mind. How bad do you need the money?
  9. JohnS.
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    JohnS. Member

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    That's all you need right there. If it's on paper and there was a signed written agreement, they can't complain.

    As stated previously, good idea's are to offer them photoshoots, give them the money back if/when you book something else for that day, or tell them when they decide to get married, they won't have to pay you another deposit (unless your prices change depending on the economy, etc.).
  10. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    I don't about the laws where you live, but most jurisdictions I am aware of do not allow non-refundable deposits, but do allow non-refundable retainers.

    Put another way, deposits to the extent not used - must be refundable.

    Retainers are not refundable because a retainer binds a professional from doing other work and blocks a minimal period of time.

    So, it sounds like your contract is using the wrong term - deposit - when it's really a retainer.

    IANAL(I Am Not A Laywer).

    Hopefully, your contract has been reviewed by a qualified attorney.
  11. BKMOOD
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    BKMOOD New Member

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    How far in advance did they cancel? If they canceled months in advance, I'd probably give them their money back (but that's just me), as I'd have plenty of time to fill that spot. If they canceled days in advance, I'd say no.
  12. Edsport
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    Edsport Active Member

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    If it's legal for you to keep the deposit then i say keep it. If they say bad things to other people about it then sue. I know it sounds a bit brash but this is why you take the deposit in the first place...
  13. mooney101
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    mooney101 New Member

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    I agree with keep until you find another wedding for that date. OR offer a discount on a session.
  14. Patrice
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    Patrice Well-Known Member

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    Keith has a good point there. Much like a deposit to a contractor for doing your roof next month. Change your mind and he needs to give you back any monies not expended on your behalf. I'm not a lawyer either but I have operated service companies before and still do. Deposits are for work or services to be rendered. If the work does not get done for any reason, your fault or not, then the money has to go back. So called non-refundable deposits don't hold up.

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