Hi! Question, my photographer is booked with us for my wedding on 8/28. As of right now we are having our wedding but have a back up date in 2021 just in case. My photographer is unfortunately unavailable in 2021. I asked what would happen with the two down payments that we had given which were over 1,000 each payment. Final payment is obviously still pending. He told me he would not be able to refund me at all. I’m super upset since we have paid him over 3k. Please let me know your thoughts and how to address this. He did say he would allow us to use the money to a photo shoot in the future. I obviously want to use that money if I need to hire a new photographer next year. I’d love to hear your opinions.
What does your contract say? If it says the deposit is non-refundable and there isn’t a stay-at-home order in your city/state on your original date (but you still choose to reschedule because guests are wary of traveling so soon)... I believe legally, your photographer can keep it.
I would fight him on it. Most vendors are not being generous even if the state shuts down so your deposit may be gone. I would definitely not allow him to keep the second payment though. Also how did you pay? If you paid with a CC, then you can always dispute the second payment with your banm if you fall within the time frame of a cancellation. Your contract could be used as proof.
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Hi Jennifer! Thank you for your sweet response! You’re so right! That’s a great idea! ❤️
Yeah it def sucks. We paid a deposit on a tent for them to "hold" our date and they won't budge on a refund or any partial refund. We got our local state house rep to send a letter and they still won't budge. They literally did nothing for us and we legally couldn't hold our event on our original date. All other vendors have been great. Some vendors that did do work for us we only asked for partial refunds, maybe you can do that? Or use him in the future. Maybe ask for a 24 month timeframe to use his services. He also may just not have the funds to refund which is why he's not working with you on that aspect.
What’s in your contract? Did you pay by credit card or with cash?
If you paid by credit card, call your bank and report that the service has not been provided and you need to receive a full refund. Credit card payments are negotiable instruments - I would challenge that if I were you. If you paid by cash, what is written in your contract? Does it say non refundable due to scheduled date or uncontrollable circumstances. If not sounds like he is barking up the tree of small claims court - which can ruin his reputation as a photographer. It’s understandable that times are rough for us all, but a global pandemic is the last thing anyone thought would happen. Get your money back and write a review depending on if he cooperates. The last thing he wants is a bad reputation.
Hi Christina! You'll need to check the terms of your original contract. Those contracts are written to protect both the client, and the wedding vendor. If the deposits are non-refundable and forfeit upon cancellation - then that's the deal!
I appreciate that they're trying to be flexible with other ways to use their service. Could you use the money you've already paid for a bridal session or engagement photos? If your photographer offers prints and albums you could also use some of your previous payments towards those services.