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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 09 Jul 2014 (Wednesday) 21:02
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She wants a refund of the non-refundable fee

 
DocFrankenstein
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Jul 10, 2014 20:57 |  #46

David Arbogast wrote in post #17023078 (external link)
Apparently going to funerals has gotten expensive. Last one I went to they let me in for no charge. ;)

The lame funeral excuse sounds like it was thought up by a 12-year old. Surely she could come up with something more inventive, like, "What if I have an emergency and need to send my jerk neighbor to her funeral, but Dr. Kevorkian's protégé wants $3000 and I can only come up with $2550? Please, for the love of mercy, can you refund my $60?" Something like that would really tug at one's heart strings......

I think your comparison is very insulting to 12 year olds. If she had it together enough to come up with a good excuse, she'd have capacity to show up to a portrait session.


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DocFrankenstein
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Jul 10, 2014 20:58 |  #47

h14nha wrote in post #17023740 (external link)
Turn the guilt trip tables on her. Tell her you refused bookings on those days after you rescheduled for her, and she actually cost you 3 days work losing £££'s. Now you come across as the injured party, and her the evil stepmother who kept food off your families table.........

You don't want to be dragged to her level... imo


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MattPharmD
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Jul 10, 2014 21:29 |  #48

Just for the next person looking for this advice. I know someone mentioned the bad review, but that is a part of doing business. You have policies for a reason. If people believe they can exploit those policies, they will (e.g. Walmart's return policy).


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KeenanRIVALS
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Jul 10, 2014 21:32 |  #49

Here's a thing, at the end of the day $60 isn't much money, but its a policy. I know at times certain type of photography involves a slight personal relationship, so you feel inclined to be a human, but this wouldn't fly in any other resident or business.

It's not a dick move if you move forward and keep the $60, if she spreads bad about you, big deal, her peers are probably just like her.

It's a time thing, maybe you would or wouldn't have booked appointments in her allotted time, but you did take time out of your day, or build your schedule around this shoot. Perhaps you could have been doing something more productive, perhaps you didn't have a shoot planned but you may have missed an opportunity to meet an individual, its the price she has to pay. If she needs $60 is a deal breaker between her attending a funeral then well, she honestly shouldn't be going.

Be stern, but be respectful...

"Hey sorry about your loss, I understand how things can get at times, unfortunately I won't be able to refund the money due to my policy. What I can do for you is keep the $60 as a credit, and perhaps we can reschedule in the future."

If the future ever happens, I'd make her pay me up front for any work I was about to do just so you wouldn't be further waisting your time. Again you're a business, no matter how great you are you will never be a 5 star business... Thats why the most expensive restaurants are 4 stars... There's always going to be one unhappy client.


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Alveric
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Jul 10, 2014 22:06 |  #50
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KeenanRIVALS wrote in post #17024090 (external link)
"Hey sorry about your loss, I understand how things can get at times, unfortunately I won't be able to refund the money due to my policy. What I can do for you is keep the $60 as a credit, and perhaps we can reschedule in the future."

If the future ever happens, I'd make her pay me up front for any work I was about to do just so you wouldn't be further waisting your time. Again you're a business, no matter how great you are you will never be a 5 star business... Thats why the most expensive restaurants are 4 stars... There's always going to be one unhappy client.

Hmm, this makes me think: there should probably be a policy with a time out period: after 90 days of cancellation or postponement, client needs to pay another NON-REFUNDABLE booking fee.

Money flows, the 60 bucks would prolly be spent within days or weeks; thus, I don't think it'd be feasible for her to reschedule next year and piggyback on those 60 dollars.


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Jul 10, 2014 22:17 |  #51

It's amazing how many people believe that the client said she was going to a funeral, when that isn't what the OP reported.


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Jul 10, 2014 23:52 |  #52

OhLook wrote in post #17024161 (external link)
It's amazing how many people believe that the client said she was going to a funeral, when that isn't what the OP reported.


what>

rivas8409 wrote in post #17021938 (external link)
Now she replies back that even if she needs the money to get to a funeral I won't refund it? Great, use a guilt trip to make me look like an a-hole if I say no. I haven't messaged her back yet but I'm curious as to what you guys would respond with.

edit:

Oh only IFFFF she needs the money like she threw it out there knowing she didn't have one? what a ****


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cdifoto
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Jul 11, 2014 00:05 |  #53

Luckless wrote in post #17022565 (external link)
Case by case basis. How do YOU honestly feel about the situation and the client?

But if you DO decide to give a refund on it, then make sure it comes with half a dozen of your business cards. If they get their money back then expect them to give you some free and highly directed advertisements.

Personally in the case of a funeral being mentioned I would be inclined to err on the side of caution and cave, as I would rather take the risk of a handful of people seeing me as a sucker than them spreading the word that I'm heartless and uncaring. (Really how wide would someone spread the word that they cheated another person out of money by making up a story about a death, vs how wide will someone spread the story about someone not giving them a break during a hard time in life?)

That's exactly what her sob story is banking on.

She doesn't know anyone to influence that would matter. I'd rather be heartless and uncaring to her friends & family. At least they'd leave me alone too.


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Jul 11, 2014 00:18 |  #54

Oh and my deposits aren't for any day in particular. They're for a day. Each client basically gets the next date that we're both available.

Per my own policy, I would inform her that her $60 deposit was, is, and will remain non-refundable but it will be applied to any date in the future that she wishes to follow through with the shoot. And that I already used it to change my car's oil.


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MDJAK
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Jul 11, 2014 05:15 |  #55

I think when one runs a huge business with a no refund policy it's important to stick to. However, in small business, where word of mouth is important and personal relations are also, the rare times a situation like this arises, I'd give the money back in a heartbeat and say I hope all works out with your family problems and we can shoot in the future.

Unless $60 is going to make or break your day which is possible I guess.




  
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Bryan ­ Conner
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Jul 11, 2014 05:38 |  #56

MDJAK wrote in post #17024522 (external link)
I think when one runs a huge business with a no refund policy it's important to stick to. However, in small business, where word of mouth is important and personal relations are also, the rare times a situation like this arises, I'd give the money back in a heartbeat and say I hope all works out with your family problems and we can shoot in the future.

Unless $60 is going to make or break your day which is possible I guess.


I agree completely. If she is having family problems, I would give it back. I would tell her that I am making a one time exception in order to help her out. I would wish her luck with her problems and be done with it. If she called to book a session in the future, I would ask her if she had solved her problems. If she was lying, she would not know what I was asking about and I would refuse to be her photographer. If she responded appropriately to my question, I would give her one more chance. But only one more.

Some customers suck.




  
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J ­ Michael
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Jul 11, 2014 08:23 |  #57

It doesn't sound like you actually lost a booking due to the cancelled appointments. Although I think you would be entitled to keep the fee she has proven to be the type of person you don't need or want as a customer. I'd cheerfully refund the money, condolences on the loss, and wish her well. Then if she ever contacted me again, "sorry totally booked".




  
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Jul 11, 2014 09:17 |  #58

cdifoto wrote in post #17024329 (external link)
Oh and my deposits aren't for any day in particular. They're for a day. Each client basically gets the next date that we're both available.

Per my own policy, I would inform her that her $60 deposit was, is, and will remain non-refundable but it will be applied to any date in the future that she wishes to follow through with the shoot. And that I already used it to change my car's oil.

How many more times does she get to call and reschedule then cancel at the last hour?


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OneDeep
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Jul 11, 2014 10:12 |  #59

She had enough money to order outfits now all of a sudden she need her cash back. She brought the clothes for a session might as well use them.


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mikeinctown
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Jul 11, 2014 10:15 |  #60

Bryan Conner wrote in post #17024543 (external link)
I agree completely. If she is having family problems, I would give it back. I would tell her that I am making a one time exception in order to help her out. I would wish her luck with her problems and be done with it. If she called to book a session in the future, I would ask her if she had solved her problems. If she was lying, she would not know what I was asking about and I would refuse to be her photographer. If she responded appropriately to my question, I would give her one more chance. But only one more.

Some customers suck.

The OP already responded to her and told her no, but your comment about future bookings just wouldn't fly. She had already rebooked several times and cost him potential income loss on those occasions. How much more money and time do you want him to throw at her? At that point she would probably just reschedule to be an a$$ to him and then back out last minute yet again with no intention of ever making the appointment.




  
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She wants a refund of the non-refundable fee
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