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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Weddings & Other Family Events Talk 
Thread started 28 Feb 2009 (Saturday) 13:18
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Do you have a refund clause in your contract?

 
CanonLaw
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Feb 28, 2009 13:18 |  #1

I have a wedding coming up on March 7th....or should I say had??? I called the chapel to see when I could come take a walk-through to get some ideas. Well, the lady at the chapel called me and said "Did they not call you and tell you the wedding is off?"

This is the first time this has happened to me. The already paid the deposit, but they actually paid the full amount up front. I am not going to go on the word of the chapel lady, so I called the bride-to-maybe-not-be and left her a voice mail to remind her I wanted to come for the rehearsal, and for her to call me back when she could.

In my contract it says that the deposit is non-refundable, even if the wedding is off, but I don't have anything about whether or not I should refund them the rest of the money. I guess I will have to wait and see. If they don't contact me by the wedding date, then I will assume I need to be there, and if they don't show up I keep the money.

Do any of you have in your contract that if the wedding is canceled a week or so before, they get a refund, less the deposit?

In my case, we are only talking about a small sum, $400 for shots before the ceremony.




  
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sacral
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Feb 28, 2009 13:28 |  #2

Here's what my refund clause says...may still need some work though:

"In the event of date/contract/wedding cancellation or postponement, or failure of payment in a timely manner, Khoi Le of KDL Photography reserves the right to deny refund of the retainer fee for time spent in preparations, purchases, travel, and other expenses directly related to the wedding described in this contract. Under no circumstances does Khoi Le or affiliated photographers* hold the right to continue services without proper payment before the scheduled photography/wedding date. The Bride and Groom shall be responsible for payment for any material charges incurred up to the time of cancellation."

Reserves the right. Up to my discretion for the most part...


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JasonBr
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Mar 05, 2009 23:16 |  #3

Tomorrow is the 7th, let us know what happens!


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CanonLaw
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Mar 06, 2009 00:00 |  #4

JasonBr wrote in post #7464974 (external link)
Tomorrow is the 7th, let us know what happens!

I just got an email and call from the former groom-to-be and it is off for sure. I don't specifically have a clause that says I keep the money if they cancel 3 days before the wedding (i will add that to my contract). But he said look, "I know this is a pain in the ass and if it is too late for a refund (less the deposit) I understand."
I think I will refund him half of the total. I did have other things i did not schedule this weekend because of the wedding, so I think that is fair.




  
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bnlearle
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Mar 06, 2009 03:42 |  #5

Very fair. Good on you.


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Duncan ­ Frenz
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Mar 06, 2009 06:09 as a reply to  @ bnlearle's post |  #6

The former groom got out cheap no matter your outcome!


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Valjoy
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Mar 06, 2009 06:27 |  #7

A fair result for everyone concerned.




  
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Peacefield
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Mar 06, 2009 06:56 |  #8

I haven't had complete cancellations, but I did just recently have a postponement.

My deposits, which I deliberately have set at very modest levels are not refundable. The contract says it explicitely, and I will state it as well. That said, I will hold their price for one year from the initial wedding date. If they get married and I'm available on the new date, the deposit can be applied to photography services for the new date. If not, the deposit is not refundable.


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Mason ­ Galindo
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Mar 06, 2009 08:18 |  #9

I'd say give it all back to them. What labor have you performed to justify you keeping any of it? Honestly, did you pass up on another opportunity because you had this couple locked in for a particular date?

Edit: I just read your whole post. Woops! That seems more fair knowing you passed on something else.




  
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Mark1
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Mar 06, 2009 08:35 |  #10

While I am not a lawyer, I got this advice from one..... Change the word in your contract from "Deposit" to "Retainer". Deposit, even if preceded by the "non-refundable", you can still be made to refunded. Something in the legal ramifications of the word. However, "retainer" is at looked as a service and not refundable. Basically they are paying you to hold a day open VS pre paying a portion of services to be rendered at a later time. Slight difference I know. But one that can save you a headache later.

And if lawyers use the word retainer to hold your place in line....Its good enough for me.

That said I would return the money minus the deposit amount. Unless I could fill the day with other work.


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fayebernoulli
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Mar 06, 2009 21:56 |  #11

Mark1 wrote in post #7466581 (external link)
While I am not a lawyer, I got this advice from one..... Change the word in your contract from "Deposit" to "Retainer". Deposit, even if preceded by the "non-refundable", you can still be made to refunded. Something in the legal ramifications of the word. However, "retainer" is at looked as a service and not refundable. Basically they are paying you to hold a day open VS pre paying a portion of services to be rendered at a later time. Slight difference I know. But one that can save you a headache later.

And if lawyers use the word retainer to hold your place in line....Its good enough for me.

thanks so much for the tip! i just went through our contract and changed it. :razz:


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ejicon
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Mar 08, 2009 01:27 |  #12

CanonLaw wrote in post #7465201 (external link)
I just got an email and call from the former groom-to-be and it is off for sure. I don't specifically have a clause that says I keep the money if they cancel 3 days before the wedding (i will add that to my contract). But he said look, "I know this is a pain in the ass and if it is too late for a refund (less the deposit) I understand."
I think I will refund him half of the total. I did have other things i did not schedule this weekend because of the wedding, so I think that is fair.


You're a good person. I'm sure something serious must have happened for a cancellation occurring days before the wedding.:oops:


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sacral
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Mar 08, 2009 11:02 |  #13

ejicon wrote in post #7478251 (external link)
You're a good person. I'm sure something serious must have happened for a cancellation occurring days before the wedding.:oops:

Ugh - hopefully it wasn't something too terrible. :(


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fmulder21
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Mar 08, 2009 11:30 as a reply to  @ sacral's post |  #14

Ouch, I would've given them the full amount back minus the deposit.




  
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CanonLaw
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Mar 08, 2009 11:34 |  #15

Well, I think what happened was, they were going to get married. She didn't have a job, so he paid for everything. She went around meeting with me, the church, the caterer, etc, and writing checks for deposits, etc. Then he dumped her, she moved out, and now he has go to back and get all his money back. If it were her money, and she got dumped, I would probably give her the full refund back, but I don't know about him.




  
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Do you have a refund clause in your contract?
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