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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 04 Apr 2018 (Wednesday) 07:19
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What are my rights here?

 
Nick ­ Aufiero
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Apr 04, 2018 07:19 |  #1

Long story short, I did a very short notice session for a family and despite how the photos turned out the lady did a chargeback on PayPal saying she did not receive the items.


My question is, am I allowed to post the photos on my Facebook, or possibly my website, with just her first and last name including screenshots of all of our conversations. Obviously blocking out her phone number and email so people cannot see it but the whole situation was absolutely mind blowing with how disgusting and rude this person was. I suppose I could leave out her last name and just put the last initial that way I don’t have to worry about people trying to find her. I’ve been trying to find some law advice online but it’s kind of hard to find it in this situation. I know I own the rights to the photos and she can’t stop me from posting those with screenshots and all of that. I guess I just kind a wanted to know if I can get in trouble for having her name attached to it. I mainly was going to do it because I have 100+ photographer friends in the local area and I just wanted to make sure this never happened to anyone else again.


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joedlh
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Apr 04, 2018 08:01 |  #2

Did you contact her to attempt to resolve her claim?

Is there a mechanism to dispute it with Paypal? I think it's risky posting identifying information on social networking. You might put yourself at risk of a libel suit. There's also the possibility that this person does things like this as a matter of routine and knows all the ins and outs. Speaking for myself, I wouldn't want to tangle with her. But it would be a reason to contact Paypal in case she has done it before. As for alerting regional photographers, is there an e-mail network or something less public that you could use? If the amount is large enough to warrant it, you could take the case to small claims court.


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Two ­ Hot ­ Shoes
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Apr 04, 2018 08:14 |  #3

Thats one of the pitfalls of using PayPal go get payment. In my experience they always side with the payer, we fought one case and where just shot down. I no longer use PayPal to charge for any items or service, I've had better success with Stripe. YMMV.

Libellous only if what you say is not wholly true, don't be defamatory in any remarks you make, if you just stick to the facts of what happened and not suggest anything you don't know to be true you'll be fine. You can use her full name if you like but be sure of the above. People who are non payers for services - with out reason - are just like robbers stealing your stuff. They need their day in court.

Did you contact the client to see what the problem is? Do you have any proof she did or did not receive the images. How did you send them, if you sent a link to an online gallery you can pull the analytics.


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Bassat
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Apr 04, 2018 08:21 |  #4

Why bother going public with the dispute? It will bring you negative publicity. It won't bring you a satisfactory financial resolution. If you want your photographer friends to know the scoop, send them an email/text.


Tom

  
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PhotosGuy
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Apr 04, 2018 08:24 |  #5

Isn't your first goal to get paid? I'd go to Paypal first & pursue that. You can always do the other if PP fails.


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nero_design
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Apr 04, 2018 08:39 |  #6

If you weren't paid for the photographs then you technically still own them. Did they pay anything upfront? Often this small token payment can be used to prove an agreement was struck.

If you can obtain some acknowledgement from the person that they refuse to pay then you've then got evidence of fraud. Performing a Chargeback can only be performed by the owner of a credit card so it can help nail them. The biggest problem I can see for you is that PayPal was used for the transaction. Because under PayPal they can perform all sorts of outrageous "chargebacks" and make all sorts of unsubstantiated claims about the wrong product being supplied or the wrong service etc. Really petty lies. One of the few things left at your disposal in this instance is to name-and-shame although even that can be sticky. Unless a person has been charged and prosecuted with an offense by the law/courts (this includes conviction), them they can argue that you've slandered their "good name" since the only person making the claim is you. This is why they often blur the faces of people being arrested because no crime has been committed until they are convinced. They are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. A case of libel slander might be won in your favor if you can show that the events transpired. Another problem lies in reprinting conversations deemed "private" by means of email. If someone emails you a message and you forward it to others it can in some instances be considered an offense to do so without permission from the sender.

Posting actual screenshots of conversations has been done before and it can often be enough to shame these thieves into doing the right thing, in return for removing the offending material from your online posts.

In the end, you need to have had them agree to the terms of your services and whatever payment was agreed upon. This should be in the form of a document that they have received. If they do not honor the terms of their agreement then you have every right to sue them. This is tedious and it is annoying. But more often than not they will pay rather than face court.

Make certain that there is NO misunderstanding.
Give them a chance to make amends before pursuing the matter in small-claims court. 7 Days ought to be enough. Keep all correspondence, no matter how small. They may stupidly claim that if you sue them they will make it hard for you to get work in future. Those types of people are parasites... they are barely even human.... crush them.

In future:
* Try to avoid using PayPal. The only time I was ever scammed online was by a US resident using PayPal who then performed a Chargeback. I recorded PayPal staff admitting that they would not even honor a Court Order to enforce the transaction. The dishonest buyer then sent someone to my place of work and he reported back to me where I was at different times of the day. He even obtained my employer's personal details at the time and threatened to get me fired if I continued to defy him. He was dealt with via another manner which i won't go into here for obvious reasons. He was based in Houston.

* Offer a discount for those who pay on time. This is a very acceptable method of using a carrot-and-stick approach to faster payment.

* Always meet your deadlines and follow any client instructions to the letter.

* Be polite when they haven't paid but be firm. Send a letter requesting payment within 7 days, then a Letter Of Demand. Finally you can opt to have your case heard in court.

* For people you don't know, you can request a partial or even full payment for work. A non refundable "deposit" can be requested just so you haven't wasted your time. This is to be paid in order to secure your services.

My best advice would be to post what you like but to remove identifying names and addresses which might otherwise identify the person. Blurring out a name means no such person can threaten you with slander. They could otherwise claim that they did pay you and that the payment was mysteriously reversed or rejected and that you unfairly slandered them. I can't offer much more advice without knowing more about your particular instance.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Post edited 3 months ago by Tom Reichner.
     
Apr 04, 2018 08:45 |  #7

Nick,

I am so sorry this happened to you. . That would suck!

Unfortunately, it is hard to offer any advice or insight, because you left so much crucial information out of your post. . I think that in order for any of us to give you the type of advice you are looking for, we would need to know all about the attempts you have made to contact her directly, and the result of each one of those attempts.

We would also need to know all about your communications with PayPal on this matter, and the current status of your counter-claim.

We also need to know the details about how she received the images from you. . Did she receive all the images that he contract called for, or just a sampling of the best ones? . In what way did she receive them? . Did you give her the full resolution images as a final product, or just downsized samples for her to review? . Did you give them to her on a thumb drive or a CD? . Did you email her jPegs? . Did you get them to her via a photo-sharing service such as Dropbox or whatever it's called? . Is the fact that she received the images documentable, such as with screen shots documenting sent emails or Dropbox downloads?

Finally, what were the terms of your contract with her? . How did you address payment in the contract? . What is the actual wording that you used? . Have you discussed the contract itself with PayPal when you talked to them about this claim?

Nick Aufiero wrote in post #18599947 (external link)
[SIZE=1]Long story short, I did a very short notice session for a family and despite how the photos turned out the lady did a chargeback on PayPal saying she did not receive the items.


My question is, am I allowed to post the photos on my Facebook, or possibly my website, with just her first and last name including screenshots of all of our conversations. . Obviously blocking out her phone number and email so people cannot see it but the whole situation was absolutely mind blowing with how disgusting and rude this person was. . I suppose I could leave out her last name and just put the last initial that way I don’t have to worry about people trying to find her. . I’ve been trying to find some law advice online but it’s kind of hard to find it in this situation. . I know I own the rights to the photos and she can’t stop me from posting those with screenshots and all of that. . I guess I just kind a wanted to know if I can get in trouble for having her name attached to it. . I mainly was going to do it because I have 100+ photographer friends in the local area and I just wanted to make sure this never happened to anyone else again.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Bassat
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Apr 04, 2018 08:45 |  #8

nero_design wrote in post #18600000 (external link)
If you weren't paid for the photographs then you technically still own them. Did they pay anything upfront? Often this small token payment can be used to prove an agreement was struck.

If you can obtain some acknowledgement from the person that they refuse to pay then you've then got evidence of fraud. Performing a Chargeback can only be performed by the owner of a credit card so it can help nail them. The biggest problem I can see for you is that PayPal was used for the transaction. Because under PayPal they can perform all sorts of outrageous "chargebacks" and make all sorts of unsubstantiated claims about the wrong product being supplied or the wrong service etc. Really petty lies. One of the few things left at your disposal in this instance is to name-and-shame although even that can be sticky. Unless a person has been charged and prosecuted with an offense by the law/courts (this includes conviction), them they can argue that you've slandered their "good name" since the only person making the claim is you. This is why they often blur the faces of people being arrested because no crime has been committed until they are convinced. They are innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. A case of libel slander might be won in your favor if you can show that the events transpired. Another problem lies in reprinting conversations deemed "private" by means of email. If someone emails you a message and you forward it to others it can in some instances be considered an offense to do so without permission from the sender.

Posting actual screenshots of conversations has been done before and it can often be enough to shame these thieves into doing the right thing, in return for removing the offending material from your online posts.

In the end, you need to have had them agree to the terms of your services and whatever payment was agreed upon. This should be in the form of a document that they have received. If they do not honor the terms of their agreement then you have every right to sue them. This is tedious and it is annoying. But more often than not they will pay rather than face court.

Make certain that there is NO misunderstanding.
Give them a chance to make amends before pursuing the matter in small-claims court. 7 Days ought to be enough. Keep all correspondence, no matter how small. They may stupidly claim that if you sue them they will make it hard for you to get work in future. Those types of people are parasites... they are barely even human.... crush them.

In future:
* Try to avoid using PayPal. The only time I was ever scammed online was by a US resident using PayPal who then performed a Chargeback. I recorded PayPal staff admitting that they would not even honor a Court Order to enforce the transaction. The dishonest buyer then sent someone to my place of work and he reported back to me where I was at different times of the day. He even obtained my employer's personal details at the time and threatened to get me fired if I continued to defy him. He was dealt with via another manner which i won't go into here for obvious reasons. He was based in Houston.

* Offer a discount for those who pay on time. This is a very acceptable method of using a carrot-and-stick approach to faster payment.

* Always meet your deadlines and follow any client instructions to the letter.

* Be polite when they haven't paid but be firm. Send a letter requesting payment within 7 days, then a Letter Of Demand. Finally you can opt to have your case heard in court.

* For people you don't know, you can request a partial or even full payment for work. A non refundable "deposit" can be requested just so you haven't wasted your time. This is to be paid in order to secure your services.

My best advice would be to post what you like but to remove identifying names and addresses which might otherwise identify the person. Blurring out a name means no such person can threaten you with slander. They could otherwise claim that they did pay you and that the payment was mysteriously reversed or rejected and that you unfairly slandered them. I can't offer much more advice without knowing more about your particular instance.

You must have a boatload of free time on your hands. Going this far to pursue something with such little chance of a satisfactory resolution, and for such a tiny amount of money, seems like a humongous waste of time and effort.

At most, I'd get a firm, "No, I don't want the photos, and I'm not paying you." If the OP has already ascertained that much, he is best off to be done with this matter. Then I'd just delete everything and move on. Life is way too short to waste on such trivialities.


Tom

  
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nqjudo
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Apr 04, 2018 08:56 |  #9

Nick - If you performed your due diligence and completed the transaction with respect to PayPal's seller protection rules you should have a case to fight the chargeback. If you didn't then there is little PayPal can do for you. Even if bringing the matter public is an attempt to prevent this happening to others as you say a social media battle could potentially be your biggest liability. As fellow photographers and co-members of the forum we might get it but it would probably be a red flag for potential clients. In the world of photography there is no lack of evidence that social media battles often take unexpected turns. If an individual can go as low as to make a false claim toward a chargeback what else are they capable of? What can they claim on social media about you? Do you really think it is worth the risk? If you can't win the case on a legal/institutional level I can't see it as wise to take the battle public. You're probably feeling very frustrated right now. I'd recommend a cooling off period before any action and don't listen to anyone who tries to encourage you to get into some kind of public battle. People offering such advice don't have anywhere near as much to lose as you in this.


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AZGeorge
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Apr 04, 2018 17:39 |  #10

I suggest for your consideration that life is way too short and and filled with joy and wonder to waste any more of it on this miscreant client.


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TooManyShots
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Apr 04, 2018 18:02 |  #11
bannedPermanent ban

This sounds more complicated that it appears. PayPal is not bad per se but....any non-cash payments would have the potential being charged back. Now...why can't this person pay you in cash? I get paid with PayPal too and even with Venmo...but my clients are often part of a close knit community == you don't screw people trying to make you looking good in a fringe sport in America....LOL

All I can say is that let it go. Pick your clients carefully and maybe accepting cash. Things like these would happen. It even happens in retail you know.... regardless if you are using PayPal or not. Why would you still want to use these photos anyway???


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Dan ­ Marchant
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Post edited 3 months ago by Dan Marchant.
     
Apr 05, 2018 02:04 |  #12

Nick Aufiero wrote in post #18599947 (external link)
Long story short, I did a very short notice session for a family and despite how the photos turned out the lady did a chargeback on PayPal saying she did not receive the items.

Not nearly enough detail for any meaningful advise.

She said she didn't get the items.... are you saying she did get them?
What items exactly did/was she supposed to get?
how did you deliver them, what proof do you have of delivery?
When she said she didn't get the items what action did you take to remedy?
Did she give you the option to remedy or just refuse and instigate a charge back?
Exactly what information/proof did you provide to PayPal?

My question is, am I allowed to......

Yes the law allows us to do all sorts of dumb things. Regardless of the outcome there is no win to what you propose. You will forever be the unprofessional photographer who got into a public spate with a client instead of using the legal/professional method of resolving a business dispute.

You present evidence to PP. If that doesn't work you go to small claims court.... unless that is you don't have evidence. In which case you take this as an important life lesson on the value of proper contracts, signed for delivery etc etc.

As for warning fellow photographers do that over the phone/in person. Nothing in writing that can be traced back to you.


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TeamSpeed
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Apr 05, 2018 09:30 |  #13

What does "despite how the pictures turned out" mean? Were the photos professional in their final state or were they less than ideal due to the shoot being short notice?


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Apr 05, 2018 10:03 |  #14

Dan Marchant wrote in post #18600545 (external link)
Not nearly enough detail for any meaningful advise.

I agree. This (quoted below) is the problem:

Nick Aufiero wrote in post #18599947 (external link)
Long story short . . .

This needs to be a long story, with a complete account of the details. . Yet your account of the matter is so truncated that practically none of the pertinent information is included. . There is really no way that anyone can read your post and come away with a comprehensive understanding of the situation.

.

TeamSpeed wrote in post #18600681 (external link)
What does "despite how the pictures turned out" mean? Were the photos professional in their final state or were they less than ideal due to the shoot being short notice?

That is something that I wondered about, too. . For Nick to have included that phrase in his post, it seems that there must be something to it; some reason to say that; some underlying issue. . However, without all of the specifics, all we can do is blindly speculate.

.


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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