Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

Mrs*W*2B
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  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 21:29

    Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    We are thinking of cancelling our photographer as she has annoyed me on a few occasions since booking her nearly 2 years ago...

    The main two being:

    emailing us last year about 'final prep' and saying 'not many sleeps until the big day' and when I frantically emailed saying 'please tell me you have our wedding booked in for NEXT year not 2013?' she replied very casually saying she had someone with the same name getting married the year before (somehow I can't believe that as I have an unusual name and she doesn't do that many weddings!!!!)

    Whilst trying to book in a final meeting this year, she has taken between 11 and 12 days between emails with me having to send a reminder...she gave us a list of dates, i emailed our preferred date and organised the meeting with our venue and work.....when she FINALLY emailed back she said she was no longer available with no explanation or proper apology....this meeting had taken A MONTH to book in due to her lack of response and now she isn't available for the date she gave us!!

    anyway I told her I was disappointed but we rearranged for 2 months before the wedding...I have found another photographer who we are going to meet next week as I now totally feel like i'm fed up with the current one and don't really want her around me on the wedding day (i've got to that stage where she is irritating me and I don't think she can pull it back)

    We have paid £175 deposit but we have never signed anything to say that it is non-refundable or anything with a cancellation policy...I usually think people are silly to think they can get deposits back (after all it is to stop them booking anyone else) HOWEVER on this occasion I feel like she has forced me to look elsewhere due to her communication and mistakes....I would never have cancelled her if the above didn't happen....does anyone know either legally or otherwise if you think we might get our deposit back or any wording I can use on my email to her to ask for the money back? 

    I don't want to be threatening but if she refuses to give anything back I will be really upset! Has anyone been in a similar situation? I have wedding insurance but I don't think they will cover if I decide to cancel 

    Help! x

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 21:57

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    Hi Mrs W,
    I would say in normal occasion all the booking fees are non-refundable for photography as you are securing your date with it, I highlight this in my first email to make sure the couple understands it, HOWEVER if the lady got double booked at her own fault, I would chase that deposit. In this case I would personally send back the booking fee for you with a massive sorry, or I would help you to find another photographer and pass your deposit to him.

    Regards,
    Chuck 

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 22:08

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    She hasn't actually double booked us, she just had us booked in for last year but luckily she still had this year still available but made up that she had a client with the same name to cover the fact that she had us down for the wrong year.

    We could still have her, it's just I don't feel I want her anymore as I have lost confidence :( x

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 22:19

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    Oh I see, Sorry for miss understanding. To be Honest, if she stated (or even just mentioned) anywhere written or spoken that the booking fee is non-refundable (even on her website anywhere) I would say that you won't be able to get that booking fee back. If that amount of money is not a "big" problem for your household and you feel to go ahead with another photographer, so be it, and don't stress about it. It is only your day by your rules, don't let anyone to makes you stressing on this beautiful occasion(but this is my personal opinion). If you are lucky and you can explain it to the new photographer, he/she might even offer you some discount, or maybe include something extra to your package for the same price. 

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 22:32

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    All our correspondence has been via email and she has never stated it to be non-refundable so I have my fingers crossed...although we can just about afford a new photographer...the £175 will be missed!! it is a lot of money for us...luckily the new photographer is doing us a discount! otherwise it wouldn't have been affordable.

     

    Thanks x

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 22:45

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    Where are you getting Married? Maybe I or we (photographers) can recommend you some trusted ones with plenty reputation and affordable prices. Our network is quite big and I am very happy to share it on our photography society if you would like. Doesn't cost anything, but be ready for a quite few email to read :)

    If not, I wish you the best with it and I am 100% sure you will have a well-deserved wonderful time at your Wedding! 

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 22:47

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    I am getting married in Knutsford but we have already found a replacement (meeting her on Tuesday just to be sure) but thank you anyway! I will let you know if we don't go with the new one! x

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 23:01

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    It depends on the language used, deposit - booking fee  two different things.
    Now you may also be in luck in that she sounds like a new photographer, sometimes they start very cheep and then once they get a few weddings under their belt they put up their prices and then actually want to then cancel the cheep weddings in favour of booking more expensive ones in their place--so she may not put up much of a fight if you want to cancel and a refund, if it was always called a deposit. 
    She may just shoot weddings part time and so the long delays between response could be because she has another job for the main income. So although she has been bad at this stage I assume that you booked her in the first place because you liked her photos or have you also gone off these. 
  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 23:18

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    Wedding Photography By Bill Haddon:

    Ok with benefit of doubt in the past I have had Bride and Grooms with the same first names so that can happen. There are two things talked about one is a deposit and if it is not mentioned anywhere that it is not re fundable then it should be refundable, and then there is a booking fee that is not refundable as it is a fee to book and that is all.
    So it all depends on the language used, deposit - booking fee  two different things.
    Now you may also be in luck in that she sounds like a new photographer, sometimes they start very cheep and then once they get a few weddings under their belt they put up their prices and then actually want to then cancel the cheep weddings in favour of booking more expensive ones in their place------- so she may not put up much of a fight if you want to cancel and a refund, if it was always called a deposit. 
    She may just shoot weddings part time and so the long delays between response could be because she has another job for the main income. So although she has been a bit crap at this stage I assume that you booked her in the first place because you liked her photos or have you also gone off these. 

     

    She doesn't do that many weddings and my name is really unusual so I don't believe that she would have two of us exactly a year apart but hey ho!

    I have had a look back through and it has always been called a 'deposit' on any emails and the confirmation sent through after I paid it (of course once I chased her for it!)

    She is fairly new to the game (around 3 years) so I am hoping that if I ask nicely and she says no then If I threaten to take it further then she might just return it...although I don't want to go down the legal route....if I ask her to point out where she has said it is non-refundable she won't be able to...also on her website she has just put on a cancellation policy that states if cancelled 4 weeks or less you have to pay the full amount...nowhere does it mention the deposit OR that you wouldn't get the full amount back if cancelled before the 4 weeks (which we are)

    I loved her pictures and still do but to me a photographer has to be a full package as they are going to be my closest supplier on the day...at the moment I am thinking if it takes a month to arrange a meeting with her then when the hell am I going to get my pictures back?? haha! x

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 23:40

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    OK, i think this is a bit of a difficult one.  I can certainly see that such a delay between responses is bad.  There's simply no excuse for it.  It doesn't matter if you are full time or part time such a long delay between communications is simply unacceptable.  I feel guilty if I don't reply within a couple of hours of reading an email!  Even if the reply is only "I'm out and will reply properly later"

    That said....technically she's not breached any contract so hasn't done anything 'wrong' if you see what I mean.  So your decision to cancel is your choice and therefore she shouldn't have to refund a date she may have genuinely turned other customers away for.  I know that in my case I've turned away loads of couples for the July/Aug dates.

    Also I totally understand what you mean about £175 being a lot of money to you but any cost of legal action and the sheer hassle of it wouldn't be worth it so I would secretly be prepared to write it off as an unforseen expense but at the same time I certainly would ask.  You never know, you may be able to compromise on say 50% of it. (guessing).

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 23:45

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    MartinC Photography:

    OK, i think this is a bit of a difficult one.  I can certainly see that such a delay between responses is bad.  There's simply no excuse for it.  It doesn't matter if you are full time or part time such a long delay between communications is simply unacceptable.  I feel guilty if I don't reply within a couple of hours of reading an email!  Even if the reply is only "I'm out and will reply properly later"

    That said....technically she's not breached any contract so hasn't done anything 'wrong' if you see what I mean.  So your decision to cancel is your choice and therefore she shouldn't have to refund a date she may have genuinely turned other customers away for.  I know that in my case I've turned away loads of couples for the July/Aug dates.

    Also I totally understand what you mean about £175 being a lot of money to you but any cost of legal action and the sheer hassle of it wouldn't be worth it so I would secretly be prepared to write it off as an unforseen expense but at the same time I certainly would ask.  You never know, you may be able to compromise on say 50% of it. (guessing).

    I can totally understand that she may have turned dates away but if she hadn't made me lose confidence in her I would still be more than happy to have her photograph the wedding, I haven't just decided I am not going to have a photographer.

     

    I am going to try and hope for the best! fingers crossed :) 

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 23:46

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    A deposit 'can be' refunded at the discretion of the vendor but I think in this situation it's a big ask because it's unlikely they will accept your point of view as the booking is now two years old.

    In the USA a deposit is refundable but the UK law looks at this differently and has been a much heated debate with wedding suppliers when clients have cancelled.

    To be completely honest and straight up. If the photographer has turned away other bookings and / or has already incurred costs leading up to this point (meetings, admin time and so on) you shouldn't expect a refund on your deposit. In fact they 'could' pursue you for the final balance or part of it if you are really close to the wedding date with no chance of them taking on another booking (their argument being client indecision has cost them xxx amount of pounds).

    You do have a contract though? Stating terms, hours of cover, sickness information and so on? Is nothing mentioned there?

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 23:49

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    oooh you're from the knutsford area? I could recommend a good photographer right around the corner from you if you need it, mine Kanashay was really good!

    Not sure If you'll get the deposit back thou, if you haven't signed anything then your not protected from losing that money then I'm afraid.

  • Posted: 20 Apr 2014 23:53

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    Chris Giles Photography:

    A deposit 'can be' refunded at the discretion of the vendor but I think in this situation it's a big ask because it's unlikely they will accept your point of view as the booking is now two years old.

    In the USA a deposit is refundable but the UK law looks at this differently and has been a much heated debate with wedding suppliers when clients have cancelled.

    To be completely honest and straight up. If the photographer has turned away other bookings and / or has already incurred costs leading up to this point (meetings, admin time and so on) you shouldn't expect a refund on your deposit. In fact they 'could' pursue you for the final balance or part of it if you are really close to the wedding date with no chance of them taking on another booking (their argument being client indecision has cost them xxx amount of pounds).

    You do have a contract though? Stating terms, hours of cover, sickness information and so on? Is nothing mentioned there?

     

    The only time i met her was at a wedding fayre and then everything else has been via email so she hasn't really incurred much admin time, her 'contract' (if you can call it that) just states the times we have her for, the venues, the full payment and then 'deposit £175' and it was just sent via email, we have no signed contract! (I know stupid but it was one of the first suppliers we booked and I have learnt since then!!)

    I will know more on Tuesday when I have met with this other photographer as obviously I don't want to cancel until I have someone else in place.

    I am going to hope we can get at least some back and if we can't it is just a very steep learning curve! x

     

  • Posted: 21 Apr 2014 0:00

    Re: Has anyone ever got a deposit back from a cancelled supplier?

    Mrs*W*2B:
    I can totally understand that she may have turned dates away but if she hadn't made me lose confidence in her I would still be more than happy to have her photograph the wedding, I haven't just decided I am not going to have a photographer.

    Don't get me wrong, in your shoes I'd be doing the same thing and i totally understand your point of view.  All I'm saying is that technically she's always got back to you (albeit eventually) and she hasn't breached any contract unless there's a clause where the photographer agrees to respond within x period of time.

    What we're giving you is the photographer's point of view.  

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