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Client bails on agreement and wants deposit back?
Old 06-26-2008, 12:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
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So I had a client lined up to shoot and design, basically an ad specialty calendar for their business. I drove 400 miles round trip nearly 8 weeks ago, was told I had the gig and given $500 as a deposit, and gave them a receipt written as a "Photography Deposit".

I sent an agreement to them and they revised it and sent it back. Their revisions included unlimited usage rights compared to my standard one year rights, $20 a day for meals compared to my clause of "providing all meals", and they wanted to change the payment schedule. I said I wanted 50% for a deposit and they were only willing to give one-third of that, which is what they already gave me, and totally revise the payment schedule.

Now it seems they are nixing the deal. Are they entitled to a refund?
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Re: Client bails on agreement and wants deposit back?
Old 06-26-2008, 12:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianbaybo View Post
So I had a client lined up to shoot and design, basically an ad specialty calendar for their business. I drove 400 miles round trip nearly 8 weeks ago, was told I had the gig and given $500 as a deposit, and gave them a receipt written as a "Photography Deposit".

I sent an agreement to them and they revised it and sent it back. Their revisions included unlimited usage rights compared to my standard one year rights, $20 a day for meals compared to my clause of "providing all meals", and they wanted to change the payment schedule. I said I wanted 50% for a deposit and they were only willing to give one-third of that, which is what they already gave me, and totally revise the payment schedule.

Now it seems they are nixing the deal. Are they entitled to a refund?
Did your agreement call for a non-refundable deposit? If not, you probably get to give them the money back.

David
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Re: Client bails on agreement and wants deposit back?
Old 06-26-2008, 12:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes it did but they never signed
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Re: Client bails on agreement and wants deposit back?
Old 06-26-2008, 12:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes it did but they never signed
If they didn't sign it, it doesn't count. Just send them the money back and write off the expenses of the trip on your taxes.

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Re: Client bails on agreement and wants deposit back?
Old 06-26-2008, 02:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds to me you asked for a deposit for photo services which were never agreed to. Looks like you lose on this one. Sorry.
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Re: Client bails on agreement and wants deposit back?
Old 06-26-2008, 09:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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How much is this worth it to you? Ask a lawyer. You have a verbal agreement to do the work. You got a deposit. You have out of pocket expenses up to this point. Is there good will available, or is this a lost client and cause?

It may not be worth the bad press, time and costs to try to force the job or keep all or part of the deposit.

I NEVER take DEPOSITS, just RESERVATION FEES. That way, the money is mine!
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Re: Client bails on agreement and wants deposit back?
Old 08-05-2008, 04:18 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ditto on the last post. My bookings are reserved with a "booking fee". In the case of a contracted event or work (eg. Wedding or Commercial Shoot) the fee is applied, in full to the balance when the work is paid for. In the case of studio portraiture clients the booking fee is the first hour's cost and, again, applied to the print order in full.

Whenever I recive any money, regardless of the amount, I always provide the client an invoice where the "fee" is clearly listed. The invoice is signed and the terms and conditions are accepted. The terms give me 100% of the descision to return the fee, should I feel it's appropriate. I do return fees. Typically if the cancellation in at least 2 weeks in advance for most sessions and 30 days in advance for larger bookings.

Bottom line...... it's a fee...... and always provide an invoice or signed contract when you recieve any money from any client. I mean any client.
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Re: Client bails on agreement and wants deposit back?
Old 08-05-2008, 04:35 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Well i have bad news. A deposit is money given for services that will be rendered. No services no $. Here in Oklahoma we don't take deposits, we take a retainers. You can keep a retainer. The lawyers do!
This has been challenged in court.
Sorry
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Re: Client bails on agreement and wants deposit back?
Old 08-10-2008, 10:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coach View Post
Well i have bad news. A deposit is money given for services that will be rendered. No services no $. Here in Oklahoma we don't take deposits, we take a retainers. You can keep a retainer. The lawyers do!
This has been challenged in court.
Sorry
RObert

I am Not an attorney, but I have seen them on TV.

Coach,.,,,correct on the retainer wording.. never a deposit.

Also, since nothing was signed, even though there was a verbal agreement, it could be taken to court, and the $500 will be a drop in the bucket to what the court costs, and attorney's fees will amount to.

I have heard of attorneys that charge $500 per hour, and they can't even take a decent photograph.
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Re: Client bails on agreement and wants deposit back?
Old 09-03-2008, 01:48 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Ouch! That has to suck! Well, as it's been said already, since the document wasn't signed, sign it off as a loss. I"m not sure about to give it back or not, sounds like you have to in a way. But if they want to continue to do buisness with you with the added usage clause, let them know that if they want that, the price goes up dramaticly along with a much larger "non-refundable" deposit. Personally, I wouldn't work with them after an occurance like that, but that's me, it is up to you.

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