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My Client looks like they won't pay out....where do I stand?

culturedcanvas 16 4.7k 59 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2007 10:30PM
The difference is you've asked him to reshoot and he is doing so. However it is a different scenario ... if I booked a solicitor and he didn't get me off with the case I'd still be paying for his services.

As for you coming to fit my bathroom it would probably be unwise of me to employ a photographer to do what is quite clearly a plumbers job ... Wink
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2007 10:35PM

Quote:if I booked a solicitor and he didn't get me off with the case I'd still be paying for his services.

Bad example. I can think of no win no fee legal parts of the market. But in the example you pose you are paying for them to represent you in a professional manner, and despite your loss they may have done so.
veggiesosage 14 82 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2007 10:38PM
Or, you come and fit my bathroom and 3 days later as agreed you present your invoice. I say you've left a dirty mark on one of the gold taps therefore I'm not paying. I would expect to get sued bacause there would be no way that a court would agree that one dirty mark was significant and the result was well within the bounds of reasonable care and skill.

In your scenario the original fitter would theoretically be entitled to an amount equal to the original fee agreed minus the amount it took for the second plumber to put it right. In most cases like this he would end up owing me money on that basis especially if I included a claim for compensation because of delays. I put this to him, I suggest we leave it at that, he agrees and goes away, on the basis that he realises that him taking court action would be fruitless.

Like I said you're entitled to have a service carried out with reasonable care and skill. Not quite the same as absolute perfection although how far you can deviate will vary from scenario to scenario.
Lou_C 14 755 2 England
2 Oct 2007 10:50PM
This is from Trading Standards from the consumers point of view. But reversed its saying you should have been given chance to remedy the situation before they hired a new photographer

Quote: * Work not satisfactory

It is usually considered reasonable to give the trader a chance to put things right, and it is worth bearing in mind that the amount of compensation you can claim for shoddy work could be affected if you unreasonably refuse to allow the trader an opportunity to make amends. Inform the trader what you are not happy with straight away, and confirm it in writing with a list of the specific problems to be sorted out. Set a deadline for this work to be done, and give notice that after this time you will have no alternative but to get quotes from another contractor and consider suing in County Court for the remedial costs.

culturedcanvas 16 4.7k 59 United Kingdom
2 Oct 2007 11:01PM
Trading standards doesn't really come into this as this is a business to business transaction and hence not within their remit.

dougv 17 8.4k 3 England
2 Oct 2007 11:04PM
Well I don't like to appear negative, but as far as I can see they gave you chance to do the re-shoot.

Quote:At the 4 week mark they rang me and told me that they had passed the images onto a graphic designer and he had said that they were'nt good enough and wanted me to re-shoot.

But you were unable to do so.

Quote:Unfortunatley I was going on holiday and couldn't do it

Did you offer them an alternative?

If not, then they probably saw this as a failure to fulfil your part of the contract.
I would be very careful about rushing into court proceedings unless you are 100% sure that you are in the right.

Your best bet would be to take legal advice for a qualified solicitor rather than rely on advice given to you on this forum.
User_Removed 17 17.9k 8 Norway
2 Oct 2007 11:27PM

Quote:Did you offer them an alternative?

If not, then they probably saw this as a failure to fulfil your part of the contract.

'Bingo' in my view....
LauraVest 15 33 United Kingdom
3 Oct 2007 7:15PM
Gosh, thanks for the responses everyone! Has taken me ages to read through all of them. Some very good and helpful points have been raised. Thankyou!

I doubt that I will be following the small claims route as I feel that my 'case' isn't very cut and dry. I take on board the point that a reshoot was not achievable as I was due to go on holiday. I do however want to try and see the images that were reshot and find out who did them - for peace of mind if anything.

I was dealing directly with a client and not through a design agency, they approached me on the merit of my previous work and asked me to give them a quote. I didn't have a written contract - just a letter I posted them telling them my rates. Then everything was agreed over the phone and done very quickly as the client had supposed 'deadlines'.

My biggest grievance is that they had the images for 4 weeks before any issue was raised. I stupidly did not inclue a 30 payment clause on my invoice as I've never had problems with clients before (lesson well and truly learned!).

I am still waiting for them to return my call so I might try once more over the phone and then put in writing (with a please respond by x/x/x) that I believe that I am owed my fee for my time as there was a 4week period where the images were suitable and a time period where by they could have been re-shot by myself.

I aslo need to ask for my images to be returned!!

Thanks again for all your help and advice, you are always really helpful, I know I can ask you's anything. Guess I just need to stop getting myself in a pickle! But I'm learning fast! I hope that this will be the first and last time that this is a problem for me.

I'll let you's know how I get on!

jimthistle73 17 2.4k 1 United Kingdom
12 Jun 2008 5:30PM
Sorry to dig up this ancient thread - just wondered what the end result was Laura? I've been in a similar situation myself recently, which ended amicably (with some repeat business!).
12 Jun 2008 6:13PM
At the 4 week mark they rang me and told me that they had passed the images onto a graphic designer and he had said that they were'nt good enough and wanted me to re-shoot.

My opinon is that I would first want to know why it took 4 weeks for you to be informed. A little starnge that this is exactly the same length of time business is reasonably expected to settle an invoice. Do you know for sure that they have been reshot?
Lastly you worked for the client, not the graphic designer. I would suggest that you should be paid and would send a reminder invoice in and at the 90 day stage move it to legal. Your paid for your time don't forget and 4 weeks is something that they really don't have a leg to stand on. Trust me I work as a commercial photographer in the UK and US, I see this sort of thing all the time, can be down to a bad brief, client changing their mind and therefore then trying to get past the first 'mistake shoot' for free.

Stick to your guns and get an answer off them or they will ignore you. I had a client in London last month bounce 2 cheqs for 3600, 1 week and 5 calls later I was still getting the run around about cash flow and stuff. I was in London the following week so I called whilst I was in his car park, got the usual promise and then appeared in his office, to cut a long story short I didn't leave until I had him make a CHAPs payment whilst I was there. I know its unlikely that I'll do business with him again but in all honesty I wouldn't work for him, you will find that big companies think you'll be scared to upset them for this reason. I'm good at what I do and charge a very fair price, therefore I believe in myself and I am my own product. Be strong and do what you think is right in yourself, only you know as you were the one who took the pictures.

Hope this helps
Boofy 13 20 1 United Kingdom
17 Jun 2008 7:21PM
hmm I'm intrigued now. I too am wondering how Laura got on....
LauraVest 15 33 United Kingdom
24 Jul 2008 11:27PM
Hi Guys,

I've been side-tracked to no end recently - which is a good thing - all work work work! Seems I've been keeping you all in suspense.....

Well...I managed to settle this but not for the full invoice amount. I sent 2 or 3 letters to the client in the end with the last one saying in BOLD type that if they did not respond/pay up I would be acting upon the legal advice I had been given. Also that they still had my property in the form of my CD of photographs that had not been paid for so I needed it returned to me as legally it was not their property.

They wrote me a really snotty letter back saying that they had tried to contact me about resolving the issue - absolute lies - and were waiting on me to get in touch. They offered me half the money as they felt I had done half the job. I thought long and hard about persuing it further but felt that half the money was the best I would probably get and to be truthful I just wanted the issue to go away - they obviously will feel they've won so to speak as they 'paid me off' really. I just hope I don't come across them again in the future and to date it hasn't affected any future work that I am aware - there is the worry they may have tarnished my name somewhere but like I say I'm all work work work at the moment so seems the coast is clear!!

doug_7 15 482 England
25 Jul 2008 12:36AM
When I first started out I too got caught a couple of times.
Now its money up-front or no work.
I have just sold four photographs to a client in Australia and they paid on-line into my web site via Pay-Pal.
I always wait a week before sending the work out.
Anyone unwilling to part with their money before the jobs done can go elsewhere.
If they argue about wanting to see the work first I ask them why are they booking me?
mark_delta 14 1.3k
25 Jul 2008 10:27AM
It's a well known bluff not to pay up, we had to re-shoot etc.
Just write a nice letter giving them 7 days to pay up or you will issue county court proceedings, wait 7 days from the recorded delivery letter and then file a claim at the county court nearest to the customer, or just let it go and next time get a legal representative to draw up a standard contract.

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