First Cancelation because of Corona Virus

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djtaso

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I also think it's going to be the LEGAL thing to do in many/most instances since WE can't perform on the agreed upon date along with the client.

There may be some leeway if your contract specifically addresses situations where BOTH parties are affected and the language stipulates that a postponement is the recourse. I would take the bet that most small claims courts will rule in favor of the client on this one.
Most contracts that dj's use here do say that a postponement within a year of the original date is the only way to hold on to a retainer and not require additional payment. By the way as of today I've spoken to 4 venues as well, and all have said the same thing. Their lawyers have said they're protected as long as they don't initiate the cancellation, as they don't have a provision that covers pandemic.
 

djtaso

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yes but...imagine their added devestation that the illustrious dj Taso will no longer grace their event... lol

You know better than i do the amount of money you have made on referral and repeat business... and i know that your retainer isnt that much money... Wouldnt the best business choice be to insure that you were the dj with a heart...who wasnt full of sh*t when you initially promised them the world when they first booked... that you ACTUALLY are a morale human first / businessman 2nd....

And even though for this event they will have some other dj.... you remain their dj of choice for countless future events... because of one small gesture...

cc
you're addressing the personal side of this not the legal side. My retainer is $300... It won't affect me if I have to give it back.
 
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rickryan.com

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you're addressing the personal side of this not the legal side. My retainer is $300... It won't affect me if I have to give it back.
That surprises me, especially give your rates. What's your typical schedule for collecting the rest?
 

steve149

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Most contracts that dj's use here do say that a postponement within a year of the original date is the only way to hold on to a retainer and not require additional payment. By the way as of today I've spoken to 4 venues as well, and all have said the same thing. Their lawyers have said they're protected as long as they don't initiate the cancellation, as they don't have a provision that covers pandemic.
So, if the client doesn't cancel, and you are not able to set up due to the restrictions put on the venue, wouldn't it be you in breach at that point?
 

djtaso

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So, if the client doesn't cancel, and you are not able to set up due to the restrictions put on the venue, wouldn't it be you in breach at that point?
But I'm protected in that case... the client isn't. If the client didn't call to cancel, then I show up... if I can't get in then this is something out of my control and I'm entitled to hold on to the deposit... just as if the power went out at an event. Would you give the retainer back after having driven there. Again, look at your contracts, most of them have provisions for the DJ if they can't perform under certain situations. However, most contracts have a blanket "if client cancels" which essentially means for any reason. Very few contracts protect clients.... purposely. Some smart clients who are lawyers ask to add provisions, but 95% of clients just want to sign a contract and get things locked in.
 

steve149

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But I'm protected in that case... the client isn't. If the client didn't call to cancel, then I show up... if I can't get in then this is something out of my control and I'm entitled to hold on to the deposit... just as if the power went out at an event. Would you give the retainer back after having driven there. Again, look at your contracts, most of them have provisions for the DJ if they can't perform under certain situations. However, most contracts have a blanket "if client cancels" which essentially means for any reason. Very few contracts protect clients.... purposely. Some smart clients who are lawyers ask to add provisions, but 95% of clients just want to sign a contract and get things locked in.
Having written contracts for many years, those that are decidedly one-sided will generally be dismissed if taken to court. If you can breach a contract because you are unable to perform, I would think a client can if unable to gather (of course there are other considerations in there as well).
 

djtaso

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Having written contracts for many years, those that are decidedly one-sided will generally be dismissed if taken to court. If you can breach a contract because you are unable to perform, I would think a client can if unable to gather (of course there are other considerations in there as well).
Do we not all have requirements for electricity, space, etc. things outside the clients control, but required for us to perform.
 

steve149

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Do we not all have requirements for electricity, space, etc. things outside the clients control, but required for us to perform.
But those are things the client can in turn go to court with the venue over.

Postponing things will be great for both sides .. just saying there are circumstance that may prevent a client from rescheduling and I'm not so sure the language in most contracts will prevail in this specific crisis.
 

rickryan.com

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Very few contracts protect clients.... purposely. Some smart clients who are lawyers ask to add provisions, but 95% of clients just want to sign a contract and get things locked in.
I had a lawyer prospect who wanted to book, several years ago. When I sent over my contract, she made it known that she was a lawyer and then proceeded to berate me, wanting me to make changes to my contract. I replied back, retracting my offer and wished her well on her event. She went off on me, making all kinds of statements and threats. She ended up in iggyland and that was the end of it.
 

Valerie Hicks

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But those are things the client can in turn go to court with the venue over.

Postponing things will be great for both sides .. just saying there are circumstance that may prevent a client from rescheduling and I'm not so sure the language in most contracts will prevail in this specific crisis.
the bulk of our events would not be able to reschedule. They are things like school dances, figure skating performances, corporate meetings. Most will continue to book us in the future, but few will have opportunity to reschedule. Of course we will work with any of our clients to apply any payments to future dates, not because we have to, but because it's ethically, and probably legally, the right thing to do. We don't do many weddings which are events that would be rescheduled.
 

rickryan.com

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the bulk of our events would not be able to reschedule. They are things like school dances, figure skating performances, corporate meetings. Most will continue to book us in the future, but few will have opportunity to reschedule. Of course we will work with any of our clients to apply any payments to future dates, not because we have to, but because it's ethically, and probably legally, the right thing to do. We don't do many weddings which are events that would be rescheduled.
I'm in the same boat on my only prom for this year. It's re-scheduled from 4/10 to 5/8, but if that date can't remain then I'm going to offer to apply the money to next year's prom. I know it's not fair to this year's junior class (who earned the money), but neither is it going to benefit them for me to return the money (in spite of my contract which states no refunds).
 

djtaso

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the bulk of our events would not be able to reschedule. They are things like school dances, figure skating performances, corporate meetings. Most will continue to book us in the future, but few will have opportunity to reschedule. Of course we will work with any of our clients to apply any payments to future dates, not because we have to, but because it's ethically, and probably legally, the right thing to do. We don't do many weddings which are events that would be rescheduled.
With the one junior prom I had, if they can't get a rescheduled I'll apply it for next years senior prom if they rebook me. I don't have to since it's technically outside of the "within a year" clause but I'm trying to be accomodating.
 

steve149

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I hope you guys are right in thinking you don't "have" to return pre-payments if a rescheduling can't be done. I still believe, based on my contract background, that what you have in place WON'T hold up in court .. just my opinion.
 

Jeff Romard

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Another one gone May 2nd is done for now. My wife's hours have been cut and it's possible she's getting laid off too. When it rains it pours LOL. On the upside I'm considered essential (radio) so my job is safe worst case scenario is I will be working from home if it gets really bad

My goal is 50 year I will be lucky to hit 30-35 this year by the looks of things and that's if we don't lose the summer season

A few years back I mentioned here that my goal was 50 but I usually hit 55-60 and someone asked why I would go over the number I set. This is why ;)
 
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djtaso

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What is the recourse .. now that you are sick and cannot perform future events .. because you stuck with the event? Do you now refund your clients with a last minute cancellation?
Again, most of our contracts are designed to protect us... even if something like that were to happen, we have language that in an emergency (which are listed what constitutes as such), we can send a replacement. We're still protected.
 

ittigger

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Again, most of our contracts are designed to protect us... even if something like that were to happen, we have language that in an emergency (which are listed what constitutes as such), we can send a replacement. We're still protected.
Yep, I got the replacement .. but let's say they want you. They booked you .. well, for you. I think the 2 very different angles in here are return the money (with the understanding of the scenario) .. or keep the money and risk future work. As a buyer, if my vendors are thoughtful about my goals, I tend to tilt their way more. During the last financial crunch, Toyota was the only business willing to work with us. I have purchased 4 Toyota's since (and referred many, many buyers). :)
 
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djtaso

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Yep, I got the replacement .. but let's say they want you. They booked you .. well, for you. I think the 2 very different angles in here are return the money (with the understanding of the scenario) .. or keep the money and risk future work. As a buyer, if my vendors are thoughtful about my goals, I tend to tilt their way more. During the last financial crunch, Toyota was the only business willing to work with us. I have purchased 4 Toyota's since (and referred many, many buyers). :)
Legal and personal decisions are different. They signed knowing that in very rare circumstances a replacement may be provided and agreed to that.

Now personally Would I send a replacement... no I would ask them first if they want to search for their own replacement and I’d give them the refund. I take low deposits for this reason.
 
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