Wedding for 9/18/21 cancelled. FOB wants a refund. Yes or No, or Partial refund?

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Bob Kreider

DJ Extraordinaire
Feb 12, 2016
134
242
Kennewick WA
Cancellations and refund issues are abundant conversations on many dj industry facebook groups, so the situations and circumstances has been hashed over an extreme amount over the past five months.

And yes many dj service companies demand absolutely no refund blah blah blah. Others partial refund blah blah blah Essentially it is up to the individual businesses as they see fit given their unique situation.

I have had 40 cancellations/postponements and reschedules since March. For each of these events, I have refunded 100% every amount in full, applied towards their wedding. No explanation needed, no questions asked, just a full refund.

For a couple of reasons, I am financially able to and the public relation, customer relation and company integrity, company ethics, company honesty etc. along with customer satisfaction has brought me many more times the small amount i would have to gain by refusing deposits. Avoiding disputes has increased my potential for events many times over for 2021 and beyond.

Just my thoughts
 

dunlopj

DJ Extraordinaire
Aug 14, 2008
5,200
5,349
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Belair MD
With the pandemic, IMHO, the rules on refunds need to be addressed on an individual basis.

Yes, you may have a contract that is rock solid, but these are different and difficult times for us and our clients.

Last thing you need is a negative review that shows a heartless non-empathetic DJ....
 

Cap Capello

Always @ Ur Service
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Dec 14, 2006
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There's a couple of issues in the original post. It didn't say who signed the contract, only that the bride called it off and Mom paid for it. Who's your client?

The second issue I see is so many folks are living off their deposits/retainers/payments/fees/et al before the event is worked. This should be addressed going forward in your business procedures by creating an escrow account where all business funds are deposited and held at bay until event completion +7 days.

I've been following Bob Kreider's philosophy during this pandemic and have refunded everything. No questions asked. Some events have postponed, some twice already, and I go along with that too. I know some of you will faint but it's the first time in 41 years I've become a contract woosie.
 
Apr 20, 2018
11
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46
Refunds are a very mixed bag in New Jersey and I had great brides that canceled and two horrible grooms. LOL Mind you I offer a very good Covid cancellation policy.

Let me hear your thoughts....

I only require a 500 deposit, if you cancel for whatever reason before 90 days I will send you 125.00 back. If you cancel within 90 days no refund. With Covid, if the State of NJ does not allow weddings and you want a refund you get a full refund. ( I am unable to DJ anywhere due to the shut down at that point ). I will always let you reschedule.

However and this is what fires me up. I have DJed several weddings since mid July at venues with very large beautiful out door wall-less spaces. The weddings have been pre Covid wild and fun. I have several more in the up coming months.

I recently had a bride cancel her wedding 61 days out, did not want to reschedule. Her facility would not allow the wedding. Ok, being very understanding I told her per our contract your deposit is non refundable but I am going to send you 25% anyway. The groom called me screaming the next day. Telling me how the Pandemic voided the contract. The facility canceled on them, it isn't them canceling, how the entire world has shut down, weddings don't exist anymore, mind you the night before I was DJing for 160 people under a tent at Ashford Estate. I then explained to him that a deposit is what secured his date for 14 months AND I had to turn down other brides. Once of which was outside and will be on as scheduled. I tried to tell him I don't think I should lose twice because your hall canceled on you, you choose not to pick another location or another date and time. He didn't care and started talking lawsuits and reviews. Which is where they always go.

From the lawyers I have spoken with, my contract would win 7 days a week and twice on Sunday. However, I currently have not had a bad review in 30 years. People have booked me just from my reviews. Are the bad reviews from these two grooms and aggravation worth $375.00 to me. Honestly no. I gave him his full deposit back. I believe in Karma, the following wedding gave me a 300 tip.

Another groom flipped out because people were not coming to his 75 person wedding. He blamed Covid. Again flipped out on me. I said how is it my fault your guests are not coming in October. He said how could you take money for doing nothing. lol I laughed and said, I held your date for 11 months and spent hours with you and your fiance setting up and planning out the rooms and the lighting and the flow and the music. But ok, I did nothing for you. Why did you sign a contract if you were not going to honor it? All he said is no one is coming to our wedding so you can't possible charge us. lol

Anyway those are the only two bad stories I had. Some people's sense of entitlement is amazing. I guess I am just a man of my word. I honor contracts I sign.

The few other cancellations were like keep our deposit we understand and about 20 moved their dates to next year.

I am sure our business will come roaring back in 2020.

All the best. Chris
 
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rickryan.com

DJ Extraordinaire
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Dec 9, 2009
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Anyway those are the only two bad stories I had. Some people's sense of entitlement is amazing. I guess I am just a man of my word. I honor contracts I sign.

The few other cancellations were like keep our deposit we understand and about 20 moved their dates to next year.

I am sure our business will come roaring back in 2020.

All the best. Chris
I'm really sorry to hear of what you've dealt with. As for bad reviews, from my experience, if you don't have any then you'll actually have people questioning whether it's fake or not. I have just a few bad ones and I've actually had clients who told me the few bad ones are what sold them. They said it made the whole thing more believable and especially when they saw how I responded professionally and politely. I also have a tendency to not roll over when people start screaming at me, especially when they start with threats. That will get you hung up on and quickly.

Thanks for sharing your experiences.
 
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Cap Capello

Always @ Ur Service
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Dec 14, 2006
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My thoughts? Sure.

If your primary new business influence and new client source is reviews, why in heaven's name would you mess with it, even if it's a form of blackmail. Considering two potential issues at $500 per, how much will you lose with two negative shots? Consider how much you might gain if you refunded unquestionably AND asked for a kind review based on generosity? Yes, a reverse blackmail!! Why not!?!?

Show me the positive review and I'll show you the money! (and thank you!!)
 
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steve149

Shine on you crazy diamond
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Sep 26, 2011
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He could refund and they could leave bad reviews anyway since they may feel they had to threaten to get it .. no win really ..
 
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Cap Capello

Always @ Ur Service
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Oh, I agree with you Steve. It's too late for those two. I'm talking about going forward with any upcoming cancellations.
 
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djtaso

DJ Extraordinaire
Apr 4, 2017
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All of this is no longer an issue in NJ. Indoor events are allowed. Limited capacity yes, but now it really will be the client cancelling, so the excuse that Covid cancelled the event won’t fly.
I personally have not given any retainers back... but as a new DJ it’s a different animal. Also, the retainer should either be all back or nothing. Giving just a portion of it will make people wonder why not all, and prolong the issue.
Lastly, lawsuits for such a small amount 95% of the time never go through bc it’s not financially advantageous for them.