To demand a FULL refund

(101 Posts)
BasicallyFcuked Tue 17-Jun-14 18:32:42

DH and I got married a month ago.

The photographer was a friend of a friend (but still professional) who gave us a bit of a discount. The total cost for them to photograph from 9am-6pm was £800 (a very good price by comparison to others in my area), with two copies of all the photos on discs. The venue was a long drive, about 2 hours from the photographers usual 'base' but the price included travel too.

Conversations with the photographer in the past couple of weeks have indicated that there were around 1000 photos after basic editing-out had been done. This was part of the agreement, we wanted the 'shit' photos as well as the good ones, the blurry shots, half-head shots etc (for potential amusement value), which is why there are so many.

Anyway...we had a phonecall from her yesterday. To say that somehow the discs and her camera have been mostly wiped, meaning she's lost all but about 20 random photos that she's managed to salvage. We've not seen any of them yet but they are mainly the candid shots of people talking, two of dh and I, and one group shot with everyone.

To say we're gutted is an understatement...but I've calmed down a lot since yesterday, there's no point in crying over it, nothing can be done now. Thankfully a lot of friends and family took photos so we do have some nice ones anyway.

The sticking point is...when dh spoke to her, he asked for a full refund. The photographer is refusing, and offering to refund £500. The additional £300 she thinks she should keep, as even though most of the photos are gone, we are getting 'some' professional shots (20 out of 1000...forgive me if I don't piss my pants in gratitude), and of course she was working all day, and incurred travel expenses etc.

My opinion is that I couldn't give a fcuk about her travel expenses and wasted day...we paid her for a service, which she has not delivered on, for a fairly huge event in our lives. I don't see that a mistake like this is excusable at all, and don't see why we should pay £300 for pretty much naff all.

Am I BU to expect a FULL refund, AND the 20 remaining photos on disc free of charge?

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Tue 17-Jun-14 18:34:00

Did you sign anything?

littlefunpug Tue 17-Jun-14 18:34:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BillnTedsMostFeministAdventure Tue 17-Jun-14 18:34:45

And has she been to an expert re recovery. This can cost several hundred £ though.

dexter73 Tue 17-Jun-14 18:35:35

I would have thought a professional photographer would be insured for loss of photos.

YANBU - not at all. Sorry to hear that your photos have vanished - has the photographer provided any explanation as to how this happened? I'd also be interested in her explanation of how 20 random photos are worth £300. Yes she incurred expenses in attending your wedding, but if she hasn't delivered you a suite of wedding photos then I think its unrealistic to expect to be paid!

Is it worth contacting family, friends and guests with a quick update of what has happened - you might be able to cobble something together from their pictures of the day as people usually take their own pictures as well.

BasicallyFcuked Tue 17-Jun-14 18:36:23

Very, very basic contract (more of a receipt really) just stipulating that the cost was £800, covering 9am-6pm and two discs of the photos taken. Nothing about the amount of photos, or a breakdown of what the £800 covered (such as travel etc) or what would happen in this case.

partialderivative Tue 17-Jun-14 18:36:31

Full refund, but no access to the disc unless you pay.

greenfolder Tue 17-Jun-14 18:36:38

you are being very very reasonable. if they are a professional photographer they should be very grateful that you are not expecting them to meet the costs of restaging the main photos and asking for compensation

puppy123 Tue 17-Jun-14 18:36:48

We had a contract with our photographer which covered all this kind of thing, did you have an agreement? Also if you bought wedding insurance that should cover the cost of another photo shoot (obviously if you don't have either of these this is not very helpful sorry!)

KitKat1985 Tue 17-Jun-14 18:37:21

I think she's being ridiculous if she thinks £300 is reasonable for 20 random photos. It's her mistake to have accidentally wiped all the photos, she should accept the lost earnings as being her fault too. I would expect a full refund too, and a very earnest apology.

Mama1980 Tue 17-Jun-14 18:37:23

Does she not have insurance? Has she been to a specialist to try recovery?
I think you are in the right, but if you didn't sign anything then I'm not sure what would happen if you pursue it further.

Sleepyhoglet Tue 17-Jun-14 18:38:04

Wow. Of course you should have a full fucking refund. I'd be so embarrassed in her position and wouldn't consider keeping any of the fee

CoffeeTea103 Tue 17-Jun-14 18:38:20

Yanbu I would be so upset. Friends and family photos just isn't the same. I would be livid in fact. What kind of a photographer doesn't backup or know what to do in this situation. Full refund no doubt.

TruJay Tue 17-Jun-14 18:38:30

I understand that yes she still worked the whole day etc but she has lost pretty much all of your wedding photos. She should have voluntarily given all of your money back, you shouldn't have even had to ask in my opinion.
Fair enough keep some of the cost if you were getting say 150/1000 but bloody hell, you're not getting anything really are u?
what an awful thing to happen, so sorry, I am gutted for u

Floggingmolly Tue 17-Jun-14 18:38:35

It wouldn't matter if she'd been working all week; she failed to produce what she was required to... Demand every penny back.

ICanHearYou Tue 17-Jun-14 18:38:44

The handing over of money is the contract. She should be giving you the full refund not expecting to be paid £300 for nothing!

Send her a recorded post letter demanding full refund or take her to small claims court. They will find in your favour and she will lose out more that she already has

Her wasted work day is nothing in comparison to what you've lost!! I'm shocked that she would ask to be paid anything in that situation.

BristolRover Tue 17-Jun-14 18:40:10

oh god. That's such a biggie I wouldn't even consider a full refund sufficient. Claim for negligence if you could prove loss beyond the actual cost? I wouldn't have thought it's too hard to prove, given the very nature of the gig - and as Dexter says, they should have professional indemnity insurance which will cover them. Ask them for the details of their insurer,and tell them to put the insurer on notice of a potential claim now. That may in itself change their attitude, but I really do think this is worth speaking to someone who knows arse from elbow on a tort claim.

BucketsnSpades Tue 17-Jun-14 18:40:22

Hopefully other people were also taking pictures on the day so let your guests know what has happened, you just never know they may have some great shots. As for the photographer I agree full refund, she has not delivered what she said she would. I would be so cross about this. Sod her bloody travelling time etc. she needs to put her clients first or she will soon be out of business.

BristolRover Tue 17-Jun-14 18:41:21

(& in the meantime, send a mail out to all your guests asking for their iphone pics!)

LIZS Tue 17-Jun-14 18:41:36

I'd be very surprised if she could not retrieve lost pictures, assuming she is a professional. Have you already paid ? Would she do a session of formal shots of you and dh ? Obviously not the same but might at least give you something for the wall. Small claims court would be worth mentioning .

BasicallyFcuked Tue 17-Jun-14 18:42:07

She apparently has been to a specialist and nothing can be recovered...obviously no idea if this is true, but not much we can do to find out.

I have no idea of her insurance, I hadn't even thought tbh. We didn't have any wedding insurance, so nothing to claim on there.

The earnest apology we have had...she seemed very genuine, apologetic, close to tears herself. But then went on to say she would 'of course' refund £500 but not the full amount.

We haven't argued it out properly with her yet. DH said he'd phone her back tonight, he was a bit too shell-shocked yesterday to get too embroiled in the probable argument.

...if she has done some basic editing, surely she has the photo's on her hard drive somewhere. She wouldn't have copied them straight from camera card to CD.

I had a similar fright when DS1 was having a baby book done, we went for 9 shoots over the year, at about No.6, photographer was having coniptions as she couldn't find ANY of the files. She did eventually find them on her backup hard drive.

jerryfudd Tue 17-Jun-14 18:44:04

Demand full refund or threaten small claims court and make clear that you will not only be seeking a refund but also the costs involved in a re-shoot

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