Customer Eats 99% Of A 16 Oz Steak And Then Wants His Money Back!

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CCSNDS1

New Member
I am looking for advice in how to handle a situation from last Sat wedding.

History: 2nd wedding, couple both in their 50’s. Ceremony and wedding held in their large back yard. Tent, beautiful fall day, approx. 100 guest. The majority of guest are the B&G age, 40’s – 60’s both had adult children and their friends that made up approx. 30 guest under 30 out of the 100 total guest.

My wife and I met with the B&G back in June to do a preliminary meeting. I would imagine like most we use this meeting to go over the timeline of the ceremony and wedding reception and explain each point, etc… bottom-line and key “preliminary meeting!”

One week before the wedding we met with the B&G again at their home, to finalize everything. We did a walkthrough of their back yard where their tent was to be setup and as well as the physical location of the ceremony.

Last Sat, ceremony started at 4:00 PM, 2nd setup for ceremony, lav mics, etc.. everything goes well, wedding reception goes well, but little glitches like bar tenders slammed so we had to wait for them to pour toast, etc.. Short story long, most guest leave after 10:00 with B&G last dance but approx. 50 people hang and we keep dancing party etc.. 10:45 B comes up and ask if I wouldn’t mind going pass 11:00? No problem, 11:15 Police come and give the B&G the town ordinance 11:00 PM bla bla.

Note: throughout the night I had different guess come up and tell us we did a nice, great etc.. job on the ceremony, the intro, dancing etc… The groom made it a point to come over 3 times during the evening and hug me and told me what a great DJ team we were and how everyone is enjoying the party. A large part of our success is my wife doing everything, specifically keeping the brides heartbeat on how things are going, communicating with the B and her best friend, and B’s daughters. Everyone’s happy.

End: So someone starts up their IPhone “Spotify? ) and I start packing. Go to B&G for payment, Oh I don’t have my check book, it’s at the house, I’ll go get it. Comes back B “my house is such a mess, I can’t even find my check book, can I pay online like I did the deposit?” “ Sure no problem, I know where you live LOL!” I’m in their back yard! She promises to pay Sunday online?


Timeline: Sunday evening, no money, I send her email and txt her cell phone. response from B, yes no problem I will do it in the morning?

Monday: Moring no money,

Monday: afternoon send her email, txt and leave msg

Monday evening 7:00 PM, call her speak to her? If there is a problem with payment, please just be honest and let me know. B-No problem, I will go online and get it done this evening.

Monday evening 10:00 PM, another ph call to the B, oh I just got out of the shower, I will get it done tonight. I stay up until 12:00 AM, no money.

Tuesday morning, 9:00 AM start calling B no response

Tuesday 10:00 Am email from B: The total payment on your website is wrong, and you are charging me 3.5% for CC? I don’t want to pay that. No that I have you, your nice people and all that but I would like to give you some feedback on some Bumps? Ok here we Go!

So I am expecting something bad/wrong that I just dint pickup etc.. I want to improve and if I screwed up I want to know about it. I value customer feedback.

So she spells out her bumps?

1: She complains that our final meeting in her own words? B-“final details, some of which I felt was repeating ourselves.”

Again we met in June, our final meeting was to review what we discussed, what decisions had already been made, what they wanted to change etc.. of course we started by reviewing our 1st meeting?

2: “You never told me there was a fee for discussing how we wanted the event to go. Some details such as music during the ceremony”
I have no idea where this is even coming from? I reviewed all fees over the phone and 1st meeting B&G signed the contract after be reviewed all cost with them?

3: She blames us for the champagne toast not being ready and the delays?

4: We did not give away the center pieces until she had to tell us!.

I have it in my documentation after the final meeting, and then emailed back to the B&G and agreed upon by them “No Center price giveaway” At our meeting she commented that she was renting the lanterns and she expressed her concern, that people might take them, B” so to eliminate confusion let’s just not give them away.” We even wrote her comments down in our doc!


4a: B-“I heard an announcement saying "the centerpieces were to be distributed between the table", no game,” “I went to the dj table and asked why they didn't do the tie game, then they did the tie game.”

This doesn’t even make sense to me because as soon as the B came and asked us to give away the contents minus the Lantern that is exactly what we did.

The only thing I can think of is her interruption of how I executed? And maybe she did not hear?

I began the announcement by mentioning that we are going to have a center piece give away, but please leave the lanterns! 2nd part was a request for all guest to find their seats. 3rd part was B&G love playing games so we are going to play a little game to give away the center pieces. Guest had some laughs and I did a very interactive game that everyone seemed to like and then went back to the dancing.






5:” The Killer” I would say your experience was so so, you are nice people and I would never want to give anyone a negative review. I think maybe you might have been nervous, “My suggestion is for you to get a better handle on processes”

So 1st , my wife and I have been doing this for many years, we have done over 1500 weddings. We take things very personally and to heart! We take pride in the fact that we are in demand and we never lose sight of the fact that people entrust us with very important events in their life! At our age, as much as we appreciate the money, we are not going to become millionaires and so we do DJ because we love it, and because we have continued to work our asses off to continually improve. We are humans and we make mistakes? My biggest issue is in what she says above and I am even more frustrated by the fact that out of all the statements she makes there is nothing tangible to resolve. All except asking for full payment 10 days prior to event!

If you have read this so far I thank you and hopefully you can tell my sincerity and in wanting to understand and get to the bottom of this!

I did get me money Tuesday afternoon, I asked her if she had these issues why did she wait until Tuesday morning after I requested payment multiple times?

I have not respond to her allegations, she told me that her and her now husband would be willing to meet and discuss?

My problem is this: I do not want to get into a she said/she said situation

Many of her allegations don’t even make sense and others like the toast issue, she was out taking pictures and her guest where drunks who continued to come to the bar, the bar made the decision to take care of the guest vs. preparing the toast! Right decision

I feel there are two situations going on with the bride and her reasoning for her comments

1: She was a very controlling person who had a very specific timeline and requested very specific things like the toast being ready! Even though we talked to her in our meetings as well as other vendors she doesn’t understand that weddings are dynamic and that you have hired professionals to manage and make decisions on the fly! The bartenders should have informed her of their decision but they were friends of the B&G and felt comfortable on their decision. Bottom-line regardless of all the planning humans make mistakes! Why she blames us for this issue I have no idea but again she doesn’t know the facts! Is it worth my time to defend and explain this to her? FYI we have spoken to the bar tenders and they are willing to sit down with the B&G as well!

2: The groom and his bro’s spent much of the evening drinking Open bar! The bride although stable throughout the night had a far amount as well. Her recollection of things, is not how they went down!

Do I meet with her and shove all the documents in her face and bring the bartenders in to explain what really happened to the toast? ETC..

Her comments where hurtful to me but again if there was something real as much as it hurt, I would have taken Mark Farrell’s “ Dr, Phil’s tuff love, examples and admitted I screwed up I sucked etc.. and how can I improve?

Is it worth my time and effort to sit down with the B &G.


FYI The “B” is open to your interpretation! Thank you so much for reading and offering your opinion.
 

bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
So if I read correctly, you did get paid in full...correct?

what does your contract show for the items of dispute? Are they spelled out?

It looks like they asked you to play past contract end time correct?

Tuesday 10:00 Am email from B: The total payment on your website is wrong, and you are charging me 3.5% for CC? I don’t want to pay that. (Is this in your signed contract for the client to pay)

Many of her allegations don’t even make sense and others like the toast issue, she was out taking pictures and her guest where drunks who continued to come to the bar, the bar made the decision to take care of the guest vs. preparing the toast! ( It wasn't clear what your reaction to this occurring real time was, or what actually happened. Was the Toast delayed, not done, etc, or are they complaining about a high bar bill? IF the bar bill is the problem, refer that to the venue, not in your control if they keep serving)

If you decide to meet, bring all of your documentation that you have.
 

CCSNDS1

New Member
Bill; Thank you for your reply:

So if I read correctly, you did get paid in full...correct?
A: Yes, by Tuesday afternoon she was going to mail me a check, I asked that she tape it to her front door. I drove over and picked up the check and immediately drove to her bank and cashed it!

what does your contract show for the items of dispute? Are they spelled out?
A: Great point, nothing????

It looks like they asked you to play past contract end time correct?
A: Yes, again we had met with them twice and communicated with the B, ph, txt email, etc.. I felt like every other wedding, that we created a relationship, so I had no problem playing past 11:00 PM. Again I did not charge anything for the 15 min, and told them that point when I asked for payment at the end of the evening.

Tuesday 10:00 Am email from B: The total payment on your website is wrong, and you are charging me 3.5% for CC? I don’t want to pay that. (Is this in your signed contract for the client to pay)
A: Yes, pay by check or online *Please be aware 3.5% charge for online credit card transactions

Many of her allegations don’t even make sense and others like the toast issue, she was out taking pictures and her guest where drunks who continued to come to the bar, the bar made the decision to take care of the guest vs. preparing the toast!


Many of her allegations don’t even make sense and others like the toast issue, she was out taking pictures and her guest where drunks who continued to come to the bar, the bar made the decision to take care of the guest vs. preparing the toast!

( It wasn't clear what your reaction to this occurring real time was, or what actually happened.
A: Bill, again thank you for bringing out some excellent questions and helping me to walk through this? The reason I posted this is to use the group as a sounding to board tell me if you see that I/we did something wrong, from a 3rd party perspective.

Q-: It wasn't clear what your reaction to this occurring real time was, or what actually happened. Was the Toast delayed, not done, etc, or are they complaining about a high bar bill? IF the bar bill is the problem, refer that to the venue, not in your control if they keep serving)
I reversed this answer helps to answer the next. At our final meeting B&G expressed concern over their family/ friends and drinking (Drunks!) *
As an example the type of people at this wedding! The B asked me wife to keep an eye out on the B's sister who apparently has a habit of going up to the caterer's and taking full racks of beef, chicken etc.. and walking the food to her car prior to everyone even going through the buffet!

Back to your question, keep in mind that the location of the wedding was in the B&G's back yard, Tent wedding. They hired all the individual vendors including the bartenders who where friends of the B&G. The Bartender purchased all the liqueur and any unopened bottles could be returned! AH??? So the B&G did not want a champagne toast glass at every seat so as not to waist champagne. The Bar tenders where to pour glasses and we were to announce that if you wanted champagne for the toast come to the bar. BUT please feel free to use your drink of choice! This was all occurring during the B&G pictures, so they had no idea about the lines at the bar! Because the bartenders were so
backed up, they asked us not to announce because there was no champagne glasses ready. Because the bar continued to be busy, we were ready to do the introductions, and go into the 1st dance and then into blessing and toast.

*After B&G did their 1st dance and then bridal party dance, we seated them and then told everyone we are going to take a quick break prior to getting the festivities going to allow everyone the opportunity to freshen their drinks etc.. Keep in mind that caterers are getting ready for buffet, bartenders are very busy etc.. My wife discusses toast issue with the bar tenders as they are pouring drinks, ,bar tenders preference is to have the servers bring toast to the tables (bartenders comments, if (she) B has a problem I will talk to her! My wife speaks to the caterer's and gets servers to help deploying the toast to the tables.

With all vendors working together to make things happen, my wife discuses plan with the B&G, the G feeling no pain is was very easy going kind of guy, "no problem", the B is a little miffed, again I believe because of her control issues, as all vendors warned her, "weddings are dynamic" and things may have to change! and her plan is not being carried out to the T? maybe that is this issue? but she understands and agrees. My wife suggest that the B&G take this time to mingle at tables.

My wife and some catering staff pour toast glasses behind the bar as the servers come with their trays and deploy to the tables. Bartenders still just serving drinks. This took less than 10 minutes and from a timing perspective there were no gaps, or dead space etc.. it was a good break for everyone. We then proceed through the blessing and multiple toast, MOH, BM, 3 of the brides adult daughters, one at a time! And then into dinner.

So my big question here: I did my due diligence in regards to documentation and had the B&G agree and initial so the BS about the center pieces I have fully covered! But like the center piece issue, how do you deal with the dynamics of a wedding timeline when things have to change, or by the B&G request they change? Then Day's later once the B&G are sober they don't remember asking or agreeing to the changes?

Q-1: How do you CYA during a wedding when things are dynamic and things need to be changed on the fly?
Q-2 How do you prove to the B&G, 3 days after the wedding, that things changed from the B's timeline and they were in agreement with these changes. Do I now need to bring their timeline and draw a line and have them initial and write "that at this time during the wedding the Bride requested to do a center piece giveaway that she asked requested us not to do at the final meeting?


Chris



If you decide to meet, bring all of your documentation that you have.

Bill, again thank you for bringing out some excellent questions and helping to walk through this? The reason I posted this is to use the group as a sounding to board tell me if you see that I//we did something wrong, from a 3rd party perspective.
 

bill_smith

MobileBeat Moderator
Staff member
Chris, first, it takes a lot of fortitude to be this honest and ask for advice, and I congratulate you for wanting a sanity check, and some feedback. It is obvious how much you care about your business.

I don't think you did anything wrong. And, yes this is a he said she said situation. Unless you decide to bring in some "sober" people at the reception to back you up, or have the bartenders sit down with the bride to explain what happened, I don't think a meeting will be very productive. So yes, I would ask the bartenders to meet with both of you. Weddings are dynamic, and things do change. I don't think based on what I've read that you could have changed anything you did, unless you involved a sober person close to the couple. In my 18 years, I've had one go off ahead of schedule, and 2 ON schedule. The rest were all on the fly, because herding people takes time, especially happy drunk people

Some additional thoughts.

Maybe you should simplify the charges on the contract. Build in any potential fees like the credit card thing into your price, and give them a single number. Consider this... When you buy a car, you see the price on the sticker, but that isn't really the price is it? Doc fees, taxes, any stuff they stick in there as a price of doing business goes into that. Even though this bride signed your contract, she's blowing back anyway. Maybe making the number all inclusive will solve this going forward.

For a ceremony and reception, and wedding direction, mine is simple. I have built in anything that I think adds to the overhead, and except for mileage over 75, there are no other smaller charges. For over 18 years, I've done it this way to simplify the cost expectations for my clients. Maybe this approach would work for you going forward.
http://www.northcarolinadj.com/rates.html

For potential problems like this going forward, maybe having a person like the best man or other family figure as a contact during the reception would be a crafty and polite way to "document" for problems, and keeping your records as you have described above.
I also wonder out loud if the photographer might be a good point of contact to advise about these things, since they are hopefully sober too;)

Looking back, with 20/20 hindsight, do you feel that you could have done anything differently in the moment?

Secondly, if you have a meeting, keep it focused on what actually happened, and what you did to save the day. Don't get caught up in contract stuff, since she signed it, and paid it.

Much respect sir!
 

Ken Heath

Super Moderator...da-ta-daaa!!!
Staff member
I don't see where you did anything wrong or out of order. It seems to me she was looking for a scapegoat for things she didn't handle properly.
 
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