This is on behalf of a friend who got married just over a year ago and has had really bad experience from her photographer.
The photographer himself / company was a recommendation and all the usual steps were taken in vetting him and his team, seeing is work, talking to a few others etc before the contracts were signed.
On the day, he was really unprofessional demanding extra money or his departure nearing the end due to the wedding getting a little delayed - not something a bride wants to hear on the her big day. In contrast, my own wedding with another photographer stayed almost 5 hours after the event for free!
It was later found out he was also very loud and shouting to guests in trying to get photographs etc.
Fast forward to last Jan, the bride received her first draft of pictures. According to the contract, she had a year to vet them and so in November 2015, they were vetted only to find a huge section of the event was missing.
This included all the lunch/dinner photos but more importantly, all the group shots with the bride and groom (50+ images minimum here). What was more distressing is her father in law had passed away soon after the wedding and these images would have been the last ones to have been captured.
Despite it being within a year, the photographer tried to use this as an excuse that he no longer has the originals and would not be able to get them back - Something just not done by a good photographer - most keep all their photos as part of their portfolio!
He then offered a £100 refund out of "goodwill"
His actual response was as follows:
I have managed to locate the master back up images in finalised JPG format and I have reviewed and taken on board your comments in respect of the missing group shots. Having looked through everything I hold, I have come to the realisation that there are approx 50-60 group images missing. Unfortunately I am unsure why/when or how these are missing, whether they have been deleted after the completion or when original transferring the images from my camera onto desktop.
"Due to the above and complying with my terms of contract, I can agree that I am happy to compensate you the pro-rata fee for the missing images as you have requested.
In accordance to the fees paid, the pro-rated compensation is £42.63 however I am happy to round this up to £100.00 as a gesture of goodwill.
Breakdown of the £42.65 is £4450.00 fees paid for 5219 pictures handed over x 50 missing images = £42.63"
A letter was sent back demanding an explanation on
1. how so many images were "lost"
2. As a professional photographer, surely he would have noticed in the 6 months+ of vetting/sorting, that such as major part of the wedding was missed out?
3. Apparently "some" images mysteriously re-appeared during the back and forth of emails and messages - how?
With a concluding line that a part so called goodwill gesture refund is not enough if anything - it does not reflect his integrity at all.
His response was simply:
We were surprised by the complaint raised considering the images were provided to you approximately 10 months ago and to date you had given no indication of your dissatisfaction.
As a result of our services over 5000 images were provided to you which covered the entire occasion. We have looked into and considered your various points raised and I must advise our original offer of £100.00 in respect of the missing images remains.
For the reasons set out above we feel that we have performed our contract with you in the terms set out therein and we therefore consider this matter finalised. To enable us to make payment to you please arrange for supporting bank account to be forwarded so that we can arrange an immediate bank transfer to you.
So where do they stand?
I think they've accepted the photos and memories are lost forever and it was never about the money itself.
But now that he has accepted that the photos are lost - why should they not go for a higher amount?
Or are they contractually bound by the amount stated?
I see two parts - the service was not delivered as per what was discussed and signed off despite the clause that missing images would = x * £x.xx
Thanks in advance!