How do you deal with a customer who changes their mind after printing?
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12-07-10, 12:11 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
It's a shame but jobs for friends and friends of friends tend to turn out worse than with strangers as they feel that they should be getting everything for nothing and don't value the work that you do.
As she specifically asked you to arrange for reprints then you could still invoice her for them. Rejecting them unseen places her in a weaker position legally as she has cost you money. I wouldn't worry too much about losing your reputation if you do, every business has bad clients and every business has to chase payment at some time or another and it's better to not get a reputation for being a pushover. It can be a hassle though, and only you can decide if chasing the payment is worth your while (balance the value of the prints against the stress of chasing payment and potentially having to go to the small claims court).
Either way, I wouldn't have anything to do with that person again, and I'd ensure that every job was subject to terms that protected me financially, including jobs for friends of friends.
To answer a question in your original post, yes similar things have happened to me, however with regards to web development not photography. To combat this we take a deposit of between 30 and 50% depending on the type of job. This covers our costs if the client cancels part way in. We also work on a 3 stage basis - design, development, completion. The deposit is taken before a design is created, then after the design is signed off we take a payment of 50% of the balance before commencing the development phase, and the balance is taken on completion. Our terms cover us for the payments at each of those stages and we have insurance to further protect us. In a way this is similar to how you have worked with your client agreeing to order photos that she saw, however rather than taking payment at this point you waited until afterwards. If you can take a deposit during the order process (or full payment) in future then I would recommend that you do. You can then deal with ensuring that the provided prints match what was ordered as a part of the service process and absorb the cost of reprints if necessary.
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