Refunding for sports pictures

Discussion in 'Sports' started by lisa_de_la_vergne, May 18, 2014.

  1. Recently I took the portraits for our local Little League. I stated at the time of the teams pictures that any reshoots were scheduled for the following Friday. I also had a parent in the crowd telling others that she would go ahead and take the pictures for everyone and to not purchase from me. No clue why, but this parent purchased a picture package from me. She as well as everyone else was aware at the time that the reshoots were scheduled for the following Friday. I also opened up the following Thursday after the reshoots for anyone from that team that still needed reshoot and anyone else that missed all the other picture days. The coach and assistant coach were both told about all these days so that the parents could be told. An email was sent out to all the parents about the reshoot days as well as the Little League posting on their Facebook page that retakes were scheduled for the days and again on the day that they were scheduled. I waited a week for anyone that would like reshoots before ordering. Now that I have ordered this parent wants a refund. I feel that I have done everything to ensure that the parents were getting images that they would love as this was my first time doing sports portraits. I went ahead and told her that her refund will be in place of her prints and available for pick up from her child's coach. My question is, for something like this, how would you handle the parent that wants a refund after all the opportunity that was given for retakes and to view the picture before it was ordered? Also for future references would placing a statement that refunds will not be given after order is placed ok, or should I just deal with refunds?
     
  2. It might be good for customer relations, especially with this parent who will likely go out of the way to trash you. OTOH I may be getting old and bad tempered because I would have to politely decline the refund at this point.
    Rick H.
     
  3. While it is a loathsome feeling to accommodate (give in to) such poor behavior, it is in your best interests here. It is just one order and will prevent a long lived headache.
    If the shoot occurs again next year and the same person is involved you can take the portrait, decline to make an order later citing the cancellation and give her a small proof or something. I think most parents will know the person is a rabblerouser. You will want to get the blessing of the proper league officials first so they will have a heads up when she goes to complain about you and be on your side (even if the pretend not to be when dealing with her).
    If they want you to put up with it instead, convince them that a no refund policy will be a part of the deal once an announced threshold event occurs. (i.e. A certain date when orders are sent in). Otherwise, you will have to suck it up as a cost of business and hope you don't get a mass request for refunds. I think they are going to see her a a trouble maker and give you some leeway.
     
  4. I spent years involved with the running of a little league program. You are better off giving the one refund. These organizations tend to be very political and if you upset the wrong person it can be the end of the job for years to come.
     
  5. The Ferengi rule of finance number six: Once you have their money never give it back.
    You went way above average to service your clients. Point out the opportunities she had to get a reshoot or refund and explain that the opportunity is lost as you have spent the money. Use her logic on her. If it is the same one that told everyone not to order from you as she was taking pictures for everyone else, bring this to her attention too. And remember, only offer retakes if you don't like the photo. I was asked by a client once, "Supposed I don't like the photos? Can I get my money back?" I explained that I use her money (deposit) to pay for the film and processing of her photos, so no she cannot get her money back, "So make sure you want me to take your photos before you give me any money, because I am going to spend it on your photos." Believe it or not, this ends most talk of refunds.
     
  6. We've run a school picture business for almost 10 years, and unfortunately you will get at least one person like this each year. It is best to refund the money quickly. The type of person who acts like this is the type of person who will be the squeaky wheel, complaining to the sports team director about you. It won't matter how great a job you did for the other 200 families, if all the director hears is negative about you.
     

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