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Trumpet Discussion Discuss Getting stiffed in the General forums; How do you handle this? How do you straighten up people and get them to pay you? I just played ...
  1. #1
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Northern New York

    Getting stiffed

    How do you handle this? How do you straighten up people and get them to pay you?

    I just played a wedding (a full length concert, more like) and the contractor/manager person said at the end of the ceremony "I aplogize, but I have nothing for you right now. Write your name and address on this paper and I'll send your check to you."

    Yeah. Right. "The check's in the mail".

    Question is, now what?

    If I don't hear from this guy, do I contact the parents of the bride?

    What do you say to them? I know the caterer, photographer, limousine drivers, florists, and DJ all had to be paid too. No pay, no service, right?

    I'm getting more and more miffed as I think about this. They did not even offer a gracious thank you. After we played 6 pieces! (And did not suck, either, thank you).

    I've never been stiffed...guess there's a first time for everything.
    "Roses have thorns; shining waters mud. Clouds and eclipses stain the moon and the sun; and history reeks of the wrongs we have done. After today, after today, consider me gone."- Sting

  2. #2
    Pianissimo User beartrumpet74's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    I'm sorry that of luck

  3. #3
    KMT is offline
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    That is exactly what contracts are for. If it comes down to it, take him to court. Although, you don't have much to stand on without a contract.

  4. #4
    Last edited by londonhusker; 03-31-2007 at 07:28 PM.

  5. #5
    Forte User B15M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Monroe Ct.
    I think you will get your money.

    I had this happen a couple of times and got paid.

  6. #6
    Fortissimo User
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Sounds like the contractor is working on clearing up back debts before addressing new ones. Remember that next time they call you!

  7. #7
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Grand Rapids, Mi.

    Getting 'stiffed'.

    When I was relatively new to professional photography I was foolish enough that I contracted to do some wedding photography. I learned a LOT, really fast. As you have already been told a contract is an imperitive. You have no legal claim for payment from the contractor without a contract in writing, signed by all responsible parties and notorized. In most cases, the bride's mom is the worst culprit. I will go so far as to say that in almost every wedding that I shot, the mother of the bride ended up being a first class bitch. They all demanded more than they had contracted to pay for and got really nasty when the terms of the contract were shown to them. If wedding music is your thing, at least become enough of a businessman that you have a contract in advance and at least 50 percent up front, balance immediately upon completion of the job.

    As to your current dilemma, I wish you my best, and will cross my fingers for you.

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  8. #8
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Next time, require payment before the ceremony. If you're prepared to walk out and not just bluff, you'll get your check very fast.

  9. #9
    Mezzo Forte User
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    A contract with the stipulation that you get paid before you perform is the best bet. On I found out that a certain famous singer with whom I've worked several times has a contract that says before she will go on stage she must receive $25,000 in a briefcase delivered directly to her. The remainder of the fee must be presented at the same time in a certified check. It's the same principle though on a different scale.

    Michael McLaughlin

    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    Mark Twain
    Morelia MM

  10. #10
    Pianissimo User
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    To assuage your frustration a bit, just write it off to "education". Every bit of learning in this life has a cost. You've now paid yours for this lesson. Just be sure to learn from it.


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