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Just saw another thread on here and had a thought. I do mostly club work but i do do some weddings and i was trying to imagine myself in the situation of being in the middle of a wedding gig and discovering that bride and groom had not paid and did not have the money with them. Would i just pack up and leave ? would you? I can absolutely appreciate that a lot of people would and of course they are completely within their rights to do so but i dont think i could. I dont think i could possibly mess up somebodies big day even though its their own fault, i think i would complete the gig and then hope that they paid up at a later date.

I will try anything,once!

 

The Cornish will arise again !

Manager of the Andy Harris Fan Club.

Keep pasties Cornish

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That would have been my thread.

 

and the answer is Yes.I did walk last night and had the gear half stripped down till the cash arrived.

 

I woulda walked if the cash hadent arrived.

 

as to spoiling their day.....well it would have spoiled my week because I wouldent be able to pay my rent.

 

I have walked on 2 occasions in the past where they said they had no money to pay me.

 

And it was stressed by the other DJ that it was cash on arrival.

 

I don't work for free.

 

Paul

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I've threatened to leave when it was hoped I would work the night for free!!! It's amazing how the money suddenly appears....although it must be said this has not happened for a long, long time.

I never wait until the middle or end of the night to be paid. Balance of payment in advance or, as I used to, before commencement of entertainment. I don't invoice B&Gs either.

Push come to shove, I have to think about the reputation of my business and how 'my attitude' would be interpreted, etc, so each case to their own.

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twice this year I have finished the gig and walked away with no payment..... and i've been lucky that i've got it either the next day or during the following week. I couldn't pack up and leave a bride with no DJ....just not in my nature (far too soft). I know i'm going to eventually be unlucky so I'm changing my practice such that payment needs to turn up prior to the event.

Sandy

Blonde dizzy and no longer available

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I'm the same as Sandy, I couldn't pack up and leave anyone with no DJ. Fortunately it hasn't happened as yet. Closest came at a 16th party where the Mum had to leave early and she had the money to pay me. The Dad had a whip round and paid up though. He even apologised that it was only what I had quoted as he was having a really good time and would have liked to give me a tip.

 

Otherwise I have a signed contract that states that the person named is responsible for all payments due. In the event that I didn't get paid, I would contact the client after the event and if they got awkward about it, I'd issue a summons. Fortunately it has never come to that yet.

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I'm quite supprised that so many of you said you would continue without payment.

 

I work on a cash on arrival or neerabouts scheme,I understand ppl get sidetracked ect but when they blatently havent got the cash to pay you and they have been told cash on arrival then I have no sympathy for them at all.

In my book its called TRYING IT ON.

 

And I wasnt joking about the uv pen in my earlier thread about UV for forged notes.That was one of the times I walked.

 

Its rife in this area for forged notes and ppl trying it on.

 

Paul

Edited by supersound dj
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Happened a couple of times but always stuck it out and got paid.

 

But just to make sure this situation doesn't arise again I now require the balance in full 14 days before the event date as on both occasions the worry of getting paid overshadowed my enjoyment of the events.

Edited by Wayno

Sometimes in the pursuit of perfection one can get blinded by size.

 

If you believe you can acheive.

 

Add life to your days not days to your life.

 

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this is not our main income so i suppose it's different for us, but we would carry on till the end. personally i think it could do more damage to your bussiness then taking a hit .do you think guest's would recomend you and say he did not finish the night it wasn't he's fault because the bride and groom left the money at home.

not something i would risk but as i say it is not our main income

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Lesson One: Always use contracts then as Tony says, finish the gig and if necassary issue court proceedings.

 

Lesson Two: Insist on payment prior to the gig in your contract. It really does save so much hassle!!

 

 

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Paul ! please dont feel that i am criticising you because i am not. One of the main things i think is all the guests who dont know why you packed up and left. For every unhappy customer you need 10 new ones to repair the damage done by the unhappy one. Its so sad that the uk has become like this. I am so lucky i live where i do because i can still trust people here, hell i dont even need to lock my car or even my house for that matter! and for weddings its always been a verbal agreement and never had trouble getting paid. For the uk I think perhaps kingy has the best advice here.

Edited by C.S

I will try anything,once!

 

The Cornish will arise again !

Manager of the Andy Harris Fan Club.

Keep pasties Cornish

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Regarding the initial scenario, I would feel obliged to continue.

If no payment is forthcoing there's always the legal route, but if you abandoned the gig I'm not sure how that would stand regarding a claim.

 

I state that I expect payment at the start of the event and in most cases that's the way it works, although on occasions people do forget and pay at the end. So far, no trouble - at least not in recent years since using a booking agreement.

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Let me ask this question. How many other service providers do you see getting paid on the night?. Very few I would imagine.

 

I've worked alongside bands, harpists, crooners etc and I think i've only seen one or two occasions when they have been paid AFTER the preformance. And i've never yet seen ONE chocolate fountain, caterer and venue get paid ON THE NIGHT, the same with flowers, balloons etc, and I cannot imagine any dress shop allowing a dress to be taken out of the shop and worn without payment being made there and then.

 

So why do we consider ourselves to be of lessor importance than the other multiple service providers?. I cannot imagine one venue not demanding payment in advance, or any caterer being paid in full before the food is prepared and served.

 

Many people harp on about the dim public perception of our industry, but to be honest I don't think we, as an industry, do much to bolster or improve that perception. Frequently I come across posts from Deejays with no booking forms or contracts issued and have absolutely no terms or anything at all to fall back on if the worst should happen and payment not be forthcoming. Without any paperwork or signature agreeing to those terms from the client, then any subsequent case is doomed before it began. If you did attempt to persue payment in these circumstances you may even get an embarrassing lecture from the clerk about the sloppy way in which you run your business activities.

 

If you do not appear in any rush to get paid, then why should the client be in a rush to pay you. To be honest I think any ad-hoc approach to paperwork and running a business is more than likely to just keep getting us an Ad-hoc 'anybody can do your job' reputation in the public domain. Don't forget that being weak or poor at business can ruin your reputation just as easily as being crap behind the decks, occasionally it gets overlooked that the two go hand in hand and compliment each other.

 

Personally, I point out my no pay - no play terms right from the start, if its there from the beginning then nobody can accuse you of making it up as you go along or of a kneejerk reaction on the night. I'm more than happy for the client to make payment in cash on the night if they perfer to, but that payment is to be made upon my arrival, if payment is by cheque then it is made in advance - no excuses. Whether I would actually physically walk out on a gig is one thing, but I wouldn't be playing music or playing the first dance until payment had been made, any client still with-holding payment at this stage and when politely and discretely reminded about the terms of which they had agreed too, quite probably had no intention of paying me in any case, and so the decision would have to be made on whether to continue, knowing that a small claims case would probably be inevitable or to withdraw all professional services based on non payment and this would be down to each individual deejay. But do you think that a builder would carry on building your new conservatory if payment for what he'd done so far had been bounced / refused?.

 

I don't hold with the excuses that they don't have the cash on them and would be insulted if they had spent it on drink instead of fulfilling their obligation to pay me. I wouldn't get into a taxi and expect them to drive me to a destination without having the means to pay them on me, and it would be highly unlikely that I could book a posh venue, and get a caterer to bring along food for 200 people on trust, without paying anything in advance, and so I make no excuses nor apology at subscribing to the same payment terms as the rest of the human race who are also running a professional business.

 

If no payment is forthcoing there's always the legal route, but if you abandoned the gig I'm not sure how that would stand regarding a claim.

 

Any recourse to legal route depends entirely on the strength of your paperwork. It seems that some deejays are just taking a booking, sticking it in a diary and then turning up in the hope that (a) The booking is genuine and not just a wind up and (b) That the client is 100% trustworthy and will pay up, at end when all the work has been done and there is no longer the opportunity to withdraw service provision in order to enforce or prompt payment.

 

Even the small claims system is basically one persons word against another, and if you have nothing independantly down in writing to prove that the client even booked you and at what cost, then the client can basically defend the claim by saying you both verbally agreed to a lower fee, or even deny having booked you - and if this occurs then what are you going to produce with the clients name and signature to prove otherwise if you have no paperwork / contract / confirmation. Even a signed recorded delivery slip to prove receipt of a booking confirmation at the clients' home address and a deposit paid by the client would be better than nothing if you don't want to issue lengthy / scarey looking contracts, but it seems that some deejays don't issue even the basic of paperwork or even take a deposit. Lambs to the slaughter.

 

Unfortunately, there are people out there who owe a great deal of money to much scarier people than deejays, and who may already have a string of CCJ's or debts against them and whose presence in court is an occupational hazard. If you happen upon a booking from one of those, then you'll be joining the queue for your money, even where persued through the legal system.

 

IMO, the only way of truely protecting yourself from all eventualities, is to demand payment in advance.

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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Let me ask this question. How many other service providers do you see getting paid on the night?. Very few I would imagine.

 

I've worked alongside bands, harpists, crooners etc and I think i've only seen one or two occasions when they have been paid AFTER the preformance. And i've never yet seen ONE chocolate fountain, caterer and venue get paid ON THE NIGHT, the same with flowers, balloons etc, and I cannot imagine any dress shop allowing a dress to be taken out of the shop and worn without payment being made there and then.

 

So why do we consider ourselves to be of lessor importance than the other multiple service providers?. I cannot imagine one venue not demanding payment in advance, or any caterer being paid in full before the food is prepared and served.

 

Many people harp on about the dim public perception of our industry, but to be honest I don't think we, as an industry, do much to bolster or improve that perception. Frequently I come across posts from Deejays with no booking forms or contracts issued and have absolutely no terms or anything at all to fall back on if the worst should happen and payment not be forthcoming. Without any paperwork or signature agreeing to those terms from the client, then any subsequent case is doomed before it began. If you did attempt to persue payment in these circumstances you may even get a lecture about the sloppy way in which you run your business activities.

 

If you are not in a rush to get paid, then why should the client be in a rush to pay you. To be honest I think any ad-hoc approach to paperwork and running a business is more than likely to just keep getting us an Ad-hoc reputation.

 

Personally, I point out a no pay - no play terms right from the start. I'm more than happy for the client to make payment in cash on the night, but that payment is to be made upon my arrival, if payment is by cheque then it is made in advance. Whether I would actually walk out on a gig is one thing, but I wouldn't be playing music or playing the first dance until payment was made, any client still with-holding payment at this stage and faced with no entertainment probably had no intention of paying in any case, and so the decision would have to be made on whether to continue, knowing that a small claims case would probably be inevitable or to return home would be down to each individual deejay.

 

I wouldn't get into a taxi and expect them to drive me to a destination without the means to pay them, and it would be highly unlikely that I could book a posh venue, and get a caterer to bring along food for 200 people without paying anything in advance, and so I make no excuses nor apology at suscribing to the same payment terms as most of the rest of the human race who are also in business.

 

 

Good points, well made.

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Happened a couple of times but always stuck it out and got paid.

 

But just to make sure this situation doesn't arise again I now require the balance in full 14 days before the event date as on both occasions the worry of getting paid overshadowed my enjoyment of the events.

 

Curently I prefer payment to be made at least 14 days before the event.

 

At the VERY least payment is taken on the day but MUST be before the performance starts. Preferably BEFORE I even unload the motor too, but thats not allways possible becasue quite often when you start setting up the bill payer has not arrived yet.

 

I have had situations before when I have approached the bill payer before starting the performance and they have been slightly evasive saying things like "oh yea, dont worry, you crack on and we will pay you in a bit".......so I have started the performance and half way through the night, still no payment......so you chase them up and they say "oh yea, forgot about that, will do it in a minute".........then eventually you get paid after hassling them.

 

Sorry but I dont want to hassle people for money on the night, it spoils both their enjoyment of the event and also my own enjoyment.

 

In fact when I have been discussing the "when do I pay" question with clients most seem perfectly happy to pay before the event as they say "we dont want to have to worry about paying you on the night, we want to know everything is sorted so we are paying all service providers in advance".

 

Thats fine, best way to do things in my oppinion, then I can get on with providing the disco and they can get on with having a good time......without either of us worrying about money issues!

Edited by NRG Roadshow
 

 

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O.K.,in for a penny in for a pound!.If you have got yourself into a situation where you have no contract for the booking and have set up and started to play,then ask for payment half way through the evening and are told "we'll sort you out in a minute"/given the runaround then quite frankly you only have yourself to blame and to derig at that point ruining someones day/night is:

 

a) totally unprofessional and

b) suicidal in terms of business.

 

I guess by looking at the posts on here that most DJ's obtain there own work without belonging to any agency's/management companys which is great,but if you are going to do that then you have to issue contracts.If it's a last minute booking then take the contract with you and get them to sign it at the start of the job,enabling you to take further action to recover your fee if necessary.

 

Now for the bitter bit!,if you hired a plumber/builder etc out of the yellow pages or off the internet would you pay them upfront for all the work they yet had to do?.......I don't think so!!

You have to remember there are soom cowboys in our industry as well as the professionals,and from your clients point of view they want to be careful also and not pay up front for something which they class as substandard and not as promised.Therefore if you have nothing to worry about as regards to the standard of your service,then issue a contract explaining it is cash on the night,and remind them at the start of the evening if you really feel it necessary.

 

There is always the option of using an agent/management company to deal with the contractual dealings leaving you free to just do your job.Any problems regarding payment can then be handled by a third party which can be far better.

 

Thankfully I now only do this as a hobby smile icon and I have a well paid normal job,BUT I do understand that there are issues regarding cashflow for people doing this full time at the moment in the current climate where jobs are getting ever more scarce and various semi-pro DJ's are going out for semi-pro fees.

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Now for the bitter bit!,if you hired a plumber/builder etc out of the yellow pages or off the internet would you pay them upfront for all the work they yet had to do?.......I don't think so!!

 

I beg to differ. I think you'll find that most other trades will require the lions share of the payment in advance of the work commencing. This is usually to cover the costs of buying in materials, as the average loft conversion or conservatory will tend to cost some £1000's in materials alone before the cement mixer has even been loaded!.

 

In my experience, builders and such will require 100% of the materials costs and around 50% of the labour paid in advance of work commencing, certainly that was what i've found when shopping around for such services. Even the removal company wanted a significant sub before they would accept the booking during a house move. This is often why you see companies featured on watchdog, who have scarpered with clients money and never returned to start / complete the job. This isn't a practice reserved exclusively for the cowboys within the building trade, it is a fairly standard requirement. A little off topic, but have you ever tried to get hold of a plumber these days!!??. Honestly I think I chose the wrong trade, they are always weeks in demand and basically have a license to print money!.

 

Again, refering back to Wedding Receptions as an example, where the client has wished to pay me at the start of the evening, the best man has often wondered over to me, and handed over an envelope followed by comments along the lines of "Well thats my job completed". I've never seen a best man carrying several envelopes all marked up with different service providers, and then witnessed him moving around the other providers in attendance such as the Choccie fountain, caterer, venue reception, band etc handing them all similar envelopes. This experience is what I drew upon when making my previous comment earlier, whereby we must perhaps by somewhat in the minority to expect payment after the booking rather than in advance / at the beginning.

 

Although of course it may be different practice in different areas, and things may even be different just 20 miles down the road, but I would pity the poor old best man / mother of the bride / groom having to carry thousands of pounds worth in several envelopes on them all day to pay the service providers. I hope they don't walk across some of the estates around here

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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I beg to differ. I think you'll find that most other trades will require the lions share of the payment in advance of the work commencing. This is usually to cover the costs of buying in materials, as the average loft conversion or conservatory will tend to cost some £1000's in materials alone before the cement mixer has even been loaded!.

 

In my experience, builders and such will require 100% of the materials costs and around 50% of the labour paid in advance of work commencing, certainly that was what i've found when shopping around for such services. Even the removal company wanted a significant sub before they would accept the booking during a house move. This is often why you see companies featured on watchdog, who have scarpered with clients money and never returned to start / complete the job. This isn't a practice reserved exclusively for the cowboys within the building trade, it is a fairly standard requirement. A little off topic, but have you ever tried to get hold of a plumber these days!!??. Honestly I think I chose the wrong trade, they are always weeks in demand and basically have a license to print money!.

 

Again, refering back to Wedding Receptions as an example, where the client has wished to pay me at the start of the evening, the best man has often wondered over to me, and handed over an envelope followed by comments along the lines of "Well thats my job completed". I've never seen a best man carrying several envelopes all marked up with different service providers, and then witnessed him moving around the other providers in attendance such as the Choccie fountain, caterer, venue reception, band etc handing them all similar envelopes. This experience is what I drew upon when making my previous comment earlier, whereby we must perhaps by somewhat in the minority to expect payment after the booking rather than in advance / at the beginning.

 

Although of course it may be different practice in different areas, and things may even be different just 20 miles down the road, but I would pity the poor old best man / mother of the bride / groom having to carry thousands of pounds worth in several envelopes on them all day to pay the service providers. I hope they don't walk across some of the estates around here

 

Some good points here. I really would not envisage a situation where I would play for the evening without being paid prior to or at the start of the function.

 

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I would agree that tradesmen do require a deposit before work commences,however that is not what the original posting was about is it!

All I am saying is that you obtain full payment or a deposit before the function. or collect the payment/balance on the night,or when your payment terms dictate.But in both instances you must issue contracts to safeguard your payment.

And to reiterate, to take down your show in the middle of a function because you have got yourself in a position where you cannot guarantee your fee through the courts if necessary is totally unprofessional.

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But in both instances you must issue contracts to safeguard your payment.

 

Absolutely agree 100% and i'm appalled on some occasions when I read posts relating to client - deejay dispute over some trifle such as finish time / playing on for example, and then found that no paperwork has been raised and more often than not the deejay doesn't even have these situations and method of resolution already covered in their terms of booking.

 

And to reiterate, to take down your show in the middle of a function because you have got yourself in a position where you cannot guarantee your fee through the courts if necessary is totally unprofessional

 

Again, I honestly agree with what you are saying, but in the other thread (which the topic starter refers to), we don't entirely know the circumstances as to what triggered this decision. Did they feel threatened?, did the client out and out refuse to pay?, were they continuously pushed to work outside of the agreed contract (assuming one was issued). At the time the decision was made, they didn't have the luxury of the forum to post on, and access to advice from other quarters, they were expected to make a decision there and then - sometimes it can be the right one, other times they can learn from their mistakes

 

To throw another question into the arena, what would happen if we were to take on a marquee job, which was an unsafe distance away from mains electricity or the available mains within the marquee was unsafe / unsatisfactory? (ie no earth or only 3A capacity as examples). in this instance it may be unavoidable due to circumstances beyond our control to refuse to plug in and if no resolution was forthcoming, pack up and go home. Its amazing how many deejays don't build their requirements into their contracts and if this situation was to occur have no means other than verbal to refuse to work on safety grounds and take a knock to their reputation or may feel backed into a corner and may be pressured to take a gamble and put themselves and the attending guests at risk.

Edited by McCardle

"The voice of the devil is heard in our land"

 

'War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left, and you wont win this war.'

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see where you are coming from Wayno but I like been paid on the night it makes it easier for me to keep on top of my bills been a full time DJ.

 

Paul

 

I too am Full time and as such like to go to work safe in the knowledge the bill is settled and my rents getting paid and i haven't got to chase people on the night, after all I'm being paid to entertain guests not run after clients debt collecting lol

Edited by Wayno

Sometimes in the pursuit of perfection one can get blinded by size.

 

If you believe you can acheive.

 

Add life to your days not days to your life.

 

[/url][/img]

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With regards to marquees or anywhere else for that matter if your show requires more than the standard 13amp supply,the power requirements etc should always be on you contracts.

And if on arrival when a short check of the situation has been made you find it unsatisfactory,you must bring this to the attention of the relevant parties.I have refused in the past on these grounds to plug in.

Once again the relevance of a properly drafted contract will protect you!!! :D

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O.K.,in for a penny in for a pound!.If you have got yourself into a situation where you have no contract for the booking and have set up and started to play,then ask for payment half way through the evening and are told "we'll sort you out in a minute"/given the runaround then quite frankly you only have yourself to blame and to derig at that point ruining someones day/night is:

 

a) totally unprofessional and

b) suicidal in terms of business.

 

I guess by looking at the posts on here that most DJ's obtain there own work without belonging to any agency's/management companys which is great,but if you are going to do that then you have to issue contracts.If it's a last minute booking then take the contract with you and get them to sign it at the start of the job,enabling you to take further action to recover your fee if necessary.

 

Seems the first bit was aimed at me, as it was posted imediately after my comments......

 

Firstly did I say I dont use a contract? No I did not, and I do use a contract.

 

My contract states that at the very latest I WILL be paid at the start of the night, not half way through or at the end.

However.......with setting up and trying to entertain people I dont have the time to keep chasing people up for money, and whats more I shouldnt have too.

 

So what am I meant to do with cash payments on the night.....

Not setup any equipment till the bill payer arives?

Or not start any music till I have been paid?

Or start derigging till the money arrives?

 

You know as well as I do, that its not possible to do eitehr of them if you want to keep your reputation in tact.

 

So the easiest solution is to get paid before the event, then you dont have these hassles on the night.

 

 

 

 

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