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Just had a phone call from a groom re his wedding in 2 weeks time. He basically asked if i was still ok to do it, as if 2 letters and a contract isnt enough, and wanted to give a few song requests not a problem.

 

Then he casually stated he wants the first dance at 6pm which started the alarm bells ringing. I was originaly booked from 7.30 to 12.00 and now i need to be up running and ready for 5.30. When i suggested about the additional fee he sounded so surprised and basically asked why i would want to charge more. At this point to avoid any immediate confrontation i said i was not at home and would check the contract (maybe he will check his) and ring him back tomorrow (i was out of the house)

 

Its not a high paid gig so i cant and wont provide the extra for nowt

 

I can see this leading to confrontation which will without any doubt have a knock on effect on not only the party but also its a venue im after working in more. Im not backing down on this but need a solution so everybody is happy.

 

What would you do?

 

 

Richmond Karaoke & Disco - Professional Mobile Disco Service For North Yorkshire - www.rkdisco.co.uk

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Just had a phone call from a groom re his wedding in 2 weeks time. He basically asked if i was still ok to do it, as if 2 letters and a contract isnt enough, and wanted to give a few song requests not a problem.

 

Then he casually stated he wants the first dance at 6pm which started the alarm bells ringing. I was originaly booked from 7.30 to 12.00 and now i need to be up running and ready for 5.30. When i suggested about the additional fee he sounded so surprised and basically asked why i would want to charge more. At this point to avoid any immediate confrontation i said i was not at home and would check the contract (maybe he will check his) and ring him back tomorrow (i was out of the house)

 

Its not a high paid gig so i cant and wont provide the extra for nowt

 

I can see this leading to confrontation which will without any doubt have a knock on effect on not only the party but also its a venue im after working in more. Im not backing down on this but need a solution so everybody is happy.

 

What would you do?

 

 

Offer to finish 2hrs early if he is unhappy about paying extra?

 

For a 1st dance at 6pm, guests will need to in the room (probably playing background) at 5:30, so this it an extra 2hrs work.

Find out why this had changed? Is the photographer pushing for this?

 

I would generally move 30mins for most parties at no extra cost, but 2hrs is a lot of extra time, and needs to be paid for - esp on a low price gig.

 

I would find out whats driving the need for a much earlier start -is it another service provider (venue/caterers/photographer?)

As the time is changing, you'll probably be onsite from 4ish until late, so may require feeding, OR a break (if you set-up at 4, you may not have a chance to get any food).

 

I would certainly ask extra for this, at my normal hourly rate.

 

Be strong! :-)

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Best to treat this in a matter of fact way.

 

Apart from anything else 61/2 hours is far too long to be playing music for dancing.

 

Simply point out that the booking has been made for 41/2 hours from 7:30 until midnight. Since he has asked that you start at 5:30 (rather than 7:30 as per the contract) does that mean he wants you to finish 41/2 hours later at 10:00 pm?

 

No doubt your contract terms specify the extra cost per hour. If he wants to vary the contract to an earlier start time that will be fine. If he wants to keep to the same finish time that will be fine too, so long as he is prepared to pay the extra.

 

 

Edited by spinner
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Offer to finish 2hrs early if he is unhappy about paying extra?

 

For a 1st dance at 6pm, guests will need to in the room (probably playing background) at 5:30, so this it an extra 2hrs work.

Find out why this had changed? Is the photographer pushing for this?

 

I would generally move 30mins for most parties at no extra cost, but 2hrs is a lot of extra time, and needs to be paid for - esp on a low price gig.

 

I would find out whats driving the need for a much earlier start -is it another service provider (venue/caterers/photographer?)

As the time is changing, you'll probably be onsite from 4ish until late, so may require feeding, OR a break (if you set-up at 4, you may not have a chance to get any food).

 

I would certainly ask extra for this, at my normal hourly rate.

 

Be strong! :-)

 

 

Yeh, I agree that you need to be strong. I think everyone understands that manpower is by the hour, maybe even the groom gets paid hourly so he should understand.

 

So he's either completely out of touch or more likely just trying to negotiate.

 

Problem solving is definitely the answer though as vofk suggests and I think you should get to the bottom of why its changed.

 

He will then probably argue that the photographer and the bar and the venue wont charge more for being earlier but your service is directly linked to time alone and theirs isnt. I bet if the waiting staff were asked to do an extra two hours they too would charge more.

 

You could say that you need to charge extra but will throw in a half hour for free blah blah.

 

There are so many ways of saying no to a customer without ever saying no, so good luck!

 

 

 

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When are you setting up?

Aren't you normally set up to play bckground for the meal?

I can't imagine many disco's set up while the guests are eating a meal.

If you want more work from the venue,you might have to compromise.

 

Speaking personally if I have ever done a wedding I have set up before the guests arrive for the meal and I am there for the duration.Whatever my price is,thats it,whether I play for 1 hour or 6/7/8.

 

Reading other posts on this forum suggests that I am very much in the minority with regard to charges and time.I sometimes think that too many of you are too concerned about getting extra for doing a bit more.Set your price for the night and get on with it.How many nights that you have done have gone over by more than an hour,most people have had enough by 11/12 o'clock,especially if they have been to a wedding most of the day.

 

This is not a rehearsal

This is it - grab it while you can.

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He will then probably argue that the photographer and the bar and the venue wont charge more for being earlier but your service is directly linked to time alone and theirs isnt. I bet if the waiting staff were asked to do an extra two hours they too would charge more.

 

 

A bar may open earlier if there is demand for it (and licenses allow), the income from the bar should pay for staffing costs. This should be less of an issue (but I'm sure venue management may take another view...)

 

A community hall is typically hired by the hour, so if they were asked to open up 90mins earlier, most would ask for 2hrs hire fee (assuming they don't offer 30min rates)

 

A photographer will require extra £££ for extra time, so if the DJ is booked from 7:30 and the photographer has been asked to shoot the first dance but the wedding was at 1pm - the Photographer will want extra, or the DJ will.

 

It'll be interesting to hear where this came from. Someone (client/other service provider) is putting the DJ in this position and its really not the DJ's problem.

 

They can either start at the agreed (and contractually agreed) time, with or without the first dance(!), or amend their quote, and bill for the extra time.

 

 

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i wouldnt start early , tell him your in work and cant unless you pay someone to cover you, (the fee for cover is what extra your asking for) so you can start at his time but at x amount . best you can do , he booked a disco from a set time,

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i wouldnt start early , tell him your in work and cant unless you pay someone to cover you, (the fee for cover is what extra your asking for) so you can start at his time but at x amount . best you can do , he booked a disco from a set time,

 

That's lying..........best avoided at ALL costs.

JB's MUSIC MACHINE

Mobile Party & Function DJ covering the South & South-West area

Tel: 07904 265620 or visit www.jbmusicmachine.co.uk

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Speaking personally if I have ever done a wedding I have set up before the guests arrive for the meal and I am there for the duration.Whatever my price is,thats it,whether I play for 1 hour or 6/7/8.

 

Good point if your pricing structure is set to earn enough for this flexibility.

 

For me, each quote is personalised to the booking. Some clients want background during their wedding breakfast, others just want a 6pm setup for a 7:30 start. I prefer to offer a competitive quote based on the time required. A blanket price for the day just doesn't work.

 

If you charge for the entire day on each gig - I guess this is fine. On this particular party, the original booking was for 4 1/2hrs.

 

Its now changed to 6 1/2hrs.

 

I can't do the math at this time, but 30-40ish% more time?

 

Consider all the other services involved in a wedding;

-Car Hire

"we've changed the venue, its now 1hr drive away instead of the agreed 20mins"

 

-Catering

"30% more guests - is that ok?"

 

-Flowers

"we need 30% more in the church"

 

etc.etc.etc

What do you think their response would be if you asked for these extras for no charge?

 

We all have our own ways to run a business, but if you seriously think any of the above services would be happy to waive any additional fee- please let me know their numbers!

 

 

Obviously, we could all quote more per night, and not get too worried if they needed an extra 2hrs.

I'm sure the weddings that could keep to the agreed timescales would get a bit upset, and we would lose bookings from inflated prices.

 

Its best to quote accurately and if the client varies the times required, that is a variation on the orignal agreement. This is fair, and good business practice.

 

Most clients will have booked a taxi in their life, and a good analogy would be to compare this with a quoted booking for a local airport only to jump in the cab and expect the same price for a more remote airport.

 

@Dangermouse - honest is the best policy here. If the DJ can agree a deal that satisfies him and the B&G, then there is no need to lie.

Possibly some discounted rate+food, or simply insist on his full rate+food, or something in between.

 

As DJ's, we should aim to be seen at the same level as other wedding service providers. I don't expect many of these would need to resort to these tactics.

 

Just an observation; There is no point complaining about lack of respect (and therefore fees!) from venues/couples if we cannot act in the same manner.

Operating in a professional manner will lead to better fees. This does not mean complying with a clients wish to provide additional work for no fee.

 

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The contract should head off this sort of nonsense.

 

Most contracts specifically state that extra work is paid on an agreed basis. Mine is £50 per or part of.

 

With 2 weeks left to the function the client if he cancelled would have to pay me 75% of the agreed fee.

 

If you agree to the extra fee, given the short notice I would seek the additional amount as strictly cashon arrival.

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Vokf, it's not really about price structure and flexibility.

 

In the case of the wedding booking.Without getting into the financial side too deep lets just say my price would be in the £100/200 range(which is the same for every gig I do)so I would say it covers a fair majority of the people on this forum.For that the B and G have me all day regardless;within reason.No extras cost,thats it.

 

But then I do look at my dj'ing in a very different way to most of you.

 

To illustrate the point.

 

A while back you may recall I asked if anyone had worked at the Alderley Edge Hotel in Cheshire.Well I was asked to do the music for a corporate dinner celebrating 50 years in business,alongside a vocalist and a pianist(although I didnt know this at the time of the booking) at this hotel.I wont bore you with all the details of where and what for but it meant a round trip of 400 miles from my home in Norfolk.

I was so flattered and pleased that the chairman of the company had seen me work at a NYE party and enjoyed himself so much that he wanted me to do the music, I was prepared to do it for no fee but expenses.During the course of the conversations I had with the organiser we established that they would put my up in a hotel for the night(more on tha later) and pay for the hire of a van(the cheapest I could find).My thinking was that as long as it didnt cost me anything it was worth it. That was how I approached the job.I hadnt had much work what with having been abroad for the last 3years,I was just back in England wondering whether to start dj'ing again.I had all the gear and I had been keeping up with all the latest music.

 

BUT when I did the gig I was reminded in no uncertain terms that I am my own worst enemy when it comes to valueing my worth and that in some instances money seems to be no object.

 

Speaking to the vocalist on the night who had come just a few miles from Warrington he told me that he was being paid £400 for the night and was actually being put up for the night in the Alderley Edge Hotel,which incidentally is top dollar believe me.

Me,where was I.They put me up in the Premier Inn down the road-up two flights of stairs and down what seemed like a mile of corridors.

So after setting out from my house at 7am,I eventually got back to bed at 2am on Sunday morning.

Was it worth it?If I am honest,knowing what I know now.NO

Did I enjoy it?You bet your life I did.

 

Why have I posted this?

 

Well, I just wanted to point out that even though we are all doing the same thing our motivation can be somewhat different.

 

Its not a business to me,its a hobby that I can make a bit of money from.I still have to pay the same bills as all you guys;buy the same sort of gear;pay the bloody tax man.

The rewards for me at the end of a year are I am sure quite small but it keeps me relatively happy and gives a bit pleasure to a few people along the way.

 

 

This is not a rehearsal

This is it - grab it while you can.

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Thanks for all the input, a varied response - each to their own.

 

haven't rung him yet but will be doing so shortly. Im charging for the extra 2 hours at a reasonable but worthy rate and thats all there is to it. Like it or lump it. When you look at the percentages its not that much.

 

My typical wedding is just to supply a Disco after all the formalities have finished as 9 times out of 10 its in a small venue and they need to clear the room before i can setup. The room im gigging in on the 20th is a seperate ball room which will be empty and the guests are in other areas of the venue for a buffet.

 

They are in the venue all day as far as i can tell as the venue do civil services and are having a buffet at 4. granted i could of offered to setup at 3 but i really dont think they would have wanted to pay the premium.

 

first dance to finish is 6 hours full on so it wont be easy as they dont want any oldies (no motown 70's or 80's) Did a 7 1/2 hour set last week but that was easy as i did a kids party first then the adults with karaoke and played all sorts.

 

Cheers

Dave

Richmond Karaoke & Disco - Professional Mobile Disco Service For North Yorkshire - www.rkdisco.co.uk

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I find a punch in the face puts them straight! :ouch: ONLY JOKING! :chad:

 

quite simply

 

you and they agreed on a format

 

you and they agreed on a price for the service

 

you and they signed contracts

 

after the signed contract they have tried changing the terms of that agreed contract

 

They dont expect to pay any difference for extra work not listed in the contract , that to me is the very definition of someone extracting the urine.

 

The approach of a modest fee for the extra work is the only one i would offer , this is reasonable and fair for both parties.

 

I would put on my customer services smile and deal with this in a friendly smiling way , re explaining if they look at what we agreed so therefore i am happy to offer the extra 2 hours at the low fee of £ etc

 

Its not about sticking to your guns , its not about confrontation , its not about beating the customer its about providing good value that if fair for both sides and it sounds as if your doing just that .

 

dont be made to feel as if its you thats being unreasonable because all your after is what is fair.

Rob Star Entertainments
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landline 0161 265 3421
Mobile: 0777 99 777 26

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Whatever you do..keep calm collected and act proffessionally,try to be helpful and reasonable,If he swears and loses it you have the upper hand.

 

Just explain the contract and come to an arrangement.

 

As mentioned if it a night event only I always ask if formalities are taken care of earlier in the proceedings and confirm with the client at the meeting.

 

Paul

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I would personally ask for the additional hourly payment as per my T&C in my contract.

I too have had this in the past but you should be able to reach a compromise with the clients. The photographer would charge for extra hours.

 

As for the first dance so early I would try to move this time to say 815 - 830 when the evening guest are there. IMO people won't want to start dancing that early suggest background music until the first dance.

 

 

Professional DJ Since 1983 - Having worked in Clubs, Pubs, Mobile and Radio in the UK and Europe

29 Years Experience and still learning.

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I find a punch in the face puts them straight! :ouch: ONLY JOKING! :chad:

 

 

 

You look tougher than me Rob, I'll pm an address. :ouch: ONLY JOKING! :chad:

 

 

Whatever you do..keep calm collected and act proffessionally,try to be helpful and reasonable,If he swears and loses it you have the upper hand.

 

Just explain the contract and come to an arrangement.

 

As mentioned if it a night event only I always ask if formalities are taken care of earlier in the proceedings and confirm with the client at the meeting.

 

Paul

 

We went through everything on the phone and i even sent them a wedding inforamtion sheet to fill in and return which they did. It basically says

 

wedding - 3pm

time of meal - N/A

Function room availbale for me to access - 6pm

evening guests arriving - 7pm (approx)

preffered time of first dance 7.30

 

Simples....not in this case

 

Tried to ring them today but got no reply so a new contract and a very nice letter explaining the situation is on its way.

 

There is a good chance that by 11 the place will be empty.

 

They specified that they dont want old stuff like abba etc and want cutting edge chart and clubland style music all night, which is fine

 

Then they added Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams and Guns and Roses to the specific request list. :wacko:

 

Ball is over the net waiting for a return as they say in tennis!

 

As for the first dance so early I would try to move this time to say 815 - 830 when the evening guest are there. IMO people won't want to start dancing that early suggest background music until the first dance.

 

I would gladly place a wager on that the first dance wont happen at 6pm

 

i added a tenner to the additional fee for admin (2 envelopes 2 stamps - i always send an s.a.e with contracts) and for being so cheeky

 

:hide:

 

 

Edited by MintyDave

Richmond Karaoke & Disco - Professional Mobile Disco Service For North Yorkshire - www.rkdisco.co.uk

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wedding - 3pm

time of meal - N/A

Function room availbale for me to access - 6pm

evening guests arriving - 7pm (approx)

preffered time of first dance 7.30

 

Simples....not in this case

 

 

I think that all your answers are there.The guy has hardly got an argument.

 

This is not a rehearsal

This is it - grab it while you can.

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Conclusion!

 

Recieved a very apologetic phone call from the bride today after she found the new contract on top of the fridge - unopened.

 

Basically she said "don't listen to Chris, he's a half wit at times...how the hell does he expect us to eat a 3 course dinner, do photographs, cut the cake and do speeches in 1 hour. The evening quests are invited to arrive at 7.30 so why would we do the first dance to an empty hall........Sorry Dave for all the confusion see you on the 20th."

 

 

 

 

Richmond Karaoke & Disco - Professional Mobile Disco Service For North Yorkshire - www.rkdisco.co.uk

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Glad it resolved itself Dave, have a great night and hand out plenty of business cards

I'm a DJ based in Northern Ireland with nearly 10 years' experience offering a range of services. Including club residencies, karaoke, pub quizzes, specialised wedding service, Master of Ceremonies, Compere, Night at the Races and much more.

 

 

 

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