Non Disclosure Agreements should not apply to bad reviews or reimbursements.
One thing is certain – things go wrong. No matter how well organised or how disciplined the unexpected can and does happen.
That though, is the difference between the unexpected and just bad practice.
I’ve lost track of how many cries for help we’ve seen where there has been a car accident, usually this type of incident causes a person to be late as statistically they are in the tail back, these cries for help are people in the car accident, you can judge that how like, the industry is renowned for bad drivers or its and excuse? Don’t get me wrong accidents happen, they just seem to happen more frequently to event industry suppliers, particularly those who’ve under charged or over booked in the wedding industry.
Then there is the other type, the ones who turn up but you then wish they hadn’t, out of their depth, incompetent, amateur? Probably a heap of other descriptive adjectives, but not all appropriate for this blog post, that leave you deflated at best or complete disaster at worst.
The real insult though can come afterwards, when it’s all done and dusted, when it comes time to ask for a refund and get back the money owed to you for services not delivered, be it in part or whole.
I’m talking here of NDA’s or Non Disclosure Agreements, this is where the said vendor who has royally screwed you, shafts you again insisting you don’t mention how bad they were to anyone else or they keep your hard earned money – how the ….. does that work?
As I said at the outset, mistakes happen, the unexpected can happen anytime, when they do the best thing and only thing a supplier can do is offer a full no quibble refund. End of.
Sadly though there are too many who fall in to the second category, performing or offering services or products they shouldn’t be, through lack of skills or knowledge & equipment they don’t actually have. These are the ‘Bad Apples’ in the industry, funny enough they tend to have one thing in common, ‘cheap is best’, they are out to win your business by being the lowest price around, sometimes as an ‘upsell’ or ‘addon’ of their own core product. Typically offered because they haven’t charged enough for their own main product so have to ‘upsell’ to make it pay.
There is an old saying, ‘if you think a professional is expensive, wait till you hire and amateur’, there is more to being a professional than simply charging, whatever fee, for a product or service. Unfortunately the emotional element of the wedding and event industry, attracts those who feel, intentionally or naively, they can jump in and make a living from it. They seldom do, they end up with a trail of disaster behind them and give up, far poorer for it. Many photographers fall into this category but it applies to so many parts of the industry due to the potential work from home element or ‘hobby industry’ as it’s often called.
So next time your considering a service or product, especially for an important dates such as a wedding, look at the Terms & Conditions of the vendor and ask, clearly what is the cancellation and refund policy if you cancel; and if they fail to deliver or cancel! Any mention of NDA or other obstacle that is clearly unfair, walk away.
Never ever work with anyone who wants you to sign an NDA to get your money, I’ll say that again never ever work with anyone who wants you to sign an NDA to get your money.
For one this is clear, these companies then go unchecked. There is no review, no feedback or complaints leaving the door wide open for the next victim.
Fortunately for every ‘Bad Apple’ or cowboy there are dozens of quality suppliers, maybe a bit more expensive, some even a lot more expensive but not when you consider the peace of mind of a job well done and your celebration a day of perfection.