Help- Deposit refund to customer? - WarmGlass.com

Help- Deposit refund to customer?

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Bonnie Rubinstein
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 9:04 pm
Location: River Falls, WI

Help- Deposit refund to customer?

Postby Bonnie Rubinstein » Mon Sep 09, 2019 11:44 am

Recently spent about 2 hours at a client's home.. she ordered 2 pieces from me. She was over the top excited. She gave me a deposit for both. Then she called and seemed to be unsure about one of them and wanted that one postponed. I just got a call and she wants her deposit back, claiming new expenses she didn't anticipate (an says she will re-order in a year- which I doubt). I can state that based on where and how she lives, money is not an issue for her.

I have never run into this, and wonder should be my course of action? She is calling me back soon for my response.
Thanks!!
Bonnie Rubinstein

Dick
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 9:34 pm
Location: San Diego
Contact:

Re: Help- Deposit refund to customer?

Postby Dick » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:32 pm

What does your contract state? Whenever I get a new client I draw up a contract so no one is surprised. Your time is valuable and some deposit should always be listed as non refundable

Marty
Posts: 837
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 3:58 pm
Location: Maine
Contact:

Re: Help- Deposit refund to customer?

Postby Marty » Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:13 am

Bonnie-

You should have terms WRITTEN out for when the word "commission" is first mentioned. For example, come to the studio and chat for free. I come to your house and consult for travel expenses and time (taken off the cost of the commission, if you want). 50% deposit to start. Cancellation= deposit returned minus costs to date (including cost of supplies committed to the project) up to a certain point. Client oks specs and drawing. Balance due before delivery. Etcetera.
If she's getting stuff already made, then you should specify that there are returns up to a certain time for credit only.

Return the deposit with good grace and figure your 2 hours as the cost of education. Don't burn bridges, she might come back.

Bonnie Rubinstein
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 9:04 pm
Location: River Falls, WI

Re: Help- Deposit refund to customer?

Postby Bonnie Rubinstein » Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:32 pm

I did not have a contract..but will from now on. I did send her written confirmation of invoice and receipt of deposit. Should have stated unrefundable at that point. Have spent a lot of time with her via phone and emails because she kept changing her mind. Based on research, it appears a deposit is a form of a legal agreement.
Bonnie Rubinstein

AndyT
Posts: 144
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:34 am
Location: Medford, Orygun
Contact:

Re: Help- Deposit refund to customer?

Postby AndyT » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:51 am

Unless you have something in writing, there's not much you can do. I'd give the money back and move on.

Bonnie Rubinstein
Posts: 167
Joined: Sun May 04, 2003 9:04 pm
Location: River Falls, WI

Re: Help- Deposit refund to customer?

Postby Bonnie Rubinstein » Wed Sep 11, 2019 3:52 pm

Thanks, all. This was a lesson for sure.

I will take care to write up a contract. Too bad- in my 16 years of creating fused glass, I never had to.. you just trust your clients and vice versa based on discussions. Her enthusiasm was through the roof when we met- even asked me to present to her garden club in the spring, which I agreed to do. And still will.

Live and learn..
Bonnie Rubinstein

Kevin Midgley
Posts: 658
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2003 11:36 am
Location: Tofino, British Columbia, Canada

Re: Help- Deposit refund to customer?

Postby Kevin Midgley » Thu Sep 12, 2019 12:28 am

Her enthusiasm was the giveaway to the coming problem.
Whenever someone is over enthusiastic about what you have made, you are not going to get paid. It happens every time.

As for the garden club giveaway, you've been suckered. I'd go along with the idea up until the very end when you are for some reason you will invent, unable to deliver to them.

Lynn Perry
Posts: 98
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 5:27 pm
Location: East Tennessee

Re: Help- Deposit refund to customer?

Postby Lynn Perry » Fri Sep 13, 2019 5:37 pm

Several years ago I was offered the opportunity to make a presentation to my wife's garden club. It was not only fun, but I also got two Odyssey lampshade jobs as well as several windows, all for very nice ladies. I would highly recommend that you embrace the chance to present your work to an interested group of people who might also wish to have some of your pieces or commissions for their home or for gifts.

By the way, the only time I ever kept money for a cancelled job was if I had actually cut glass and then I only kept enough to cover the cost of wasted materials, which I explained to the customer. Thankfully, over the last forty years, this has only happened a couple of times, and, if I had to do it again, I would just write-off the money. I always felt consultations about glass and designs were just part of the overhead of the business.
Lynn Perry


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