Beware of the bad vendor

I was watching the news this week, and there was a “7 on Your Side”-type segment about a couple who selected a photographer whose work looked great, paid more than $6,000, and TWO YEARS later were still waiting for their promised albums. Not until they enlisted the help of their local NYC consumer advocacy team did they get what they paid for. Is this the exception or the rule? I wonder. My daughter and her husband had a similar situation with a wedding video that only appeared after they threatened legal action.

So, how can you protect yourselves and avoid these scenarios?

1. Do lots of shopping around for your vendors, and once you’ve decided whose work you like, check them out thoroughly. There are quite a few vendor reviews online; take them seriously!

2. Once you meet the contact person, and you decide you like them, ask for three recent references. These should be people who have already received what was promised.

3. Hold back as much of the payment as you can until ALL goods and services have been received. Negotiate this right up front.

4. Ask your venue/reception site manager or wedding planner for recommendations. They probably won’t recommend someone who might tarnish their own reputations. But this really isn’t enough to go on, so follow through with numbers 1 and 2 as well. Sometimes the photographer, videographer or florist is a relative of the site manager, so do your own homework too!

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