Vendor Scams WATCH OUT!
My husband and I had our destination wedding durring his R&R in Ormond Beach Florida on November 6, 2010. We hired a photographer that we found on Facebook that had a good recomendation. She was very professional up front. Was early to the wedding and was very plesant and friendly. She even offered to "throw in" some extra photos for us. We paid her and she left promising to have our photos to us in 4 weeks.
We went back home to Ft Campbell and my husband soon after left for Afghanistan again. Once we were home she informed us that she had "raised her rates" and that would now owed her ANOTHER $1500 if we wanted our photos. We refused to pay the raised rate as we had already contracted her for the previous rate. She agreed we were in the right but only two days later she informed us that her computer had suddenly crashed and she lost ALL our pictures! We were devistated but what can you do right? So we asked for our money back. I bet you can guess what happened next. She stopped responding. Avoided our attempts to contact her.
Weeks went by without a word from our photographer. We emailed, we called anything to try to contact her. Finally on December 18th she told us that she had managed to get the pics back and would send them out right away. This would be the first of 4 times she would promise this. After the 4th time being basically blown off with a "They will be in the mail tomorrow." We took action. We contacted the Volusia County Florida Small Claims Court, the Better Business Bureau, a local Law Office and the local news channel. All of which informed us that we were not the first out of town wedding to be in this situation. Also that it was easy for vendors, especially photographers, to scam out of town weddings. The fact that we were a military family only made it worse as these vendors think that once the military member leaves the country again there is nothing they can do but comply with the new demands of the vendor! Wedding photos particularly are easy to use against out of towners as they are not replacable.
Once our photographer realized how serious things had become and had been contacted by our sources needless to say a cd of all of our photos (unedited) were mailed out the very next day and on January 30th we finally had our photos! Even tho it was scary for a few weeks that we wouldnt get them and then had to edit them ourselves we are still grateful that it did work out in the end and just hope that no one else has to fall for this!!