How long should a customer have to wait?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by wm blunt, Mar 3, 2007.

  1. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    I would be interested in hearing what others think. I purchased and paid for a photograph months ago from a photographer who never sent the print. When I contacted the individual I got all kinds of excuses one of which was,"I've been busy doing new work". Seems to me if the person had the time to do new work he would have the time to ship out print orders. When anyone has purchased a print from me that has taken priority over anything else. I figure if they like my work enough to want to collect it and are kind enough to purchase a print I should do everything I can to get the print to them as soon as possible.
    This has been going on for many months and many excuses. I don't have to mention the photographers name, he knows who he is as do others on this forum who have had the same problem with him.:mad:

    Wm Blunt
     
  2. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    Ask for your payment back.
     
  3. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    I haven't gone that route yet....... keep thinking the guy will finally do the right thing:sad:
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    A few months isn't too unusal for a print made to order. Certainly, you can ask for your payment back if it's taking longer than you would like.
     
  5. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    When something is offered for sale, it should be send immediately upon payment. Anything else constitutes fraud. If the person was "too busy" to send the print, the print should not have been offered for sale. I would allow only 2 weeks to receive the print, unless a longer time was specifically mentioned in the offer of sale. I would demand a refund, and if you paid with a CC, request your bank do a charge-back.
     
  6. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    It was not a print to order. I was told on Dec. 6 of last year the print was ready to ship. A few weeks later I contacted him and was told he was not going to ship prints until the end of the year........... guess I should have asked, what year?:rolleyes:
     
  7. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    When I have a check in hand, nothing takes priority over getting a print to the customer. Simple as that.
     
  8. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    With all due respect, this isn't reasonable. Many things one might order for purchase are produced following an order and simply don't exist as a finished product until then.
     
  9. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    As I ordered this print to not only ad to my collection but help this photographer because he was in need of funds. Thought I was doing the right thing but looks like it came back to bite me in the rear. Oh well, live and learn I guess.
     
  10. resummerfield

    resummerfield Subscriber

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    OK, I see your point. But surely, one could produce a print within a week or two? Personally, I would have a supply of prints on hand, prior to offering them for sale.
     
  11. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Is he your friend? If he is, you can wait, right? If not, get your money back and just move on.

    I'm assuming it's probably not just you but some other people who are in the same situation as well. I mean if he's selling his prints to get funds, he's probably selling to more than one person and more than one print, and if he keeps making that lame excuse to his customers/supporters, he's not going to survive much longer.
     
  12. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    I'm sorry to have to continue to be so contradictory. If I were in the business of selling prints, and since you can't know when I'm near my darkroom or not near my darkroom and since like most people my schedule can be upended unpredictably and my suppliers can be fickle, I'd have a standing policy of "please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery." Then, I'd ship within one or two weeks as often as possible. The idea that if someone were to offer a multitude of different images for sale and that they'd invest the time and materials to manage an inventory of all of them is unrealistic.

    None of this relates to the particulars of the situation at hand in this thread...
     
  13. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    As someone that sells prints for a living, I know it's quite important to ship as soon as possible, however there are reasons that would cause a delay in shipping.

    First, most photographers selling work should have the actual print on hand, but it may need to be mounted/matted/spotted/packaged ect...and that can take a couple weeks to finish. If someone has to print the image, that may even add an extra week or two onto the time.

    Second, when I am on the road selling prints, I have my "show prints" for viewing, but buyers understand that their actual print will not be shipped until the time I return home. This may be several weeks, even months later.

    As I'm sure many of you know, it takes almost a YEAR to get one of John Sexton's prints. I'm not sure why, but I'm sure it's because he is so busy.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 3, 2007
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  15. eddym

    eddym Member

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    If a print is ordered from me, I feel I have a responsibility to ship it within a couple of weeks. Of course, everyone has different work and travel circumstances, but if it is going to take longer than that, I think it would be ethical (and good business practice) to state that fact at the time of accepting the order. At least then the purchaser knows what to expect. Communication is everything in customer relations.
    If you are too busy to fulfill your orders, you should be honest enough to state that fact before you accept an order.
     
  16. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    At this point the guy is being a d--k and abusing your good nature and patience. If he didn't tell you up front that it would take some time to deliver your print, then he has benefitted from the use of your money without delivering the goods. This is usually known as theft.

    You didn't say whether the sale is across state lines; I think in those cases the Federal Trade Commission has jurisdiction and regulatory authority. If I'm not mistaken a vendor in these situations is supposed to, after 90 days without order fulfilment, contact you and offer you a chance to cancel your order and receive a refund (this is why Amazon and other reputable online sellers do this, and most don't take money until the item ships.)

    Time to take off the gloves. You should treat him like a deadbeat customer whose account is badly in arrears. Send him a certified letter demanding either a refund or a print by x time in the future, after which you'll file a report with the FTC if that applies, or your state's consumer protection agency, which is often run by the state attorney general's office.

    I'm the easiest guy in the world to get along with :wink: ordinarily, and willing to cut anyone slack until I think I'm being made a fool of or being blown off. This guy needs a smack upside the head to get him to do right--assuming it IS a "him".
     
  17. skillian

    skillian Subscriber

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    I recommend canceling your order with this photographer and ordering one of my prints. I'll make sure you get it in a couple days. :wink:
     
  18. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    I agree with the majority here... and I would not just limit it to prints. It applies to anything you purchase... film, paper, a couch; whatever. If you purchase something, especially from a business... and I include photographers who sell prints as a 'business'... you deserve to receive your purchase within a reasonable time.

    I think there may be extenuating circumstances, but that still does not absolve a business from ACTING like a business... ie, communicating delays in a timely manner to its customers.

    You have every right to be majorly torked. Hell, I'm torked when I don't receive prints promised to me as part of exchanges or whatever! If I paid for a print, I'd be hotter than Mercury! :D
     
  19. gr82bart

    gr82bart Subscriber

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    Can we agree to call THIS GUY a deadbeat? Who is he BTW? Oh a don't wait any more; don't ask for your money back. Demand it.

    Regards, Art.
     
  20. wm blunt

    wm blunt Member

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    I do admit there were extenuating circumstances at first. The photographer was ill and knew it would be awhile before he could fill his print orders. When I found out he was well and sending out prints I contacted him to remind him of my order. That is when I started getting excuses. Even at first I gave him the benefit of the doubt and waited several more weeks. It seemed to me like a lot of "the dog ate my homework" excuses. The one excuse of being busy doing new work is the one that really upset me. The only good thing about this I guess is when I get an order for a print I think about this and get the print ready to ship. As a matter of fact I have a print packed and ready to ship right now for a person that has not sent payment and might have changed his mind. That might have a been a bit of overkill on my part:rolleyes:
     
  21. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    I also do this for a living and unless there is some extreme reason (large order, illness, etc.), it is rare for a shipment to take any more than a week to leave here after time of order. I've never understood anyone taking a year to ship an ordered print. I don't care how "busy" you may be, it is ridiculous. Sorry you've had such a hard time. I too would cancel the order.

    Bill
     
  22. Bill Mitchell

    Bill Mitchell Member

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    Time to ask for your money back, (good luck, Charlie), and name him in this thread so others don't get suckered in.
     
  23. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    I think the real measure of the problem is the distance between promises and actual deeds. If John Sexton says that it will take a year to deliver a print, and if you actually get his print within about a year, then nothing's wrong. If he tells me that it will take five years, but that he delivers in five years, I don't see the harm.

    But if some bozo tells you "next week" and three months down the road you have got nothing, then it's just time to say chuck you Farley, and ask for your money back.
     
  24. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Personally, if someone purchases a print from me for money (print exchanges are a different story), I usually get it out within a month and don't cash the check until it's about ready to go out.

    I've bought a few prints from people on APUG, and generally they've taken a few months. I just don't get worked up about such things. I put up money for amidol that took two years with no clear timetable at any point. I think I waited a year for my first issue of _Emulsion_ after subscribing. I've got some cash up for the Ilford ULF film order that is supposed to arrive in May, but if it doesn't, I'll manage.
     
  25. kjsphoto

    kjsphoto Subscriber

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    If a check is sent and once cleared I send the print ASAP. If anything delays the print from sending I email the person as well as call them on the phone to explain the situation.

    But that is just me.
     
  26. rjas

    rjas Member

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    I send prints the day or if its too late, the day after recieving payment. I make sure to have at least the amount of prints on hand as I am auctioning. My current problem is getting people to pay on time - I've got one customer that bought a print on feb 15th that still hasn't paid. But I've got a few good customers since then, paying the same day, or the day after committing to purchase. I'm always so happy that someone likes my work that I even upgrade them to airmail at my cost; I'm not too great of a businessman...

    I think you should ask for your money back and probably buy a print from me :smile: