Monday, June 23, 2014

The Truth Behind Wedding Articles Like This One...

Consumer Reports published this article and it was brought to my attention recently on a DJ forum that I belong to.  There were dozens of comments, in just the first hour, from DJs all over the country and the consensus is the same... much of this is BAD advice.  That's not just coming from me, but as of this posting, 57 other DJ companies around the country have commented and have requirements similar to mine.

The bullet points Consumer Reports listed are as follows, I've added comments below in red and green.

  • Try to use a known provider of wedding-related goods and services. Get recommendations from friends and relatives, if possible.

    This is true and a good idea! You should also try to meet with the DJ or the owner if possible. In some cases (companies with multiple DJs) it isn't always possible to meet your DJ, but the owner should be willing to sit down and talk with you.
  • Check out the company. Obtain at least three references. Look for a report at the Better Business Bureau, and use a Web search with the company or individual's name and such terms as "reviews" and "complaints."

    Bad idea.  Did you know the BBB is a PAID SERVICE?  I didn't either until I received a call from them last year stating that I had a "AAA" rating with them and that they would be happy to publish my info on their site - for $450 A YEAR!  So apparently you CAN buy your way to the top.
    Better advice: look on wedding sites such as The Knot, WeddingWire and more.  Even most of these have a pay-for-placement option so be sure you're getting honest opinions.  One of my clients pointed this out to me and I had no idea it existed.  I was pleasantly surprised to see what my clients had to say.  It's published by The Knot, but is strictly feedback from clients.  The Wedding Channel
  • Read contracts thoroughly before signing. Be sure any times and dates are included and are correct. Find out what the cancellation policy is. You never know who might get cold feet.

    Good idea!  Always read what your signing.  I do it myself.  Everything in my contract has been generated by situations that have occurred over time that I need to protect myself from.
  • When leaving a deposit or making a payment, use a credit card instead of cash, check, or debit card. That way, if there are any shenanigans or a company disappears overnight, you can ask your card issuer for a chargeback. Never pay in full ahead of time.

    WRONG!  Out of all the DJs on our forum, almost every one of them requires payment in full two weeks (or more for some of them) in advance.  As business owners, we have all gotten burned by bad checks, failure to pay and in some cases, legal repercussions.  This isn't a hobby for a professional.  It's a business and businesses have expenses like insurance, fuel, vehicle costs, equipment, supplies, advertising, media, taxes and more.
    If you've done as suggested in bullet point one and (green comment below)
    two, you'll have no problems.
  • As an extra precaution, double check with the providers a few days before the wedding that everything is ready to go and that there are no complications. Verify dates and times.

    Good idea, but I take it a step further and I call the client a few days prior to make sure there are no last minute changes and to answer any questions.
  • If you think you've been scammed or otherwise victimized, file a complaint with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau.

    This one isn't bad advice but I'm not sure how much luck you'll have with it.  The CPA may be helpful, but I've had issues with companies before and the BBB does nothing to help.
    Here's the link to the full article:

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