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Topic: Deposits and Money Back Guarantees
Message: Posted by: Brent Allan (Sep 15, 2003 09:14PM)
I, like some others, offer a money back guarantee for my performances. I have never had anyone ask for their money back, so this is more of a hypothetical question.

Let's say you had the client give you a $200 deposit before the show. Then, after the show, they decide they want their money back. Obviously, you do not bill them the remainder of the fee. But the question is, how would you go about refunding the deposit? Send them a check with a later date and try to re-pitch them? Or just send the check and write them off as someone not to do business with anymore?
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Sep 15, 2003 09:27PM)
Brent,

If you've clearly stated in the performance agreement that the deposit is non-refundable then it is just that, non-refundable. That's life.

The more important thing here is why a particular client would want their money back. It's important to find out what made them upset and how you can correct the problem.

If it's a misunderstanding, refunding the NON-refundable deposit may be a show of good faith.

Either way, figure out what went wrong, then correct it. You can't win them all.

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Sep 15, 2003 10:32PM)
I also offer a 100% money back guarantee on my shows. If someone wanted their money back, I'd feel obligated to return the entire amount to them. I can only think of two reasons why that might happen:[list=1][*]I screwed up the show royally, in which case I shouldn't ever expect to be booked by these people again.

[*]The person who booked me is a scumbag, in which case why would I ever want to do business with him again?[/list]See ya!
Joe L.
Message: Posted by: Brent Allan (Sep 16, 2003 12:22AM)
I agree with everything Joe said. As far as Robert's response, if the deposit is non-refundable, then it really isn't a 100% money back guarantee, now is it?

As I said, I have never had this happen to me. Just a little something I was thinking about while hopped up on allergy meds.
Message: Posted by: Ricky B (Sep 16, 2003 12:24AM)
[quote]
If you've clearly stated in the performance agreement that the deposit is non-refundable then it is just that, non-refundable. That's life.[/quote]
I doubt that Brent Allan has a non-refundable deposit in his agreement, but if he did, a deposit is in no way "non-refundable" if one offers a money-back guarantee for the show. That's life.

I agree with the other comments so far. Find out what the problem is, and refund the money in full. Don't plan on doing business with them later.

--Rick
Message: Posted by: Scott Grimm (Sep 16, 2003 12:25PM)
The non-refundable deposit is not a bad idea, though. Offering a money-back guarentee for the rest of it is also a good selling point to potential clients. Managers like to spend money safely and if it comes down to decision time it could be a factor in your favor. I've not heared of anyone having much of a problem with this so go for it. If it does become an issue, refer to Joe's post.
Message: Posted by: magic4u02 (Sep 16, 2003 01:16PM)
My only fear about money back guarantees, is that some people may catch on and abuse this policy that you have set up. They feel they could get a show from you for free just by having you perform and then complaining about it afterwards. This way they get a performance without ever having to pay you anything. I know this sounds real sad, but I know people that have had this happen to them.

If this is the case, then you're really missing out. You're missing out on money from doing a performance and you're missing out on other potential shows you may have had to turn down because you booked this one already.

I always aim to exceed the expectations of my clients and I have never had this issue come up. I am happy about that and I guess it shows I am doing something right about meeting the needs of the clients I work for.

I just feel that a performer should get paid if they show up, perform the show and meet the agreed upon requirements for the gig.

The client would have a point if you did not meet the agreed upon requirements for their gig. If you showed up late, did not do the agreed upon time, gave a very bad performance etc., then I certainly would give the client their money back with no questions asked.

But, if you're failing to live up to your own expectations and you're not delivering the best show you can, then you really need to start questioning whether you should be charging for your performances in the first place.

If you always go out there and give the client 110% of yourself, then this should never really be an issue.

Just my two cents worth.
:)
Message: Posted by: kenscott (Sep 16, 2003 01:30PM)
Kyle has a good point.

I do give a 100% gaurentee. But in BIG AND BOLD and I tell them the BIG "IF"óif your guests did not laugh and enjoy themselves then you don't pay. That simple! I have never had a party not laugh and have a good time.

I am sure there may be temptation my people but I have very clear what the deal is. If they are laughing and enjoying the program there will not be any money returned.

ken
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Sep 16, 2003 04:24PM)
[quote]
Brent Allen: As far as Robert's response, if the deposit is non-refundable, then it really isn't a 100% money back guarantee, now is it? [/quote]Alright. If we're going to be picky then do this...

The deposit is non-refundable in the event of cancellation. As for the 100% money back guarantee, if you're not satisfied, take it all back. Deposit and all. In fact, throw in an extra 10%.

[b]However...[/b]

If you're a professional the REAL problem is not who gets what money. Money has ZERO to do with this problem. The real problem is why the client would want their money back. FAR more important than nitpicking what exactly 100% money back means, wouldn't you agree?

[quote]
Kyle: They feel they could get a show from you for free just by having you perform and then complaining about it afterwards.[/quote]I've never had this problem. Ever. I've never heard of anyone having this problem. Ever.

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: Wolfgang (Sep 16, 2003 09:00PM)
I think offering a money-back guarantee is inviting problems. I would hope a magician has better selling points than the fact you get your money back if he screws up or you think he's bad.

And I don't believe you're meeting a current expectation by offering it. Other performers such as sports teams and musicians don't offer one. Although I sure wish Duran Duran had back in 1984.
Message: Posted by: jlibby (Sep 16, 2003 10:27PM)
I was nervous the first time I offered a guarantee in my sales materials. But you know what? Nobody, but nobody has ever taken me up on it. And that gives me confidence in myself as a performer.

Quite honestly, any performer who believes they have a quality show shouldn't be afraid to guarantee it.

See ya!
Joe L.
Message: Posted by: Ricky B (Sep 17, 2003 01:06AM)
[quote]
The deposit is non-refundable in the event of cancellation. As for the 100% money back guarantee, if you're not satisfied, take it all back. Deposit and all.[/quote] Good point about the cancellation.

--Rick
Message: Posted by: Leo B. Domapias (Sep 17, 2003 01:15AM)
[quote]
On 2003-09-16 14:16, magic4u02 wrote:
My only fear about money back guarantees, is that some people may catch on and abuse this policy that you have set up. They feel they could get a show from you for free just by having you perform and then complaining about it afterwards.
[/quote]Think of what it will do to a magician's reputation when word spreads that a client made him refund the payment of the show. Even though the magician might just have been taken advantage of by an unscrupulous client, still the act of refunding the customerís payment/advance/deposit can create negative publicity for the performer.

Ben Benjay
Manila, Philippines
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Sep 17, 2003 12:40PM)
[quote]
Ben: Think of what it will do to a magician's reputation when word spreads that a client made him refund the payment of the show. Even though the magician might just have been taken advantage of by an unscrupulous client, still the act of refunding the customerís payment/advance/deposit can create negative publicity for the performer. [/quote]You make it sound like the magician is a celebrity who will be devastated by this.

Look, whether you have a MB guarantee or NOT, if the customer is NOT HAPPY then your reputation could be damaged. Forget whether you cough up their money or not.

Here's the bottom line: take care of your clients.

I'm still with Joe L. on this oneóNEVER have I had a problem.

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: Jim Snack (Sep 17, 2003 01:21PM)
Robert is right.

You can "think of what it will do..." but that's a hypothetical that just won't play out in the real world.

In the real world, if you fail to deliver on your end of the business deal, then you should refund the client's money.
Message: Posted by: Wolfgang (Sep 17, 2003 07:50PM)
[quote]
On 2003-09-17 14:21, Jim Snack wrote:
You can "think of what it will do..." but that's a hypothetical that just won't play out in the real world.

In the real world, if you fail to deliver on your end of the business deal, then you should refund the client's money.
[/quote]Speaking of hypothetical, I would like to know if anyone here as ever had to refund money for not delivering on a show? I'm not talking about missing a performance; I mean disappointing a client with your show.

I've never done it. And don't know anyone else who has. It seems this whole discussion is a non-issue.
Message: Posted by: RobertBloor (Sep 17, 2003 08:18PM)
[quote]
Brent: As I said, I have never had this happen to me.

kenscott: I have never had a party not laugh and have a good time.

Robert Bloor: I've never had this problem. Ever. I've never heard of anyone having this problem. Ever.

jlibby: Nobody, but nobody has ever taken me up on it.

Robert Bloor: I'm still with Joe L. on this oneóNEVER have I had a problem. [/quote]

[quote]
Wolfgang: I would like to know if anyone here as ever had to refund money for not delivering on a show?

It seems this whole discussion is a non-issue. [/quote]Good point, Wolfgang!

Robert Bloor
Message: Posted by: TheDean (Sep 17, 2003 09:28PM)
Nice chat everyone!

Oh, it's by no means a non-issue...

It IS a super powerful marketing and BOOKING tool that produces REAL RESULTS with virtually zero risk. (At least as far as Iíve experienced and from ANYONE Iíve ever known.)

Using a [b]strong guarantee[/b] almost guarantees that all things being equal, YOU (the one WITH the guarantee) will end up with the paying gig!

It's a very important issue!

By the way, I have always offered a 100%, unconditional, "love it or shove it" money back guarantee and I have NEVER been even questioned on it as far as returns are concerned!

But I can honestly tell you this...it has single-handedly helped me to book LOTS n' LOTS of high paying gigs! Even when I was the MOST expensive option!

It really works and like I said, I have NEVER had to refund anyone, EVER! (Nor has anyone else I know!) So I think that it IS relevant issue.

Just more to chew onÖ Thatís all.

GREAT THREAD ya' all!

I am at your service and in His service,
Deano
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"THINK and Grow Rich!"