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July 11, 2009

Vendor FAIL

So what do you do when a vendor messes up on the day of... and when i mean mess up... I mean, like not give you what you paid for...

i.e., at a wedding I recently attended, the Gobo Design burned off so that the only thing that kinda showed was the names of the bride and groom, but that the actual design created by the groom. Instead of having more than one design made, knowing full well that sometimes the designs burn... or having someone available in the office just for such emergencies, the answer was... "I'm sorry, but hopefully the names will still show. it's all we can do"

So in an instance, when a vendor does not deliver what they promise. on the day of. And obviously, on the day of the - the bride and groom will brush it off and let it go... is there any recourse? Should the bride and groom attempt to get some sort of compensation for the vendor's failure to fulfill?

I definitely think that vendor reviews create incentive for vendors to try to find some compromise with the recent bride and groom to make sure all parties are happy. Honesty always works and we all know that sh** happens, but when we (as in customers) see a vendor do their best to make up from any random things that may arise, i think it gives us (customers) more incentive to have faith and trust in the company. Knowing that at the end of the day, you will be paying only what you meant to pay for.

Another recourse is the  Complaints filed through the BBB get logged and if are not handled properly can be filed against the company when anybody looks them up.

First thing first though... attempt to work with the vendor to see what is offered and what can be done... only after no compromise can be reached, then file a vendor review on various sites such as Weddzilla, Project Wedding, The Knot...

Any other good ideas?


  1. Ask them for a refund. It's only fair. They should have done a back-up. Since they didn't, the failed gobo means they didn't provide the service they promised.

  2. I must live in a cave. What's a gobo and what did it burn off of?

    I'm confused

  3. Yep, compensation is definitely fair. Hopefully, there will be something built into the contract about it. Otherwise, try to work out something amicably and if not, take it to the BBB.

  4. I live in a cave, too, Mollie D... please enlighten us, what is gobo??? and why did it burn?

  5. I live in a cave, too, Mollie D... please enlighten us, what is gobo??? and why did it burn?

  6. Uh, maybe you should post the vender's name on your blog so we make sure we don't hire the goofs too. I would definately try to get some money back but if they don't try to make it right then the BBB should be contacted and maybe some twittering done about them also.:)

  7. You know what, I have a vendor fail story as of last night. There was an ad up for free wedding planning /DOC on Wedding Bee from a girl trying to get her wedding planning license. I contacted her and we were in contact for a few weeks(she agreed to do the work in exchange for references, pictures, etc.)

    Last night I got an email from her saying she wasn't going to be working with me anymore because she was browsing my Facebook profile and was offended by my personal beliefs about gay marriage. Uh, what? I guess she didn't like my comment I made on a friend's note about the gay marriage debate in California; I have no idea actually. (The wedding planner had asked me to friend her on Facebook so she could have easy access to view my wedding idea photos)

    Oh well, at least I'm not out of any money (because I'm sure that totally wouldn't jive with the BBB if I had paid for her services.)

  8. I would suggest writing a clause in your vendor contract that holds your vendor accountable for their service and delivery. As an event planner I know that Murphys Law prevails no matter how hard you try to avoid it. Vendors create contracts to cover their own butts but remember that as the customer you need to think about your own needs too. If you add a clause that protects your rights the vendor is more likely to deliver the best product. Here is a sample clause (in non-technical language) "If Vendor does not supply or perform in full previously negotiated services the vendor agrees to waive all(or half - whatever you feel is appropriate) fees and charges for previously negotiated services." Of course remember to add this to your contract before you sign AND above your signature if handwritten in as some states say all legally binding clauses are above the signature line. Most honest vendors will agree to this and if they don't do you really want to use them? Hope this was helpful, sorry it was so long!

  9. I live in a cave as well. What the heck is a gobo and what burned!?

  10. You know sometimes when you see the couple's name on the dance floor or against the wall, and it usually has names or monograms etc... That is a Gobo (not sure why) and some company's allow you to make your own design. I believe they then make a metal sheet of the design hollowing out the parts that need to show, and put it against a light bulb so that it can project that image... I'm sure this is not the exact definition... and i guess part of the metal design that they put against the light burned off. i didn't even know it could burn off, but the guy made it seem like this happened often!

  11. The name of the aforementioned company is Atmosphere Entertainment in Anaheim, CA. The wedding that Miss Relentless Bride posted about is my very own wedding.Just wanted to provide an update on what happened.

    I called asking for a refund and they said they would contact me. Of course they didn't so I called back in a week. Atmosphere said that they looked into it and that the company they contracted out to said that they had made the plate to specification.

    He said that since he had to pay the subcompany that he WOULDN'T give me a refund- even after acknowledging that I didn't get what I paid for.

    I paid over $1200 in a lighting package (uplights, gobo and pinspots) with the gobo ($250). I received a $135 discount when I first booked off the entire package price. The company said that because they had given me a discount that they was only going to refund me the price of the gobo MINUS the discount, which means $115. I even suggested prorating the original discount proportionate to the gobo cost but he refused.

    I wrote him an e-mail after saying that I couldn't believe that he was holding a discount that he used to entice my business as an excuse to keep from reimbursing me for a mistake that his company made.

    $250 may not sound like a lot of money, but my husband spent a lot of time designing the gobo- and more importantly, the design was okayed by Atmosphere; they even said it looked great when we submitted.

    Of course I didn't receive an e-mail response to that so I wrote again asking if they had received it- their response?

    "Check was sent on Monday when all checks get cut."

    That was their entire reply and there was no apology, no thank you for your business or even a hello.

    Normally, I don't take the time to slam a company, but people should be informed that Atmosphere is a company with a bad beside manner that has no regard for customer satisfaction. Please be aware of this before you book with them.

  12. This is Joe Paxton with Atmosphere Entertainment. First off the gobo passed inspection from the manafacture so we naturally assumed there would be no problems. There is never a backup made as each one costs $125 to cut so I assume the bride would not want to encure this additional fee. Unfortunately the gobo did burn out as the center was being held by 4 small corners. Our lighting tech used tin foil to remake as much of the gobo as possible. So instead of saying sorry, you loose we got creative and got it working. There was a miniscule portion of the border that was removed but the initials displayed brightly onto the dance floor. In 12 years this has never happened. I am truly sorry this bride did not get what she ordered but we did our absolute best to work with the given situation and make ammends. She was also refunded $150 and as a compensation. We also threw in extra up lighting around the room that we had with us to make ammends that day.

  13. I'd like to respond to the vendor comment:

    Mr. Joe Paxton must have his 'gobo fail' stories mixed up...maybe this wasn't the first time an issue occurred.

    -The gobo was never shown on the dance floor as had been originally agreed to in the contract (written in his response). The portion that was shown was projected onto window blinds. The "compensation amount" that he mentioned was also inflated- it was not $150, it was $115.

    On the day of the event, we acknowledged the hard work of the technician- and even offered him a full plated dinner (instead of a standard vendor meal) and gave him a tip for his attempts to alleviate the situation. The technician actually also told us that this issue with the gobo edges burning off had occurred before (also different from what Mr. Paxton wrote in his response).

    I do acknowledge that the company made some effort with their $115 that they offered us- although grudgingly, and it took several weeks to get a response.
    The issues that we had with the company were:

    a) My husband spent hours designing the gobo- with no direction despite our several e-mails that we sent them requesting specifications, guidance and feedback. Atmosphere accepted the design and said it wouldn't be a problem.

    b) Ultimately, both sides signed a contract, there was a malfunction on the product delivered, which was acknowledged by the business owner. We just didn't feel that the resolution and the compensation was fair.

    For those of you reading, as a recent bride, I know how stressful it is to choose the right vendors, and I wish you the best of luck. I'd also encourage you to include clauses in your contracts that specify compensation and responsibility for vendor fail.


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