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Paid In Full Has A Different Meaning To Cheapskates

, , , , | Right | August 20, 2021

At the photo lab, we make custom wedding albums. We design, print, bind, and do everything from start to finish, including retouching images and creating one-of-a-kind artwork for them.

I get an order for one, and they want a lot done with it. I tell them the cost and they agree. It’s for someone I personally know, so the normal deposit before we start is waived since they ask if they can just pay the full amount upon delivery. I tell them the full amount is due when the album is finished, and they assure me they already have the money set aside.

I design the album and do the artwork and they love it. I order the cover they want and start printing it. A week later, the cover comes in and everything is assembled and ready for delivery. I have reminded them multiple times at each step about having to pay when it’s picked up, and each time, they’ve told me they had the money ready to go. I email them to say it’s ready. I get this reply.

Client: “That’s great. We don’t have the money right now, so can we pay in installments?”

Me: “If you want. You will get the album after the entire balance is paid in full, though.”

Client: “Well, we don’t know when we’ll be able to pay off the full amount, and we really want to show it off at a family event next week. You’ll get lots of work from it, I’m sure.”

Me: “The agreement was that you get the album when paid in full. It’s company policy to never let anything out the door until it has been paid for.”

Client: “It’s just that we don’t have any money right now and don’t know when we will. We told all our relatives that we would have it at the party and they are really looking forward to seeing it. Can’t you bend the rules for us? You own the place, so you get to decide. We’re friends; you can trust us.”

Me: “I don’t change the rules for anyone, sorry. If you want the album for the party, it will need to be paid for. I take all major credit cards if needed.”

Client: “It’s just that we don’t have any money right now and we got rid of credit cards. Don’t you think this would make a wonderful gift for us?”

Me: “I do think it would be a very generous gift. And if you can find someone willing to buy it for you, you can thank them for it.”

Her parents came in the next day and paid for the album. They were rather mad about doing so. I’m sure they were told I was ripping them off or demanding more money than agreed to. But if you agree to pay and promise you have the money, then you need to pay. I don’t put up with people claiming to be friends trying to scam me. I haven’t talked to them since.