What would you reply?

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hennalove
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What would you reply?

hey all... 

I am new to this forum, and just need to know if you guys have faced this problem, and how did you handle it... 

well... I was called by a family to do their henna for the wedding party - and I quoted my price plus the cost of my assistant... we normally charge by the hour for each artist and this was confirmed by me when I fixed the appointment... Well, at the party, everyone just wanted to get more and more henna... 2 hours went on to become 11 hours total, spread over 2 days.... When it came to payment, they freaked out.... as they did not keep track... 

they started arguing and I did not budge... inspite of being surrounded by 4 of them, I kept repeating what I had quoted on phone, and explained that I was still discounting them by waiving off the gas... this kept going on for 10 mins or so... 

anyways, the lady finally said "frankly, you don't even have a 'degree', on what basis do you charge $50 an hour?"... I was dumbfounded.... and I am still shaken up....  I guess I just have never faced something like this and really do not know how to react.... I just need some encouragement from fellow-artisans.... 

ladytetsu
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Re: What would you reply?

thing one - bet you won't EVER do a gig like this again without a signed contract!!!

thing two - you do not need a basis to charge any price you choose, as long as that price was agreed to.  I've not run into this (incredibly rude) problem myself, but you as the artsit can charge any old darn price you want if the customer is willing to pay.  Sounds like she was perfectly willing to pay, right up until she realized you expected her to actually pay.

hennalove
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Re: What would you reply?

that is a great point... I do not have any contracts and did not even have a written confirmation... thanks for the tip... 

can you also direct me to where I can find a contract that covers henna services?  

CCartwrightJones
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Joined: 2010-04-27 18:23
Re: What would you reply?

1) Google "sample contracts" and look for something that is made for a person who does a pre-arranged work for another person.

Your contract should set date, fee, time, minimum number of people/hours, location and what has to be there (light, for instance).  A consultation is a good thing, too.  Be specific about what you will provide and what you won't provide.  Be specific about their responsibilites and your responsibilites.

Decide whether you want paid per hour or per hand.  Set the price per hour or per hand. Tell them that you will continue billing as long as they keep you working. 

In this contract, take their credit card number, and their permission to take the deposit on that card number and that the balance will be taken on that credit card number.  Get their signature on that!!! 

If you don't take credit cards now, get a paypal account and sign up for virtual terminal.

Take a deposit when you agree to do the job.  Make an arrangement for a "kill fee" if they back out.

Three days before the wedding, call and make sure the gigs still on.  Remind them that you're going to either charge the "kill fee" if they bail out, or you're going to charge the gig on that credit card. 

When the party starts ... fire up some device that will allow you to bill as you go.  Get out your laptop with a wireless card, or your fancy internet enabled phone, preferably a phone with a camera.  Make sure you can hit the internet and bill with some sort of device, and have that contract in your hand.  Remind them that you're going to bill their credit card per hour or hand as previously arranged.  Do this reminder politely, but in front of a witness, if possible. Get them to initial and date the contract once again if you can so they can't pretend they forgot.

Periodically during the evening, tally up hours or hands, and bill them for the work on that pre-approved card.  If humanly possible, photograph hands as you're doing them, with a time and date stamp.  If you can geolocate that as well ........ even better.   After the very last hand, wind up the bill.

 

Why go to all this bother?

They will have a record on their credit card of what was charged and when.  If they dispute it, whip out that contract, and the photographs of hands with time and location and say, "see, I did these exactly according to contract, and you signed it and you gave me permission to bill you for the work"

If sometime during that evening, their credit card maxes out, you stop working.

This will stand up in  court.  You will not end up sitting in your car, wondering out what the hell just happened.

 

This little wedding horror has happened to EVERY henna artist I know and there's two families who have never paid me.  Granted, I didn't need the money, I was there as a researcher ... but still .............. abuse is abuse and there's no damned excuse. Use the system above and you WILL get paid.

Hennacat
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Joined: 2010-04-25 15:31
Re: What would you reply?

Hennalove, I think this is almost a rite of passage for henna artists..... it happened to me too.

Hennadesigner
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Joined: 2010-05-10 14:01
Re: What would you reply?

I just make sure I am ready to leave after the agreed time, # of hours and I only do extra time when they agree to pay.

Cathrine's advice sounds good.

Many people have asked me to discount the price after I am done hennaing them, I do not give discounts at end.

Nicole
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Joined: 2010-07-02 02:30
Re: What would you reply?

Wow, this is really good advice.  I'm dissapointed to hear you had to go through such trouble, but not surprised, there are scheisters everywhere, and they try to get a free ride whenever they can.  It's not even asthough they didn't like the henna, they just decided you were charging too much even though they agreed to it in the first place.  I really hope you stood your ground and got your money in the end.  Think of it this way, at least it was a learning experience for you and for everyone who read about it here!

Of course 50$ an hour is a lot, but if you don't like it, then get your sister to do it for you, or do it yourself!  And as was mentioned, you could be charging a 1 000$ per hour, and as long as they agree to pay, they have to pay!  11 hours is insane!  The fact that you came two days and didn't charge for gas just shows that they were trying to get a free gift!

So did they end up paying?

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