How do you respond to this???

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How do you respond to this???

Postby Dj Sean » Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:47 am

Hey everyone, haven't been around lately. I have been focusing in the music studio, which is good news.

Anyway, the bad news, I just got my first negative comment about our company's service, I have been a professional dj for, going on 6 years, The client waited almost one month after the event to send this email.

Basically she said, "We were very disappointed in the service that was provided to us. below is a list of music that we requested be played, the ceremony was fine – however, you had said that you would play just casual dinner music during dinner and we had a variety of songs played during dinner that we would have like to dance too, and was not music that should have been played during a sit down dinner.�"

The worst part, is it wasn't me dj'ing, it was my other, just hired new dj; and to top it off, it was this dj's first time.

As I've been told by my new dj, "I played everything from their list for dinner and some requests but only during the dancing."

Funny thing is, I was dj'ing at another event and when my gig ended, I ran down to where the other dj gig was and caught the last hour. I happened to run into the bride and she specifically said, and I quote, "not to worry your new dj is doing a great job."

I remained in the hall outside the event and ended up talking alot with their "off duty cop" who was acting as security (security is required to book this location) and she said she was impressed by my new dj and that the dj was keeping everyone dancing and having a good time.

Well, I told my new dj about the comment but told her not to worry as, you can't be everything to everyone. Plus, I mentioned her email comment seemed out of place as she told me, herself, at the end of the night that you were doing a great job.

So, why I posted this topic in the first place is, to hopefully here from my fellow professional dj's, as to how you have responded to comments similar to this, as I'm sure I am not the first dj where something like this has happened.

Your comments will help, as I have not responded back to this bride as of yet.
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Re: How do you respond to this???

Postby len » Mon Oct 16, 2006 7:22 am

I'd not write her, but CALL HER. Don't respond to any of her complaints, but just say you're calling to make sure you understand her complaints. Ask her for specific things the dj did or didn't do. And just listen. Don't respond. Let her go for a while. Ask her about what complaints, get specifics, let her go until she runs out of things to complain about, no matter how long it takes. No matter what she says, DON'T ARGUE OR DISCUSS. Ask questions and listen. Let her rant, complain, etc. for as long as she wants.

Then when she's done, say you'll talk to the dj and get back to her.

When you call back, a couple days later, ask her if she remembers telling you what a good job the dj did when you stopped by. But don't argue. Remember, you're the professional businessperson. Arguing will get you nowhere. Most of the time, people just want to know that they've been heard. So listen. You may end up having to do nothing.
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Postby dokai » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:09 am

Do you and your DJs keep a log of what gets played? Most DJ software provides this function, if you're playing from a CPS. It would give you the opportunity to see exactly which songs were played when.

Personally, I think that they're fishing for a partial refund. How can you be "very disappointed" when your complaint is "the music you played made us want to dance"? If THAT'S the worst thing you can complain about, then I'd call it a successful event. :roll:

And ditto what was said earlier: don't argue, at least not during the first call. Just gather as much info as you can.
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Re: How do you respond to this???

Postby LYoung116 » Mon Oct 16, 2006 9:23 am

If the songs were meant for dance time, the bride should have specified this. She could have always asked to have some played again after dinner. I made this mistake early on in my career. My boss told me to save those songs for after dinner. A lot of brides now are being more specific about "dinner" music and "dance" music and restrictions (No group dances, rap, hip-hop, etc.) Sounds like an excuse to get a refund to me also.
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Postby Xtreme Productions » Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:59 am

I had a situation kinda like this...

I was DJ in another city and one of my other DJ's was Djing the gig I am talking about. half way through the gig my DJ called me and said that the customer is pi$$ed because we didnt have the laptop at her gig. Through DI they requested 7 hours of music for a 4 hour gig so I sent the DJ with those songs and a few more that I knew would be requested and it's not that they wanted anything else played (they asked for a refund) I just told them that we have it on video that 90% of the people danced throughout the night and we only had 5 requests that were played. The excuse that we didn't have the laptop at your event is not a good enough reason for a refund and my contract is not specific on the means of music we will bring. This went on and on of her and her new hubby calling me and finally I just said "lets take this to court and I'll show them the video of everyone having a fun time." A couple of weeks after the gig I found out that they called the caterer also and complained and got a partial refund, they called the photographer and got a partial refund, and the decorator. I guess they had a cheap wedding but not on my expenss...
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Postby Dj Sean » Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:59 pm

Thanks for the advice, Len, Dokai, LYound116, and Audio Meltdown.

I think Len and Dokai have the right idea, usually I would just email back saying I'm sorry you feel that way. But calling could be better, to show her I'm willing to listen.

I definitely think this situation is not worthy of a even a partial refund, but I did think about offering a discount if they ever book us again(like that will happen).

I do have a log of the music played, so I can show her that, if need be. But , really plan on just hearing her out and not trying to prove her wrong.

I think you guys are right, that the bride is fishing for a refund even though she hasn't asked yet, because her comments that night and in the email are so contradictory.

Anyways, I will let you know the verdict soon.
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Re: How do you respond to this???

Postby Toneman » Tue Oct 17, 2006 12:17 am

I had the same type of experiance several years back. The bride called me up out of the blue three months after her event to complain about the music that she had request wasn't played...For this event, 90% of her request were played. She just wasn't in the room during there play time. She felt it was important to spend most of her time during her reception out side with the beer keg. She only enter the reception room for a few short times for her first dance, cake cutting, toast and to eat - other then that she was not present. Aside from her not being present to hear her requests, her guest had a great time and enjoyed my service. I even booked her sisters wedding. To make this long story short... we ended up in court. I had her sister as a witness, the contract and the music request sheet that states on both "Request List - is a list of songs that help us determind what style and type of music you would like played. All songs listed may or may not be played due to length of the event. All guests request will tried to played in a timely fashion. Any music that you would like to provide (CDs, MP3s, Tapes, etc.), please make them available to us prior to the day of your event. *Any music with explicit content will not be played.*"

She didn't do well in court, her sister's testamony is what defeated her.
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Postby Dj Sean » Tue Oct 17, 2006 1:35 am

Man, I don't want to end up in court, ever.

I think I should update my contract with a more detailed *requested music clause.

Well, I left a simple message on her cell phone answering machine. I haven't heard back from her yet. I'll keep you updated.
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Re: How do you respond to this???

Postby DJ Scott » Tue Oct 17, 2006 8:11 pm

First off this happened a MONTH after the event! PLEASE!!!!!
The bills are starting to roll in and now they arte seeing exactly what they shelled out and are looking for some $$$ back.
If there was a problem, Tell me about it AT THE EVENT! Not weeks later.
I have been CPS for over 6 years and I save every log after the event.
I have only had to print out one list for a Bride that complained that we didn't play her "must haves". Showed her not only that the song was played but the time it was played, how long it was played, what song was before it and what song was after it. Never heard back from them.
We do limit the must haves (not including first dance and those specialty dances -F/D, M/S and such) to no more than 10. the rest can be in a "play if you can" folder, but we do not gaurrantee that all requests in the play if possible folder will get played.
I wouldn't worry too much. They just spent too much.
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Music Clause

Postby Xtreme Productions » Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:14 pm

THIS IS MY MUSIC CLAUSE IN MY CONTRACT: IF THIS HELPS ANY OF YOU FEEL FREE TO USE IT JUST CHANGE THE BIZ NAME

The Purchaser shall at all times have complete control, direction and supervision of the performance of Audio Meltdown at this engagement and Purchaser expressly reserves the right to control the manner, means and details of the performance of the services of Audio Meltdown. A written event/music planner or music request list must be received from the Purchaser and forwarded to Audio Meltdown at least two weeks prior to the date of the engagement for it to be included in Audio Meltdown's programming guidelines. With or without the aid of an event/music planner or music request list, Audio Meltdown shall attempt to play Purchaser's and Purchaser's guests' music requests but shall not be held responsible if certain selections are unavailable. Audio Meltdown will make an extra effort to have music requests available if they are received IN WRITING or via Audio Meltdown's website at least two weeks prior to the engagement.
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Re: How do you respond to this???

Postby jwg » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:34 am

My music clause:

ENTERTAINMENT SHALL PROVIDE SERVICES AS PER WRITTEN EVENT/MUSIC PLANNER OR MUSIC REQUEST LIST RECEIVED AT LEAST 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO DATE OF EVENT. WITH OR WITHOUT THE AID OF EVENT/MUSIC PLANNER OR MUSIC REQUEST LIST, ENTERTAINMENT SHALL ATTEMPT TO PLAY CLIENT AND CLIENT'S GUESTS' MUSIC REQUESTS, BUT SHALL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE IF CERTAIN SELECTIONS ARE UNAVAILABLE. ENTERTAINMENT WILL MAKE AN EXTRA EFFORT TO HAVE MUSIC REQUESTS AVAILABLE IF THEY ARE RECEIVED BY ENTERTAINMENT IN WRITING AT LEAST 2 WEEKS PRIOR TO EVENT.

Sorry for the caps, cut and pasted from the fine print on the agreement.
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Re: How do you respond to this???

Postby Toneman » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:06 pm

jwg wrote:Sorry for the caps, cut and pasted from the fine print on the agreement.

Fine print !!!! I wish all fine print was this easy to read. :hahaha: :hahaha:
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Postby Xtreme Productions » Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:49 pm

Kinda wierd my clause is very similar as Johns... That would suck if I paid a lawyer to cut and paste a contract off the Internet...
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Postby Dj Sean » Thu Oct 19, 2006 8:58 pm

Lawyers use a standardized contract system I believe thats why they are so similar.

I have to say I like Johns better.

Audio meltdown's is a little confusing,
The Purchaser shall at all times have complete control, direction and supervision of the performance of Audio Meltdown at this engagement and Purchaser expressly reserves the right to control the manner, means and details of the performance of the services of Audio Meltdown.


Shouldn't it be, Audio Meltdown has complete control over the music but will use the request list provided by the clients as closely as possible given the songs are clean, non vulgar, and appropriate for the event.

The way you have it worded is a little confusing and put "complete control" in the clients hands.
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Re: How do you respond to this???

Postby Xtreme Productions » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:29 pm

I put this in there because it was a selling point for schools... i have had a lot of schools say to me that "the DJ's never listen when I tell him he can't play that type of music". so that is when I show them that in the contract. My view on it is if they request polka prior to the event ill play polka but if they change their mind 30 minutes into the event they have full control in what I play, where i set up, what clothes i wear, whether I play games or not, etc. They are your paying customers and they should HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL escpecially if your charging around $1000 per gig like my company...
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Re: How do you respond to this???

Postby dokai » Thu Oct 19, 2006 10:47 pm

Audio Meltdown wrote:They are your paying customers and they should HAVE COMPLETE CONTROL escpecially if your charging around $1000 per gig like my company...


Sorry, but I have to differ on that. I once had a client tell me that she wanted every other song to be "Celebration". She thought that it would make it more of a "party" atmosphere. I argued a little, and then told her "Fine, but you'll be back inside an hour telling me I was right." The complaints started within 15 minutes, and I sent them to her. She was back in less than 30 minutes. She summed it up best when she got back: "I guess I should stick to looking after my guests, and leave the music to you." Exactly.

Don't get me wrong, I take requests. In fact, the more input I get, the better I like it. But put something like "complete control" in my contract? No way! I might upset them a little by not playing "Celebration" every other song, but which of the guests is going to hire "the dj that plays 'Celebration' all the time!"? I'm there to make sure I get some referrals from that party, too!
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Postby Xtreme Productions » Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:12 pm

I understand your worries that the customer will make you look bad. This is a possibility at any gig whether you have this clause or not. If the bride requests country but the crowd is classic rock-hard rock and hate country, the paying clients are having fun and loving the music BUT the crowd isn't. so what do you do. My experience is that I do not go to a wedding EXPECTING to get more bookings from that wedding or event. I play exactly what the CLIENT wants played whether or not it makes everyone leave early. I do not have a bad name in this area as a "sucky" DJ because I play what the customer wants me to play. if they do not spcify then i can read the crowd and please everyone. This is not the type of gigs I book though, My clientell is multi millionair, erragant, stuck up people that think they know everything and they want to pick there special events music. I do not fight with them and say "you should leave that up to the pro's" because a personality like theres would really get offended. I totally understand your concerns but this works for me and has not bit me in my A$$ yet and believe me if it does it we no longer be in my contract.
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Postby Dj Sean » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:42 am

I have to say I'm with Dokai on this one.

A.M. You'll let your clients ruin the party, if thats there choice so be it? Why? This is no good for your image or gaining referalls. What you do you say to the guests, sorry its not my fault, the host chose the music, I just play it? If thats the case, they might as well get an ipod.

I don't think this helps our industry, were not juxboxes, were suppose to be professionals, but don't get me wrong I see what your trying to achieve. It just seems me and Dokai just wouldn't go that route.

I make clear to my clients before hand that we not only listen to what our clients wished to have played but we play it. We only make small or minor adjustments, if necessary, to "enhance" their goal, the goal is that everyone, not just them, has a great time. This is where our expertise comes in and this is what I believe top end clients pay for.
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Postby Xtreme Productions » Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:07 pm

Don't get me wrong... If an event was totally sucking I do stay in constant contact with the hosts. If they say to switch there music selection up with my choices then I will do it BUT this is there event if these two people out of 200 want certain songs played and they will not budge off of that then I don't worry about it. Believe me if someone does come up to request something or say can we change it I specifically say these are the bride and grooms requests and we have to stick to this playlist. These parties suck!!! But they usually pay alot better then the care free (who cares what you play) weddings (I would much rather do this type) but I own a business and I play for people that can pay. I do not believe that I am a discrase to DJ's for doing this either. I have no problem booking gigs, I talk to them several times about music selection BUT if they want to control the entire gigs music I'm not turning down the money because they want polka played. Most (with any intelligence) will know that my company can play any type of music all the way back to big band era. They hear the radio adds, see the commercials, see the billboards, I play for the customer not the party unless the customer says "play for the party". Maybe i'm wrong and maybe i'll change but someone is going to have to give me a damn good excuse to turn down thousands a month because I want to control the music. It's not about whos a better DJ its about adapting for the type of clientel and the area your DJing in.
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Postby Dan Zynda, Mobile Music » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:00 am

Letting the client have complete control in this day and age is eventually going to end up with the client demanding songs from a peer to peer network.

I've had one that tried to get me to sign a non-binding agreement that we would play only off the 'above playlist'.

Sorry, but I can't play Dean Martin's "Daddy's Little Girl" when he never performed or recorded it.

As far as Sean's client, I would email back thanking them for their comments. Because this could go in different directions, having it in writing might be the safest bet. She emailed him and that might mean that she wants to eliminate some of the debt by getting a partial refund but she doesn't have the guts to call or be upfront asking for one in her email. Her claims seem to be unsubstantiated and I wouldn't spend any more time on it than she demands.
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