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Thread: Help, my DJ has cancelled/let me down!

  1. #31
    Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    Pertinent: FB wedding group. Bride has just posted that her DJ has let her down, Saturday in the middle of July - 150 budget

  2. #32
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Well last night hit a new high/low, depending on how you look at it! I'd had a booking from last year, which cancelled soon after, saying I'd surely fill it with ease. Well I just couldn't and had resigned myself to some Saturday Night telly!! Aaaaargh!.

    Then on Friday, a gig comes up for Saturday, " help, my DJ's cancelled ", and I got it. Just off the M18, absolute doddle to get to, even if it was a few miles away ( why are people always amazed to find their DJ has travelled more than 100 yards to get to the venue? The clue's in the title, Mobile Disco ).

    On setting up, the client explains I'm " third time lucky". First DJ " broke his leg falling down stairs " ( can happen. Benny broke his falling out of his van), and second one had a " family emergency", cancelling the day before the gig. They may both be true, but surely you'd try to find cover for the client?

    Then it gets even worse. Facebook was full of similar tales, but one is almost impossible to believe. Customer comes on looking for a DJ as hers is a no show, and phone off. This is after he's assured her he's good to go that morning. Fortunately, some knight in shining armour saved the day, well done Sir.

    When the dust settles this morning, conversations emerge between said DJ and others, showing that clearly, when he took the booking, he couldn't actually cover it!! Neither could he find anyone else to do so, but no problem, just don't turn up, and turn your phone off. The mind boggles.

    No wonder we can have bad reputations in the customer's eyes. After all, we're all just taking loads of wonga for just pressing play, anyone can do it.

    Oh wait, apparently some of them can't.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk

  3. #33
    Nakatomi's Avatar
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    Twas ever thus.

    In my original mobile incarnation in the 80s & 90s (as Just-in-sounds :ROFL: ) I used to get frantic calls on fallow nights. DJs forgetting they were booked left & right.. this was all way ahead of mobile phones & the internet. Back then for many, me included, taking a booking went like this: answer phone, check diary. If available, write in diary. Show up, get paid...

    Except that many I ended up covering, there'd be 2 function rooms - and guess who'd be in the other room & come to see me for hours. The guy who hadn't shown up at my customer's party. Oh it's alright they'd say .. I've left an album on repeat . And there was I, scrabbling around for rep & gigs, yet... This was a big contributing factor to why I quit 1st time around.

    Speaking from my own experience.. yes diary errors can happen but anyone worth a light should be putting things in place to avoid history repeating itself.

    Then there's the other side. I've got my 1st proper cancellation next week. How did I find out about it? I rang the venue because the customer wasn't reading my emails & the number they gave me was no longer active. They cancelled the venue last November! Oh well at least I got a nice deposit out of them...

  4. #34
    Dinosaur Excalibur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nakatomi View Post
    Twas ever thus.

    . Back then for many, me included, taking a booking went like this: answer phone, check diary. If available, write in diary. Show up, get paid...
    Sigh, happy days. Suppose I'd better take these rose tinted specs off again, I seem to remember it wasn't all a bed of roses in those days.



    Quote Originally Posted by Nakatomi View Post
    Then there's the other side. I've got my 1st proper cancellation next week. How did I find out about it? I rang the venue because the customer wasn't reading my emails & the number they gave me was no longer active. They cancelled the venue last November! Oh well at least I got a nice deposit out of them...
    Been there.................... I've had people telling me the gig's cancelled when I know full well it isn't, " forgetting" to tell me I'm not required, oh yes, I've had the lot. At least last night actually cancelled me months in advance, and didn't ask for a refund, which meant that taken overall, I ended up with exactly the same fee as the original gig. Happy days.
    Excalibur. Older than the average DJ.

    www.excaliburmobiledisco.co.uk

  5. #35
    Imagine's Avatar
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    OK - I'll play

    There was a post from a local chap on the MDJN FB group last week begging to cover a wedding this Saturday just gone.
    I wasn't working, it was local to me....but hell....I'm not pretending to be him (literally) and certainly not at the price which would have been offered (less of course, the "finders" fee).

    We're talking sub 200 for a 5 hour wedding reception here. He would have charged 250-300 and kept the rest. For what I do...it's not worth starting the van or the depreciation on the kit.

    I sat at home, enjoyed an evening off with Wifey and drank lots of wine

    Fast forward to this Saturday just gone and he's begging on FB for someone to take the gig because...the clutch on the van has gone.

    Now here's the crux of it. There were photos on the book of faces of the van on the back of a tow truck. I was actually IN the location this was supposed to have happened at the exact time and didn't see anything of the sort.

    Go figure!

    The sooner there's some sort of regulation to stop these idiots from trading....the better in my book!

    What is genuinely needed is some sort of industry body that regulates us to ensure we do what we promise. I'm not sure how that can be done (I'm aware of a new self-regulatiion scheme backed by trading standards for wedding suppliers) but it's usefulness needs to be proven

    We really need to get the hobbyists OUT of this game to save us all!

  6. #36
    Nakatomi's Avatar
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    I take issue over the use of the word 'hobbyist' here Wayne. You're implying that all these unreliable cowboy operators/wastes of space are as such because they're part-timers, and some very hard working, conscientious part timers strongly disagree with that view.

    If there was any justice in the world we'd only have to wait for word to get around about these people but we'd be living in a dream world if we thought they wouldn't just come back out smelling of flowers again. Regulation? Licensing? Sparkies & plumbers have all that but there are still thousands of fly by night operators out there ripping customers off & worse. What you're kind of saying is you wish somebody would come along & sort it all out.

    My view on these people is - it's very sad that customers get suckered, ending up out of pocket or worse. But hey, if they didn't see fit to investigate reviews or references that's their own stupid lookout.
    Would you trust an outfit who say they've got 30 years experience but there's not a single verifiable testimonial or review anywhere to be seen? I sure as hell wouldn't, but apparenty some people (suckas) do.

    I used to spy on (and despair at) various local outfits in our field. Oh - wonder why they've turned off reviews all of a sudden - or how in hell's name are they still getting booked with so many recent negative reviews? Or.. what exactly about their social feed (empty dancefloor pics & videos) is so endearing to their clients? I got really angry at times.. why are THEY getting booked & not me? Well, grasshopper - maybe it was because I was spending too much time spying & not putting enough time into doing something POSITIVE to get myself bookings. Actually, no not maybe

    As I've already said yes it's very sad people are getting ripped off & substandard DJs are still out there. But is it worth crying about? Meh, of course it isn't.

  7. #37

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    I've spent the weekend watching the local requests for last minute DJs and, in fairness, I can say that every request I've seen will have had a DJ allocated by an agent and it's been the DJ who has decided to spend the weekend away (or in the pub) and ditch the gig. Usually around here it's the opposite, the agents have just taken bookings and then been searching for a DJ to fill it at the last minute.

    Myself, I almost ended up covering a wedding last night. A cry for help came out Sat night (from an agent who'd been let down) and I volunteered, only for my babysitter to then change their mind 30mins later and for me to have to turn it down. The guy who offered the gig then panicked as he had functions himself all day on Sun and so somehow I found myself searching spending Sunday morning searching for a DJ myself to fill the gig. Still not quite sure how that became my problem.

    Luckily (for the bride and the agent), I found someone decent and all was well.

    It's the tale as old as time in this industry isn't it... I can't come because my car has broken down/broke my leg/kit has been stolen/etc really just translates to the sun is shining and I don't want to leave the pub.

    The one that really hacked me off a while back was when I covered a gig at the very last minute for a guy who suddenly popped up in a regional group asking for help. I took some cash off the customer with the balance due to be paid to me direct by the guy. I turned up (about 60mins late as the request came out REALLY late in the day) and the customer asks me how the traffic is as the guy has been texting them for the last 2 hours saying he's stuck in bad traffic. Reality is that he's doing another gig somewhere up in Birmingham area and was just really lucky that I'd been able to step in. In the interests of the gig going OK and me getting out alive, I throw the guy under the bus and explain exactly how I came to be there and what little I know and the night goes OK.
    The next morning, I go to invoice this guy for the balance I'm owed and he's blocked me. After doing a bit of digging, he's presenting himself as being an agency with national coverage, when in reality he's one bloke, taking gigs are bottom of the barrel rates and then searching local Facebook groups for DJs at the last minute to fill them, and then screwing them over. I did go to leave him a 'review' on his Facebook page, but I decided not to in the end because I just couldn't top some of the reviews already on there!! Specifically, screenshots of a conversation between the guy and his customer where he's calling them every name on under the sun and telling them they'll never find him or see their money again!!

    About 6months later I checked on his page again and he's had to close it and start again with a new one, so I helped him out and left a new review with the screenshots left by his customer, just to make sure he can't escape his past
    http://www.bristoldiscohire.co.uk - Quality Disco and Equipment hire for Bristol & Bath
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  8. #38
    mbp's Avatar
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    Years ago, everyone who was an agent HAD to be vetted before they were issued a licence (which was 116 if memory serves me right) and there was a strict code of practice that you HAD to abide by, or they would investigate and possibly revoke your licence.

    I think it was towards the end of the 90's when the government decided to scrap licencing as they said it was not viable to run anymore.......from them on, everyone and anyone could call themselves an 'agent' - that's when all the problems started.

    Taking a booking on the 'thinking' that they can find someone to fill it is wrong...

    Maybe someone should start such a 'licence' scheme and properly 'vet' people to who want to register??.....unless there is one at the moment??

    Thoughts anyone??

  9. #39
    Jim - Scotland's Party DJ's Avatar
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    It's the fact these clowns cancel and just leave the person hanging that bothers me I mean surely putting anyone in there even if you don't know them is still better than just falling off the face of the Earth and leaving them to deal with it? Again, these guys aren't my competition but from a common decency point of view it really annoys me.

    Not sure I mentioned it earlier in the thread but a few years ago my wife and I spent Xmas and NYE in Vegas. We were having dinner and drinks one evening when she mentioned the flights for an upcoming holiday had been changed by the travel agent.

    My brain goes "hmmm that's going to be an issue", check my DJEP and right enough they shifted them back so I was now away when I had 2 gigs booked.

    My brother was able to cover one so that was cool - let the bride know and she was happy to switch over bookings to him.

    I stayed up until 5am NV time pinging messages back and forward to some friends and filling the other bride in on the situation. She was very understanding and I managed to get her on to an excellent DJ buddy and pay back her booking fee on the spot. It cost me a night but I physically couldn't have enjoyed the rest of that holiday without sorting it out even though I could have put it to the side and dealt with it when I got home.

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