Wedding Woes

XP: Sister getting ripped off by photog, advice pls!

Here's the deal. My sister was married a couple of years ago. She paid $700 for her photographer at the time which included an album and some mini albums for family; she won that deal at a bridal show. Eventually he got the photos up and asked her which ones to put in the album. It took her a little while to do that but she got it done, and she ordered them. There was more delays, then the last they actually talked to the photog was in April or May, I forget. They paid an additional $400 to get a full CD of all the pics, and he promised everything would arrive in 6-8 wks. Obviously it's been MUCH longer than that.

Since that time, they've called him and either gotten voicemails (never returned) or he 'had bad reception because he was in the mountains and would call them back' (never happened). The also e-mailed him, nothing. The last time they e-mailed, they threatened to report him to the BBB. Nothing. Her pictures are still up on the website, for the record.

Now they are back in CO for a visit, which is where the wedding took place and where the photog is. They visited his listed address but it is now vacant.

Well, I decided to help out so I called him [left a voicemail] and posted on his fbook page saying I have a wedding in March and want to know about his package options. He called back within two hours. I asked if he has an office where we could meet and he said their lease ran out last month and they're saving up until business picks up in April to rent a new place. SO, we have an appt to meet him this Thursday at a local Starbucks.

Long story short.... sister should have received her pics four months ago and have not been able to reach photog so I claimed to be a new bride needing a photog and am meeting him in three days. My basic plan is that sis and her DH will come too and I'll say something along the lines of, "I'm really sorry to bring you here under false pretences, but we haven't been able to reach you any other way. We want to talk about when you are getting our photographs to us since you promised they'd arrive four months ago and you have $1,100 of our money."

Honest, firm, direct. I don't want my sister to lose all her photographs, plus over $1k, and I'm going to do everything I can to get what she paid for. I'm posting because I'd love to hear if anyone has ideas on how to have this go down, what to say, preparations, anything else. I don't want to mess this up by either not taking big enough measures, or being too aggresive and losing any chance of getting our product. Please feel free to comment in any way. Thank you so much!
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Re: XP: Sister getting ripped off by photog, advice pls!

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    RaptorSLHRaptorSLH member
    First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I'm so sorry.  Get all agreements in writing, but honestly, I think you'll have to take this to the BBB or small claims court to get a result.  It sounds like he's in financial trouble, and doesn't intend to make good.  When this is over, one way or the other, make sure you review him, so other brides dont' run into the same problem.  I would also tell the organizers of the bridal show you won his package at.  I don't know if they can help with problem resolution, but maybe they can be pursuaded not to let this guy use their event fraudulently.
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    *Barbie**Barbie* member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    edited December 2011
    take a bazooka.
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    DG1DG1 member
    5 Love Its Name Dropper First Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011

    Just go through the BBB instead of getting all Columbo on him.

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    edited December 2011
    We tried BBB already, thanks for the thought though. Turns out you have to be registered w/ the BBB for it to matter, and he's not. So that idea didn't end up working out for us.

    A bazooka is still an option...

    It's hard to track down recipets and such because my parents paid for the initial package and they are now divorced and most of mom's stuff is in storage. I'm talking with her to see if she has anything though. I hope all of this turns out and we at least get the pics... ay yi yi...
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