Etiquette

Who is right here?

I signed a contract for my musicians for a certain amount of time and a specific price. I got an email from them yesterday, less than a month before my wedding. The head musician let me know that the contract was incorrect and that I needed to pay an additional $300. The contract is signed by him as well as me and I really don't understand how he can up the price now when I have paid the full amount stated in the contract. He says that without the additional $300 he will not make a profit. If we choose not to send the additional money he said he will send back what we have already paid-but that still leaves me less than a month until my wedding and wihout a musician. 

Is he correct in what he is doing? Or am I correct to expect to stick to the contract?

***Poll says photographer---should be musician, our photographer is AWESOME!!!

Re: Who is right here?

  • If his compensation is clearly laid out in the contract, then you're in the right....but that doesn't really help you if he decides to be an ass about it and bail 1 month before your wedding.  I'm one month out, too, so I know that would be stressful.  Maybe if you threaten legal action, he'll back off?  Or back down to an amount you'd be willing to pay to avoid the hassle of finding a new musician?

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  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    you are in the right.

    That said, I would just find a new musician.   I wouldn't want someone like him playing at my wedding with an attitude like his.






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_who-is-right-here?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:9af59cb7-5146-42c6-96c3-b7be2514820aPost:0f759da6-da7e-40bf-a76e-f532f65cba9c">Re: Who is right here?</a>:
    [QUOTE]you are in the right. That said, I would just find a new musician.   I wouldn't want someone like him playing at my wedding with an attitude like his.
    Posted by lyndausvi[/QUOTE]


    This.  Not to mention that he's  likely to leave you high and dry.  I'd let him send your money back, find a new musician, and leave him crappy reviews online.

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_who-is-right-here?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:9af59cb7-5146-42c6-96c3-b7be2514820aPost:9aa893bd-321f-45e5-9298-777750717c79">Who is right here?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I signed a contract for my musicians for a certain amount of time and a specific price. I got an email from them yesterday, less than a month before my wedding. The head musician let me know that the contract was incorrect and that I needed to pay an additional $300. The contract is signed by him as well as me and I really don't understand how he can up the price now when I have paid the full amount stated in the contract.<strong> He says that without the additional $300 he will not make a profit.</strong> If we choose not to send the additional money he said he will send back what we have already paid-but that still leaves me less than a month until my wedding and wihout a musician.  Is he correct in what he is doing? Or am I correct to expect to stick to the contract? ***Poll says photographer---should be musician, our photographer is AWESOME!!!
    Posted by Laura&Ashley[/QUOTE]

    <div>
    </div><div>Tell him he'll profit by not having you post a bunch of negative reviews all over the internet.</div><div>
    </div><div>But I also think you should just try to find somebody else.  I wouldn't want somebody who was upset with me (regardless of whether they were right to be) in charge of my wedding music.</div>
  • What does your contract say happens if he backs out at this point?  

  • I might not be popular on this board, but here's some advice from an (almost) lawyer.  Who btw IS NOT YOUR LAWYER, and IS NOT A PRACTICING LAWYER and YOU SHOULD GET YOURSELF A LAWYER FOR THIS (sorry, it REALLY has to be emphasized):

    IF you decide to get yourself a new musician, send your current one a letter stating that you are interpreting his statement as 'anticipitory repudiation', or breeching the contract, and that you accept that.  If you don't do this, he has the option of saying oh, nevermind, I'll do your wedding anyway for the original contract price, so pay me back the money I refunded.  There is also a chance that you can get him to pay the difference between him and your new musician, since he put you in this bind, but again, get yourself a lawyer if you want to do that b/c the laws in your state might be different.
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  • This totally sucks for you and I'm so sorry that you arehaving to dela with this.  I would run run run away from this guy though.  Even if you get alawyer and he ends up being yoru musician I don't see him realy doing his best job at your wedding.  He will be cranky and you will end up hating it and worrying about it alll day long.
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  • Really?  He won't make a profit?  I think negative reviews and legal fees would dig a deeper hole in his pocket.

    I would try really hard to find someone else, though, because even if he shows up at the price HE SIGNED A CONTRACT for, he might not do as good a job out of spite. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_who-is-right-here?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:9af59cb7-5146-42c6-96c3-b7be2514820aPost:570cfa6a-a666-4b91-81e4-f94023a0763b">Re:Who is right here?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Who is right here?: Personally,<strong> I don't know a lot of lawyers who would take a case this small</strong>, and the ones that would, would charge at least the 300 OP is trying to save and probably then some. I know we have some lawyers on the boards, and they can correct me if I'm wrong, but in this case, a lawyer seems like overkill and probably counterproductive.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]
    lol she should come to NY.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_who-is-right-here?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:9af59cb7-5146-42c6-96c3-b7be2514820aPost:570cfa6a-a666-4b91-81e4-f94023a0763b">Re:Who is right here?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Who is right here?: Personally, I don't know a lot of lawyers who would take a case this small, and the ones that would, would charge at least the 300 OP is trying to save and probably then some. I know we have some lawyers on the boards, and they can correct me if I'm wrong, but in this case, a lawyer seems like overkill and probably counterproductive.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    Yes, some lawyers would take a case this small.  It would actually not be very hard to find a lawyer that will agree to only get paid if they win, and to add their legal fees to the damages that she'd sue for.  She would probably not make much money, but wouldn't have to pay legal fees either way.  Its very, very likely that she'd win, so long as she makes contact with the musician to inform him of what I said in my previous post.

    Contract issues are really, really complicated.  More than you might think.  I gave an extremely simplified answer and left out a lot.  There is a chance she could end up loosing WAY more than the original 300 if she doesn't do the right things, and/or the musician knows his way around contract law or knows someone who does.  It would be in her best interest to contact a real lawyer (because neither I nor the person I got this info from are one), even if its only for a (most likely free) consultation to get a professional legal interpretation of the whole thing.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_who-is-right-here?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:9af59cb7-5146-42c6-96c3-b7be2514820aPost:d1d2fff9-52e1-4d52-926f-58c10cfc209d">Re: Who is right here?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Who is right here? : So, you recommend that she contact a lawyer?
    Posted by EaglesBride2012[/QUOTE]

    Yes.
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  • Well, but for this amount of money, you could file in small claims. I'd get my money back and find someone else, but if you need to take him to small claims, I recommend trying to get on People's Court. That way lots of people can see he's an idiot.
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  • You are right. He is wrong. But... How much do you like the musician's work? Does he do a good job? If you like his work, pay the $300. If you don't, you will have the headache of finding a new musician OR he will perform and do a horrible job. It is not fair. It a crap position to be in. You must decide how much $300 is worth.
  • He's trying to scam you.  I am a professional wedding musician so I'm going to add this... he may just be disorganized and can't do math, but that's really not your problem.  

    No band leader would only make a profit of $300 off of a reception.  That's completely obsurd- they make a much larger profit.  The formula standardly is that if they pay out, say $900 to their other musicians, they would make $900 just for themselves.  Obviously the amounts would be less if this is just for the ceremony, but the formula is the same.

    You should threaten to get a lawyer... he'll get scared.  If that doesn't work, you'll threaten to call the attorney general's office.

    In the end, I agree with the above post, it depends if you think they are worth the $300.  Good luck!

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  • I would try very hard to find some one else.  If you cannot find any one else without paying more than the $300 extra, you may be better off using the one you have.  In which case, maybe you could suggest splitting the extra cost - even though you shouldn't have to because it wasn't your error!  Or you could just pay whatever you have to for a new musician and hope you can recoup the extra costs by getting an attorney to represent you for the breach of contract.  But take it from some one who's done the attorney thing - it is pure stress and likely not worth the time and up-front costs it will take get the money back - IF you get anything back at all.
  • I suggest not disputing this matter with him until a after your wedding.  Don't sign anything more!

    Massachusetts has a 3 year statute of limitations on small claims so you have tons of time.

    Take care of it when you get back from your HM

    GL
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_who-is-right-here?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:9af59cb7-5146-42c6-96c3-b7be2514820aPost:fd92a182-7320-453f-a137-805df017a602">Re:Who is right here?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Who is right here?: I'm still confused as to what she's going to gain by getting a lawyer. Are they going to get a court injunction to guarantee that he shows up at the wedding and performs? Pay her for emotional pain and suffering of looking for a new musician? He's offering her a full refund of monies paid. He's a Douchecanoe, obviously, and yes he's breaking contract, but she isn't out any money and the time it will take to settle whatever will be more time and stress than finding a musician who isn't a Douchecanoe would be. I have dealt with performers breaching contract before, and the most common settlement in my experience, which is limited, is that they pay back all money and pay for any other expenses, such as meals, airfare, etc that the company gave them. I'm not arguing that there isn't a legal case here, just that I don't think it's worth pursuing on OP's part. If he's offering to refund all she's previously paid, and it's early enough to get someone else it's tight, but it is doable still, then I'd take the money, find a musician who WANTS to play my wedding, and blast the story on every available review site and forum possible to warn future brides. At the end of a lawsuit, she's still going to be out a musician or be risking a hostile vendor sabatoging her wedding.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    I think what Amo was saying is that he could, potentially, come back the day of the wedding b/c he couldn't book another job and say "hey, I'm here, fulfilling the contract, pay me again" even though he's verbally cancelling.   By getting a lawyer involved and sending the letter indicating the contract is cancelled she'd be protecting herself from ending up with two musicians she's expected to pay. But I'm an engineer, not a lawyer :-)
  • edited July 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_who-is-right-here?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:9af59cb7-5146-42c6-96c3-b7be2514820aPost:fd92a182-7320-453f-a137-805df017a602">Re:Who is right here?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Who is right here?: I'm still confused as to what she's going to gain by getting a lawyer. Are they going to get a court injunction to guarantee that he shows up at the wedding and performs? Pay her for emotional pain and suffering of looking for a new musician? He's offering her a full refund of monies paid. He's a Douchecanoe, obviously, and yes he's breaking contract, but she isn't out any money and the time it will take to settle whatever will be more time and stress than finding a musician who isn't a Douchecanoe would be. I have dealt with performers breaching contract before, and the most common settlement in my experience, which is limited, is that they pay back all money and pay for any other expenses, such as meals, airfare, etc that the company gave them. I'm not arguing that there isn't a legal case here, just that I don't think it's worth pursuing on OP's part. If he's offering to refund all she's previously paid, and it's early enough to get someone else it's tight, but it is doable still, then I'd take the money, find a musician who WANTS to play my wedding, and blast the story on every available review site and forum possible to warn future brides. At the end of a lawsuit, she's still going to be out a musician or be risking a hostile vendor sabatoging her wedding.
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    <div>A court won't force him to play at the wedding.  If you end up having to pay more for a different musician, you could probably get the difference between what she paid and the contract amount.  Most lawyers will either charge you a contingency fee, which would be a percentage of the settlement amount (probably 25-30%, or an hourly fee of probably at least $250 an hour.  Lots.</div><div>
    </div><div>Also, if you do hire a lawyer, but please choose one who knows how to spell 
    "breach."  I couldn't resist.  </div><div>
    </div><div>If you research another musician and are going to have to pay way more, then I would call a lawyer.  Otherwise, I wouldn't waste my time or money if I were you. </div><div>
    </div><div>Take the refund and run!  Send him a letter laying out what has happened and stating that he is refusing to fulfill his contractual duties without you paying him more than he is due under the contract.  State that, since you are not contractually bound to pay more, you are agreeing to cancel the contract for your money back.</div><div>
    </div><div>Edited: typo </div><div>
    </div><div>
    </div>
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  • Does UMass Boston have a law school? If they do, they might have a legal clinic. Legal clinics are staffed with law students and faculty so the students can practice what they have learned in class. The fee should not be very much. If the legal clinic can't help you, they might know a firm that can.
  • If the contract has a cancellation clause, and the musician is within the time frame laid out, then I'd just cut my losses, take the refund, and find a new group.

    I wouldn't pay him anything extra, unless you are really set on this guy and the $300 is worth it to you to not have to find a new musician.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_who-is-right-here?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:9af59cb7-5146-42c6-96c3-b7be2514820aPost:42439ad6-7f0c-45e4-8eec-322c48428415">Re:Who is right here?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re:Who is right here? : Yes, some lawyers would take a case this small.  It would actually not be very hard to find a lawyer that will agree to only get paid if they win, and to add their legal fees to the damages that she'd sue for.  She would probably not make much money, but wouldn't have to pay legal fees either way.  Its very, very likely that she'd win, so long as she makes contact with the musician to inform him of what I said in my previous post. Contract issues are really, really complicated.  More than you might think.  I gave an extremely simplified answer and left out a lot.  There is a chance she could end up loosing WAY more than the original 300 if she doesn't do the right things, and/or the musician knows his way around contract law or knows someone who does.  It would be in her best interest to contact a real lawyer (because neither I nor the person I got this info from are one), even if its only for a (most likely free) consultation to get a professional legal interpretation of the whole thing.
    Posted by AmoLovesAud[/QUOTE]

    My eyes hurt from rolling them so hard at Amo's posts.

    OP - don't listen to this first year law student trying to turn this into a matter for the Supreme Court.  Previous posters have given you some good advice. Personally, I would take the refund and find someone else, then be sure to leave reviews for this musician wherever I could.

    - Signed, an actual lawyer who prefers to use common sense.
  • Or DOC tried to used this excuse about "not making a profit" when we refused to pay her for the time she bailed on us without introducing herself of collecting her payment.  Maybe she should have thought about that before putting our wedding on the backburner.

    I'm pretty sure he will make a profit with the extra $300 or not.  Maybe not the profit he thinks he deserves, but he's still making money.  If money was such a big issue maybe he should spent more time on your contract before sending it out with a mistake.  I would not sign a new contract or pay the extra money.

    If you feel he will not be able to do the job professionally (and this would raise alarms with me), I would take the refund and find a new musician.
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