Am I responsible to pay for a flawed wedding video?

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Am I responsible to pay for a flawed wedding video?

I hired a videographer for my wedding. There was no deposit or contract, just a verbal agreement. I have now come to find out the first 15 minutes of my wedding was not recorded he says due to formatting issues. He wants me to pay for the video and has sent me to collections.He will not show me a copy of the video because he said he did not want me to now critique every little thing. I have been in contact with the collection agency asking for a copy of my agreement (there is not one) and explained the situation. Now, they have sent me court papers for the accounts hearing. What can I expect? How will a judge see this? It’s for $750.

Asked on May 23, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The videographer breached the oral (that's the better term than "verbal") agreement by providing a flawed tape. What's critical is the extent of the breach, which depends on how much of the tape was flawed and what portion. For example,  if the whole wedding was 3 hours, and the portion flawed is just guests coming in, that's very different than if the whole wedding was only 45 minutes and the videographer missed the "I do's".

In the latter case, the breach would likely be "material," or significant--the videographer missed the heart of the wedding and 1/3 of the total. You would have good grounds to not pay at all.

On the other hand, in the former case, where the videographer missed only 1/12--and a not critical 1/12--of the wedding, while you should not have to pay the full amount, since you received the vast majority of what you contracted for, you would pay most of the money; a court, for example, might find that you owe him between $600 and $700 dollars.

In a case like this, therefore, the facts--what  is the impact of the non- or flawed performance--will shape the outcome in court. Minor flaws or nonperformance will generally support a reducation in cost, but will not let you avoid paying entirely.


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