Sometimes, the client doesn’t really know what they’re doing.

Let’s see if I can write something today? Dunno, really. I’m going to try.

First, I’d like to say  that I’m probably going to be moving this site to a different hosting provider. There will be some brief downtime (more like static content as they site should still display) as nameservers propagate, but that should be minimal.

I’m putting that on a mental to-do list. As y’all don’t comment often, I doubt you’ll notice a thing. I’ve done this before!

The current hosts keep changing stuff and asking/telling me to use fewer resources – which is pretty legitimate. We’re on shared hosting and I have everything automated, which means I’m sometimes taxing the server pretty heavily.

It’s all good. I’ll just move to a different host that I already have set up. I’ve got ample space on other servers. It’s just a pain in the ass while I download everything, update everything, and then configure everything that needs configuring. ‘Snot too difficult and, if I get lazy, I’m pretty sure one of the hosting company admins will do it for me – provided I pretend I don’t know how to do it. (It’s actually pretty easy with cPanel.)

Anyhow, that’s just some meta stuff. Right now, it’s telling me cron jobs are disabled. I suspect I have an angry email from the hosting company but I’m not inclined to check. I’m more inclined to just move. I’ve tormented this company enough.

Now, what the hell was I going to write about?

Oh, yes…

As you may recall, I had a performance (last Sunday) postponed due to weather. That’s fine. That happens. We accommodate such in our contracts. That’s pretty straightforward stuff.

We give them two weeks to cancel and get their deposit refunded, which is actually going to also change when we get the new contracts done and our prices go up. We’ll be changing to 30 days for a full refund and a partial refund for 14 days notice. Anything less and we keep their entire deposit and owe us the remainder.

We (by which I mean they, the rest of the band – as my lazy ass never left the house) showed up on the postponed date and time, and there was nobody there. The band would risk driving in snow and ice only to find nobody was there. They’d then sit there for hours waiting for the client to show up.

See, the client had canceled the event and not told us – which was something I’d find out after the band was already there and waiting to set up. Even then, I didn’t get any real answers until Monday, only that it was canceled.

It turns out that our contact within the company, our initial and really only contact, left on vacation – the day after we were supposed to perform the first time.

His job was then being done by some other guy that I’ve never even met and have spoken to only twice, and only after the fact. That person did not know to contact us and they did not do so.

The person going on vacation did not pass along enough appropriate information to their fellow employee or to us. Which, kinda sucks – but it could have sucked more.

Thankfully, they’d already paid the deposit. That covers all our expenses but no real profit. Second, because they didn’t give us 14 days notice of cancellation, they now owed us the full amount. So, we’re good there.

In fact, they’re quite happy to pay the owed amount and will do so without a problem. They may have even already sent a check, I’m not sure. I have no reason to believe they’ll try to not pay, our contracts are pretty clear about this.

And, finally, they seem to want us for two more events.

Normally, I’d think twice about returning to that client but these next events are with our new, higher, fees and I’m good with them paying more for us next time around.

If they fail us again, we simply don’t do anymore shows for them. They’ll pay our fees. And all should be well with the world.

I started writing this on Monday but I’m just getting back to it today. My bad. I’ve been pretty unmotivated and this isn’t really all that interesting. I’d not have written about it but a buddy of mine suggested I do so as an example that can be learned from. (I believe they suggested this go in lessons for performing musicians.)

And…

There are some lessons here, but they’re mostly things that I’ve already touched on. These are the kinds of things you want in your contracts and this is exactly why you want those contracts to be written by a professional. There was absolutely no disputing that they still owed us money and that they failed to meet their obligations.

And, yes, I now know that they have remitted payment in full. Not only did we get to pay everyone, we got to make a profit without actually performing. Though, to be frank, we do enjoy performing and we are a little let down that we were unable to entertain. We’re musicians. Of course we want to perform.

The other lesson is one for us to learn. We need to start asking who is our secondary contact with the client and we need to establish clear communication channels with them. That should be their responsibility, but it seems like something we should check and test.

Lesson learned.

Our new contracts will include a second responsible person’s contact information as well as that second person’s obligations and duties. This will be more important when dealing with corporate clients and less important when dealing with a simpler venue.

I don’t really like needlessly sending my band out on dangerous roads. I’m kinda partial to ’em, except the drummer!

I sent EH and J on a 2+ hour drive, each way, on roads covered with snow and ice. I needlessly endangered their lives, because of a communication failure. I am, ultimately, the responsible party and I feel as though I did not do my job to the best of my ability.

The good news is we got paid, we learned a lesson, the client learned a lesson, and we’ve got two more events with that company – and they’re being billed the new prices.

Everyone was safe and sound. Nobody even went off the road, ’cause I pay ’em enough to actually afford winter tires and reliable vehicles. But, their trip was always just a few milliseconds away from a driving mistake that turned it into a tragedy. Thankfully, that wasn’t an issue.

Well, that’s about everything I can think of to write about this topic. Hopefully, we all learned something and this won’t be an issue we have to face again. Until next time…

Shut up and play us a song!

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