If you lost all of your client’s wedding photos in a house fire, would you give them a full refund? This question has been spreading across the Internet the past few days after a couple complained that their wedding photog only offered them a 90% refund after his house burned down, because of the time he already invested.
The story originally surfaced on the r/AmItheA**hole subreddit, where a disappointed groom asked the Reddit community if he was being unreasonable for expecting a full refund from his wedding photographer.
“My wife and I hired a photographer for our wedding for $2,000, and we were eagerly awaiting our photos,” explains u/LimaBean481. “Fairly recently I was contacted by the photographer, apologizing profusely, and telling me he’s not going to be able to get us the photos due to a fire that ravaged his entire house.”
After doing some Internet research, the groom was able to confirm that the photographer wasn’t lying. He did, indeed, lose everything in a house fire. “Here’s the catch, though,” continued the groom. “He’s only offering us a 90% refund ($1800) instead of the full $2000 one.”
The photographer explained that this was due to the “huge amount of time he put into editing, the 5 hours he spent shooting at the wedding, and the hour-and-a-half round trip he drove to shoot.” And the newlyweds don’t know if they’re being jerks for demanding a full refund. Given the situation, u/LimaBean481 put the question to the Internet:
I’ve demanded the full refund, and he’s stood very firm that he’s only giving the 90% one. I am prepared to take him to small claims or request a chargeback if he doesn’t back down. AITA?
The post has received over 5K upvotes on r/AmItheA**hole and another 900+ on r/photography, where the consensus is that the photographer is definitely in the wrong. Most commenters on both threads place the blame on the photographer for three reasons: he didn’t properly back up the images in multiple locations, he doesn’t seem to have any liability insurance to cover this kind of thing, and giving a full refund in order to maintain a positive relationship and reputation seems like the right thing to do.
What do you think? Is it reasonable to expect the photographer to offer a full refund, is the client being ridiculous about that $200, or are both parties being jerks? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.