Upsurge in Complaints of Wedding Photography - CHOICE # 426 (April
Wedding photography has become immensely popular in Hong Kong.
Given the abundance of choices in wedding photo packages, the
Consumer Council reminds the couples to pay extra attention when
choosing wedding photography services.
The Consumer Council received 82 complaint cases regarding wedding
photography services last year, an increase of nearly 50% when
compared to 55 cases in2010. The cases mainly involved extra
charges, empty promises, late delivery and photo quality.
The April issue of CHOICE magazine outlines some common cases for
Baffling array of miscellaneous charges
A complainant was talked into purchasing a wedding photography
package from Company A in a wedding expo last year. She was
attracted by a photo album showing computerized touch-up effects
with centerfold photos in seamless design layout. She subscribed
to the service at a discounted package price of HK$ 8,988.
However, it was only after the photo shooting that she was notified
those special effect and design were not standard package items and
required extra fees. The complainant was dissatisfied with the
dishonest sales tactics and took her case to the Council.
Empty verbal promises
Another complainant, Miss Lee, purchased a wedding photography
package for HK$ 9,888 from Company B in wedding expo. The package
offered choice of shooting location in Hong Kong, Taipei or
Taichung. Before the purchase, Miss Lee was cautious enough to ask
about any additional charges and was assured by the sales lady that
only the bridal make-up fee and car rental cost on the day of the
shooting were not included in the package price. She chose to take
photos in Taichung and paid a deposit of HK$5,000. However, she
was later informed that there was an extra charge of HK$4,000 for
shooting outside of Taipei to cover transportation and
accommodation expenses of the staff members. The complainant was
disgruntled at the empty promises of the company.
On the other hand, Company B argued that the complainant was fully
explained that she would have to cover the staff's transportation
expenses if the shooting location was outside of Taipei. The terms
and conditions were listed out in the receipt, which also clearly
stated that no verbal agreement would be accepted. Alleging Miss
Lee for breach of contract, Company B brought the case to Small
Claims Tribunal requesting her to pay the outstanding balance.
Eventually, both parties agreed to settle the case, in which Miss
Lee had no choice but to forfeit the deposit and Company B agreed
not to collect the remaining fees.
Wedding photos are meant to capture the joyful moments of a
wedding. The Consumer Council calls on the couples to carefully
select wedding photography services to avoid any disappointment.
In regard to the sales tactics of wedding photography services, the
CHOICE magazine provides the following advices to consumers:
-Beware of any additional charges ¬- Traders always promote their
wedding photography services in a packaged price. Consumers must
seek details of the package from the salesperson and ask if any
extra charges are required for different photo designs and effects,
outdoor/overseas shooting, photo album design or copies of the
digital image file.
-Don't reckon on verbal promises - Consumers should ask the sales
to list out all verbal offers on service items and discounts on the
receipt/contract. Read the terms and conditions carefully before
making any purchase.
-Check important service details on the contract/receipt - The
contract should list out the delivery date of the photos, the right
to change shooting location or date, emergency arrangement if
problems arise in overseas shooting, ownership of the digital image
-Choose a photography company with good reputation - Always choose
a reliable company and fully communicate with the photographer
before photo-taking to ensure satisfactory results. Consumers
should also request to review photos at the shooting spots to make
sure photo effects are as expected.
-Risk of shop closure - Consumer should only pay the deposit when
purchasing a photography package to minimize the loss in case of
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