ALBANY, N.Y. - The state Attorney General has issued a warning on wedding scams as the summer and wedding seasons begin.
The goal is to protect New Yorkers from dishonest wedding vendors.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says those dishonest vendors look to take advantage of couples planning their weddings, a stressful time that involves spending a lot of money.
He's giving the following advice to couples:
- Avoid paying cash for products and services. Credit cards offer a dispute process that may help protect consumers.
- Check a company's record with the Better Business Bureau and review any complaint records.
- Insist that the company identify the individual who will be photographing your wedding. It is common for photographers to book more than one wedding on a date and send someone else to shoot the wedding. Make the identity of the photographer part of the contract.
- Check at least three references for weddings that took place within the past three months. Up-to-date references can offer critical insight into a vendor's recent job performance.
- Always review any contract carefully before you sign it. Do not make rushed decisions.
- Get multiple quotes from different vendors before you sign a contract. Talking to multiple businesses will give you more options and a better understanding of the services available.
- Do not pre-pay in full. Hold back 25 percent of the total cost until you have the products in hand. This will create a powerful incentive for service providers like photographers and videographers to complete the contract. In some instances, a photographer who has been paid in full will shoot the wedding and take months to deliver the products.
- Make sure the contract contains due dates for each task. For example, the pre-bridal photograph should be taken by a specified date, the proof should be ready by a specified date and the photograph should be ready within seven days after the consumer makes a selection.
Those who think they’ve been scammed can file a report with the Attorney General’s office online or by calling 1-800-771-7755.
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