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Renting Equipment and it disappears


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#1 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 07:16 AM

Hey all;
so from time to time I rent out things to people from my kit, lenses and the like. I rented out some still lens glass to a student and it's gone. It's not that it's gone, it's just that they haven't returned it and all phone calls/emails go unanswered. Also they havn't paid for it. So what to do?
I am at my wits end here.
Do I file a police report as a stolen item?
the agreement they have signed allows me to charge them 150% rate for every day it is late, should I also do that although I doubt they will pay it (if they don't should I file a civil claim?)

Any advice would be great.


A .pdf of n example of the contract I have them sign is Here
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#2 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 12:02 PM

Sorry to hear that. I NEVER rent my stuff out for that reason. But there is a way you can cover yourself. Ask for a valid credit card to put a deposit on. I guess a deposit in cash will do as well, and you don't even need the credit card machine, but for large packages or expensive items is hard to come up with a couple of grand in cash for a deposit. That is what this shop I used to work at finally had to implement, for reasons similar to yours. No deposit, no rental!

As for this particular case I can't think of any other way to collect than the ways you already mentioned.

Good luck.

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 20 May 2008 - 12:03 PM.

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#3 Paul Bruening

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 12:18 PM

Sorry to hear of your troubles, Adrian. The cops might track them down. If they were registered at a school then there are records on them. If you've got paperwork on their deal with you, you've got a chance for a case of theft. Without sufficient terms in paper, you've got a civil case and that's just about useless. Good luck getting the SOBs.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 04:15 PM

Thank you guys for your sympathy. Apparently the mention (via e mail and my voicemail) of a police report got them a bit frightened, and i should be getting my lenses tonight. They're nikon still lenses, so not a high ticket item, overall, and I waved a deposit, to be "nice," ya know? I mean $25/day for two still lenses and the like isn't that bad ( 50mm F1.4 and 135mm F2.8) with filters! I don't really care 'bout the money. I'm going to be sending him out an invoice I'll never collect on, of course; but maybe bring it up in civil if it's worth it. Anyway, here's hoping all gets resolved.
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 05:36 PM

It sounds like small claims court if anything.



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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 05:45 PM

Yeah, small claims would be a pain.
In the end, I got the lenses back, and I sent him out an invoice w/o charging anything extra for being late. If he pays, he does, if not, well then, at least I got the equipment left. I don't think that it's as big an item, or as big an amount to really merit going over to small claims and the like. As my dad said, long ago, it's nice to be nice. of course, not always wise. . . but I just won't rent to them again.

Edited by Adrian Sierkowski, 21 May 2008 - 05:47 PM.

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#7 Valerio Sacchetto

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 09:34 PM

Yeah, small claims would be a pain.
In the end, I got the lenses back, and I sent him out an invoice w/o charging anything extra for being late. If he pays, he does, if not, well then, at least I got the equipment left. I don't think that it's as big an item, or as big an amount to really merit going over to small claims and the like. As my dad said, long ago, it's nice to be nice. of course, not always wise. . . but I just won't rent to them again.


I know how nasty this may sound man but put out the names, tell everyone you know that may have something to rent to be aware of those people. They should never be able to do that again.
Happy you got your stuff back tho, i know what that means :(

Edited by Valerio Sacchetto, 21 May 2008 - 09:34 PM.

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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 05:04 PM

That's a tough call; I dunno if i'd wanna start up badmouthing people without being asked for an opinion, ya know? Though, at the same time, I know how important it is to warn out other people. . .A tough call.
Let's just say be wary of people in Philadelphia with gucci sunglasses.
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#9 Michele Peterson

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Posted 11 June 2008 - 04:57 PM

If they are students, contact their teacher and/or Dean. A rental house I once worked for had to use that once for a student production that caused a lot of damage and their credit card declined (the company didn't put a hold on the credit card, only kept the info on file). The kids just ignored phone calls. We finally contacted the school dean, since the students had insurance though the school, but because the damgage was less than the deductible, the kids were responsible for payment. We ended up having to refuse all other students from the school from using school insurance, in order to put the pressure on them (we didn't give out names, just why, but they figured it out).

If the credit card has an out of the area address and different phone, it is usually the students home address, calling that as an alternate phone number has been successful in reaching parents and putting pressure on that way.

I don't know how you could use a credit card deposit if you don't have a business with a credit card service. Maybe paypal, but I would imagine they still charge an account fee for their services.

Edited by Michele Peterson, 11 June 2008 - 05:01 PM.

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#10 Marc Jeff Schirmer

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:49 PM

Let's just say be wary of people in Philadelphia with gucci sunglasses.


Isn't that just about everybody in the industry here, in Philly?
We're all Gucci glasses and cheesesteaks, yo.
Ha.
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 05:30 AM

Only the producers. Anyone below the line is stuck with whatever glasses we find on Market st. B)
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#12 JD Hartman

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Posted 25 June 2008 - 02:01 PM

In my opinion, they already abused you. If they don't pay, spreading their name around is fair retribution. If they cheat you now on a small rental and get away with it, they may try again with someone else on a larger scale next time.
I would have insisted on 50% payment up front. They didn't have any sort of equipment liability policy, did they?
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#13 Rob.m.Neilson

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:23 PM

I strongly suggest that you bring them to small claims court. I successfully won a case earlier this year from an employer that didn't pay me. I got the full amount I was owed, plus interest, and my court costs!

however since it's a small amount of cash it may not be worth sitting in court for 4 hours or so, but it would teach them a lesson.
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#14 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 July 2008 - 06:25 PM

It is a small amount of money; though as my stomach growls now, I'm 1/2 tempted to do it!
And sadly, no no, liability policy or anything of the like.
I guess this is what I get for being nice. Oh well.
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