Hiring a DJ or Mobile Disco provider for your event should be a task that’s undertaken with the same level of research you carry out for other service providers or suppliers for your party. It’s great to see that customers are now spending more time on finding the right DJ for their celebration, rather than hiring the cheapest they can find or a “mate of a mate who does discos.”
John Forbes of Professional Wedding DJ is the Membership Officer for the National Association of Disc Jockeys (NADJ) and in this article on the Find A DJ website, he looks into the bold ‘guarantees’ and other statements that some DJs are using on their websites or promotional materials.
“When researching the right DJ for your party, you will come across a wide range of varying quality websites. Some of them will want to tell you all about the gear the DJ has (even though you’re not hiring or buying equipment as you’re hiring a service), some will tell you about the company or the DJ and I hope that they’d actually get round to letting you know about the services they offer, what areas they cover and what they can bring to your celebration. There’s a wide range of information out there, some of it relevant to customers looking to hire a Mobile DJ and some of it that looks like it’s there to show off to other DJs.
It’s your job (as a customer) to sift through the information and work out if the contents of the website warrant further investigation or a call to the DJ in question. Websites are probably the biggest and most important advertising tool a DJ can use to promote their service, but did you know that all websites are regulated by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA)?
That means every DJ/Mobile Disco website must comply with the rules relating to fair advertising/promotion and they must give an accurate representation of the services they provide. If there’s a problem or you feel you have been mislead by the advertising on a website, the ASA can be brought in to investigate.
One particular area of concern is the issue of ‘guarantees.’ The word guarantee may automatically inspire a sense of confidence in the mind of customers and it’s often seen as a very reassuring word. Here’s one of many definitions of the word guarantee and I hope you will see what I mean about it inspiring confidence:
1) A promise or assurance, especially one in writing, that something is of specified quality, content, benefit, etc., or that it will perform satisfactorily for a given length of time: a money-back guarantee.
There seems to be an increase in DJs offering a ‘guarantee’ on the service they provide. Stories of customers being told that the DJ they have chosen has “guaranteed a full dance floor,” over the telephone or other service guarantees on their website are often too good to be true.
If a DJ offers one of those guarantees ask them to send you their terms and conditions, ask them if it is insurance-backed or if they are just incorrectly using terms relating to guarantees that they shouldn’t be using.
If it’s on a website, there should be a link that that information for you to decide if you want to take them up on the guarantee after the event. If you feel that the website is being misleading, you should report them to the ASA who regulate all advertising across all media (including the Internet).
If the DJ is vague about their guarantee claims that may tell you that they may be “writing cheques they can’t cash.”
If the DJ does not have an insurance-backed guarantee in place and if they do not offer you any terms and conditions on their guarantees, you are at their mercy should you wish to take them up on their guarantee claims after the event. However, it’s too late to roll the clock back on your party if you want to claim on their guarantee.
In other industries there are insurance-backed guarantees, such as with windows or conservatories that have a 10-year guarantee, where the business has taken out an insurance policy in the event of there being a problem with the product. If the installer went out of business, the insurance they paid for should kick in and the product should be repaired or replaced by the insurance company.
Advertising in paper based directories, you probably know the ones I’m referring to, is in decline. Some DJs are now using the Internet as a great advertising platform, but sadly there seems to be an increase in misleading information on them.
The reason for this is partly down to there being very little or no vetting of the content that goes on the Internet and the chances are it’ll only get changed if there’s a complaint or investigation by the likes of the ASA or the National Association of Disc Jockeys (NADJ) if the DJ is a member of the largest DJ Association in the UK.
All websites (not just DJ websites) must have accurate information and give a fair representation of the services or products provided. They should be free from ambiguous or over-exaggerated claims and, most importantly, any statements must be backed up. If there are claims that the business owner is the “best DJ in town,” that statement needs to be qualified. There’s a simple statement that customers and DJs should take note of: If it’s not true, it shouldn’t be said.
If you’re worried about any information on a website, ask the owner of the site for more details or to back up their claims. If a DJ says that they are a preferred supplier for a venue, ask the venue if that statement is true. If the DJ has simply been booked by a private customer to perform at that venue, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a preferred supplier.
In my opinion, many preferred suppliers are listed by venues because of kickbacks or commission payments the suppliers have to make to the venue to gain work or orders from customers using that venue. So, I’d take those lists with a big pinch of salt as it often looks like the venue favours suppliers on how much kickback they get, rather than the quality of service or products supplied.
My advice to DJs is to be wary of making guarantees because they may attract the type of customer who will take you up on that guarantee of yours to ‘have a full dance floor all night,’ after the event. My advice to customers would be to investigate any guarantees a DJ makes about their service and to take bold statements about ‘being the best DJ in town,’ with extreme caution. Don’t forget that the ASA also regulates claims made by all businesses to customers across all advertising platforms. So, if you spot anything suspicious, report it!”
Professional Wedding DJ
If you see anything on the Find A DJ, NADJ or the website of one of our members that concerns you about fairness and accuracy, please contact the DJ in question and if they cannot give you an appropriate answer to your query, please then contact the National Association of Disc Jockeys on 0800 468 1363. The NADJ can only investigate the promotion and advertising of its members and customers are advised to check that they are a bona fide member of the Association.
All members of the NADJ must adhere to the Association’s Code of Conduct.
For more information on the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), please visit: www.asa.org.uk