• Report: #293091

Complaint Review: PICTURE ME PORTRAIT STUDIO

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  • Submitted: Wed, December 19, 2007
  • Updated: Mon, November 03, 2008

  • Reported By:columbus Ohio
PICTURE ME PORTRAIT STUDIO
Winchester Pike Canal Winchester, Ohio U.S.A.

PICTURE ME PORTRAIT STUDIO Walmart Picture me Portrait Studio Canal Winchester Ohio

*Consumer Comment: After Annoying Wait, Excellent Resolution!

*UPDATE Employee: We are all Human

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: the lab does not delete them

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Read the fine print huh?

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: YOU'VE got to be kidding us!

*Consumer Comment: YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDING ME?

*UPDATE Employee: Meagen

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To Wal-Mart Canal Winchester Store Manger, Picture Me Studio Corporate Manager & Picture Me Experience Customer Service:


Due to the my recent experience, I am highly upset and agitated in regards to the treatment I received from your representative at the Picture Me Studio located in the Wal-Mart Super center store in Canal Winchester, Ohio. I have worked in customer service for some years now, so I expect the up most service when I am on the receiving end. The behavior of the Picture Me representative, Samantha, was rude, unhelpful, uninformative, and absolutely unacceptable. I am very upset and after some time I am still unable to forget this experience.

I attempted to call the customer service number though I was on hold waiting for a representative for over a half and hour. Due to my work schedule this solution seemed better suited for me. Although, I am still very dissatisfied and I expect a resolution to follow.

My boyfriend and I wanted to get a Christmas picture taken. His aunt also wanted to get a group picture including my boyfriend with her children. So we decided it would be better suited for us to do it all the same time. We called and made the appointment. When we placed the appointment we made not only one, but we scheduled two appointments. Nothing was said to us at the time, when clearly we all knew each other.

On December 2, 2007 we arrived for our scheduled appointments, your representative, Samantha, told my boyfriends aunt, Kathy to pick their background. Then a few moments later she asked me to the same. I couldn't choose so I just walked back to the portrait room with them. Samantha posed my boyfriend and her children. After a few pictures she said "Is this going to be the promo picture". We said "Yes!" we liked it, at the time we knew nothing was to come from this decision. A few more pictures were taken of them and Samantha asks out of nowhere as if she were shocked I hadn't been in the room the whole time and she didn't see us all walk in together. "Are you and him taking pictures next?" I replied "Yes!" Not understanding the purpose of her question. She said "Hold on a minute" and walks out of the room. She quickly returns "I can't take your pictures next." I again, confused replied "Why?" she responds with "Corporate only allows us one promo picture per group". From this point on everything that she said she added "Corporate says so" which I thought was highly unprofessional. It was also highly un-informative that she was not upfront with this information. I still do not understand why she waited until she locked in our promo picture to let us know it was one picture per group. She then convinced us it would be cheaper to take pictures in his aunt package. Unsatisfied, but with no other options we do so. I was very angry by this time and I feel that we were very misled. Your representative should have let us know all the catches to the fine print. We were all unaware of this in the beginning.

After some time past, Samantha called us to the back to look at the prints. We started looking at them and I then realized how expensive it was going to be to get my prints I need, the prints I would have received in my promo package. I looked at his aunt waiting for her to decide. She noted I only need one ten by eight. We tried every option we could think of because, I obliviously needed more pictures. Of course we couldn't change the promo picture to my boyfriend and mines picture because "Corporate say so". Infact, Samantha kept replying corporate will not allow me to, as if she were the victim. His aunt ended up cutting the promo picture because she did not need those pictures. We ended up getting a combine package spending of 79.99 plus tax. This could have been avoided, and was extremely unnecessary.

What I am still confused about today is, your representative Samantha, took our appointments together, saw us walk in together, saw my boyfriend in there pictures, knew we were next, and asked me to pick out a background for our pictures next. Yet never spoke one word about any regulations until after the promo picture was locked in.

I find this kind of uninformative service very distasteful and I hope you don't encourage this behavior. I understand the regulations, what I don't understand is not having Samantha trained enough to explain to your customers the regulations before taking pictures. If she had it wouldn't have been a problem at all. I would be happy because my boyfriend and I would have taken the promo picture had a package we needed and his aunt could have bought one eight by ten she needed. Though we were uninformed!

This brings me to another point I work in commission, I sure hope Samantha did not receive commission off of selling us this package because how many other customers has she been tricking. This can not go on she needs the proper training; your representatives represent your company. She did a very poor job and I will never use this portrait studio again nor will I indorse other people to do so. I work in customer service and I would have never treated a customer as if she had that day. She never offered any assistance to us and she only replied a hundred times "Corporate says so". I don't know if you Condon this level of service but it was totally unprofessional.


Sincerely your unsatisfied customer,

Meagen
columbus, Ohio
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/19/2007 08:16 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/PICTURE-ME-PORTRAIT-STUDIO/Canal-Winchester-Ohio/PICTURE-ME-PORTRAIT-STUDIO-Walmart-Picture-me-Portrait-Studio-Canal-Winchester-Ohio-293091. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

After Annoying Wait, Excellent Resolution!

AUTHOR: Mommyphoenix81 - (U.S.A.)

I have read all of the complaints on here, and can't really understand why people are saying some of the things they are saying about corporate policy and what not.
I took my 10 day old son in to have pictures done, took the pictures in about 30 different poses, and was about to take a look at all of the photos when the nice lady noticed that the computer was acting up. Now after about an hour and a half of waiting/shopping/waiting we left. When I returned, I had to wait til another lady was done picking out her daughters pics, so I had to wait another 30 minutes, but in the end, because of the continuous waiting, the nice employee sold me 2 of the $4.99 packages, and gave me an extra 10x13 free with enhancement.
THEN when I picked up the pictures, we had noticed a problem with the free 10X13 it was the wrong pose, my sons mouth was slightly different between the 2 poses. The girl gave me the ones they try to sell you for an extra $20 FREE. She told me they just throw them away anyways, and since I had such a bad experience with the waiting and now this one lil pose, she wanted to make me a happy customer.
Well I was happy. I received 3 10x13 5 8x10 10 5x7's and so on for $10.58.

Last we we took our son to have some halloween pics done, and decided to get a better package this time along with the $4.99 special, AND the nice lady who worked there went into my original poses from a month and a half ago and let me have some of those poses as well in my 8 photo sheets. How great is that!?
I can't wait to pick them up this week!

ALSO, when they tell you your photos will be in on one date, their usually there a few days before which is very exciting when I can't wait to get them!

So over all with some aggrevation... I received an AWESOME deal. And I WILL be returning again for Christmas photos.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

We are all Human

AUTHOR: Pickme2? - (U.S.A.)

I appreciate the stories of both sides. As an employee of this company since 2002, when it was at one time PCA International LLC, we went through a lot of happy and angry customers. Fortunately I had more happy than upset.
Customers need to read all of the posted signs we have in our studio. When they come to their appointment early, there is plenty of time to read what is posted. If they do not read warnings and advice given by these posted signs, it is then probable that not only will they feel shortchanged, but then the associate will feel like the badguy.
This is not so.
On the side of the customer, If there is no time to read the fine print, the associate does need to explain to the customer what our procedure is. Christmas is coming up soon, and with the new technology that CPI has given us by adding the "888" number to make appointments on, we are schedualed every 15 minutes. FIFTEEN MINUTES!
I am not capslocking that fifteen minutes to yell or be angry, but to emphasize the point that within that 15 minutes we need to fill out the customer's paperwork, set up the camera, rearrange the photo room to optimal positions for the subject's poses, bring in the subject(s), take 6-12 snapshots (not counting the closed eyes, nose picking noses, clench-jawed cheeze grins, crying or flat out refusal by the subject to cooperate with the photographer), bring those pictures to our new fully digital computers (we no longer shoot on film), download these pictures, straiten any flaws (like centering, rotating, adjusting for any blur, etc), create an example of some of the abilities our computers have (sepia, viniette(sp?), black and whites, collages, 3 or 9-ups, boarders, et al), then have the customer come back, look at all of the photos we have taken, look at all the options we now have that we did not have as PCA, make their choices, then purchse the photographs.
Now.
Again.
We are expected to do this all within 15 minutes.
A lot of our experienced photographers can actually do these shoots within this time frame if not somewhat faster. However, we, again, are going into a Christmas Season, where we have to hire extra help to make it possible for us to do the sittings in 15 minute incriments. These new hires are expected to know how to aim the new camera, which now has a multitude of differant capabilities much differant from the old film camera (you older employees know what I mean), and work the sales computer, accessing the correct adjustments we need to do to offer any other enhancements, then learn the POS computer.
and at times, yes, to me POS means Piece of ****.
This computer ONLY RECENTLY was updated by the corporation to give hands on training on how to enter sales, discounts, differant adjustments and the miriad of confusing codes.
However, once the new hire associate does get a handle on the new equipment, they are expected to run very high averages. Some of them can do the sales like pros, however, a lot of people buy because their photographs are doing the sales, not the photographer.
My suggestion, If the customer doesn't like the pictures, they have every right to refuse purchasing any of them. If they only like one or two, they have every right to purchase how many sheets they want.
And if they like ALL of the pictures, they have every right to purchase any size of package we have, including the CD of all the pictures, including the enhanced ones. (yes, that is an option that we give all of our customers. The CD - not a 3 1/4 floppy - comes with a copyright, and that is why it's as expensive as it is, however, it is not half as expensive as the copyrights used to be.)
So, in total,
Customers, read your fine print and posted notices in the studios.
Associates, if the customer looks like they are a deer caught in headlights, take the time to explain to them before, during and after the shoot our policies. Especially the minors without parents policy, and the pickup policy.

The pick up policy. I have had instances where a disgruntled ex had wanted to pick up the pictures of children. They were refused because the shoot was NOT under their name. Come to find out that the ex was planning on kidnapping the children, and wanted to do everything in thier power to make the other adult as unhappy as possible.
So we stick to our policies.

Please, give each other breaks, associates/customers. We are only human, and we all make mistakes, and miscommunication ALWAYS happens in one form or another.

-Peace
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

the lab does not delete them

AUTHOR: Jennifer - (U.S.A.)

i've seen kids in same ad packs before on two different sessions and the company prints them. quit lying, the lab will print them esp if it's a different name in which somtimes aren't caught by the employee, it happens because they will go to a different employee or a different studio for that matter and even use their real name. the only way to prevent it is to "red flag" a customer and even then it doesn't work.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Read the fine print huh?

AUTHOR: Hellebender - (U.S.A.)

Short and to the point. You stated: "Your representative should have let us know all the catches to the fine print. We were all unaware of this in the beginning."...this of course referring to the "one promotional package per group". This comment is null and void seeing as though you could not have even READ the not so fine print at the bottom of the advertisement. The advertisements ALWAYS clearly state..."One promotional package per customer/group only." I think that's pretty straight forward. I would suggest that before you make this a basis of your complaint...you should at least prove that you were not at fault for the lack of knowledge.
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

YOU'VE got to be kidding us!

AUTHOR: Picturelady - (U.S.A.)

I have decades plus experience as a photographer within the Wal-mart store systems. I've worked as a travel and studio photographer. First off, ANY portrait studio in Wal-mart is a vendor. Complaining to Wal-mart doesn't change anything or help in any way.
Secondly, there are multiple posted explainations on how the packages work. It is printed on the signs, in the newspaper advertisements, coupons, posters and yes, even on the very tabletop surface you'll sign in at. It states very simply, ONE PROMOTIONAL/ADVERTISED PACKAGE PER FAMILY OR HOUSEHOLD. Very simple words that at times, it seems everyone chooses to either not read, or comprehend. As a travel photographer I'd state it over and over before putting a subject in front of the camera. I've had many experiences of stating that policy 3 times to a customer, when asking who is to be in the advertised package....then after shooting the sitting, that very same customer would go back into the line and say that "her kids are going to be in another advertised package with their cousins under their grandmother's name". That's not how it works. YOU get one advertised package within a weeklong promotion. It doesn't matter whose name it is listed under. It's simple. It's a NO repeat of the same subjects rule. So here's the thing. If a photographer shot portraits of your kids in two advertised packages, guess what you'll get? ONLY ONE set. The company will edit out any repeats. That is why it's stated multiple times on signage and other advertising materials. I've gone as far as to make my own handwritten signs and tape them to the front of the sign in table. Didn't matter. There are times after you've completed 32 sittings in one shoot day that you begin to believe that customers are simply choosing NOT to read or comprehend these simple portrait sitting regulations that the company has set forth.
NOW...you weren't ripped off. The girl explained it. You weren't forced to buy any packages. YOU ARE NOT UNDER ANY OBLIGATION TO PURCHASE ANYTHING! You chose that $79 package.
OH and another regulation that I've had to repeat constantly and have been cussed out for following is: ANYONE UNDER 18 YEARS OF AGE MUST BE ACCOMPANIED BY A PARENT. In other words, when 17 year old Sally comes in with her 20 year old boyfriend Jack and they want to do portraits together. Well...only Jack can have his portraits made if Sally doesn't have one of her parents with her. It's a rule set forth to protect children and yes, anyone under 18 is considered a child. So if you're under 18, take a parent...A PARENT, not a friend who is 19, a parent.
Want to hear a worst case example of this rule in action?
Back in the early 90s, shooting portraits at Christmas time. Set up in a small Wal-mart. I get a guy looking about 43 years old come up and fill out customer paperwork. He's got a young girl with him, who looked about 15. Well I thought for a minute it was his daughter, until she kissed him on the mouth and called him Billy. I asked her how old she was, she said 14. GEEZ! I said is this your dad? The guy Billy got pissed when I asked that. I asked if one of her parents were with her. She then talked with her mouth wide open saying: NO, they're in Pennsylvania and I ran away and am living with Billy here. GEEZ! I said well I can't do your portraits without one of your parents here. The guy, Billy cussed me out, then went and got a store manager complaining that I was discriminating against him and his girlfriend. The manager asked me what was going on. I told him the simple facts, and he told the guy to forget complaining to him.
Can you say worst case scenario?
Rules are there for many reasons, safety is usually not on the customers/parents agenda but it is with the photographer. Yes, there are rules there so that a portrait company can protect itself.
So buyer beware and maybe even perhaps read all the materials presented all around you on floor stands and coupons and even that customer card you filled out.
smiles, PictureLady
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#6 Consumer Comment

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDING ME?

AUTHOR: Hollie - (U.S.A.)

To the employee who responded, you have got to be kidding with your reponse? You make it sound as if Samatha was the Victim in this situation? You claim that this customer had a choice in the money spent on the pictures, and that it was her choice to spend the $80.00 and being she got her pictures, where was the ripoff? I don't think she ever stated she didn't recieve her pictures, her problem was with the way the advertisment was presented to her, of course she had a choice, however if she wanted the pictures she had intended on taking that day with her boyfriend and just her and her boyfriend then infact no she didn't have a choice as to spend that much money, as that was the cheapest way for her and her boyfriend to get the pictures of just them, so infact she was mislead and I don't for one second by your explanation of it was the holiday's we are understaffed and too busy to do a professional job is basically what your excuse boils down to and in my opinion and being a consumer, my opinion does count for something that excuse just doesn't cut it. As a corporation they need to take the time to properly train the people they hire period.

Had Samatha when they first came in explained to them that they could only have the one sitting they probably would have choosen to have her and her boyfriends as the promo package and as she stated then have his aunt choose her 1 picture she wanted and needed and you say you are not mind readers? Of course you aren't however I'm sure when they all walked in together and being Samatha knew there were two appointments the conclusion for most would have been that they may have not realized what the policy was and she would do better to explain it before taking the first shot rather then to wait until OOPS it is TOO LATE because Corp. says so which is what she did, so infact she did make them have to spend more money then they planned to because of her inapt training. Now whos fault is that? Certiantly not the customers.

I too live in Ohio, although not the same area as the author of this report and I too have had many portraits taken at the studio's inside our local walmart stores and thankfully I have never had any problems with the level of service I have recieved, however I do think I will think twice before making my next appointment, if the company employs people who have no sense of customer service and it seems to me after reading the report and then your rebutal that they do.
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#7 UPDATE Employee

Meagen

AUTHOR: Mikkella - (U.S.A.)

When you made your appointments, did you tell Samantha (if that's who you spoke with) that the same subject would take part in both sittings? Because if you had, she would've THEN explained the one package per family policy. Which it also clearly states on the flyers, signing, and website.

We are not mind readers, and though it was clear you all knew each other, it wasn't stated that you were interested in having two packages with the SAME PEOPLE when the appointments were booked. Since you did book the two appointments, it was assumed you were each having SEPARATE portraits taken.

I agree, Samantha should've asked prior to bringing you into the camera room if you knew how this worked, followed by an explanation. This is how it's generally done. Considering the time of year you came, she was most likely new, terrified, and doing the best that she could with the limited training she received.

Samantha wasn't "Tricking" you, nor do we work on comission. I agree she should've been trained properly, but you also could've told her exactly what you wanted in portraits when you spoke on the phone, or when you arrived. At which point all of this could've been avoided.

I can relate to your frustration of dealing with misinformed employees over the holiday season, but that doesn't change company policies.

I understand you're angry that YOU spent $79.99 vs the $19.99. but you weren't forced to do this. It was YOUR choice. You received your pictures yes? Then how were you ripped off? Once given the information, basic as it may have been, you had options. You chose to purchase the $79.99 collection.

*******************

For Future Reference:

You can see the pictures on the monitor as we take them. The first one that you say "Yes" to is what becomes the advertised package. As you say "No" they are deleted, and we try again. This is repeated after the first shot is taken, to remind the customer that their choice will lock in said pkg pose. We then take 6 additional poses, different backgrounds, poses, etc., which are optional. They're there if you want them, but you are not obligated to purchase these.

When the portraits come in, you're more then welcome to come back again, for another advertised package.

There is a one pkg per family, per sitting limit. If any individual is seen in two separate pkgs, the second will be deleted due to the same subject being in both shots. Decide which one you want more portraits of, and do the other as one of the 6 optional poses. Or you can wait for these portraits to come in, and do another package then.
***************


We are NOT allowed to switch the package with another pose unless it's photographer error. (Accidentally saving a pose the customer didn't want) This process is tracked via the frame numbers you'll see on your printout above the black and white images. Those who don't adhere to policy are disciplined.


Picture Me Portrait Studios are not a part of Wal-Mart. We rent space from them. Directing complaints to Wal-Mart is the equilivent of complaining to the nail salon.
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