I was walking through wal mart the other day, and I saw a sign advertised for a photo package for $4.99. I called and made an apppointment that day for 9/18 @ 1:00. I had been to a Picture Me portrait studio before, so I thought I knew all the details. My son had pictures with his daycare already, but I thought it would be cute to have pictures in his halloween costume for fun. Hey it was only $4.99.
My husband and I arrived to the appointment about 20 minutes early. We waited about 10 minutes before we were greeted. The photographer was having a personal conversation with a gentleman. She finally came to us and I informed her I had an appointment. She took down my information and asked if I had received a phone call the evening before. I stated that I had not, and she answered that I should have received a phone call, but she did not elaborate. She did however finish her personal conversation with the gentleman.
About 1:05 she pulled us back to the studio, and she was very distracted with her cell phone. After about 10 minutes she started getting things ready for our pictures. We were in the studio taking pictures for 30-45 minutes. We finished taking the pictures and the photographer sat down to do enhancements on our photos. A woman came in to talk to her and called her Angie. Without any word "Angie" walked back into the studio with her. She did not give us any explanation, or tell us she would be back.
After 10-15 minutes, my husband walked back to find them deciding on pictures for the woman. Not only had we made an appointment, but Angie did not even have the courtesy to inform us that she had other things to attend to, she just walked away. My husband informed Angie that we would have to be going back to work, and she immediately came out to work on our pictures.
After she enhanced all of our photos, it was 2:45, and we had been there for 2 hours. My 3 year old son was very unhappy at this time. She enhanced every SINGLE photo we had taken. At one point my husband stated she did not need to make a collage, we did not want one, and she told us she had to. Finally she was finished. I informed Angie that we would be purchasing the $4.99 package.
At that point, Angie stated that the package was NOT $4.99, it was only $4.99 if I purchased their smile savers plan for $60. She stated that the company had some recent changes, and that I should have received a phone call the night before. When we arrived, she had asked if I had gotten the phone call, but when I told her that I had not, she did not tell me that was why I should have received it. I did not receive any information stating that their company had changed. Their sign states:
"No Session Fees Limit one- One pose package per family, per visit. Backgrounds may vary by location. Sizes approximate. Not valid on reorders. To expedite your order, full payment is due at time of portrait session. Offer expires Nove. 1, 2008. Plus COMBINE your package with ANY offer or coupon."
Angie told us that the company recently almost went out of business and for that their policies changed. So instead of changing their sign to say that additional purchases are required, the company is sending out phone calls. I did not receive a phone call, therefore, I expected to pay $4.99, which was advertised. However, I was being charged $60. I wasted 2 1/2 hours of my time, was overcharged, and left without the package. I will not buy a smile savers package to save on my next visit, BECAUSE their will be NO next visit. I ended up paying $21 for 1 sheet of pictures, when I came in expecting to pay $4.99 for 30 pictures. I ended up paying for 1 sheet of pictures because this woman spent 2 1/2 hours with us, and my husband and I felt obligated to make some sort of purchase.
I sent an email to their customer service, with no response. I also informed the customer service that I would be contacting the Better Business Bureau, which I did. I have asked to be reimbursed, and charged for the package price, so we will see if that happens.
fort walton beach, Florida