ED Magedson – Founder
Rachel Stephens Photographyportland, Oregon USA
Rachel Stephens Photography These people steal your money before you even sign a contract! portland Oregon
First off, kudos to all the women out their who had a wonderful experience and love their pictures. Awesome sauce for you.
My experience is totally different. I have been a fan of RSP for over a year, I love the pictures posted on her Facebook page. My husband and I had glamour shots done whe we were first married and I wanted to get glamour shots done again. And since I recently had lap-band surgery, I thought wouldn't it be awesome to get some budoir photos done? So when I read that RSP would be in our area, I immediately emailed for more information.
What I got was a an automated email telling me to fill out a reservation form and afterwards I would be sent three emails detailing Rachels progress from mom to photographer. The form basically asked which dates I would like to attend, my email address and my CC information. I didn't hesitate to fill it out because I erroneously assumed that it would be like reserving a room at a hotel. If I couldn't keep the reservation, I could cancel no questions asked.
The emails basically listed the services, the prices and they had links to the FAQ etc. I was also sent an email with a contract form that did state by filling this out I agree to the terms and understand this is non-refundable, etc etc. But I DID NOT fill out the contract. I was also put off by the wording, they pretty much stated that they didn't care if you didn't like your pictures, you could look like the elephant woman, you were still going to buy them or they were taking you to small claims because they put a lot of time and effort into the pictures, the session, the expensive setting, etc. So? Weddings are a lot of time, effort and are generally held at expensive venues, and if the wedding photographer sucked, you don't pay for the pictures. End of story.
They also don't mention that you have to pay for the hair and makeup, which I thought was part of the package. Also, you have to buy at LEAST $250 dollars worth of pictures. And they run up to $2500. So you're basically paying a MINIMUM of $500 bucks for the session and one or two shots. And for those who are going to say, that's a great price for great pics, well golly gee, not all of us have thousands of bucks to burn on pictures. And if I had known it would cost more than the $250, I sure as heck wouldn't do it. My last glamour session cost $300 for the shoot AND a book with 4 different poses and three costume changes.
The next email I got was, SURPRISE!, a receipt for my order. Whaaaatt?? All I did was fill out an inquiry form. In fact, I even got an email saying thank you for your inquiry, now I'm being charged? AND I was charged BEFORE I even got the other emails. In fact in one, they even said they hope I choose RSP for my "budoir photo experience". Well guess I have no choice, since you went ahead and CHARGED me!
At first I was like, well yeah, I DID want to have a session, but my niece just had a baby, my first great-nephew and my mom's first great-grandchild and we were invited to CO for a "welcome baby" BBQ. So I called up Sean and said, "Sorry, but I have a personal family event I need to attend, so I cannot make it to that session". No response. I emailed all the emails listed on their business site and their Facebook page. No response. A legitimate company would respond for no reason than to at least tell me my options. I don't care if they think I'm "dumber than a box of socks and should have read the fine print". I'm a customer and you're not doing your reputation any good by ignoring me.
I wouldn't have minded a phone call saying "oh, wow, congrats, maybe we could reschedule, or give you credit towards the next time we're in Phoenix since we don't refund. 'Cause you know, we photograph ALL THE TIME but a new great-nephew/grandson is only born once!"
Finally I just filed a fraud report with my bank, because sorry, if hotels ran their business the way you two do, they would be OUT of business. People would be afraid to book, afraid the hotels would take their money even if they called and cancelled the reservations days in advance. And the session I chose is over THREE WEEKS away, so plenty of time to get another RSP groupie to take my spot.
So, nope. All I want is my $250 back. I don't need to work with people who take your money than bully you into paying for more services. As other people have stated, there are other reputable photographers out there.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/04/2013 10:47 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Rachel-Stephens-Photography/portland-Oregon/Rachel-Stephens-Photography-These-people-steal-your-money-before-you-even-sign-a-contract-1072928. 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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