• Report: #689852

Complaint Review: CPI Corp/Sears

  • Submitted: Wed, February 02, 2011
  • Updated: Wed, June 15, 2011

  • Reported By: Ex_SPS_Hostage — Cary North Carolina United States of America
CPI Corp/Sears
St. Louis, Missouri United States of America

CPI Corp/Sears Amy Barnett, Payroll Manager Dismissive, Rude, disrespectful St. Louis, Missouri

*Author of original report: This IS the original poster.

*UPDATE Employee: What happened to a fair hearing, Ma'am??

*Author of original report: don't advertise on here!

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Sad to see this happen

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This is from an EX-employee. I started working at Sears Portraits/CPI in May of 2010, and when I started it was okay. Then things started to get wierd. I was told to disregard coupons that customers brought in, that the SuperSaver discount was conditional and to stick to that (instead of actually getting the free photo sheet, no purchase necessary, they now were required to purchase something), and that I would be making calls for half the time I was scheduled to work. Not only was that impossible to do, as there were many other MORE IMPORTANT things to do while working, but things started to get worse. I'm a freelance nature photographer, and I like to do unusual things with my photography, so when I started trying new things, my DM said "oh thats great! Keep doing that!" But after while, she started getting "complaints" about an employee who always seemed to by working during the week, and how said employee was rude, belligerent to numerous customers and unwilling to compromise about many things (actually talking about my manager, but it was blamed on me). Of course, I started seeing notes lying around..."L. needs to work on her posing," "Talk to her about interacting with customers and her attitude (what attitude?)" and finally, the piece de resistance, "Called A and J in to look at L.'s photography, and all agree, needs to work on posing and interaction."

I'm not hard to work with, and my emotions rarely get in the way of my job, but the way they pushed and pushed....my DM told me to get on the e-learning, and take the tests, then my SM told me that I was spending too much time doing the e-LEARNING and I needed to start making outreach calls, but when I started doing that, my DM jumped back on my back and demanded to know why I wasn't getting my e-learning done. Pair this with my manager interfering in my sales sessions and telling to delete pictures (while the customers were sitting right there!), then yelling at me for deleting them made me unable to cope with working there.

I finally sat back and looked at what had happened. I spent more time at work than I did with my husband (My manager told me outright that she needed to spend more time with her boyfriend than I did with my husband), and when we were together, all we did was fight about my job. I failed to realize until my husband brought it up that I was being phased out because of all that I was apparently doing wrong, when it wasn't me who was being complained on, but my manager. After a while, I was "given" a week off to get some rest before the busy season started, but before I went back, I had already decided to quit because I was only scheduled to work on saturdays and sundays (which, coincidentally, are the only full days I have with my husband) because my manager didn't want to work, or she was too hungover to work. So when my manager called to discuss next weeks schedule, I told her that I quit and not to call me anymore.

DO NOT GO TO CPI FOR ANY REASON. They are the biggest ripoff out there, and they will not stop at anything to get your money.




This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/02/2011 12:19 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/CPI-CorpSears/St-Louis-Missouri-/CPI-CorpSears-Amy-Barnett-Payroll-Manager-Dismissive-Rude-disrespectful-St-Louis-Mi-689852. 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 Author of original report

This IS the original poster.

AUTHOR: Ex_SPS_Hostage - (United States of America)

I read your post, and I simply don't think that at the end of it, you directed people to your website, and your photography. This most certainly is NOT an advertising site- it is somewhere that people can come to vent and warn others. You sad you have been working for one of CPI's holdings-which one is that? The one in a cushy office, or actually IN the photo studio, where kids throw up on you, or mom's yell at you, or dad's can't stop staring at your chest? Are you even IN the photo section of the company? If you were, you would know that currently, they are in a lawsuit with quite a few employees because of their treatment. Until you have actually WORKED in the job in the job I had, do NOT presume to understand what I went through at that h3llhole.
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#2 UPDATE Employee

What happened to a fair hearing, Ma'am??

AUTHOR: AB - (United States of America)

I have been an Associate with one of CPI's holdings for about four months. While I completely sympathize with the original poster regarding being blamed for another's poor work, and agree that her treatment was unfair and inexcusable, I would like to point out that CPI is a very large company that opporates all over the US, and that if every manager and District Manager behaved that way, CPI would not be in business, much less leading the industry. I believe this is what the other commenter was trying to point out.

To the original poster: What happened to allowing a fair hearing of opinions and evidence? Just because the other commenter works for the company in question, and had a different experience than you, does that automatically disqualify her from sharing her thoughts? She made no attempt to sell herself or the company, or to make excuses for the individuals who mistreated you. She simply stated that not all districts have that problem, and in fact shared that hers had many problems when she came aboard the company, which she had to to deal with and rectify before her district began making a positive difference. If anything, her testimony only emphasized how unfairly you were treated, and that it was wrong. Did she not extend a call to positive action within the company??

Every business on the planet has its flaws. Exposing them for the purpose of fixing them is one thing, or to right a wrong - but to make negative generalizations about the entire company based on a single set of experiences is inappropriate and short sighted. There are many, many managers and district managers (and associates, for that matter) with this company that genuinely care about their jobs, their employees, and their customers.

You said: "DO NOT GO TO CPI FOR ANY REASON. They are the biggest ripoff out there, and they will not stop at anything to get your money."

The plain fact is that every business everywhere has one goal - to get their customers to spend money. The individuals in your story used inappropriate and deceptive practices to meet that goal, YES, but there are many of us who use totally legitimate methods. In the end, it is the customer's responsibility to decide what amount of money they are willing to part with for our products. Our (CPI employee's) responsibility is to present the customer with accurate information so that they can make an informed decision. Our responsibility is to make personal integrity a priority in business dealings. I am sorry that your superiors failed to make integrity a personal motto, but that does not mean that the rest of us are also corrupt.

By the way, good for you, removing yourself from an unhealthy and destructive situation! Hopefully, the individuals in question received their just reward - a pink slip.
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#3 Author of original report

don't advertise on here!

AUTHOR: Ex_SPS_Hostage - (United States of America)

This is supposed to be a place where customers and employees can come to tell people the truth, not somewhere for you to drum to drum up business for yourself. CPI currently has 1 or 2 lawsuits against them, and they are slavedrivers to their employees, which is the subjects of both of the suits.

so quit advertising, and if that is all your going to do, STAY OFF.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Sad to see this happen

AUTHOR: steve - (USA)

I use to be a district manager for PCA before the buyout.  In fact I was with ASI and they were bought out by PCA.  So I have worked for both.  I did not get fired or received even a warning.  I actually stayed about a year longer than planned as I was almost begged to step on board to fix one of the worst districts in the company.  That was my thing, fix and move on.  PCA even flew someone from the East Coast out to offer me a position as a regional, wined and dined me, but in the end there were two other places that needed my help to get things going right and that is what I loved to do.
After I was hired, I fired more than half the managers in the 13 studios I had responsibility for.  But looking back, they were angels compared to what all these customer complaints are about the CPI managers and employees.
Our motto then was 'Zero Customer Complaints'.  And not to toot my own horn, but it seems as if the District Managers aren't doing there jobs.  I took those studios from last place to first place in the company in three month by doing simple  the simple things: hiring for personality, train them as if I wanted them to own the studio, reward them when they did it right and instill in them great customer service and the right to take care of problems.
And after 3 months I only spent maybe 20 hours a week in the studios.  That was all that was needed.
One woman on here complained about the $100 CD.  The company complains about the sales averages not being high enough.  In my own company now, 99% of all customers buy the $80 package or higher because I give them my $50 high res CD free if they buy one of the top two packages.  Do what makes sense.  Now I do create images as an illustrator that no one else in the country does, but still, the ground rules are the same.
I hate to see such a good company go downhill, and I know Jim is still with the company as one of the CEOs, but it seems no one has the power to change it.   I am sure there are others in the company that believe and manage like I use to.  If CPI monitors this site, you should get those people and make them 'fixers' and travel them from studio to studio until everything is fixed.
Now I realize I have only heard half the story, but some of that is even from ex-employees.  But there were never this many issues when I worked with the company.  Hell, call me and I'll show CPIwith just one studio how to fix things.  Not brag, just what I do and I do it in a positive way, not a threatening or negative way.
Simple... Hire for personality, train them as if it were your own studio, instill customer service and most of all reward them.  Doesn't take much, but do it once a day verbally or written or with a token that is a memory.
Anyway, good luck to both sides.  I have seen the rough customers and good.  I have seen and trained good managers and I have fired the ones I see half asleep in the studios next to where I live now.  I've made only two mistakes ever in hiring....seems the percentage is much higher now with the people with CPI at Walmart ( I don't know how Sears is doing so no comment there).
CPI- Interested in my preschool work, check out my website and click on the Dream Photos link.  Maybe you also need some new choices in backgrounds and technique for your photographers.  Make people buy the big packages by Wanting the big packages.  And be honest with the people up front so they appreciate it, not resent it during the sale.  You want them to come back.  No businesss is sucessful on just one time sales.   www.sosphotoparty.biz
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