Let me tell you about the WORST portrait experience of my LIFE. On 12/12/07 I took my 6 month old son to the local Olan Mills Studio for our SCHEDULED appointement, which was for 10 a.m. I had figured that being the first appointment of the day was a good thing when you were dealing with a baby- no lines, no waiting. The last time I had my sons pictures taken it had only taken a grand total of 30 minutes, so I left the diaper bag in the car- figuring that I would have the same experience. I couldn't have been more wrong.
First- I get there 15 minutes early and the girl working says "we aren't open yet" and walks away. Color me stupid, but I can read the sign and do the math, I just let that slide off my back. 30 minutes later, (now I wonder if she can do the math, as I am 15 minutes PAST my appointment time) she tells me she is having problems w/ the camera. So much for no waiting. My son is in a good mood, so I wait, and wait, and wait, and wait. Did I mention that I had to wait? By this time my son needs a diaper change, so now I have to go buy diapers and wipes, since we live in upstate NY and it's about 15 degrees out, it's either, bundle my kid up and make him scream, or shell out the extra $$. So I do this, and change his pants on the floor of the studio. Another hour passes- and yes you heard me correctly- and hour. Now my son is hungry, so I have to breast feed him in the middle of Kmart. Meanwhile, the girl working doesn't tell me what's going on, offers me nothing. Another family shows up, and another.
It takes the girl working 2 hours to offer me another appointment. She PROMISES me that I will have my pictures before Christmas. I make my appointment for Saturday 12/15 for 9 am, again first appt of the day. This goes off w/ out a hitch. However let me state that the photographers pants were too small and when she bent over I could see the crack of her behind- not exactly professional. She also promises me my portraits will be available BEFORE Christmas.
Saturday 12/22- I get a phone call that the portraits have not yet come in, and I will get a call later in the day when they do. I don't get a call so, I go to the store, where I am told that the woman working "doesn't have time for this". I am given a # to the regional office for the manager. No clue on when the pictures are coming in. I call the # I was given, and get voicemail. I leave a message. No call back. I leave another message- no call back. I call the store- no new information. I call the regional # again- no call back. On Sunday I go back to the store, again no new information- no plans to get me that information. Here it is 3 days before christmas and I am spending all my time hunting down someone who can telll me where the pictures of my son in a Santa suit are. This is the worst customer service I have ever rec'd. Not to mention that this company has failed to join the 21st Century and make the portraits available online faster than 10business days. If that were the case I would have ordered prints online and paid to have them overnighted. But no- I get screwed all the way around. And- Did you know that there isn't a corporate # available? I can't find one anywhere- only the option to send an email thru the website where it takes them 3-4 business days to get back to you. Again, usless in this situation.
All in all, I would rather pay twice as much for portraits and at least be sure that I am going to get them when they say I will, and have the customer service level I expect. At this rate, 14 yr olds working a summer job at the local fast food joint know more about customer service than Olan Mills does.
Herkimer, New York