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Lifetouch Photography / terrible service, no refund received

1 United States Review updated:

Lifetouch -

In early September I purchased school portraits for my son. The photographer screwed up and mixed up some orders. My son was to have a grey background (he picked out a dark green shirt). What arrived had a dark blue background which made th picture way too dark. I followed th instructions on how to return it-to the local Lifetouch Office. I sent it on 9-17. On 9-24, they charged my credit card the $36 for the portraits. I called the local office and wanted to know what was going on. She said my refund would be coming "any day now". I'm still waiting. Emails to the company have fell on deaf ears. They have no customer service whatsoever. I want my refund. I will be filing a dispute with the credit card company.

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  • Ji
      5th of Dec, 2007
    -3 Votes

    I am one of the owners of Kids At Heart Photography, I would love the opportunity to submit a proposal to photograph your child's school. We pride ourselves in quality and service. I am also one of the photographers at every photo shoot. You can reach me at 1-800-438-0083 (office), oe 215-378-7997 (cell). I am available for any meeting at your convenience. Thank you for your time, Jim Stewart

  • Ev
      17th of Mar, 2008
    +2 Votes

    I agree, Lifetouch is the stereotypical "too big for their britches" company. Bad customer service and rude employees. I even worked there for a brief stint! And I can say that the internal affairs are no better- the office I worked in was full of perverts and the managers would do nothing about it. Photographers dating (or should I say groping) out back and in the schools, mismanagement, nepotism, etc. Stay far, far away from Lifetouch!!!

  • Ch
      20th of Mar, 2008
    -1 Votes

    How dumb can a photographer be? My daughter has this beautiful dress on her smile is gorgeous and her position is perfect. So why is #1 her collar all messed up! Which I would be able to overlook, had her belt not been completely undone. Just hanging there! So obvious it is sickening to think these idiots even deal with my children.

  • Si
      25th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    Lifetouch is a scam. They set up a deal with kickbacks to the schools. Here the schools with hold grades and particpation in school events unless you pay for picture packages they send home every six weeks. I don't even have to agree to let my child be photgraphed. They just herd them all in and snap the photos. Send home these huge packages of pictures and then a month later demand payment or else...and the school is now a debt collector for Lifetouch. Its shamelful and criminal.

  • Se
      19th of May, 2008
    -1 Votes

    Yeah, well they BLEACHED my kid! He is a pretty dark-skinned native american and they made him peachy-pink!

    I emailed them. The ysaid they would get back to me but of course did not.

  • A
      19th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    You should check this out - they screwed up big time.

    When I was in high school I was on the yearbook staff for my school so I can imagine how much stress that caused. That company should be shut down.

  • Sh
      28th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    As someone who favors Lifetouch I feel I should reply. Before you angry folks get all bent out of shape because I'm going to stick up for this company, hear me out.

    My child was one of hundreds of thousands of children who die from cancer each year. For her funeral, we wanted a large portrait to place by her casket. Thankfully, Lifetouch photographed her school.

    We first contacted a large portrait company that we had do our family portraits. They were willing to provide a portrait, at regular price of course, but they did send a coupon for our "loss". When we contacted Lifetouch, we were surprised to say the least. Not only did they send us a large portrait but they sent several photos along with a heartfelt letter. They didn't charge a dime, and instead let me know how thankful they were for having been able to photograph my daughter. Inspired, I did some research, and found that they do this for families all over the country and take it very seriously.

    Since then I've become a member of my local schoolboard. We use Lifetouch and I can assure you, there are no "kickbacks". The company does, however, make donations to schools for fundraisers and special events. So I ask, what's wrong with that? Herf Jones does our yearbook and does the same thing. Oh, and Kids at Heart does my nephews school. I'm sure Mr. Stewart runs a fine business but I must say I prefer the quality and service of Lifetouch.

    My husband, who just got back from Iraq, read your comments with me and made a really good point. When he got back, a lady at the airport asked him if he was proud to be a soldier. Of course he said yes, to which she replied shame on you. So because my husband had a bad experience with one person, should he hate all people? Of course not. People are human, including employees at Lifetouch and other companies. My sister had a poor experience with her schools photography company that is not Lifetouch, but isn't bitter about it. She never got the problem fixed and had to go to JC Penny to get my nephew's photos done. People will make mistakes, and that's to be expected. Life is too short, believe me, to be so angry for such petty things.

  • Mi
      30th of May, 2008
    -1 Votes

    I myself have just had an issue with Life touch. While I understand ONE person was happy with something they did, her situation is an extreme. She had a child pass away. Of COURSE a company would do a wonderful job for her and most importantly - take their time on it. I understand people make mistakes, BUT while owning a company, it it their job to not only do the job right, but to help when there is a problem, NOT ignore it or just "say sorry".
    Here is what just happened to me today - I go to the end of the school talent show where I find my very emotional 6th grade daughter crying in the hallway. Today is the last day of school, she waited all year to get this year book they all get (which I may add is LATE to boot). Guess who was left out of the year book? Yep, My daughter. Was she a re-take you might ask? Was she absent picture day? NO and NO to that. We actually got very lovely pictures AT THE CORRECT date and time as every other student, BUT somehow she was left out of the year book.
    Who cares some of you might say? Well, to a 6th grade girl (whom most are emotional wrecks at this time in their lives) this is a HUGE deal. The rest of the school days was planned so each kid could visit other teams and classrooms to get their books signed. This school is also a transitional school. There is only ONE sixth grade school building, then the kids get mixed into 3 other middle schools. She will never see some of her friend again and the thought of not being in the class page was very upsetting to her. My daughter still to this day enjoys looking back at her Elementary school year books and seeing how people look and or changed year to year.

    Life Touch's offer was to refund my money OR send me a sticker of my daughter that SHE could place in her year book... Uh... why would SHE want a picture of herself? It's the 300 other kids books she wanted her picture in..

    Anyways.. NO, i don't expect the company to re-print the WHOLE book for everyone or anything like that, BUT being a person who is into photography and digital imaging... I can tell you this.. Those pictures were taken MANY months ago. The year book should have never been late to begin with AND the problem could have been taken care of so that my daughter could have had a whole sheet of many little stickers of herself to give out to friends who could then have put them in their books OR even given to the whole school with each yearbook to stick in themselves IF the book had been on time or even done earlier in the year. Those school pictures were taken WAY back in September.

  • Cs
      12th of Jun, 2008
    +1 Votes

    The 2 sets of photos taken at our school this year have been slightly blurry or fuzzy so I have not purchased them. I took my kids to another photography shop (Picture People) and got great photos of the smile with missing front teeth. You don't get much time to catch that smile in life!!! I did get my refund for the first set (Fall), but I'm confused as to why the focus problem continues with Lifetouch studios. Olson phtotography did our Tball photos and they came out clear, bright, and beautiful.

    If my doctor was supposed to take out my appendix and took out my liver instead, he'd be fired to say the least. I'm not sure who decides to hire Lifetouch - a school board or the principal, but I'm going to write both a letter and suggest that you do the same. Maybe a decrease in business will get their attention? Okay - it may sound naive, but complaints to the company fall on deaf ears. Ugh.

  • Le
      15th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I've have had my children's portraits taken by the local Lifetouch photographers for 20 years and they have always taken excellent portraits, had excellent customer service, and have been very easy to work with. There are great advantages to working with a large company especially one who provides 100's of jobs in and around our community, provides lower prices for our portraits, and give back immensely to the communities it serves. I suggest people do a little more research on the company before they pass judgement.

  • Ro
      20th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    It seems to me that accidents happen regardless of all preparations to avoid them and mistakes can be made by anyone - whether it is a missing picture in a yearbook, or a slightly fuzzy picture, or even customer service issues.

    As a photographer, I can say that I do the best job I am able to ( even when I don't feel like it ) because that is what being a professional is all about. I also do IT work, and in the past did things like work on miltary aircraft - and regardless of whether you flip burgers, count beans, or work with your hands - all of your customers expect the absolute best from you, and even though you do your best - mistakes and errors happen. Sometimes they are minor, sometimes they are not, and sometimes they aren't caught until later when it's too late.

    My point simply is, that everyone wants to assign the blame on someone, and nothing is easier than assigning the blame to a large company like McDonalds, or Dell, or Nestle, or in this case Lifetouch. Companies are easy targets because they are large and encumbered to move slowly due to their size. Lifetouch is a particularly nice company since they are owned by employees. In the end, the things which caused tears for a 6th grader, or angered someone due to improper color corrections, or an undone belt - are all errors made by individuals, and not truly by a large personified incarnation comprised of a company.

    I am not invalidating your claims, nor pointing the fingers at anyone; however, as a photography professional I am fully aware that it's unbelievably easy to miss one thing or another. I hear people who are riddled with problems and personality / professional inconsistencies constantly bad talk other professionals calling them dumb or incompetent or listing long complaints. In the end, I am certain that for every insult any one person can cast at another professional, there are many professional rebukes easily being directed towards that individual, because in the end - the internet is the perfect way to point out the flaws in others nearly anonymously so as to detract inherent and unseen flaws within oneself.

    Just my nickel's worth.

    PS - I think it is deplorable that some [censored] saw fit to screw with pictures of a yearbook, and I am certain that not only was that individual identified internally, but terminated. As for nepotism - the worst cases of nepotism are in privately owned companies.

  • Wi
      29th of Sep, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I am a professional photographer and have been for over 12 years. Lifetouch, Herff Jones, Prestige are my best advertisements!!! As far as corporate photographers, they are pretty much the same. NO service after they cut the deal. (BTW, It's NEVER the photographer's fault, either. So please don't say that the photographer was an "idiot", they have no say in what the company does or lets them do creatively. Most times they are never allowed to touch the student even so much as to straighten a collar for fear of lawsuits.) They get paid diddly-squat and get no health insurance or even discounts on their own kid's pictures. The other employees hide behind the corporate phone number and email so you never know who you're talking to when you have a problem. They don't hire anyone with previous photo experience, they like to train them "to their style" so nobody gets uppity and artsy - or steals their precious business strategy. I know, I have associates who have worked for and been turned down by their recruiters. If you are not happy with them, take your kids to a real professional photographer after picture day. Locally owned businesses stake their livelyhood on happy clients and you'll get superior personal attention and keep your money in your community.

  • Ca
      8th of Oct, 2008
    +1 Votes

    Stay away from LifeTouch. My daughters pictures were paid for and taken this past August. I still have not received them and on top of that, they illegally ran an electronic debit through my checking account yesterday (Oct. 7) for the same amount as my check which they had already cashed back in August. I am having no luck with their customer service department. I don't know where to go from here - charged twice for pictures I haven't even received. I will never use them again.

  • Tr
      10th of Oct, 2008
    -1 Votes

    Stay away from LifeTouch. We were railroaded into buying pictures after sitting for a "free" picture as part of the new church directory project. From out outset I was not happy with how he was directing us around and his brusque manner didnt encourage us to smile a lot for the pictures!

    No re-takes were offered even though I was not very happy with the pictures. We ended up ordering one picture just to get out of there! When I asked about glass on the picture frames I was told "they have discovered now you dont need glass" When I pushed it and asked how one keeps the photos clean he told me to wipe the photo with a damp cloth!
    I have called my credit card company this am to cancel the charge - we are in CA - where there is a 3 day cool down period after signing a contract.

    Upon leaving our church, our son remarked that the guy was "weired" and that comment confirmed my uneasy feeling about him from the outset. No way in hell would I have left my son alone in the room with that photographer.

    I wish I had read this site yesterday - but hey, you live and learn. My advise = ask you friends and neighbors who they use; use a local photographer who has a reputation and a business to maintain in your community.
    Ah, now Ive vented!

  • Er
      27th of Oct, 2008
    -1 Votes

    It's October 2008. My son turned in his order envelope two hours after he had his picture taken, and it was TOO LATE. Nothing can be done. He has to wait for re-takes. There's no way to access his picture on the internet?? Surely the photos are digital, I said. The representative was very excited to tell me that yes, this year FOR THE FIRST TIME (at least in our area), they are using digital technology. What????!! Everyone teases me about my lack of technological know-how, but I've had a digital camera for at least seven years. A PHOTOGRAPHY CORPORATION is seven years behind me in photograph technology?! This company is ridiculous! I've only been ordering school pictures for the past few years because of tradition, nostalgia, and the feeling that maybe some of the money goes to the schools. Even with my lack of technological expertise, I can take download a picture of my child, choose formats and sizes, and print out the sheets on glossy paper--and I won't end up with photos with my child's eyes closed! If Lifetouch refuses even to be polite or reasonable, why, in this day and age, would I POSSIBLY want to deal with them???

  • Ch
      2nd of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    Lifetouch is a very large company with many photographers of all kind. They take thoundsands and thoundsands of photos of school children who are being rushed through the lines for their year book photos. The school admins. wants the job done quickly and photographers are pushed to move quicker at many large schools. Once in awhile the gel for the choosen background will be miss, the auto focus of the camera will go out, a student will hit a light and move it an inch out the correct area, students clowning around with their expressions... etc.. Many things can happen and most them or caught before the next 45 students come for photos. However, they do happen. This is why Lifetouch offers retakes. I have found many parents not taking the advantage of having retakes.

    If you are having customers service problems with your local Lifetouch office, contact the corp. office in Minnesota. My experience with Lifetouch is costomer service is very good and they do aim to be postive.

  • Sc
      12th of Nov, 2008
    -3 Votes

    lifetouch should be banned from doing business. Did you know they send out postcards to senior parents/students with pre appointed photos shoot times & dates?! that is happening here in georgia in our counties of fayette & coweta. did you know their requirements for a photographer are to have a car & drivers license?! this company is ran by business sharks & photography is secondary. they actually stole a school contract from us by saying they were a yearbook rep. they then heard our prices & underbid us as a photographer! all professional photographers need to get together & let there schools & schoolboards know these things! we have

  • Je
      12th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    Life touch was rude to my sister & rushed her through her senior portraits C/O 09 we have called & complained twice but after reading these reviews they probably won't call us back! They overlooked her bangs in her eyes in alot of pics & in her personal pic which she paid extra for the gentleman was weird & made her uncomfortable & she said he reeked of booze! Maybe 3 out of 24 pics look beautiful. She & our family are highly upset this is suppose to be a magical year & they screwed it up! For the price they charge for the pictures they should pay alot more attention too details & not be rude to these kids & make them feel rushed & be rude & unprofessional!

  • Je
      14th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    Lifetouch called my sister back & apologized & made things right we are happy now!

  • Ci
      16th of Nov, 2008
    -1 Votes

    I worked for life touch for about 2 yrs and recently was let go because of family issues and even tho I was always on time for the last 2 yrs they needed someone who could be there all the time and not have to take off cause of the issues that I had. The last two yrs I was waking up at 3am and getting to the schools on time and being a great photographer to all students getting the best smile possible, I might add getting a very crappy wage per hour for the last two yrs. Cause my boss lost over $300.000.000 dollars in one yr cause of some the photographers that were not doing there job loosing schools. I was in the New Ulm Mn office. They then turned the office in to a "hub" where you could pick up supplys and drop off things but if you needed to talk to the Boss you had to call Minneapolis, Beyond that they kept a known thief at the office. Alot of things changed after that happened and granted I'm still upset with the way that the company changed. The training turned in to no touch don't fix the hair dont fix the necklace, don't wipe the face if its got something on it, don't touch the clothes. This is a no touch photography company. You can ask them to turn the necklace, hair, face, clothes was not to be helped. It got to be impossible to do this with children under 9yr and sometimes older the poses got to be a royal pain as well if the child didn't get the pose you had to guide him or her to the pose and you could not touch them your only allowed seconds with each child to get them threw the line and yes that means 5 secs or less, alot of these children felt as if they were cattle being waved threw what a joke. Has anyone ever asked there child what is said to them when there getting there picture took, see if this sounds right, Hi "Lynn" and how are you today well you look so pretty today did your mom pick that out for you tell her she has great taste. so what did you want for Christmas well that is great you have a good Christmas see ya That is taught to you from them that is to set up they say is repore BS if you ask me. Think about that I did have a great time with the students that I had that was before the touching thing became a issue. fixed there hair, told them that the necklace was crooked, said something that made them laugh and took the best picture possible I LOVED my job and miss some of the students that would put a smile on my face as well. Yes Life Touch needs to change there name N T S ( Not Touching the Student )and don't worry not our problem about your childs shirt or hair, can't touch em..and the part of the employee owned not really.. I feel bad for the price that you all pay for the pictures that you receive some are very bad I was the one who they sent back for retakes. IF there is someone in this area and thought the pictures for 2005 and 2007 were better with the retakes thank me I didn't do all the schools but I did some. Thanks for reading

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