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Lifetouch Photography


terrible service, no refund received

Complaint Rating:  72 % with 90 votes
72% 90
Lifetouch - www.lifetouch.com

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.
Complaint comments Comments (107) Complaint country United States Complaint category Photo Services


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A  24th of Nov, 2008 by    -2 Votes
Has anyone else had this problem? Our son just had his school photos taken. When we got the prints back LifeTouch had placed the date and their logo on the front of the picture. They really stand out and look awful. I'm sure they put the logo on for marketing purposes, but it has no place on the front of a picture. It and the date should be on the back. When I called LifeTouch about it and asked if they could give me prints without the disfiguring remarks they said it was impossible. Well, of course it's possible. It's just a digital stamp. They just don't want to do it You would think with the economy in the tank at present they would want to make sure lots of customers are happy, not unhappy and asking for refunds, which is what I'm doing. I'm also encouraging the school principle not to use them anymore.
N  18th of Jan, 2009 by    0 Votes
I want to share my side from what I see as a longtime employee at Lifetouch. First, I work inside the lab and try to make the pictures as pretty as possible because I know that I would want the same done for my children and grandchildren. From what I know about picture day, the school gives the photographers a set amount of time that they can be in the school so you might want to ask your school to allow more time. I believe the pricing also comes from what the school sets as their profit. I have noticed that some schools packages cost a lot more than say a school across town.Those higher priced schools are the ones who have the school profit. There again, if the school is getting a huge kickback then they should be allowing the photographer more time in the school.
We in the lab were complaining about how crappy a job the photographers do, especially on the preschool jobs, shooting them off backdrop etc. He said that it is because they are giving them off the rack cameras and paying them barely minimum wage, so they count on the lab to fix the errors. Which we try to do. But we aren't paid all that well either. We got a whopping 15 cent raise this year which they will turn around in March and go up on our insurance which will take it. They have initiated a new attendance policy in which we get points for everything that is not prearranged and in which we use our paid time off for. So even if we have always had excellent attendance, now, even if we have a wreck on the way to work, and are late or absent then we get points. If our children are sick, we get points. We are so stressed out trying to work and manage our families and have to worry about getting points and we still try to give you the best product we can. They allow no flex time. Those who have had it for years, now can't have it. There is one young mother who always was able to come in a few minutes late due to babysitting issues, now can't. Her mother has to meet her in the parking lot, and she has to take her sleeping baby out of one car to the next and now it is frigid cold, just because they will not allow any flex time. This girl has been at Lifetouch for about a decade now, and is a great worker and really knows her stuff and she is treated this way. Another mother who has also been with the company for almost as long, and is always at work, and I see her working in all areas of the plant because she has crosstrained in many areas and they take full advantage of it, anway she was in the bathroom looking really stressed recently when I was in there because the plant manager told her that although she is a good employee, that she should look for another job because she needs them to allow her a couple of hours flex time on Wednesday nights to go to church with her child. I asked her did she remind them that Lifetouch would go out of business if it weren't for all of the Christian schools? She said, she did, but it didn't change their minds.
Right now it is slow at work, some of us travel close to an hour to get to work just to not have anything to do and we have to go home after not even being there long enough to pay for our gas because the ones in charge who are salaried and not affected by short hours don't care enough about us as employees to call us and tell us not to bother to come in.
But most of us still try our best to give our best and give you the best product. The thing is that no matter how hard we try, with such stress and knowing that we are not valued by management and that we are looked at as being disposable items, we are only human, and mistakes are going to happen.
Another problem with Lifetouch is because of it being seasonal, we have a huge turnover, and management doesn't seem to see that they need to treat us better to make us want to come back each year. A lot of temps I know, after they have driven 30 minutes or more to get to work to just turn around and go back home after not getting much time in because management is too disrespectful to call and tell them they don't need to come in, and then if they are getting points because they or their kidz are sick, then they don't want to come to work at Lifetouch fulltime. This causes a lot of inexperience in the plant and in the field. The best thing that the consumer can do is to continued to educated themselves about the companies they do business with and flood management with calls and emails. Get your local offices phone numbers and ask for management and call them. Remember that customer service reps are like the rest of us. They are overworked and underpaid and can only do what management says they can. All the problems start at the top and that is where they need to be addressed. Hope this clears some things up for you.
D  28th of Jan, 2009 by    0 Votes
I find it amusing how personal people take messed up cheap photography sessions. These types of shoots have been going on since I was litte, and it's like a heard coming in for pics. They aren't all going to be perfect due to the fact that it's commercial photography, not painstaking art. If you want more for your buck then go hire a personal photographer that will charge you 400-1000 dollars for a package rather than 29.99 or whatever it is. You get what you pay for people. People in costumer service are going to mess up and you aren't always going to get exactly what you want. Such is life.
A  24th of Mar, 2009 by    -2 Votes
Today we recieved my daughters pictures and they are too dark. We had the same issue last year with this company and sent a note asking to use proper lighting. I have had pictures taken at her daycare in previous years that was done by falcaulty members that were better then these "unprofessionally done pictures" by lifetouch. As a professional they should go beyond your run of the mill quality picture. If a professional photographer doesn't provide excellent service they are not valuable. I do expect no mistakes every time, if not get out of the business.
N  27th of Mar, 2009 by    -1 Votes
I worked for Lifetouch as a photographer...and I have a degree in photography. I think Lifetouch is an evil company they don't cared about their employees and they screwed me over. But in regards to the photographers give them a break. I would love to see most people get up at 3:30 in the morning drive two hours to a school and photograph 1200 kids in six hours while the admin. is breathing down your neck to go faster, teachers treat you like you are a peace of ###, and the kids can't follow simple directions such as not knowing their right from left and how to spell their own name (i'm talking middle school kids). I also loved the notes from the parents on the kids flyers. Such as "make sure Johnny doesn't have a fake smile", lady how am I supposed to know if your kids smile is fake or not. With regards to kids not smiling I do my best to get kids to smile but you try get a middle schooler to smile when they have this thug mentality where they are too cool to smile and trust me they look terrible without a smile but I don't have all day to try and get them to smile because I have the admin. still breathing down my neck. Also I love the parents who want change back. Do I look like a bank or carry a cash register no. No wonder the kids can't follow simple directions the parents can't even read. The order form clearly states no change, have exact cash. No wonder why Johnny's picture sucked I had to dig around in 40 order forms for 20 minutes to find a ten for change. As a photographer of Lifetouch you are also a punching bag for the students, the admin, the parents and for Lifetouchs' own sales people and mangers we get blamed for everything and we are the ones who do all of the work.

Lets please remember that we are humans and we are not perfect mistakes sometimes happen we may hit the wrong button on color changer and you didn't get the background color you ordered, I'm sorry about that. But if your pissed off at the pose we choose for you because you didn't fill out the order form how is that my fault maybe you should have taken the time to look at the poses and actually a choose one yourself.

To the lady who's daughter was left out of the yearbook. Lifetouch did their job they took her picture the person you should be mad at is the person who puts the yearbook together at your school that's the person who didn't place your child's picture in the yearbook.

All I ask is that people should try walk in other peoples shoes once in a while. Being a photographer is not easy it's early mornings, long hours, a lot of driving, lugging heavy equipment, dealing with rude people and you get paid really ### wages. I did enjoy most of the kids and going to different schools but it was hard work.
N  28th of May, 2009 by    -1 Votes

Has anyone worked with this company in Canada? Do they have the same issues. I appreciate your feeback
N  28th of May, 2009 by    +1 Votes
Hi, has anybody worked or dealt with Lifetouch - Canada (Edmonton or Canadian Cities) ? Do they have the same terrible service ?

Your quick reply is appreciated
A  11th of Jul, 2009 by    -3 Votes
I was a former employee of Lifetouch and all the complaints are true. The company sucks and only thinks about money. The RI territory manager has to be the greediest person I ever came across. He underpays staff and screws the loyal workers that deserve better pay. The man is a true psychopath by its very definition. Their products are hurting because everyone that works for them feels like a slave.
A  4th of Sep, 2009 by    -2 Votes
Just so you know, When you do have good pictures one year and request that photographer back for the following year because they did an awesome job, don't expect to get them back, most likely they were fired for some stupid reason like not having a black sharpie marker with them one day, or for leaving home at 3:00 am just to make the drive to your child's school and then not being able to make it on time because the road flooded and they basically had to take a 1.5 hour detour.

So to all of you parents, and schools out there:

Find someone who cares...
Fire lifetouch.

Their photographers are overworked and underpaid, worked too long, forced to work too fast, and then let go for the stupidest ### after they get decent at the job, (the real reason they are let go is because the company is full of greedy ###, and they want to get rid of anyone who has any vestment in the company so that the greedy ### on top get more money.)

And if your looking to apply at lifetouch, work at lifetouch, or just got hired. You should go look for a new job.
And if you don't take my advice on that one, go get your self a beat up piece of crap car for working in, or else that nice shiny new car that you just got is going to become a beat up piece of crap car.

so yea...
ex-lifetouch employee of 6 years.
A  17th of Sep, 2009 by    -1 Votes
N  23rd of Sep, 2009 by    -2 Votes
I am currently a lifetouch employee and agree with SPROCK112. The km pay is low and the starting wage is crap which I only found out about after I got the job. I would like to know what other photographers in Canada are starting out as. Please let me know or where I can find that information. I feel very ripped off.
N  7th of Oct, 2009 by    -1 Votes
My Wife and I have three kids at two differant schools all three of the packages we paid for the primium touch up at $12 each and not a one of them were touched up. After my wife spent hours on the phone they still want us to send theses wrong pictures back on our dime.I DONT THINK SO!!! NOT HAPPENING!!! Just start giving paople what they pay for or IM tinking CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT!!!
N  21st of Oct, 2009 by    +1 Votes
Lifetouch uses the philosophy of building on bones they Can not keep help and instead of paying the good ones they accidentally hire they replace them with cheap labor so you never know who is taking your pix.
A  30th of Oct, 2009 by    -1 Votes
I worked for Lifetouch photography and I realized it is a billion dollar money making SCAM!
with bad Management. I would not recomend anyone to Lifetouch...
D  19th of Nov, 2009 by     Best Advice +5 Votes
I've never had any issues with lifetouch. The one I have gone to seems to have great customer service and whenever there has been any issue come up they take care if it quickly. It seems like all those who say they "use to work for lifetouch" and now claim that they are just a "scam" are just upset at the fact that they were canned and can't get over it. I have seen some here and there that just didnt seem to get it and didnt last that long with them. Its pretty clear and simple to take this company as what it is. Its not a hilton photography kind of place but if you want to spend cheaper money than other places and get quality pictures then id go with them.
A  7th of Dec, 2009 by    -1 Votes
I just had me first experience with Lifetouch and it was awkward and bad. I'd never go to them again. It was through the Church Directory program. We went in expecting to take a single photo for the directory. We were more or less bullied into purchasing $200.00 in photos. This is what we got: 2 sheets (each of 3x5's) and one "storyteller" thing that is basically a large framed artwork piece with 3 photos of your choice. We were not given ANY price breakdown or package options. She rushed through some sort of mumbled speech about saving "points" the more we ordered. We left with the understanding that we were getting the storyteller art piece, the 2 sheets of 3x5's, one 8x10 and one sheet of wallet sized photos. We were given this magical number of $200.00 plus taxes and handling for this. When I asked for more info about cost breakdowns she danced a tune and never answered and we were so frustrated plus dealing with a crying infant that we just wanted to get out of there. We weren't even all that happy with the photo options. When the photos arrived I immediately wondered where the hell the 8x10 and wallets were because they were specifically ordered as christmas presents and were the family portrait we'd gone in for in the first place. So I called. waited 30 minutes to talk to someone who said that was not on our order and she couldn't do anything about it. Because the receit does not break down costs, just says $200, its now my word against the sales reps about what we did in fact order. The whole process was rushed annoying and the sales rep was particularly shifty. We were not at all impressed and honestly upset with the church for basically dictating that we all needed to go through this process for their new directory. I've spoken to some other families who had similar experiences and we're all pretty annoyed and unhappy with Lifetouch. This is Canada, by the way. After reading this forum I'm not surprised and just wish I'd gone into the session armed with this knowledge. I wish I'd demanded a proper cost breakdown and price list (which is magically unavailable) and refused to pay anything until I saw it. Seems like they were just out for a quick buck and we have no idea where she came up with our price based on our order. I'm so peeved about not getting the photos I wanted and paying that much. I WOULD NOT recommend this company to anyone.
A  8th of Dec, 2009 by    0 Votes
Our school hired LifeTouch Photography this year for the first time. When the salesperson came in to meet with us she practically promised us the moon in exchange for our business. Since we were going to be shorthanded due to a maternity leave, I was assured that I didn't have to do much of anything - LifeTouch would handle everything from the monies to flyers for the parents. Of course they published the flyers to post, but supplied us with stickers for the students to notify their parents that "tomorrow was picture day", which didn't work for one of our days as it was the following Monday. I had to make up separate flyers for the parents for the Monday picture day. In addition, they wanted these little cards filled out with the child's name, teacher, session, etc., etc. I told the salesperson outright that I was not going to do this as it was too time consuming. She then suggested I have the teachers do this. I refused to do this as well - I wound up making labels for each card with the information that was needed. I will not have writer's cramp! Not all of the parents viewed the pictures on the "viewing" day, so LifeTouch left all the pictures in the office with instructions to collect the money from the parents and distribute the pictures. What ever happened to "you won't have to handle any money, etc., etc." The individual "sticky back" pictures that we place in the student's folder did not have names, just a number so small to match against a list that I literally had to use a magnifying glass to read the number in order to match up the student to their name on the list. This is unexcusable! As a busy school office, I simply do not have the time to do this. Many of our teachers filed the photos themselves as they knew the children for the most part. I e mailed our salesperson regarding this and I have yet to hear back. I am sorry we ever went wtih LifeTouch and we will not have them back next year. I do have to say that the photographers were very nice young ladies, however they spent much too much time with each individual student, resulting in a delay for some of our students having to have their pictures taken the next day when they were scheduled for that particular day. They need to get their act together and train their salespeople to tell the truth and not promise what they cannot or will not deliver. Never again!
N  29th of Dec, 2009 by    0 Votes
I just got our pictures back we paid $200 dollars to this company what a total scam. To take the glare out of my husbands glasses they erased his eye lids he had no eye lids and half of his left eye was missing yes I said missing. This is a horrible company and I have tried to get my money back. The photo shop they did was insane a two year old with a marker could have done better.
A  2nd of Jan, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I ordered pictures, Lifetouch cashed my check 9/21/09, never received pictures. Called on 10/30/09 company rep. stated would resend in 2 to 4 weeks and received confirmation number. Pictures were supposed to take 2 to 4 weeks (would have been prioir to Thankgsiving). Still no pictures and it is now January. Where are they or refund my money?? Tried to call but of course they are closed for nearly 3 weeks and I needed pictures for christmas. Very irritated with that company. Will never order again. My daughter is in 10th grade and no way will I have them do any more pictures including the senior picture.
A  22nd of Feb, 2010 by    0 Votes
I have worked for this company. Lifetouch in Southern California, more precisely Riverside county does not abide by State of California Labor Laws. What makes you think that they would give customers anything better than unsatisfactory service? I recommend that anyone considering using them to look elsewhere. You may think that I am bitter or something, but I have proof of the violations and these are being presented to a court of law. Anyway, steer clear of this company

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