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Olan Mills / Terrible experience

1 United States Review updated:
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I being a new mom wanted to photograph every stage of my daughters life. So at three months we decided to get her first professional pictures taken. If I would have only known what we getting into. So in November of 2008 I made an appointment. When I called I told them that I had a coupon and told them what it said. I asked if I could split up the package to be two poses and just pay extra. I was told that was fine. So we took her in for the appointment we made. We arrived early so that I could feed her and be ready right at our appointment time. So our time rolls around and we weren't called back, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes. Finally after more than 45 minutes later and with one tired baby we were called back. The photographer was great and really worked with her. Then after taking the pictures we had to wait another 40 minutes to even pick them out. When it came to picking the pictures I told them what customer service said about splitting the package up and the lady taking care of us, said that wasn't true we couldn't do that. So long story short we end up paying almost $200 in pictures. A few weeks later we go to pick them up and there was some missing including some personalized portrait cards. So I complain about all the problems I've had and how I am never coming back there.

And after all that, they tried to sell me extra sheets the lab 'accidentally printed', give me a break. The lady says that she will place the order for the rest of the pictures that did not arrive and it will be a few weeks for pick up. I told her that I shouldn't have to pick them up because it wasn't my mistake and I live over 30 minutes away. She said that they don't ship things. A few minutes later I call Olan Mills customer service and the guy gave me the number to the district manager. Of course like everyone elso says, it is a voicemail. I call multiple times and no call back. So I call customer service again and they said that they aren't able to give me the district manager's boss's number but they can take my info and forward to them. Surprise, I never get a call from them either. A few days after the rest of the pictures came in my mom was in Sanford and offered to pick them up, so when she does we find out that they aren't personalized. All the portrait cards said on them was 'Emma' and when my mom said something to her about it. The lady told her that I declined getting them personalized. Yeah right lady, like I would do that! Give me a break! I tell everyone that I can not to go there. It is absolutely pathetic what they call customer service.

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  • Di
      30th of Jan, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I as well have had a terrible experience with Olan Mills. I went there with my kids and my husband to take some family Christmas portraits. I also had to wait like two hours after my appointment time to be seen. The lady that got seen before me experienced great customer service they took they're time with her and they even let her child change clothes in the middle of the photographing. When i finally get my turn they try to rush me thru and don't even take as many shots as they did on the lady before and when my baby throws up on her clothing i ask if i could take just a second to change her outfit and the photographer Casey advised me that i couldn't because there wasn't enough time that she had a lot of customers after me. Them same customers where there when the other lady's kid got to change. She also told me that I had to come back another day to view them. I advised her that I lived quite a distance away because i had a bad previous experience with a different Olan Mills and had my mind made up that I was no longer to do business with them until a friend of mine advised me that she had a wonderful experience at the Temple Terrace one and to try that store out before I gave up on them completely. Well evidentally they had a different person working when she went because my experience at the Temple Terrace store was just as bad. I advise every one who reads this to boycott Olan Mills all together.

    Unhappy Customer

  • Ta
      16th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I understand what you went through, as an exemployee please keep in mind it is the companies fault. they treat us good employees so bad we have no choice but to leave.
    we are made to work 10 to 12 hours with no breaks but yet told to clock out so it looks like we took one.
    They book us every 15 min ( in some studios every 10) and we dont set our schedule they do from the web and an apt center.
    they dont return our calls ( the employees) so we can proplerly handle customers problems but they ignore us so we cant do our job and we are the ones getting screamed at. I myself broke rules just to make sure i had the highest customer satisfaction and although im not their am still getting customers tracking me down wanting to know if im photographing elsewhere so they can still be photographed by me.
    we had to photograph 32 poses for every customer and sell them in 15 min if we tried to shoot less poses we were threatened with being fired. at christmas they double and triple book us so we have 2 to 3 customers every 15 min.
    as for the extra sheet we were told to tell the customers it was a surprise extra sheet when in fact we ordered it at the end of every order at evey easter and christmas. WE ARE THE ONES TO CHOOSE WHICH ONES COME BACK.

    I wish i could photograph for you and show you how i treated my customers and why they are googling me and tracking me down on facebook and myspace just so they can still be photographed by me.
    I treated my customers with respect and understanding.

    It is only gonna get worse because all of us good ones are quitting.
    here is what they did to me that made me leave .
    I have been working for olan mills a total of 10 years. one year the first time and 9 this time. when I came back the second time, olan mills begged me to come back and I agreed on the condition I got the studio I have been working in for the last 9 years ( the only one currantly not in a kmart in 1 quarter of the US) I have been the top photographer for them for the whole 9 years and customers wont come in unless im there. I never call in, work sick, I dont even take my vacations and I bonus and reach my goals before anyone else. I work right thur my lunches and even clock out like i took one so they don't get a fine from the labor board.
    Today after all day of them acting all nicey nicey the big wigs 20 min to closing tell me they need to discuss something with me. so we all sit down and they start by saying that today was my last day at my particular studio. that they are moving me to a kmart ( which to me is a stabb in the back and a demotion.) that i had a choice of the cheektowaga closet sizes studio or the west seneca studio which is the worst in the ares ( the customers are rude and it is alot farther away and the kmart employees are rude it has the least oppertunity of bonusing. I was told this was from the corportate that they are makeing changes in the traditional studios and they want to make a fresh start and that it isnt that I did anything wrong. I have 6 sittings on tomarrow that requested only me to photographe and they wouldnt even let me calle them and let them know i wouldnt be there they said that they wouldnt really miss me that if they did they would tell them i would be at another studio. I was devasted. I told them it was unfair and they said either I chose one of the other studios or I dont have a job. They demand my key to the studio.
    I called my hubby to come get me from work, and when he picked me up I told him what happened and I was crying very hard. He was so mad he told them off and told them I quit and to go [censored] themselves and I too told them I quit I took most of my stuff out of the studio with me. We left. I am angry and devasted.
    I am also proud that my hubby supported me especially knowing how much we needed my job.
    I just cant believe that a company that would treat the employees that work the hardest and bust thier ### the most and are the least demanding with such little respect and with so little regard.and stabb them in the back so badly. the bosses didnt even fight for me. I was litarly the top sales person in the Zone, my studio was the first to reach its goals and not only reach them but exceeded them.
    I had earned 95 merit awards and 8 gallery and 3 merit finalist awards and this is how they treated me

  • Sn
      31st of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I use to work for olan mills and they do not value their customers let alone their employees. POINT blank they want your money thats it. OUR DM WAS AN INSTIGATOR AND A LIAR. The company its self lacks customer service, knowledge, and compasion for their workers. I got into a fist fight with my co-worker (yes talk about high school) overstuff that was delt with because my DM could not hanlde the fact that I would not let her control me. She obviously knew I was too smart for her tatics and knewI would not stand for any of she had to get other people in the company mad at me by saying stuff that was nit true. They did me a favor honestly by letting me go. I hardly saw my children and I could not take their ignorance anymore.

  • Th
      19th of Nov, 2009
    -1 Votes

    What I find pathetic is people who wait until the last minute to get their Christmas portriats done. This cause a rush in photograpy studios and anyone who goes in to have their portraits done at that time are not in their right mind. As for the customer service you complain about, why dont you go sit in a office and let impatient, rude and ignorant people talk to you as if you were below their standards.I find you to be one of the worse kind of people.A judgemental basket case with nothing better to do with your time than harass hard working people who you probally dont deserve to talk to in the first place.Also to the exemployee do you think that it might have been poss. that you were so good (yeah right) that they wanted you to turn the other stores around? and instead of taking it as a compliment your pride got in the way, because you were to good to lower yourself to work out of a kmart?That is what consider a snob.

  • Ve
      1st of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    i to use to work for olan mills and was there for 5 years i had 16 merit prints and was suppose to be trainning with phill b.but keep being lied to the whole time they said that my poses were not ment for olan mills style and i shoot way to many life style photos well after working for g.q. for 2 year i should know what im doing i had done pics of a prego lady in a sheet very tasteful and artistic and the customer loved it i was to by cathy armstrong that it looked likr it had belonged on xxx i was so pissed i called her and told her how i felt cuz the message was left on the voice mail for all to hear and im not one to keep my mouth shut i had done my job to the best that i could do many of my customers loved me and wen i left they did to im aslo still asked if i do pics on the side olan mills is a joke and is filled with mannagers they found at burger king moping the floors lol needless to say i had left once there was such a high demand for me to go back my boss called me to come back and the store had lost so much money if i could ot save it they would have to shut down so i went back got it off the ground and said peace the moral of the story is they take you for a ride and screw you in the end just wish our customer could know its not our falt its the lack of management and comunication that gose on wit our dm's point plank go to picture people u might pay alot but its worth your time and money not to mention i would work there if there pay didnt suck but i give them props and the still work with a smile if olan mills could learn sumthing its to look back and see how a company is run beacuse its not the good pay that makes us smile its a good customer and great management skill AND A CLEAN STUDIO WITHOUT THE WALLS FALLING DOWN ooo yeah did i mention that i put out like 100 a month just to maintain a clean studio with a nice enviorment well i think i have said my share

  • Su
      1st of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I love the packages that we offer and I love my customers. I DESPISE my DM!!! She is a liar and she uses us. She makes all the photographers hate each other. If you are not Spanish or Black she hates you. She is always making you feel bad about yourself. She says you can talk to her about anything, when you do she tells everyone and they make you feel like crap. I love my job, but hate who I work with. I have won 11 merits in the 2 years I have worked for them. I used to be studio manager, working over 40 hours. I hurt myself at work and I was afraid to tell my manager because I will lose my job. I never got workman's comp because I never told my manager. I feel I am used and abused there.

    Now I work less than 20 hours. I can't get unemployment because I "make too much" but I don't make enough to live. Now I am suck here, miserable with Satan's wife! My studio was supposed to be remolded...but that's been said for the last 3 years. Now she is making us work on our days off. Also they said we will get fired if we don't 'play' telemarketer and try to find better business. Be advised we are not getting paid. She also told us we are not getting paid over time. So if one of my appointments come at 7pm when I am closed I have to take them but I am not getting paid for working pass 7? Screw that. They can hate me and be mad at me, but I do not work for free! The only time they are EVER nice to me is if they need me to do something for them. I need a new job and it's hard to find a job nowadays. The manager also told me she wouldn't let me transfer to another Olan Mills if I were to move. She is miserable and a money hungry beast!

    I am a great photographer and I treat my customers like my family. I love all of them. I usually try to help my customers with prices and stuff. I do not like to rip my customers off. My manager feels that's what we have to do. I do not play that. I am a fair person. I almost got in trouble for giving a customer a free 8x10 because she had to wait for an hour why my camera was being fixed. WTF? It's called being nice and trying to make a customer happy.

    I can't wait to show up this company and be better than them!

  • Sh
      9th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    Let me address your issuses 1st. You are like any other new mom coupon. wanting something for nothing. YOU said you were wanting to pay extra for splitting your package if you read the coupon you would have seen that is said in the small print "ALL OF ONE POSE" that means all of the same photo!!! Then you had something to say about the extra photos they sent back to let you know those are spec sheets and yes they knew they were coming back we order then every easter and xmas to get more money out of you. That is our jobs Olan mills DM's and zone VP's want us to get your money. You are coming into get a service we are not giving away photo's for free there how in god green earth are we going to get paid. You said you had to wait 45mins for a sitting well did you ever stop to think it was xmas season? and i can bet there was only one person working right? We do what we can we do try I thought for awhile that it was just my area that had these issuses but it's not it's everywhere the company don't know better it's worked for years i guess customers like something they keep coming back. we are truly over worked and under paid. I know i try to give all my customers the best service I can. I'm not trying to be rude or make anyone feel bad I'm just trying to tell you how this company is. Everything every worker on here has said it true we work 10-12 hour days and are told to clock out for a break don't take it but clock out on slow days in the winter samething clock out and hang around the studio help my payroll out.

  • Ta
      15th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    to the person posted under the name the truth yea i was that good attached is a photo of just some of the awards i earned 97 merit prints and 9 gallery prints and many others and it was not a matter of pride it was a matterof a a cut in pay of about $200 to $300 a month on top of it as i was getting more money at the traditional studio then i would at the kmart

  • Ol
      30th of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    why are you able to have your merit prints hung on the wall? I work for olan mills and i had my 64 merit prints hung on the wall and i was made to take them down? i hope i get an answer and your saying you get more pay in a traditional studio I'm in a kmart man i should ask why that is? I have Sia's phone # just wanted to know why i've been here 10 years and get nothing new people make the same as me.

  • Ta
      1st of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    part of it was the bonuses i made there verses the kmart the more upscale customer come there and spend way more money. the last year i worked there i bonuse 41 out of 52 weeks an maxed out the $250 bonus a week most weeks. doctor lawyers and even and actor from law and order. When i left I was making $13 and hour pluse the weekly bonuses part was becasuse i always exceeded my quartly goals too so i got bigger raises and a huge part was no aquistisioners for my studio. The kmart they wanted to send me too never ever made bonus because they had and aquistioner there all the time that as soon as a customer used one coupon they would sell them another so if a customer wanted more then one pose they would just buy another coupon set up another session and ask for that pose the next time this way they never spent more the the $5 for the coupon and the $4.95 pk and handling one other huge reason is i could do groups up to 22 and they always bought huge the traditionals are always better the kmart in westseneca the customers are trained not to buy and if you try to change anything they complain to the dm carrie riley or the zone vp katrin armstrong and they tell them your wrong and give them whatever they want anyways I worked at the kmart one for several months once and never made bonus no matter what i did. As for the merits they let me hang them because i used it as a tool to get customers in, if their kid didnt make the famous wall they would keep comming back trying and spending everytime or send their family in to see thier kid on the wall and the family would want theirs up too. The zone vp and phil bernier saw it several time when a family member came in to see their neice or nephew and then right away schedule and apt to get thier kids on the wall . So they let me keep it up .

  • Oh
      8th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    tambramarrie : everything you said is the truth the asrs do sell more then one coupon to the same family i get customers coming in with an asr and don't get anything else but before they leave the store they buy another one and when the come in to use it they ask for me to do a pose i did on the 1st sitting i think this all needs to be thought over again. I don't make what you make an hour how long were you will olan mills? I know Phil i have worked with him a few times he is no longer over my area i have Kevin Walls what was your goal at the end of the week i got 10% of what ever i was over it was $1400. and my bouns is maxed out at $200. I can see you getting better customers I get NEW MOM about 10 a week !! sometimes even more

  • Ra
      9th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    I too had a horrible experience with Olan Mills. When I showed up to my appointment with my 2 1/2 year old and 10 month old we were told that the computer system was broke and we would not be able to view our pictures after the sitting. We were told we should come back the next day to view them. Mind you we live 30 minutes away. I asked to make sure there would be 2 people working the next day so Iwouldn't have to wait if someone else was there for an appointment. I was assured 2 people were working. I even asked if I should make an appointment and was told no, to just come back the at the same time the next day. So we all come back the next day and after waiting 20 minutes to be seen, I was told I couldn't view my pictures because only one person was working and she had to take the scheduled appointment for pictures. So she saw me sitting there for 20 minutes and couldn't have told me before about the problme so I didn't have to waste more of my time. Not mention I haven't received any response from the customer service department or from the district office. No compensation offered either. I will never go to Olan Mills ever again.

  • Lo
      13th of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    So all of these comments are form PREVIOUSLY employed people? I've worked the 10_12 hour days+ I've also worked the 80+ hour weeks in the christmas season stopping between sessions & eating in the camera room & YES it is hard & no i don't get to see my daughter a whole lot but this is the most rewarding job I have ever had. I Love my Management & co workers some of them are a little crazy but it is okay I have my own high volume studio avg. almost 200, 000.00 a year & almost never have a week I don't bonus I'm in the 3rd studio i have been in permanently in the last 4 years aren't we all here to make money & play all day? I've been stressed & tired but when you have those kids come in you"ve been photographing since they were 3 days old & you get to watch them grow up. Or you go to someones house & see a picture YOU took is it not the most rewarding thing ever? I will do my best to stand by my Job & I have lost about 4 "friends" because I stood by it BUT I have my job that I have worked so hard for & I plan to keep working harder to acheive my life goals :) If at first you dont succeed try again! there is always another studio you can go to & get treated better!

  • Do
      6th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    Also, keep in mind, Olan Mills is masterful at keeping their Better Business Bureau board sanitized, I would like to see all the complaints posted there in full. Follow up and make certain Olan isn't filling in all the followup information on that board for you... Make certain you are letting BBB know exactly how the follow through went for you, otherwise Olan will post that "despite attempting to satisfy customer, no response was received..." Olan makes slipshod attempts at satisfaction, apparently they have "levels" they go through before you finally get a refund or the work done properly... I just don't have the patience to wait half a year to get the work done right! I'll go sit at a professional local photographer and photoshop the pictures myself!

  • Sh
      8th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    My sister sent me a package coupon for olam mills 2 months ago. I made an appointment on the internet and wasn't able to keep it because my grandbabies mother came and got him. I tried to call to set up an appointment at the Carrollton ga studio several times and all i got was the answering machine. I emailed olan mills with my complaints and the district manager emailed me back and even called me to let me know that it was ok to be a walk in and they would work us in. That was ok with me because making an appointment wasn't convenient since i wasn't sure when I would have the grandbaby. Finally working with their odd hours I was able to take him to the studio just to get turned away because "i needed an appointment". While I was standing there talking with the photographer she got a cancelation. It wouldn't have been a problem for her to take us in, so I walked out then decided to go back in and get the customer services number and the girl was sitting down doing nothing. Thats when I started getting rude with her. I called customer service and they gave me the district managers number when I called it, it went straight to voice mail, like it did with everybody else. I called customer service again this time not accepting any of their excuses, they want to send me another package deal and it would be ok if i was a walk in. I'll never go back and i don't care what kind of package deal they give me, they won't get my business again. They said if I had anymore problems to call them back and they would address it with someone higher than the district manager. Yeah right. Next time I will go to the Walmart studio, it's open everyday and there is no problem with walk ins. As I said before olan mills will never get my business again and I'm gonna share my experience with anybody that is thinking about going there. Think I'll even post it on facebook and myspace to get the word out.

  • Lo
      9th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    Dear SHRNKS
    I'm sorry you had a Bad experience! I hope that maybe one day you will change your mind & I also wish there was something i could do I'm not sure what zone Ga. is in but I'd be happy to try & help. If I was to ever turn someone away I'd get fired! Are there any other Olan mills studios close to where you live? Most of the customer service numbers we do have go to Voicemail so the calls can be returned & the District Managers dont get overloaded i guess you can say :) feel free to message me back! I've worked for the company for almost 4 years & I LOVE my JOB! If you wouldnt mind trying again I would be more than happy to try & help you out! :) Maybe just another location i dont think I'd want the same photographer that turned you away already. Have a good day!!

  • Ol
      5th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    i think every job has its goods and bads. obviously if your gonna complain about it why in the world did u stay there that long. if you didn't like it u should of left in the beginning and as for the computers going down. really u customers wanna blame the workers for that.. really like you have never had computer problems before... and as for the waits at olan mills come on like you have never had a baby that had to stop to be fed which puts all the appointments behind or misbehaved children that make the appointments take alot longer some appointments take only 10 minutes others can take 2 hours we are not mind readers we do the best we can to make everyone happy . people who feel like they should be compensated for every wrong thing that happens in their life are pretty freakin selfish people. people like you are the reason people have such stressful lives take your anger out in the gym not on businesses who have to put up with your children who cry puke and spit up on us when all we try to do is give you beautiful photos that you can enjoy for the rest of your life. so calm down have some respect for those employees who deal with this everyday. cause i sure would like to see you do this job and please every person that comes in the studio every single day from here on out.

  • Us
      2nd of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    I am currently dealing with my local Olan Mills Studio. I walked in on Feb 13, 2011, made an appointment for March 6, 2011. I took the day off of work, had my hair done, PREPAID for the session, and made other arrangements for this special picture with my fiance. We showed up on time and waited 45 minutes, NO ONE SHOWED UP!!! We were on our way somewhere else when I got a phone call to apologize and offer a free 8 x 10 or something... in my opinion that was not enough - either way I was polite and asked for a refund. I was told it would have to wait until Monday since it was the weekend, fine. Since then, I have not received my refund, I have left several messages with no reply. It has been 7 weeks that this company has had my money, for NOTHING!! It has been a big hassle and I am not happy that I have to keep calling and wasting more of my time.

  • Do
      7th of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    Hopefully you paid by credit card. The only reason I finally received a refund was because the good people at Discover called Olan Mills, and demanded the refund for me. Try complaining to your credit card company. I never make a purchase like this with cash, check or debit card, as the only recourse then is through the company. Trust me, Olan Mills does NOT care about you as a customer, and they will keep your money if they can!

  • Te
      12th of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    I had my kids pictures taken at your Russellville Arkansas Studio 3-25-11, I went in to pick them up on 4-9-11. I ask the lady to give me all three of my girls standing, I paid 213.98 for 9256-33380-9 and one of my girls look like their holding a picture of them self. I ask her if we can reorder that one, because I wanted them all standing up, she said she don't have that one child standing up, I told her it was on my disk and she should have a copy, will she called me a lier, and told me there is no way I could have her standing up, because it was not on her disk. Than she told me to leave. I would still like to have my 10x20 Montage Designs, she did not give me that one. I have never been treated so badly by a Studio over a picture, all she needed to do is ask me to bring my disk in and show her. I hope you will take care of this matter. Terry Wilfong 2109 Military Dr. Dardanelle Arkansas 72834 479-229-1303

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