I brought my newborn to Walmart’s PictureMe Studio on 03/05/08 at 6pm. In the first pose his face was falling forward. I told the photographer, Melissa, she needed to try another pose. She did but used the first pose (the worst one) for the advertised $6.99 package and refused to change it. If I wanted better poses I’d have to purchase expensive packages to get them. The rest of the session was frustrating. Part of the baby’s face was blocked in most of the photos by the angle or the cushion he was on. His foot or the top of his head was cut off on full body shots. I had had an exhausting day prior to coming to the studio and just wanted to get out of there. I asked for just one copy of each of the six poses she’d saved. I was told I’d have to purchase a package; I could not buy individual sheets. When describing the packages she pointed to the middle of a computer screen showing a dollar amount and package contents. I reluctantly agreed to the smallest package she insisted I had to buy to get the sheets I wanted.
When I paid her she kept saying I hadn’t given her enough cash. I was exhausted, figured I’d miscounted, and gave her more money. As I walked away I counted the money left in my pocket and realized I’d overpaid her. I looked at my receipt and realized she’d overcharged me. I had reluctantly agreed to spend $80 on the crummy photos. She’d charged me $113.40!!! I returned to the studio. Melissa had gone into a storage area; I waited but she didn’t come out. I picked up my film developing from the back of Walmart and returned to the studio. I told Melissa she overcharged me. She said, “You were looking at price in the middle of the computer screen weren’t you? That explains why you didn’t give me enough money.” I agreed, that’s where she’d been pointing when explaining the packages. She said that dollar amount was the savings for that package; the price was at the top of the screen. I said I hadn’t been comfortable paying $80 for these photos. I couldn’t spend over $100. I wanted her to change the package or cancel the order and refund my money. This was minutes after the session ended. She said she could do neither. She said the order had been placed and paid for and there was nothing she could do. I was shocked.
I called the store manager who said PictureMe rents space from Walmart, there was nothing she could do. I called PictureMe’s Customer Service three times. They said they don’t do refunds. I asked where no refunds is written on their adds or receipts. They said it’s not written. I was told I had the following options: a 50% refund, their advertisement said no sitting fee. I can’t understand how they can keep half my money if I get nothing, no photos, in return. I could get retakes but only at the same studio. I want my money back, I was pressured into buying a package I didn’t want and overcharged for it. I get no money back if they retake the photos. I asked if I could go to another of their studios since I was not happy with the photographer’s skills at this one. I was told I’d have to return to the same studio. The final option is to have my package reduced to an $80 package with considerably less photos and fewer poses. I was not happy when I thought I was paying $80 for the silver package, I’d be even more upset paying $80 for a bronze package containing much less. There was nothing more they would do.
This is my fourth child. I’d taken my first three to Walmart’s Portrait Studios many times. They always had excellent customer service. I had been very happy with the photos taken and my children and I enjoyed the sessions. In the past their customer service was excellent. I’d always been able to choose the pose for the advertised package. I’d also been able to choose which poses were purchased for an additional fee. I’d never been pressured into high price packages like this. Never had they done a bait and switch on me before. If a photo came back out of focus or with closed eyes they’d redone the session and thrown in a few extras. They were wonderful to work with.
I could not believe this new photographer’s lack of skill;, turns out she’s the manager of this Walmart’s studio!!! I could not believe the terrible customer service I experienced at the local studio and then from their Customer Service Phone Number. After this experience I don’t want to take any of my four children back to a Walmart Studio. I don’t even want to go back to Walmart I’m so upset with the whole experience that took place in their store. I’m warning friends and family to beware of Walmart’s Portrait Studios.
What was supposed to be a special event with my newborn, having his first photos taken, has turned into an absolute nightmare and a big regret; neither Walmart where it happened or the PictureMe Portrait Studio they rent the space to will do anything about it. Apparently it was PGA studios I had dealt with before. PictureME took over in Nov. 2007.
I registered this complaint with the Better Business Bureau as well and encourage others to do so.