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PictureMe Portrait Studios / Horrible customer service!

1 WalmartEscanaba, MI, United States Review updated:
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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.

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  • Sa
      26th of Mar, 2008
    0 Votes

    I was in New Mexico for a visit in March of this year and my daughter and I had the kids pictures taken and the woman had no different poises for these pictures. I paid for the pictures with my credit card and told the woman that I wouldn't be there to pick them up so my daughters name had to be on them so she could pick them up. Well my daughter went yesterday to pick them up and the other woman would not let her pick them up because she didn't have her I D. She went and got her ID and the woman still wouldn't let her pick them up. She then went to the store manager that told my daughter that they rent the space and the store couldn't do anything about it. That is fine. I work for Wal-mart. These people who work for these places need to talk to each other to let them know who is picking these pictures up so there is no hassle. These are very important pictures. We wouldn't have had them taken otherwise and we shouldn't have to be treated as if we were dumb. She will not go back for pictures. You need better trained people to take these pictures also.

  • Aw
      15th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    i am a walmart photographer and love my job...i go above and beyond to try to make children smile and have quite a reputation for it. please understand that although there was more that could have been done for this poor person we often have our hands tied and can only follow policy. our company has recently switched owners and are undergoing numerous changes to insure that all studios have adequate training and uniform policies. please call customer service again and tell them exactly how frustrated you are. we value every one of our customers and always want them to have the best experiences possible...
    the number is 1-800-399-5520...
    and the old company's name was PCA now we are owned by CPI corporation...

  • We
      23rd of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    I also work for picture me and I love being able to give people wonderful memories. When it was PCA, they would give free packages and refunds for everything that someone complained about and guess what, they went bankrupt!! First of all, no one can force you to buy anything, we are a sales oriented company that specializes in one of a kind products, which also means no refunds. You can't get a refund on wedding pictures or a custom tailored dress just because you were "tricked" into buying them! We have to adhere to policies so that we aren't run over by customers that only want practically free pictures. It blows my mind that we offer an introductory package for less than ten dollars that is worth over $70!!!

    Maybe people shouldn't come to get pictures after a "tough day" and then take it out on the associate or the company. Granted there are some bad photographers out there, but you do have to approve the photo before it's saved, the parents are always in control!! Buying 6 sheets is overpaying!! That's $60 plus tax when the $99 will be all poses and a lot more sheets!! Why would you want a sheet of all the poses if they were all "crummy"? I would assume that you would have gotten the intro package and left!

    If a photographer takes bad pictures, then make that complaint to the company, but don't act like you don't have freewill to make the decision to not buy bad pictures!!

    Plus now that most studio's have gone digital, the quality is much better but the prices will reflect that. You still get the best deal at Picture Me, better than any other photography company.

    And to comment on the girl not being able to pick up pictures, our policy is that you have to have a receipt to pick them up or id if it is in your name, you wouldn't believe how many times a grandma or divorced parent picked them up when it wasn't in their name (of course, they always were told to pick them up) and we can get in a lot of trouble, we aren't going to risk our job for something as serious as letting someone pick them up without a receipt!

    I hate that anyone would get bad customer service but just with any consumer industry, "buyer beware"!!

  • Ch
      3rd of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    It's not easy to please all the people all the time. We, at CPI, try.

    Photography is an art. It is subjective. There are many schools that teach many styles of this art form. When hiring it is difficult to pick the person best suited to be a PictureMe photographer. Not all candidates can pass the the 40 hour/5 day training course. Not many get certified.

    As your neighborhood studio transitions into the digital era there are those now in employment that might not pass the course. This is a very open field.

  • Gi
      2nd of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    Of course Walmart can not help you. They have NOTHING to do with the picture studio. They already told you that. Stop bashing Walmart for something i dont own.

  • Th
      14th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    they did the same thing to us we have triplets!!! this place should be closed completly.!!!

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