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Sears Portrait Studio / rude managers, bad service!

1 United States Review updated:

Sears Portrait Studio -

I recently took my daughter to get her pictures taken at the Newport News, Virginia (Yoder) studio and was VERY UNHAPPY with the manager (Julie) who I've had a problem with before regarding my appt. being delayed a hour in a 1/2 which she in a rude manner said "we're trying to get to you as soon as we can" and the other associate I believe her name was (Chrissy) they were very rude to me while I was in front of my child which is very disrespectful and another customer who was also in the immediate area shook her head in acknowledgment of what I had just witness. Their professionalism is nothing like the previous manager (Ladawn). The assistant manager showed her displeasure in my evidently not purchasing a large amount of pictures and the manager gave me the same attitude as if I wasn't important any longer. If I spend $3 or $300 I still would want the same respect. I will NOT be coming back (even though I've been coming to this studio for the past 3 years) until they change managers. This email may not reach the intended destination (president of company) so I will let all of my friends and family know of my experience so they will never have to go through it themselves by going to this particular studio. Things need to be changed, or this company will lose alot of business!!! Staring with my friends, family, and mysel[censored]

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  • Ka
      27th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    I too had a horrible experience with Sears portrait studio. I went to Sears Portrait Studio in Dieppe NB, Canada to have my then two month old son's passport photo taken. There were four people working with no other customers in the studio. It took the an hour to take his photo. When they were finally done, I told them that I was pretty sure the photo would not meet passport requirements as there was a very bad glare. The lady assured me that it would. Last week I received the passport application back because of the poor quality of the photo. So again today I went back to have his photo taken. They took us in the room right away and after taking one picture, decided to bring the camera out to the waiting area to take the photo as they thought they would get a better shot. This time there were six people working. The one taking the photo told me it would be two minutes. After about 15 minutes, a couple came in to have their passport photos taken as well. The lady at the cash told them they'd have to wait until after they took my son's picture, then about 5 minutes later, they took the couple to have their photos done. I went up to the lady working and told her that my son was hungry and tired and that I needed to get the photo taken now. She assured me it would only be another minute. Well 45 minutes later, after telling them 3 times that he was getting cranky the man working came over and was very rude but finally gave my money back. Glad to see that Sears Portrait Studio everywhere has consistent service standards.

  •   11th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    In regards to the previous two messages, I totally disagree. I believe, as well as many others, that Sears Portrait Studio has, and will continue to have, a terrific reputation. The product quality and customer service available at the Erin Mills Mall Studio in Mississauga, Ontario (Canada) has shown nothing but great progress since the location was taken over by Jennifer's (manager) team. The staff at this location are bubbly, as well as educated, sincere and honest in every aspect. I appreciate the hard work they have put into my children's portraits and I display my gratification thoroughly throughout my household. Not only do I myself, visit the Sears Portrait Studio more than three times a year, but I attend events they hold (like Birthday, Valentines Day and am hoping they will do something for St Patrick's day, as one of my children are a March baby). My close friends and family have taken my recommendations and love the Sears Portrait Studios in their areas as well!

    Perhaps both of you have just caught these photographers on a bad day, which will all know happens from time to time (in ANY job), but I think you should give them another chance. I have been enlightened by one of the girls at the Erin Mills location, that infant passport photographs can be extremely hard to achieve and SOMETIMES do get sent back. Trust me, they do feel bad and very disappointed in themselves that they have made you come back to re-take this type of photograph. Its not them, its what the government wants to see in a passport photograph that is just incredibly hard to get of a child 2 years and younger. These photographers have every trick in the book!! It really is not them sometimes.

    You also have to remember that, at busy times in a portrait studio, a little setback (like a mother having to calm a baby by feeding it, or a simple 2 minute consoling session) can really interrupt the time they give to get portraits done. Yes, we all want more time in the camera room to get more than 6 perfect pictures or our children, but everyone needs a turn. So, next time your told it might be a little bit of a wait, let them no you will go for a little walk and if they are ready before you get back, to simply page you on the intercom. That way, you arent waiting and your child isnt sitting doing nothing except getting upset and bored. Its not only YOU that will get upset for sitting waiting, but time goes slower making you want to make a bigger deal out of nothing and we all know that often its not the photographers fault (they just work there!!).

    I love Sears Portrait Studio and I will continue to bring my family there to get photographs taken of special milestones and events in our lives. Thank you Erin Mills Sears Portrait Studio for treating us perfectly everytime we go there! (I see the work you do and your happiness is spread to everyone that walks into that studio, so keep it up!)

    - Anonymous.

  • Ne
      18th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    I'd have to say that I've seen both ends of this...I was an employee. I have watched customers get upset over silly things, and also for very good reasons. What alot of people don't realize is this: The photographers have an alloted time they have to get the shots they need, how many poses? 9! 9 poses in 15 minutes? Try being the photographer one time...and take pictures of other peoples children who won't sit still, won't smile, and just REFUSES to listen to mom and dad, let alone the photographer. Also, you will probably ask, "well then why do they schedule shoots so close together if they only have 15 minutes?"

    The answer to this is, INTERNET. You can schedule your appt at 2:00 pm, and their next appt not be until 3:00 pm...but they can still get walk ins, and online they could end up with 6 or more appts within that hour that the photographers CANNOT control. This is not their fault - It is CPI "the big company" who sets these rules. Granted, some of the photographers just don't get what a good shot is...and then you get some good ones!

    I'd say go ahead and try them! If you are absolutely NOT happy with the shoot, you are NOT obligated to pay for anything! Just give those employees a break (at least on busy days!) I've been there, and trust me, it was the most stressful job I've ever had!

  • Ch
      10th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    Sears has the worse photos. I had many photos by my son taken there and the quality of the prints were horrible. Also we got some on diskette one time and the resolution was so low I could not print anything larger than a wallet sized photo.

  • Sh
      27th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    I was once a Sears Portrait Studio employee. This was my experience. I was hired and they trained me very quickly and very shoddy. They immediately left me alone in the store for several hours without a break and most of the time it was a long closing shift. Anytime i called my manager to ask for help with the computer and register she would either not answer the phone or shut it off. My manager would call me and have me come in to work early to help with a rush of customers. I would arrive at work and my manager would leave right away leaving me alone once again with no break to close the studio alone with no help. I was trained to never sell a customer a 9.99 package and if i sold to many of them i got written up and threatened to be fired. I was trained to show the customers all of the enhanced photos and to continue enhancing the photos never allowing the customer to view the originals basic color photos. I was also trained to automatically add a super saver card club plan to every customers order who did not have one (without asking them or telling them i did so!). When the customer paid for their photos i was told to just tell them i saved them $5.00 on their photos??!! The whole time i worked at the studio the props and toys were never washed or sanitized. I got written up every week for not making customers purchase the extra photos when they picked up their original purchase. My manager booked sessions at 8.00 p.m even though we closed at 8.00 p.m . I would be scheduled to work 12 hour shifts on saturdays and very rarely got a break. In the end i refused to rip off any more customers and my district manager (Tamin) fired me in the front of the studio in front of several customers. Total lack of profession. I worked at store # 41437 The Parks Mall in Arlington Texas...

  • A
      7th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    While I work at the Studio I am BIG on customer service. Many times we are quick to point out when there is a problem or have an issue but how often do people talk about the good things that happen? I know for a fact that complaints can hurt us and good reviews can help. Also I hope people will realize not all studios are the same. Also I have had many cases where customers order photos seeing that the image is blurry (due to children moving) and we state that this is how the image will come out yet many still say "oh its ok I love his/her face" and when the images come in they complain about the blurriness. As for the scheduling appointments people can schedule appointments online 30 minutes before and show up and surprise you but thats what you have to deal with. This is still a retail job and you have to expect retail hours. There are things that need to be done such as spec sheets. They send these incase customers realize they need extra sheets and in turn can save them money since reordering costs more than the original price. I just would like people to realize that we are so quick to complain without thinking about anyone but ourselves yet there are very few people who will say how great of an experience they had.

  • Vi
      8th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    SEARS POTRAIT STUDIO Receptionist in Tallahassee is very rude and has no patience . I placed an order with Sears and ask her could I ask her a question she hanged up. So I called back and canceled my appointment.

  • Mo
      18th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Well, I use the SEARS portrait studio in Greenville, NC. I have used this studio many times for engagement pictures and my first child's portraits up to 2 years old. We have always had wonderful experiences and I am always referring people to this studio. (I am an OB ultrasound tech so I come into contact with a lot of parents) Last weekend we went in for my second son's 6 month portraits and my oldest son's 3 year old portraits. The girl that took the photos I could tell was very new and not used to working with Children. It was frustrating but my youngest was giving great smiles so I figured we were getting great shots. My oldest is very shy and we were having a tough time with him. The manager came in to "help". She was aggressive and rude. She talked over me and was dead set on doing it her way. She actually told the photographer to snap a picture while my child's back was turned so she "could get her 8 pictures." That irritated me. The service was getting worse and worse. Too many things happened to list them all but what set me in a rage was when the manager was moving my baby (I wasn't doing it fast enough) she actually hit his head on the floor, yes, she hit his head on the floor! He began screaming and I picked him up to console him. She just got up and walked away. I was in shock. She even said that he wasn't cooperating while he was crying...I WONDER WHY? Well, after less than 15 minutes in the studio we were seated at the computer. We sat for 20 minutes before any pictures were ready for us to view. Oh, let me mention, we were the ONLY customers in the studio. Well, the photographer pulls up the pictures and says my oldest didn't give us many choices but that my baby gave great shots. Well, I was feeling a little better about the entire experience until I saw the pictures. Horrible. I didn't understand what was happening. Every other time I had used this studio we got tons of time in the studio itself and we had tons of pictures to choose from. This was just getting worse and worse. All the girl kept doing was enhancing about 3 different pictures. I kept saying I wasn't interested in enhancements and that I wanted to see all the pictures we got, so then the manager comes over to help. Same story, she's showing me collages and enhancements. I kept saying that he wasn't smiling in any of the pictures, which he had been doing during the shoot and for long periods of time, and she just kept adding enhancements and trying to upsell me. Finally she got up and said well Eric will come help you in a few minutes. Well he had some sense and didn't push anything and said we can just try another day. Well, after leaving and steaming for a bit I called Sears and spoke to Emily who rescheduled me for today and promised to be our photographer. Meanwhile, Sears corporate called me and consoled me over the whole incident and of course gave us free portrait sheets. Fast forward to today. Emily takes our did just as well today as he did last weekend but this photographer caught the picture. Well, while waiting for my pictures to pull the manager shows up for work. I just bottled my anger and focused on my pictures. When it was time to pay the manager forced Emily to go start another shoot and that she was going to finish my order. Emily tried to stay close as she was aware of my dislike for this woman, the lady hit my son's head on the floor! The manager said 2 times "well it looks like your baby cooperated better today." After the second time I said he was cooperating fine last weekend. Well, I didn't want to make eye contact with this manager because I didn't know if I would be able to keep my cool. She actually bent over and practically laid her head on the counter to stare in my face to explain the pick up rules for the portraits. Of course she spoke with attitude and sarcasm. I told her I was fully aware of the policy since Emily and Eric have both explained it to me. She kept trying to be very sarcastic with her so called customer service and my mom just grabbed me and started pushing the stroller and said let's go. As I was walking down the hall the manager actually yelled "we look forward to scheduling your next appointment." HA! I won't be back until she is gone! I'm sorry, she did not need to intervene and she only did so to get back at me for complaining. This woman is rude, unprofessional and just disgusting. She talks over customers and employees. She has no business working with the public. If my son wasn't cooperating, I would understand bad pictures. I blame the photographer's inexperience for the first shoot. However, that girl should be getting more time and there should be a back up photographer. I was sold on coming back to Sears until the last 5 minutes of today's visit. Reading former employees statements from above, I understand that there are time limits. BUT, until last weekend, I have never had a photographer worry about time. If they were getting awesome pictures, they just kept going. Maybe they set the bar too high. All I know is this, Sears has a lot of competition in this area now and I will be checking out those studios until this manager is GONE!

  • Da
      17th of Aug, 2009
    0 Votes

    Sears portrait studio in Putnam, CT sucks too. They are rude, particularly when you don't want to spend $300 on their packages. They give you dirty looks when you just want a few 8x10. They only want to take pictures with no backgrounds- being a software engineer myself, I believe it's to save computer disk space. I but the "super saver" card that they said would be great- but when I try to use it they give me dirty looks!
    I hate them and I can't wait until my card expires. I will never give them additional business!!! Glad to hear that their bad business practices are consistent. I was thinking it was the manager(photographer), but clearly it's pure corporate business strategy.

  • Ha
      4th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes


  • Me
      4th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I was working at Sears portrait studio in Nova Scotia, Canada.

    I worked Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday (I had Wednesday & Sunday off). It was my first week of training. On Sunday I got a phone call at 4:45 stating not to come back in on Monday... After "careful deliberation" they were going to let me go...

    Now the issue I have is that I worked an ADDITIONAL 1.5 hours on saturday due to the fact it was BUSY. I was not ready to leave my poor manager hanging, as she was the only staff member working. She was telling me she was "so glad I was there" and that she "would never have been able to do it by herself" and that I "was catching on so well" and she was so glad and never had an employee who "jumped right in and started doing things" (like passport photos) and that she "really liked how I was editing the photos" so she kept me editing the photos and showing the photos to the customers...

    I wasn't really able to ring anything in, or do the photographs, because I hadn't really been trained in those areas. I wasn't even really trained in the whole "selling photo" thing either (because It had only been 4 days prior to Saturday of training).

    I was kinda shy, it was a new job. I hadn't been able to get "too into it" because on the 4 days prior to Saturday I had not been able to get too involved in the other shoots because there were only about 3 of them PLUS I was sick. I was SICK and i dragged myself into work for the training. I wasn't playing with the kids too much, because I was not willing to make them sick. poor things...

    But yeah... I am supposed to call them tomorrow and see why I was let go... I am sure THAT will be interesting...

  • Mo
      29th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    I'm a new manager for Sears Portrait in Missouri and Customer Service is my main focus. YOU, the customer is most important in my studio. I know that if my staff and myself dont give you amazing portraits, and/or the BEST customer service, you'll go somewhere else. I love photography but even more I love my clients, and I truely care about people in general. There is NO EXCUSE for an unhappy customer...

  • Ju
      7th of Sep, 2010
    0 Votes

    Your kids were acting like hooligans. They were disturbing and delaying the other families who were having their pictures taken. If I was the manager, I would have asked you to take your kids and not come back. Everyone there was most unnerved by your kids horrid behavior.

  • Lo
      26th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    i work for sears here ya go 1888cpisupport

  • Lo
      26th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    i love photography and what they do to customers is rediculous. there is a 9.99 package if you have a coupon it is not better for u to get wheeled and dealed into a 200 dollar package they have even change the prices now but not really if you add it up its 10.00 bucks different then the regular price which is another collection under that one they will start you off with the " most popular collection" allot of the photographers are lazy my friend lives in in va beach and she says that the manager in the pembroke mall sucks and she cant figure out why she is even a manager she is fat rude slow and her pictures are crapy there are two other associates that work there that she would rather have take her pictures but the manager treats them like crap employees at sears get treated like crap and are way under paid they get minimum wage the studios are always filthy i saw a rat in one i'm quitting soon so i there ya go

  • Ms
      10th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    I too have had the worst professional experience ever with Sears Portrait Studio in Fort Wayne, IN. There are so many reasons why I was unhappy with the service, that I don't even want to begin explaining them. Let's just say this much...I gave the local studio, the district manager, and multiple customer service reps the opportunity to fix the problem. The local office had a picture, name, and phone number of the district manager. Then when I called the local office to get the district manager's name and number, they were different than the one I saw on the picture. THEN when I called the number they gave me, I got a voice mail...which had ANOTHER name. THEN when I got a return phone call (blocked) supposedly from the district manager, it was yet ANOTHER name given to me. HOW MANY DISTRICT MANAGERS ARE THERE? So then I decided to talk to a customer service rep. I repeatedly asked for the district manager's manager or the coorperate's phone number, but they refused to give it to me. Eventually after sitting on the phone for over an hour, we finally came to an agreement that I would be getting a partial refund, but not total. (I planned to take them to court for the rest)...It's been two month now and I still don't have the refund. I even had the local manager call and find out what was going on, and they told her (supposedly) the same thing. That my refund had been issued almost two weeks ago. Since when does it take almost 2 weeks to get a letter in the mail from a state that isn't even that far away?????? I thought Sear's was an upgrade, when actually their service was at the bottom of the barrel. How sad.

  • An
      15th of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    We recently had our family pictures done. We were their before our appt and ended up leaving 3 hours later. Jenna took approx.40 pics only 18 was shown to us and enhanced. 200.00 i brought disk home to have a look at all the pictures. Well the scratched close up on the background on one of our pictures was awful! They need to replace background after many use of wear on them. I am praying when my package comes in they will fix it in the picture if not i WILL get my money back. They only had one person working and we had to wait a long time for her to sit down and get our order done. I will NOT use sears again. Jenna was a great person but sears in general needs more people working and needs to get better or newer backgrounds. I am glad i have the disk with the pictures and bad background for proof in case i need it for future proceedings. Pictures taken in Concord NH in March 2011...

  • Ju
      31st of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    We was I client for Sears Portrait Studio for 7 years . We are so disapointed off customer service we always use same coupon, same price . We went to take pictures and at the end start telling all extra charges, you have to pay extra 25$ for standing, which we never pay before . As soon as they tell all extras for not even profesional pictures, I say I don't want any off them, they still ask me to pay the fee for taking the pictures . Waste all day for nothink, so disapointed, we will never go back again .

  • Cl
      25th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    I recently took my son to the Sears Portrait studio at North Point Mall to get pictures take for a belated Mother's day gift. I have never been to this studio before, I usually go to The Picture People, but they recently closed their store at this mall. I called Sears to let them know I was running late, but I ended up getting there right on time. They rushed me back to the studio telling me I didn't have time to fill out any paperwork b/c they were too busy (no one was there). I think the issue was she didn't know how to take photos that weren't "point and click". She wasn't able to capture a single picture of my son. Then she kept leaving the room when I had my son all ready to go and smiling. I almost took the pictures myself. She pretty much told me our session was over, didn't show me any photos and told me to come back and schedule another appointment because she was so busy. When I left, no one was there. I was outraged. I walked around the mall before realizing there was another studio at JC Penny's. They heard my story, saw how upset I was and squeezed me in for an appointment. I wasted my morning with two idiots at Sears, what made me more upset was by the time I left the mall, I had to walk by the studio to get to my car and still no one was in Sears. Grrrr I will say the sales associates at Sears were very nice but the two boneheaded kids in the photography dept. need some major help customer service skills.

  • Am
      30th of Jun, 2011
    0 Votes

    I agree with all of you. But, I want you guys to know that it is not Sears who handles any of these portrait studios. This is an outside organization. CPI handles Sears Portrait Studios and they also handle Walmart, Picture Me Studios too. They do not train employees properly, they expect all employees to work and do everything all day such as: photography, sales, answer phones, and even bring outside people in for the day. They push these people to upsell and enhance. If they do not push high sales, they are written up and some people even have the chance of losing their jobs. The company allows people to schedule appointments even at closing time. The employees even have to work through lunch at times. The company does not even come in and repair the equipment, they let it fall apart. These people even if a photograper are only paid $7 an hour except for management and usually there is only 1 of them or maybe 2. People are trained so fast and then expected to be able to handle everything. I have found a very good studio in Lakeland, FL and the manager there is great, Mandy Lang and her sales associate Melissa Hearon. They have to take pictures, sell, answer phones, and do it all. They usually work the day completely alone. They have had to work with only one camera studio now for months. It broke down and CPI has yet to come repair the other camera room. The other camera room has many problems as well. The company really needs to update its equipment and keep the equipment in working order. Both of these ladies take wonderful pictures and have very good customer service. This is located at Sears Essentials, on Florida Avenue in Lakeland, FL and at present they plan on closing this store and putting in a Kmart. This is a shame. I hope that Kmart keeps the picture studio (which will be Olan Mills then) and hires on these two lovely ladies. Now there are three other studios that I know of that CPI runs in Lakeland. I am not impressed with any of these. Please save the Sears Essentials/CPI-Sears Portrait Studio. Please save the jobs of these two lovely ladies. Thanks again, Amber Moore

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