The Captured Image / Scam
I was ripped off by The Captured Image, located at 3651 Cumberland Ln, Buffalo, NY 14075, henceforth known as “the company". The principals of the company are Lance Weinert and Chris Scherrer.
In February, 2008 my son attended a hockey tournament in Waltham, MA for which the company was contracted to act as official photographer. After one of the preliminary round games, the parents of my son's team decided to jointly purchase a photo CD from the company for $250. According to the company's representative this CD would contain photographs of the game that had just been played and at least one other game to be played later in the week (i.e. pictures of 2 games in total). I allowed the company to charge my credit card for $250. The team made it to the tournament final and photographs from that game would have been on the CD.
However, the photographer never showed up for the final game and had in fact returned to Buffalo, NY a day earlier. I immediately contacted the company and told them that I would not be willing to pay full price for a CD that would contain photographs of only 1 game. At a minimum I expected a refund equal to half the purchase price ($125) and the CD. The company never responded to this request and ignored several additional phone calls.
I then contacted my credit card company and asked them to intervene on my behalf. I never received anything from the company. No product, no explanation, no attempt to resolve the matter.
On September 29, 2008 I received a letter from my credit card company informing me that the company had not responded to their requests and that I would be billed for the full amount. I asked my credit card company to continue their efforts to contact the company and on October 14, received a second letter again telling me that I was now responsible for the bill.
After several additional attempts to contact the company by phone and via email, I filed a complaint with the Buffalo Better Business Bureau on October 24, 2008. On October 28 after the company received the complaint from the BBB, I received a rude and condescending email from Lance Weinert accusing me of lying and claiming that a CD had been sent to my mailing address.
I told Mr. Weinert that I now expected to receive a full refund. This request has, to date, gone unanswered. I have contacted a lawyer to pursue additional action against them. This is still ongoing. The company has one “extenuating circumstance" which they have cited for their failure to be at the final game. Due to a snowstorm, the final game was postponed from a Friday to the following Monday. The company claims they had other commitments and thus could not be at the rescheduled final game.
Although this circumstance is unfortunate, the company made absolutely no effort to let the tournament organizer or me know that they would not be at the final game. They also failed to do anything to arrange for a substitute photographer to work the final game. Finally, it certainly does not give them the right to charge my credit card, fail to mail me the product and fail to respond to all attempts to resolve the matter.
The bottom line is that the company has stolen $250 from me.