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Total Focus Video and Photography / Scam artists!

Fort Lauderdale, GA, United States Review updated:
5
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If you HAVE used this company: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE report them to the Better Business Bureau. This is the ONLY way to get back at them for what they have done to you! Report them PLEASE! www.bbb.org

If you are thinking about hiring them: PLEASE trust me when I say DO NOT use this company! They do NOT work off the contract they make you sign! They will promise to deliver exactly what the contract says... then do the exact opposite!!

My husband and I got back from our honeymoon (after paying them IN FULL $1372.00), only to get an email from them that we still owed $982! AND, on top of that, by this time it was past 1 month since our wedding, so NOW the $982 would not be due PLUS INTEREST!

We could do nothing - but pay - to get our wedding video.

PLEASE do not use them - and if you have been swindled by them already - PLEASE report them! PLEASE! They need to be out of business!
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La
  9th of Mar, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I agree. Last year I used this company to photograph my wedding. Long story short, I paid $1600 for a photographer, an album with 18 pictures, and an additional $720 for a CD so that my pictures, which did not look any different than the pictures that were taken by digital cameras, would not disappear. The men that worked at the Ft. Lauderdale office were extremely rude. They believed that I should pay another $1000 plus to make a fancier album instead of taking the cheap album that was in the package that they sold me. After leaving their office in tears, I realized that my wedding day was a beautiful day that I would not let them ruin. I would NOT recommend this company to Satan.
As
  12th of Jun, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hello. It's Ashley again. Just thought I'd add something else to my first complaint. My husband and I were married in January 2008, the company wasn't available for me to "edit" my video until the beginning of May, it is now June 12, 2008 and I was told I need to wait another 6-8 weeks for my video to be available. ALSO: When I signed my contract w/ Total Focus Video/Photo Video Network, they told us that we would be able to edit our video ourselves - yet another lie! You have to pay an extra $1200 if you want to edit your video yourself! lol. Are they kidding?! This whole situation is almost laughable...they are the WORST company out there! Also, after paying TWICE the price my contract stated, when I went into their office, they demanded I pay another $450 and tried to up the price even more! They are a complete "bait and switch" company. They act like they're giving you what you want - but they don't. Even if you get everything in writing, they will distort the statements. For example: You pay for standard editing, but the actual professional editing is called something completely different, so if you want it, you must pay even extra. SCAMMERS!!!
Ma
  7th of Jul, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I used Total Focus & Photography for my wedding. I requested from the start the CD with all the pictures taken at the wedding. I also stated that I wanted to have candid photos taken. LOONG story short. I got scammed into a basic package with no copy of the CD with all the pictures like the lady above, they are asking me for an additional $720 for the CD. (After I was told this was included in my package.) The photographer had no personality. The pictures are very amateur. No skill to them what so ever. Actually, the pictures by my family and frends came out much better than the ones taken by the photographer. I was also charged an extra $600 and something for them to stay an extra 2hrs because they only cover 4 hours. The face shots he took of me getting ready were horrible and he did not take any pictures of me by my self fully prepared before I walked out of the room to walk down the isle. On top of that the photographer came into my room as I was slipping into my gown and I asked for him to leave the room till I had him called in. I was practically naked when he walked in the room. He did not leave the room, instead took a few unwanted pictures that I VERY MUCH DID NOT APPRECIATE. When I complained to them about this, all I was told that their photographer has been with them for 2yrs and that he has not had a single complaint. That they assure I would LOVE the photos once I saw it all complete. In a lot of pictures he took more of the carpet than people. I had an outside ceremony, and you can see ne neighborhood houses more than the people. Horrible. I would NEVER recommend Total Focus & Videography to my worst enemy. I am still waiting for my album. My wedding was in April of 2008.
Ea
  26th of Jul, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
unfortunatley, im in the same situation ..kinda.im getting married in december and decided not to get them after i found a more feasible company, i called there office and told them within the grace period of there contract and when i called to inform the person spoke to on the said thats fine.a week later the mgmr calls and was RUDE! but, because i had already signed the contract i am basically bound to it.i hope i dont have anymore bad experiences with them but im already having a bad idea about them and my wwedding day isnt even here yet!I DEFINTELY WOULD RECOMMEND THEM EITHER AND IM SERIOUSLY THINKING ABOUT REPORTING THEM AS WELL!
Ga
  5th of Nov, 2008
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Unfortunately, my daughter and her fiancee have also experienced the incredible arrogance of Jim, the owner of Total Focus and the scam tactics they use. I am planning on contacting Channel 5 WPTV investigative team to ask them to do a story on this company. Would any of you be interested in talking to them also? I have already filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and the State of Florida's Consumer Affairs division.
Al
  2nd of Mar, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
This is a horrible company. My wife and I got married back in July of 2007. We paid Total focus over 3000.00 Now they want an additional 5000.oo This has gone far enough, Something should be done. I am considering in hiring an attorney. I am so tired of there scams.
We
  7th of Mar, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This company sucks, they charged me 3500.00 for 4 hours of worked. The photographer is a total tool, and a huge pervert. H was sitting and eating for about an hour. This guy blows
Je
  16th of Apr, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Okay, so while waiting for my wedding video I happened to stumbled across this blog. Everything that has been stated is absolutely true. When I originally signed my contract for videography I felt that the cost was reasonable. It was never stated anywhere on the contract that I would have to pay additional costs for editing. So my wedding day comes and the videographer that was sent was great. (So of course my issues are not with him). I got married in October so in November I went to the facility and began to go over my editing. I was then told that on top of the $1300.00 I had already paid for the videography, I would have to pay an additional $900.00 for the editing. I was angry but just paid the money and asked when I could expect the final product. The informed me that it would take 10 - 12 weeks. I said okay and left them alone for 13 weeks. After the 13th week I began to wonder where my video was. I contact them and they said someone would get back to me. This process went for another 4 weeks. On April 1, 2009 I called them and they said to call back on Monday to schedule an appointment. When I called Monday they told me to call back Friday. Finally I went to pick up my video on April 15, 2009. When I got there I noticed that there were five copies of the video. I had not requested any duplicate DVD's. He then said I could purchase the extra DVD's for $249.95. Once again more money for their errors. I decided to purchase the videos because I did not want them to keep them. Prior to all of this I had spoken with my photographer who told me to make sure that I asked for the raw uncut version. While picking up my video I asked about the raw video and they told me that would cost another $299.00. I decided to leave and went home to watch my video. After watching the video it seems as though the created the finished product in about one hour. My husband feels that they started the editing once I began calling alot. So in all I have paid over $2575.00 for a video that is very dissappointing. Now I forced to go back down there and get the raw video so I can take it somewhere else to be edited. What a joke! I have decided to write letter to the BBB, the consumer affairs department and to the knot. I do not want any more people to have to deal with the crap we apparently have all experienced. They will never receive another referral from me and I hope that this blog helps those looking for wedding vendors, keep away from this company. If anyone wants to be a part of my protest please feel free to email me at jrenee2169@comcast.net. I will definetly include you in my writings and if allowed I will post your stories in my letters. They need to be stopped sooner than later.
Mi
  2nd of Jul, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
TOTAL FOCUS IN FT. LAUDERDALE is a joke and a horrible place to do business. Let me start off by saying my wife and I were married July6, 2008. We still do not have all of our photos and videos complete to this day. July 2, 2009. They messed up the photos 3 times, messed up the video 3 times and it is still not correct, messed up our potrait to the point where they forgot to order it with the rest of our order even though it is on the form they keep referring to. They added items for us to order without telling us until the day we showed up, giving us no option but to either take their deal or not get our photos. The owner, or manager as he introduces himself so people don't complain as much is the worse business man I have ever dealt with. And I have dealt with people who put their businesses out of business. Which is where TOTAL FOCUS needs to be. Out of business. I am calling the SUn-Sentinel, Miami Herald and any and every radio station and tv station that will listen.

Michael Handler
Sunrise, Florida
Co
  17th of Aug, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Fortunately I never got to the point of actually using Total Focus Photo & Video. I was so completely turned off by the vacuum-cleaner salesman type that they sent to my house to discuss their video work. I inquired about going to their studio but they insisted on sending someone to my house.

I had stated upfront I only needed video. The guy shows up and launches into his photography sales pitch so I have to cut him off to say we only need video. He stated more than once that he gets paid regardless of whether I sign with the company. And he knew NOTHING about the actual company and product and gave very canned responses. Even worse, his personality was abrasive and he insulted me and my family as well as making comments about "the groom just shows up and doesn't have a say in anything" when my fiance was sitting there next to me in this meeting!

The the way he answered my questions convinced me this was either a scam company or just very poorly run. Here's a sample:

1) Can I meet the actual person who will be shooting the video? Answer: No. They don't assign that person until 10 days before the event. And besides, the person who is important is the technician that edits the video.
2) Can I meet the person that edits the video before I sign with you to understand what they do? Answer: No.
3) Is there a full-length video sample I can view since all you brought for a demo is a video of various montages? I want to see how the person pans and zooms in and out and what type of coverage they get at the reception. Answer: No. All you can see is the montages. We can't show a person's actual footage or they'd be upset. But trust me, we use news-quality equipment with $30, 000 cameras and everyone is very skilled. Only the amateurs pan and zoom quickly.
4) We're not ready to make a decision today. Can I get your card and call back? Answer: No. We typically book a year in advance and your date is only available right now because someone cancelled. I have another appointment in Jupiter tomorrow and if you don't book right now the other person will book the date tomorrow so don't bother calling back. (Yes, he actually said this!)
5) To clarify the pricing, what exactly is included in the editing? Answer: Vague answer that we get to view the raw footage with the technician and decide what goes in and that standard titles are included but you can decide later what you want. No specific answer was given as to the cost of all that.
6) They claimed that they were giving us a "discount" since they give that when people book a year in advance and the person who cancelled already had that discount in place so we could get it even though we were booking less than 6 months out. Ironic that their ad says video starts at $695 and the price they quoted us was $1, 385 before the "discount" of $465.
7) When I asked about the pricing all he did was scratch out some figures on a notepad. There was no price listing of different packages with descriptions of what was included that you worked from, which is what is STANDARD with every other wedding vendor I've encountered.
8) How soon after the event is the finished product available? Answer: It depends on what you do during editing. Then he first said 2 weeks and later said 3-4 weeks.
9) Do you have a sample contract that I could see? Answer: Yes. But there's no point in reading it because it's always in favor of the company. (Although he did provide it).

In a phrase- COMPLETELY UNPROFESSIONAL & SHADY!
Sh
  11th of Sep, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
OMG! Where have you guys been. I have wanted to share my experience for over a year now. My dealings with this company began 12/29/07 when a rep came to my home to review wedding packages for my upcoming wedding. Based upon a flyer I received in the mail advertising packages as low as $659, and online recommendations I decided to give them a shot. A contract was drafted for 5 hours of video and 5 hours of photo. Photography included an standard album, 8x10s, wallets, etc. Video included ceremony, reception, editing and titles. The package came to grand total of $1946 to be paid in full within 5 months.

January 2, 2008 the first email arrives remanding us of payment and payment options. February 7th another email arrives. March 5th another email arrives. April 18th, 2008 I visited the office and paid the balance in full. On this day all correspondence with the company stopped.

The end of October (approx 2 weeks) before my wedding), I called the company mainly to find out if they were still in business and if all plans were in order for my pending wedding on 11/1/08. When I called the office I was told by the receptionist someone would contact me closer to the date ( I did just tell you guys my wedding was 2 weeks away) to discuss the final details. I received this phone call the week of my wedding. The person whom I was fortunate enough to speak with tried to convince me we did not have enough photography or video coverage to capture all the important details of the day. Under a lot of stress. I contemplated the additional $2000 worth of coverage they were suggested, but when it came down to it, I realized this was out of my budget. I could tell he was somewhat annoyed in the fact I did not take his suggestions. I felt like I was a contestant on Let's Make a Deal?

November 1st rolls around and the photographer and videographer arrive as planned. The coverage was great, except for the constant interruptions telling me I had x number of hours left with them (a countdown to the end). 11/18/08 the emails start again discussing editing and final production. 11/20/08, I receive another email informing me my pictures are online and ready for viewing. I review my proofs and I am left wondering what's next? I give the office a call and speak with the receptionist who now informs me I should have received an email indicating the next step. I inform her I did not and she replies she will send it to me. I am to review the email, send the requested information and they will then be in touch. I simply asked to make an appointment to come in and discuss my options and I again was told that I needed to submit the information before an appointment could be made. I received the outlined email on 12/1/08. I did as instructed and returned the information on 12/5/08. I receive a reply email informing me the office will be closed until January and to call back then to schedule a meeting.

Does your office close for 2 weeks? Mine doesn't. January now comes and we are able to get a meeting for 1/9/09 at 1 pm. We are running 10 minutes late (we live 40 miles away), and out of courtesy I call to inform them as such. My response was "If you're any later than that, we may have to re-schedule". Are you kidding me? is this any way to treat a client? I was infuriated when we arrived.

We are escorted into a private room to review our footage. We are shown options available and what they can, and how nice they can make it look, etc, etc, etc. One hour later and we now owe them $2978 for all the extra stuff we have just now chosen. The extra stuff is they information they requested 12/1/08. if these items were not included in our prepaid plan, then why was I forced to submit said documentation, which delayed my final production package even more? They knew what or package included and it wasn't until after we sat there for over an hour does a pricing list get presented. At no time did they state the things we are showing you are extra. The way the information was presented it made it seem as though this is what our editing and titles included. We left the production meeting with a new contract a new bill. If it were up to me we would have walked and only got what we supposedly paid for. But my husband was nice enough to remind me that these are memories that I will want forever. How do you go from packages as low as $659, to almost $5000 worth of god knows what? Because, to date 09/11/09, I still do not have my video, nor do I have my photo album. We are still making payments because I refuse to pay another lump sum to these shady people.

Word to the public... DO NOT USE THESE VENDORS UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. Not worth the headache, heartache or the aggravation. Everything you guys have said is totally true. Such scam artists.
Tiffany
Ka
  17th of Sep, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This is their sales pitch.

we only book 1 year in advance, but they event that had your date just cancelled a few days ago. we can give you the same package discount we had given them.

about 1 week later i get a call from Jim, "hi, it looks like you should arent fully covered for you wedding. you should add 1 more hour. ($250). "

4 weeks after the wedding, i get an email that my proofs ready. 2 weeks after that i send in my list of photos for the album. i scheduled an appt for 2 weeks in the future, of course they are only open from 9-5 M-F, which is not convenient hours for normal working people. the day before the appt, "can you please send us the list of picutres you want to choose from?" yeah i did that already. so i send them again.

at the meeting we choose a few pictures to add to the album. he explains that the CD of all the picutres was not included in the original contract and will cost $500. to get the negatives around $300 and 'high quality' photos about $700. we are very very upset, about this. somehow we get talked into getting an upgrde to what we originally ordered for $1000 more. they said they would made 2 albums so they had one to show people in the future since it was a brand new album package. the add a few extras to sweeten up the deal. my now husband gives the OWNER $350 as a down payment to get the album going. he writes down on the order form that we paid that amount in cash and signs off on it.

2 months later my mother sends them a check for $300.

this week received an emailing stating we owe $1000. this does not make sense. we call and find out they dont have a record for the $350 we gave them as a down payment. i'm surprised they dont keep trying to get us to buy more extras and crap.

the only good thing i can say is the photographer we had was a very nice girl and she did a good job. i'm very upset about this company and they export their services so much that there is no communication between then and no one knows whats going on. i wonder what needs to be done to rather get them to change their horrible ways or close them up. everytime i think about all the stress i have endured because of their backwards ways i get such anxiety and close to having panic attacks again (after i had just thought i had overcome them)
Na
  23rd of Sep, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Has anybody filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau?
Ol
  19th of Jan, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
100% agree with every comment stated about this company. DO NOT RUIN YOUR WEDDING WITH THEM!! The vacuum salesman as stated above will show up at your house selling you a pretty good package for a reasonable price ($1500). We were not a very demanding couple as far as pictures go, so the package we got was good for us. As we got closer to the wedding, sure enough just like in all the other comments here, they called and said you need more coverage. So we added two more hours ($500). I make a pretty good living myself, but I think I might become a photographer at $250/hour...lol. I must admit, however, our photographer was a really nice guy and took good pictures, but they are contracted by Total Focus to shoot the pictures. So, if you are comfortable with not meeting your photographer and seeing their picture book beforehand, then fine. Sure the salesman has examples with him, but I'll bet a $1000 that he has no idea who took any of those pictures. Because just as stated in another comment, which they even told us as well, they don't even know who is going to shoot the wedding until 10 days before the event.
So, fast forward to why I am really writing this negative comment about this company. They run a typical bait and switch operation. The salesman stated we would receive all our pictures on CD for us to keep. Yes, you will, in "low-resolution." Once you go into the office, (which, by the way, the reason they use a salesman at your own home is they are in a cheesy 100 square foot office that is old and dirty) is when he told us, "oh is you want the pictures on CD to keep, it is an additional $699???????????? I thought in my head, are you serious? He told me that the CD we paid for was all pictures on a CD that were basically useless. $3000 later and I don't even have the rights to my own photos from MY WEDDING!! I need to pay another $700 to get them...lol. As we sat in the office and put together our photo package, he basically made us feel bad about buying the cheaper package we did. They showed us all the pictures and make you pick out the ones you want. At the end he says your package only includes "X" number of photos, and all these that you picked out to go in your book will cost and extra $800. Are you kidding me? Folks, this is not a lie, at one point he looked me in the eye and tried to sell me a $10, 000 photo book from Italy. Are you kidding me? I bought a $1500 picture package and you really think I am going to put in a $10, 000 book. He left the room for my wife and I to decide if we wanted to add more pictures, and if it weren't for her and my love for her, I would have put my fist through his monitor and left. Needless to say, I have a very short temper, and an even shorter one for people and con artists like these ones. The proper way to conduct business would have been to say, "hey, your book that we are going to do today includes 18 pictures, anything more than that, and there will be some additional costs." In total we had some 500-600 pictures that we had to narrow down to 18. Obviously, that is very difficult to do.
In summary, if you like people who are honest about costs and potential costs, don't deal with Total Focus Photography. We all make choices everyday in our lives, Total Focus Photography chooses to do their business in this fashion. Please read all of these complaints about this company. Why choose them? There are so many photographers out their, go see someone else. The one thing I learned about the wedding business, is that it is a vulnerable time for couples. It is a sentimental moment, and whenever you have people at that point in their lives you will have people around to suck money out of them, preying on them. He actually told me, in order to help sell me more stuff, that if my house were to burn down, my wedding book is what I would be running in the house to save. That was right about the same point I almost when nuts. Remember if it walks like a rat, smells like a rat, and talks like a rat...it's a rat.

Just one last thought, if through my review of this company you have decided to not use them, please leave a comment letting me know. That would be the only real satisfaction of this whole experience.

Oh, and yes, I have filed with the Better Business Bureau. (In response to that request above)
To
  19th of Jul, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I totally agree with all of you... How about we all turn this into a legal argument and get together to file a formal complaint? I am filing a report now in the BBB, but i think that if we all get together we could do something to stop this from happening. I am in the whole for more than $6k and still waiting for our video, and album. More than a year has gone by and i am almost to the point where i have memorized their answering machine script. Let me know if you all feel that we can do something about it so that we can get together and act upon this issue.
To
  19th of Jul, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
please send me an email to totalfocuscomplain@gmail.com

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