Olan Mills Complaints & Reviews

Olan MillsLying and Deceit

On November 16, 2012 one of their sales associate sold me a package. In the package she stated that the processing fee was waived and that I would be getting for 10 dollars: 1(8x10), 2(5x7), and 24 wallets as well as 4(3.5x5). The appointment was set for Today November 18, 2012. We arrive and I am told that it wasn't the truth and the package that I was sold wasn't going to be honored, I was told that I would have to pay the processing fee, and if I wanted to order anything else I would pay. Which is no problem, because the associate that sold me the package said that i would also get 40 percent off whatever else we ordered. The studio manager named Kayla was very rude as well as her assistant Nikki. I had the receipt that showed what I paid for and they wouldn't honor it. The associate that sold me the package name is Katrina. I asked for their corporate number and Nikki was rude and yelling. I am so disappointed that a company wouldn't honor what was sold. I have used Olan Mills for years for my family and this time is was not a great experience.

Olan MillsCustomer Service

Stephanie the photographer not very friendly or patient. Had a terrible experience with holiday photo shoot. I did call customer service and explain how my appointment was a disappointing experience over all after having an excellent appointment a few months earlier with another photographer at the same location. The woman at customer service "Marta" was less then apologetic about my experience and offered to email a coupon for a free sitting. Well, better than nothing I guess. She also gave me the phone # to the district manager (Katrin Armstrong [protected]) because I didn't feel that my complaint was important to Marta. She was short and didn't really seem interested in what I had to say. I am NOT a complainer but this was such a terrible experience I felt it was important to make Olan Mills aware. I reached a generic voice mail and no phone call was ever returned. My reaction is that there must have been so many unhappy customers over the holidays at this location that no one wanted to return calls. What I really wanted to hear when I called customer service was someone representing Olan Mills saying "I'm sorry you had a poor experience, we are better than that". I wasn't looking for any freebies or discounts, I felt it was important for someone to know that Olan Mills has employees who are not friendly and obviously don't enjoy their jobs. When I went to pick up my holiday photos the ladies who were at the store acknowledged that there had been a lot of complaints about Stephanie and that she probably would not be with the company much longer. Very sad to hear as many people are unemployed and would love to have her job. A few days ago a co-work of mine was sharing a poor experience she had just had with a local photo studio. The photographer was short with her and her wiggly 2 year old and had even told her "If she isn't going to cooperate then we are done here" WOW!!! What a shock to hear that she had Stephanie at Olan Mills in Queensbury!!!

  • Ss
    sspo Oct 12, 2011

    Terrible experience all the way around. Pictures were awful, prints were blurry so they did reprints, still no good. It's been 2 months and we still don't have any pictures. Complaints do no good. They refuse to refund any money. Stay away from this company.

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  • *Brenduh* Oct 12, 2011

    My pictures always come out perfect, because I AM perfect!

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  • Tg
    TGuyett Jun 19, 2013

    This is very unfortunate to hear and as a former management at Olan Mills (many years ago) this breaks my heart. I had worked under Katrin Armstrong myself and the ut-most respect and admiration for this woman. I actually did love my job very much. I would like to apologize and defend Katrin and state that I feel it would be very much out of character for her not to respond to you and I'm sorry you didn't get a chance to talk with her. It is sad to see such poor customer service in a position that needs the right type of personality. I hope you do not give up on Olan Mills as I truly do believe it is one of the best "chain" photographic studios out there that offers their employees a lot of room for recognition and personal growth as well as fantastic quality for their customers. It is horrible to hear when the employees do not have enough drive within themselves that they create a bad face for a good company.

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Olan MillsPoor Service / Customer Service

On 10/30/10 we went to an Olan Mills at 67th Ave & Bell Rd. We had a scheduled appointment at 1 pm. The day prior, I received the courtesy call regarding the appt and time. When talking to Kathy (the photographer), she told me their location doesn't provide props. That she can purchase them, but that she feels the pictures are about the people, not the props. And if I wanted to bring any I could. When I asked about having 3 kids (6, 8, and 5 months) in a picture together and if their were enough people there to help get them all to smile. She told me she has been doing this for more then 20 years and it won't be a problem. And that I should bring a toy for the little one. S he would get a picture of it as well (which I didn't want). She then told me she is required to take each childs picture individually (even if I didn't want her to). And that if I didn't want the picture that I didn't have to purchase it. The day of the appt, we arrived 5 minutes early. We weren't acknowledged for 10 minutes. Then at that time, another family was brought in before us to look at their prints. This family took 1/2 hour. Then she informed us that she could only take our kids pictures for 30 minutes because she is "required by law" to take a break at 2. Well Arizona is a right to work state. There isn't a law that says she has to take a break. Some businesses require their employees to, but it isn't a law. So we told her to just cancel the appt. By this time my 5 month old was tired and not in the mood anymore. I requested my personal information back and she told me that her accounting requires her to turn it into them. I said that I want my personal information removed then. So she started to scratch it off the paper.

I will NEVER return to this location. And I WILL tell my friends/family to never go there. Waste of time and energy.

  • Ta
    tawn.yeah Nov 02, 2010

    Awe Muffin. That's such a terrible story... I can't believe that out of EVERYONE you had to wait. Oh wait, if you were behind, that means the appointment behind you was behind too. Too bad, I thought it was all about you.

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  • It
    It matters Feb 26, 2011

    I am the person to whom this complaint is about. I am truly sorry for what you complained was poor service. Please know that I truly mean this. I have choosen photography as a professional career because I love creating memories. Even though my name was never featured anywhere on the portraits I photographed I took each one like it was. The company did tell us to say that it was the law because they are fined when employees do not take a lunch. They have been sued in the past by employees so they take this very seriously. However know that unless every 15 minutes from 10 - 7 are booked. They will only have one staff member on duty. Even then it is not a guarantee that they can provide extra help. Most times employees are told to deal with it. This past year saw the loss of a caring district manager. For whatever reason he was no longer with the company. No excuse for your reported poor service but, new employee hiring was not thought of until late in the season. With change sometimes comes strife. New management was not entirely focused on client service as much as numbers. I am sure that is the bottom line with your company as well. I have chosen to leave Olan Mills. 15 minutes is not enough time for some clients and is perfect for others. With large families of 7 or more it is difficult. Then put in to play multiple clothing changes where client must leave studio walk to back of store to use restroom to change then walk back, takes time right? Anyway feel free to return, I feel free by. leaving. I do care personally about every client and portrait taken. Again I am sincerely sorry.

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  • Bl
    BlueVirgo96 Apr 21, 2011

    HeatherDC, was it? Well, I'm MarySC. Now that I've introduced myself, let me tell you you're an inconsiderate incompetent consumer. It's something we all learned in kindergarten, to wait our turn. Unfortunately, you've decided to air your idiocy for all the world to read. Good for you. Customer service professionals work hard, and get little in return except rude customers and minimum wage. I apologize you didn't adequately plan your child's nap; perhaps you should take one as well and maybe then you'd be a bit more understanding and not so stupid.

    0 Votes

Olan MillsNo pay for weeks.

Beware of employment with Olan Mills Portrait Studio!!! You will not be paid until you make 10 different phone calls.
I was to be paid & didn't receive my pay I was told I would get when I was to get it. I have waited two weeks for a paycheck.

  • Ge
    Geniebeme Dec 11, 2012
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am a skilled photographer who worked for Olin Mills for almost a year. They brought three mangers into my studio, then sent another to "help" me. She bossed me around and bossed me around then sent me over the edge until I walked. They refused to allow me to keep my job. HMMM...four managers and one hourly. Guess who lost out? I will miss those gummy smiles, baby squeaks and three-year-olds who smiled for the camera when I told them to say "I love cookies." Olan is rolling in his grave.

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Olan MillsScams

I, a 28 year old woman, was walking through Four Seasons Mall alone on 04/24/10. I was stopped by Olan Mills Rep named Rusty/Dusty whom told me that I was the 100th person to walk by the Olan Mills kiosk and that I had won a photo package deal (One 8x10, Two 5x7s, 8 wallets, 1 10x13, 4 3x5, and 6 cards) for $15.00. A few short moments later, I overheard a different rep offering another mall goer the exact same message...

Regardless, I accepted the offer and I was scheduled to take the picture on 05/01/10 @ 5:15 pm. I was unable to make it to that appointment. However, I received a call from Olan Mills during the week of June 20th and I was told that my expiration date had been extended and that I could reschedule an appointment. My appointment was set for June 27th, 2010 @ 4:15 pm.

One June 27th, 2010 I drove from Pittsboro, NC to Greensboro for the sole purpose of taking the picture. At about 4:10 pm on that date, I called Olan Mills from within Belk to locate the photo studio because I did not see it. I then learned that my name was not on the schedule @ all. Also, the photographer told me to gather the kids. I was not with any kids nor do I have any kids...

Once I got to the photo studio, It became clear that the studio was in a children's setting and appeared to be a children's photo studio. Again, the photographer asked me to gather the kids as she clearly was expecting children and not me.

I was already pissed that I drove out of the way to find out that I was not on the schedule and then finding out that the photo studio had been misrepresented was the icing on the cake.

I left a message on the photographer's desk which requested that my $15.00 be returned to me. I supplied my mailing address and went back home.

Later that week, I received a voicemail from Kelly which stated that she received my refund request and that she would like to talk to me about it. I returned the call and I left a message telling Kelly when the best time was to call me. I never received a call back...

I submitted a complaint through the BBB and I've yet to receive a response. A full month has passed since I submitted my complaint to the BBB.

On August 13th, 2010 - I submitted a request through www.olanmills.com. The request was for someone at olan mills to contact me. I spoke to Christie Bryant, District manager, at 5:00pm ish. I gave her a refresher of my issue and requested a refund. Christie refused the issue. In summary, she welcomed me to file complaints or to get a lawyer involved. The bottom line was that she was not going to refund my money. Never in my life have I seen a company treat their customers this way.

I called Olan Mills corporate customer service at [protected] in which I was told that they could not override what the District Manager said and would not refund the money. I was told that I would receive a follow up call from Christie's boss but we will see how this goes...

  • Ih
    I-HATE-FAT-CHICKS Aug 24, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    So... YOU missed your original appointment, and YOU let the coupon expire?? And they where nice enough to extend the expiration date of the coupon for you???

    Of course they refused to give a refund to a customer that missed HER appointment and let the original coupon EXPIRE!! Just how dumb are you? Would you expect Wal-mart to give you a refund on a gallon of milk if you let it expire ????

    Consider this a cheap lessen, and learn from your ignorance. Don't fall for the "Your the 100th customer!" gag, Honer the appointments you make, And learn to read so you wont miss the expiration dates anymore.

    Your a 28 yr old woman and this $15 is so important that you felt you needed to spend all the time you have spent contacting the company, The BBB, and typing up your story???? All for $15???

    For the love of god, GO get a boyfriend, a cat or something for you to have a life! Because NO ONE, Especially the Better Business Bureau is going to care or even take the time to read your complaints over a whole $15, especially when it is YOUR FAULT!

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  • Ca
    Cant tell you Sep 02, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I see both sides of this, being a former photographer for Olan Mills and a customer. $15 isn't a lot of money, it's the principle of the fact that you paid for a service and didn't receive it. However, if you went to your appointment but left, that is your own fault. Those coupons are sold to lure customers in to buy more portraits than their one pose coupon. As for the photographer assuming that you had children, shame on her or him. Most of the time people do bring their children, and hardly ever is there a photo shoot of a single adult, but that assumption is unacceptable.

    Keep in mind that the photographers are expected to shoot, show, and sell photographs within 15 minutes. They are under high stress with little pay an no time off. This isn't an excuse, it's just a fact. The reason your coupon was still honored is becuase they wanted you in to sell you more pictures, and not because it's a good, upstanding company.

    As far as getting a refund, don't expect that to happen. In all truthfulness, it's your fault you didn't stay for your appointment or even reschedule the one before. Even if you had a life or death situation to come up, there would be NO refund.

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  • Hl
    HLG330 Mar 02, 2011

    I work for Olan Mills and I was paid on the exact day they told me. Olan Mills DOES pay Bi-weekly, so yes, you must wait two weeks for a check. The Olan Mills Where I am is wonderful and has always been upfront with me. There are bad apples in every bunch, but you shouldn't judge them all because you found the bad one first.

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  • Pa
    paint it black Apr 16, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    OLAN MILLS COULD CARELESS THAT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO USE THEM I MEAN THEY PASS OUT FREE PACKAGES TO GET NEW CUSTOMERS THEY WILL BE FINE WITHOUT YOU! I DON'T BELIEVE THAT IS THE WAY YOU TREAT CUSTOMERS BUT I KNOW THAT IS HOW THEY FEEL THEY TREAT THE WORKERS EVEN WORSE THEN THEY TREAT THE CUSTOMERS. RUN AWAY AND DO NOT LOOK BACK

    0 Votes

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Olan MillsPoor service, poor execution

Olan Mills did a photo directory for our group this past year. In conjunction with that, we could order individual photos. Over $300 later, pictures ordered, confident that we had described all touch ups we wanted, we walked off and waited. A month later a batch of UNRETOUCHED photos arrived. Now, for $300 plus, I can buy adobe photoshop and do them myself, but that was what I paid Olan for. We returned the photos, and batch number two arrived, again, a month later... Flyaway hair, eyes that needed to be opened a bit, skin blemishes, EVERYTHING escapes their attention! So, we went for round three, which was promised in 14 days... 6 weeks later, still nothing. We demanded a refund from the company finally.

Olan Mills is understaffed, their staff is undertrained, and the work is aggressively overpriced. Shop around and get bids on your group photo project, and demand to talk to former customers. Had we done this we never would have hired Olan for our project. Not even the cover of the directory is done correctly. Our cover is filled with photos that have bad lighting, incorrect color hues, and worst, one photo is completely out of focus. You'll find similar products for about half the price Olan charges, RUN do not walk if they offer to do your project!!!

Olan MillsCustomer service is non responsive

The company's advertisment logo "Olan Mills " in bright gold leaf was printed ON TOP of my face in some of the prints. I got to thinking...'why did I just pay nearly $200 for a set of photos of me and then have to put up with THEIR logo anywhere on something I had paid for?"

It would seem to me that if the studio wanted me not to forget them they could have put their name and address on the back ot the prints.

I called them and the short story version was they had to protect their copywrite and it was a LAW that the logo go on the front, not the back of the photo and if they didn't put it on they would be breaking some kind of law. (Sounds like Bull [censored] doesn't it?) I asked them to send me a copy of the law and also a copy of our contract that showed I had agreed to their icon on the front of the photos.

The representative had no answer for that so said she would ask "Mr. Olan, the owner" if he would allow my photos to be printed with no icon on the front and I would be called back.

I was indeed called back by someone a little bit up the food chain and he very haughtily refused to reprint the photos without their logo on the front because of the copywrite laws yada yada yada. I mentioned that I had just reviewed all of the professional studio photos I had of me over the last 50 years and none of them had any kind of a corporate logo on the front side of the picture. I said I wanted my money back and eventually I was sent a return label.

I have decided to keep these stupid photos and am happily pointing out their public relations stupidity where ever and whenever I can.

  • Lo
    LoVelyOne May 13, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Olan Mills does have a strict copyright policy BUT if you want pictures WITHOUT the logo you should purchase the CD it also comes with a FULL copyright Release so you may not only use it for archival purposes but you can also PRINT the portraits wherever you would like. also if it was on your face they should have asked if you wanted another pose. Olan Mills has been "stamping" their Images for years & they wont stop anytime soon i'm sure. :) I hope you would try them again It is the BEST place i have ever worked!!

    0 Votes
  • Wo
    WonOne Jul 04, 2010

    Yes, if you work for the company you might actually believe that, but there is no law forcing Olan Mills to put their copyright all over your pictures. You should not have to pay to buy a CD to get icon free photos because they never make you sign a disclosure telling you that your photos have to have those stupid stamps on them. $150 for a photo cd? Well overpriced, if you ask me. And Olan Mills is the crappiest place in the world to work. They changed prices on customers in a heartbeat and try to pressure customers into spending a ton of money on overpriced portraits.

    -1 Votes
  • Ca
    Cant tell you Sep 02, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I am a former employee of Olan Mills, and even though I think it's a horrible place to work, the quailty of the photographs are well worth the money. They do have to protect their work by placing their logo on the front of their photographs. This ensures that their copywrite is protected in some manner.

    I agree that the CD is over prices, but if you think about it this way, you're paying for a copywrite release of every image you get on your CD which is normally around $15 per pose. Not a bad deal if you have 30 poses on that CD.

    If you don't like the Olan Mills logo on your portraits, then go somewhere else. You will find that in the long run, your cheap WalMart photos will fade over time, but Olan Mills pride themselves in knowing that their work will never fade...even on the canvases.

    0 Votes
  • Om
    OMCustomer Oct 15, 2011

    If the logo is on your face you can have them reprint them with the logo on the other side of the photo. The logo is the sign of quality of a photo company that has been in business since 1932. Most people like the logo!

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Olan MillsUnprofessional Photographer

Olan Mills hires anyone to work in there store. I know for sure that the person that they have hired to work in the K-Mart store is a thief and and drug head. dont't get your picture taken there

  • The_Truth Feb 25, 2010

    They will hire anyone in there... trust me i know because I was hired there easily. I left a month later. They are more focused on sales rather then their photography.

    1 Votes
  • Lo
    LoVelyOne May 13, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Olan Mills takes great pride in their Photographers & Value their workers. & any problems or questions are handled Quickly. If you did not get the response you wanted you evidently did not follow the correct paths. If someone is going to call out an employee Olan mills is not going to directly fire them based on Hearsay or because you dont think they deserve the job. As with any worker in any field the "BAD" ones have a habit of weeding themselves out I've seen it plenty! I LOVE my Job for Olan Mills & would not want to work anywhere else!

    0 Votes
  • Ta
    tawn.yeah May 26, 2010

    I must agree with "LovelyOne"and that Olan Mills is also by far the best studio I have worked for. I have worked for plenty, and have had some pretty terrible experiences.
    And to "The_Truth" I do not believe that they would hire anyone. This is the first studio that has asked me if I have had experience, and has put me threw tests in order for me to be labeled as Professional. No other Corporate company is willing to do that nowadays. You need to understand that they have A LOT of studios and not every single one is going to get the best photographer. But there are some out there who do take pride in there work. I love what I do, I love making people happy. Trust me, Olan Mills is NOT all about sales. I know this by comparing to another studio which I will not name at this time.

    I'm sure if this guy is a "drughead" he'll get what is coming to him soon enough anyway.

    0 Votes
  • Do
    DocJohn Jul 06, 2010

    What I know for certain is we were lied to by the photographer's assistant. Portraits that were to be inkjetted directly onto canvas arrived as mere "cutouts" of a regular paper print that were glued onto canvas. Bait, switch, lie.. never ever again... I doubt that I will sit for any professional photographer again after this horrible experience with Olan Mills. Better to buy a digital camera and hang a sheet in the living room for a backdrop than go to these folks!

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Cheri Guire Oct 04, 2010

    i spent over $400 to get my kids pictures taken at the end of May 2010. i still have not received all the pictures yet and they have sent me the wrong ones three times now. i have called and left messages and still no response i am getting tired of it. i will never use them again.

    0 Votes
  • Lo
    LoVelyOne Oct 04, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Cheri where is the studio Located that you had your pictures taken at? Or was it through a Fire dept or church?

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    madismeemaw418 Apr 29, 2011

    I have had the pleasure of being a studio manager for the last 2 years for Olan Mills, My Management Team is wonderful, my district is amazing I have 12 years of sutterbugging under my belt and I have work for 3 other studios in the past, this is the only studio that I have been encouraged to be creative, I do not all of us hire in with expirence (sp) but we go thru many training work shops and tests. As far as customer service, I heard good and bad, I make sure my customers leave well satisfied, if there is a problem i make sure to solve it at my level before it makes it to my management team. Thats my job, and as far as the canvas most of our District Managers have visited our plant and they are definately not inkjeted onto canvas, they are prints that are rubbed onto the canvas by hand and triple laquered for a protectant seal the only one that i think is diffrently made is the 30x40 size and I am not sure how that one is done. I was hired easily I was hired in one interview, but i also brought a portfolio of my photos that have done over the years and impressed studio manager, I was hired without a second interview by the district manager. I do admit i was a lil green when it came thier studio but it didnt take me long to pick it up, people applyh thinking that this job is a cake job, the exact oppisite is true its work hard work, and the hours are long but i truely love my job and put every once of love into my work.

    0 Votes

Olan Mills — Terrible experience

I being a new mom wanted to photograph every stage of my daughters life. So at three months we decided to get...