March 21, 2008

The Picture Saga

As you may remember, we had our family portraits taken awhile back. The studio said our order would be ready to pick up on March 10. Planning to that end, I cut and stamped about 135 Easter postcards, wrote a family update, printed address labels, and prepared envelopes for the mailing we decided to do at this time of year rather than Christmas. (So if, by chance, you're wondering why you never heard from us during the holidays, that's why!)

On March 11 I made a special trip to the mall--with the 4 kids in tow--to pick up the pictures. We NEVER go to the mall except for times such as this. It's approximately a 20-25 minute drive, and we just never shop there. So I planned a special outing for us, figuring we could pick up the photos, have lunch in the food court, and the kids could play in the indoor play area.

However, the pictures were not at the studio.

The employee assured me that they should arrive by Thursday (March 13), and she took down my name, address, and phone number and said she could mail them to me to make up for the inconvenience of having made the trip for naught.

On Thursday, the studio called. The orders had arrived...however, our order was not among them. She was going to call the lab to have them re-sent, and they should arrive within 4 days.

By Tuesday, March 18, I had not heard anything, so I called the studio to see what was going on. The lady I spoke with said that she had just received a box, so she would go through the orders and call me back when she found our photos. "Just give me about 15 minutes," she said.

Four hours later, I called the studio again. I listened to the sound of shuffling papers as the same lady pawed through the boxes (what was she doing during those four hours?!), and finally she told me that our pictures were not in that box, so she would need to call UPS and check on the tracking number.

Wednesday morning, March 19, I called again. This time it was obvious that our pictures were nowhere to be found, and they were going to have to be reprinted altogether. Since the photos were more than a week past due, the lady said that at this point she would willingly print off anything I wanted there at the studio, and I would still get my regular order from the lab (which has better quality pictures anyway). She said she would also throw in a free collage (which they had tried to get us to purchase for $24.95 on the day of our photo session).

Frustrated by the whole situation, yet wanting to get our Easter mailing together, I agreed that I would come and pick up the wallet-sized pictures of our family. Once again I made a special trip to the mall, retrieved the pictures, and accepted the apologies of the studio employees. I can't really fault them at all, other than the frustrating lack of follow-up on their part when they told me they would call me twice and didn't.

So. Our Easter mailing is ready to go to the mailbox, and after all this, the cards will STILL arrive AFTER Easter for most people on our mailing list.

Also, I'll have 120 extra photos of our family that I will have no idea what to do with.

I guess I shouldn't have waited to make Kenna's birthday thank yous, either...I was holding out, waiting for the photos to arrive so I could include wallets of her along with the cards.

Sigh.

1 comment:

Megan said...

ARGH!!! That would be so frustrating!!!

Do you have Portrait Innovations near you? That's where I took the kids for their pictures, and they print them right there while you wait, within 15 minutes of finishing your photo session. I did the JCPenney and Walmart photo packages once each but HATED having to make special trips back to pick up the pictures days later.