Picture Me Portrait Studios

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Worst Customer Service Experience EVER!
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CLERMONT, FLORIDA -- The only positive thing I have to say about this place is that the photographer, Ciera, was wonderful with my family and children. Other than that, this place is horrible. First, our appointment was at 10:30 and it was stressed to us over the phone not to be late. When we arrived at 10:25, they were still working with other customers and we ended up waiting an HOUR for them to get to us. Secondly, when I sat down with Ciera to pick out our photos, I told her I was on a budget. Ciera was very understanding, however, when another employee overheard this, she rushed over and tried to push a $250 package on me. When I told her it was too much for me to spend, she kept trying to persuade me to buy it and she made it obvious that she was annoyed by the fact that I didn't want to purchase it. I felt like I was buying a car from a used car lot. Finally I purchased some sheets of pictures for $20 a piece (forget the specials they are running, it's a gimmick) only to find out that when I got home on my computer to view the proofs ... this place is that the photographer, Ciera, was wonderful with my family and children. Other than that, this place is horrible. First, our appointment was at 10:30 and it was stressed to us over the phone not to be late. When we arrived at 10:25, they were still working with other customers and we ended up waiting an HOUR for them to get to us. Secondly, when I sat down with Ciera to pick out our photos, I told her I was on a budget. Ciera was very understanding, however, when another employee overheard this, she rushed over and tried to push a $250 package on me. When I told her it was too much for me to spend, she kept trying to persuade me to buy it and she made it obvious that she was annoyed by the fact that I didn't want to purchase it. I felt like I was buying a car from a used car lot. Finally I purchased some sheets of pictures for $20 a piece (forget the specials they are running, it's a gimmick) only to find out that when I got home on my computer to view the proofs online, I noticed that if I had waited to buy them online, they're $9.99 per sheet. So, essentially, I paid double the price to buy them in the store only 4 hours prior! I've tried calling their "customer service" number numerous times and have to keep holding for 15+ minutes every time - without speaking to anyone. When I called the store to get a regional supervisor's number, they gave it to me. However, when I called the first couple of times and left a voicemail, I did not hear back. The last few times I tried calling it went straight to voicemail. Eventually I found out (from an employee of theirs) that the "supervisor's number" is a scam number. Nobody answers it or does business off it. These people are very unprofessional and a rip-off. Don't be scammed by them! Spend your hard earned money somewhere else!

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Anonymous on 12/08/2010:
Pushing a pricey package is how they earn their commissions. They may also have a quota they are trying to meet.
Xpert on 12/09/2010:
Oh, absolutely. I am in sales, so I understand them needing to meet their goals, but when I have to explain several times to their sales rep (who hadn't been dealing with me and who hadn't said one word to me until I was talking about packages) that I could not afford that much and she got an attitude with me about it? I mean, c'mon! It's Christmas time and I can't spend $250 on pictures when I have kids and family to buy for still! And especially don't get mad at me for it. It was very unprofessional.
Anonymous on 12/09/2010:
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Unacceptable "Service"
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CLAREMONT, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- To start off my experience with Picture Me, I had made an appointment with the studio. At that time I was told that someone would be in touch to cofirm my appointment. One week later and the day of my appoinment, so one had been in touch so I called to confirm myself. Turns out they never had me scheduled on their end. Therefore, I had to re-schedule for the following night at 6:30. The next day, my husband and I got our 3 month old ready and out the door (which can be a chore sometimes) and arrived at our appointment time, 6:30. When we showed up that Saturday there was only 1 employee working and she was with another customer. No problem, we would just wait patientlly. Well by 7pm we we still hadn't even begun. We finally started at 7:15, (45 minutes late) and by that time my 3 month old was not very interested in taking pictures. We took a few and realized he was probably going to have to eat before we could take anymore. I said this to the employee and she said, "well, we close at 8 so you can feed him a little bit, but we have to be done by then." I immediately thought "well lady, if we didn't have to wait almost an hour my kid wouldn't be hungry and we'd be done by now!!!" He ate a little bit and then the "photographer," if you could call her that, wanted us to try again. We took a few shots and she would ask "is that good enough", as she pointed at the screen. I went a long with it for a minute and then the baby got fussy again. Meanwhile her cell phone in her pocket is going off with some inappropriate rap song as a ringtone and instead of waiting, she pulls it out and starts reading the text message outloud!! And for those of you that are wondering what it said...it was something about needing an EBT card, which is NH's form of wellfare, as if I really needed to know about her personal life that much!! Now, I try not to judge people, I really do the best I can, but I am human and this lady was one of the most inappropriate, unproffesional people I have ever met. She didn't know how to turn the equipment on, she was making comments that just weren't appropriate comments to make to a customer in any circumstance, She didn't know how to work the computers, she didn't really know how to run the camera, she flat out told me she really doesn't know how to have a baby pose and wanted me to figure it out, right down to the terribly inapproriate wardrobe, which consisted of a rather large women wearing black pants that were too long so she was walking on them, with a shirt that showed part of her stomach and skate boarding sneakers to top off the whole look. And the best part of the entire get up had to be her teeth that were rotting out of her mouth. I was rather floored when I realized this is the person taking "proffesinal" photos, to which I will be paying a great deal of money too! After the phone incident my child was crying and not in a good mood from having to wait so long and my husband was rather fed up with the quaility of service we were getting so he said we would pay her for her time that she had already put in, but we were not interested in continuing the session. My husband and I really strive to be kind to everyone and neither of us want to hurt anyones feelings so we were very cordial and polite and told her we would re-schedule at a different time when our child was in a better mood, but the fact is that we will most definitely not be re-scheduling with this studio. We have decided to take our business else where, as I feel that this kind of "service" is unacceptable. A word to the owners/managers of Picture Me Portrait Studio, work a little harder at finding quaility employees because in this circumstances you failed miserably at doing so and as a result lost a customer.
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Venice09 on 11/14/2010:
I normally wouldn't think that such a precise description of an employee was necessary, but in this case it really helps the reader understand the circumstances. The fact that her attitude, behavior and knowledge were inappropriate for a portrait studio makes her appearance relevant. I'm guessing that had she been the least bit professional, you would have overlooked or not even noticed her appearance at all.

These studio pictures of babies are so stressful on everyone. There are so many things that can go wrong, and it's usually just a matter of luck if you get one decent picture. This is just my personal opinion, but I always preferred the candid shots I took at home. I was never really happy with most of the studio ones and really regret having spent so much money on them. I also regret putting my family through the ordeal. At the time, it just felt like something I was supposed to do, but I later learned that it was not necessary or required.
CPICorp on 11/16/2010:
Hi KDfam,

I work for CPI Corp, the company that owns and operates PictureMe Portrait Studios. I saw your post and I'd like to apologize for the level of customer service you received. What you described is not at all what we expect from our associates. In order to resolve this issue and address your concerns, I'd really appreciate it if you could email us your contact info at Facebook@cpicorp.com. Thank you so much for posting and making us aware of the situation. Hope to hear from you soon!
KDfam on 11/20/2010:
Thank you for your comments. I think you are most certianly right. If the employee taking the pictures acted proffesionally, I could careless what she looked like, it is not my place to judge this indivdual, however I too think it was necessary to paint the picture of our experience. Because she looked so unproffesional it added to my aggravation. I appreciate your suggestion on taking the candid ones at home.In the past 3 months I think we have taken thousands and I love every single one! Just thought it would be a great holiday gift for grandparents and something nice to look back on someday. Unfortuantley I will not be looking back at this experience as enjoyable.
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Never use their services
Posted by on
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA -- Picture Me Portrait Studio - South Bend, IN

Never use their services. Here is how they treat their clients. I went there to have my passport photo taken. Kristen, who said she is a manager over there, took my photo. As a person, I found her to be pretty nice. But as a photographer, she is the most incompetent I have ever seen.
The passport photo of mine she took came out with a shade behind my head. The photo gives an impression as if I have long hair, though it is very short. When I told Kristen that I am unhappy with the shade behind my head, she said it is because of the flash she uses for taking passport photos. To take your photo, I need to use the flash. And thus, once I use the flash, enjoy your photo with a long hair. But wait a sec, do you find the explanation ridiculous?! At the end of the day, as a client, I don’t care whether you use your flash or not. What I expect from you good passport photo. Blaming the flash is similar to the excuses you hear from some carwashes. When you complain them that the brushes they used to wash the car are scratching your paint, they say “Well, without the brush we can’t wash your car!” What a stupid explanation! Kristen would tell you the same: “It is the flash that makes your look like a lady with a long hair.”
Another thing that is ridiculous with this studio is that they use Palaroid for taking passport photos. That means they take your photo only ones and whatever comes out as a result of it is final product that you have to pay. Maannn, can’t you use digital camera so that you take several shots of your client, show them to him/her, and print out the one that s/he liked.
The story does not end at this point. Picture Me Portrait Studios has more to offer. Kristen gave me my photo without drying it properly. Guess what, when I opened the cover of the photo I found out that my photo stick to the cover. As result, the photo was damaged. I went to always-smiling-and-never-admitting-her-fault Kristen, and told her that not only she screw my passport photo, but also put it into the cover without drying it. Kristen is super creative when it comes to creative explanations. She said she told me that I have to dry it for 20 min. Let me repeat it – for 20 min!!! It is almost half an hour. Are you kidding me? Just imagine having your photo taken at Picture Me Portrait Studios, then Kristen gives you your photo and tells you to dry it for 20 min. You get your photo, carefully hold its edge, and hang around in Wal-Mart (Picture Me Portrait Studios usually operates in Wal-Mart) drying it for the next 20 min. Wow! I can’t believe we are living in the 21 century! Just make sure to hold your cart and dry your photo.
Anyway, Kristen never admits her fault. Whatever happens to your picture it is YOUR fault. I asked for refund, she said no.
Hoping that a supervisor would be a better person to speak to, I looked for her tel number. The info on the studios wall had a name (Tracy) and her tel number. I tried to reach her but I was always forwarded to voice mail box. I left her 3 messages on Thursday. She got back to me only on Tuesday of the next week. And it is my suspicion that she got back to me only after I told Kristen that I am waiting for the call and if she does not get back to me I will try to contact people who supervise her. After I spoke to Tracy, they “kindly” agreed to refund my 10 USD.
I ended up with having my photo taken at CV Pharmacy. Isn’t it a shame on Picture Me Portrait Studios that their potential clients end up having their photo taken in a pharmacy. The lady who took my photo was not even a photographer. She used digital camera, took several photos and asked with one I liked. I choose one, she printed 4 photos, recorded my photos to a CD and charged me for all that something around 7.50 USD. Shame on you Picture Me Portrait Studios. A person in a pharmacy is doing a better job then you!

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Anonymous on 12/10/2009:
passport photos are not meant to show off. They are used to identify you on a passport. As long as the face looks like you who cares if it looks like you had long hair? My passport shows me with REAL long hair and my hair is cropped short these days. Anyone can see it is still me.

And yes, the studio which did my photo used a Polaroid as well. Again, they are not meant for showing off and keeping forever honey. It is for a 5 year passport book.

As long as your face is not altered they couldn't care less what the hair looks like or doesn't look like. And if I remember right, there are restrictions on what type of background can be used. THAT is why you have to have a PASSPORT photo taken, and not use any old photo you have on hand.
Anonymous on 12/10/2009:
LadyScot, every country has different passport criteria. In the US our adult passports are for 10 years...

PepperElf on 12/10/2009:
hell she should see what military ID photos look like if she thinks the first passport photo was bad. they look even worse than driver license photos

especially the first one. the first photo - the girls look like guys and the guys look like woody harrleson in natural born killers
JR in Orlando on 12/10/2009:
Around here a lot of the drug stores with photo centers take them for like $10.00, and do a pretty good job.
Anonymous on 12/10/2009:
VF, I am in the US and my passport is 5 years.
Anonymous on 12/10/2009:
LS, My US passport is good for 10 years. Did you get yours before you turned 17?
Anonymous on 12/10/2009:
Stew, good question. Mine is for 10 years, also.

Anonymous on 12/10/2009:
No. I got it in 2005 before we went to Mexico that summer. I could have sworn that lady told me it was good for 5 years. I can't look at it now as it is locked in the firebox. But when honey gets home I can grab the key and double check.
Anonymous on 12/10/2009:
Should be good for 10 years regardless of how old you are. I got my first one at age 11 (March 1988) and expired 10 years later when I was 21 (March 1998). Well, U.S. passports, that is. Don't know about other ones.
Nohandle on 12/10/2009:
At one time a child's passport was only good for I believe 5 years. That might have changed. I had mine renewed last year and it was good for 10 years. Food for thought, don't let your passport expire; otherwise, you have to start from scratch for the application. I knew my parent's birthdate but not the year of their births. Make it easy on yourself even if you aren't planning a trip anytime soon.
Anonymous on 12/10/2009:
Yeah, my other passport; 1998-2008 expired. I'd have to go through the whole process again to get another one.
Anonymous on 12/10/2009:
Excellent tip Nohandle. Also, if you need a picture for your passport don't let Picture Me Portrait Studios take the picture. I hear they suck rocks.
Nohandle on 12/10/2009:
Forget Picture Me Portrait Studios. You could get my latest passport photo, string some numbers beneath and slap my photo up at the nearest Post Office under the FBI's Most Wanted List. It's that bad but fun for laughs.
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Charged For Photos I Did Not Receive
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CLERMONT, FLORIDA -- I went to the Picture Me Portrait Studios in our local Walmart (Clermont, FL) after my babysitter recommended it. She also works in the customer service dept. at Wal-Mart.

Our general experience was lousy: Arrived on time for appointment - Was not greeted, after 10 minutes I greeted the clerk. Their waiting area was dirty, including a trash can with garbage overflowing onto the floor, gum on floor, etc. Gross!

I got upset when the clerk took a lady who arrived before me BUT HAD NO APPOINTMENT & let her go before me, when I had been on time for my appointment. It's hard to get a 1 and 3 year old ready on time as it is, working around naptimes, etc. that's why we make appointments at a certain time. That lady had one four-month old lying contentedly in a car seat. Half an hour after my appointment the clerk was finally ready for me. Then I am told to put my baby and toddler on a 4 X 4 table, 3 feet off the ground, and step back so she can take their photos. I was very uncomfortable and when I brought up safety, the clerk said, "don't worry, you will catch them if they fall." Brilliant. Then I realized there are NO PROPS. Every other time we've had photos done elsewhere, there is lots of stuff like giant bears, giant lollipops, books, etc. to hold their interest. WalMart has nothing but numbers. Since my children did just have birthdays we decided to work with that and managed to get a few half-way decent photos. They were crying by the end: late for naptime, no surprise.

Overall I was pleased that we got several nice looking poses. With 2 crying, tired tots on my lap, I quickly ordered the 7.99 package and left. 4 weeks later (!! why so long?) I picked them up. My babysitter brought home samples of the photos I didn't choose, and I decided to order more. Not wanting to set foot in that studio again, I called the 800 # on the package. A very nice gentleman took my order and said I would receive my additional prints within 10 days, delivered directly to my home, no shipping charge.

30 days later, after 3 attempts to call them and one unanswered email, I have a charge to my VISA for the reprints and no photos.

I have to say, the $7.99 deal was great, even with the huge hassles, we did get a lot of not great, but definitely OK pictures (1 pose). What is the problem with the reprints and why isn't anyone taking calls or answering emails?? My next step is to call VISA and have the charges reversed. Maybe that will wake them, but from what I have read about other peoples' experiences, probably not. I have a feeling I will never see my re-ordered photos. It's sad because you can't get back the time when your children are a certain age to re-take the photos. That was my only chance for 1 and 3-year-old photos of my sons and I screwed up by going to Picture Me. Stay away!
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jbarber8 on 07/25/2008:
This complaint was resolved 7/25/08. I called again, and I let the phone ring forever. After about 10 minutes, someone finally picked up. She resubmitted my order, added extra free wallets to make up for my negative experience, and had the package sent FedEx to me. I am happy that this case was resolved to my satisfaction, but I won't be using Picture Me again and I can't recommend them.
jktshff1 on 07/25/2008:
Thanks for coming back to post.
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