PGP: Customer service fail

My customer service fail:
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> I was hugely disappointed in my wedding photographers! The photographers we pretty unprofessional – they didn’t bother getting hardly any images of my guests, and none of my family outside of posed family portraits. And the worst part is they the “lost” those family pictures so I didn’t get ANY of them! A good photographer would have noticed this and made sure to get more at the reception. And of course we hardly had any from the reception either!
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> And when we expressed these issues to the company, first we got a form letter saying we could purchase the rest of our photos! (Which, btw, would be impossible since they’re claiming they’re gone for good.) In response to that, I sent an email asking where my pictures were and explaining that under my contract we have ownership rights to ALL photos of our wedding, so they can’t charge us for what we already own. I provided documentation of the fact that I had these rights, etc. And I never got a response to my email. I followed up my email with a call and was told I needed to speak to the manager. He wasn’t available, so I left a message. I also had my mom call because she was just as pissed and is better at dealing with these things. She had no better luck, for a week or two. Finally one of the times she called, she threatened to take them to small claims court.

> I got a call back from the manager the very next day. He was very apologetic about not returning calls, and went on to tell me that he spoke to my photographer and she said it was a memory card fail and the pics are gone. (these are all my family pics, including the only ones they even bothered to take of my grandparents, the only ones of Corey’s stepmom with us and she and Corey’s dad live in Syracuse, so retaking pics in MN would be hard) Then he starts to lecture me about “this is why we encourage our clients to get a second shooter.” Well, guess what, I HAD a second shooter! So I told him this and asked how it was possible two photographers lost my pics. He said he would get all the images from my photographer and review them himself. He followed up with me to tell me he had the files to review and said he’d call be back Monday.

> Well, a week later with no phone call, I had Corey start calling because by now it was my busy season at work and I didn’t have time to make calls. He got the same runaround as my mom and I did, so he threatened to file in small claims. Of course then he got a call back… He talked to the manager who told him they reviewed everything and the pictures were gone. He said he was prepared to give us a 50% refund, and Corey said he had to talk to me. Considering it would take at least twice that to recreate the pics (which my mom and I talked about doing), and the sentimental value of them I didn’t feel that was enough. So we arranged a meeting with the manager, and came armed with the facts of how many pictures we did receive, how many we should have based on their 100 pics per hour estimate (so for 8 hours with 2 photographers, we should have had close to 1600 – we had 995, and at least 30 of those were from our photo booth which is a separate thing). Corey came armed with the legal grounds we had, after talking with several lawyer friends. He also came prepared to smear the company in the media because he had been writing about Twins baseball for awhile and has friends on the local paper, has done spots on local radio shows, and has an army of blogging friends who can really spread the word.

> By the time we had the meeting it was a month after I had originally noticed the missing pics. We were pissed. To his credit, he was pretty nice in person, but after hearing all of our customer service issues and the value we had for the pics, his offer didn’t change. Corey started in with the law and media threats and he basically kicked us out. No subsequent offers were accepted.

> Because we need the money and Corey got a job, We finally just took the original settlement. We haven’t seen the check yet.
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> That’s my long-ass story. Worst part is, that’s not even the worst thing that happened on my wedding day!

Have a great day!
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> Kris in Minneapolis