I had an appointment March 13 at 10:30 for my son's 1 yr pictures at the Portrait Innovations in Central Park Fredericksburg, VA. We were on our way at 10:25 and I called to tell them that we would be arriving on time and asked if they had an 11:00 appointment time available just in case we were late.
The manager told me over the phone "No, and if you're not on time, you lose your appointment and will have to wait." I told her that we would be on time, would see them in a few minutes, and she said "Ok" and hung up on me. We arrived at exactly 10:30 and at the front desk the manager and 2 other associates checked us in and told us we'd be taken right back. Within 10 minutes, the manager kept retrieving her cell phone from her pocket and was texting (we all know what that looks like on a touch screen phone, so even though it's an assumption, I'd say it's correct). 15 minutes later, we were still waiting and my fiance said to me "Should we take a picture and send it to corporate to show them what's happening in their studio?" and I just laughed it off.
5 minutes later, the manager pulls out her cell phone again and says to one of the associates "Look at this picture!" and they start laughing. The other associate had walked away at that point and was preparing the camera room for us. I then listened to the manager talk to the associate about other people they work with ("She's so lazy, she takes her break an hr after being here. I can't wait til she gets fired" was exactly what I heard) and at 11:05 we were finally taken back.
No other appointment came in while we were waiting to be taken back. Our photographer was wonderful w/ my son and my requests and we finished at 11:45. There were still no other customers in the studio, so obviously the manager had lied about their available appointment times. My son had done pictures w/ cake so it took us about 15 minutes to clean him up so we finally viewed our pictures at exactly 12pm.
We picked everything out and were wrapping up at 12:30 when the photographer said "Our printer is still warming up, so it's going to be around 2 hrs until your pictures are ready." I asked her if she was sure and she went and checked with the manager and came back and said that, yes. The printer was still warming up 3.5 hrs after they opened. I live an hr away and my fiance had to work at 2, so waiting around wasn't an option for us and I had no other choice but to make a trip back to pick up my photos. I contemplated calling customer service but decided to wait because my sister had scheduled an appointment with her 3 children and my son for the following Tuesday and was going to see if they could redeem themselves.
My fiance, son, and I arrived for our 11:00 appointment early, checked in, and then waited for my sister. I called my sister and she said they were running late and to see if we could move to 11:30. I asked the manager and she, again, said "No, we don't have that time available. Sorry" and then walked away from me.
My sister and her family arrived at 11:15 and the photographer took us back as soon as they arrived. Before we even started, the manager came out of the lab with the printer and came up to me and said "You were here last week, right?". "Yes," I said. "Oh, well since you were here last week, she (pointing to my niece who I was holding) can't be in these pictures." It caught me completely off guard and I asked her why and she said that because I had done the $9.95 promotion the week before, my child couldn't be in the pictures today.
I told her we were planning on doing more pictures than just all of the kids together and she said "That's fine, but she (again, pointing at my niece) can't be in the picture". I pointed at my son and said "He's actually my child" and she said "Whichever child is yours can't be in the picture". My 4 year old nephew came up to me and interrupted and said "Auntie, why is this lady yelling at you?". And that just did it for me.
I said to the manager "I need your customer service number b/c this is absolutely ridiculous. I had a horrible experience last week w/ you all and was hoping today would redeem you but you just completely lost that chance." The manager said "What was wrong last week?". I told her that we were kept waiting for half an hr, that I had watched her playing on her phone the whole time we were waiting, and that their printer was down and they hadn't told us until 2 hrs after our appointment time. Her response was "You didn't wait that long and I wasn't on my phone." I said "You have a pink cover on your phone.
I know b/c I saw it at least a dozen times last wk. I want that phone number." She gave it to me and I went outside to talk to customer service. They offered me 2 free poses to compensate for the experience and I handed my cell phone to the manager so the customer service representative could could tell her. The one side of the conversation that happened in front of me was "We changed the chemicals on Monday, so we were waiting for the printer to warm up...
No, they were checked in at 10:32, they weren't taken back late." I said "Yes, we were" and she started arguing with me while still on the phone with their customer service rep and looked at me and said "No, you were checked in at 10:32" and I said "I don't care what time you checked me in, you didn't take us back for at least half of an hr. I'd like to talk to the rep again, please" so she handed me back my cell phone. I told the CS rep that the fault didn't lie at all w/ the photographer and I didn't want her reprimanded at all, b/c this wasn't her fault. The manager rolled her eyes at me, and muttered "Are you *** kidding me?" We finished our session and my sister's family and mine left.
For the rest of the day, all any of us talked about was how poorly the manager approached me and the situation. This continued to the next day.
I'm planning on calling the manager's regional manager tomorrow to let them know what exactly happened b/c the situation was absolutely completely inappropriate. To attack me in front of my family, to argue with me, and then blatantly lie in front of me is just unacceptable.
Review about: Portrait Innovations Manager.