How To Make a New Parent Really, Really Mad

Hi everyone. I am beginning a quest. I may not be successful, but by the time I’m done, I’ll feel better. Here’s the story:

My son was born October 2nd. He had his newborn photo taken on the day we left the hospital, which was October 4th. Two days ago, the company that took his picture called me & asked if I wanted to order some pictures. I said “Um, well, I haven’t seen them yet.” They said “We know that…we have a no-proof policy.” I said “Huh? You mean I can’t see the picture before I order?” That’s correct, they say. If I want copies of the newborn hospital photo, I have to order a package, pay for it first, then they send the pics. If I’m not happy, I can get a full refund. I was not told this while I was in the hospital. This is not in the ordering package they gave me. If I had known this while I was in the hospital, I wouldn’t have bothered having them take the picture…I would have called my professional portrait photographer uncle and had him come up & do it.

Anyway, after I got done telling these people just how many different kinds of screwed-up stupid they were, I proceeded to tell them how horrible it was that they guilt-tripped new parents like this. Parents really do want those pics, but this company is forcing new parents to pay for something that might suck, without giving them an option. I’m sure most people don’t send those pics back for a refund, either, because they’d rather have a crappy newborn hospital photo than no photo at all. Unless they’re me. I told them to get stuffed.

I am going to send them an email & tell them as eloquently as I possibly can just how badly they suck. I am also going to try & make everyone I know aware of this crappy policy, too. The name of the company is FirstFoto. They have a website. The no-proof policy is buried in the FAQ’s at the site, but hey, not everyone has a computer.

No photographer I have ever dealt with has a no-proof policy. Even the drugstore where I have my own pictures developed lets me look first, and I don’t have to pay if they don’t turn out.

Okay, I’m done ranting. Do you have a crappy corporate policy you’d like to share? Want to warn anyone away from a particular business because they suck? This is the thread. Have a lovely day!

Not exactly the same Cristi, but the photographers do play on the parents and their love of their children.

My wife had our daughter’s picture made at about 1 year old at Wal-Mart. She was using some coupon to just get the 5.99 package or whatever. My wife and I went to pick the pictures up (they make up all the poses and have all possible packages ready not just proofs) and the photo salesperson, tried to convince us to buy the $400 package. We declined. Then she tried to make deals with us. We told her we just wanted the basic 5.99 package. Then she told us how terrible it would be to have to send these pictures of our beloved child back to the company to be destroyed. Now how many new parents could let the pictures of their precious child be destroyed when you can do something about them. We walked away with the $100 package. We never went back to Wal-Mart.

So you could see them before you bought them, but the pressure was too much.
Jeffery

Cristi, I’m sorry you had to be exposed to the cold cruel world in such a manner.
I would highly recommend not only emailing the company, but sending a hardcopy of the letter via regular mail.( To me if it is not on real paper, then it is not a valid complaint and therefore, doesn’t exist.I use to work in a complaint department.) AND call the BBB to check to see if this is fair/legal and to register a complaint. Their buy first policy is terrible and unfair.

This company is preying on your new mommy emotions and the Gee Whiz I gotta have it that all new parents ( even though this is your third time around) go through. They are probably figuring that the new mommies will buy it and even if it is a terrible picture ( some are due to bruising during birth, forceps delivery or their eyes are closed) that you will be too busy and too tired to ask for a refund.

You have a right to be angry and I would say even writing a letter to the hospital schmoe in charge of allowing such a merchant with such and such policies is advisable.

Good luck with the struggle and keep us informed!

We had the same awful policy when I worked for the portrait studio at Sears several years ago. They lured you in with a 12.99 special or something which included only the first two poses of the session, there were I believe 8 poses taken usually with the last half having better backgrounds and filters, etc. Then when the parents came to pick up their package everything was displayed so that the nice EXPENSIVE photos were displayed in frames with mats and the package photos were sorta just propped up and crappy looking, then you had to start the pitch by telling what it cost for ALL the pictures, then for so many of each size of certain poses, blah, blah, blah. Even if they ended up just buying the coupon package you were supposed to try and sell them a hideous overpriced frame to go with it. I was never as manipulative as the Wal-Mart salesperson, though. I don’t know how people like that can sleep at night. I understand now everything is done by computer and you can pick the package you want before it’s even printed up, which makes sooooo much more sense, but I’m sure they still have some sort of scam involved somehow.

If you have their word in writing that a full refund will be forthcoming if you do not like the prints, what is the problem here?


Yer pal,
Satan

My brother-in-law David had some similar “scam” pulled on him and his wife. The photo shop had made up the deluxe package, but they only wanted the $19.99 special. They stood firm.

The company (forgot who) then sent all their customers’ “unwanted” photos somewhere to be destroyed. Somewhere along the way, the mass package was broken up. The Post Office then had all these photo packages with no mailing info. So they looked inside, and the only addresses available were the customers’. So they mailed all these rejected photo packages to the customers who didn’t want them.

So David got a couple hundred dollars worth of photos for only $19.99. What a deal!

Satan, I think the problem is that sending them back would be a hassle and by the time they realised they didn’t like them, the baby wouldn’t be a newborn anymore so it would be too late to re-take “newborn” photos. Just another annoying thing about children. (JOKE!)

Jeez…am I the only one here who owns a camera? See, what you do is bring your own camera and take your own pictures. Then you dont have to negotiate with some sleazebag about which ones you get to keep.

I have one with my son whizzing on the delivery doctor and one with the cord attached. Now that the little dear is 18 they are worth their weight in gold for negotiating purposes. :slight_smile:


JB
Lex Non Favet Delictorum Votis

On a side not, i find new parents get really upset if you sneeze in the face of the newborn while you hold it. But it makes their face crinkle up in the cutest way!


Magnificent to behold - Greatly to be praised.

The problem, Satan, is slimy business practices that depend on a) catching the customer at a vulnerable moment and b) on using tactics that exploit that vulnerability. Brought to mind a couple of unpleasant experiences not associated with new parenthood or photographers so I’m starting a new thread called “Vultures”



Some people know a lot more when you tell them something than when you ask them something.

I’ve had the same problem with photography studios, let’s just say that I still have about 300 of those teeney locket size pictures of my son…if any one wants one, I’d be happy to send it (c’mon, he’s a really cute kid :))

Does anyone remember Senior Year Portraits? You go through your entire school career paying $8-40 for pictures, then all of a sudden you’re a senior and it’s more like $100-500. I think the cheapest package we were offered was $65, one pose maybe 20 pictures (mostly wallets) And of course, you need a lot of pictures, because everyone from Grandma to the mailman wants a picture of you in your cap and gown.

This is on top of all the other fees & goodies that you are expected (in some cases required) to buy. My family was middle class, and it put a real strain on my parents finances (add in SAT test fees, college application fees and of course tuition for the next year). The poorer kids had to take after school jobs to pay for it all. I guess they could’ve gone without, but this was senior year for christsakes! The best year (supposedly) of your life!

On a positive note, I’ve found a photographer who takes the pictures and you buy the negatives. Last time, I think it was about $50 for about 20 different poses. Then you can decide how many of each pose you want and he’ll either print them for you, or you can take them somewhere else. Either way, there’s no pressure.

Since Satan took a swing and whiffed, I’ll be the crass uncaring one…

All that you needed was a $3.75 package of Trojans… problem solved – cheaply.

This happened to my son. He was born with his little fist pressed up against his eye, and there was bruising. Would I have bothered trying to get a refund? No. I’ve been too flipping busy since he got here.

Yep. That’s exactly what honked me off. When I was in school, and got school pics taken regularly, we didn’t have to pay for those first. If they turned out badly, we even had a “retake day.” Can’t do that with a newborn. Moms are excited, nervous, busy, hormonal, and in pain. When they come to take the picture, we just let them do it. This is my third time, but it’s the first time I’ve been denied a proof. If it had happened before, I’d have bitched before, and not ever let it happen again. I’ve never paid for a professional photograph without seeing proofs first. I’ve paid to keep proofs, even crappy ones, but I’ve always been given the opportunity to view them first.

I did bring my own camera, and I did get some good shots. One of those will be his official “newborn photo,” probably the one of him being held by his great-great grandmother.

An aside to ChiefScott: Yeah, I know. This isn’t going to happen again, because my darling husband is going under the knife in a couple of weeks. Since I’ve got good health insurance, it’s going to be even cheaper than the Trojans. :slight_smile:

Those pictures are usually so bad you wouldn’t buy them if you saw the proofs. Their little heads still pointy from birth, eyes squinched shut to keep out that strange light.

If I were your husband I would’ve coughed up the bucks – 2, 3 thousand dollars? No problem dear… just NOT THE KNIFE!!!

NOT THE GODDAMNED KNIFE!! WHAT A CRUEL, CRUEL WORLD!!

When my son was born, we sat around in the hospital for the night and she slept while I filled out paperwork. Come 7am, the nurse tells us we can leave that day if she felt up to it (I’ll give them that – the hospital didn’t try to just boot us out right away). At 12:00, the nurse drops in and I ask her about pictures. She says the picture guy left at 11:00am and was gone for the day. So, we couldn’t get pictures taken of our son. How nice of the hospital (or the photographer) to bring that up, that he’d be long gone before lunchtime even rolled around. Guess we should of went looking for him at 5am.

No big deal though… we just took our own pictures.


“I guess it is possible for one person to make a difference, although most of the time they probably shouldn’t.”

I know what you mean about the Sears pictures. When Greg was 2 I went there to use a package deal that they had. They took more than what was in the deal, and when they were ready they had a lot of pictures laying out. They said if I want the pics from the deal, they were the ones in a certain pile.

I liked the other pictures better and asked them why I couldn’t choose the 3 poses I was allowed from ALL of the pictures. She said that those poses were the deal. I said, “What’s the difference? A picture is a picture is a picture. And you should have ASKED if I wanted more pictures taken to see if I’d like more than the deal offered, anyway.”

She said, “If you have a coupon for eggs, you can’t buy milk with it.”. I don’t get the comparison. It’s not 2 separate products…they are PICTURES! Anyway, I couldn’t afford what they cost (just for 1 picture they wanted like 3 times more than I’ve ever paid at another place!) and got just the deal, and grumbling because I didn’t get a certain picture of him that I fell in love with because I couldn’t afford their prices.

I never gone back, but some friends of mine said that it isn’t like that anymore. I guess too many people complained.


MaryAnn
More woman than you’ll ever inflate!

There’s only two pictures that they have at the hospital.The pink and the blue. They keep handing out the same ones all these years.

I never, almost, buy any forced picture. I did get one last summer, since it turned out OK and will probably the only picture of me on a roller coster with family. I hate rollercoasters.

I know what you all mean about Sears, but I’ve only had problems with one lady at Walmart who guilt-tripped my husband into $150 worth of photos!!! The way you deal with these people is to know exactly what you want going in. If you just want the $5.95 special, after they take the first picture, just get them to take the other poses as quickly as you can…don’t let them get perfect poses on them, so that you won’t want them.