Wal Mart Photos-the hard sell-or why I’ll never go back there.

December 14, 2008 at 8:00 pm 1 comment

This year, for lots of reasons, I was behind the 8 ball in getting Isaac’s Christmas photos done.  On one of my afternoons off, I fished around and couldn’t get into the usual suspects, so I, with some reservations in hand, got an appointment at Wal Mart Studios, or PictureMe. I figured that it wouldn’t be so bad, and I’d get the photos back quickly.  If they absolutely sucked, I could go to Picture People and do something in one hour.

So, I get there and make sure that my appointment that I made on line registered and get told that I’m going to need to kill over an hour and a half, because they are running behind. I take Isaac around the store and we do the window shop thing and we get a few things, being that this is a Super Wal Mart.

Time comes up and we get there and check in, and they ask a bevy of questions,a nd I get Isaac all set. The girl starts snapping, and Isaac does his usual ham bone thing. We get a bevy of amazing shots, a few I like more than the others. We sit down so I can choose photos and all of that mess. Here’s where the total mess of horridness starts to happen:

The first thing the girl shows me is the first shot she’s taken and says:

“Here’s your package shot.”

yeah. I didn’t get to pick my package shot. Oh,a nd I was never told that the first shot is the package shot, or I would have asked for a different background and different props. Plus, you could see Isaac’s sneakers. He flatly refused to put on any sort of dress shoe, and I wasn’t about to argue wtih the kid, so I figured I’d let him be. There are bigger battles in my opinion.

So, I ask her if we could zoom in (as the studio is digital) and cut off the sneakers. Ready for the answer?

“we can, but then you’ll have to pay 32.50 for the package, because it now has become an enhanced image.”

Excuse me? Really?

So, I suck up and deal, and then the serious hard sell begins. She starts fooling around with all of the images and showing me all that can be done wtih them. I patiently sit through this part, and then she starts trying to sell me a 250-300.00 package.

Excuse me again? You won’t zoom in on my photo, but you’ll push a package on me? Oh, and did I mention that she kept changing the price when I kept telling her no thank you?

Yeah. The package kept magically changing and going down in price. Then she told me that I could do payments on the packages if I just put 30% down. She didn’t seem to understand that my answer to all of this was “no.”

So, an hour and a half later, I’m paying for the portraits and although it said “No session fee!” on all of the signs, I was charged a 5.00 sitting fee. Hrm…. But I let it go, because I was sick of the hard sell and really, really wanted to get out of there. Seriously.


So, let’s fast forward to when I picked the photos up the other day. I got there, and in the wetness of the day, the receipt had been destroyed. I told the girl that and she asked me for my ID. Ok. Fine. So, she pulls up my photos and hands me the stuff. She also tries to sell me the extras they sent for an additional 21.00. Yeah, right. It was the same pose, ect. With a different pose, they MAY have had a fighting chance for me to purchase them. I told her no, and then she told me that the photos would be there for a few weeks…just in case I realized I needed an extra 8×10.


really now.


So, as I’m finishing up w ith her, I asked her about the big sign versus what I was charged. She began talking in circles for a good 5 minutes on how I was charged for the sitting fee and not for the session. Umm..Hrm. In photography, aren’t session and sitting synonyms? Me and every other person I talked to, except the wackjobs at Wal mart seem to think so!

Then, get this-she asked me if I wanted to schedule my next photo session…


Umm..yeah…all sorts of behind your back fees, a lot of stuff they don’t tell you up front and you cannot find on their website and you really want me to come back?


Yeah. right.


Entry filed under: annoyances, customer service.

Well, that was odd. And the posting is light for what reason?

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