Friday, June 20, 2008


Our church is working on the Church Directory since it has been about 5 years since we've done one. So, that means picture-taking time for the members. This past Monday was the appointed day to show up to smile for the camera. Olan Mills is the company who takes the pictures and prints directories for thousands of churches. They do a good job, altho I really think anyone who can do desktop publishing and take pictures with a digital camera could put one together and alleviate a lot of the hassle involved. Anyway, hubby and I get there for our appointed time and the pictures are taken. After a few minutes, we are called in to the "Sales" room where the pictures are available for viewing immediately and we can pick the ones we want in the directory and decide which "package" we would like to buy so we can give pictures to friends and family who likely throw them in a drawer somewhere and find them every year or two when they decide to clean that drawer out! Well, not all of them do that. I know my son and daughter display theirs proudly and prominently, at least when we are visiting. Sorry, kids, only kidding! Back to the Sales room. Our salesman's name was Rahm and he was definitely out to make a huge commission. He started off showing us the packages that were available. Lowest price package was $420! That's for five 5x7's and 24 wallets and includes all the proofs. Retouched. Framed. I said we didn't need the frames and he says the frames come with them. Well, cool, I won't have to go look for frames. Now we're going to get a $100 discount for something - probably because it's a church project. Okay, great. Then he also gives us the "gray hair" discount. Another $30 bucks or so off. So, now we're down to less than $300 - plus tax. In the end we're forking over a little over $300. Well, it's been 5 years since we had pictures taken, so what the heck. Besides, these were actually the best pictures we've had taken....ever. Paid it and left. The next day, several of us members were at a meeting and the picture taking subject came up. Seems there are packages "without the frames" that were offered to others, but not to all. Apparently you had to fight tooth and nail to get them, but you could do it. Also seems as if there was inconsistent pricing as some got the same packages for different amounts of money. And..there were many complaints about the rudeness of the salespeople - there was another salesperson there besides the one we had. Pushy and rude were the words that were used. Well, I now have a CAUSE!!! Whoopee! Something to sink my teeth into and get straightened out because it just wasn't right. So, I e-mail everyone to let me know the problems they had and contacted the pastor and he contacted our rep for Olan Mills. All we have to do is call an 800 number and they will change the order right there on the phone. Before calling, I checked to see if the pictures were up on the Olan Mills website first and they were, so I checked to make sure the pictures on the invoice were the ones I really wanted. Fine, there...UNTIL...I notice the pictures noted on the invoice that were to be put in the directory. The two WORST pictures of them all (two because I also had to have a Staff picture done of just me). Called the number, got the customer service person on the phone who took care of changing my order. Saved me $136. Good job. When I mention the pictures that were picked to put in the directory, I was told the only ones that can be put in the directory are the ones with the light-colored background. The dark-colored backgrounds are the best ones, of course! Luckily, the Staff picture could be changed as there was another one I liked better in the light background. So all is not lost. I just hope I don't have to wait forever to get my credit back on my credit card. So, to my family and friends, when you get the picture in a couple of months, leave it out in full view for at least a week! At least I'll know then it was worth it. Oh, yeah, sorry they aren't "retouched". That's another $30!!

No comments: