when you don't hire a professional photographer or one that does not care about his or her reputation. Just saw this letter in one of the Photography forums........and my heart breaks for this couple.
This kind of thing happens more and more..............
Customer service is one of the most important parts of our relationship with OUR clients and I really hate that this does happen.
I could honestly write a novella on the nightmare we have experienced with our wedding photographer, but I'll try to keep it short and to the point.
We got married back in mid-October 2012. Overall, the photography experience was fine the day of. Leading up to the wedding there wasn't as much communication as I would have liked, not for lack of trying on my end, and think that could be why some key shots were missed, but that's another issue/story entirely that has no solution either way.
Really, it all boils down to lack of communication on his part since the wedding, pushing back of deadlines, and every excuse in the book being used when he does respond. Getting updates from him has been almost impossible, for every 5 emails I send he finally replies, and each time with an excuse bigger than the last. I was told three weeks ago that our photos were finished -- one month after the first deadline given, and one week after the second. When he told me they were finished, he said he was shipping them the next day and would let me know when it was shipped. He never let me know when they shipped, and about ten days later we had yet to receive anything. I emailed and facebook messaged him a few times, with no response back, as well as tried the only number of his I have -- which gave a busy signal the three times I called it. Finally, I sent him an email saying I needed to hear from him in the next 24 hours or I would seek legal action, and also posted to his wall to reach out to me immediately. That got his attention, and said he'd sent them two weeks prior. THEN he got incredibly defensive, telling me that legal action would be "frivolous and unnecessary" and how wonderful our photos are, and how hard he had worked on them, and how his 90 day MAX timeline was generous because most photographers take 5-8 months (cause I apparently seem naive), etc. It ended with him saying he would send the photos again and give me the tracking number once sent. I asked him for the FIRST tracking number twice so I could see where the first package was sent, and he all but refused to give it to me. I assume it wasn't ever sent.
A couple of days later, he emails me saying the photos have been sent and he is waiting for the tracking number from his assistant to send over to me. Here we are over a week later and I've neither received a tracking number or our photos. Keep in mind, it's just the disc, no prints. His phone number is still a busy signal, he's moved since we last hired him so I don't know his new address, he's removed me from facebook, and he won't respond to my emails. He's supposed to also send me the photos in an online gallery and that has yet to happen. I've offered to meet him, told him that sending them online would suffice, and asked for the tracking number three times. Basically, I've given him every option I can and exhausted every resource I can to reach him, and won't respond to me -- not even to keep me quiet! He's no longer registered with BBB, so that's useless since I don't know if it's even a current address they have on record.
Is a certified letter the best option in all of this? Assuming the BBB address is current, that is? Should allow him MORE time? He's posted recent photos on his site, so I know he is still in business and actively working. Also, do you think it's a case of them just not being finished yet and he's stalling, or are they possibly awful and he's stalling? I saw six samples, and they were beautiful, so unless something happened between the teasers and now, I hope the latter isn't the case.
At the end of the day, the turn-around has never been the real issue for me. It became an issue when he started making excuses and throwing communication out the door. I just want our wedding photos at this point -- nothing more, nothing less.