My wife sells jewelry! Treat yourself to some bling!Treat yourself to some bling!
I am an Amazon.com Affiliate, and I warmly invite you to shop using my store!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Good luck with THAT one...

Here's one straight from the "They'll never do THAT again" files:

Our mailboxes were stuffed with individual student pictures today. Every child had the full package in an envelope -- an 8 X 10, 2 5 X 8s, a sheet of wallet size, etc.

Normally, the order forms are sent home in advance of picture day, and the kids (or, more accurately, parents) who want to order pictures send their money on the day the pictures will be taken. Usually, only 3 or 4 sets of pictures arrive in the ol' mailbox.

Nope, this year, EVERYONE got the pictures, along with a note which said something to the effect of "Please take a look at these pictures. If you want to keep them, please send back money. If you do not want to buy them, please send the pictures back."

REALLY?? No, REALLY??

I mean, it's great if the photography company just doesn't care about recouping their printing costs and is doing this pro bono, but if they really expect to get back all of the photos from the people who don't send money, I just might have a bridge to sell them.

Add to that the confusing order form inside the package. There are 5 "sheets" of photos, plus one sheet of "instructions." Four of the sheets are glossy photos of various size, and the last one is a bunch of punch-out pics for key fobs and mirror and such.

The order form, first of all, is entirely in English. Since more than 50% of our school is hispanic, this already doesn't bode well.

Secondly, the order form says that all 5 sheets usually cost $60, but now they are available for only $45. Great, what a bargain! The sheet then goes on to say that any ONE sheet is $12, and TWO sheets are $24, etc, etc, counting by 12s. Any unbought sheets should be returned.

I am VERY curious to see if anybody actually puts a check in the "ANY 4 SHEETS" box. This would mean paying $48 and having to return one sheet, when all 5 could be kept for $45.

A few years ago, a PTA fundraiser was to have the kids sell coupon books. Every child was given a book to use as an example and to return if unbought. I don't think they got back a tenth of the books in that fiasco.

So again, to the photography company, good luck with that one. Just don't expect ME to be the one nagging kids to bring back their pictures...

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I so agree with you...What were they thinking?!
I was wondering, what about the kids that already paid for the photos; can they ask for their money back?
AK

Anonymous said...

We do that at our school too. Except the front office is usually on our cases about getting back the pictures. So, here's the trick...cut out one wallet size picture of each kid and attach it to a note stating what it is and the prices. Problem solved. :)

Mamie said...

Ohhhhhhh, I have been down this road! I took the same approach you are. It's not my job to shill and collect from the photo company. And the prices are OUTRAGEOUS! They totally take advantage of families who don't realize there are other options. I ALWAYS told my parents about getting pictures as Walm*rt, K-M*rt, Se*rs, etc. and explained how at those places they could have the whole family in the picture, etc. Supposedly the school gets some portion of the profits, but to me, it's not acceptable to make money like that off the backs of our families.

Mister Teacher said...

Anonymous the first -- I don't think anybody has paid for the pictures yet. We had individual photos shot the same day as class pictures, and the kids only received an order form for class pictures.

Anonymous the second -- good trick, except when you're told the pics have to go out that day, you've only had them for an hour, and you're busy reviewing for the state standardized test...

Val said...

Wow. Not a smart move.
I remember them doing that once when my sister and I were in grade school. That's the only year we had school pics around my casa. I'm not proud of it, but thereyago! Silly, silly people...

HappyChyck said...

At my kids' last school, the photography chose that ploy. I thought it was insane. No wonder picts prices are so high with marketing strategies like that...

Katie said...

yes, they did this at our school as well, but, only once I think... we also had a similar coupon book fiasco with the PTA

kherbert said...

We don't use that company anymore. We found a better company not the lowest prices but good deal lower than the one you are talking about. Quality was much higher.

The company you are talking about was always disorganized. New one very organized. Only delays caused by a bridge into town being closed by a wreck and their employ was trapped on the bridge. He called others - and they came by alternative route.

We had 5 companies make presentations to Site Based and the parents and teachers made the choice.

mrsgee said...

they did this at my school this year too. really, we can't even get kids to return enrollment forms or bring lunch money without some kind of bribe. are they gonna bring those pictures back - not a chance.

lady said...

Our fall pictures they have to pay in advance. Those are the pictures that go into our class photos (not group, a sheet of individual pictures). Everyone has their pictures taken, but only those who bought a package get more than just the class photo.

In the spring it happens the way you described. Only those photos also take twice as long to take, so everyone is always backed up.

Most of the time the photos get returned pretty well (totally different kind of town than you teach in), but we do have a few families who take advantage. I remember a few years ago a woman with 3 kids kept making excuses for not returning the package (we all knew they couldn't afford to pay for them) and she ended up "stealing" more than $100 worth of photos from the company. Of course, they played the system every way they could and abused the staff. Not sorry they moved on.

Ben from TN said...

Well I guess you'll have a different photographer next year, because that company will be bankrupt by then. Our photographer used to send home the full class picture with each student and rely on the honor system to get the money for them, but I guess they finally wised up--this year they just sent a note home to the parents.

mybellringers said...

At some point you would think common sense would come into play… but what am I thinking? I hesitate to ask the name of the photography company. I have a pretty good guess, though.

Angela said...

I used to teach at a school that used that company. I HATED nagging kids to bring in the money for the pictures they kept, and refused to do the company's dirty work. What am I, a bill collector, calling parents and harassing them?

Then I found out that a colleague did just that. She thought it was grossly unfair for some parents to shell out 50 bucks while others just kept them for free. She was so right, and then I wondered if I had lost my moral compass and was a horrible person.

Now I teach at a school that doesn't send home pics unless the parents pay first.

Problem solved.

Jason said...

I remember a school I went to in a podunk before I moved to my current podunk 15 miles away used to do that.

This was until I was in the 3nd or 3rd grade. My family did it right. It was hard to get away with since it was such a smallcommunity of about 1,300 and teachers saw you everywhere. I remember the one over it telling somebody they needed to bring money for it AY CHURCH!! They later sent out 2 pictures printed onpaper for you to choose from of kids. You sent back the money for what you wanted and whala. My cerrent podunk makes you pay before the picture.

I remember the photography company being from Texas.

Mister Teacher said...

Some really good points here. I'm kind of conflicted on what to think. On the one hand, it's totally ridiculous that the pictures that DO get returned are just going to be trashed. Why NOT just let the kids keep those since they've already been printed? On the other hand, Angela is right, that it's not fair for some families to pay the price for the pictures while others keep them for free.
I'm going to continue to ask who brought their picture money each morning, but once the deadline passes, I am NOT calling and nagging...

Almost American said...

My nephew's school used to send the photos home too. My sis scanned them, and dutifully returned them.