Blowing off steam...

Discussion in 'Community' started by crazytom, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. crazytom macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    Have you ever had one of those people that just get under your skin?

    Here's mine.

    Warning: This is one big gripe that I'm trying as mental therapy.

    The setup: I attended a wedding last year which had a professional photographer. The photographer posted the pics on his website so that you could order from them. I looked at the pictures and selected the ones that I wanted, but there was one problem; they all appeared to have a blue tinge to them. I know the guy used an older Canon digital camera to take the pictures and I heard somewhere that they could be off a little in the blue spectrum. I decided to email the guy, here's my email:


    I have a question for you before I order some prints. I noticed that many of the pictures have too much cyan in them (I mean no offense by this, it's just a 'feature' of some of the Canon digital cameras). I was wondering if you do color correction before printing? Also, would it be possible to order the digital file for certain pictures?

    Thank you.


    While I waited a few days for his response, I poked around his website to determine if he was a hack or not. I found he'd been doing photography since he was 11. I then figured out that it was my monitor calibration that was off, giving everything the blue tint. Whoops! I still wanted a response about the digital file so I didn't retract my question. Here's the response I got:



    No offense-but what are you a photographer! Try calabrating your screen
    and then maybe they will look better.

    I don't know if yur a real customer or someone trying to be a wise guy!!
    Our equipment is top of the line professional and we use a pro lab that does
    our printing. If you want to order photographs (from whose wedding?) you
    may or may not, your choice. Please don't sit out their somewhere in
    cyber-land and be critical about things you obviously no little about.

    Also JPGs are ours, any reproduction of our images without our consent
    is a violation of copyright laws. And believe me the PP of A loves to
    prosecute those who do!

    Please take no offense-Ijust don't know who you are or what your motives
    are. I thought about not responding at all. E Mails can very impersonal
    and yours sounded rude!


    I said to myself, "OK, he read too much into my email. People can do that." Even though I read his response as being: insult, solution, insult, highly defensive, insult, threat, and insult, I replied with a more friendly tone, explaining who I was, what wedding, my mistake for the perceived color imbalance, and my reason for wanting a digital file (for inclusion in my personal home movies).

    I heard nothing back from him after that. About a week later I talked to the groom and apologized to him that I may have pissed off his photographer. He told me that when he and his wife went in to close out their order, that the photographer showed them a printed copy of the emails we had to each other!! :confused: WTF?!?! The happy couple was pleased with his service, what did he hope to accomplish by doing that? How do people like this stay in business? And to think I helped my in-laws troubleshoot his website so they could place their $700+ order!

    Any photographers reading this: Was I out of line with my questions?

    I know the whole thing is stupid, and his pictures weren't bad (and, to his credit, he was using an iBook), but I didn't order from him just for the principle of it all. I want to respond to his last actions, but I'm afraid he'll sabotage the rest of the families photos or something stupid. Another part of me says to just let it go; that any criticism I make of his actions would only increase the chances of his being more successful...and he certainly didn't do me any favors. Or maybe I've been on MacRumors long enough to become comfortable sitting "somewhere in cyber-land and be(ing) critical about things (I) obviously no little about." ;)

    If you've read this far, I've probably just wasted a lot of your time. Any funny quips, anecdotes, revenge ideas, similar stories, or coping methods (like seeking professional counseling) are welcome here. I just need something to get my mind off of what a jerk this guy was!
  2. gwuMACaddict macrumors 68040


    Apr 21, 2003
    washington dc
    yeah... reading that thread was a waste of time... :rolleyes: just kidding :D

    he sounds like a ba$tard...
  3. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    It is good sometimes to blow off steam by writing it down. I think that you are correct. If you are paying then you should get the work product done according to your request. I hope that you will be successful.
  4. nospleen macrumors 68000


    Dec 8, 2002
    I agree with you. I think you had valid questions that he tried to read another meaning into. Regardless if you were rude or not, (which you were not), he should have responded as a professional. I would be upset too. Some people... :confused:
  5. bennetsaysargh macrumors 68020


    Jan 20, 2003
    New York
    that's one of the reasons i like to talk to people in person about things than over AIM or in an email.
  6. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    email can be very impersonal but thats the problem when people read to much into it as he did, but since you email him back and explained i think the way in which he reacted was totally out of line
  7. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    Couldn't agree less. A quick mail after your discovery of the monitor problem would have solved the whole mess. Sometimes folks are off base, but few take the mature approach and beg forgiveness. Let this be a life-lesson, and let it go.
  8. coopdog macrumors 6502a

    Oct 5, 2002
    The Great Midwest
    What an *******. I would be pissed at the picture guy when he showed me the emails if I was the groom. Les Kern, what?

    Whole mess? Asking what the blue hue is on a set of pictures shouldn't need anymore of a responce than, "Maybe you screen's color is off, on my screens the color looks fine, but I will double check for you. What wedding were the pictures of? I will look them up and make sure. We don't like to give up the digital picture file, sorry. Thanks for the email."

    Thats how I would have answered your NICE email.

    I could see his reaction if you said something like, "WTF is this blue all over my fricking pictures!?!?!?"
  9. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    He may not have taken the high road, but the guy with the blue screen could. I'm amazed and saddened that you don't agree. I think it was Goethe that said: "Sweep in front of your own door and pretty soon the whole world would be clean."
  10. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    he may be a good photographer, but professional he is not. that he was so blatantly rude with you is sad, but not surprising consider what passes for "customer service" anymore. But that he would show the email to the couple? Christ. Tempting to ask you for the URL so we can all go and complain about the cyan balance ;)

    i have a friend that does professional wedding photography, and trust me, he would consider this inexcusable. as would most people, i suspect.

    true, it's hard to gauge tone from an email, but i don't think yours conveyed any particular negativity, other than perceived criticism, which he should have learned to deal with by now. even then, you're criticizing the camera, not the guy.

    maybe something crawled up his ass at the wedding. and got lodged there.

  11. Awimoway macrumors 65816

    Sep 13, 2002
    at the edge
    He was rude, but he was right, too--your criticism was unfounded, and he knew it or perhaps he wouldn't have been so haughty (inappropriate as it may have been).

    So quit stewing over it. Life is too short to bear grudges. :)
  12. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Feb 14, 2004
    I dunno, whether or not your criticism was unfounded, I think you were polite enough in asking, and certainly didn't deserve that kind of response.

    I'd file a letter of complaint with somebody like the Better Business Bureau, and perhaps any photographer's professional association, if there is one. Don't say anything more than what you've recounted here. The guy's photographic skills are not in question...but his customer service approach certainly is.
  13. sonofslim macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2003
    unprofessional. absolutely. unless you never talk to other humans, you're going to have to deal with criticism at some point. and the way i see it, you weren't even criticizing his work -- you, as a consumer, have the right to ask questions about the product you intend to purchase. and that's all you were doing. if he wants to take it as a personal insult, fine. his problem, not yours. i mean, you said "I have a question for you before I order some prints." not "I was surfing the web, stumbled across your web page, and decided to give you grief because the Babylon V marathon doesn't start for another 20 minutes."

    i don't care what you're doing -- taking wedding photos or making coffee. if someone says "hey, i think you have a problem with your product and i'd like to resolve it," then you take care of it in a polite and professional manner, because THAT'S WHAT FREAKIN' CUSTOMER SERVICE IS.

    now, if someone says "hey, this coffee is garbage and i hate you," then you serve them a sneezer next time. but there's a difference.

    sorry to rant... i've worked in too many service-sector jobs to tolerate people who don't understand the basic customer-merchant dynamic. you want whatever i've got; i want your money. in most instances, these can be exchanged without drama. i seriously think all americans should be required to do a year of service-sector jobs. like compulsory military service, but making burritos instead. this country would be a happier, more polite place.
  14. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    he was way to defensive. besides it was an innocent question. but just let it go. he isnt wortht he time of day
  15. rueyeet macrumors 65816


    Jun 10, 2003
    Hey, lay off the Babylon 5! It was a good series! :D

    crazytom--if that was the verbatim text of your original email, then this photographer completely overreacted in a thoroughly unprofessional manner. Your request doesn't look the tiniest bit out of line to me.

    Burritos For America!! :p
  16. crazytom thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jul 23, 2002
    Thank you, everyone.

    I appreciate everyone's comments. It's definitely helped!

    The big issue for me still is when he showed the email printout to the bride and groom. Everything else, to me, was passable communication; I was going to order pictures until I heard that. That action alone seemed malicious and spiteful. I'm very relieved that the bride and groom thought it was pretty stupid, otherwise there'd be a dark cloud over our get togethers!

    I think that when I start to think about this whole situation, I'll just imagine someone serving him a sneezer cup of coffee! :D (Thanks, sonofslim: I'll be laughing about that for days!)
  17. sonofslim macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2003
    trust me, if he's like that with everyone, he'll get a few.
  18. themadchemist macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2003
    Chi Town
    There's a difference between being right and doing the right thing. When you run a business and people PAY YOU FOR YOUR SERVICES, you don't have the luxury to disparage those people.

    People pay you for the quality of your work and the quality of your service. In this case, the latter was very low. He should assume that you maybe aren't very knowledgeable about the subject and try to explain to you what's going on in a respectful manner.

    He could have said, "Sir, thank you for your input. However, I haven't heard this comment from others and we strive to maintain the highest quality product. What I think might be going on (I could be wrong) is that your monitor isn't properly calibrated. Would you mind trying to calibrate your monitor and seeing if that helps solve the problem? If you're not sure how to do this, you'll be able to find the information in your computer's manuals. If this doesn't work, please let me know. If there is some sort of problem on our end, we'll be sure to correct it! Thanks for your input and sorry for the inconvenience!"

    This would be an example of being respectful and trying to be helpful...It's an example of showing the courtesy that you have to when someone is paying you money for your services. And it's apologizing for things that in non-business situations you wouldn't have to apologize for. Why do you do that? You do it so that the customer feels good and so that you can satisfy the person who is paying you money...Let me emphasize this: PAYING YOU MONEY. That's huge.

    Those who would put the burden of responsibility on the customer obviously do not have experience with running a business praised for its customer service. The customer IS always right, at least in the sense that he always follows the right method to achieve his answer. No matter his rudeness (there was no rudeness here on the customer's part), the customer is going by protocol. It's the businessperson who has to tread lightly and be respectful in informing the customer about ANYTHING. Why is it the customer's responsibility to ensure that the business's products appear to be of the highest quality? The customer is paying for the products. The business is getting paid for them. Thus, the business HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY to ensure that everything is in working order, as perceived by the customer.

    To suggest that crazytom had a responsibility to divulge that he had solved his problem is ludicrous. What if he had NOT known to calibrate his monitor? The response from the photographer would have been the same and would have thus been just as unacceptable. crazytom had no reason to know what was going on at all; troubleshooting problems is a duty of the photographer, because, of course, as I have said, HE IS GETTING PAID.

    It is also bad practice to tell a customer he can order if he wants and not if he doesn't. That's ridiculous! Businesses don't survive without customers. It's like taking heaps of money and saying, let me put these on the Sears Tower. They can stay if they want or blow away if they want. I don't care! Woohoo!

    It's silly. This businessperson acted totally in the wrong. There is no justification for this. Trying to blame the customer and tell the customer, as some would here, to "learn a life lesson" is totally inappropriate. The businessperson should be learning a life lesson unless he wants to go bust.

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