Walmart has lost another customer

We have been faithful shoppers of Wal Mart for years. Most of it’s stores are dirty, some of the employees are miserable trash and not exactly the brightest but damn I could get some good deals. Grocery products were always a sale for us. A few weeks ago my father told me about a movie that spreads the “truth” about the chain. I’m not one for movies that are shown in the basement of churches, union halls and shit like that so I just shrugged it off. Apparently this movie got to him because the man who probably kept all 4 Wal Marts in Erie in business stopped going. Maybe this should have been a sign. What you are about to read isn’t some grand epiphany I had or a militant cause I’m going on. It’s our last shopping trip to the chain… EVER.

2 weeks ago my wife went to the Wal Mart in Cranberry to have some reprints of our wedding photos made using the self serve Kodak scanner/printer. These pictures were from our photographer. We bought the negatives from him and the images were not copyrighted. They were printed on Fuji film.

She calls me screaming. The girl working in the photo center said that the images are professionally done and we can’t have the pictures back. My wife explains they are not copyrighted. The worker flips the picture over and points to the time stamp the camera put on the image and insists that a time stamp means it’s copyrighted. (*you can see the intelligence of the photo lab worker*) Then she flips over another and points CD on the back. The photographer is named CD apparently to her. The “CD” is part of the word PHOTO CD. This girl, obviously brain-dead, kept debating this fact. My wife calls for the photo lab manager. The manager comes over and tells her that the images “look” professional and she can have back the ones that don’t look professional. My wife shows no copyright and the manager says “Well policy is anything that ‘looks’ professional we can’t reproduce. What you’re doing is against the law and you’re trying to scam us. This time stamp is a copyright.” Now if she would have said to just produce the negatives all would have been fine but someone had to go on a power trip. My wife was obviously irritated that not only were they holding our wedding photos hostage but that she was now being accused of running a scam. The manager tells her that if she “thinks” these aren’t professional that my wife would bring back the negatives. She says she will and the manager said “We’ll see. I’ll be waiting.” My wife is telling me all of this over the phone and the manager tells her to lower her voice because there are other customers around. At this point I think a hand gesture was given to the manager but I’m not sure.

My wife is furious and goes home, gets the negatives and picks me up from work. Now I’m pissed. We go into the store and apparently all of the people working previously are now on break… including the manager. We tell the lady working what happened and that we want the manager out here NOW. The employee calls the manager and says “The lady you said was pulling a scam and you told to come back with the negatives is here… with the negatives… and her husband.” The manager had the nerve to say she was busy making a schedule and that she won’t be available for a long while. We hear this and say fine, we just want our prints. I pull out the negatives so they can check our photos and guess what… they NEVER CHECKED THE NEGATIVES! They’re all high and mighty to prove their point but once you call them on it they don’t know what to do. We get our pics back and on the envelope the manager had written on it that we MAY be back. Photos copyrighted. We leave beyond pissed and go to pick up our layaway. The lady in lay-a-way working hears us bickering to each other and says “Oh honey you need to go to the District Manager about this one… here’s his number.” Apparently this manager isn’t very well liked in the store.

We call the district manager the following Monday (this was a Friday) and left a brief message about what happened and to call us back. He assured us that action will be taken against the manager. Having worked retail in a previous life I can translate “I’ll slap her on her hand and say don’t do it again.”

Needless to say we will never shop at Wal Mart again. It’s not going to be tough either since a Super Target is being built off 279 and just minutes from us.

Below are pictures of us returning to the store and the envelope in question.


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7 Responses to Walmart has lost another customer

  1. Brad says:

    That does suck dude, but please don’t believe a movie about Wal-Mart that was sponsored by a Union that doesn’t like Wal-Mart because they are not a union shop. To all Wal-Mart employees – “You’re a WAL MART employee for christ’s sake, YOU DON’T NEED A UNION! GET A CAREER FOR F*CK’S SAKE AND SHUT UP!” I will bring in a DVD for you that I have that shows both sides of Wal-Mart, good and bad. I actualy have a bigger problem with TARGET, a f*cking french company that refused to sell American flags after 9-11 and kicked out the Salvation Army in front of their stores. Don’t get me wrong,I hate charity beggars but to kick them off the property is a bit ridiculous! Maybe I should start a Target rant along with my PETA hatred on operationshortbus! Merry Christmas!

  2. Kenny says:

    I agree that Walmart is getting pretty nasty. It became a trashy place years ago from Oswego, NY to Tampa, FL. Dawn and I used to go and bear with the trashiness of the store becuase the prices were the lowest around. But last week we could not bear it any longer and made the decision to stop going to Walmart and go to Target. Prices are a little higher at Target but at least we don’t have to deal with a dirty store, clutterd isles, and dirtbags. Where is this movie at?

  3. spoon says:

    Oh don’t get me wrong, I know there are 2 sides to every story and I’ve had my fair share of dealing with union nuts myself. When I worked at Staples back in the day I had some lady in a union jacket talk to me about fax machines. Had her sold on this one model and then she asked if it was american made. Actually the model she looked at was assembled here but the components were from China or some shit like that. She flipped out about how unamerican we are for not selling 100% american made machines. I told her not one electronic device sold at ANY store is 100% american made. She kept goin off on me so I punched her in the face and ate a taco.

    As for shopping at Target, right now it’s the lesser of the 2 evils for us.

  4. Tina Marie says:

    Rock on Heather! You go get ’em girl. I’ve been getting pretty disgusted at our Wal-mart here lately as well. It has actually earned a name around here in Erie because it’s so trashy, “Ghettomart”. There ya have it. Well, I’ll go on strike with you guys 🙂 Ciao!

  5. Michael says:

    Nice pics of the Wal mart, did you get those developed there?

  6. Gina says:

    It’s so frustrating! In addition to the story I blogged about, I have had my OWN photos questioned. And believe me – I am not THAT good a photographer!

  7. Pete says:

    Walmart’s policy is rather annoying, but merely they’re protecting themselves from getting in legal trouble. It is wrong of Walmart to not check negatives, or to say a time stamp means copyright.

    But all photos do have copyright; possibly you did have the rights to reprint those images to Walmart, but all photos have copyright from creation to the photographer, and the copyright lasts until the photograhper is dead… plus 90 years (70 in some parts).

    You could have just had the prints and wanted to reprint, which they coudn’t legally let you do without a print acknowledgement (like a mini statement from the photog), unless you actually had the negatives. Which you did, and thus provided, which they were wrong in not checking.

    What’s the most annoying thing is when Walmart demands this of totally unprofessional photos.

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