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.