Due to the ranting nature of this post, reader discretion is advised. Some language may be offensive.
We found The Picture Company in One Utama some time ago and decided to try it out. We were out of time and unable to look for more options. We called the place to make an appointment and asked about the rates. The person at the other line told us since it’s a birthday the session fee is waived – that’s all, no more explanation. Not really exciting, but okay. Free stuff usually comes with strings attached.
When arrived, we were brought directly inside the studio for a 40-minutes session. The photographer doesn’t speak Malay but weird English. The studio is basic with thick white paper background and two soft boxes as lighting source. I personally was too busy trying to make our son laugh to look at the camera model but it was a Canon.
After the session the photographer took 30 minutes to select and crop the photos. It was when the photos are ready we learned that we have to select and purchase the photos we like for RM68 each, 8R size.
We were too excited to ask for the package details. There is a concept of pay only what you want (no package). The question is only why didn’t they explain to us the rates for the printouts.
They told us that they make money by printing, that’s why the RM150 photography session was free. The only soft copies they will give us are small “email size” – and the photographer even told us we shouldn’t print those as they will come out pixelated on paper. They also told us that they have copyright on those photos.
For RM68 per piece, I would expect we get the high resolution soft copies (at least for the ones we ordered for print) so that we can do anything with them (i.e. nice computer wallpapers, canvas prints). It’s not like we’ll order more prints afterwards anyway, and their retention period is only 3 weeks for non members. They don’t have canvas printing yet, and when available next year it’s gonna cost a fortune. This means, in order for us to get canvas prints we need to become member to make sure they will keep our files for a year. They are that greedy, yes. Heck, if they ask us to pay for the soft copies I would gladly pay.
So this is what I would call perniagaan yang hina dan keji. It’s despicable and dishonorable not to explain to customers beforehand, and it’s obvious that after spending a family session we would love the photos and will pay for them in the end. It’s a smart and dirty trick taking advantage of excited parents.
We ended up paying RM68 (each!) for all the photos we shortlisted (more than 10). It’s going to be ready in a week, I hope they will be high quality prints or I will definitely make a scene. Since they talked about copyright, if they make a mistake by using our photos commercially they will hear from our lawyer as we didn’t sign any model release or any agreement for that matter.
For RM68 each the photos are only bare printouts, inside a huge envelope. The colors are too soft, and the printouts are not sharp. It’s not worth the money.
If it wasn’t such a special day (and since we have spent precious time) I would have paid the RM150 session fee, and told Jo to delete the photos off the Mac and shove the CF card up her ass.
Next time we would consider going to those photographers who specializes in family photos. 90% of them provide soft copies and also photobooks.
I know, we are difficult customers. There will always be difficult customers like us. We’re hard to please, and we don’t take things lightly. Malaysian customers are too kind to businesses so they give crappy service and taking things for granted. Not us.
On a separate note, Cupcake Chic @ The Curve is nice. People are friendly and helpful, the cakes are nice. Highly recommended. They are too small to talk about much, but they are good in what they do – that deserves a good word.