Kathleen of Aragorn (finarfiniel) wrote in bad_service,
Kathleen of Aragorn

Photo service WTF

One of the reasons I love my digital camera and photo printer is to avoid situations like this. I very rarely use my film camera now and boy oh boy do I not miss those days of dropping off the film, waiting, and paying money to find out that half the pictures I took on vacation were total crap with grainy, out of focus, cut-off heads and poor lighting.

But at the end of August I was on vacation in Florida and a friend and I went to a waterpark for the day. Like the lame tourist I am I spent $20 on one of those underwater cameras so we could be goofs and take pictures of ourselves getting hit in the face with blasts of water coming down the slides. FUN!

Before I had my digi cam I always took my film to Superstore because they are cheap and do a pretty good job, and they are one of the closest photo labs to my house. They also will make a CD without having to order prints. I mostly wanted these photos to post on LJ so all my friends could laugh at the dumb waterpark antics, and also I had no idea if they would turn out at all. I can always print whatever ones I want from the CD on my own printer.

I asked for multi-day service with just the CD, no prints. The girl at the counter said it would take about four business days, which was fine because I was in no hurry. I came back to pick up my CD a week later. The mini index print looked good. Almost all of the images had good lighting, heads in the frame, looked pretty clear. Woohoo! I am now excited to see these pictures.

When I got home my dad's computer was on, so I popped the CD in to have a look. One of those little messages appears on the screen, telling me I've inserted a blank CD and what do I want to do? Weird. But my dad's computer can be a piece sometimes, so when I turn on my own computer later, I try again. Same message. Just in case, I take the CD out, put it back in, and use the explore option. Nothing there. The CD is blank.

Next day I take it back to Superstore and explain to the guy at the desk that the CD has nothing on it. He says no problem, they can burn another one. I give him back my negatives an the blank CD and he sends it up to the lab. It should be ready within 24 hours.

So last night I go back to Superstore again to pick up the redone CD. The same guy is working. I get the new CD, but this time I have a premonition of fail, so before leaving I try it out in the Kodak print-it-yourself machines to see if it works. Lo and behold! It does not. The CD is blank. Again. The photo counter guy comes over to see if it works for him, but no matter how many times we take that CD out and put it back in the machine, it remains blank. I am pretty sure the lab just gave me back my same blank CD without checking to see if it was done right, even though the order envelope said "CD error, redo".

The guy working at the photo counter was nice, though. He sent the negatives back up to the lab and phoned in a rush on it. I'm going back after work to see if this time I can get a working picture CD. I want to publish my dumb waterpark photos, damnit. Third time's the charm, maybe?

TL;DR version: Superstore photo lab tries and fails to make me a photo CD. Twice. Not 100%bad service, because the staff there were friendly and helpful, but WTF service from the lab. More amusing than annoying (to me at least). I will laugh if I go back tonight and the CD still doesn't work.

ETA: Just got back from going to pick up the third CD. They misplaced my order. It's Photo Farce! But at least they eventually found it and I have my picture CD now, and everything is working as it should be.
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