Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I thought it was bad when they bought the $9.99 plus composite

People used to get around missing out getting all their poses by getting the 9.99 package and then getting a 9-image composite of all of their other poses and scanning it on their computer. An email submitter informs us of another thing that people are up to:

"We all have the cute kid/irritating mom that has 2-3 outfits and then gets the 4.99 or 9.99 package. We recently had one and played dumb and made a few comments to get her on our side and whooaaa: Out comes the truth.

After a session, she goes online right clicks to save to her computer and sends to CVS online and prints wallets, 3x5s and even 5x7s. I call home office they say there is nothing they can do: CVS should ask for the copyright. The problem is though is that the computer doesn't know what that is when you submit online have it mailed to you! not to mention the client who you bend over backwards for those cute belly/maternity pics who only buys 2 sheets then you see a facebook/myspaces and they went saved pictures from online to the computer to then post online."

As one commenter writes, I don't know why they don't just have the online uploading process automatically watermark the image.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

That happens a lot! I submitted a "bright idea" and said that online there should be the word PROOF all over the pictures... that way..they can't have them to steal. But that would be way too easy.

Anonymous said...

Some sites have a function that doesn't allow you to right click or save off it. It seems like that would work too. Anything larger than a wallet doesn't look good with the thumbnail size that's on the website, though.

Anonymous said...

the picture me studio links DO have watermarks. I just got one sent to me today and big bubbly letters say "PROOF" right across the middle.

Anonymous said...

I have at least ONE person say this to me on a DAILY basis!!! They are stealing pictures and telling me about it!!!!!!

What can i do? Nothing!

Not to mention the people (like today) that said they didnt want the extra CD for $10 because they can just burn copies of the one they have.... really i didnt care because they were getting a platinum w/ xtra sheets, its just the principal of it tho.

Anonymous said...

And if you unclick the upload button in SAS the corprate says your preventing them from seeing them. Plus we were told that if we unclick it then 1st time final written then term. guess they had people caught of to this scam and wanted to stop it by not uploading.

Anonymous said...

its another case of damned if you do damned if you dont. they want us to do all these things to make the sale but make it difficult for us to do so. if customers are smart they can buy one sheet come back at pickup and spend $50 on the specs and CD and make all they want for $60 total. my customers are wise to that. instead of at least a $130 bronxe w cd i get an $8 with a $50 add on later. you can even make some of the collages online if your savy enough and make prints. most places dont even stop for copyright anymore. they dont pay attention. i hate the smirk i get when the customer says "i'll just make copies at home" and i say "well they are copyrighted images and if caught its a $6000 fine" and they answer "but it's MY kid and besides i got a great printer at home who is gonna catch me?" the prints should have the underlying watermark that shows up when scanned. it may cost more in paper but in the long run we will sell more bc ppl will not be able to make there own they'd have to buy with us or get the CD. it would pay for itself but no. cpi has even gone cheap on the paper. i have pics i took within weeks of each other and one is a beautiful colorful shot the other is on a different paper that is dull lifeless and you can see straight through it when held up to the light. cheap cheap cheap, i made a print of the same off my cd at walmart and got MUCH better results. i hung that and threw away the sears photo. and i WORK here. how can i preach the superiority of our photos when i won't put them up on my OWN wall?

Anonymous said...

How many of your customers know that if they wait for the reorder "special", they can get the cd for $19.99 and NOT have to spend the required amount of $ at the time of the sitting. Just the past month I've had 3 customers (2 w/ one pose pkgs) tell me that! So, now we have a "blacklist" that we keep and we do NOT call those people to offer the "special".(third time this year, eh?) When we call them, we offer the cd for $119. And if they mention it at the time of the sitting that they will wait for the special, we tell them we are so sorry, but they probably won't qualify for a call with that offer since they only bought one pose, they must not like the others. And we SMILE when we say that!
Composite of 9? I don't think so. A collage of 5 is all you're going to get!
"Composite" isn't on our tab! Must not be available anymore... and again, SMILE when you say that. : )

Anonymous said...

Here's a shocker for ya'll: I received a memo from our corporate office asking field staff to go easy on customers; it referred to the "great recession" and asked that we not scare off customers by giving them sticker shock. It suggested we stick to the basics and to please "offer, but don't push" our premium services. I obviously no longer work for SPS!!!

bex said...

Offer but don't push? That goes against everything that they highers are pushing for. They want numbers. Shocking, yes!

I have regular customers that come in very often. They buy the 9.99 or BOGO. I ALWAYS call them for the reorder special because they will buy a CD from every sitting done since the last sale. I'm not picky, I'll take your money any way I can get it. In fact, the package customers are the ones I call FIRST! They obviously value the pictures we take because they come in often enough to "work the system" Why not take advantage of it and take their money too.

My motto is packages are people too.

Burntoutmgr said...

Must be getting numerous complaints from customer and a lot employees quitting because of the unreasonable goals they are wanting for everyone.

Are they finally telling us what they are telling the SEC in the CPI 10k filings they make every quarter? They tell the gov't that there is a recession but were telling us it is our fault. HMMMM.

Anonymous said...

Where did you find that memo? I read the browser and I didn't see that posted anywhere.

Burntoutmgr said...

I think I get the full holiday pay for July 4th since I have worked at least 40hrs/week in the last 12 weeks.

Does Sears do the same thing as Picture Me for the holiday pay?

If we work 37 hours or less per week we only get 6 hours holiday pay.

Anonymous said...

Oh they definitley do...and how ironic that alot of the studios are on the reduced hour schedule now which makes it impossible to have 40 hours a week. Our studio is only open 38 total hours a week. In order to keep an employee I had to cut myself down to 31...which means no more 8 hour holiday pay. Thanks CPI!

Anonymous said...

I heard something and I wasn't sure if it was true and I wanted to see if anyone else has heard anything about it. I was told from a friend who knows a dm, that cpi is pushing for big sales and mpc because of the sec thing, but at the end of the current quarter, they're reviewing the bottom studios and possibly closing some of the under performing studios? Has anyone else heard anything about this?

Anonymous said...

No...but I can't say I'd be too sad to see my studio close...

Anonymous said...

I recently quit and from what I hear from the AM...a customer who is very knows about what goes on in our area.. told her that our area SEARS was closing down with-in the year. WHY? Because there are 4 other Sears stores 45 minutes away in each direction..and they are more profitable. 14 years ago I had to travel to either of those stores if I wanted to shop Sears. I guess they figure people in our area (Northern OHIO) can do it again.

Anonymous said...

Wal-Mart has closed some under performing studio and those that don't keep the Walmart standards up

Anonymous said...

Has the walmart studio closing happened recently?

Anonymous said...

There was a regional newsletter put out that was talking about it a couple months ago. Wal-Mart is remodeling a lot of the studios at this moment.

They are only remodeling the ones that are doin well though. They don't see putting money into the ones that are not doing well. Wal-Mart is the one forking out the outlay to update them we just have to keep it clean and in order.

Anonymous said...

Just thought id let everyone know... RMs read these, im assuming they are all the posts telling us to "Shut-up and do our jobs and then everything will be OK."

How Funny.

Anonymous said...

good, let them read. maybe they will realize we are not a bunch of idiots working for them, but a group of caring, disheartened individuals hoping for someone to listen and something to be done.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad RM's have so much time in their "busy" schedules to read what us underlings have to bitch about! Too bad they are all already too far gone in the CPI brainwashing program to actually get anything usefull from this site!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Cindy C.(Worst RM Ever!):


You Suck.

Anonymous said...

If RMs are reading these posts then they should realize that we care about our jobs but are so frustrated by the pressure that is put on us. We're mostly single coverage and yet we're still expected to do EVERYTHING including the sittings, sales, manage our employees performances, and who can forget about outreach! It sure as hell doesn't help our morale when we're constantly wondering when we're going to be asked to step down or be terminated. God forbid we have a bad week, that is almost enough for termination right then and there.

Anonymous said...

For me, its not an "If" my RM is reading these..... i KNOW my RM is reading these.

I thought it was a safe place to vent the stress until i was called out for a post i had made.

Anonymous said...

How would they know who is posting on here if you select anonymous to post? I was going to use my account but decided to go anonymous just in case.

Anonymous said...

yes CPI can fire you for things said in blogs. other companies do it all the time. when you apply for jobs they look you up on myspace and facebook and other social networks to see what you are really like before they hire you. BUT...the only way CPI will know who you are on here is if you have a name, site specific instances that others would know about, tell co-workers about your blogging, or if CPI ran all the IP addresses of all participants, and that would require a court order. so blog away!!
Bunny Lady (see, I'm not scared!) lol

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, Bunny Lady! :) lol

Anonymous said...

there are a few good RD's out there though. ones who know the business and ones who know that taking care of their people and treating their people with respect is how to get things done. and i bet not one of them is being asked opinions on what could be done to help turn business around. i think everyone has given up, and the leadership above the RD's know nothing about this business nor do they seem to care. word is that one has already given notice and i bet there are more are to come, not to mention the good DM's and SM's that we are continuing to lose. you can hear the frustration and unhappiness in everyones voices and we all know that we are not valued whatsoever by this company. they have taken everything from us they possibly can and continue to drain us of every benefit they can, all while expecting us to still care about them. this management calls last minute conference calls with no regard to what we may have scheduled or planned, and doesnt even take roll call to determine who made it on the call and who didnt. next time i think i will just not join. that way i can concentrate on all the bs busy work that they continue to lay at our feet. we can only do so much. fire us if it isnt enough.

Anonymous said...

I understand that this is a business and we're all in hard times right now. I understand about performance and I'm willing to give a 100%, but it seems like we're constantly set up to fail. I think most of the SM, DM, TM care about their positions and their employees. We're all frustrated at the constant threats of being written up or terminated because of this or that. When I started with SPS it wasn't like this and in the past 2 years I've seen a huge change in the way this company does business. I try to be honest with my associates and customers about everything. That is one of the reasons that I'm respected in my position and by my customers.
I also can't understand why the expectations at SPS is set up so high with the economy being in its current situation. However, I've seen PMPS sales plans and compared between the sps and pmps in several areas and realized that our plans have basically a 50% (or more) difference than pmps. So whatever your plan is for the week, reduce it by 50% and that's what the pmps in your area is planned (and they only have to run an $80 prs). I'm not insulting pmps, but it's the same company however the playing field is not level. I personally look for SPS to begin the end of their run and the remaining will become Main St. Portraits or one of the other brands that they own. PMPS will survive and will most likely succeed because they will get the customers that SPS will lose.
FYI: I've heard there are some big changes coming after the end of this quarter.

Anonymous said...

Even at the PMPS we heard the rumor of some changes at the end of the quarter. They make it sound like it is a great thing that is coming our way, I can hardly wait.

Anonymous said...

CPI loves to make MAJOR changes right before Christmas season. We got the wonderful SAS in Oct. one year. Digital came out in our district in August 2005. There are plenty more but I have blocked them out. I'm sure these changes will be just as wonderful.

Anonymous said...

lET ME GUESS.. WE GET TO PLUG THE TV'S BACK IN AND GET AN APPROVED VIDEO TO PLAY! OR IT WILL BE A NEW "FANTASTIC OPPORTUNITY BONUS PLAN" AGAIN THAT WE HAVE TO BE MATH WIZARDS DAILY TO KNOW EACH WEEK HOW MUCH WE WILL BONUS IF QUARTER ENDED TODAY! (But figure both ways.. 8% and 12%.. not sure what formula company will use)

Anonymous said...

I just love my camera sitting above my cash register to make sure I am staying busy all the time. The DM can pull it up at anytime work or at home. Then she documents it and brings it up at a review about something she seen 2 months ago. The Sears people are lucky they don't have one of those.

We have always had single coverage almost from day one when we were PCA and now it is worse. We have had single coverage on Friday and Saturday's ever since CPI took over.

I am glad my husband has the medical insurance because we don't have any to speak of and if I had to buy it I might as well quit.

I am glad I found this place. This company must have been a lot better place to work years ago.

Anonymous said...

SPS DMs can access the cameras in the studios and see the same thing. I didn't realize that was in PMPS too.

Anonymous said...

Oh well another trick is taking pics of the comp screen with their cell phones. I had one who was looking at her pics and I helped someone with a passport. She was holding her phone facing the comp screen with the picture up, that was her favorite but only bought two sheets. She only buys two sheets every time she comes in. They seriously need to make it so they cannot copy and paste their pics to facebook etc and then MAYBE they could make some money with online and reorders since that would be the only way family could see them.

Anonymous said...

oh the parents silently take pics behind our backs with cell phones all the time. theres no way to watch the child check the details and make sure the parents are not doing this. i once caught a dad asked him not to. he said i wont tell if you wont. i said sir im sorry but it is not permitted. he said whos going to know. i said its a copyrighted image and i could be fired for continuing knowing you are shooting pics in here. he said what do i care? i ended the sitting and did not permit his family to see the photos. (i was told to end the sitting in such a case) they called cust svc got free sheets and i had to apologize to the man for comitting copyright infringment with a sign in plain sight. the company doesnt back us up for SH@$. even when the customer is in the wrong by breaking what i thought was the law.....and a big no no from CPI. lets face it people we are worthless. our opinions and efforts dont matter. we cant win no matter which side we choose. you can be pro company all the way on here ranting and raving at anti cpi people and still one wrong number or false step and your screwed. the company doesnt support us in the least. well i should say they lead by example and we shouldnt support THEM any longer. let them work in the field on our crappy wages and see how quick they are to run. im typing up a resume as we speak

Anonymous said...

I know DM's read this..I heard 2 of my past Dm's talk about it..got curious..and then I found what to be the best information and advice ever.

How are they gonna know it is us? Just shut your mouth..don't mention it, stay anonymous and as far as logging IP addresses..she's right.. they have to have a court order.

I personally don't care.

Fire me..I dare ya.

Anonymous said...

awww...thanx! glad to hear my advice is valued. you rock!

the bunny lady

Anonymous said...

LOL Bunny Lady! I am the ONLY one who works in our studio. YUP. No Assistant manager..and 2 other girls who are flex. ya.. I work a lot. I would love for them to fire me.. They would be so screwed. NO one wants to work her. Guess how much I make as a manager? Come on..guess. I am probably the lowest paid. 9 bux..YUP..9. Why? Cause TECHNICALLY..I am NOT THE MANAGER. Our manager quit.. the AM did too. I should have when they did.