Sunday, October 4, 2009

3.99 sheets and .89 chicken ranch gorditas

I had a request that I make a thread about the 40% off sheets coupon and the 3.99 sheet coupon. Here you are; discuss!

I like what our first commenter points out:

"OK. So you flip your customer from the so-called "trial package" to custom sheets at $3.99 per. Then you get written up for low PRS. Can you imagime if every business punished employees for selling an ADVERTISED SPECIAL? Do you really think Taco Bell is writing someone up every time they sell a new chicken ranch gordita for $.89? And I always assumed working at the Bell would kinda suck. I stand corrected. "

I'd also like to remind you that you also get punished for bringing in more customers through outreach since they also tend to spend lower amounts when they get called to come in each month.

While we're on the topic of offers, I think the free 10x13 offer is somewhat laughable. I get it that you're trying to get them used to having larger prints (that sell for 19.99 unenhanced instead of $7.99), but if you always give away a free 10x13, you are kind of not accomplishing your goal.


Anonymous said...

OK. So you flip your customer from the so-called "trial package" to custom sheets at $3.99 per. Then you get written up for low PRS. Can you imagime if every business punished employees for selling an ADVERTISED SPECIAL? Do you really think Taco Bell is writing someone up every time they sell a new chicken ranch gordita for $.89? And I always assumed working at the Bell would kinda suck. I stand corrected.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who sees how crazy the free 10x13 offer is. If it was a limited time and people had to replace their 10x13's then I could understand it, but always a free 10x13?

Why can all the studio staff see that outreach=lower prs but no one above us sees it? Why do we get written up for not reaching 21 (low prs sessions) appts and then get written up for not having an acceptable prs? Does this company even realize that it's setting goals that set us up for failure?

Anonymous said...

This company is going to tank after this year, mark my words. They will go belly up. The customers will be tapped out and then the DM's come down from the heavens and send us to The Gates of Hell because there are no sittings or PRS. The area Managers will tell the DM's it's them or you so you make your choice. For your own sakes SM's go looking for that job now because our days are numbered. I have a lead on a couple jobs so I will be prepared with the day of reckoning when it comes.

Anonymous said...

They have to realize its goals are unreachable..... i mean seriously, at Easter look at what was to be accomplished if you wanted paid for working on a Holiday.. Pay that should of been Mandatory!

Ive mentioned on here before, i go to work and do the minimum, because that is all that the pay is worth. Definitely not worth the Mind Games they play.

As far as trying to make ppl want bigger prints, of course they want them when they r free. Then when they dont have a coupon, it is once again "To Big" to hang in the house.

Just like a $9.99 says "TRIAL PACKAGE"...... what exactly makes it a trial??? They can use it as many times as they want. Really, even Wal-Mart has got limitations on how often it can be used. Why doesnt Sears? We are supposed to be the Better studio, yet they let the cheaper customers come to us more so than PM??? Yea, that makes sense! **rolls eyes**

Anonymous said...

I once had a customer come into the studio with her cellphone attached to her ear. She told us that she had customer service on the line and if we fed her that "It is just a trial already used it" crap you will be told by your corporate that I can have it anytime I want it. She also came in once with OUT the 9.99 coupon and I was always told if they didn't have the coupon..they couldn't get the offer and ALL coupons had to be presented at the beginning of the sessions...and they had to be used THAT DAY to get the offer.

So with that in mind we always said.."I'm sorry, but you can't go and home and get a coupon after going to the grocery you can't here either" Boy did I get my butt reamed when the new DM came in. I was like..but, it HAS ALWAYS been that special offer.. if they already used the 9.99 TRIAL offer, they can't use it again...

Save your write ups..I'm telling you because when you get fired..they will help you get case worker read all of mine and she just shook her head and gave me my benefits. I was let go as manager because I couldn't get my prs up...but then got wrote up for getting it up...but not enough sits..I got the wrote up for low wrote up for low sits..wrote up for low prs...blah blah blah....

Rinse, lather and repeat.

Anonymous said...

Easter...oh boy let me tell you about Easter at MY studio.

So I knew about the having to make *X* amount of dollars that day to get the time and a half..and then when I had put a girl on *very reliable..never missed work* she decided that she wasn't coming in that day..because there was only 1 appointment scheduled that day..and it was her family..who later decided NOT to come in on that day. So imagine my surprise when my DM calls my cellphone when I was 10 hours away and said no one was at the studio!!!! one called or even came in *the MALL was closed..however Sears was open *which is stupid anyway*, and the GMs said no one came to THEIR store either* it really wasn't a BIG deal....but anyway..guess who was practically DEMANDED to get someone into that studio or get there myself..* I told him I was 10 hours away and there was NO way I was gonna make it back*...and I did call the girl who was supposed to go in and surprise...she didn't answer her phone.
The DM was there on her next scheduled day and fired her for leaving the studio dark. And I got wrote up too. Fair? NOPE..but what could I do? Good thing I got fired so now I don't have to ever worry again about Black Friday, Christmas, or Easter ever again.


Anonymous said...

Yes, the newest offers are to bring in customers who've gone to the competition or declined to make their usual visits due to the sagging economy. Yes, market share is super important and these offers will certainly result in some response from our "value-minded" customers. Does our management think the competition will fail to respond in kind? How low can you go and how much more can you squeeze the employees to make up for the reduced profit margin? Are we training our customers to expect $3.99 sheets and free 10X13 prints? We already have enough customers who'll only take a package, regardless of how many splendid shots are taken. I've even had customers complain that our package, at $9.99, was too expensive. Many of our customers have a very distorted idea of what good portraiture is really worth and you can place much of the blame with CPI management. Will this latest gambit work, or will it contribute to a slow, painful death?

Oh, wouldn't it be nice if management had a 360 promise to its field employees. Oh wait, they already do:

Beat down every employee until they feel guilty, insecure, and unworthy. This may make them think they are actually lucky they have a job with CPI.

Threaten them with job loss with each weeks sagging metric. If not PRS, then SSC percentage, or conversion percentage or ...

Make fake calls to employees to trick them into hanging themselves.

If in doubt, write up the employee. You'll need those write-ups to justify firing

Always write performance reviews that can support dismissal at any time and for just about any reason.

Set bonus goals that are meant to motivate but are unlikely to be widely achievable.

Provide your employees with relatively ancient digital cameras with marginal lenses that must be used in manual focus mode. This way you can ding their photography for out-of-focus images.

Keep labor to an absolute minimum so that you keep your employees on their toes and fit. Who says management doesn't care about our health?

If someone is genuinely ill, force them to come in, no matter how dreaded and contagious the disease. See previous point.


Sorry for the long post, but I couldn't help myself. Please add more.

Anonymous said...

i would add more but i was going to write the same thing. i love that you have to come in sick after you are told on the browser to stay home if you are ill because of the different viruses around. i NEVER get a flu shot because whenever i get it, a few days later i get the flu. i am diabetic with a weakened immune system (thanks to the job) i have no choice but to get the stupid dhot and then work sick. so far this year ive missed 4 bdays including my own AND my husbands and im missing my wedding anniversary because theres no one else to work. i miss my life.

Anonymous said...

"If someone is genuinely ill, force them to come in, no matter how dreaded and contagious the disease. See previous point"

Yup..I got fired for not coming back to work. I texted, called, emailed my DM and sent in copies to the HR, my territory manager and the DM doctor slips just to cover my butt telling her that I had H1N1 and I still got fired when I was in no way shape or form going to go into work and infect kids.

That's ok..I am getting paid to stay at home with the kids now. Thank God I printed off emails and saved text messages.

boothis said...

I actually got into a verbal argument with a customer over the $9.99 pkg. She claimed that we "tricked" her into taking portraits by not fully explaining the restrictions before hand. And that it's "not fair that [we] take such beautiful pictures" and make her choose only one.

This all occured AFTER she decided NOT to do the pkg, chose some sheets and I placed the order with HER CONSENT. She then refused to pay and went on with the tirade.
I actually asked her, "Do you WANT me to take bad pictures so you can do your package?"


Anonymous said...

Ummm...hello!? She's not "forced" to pick just one! If she wants to buy a collage or a proof sheet or a CD she can! It's not like you're holding her at gunpoint, telling her to "pick one pose, lady, but only one!"
Actually, if I WERE to hold someone at gunpoint, I'd be making them get a hell of a lot more than a *@#$% 9.99 package!

- Irate Manager

Anonymous said...

wow i got offered a mgr position that i accepted...then a job for a different company i interviewed at months ago called and offered me $3 more per hour. of course i took it now CPI has called and price matched the salary....i spent so many miserable months that when im leaving they want me? im a little flummoxed right now. especially with all hte manager demands and firings going on. i almost feel like id set myself up for failure if i stay. but the other job is per diem.

Frustrated Manager said...

Just when you thought it was hard enough to get people into collections or out of the $7.99 package SPS announces new pricing starting 10/21.

Sheets = $9.99
Enhancements = $9.99
CDs = $229.99 !!!!!
Greeting cards - get this... now there's a $10 fee to add text to the cards!
Cheapest collection with a CD = $179.99 (Same bronze cd collection as before... only now $50 more.)

Are they trying to put themselves out of business?

Anonymous said...

Can you show me where that price list is??? I want to study it.

Trying to dig themselves out is going to get them in deeper.

Anonymous said...

Where did those prices come from? I haven't seen or heard anything about this. Is it posted on the browser anywhere?

Anonymous said...

Picture People and Kiddie Kandids haven't resorted to "devalue-ing"
the price of portraits so I can't figure out why SPS thinks they have to. And as far as the 10x13's (free) uh yeah, it costs more to print due to larger sheet size, more paper, more ink to cover etc. And try finding a frame for that size... don't think our customers are going to pay for a "custom made frame" 8x10's and 11x14's are all I can find. Instead of PRS, they should count # of sheets sold.. I just had a customer w/ the $3.99 sheet and asked "why the hell would I pay more than DOUBLE the cost of a sheet to enhance it? You are trying to overcharge me!" Yup, 16 sheets for $65 and no session fee. Why should she buy the SS card.. ALL her coupons ALWAYS have No Session Fee.

Anonymous said...

The "New" Portrait Study with 9 expressions.... "from now on AND during the busy season we are to shoot 9 expressions ALONG with the required standard 6 poses & change the backdrop twice" ...all in 15 minutes.
But then again, if you get "mediocre"
expressions, it will be ok because then they'll all be different... what's the word we can use to describe that look... oh yeah.. "somber" works every time! Oh, and eyes half closed.. "coy/ shy". Wonder how long it took that photographer (and how many.. uh team shooting anyone? )to get all those expressions AND the child not have a meltdown?

Andrea June said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

We had a customer come in today with her daughter. The associate took BEAUTIFUL portraits: mom and daughter together, each separate, 4 different backgrounds, probably around 12 different poses.
The associate created some enhancements in under 10 min and showed the pics to the customer, who seemed to really like them.
The customer didn't have any coupons, and once the associate had finished presenting the collections, the customer said she wanted the $9.99 cd that she saw online.
When the associate told her that the $9.99 cd was with a $250 purchase, the customer said "that's it, I'm done," gathered up her things and her daughter, and walked out the door without even paying for the sitting fee.
I was doing a sales certification on the associate, so I know that she did everything she was supposed to and was completely polite to the customer.
So whose fault is this? The customer who doesn't read the fine print, or the company who is unclear with pricing and sets the customer up to be disappointed?

- Irate Manager

Anonymous said...

Try flipping those 3.99 sheet into a "Go Portrait" appointment! We have to ask and explain it to EACH and every customer, even those calling to make appts. It makes me laugh just to think about the responses I've gotten from those "I got this 3.99 coupon... how many do I have to buy?" customers. (My response is "You get UNLIMITED at that price.. most people buy 20-30 sheets because the price is SO good... very FEW people get that coupon") Try that and keeping a straight face! Good thing it's over the phone... I don't think I could do it in person and not laugh) But like our DM says.. you have to "Buy into it" and "Believe in it" to be able to sell it.

Anonymous said...

wow with those new prices ill be lucky to get anyone out of a package. i keep getting people who book appts for the free collage and come in and purchase NOTHING. so really the company is paying me and using inventory for free. i keep telling people its a halloween promotion you have to be in costume or its with purchase but some of those coupons dont say restrictions apply so i cant restrict anything. i might as well start giving away the sheets the camera some frames. why bother?

Anonymous said...

welcome to the end of sps! i'll so be written up and termed because of numebers if they roll out these new prices. i'm struggling right now with the current prices in my area!

Frustrated Manager said...

The new prices were sent in an email from my DM with the new OPS Update that will be posted on the browser on 10/13.

Anonymous said...

12 outreach appts made... (yes, by practically begging for them AND giving 60% off collages) and only 2 showed up... even sessioned planned. Two more called and wanted to use the "Free Halloween Collage" instead. My outreach log is filled with "NO SHOWS"
And then when they call back to make an appt. after outreach call, why is it I can never seem to find them again on the list or they came in yesterday on my day off and too late to enter them in. They should count! Anyone called that comes in within 2 weeks should count!

Anonymous said...

"So whose fault is this? The customer who doesn't read the fine print, or the company who is unclear with pricing and sets the customer up to be disappointed?"

Both. I tell every customer to make sure they read the fine print. They don't, and then tell me I'm lying to them about the restrictions.It's right there in black and white. I don't know what else I can do!!!

These vague ads they send out on coupons "60% off, etc" drive me crazy because it doesn't make sense to anyone. I show them the collections which they're referring to and get screamed at for expecting them to pay $100+ on pictures.

If I saw the person who makes these coupons in the street, I would beat the hell out of them.