Thursday, October 11, 2012

An open letter of confuzzlement to Lifetouch photography

Dear Lifetouch,

Is it okay if I call you 'Life'? Great, thanks. Life, I've got some questions. You see, yesterday my daughter had her very first school picture done and last night she brought home an order form directing my to PUTS THE MONIES IN BAZKET in two days or it would self-destruct. Or something. The problem is, I don't know what it is I would be ordering as there was nothing enclosed to review. In photography parlance I'm pretty sure they are called 'proofs'. You might want to look into those.

Undoubtedly Life, you utilize digital photography because HAI 500 STUDENTS and whatnot so I logically concluded that one could visit your website to review the 'proofs' as surely you wouldn't require parents and guardians to purchase expensive photo packages sight unseen. It's a lovely website full of Rah Rah stuff but when I went to the link for K-11 school portraits, I was greeted with this:

"We're currently performing maintenance on our website. Please check back later."

The only page on the website that wasn't working. Curious, no? Not to be deterred, I next visited the 'Make Payments and Shop Products' page as surely there would be a way there to find what I needed. Alas, in order to pay or order more pictures, one first needs to set up an account with information that can only be transmitted via the supersekkrit code the portrait package order. We seem to have come full circle. You see the problem here Life.

Now, I took the liberty of conducting a highly scientific poll of past and current marks users of your products via email, Twitter and facebook and the consensus was that this is an extremely effed up way of doing business. How many other times are you expected to pay for something without seeing what it is you are buying first? I'm no economist but this doesn't seem to be a very sound business model. Or maybe it is as research (well, Twitter) indicates you are the only game in town. One would think with the delightful website that that there would be a way to provide codes to students so parents could review pictures online prior to having to fork over a crap-ton of money for potentially questionable products. See again: digital photography, wonders of.

I can only assume that this is an (ongoing) oversight and you are working diligently to bring your company into the 21st century as the upcharge for basic and DELUXE!!! retouching is inane when YOU CAN'T EVEN SEE WHAT MIGHT NEED TO BE RETOUCHED IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Warmest regards,


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