Complaint information
  • Author: Bornire
  • Date: 05.19.2012
  • 0
 (Votes #: 0)
05.19.2012 - Complaints / Reviews / Scam Reports
It is so frustrating to have a website you think you can trust, but turns out to be a scam

This is a Complaint / Review about

It is so frustrating to have a website you think you can trust, but turns out to be a scam. DO NOT TRUST weddingwire!!! I wrote a less than stellar review of Stephanie Haller Photography and it got disputed by Stephanie Haller. My post was removed and no one even followed up with me to verify that I actually have a valid contract with her. I also forwarded my contract to wedding wire using the email I was sent notifying me of the disputed review, but no one has yet to contact me. Weddingwire is a SCAM!

My husband and I really regret hiring Stephanie Haller as our photographer for our wedding on September 10, 2011. At the time of our wedding, she was moving from Seattle to New York. Understandably, we expected to have a reasonable delay in getting our pictures back. Instead of the usual 8-10 week turnaround that was promised on our contract, it took several months before we even heard anything about the status of the photos. But that’s not even the main issue. Apparently she had some sort of “software corruption” and was only able to provide us with less than 25% of the pictures we were expecting to choose from. A lot of the shots she sent to us were very dark (I had my eyes closed in quite a few) and certainly did not come close to the quality of work we expected and paid for (even though she told us in our initial meeting that every single shot she took would be edited).

Stephanie was not up front about this horrible disaster and kept us in the dark for several months. There was a long period of time where she did not return our many emails, phone calls and texts. We had to resort to posting on her Facebook page to get a response from her. We wrote messages on her wall begging her to get back to us, but that still didn’t help. She did, however, manage to find the time to remove the messages from her wall. We felt like stalkers trying to figure out if the pictures other clients’ weddings she shot in September were delivered. We contacted the 2nd photographer she had with her during our wedding, but he didn’t give us much information and played dumb. He obviously knew about what happened, but probably wanted Stephanie to give us the bad news (don’t blame him one bit). You can imagine the stress this caused us. Friends and family kept asking us about our pictures, but we had no news to tell them.

Finally on December 5, 2011, we got an email from her saying that our “gallery will be up by the end of the week”. A month passed and we still did not get anything from her. Then on January 6, 2012, she responds to one of my texts saying that she hasn’t responded, because she took a 2 week vacation over the holidays, “but will be delivering September weddings this week, so they’re on the way. Thank you for your patience!” We didn’t end up hearing from her until 2 weeks later, which is when she finally confessed about the software corruption. This was several months after the wedding and after many messages to her that went unanswered. Our worst fear was finally confirmed. She explained that she had shipped her hard drive to Australia to a company that specialized in these sorts of issues and that there was no luck in recovering the lost files. My husband and I, along with our family and friends, were completely devastated when she told us the news. We were very disappointed in the pictures she provided. I had 1 picture of myself and my parents (from the 2nd photographer’s camera) and maybe a couple from when I was getting ready. I emailed her a list of the specific shots I wanted her to take, but only got a few acceptable pictures. A question that has yet to be answered is why there was no back up of the raw images. I assumed that she would provide due diligence by having a copy of the raw images on a separate disc(s), but apparently it is not in her process.

In one of her emails she told me that this was one of the worst things she could go through as a photographer. True, but how much worse is it for the bride and groom? She can have several other weddings in the same month, but my husband and I intend to only have 1 wedding for the rest of our lives. We spent so much time, money, and effort into planning that one day and we barely have any pictures to show for it. Yes, we had friends and family who had their own cameras, but we specifically hired someone, because we wanted pictures that were taken professionally and in the style that we loved of Stephanie’s work. Don’t get me wrong, she has many beautiful images on her website and blog and probably had many wonderful shots of our wedding. She is a talented photographer, but that doesn’t change the fact that our images were lost.

Though a full refund absolutely does not make us whole (it’s not like we purchased a tangible item that we could take back to a store for a refund), it’s what we expected at the very least since we didn’t get what we paid for. Again, my husband and I intend for this wedding to be the only one we have for the rest of our lives and will not have a chance to do it again. We felt like a full refund was just not enough, but Stephanie reminded us of the contract we originally signed. By signing it, we waived our right to small claims court, so we would have to go into arbitration if we wanted to settle things that way and would end up paying way more than what we did originally. It would cost Stephanie money as well, but she has Photographer’s insurance that would cover those expenses for her. She reminded us that she is only legally obligated to refund us half of what we originally paid, but she was willing to give us a full refund IF we signed a release form agreeing “not to disparage or shed one another in a negative light through any form of written or electronic communication, including the internet.” Not only did we lose out on complete pictures of our wedding, but we couldn’t say anything to anyone about it. We thought that was ridiculous and we were advised by an attorney not to sign it.

Our attorney created a new form asking her to repay us in full and provide $200 worth of prints of the pictures that were provided and 2 large canvas prints. She agreed to the new contract, but it was hard for us to order prints given the limited number of pictures we could choose from. In fact, I had to use a picture of my dog for one the canvases, because there were so little shots to choose from. My advice to other brides is to not hire Stephanie Haller. Other than being flaky and unresponsive, we thought she was a nice enough person and we got along with her well at first. She obviously is capable of good work, but are you willing to take such a big chance with such an important day? I was told by Stephanie that I was not the only wedding that was affected. We had a beautiful wedding and we wish so much to have something to show for it.

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Complaint author: Bornire


Country: USA
State: All USA

Category: Dating

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