Sunday, December 04, 2005

My Wolf Camera Story

I can't believe how many friends and clients have read my blog. I am constantly asked about the accident, my Wolf Camera story and what I have planned for 2006.

To start with, Brenda is progressing slower than we had hoped. I think the high speed of the impact caused her more internal damage than we first realized. She is still very sore, stiff and weak. She takes 18 pills a day just to function and manage the pain. We go back to the doctor this week and we will see if her wrist needs surgery.

My friends, family and just local people keep asking what the agent is doing for us on our behalf. Here is the sad truth. Our local State Farm agent is a lovely lady, she is very nice, her name is Donna. She has been with State Farm for many years. She use to be a claims adjustor.

Unfortunately, something has changed, State Farm has become the king of the hill, the giant, the ruler. Their new policy seems to be, train the agents to sell-sell-sell and keep out of the claims adjusting area of insurance. This sounds simple and efficient, unfortunately, if everyone is treated as poorly as we are being treated, she won't have anyone to sell to.

This reminds me of car dealerships, if you buy a car, have a problem, come back to the salesperson and he or she says, I am sorry, I only sell cars, you will need to see a service writer for your problems, you won't be a customer for long. I think my agent does not realize that when this is over, she might have a hard time finding new customers or keeping her current ones. She has been very nice to me along the way, but it seems her hands are tied. She keeps saying, what can I do. Personally, I would not sell a product that was defective and apparently State Farm sold us a policy and now does not want to live up to their commitment.

Ok, as promised, here is the Wolf Camera story. About a year ago, I stopped into Wolf Camera in Gainesville Georgia. I ordered several printed items, including a calendar, t-shirts, coffee mugs and a puzzle. All the items were made from family pictures and to be used as a gift.

I ordered these items and paid for them long before I needed them. I called to confirm the order, again I was told that everything would be in next week. Well next week came and I returned to the store only to find the calendar was not printed, in fact the pictures had been returned and the order never turned in. Apparently the Wolf Camera employee dropped the ball.

I complained to the manager, he was rude, uncaring and basically obnoxious. I called corporate, guess what, they called the district manager who promised me this would not happen again. He refunded my money, which they should do since they never printed the item. I ended up ordering it at a 24 hour sign shop for twice the price.

I have not been in a Wolf Camera store in a full year. Now I decide to try Wolf Camera again. So I take my digital media card to Wolf to print the pictures, I order the pictures, I pay for the pictures, and then I am told to come back in one hour.

I return in one hour, pick up my pictures and drive 45 miles to my home. When I open the package, most of my pictures are missing. So I call the store, I am told they were in the package. I ask nicely to look around, I beg, they look around the guess what, the pictures are there. I think the manager left them out to get even with me from the problem we had the year before.

I ask the clerk to over-night the pictures to me, she laughs, tells me that corporate does not allow them to spend $10 for over-night mail. So I ask her to drive them to me, she really has a good laugh. She says I can drive back to Gainesville, 45 miles each way and pick them up myself.

I call corporate, write a letter to corporate and send a letter to the CEO, Mr. Ritz and the vice-president of Wolf Camera. Guess what, never heard a word, never received an apology from Bob the manager and most of all, they sold me this crazy Wolf Pack discount card when I was there for $15 and I would never step back in their store again.

So I am sure David Ritz is sitting at home with him family bragging about how well his stores are doing, but you know what, behind his back, his employees are running his business into the ground. My guess, Wolf Camera, owned by Ritz Camera, will be out of business in less than 5 years. Wolf Camera was owned by Chuck Wolf, but they went bankrupt and have now been bought by his cousin, David Ritz.

I have seen bigger companies than Wolf Camera & Ritz Camera come and go. I sent these men a letter, the least I could have received was a simple reply and maybe, just maybe an apology. David Ritz should be ashamed of himself. He took my $15 and sold me a worthless membership card. Who would want to go back to a Wolf Camera store and be treated like that. Who would want to give their hard earned money to a company that does not care one bit about customer service.

So that is my Wolf Camera story. I am owed an apology and $15. Mr. Ritz, you should see what is going on in your stores, your father would not be proud.

Until tomorrow, please shop at stores that appreciate your business.