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Phylicita's Avatar
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Warning: Duane Reade Photo Developing - 10-10-2006, 10:50 AM

WARNING!
Photo Developing Service at new Duane Reade (315 W.23rd St.)
CAVEAT EMPTOR!

Let this be a lesson to you!
I'm not much of a photographer, but I needed to shoot my apartment for a "re-visit" on ApartmentTherapy.com (they visited me last year, but now my apt. is totally different). I already had a one-time-use camera in the house and used that up first. Brought it into the new Duane Reade (where D'Ag used to be), requesting matte finish. When I came to get them, they said "We have good news and bad news." The bad news was that they processed it in the store's "in-house" processing center, where capabilities are limited... for ex. they are unable to do matte finish. The good news was that they didn't charge me for it. The pictures came out lousy, the color was SO off... but then I figured it was because I used a "throw-away" camera.

So I got 35mm film & used my Nikon, and back at Duane Reade I put it into an envelopes to be sent out for KODAK processing. I go to get them, and the color still looks crappy, and when I turn the pics over, I see it says Duane Reade on them. So I said "I wanted these sent out ,for Kodak processing." They explained that the Kodak processing lab is inconsistent about when they pick up the envelopes (presumably because the store is so new), so when no one came that week, they went ahead and did the in-store processing. So I got another set of crappy, off-color photos, which I DID pay for.

You would think that warning bells would already have gone off in my head. But NO-o-o-o-o-o, I went ahead and brought 2 more rolls in. I made sure to write on the envelope "please send OUT for Kodak processing." They were supposed to be ready Wednesday. Still not in on Friday, I called the 800 number. Then I sent them an e-mail saying:

I just spoke to someone at the 800 number, and her answer disturbed me! I called about TWO envelopes for this account number, 364496 and 364497. She said the prints were already sent out, but that she "thinks they went to the wrong store," and she'd have to "research" it and call me back within 52 hours. How could you be so careless?! At the very least, you ought to be more organized. Have you sent envelopes to the wrong store before? How the heck are you going to track them down? I am quite upset, & I hope you find my envelopes - I have a feeling that NO one will call me back, which is why I'm writing this e-mail.

So I got this e-mail back: We received your following message and have begun our investigation. We will be back with an update between 8am and 7pm EST.

Needless to say, but I've got to say it anyway, I'm SO f#$&*ing pissed OFF, man! OK I know I know, it's not a life-&-death situation, not a tragedy, not the end of the world. But in all fairness, let me say that the Duane Reade people, esp. a guy named Duane, did all they could to help me.
Today I come back to the office and find this e-mail:

Our records indicate that we received your order numbers 364496 and
364497 in our processing facility on October 2, 2006. Further details show that these orders were due to return to your Duane Reade store on October 4, 2006, however, we do not show records of the order invoicing from our lab.

An investigation has already been started on your orders. The personnel in our production facility will be contacting the stores that are on the same delivery route as Duane Reade's to see if they received your orders. We will keep you updated with the status of the search and contact you immediately once the orders have been located.

Thank you for your patience. If there are any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

With regards,
Shirley ______ (name redacted to protect the "innocent.")
Customer Relations

Actually, I did that on Saturday: walked around to a bunch of nearby Duane Reades to hunt for them myself, but with no luck. However, one Duane Reade manager gave me the name of the manager at the Kodak facility. I left him a voicemail. Whenever I do speak with him, I plan to ask for reimbursement of the cost of the 2 rolls of film and the amount I would have paid for the developing.

So please consider my heartfelt and adamant recommendation: DO NOT BRING FILM INTO THE NEW DUANE READE!
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Re: Warning: Duane Reade Photo Developing - 10-10-2006, 05:17 PM

"I hear dat." As they say. You're right. This is not life altering. But on the other hand, it is quite annoying and inconvenient to have been put through such a major instance of total incompetence.

I for one, am glad that you are taking action here. I am so tired of the consumer falling victim to bad training, no follow-through and as was previously stated incomptence. Good for you.

I'm glad that the employee you mentioned was so helpful. At least someone there was coherent. The other thing that bewilders me about this is why after bringing in the second round of film, did the clerk ASSUME that it was okay to just go ahead and process the rolls in-house, after clearly stating you wanted them "sent out" to Kodak?! That is just inept or whatever. I just don't get why after what happened the first time with bad quality, etc. why this person just thought it was going to get better for you the second time around. Oh well...maybe, they thought they were being helpful. I don't know.

Listen just a suggestion: you know, they now make one-time use DIGITAL cameras. They're a tiny bit more expensive, but are available at CVS on Eighth Ave. I bought one some time ago and made sure to have the pix developed onto CD's. Now I have a Pentax and do all my own developing on the computer.

In any case, best of luck. Apartment Therapy.com huh? Never heard of them but, I'm intrigued so I'll check out the site.

CC69
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Re: Warning: Duane Reade Photo Developing - 10-10-2006, 07:16 PM

Phylicita, truly a terrible story. And thank you for letting all of us know about this. One thing I've come to appreciate about this web site is you get all this inside scoop on places like this that you would otherwise not know about. (At least I wouldn't know about it otherwise).

But I have to ask you just one question. Why are you still using film?! They have awesome digital cameras now that are very reasonably priced and it takes away all the hassles of film. There might be a thing or two I miss about film, but the advantages of digital more than make up for it.

If you ever do get a digital camera let me know. I have a place I can recommend where you can get good digital film cheap!! (wink, wink)!
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Re: Warning: Duane Reade Photo Developing - 10-11-2006, 09:29 AM

JonD, you want to know why I still use film? Because I'm technologically retarded, that's why. Don't have a computer at home, don't have a cell phone (my 85-year-old mom has 'em). But I am making progress: 2 years ago I got my first cordless phone! Actually it was a birthday gift from my friend Madeline who tells it like this: "I had to drag Phyllis kicking 'n screaming into Best Buy... and the 21st century!"

Of course, being cordless for 2 years, I wonder, "How did I ever live like that, tethered?!"
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Re: Warning: Duane Reade Photo Developing - 10-11-2006, 09:47 AM

Thanks chelseachick69! ONE TIME USE DIGITAL CAMERAS?! Guess I'll have to (sigh!) finally look into that! Although, if you read my response to JonD, above: I don't have a computer!

www.apartmenttherapy.com is a cool decorating blog, check it out. They have "House Tours" which is how I'm there. If you want to "visit" me, the direct link is: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/h...-studio-004022

As to why they went ahead and did it in-house puzzles me too: I suspect they already knew of the delivery problems. and probably thought they were doing me a favor.

Anyway, I had trouble reaching the "perps" on the phone, so I responded to their e-mail with this one:

Thank you for your responsive e-mail. In fact, on Saturday I personally visited a half-dozen Duane Reade stores along that route, but none of them had my photos.

Yes, I accept your apology, but I feel I should be reimbursed for the film cost AND the processing costs: Each roll of film was $4 and the processing would have been $12 for each. Therefore, I am entitled to reimbursement of $32.00.

Please call me at my office number above to discuss how to arrange this expeditiously -- and thus avoid Small Claims Court. Thank you again. I look forward to hearing from you.
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Re: Warning: Duane Reade Photo Developing - 10-11-2006, 11:06 AM

Phylicita, this is funny. When I first read that you said you're technologically incompetent I thought the cameras work the same as film cameras. I forgot about the computer component! That makes sense. If you know how to install software though, once you install the software that comes with the camera it can be really easy. You'll have to spend a little time getting familiar with the software, but after that you'll be amazed at how easy it is.
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Re: Warning: Duane Reade Photo Developing - 10-11-2006, 11:08 AM

I don't know Jon... I'm still not ready!
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Re: Warning: Duane Reade Photo Developing - 10-11-2006, 12:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phylicita
Thanks chelseachick69! ONE TIME USE DIGITAL CAMERAS?! Guess I'll have to (sigh!) finally look into that! Although, if you read my response to JonD, above: I don't have a computer!

www.apartmenttherapy.com is a cool decorating blog, check it out. They have "House Tours" which is how I'm there. If you want to "visit" me, the direct link is: http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ny/h...-studio-004022

As to why they went ahead and did it in-house puzzles me too: I suspect they already knew of the delivery problems. and probably thought they were doing me a favor.

Anyway, I had trouble reaching the "perps" on the phone, so I responded to their e-mail with this one:

Thank you for your responsive e-mail. In fact, on Saturday I personally visited a half-dozen Duane Reade stores along that route, but none of them had my photos.

Yes, I accept your apology, but I feel I should be reimbursed for the film cost AND the processing costs: Each roll of film was $4 and the processing would have been $12 for each. Therefore, I am entitled to reimbursement of $32.00.

Please call me at my office number above to discuss how to arrange this expeditiously -- and thus avoid Small Claims Court. Thank you again. I look forward to hearing from you.
Hi Phylicita:

You're more than welcome. I saw the cameras at CVS this summer. Also, you don't have to have a computer to develop these cameras. I've developed cameras at CVS, and have NEVER had any problems at all. They also have this thingy/machine, where you can make "special" prints as well. Ask for more details, at the photo counter if you happen to stop by there.

By the way, your reply to D.R. muckity-mucks, rocks totally. Good luck.

"CC"
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Re: Warning: Duane Reade Photo Developing - 10-11-2006, 02:12 PM

Hey "CC",

My reply was to the photo developing service muckity-mucks, not the D.R. muckity-mucks, but thanks!
As it turns out, this story has a happy ending, which I'm going to post separately.
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Re: Warning: Duane Reade Photo Developing - 10-11-2006, 02:36 PM

A
H A P P Y
E N D I N G ! ! !


Around 11:00 this morning I got the following e-mail:

Dear Ms. Charney,

The purpose of this email is to update you on the status of our search for your order.

We are pleased to inform you that your order numbers 364496 and 364497 have been completed and was shipped to your Duane Reade store today, October 11, 2006. At your convenience, you may pick up your orders.

We truly understand the importance of your memories, and how frustrating this situation is for you. We value you patronage and would not like to lose you as a loyal customer. As a gesture of goodwill we would like to send you two free processing certificates. Please forward your mailing address to us, once we receive that information we will mail it out to you.

Thank you for your patience during this time. We hope that future services you receive through us will be both as you expect and deserve.
If further assistance is needed, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Best wishes,

Oy, I'm plotzing here! Can this really be true?! I can't wait to get the pictures! That was true, I couldn't wait: as soon as I could break for "lunch hour", I went down to Duane Reade, and Duane, the other 2 women, and the store manager were standing around smiling, saying "We were just talking about you!" They apologized profusely, insisting I not pay a penny for the pictures.

And you know what? I believe the good kharma created here by your support was in large part responsible for this wonderful outcome,
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