A Ritz camera salesperson writes in to give you the skinny on scanning, digital prints, and which memory cards are just a ripoff.
I have been working for Ritz Camera/Proex for about three years now and it’s really starting to get on my nerves, but I thought I’d share some of the ways they screw you over as a customer and potential employee.
1. The E.S.P. or Extended Service Plan- This plan is alright. You pay quite a bit for security. The only good thing about it is if you do drop your camera they will cover your negligence. Only problem is, is that depending on where you bring the camera in the U.S. most likely for any repair out of Ritz/Proex it will take about 2 months to get your camera back and thats the quickest.
2. Prices- We have price matching, but it has to be the exact same product, the other store must have it in stock, and we have to call the other store to make sure that the customer isn’t lying. Then we call a district manager and half the time they don’t answer so you stand there and stare at the customer until they leave and go buy it at the other store. Not to mention cameras are a much better deal online all the time, any time.
3. Memory Cards- They try and make us sell you “Ritz” memory cards before Sandisk or Panasonic. They are all the same. Ritz claims theirs are “faster,” but they are the EXACT SAME CARD. You’re already dishing out 300$ for a camera, get the cheapest card that will hold the most.
4. Products- As employees we are required to push at least 4 products on you. While I refuse to do it and stick close to the finishing lab, everyone else has to. Most of the time they will tell you that they are a certain price only to find when you get to the register that the price is higher. This is because you must have our Image Rewards Card.
5. Image Rewards Card- Claims it uses a system that collects “money back,” but I have yet to see that come up from frequent customers. For 16$ this lovely little piece of plastic can be yours. Unless you are doing actual 35mm film this card isn’t worth it. It literally takes pennies off digital prints. You have to do tons of digital prints in order to get your monies worth.
6. Prints- We have what is called Big Print You which is the “New Digital Standard!” It’s a bunch of crap. You are paying ten extra cents for half an inch of paper. It’s not worth it. Take the time and make 4×6’s. 4×6’s still fit in albums and frames. Big Print You fits in some, but you have a small selection.
7. Scanning- Scanning is 2.50$ per print. Ridiculous! Most of the time I don’t charge it and just say I forgot. Everyone else normally does it. 2.50 a scan, and you can only scan one at a time with a maximum of ten then the software makes to start another ten. It takes forever. By a cheap scanner and you’ll save a ton of money if you think you need to scan a bunch of photos.
8. Demo Cameras- We sell them to you and you don’t even know it. Everyone’s grubby hands have probably been on your camera. It’s probably been dropped at some point, not to mention the boxes we get shipments in from UPS look like they’ve been kicked all the way from the home office to our store. We sell demo cameras at no discount, we just clean them up and put them in a box. Then we are told to lie to you and tell you it’s brand new.
9. Employees- Be prepared for a job that offers no movements in pay. They have a company policy that allows you to take quizzes that your manager and service manager have to sign off on then give to your district manager that then gets you a small raise. Most of our employees have finished these, got them signed, and turned them in. We all still get 8$/hr. The district manager claims he “never got them.” I’ve heard this same excuse has been used with other stores too with different district managers. Also there are “Sales Incentives” that are supposed to be your commission. These are pennies and on like 5 things in the store. Most of the time it’s all taken away in taxes.
10. One Hour Photo- Yeah right. Half the time our machines break down because they are about as old as I am and the company is too cheap to fix them. So with the new “One Hour or It’s Free” deal we have now, we can just say that the machine is broke and that voids the deal. I’ll just give you your prints free. If there is a chance that our machine is working alright, in reality we can probably get your prints done in about 15-30 minutes unless you have a ton of them. Also ordering your prints online saves you time in a mall and the smell of fish that the printer gives off. So do that.
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)