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Disbelieving customers

Bestphotolist, a general photo retailers’ forum (subscribe via the PMA US website), is mostly concerned with exchanging information on technical and business issues such as where to find a widget for a Noritsu printer, or the best software for producing collages, but occasionally goes off on a humourous or topical riff.

Early in January, US retailer and BestPhotoList stalwart Chris Lydle made a posting headed: ‘Why do customers look at me in disbelief? Other retailers added to the list, and then an additional list in which the retailer sports the incredulous look was added.

So with due acknowledgement to BestPhotList and its contributors, we’ve taken the liberty of compiling some of the best ‘unbelievable’ requests and comments. Australian additions most welcome via the Readers Comments box at the bottom of the story:

Why Do My Customers Look at me in Disbelief when I tell them:

– ‘It will costs over $100 to fix that stupid digital camera.’

– ‘You have to pay extra for us to do a custom Xmas card.’

– ‘We don’t process you passport, just the photo.’

– ‘They still make film!

– ‘CDs and your hard drive don’t last forever.’

– ‘I actually know a thing or two about photography.’ (talking to young women)

– ‘The the people at each end of a 4×6-inch group photo cannot be kept in at 8×10, 10×13, 11×14, or 16×20 – no matter how much it is enlarged.’

– ‘It costs more to colourise a black & white than to print a black and white from a colour image.’

– ‘That not all data saved to a DVD plays like a Ken Burns documentary on a DVD player.’

– ”That is costs extra to “just take that man out of the background in PhotoShop”.’

– ‘There is no cheap, easy way to look at negatives and know what is on them.’

– ‘There is no cheap, easy way to turn their 10,000 slides into a playable video’

– ‘The reproduction rights to that professional portrait do not belong to me’

…And occasions when the retailer has to disguise his or her own disbelief, after the customer says:

– (Holding a roll of 35mm film) ‘Is this Kodachrome? I’m guessing you can’t process it any more, can you?’

– ‘Well can’t you go print all of your pictures at Walmart and sell them to the customers?’ (Suggestion to retailer when he informs customer that the minilab is down right now.)

– ‘You mean you’re out of paper? Can’t you just buy some computer paper and use that? That’s what I usually use.’

– ‘You can’t recover my SD card that my dog chewed up?’

– ‘Did you know that Wal-mart no longer processes film anymore?’

– ‘How long does it take to do one-hour processing?’

– ‘Whaddya mean you can’t just print from my RAW files without conversion software (at no extra charge)? I heard/read jpegs are garbage, so I shoot everything in RAW.’

(Picture credit: Don Mace,

One Comment

  1. Chris Chris February 3, 2012

    Every second person who walks in wanting a passport pic asks “Do you do passport photos here”. There’s a flag hanging outside the door saying “Passport & ID photos”…..but it’s obviously there for decoration……

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