“ Service: Tempest Photography „
My dealings with Tempest have been anything but good. I placed my order on 26th November expecting it to be with me before christmas so I could give graduation photos away as a present. However, in the email receipt of the order, costing £125, they didn't say when it would be with me or any rough date for delivery.
So i looked on the internet and people had said about 28 days - meaning I would just miss Christmas. Anyway, that was fine, but I then tried to contact tempest at least 6 times by phone only to have the call ring continuously (no automated message) or to have the engaged tone come up. To add insult to injury, they also had taken the £125 straight away, and it's now the 3rd January and I have nothing to show for it but a squeezed bank balance.
I phoned today to speak to a rude customer service rep who explained that my photos are still in the lab and that they were closed from 19th December to 2nd January over christmas. Upon my question as to why I hadn't been told this by email or why it was not advertised (especially for those ordering less than 28 days before 19th December), the rep informed me that they had 1000s of customers waiting and how would it be possible to email them all? I honestly thought he was joking, but no he was being serious!! And not one apology - unbelievable!
I honestly thought I'd been done over with some fraudulent company as I could not get hold of them for such a long time - not a great experience!
TEMPEST GRADUATION - HERE'S SOME FRIENDLY ADVICE:
1. don't take money from students (who are by no way rolling in it) until the delivery is ready to dispatch
2. sort out some automated emails (i'll teach you if you need some help) for those orders that will be waiting till after Christmas
3. make it known somehow (on website is an obvious one on the homepage) that you're closed from 19th december to 2nd january over Christmas
4. retrain your reps so that they are apologetic and not arsey on the phone!
Advice for buyers: GO ELSEWHERE or if you have to buy from them, order several months in advance (October for Christmas!)
This company provided the photography at my graduation ceremony, the photographer was most unprofessional, there were sneaky additional fees that were not aforementioned or otherwise stated. The photographer was too consumed in wrapping up that I missed the opportunity to take even a single photo with my parents. I complained afterwards to little fruition, they agreed to refund the fee, however two months later have yet to receive this. Very dissatisfying service, they did offer that I travel up to London months after my actual graduation to attend a random photo shoot at another event with people that I've never before encountered to take photos that were meant to be special, specific to the day as opposed to a reconstruction of a service I should have received in the first place. A bogus company, I would definitely never use again, have yet to order my photos, on the whole a truly disgruntled customer.
Short version - terrible customer service, poor photography skills, rubbish website, poorly run company.
I have experienced nothing but hassle and disappointment with Tempest. They did the photos for my graduation ceremony - obviously a special occasion. The pictures were not what I would expect from "professional" photographers.
None the less, I ordered online some photos as a gift. The website clearly states a 4 week delivery period. 4 weeks later (the week before Christmas) I called to see where the delivery was. Not only was I CONTINUOUSLY put through to the wrong people, when I finally got through to customer service I was told it "wasn't their problem" and apparently my photos HADN'T EVEN BEEN PRINTED YET, let alone in the post!
I said I wasn't happy and again I was told that it "wasn't their problem" and that I should have allowed extra time for Christmas even though that was already the case as I had ordered 5 weeks before Christmas, rather than the 4 weeks recommended by their website.
On yet another call I was told I should expect my photos to be delivered on the 28th of December. After Christmas. Brilliant.
It is now the 2nd of January 2013 and I STILL HAVEN'T RECEIVED THE PHOTOS! it was embarrassing enough having no gift for my parents on Christmas day, let alone still not having the over priced photos on the promised date of the 28th!
I have of course called Tempest numerous times during office hours only to be met with a recorded message telling me to call back between 9am and 4pm which is when I phoned.
This entire company is RUDE and behaves as though run by a pack of rabid monkeys. They have no idea what they're doing and have done nothing but made a poor photographic experience of a very special occasion into a long exhaustive nightmare. Useless.
I was very impressed with the organisation and efficiency in getting hundreds of graduates and their families photographed at my recent graduation. Once with a photographer they were very helpful and ensured one was relaxed.
However, I felt the ordering of prints was not good enough. On the day, we were given proofs of the photos and told we could also view online. The proofs were very small, and difficult to see any detail. When using their website, the proofs were equally small, and did not allow the user to rotate landscape pictures-making it difficult to view. Considering this is a website for a photographer, I found this to be very poor-how can people possibly make good decisions when they can hardly see the pictures.
The prints are expensive, and the packages are inflexible. Though this is understandable all things considered. But to not be able to properly view photos is very poor, especially for a photographer! Sort out your online proof viewing facilities!!
Tempest photography is one of those mobile photography studios which will come to your location and take posed photos for you. They seem to work on schools, sports teams etc but they also seem to have the monopoly on graduation day professional photographs and my experience of them in this setting is what I'm going to write about.
Tempest took both mine and my boyfriends grad photos at two different unis. The way I see it is that during graduation season they must go around loads of unis, staying there for a week or so at a time. At both experiences, there were multiple (I think about 10) booths of photographers set up back to back and around the room. Obviously there are a lot of graduands and their families wanting pictures in a short space of time so the set up has to be very efficient. I think they have hit the nail on this.
In the (very large) queue, there were multiple clipboards with pens and the form to order the pictures which you wanted (i.e. with your name, address, card details - you just filled in the picture references when you got them). This made the queue go a bit faster and they had been slightly pre-filled in with the uni name etc. There were also leaflets showing the various packages and the prices for them.
When it was your turn you went into the free booth and posed for the photos. The photographer was so nice and you couldn't tell that she had probably already taken a million of the same picture that day. I was handed a piece of plastic pipe with a ribbon around it, the lady styled me and then told me how to stand. I felt a bit odd but she knew what she was doing and the pictures did come out really nice. She had no problems taking a whole bunch of pictures in various orders and combinations of my family and after each picture she printed out a page with a mini proof on it and the details to order.
I was rushed for time so took these sheets home and decided after my holiday which to go for. I then ordered online. My boyfriend didn't order his for a year after his grad and the online codes still worked and his photos were still there. I thought this was pretty good. Also you could send the details to someone else like your granny and they could view the pictures online and buy them themselves if they want to.
So the photos are pretty expensive but to be honest I think everyone is already resigned to this when they go to graduate. For me, I wanted pictures to commemorate a special day and I wanted pictures like my mum dad and sister have had before me. I think we worked out the best value as one of the packages and bought two of them (per pack you could have 2 lots of photos and I wanted 4 sets - me, me with my boyfriend, me with my mum and dad and me with mum, dad, granny and grandpa). This worked out as about £150 but I have too many photos. This was the best way to get plenty to share though.
The photos said they would take up to 6 weeks to arrive which I thought was fair as it was the middle of their season. They didn't actually take that long and when they came they had a good protective sleeve around them and there was also a mini (passport size) set (around 15) of each picture. These are nice as I think my boyfriend has one of these in his wallet. These small pics weren't mentioned anywhere and we weren't charged for them.
My only gripe is that when the pictures came they came with mounts (I didn't buy framed pics) which were nice, the larger ones had the uni name and crest etc but the sizes are impossible! I have been to EVERY frame selling shop in vain and ended up having one professionally framed, and trimming the mounts on the others. This is a shame as not being standard sizes is so super annoying.