Privacy Warning for Olan Mills Customers/Parents

Posted in the Hopkinsville Forum

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Annoymous

Corbin, KY

#1 Sep 12, 2010
I was a former employee of Olan Mills in Hopkinsville, Ky. In an attempt to coverup an unjust discharge, the management accused me of theft and charged me for portraits that were used for Olan Mills portfolios kept inside Kmart and the studio. These portfolios, as I am sure you have all seen at some point, are for advertisement and sample work purposes. I did pay for the accusation as it was cheaper than the cost of attorney representation.
I am now completely shocked and disgusted by what Olan Mills did next, not as a former employee but as a concerned parent. I had complained to corporate that I thought it was ridiculous they would even attempt to say it was theft when they had the product in their possession. As these are portraits of YOUR CHILDREN, I had never had interest in personally having the portraits. I only ordered them as I was told to do to provide the portfolios for company purposes.
Get ready parents and be aware of who you trust with your child's privacy and safety! They then mailed me the portfolios full of random customers' portraits!
So in reality, they are selling portraits of your children to a former employee without your knowledge or consent. I assure you that I did not want these photos and intend to send them back to Olan Mills provide they contact me requesting them back. They act as if they refuse to accept them back. I am seeking legal counsel on what I should do with the portraits as it is extremely strange to me.
Knowing that my children have had portraits done at Olan Mills in the past, I am deeply disturbed and my trust in common decency is betrayed now. Who has had access to my child's photo or perhaps used it for advertisement or sales without my knowledge? Why would they give me YOUR portraits and intend on never notifying you to let you know. What in God's name would I want them for?
Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would contact the company and demand my child's portraits returned to me immediately. If you gave permission for your photos to be in the portfolios located in Hopkinsville, Ky, I am positive you never intended for them to leave the store. There were two portfolios. I have no idea what they have done with the other one as I have not returned to the store and will not to see if the portfolio is there. I pray the portraits of my own children were destroyed in trash and not supposedly "recycled." The large portfolio that often set on the front table is what was certified mailed to me. The majority of the portraits in the portfolio are inside. Bizarrely, there is one or two missing that I noticed.
Parent

United States

#2 Sep 13, 2010
Is Jessica still taking pictures out there? She was great!
Annoymous

Corbin, KY

#3 Sep 14, 2010
No she was wrongfully fired and charged with customers photos as well. The entire staff at Hopkinsville was let go. She was given the customers photos as well.
Anon-waiting for my turn

Ooltewah, TN

#4 Oct 27, 2010
Company wide. They're on the bandwagon to fire people for what they were told to do, and CHARGE them money for it to boot.. Have seen this happen, and am watching it continue as decent hard working Olan Mills photographers are being taken down one by one. Anyone considering working for this company should check into a psychiatric hospital !!!
Anon-waiting for my turn

Ooltewah, TN

#5 Oct 27, 2010
Would like to hear from Jessica, or other photographers fired for this or other unjust reasons.

If you were fired for seemingly unjust reasons (possibly in retaliation for filing your claim on the recent labor lawsuit) please contact me...

mikenmel@usa.net
annoymous in east

Salamanca, NY

#6 Oct 27, 2010
this is what happened this year in our studio- photographer/sales & then ASR preseller- all fired after we all worked so hard during christmas season- 2 got it in jan- 3rd got it in a couple months later- I took them to labor board & got back pay & Unemployment! do it- I wrote every thing down so when I was interviewed I didnt forget a thing of the crap that they did to us- I now see it is country wide they do this- I worked for them for 3 years- but was threaten every week about selling or loosing my job- had to buy all our own supplies- clean everything ( drop clothes etc) at our own expense- now they give you an hours pay if you do it- they now have a law suit going on with photographers in calif/ny & fla- but itsd nation wide. sad thing is most of the time I loved my job- but I had no backing for customer service- they basically told me to blow off some customers- NO refunds- it was horrible situation- but please go & fill a claim they need to be stopped!!
300percentupinsa les

Atlanta, GA

#7 Oct 27, 2010
I quit OM this past summer after being told that my only job was to make money for the studio and not to be concerned with customers. This being said to a person who put customers above my own needs most of the time and gave OM a 300% or more increase in sales over a 2 year period. Not to mention that I spent a TON of money of events APPROVED by DM's and Upper Mgt at corporate and always a high five given to me afterwards. Not one red cent was ever paid back to me but my customers loved the events and always looked forward to my next one. Long story short.... It cost me a ton to work there! Not to mention that because I did so well for them I was punished by them changing my bonus WITHOUT telling me and me having to ask them why, why not tell me? etc. Very upsetting. Basically took $800.00 away from me without telling me! As far as pics that I ordered for merits, etc... the Regional Mgrs and District Mgrs often bragged about my books and told me to keep it up. Now... they want me to pay them for those pics? and pay them for products that customers did not get but we took off packages so they could actually AFFORD something? Well... all I got to say is this... 10 people tell 10 people tell 10 people! So is it still slow at the studio guys?.. keep up the ridiculous accusations and extortion... you will be out of business before you can sign the next lawsuit settlement. Customers do listen and do care about the photographers that has watched their kids grow up. And they tell 10 people!
Angela Stanely

Corbin, KY

#8 Oct 31, 2010
Already spoke with lawyer that handled class action lawsuit against company that we won and they said there was not enough proof for lawsuit, however they charged me twelve hundred dollars in fees for the company's portfolio which is random pics of customers for advertising purposes kept there in studio, then mailed me the pics. That is so illegal. Please email me if u have any legal advice on that or need to get in touch with Jessica.
Anon-waiting for my turn wrote:
Would like to hear from Jessica, or other photographers fired for this or other unjust reasons.
If you were fired for seemingly unjust reasons (possibly in retaliation for filing your claim on the recent labor lawsuit) please contact me...
mikenmel@usa.net
Angela Stanely

Corbin, KY

#9 Oct 31, 2010
Please contact me it only takes three employees for a class action lawsuit. This is so crazy that I thought we had to be the only ones. What a screwed up crooked company!!!!!!!!!!
300percentupinsales wrote:
I quit OM this past summer after being told that my only job was to make money for the studio and not to be concerned with customers. This being said to a person who put customers above my own needs most of the time and gave OM a 300% or more increase in sales over a 2 year period. Not to mention that I spent a TON of money of events APPROVED by DM's and Upper Mgt at corporate and always a high five given to me afterwards. Not one red cent was ever paid back to me but my customers loved the events and always looked forward to my next one. Long story short.... It cost me a ton to work there! Not to mention that because I did so well for them I was punished by them changing my bonus WITHOUT telling me and me having to ask them why, why not tell me? etc. Very upsetting. Basically took $800.00 away from me without telling me! As far as pics that I ordered for merits, etc... the Regional Mgrs and District Mgrs often bragged about my books and told me to keep it up. Now... they want me to pay them for those pics? and pay them for products that customers did not get but we took off packages so they could actually AFFORD something? Well... all I got to say is this... 10 people tell 10 people tell 10 people! So is it still slow at the studio guys?.. keep up the ridiculous accusations and extortion... you will be out of business before you can sign the next lawsuit settlement. Customers do listen and do care about the photographers that has watched their kids grow up. And they tell 10 people!
Ano - NC

Rocky Mount, NC

#10 Jan 19, 2011
I recently worked for olan mills as well and got involved in there lawsuit on the ny, ga florida front and let me tell you its nice to have them pay me back for a change. They settled out of court but its mostly the DM and GM's. MY DM didnt give 2 cents about u unless u did stuff for her. I always had to go cover or work on my schedule days off to cover for the other girls. Who mostly lied about being sick so they could go to family events. Needless to say i do my own photography on the side now. And have tons of customers who have followed me who refuse to go to olan mills. Sure trainning is the only good thing about them. Most of the managers talk crap about u behind your back. I suggest anyone who is having issues get this resolved like someone said it only takes 3 people to start a class action law suit. Save all your recepits. They are suppose to reinburse u for time and travel. milage and anything u buy for the studio. I still havent see the money from the last little bit i bought for the studio. But im happier not working for them. Hopefully 1 day the president of the company will figure out whats going on and clear his family name.
anonymous

Taylor, MI

#11 Feb 4, 2011
I was a prev Asst DM with Olan Mills, but left them in May 2010. My sole purpose for leaving was the way that not only I was treated, but how my employees were treated. I could not defend them as I wish I could have, but have told many of them to leave as soon as they can. I know my employees were treated unjustly, and the manner in which our DM spoke to everyone was astonishing, my jaw hit the floor so many times I'm sure I broke it once or twice. Needless to say the company itself does produce the best portraits that I have ever seen, and the employees that I have had the honor to meet have generally been wonderful.
I will never discourage someone from getting their portraits done with Olan Mills because things are not like this from their perspective. However, I cannot say that I would go back to working for the company any time soon or suggest that anyone work for them. I agree that Mr. Olan Mills himself needs to be aware of how his employees are treated and change the way his company is operated because sooner or later things will go downhill for the company, and honestly I think most employees could care less.
Best of luck to everyone! I miss the company, but not the people I was working for.
GET OVER IT

Savannah, GA

#12 Mar 23, 2011
I work for Olan Mills. I have to say that since I started working there almost 2 years, they have been nothing but good to me. I have a wonderful district manager and assistant district manager. I do my job and yes my job is to make the company money but when the comapany makes money, I make money also.
happygirl

Salamanca, NY

#13 Mar 23, 2011
GET OVER IT wrote:
I work for Olan Mills. I have to say that since I started working there almost 2 years, they have been nothing but good to me. I have a wonderful district manager and assistant district manager. I do my job and yes my job is to make the company money but when the comapany makes money, I make money also.
well I worked for them for 2 + yrs- get ready to pack up- I guarantee you wont last much longer- nobody does- they like to "freshen" up their work force- my own DM told us that all the time- then I see its a national thing- sooo... good luck to you- but if i were you I would start looking for another job!
anonymous

Taylor, MI

#14 Mar 23, 2011
There are good people within the company. Personally I had no issues with the company until the last year or so of my employment. However, I do know how management operates and what is expected of them. The pressure is overwhelming sometimes and many goals unrealistic, this does not condone the behavior of some managers though.
If things are good for you then I am glad, because there isn't a day I don't miss being in the studio. Unfortunately there are those of us who have experienced not so pleasant work environments as well.
GET OVER IT

Savannah, GA

#15 Mar 24, 2011
If you are innocent of these charges, why did you not get an attorney and fight for your rights. Also even if you use someone elses pictures in a portfolio or a contest, you are to get a release signed by the parent. They probably sent the portfolio back to you because when you settled without an attorney, you actually paid for those pictures.Olan Mills probably thought you had a release signed. Keep copies of releases and protect your own butt. As for reading this, it just sounds like you are a disgruntled former employee.
Annoymous wrote:
I was a former employee of Olan Mills in Hopkinsville, Ky. In an attempt to coverup an unjust discharge, the management accused me of theft and charged me for portraits that were used for Olan Mills portfolios kept inside Kmart and the studio. These portfolios, as I am sure you have all seen at some point, are for advertisement and sample work purposes. I did pay for the accusation as it was cheaper than the cost of attorney representation.
I am now completely shocked and disgusted by what Olan Mills did next, not as a former employee but as a concerned parent. I had complained to corporate that I thought it was ridiculous they would even attempt to say it was theft when they had the product in their possession. As these are portraits of YOUR CHILDREN, I had never had interest in personally having the portraits. I only ordered them as I was told to do to provide the portfolios for company purposes.
Get ready parents and be aware of who you trust with your child's privacy and safety! They then mailed me the portfolios full of random customers' portraits!
So in reality, they are selling portraits of your children to a former employee without your knowledge or consent. I assure you that I did not want these photos and intend to send them back to Olan Mills provide they contact me requesting them back. They act as if they refuse to accept them back. I am seeking legal counsel on what I should do with the portraits as it is extremely strange to me.
Knowing that my children have had portraits done at Olan Mills in the past, I am deeply disturbed and my trust in common decency is betrayed now. Who has had access to my child's photo or perhaps used it for advertisement or sales without my knowledge? Why would they give me YOUR portraits and intend on never notifying you to let you know. What in God's name would I want them for?
Personally, if I were in your shoes, I would contact the company and demand my child's portraits returned to me immediately. If you gave permission for your photos to be in the portfolios located in Hopkinsville, Ky, I am positive you never intended for them to leave the store. There were two portfolios. I have no idea what they have done with the other one as I have not returned to the store and will not to see if the portfolio is there. I pray the portraits of my own children were destroyed in trash and not supposedly "recycled." The large portfolio that often set on the front table is what was certified mailed to me. The majority of the portraits in the portfolio are inside. Bizarrely, there is one or two missing that I noticed.
happygirl

Salamanca, NY

#16 Mar 24, 2011
well I can see "get over it" is probably a DM- sounds & talks like one they are easy to spot in that company- but its funny- they too will be on the way side soon. Yes we are what ever you want to say we are- disgruntled -we were all at one time- good employees- sold like crazy- & kept the company going in our own area- believe me -I did it all for them. but as I soon realized when I read online comments of other former employees- I was not alone- it was a nation wide thing- & awhile back- look what they (OMills) did in the UK.
yes I took them to the Labor board- & I won! their snoddy business tactics will get them in alot of hot water over & over till they smother their own company! Good luck to all of their former employees! I am much happier
GET OVER IT

Savannah, GA

#17 Mar 25, 2011
Actually NO I am not a DM or any kind of manageement. I am a great photographer that does my job. I brought Olan Mills alot of business. I enjoy what I do and I DON"T STEAL, CHEAT, OR LIE.
I am honest with the company and I am totally honest with my customers. In our district, we have people that has worked there for twelve to twenty years. I don't know about all the DM's and don't care to get to know them. But again in our district, the DM has been great and you rarely hear anything bad about the company. In my last comment, what I was saying is that you were coming off as a disgruntled employee. There are good and bad in every company. I'm sorry about what happened to you but try working at the other photography companys, and believe me OLAN MILLS is a peach to work for. Olan Mills has been here since 1934 and they are not slowing down. People still love the pictures!
GET OVER IT

Savannah, GA

#18 Mar 25, 2011
No I am not a DM for the company. I am a DAMN GREAT PHOTOGRAPHER that does her job! I don't lie, cheat or steal from the company or from my customers or anyone else for that matter. I have brought Olan Mills alot of business. In our district, we have a great DM and Assistant DM. I don't know your DM or any other management at Olan Mills nor do I care to know them. I am speaking for myself. In my last comment, I simply meant that the way you were going on it made you look like a disgrunted employee, not that you are one. I'm sorry about happened to you but not everyone at Olan Mills is bad and as a whole, I believe Olan Mills is a great company to work for. There are people in our district that has been there for anywhere from twelve to twenty years. Olan Mills Portraits has been around since 1934 and they are not slowing down. As long as they deliver good service and good products, people will still come to them. Anyway good luck with whatever you do and have a wonderful life.
happygirl wrote:
well I can see "get over it" is probably a DM- sounds & talks like one they are easy to spot in that company- but its funny- they too will be on the way side soon. Yes we are what ever you want to say we are- disgruntled -we were all at one time- good employees- sold like crazy- & kept the company going in our own area- believe me -I did it all for them. but as I soon realized when I read online comments of other former employees- I was not alone- it was a nation wide thing- & awhile back- look what they (OMills) did in the UK.
yes I took them to the Labor board- & I won! their snoddy business tactics will get them in alot of hot water over & over till they smother their own company! Good luck to all of their former employees! I am much happier
happygirl

Salamanca, NY

#19 Mar 25, 2011
'Get over it'- the writing is on the wall- its funny I have relatives near you- & one use to work for O Mills- she had the same story we all did- so don't try to kid us all. My co-worker was a GREAT Photographer too- so was the one before her, and another sales person all let go for petty things, so please don't belittle any ex employee that has had a troubled time with OMills. I worked in Professional sales business for 20 yrs- then after my children were grown , went to work for OM. I could not believe their DM's dirty handed business practices- it runs rampant in NYS/PA/Ohio. like i said NYS labor board agreed with us- as did a major lawsuit. I am happy that you are satisfied with all your supervisory personal- but not everyone in that business is so "wonderful", follows the labor laws or know how to keep personal opinions out of the workplace. Our DM did not know how do follow any rules,gossip & tried to pit one employee against another. & when we tried to go up above her- it was the same. I am not some young girl without any work experience- neither was my DM. even our asst DM left- after only 1 yr- she couldn't believe all that was going on. I'm glad to hear your studio is doing so well- when 2 of us left- so did our customers- & I know from kmart management- that OMills is hurting there. good luck to you- I really mean that! I don't want to keep this going- I wish you the best!
Get over It

Savannah, GA

#20 Mar 25, 2011
I'm sorry, I'm not from Savannah! I just realized that was on my post. I am down here taking care of my father in law who has been ill. I left Olan Mills without notice due to the emergency situation in Georgia. I live about 600 miles from here. I actually called my DM while I was driving down here. He told me to go because family comes first!. That was seven weeks ago. I didn't know whether I would have a job when I got back. When I spoke to him yesterday and told him I would be back in the next couple weeks if I had a job. He assured me that the job is there. He could have fired me and I would have deserved it. Maybe you did have a bad DM, I don't know but not everyone in the company is bad. And I also wish you the best. Good luck in your future. As for my future, I will continue to believe that most people are basically descent, hard working people until I am proven wrong.
happygirl wrote:
'Get over it'- the writing is on the wall- its funny I have relatives near you- & one use to work for O Mills- she had the same story we all did- so don't try to kid us all. My co-worker was a GREAT Photographer too- so was the one before her, and another sales person all let go for petty things, so please don't belittle any ex employee that has had a troubled time with OMills. I worked in Professional sales business for 20 yrs- then after my children were grown , went to work for OM. I could not believe their DM's dirty handed business practices- it runs rampant in NYS/PA/Ohio. like i said NYS labor board agreed with us- as did a major lawsuit. I am happy that you are satisfied with all your supervisory personal- but not everyone in that business is so "wonderful", follows the labor laws or know how to keep personal opinions out of the workplace. Our DM did not know how do follow any rules,gossip & tried to pit one employee against another. & when we tried to go up above her- it was the same. I am not some young girl without any work experience- neither was my DM. even our asst DM left- after only 1 yr- she couldn't believe all that was going on. I'm glad to hear your studio is doing so well- when 2 of us left- so did our customers- & I know from kmart management- that OMills is hurting there. good luck to you- I really mean that! I don't want to keep this going- I wish you the best!

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