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Couple didn't click with wedding photographer

We need help on a problem we are having with the photographer who took our wedding pictures. Steve Miller of Miller Photographix, agreed to shoot our wedding in May. He showed us samples of his work and said he would shoot four rolls of film (144 exposures) from which we could choose 88 pictures. The day before the wedding, we went to his studio to pay him the balance of his $373 fee. His last remark was, "See ya tomorrow!"

However, unknown to us, Mr. Miller already had a booking for our wedding day and had subcontracted with another photographer to take our pictures. That photographer ordinarily works with a partner, but since the partner was busy on another job, he shot our wedding alone, without an assistant to help set up the poses and without the special lenses and lighting we had been promised. Consequently, the quality was not what we had been promised.

Some pictures were crooked, some contained people whose faces were blocked or who were looking away from the camera. Many of the formal pictures of the wedding party were taken from the knees up. And instead of 144 shots from which to make our 88 selections, he took only 95 pictures.

I cannot tell you how displeased we were!

Mr. Miller agreed with us that the pictures were substandard. He signed an agreement that we would get the pictures plus half our money back, but he said we would have to wait until August for our money. In September, when our pictures finally were finished, he said one had a scratch on it, so we waited until October. At that time he said he could not afford to pay us.

Now he says he does not owe us a refund because he honored his contract. He says we will have to take him to court to get our money.

I hope you can help us resolve this matter.

Stephen and Deborah Cooley

Response: Steve Miller called in response to our inquiry. This is what he said:

He never told you your pictures were substandard. He fulfilled his contract, even though he did not take the pictures. Double booking is a common practice, but because of his problems with you, he is not going to double book anymore.

Even if he had taken your wedding pictures, you would have found fault with them because you want to nit pick so you can drive down his price.

The only reason he signed the agreement to return half your money was because you came into his shop after hours and started screaming and yelling in front of another customer. He signed under duress to get rid of you.

While the contract says you get to choose 88 photographs, it does not specify how many exposures would be taken.

He has offered to reshoot your wedding pictures and pay for tux rental but you turned him down.

It would appear Small Claims Court is your only recourse.

Company rolls back her carpet money

I ordered a carpet July 11 from Miami Rug, paying $279 in advance. It was to be installed no later than July 20.

July 20 rolled around and no carpet, so I called. They said I would have it the next week.

On July 26 I called again. They said to give them two more weeks. I said I'd call when I got back from vacation and if my carpet was still not in stock, I would cancel my order. They agreed that this was fair.

When I returned, I learned that Miami Rug had been sold to New York Carpet World. I asked for my money back. They said I would have it in 10 days. Since then I have spoken to a Mr. Stewart several times. I finally stopped in and spoke to him personally about my refund. All he could do was throw his hands in the air and say, "I'm trying."

I am hoping you could try, too.

Randall S. Aebersold

Response: You have your money back.

Reaction

Thanks for your action. Today the cleaning material I had ordered in July arrived.

Irene Poirier

I am finally able to let you know that Medicare, at long last, honored the ambulance charge for my husband from a year ago.

I had phoned Medicare from time to time, but all they would say was that it would take another few months. Finally I wrote to Action.

Many thanks.

Claire Ochtendung

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