Re: The Post "how can you do this to your kids" Explanation of something.
I figured it would be best to just make a thread on this so that the people that asked have the opportunity to actually see this.
I'm not the OP of that thread (obvi) but I have run several picture days and did PTO (who ran picture day at my kid's last school) so I know what's up. I sat in all the Lifetouch meetings for 3 yrs, and coordinated picture day for 3 years. I have experience.
I'm going to try to explain this as quickly and clearly as I can, but if there are questions I can answer them.
There are 3 types of Picture days, Proofs, Prepaid, and Packages.
Proofs is the most time consuming, and is only done in the fall because there is basically the entire school year to get those pictures back to parents. Proofs are sent out to parents, and you can order or not, it's up to you. They only do them in the Fall because it takes 8-10 business days to get the proofs back to the school, sometimes longer. School sends proofs home and give the parents 2 weeks to decide and return order forms. We mail those out in a couple shipments. Once your pictures get mailed back to Lifetouch they take at least 2 weeks to print them and ship them back to the school and we redistribute from there. In my case we ALWAYS had stragglers, I'd say the due date for orders was Sept 10, and without fail Sept 15th rolls around and I had 10 orders on my desk, which then have to be mailed off. Those parents were always the ones bitching about their pictures not being in with everyone else', if you send it in late they'll be late, deal with it.
That's proofs, and at that school only done in fall because it's AT LEAST 6 weeks after picture day before you're getting pictures back. This isn't even factoring in make up day whose pictures take even longer.
Spring Picture day has 2 options:
Prepaid: Meaning they send home order forms and you say "yes I want pictures" and you pay for them before they're taken and hope they're good. Because there is no makeup day, if they suck yes you can get a refund but you have to deal with Lifetouch for that, and many parents aren't inclined to do that or to pay for a product they haven't seen.
Packages: This is where they come in, take the pictures and mail the school the entire packet and send it home to parents and hope they pay for them or return them. Sales from this type of picture day are 10x higher than for prepaid. The percentage of parents that don't return/pay is 5% according to Lifetouch and no smart business person makes a decision based on 5%. 10x more sales but 5% won't be returned? Or way less sales... it's not hard to see why they do it this way.
There isn't time in Spring to do it the proofs way before the end of the year, this is why there's not a retake day in Spring, there just isn't time.
The school does NOT get punished financially for non-returned pictures, but if it became a big enough issue, the school would be forced to do pre-paid pictures in Spring. If you don't return them it's more that you're a dirtbag. In my case what we did with the non-returners was kept a list of their names, and we just didn't send home their child's pictures in Spring. We sent a note saying they could come view them with us and decide to buy them or not then and there. We didn't punish the kids for it, because it's not their fault. I really think that is the best way to handle it.
Any questions? :)