“The two photographers at our wedding were delighted to work with them,” said Van Guilder. “They were super professional and the communication from their staff before the wedding was good.”
The day was documented for six hours. After the wedding was over, family and friends asked to see the photos. Van Guilder said last month that she started contacting the company on a weekly basis.
“They kept saying we’re working on it, we’re really busy, it’s wedding season, as I understand it, and with COVID people are understaffed so I didn’t think about it,” she declared.
On Friday, she learned that the business had closed.
“It just came out of left field,” Van Guilder said. “I contacted the company on Monday because my grandfather had just transferred to the hospice and it was a big deal for him to come to the wedding. I just said ‘Hey, I would really like at least my grandpa’s pictures so I can show them to him’ and Jack the founder responded right away he sent me three pictures of me and my grandfather fully retouched with not much time at all.
Van Guilder said owner Jack Glasser is no longer returning his calls or emails.
“I go back and forth between tears and I’m very, very angry,” she said. “I just want my memories, I can’t relive that day.”
The company has provided a variety of photography and videography services in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Colorado and other locations on request. According to the now offline Glasser Images website, the company did not charge for travel costs.
Van Guilder told us that she filed a complaint with the Minnesota attorney general’s office. The North Dakota Attorney General’s office reports receiving more than 50 complaints since Thursday evening, according to affiliate WDAY-TV.
After receiving calls regarding Glasser Images, the Bismarck Police Department posted on its Facebook page that clients must file a report with the North Dakota Attorney General.
A Facebook forum now offering support to clients and photographers has around 1,600 members.
Glasser got a lawyer on Friday afternoon, Tim O’Keefe. Glasser apologized to customers in a statement released by O’Keefe.
“We’ve been in business for 16 years and until Covid-19 hit we were successful and grown, but then things drastically changed for the worse,” Glasser said. “We pivoted and made changes, but we just couldn’t deal with our ongoing costs, debt repayment, salaries, rent, and other business expenses. These factors caused irreparable damage to the company and forced us to make this decision quickly. Closing our doors is extremely heartbreaking for me.
According to the statement, Glasser Images has been in existence for 16 years. It had 150 employees and contractors before it closed on October 7.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS asked if customers will receive their photos or a refund. O’Keefe did not respond on Friday night.
Van Guilder is hopeful that she will receive her wedding photos, even if they are not edited.
“I know people can go through tough times and I understand that, but your lack of empathy hurts people right now and it doesn’t cost you anything to give people back their memories,” she said in addressing Glasser.
Glasser Images is no longer accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
A BBB spokesperson said the agency was dealing with at least 10 consumer complaints received on Friday.
In an email, the spokesperson said: “Glasser has informed customers that he is shutting down unexpectedly because” the past and current effects of the pandemic have caused irreparable damage which has forced this decision to happen. extremely quickly and immediately “.
In the same post, they also apologized for not being able to fulfill contracts and refund payments already paid, for incomplete services.
The BBB spoke to a person whose niece had just signed a contract and made a down payment on Tuesday of this week only to find out four days later that she would not be receiving the money and that the services she had requested would not be executed. The other complainants described their shock and frustration with the situation and requested a full refund or photos taken and paid for but not yet delivered.
The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota previously gave Glasser Images an A rating, according to the BBB rating system. Due to the pending complaints, the BBB has updated the company’s rating and added the following information to Glasser’s BBB company profile.
Additional Information: BBB recently received complaints from consumers who paid between $ 700.00 and $ 4000.00 for photos. Consumers say they were recently told by the company and their lawyer that the company had closed unexpectedly and would not provide a refund. These complaints are currently pending as BBB awaits the company’s response. “
The BBB recommends that clients file a complaint with its dispute resolution team and the North Dakota Attorney General’s office. Those who have paid for services can also seek help from their credit card company.