The Diva Cher and Ticketmaster Should Take Lessons From a Study in Customer Service

We pause from our regular Tales From The World of Photo Scanning postings for this narrative on what recently happened in Las Vegas. It involved Cher and a lesson about customer service that resonated with our company’s founders.

With all the domestic and international orders, like any company, there may be times when we fall short of a customer’s expectations. There is much to learn about how quickly and thoroughly a company responds to each customer experience. In the case of, our Live Support and Internet accessibility helps remedy every customer concern. It is based on a foundation of more than 18-years in business that provides a blanket of solutions to each concern. While literally more than 99% of every customer experience is favorable, it is always the challenging episode from which we learn most to enhance our service and improve our systems.

Last week, during a trip to Las Vegas, company president and CEO had an experience that we wanted to share with you. It was a lesson on how not to handle customer experiences. Mr. Goldstone was staying at The Bellagio Hotel and preparing to enjoy Cher’s performance at The Colosseum at Caesers Palace in Las Vegas on September 24th. After an early dinner and stroll next door to watch the show at Caesers, at the last minute, his group learned the evening performance was cancelled. Caesers‘ employees standing at the entrance to the theater explained that the entertainer was not feeling well. It seems that this had occurred with two previous shows earlier in the week.

It was a disappointment, but also, a lesson learned.

While Ticketmaster charges a myriad of fees, including a “convenience fee,” you would think that service would include notifying ticket holders when a show is cancelled at the last minute – after all, they request your cell phone number and email address.

Instead, no refund was forthcoming for what are very costly tickets. Several days later, Mr. Goldstone had an assistant call Ticketmaster to learn that a “mass credit” for the cancelled shows had not yet occurred. However, the world’s leading live entertainment ticketing company would issue a full refund, less the “order processing fee” and the “ticket delivery charges.” Rather than an instant refund, it will take several days for the partial refund to be passed along to the credit card.

This brought home how different smart, entrepreneurial companies, like can be.

“If Ticketmaster wanted to gain windfall customer satisfaction, they should have minimally notified each ticket holder that the show was cancelled – before the guests arrived at the theater,” suggested Mr. Goldstone. “I am also surprised that it took a phone call to request a refund, and that they are retaining those two extra charges. I just hope that Cher is feeling better so thousands of her other fans are not equally disappointed,” he said.

Click here to read more about Cher’s missed performances in “Las Vegas Weekly.

Update: Cher has also cancelled Saturday and Sunday’s performances according to the blog posting.


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PHOTO SOAP: How to Enhance Your Photos





What Is Photo Soap?
Powered by SM and Perfectly Clear ®

Photo Soap (SM), formerly known as Crystal Diamond Photo Enhancement, is the newest version of our enhancement process. The technology is powered by “Perfectly Clear” These are new features and new name. See what the fuss is about with the all new features:

ALL NEW: Greater Shadow Detail / Better Highlights – A core strength – brightening each individual pixel while maintaining real color with zero artifacts – is even stronger now to draw out more details in the shadows and maintain detail in highlight areas.
ALL NEW: Sharper Images – A series of powerful, unique algorithms have been enhanced to deliver a crisp-looking photo that is still artifact-free.
ALL NEW: Red Eye Removal – Red-eye is caused when the camera’s flash reflects off the veins in the retina at the back of the eye. Research shows that during the winter months, as much as 30% of photos suffer from red-eye. Using advanced recognition techniques, the presence of red-eye is automatically detected and removed. The technology is so sophisticated that it carefully retains those important glints and sparkles in the subjects’ eyes.
  • Remove abnormal tint caused by tungsten, fluorescent, Ultra Violet, and Infrared lighting
  • Restore color vibrancy to washed out and faded photographs
  • Optimize the exposure for underexposed photos
  • Apply medical quality contrast and sharpness
  • Most people won’t get the most out of their digital images due to the amount of time needed to correct thousands of photos and their lack of experience color correcting digital images, not to mention not wanting to buy the expensive programs that are designed for it. Now, in conjunction with our high speed scanning service, we offer to do the work for you and bring out your image’s true nature. Old photos will be brought back to life. New photos will look better than you thought they could.


The Photo Soap fee is in addition to and separate from all scanning charges. The price is $49.95 per 1,000 photos (no prorating, ex: if you have 1500 pictures scanned the charge is $99.95 extra).

Pay-per-1,000 option , or for one Prepaid Fill-the-Box Scanning Service box it is $99.95 per box (ex: if you order three prepaid boxes, the Photo Enhancement fee is an additional $299.85).

Questions: our the 24/7 Live Support help desk with any questions and for more info on how to order.

***We recommend you to add this custom Photo Soap to your order, especially if your pictures are older or faded.

This is Photo Soap, not restoration. For photo restoration, please visit our restoration page. The Photo Soap service only applies to exposure and color corrections of photos when ordered with our high speed scanning service. It does not fix tears, cracks or defects in the photograph. exclusively uses Perfectly Clear TM the award winning multi-patented technology to enhance your pictures. Each image enhancement is unique and results from picture to picture will differ. Every picture is corrected differently and the software may correct some images more than others. Individual results may vary.

Below sample is from our real wold example using our custom Photo Soap enhancement service after we scanned the original picture:




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PMA: Photo Marketing Magazine – September 2008

The power of PR: Mitch Goldstone, president and CEO of and 30 Minute Photos Etc., discusses how to use PR to your advantage in this September, 2008, Page 56 column in PMA Magazine.

Imagine either the desolate sound of chirping crickets or the buzz of crowds queuing up to shop at your store, just as they steadily do at the world’s smartest retailer, The Apple Store.

All it takes is the power of pubic relations, backed by
a gripping experience, and an urgency to check out your photo center.

For me, a recent experience at The Apple Store in New York City was tied with the eager excitement guests experience as they wait to get into Disney World, or what
lucky winners confront when recognizing they hold the winning lottery ticket. There is a special buzz, excitement, and something new to discuss.

The foundation for building such fervor takes a great deal of time and study.

It requires having a new story to tell, a sensational selling proposition, and public relations way beyond the normal scope of reach.

With the hastening decline in standard print media, it is becoming more difficult to score that coveted human interest story; but you can take advantage of social networking bloggers, community groups, and literally thousands of other new opportunities. Public relations today is more than getting your store mentioned in the local paper. My company is regularly featured by the national media, including stints on the “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” the “Today Show,” and various radio interviews. We got into The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and The New York Times because and 30 Minute Photos Etc. have something newsworthy to discuss.

Sometimes we even create news events, but we always make sure the PR topic is interesting, compelling, unique, and newsworthy.

Make sure your PR campaigns pass the test of what interests you. If you would just turn the page, don’t waste the media’s time.

The goal of smart PR is to make noise, be heard and, most important, make money – that is the score to identify what is working. To achieve this, get out of the commodity business of standardized PR and think beyond what many call “duct tape PR,” where each media experience is a quick, one-time fix.

Most PR campaigns require priming the pump and investing in research and innovation. You already accomplished the first step by being involved in PMA; you have earned the credibility and connections to get on the map. Now, you need to work on a strategy to score the ultimate PR coup – having the media call you first.

It is easy to make news – just have something new to talk about.

Are you still developing photographic film, or are you offering new digital imaging services that
represent what modern consumers want?

For my company, we invested in the newest technology powered by the Kodak APEX modular dry lab solution. It is cost-effective and eco-friendly. It also represents the future of our industry, and takes no time to create buzz and excitement from employees and customers. For us, it was all about unloading our traditional chemistry processors for this new solution. It is seamlessly networked to Kodak Picture Kiosks so our customers can make something from prints and enlargements in just seconds.

Smart PR means doing your homework. Read everything from local papers, MySpace, Facebook, and blogs. Follow events in your community. Get to know reporters and regularly communicate with them to comment on prior articles, even by replying to their online article comment sections. Do this first without a story pitch. It is far better to get to know reporters and bloggers initially, rather than only responding after a story appears to haunt them for forgetting to include you in a previous profile. Once you have hard news, reach out and share the excitement of the pitch and the sizzle with them.

Be unique. Tell a story and personalize it with customer experiences. Explain why one customer literally wept when you handed her the newly restored image of her grandparents, or scanned generations of family snapshots so she could instantly view them and create photo product on your kiosks.

Smart PR is about personalizing, educating, and solving problems. Make sure your message is articulated well and with good grammar. Always be professional, accessible, and courteous of reporters’ time.

If all else fails, write your own formatted news profile and post it on your business website. You can also publish your perfectly formatted news release on your blog to control the exact message you seek.

PR, however, is more than a press release.

Today it is about email blasts, social marketing, online paid searches, YouTube “how-to” videos of your store, and using services like and If you want to know which PR campaigns are the most effective, ask your customers. They will be happy to share their feedback and tell how they learned about your company.

Have fun and be persistent and patient. Your PR journey is the whole process of making news. Your goal is not to collect news clippings, but to get noticed and to build profits.

written by Mitch Goldstone


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