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Churches say local photographer isn't living up to promise

5:38 PM, Oct 10, 2011   |    comments
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church directories not received

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)- Two West Michigan churches say a local photographer has not lived up to a deal to provide them with free directories. They contacted 13 On Your Side for help.

"We would call and say where's our directory everything is done and nothing. No emails, no answering of the phone," says Jane Fowler. She's in charge of the directories at Newaygo United Methodist Church. She says the owner of "Great Lakes Photography" offered to take their portraits and provide the directories for free. "He would give us directories. Everybody would get one regardless if they ordered pictures or not."

Months later, the parishioners received their portraits, and Fowler says she sent him the information he requested for the directories. "We got the initial proof, found mistakes, they were sent back, they corrected mistakes. This went on 4 or 5 different times, and it just kept dragging on for weeks, months."

Pastor Jon Riedel says it was a similar story at his church, Newaygo United Congregational Church of Christ. He's frustrated by what's going on. "I am in the forgiving business, don't misunderstand me. But, I'm also in the accountability business. If you're going to make a mistake, own up to it and we can work with it."

Neither church has received their directories, so 13 On Your Side went to the address listed on the letterhead in Grand Rapids. The woman who lived there said she was only an employee and didn't know what was going on. We later talked to the owner, Jay Mingerink. He says that 99% of his directories go out on time, but in this case, the churches in question didn't provide the appropriate information in a timely manner. Mingerink says he has the final copy ready for print. He apologized for any miscommunication and still plans on living up to his promise.

Fowler says she will wait to see. "We're concerned he's doing this to other churches of course, that's a concern. But, but we also want our directories."

The Better Business Bureau does show other complaints dealing with "delivery" for Great Lakes Photography and has given the company an "F" rating.

By Sarah Sell

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