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Rocky Mountain Film Lab - WARNING

J. Raabe , Aug 13, 2003; 11:13 a.m.


I sent 2 rolls of EIR back in April to them, after reading some post mentioning them as one of the last places to do AR-5 developing.

3 weeks later I emailed them to see if they got my film. No response.

3 weeks after that I emailed again. No response.

a month or so later, I wrote to ask if they were even a lab anymore, if they ever got emails from me, if they even heard of EIR film. No response.

Kinda sucks, the shots were one-shot opportunity, some old piles of mannequin parts next to a river, right across from an old power station. Shoulda shot some B&W film also, then I'd at leats have some images from that day. Oh well.


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R.T. Dowling , Aug 13, 2003; 12:02 p.m.

Wow. That sucks. Live and learn, I guess. :-/

Bob Atkins , Aug 13, 2003; 12:15 p.m.

Ever try the telephone? 303 364 6444

Evan Fusco , Aug 13, 2003; 12:19 p.m.

Clearly you've had a terrible experience and probably your warning is legitimate. You also will likely never see your slides. BUT, I don't see that you've tried to call them by phone in your post....why not do that, you get someone on the phone, don't let them off until you have a specific name, deadline by which they'll reach you with information, etc. If they can't come through you, at least, deserve reimbursement for your film cost (not insignificant with EIR) and an apology and probably free processing on your next 2 rolls.

I love e-mail, but as a means of conflict/dispute resolution it sucks. A registered delivery confirmation letter to the Owner/manager of the operation with CC to the BBB of the area and the CEO of the BOD (if there is one) are also effective.

I'd start with the phone call and at least find out if and when they got your film, what might have happened to it, did they ship to a wrong address and it got returned and they didn't know what to do with it, did they damage it and just were afraid to contact you? Anyway, once there's a human on the phone something in the way of answers will be forthcoming.

BTW, their phone number is: 303 364 6444

Alessandro Machi , Aug 14, 2003; 01:38 p.m.

Response to Rocky Mountain Film Lab - use the phone!

I think Evan is right on. There is a great dividing line when it comes to the Internet...Many over 50-55 years of age may never get on a computer, let alone learn all that it has to offer.

Not because they don't want to, but because someone has to teach them. Many people in the film processing world grew up without on-line computers, and they may not have incoporated it into their daily routine as effectively as their younger peers.

And don't be too hard on them, these are the same people that invested more money starting their businesses back in the 70's and 80's, before the internet existed, then you may spend on computers in your entire lifetime.

R.T. Dowling , Aug 14, 2003; 08:14 p.m.

There's no excuse for not answering a customer's e-mail. I don't care whether the business owner is computer illiterate or not. If he isn't going to answer e-mail, he shouldn't have published the e-mail address. That's like putting an ad in the yellow pages of the phone book, but never answering the phone.

J. Raabe , Aug 15, 2003; 10:54 a.m.

Bob, Alex, Evan - I'll grant that. I COULD call them, I just figured I might start yelling at people, and I don't need to do that. I really do have way more images than I can scan & or print anyway. I would like those images, though.

I don't think they have any excuse, because they put up a website and it's not one that looks hastily done. The DR5 lab doesn't always respond right away, but they DO respond to email - I like them, they do good work.

Brainbubba Motornapkins , Aug 15, 2003; 01:57 p.m.

If the films were mine, I would definitely phone them. Ever consider the possibility that they never even received your film in the first place? How did you send it?

There are many, many companies out there that have a 'web presence' but absolutely do not 'get' the internet (including email), and do a terrible job of managing transactions and handling customers <cough>. Or they farm the job out to the cheapest bidders who don't give a rats ass about properly servicing their customers' customers.

Give them a call, ask if they received your film and if so, what stage is it at? If they screwed it up at the very least they should send replacement rolls, and throw in free processing.

If they say they never received it, you are SOL. But if you don't call them you are definitely SOL, and you will never know who exactly is to blame: you, the courier, or them.

Eric Rose , Aug 15, 2003; 05:31 p.m.

Ok RADAR you've had plenty of time to call them since you got the number here. Have you? What did they say? If you haven't then I guess it's just not that important.

I think if the shots were that important to me I would have called them before I sent the rolls, just to make sure they still do the work and what it would cost me.

Donald Davis , Aug 17, 2003; 12:22 a.m.

While I have not lost any film, I did have the same experiences with regards to RMFL not answering emails. I agree that there is no excuse to not answer emails as it is bullcrap to expect people tp spend even more money in the form of long distance charges. I wanted to ask them things like current turnaround times with TechPan and Konica and Kodak B&W infrared films. Nothing... Oh well fools, you JUST lost a lot of business. I went to Images Photo, a black and white only lab, out of Tucson, AZ and have been really satisfied. They can print TechPan and IR films FAR BETTER than even RMFL ever could...and for less! I also use them now for standard B&W develop and print work. RMFL lost the ability to get about 100 dollars a month in business from me. All that because some fool was too lazy to send out a 3-5 minute email.

That is too bad as RMFL was just awesome about 12+ years ago. Being able to have them mix a batch of Microdol for several rolls of PanF or Plus-X was awesome. And their Exhibition weight fiber base enlargements just were gorgeous. That's ok as Images Photo does the same level of work with better prices.

RADAR, did you need the critical coloration of EIR exposed at ISO 100 and developed using the AR5 process? If not, you are aware that you can expose EIR at ISO 200 and use the common E6 process, albeit at the expense of higher saturation and contrast? Not trying to be patronizing. Just curious about it though.

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