diane raulston & ken bank
This is a response to Diane's so called "review" on Yelp.
Calling the police is the *only* thing Diane Raulston did right that day as they quickly shut down her logic and math challenged photographer Ken Bank. More on that shortly, but first to address her litany of outright fabrications:
Fabrication #1: At least 10 fights in 7 years. Aside from the fact that Space-4-Shoots has only been at this location for 3 years, we asked the UPS driver and he categorically denied ever saying there were fights at the studio. Why would he lie about something that didn’t happen? He did however say that he was incredulous at Diane’s behavior and how she was verbally cruel and abusive of the elderly doorman who was doing his job by asking her to keep the building lobby clear.
Fabrication #2: Space not set up. Like any photo studio we provided the requested equipment (strobes, stands, softboxes, etc.) in the studio by the 9 am time of her booking and ready for *her* photographer to set up. She’s either misinformed, inexperienced with how shoots work or jut plain lying here.
Fabrication #3: The steamer takes an hour: Space-4-Shoots has a recently purchased Jiffy xxx (Jiffy’s top of the line commercial steamer). Even with its large tank full, it steams within 15 minutes when operated correctly (you put it on “preheat” till it gets hots and then you turn it to “steam”). Diane wouldn’t follow instructions, was impatient, and turned it to “steam” before it preheated and that pretty much guarantees it won’t steam. Even though we showed her at some point that it steams within 15 minutes when correctly used, she still lies about it here.
Fabrication #4: The v-flats: Diane’s photographer, Ken Bank, without asking or letting us know took the liberty of ripping apart our V-flats (two 4’x8’ foam core boards strongly taped with gaffing tape along one side to create a double-folding vertical board). We told them we would charge $75 to fix them (to cover time and materials and not punitive). They opted to do it themselves (better for us), took the half hour to go to Fotocare, spent $30 plus for the black gaffing tape (he had the white tape). Again, it would have cost us $70 for tape alone and so our saying it’s $75 if we fixed them wasn’t punitive.
Fabrication #5: “an itemized bill is never given”. We use Square’s Point of Sale app and card reader. We select from a menu the items that the customer rented/used, Square does the math, and we showed Diane the itemized list as we do to all clients before asking for their credit card to swipe. Diane saying we were “only a calculation off his phone” is either ignorant of Square or again willfully dishonest.
Now to the heart of the matter: Diane originally booked her shoot for 9 am Friday 8/25. She emailed us 2 pm the Monday prior canceling that booking (i.e. 67 hours before). We have a graduated cancelation policy (on the website and in email) that balances clients’ needs to change bookings and the studio’s likelihood of rebooking a canceled space:
For cancellation more than 7 days before shoot: 100% refund.
For cancellation 5-7 days before shoot: 100% credit towards a future shoot
For cancellation 3-5 days before shoot: 75%% credit towards a future shoot
For cancellation 48-72 hours before shoot: 50% credit towards a future shoot
For cancellation 24-48 hours before shoot: 25% credit towards a future shoot
For cancellation within 24 hours before shoot: no refund or credit
We explained to Diane in email that her cancelation was within 48-72 hours and so half of her $188 deposit would be applied to a future booking:
“Your booking is for 9 am this Friday, correct? Tomorrow/Wednesday afternoon is 24 hours, Thursday afternoon is 48 hours. Friday afternoon is 72 hours, i.e. Friday 9 am is less than 72 hours.”
She replied: “i did’nt understand about cancelation policy at first I do now. Will re-book with you as soon as I find a model.”
She rebooked it for 9/6 and at the end of the shoot when it was time to pay the balance, we applied the 50% credit (i.e. $94), Ken Bank, being the he man that, told Diane to step aside and that he was going to take care of it. He argued that she canceled 3 days in advance and should get 75% credit. We showed him the emails with Diane explaining that Monday afternoon to Friday morning is less than 72 hours and so she only get 50% credit, but he would have none of it.
They picked up their stuff, announced that they were not going to pay, and said “sue us”. Knowing that’s essentially walking out without paying $xxx, we held his cell phone that was on the table simply to keep them from walking out without paying the balance owed.
Ken went from angry to ballistic. In summary he spewed at the top of his lungs non-stop obscenities (f___ u, f___ u, f___ u) only interrupted by his attempts to belittle (“I bet you didn’t go to college, and you probably didn’t even finish high school”) and to threaten (“I’ll put you out of business…”).
He also grabbed the iPhone of an employee who had no part in the disagreement. She was on her way out and pleaded with him to give her her phone. She was distraught and in tears but he didn’t care. We held his phone so he wouldn’t leave without paying. Why did he take the employee’s phone who had no connection to the disagreement, other than misdirected rage?
Eventually the cops arrived (again the only good thing Diane did that day). Ken proceeded to tell them that they had canceled 3 days prior and was quick to show them where our website says it’s 75% credit in such a case. We explained that the cancelation was Monday afternoon for a Friday morning booking, and hence less than 72 hours. The cop asks Ken what the cancelation policy says for less than 3 days, and now Ken can’t find it on the web page (that he just quoted from;) and we step in and provide that info. The cop looks Ken in the eye and says Monday afternoon to Friday morning is less than 3 days and so the 50% credit applies. Touché! It took a young NYPD officer to get it through to the self-proclaimed legal and math expert Ken on what a cancelation policy means;)
We decided to be magnanimous at that point and to give Diane 75% credit instead of the 50% credit she was entitled to, but even then math-wiz Ken comes up with the wrong amount and to our favor. We could have gone with that, but we are straight shooters and stayed with the correct number.
The combination of ignorance and arrogance is toxic, and unfortunately that’s what we had to endure, as a studio, staff and clients, that day in the person of Ken Banks. He stands head and shoulders in arrogance and ignorance above anyone we’ve ever seen at the studio.
Postscript: On November 5th, two months later, Diane files a dispute with her bank and with Square requesting a refund of the $188 deposit she paid for the 8/25 booking even though we had already given her $141 credit for it on 9/6. Square is not stupid and saw through her scam. They know Space-4-Shoots’ track record having processed hundreds of thousands of dollars of payments for us, and so they extended us a chargeback guarantee (i.e. we won’t be charged even if Diane’s bank falls for her unscrupulous fabrications and refunds her $188). .