ORLANDO, Fla. - Dozens of parents claim a photographer charged them thousands for pictures they never got.
Their children trained at a cheer camp in Apopka, and they say the company just disappeared with their cash.
The parents contacted Action 9 consumer investigator Todd Ulrich for answers.
Tori Davis trains students at the Brandon All Stars of Orlando cheer camp. She's helping parents who claim they paid a photographer to take their children's pictures, but the photographer disappeared.
“I've emailed once a week from January, not one reply,” Davis said.
The club arranged the photo shoot with Lisa Ringer, who owns DP Photography.
Ringer sells picture packages costing up to $150.
Davis said about 100 families paid for pictures they never got. Hers is one of them.“I haven't seen one picture,” Davis said.
Lindsey Theiss is another parent who said she didn’t receive pictures.
“The fact that she just ghosted with everyone's money with zero repercussions is not acceptable,” Theiss said.
Action 9 found Ringer's company in Southwest Florida. Her company is active on Facebook.
She replied to Action 9 saying all parents were taken care of, then she blocked Ulrich from sending further messages and questions.
Consumer experts suggest only paying photographers a deposit and using credit cards if possible.
“You can dispute the charge if you did not receive what you were promised,” said Better Business Bureau President Holly Salmons.
After parents complained, cheer camp owners said about 20 families got digital pictures only. Owners claim there are at least 100 families who paid thousands upfront.
“They got nothing,” Davis said.
Since contacting Action 9, Theiss’ credit card company sent her a refund, but for her, it's more than money.
“For some of these girls, it was their last year, and now, memories are gone,” Theiss said.
If you're hiring a photographer, especially for big events like weddings, include in the contract a picture delivery date. That makes it far easier to dispute a credit card charge when you don't get your pictures on time, if ever.
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