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Walgreens Film Users Beware! Your Negatives will be Destroyed If....
Old 03-25-2015   #1
hendriphile
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Walgreens Film Users Beware! Your Negatives will be Destroyed If....

Went to my neighborhood Walgreens to pick up a roll of developed film, and when I opened the package I found nothing besides the prints but a disk with some questionable quality scans - and no negatives! When I inquired about this, I was told that Walgreens' current policy is now to send all film to a Fuji factory in South Carolina where they are developed and the negatives promptly destroyed. Digital data is then sent to the local Walgreens store where prints are made from the data. By the time you come to the Walgreens store to pick it up, your negatives have already been destroyed and there is no way to retrieve them.

BTW, no one informs the customer of this when handing the film in to Walgreens. There is a poster in the photo department that claims that film development is available but it does not state that the negatives will be destroyed. The person behind the counter claims that when you hand in the film, if you examine very carefully the Fine Print in the paper agreement, it says somewhere that the negatives will be destroyed. But who reads these microscopic contracts when handing in film? So I'm posting this just to let the general film using population know about this egregious activity.
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Old 03-25-2015   #2
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Oof. That hurt!
How can they do this? I'm stunned.
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Old 03-25-2015   #3
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Not unusual anymore. Walmart and several others are actually sending the film out rather than doing it in the store.

I used to have some of my color film developed at Walmart until this started. No longer.
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Old 03-25-2015   #4
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This has been going on for quite some time. Good warning nonetheless.
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Old 03-25-2015   #5
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Sending out is what most shops here in The Netherlands do - but you always get your negatives. This is stupid and Walgreens doesn't say so on their website.
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Old 03-25-2015   #6
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If you can find a "wet" store they will develop it on site with negs and scans.

Sorry for you situation. I was going to use Walmart a while back until I read what they said they did with the negs....not happening.

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Old 03-25-2015   #7
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There are two Walgreen's in my area and one advertised that they would not develop film in house any longer. However, the sign about sending film out did warn that they would return the disk or prints or both, but no negs.

Walmart has been doing this for a while. I won't take my E-6 film there any more.

The other Walmart still processes film at the store, but the people who do it are so careless I won't give them any of my business: poorly developed stuff, chopped, not cut negatives, dusty scans... Not for me.
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Old 03-25-2015   #8
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All these places that send film out are doing it. You need to find a place that still does 1 hr processing or send it out to a professional place that will send the negatives back to you like The Darkroom.
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Old 03-25-2015   #9
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I almost took in two rolls a few months ago...glad I didn't...gotta find another developer...Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-26-2015   #10
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Well I'm still shocked. In my opinion, there is a *big* difference between just sending out negs and having them destroyed.

Good thing I still have my local store with in-house developing for whatever I can't do myself...
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Old 03-26-2015   #11
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That is nothing short of criminal. My local Asda (walmart uk) still does in house developing, but they badly damaged the last film I gave them. Poorly trained staff and no regard for the process. Lucky I mostly dev my own b&w.
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Old 03-26-2015   #12
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What a ridiculous policy ... I'm stunned!
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Old 03-26-2015   #13
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I agree with Keith. This is an absurd policy. Thank goodness we still have two camera stores in Austin, TX that have an in-house Fuji C-41 processor and one pro-lab.
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Old 03-26-2015   #14
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Walmart has been doing that for years. Ridiculous waste!!!!!
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Old 03-26-2015   #15
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I like the clickbait title

Luckily Film Shooters still have the option of Boots to do our film processing - though only C41 Process 135 Film. We get our negatives back, too. It must hurt to have them destroyed without your knowledge.
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Old 03-26-2015   #16
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That's ok... when they did return your negatives, they were usually scratched anyway...
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Old 03-26-2015   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hendriphile View Post
Went to my neighborhood Walgreens to pick up a roll of developed film, and when I opened the package I found nothing besides the prints but a disk with some questionable quality scans - and no negatives! When I inquired about this, I was told that Walgreens' current policy is now to send all film to a Fuji factory in South Carolina where they are developed and the negatives promptly destroyed. Digital data is then sent to the local Walgreens store where prints are made from the data. By the time you come to the Walgreens store to pick it up, your negatives have already been destroyed and there is no way to retrieve them.

BTW, no one informs the customer of this when handing the film in to Walgreens. There is a poster in the photo department that claims that film development is available but it does not state that the negatives will be destroyed. The person behind the counter claims that when you hand in the film, if you examine very carefully the Fine Print in the paper agreement, it says somewhere that the negatives will be destroyed. But who reads these microscopic contracts when handing in film? So I'm posting this just to let the general film using population know about this egregious activity.
I believe I posted something similar about my local CVS, which I used to be rather fond of for their pricing and processing. Same thing, I had even mentioned the negatives should not be printed, just scanned and sleeved. Funny thing thinking back on it, was that they put it in a Kodak envelope, and it came back in one. I remember commenting at the time that was odd as Kodak hasn't processed film to my knowledge, for some 2 or 3 years.

The next time I have film I don't want to develop myself, I will take/send to Dominion/Ace Camera that I mention from time to time.

But sad really.
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processing
Old 03-26-2015   #18
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processing

use precision (see ad at top of forum) flawless work, just takes awhile depending on your postal situation..
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Old 03-26-2015   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
That's ok... when they did return your negatives, they were usually scratched anyway...
I don't understand what sort of pleasure you get from posting this sort of rubbish comment.

Yeah - I'll save you the time of writing "lighten up etc" by doing it myself. But how about you get a real sense of humor first?
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Old 03-26-2015   #20
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Precision Camera & Video in Austin TX provides excellent film development and scanning services via mail. You will get your negatives back. They leave them uncut if requested.

Precision Camera & Video is a long-time RFF sponsor.
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Old 03-26-2015   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post
I don't understand what sort of pleasure you get from posting this sort of rubbish comment.

I wish that was a rubbish comment. When I starting making photographs again in 2005-2006, my local Walgreens scratched my negatives on a pseudo-random basis. It's not surprising that employees who ran the equipment were the key factor. Some performed proper maintenance on the development machine and were careful... others were negligent. These are not well-paid employees.

I eventually wised up and switched to a more reliable and expensive source...my local camera shop until I abandoned film altogether.
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Old 03-26-2015   #22
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Old 03-26-2015   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post
I don't understand what sort of pleasure you get from posting this sort of rubbish comment.

Yeah - I'll save you the time of writing "lighten up etc" by doing it myself. But how about you get a real sense of humor first?
Wow, where did this come from? It's not nonsense if it happens. What pleasure did you get from your biased attack against me?
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Old 03-26-2015   #24
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My Walgreen's store still develops film in house, but they said they'd be shutting it down soon. I bought a DSLR.
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Old 03-26-2015   #25
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Wow, where did this come from? It's not nonsense if it happens. What pleasure did you get from your biased attack against me?
I just don't get the point of these sorts of totally non-constructive comments that seem to me to be proliferating on RFF. Apologies if I over-reacted. I'm just a bit jaded by the lack of constructive discussion on the forum at the moment.
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Old 03-26-2015   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post
I just don't get the point of these sorts of totally non-constructive comments that seem to me to be proliferating on RFF. Apologies if I over-reacted. I'm just a bit jaded by the lack of constructive discussion on the forum at the moment.
Ok. It may have been in the form of a poor joke, but what I said was not nonsense. I've received scratched negatives back from Walgreens and CVS. It just doesn't pay to use these places (unless you have no other choice) was the point of my comment.
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Old 03-26-2015   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hendriphile View Post
Went to my neighborhood Walgreens to pick up a roll of developed film, and when I opened the package I found nothing besides the prints but a disk with some questionable quality scans - and no negatives! When I inquired about this, I was told that Walgreens' current policy is now to send all film to a Fuji factory in South Carolina where they are developed and the negatives promptly destroyed. Digital data is then sent to the local Walgreens store where prints are made from the data. By the time you come to the Walgreens store to pick it up, your negatives have already been destroyed and there is no way to retrieve them.

BTW, no one informs the customer of this when handing the film in to Walgreens.
Looks like a 'perfect example' of the American 'lowest quality and throw away' business model.
Reminds me of my time in the US some years ago.
In the rest of the world companies would be killed if they would dare to do this.

As lots of Walgreens / Walmarts are doing this unacceptable policy for quite some time now, seems that the majority of their customers don't protest.......and so the companies just continue with that nonsense.
So dear customers, either protest, give these companies "a strong kick in the ass" and make a riot, or just change your lab service.

Or maybe just a clever lawyer could make lots of money going against that on court

So what, there are more than enough excellent mail order labs even in the US.
E.g. have a look here:
http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=137289
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Old 03-26-2015   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kossi008 View Post
Well I'm still shocked. In my opinion, there is a *big* difference between just sending out negs and having them destroyed.

Good thing I still have my local store with in-house developing for whatever I can't do myself...
Well, as you are living in Germany, you are living in the country with the best lab infrastructure worldwide.
Excellent film developing 'at every corner of the street' by the drugstore chains Rossmann and dm, and furthermore dozens of excellent professional mail order labs countrywide (lots of them with only 2 days turnaround time).
And local professional labs in the bigger cities.
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Actually Walgreens is one of the last to do this...
Old 03-26-2015   #29
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Actually Walgreens is one of the last to do this...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kossi008 View Post
Oof. That hurt!
How can they do this? I'm stunned.
It's been happening for two years now at various processors housed in pharmacies and big box stores. Walmart does this, as do most others. I only have one big box or chain store that still gives the negs back.

It's now and "accepted" practice that we were not told was happening.

I can only now go to Fred Meyer Stores and get my negatives back. For how long? Even they don't know.
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Actually ... about Walmart....
Old 03-26-2015   #30
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Actually ... about Walmart....

Quote:
Originally Posted by ray*j*gun View Post
Walmart has been doing that for years. Ridiculous waste!!!!!
If the Walmart you go to has a Fujifilm kiosk/stand, and if you put your film in their (Fujifilm) envelopes, and you clearly mark SEND OUT ONLY on the envelope and drop them in the slot of the Kiosk/stand.

My experience has been professional processing, Walmart never opens the envelope, ten day turnaround, no loss in ten years. Cheap, Cheap, Cheap.

And so far negatives have come back.

Also I do this for medium format and have the negs cut and sleeved. Never pay over $10...

Have used two Walmarts now for up to fifteen years on the "Send Out Only" program.

I think in the Midwest, Walmart trucks the film to Dwaynes.

And that's the last plus... shipped on Walmart trucks free of charge. No shipping.
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Old 03-26-2015   #31
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Really?! Who is shooting film and entrusting it to people who are not trained to take care of it?

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Old 03-26-2015   #32
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By the way, are you sure the negs are even being developed? Kodak's ASF (Applied Science Fiction) division developed a machine that could read exposed but not developed negatives, and the end result was to discard the negs.

Read here.

Applied Science Fiction's Digital PIC technology develops 35mm film directly into a high-resolution RGB digital format in one quick step. In the Digital PIC process, micro-amounts of a proprietary developing agent are applied to a roll of exposed but undeveloped film as it is fed through the processor's image-capture engine. The environmentally friendly Digital PIC process requires no water, generates no hazardous effluents, and makes complete silver recovery possible. Next, the Digital PIC system makes a digital record of each image. Once the image data is captured, color data and exposure settings are established on a pixel-by-pixel basis for each element of every image. Complete 24-exposure roll development is accomplished within approximately six minutes of the film being fed to the image-capture engine.

And you know that "complete silver recovery" is like "complete nutrient recovery" when you make Soylent Green.

The product has been scuttled, but that's not to say that the thinking - scan and dispose - is not there. Fuji may have brought that back.

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Old 03-26-2015   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post
I just don't get the point of these sorts of totally non-constructive comments that seem to me to be proliferating on RFF. Apologies if I over-reacted. I'm just a bit jaded by the lack of constructive discussion on the forum at the moment.
Constructive? Destructive is more like it.

The last (and I mean LAST) roll that went through my local Walgreen's was in all regards completely and utterly destroyed about two months ago.

I asked for a quick (1 hour) process and scan, no prints.

Three return trips and two days later ... delay after delay, I received my envelope. It was especially "thick" and I immediately knew that they had run my unrequested prints. Oh well, I paid the full bill and went to my car. I opened up the envelope to find: A roughly folded, twisted, stained, torn heap of [email protected] that was my original film, a handful of prints that totaled maybe 10 of the 27 or so frames from the film, and a CD with same 10 "salvaged" images.

Not a word, not a peep, nothing. Not even a note from the processor as to what had happened. No discount, no freebie, no nothing. I vowed that day to send my remaining C41 off to Fuji. If this thread is the future, then my C41 will be used up and processed with BW process at home (or perhaps I will finally try that eBay processor).
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Old 03-26-2015   #34
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Sad times. I just went to Walgreens in LA, hoping to find the 1 hour processing they were still listing on their website that morning. When i arrived, i was told that location was in the process of dismantling their processor, and they were now sending all film out. Also, that that location was the last location to have a processor (at least in LA). I believe he said it would be a 7-10 day turnaround(!) so i took my stuff to a mom and pop shop instead.

He didn't mention that negatives wouldn't be returned. That's a deal breaker and a bizarre standard to set. I can't imagine customers are 'okay' with that.
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Old 03-26-2015   #35
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My local Walgreens is closed for total rebuilding, so I will be most interested to see whether film processing onsite is still offered when they reopen. I rarely if ever had reason to complain about their work, but the Fuji Frontier equipment was getting balky and something tells me it won't be replaced.
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Old 03-26-2015   #36
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I prefer the enthusiastic over the reluctant. My film goes by mail to Ilford Lab in San Clemente, CA.
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Old 03-26-2015   #37
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Pete,
I found out that The Darkroom and the Ilford Lab are one and the same. If you go thru the Darkroom, you get the same work minus the Ilford labeled CD for a lower price. If you get prints they are on Ilford B/W paper. I have used them extensively and the results are great. I got this info from a Darkroom employee.
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Old 03-26-2015   #38
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Pete,
I found out that The Darkroom and the Ilford Lab are one and the same. If you go thru the Darkroom, you get the same work minus the Ilford labeled CD for a lower price. If you get prints they are on Ilford B/W paper. I have used them extensively and the results are great. I got this info from a Darkroom employee.
Good to point that out. Glad to hear that you've had great experience with The Darkroom. They had a fine reputation, and I suppose that's why Ilford tied in with them, a strong vote of confidence. This lets both know that I appreciate their service and Ilford's interest in delivering results to us. I get processing and small scans and it's always good, QC card included. That's what I was used to with Gamma in Chicago for a long time.
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Old 03-26-2015   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mani View Post
I don't understand what sort of pleasure you get from posting this sort of rubbish comment.

Yeah - I'll save you the time of writing "lighten up etc" by doing it myself. But how about you get a real sense of humor first?
I thought it was pretty funny.. it is true after all. I had some film developed at walgreens once. They gave my negs back, but they were pretty messed up.

Lighten up..etc...
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Old 03-26-2015   #40
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I think in the Midwest, Walmart trucks the film to Dwaynes.
Target, too, I believe.

I sent my E6 slides out via Target for several years. What frustrated me was the increasingly slow turnaround time. It turned out, they were on a "route" whereby the truck (or whatever they use) used to come around daily, then it was twice a week, then once a week, then "as needed". Turnaround time was pushing 3 weeks or more!

I've had good luck on the rare occasions I've shot print film, getting it developed at Walgreens. But its been a couple years; I should go back and see if the equipment is still there!
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