MarathonFoto SUCKS!

Remember how last Friday I mentioned how I forked over 80 bucks for the download of my marathon pictures?

Yeah, I’m still waiting on that.  I already emailed them to complain and they said “couple of days” — that was 3 days ago.  Their excuse?  “Due to the large number of orders…”  — seriously???  IT’S A LARGE EVENT.  If you’re not ready to handle large number of orders, then maybe you shouldn’t be there at large events, for god’s sake!

Did I mention I used my debit card?  So as of Thursday last week, my checking account was debited of $80.

They are supposed to send me a link.  It’s not like I want a printed picture framed.  IT’S A LINK TO DOWNLOAD.  Nothing yet.

But they didn’t waste any time debiting my account, did they?

I am so so so frustrated.  I don’t even know if I want the stupid picture anymore.  A company like this does not deserve my business.  They are making a FORTUNE on these events (have you seen the prices of the pictures??) and they can’t turn it around at a reasonable amount of time?


Update:  I still get a lot of comments on this post.  MaratonFoto did eventually deliver my photos, about a month later (and no, their customer service never got better).  So if you’re willing to wait (and wait, and wait…) for your pictures, you will get them.  Eventually.  Don’t expect them to reply to emails promptly though.


Filed under Chicago Marathon Training, Reviews

51 responses to “MarathonFoto SUCKS!

  1. YES!!! I too forked over the 80 bucks for the stupid link, and I have yet to see anything…grr…

  2. I only had one picture to order from RNR and it took them 3 days for them to give me my link too.

  3. Tab

    I’ve never run a big event before… is this a common problem?

  4. Do you think you will ask for a refund? I really do think a week is too long!

  5. I have yet to order a “real” photo from an event because they are so darn pricey! Hope you get them soon.

  6. Pingback: Medal Disappointment « I Run, You Run

  7. Liz

    Wish we had read these posts before we placed our order! A simple 5 x 7 small shadowbox … we paid $90 (credit card charged immediately) and it’s been ELEVEN (11) weeks, and still no picture! Emails and calls to the company/customer service have not helped … “it will be there by next week” – and that was 3 weeks ago. Couldn’t agree more with your headline … Marathonfoto Sucks. We’re not registering for any marathons in the future that this company is the “official” photographer. Lousy photos don’t even have the race banner and time clock in the pic at the finish line!

    • Sorry you’re going through that! I did eventually get my links, but it took about 3 or 4 weeks for it. (For an email with links, seriously!) And yep, the customer service never got any better.

      11 weeks is completely ridiculous though. Seriously??

  8. Liz

    No kidding! Eleven weeks, three days and counting. Received an email today from “customer service” that said our picture was shipped 1/27/11. We’ll see … We’re in the midst of a snow storm now, so that’s probably good for at least another 2-3 week delay.

  9. I’m glad I read your review before purchasing for the Cherry Blossom 10 miler. grrrr….

  10. Liz

    Yes, we FINALLY received our order – took almost 12 weeks (yes, twelve). Wonder how long it would have taken if we hadn’t called/emailed/complained/sent a message to the Better Business Bureau.

  11. Di

    Just finished reading your negative comments. Was hoping to order some photos from the London Marathon but am rethinking. Especially as the website collapses when you get to complete payment. Seems a little dodgy.

  12. Well get this… I just completed my first marathon and they sent me a link saying my pictures were ready to be ordered. Guess what? No pictures of me crossing the finish line.


    • I’ve had that happen to me many times before too. It really is frustrating! Or when you’re in a great location and the photographer is chatting on their cellphone, or just sitting there not taking pictures. (Happened to me many times before, such as the Army Ten Miler last year, while I was running in front of the Capitol.) It seems that lately they’re always on a break when I’m passing by!

  13. D

    I just ran Boston–my first time–and my friend (who now lives in another country!) and I made it a point to cross the finish line together and raise our arms SO THAT WE COULD GET A GOOD PHOTO OF US CROSSING THE FINISH LINE TOGETHER. Did they get the photo? Nope! I couldn’t believe it! I’m very, very disappointed!

  14. I have yet to order from MarathonFoto but I don’t know if I want to now. I ran London this year and it was my first marathon. Despite wanting something (more than the medal) to remember it by the price alone put me off. Now reading all these negative comments I really don’t think it sounds like a good idea. Thanks for the heads up!

  15. Maggie

    Still waiting for my plaque from the 10K Irish Sprint ordered in April. No confirmation recieved but they took my money.

  16. Ken

    Just finished my first marathon – looking forward to having a photo at the finish line with my time in the background. 2 photos at the finish line – no time clock, the photographer was up in the announcer’s booth… WTF! It is only common sense to take finish line photos with the time clock in the picture – who hires these guys???

    • Actually, I personally HATE when the time is there. All the races I run are big races, where there’s usually a seeded start. It’s not unusual for me to cross the start line 20 to 30 minutes after gun time due to the corral I’m placed. When the clock is there it’s never my real time, but the gross time — only good if you were at the front of the line! I’m a slower runner as is, but I’m not THAT slow!

      If it was a large race, that’s probably why your time wasn’t there, since it’s only the real time for very few of the people running (the winners!). My Chicago Marathon photo has no time — and I wouldn’t have bought it if there was, since it was a good half hour before I crossed the start (there were so many people I couldn’t even get to the right corral, so I was way back there behind 40,000 people).

  17. Ken

    I think there were about 10,000 of us – no corrals so I was able to squirm my way up very close to the start line for the gun. Only about 10 seconds between gun time and chip time. I guess if I was way back there I wouldn’t want the clock either. Also, for my first marathon I was very close to my goal time and not that far away from a BQ time, so I was excited about having a good photo!

  18. Nige

    Ordered my London marathon photos at the beginning of may from Marathonfoto, still not got them after all this time despite numerous calls and emails which weren’t answered. Can’t even get a refund as the girl on the phone says she doesn’t know how to do it? Scam company or what??!!

    • They’re not a scam company in the sense you won’t receive ANYTHING from them. You will get what you ordered it just takes FOREVER. And you know what, I’m willing to wait, but if it takes that long, just tell me, you know? Don’t promise a couple of days turnaround time when it’s actually weeks…

      • Louisa McGuiness

        Well, they have certainly failed to give me ANYTHING! Apparently there has been a problem with my order for 2 weeks and yet they never let me know. They keep blaming ‘the large number of marathons taking place lately’ ??? OK, thats fine, but don’t offer a service of 4 weeks delivery if you can’t handle it! I have requested a refund, but they are still unsure if they will give me one as it is down to ‘Management’ discretion who are based in the USA? They don’t tell you this before you order!!

        • It’s the same issue I have. They complain about the large number of orders. I ran a marathon with 45,000 people, that sold out 8 months before the race day. It’s not like they didn’t know how many people would be there!

  19. Ellen

    I agree this company looks very dubious. I just receieved an email request to order photos, and I have never run a race in my life. How did they get my email address? I’m nervous about even clicking the link. If any of you feel you’ve lost money, it might be worth pursuing with a Better Business bureau or someone.

  20. Steven Gamage

    Bicycled the Seattle to Portland trip and ordered the photo disc a month ago. Stated delivery time was two weeks. No disc yet and no reply to my e-mail.

  21. Erin

    Go to their Facebook page and bitch about not getting your digital pictures in a timely manner.. They just told me I should have them tomorrow. I’ll let you know if that actually happens. 😛

  22. Erin

    Update: I got the email with a link to my pictures within hours of the post I put on their wall. If you are having issues, try calling them out on their Facebook.. Worked for me, anyway. Good luck to all of you!

  23. Sloane

    I really want my photos from the Columbus Half Marathon, but I ordered photos from them for a race I ran two years ago and got two of the three I ordered. The third was an overhead view of the start of a marathon in Missouri and not the start of the Cap City Half in Columbus. Never got a credit or exchange for the mistake. I won’t order from them again. Super pricey, too. Better to get a friend or relative to catch you at various locations rather than rely on Marathon Photo.

  24. I am a action photographer and I was looking to get into photographing races. I ran an action photography company for 6 years and we always gave photos on the spot, no waiting, but we have not mastered the art of downloading and seperating photos from mulitple runners. Anyway, the reason I found your link is when I typed in Marathon photo your link came up. Ist, I am wondering if, when you ordered if there was a clause any where about how long your photos will be delievered? Second thing is, were the photos you bought on a high quailty paper? From a photographers point of view, I can understand the price because it does cost ALOT of money to run a photography company, but I have learned that the best practice is to deliever items on the spot because there is ALOT of things to do if you upload photos. But our prices are about $25 per image on CD and for prints they range from $22-$40, but they are printed on the spot. We photographed cheer competions mainly. ANYWAY, I just wanted to hear more about your experinces and understand what you want as a customer, as this may be a market my brother and I may want to enter. I am sorry it took so long for you to get your photos. I ordered photos from Disney about 2 years ago and still don’t have them.

    Good luck on your races!

    Melissa (:

  25. charles

    ooohhh…… I should read this article… before I set order…. damn…..

  26. Lynn

    Yes I wish I had read this article before I ordered the photos as well for part of my husband’s birthday’s gift. I was hoping that the link would arrive immediately as it did for the Paris Marathon photos we ordered from a different company. I called Marathonfoto’s customer service line and their system is down so they couldn’t check the status of the my order. The representative said it would take 2-3 days for the link to arrive in my email; but I strongly suspect after reading these comments that this is a FAR stretch. I will know next time and will spread the word among my running friends.

  27. Philip lane

    I waited over 3 months for a certificate, then two came at once. What a joke marathonfoto 😦

  28. Marathon Foto claims delivery in 3-5 business but when I called 20 days after I placed my order I was told the order was “processing” code word for not bring shipped. Lousy service and false advertisement !!!

  29. Kevin

    Marathonfoto needs to be freaking report to the freaking better business bureau. If it’s me but I got a link after making a $70.00 purchase of images in dimensions of only 120×180. Talk about a freaking scam company. With images that small, you can’t even share it on twitter, Facebook, etc. because the images are so freaking small. Heck the images that has the copyright going over it before purchase is bigger. Do yourselves a favor and save your money if you ever have any plans of ordering through these jackasses.

  30. A

    The quality of their photos sucks big time. I take far better photos than they do.

  31. Hey Carla I feel your pain… I started to fix this problem. Its 100% free crowd sourced race photos for any race. Upload any photos you have any you can tag all your fellow racers in them. We have a ton of pictures on there, so feel free to swing by and search for yourself.

  32. Richard La Pirta

    My son ran the Marine Corps Marathon, I purchased for $129.00 a plaque with 2 photos, after 5 weeks I contacted them and asked the status of my plaque, they said there was a problem with the frame, I asked when can I expect delivery, they said they would get back to me the next day received e-mail plaque was shipped. Two days later plaque arrived with dented frame. Would never recommend this company, what a disgrace

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