Bismarck-based photography business closes its doors leaving customers out of money and memories
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - (UPDATE 6:00 P.M.): ‘We cannot apologize enough’: Owner of Glasser Images issues statement about closure
UPDATE 4:00 P.M.: The North Dakota Attorney General’s Office has now received 172 complaints. Bao Vang, the V.P. of communications for the North Dakota/Minnesota Better Business Bureau, said they’re received at least three new complaints.
Danielle Houck spent the day getting her hair done for a photo shoot that was supposed to happen this weekend.
“I was trying to keep it low cost and now it’s like: ‘You’re out $2,000′,” said Houck.
Glasser Images LLC owned by Jack Glasser sent an email to clients: “The past and ongoing effects from the pandemic have caused irreparable damage that has forced this decision to happen extremely rapidly and immediately.”
Your News Leader visited the downtown Bismarck studio.
No one answered and the door was locked.
In another email provided to us from Glasser to sub-contractors: “Due to closing, we will not be able to provide any payments on any outstanding invoices.”
Marilyn, a sub-contracted Fargo photographer for the company says she hasn’t been paid for some of her work.
Marilyn: “They said they would pay me on time like, they updated my contract but...now I feel kind of tricked because they’re closing,” said Marilyn Elezabeth.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Glasser Images received a $245,000 paycheck protection program loan in April, 2020 and another in $257,500 in January 2021 from Starion Bank to help with payroll, utilities and rent. Glasser Images had more than 60 employees and sub-contractors listed before the website was taken down.
Amanda Sorenson says her wedding was less than 48 hours away when she got the email from Glasser about the closure. She’s one of the lucky ones who found a replacement photographer in time but can’t get a refund on the 5 thousand is spent.
Amanda: “I feel like that’s kind of everyone’s worst wedding nightmare and I’ve actually worked in the weddings and events industry for about five years and I’ve never seen anything like this happen,”
With a dark studio, people are left wondering what’s next.
UPDATE 10:25 A.M.: Parrell Grossman, the director of Consumer Protection & Antitrust Division said the North Dakota Attorney General’s office plans to launch an investigation into Glasser Images on allegations of defrauding consumers. Parrell said the office received 50 complaints and people claim to have given the company deposits as recently as October.
Parrell said each business closure is examined in its own merit.
According to the North Dakota Better Business Bureau, Glasser Images LLC has zero negative reviews or complaints against them over the past three years.
A former attorney for Glasser Images Jon Sanstead released this statement to Your News Leader about the closure: “As a result of a conflict that was discovered last night, I will not be representing Glasser Images in regards to this matter. I am not currently aware of who will be representing Glasser Images or the next steps to be taken by Glasser Images as far as the winding up of its business.”
ORGINIAL STORY: Bismarck based photography studio Glasser Images is closing its doors and some customers are out thousands of dollars.
Some clients received this email provided to Your News Leader: “The past and ongoing effects from the pandemic have caused irreparable damage that has forced this decision to happen extremely rapidly and immediately.”
The email also said people will not be issued refunds: “Due to closing, if there is anything paid, we will not be able to provide any refunds. For this, we cannot apologize enough.”
Abby Ochoa and her fiancé said they paid Glasser Images $5,000 for engagement photos and a wedding package for their upcoming wedding in November.
“Like how do they do that? I mean there’s so many people’s lives and whether it’s 48 hours, two weeks, two months, two years out I mean, just up and leaving them to find someone else,” said Ochoa.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Glasser Images received a $245,000 paycheck protection program loan in April, 2020 and another in $257,500 in January 2021 from Starion Bank to help with payroll, utilities and rent. Glasser Images has more than 60 employees and sub-contractors listed on its website.
Your News Leader has reached out to Glasser Images LLC and its attorney for comment and have not heard back at this time. The business has photographers and videographers in North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Colorado.
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