Portrait Innovations suddenly closes in Fairmount, leaving customers’ orders locked inside: Your Stories

Local News

GEDDES, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The day after Michele Shurtleff got a phone call saying that it was ready, she went to Portrait Innovations to pick up her daughter’s canvas portrait.

As soon as she got there, she found the door locked.

Through the windows, she could see a pile of packages ready for their owners, but that furniture and equipment had been moved out.

The Better Business Bureau out of North Carolina confirms to NewsChannel 9 that Portrait Innovations closed all of its stores across the country, including Fairmount, and that the corporate office in Charlotte has been cleared out.

The BBB is investigating if Portrait Innovation’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a financial reorganization, from 2017 is being upgraded to Chapter 11, which is a shut-down of the company.

In the meantime, Shurtleff wants her $70 in products sitting inside.

Shurtleff tells the Your Stories team, “I’d like to know how I’m going to get my photos. They’re all paid for. They’re rightfully mine.”

Before they closed in some cities across the country, staffs at Portrait Innovations passed off finished merchandise to neighboring businesses, just so customers had access to pick it up.

That’s not the case in Fairmount.

Neither the America’s Best Contacts & Eyeglasses store nor the Super Cuts knew their neighbor went out of business until they heard from customers.

Jennifer Rivera, who manages Super Cuts, tells NewsChannel 9’s Andrew Donovan, “We’ve had people calling non-stop and coming in here, kind of angry. We don’t know how to help them and they keep coming here.”

She called the property manager, but said he didn’t know how to help either.

The Better Business Bureau suggests that customers contact the building’s owner, who might be able to facilitate getting them their products.

Using Onondaga County property tax records, NewsChannel 9 identified the building’s owner as “95NYRPT, LLC,” out of University Park, Florida.

NewsChannel 9’s calls to the number associated with the owner haven’t been returned in the 24 hours since contacting the company.

In the meantime, customers should file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or file a claim with their state’s attorney general.

North Carolina’s Attorney General, Josh Stein, emails NewsChannel 9: “When people don’t get what they pay for, it’s a problem. If you have paid for a service that was not provided, please submit a complaint to my Consumer Protection Division via 1-877-5-NOSCAM or www.ncdoj.gov/complaint. We will contact the business and work to resolve the issue.”

A spokesperson suggests New York customers file a complain with New York’s attorney general.

Your Stories matter to NewsChannel 9. To submit a story idea or question, call (315) 446-9900, email YourStories@LocalSYR.com, post to social media with #YourStories, or use the submission form below.

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