Sometimes, despite your best efforts and through no fault of your own, your photo book comes back less spectacular than expected. It could be a book’s binding that’s coming apart, a warped spine, bent corners, dark photos, an unexplained red tinge, elements that are cut off but were within the “safe zone” when you laid it out.
What should you do if there are problems with your book’s printing or construction, or any problem for that matter?
1) Check your book out thoroughly as soon as you receive it. Check the binding, check the corners, look to see if the pages came out as they appeared in the preview;
2) If you find an issue, contact the company as soon as you see it. Some companies have a timeframe in which you have to contact them if there is a problem. Other companies may not state a time frame, but the best bet to getting a matter resolved in your favor is to address it immediately;
3) Nowadays there are many options for reaching customer service:
- Toll free phone number;
- Social media: Facebook or Twitter
My personal favorite is chat. It gives me the immediate response and back and forth that I want, without having to talk on the phone. I don’t know why I avoid talking on the phone as much as possible, but I used to love talking on the phone – for hours (just ask my parents). Remember when you (or your parents) had to pay a lot of $$$ for long distance? Now, I do most anything to avoid talking on the phone! However, if the other methods don’t get me through to someone as quickly as I like, I will get on the phone, because let’s face it, sometimes talking to a live human person gets better results.
From time to time I do get emails from readers who are having an issue, who haven’t gotten a prompt return email from the company or the company doesn’t have a phone number. If I know that the company has a Facebook page, I encourage the reader to post on the company’s Facebook wall that they are having an issue and need assistance. I have seen other folks who have done that appear to get the help they need. I’ve also used company’s Facebook pages to ask general questions about a product or availability of a product etc. and have normally gotten a fast response.
4) Be prepared to take some snapshots of the issue. The company may or may not ask to see a photo of the problem you’re having. Now with camera phones I find it pretty easy to take photos and email it to them directly from my phone.
So what usually happens when you contact customer service?
Typically the company’s response is to reprint the book and send it to you at no charge. If the company made the error, that’s the least they can do. I haven’t been asked to send the old book back – which would be a hassle.
Now I know you may be thinking that I get special treatment just for being the super fantastic Photo Book Girl that I am. (I’m being sarcastic here.) But truth is, unless I’ve been asked to review a book by the company (which I note in the review), the company doesn’t know who I am. I’m just a regular customer like everyone else. I’ve been making photo books way before I ever started this blog, so most of my accounts are under my personal email under my personal name, so I go through the same process as you do making and ordering books.
Given all the books I’ve ordered, yes I have had some issues before – and I’ve blogged about those particular issues in my reviews. So far, I have yet to have a matter go unresolved. Even if I’ve had a problem with one of my books, I don’t hesitate to order again from the company if the product on a whole is good and I’ve gotten courteous and prompt attention to my issue. There’s a lot of competition out there in the photo book industry with new companies popping up everyday and new deals offering 50, 60, 70% off and even free books. The companies know it’s in their best interest to keep you as a customer to retain your loyalty and that means keeping you happy!
A note about expired Groupons and expiring deals
A common email or Facebook page post I see is about expiring or expired Groupon (or Living Social, Tippr, etc.) deals. If you’re nearing the expiration date for a photo book deal and you don’t think you’ll be able to finish in time, I suggest contacting the company itself (not Groupon) to see if they can give you an extension. I have had to ask for extensions before and I think all but one time I have gotten a positive response. Other readers have told me they’ve been able to get extensions too. If for some reason the company doesn’t agree to give an extension, note that in all cases that I have seen, the value that you paid for the Groupon doesn’t expire. Groupon has also updated the way your purchased Groupons are organized in your account and this is the language I see on my deals that have expired: “This Groupon voucher’s promotional value has expired, but this voucher is now, and will always be, redeemable for $35 at (X company). All other voucher terms continue to apply.” Groupon also sends out emails now and then to remind you to use your Groupons and I’ve taken to entering the deadlines into my own calendar with my own reminders a month or two ahead of the expiration date to keep myself on track. If for some reason you miss the deadline however, all is not lost, you’ll still break even.
I hope you won’t have to worry about having issues with your books, but if things do go wrong, I hope that these tips will prove helpful if you need them!
Have any tips about troubleshooting to share? What’s worked for you? Comment below…