General Interest

Locked VERY DISAPOINTED

I’ve been trying to reach and get a clear and concrete answer from Blurb, for about a week!!!

I have placed an order, and knew that it would be a very tight "timeline" between the upload September 26 ,  the "estimated" shipping October 4th, and my absolutely need to have the book delivered on Friday October 05th.  It was supposed to be a gift from a mother to his daughter on her sweet sixteen party.

Well, after trying and trying in vain to get any clue from Blurb Customer Service, if the book wether would be shipped today, or not. The only answers I got was:

Maybe, might, we believe…

But actually, it really sounded as nobody has any access to the "printing location" as nobody could tell me anything like:

We just checked, and yes your book will be shipped on Thursday, or…

Sorry, but unfortunately it won’t be shipped on Thursday, as shown on your estimated date.

Now is exatcly 9:10 PM, I checked out my order status, and it still "PROCESSING" . So, I believe the book "might" "maybe" be shipped tomorrow…and all the project has been ruined already. As it won’t be possible to be given as a gift during the party.

I even paid for the fastest delivery service, and more expansive too. UPS Express.

Now, if  the Customer Service had told me that my book would not be able to be shipped on time. I would have saved money choosing a ground service, and, would have told the mother to think about another surprise to her daughter…

But everything was based on "maybe…might…belive"

 

Cristiane Marques

Posted by
krismarx
Oct 4, 2007 6:37pm PDT
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krismarx
 

I mean very Disappointed!!!!

Posted by
krismarx
Oct 4, 2007 7:06pm PDT
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krismarx
 

Hi

I am sorry to hear you are a tad upset, but surely if you knew the timeframe, which on the face of it appears to be a pretty tight one, to have confidence in any printer. I need my book for the end of October so sent to Blurb on 30th Sept, even though I know their service to me previously was very good, being delivered before time. I think that you need to allow a minimum of 10 working days for any printer and sometimes even 14 for a local printer! I think that you are taking Blurb to task, rather than looking carefully at  your own project management timeframe. If you do get it for the 5th let us know and if not when. There is a saying I believe that a poor writer always blames the publisher, who in turn blames the printer.

One thing I have learnt in life is that when it comes to delivery of anything "There is definate possibilty of a maybe" , so I always plan accordingly.

Posted by
shed8b
Oct 5, 2007 12:30am PDT
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shed8b
 

Thanks Shed8b.

 

Actualy I am very upset and very angry, because nobody from Blurb could actually tell me when (FOR SURE) my book was supposed to be done. So, I still have a "estimated date" of YESTERDAY (October 04) for shipping. But…this project still "PROCESSING" though.

I know the timeframe was really tight, but I’ve been in touch with the Customer Service about this job since the very beginning.

They could have told me:

We’re sorry but due to ….. your book won’t be able to be shipped on time.

But still, I haven’t received even a decent reply for my last 2 or 3 inquiries.

I don’t care if the job is sent to be printed in Madagascar. they should be able to contact whoever is in charge, or responsable for it, and get a concrete answer for my question.

I’ll see how long it will take until someone from Blurb answer me. 

Posted by
krismarx
Oct 5, 2007 7:35am PDT
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krismarx
 

I am sorry for my typos. I am really upset, for being ignored by Blurb.

Posted by
krismarx
Oct 5, 2007 7:47am PDT
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krismarx
 

Give them a break!  These are contract printers not owned by Blurb.  I doubt they’re likely to send someone out to the printer to stop the presses to find the status of your book.  As I understand it,  the whole process is automated and subject to demand.  If as one of the staff stated they are turning out "several thousand" books each week, yours is just one in a very long queue.  By my calculations they have til Oct. 10 before they’re outside their "should take 7 to 10 business days" promise.  One reason they are able to do books at the price they do is the automation they’ve set up.  If they have to hand-hold every buyer that didn’t get his act together in time, the price will have to go up for us all.  From what you’ve said, Blurb isn’t ignoring you,  you just don’t like their answers. Read the FAQ on shipping time.  Your disappointment on this, appears to be your own fault.

Posted by
yonosey
Oct 5, 2007 11:18am PDT
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yonosey
 

I’m not running for election but how’s this for a reply? I agree with all of you. If I paid for Express UPS and the book was not shipped on the projected date I’d be upset. On the other hand that was a great risk since there is no evidence that Blurb’s estimated ship date is any thing more then your order date + x days with no regard to the printers work in progress. They could have a 6 day back log and Blurb would still indicate the same ship date.

On the other hand customer satisfaction should be just as important to Blurb as book quality. I have seen previous complaints about not knowing the progress of an order. It would seem to me that Blurb should respond to this complaint in a positive way. "Order received", "order processing" and "order shipped" is not enough information for many of us. In addition accurate information is important. The estimated ship date should be based on more than a guess (My assumption. I’m willing to be wrong.)

As one respondant indicated the process is very automated,  at least for the distribution and printing of the books. With such automation it is possible to know where a single book order is in the chain if the order numbers mean anything. It does take good software to keep track, but it is possible.

Now for some good news (or is it?). I just received (20min. ago) two orders from Blurb by UPS. just 20 min. ago. Actually just after I read the original complaint. Both of my orders were to be shipped on October 2nd and were still being in  "processing" this morning. In fact they are still in process as I received them this afternoon. My third order is still processing with a ship date of October 4th. My point is that the online information only leads to customer frustration and not satisfaction. By the way the books I received a great. One is a "proof" and the second order was for another 6 that I previously proofed. I love the quality and will continue to use Blurb but still think in the long run Blurb has to fix some of their processes.

Posted by
lcarreira
Oct 5, 2007 12:14pm PDT
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lcarreira
 

Thank you very much Icarreira!!!! You have said, everything I had in mind.
Congrat’s on your book I bet it’s beautiful!

I know how printers works, and unless you are very unprofessional or amateur, you cannot say that because you have thousands of oders, you has no way to find out a status of your order…because you are just one number between thousands… c’mon

This is not MY fault as "yonosey" stated, because even before I upload the book I contacted Blurb to let them know I was working on a very tight time frame project.

As you’ve said I paid for the UPS Express which cost me almost the price of the book, because I needed to have it by a certain date. I even called UPS, to try to arrange a pick up (in case Blurb, couldn’t ship it on time).

I am not complaining about the book product itself. I don’t mean to offend anyone, and if I am referring to Blurb it is because I am dealing with Blurb, not with a contract printer anywhere else.

Blurb has to stand behind the quality of their books, but also has to be reliable. As I have seen lots of people using Blurb for professional projects.If you go to "order and shipping FAQ", you’ll see that it says:"It takes 5 to 6 business days in production" So, if the book had been uploaded on Wednesday (BEFORE 6AM), to October 04 are 7 days in production already!
I didn’t get "yonosey" "calculations" to have ‘til October 10th…

Now I want to make it clear, I have nothing against Blurb. I am just very upset and disappointed by the lacking of communication. This project was very important, and I didn’t just sent it in expecting to get it today…I communicate very well and clearly how important it was , and the necessity of having it on time.

Now, what is deal if you pay for express delivery, considering the time of the production, if you can have it? What happens when your product is not shipped on time?
Probably as it is "my fault", is also "my problem" and I should carry out the damages.

Please people, don’t get offended, I have nothing against Blurb. I was just trying to solve my problem.

Just imagine…

You are about to go away on a long weekend vacation , then you order online a Mountain Bike ( the website provides a date for shipping) which is suitable for your needs. In order to get your product, you even pay for the fastest and more expensive delivery method.
There is no backorder message, or (because we bring thousands of this product from overseas we cannot be reliable on our time frame).
Guess what? You don’t get it on time.

A Company that stands behind their products and their mission:
"We’re  really sorry it had happened. Now, there is  something that we can do to  show our appreciation for your business"?

A Company who doesn’t care:

"We’re sorry, but there’s nothing we can do". It happens.

This is what really makes me angry.

You have to stand behind your product no matter what. If something goes wrong, it is your fault, you messed up. Don’t blame a third part contractor.
I own a business in two countries and no matter what, if something goes wrong. to my clients, it is my fault. In this specifically case,  I have already  apologized to my client; saved all the pictures I have used for the books, run into a printing shop and had everything printed and "bidinged" in Three hours. I drove to my client and delivered it as a "backup" of the book, and because she trusted my company to do business with, it is not her fault that she decided to go for the book just three days before I uploaded it. I stand behind my company, and my mission.
I would never tell her, it was "Blurb’s" fault, or the third part.
Instead, as soon as I got confirmation from Blurb that my book hasn’t been shipped last night, I just run to find a solution for my client.

I told her that I won’t be charging for the book (since she didn’t get it for the purpose she wanted).

I just got a phone call from her  an hour ago, and she said that her daughter just loved and was overwhelmed by the "backup" book, She can’t wait until the real one arrives.
Also she said, she will be paying for the book and will definitely work with my company again, as she truly appreciated the way I handled the situation and for being honest with her.

I stand behind my company and the services I sell, no matter what.

Cristiane

 

 

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Posted by
krismarx
Oct 5, 2007 3:57pm PDT
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krismarx
 

Hi Cristiane. I’ve read your posts in this thread and am aware of your communications with our Customer Support. I feel bad that your deadline was not met. I know your intentions were to have an amazing book in hand.

I know that you’ve felt our communication was lacking in this process, but as your Customer Support rep stated, once a book is uploaded, ordered, and entered into the printing process, there is nothing we can do to speed it up or change anything. We state that clearly in our FAQs. No rep can give you an exact time when a book will ship; Blurb does not work that way because printing does not work that way.

Blurb books take 5 to 6 days to print, which we state on our Pricing and Shipping page. Then, depending on which shipping method one selects, it takes approximately another 2 to 6 days for the actual delivery. To Canada, it states on our website that UPS delivers on business days, so weekends are not targeted for delivery. Many factors can contribute to a delay in printing or shipping. Delays are actually very, very  rare, but they do happen.  And we apologize when they do occur.

We stand behind everything we do and regret that, in this case, your order’s shipment  has been delayed by a day. (It has entered the shipping process, this was confirmed). Your experience has shown us that we can improve our communication and I encourage you to email us on the Content Team, and let us know where you think we can convey better messaging to avoid a situation like this in the future. Here is an email address that reaches us: blurberatiblog at blurb dot com. 

Again, I’m sorry that your experience (and tight deadline) proved problematic. My hope is that when you do get the book, you are thrilled with the product and that it overshadows the shipping delay.

-Allison 

Posted by
allibehr
Oct 5, 2007 5:27pm PDT
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allibehr
 

HI Alison,

 

Thank you very much for your response.

I just want to clarify that I never wanted my project to speed up during its processing time. Maybe I didn’t express myself in a right way.
The only thing I wanted to know was if that would meet the deadline  and be shipped on time (estimated date). I was aware of the production time and delivery time, and everything could have worked just fine if not delayed this one day only. The problem with it is that it fell on Friday, no UPS Delivery on Saturday.. therefore, I’ll get the book probably on Wednesday.

I just want to say that I really appreciate your message and interest in listening what I have to say.

By the way I am not that anger anymore, as I was able to find a alternate solution for my client, and she was really happy and did appreciate my efforts in trying to make it happen.

I have to admit that now I am just Cristiane Marques, a consumer. But until I find a solution to cover that whole, I was only talking business.

I did state in the post that I have nothing against Blurb, and was just trying to solve a problem, because I can see a huge deal in Blurb. But, as others have state it too, it fails during the process, and I strongly believe that it is a communication matter, and it can definitely being improved!

I think there’s a lot Blurb can do to avoid situations like this in the future.

Everything I have written about this specific situation I did because I can see the "gaps" but also I am sure it can be improved, and as soon it happens nobody will beats Blurb.

All the best,

Cristiane

Posted by
krismarx
Oct 5, 2007 11:14pm PDT
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krismarx
 

Hi Krismarx

This has been a vary good thread and I must say an interesting one. I was pleased to hear that you had a plan B that worked and that you have got a response from Blurb. I think that Christiane Marques the consumer  is right. Anyway thanks for the thread, for someone who like me is a newbie to all this the thread proved invaluable.

Shed 

Posted by
shed8b
Oct 7, 2007 12:39am PDT
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shed8b
 

Thanks Shed!!!

I’d like to state here, that I got my book on Tuesday. The book is just amazing, I was wondering because I had uploaded  my own style pages (some), and therefore I was wondering if it would work out fine, specially the cover. it did!!!

I followed the instructions to "upload my own designs" and everything worked out great!

The printing quality is amazing, and the finishing as well.

My client is thrilled!!!

 

Thanks!!! 

 

Posted by
krismarx
Oct 10, 2007 3:02pm PDT
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krismarx
 

Good to hear! I was already sending out promos without seeing the book first. I know.. my bad.

I was pissed that I didn’t know I could put 40 pages for the same price as 20… but now…. if the first one works out OK.. maybe I’ll just publish a "Portfolio: Volume Two" since my first book is "Portfolio: Volume One". No sense in givin’ it all away on the first run. Might as well make a second book to sell. ;-) 

Posted by
skiphunt
Oct 10, 2007 3:14pm PDT
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skiphunt
 

Hey Kris

Pleased to hear that you were amazed with the output, even if the throughput was a bit stoghy…lolol Bet the client was thrilled with the artistic imput and your talent, as well as with the printers standards!!!

 

Shed 

Posted by
shed8b
Oct 16, 2007 2:10pm PDT
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shed8b
 

Just sounds like you were hoping that it would only take a few working days to make and ship.  I a world that is in computer speed there are still many things that are still at a snails pace.  So sorry to hear about spoiled surprise.

 

Marin

marinchipcarving.com

Posted by
marincarving
Nov 12, 2007 3:45am PDT
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marincarving
 

" I own a business in two countries and no matter what, if something goes wrong. to my clients, it is my fault."

If this is the case, then either a) it is your fualt, or b) the client has unreasonable expectations.  I’m guessing it is B.  It’s important in business to make clear to your clients what your capabilities are, and that their responsibility to plan is as great as yours is.  

If a client rolls in and says "I need a photo book designed, printed, and bound in three days" then they are asking for somethign unreasonable.  If you are telling your clients that you have the capability to do that, then you are overpromising.

 

 

Posted by
justiceiro
Nov 16, 2007 9:03am PDT
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justiceiro
 

Christiane,

are u still disapointed…....listen to shed…......

and so say all of us….....

ian

Posted by
MCLEISH
Nov 18, 2007 3:38pm PDT
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MCLEISH
 

Thanks McLeish

The fact is that I am still surprised that people make comments on the quality of printing… I have compiled an account that covers a period 1950 to 1967, all the photos were well used and as you can imagine quality was not the best. The account was produced at 160 pages with soft and hard cover there were some recent colour photos as well and  in excess of 30,000 words. I chose 7×7 and used an arial font to enable ease of reading as the youngest person would be aged 75 and over but also if children picked it up. People have said how clear the photos are and that they can read it without spectacles.

I am extremely pleased with Blurb and I am now compiling part two, I am though still anxious as I have requested another 20 copies being processed at the moment and used a different colour on the cover. I still hear of binding problems etc and would be so kind if those that complained of Blubs quality would come back and say if it has been resolved. Coming on the forum and having a pop is great if it iswarrented, but in a feed back loop, coming on to say what the outcome was can in many cases be more appreciated by Blubarians.

Or am I in a minority?<cite>?</cite> 

Posted by
shed8b
Nov 21, 2007 4:59am PDT
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shed8b
 

shed8b, I absolutely agree with you. Knowing the out come would be appreciated. It seems like some of the threads go on much too long.You can’t tell if there was a resolution at some point and the issue is a new one or not. I think Blurb staff could monitor the postings a little better. I’ve seen complaints that go back to June or August that makes me wonder if it is exactally the same problem or a new one.

Posted by
lcarreira
Nov 21, 2007 11:27am PDT
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lcarreira
 

Lacarreira

I have just been on another thread with similar issues about quality customer service etc and posted there. Anyway take care.

shed 

Posted by
shed8b
Nov 22, 2007 9:27am PDT
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shed8b
 

Madam… you need help

Posted by
peterkirchem
Nov 28, 2007 4:42pm PDT
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peterkirchem
 

Thanks to all of you!!! I really appreciate your help, words, opinions, criticizes…etc…

Problem has been solved! Everybody is happy!

Thanks Shed8b for your support .

Justiceiro, I agree with you. If something goes wrong, no matter what, that would be my fault! That’s why, from now on I add 10 more days to the Blurb specified delivery time.

 I agree as well that this thread is already old!!! :)

Thank you all!!! 

 

 

 

Posted by
krismarx
Apr 24, 2008 10:09am PDT
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krismarx
 

Hey folks,

I’m going to close this thread because it’s gotten a bit long and out of date – it started back in October!

Feel free to start up another like-minded topic in any of the categories.

– Kathy 

Posted by
kathybad
Apr 24, 2008 12:20pm PDT
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kathybad