I am often tempted by lower printing prices to hire online printers. I am always trying to find ways to save small companies and non-profits money on production and I learned that it doesn’t always pay off to save those few bucks.

This past holiday season, I prepared an annual report for a client that they also wanted my help to mail. The art was approved, and went to print. I was just waiting on the list from the client, and then the client decide to mail in house and ship out another campaign at the same time. No problem I said! Shouldn’t have been… I called the printer and cancelled mailing and asked them to ship direct to the client. Great – should arrive in a week or less I was told.

A week goes by and I assume the job has delivered and the client is happily on their way to mailing their project. Then I get the call…. the dreaded “my job hasn’t arrived” call. So I check thinking it must be on the way, but no, there has been a communication error in customer service and they are sorry, it will mail out that day. They say they’ll rush ship overnight and pick up the cost. The next day, nothing arrives, so I call again. They don’t know what happened, but it will ship that day. This goes on for a few more days. I’m fed up trying to talk to customer service managers and apologizing to my poor client. They finally confirm the job has shipped out, but I then find out its shipping to me, not the client. This isn’t rocket science! Honestly, its just one person doing their job right and over the course of 2 weeks a dozen people couldn’t do their job right. The job did eventually arrive, and I was given a bit of credit to use, but trust and confidence went out the window. I guess the lesson is to watch your timeline and make sure you can afford a mistake and time to fix it when you’re shopping for online printing. That certainly never would have happened with a local printer rep.

Lesson learned!