Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Calendar Fiasco

I am in a winter rut.  It seems that everything I touch lately has turned to mush.  Nothing makes much sense, but for some reason I'm not depressed or even in a bad mood.  I just can't figure out why the stars are not aligning or the sun of life is clouded over a bit.  I know it happens to everyone every now and then.  Just read some Facebook posts for one day.  Facebook is the new National Inquirer.  There is a lot of information, but not a lot of accuracy.  You can't believe a large percentage of things posted.  This is why I'm not surprised over my latest fiasco. I'm annoyed, but not surprised.  It started early in December.  Many of my friends have suggested that I make a calendar.  I take a lot of pictures and many of them are of our local wildlife and scenery.  It occurred to me that instead of sending Christmas cards, I would make a calendar to send.  I got together a dozen photos from different times of the year.  I assigned the photos to a month and decided on a format.  Then I started searching for the best deal.  I searched and searched but most of the calendars would cost in excess of $20 per calendar.  I found some for around $7.50, but I wanted to order several which added up to too much money for the quality of the calendar.  After all, a calendar is only good for one year and gets thrown away.  Then one day I saw a Groupon.  Groupon is an internet company that connects consumers and businesses.  It is a way for local companies to find buyers.  I had success with ordering Groupons and thought they checked out the companies they make available.  The company I used to print the calendars was not a local company, but I was lured in by the product.  It allowed me to create affordable wall calendars with my own pictures.  I started with ordering ten (10) calendars.  It cost $50 with the shipping.  Five dollars each wasn't too bad.  I ordered on the 7th of December.  When I placed the order, it was slightly confusing but the code I had from Groupon was for ten calendars, so I wasn't too worried.  I even emailed the company to make sure the order was correct.  I got an automated response that they had received the email.  I even tried to call the company but got a message that they were having technical issues with the phone.  Oops, RED FLAG.  I decided to trust that everything would be fine.  I waited and in about 10 days got an email that my order had been shipped.  I was anxious to get the calendars and even bought big envelopes to mail some out as soon as the order came.  I waited and waited again, and finally on Christmas eve I received my order.  The trouble is it came in a tiny little package.  No wonder the package was small.   I received one (1) calendar that was creased and on very very bad quality paper.  For my $50, I received one ugly calendar.

I was pretty upset.  I have ordered hundreds of items over the years from many different companies and have never had this type of problem.  When there is a problem, businesses are usually very cooperative to make the situation acceptable.  Over a period of time, starting on December 24th, I have called and emailed the company at least six separate times in addition to the initial phone calls and emails.  I have never gotten through on the phone and have gotten the same automated response to my emails.  I decided to quit dealing (or not being able to deal) with the company and contact Groupon directly.  That was not easy either.  To actually find a phone number and email address requires being a pretty good detective.  I got the number and called.  I did talk to a person but had to be transferred to another department.  Then I waited on hold listening to the loud music and messages.  The message stated that an email address should be used unless the phone call was an emergency.  It wasn't an emergency at that time, so I hung up and emailed Groupon.  They were very nice, but required many emails asking questions and me giving them details.  They said they would contact the business and the business would be in contact with me.  I didn't hear a word and nothing happened.  As of today Groupon has given me credit for the price I paid, less the shipping.  The problem with that is it's a credit, and I have to order something from them to use the money.  I imagine I will order something at some point, but I didn't get the cash back and I have not heard a word from Printerpix.  Never order from this company unless you are ready for a fight.  I had read some reviews, and they weren't terrible.  Now looking into this company in depth, I have found I am not the only person having issues.  It remains to be seen if I will ever hear from Printerpix.  Hopefully I will, and if I do I will come back to this blog and update everyone.  I don't expect to hear, and I will never order from them again.  It is no way to run a business.

In the past I have gotten some beautiful calendars from Walgreens and Shutterfly, but they were expensive.  Next year I will research better and hopefully end up with a quality product in a timely manner for a good price.  Now I just have to be sure I don't fall on the ice or burn our dinner and things will be fine.

 *UPDATE*  Two months after my order was submitted, I received nine more calendars.  They blamed me for not putting the right amount in the item box, but in reality it was a glitch in their system.  Several emails and a lot of hassle was not worth it, but it is behind me and I did receive the calendars. 

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