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AIBU? Business leaflet order gone wrong!

(74 Posts)
nitrox Tue 27-Nov-12 22:11:22

Hi everyone,

Wasn't sure where to put this, but I love Mumsnet and would value any knowledge in this area.

Hoping for a little assistance please as I'm running out of things to attack this issue with.

I run my own small business and 6 months ago I ordered some leaflets to go with my items that I sell. I ordered the leaflets at 170gsm, received them, was very happy.

Just reordered a couple of weeks ago, wasn't sure what I needed as I'd forgotten the 'gsm' of my previous order. So I ordered 130gsm and emailed and said I wanted to same as I ordered before as I was very happy with them.

They emailed and said I ordered 170gsm and they would invoice me for the difference in price. I happily paid and waited the 10 days for the leaflets.

Leaflets arrive and they are paper thin and not card material like previous ones. This is important as I use them as a kind of supportive backing card for the slightly fragile item I send.

I've been discussing this with them for 6 days now. They are saying that on my first order then didn't have the 170gsm, and so they upgraded me fre of charge to 300gsm. They didn't inform me of this, I thought my order was 170gsm.

(thanks if you are still following)

So I've complained, been told I've got what I ordered.. the new leaflets are no good to me, and I've got 10,000 of them!

I've argued the facts over and over and they won't budge. The best they can offer is for me to pay £67 more + £25 shipping for them to re-make them at 300gsm. I really don't see why I should?

I have also had to order elsewhere as my stock was very low and with it being the Christmas sale period I didn't want to run out. So I've purchased 300gsm leaflets elsewhere for £154.

The problem order cost me £144, and now they want another £67 + £25.

Any help with this? I've requested a refund or a free reprint from them, but they are refusing, saying I have what I ordered.

I have the emails from me to them requesting the same as I ordered before, and them confirming my previous order was 170gsm, so based on that I ordered.

They have been messing me about and I can see it going round in circles. I've threatened small claims court and given then 7 days to refund or replace.

What else can I do? Please help..

Trills Fri 30-Nov-12 13:19:18

Did the leaflets from the second company turn up on time? Were they good quality?

Illgetmycoat Wed 28-Nov-12 22:53:05

RedToothbrush, I like the cut of your jib. You sound like a good printer.

RedToothbrush Wed 28-Nov-12 21:34:41

nitrox, as its a bespoke industry its the joint responsibility of the buyer and the seller. You got an upgrade on your original order - you should have been made aware of it, but as a buyer you should also know what you are ordering too. And personally the difference between 170gsm and 300gsm is so much and therefore a completely different product that I would expect it should have come up when your initial order was received. Put simply 170gsm is not a card, but 300gsm is. Its a difference that even someone unfamiliar with gsm should understand when they order leaflets but get postcards back. Its a different product to the order that an uneducated eye should still be able to spot.

You can not pass on that level of responsibility completely to the seller. Pleading ignorance isn't really an excuse. And its your own responsibility to understand what you are ordering or to ask proper questions about it if you don't understand. You would have been within your rights to complain about the original order but you didn't. Probably as it worked to your favour.

Whilst I do have sympathy with you to an extent, I also think you have unrealistic expectations here too.

Situations like this is why I stress about using local companies. The majority will do a proof of some kind to ensure the customer knows what they are getting (and to cover their backsides against people like you who don't know what they are ordering).

Printing is not like buying a book off amazon. It is a specialist industry and you do need to have a specialist knowledge if you are trying to cut corners and costs.

We've had a lot of customers who have experienced with online printers and have eventually come back to us out of disgust and realising that they don't get the same safeguards and customer service to prevent problems if they take the cheapest option.

The system we used was always to supply a customer with a printed proof to sign so they checked for spelling errors or were able to get a good idea of how the product would look in the end. You'd be amazed at how many people expect the printer to proof read their work and take responsibility for their own spelling or similar mistakes. Companies either have to take one of two approaches; a hard line on customer complaints and a reluctance to take responsibility when things go wrong OR charge more to give a level of service that helps the customer and the printer from having mistakes in the first place.

We'd also keep a sample of a previous job, but if you are dealing with a massive company, the practicalities of pulling out a sample for every reprint logistically has problems so the responsibility rests far more on the customer to understand what they are ordering from the word go.

It is one industry where it is very, very true that you tend to get what you pay for if you try and do things on the cheap and trying to do it on the cheap often does not work out the most economic option in the long run. You are buying a service and knowledge as well as a product. So if you don't fully understand the product, employ someone who proves to you that they do and they will guide you through things properly and ensure that you are fully informed.
But too many people don't understand this and get upset when they get their fingers burnt.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 28-Nov-12 21:27:57

I haven't had a 'good price' though, I've paid the same price for 300gsm that you or anybody else will pay by going to their website

You have had a good price. They have just charged you for the 300gsm leaflets - they haven't charged you a penny for the 10000 leaflets you ordered with the incorrect specification - they are absorbing that entire cost for you - it's not like they can sell them to someone else.

DownTheRabidHole Wed 28-Nov-12 21:12:41

You fluffed the order.

Don't ask AIBU if you don't want to hear it.

Actually I feel very sorry for the business in question being bad-mouthed like this by you because of your mistake.

nitrox Wed 28-Nov-12 21:03:51

& can I suggest people read the whole thread before commenting as it's quite annoying having to constantly repeat myself on my first order.

I used card backing, and I was going to add the cheap flyers. It didn't matter to me the thickness, as long as they were decent enough for the application instructions. As I got a card style flyer I thought, these are good! I'll just use these and obviously when I re-ordered I wanted the same as before.

nitrox Wed 28-Nov-12 21:02:00

lovelyladuree

Have you even read the thread?

How must I know what 170gsm was? I thought what I received was 170gsm, I wasn't aware they had upgraded it.

lovelyladuree Wed 28-Nov-12 20:47:00

But for your first order, you requested 170gsm, so you MUST have known what the quality of 170gsm was. Didn't you? You say you needed backing card for the 'flimsy' items you send out, so you got very lucky with their upgrade on the first order. You messed up ordering the cheap 170gsm when what you really needed was the 300gsm. You have absolutely no case and the seller has my every sympathy. YABVU.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 28-Nov-12 20:41:34

Maybe it's a Government scheme around here, then?

I've got - ironically - piles of leaflets from printers with details on. They will even take leaflets printed by other companies, and give you a 10% off discount for recycling with them.

nitrox Wed 28-Nov-12 20:40:35

Down

Read the whole thread and you will see the answer to your question.

DownTheRabidHole Wed 28-Nov-12 20:39:46

Yabu.

Had you not had the upgrade to 300 the first time, would your original leaflets have been "useless"?

You got what you ordered and a firm lesson in the number 1 rule in printing.

nitrox Wed 28-Nov-12 20:38:38

Red

I haven't had a 'good price' though, I've paid the same price for 300gsm that you or anybody else will pay by going to their website.

RedToothbrush Wed 28-Nov-12 20:30:10

The recycling is to stop you getting a batch of 'free' leaflets. They've offered a compromise because the originals were in your opinion - faulty - hence they want them back. So the deal you've got takes that into consideration. It protects their future interest should you come to reordering (which is part of the consideration of offering you the good reprint price which will be at a lost to them).

Piffyonarock Wed 28-Nov-12 20:14:23

Re the recycling, I've not heard of that before, but I've been SAHM for three years now. I think CajaDelMemoria has it right, doesn't make their offer seem generous at all. I'd definitely be looking for a new printer that I could be within reach of for face to face contact if required. Shop around, I was involved with a local school prospectus last year and there was a huge difference between the dearest and the cheapest for print, it is sometimes cheaper to have a separate designer and printer.

Piffyonarock Wed 28-Nov-12 20:09:21

Hi Nitrox, sorry I went to bed and have only just logged back in. Glad it's resolved. I agree with RedToothbrush though, I'd always try to use a local firm if possible, it would likely to be more accurate and quick, and someone can show you stock samples, proofs etc. I still say you were in the right, if they changed the stock when it went to print they should have made a note on your order in case of a re-order - I can't tell you how many alterations some of my stuff used to go through between ordering and it going on the press, and I'd have thought most printers would have a system for keeping track of this. TBH I'm surprised they upped the gsm that much without asking you first! Was v. cheap for 10k though, even with the extra. Hope you have a successful festive season!

RedToothbrush Wed 28-Nov-12 20:01:22

Most print companies (around me, at least) get paid to recycle paper. The more paper recycled, the more money.

I've worked at a printers for the last ten years (well until two weeks ago cos my boss is quite 'special' and sadly I've had to leave).

I've not heard of anyone getting paid for recycling paper in a very long time. We had to pay someone to remove it. If a job went wrong, you don't recoup the cost you have to shoulder the cost. So I'm not surprised at the company being reluctant to take all the blame over this, especially considering how tight margins are in the market at the moment and how many have gone out of business in the last four years. Technically they have delivered what you requested and you got a very good deal first time round.

We had our own printer so did everything we had in house. In the last two years though, every fuck wit and his dog has decided to order everything online. Trouble is most of the online companies are crap. If you have a problem then they are difficult to deal with, and mistakes are common. (We've outsourced to a couple ourselves on occasion too and had experience of them trying to dodge responsibility for poor jobs).

My advice is to use a local printing company - you might pay a little more, but you'll get better service and usually they'll proof your work before printing. They are being priced out the market and it's a real shame. Price seems to be the only consideration people use for printing, but since its such a bespoke service, its an unwise thing to consider in isolation. The way things are going, most printing will end up in Italy and Germany and with shite customer service. We have been outsourcing some jobs as they could print and deliver cheaper than we could even buy the paper for, never mind print in house. The print quality isn't a patch on what we could produce either but we had to do it on some jobs to stay competitive. Its all makes me very sad really, even though I've been forced to leave the industry.

FTW the compromise they've offered is very good.

greencheddar Wed 28-Nov-12 20:00:01

Can I be nosy and ask if they designed them for you too? I need 5000 leaflets and I have been quoted hundreds, the prices you have posted about seem reasonable. Can you pm me the company please. Also where their turn arounds times quick? Thanks.

CajaDeLaMemoria Wed 28-Nov-12 19:21:05

I was waiting for that, to be honest.

Most print companies (around me, at least) get paid to recycle paper. The more paper recycled, the more money.

I guess the company you've dealt with have calculated how much they can get for recycling your original leaflets, and offered that as a discount off reprinting them. In their eyes, you get what you actually wanted, and they get a happy customer and to not be too far out of pocket.

It's worth considering, if you can't use the thinner paper order, but make sure you leave reviews so others know how this company deal with problems. Thats a big thing to take into account when picking a print company.

nitrox Wed 28-Nov-12 18:58:31

Sooo... I agreed to the reprint.

They now want to collect the first leaflets for recycling..

Is this a joke? hmm

Vix07 Wed 28-Nov-12 12:36:12

Illgetmycoat you're not wrong about PI Insurance - most businesses offering professional services including graphic design, IT etc will have cover, it's a pretty standard contract requirement these days. Jessie's post is a good 10 years out of date! smile

Illgetmycoat Wed 28-Nov-12 09:16:36

That's interesting Jessie. I run a graphic design company and handle a lot of print for government. The department we work with insists that we have professional indemnity insurance. I've always assumed that was because it would cover us if we cocked up a print spec. Apparently not!

It's always frustrated me because it is quite expensive I wonder why they ask for it. Would you know?

Good luck with your new leaflets Nitrox - I hope business goes well.

fraktion Wed 28-Nov-12 09:14:27

I think you've resolved this sensibly and it was poor of them to not initially acknowledge their mistake and make a goodwill gesture.

Hopefully you can make use of the other leaflets and have also learnt from this experience the importance of knowing what you're ordering!

JessieMcJessie Wed 28-Nov-12 09:04:36

Nitrox, professional indemnity insurance is not relevant. That is insurance taken out by lawyers, accountants, engineers, financial advisers etc to cover them for liability for giving wrong advice. A printer will not have such insurance. This is a commercial dispute and would not be covered by insurance. Trust me, I'm a professional indemnity lawyer grin

GrendelsMum Wed 28-Nov-12 08:56:27

That's good - pleased it was all resolved.

FWIW, in my experience as a non-specialist you do need to be very careful ordering print. It's horrendously complicated, and it does go wrong. I tend to get on the phone and witter at them again and again about what I want. Physical proofs are very important too.

nitrox Wed 28-Nov-12 08:52:24

* Sorry can't type sentences this early blush

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