To be massively unimpressed with Snapfish

(24 Posts)
KayElleBee Sun 06-Mar-16 22:20:39

Up until the end of last year I always got photos printed and put them into albums. However, since having my two dc I've taken so many pictures that I'm running out of shelf space for all the albums. With this in mind I decided that this year I was going to start a photobook at the beginning of January, add pages to it every time I took pictures of a day out or family event, then order it at the start of January next year, so there would just be one book to find shelf room for this year instead of half a dozen more albums. I decided to use Snapfish for this as I've ordered from them before and I've always been happy with their photo products.

I started the book as planned and have made ten pages so far. Each page takes a while to do - selecting which photos to include, arranging them, adding text and so on - and I was really pleased that I'd been able to keep it up to date rather than having a huge backlog of photos to sort out after several months. I'd set aside this evening to add a few more pages as it was dc2's birthday last week.

But! This afternoon I happened to read an email from Snapfish, sent yesterday, in which they said they were launching their new website on March 23rd. Great, lots of new editing tools and so on, sounds good. Then almost as an afterthought at the end of the email it mentioned that all current projects need to be finished and ordered by March 22nd or they'll be lost, as they won't be carried over to the new website! I've spoken to someone on their live chat, who said there was nothing they could do. it's been escalated to what the person on live chat called their 'expert customer service' but I'm not hopeful that they'll be able to save my project as apparently the new site uses a totally different tool.

Surely I can't be the only person who has started an ongoing project like this?! They even have templates with the months of the year set out through the book - I can't imagine everyone else sits down with a years worth of photos and makes an entire book in one go? It'd take me days just to sort out which pictures to use, never mind actually assemble them in a book. I was hoping to do it in bits and pieces as and when I had an hour spare, but now it looks like I've wasted all the time I've spent on it so far this year sad angry

MattDillonsPants Sun 06-Mar-16 22:24:41

I think you're being a tad unreasonable. I thought you were going to say they'd lost all your work but they haven't. You like the feature but it's going...keep printing and then make your own book.

AnchorDownDeepBreath Sun 06-Mar-16 22:29:52

It's not intended to hold ongoing projects and they wipe them periodically to clear server space anyway. You are supposed to use the yearly books for last year's pictures, etc.

You might be better off using a locally hosted photobook software if you want to build slowly over a long period.

It's not really in any photo companies interests to let you build a book over a year. They want you to order one now, and then order a new one later. They don't want to host all your photos and layouts for a book that you may never order.

KayElleBee Sun 06-Mar-16 22:51:31

Matt, they haven't lost my work yet, but they're almost certainly going to on March 22nd. I can't get it printed because you need to have a minimum of 20 pages and I only have ten so far, but even if I made another ten, the idea was to have a book of 2016, not a book of the first 2.75 months of 2016. I explained why I stopped printing the actual photos - the storage space taken up by one book is a lot less than several photo albums.

Anchor, I just checked my Snapfish account after reading your comment about them wiping them periodically. They've got every photobook and calendar I've ever made on there going back to 2011, so they've never wiped any of mine. Up until this point it looks like they've never changed their software so significantly that it's meant losing everyone's projects, which is why it didn't occur to me that this could be an issue.

I just think it's unacceptable to let people spend their time on creating projects on the website, then suddenly announce that they're all going to disappear in just over a fortnight with no option to save them. I treat making photobooks a bit like scrapbooking - I like to do a bit at a time when I'm in the mood for it, not spend hours upon hours doing it all in one go, months after the events in the pictures when little details have been forgotten.

Locally hosted software is an option I haven't considered recently so I'll look into that, thank you, although I'm wary of losing the whole lot if the laptop dies. I expected it would be safer stored online confused Last time I used downloaded photobook software I seem to remember it being quite clunky, but maybe it's improved since then.

TryingANewOne Mon 07-Mar-16 02:03:42

Unclench!!

shinynewusername Mon 07-Mar-16 02:09:37

You can email yourself a draft of the book and keep it that way. I think YABU though - as the pp said - it is not a storage site.

playftseforme Mon 07-Mar-16 02:12:14

Try Blurb. I've just created my first holiday photo book after a recommendation from a friend and I'm really impressed. You download the software, and so you can create the project on your own computer, and upload when you're finished.

Jenny70 Mon 07-Mar-16 03:32:11

I make pages one at a time on photoshop and save as jpg on my computer... I like square album so create square jpg image with the diff pics and text in collage. Several photo editing programs can do this.
Then when I have enough I shop around for specials and go with cheapest/best deal. And bonus is you load one image per page (which is actually a collage), which saves HEAPS of time.

YellowDinosaur Mon 07-Mar-16 05:07:43

If you can't work out a way to save it could you at least screen shot each page you've done so far so it doesn't take you so long to redo?

Ohbehave1 Mon 07-Mar-16 05:08:18

Are you paying for access to the site or is it free?

var123 Mon 07-Mar-16 05:45:37

You've only lost 2 months worth so its not as though you have to recreate a whole year's work. You've paid snapfish nothing for the service. They aren't a state funded service - its a private company. I don't see the problem.

chumbler Mon 07-Mar-16 06:32:03

If you complain in the right way I think you could get your jan - march album for free. Keep on at them!

KayElleBee Mon 07-Mar-16 07:28:30

Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. To respond to a few, you can email yourself a link to the book, it doesn't send the actual book to your email though so I doubt it will be accessible after the old site closes. I also get that it isn't officially a storage site, although seeing as they have stored 20-odd creations and thousands of photos of mine, going back to 2011, I don't think it was unreasonable to create and save an ongoing album on there with the intention of printing it when it was finished. Jenny, your way sounds great, not sure my editing skills are up to it though! (and I don't have Photoshop, only the basic photo editing program that came with the laptop and that wouldn't do it).

Hadn't heard of Blurb, I'll have a look, thanks. Screenshotting each page is the best I could come up with too, then as you say, at least I'll have that to work from if I have to redo them all. And no, I'm not paying to access the site and I'm aware that they're a private company and can do as they please, I'm just annoyed that they've chosen now to do this while I'm mid-project and they're not offering any option to keep current unfinished work. It's not good customer service. I could have made a year long album in this way during any of the last five years and not had an issue with it as they've used the same platform all that time. At least they did it now though and not in November - small mercies I guess! hmm Will see if they get back to me by email today as they said they would.

Ohbehave1 Mon 07-Mar-16 08:10:39

So what you are saying is that despite you not having to pay for this and you knowing it isn't a storage site you are pissed off with them for making a change to their site that would benefit the majority of its users.

confused

shinynewusername Mon 07-Mar-16 08:59:33

If you complain in the right way I think you could get your jan - march album for free. Keep on at them

Cheers for that. As a Snapfish customer, I don't want to see prices rise to cover the costs of other customers getting freebies for BU.

KayElleBee Mon 07-Mar-16 09:23:06

No, Ohbehave, not pissed off with them for making changes - pissed off because I've wasted several hours on this project and their attitude seems to be 'Oh well, can't be helped.' I'm totally fine with them upgrading the site, but I think they should have allowed for the fact that some people would have ongoing projects and built in the ability to continue them on the new site. Or, if that was impossible, they could have made it clear since Jan 1st that this was going to happen, on the first page customers see when they go to create a photobook. They should have been aware that some people would start ongoing projects in the new year, it's hardly an unusual thing to do.

leelu66 Mon 07-Mar-16 10:40:14

OP, you don't seriously expect a company to maintain expensive software (and pay staff to manage it) just so that a small number of people like you can continue with your annual album do you?

If you had paid for use of the service, that would be different. YABU, I'm afraid.

I sent my mum a free Mother's Day card using Snapfish (with lots of lovely pics), using a free code provided by MSE.

Mum got the card within 2 days. Excellent service.

BlueMoonRising Mon 07-Mar-16 10:45:06

You might find that you want to redo the pages with the new tools anyway.

Presumably you still have the photos, so all you have lost is the time spent.

KayElleBee Mon 07-Mar-16 10:55:45

Leelu, I agree, the service I've received from them has always been good previously. I've also used codes from MSE and HUKD before and have ordered some great photo gifts from them.

The issue I have is with the sudden announcement that all projects will be deleted in a couple of weeks. If they'd made it clear at the start of the year that this was going to happen then I wouldn't have wasted my time starting this year's photobook yet, I'd have waited until the new site launched. I'm sure that they haven't just created the new site in the last few weeks, it will have been in the planning stages for months, so why not let customers know before they start making photobooks, giving them the option to continue if it'll be finished before 22nd March, or wait for the new site if it won't? It would have been easy enough for them to do.

KitKatCustard Mon 07-Mar-16 11:03:56

I really like Snapfish. They've always been very efficient and done a good job for me but I've not tried to do a year long project

Are you certain it is their fault?

KayElleBee Mon 07-Mar-16 11:29:56

Am I certain what is their fault? That they've announced that they're deleting everyone's projects in a couple of weeks and they haven't given the option to move them over to the new site? And that they didn't think to give prior warning that this was going to happen, so people didn't start a 2016 photo book at the start of 2016? Yes, I'm pretty sure that's their fault..

To reiterate, all of my projects dating back to 2011 are still stored in my account on their site - they've never prompted me to delete any to free up space, etc - so I could have done this year-long project in any of the last five years with no problem. I just think that if they're going to suddenly change that then they should give their customers plenty of notice.

And I agree with everyone saying how fab they usually are, I've used them loads of times, which is why I chose to use them for this project. I don't think that means I'm not entitled to be annoyed at the waste of my time, which could have easily been avoided if they'd just let their customers know what was going to happen much sooner.

KitKatCustard Mon 07-Mar-16 11:58:46

Are you certain that your particular stance is their fault? (Rather than you having unrealistically high expectations of a company from whom you were receiving a free service. And not one they promised you either)

leelu66 Mon 07-Mar-16 12:07:36

Yes, I guess if they could have given customers more notice, then they should have done this, purely from a good customer service view.

It may be that they didn't realise how many customers have ongoing projects such as yours. Definitely a lesson for them for the future.

Perhaps you could save all the relevant photos in dedicated folders on your PC, in case this happens again? At least that way you wouldn't have to trawl through loads of pics to select the correct ones.

KayElleBee Mon 07-Mar-16 14:56:13

I don't know, KitKat, is it unrealistic for me to have assumed the site would continue to run in the same way it always has, or to hope that they would foresee this type of thing being a problem and give customers plenty of notice? Maybe it is. I disagree that I was receiving a free service though - ok, I'm not paying to create the photobook, but it is likely to cost the best part of £80 when I order it. They provide these tools so people will spend money with them.

I'm not using their site for photo storage, I'm just saving the book each time I update it until it's finished, as is presumably intended. If they don't expect people to do that then why have an option to save projects at all? They could have made it so you have to make them and order immediately, or say that all projects not ordered 30 days after being started will be deleted, but they don't. I wouldn't have used a new, unknown photo company to do this project in case it did disappear midway through. I assumed by using a longstanding company such as Snapfish that I was reasonably safe, but I guess we live and learn.

Anyway, I'm still waiting for them to get back to me after the conversation I had with their live chat yesterday, so we'll see what they say. Thanks for all the suggestions of other ways to save photos and sites to use to make this type of book, I'm going to have a closer look a some of them.

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