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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..

Illgetmycoat Tue 27-Nov-12 23:24:38

This does sound like a tangle and poor communication, to be honest, on both yours and the printer's parts.

To avoid this happening again either:

a) ask for a paperstock sample prior to print or
b) if you can afford it, get a wet proof

The print prices for 10,000 leaflets sound almost unbelievably low. I think you should just learn a valuable lesson and specify accurately next time.

RobotLover68 Tue 27-Nov-12 23:24:47

As an ex-print buyer myself (and I think I followed the story) I don't think you'll get very far with the small claims court - sorry, I do see where you're coming from but I also see where they're coming from - I think should cut your losses - going to small claims will cost you more money and you may not win

I would also suggest you don't name and shame as this could be libellous

nitrox Tue 27-Nov-12 23:25:01

vix07 do you think that is a possible solution?

I didn't know what else to say to them apart from the small claims court.

nitrox Tue 27-Nov-12 23:28:57

I'm not really into name and shame, I will leave a review online for others to see, but I don't want to burn any bridges yet.

I just want my flyers sad

I don't see how I haven't communicated well, sorry. I ordered the same as I had before.. they didn't note on their systems that I had a free upgrade, I can't see how I was meant to know that?

I had to order more as their delivery is 10 working days, my current flyers run out this week, I have about 100 left, and I send up to 80-100 letters out a day, so I had to do something.

Illgetmycoat Surely I had a sample in my old leaflet to work from, which is what I did?

Illgetmycoat Tue 27-Nov-12 23:36:12

That's why I said that there was poor communication on both yours and the printers parts. You specified 130gsm to begin with. They had upgraded to 300gsm without telling you. Both of you communicated poorly.

If you order print, you can't be casual about it. You have some responsibility to understand what you are asking for. I'm saying this as a designer who has to order up print and has been doing it for twenty years. I'm really sorry, because I know how upsetting it is when print comes back wrong, but I don't think your case would stand up in small claims.

JollyJock Tue 27-Nov-12 23:37:15

At the bottom of that website page they link to 'a beginner's guide to getting stuff printed'. On the third page of that blog is : this link.

I think you've got a good deal actually. You are more at fault than they are, imo, and they've conceded a bit.

JollyJock Tue 27-Nov-12 23:38:09

I order a lot of printing and I always phone the printer if I have any questions.

nitrox Tue 27-Nov-12 23:43:04

My first order could have been on very thin paper, it wouldn't have mattered at the time as it was just a test order and to see how they went.

But based on that order I have (wrongly) understood what 170gsm actually is.

It was a casual order (the first one) I'm not ashamed to admit that, it didn't really matter to me, but now it does as I have changed the way I send items, the business has grown a lot and it's not appropriate to use the old packing methods.

I see what you are saying, but I'm a specialist in Quantity Surveying, so If I told you that you should have known I hadn't added a material in your bill for your kitchen extension, I'm sure you would not be happy about it, as you weren't to know any different.

OTheYuleManatee Tue 27-Nov-12 23:44:08

I'd be unhappy, but I think you have to write it off. Neither of you is really in the wrong. When they made up the second order, the person doing the printing wasn't necessarily the person who took the original order - if so they would not have had anything to go on except the paperwork for your previous order. If that didn't say anything about the 300gsm paper then it's not really their fault that you got what you asked for.

I can see it's really annoying for you and that you'd want some recompense, but actually the fact that they've offered to give you money off a 300gsm re-order seems reasonable given that they made an honest mistake.

nitrox Tue 27-Nov-12 23:49:30

The website I have put up on here is the one I'm placing the new order with, not the one that has done the order we are discussing.

I agree, their website is very good. The other's isn't as helpful.

The fact is if we are both at fault, why am I the only one losing out? I dare say they have at least covered their costs for the printing, yet I'm having to shell out more and more for something that was the same as my first order.

I can't see how I've done anything at all wrong here.. hmm

nitrox Tue 27-Nov-12 23:50:56

I did ask for the same gsm paper as my previous order.

Which, unknow to me and them it seems was 300gsm.

The fact they didn't tell me this for future reference or have anything on their systems to say this isn't my fault at all.

SavoyCabbage Tue 27-Nov-12 23:53:20

I think Yabu. It's likely that on your first order it was not written that you had had the upgrade to the 300, or they would have told you at the time.

You couldn't even remember what you ordered, you had to ask them.

They gave you what you ordered the first time, the second time confused and this would have been what they checked when you asked them.

They have offered to give you the 300 card for the additional money which is more than reasonable. They could have just told you that you had what you ordered and that if you wanted the card it would be the full price.

I think they have done their best.

IvanaNap Tue 27-Nov-12 23:56:20

As a possible solution :

ask if they will give you a supply of blank, cut to size, 300gsm pieces of card.

They save face, printing costs and possible small claims.
You get the faff of having to put something extra in your envelopes but have a quicker resolution and useable support for the product when posted (what is it btw?!)

Any good?
You may want to report your earlier post with your order number on btw.

amistillsexy Wed 28-Nov-12 00:02:00

You opened up a complaint with them and then went to another company and paid them to do the job right. Had you followed the complaint through to the end, you'd not be so out of pocket.

Chalk it up to experience.

RedHelenB Wed 28-Nov-12 08:00:29

YABU sorry!!

Trills Wed 28-Nov-12 08:07:12

The fact is if we are both at fault, why am I the only one losing out?

If you had taken them up on their offer you would both have lost out a little

They would have done the first lot of printing for free. You would have paid an extra lot of postage (over the correct cost of your printing).

I can't see how I've done anything at all wrong here

The only thing you have done wrong is talk about going to court when they have made you a fair and reasonable offer to make up for the mistake.

YouCanBe Wed 28-Nov-12 08:11:32

Mmm, I agree with others that it was a mistake, with fault on both sides, and their offer is pretty reasonable.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Wed 28-Nov-12 08:16:25

Check your original invoice. It should say 300 gsm if that is what they supplied you, with the price for the 170 gsm.

Generally, normal letter paper is 200 gsm, so 170 would indeed be flimsy.

Let us know what the invoice says, as this is key to how you proceed.

ZillionChocolate Wed 28-Nov-12 08:24:41


I don't know which GSM is which so take care to find out if it's ever important. You got what you ordered this time, what would the county court do about it?

I like the sound of ivanap's solution.

LIZS Wed 28-Nov-12 08:24:53

Had you been told at the outset that they actually delivered 300gsm last time , would you have been prepared to pay the extra and how much would it have been ? It seems like a genuine misunderstanding tbh.

nitrox Wed 28-Nov-12 08:34:46

Hi everyone,

Thanks for all the replies.

I'm quite new to business and I guess I honestly couldn't see what people were saying blush I've slept on it and re-read everyone's messages and I have emailed them back to take them up on their offer.

Just to say, they didn't make their offer until after I threatened court with them, initially they said tough luck and they wouldn't do anything.

I do agree I should have known what I was ordering and I will take more care in the future with something so critical to my work.

I certainly know what 170 and 300gsm is now!!! grin

Thanks for the help, I was getting very wound up by all this and you have helped me see that I do have partial blame for it (even if I secretly still think now), and I should have made sure I knew what I was buying first.

Thanks again, and here's to having 30,000 leaflets in a week's time smile best get selling more!

Trills Wed 28-Nov-12 08:37:15

initially they said tough luck and they wouldn't do anything

That's crap of the, Well done for being tough and getting them to offer you something sensible.

SavoyCabbage Wed 28-Nov-12 08:45:03

You could go on Mastermind now with 'paper density' as your specialist subject...grin

nitrox Wed 28-Nov-12 08:50:43

LOL yeah, I won't get that wrong again blush

I guess I can try and make use of the thinner one's by adding some of the card backing, or sending it on larger orders.

& yes Trills, I think that's why I've got so angry about this and lost perspective. From day one they were messing me about, I've had to send samples in the post to them, then wait for them to send them to the factory, then waited for call backs.. and nothing was happening and I was getting really annoyed.

The account manager rang me yesterday and just tried to make out that it wasn't a problem and was very dismissive.

If they had said sorry at first and made me that offer I would have been happy, I even remember thinking I would accept that, but as it went I think I just dug me heels in smile

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

* Sorry can't type sentences this early blush

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