Company Review: Vistaprint

I used Vistaprint for almost 10 years to create Christmas calendars for family and friends. I spend a tremendous amount of time creating these calendars between selecting photos, editing those photos, putting them into collage formats, and then entering funny holidays and trivia on each day of the year. Working with the Vistaprint is always a challenge because I normally enter 2-3 events for each day of the year and each must be copied and pasted individually. They do not have an import function so this process normally takes about 6-8 hours. I then review each month to check for spelling and formatting errors. This is always a very labor intensive process but this year the website had major issues. When I entered too much data in a month the interface would display a large exclamation mark and not allow me to view that month. I was unable to check or proofread the events. I alerted Vistaprint to this problem and the real frustrations began.

I believe that for most businesses, customer service is dead. This seems abundantly true for Vistaprint. I detailed the problem, told them how to recreate the problem, and told them the possible cause of the problem. I even spent an extended period of time on the phone explaining in great detail how to replicated the issue. They were apologetic, told me that their engineers would look into the problem, and they promised to call me back with an updated status. They never called or emailed. I called and emailed them repeatedly about the problem and nothing got resolved. They suggested that I use a different interface that would not allow me to preview my data, they suggested removing events from my calendar, etc. This amount of data in the calendar worked fine in past years. I started working on the calendar in October and after two months the problem remains and I have no calendars.

Out of sheer frustration I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, left a very unflattering review online, and wrote this blog post. When a customer finds a blatant error in a website used by thousands of people one would think that the company would try to fix their website. I spent thousands of dollars with Vistaprint over the years and they reward me by providing a website that does not work properly and giving me the runaround, excuses, and empty apologies. I spent hours upon hours with this issue and Vistaprint seems to have no regard for how much time I have wasted because their engineers cannot create a working website.

After the BBB complaint I finally got a Customer Service person who seemed interested in helping. She told me that she would print a free calendar that I could review before placing my large order. She added Express shipping to it and promised that it would arrive by 12/11 (ordered it on 12/5 or 12/6). On 12/12 I wrote Vistaprint and asked about the status of the test calendar. They informed me that it would not arrive until 12/20. I started the project in October and now I would not even have then in time for Christmas. I got into a very heated discussion with Vistaprint on the 13th and they offered me another 15% off when I made my large order (that offer is nothing more than an insult at this point). Nevermind that they broke every promise and deadline thus far. Now I have no Christmas gifts, I wasted probably 60 hours on this project, and I have no idea when the final calendars will get here. To say that there customer service is horrible is an understatement. Where is the company management in this situation, do they have any sort of escalation process, is there no quality control or testing for their website, do they have an engineering staff that can fix problems? When I asked for the names of senior managers so that I could write them I was told to send correspondence to the main office and address it as, “To Whom it May Concern.” I asked to speak to someone in charge and was told that I could only speak with the Customer Service representatives.

This experience has been thoroughly frustrating especially since I created the same type of calendars for many years. Customer service is dead at companies like Vistaprint. I may not have Christmas gifts this year because their website does not work. I wasted probably 60 hours of time on a project that may never get done. Vistaprint demonstrates everything that is bad in corporations: no customer service, poor quality web interface, and management that cares nothing about the customers that pay for their products.

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