Thursday, January 3, 2013

It must be time, huh?

Time to get back into the blogging groove? I must admit, the "vacation" from it has been nice. ;) But all our celebrating is done (and a great time was had!), so I have no more excuse. I even got all the decorations taken down and put away yesterday after J&A left, sheets washed and returned to the guest bed so I could have my sewing room back, and the house nearly back to normal, so I guess the blogging should get back to normal, too.

I'll start by showing you a little project I had made for Courtney for Christmas. Awhile back I'd bought a Groupon deal for a personalized puzzle from PuzzMuzz, a division of Red Tag Prints. The only reason I'm giving you their name is to recommend you do NOT buy from them! I'll show you why.

When I went to upload a photo to have made into a puzzle, I discovered the resolution of my photo was not high enough. Checking things out, I also discovered my camera could not even take photos with the high enough resolution recommended for a good puzzle turnout. Okay, that problem was mine... my camera is old.

I contacted my personal graphic designer to see if she could help with the problem. She suggested using several photos and making them into an image with high enough resolution to be satisfactory. I asked if she'd be interested in the job, and she took it on (kinda the way I take on certain sewing projects for her). Here's what she came up with:

Pretty cool, huh? She added a lot of little embellishments as "clues" for helping put the puzzle together. So I uploaded her image which was the exact resolution required, and all went well there (even though in the process I was warned that it was not high enough resolution to print well - what???). It even got shipped very fast... the next day, if I remember right!

BUT, when I received it, I was very disappointed. First of all, the packaging was lousy! It came in a flattened cardboard box, with only a little brown paper wadded against it. In shipping, the box had bent a bit along the folds of the box (well, duh!), so the puzzle was bent along one column of pieces. I was able to straighten them out, so that wasn't too bad.

BUT, look at the color of the puzzle:

It was hard to get a good photo because of the cellophane wrapping, which of course I couldn't take off, but the color is not affected. Look how dull and drab it is compared to the original. Sad. :(

The deal also included a print of the same photo, which was meant for framing/hanging. It did not look any better:

Here's a close-up of the most noticeable color difference. Yuck.

I didn't complain to the company, who does offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I figured if they reprinted it, it would just turn out the same, anyway. I did decide I'd never use their services again!

I printed a copy of the photo myself and glued it to a little box to store the puzzle pieces in. Even my printer does a better job than they did! See?

Well, awhile after receiving my order, I got an email from the company asking me to fill out a survey about my satisfaction with my order. I very willingly decided to do that to let them know how unsatisfied I was! Ha - the survey had 3 brief multiple choice questions, and not even an option to explain why I was not satisfied.

Then a couple days later, I got an email from Groupon asking how satisfied I was with my order. Hmm... I've never had that happen before, and I've ordered numerous things via Groupon. I suspected they had possibly had complaints about the print company. So I told them what I thought, about both the packaging and the color.

Next I got an email from a representative from the print company asking how I liked my order! So I told him, too! We emailed back and forth a few times, and he asked for files of the photos I'd used, etc., and said they'd work on making it better.

Some time later totally unexpectedly, I got a replacement order. This was packaged VERY nicely! It was in a perfectly fitting box, with the little airbag packing things around it, and it even had one of those plastic straps around the outside of the box to make sure it didn't come open. Great!

BUT, the puzzle and print looked just like the first one. Boo! :(

I told the rep I'd been emailing with that I'd received the order, and he didn't even know anything had been shipped. So he checked things out, and much later informed me that this was the re-done puzzle, the best they could do. Phooey! I am certainly glad I hadn't paid full price for it!

So that's the puzzle Courtney got for Christmas. And I have the extra one that she and I can put together here. At least we can have some fun with it, even if they don't look the best.

And now you have the long story that I didn't make short. I guess I could've just said don't buy from that company because they do a lousy job. But that's not me. Ha!


annie dee said...

Glad you're back online but sorry to hear your story. The personalized puzzle for a gift idea is a very good one. Seems like the company should just get themselves an HP laser printer from the local Office Depot!! Their customer service gets kudos though. Ah well.
Happy New Year!

Grandma G said...

Thanks, Annie!