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VistaPrint: Bait and Switch? - Comments

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Have you notified Amazon about this "bait-and-switch" offer? If Amazon knows that one of their advertisers is not truthful, maybe they'll drop them and maybe VistaPrint will get the message. I know that Amazon is huge, but if you let them know of your dissatisfaction (and perhaps include the link to this page), you might get some satisfaction.

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Since I don't know how to get to someone high-up enough at Amazon to do anything, I figure posting this will do it. -rc

While I have seen some of the "it's too good to be true" offers from VistaPrint, I continue to recommend them to my networking friends who, like me, are searching for work and need low cost business cards.

I do agree that you went above and beyond what you needed to do to get the cards.

Lesson learned for me is to watch the charges at VistaPrint. Even with some of the charges, they are cheaper than OfficeDepot, etc...

WHOA - that is really a sucky deal. Never liked their tactics before will certainly never shop there anyway. Hey Randy - we have a color hi-speed laser printer. Not as nice as glossy cards, but we'll do them for you for free.

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Thanks, Claudia, but there are (supposedly!) cards coming from my order, so that'll take care of things for awhile. -rc

Thanks for the heads up - I get stacks of email from them (not technically spam as I signed up) but I don't cancel it as I am going to get some printing done soonish. I have wondered about them as they seem to treat people like idiots in their advertising... pretending a deal is not to be repeated when you have seen it repeated ad nauseum for the past few months in one form or another. Anyway I hope they get the message from this exposure. The fact that I don't use them now means nothing of course, but multiply that by the number of people who read this and I hope they learn a few things about 'good business practice'.

Though I agree that this is quite a lousy marketing tactic, I must point out that the ad says "Upload your own photo", it does not say you can upload your own photo at no extra charge.... (Though, I must admit, I can not see the entire flyer very clearly from your website.)

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I didn't say it did say that. I noted that it warned that "shipping and processing [is] not included", but they didn't say uploading your photo cost extra. It's a minor quibble, and beside the point of the essay. -rc

My original thought was that I would simply order a basic card instead of uploading the logo. Then I thought about it. The logo is an item that is available on all their cards. Why should they not give you the promised deal? By the way, you might want to call Amazon customer service. They not only speak english and are very polite and nice, but they really seem to have some power to satisfy a customer. If everyone had customer service like Amazon, I would probably buy a lot more on line. I still buy from some companies I trust, and until now Vista Print was one of them.

I have a friend who is an electrician (one-man operation). I told him about Vista Print, and he asked me to order for him (no computer). Now even he is out of luck--I won't order for him--he will have to find someone else.

Businesses should know better than to rip off customers in the age of the internet; it's very easy for word to get around. And the reverse is also true: just think how much business they could have made by going "Our mistake, but we'll honor our flyer, no problem!"

It's especially unwise to rip off a guy with a readership as big as Randy's ... although the all-time best revenge of a ripped-off artist is still Michelangelo's Clement VII in 'The Last Judgment' (...bottom left, in Hell...)

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Heh! I've spent too much time getting people out of hell to condemn someone to it. :-) -rc

VistaPrint is the only company I've ever been moved to post my own complaint about on my blog. Although they didn't exactly rip me off, their practices did not seem customer-friendly.

Here is what I posted about them about 3 years ago: "After I placed my order, they offered me other products I could add to my order with no additional shipping. I selected one to get a better look at it, and to see if I could get it personalized with my name instead of my husband's, which was shown on the sample. Based on all my experience with that site as well as other sites like it, I assumed that if I clicked on it, I could edit the personalization, and if not I could at least decline to purchase it. But as soon as I clicked it, it said that it had already been added to my current order & already been charged to my account, & they allow NO changes to any orders that have been placed! I found that outrageous. My husband wouldn't want the product shown, so I decided to ask them to change the personalization anyway. They had an online customer service form, which I filled out at length & sent. I then got an automated e-mail reply from them, saying they only offer customer service by telephone! Yet they had an online customer service form, and it's an online-only business! I decided to suck it up & call despite my phone phobia, only to find out they don't offer customer service at all on weekends. Funny, they somehow managed to send me an advertising e-mail on a weekend. This is not a company I want to do business with again."

I have to admit I did order from them again this year because they were the only place that offered the product I wanted, and this time they had changed their practices to allow you to edit the "extra" products they offer you after you place your order. But I'm still leery of them, especially in contrast to some places I've ordered from that have gone out of their ways to provide excellent customer service.

Wow, I've been using them for many years for simple and "upgraded" cards with many nonstandard requests. Thrown in have Bern pens and custom self-inking stamps. The couple times there's been issues they have been quick to resolve them even though it's been through my ineptness.

It's not that they are liars -- and it is not some diabolical scheme that FTC would care about. It's just a classic case of the Marketing people and the Computer people at the company not communicating properly.

The Marketing people dream up all these creative offers that work. The Computer people say "sure, we can do that."

The order entry system does not properly handle all the variables necessary to process the order properly. No one tested the exact combination you ordered. No one follows through to make sure it works.

Typical BS at a large company.

But, you're right that the Customer Service people let you down big time. They should have said -- "Let me fix that right now by over-riding the price. Ok, I'm done. Is there anything else I can help you with?" and thereby fixed it in a couple of minutes, not the hour that they wasted of your time.

They should do a better job, but it's not some scheme to over-charge you.

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I didn't say that it was! I was saying exactly the same as you -- that they should have fixed it just as you suggested. The problem is, they wouldn't, and that suggests a bait and switch scheme. I do agree it isn't at all likely that they planned it that way. But their failure to "make it so" when it became apparent that they did the programming wrong makes it quite a failure indeed, and I'm sure the FTC would in fact be interested. If VistaPrint doesn't fix this pronto, I would not be surprised at all to see the FTC fine them. -rc

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