Written on: 21/12/2012 by Littlemisssunshine21 (3 reviews written)
I ordered 5 A3 wall calendars from Photobox on Monday 10.12.12 which was well within any of their Christmas deadlines. Their software online is good and easy to use but it took me about 10 hours over the previous weekend to finalise my calendars. It is time consuming!
They were purchased as part of a groupon deal which seemed like really good value since I'd used the company the year before and been really pleased with the results (previously buying calendars, mouse mats and a photo book). Other people had recommended vista print to me (being much cheaper and with brilliant results) but I remained adamant that photobox had served me so well last year, I would stick with them.
The first thing that really annoyed me throughout the whole pre-Christmas period was their manipulation of their "Christmas deadline" - initially it was advertised as the 12.12.12, then it was extended by a couple of days. Then it was all over their front page that their staff were going to work harder so it could be extended by another 4 days. Every time there were different offers trying to push you into ordering before their new deadline. I felt like that was dishonest.. Most companies have one deadline, and it's truly that. I've just checked their site again today and they've got another deadline extension, complete with countdown timer, that's over 9 days since their original "deadline"!!
So anyway.. I kept logging into my account to monitor the progress of my order.. It said printing for a few days and then I was told they had been dispatched on 12.12.12 with an arrival date of 15.12.12. For some unbeknownst reason they send everything by untraceable first class mail despite paying £7 for the service. So I waited and waited. It says on the website it can take a couple of extra days around Christmas so I waited some more. I first contacted them on 19.12.12 about the whereabouts of my order, initially by email. Their representative didn't hesitate in saying they must have gotten lost, they would have to reorder them and the new ones wouldn't be dispatched until 31.12.12! I explained that seemed slightly ridiculous considering they were still advertising all over their front page that they were still printing items for Christmas and guaranteeing pre-Christmas delivery. And also, the gift of a calendar is a bit rubbish if you don't receive it until after the new year starts! The way they were so willing to reprint them rather than investigate the matter makes me wonder if perhaps they had been missed in the first place, I mean since I got them cheap on a groupon deal, perhaps I was pushed to the end of the queue and missed? If you look up groupon/photobox deal reviews, there are thousands of compaints from all over the world.. Poor quality products, failed delivery...
Unsatisified, I phoned (their phone number is an 0845 number - look up a cheaper alternative on saynoto0870) and waited around 10 minutes for somebody who told me my order was still on its way and would hopefully be with me before the end of the week. He told me to phone royal mail and ask if they had a parcel addressed to me in their system (I contacted royal mail and was told they don't know this kind of information unless a recorded delivery service has been used).
Anyway, it's now Friday 21.12.12. I still haven't seen the calendars and I don't suppose I will at least for another week or so, until after the new year.
I understand that items getting lost in the post is occasionally part of the deal when ordering online. I just expect a better, more informed customer service and perhaps a trackable delivery service when you're paying £7 for it (I recently paid £6 to deliver 8 bottles of ale via next day delivery - heavier than calendars - and completely trackable online by FedEx).
Despite the fact pre-Christmas delivery was "guaranteed" they haven't offered any kind of compensation or refund of the delivery cost. I can't even cancel the order because the money will be refunded as a groupon voucher which I'll then be stuck with..
I won't be using photobox again. Now there are so many alternatives I'll be trying one of them next time, possibly even vista print.
Merry Christmas everyone x