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You Get What You Pay For And Sometimes Less...

Reviewing: Vista Print.Com Online Print Services  |  Rating:
warpainted By warpainted on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Workplace & Operations Expertise:
Image for You get what you pay for- and sometimes less...

As a designer, Vista Print makes me absolutely nuts. I don't usually write negative reviews, but this has to be said as they are getting more and more mainstream. Friends don't let friends use Vista Print.

First the positives: They offer relatively fast turn around and the cheapest prices I've found online for printing. They also offer a wide range of products and a variety of templates if you just want to add your text to existing designs. That is about as much as I can say for the "good stuff".

The negatives.. where to start.....:

• Customer service- their customer service department acts like it is a personal favor to you to have them answering the phone and they do not have a customer service email address so you are stuck with their hours of operation and hold music to resolve issues.

• You cannot change or cancel an order once it is placed. Too bad, so sad if you picked the wrong quantity.

• They ship your paper goods in padded envelopes... does anyone else see the insanity here? Spend hundreds of dollars on brochures and they get all bent and crushed in a padded envelope? Hello, BOX PLEASE!

• You can only choose their set quantities. So if you want 7500 brochures you have to place one order for 5000 and one for 2000! That also means you have to pay the shipping and handling, upload fees, proofing fees and time on BOTH orders.

• Upload fees. In order to have your own artwork printed on Vista Print you actually have to pay for the ability to upload your files.... unreal.

• Quality. Vista Print is the bare minimum of what you would accept and still pay for printing and their cutting is notoriously shoddy. Expect to get some off-centered cuts and even some items sliced at an angle.

• You have to pass through a gauntlet of added products to check out! Just to pay these people and complete your order, they run you through several pages of "do you want this?" and "add this to your order for only $2.99!". Now remember you can't change or cancel an order once placed so you have to be meticulous un-checking boxes and triple reading each page to make sure that you haven't added anything to your order by accident.

• My number one thing I hate about Vista Print- the last page of checkout asks you if you want "free" magazines and they toss up two or three to choose from. They really get you here because hitting the "no thank you button" at the bottom isn't enough! You have to make sure that the magazine they chose for your default aren't selected as well. Not only do they work REALLY hard at tripping you up here, the magazine they send you if you miss this trickery is Maxim. Ok, if you are going to foist some dumb magazine on me WITHOUT my permission could you at least make it family friendly?!!? I don't have kids, but I pay my neighbor's kids to do chores around my house, one of which is getting the mail. Imagine my horror when the 8 year old shows up with a magazine exclaiming "NEW SEX POSITIONS" and a half naked model on the cover.... sooooo not appropriate. I look like an idiot for exposing children to that and have to spend several calls to the company to get them to stop delivery!! That is such a law suit waiting to happen.

Vista Print- a cheap source of printing if you need handouts or fliers, but I would NOT recommend them for anything you care about and I would certainly not recommend ordering from them if you don't have 30 min to kill sifting delicately through the checkout process! Gah!! - WP

Update On Jan 22, 2009: The "box" thing. I have received my business card and envelope orders in a box. I have not received brochures, return labels, magnets or postcards in boxes and several items arrived with dented corners after being shipped in padded envelopes. For the sake of fairness to the company I guess I should make that distinction.