So we’re exhibiting at the All About Business expo in Norwich next Thursday. Now normally we’re ahead of the game and totally organised but we were offered the stand at the last minute and so needed to organise our banner and media at the last minute. Fortunately we’re in the right business design wise to get things going but reliant on others to get things printed.
This blog is the story of one supplier that messed up, was given the chance to rectify but decided they didn’t want to play ball and one supplier who knows about customer service and has potentially won more than a one banner order. When everything goes right it’s fine, it’s not until things go wrong do you really get to know how good someone’s customer service is.
So we enquired with our regular banner supplier about the price of a vinyl roller banner (see email) it’s quite clear what we wanted. We got an invoice to pay by bacs and duly paid for it the invoice said ‘vinyl banner’ and it went unnoticed that this is in fact not a vinyl roller banner. Maybe presumptuous on our part but when you ask for something then you kind of expect that you are buying what you what you ordered, no?
14th October 10.00
Knock on the door and it’s the courier with a banner – wow that was quick. Opens tube to discover a rolled up vinyl banner with eyelets in the corner. It’s the sort of thing you string up between 2 trees outdoors. I open it anyway and the thing has streaks & scratches down it and is patchy to say the least. It’s not fit for purpose.
After talking to our graphic designer to confirm we ordered correctly I email the printers to tell them what has happened and give them opportunity to correct the mistake, still got plenty of time to get sorted for next Thursday.
15th October 10:00
No reply or call or anything. I phone the printers roughly 10am and the phone rings and rings and rings and rings then a guy picks up the phone and says they have 100’s of emails to go through and anyway he’s the printer it’s not his problem I need to speak to admin. I ask to be put through to admin but they are on the phone so I ask for a call back. I remind the printer that it’s time critical so could they call back asap so we can get it all sorted.
Still no call back so I call them back. Phone rings and rings and rings and guess what… it rings and rings and no one answers
Email arrives form printers basically saying we ordered wrong it’s our problem and no reference to the shoddy goods is mentioned. Unbelievable, talk about not interested in solving or proving that they can deal with the problem. Not very happy!
I reply to their email with something a little stronger making it quite clear they need to get this sorted or we’ll go elsewhere:
I start looking for an alternative supplier and put a post out on for a Norfolk based banner printer who prints on-site so I can collect. Within minutes I have 5 replies with local recommended suppliers of what I need and start looking at who’s nearest to me. I call one and get an immediate response and an offer to email me the technical sheet and all information. Email arrives within seconds. Now this seems more like it.
After exchanging a few more emails we talk abotu trade accounts and prices and confirmations I can collect in time for the expo next thursday no problem. The day ends and no reply from the original printers (Image Makers Ltd in Essex).
16th October 9:48
Our Graphic designer (Colin, he was off the day before so had to catch up) also emails Image makers to ask what’s going on. In this time he has the artwork to the new printers and they exchange a couple of emails all replied to within minutes I may add.
We get an email back from Image Makers as follows:
The staff member keen to get the last word in and still no mention about the bad quality banner that was produced. By now of course it’s too late we’ve gone elsewhere and have been looked after well with our new banner printing people.
As it turns out we have 3 more banners to order of which that order will be going to our new found printing company OTW Imaging not far down the road because they seem to understand good professional customer service. I am thankful the banner was coming to us and not to a client