Unbelievable Photography Error… and Customer Service gets an “F”

I’m so mad that I can barely sit still to write this post!  I’ve been using Reed Photo in Denver for several years now to photograph my original artwork and to print my Limited Edition giclee prints.  They aren’t the cheapest game in town for these services, but I think they have some really good people working there and I’ve usually received great results from them (especially their “giclee guy”, who I highly recommend!).  Until today.

I took in my most recent triptych to have it digitally photographed (high resolution) for use in my marketing and to send out to a few interior designers that are interested in it.  Well, I get the CD with the image on it home and pull it up in Photoshop only to discover that it was photographed with the middle panel UPSIDE DOWN!  I still can’t believe it!  Each panel is clearly labeled on the back with the title along with the correct hanging orientation for each panel (“left”, “middle”, “right”).  Having the middle panel upside down would be crystal clear by checking the labeling on the back.  And, the “labeling” is actually written on the canvas panels, so it isn’t possible that they fell off or got lost.

Well, things only get worse when I called them up to report this problem.  I knew I was in trouble when the person that answered the phone was the owner’s wife.  I’ll have to be honest that she consistently gets a “D” for customer service.  She still doesn’t know my name, after years of being a client (most of the other folks at the front desk greet me by name… and, she had to ask me for my name 3 times during our short phone conversation).  She isn’t familiar with the technical services they offer, so typcially can’t help with questions or discussing options and has confused several of my orders in the past.

Her reaction when I told her what had happened?  “Uhhhh Oooooo, Ooooo Uhhhhh” in a little sing-song voice.  Literally.  She didn’t apologize or ask if I was working with a critical deadline, or ask how they could correct it.  She DID say that I could bring the original artwork back in to have it re-photographed and that it would surely be done “in a few days”.  What?!?!  Sorry honey, your “D” is now an “F”.

Turns out, I’m not actually working with a critical deadline (although I won’t get some things sent out this week now) and, at my suggestion, they are going to have the orginal artwork picked up at my studio to have it re-photographed by next week.  I know I’m a small client for them – just an independent artist spending “only” a few thousands of dollars for their services each year.  But, I think any client should be able to expect some professional customer service to address errors like this, don’t you?  My partner and I often ask each other whether our expectations in situations like this are just too high, or is customer service just no longer included in what you pay for?

Yikes – I need a holiday cocktail….

In addition to the labeling on the back being upside down with this orientation, you can also see major shapes in the painting don’t match up!

4 thoughts on “Unbelievable Photography Error… and Customer Service gets an “F”

  1. Ashley Fennway December 20, 2007 / 5:16 pm

    You ever see the printing at Imagekind.com? There are some really great artists there and I think your work would fit in great.

  2. Daniel Sroka December 20, 2007 / 5:17 pm

    Your expectations are not overly high — you should expect high customer service. I’ve worked with printers who would jump through hoops to fix a problem, and others who’d go as far as blame me. Guess who got more of my work?

  3. Cath S January 26, 2008 / 5:30 pm

    No, you do not expect too much. All too often we expect too little, and get it. Good on you for raising the bar a bit – to where it should be!

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