Photo Lab Issues

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by rub, Dec 10, 2009.

  1. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    Well, trying to make a long story short.

    Orderd from a lab, and was guarunteed shipment by Dec 9th. Rush shipping was $95.

    The order was not sent out in time, came a day late, and I missed a deadline. I know have to spend $125 additional dollars on shipping to get the images to a client (they were going to take them with them to their family)

    Also, the order came missing 9 prints - coming from 5 different clients - which will have to be shipped out seperately when they arrive.

    The lab overcharged me by $55 on my order, and have since waived the $95 shipping charge to make up for that.

    I was charged $108, will end up paying over $230, and have some pissed off clients.

    I have requested that the company send me something indicating this was a lab error - something I can forward on to my clients. Also, I want to request they credit me for everything but the actual print costs, due to the fact that I will now be paying so much additional shipping due to an error on their part.

    Am I being unreasonable? What would you do?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I know it's easier said than done...but don't cut it so close in the future. There are any number of things that could cause a delay, so give yourself some leeway when you tell the clients when they will get their prints.

    The saying is: Under-promise and Over-deliver.
    Tell them it will take 4 days, but then give it two them in two or three days. They will be happy and you have a safety net.

    As far as what to do with your current situation...I'm not sure. I don't think that it's very professional to get proof of a lab error, just to show your clients. Apologize to them and promise to do better next time.
    I guess you could try to get something out of the lab, but is that going to be worth the fight?
    Maybe just look for a new lab.
     
  3. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Errors happen. UNFORTUNATELY, but happen. Pointing fingers, as Mike pointed out and I agree, isn't very professional. Unfortunately again, this business already turned into sham :( thus the more appropriate we handle our selves, the better it is for everyone.
    Recently I began using different lab. Studios I work for have been using same labs for MANY years, but after recent incidence we (I), switched to a different lab. Here's is the 411 if you want to try them out. APS 718-360-2779 Ask for David.
    good luck
     
  4. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No. You're not being unreasonable.

    I'd want a full credit for the job... prints and all.

    It's a competitive business. There are lots of labs. They should take care of a customer that sends them a constant flow of business.

    They put you in a bad place, and should bend over backwards to let you know how much they regret it.

    -Pete
     
  5. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    I placed the order as soon as it was received, calling to ensure that there would be plenty of time for shipping. Unfortunately the order sat there for 4 days without being shipped. I thought that would have beena large enough window.

    I am glad to get some feedback about leting clients know about the lab error. I was unsure if thats what I should do or not. I dont want my clients thinking I am a slouch and just missed ordering the files. But I dont want to point fingers either.

    The customer serivce was great with this company, and I am thrilled with the quality of the prints.

    Just didnt know what the best way to proceed was.

    *Note, when I told two of my clients that there images were missed in shipping and were being sent out asap, they were okay with it. Not happy, but what can ya do?
     
  6. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Man, I'd jump ship after something like that! What lab is it?

    I'd have made a fuss and demanded the lab cover the future shippings for the order.
     
  7. CCarsonPhoto

    CCarsonPhoto TPF Noob!

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    As a photographer, I sympathize with you.
    As a mini lab employee who pulled a 10 hour shift and was STILL an hour behind on printing, I sympathize with the lab, although I do not know the circumstances. If they were just being lazy and not shipping it out, then they are definitely at fault and I would ask for compensation. However, I also had a customer today who was very nasty about the entire situation. We tried to explain to her, we are doing what we can, and we are sorry for the inconvience. There was really nothing I could do. Chemistry ran out, so my replenisher was severly diluted. What else could I do but stop printing to correct the issue so I didn't have 20 frustrated people lining up to return prints? Sure, they might have had them on time, but the prints would have been awful.
    So my point is, there literally are two sides to every coin, and I've been on both. I agree 200% with Big Mike. Plan ahead. Is this the first incident with your lab? How long have you been printing there? If this is your first problem, I would speak to someone in charge at the lab, let them know you have deadlines to meet, and you are willing to work reasonably with them if they will do the same for you. (All of this on the basis is that they weren't just being lazy but had a legit reason for delayed shipping.)

    I wouldn't jump ship on a lab because of one mistake. If there were repeated issues, bad treatment, unprofessional results, then....
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Every lab is going to have things like this happen, repeatedly, and there is absolutely nothing they can do to prevent it. The laws of probability demand it because of the number of people involved in the process of putting the order together.

    Good labs will keep the rate of recurrence very low, but they can't eliminate situations like this entirely.

    So here we have one bad story, with no idea what this lab's actual rate of recurrence is.

    It's one of the things people have to be aware of with the broad reach of the Internet.
     
  9. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    KmH - that is why I do not want to post the name of the lab until I hear something back from them.

    I was just curious as to what others would do. I kept all of my dealings with them 100% civil -- being rude is not going to help the situation. The prints were the best I have seen from any lab I have dealt with, and the customer service has been great. Sure, mistakes happen. I just need to know what people expect in return when these mistakes do happen.

    I know that my timing plays a part in the situation. But also feel that if you are offering rush shipping, especially at a cost of nearly $100, RUSH is expected. 6 days on regular prints in regular sizes is a bit crazy.
     
  10. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Oh, definitely. Eventually, everything fouls up in one way or another. My comment was to the abundance of problems all in one place and the labs seeming lack for them. If my professional lab fouled up like that and four days later I was still wondering how they were going to respond, I'd consider that unacceptable. Part of good customer service is swiftly handling and rectifying mistakes.
     
  11. William Petruzzo

    William Petruzzo TPF Noob!

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    Correction. My first post was in fact responding to the volume of problems all with one set of orders. I want a lab that will work as hard to keep me happy as I do to keep my customers happy. When there are issues, I want them resolved within hours, not days or weeks.

    I'm more critical of myself than most people are, so I think for that reason I'm probably more critical of other businesses as well. Not to say that's universally the right mindset, it just happens to be the one I have.
     
  12. rub

    rub TPF Noob!

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    I sent a letter Thursday night, and I still have not received a response. The remake prints have een shipped though, so at least that is a plus.
     

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