Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Official Website

I've officially created a website with a cohesive portfolio of my work. Please feel free to check it out.

I will still update this blog with the array of things I've always posted here, so feel free to check back here as well.

Vistaprint is a Terrible Company: a review

Those of us in the business of printing know what quality printing and 300dpi looks like. And I can tell you, Vistaprint ain't it.

"Vistaprint is committed to customer satisfaction. We will reprint or refund the cost of any product that fails to meet our customers quality expectations. [But the customer must jump through metaphorical flaming hoops in order to receive said refund.]"*
*Bracketed text added by editor for ethical considerations.

I decided to get cards for my newly established self, website and all. So I chose to use Vistaprint. I found that they require a significant margin for error so your design, should you choose to upload your own, has to be strangely close to the center. I was okay with that, so I proceeded. All over the site they advertise 300DPI!! GREAT QUALITY! PREMIUM PRODUCT! STATE OF THE ART! so I naturally expected that this would be the case when I uploaded a .PSD file of my design. Here's where things got weird.

They have various shipping options. That's fairly normal, but their cheapest option is marked "slow". I have literally never seen "slow" as an option before. It goes against anything I've ever known about online shopping. USPS Ground is like paying someone to kick your package across the United States with steel toed boots. What on *Earth* I asked myself could "slow" possibly be?

Turns out it's as I expected, it's the same kind of shipping as the next step up, except you pay less.

Upon opening the box I was elated. I could begin carrying my little cards around and show people how I'm going to be successful, the little cards would prove it. But alas, the text wasn't readable, colors bled into one another, and it was generally a disgrace to printing. So I put them back in the box and figured I would contact customer service.

Customer Service (Ha ha):
So I contact Customer service through their email system, and tell them that the cards aren't readable and the printing is terrible.
I get a response something to the effect of "We're not responsible for layout, design or typos. Here's a 25% off offer for reprints."
I pause, I re-read my initial email. No I never mentioned layout, design or spelling.
I respond and restate my issue, quality.
The response, almost the same as the first time, except this time no 25% off. How sad.
I respond again and ask to have my matter sent to a supervisor.
They assure me that it has been sent.
Days go by.
I send a reminder email that i am awaiting contact.
Another day goes by.
I send another email.
Another day goes by.

The Call:
As email has failed I begin a campaign of phone calls. But I'm defeated at first by an automated system which directs me to the email system. I pause and Google how to get a live person at Vistaprint. The best way to get a live person at Vistaprint? LIE. Yes, lie to the automated system and pretend you want to place an order. That's the only way I found to get a live person.

This person, reads off a script once I tell them I want a supervisor. I wait on hold. Another person answers and I explain the situation to him. He tells me the same thing I've been told numerous times. I tell him that I have personally printed with matte paper at 300dpi and that what I received was not "quality". He tells me that a refund will be issued (except not for shipping) and that I will receive a confirmation email.

No confirmation email as of yet. No refund as of yet.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


What always seems interesting to me is what cultures leave behind. As I'm rarely around cultures other than American I have explored these types of remnants most closely. I recently stopped at what appeared to be a vacant lot. I stopped and pushed aside dense sagebrush and other desert plants to explore deeper. I discovered the remnants of a house. It seems someone deemed that whatever home had been here so unworthy of existence it was demolished and left to become an overgrown lot. It was beautiful in a sad kind of way. The foundations were left, loose roofing tiles splintered and half buried. And in the back there lies a swimming pool, filled with desert earth instead of chlorinated water.

Front Yard