Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cocktails with Courtney ~ September

Cocktails with Courtney, held on the 28th of September at the Tuileries bar in the Westin Hotel, was another intimate affair.'s Shawn Convroy and I caught up since last meeting at the Harvard Angels France presentation and dinner in June. He and Emmanuel Cassimatis, who also attended the Harvard Angels June evening, had an opportunity to delve more into their businesses. Tim Eustis, an old college friend came by for a respite and chatted with antique professional Alain Cartier. Karine Maj  popped over after just starting three days with her latest venture working in web development and brought along friend Susana Herrera-Masias, who's the Director of Business Development at Sofitel. Groupon's Eva Lane sparkled in her tales of Groupon, Google and Apple. Between sips of refreshing "boissons" and bites of some salty snacks everyone mingled amidst the lovely garden setting on the balmy September night.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Why the website sucks

I have had the unpleasant experience of having to work with Vistaprint on two occasions and both times were painful. The first time I was placing an order for an association's business cards. After going through several iterations of uploading the cards, and having to reselect the model we wanted, we are forced to go through at least five screens of promotional items that Vistaprint is pushing. We check out and pay. The cards never arrive. (Okay, this was a problem of the French postal system, which decided that since I wasn't available when the cards were delivered they wouldn't bother to put a notice or attempt other deliveries.)

After calling Vistaprint and complaining, I finally head over to the Post Office to see if they perchance have these cards. They do. They are ALL WRONG. Each card is off center but just a little bit, but obvious enough to be disconcerting.  We must call customer service, explain the problem and have each order redone. They arrive, two days after the day we needed them--for an event.

Nearly nine months later I need to order one more set. I decide to go ahead with the dreaded Vistaprint (who's president is an alumni of the association I am doing the cards for) and take my chances.  We upload the business card. It's exactly the same as the others (different name and email) and once again, the card is slightly off-center in the Proof. Our file is dead-center correct. We fudge our file so it's on-center for Vistaprint. (A risk, I know).

Next. Payment time! We once again go through the five or seven screens of forced promotional items they are pushing on us. (Is this where they make their money?) First problem is we cannot find the screen where we can add our "store credit." We call customer service. It's back at the beginning somewhere. We find it. We go through the eight or nine forced screens before we get to the shopping cart.  We see the order. The discount is not reflected. We are hesitant to push "Place the order" in fear of not getting this precious discount. We call customer service again. The agent walks us through all the same steps again. He assures us it's okay to push "Place the order" button. We do. It's placing the order but the discount wasn't credited!

We get to the confirmation screen. We must click on "My orders" and then the most recent order to see, voila! the discount applied at the very last minute, behind closed doors, to the order.

Very disconcerting. Not very user-friendly at all. Never again, Vistaprint. Mark my words, "never again!"