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!"