Shutterfly Christmas Cards: The Real Story.

A few weeks ago, I posted about Shutterfly’s holiday card selection. At the time I was quite impressed—there was lots to choose from, including some non-traditional options, and the card creation process itself was pretty easy. So although I don’t do reviews often, I felt good about recommending them—and accepting the 50 free cards they offered me in return.

Then I got the cards. And internet? They were underwhelming, to say the least. I thought the picture looked pixelated, and worse, the type appeared blurry. But just to be sure I wasn’t overreacting, I asked a designer friend of mine to look at them. She gave them the thumbs down too.

That’s when I took my case to twitter:

Shutterfly twitter status 1

As you can tell, I was pissed. I mean, if I’m going to tell you guys that you should all go use a product, it damn well better be up to snuff. But to their credit, they responded within an hour with this:

I told them, and this is what they told me about the image:

Now, before I go on, I would just like to point out that their system, which is presumably pretty sophisticated, should be able to alert you when the picture you’re using is not optimal for the project you’ve selected. After all, things look very, very different in print than they do on a computer screen. The average consumer is not going to be able to discern a problem with an image from the digital preview they give you.

And also? When someone uses a discount code given exclusively to bloggers, it seems to me that there should be some sort of flag on their end to take special care with the order. We are a rather loud and opinionated bunch—wouldn’t you make sure that said bloggers could find nothing to complain about?

Shutterfly’s response continued:

Now, that. That is the definition of good customer service. I give them props for acting so quickly—in such a satisfactory manner. That same evening, I logged on and created a new card—using giant image files that would easily translate to poster size. This is the design I chose:

Cute, right? Well, true to their word, they charged me nothing for the new order, and the cards were  produced and shipped  at lightning speed. In fact, they arrived on my doorstep this very evening.

And they are cute. But honestly? The ones I ordered from Snapfish and had printed off at Walmart last year were better. The colors are still a little less vivid than I’d like, and the images are not nearly as crisp as they could be. At the end of the day, I’d give them a solid “meh” rating.

So, Shutterfly. You win at customer service. But your holiday card printing? Could use some upgrading.

17 Comments on Shutterfly Christmas Cards: The Real Story.

  1. Tiffany@Lattes&Life
    December 15, 2010 at 10:07 pm (5 years ago)

    Well darn. I was really really hoping they’d be 100% better. I’m sorry. What a bummer. For what it’s worth, I never mention a product I’m reviewing until I’ve tested it out and am ready to post. You just never know, you know? I don’t do teaser posts or subtle links or anything of the sort. Because really…if I’m discussing the product before I even have it that’s advertising, not a review. I’m just sorry you had such a disappointing experience…especially over something so fun and personal as Christmas cards!!! But. BUT. You could put that precious little girl’s face on a brown paper bag and write Merry Christmas in crayon and it would be a gorgeous card! She’s a CUTIE!!!

    Reply
    • Amber
      December 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm (5 years ago)

      Yeah, I’m putting this down to a lesson learned. I won’t do that again either. And honestly, they’re okay. Just not great. I’m sure my relatives will think they’re great, and that’s all that counts, right? And…thank you. I think she’s pretty cute too.

      Reply
    • Erin
      December 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm (5 years ago)

      “brown paper bag” – LOVE IT!!! and totally true!

      Reply
      • Amber
        December 16, 2010 at 7:27 am (5 years ago)

        You ladies are the best.

        Reply
  2. Rebecca
    December 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm (5 years ago)

    I have to come on and sing the praises of cardstore.com. I was asked to review something from their site and was given some free cards along with a discount code to give my readers. I think it was 20%. Anyway, I was blown away by the quality of everything. I had high hopes and they were exceeded.

    Reply
    • Amber
      December 16, 2010 at 7:31 am (5 years ago)

      Yay! I’m glad. I admit, I’ve never even heard of that one.

      Reply
  3. Erin
    December 15, 2010 at 10:10 pm (5 years ago)

    wow – I am soo bummed that Shutterfly let you down – I am an exclusive Shutterfly girl – it’s kind of obnoxious – I spend WAY too much on everything there b/c they are so expensive – but…I have been with them since ‘God was a boy’ so…I stay

    I am impressed about the Customer Service!! That is good stuff –

    your cards are really great – glad you got new ones – Tori is B-E-A-tiful, even if she is pixelated!!!

    Reply
    • Amber
      December 16, 2010 at 7:30 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks again…and I’m glad you’ve had good experiences with them. I felt really bad for calling them out, but You know. Can’t keep my mouth shut.

      Reply
  4. Andrea
    December 15, 2010 at 10:11 pm (5 years ago)

    I think you meant to say Shutterfly in that last sentence, right? I’m getting confused with the Snapfish references!!

    Anyway, that stinks. We do our cards w/Shutterfly every year and I absolutely love them. I’m glad they credited you and took care of the new cards for you. Because of the great past experiences I did the post, as well, and got my cards from them this season. Again, suckky that you had a bad card but glad all turned out OK in the end! btw: what a cutie pie!!!

    Reply
    • Amber
      December 16, 2010 at 7:29 am (5 years ago)

      Yeah, I’ve never heard of anybody having problems before either, but this year, I’ve had a few friends say the same things I’m saying, so I know it’s not just me. Maybe it’s just the business of the season. Things are rushed, ya da ya da ya da…

      Reply
  5. Kelly
    December 15, 2010 at 11:15 pm (5 years ago)

    This is why I didn’t do the free offer. However, I designed my cards and had them printed at Walmart via Snapfish. Huge mistake. The photos and colors were great but Walmart doesn’t use true sizing. So I have 100 cards with stuff cut off everywhere. Ugh!

    Reply
    • Amber
      December 16, 2010 at 7:27 am (5 years ago)

      Oh no! That sucks. I have to say, while expensive, the cards on the Tiny Prints site look adorable. If I have enough money, I might do that next year…

      Reply
  6. Lady Jennie
    December 16, 2010 at 3:52 pm (5 years ago)

    I used tiny prints for my youngest’s birth announcement/ christmas cards and I was blown away. The quality was perfect and I think worth the price.

    Reply
    • Amber
      December 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm (5 years ago)

      Yeah everybody raves about them. Maybe next year…

      Reply
  7. BalancingMama (Julie)
    December 16, 2010 at 6:56 pm (5 years ago)

    Good for you for speaking your mind! Glad you received improved cards. I’ve used VistaPrint the past 3 years. I like them, and their prices are good.

    Reply
    • Amber
      December 16, 2010 at 8:49 pm (5 years ago)

      Huh. I never even thought of Vista Print. There are a lot of options out there aren’t there?

      Reply
  8. Phyllis
    December 20, 2010 at 10:49 am (5 years ago)

    I’ve always had luck with Winkflash and they were reasonably priced. I am also gonna try some of the others listed here for birthday invites, but I think I’ll pass on shuterfly.

    BTW, little Miss Tori can make any bad print look amazing with just her adorable smile!!

    Reply

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