Snapfish Takes On Too Many Christmas Orders, Then Avoids Customer Contact

Stacey is a longtime customer of HP’s Snapfish service. She tells Consumerist that she wasn’t able to get her photo calendars ordered until December 19th. No worries, though: the shipping deadlines on the site said that they’d be able to get the calendar out in plenty of time if she paid for two-day shipping. Except this turned out to not be, strictly speaking, true. Stacey found herself without her palnned gifts and suck on the phone with a customer service agent whose entire job, it seemed, is to “listen to people complain and then to explain how busy HP is.”

I am writing to let you know of the astonishingly bad customer service I’ve had with Snapfish (operated by HP) this holiday season. I am a long-time customer of theirs and I order photo calendars for our kids to give their grandparents each Christmas.

This year, I wasn’t able to get the calendar created until the Sunday before Christmas, December 19. I checked all of Snapfish’s deadlines for product orders (these deadlines are hard to find, since their website has such poor functionality, but I persisted till I located them). According to their deadline charts, if I ordered by December 20 and paid for 2-day shipping, the order would arrive by December 24. That’s what I did. The 2-day shipping chargers were more than $20.

On December 20, my order was still being processed. I assumed it would still ship out by December 22 (today). I sent an email to customer service to make sure, and I got an automatic response indicating I would receive a reply within 24 hours. That was 48 hours ago, and still no reply.

On December 21, my order was still being processed, but when I clicked on it, it now indicated that it would ship on December 27! I sent another email to customer service. I tried many times throughout the day to access their “live chat” option, but it was never available (and still isn’t). I noticed that Snapfish was advertising that if you ordered that day (December 21) and paid for overnight shipping, it would arrive by December 24.

That night, December 21, I called their 800 number and waited 30 minutes to speak with a customer service representative at their office in India. She could not tell me why the order was still processing. She could not tell me when it would ship. She could not assure me that it would arrive by December 24. When I pressed her about why there was a problem, she used the excuse of it being Christmas. I told her that was unacceptable – HP knew that it was Christmas, and if they couldn’t meet customer demands, they should have changed their order deadlines accordingly. She explained to me they were filling millions of orders. I explained to her that, again, HP knew they would be filling millions of orders. They should not promote order deadlines with promises of shipping in time for Christmas if they could not fulfill those orders. They certainly shouldn’t continue to promote these deadlines if they were already behind in filling orders that had already been placed.

I asked multiple times if I could speak with someone who would assure me that my order would ship in time. She wouldn’t put me through to anyone else. She said she would forward my complaint to the technical service department. I asked when and how I would hear from them. She could not give me an answer. In terms of responsiveness, it was the worst customer service phone call I’ve ever had. I got the impression that her entire job was simply to listen to people complain and then to explain how busy HP is.

Today, my order remains “in process,” it still says it will ship on December 27, and I have not received any further response from customer service. Live chat is still unavailable. I have discovered many others, on Twitter and elsewhere on the internet, who have had similar experiences. For a company with as high a profile as HP, their customer service situation is appalling. I will never use Snapfish again.

Are you stuck in a similar predicament? Have you managed to get an answer out of HP other than “we’re super busy right now”? Please, let us know.

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