Maybe photo-printing service Snapfish wasn’t purchased by HP. No, the company just might have been acquired by Santa Claus. This holiday season, they just couldn’t stop giving things away. When Paige’s mother was missing half of the envelopes for her order of 40 holiday cards, Snapfish was quick to send new ones. Three times over.
As newsstand prices continue to go up, and circulation numbers take the elevator in the opposite direction, newspaper publishers are looking for new ways to make it a little less daunting for customers to part with the money needed to buy their daily dead tree. One idea: credit card readers on vending machines. “Have you got eight quarters in your pocket right now?” asks Ian Jackson, VP for circulation at The Wall Street Journal, which sells for, yes, $2.00 at street level.
Bob Cringely and his family send out family portrait cards every year for Christmas, and the gimmick is the entire family is nude, but not really nude: all the naughty parts are hidden away behind carefully placed props or accessories. The Fedex Kinko’s in Charleston, SC doesn’t appreciate his family’s sense of humor–the woman there even remembered him from last year, and not in a good way.
Adam and his wife never know what they’re going to be charged for scanning services at OfficeMax’s ImPress print center. I like to imagine that the ImPress employee stands in front of them holding a very long microphone, and tries to build tension before a coworker flips over the Actual Price card.
In a post-birth haze, Suzanne accidentally ordered birth announcement cards from Paper Moments listing the wrong birthdate for her two-week old son. The site has a clear policy regarding customer errors: mistakes are worth a 50% discount on reprints, and nothing more. Accepting the policy as immutable, Suzanne called and left a polite message asking Paper Moments to reprint the cards with the right birthdate. The company responded with an unexpected bundle of joy.
It’s been a little over a year since Amazon released the Kindle, and now publishers are finally getting the chance to set their own pricing on ebook editions. The result has been a slow creep in pricing on some titles—in some cases to levels above the price of a paper edition of the same book—for a digital edition that you can’t resell, give away to someone else, or read on any other device. Kindle owners have started to notice, and now some of them are complaining that Amazon overpromised the $9.99 bookstore concept to move Kindles.
I wanted to praise an online company that I happened to order custom printed apparel from. Spreadshirt Inc.or spreadshirt.com is one of many online services that customize shirts for a low price. I have used many of these sites because I graphic design on the side and enjoy putting some of my work on the clothes I wear. I want to let you know of the numerous sites I have used Spreadshirt has shown the greatest consideration of their customers. I made a mistake of getting one of my designs in a “silver” flex print which really ended up being a glittery reflective print. It made my fraternity letters look, lets say less manly. It was at my bad judgment but they were more than willing to redo it for me at no charge. I called them and left a message the night before and I am happy they were willing to call me back the next day. Hopefully, someone would recognize this great company too.
Nice work Spreadshirt! As for Alvin, we think his frat’s pledge class would look just fab in the original sweatshirts.
MIT”s Media Lab has started a website that helps consumers contact the manufacturer of their printer so they can request that “tracking dots” be eliminated from their machines.
An anonymous Staples employee updates us with information about Staples’s new image conversion program, which likely stems from the kerfuffle that occurred when people thought Staples was charging a per-file ‘setup’ fee to print files from disks.