Who You Going To Call
When Kinko's Puts A Kink In Your Project?

I can tell you it's not Kinko's, because they don't want your call.  Here is the story:


I took on a short notice job.  To design and print an "advertising" thank you .  A non-profit organization needed an advertising insert and a large 24x36 sign to thank the financial sponsors of their event.  I took the job as it was good exposure for me and my company.  The hard part was I got the job on Friday.  The event was on Tuesday.  I had about 3 and 1/2 days to pull it together and get the job printed.

After putting in over 50 hours in 3 days I had the project ready to go.  It was not easy. I had a total of 16 companies to list.  Wanting to make a good show of it, I had to recreate, or do a total touch up of the companies logos, as I had little or no original artwork to start with.  To save time, I printed the  letter size advertising inserts in-house.  I had to sub-contract the color printing of the 24x36 sign.  But I did it.  Monday morning everything was ready to go.  I had over 24 hours to get the sign printed and to the event.

I had talked to my local Kinko's.  I was told printing, mounting, and laminating the sign was no problem.  They could do it from my Corel file, and on my time line.  In fact they told my about an $80.00 poster package they had.

I took the disc into them.  I stayed there to make sure everything was O.K.  They opened the file checked it out, and printed a small color proof.  I gave the O. K., and was assured that I could pick up the finished sign by 10:00 AM, Tuesday morning.

The Disaster:

I walk in at 10:00 AM to pick up the sign and drive it out to the event (about an 1&1/2 hour drive).  No one knows anything about it.  Finally a woman tells me she is the manager of the computer department.

She asks me why am I coming in to pick up the sign, after all they never printed it!

I told her, what do you mean you never printed it.  I need it now!  My name and reputation is on the line. 

She just said, well they called you last night, didn't they?

I told her no, No, NO!!!!!!  I was totally dumb struck.

Her response was to tell me, well maybe they could not find the paperwork with my phone number on it.

I told her my name and number was on the disc holder.

She stated that they might not have been able to find the disc holder.

I told her it was also on the Disc!!!!!!!

She said well, they should have called you.  We could not print from your file.  It was corrupted.

I told her when I left the file was fine.  If it was now corrupted, they did it.

She told me no, I gave them a corrupted file.

I told her no, way!  I stood there when they opened and checked the file.  Also I showed her the printed proof.  I told her if I gave them a bad file, they would not be able to open it.  Manipulate it, or print it.

She then stated no, it's your file.  It is not compatible with our computer.

This went on for about an hour.  Time I did not have to waste.  In between arguing with this woman I was calling every printer in the phone book and pleading for help.

The woman finally admitted it was not my file.  But Kinko's.  My file was too large for their printer buffer, so the printer could not handle the file.

That was it for Kinko's.  Not we're sorry, or anything other then "Gee, they should have called you".  I left after requesting the store manager call me.  I left my home, office, and Cell phone numbers.

Talk about feeling totally screwed!  I was now running late on delivering this sign, and it was not even printed yet.  Almost everyplace I called could not help me.  Turn around time on a project like this is 24, to 72 hours!  Not 2 or 3 hours.

I did talk to one company called Impress (818) 999-1600) here in the Los Angeles area.  I talked to Irv and Steve, not knowing me from Adam, or ever having done business before, these fine folks, stopped their production run, and inserted my job.  They saved my life!  Now it still took several hours to get the job done, and I still had to jump though hoops and eat humble pie to keep my reputation alive, but thanks to Impress, the sign was done.  The sponsors were happy, and everyone loved the work I did.  So check out this company and tell them Mike sent you (http://www.impress1.com/).

Now, back to Kinko's.

Not hearing from the store manager (or anyone from Kinko's) on Thursday I called their customer service number.  I was told that the store manager, and the area manager would return my call that day.

On Friday in the late morning I still had no contact from Kinko's, so I called the corporate offices.  I got the total run around.  I finally ended up in their legal department.  I was told that their attorney would have no interest in talking to me.  But if I wanted a response from a problem I had, I needed to understand that Kinko's does not talk to customers that are unhappy or having problems.  If a customer feels the need, they should fax a letter to Kinko's, because if it's not in writing, then there was no problem.

You know what.  That's a really good way to piss off customers and lose business.  If businesses just listen to and acknowledge upset customers they will find out it takes a lot less to make them happy than if they give the customers the total run around and tell them to "send a letter”.

Well Kinko's, here it is in writing.  You F$%^ Me Over on a project, cost me money and pissed me off.  Then you ignored me!

So, for now, let me tell you folks, if your Ass is on the line, call Impress at 818-887-7095 and talk to Steve or Irv.  Tell them Mike sent you.  Check out the company’s web site at: http://www.impress1.com/ .

If you have an important project and WANT IT SCREWED UP, I recommend Kinko's.

To be fair anyone can screw up.  I'm not that pissed that Kinko's screwed it up.  I'm pissed that despite my efforts to talk to them, to date they have totally blown me off for what they did.  If they ever get off their corporate ‘not our fault, we can do no wrong f- u ass and respond to me, I will print the response for all to see

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Last modified: November 08, 2002