Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Picture on the Canvass experience...

For the past two years, I’ve been a loyal Groupon and Living Social Deal user! One of the deals that I bought had an overwhelming response, so the company stopped the deal. For those of us who hadn’t redeemed it yet, Groupon gave us our money back, plus a $5 credit. I appreciated the customer service by Groupon, and they said that they would try to stop this from happening again.

One of the Groupon coupons I bought seven months ago was a 16 x 20 picture canvass from a company called Picture on the Canvass ( The Groupon ended on July 10, so I ordered the canvass on July 7. I uploaded a family picture that we took back in January for my dad’s 70th birthday. It was the first family portrait we have taken since I was four-months old. I thought it would be a great gift for my dad, and I was really excited to see how the picture would come out! When I ordered my canvass on July 7, the confirmation e-mail said that they would get back to me within 7 business days because they were overwhelmed with orders.

Well, seven business days past and I didn’t hear from the company. I gave them a couple of extra days, but still no proof. This was also at the same time I was in the middle of ending one job and starting a new one. It was a little crazy for me, and I knew that I had to follow-up with the company. I planned to call them once I got back from my annual meeting and find out why I haven’t heard from them. Well, on August 7, yes a month later, I received an e-mail from the senior creative designer checking in on my order. I was shocked that he was following up when I never received a proof. 

I responded to his e-mail letting him know that I never received a proof from him or anyone else from the company, and I asked someone to give me a call on Thursday night because I was at my big conference. Keep in mind, this was on a Tuesday, so I was hoping that someone would give me a call. Well, no one called me on Thursday night or Friday.

On Saturday afternoon, I was out and about and I received a call from someone at Picture on the Canvass. She said that the photo that I submitted wouldn’t fit on a 16 x 20 canvass, and they had to upgrade my order to a 20x28 canvass. They normally charge $35 for the upgrade, but they would give it to me for $25. I wasn’t very happy at all. I told her about my ordeal, and she said that they did send me a proof on July 12. She asked if I checked my junk mail folder, and I told her that I never received it. She said that she was sorry.
As I’m talking with her, she said that she would send me the proof in a few minutes and asked me to okay the proof that night. I told her that I would look at it. I didn’t feel like arguing more with her because I was driving, but I would ask her for a free upgrade based on my bad customer service experience. When I got home that afternoon, I had no proof in my inbox. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy! First, the company didn’t send me a proof within seven days, and now, they didn’t deliver on another promise.

On Monday morning, I finally received my proof from the senior creative designer. I wrote him back and asked him to give me a free upgrade. The company not only didn’t mention the upgrade in any correspondence, but they never gave me the option to submit another photo that would have fit. I also mentioned that I was in PR, and I was going to blog about my experience. After three days without a response, I called the company back to check in on my order. The message said they were having issues with a power outage, so I knew that I wouldn’t hear back until next week.  

On Friday night, I received an e-mail from the designer stating that he couldn’t give me the free upgrade, but he wrote, “I can only hope that the quality and care put into your fine art canvas creation will be enough to talk positively about when reviewed.“ I thought it was very interesting that he was hoping that I would give the company a positive review. Although the canvass looked great, the overall experience was horrible with a lack of quality communication.   

I contacted my brothers and sister-in laws to get their opinion because I was going to cancel the order, and they confirmed my decision. So, on Monday, I e-mailed the designer to let him know that I was canceling my order. I would rather lose my money from my Groupon than give the company anymore more money, especially after the way they treated me and did business.  

Alas, on Tuesday night, I received a call from the company as a follow-up to my phone call on Friday. I told her about my experience, and how I wasn’t very happy. She agreed and she gave me the free upgrade on the canvass. She was very nice and mentioned that they are always looking for feedback, so I gave them some constructive criticism. The canvass looks beautiful, and I hope my dad loves it, too.  Although I finally got my order placed, six weeks later, my overall customer experience was horrible.

Although I finally got my beautiful canvass, it was a little too late in the customer service area for me. I truly hope that they have learned from their mistakes, and I know that I won’t ever order from them again.

Anyone else had a bad customer experience from Groupon or Living Social?