As an avid travel photographer, I love to take photographs when I travel. In addition to writing about travel and sharing my photographs on this blog, I really enjoy documenting my travels with my travel photographs in photo books. For years I have used the Snapfish website to build and print my photobooks and I have been a very happy, loyal, and satisfied customer. However, that all changed this past holiday season and the experience was so bad that I feel obligated to share it with you in hopes that it happens to none of you.
I started working on a photo book documenting my trip to Peru and Ecuador this past December and the plan was to order one for myself and then give one to my parents for Christmas. This trip had long been a dream of my father’s, which we fulfilled, and I wanted my parents to have something nice to remember the trip. I was really excited to create this project and is typical with all my travel writing and travel photography projects, I put a lot of time and effort into designing the book.
However, shortly after ordering the photo books I was notified by Snapfish that my order had been canceled because some of the photos that I uploaded and used in my photo book had become corrupted. The recommendation was to re-upload all of my photos and recreate the photo book that had taken me countless hours to create. Alarmed, I called Snapfish customer service to get clarification. Surely they couldn’t possibly expect me to completely recreate this project. Surely they must have some way to determine which photos are corrupted so that I could just replace those photos.
After speaking to Snapfish customer service personally, I was informed that I only needed to replace the photos on some pages and then resubmit my order. I was asked to make sure I saved my photo book and ensured that the changes saved before ordering. To be safe, I completely removed the photos they mentioned from the existing photo gallery, not just from my photo book, and uploaded new photos to a completely different photo gallery. From there, I added the photos back to my photo book. When I was finished, I saved the photo book, closed the photo book, and then re-opened the photo book to ensure that my changes had been saved. When I saw that they were, I re-ordered two copies of the updated photo book.
Here is where the frustration really begins. A few days after re-ordering two copies of the updated photo book, I was informed by Snapfish support that my order had again been canceled. It turns out, there were still corrupted photos used in my photo book. This time, the email I received didn’t instruct me to recreate my entire project, but it asked me to re-upload several photographs, including some that I had already removed and re-uploaded. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I called Snapfish support to discuss the matter further. This time, I asked to speak to a support manager.
What I was told by the manager absolutely frustrated me. He informed me that my only option was to re-upload all of my photographs and to recreate my entire photo book. Not because they had exhausted all other options, but because this is the ONLY option when a photo gets corrupted on upload to Snapfish. In other words, I had completely wasted my time re-uploading photos and editing my photo book previously.
For those that follow my blog, you know that I am an optimistic person to almost a fault. I find the good in every destination that I travel to and I like to focus on and write about the good in the world. However, I also feel an obligation to my readers to help you avoid dangers, scams, and other frustrations such as this when it comes to all things travel and travel photography, including creating travel photo books. If I am being asked to re-create a photo book that took me countless hours to create in the first place, then chances are that other people are going thru the same frustrations as well. I don’t want you to be one of those people.
Snapfish has offered to give me a free photo book, minus all of the extra pages that I added to the photo book I created and minus the 70% discount code that I used when I originally purchased my photo book. In other words, if I am unable to find a current 70% discount code for Snapfish, even with the free photo book I will be paying more than I did on my canceled orders to re-create my photo book. This just adds insult to injury.
I am not the kind of person who is vindictive and is going to tell you to not use Snapfish for your photo needs, but I do want you to be aware of my experience so that you can make an educated decision of your own. If you are looking to create a photo book of your travels, I would strongly caution using any service that will force you to re-create your entire project if your photographs get corrupted when you upload them to their site.
I would expect the site to notify you before you create your project that photos that were uploaded weren’t uploaded correctly or at least not let you add corrupted photos to your project. Finally, in this day and age, I would expect their software to allow you to re-upload just the corrupted photographs if a problem occurs and not have to completely re-upload all of your photos and re-create your entire project. In my opinion, any company that is ok with telling its customers that doesn’t appear to care all that much about their customers or their time.
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