Delay in Customer Support

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If you submitted a support request this weekend, we experienced some downtime with our email support system on Saturday and Sunday. The good good news is that questions filled out and emailed to us over the weekend will be answered in the order we received them starting at midnight tonight (Sunday 12 a.m. PST). The bad news is that we have quite a number to work through, however we hope to get to everyone’s incident as soon as possible between now and end of day Monday.

No need to resubmit your support questions as that will only result in duplicates.

We apologize for the delay and have put processes in place to prevent this situation from happening again.

Thanks for your patience.

– Kathy

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36 Comments

  1. How about putting some processes in place to speed up your customer service over all, this one email a day customer service means it takes days to get issues resolved that could be handled in less than five minutes with a phone call.

    By Cort Anderson
      December 12, 2008 – 10:29 am   Permalink
  2. Hi Cort,

    Right now, depending on the time of day you submit your email request, we should get back to you within 2 to 7 hours, and that’s for the U.S. as well as internationally. If it’s taking longer for us to get back to you, I do apologize for the tardiness.

    Also, as you probably know, we respond to all incidents in the order that
    they are received. Writing multiple email requests or replying multiple times to the same email will actually make it take longer for us to respond to customer support requests. This happens a lot, so we do have to wade through a lot of duplicate tickets.

    That said, every year, after the holiday rush is behind us, we meet to see how we can apply what we’ve learned from the rush to customer support, messaging, shipping, etc. for next year. As always, we look to improve our processes when and where we can. And if phone support or chat make sense, we will definitely look into adding those features.

    Keep the feedback coming!

    – Kathy

    By Kathy
      December 12, 2008 – 12:59 pm   Permalink
  3. Phone Support would definitely be appreciated (even for a subscription – per 15 minute fee type of format) It is just sometimes too difficult to describe an issue that can be adressed in 5 minutes by phone. Even Chat is horribly frustrating at times. Given Holiday Rush, you could have a Black-out Period and offer Phone Support only “Off-Season”. Whatever you can arrange would be appreciated. Lack of Phone support is one of the reasons I’m still short of publishing my first book.

    By Linda
      December 16, 2008 – 3:46 am   Permalink
  4. I’d just like to say how great your customer service is. You responded to my problem within a few hours and have completely put my mind at rest. I cannot praise you enough. Other companies could learn a lot from you guys. Thanks.

      December 17, 2008 – 10:48 am   Permalink
  5. As of today I officially hate blurb!!! Will not be reordering from them (will stick to “my publisher” only because customer support is fantastic). I ordered several books from blurb and they came when they said except two books that are christmas presents (ordered a month ago). And paid for the faster delivery. Blurb won’t answer any of my emails to let me know what the problem is. Very, very frustrated with blurb.

    By Jessica
      December 17, 2008 – 5:22 pm   Permalink
  6. Hi,

    I just wanted to say that me and my husband ordered several books that we created with y’all. I was a bit nervous how they would turn out because I had read a few reviews after we had ordered that said the quality was less than perfect. Well I am here to say that despite others whos may have not turned out quite the way they wanted, ours turned out overly perfect…. if there is such a thing. I was also a bit nervous as far as the shipping cause it seemed to be taking a while to process. But I was never not aware of what was going on with our order, and the customer service (although I hated that y’all don’t have any phone support) was excellent. I was help a quickly as possible and it was helpful… letting me know that my order was running on time and would ship on the estimated date.

    Thank You Blurb and Blurb Staff,
    Shannon

      December 18, 2008 – 6:43 am   Permalink
  7. I ordered my book based on your published deadlines and I STILL won’t receive it in time to get it to my family members for Christmas. I just received an email from you guys promising delivery by christmas eve. My original ship date was 12/16! This is my first order with Blurb and it will most likely be my last. I was so excited to present my parents with an album for christmas and now there is no way I will be able to do that. Broken promises are a bad way to do business in tough economic times.

      December 18, 2008 – 10:01 am   Permalink
  8. I just made my first Blurb book after years of working with Shutterfly. While the program and service all are terrific, and the binding is high quality, I was so disappointed in the final product that I re-did it (to my extreme delight) in Shutterfly. Basically, I found the print quality in the Blurb version to be sadly dull. With the Shutterfly version the print quality is exciting: colors are rich and detail is crisp. I also appreciate the more template options in Shutterfly. Sorry to be writing this – as I love the idea of Blurb, just not the final product.

    Sadly, Judy

    By Judy Mann
      December 18, 2008 – 10:52 am   Permalink
  9. And I thought it was only MY order that is delayed! Just found all these comments. I ordered 10 books by the Dec. 5th deadline and received the order as promised. Unfortunately, due to some mistakes I made, I edited what I thought needed to be changed and placed a new order by the Dec 9th deadline… for a promised delivery of Dec. 16th. NOTHING YET. My family Christmas gathering is THIS Sunday, the 21st, and like so many others, it was to be a very personal & heartfelt gift. Inspired by my brother’s incurable illness and impending passing, I created this book for him, his kids and grandkids. In checking my order status, I see that it hasn’t been sent yet. I am still BELIEVING and hoping there is a miracle out there….if not for a cure for him, at least for him to see what an inspiration & teacher he has been to many of us. Please do your best and I will keep praying that whatever situation is holding up your promised orders can be fixed and everyone of your customer’s will be happy.

    By Marilyn Garry
      December 18, 2008 – 1:57 pm   Permalink
  10. To all of those who are nervous about receiving their books in time for next week’s holidays — our printers are working 24/7 to get out all of our holiday orders. Our holiday volume is at an all-time high right now, and we’re producing and shipping thousands of books each day and throughout the weekend. We try to estimate ship dates to the best of our ability, but at this time of year with our increased volume, some orders are delayed a few days. Last year, 99% of books ordered by our holiday shipping deadlines got delivered in time for the holidays. We hope to repeat that statistic this year.

    That said, we know a few people are experiencing these delays and we’re monitoring all orders to ensure they arrive on or before December 24. In fact, if things look iffy, we are upgrading shipping where necessary.

    You’ll get an email from us if we’ve upgraded your shipping to a faster method and for sure when your book has shipped.

    Thanks for your patience.

    – Kathy

    By Kathy
      December 18, 2008 – 2:35 pm   Permalink
  11. I have received no support. My book was supposed to be sent around 12/9. I am still waiting. The customer service is terrible. Very evasive. I too would sure like to talk with someone.

    By skip welles
      December 18, 2008 – 2:36 pm   Permalink
  12. Like so many others, I am desperately hoping to recieve my book before Christmas. It stated that it was to be shipped on the 15th with 2nd day delivery, however, I still have heard nothing. I find it extremely frustrating that there are NO contact phone numbers or e-mail addresses listed on your site!!! I wish someone would please inform me of my order status. As a photographer, this reflects poorly on my business. Waiting patiently…

    By Cortney
      December 19, 2008 – 10:27 am   Permalink
  13. Hi Cortney,

    Customer support is super easy to reach. You can find contact information, along with FAQs, tutorials, and more by clicking on Help, which is located throughout our site. Or you can fill out a customer support form straight away. We’re currently getting back to people within two business hours.

    Hope that helps. We’re literally shipping out thousands of books between now and December 23.

    – Kathy

    By Kathy
      December 19, 2008 – 3:56 pm   Permalink
  14. I have probably placed my last order with Blurb. The lack of support and poor customer service is INEXCUSABLE.

    I placed my order on December 4th. for 5 copies of the same book. Today is December 21 and I have NOTHING. My order status shows “IN PROCESS.”

    IF I receive the books before Wednesday December 24th, I have no means of getting them to the intended recipients in time. Thank you very much.

    I’ve gone through this before with Blurb. Sorry… there is no excuse. Other people want my business and are willing to work for it and treat me like a customer.

    You can be sure I’ll be posting this on my photography forum. It may not be much, but I assure you… 1000 professional photographers are going to hear about this.

    - John

      December 21, 2008 – 3:29 pm   Permalink
  15. I ordered a book one Dec 11 and requested 2nd day air which was within the deadline of receiving it by Christmas. This is THE MAIN gift I am giving to someone and its still “processing” though the estimated shipping date was on the 19th. Am I going to receive this on Christmas Eve? I didn’t have this problem last year and, believe me, if this book doesn’t come on time, I won’t be having the problem next year either because I’ll be taking my business elsewhere.

    By Lou
      December 22, 2008 – 1:08 pm   Permalink
  16. Seems like a common problem … ordered on December 6 – well ahead of any deadlines, target date Dec 15 … Dec 22 still “in processing”. Customer service response: on Dec 18 “Your book should be leaving the printers very soon … all books are printed off-site so my information is limited–I can’t physically go down to the shop floor and see where it is in the production process.”

    … so it’s ok to outsource the responsiblity to deliver too now!

    Very dissapointing.

    By Quintin
      December 22, 2008 – 8:21 pm   Permalink
  17. I’ve just been reading through this blog and am sharing everyone’s complete frustration with non-delivery by Christmas! I have just read Kathy’s reply on Dec-18 that said, “we know a few people are experiencing these delays and we’re monitoring all orders to ensure they arrive on or before December 24. In fact, if things look iffy, we are upgrading shipping where necessary.” I submitted my order on Dec-6 before the Christmas deadline that was published for my country (Asia-Pacific). I had to pay $51 for 6 books to be sent Priority shipping which your shipping page stated was 2-4 days delivery to Asia-Pacific. My package was eventually picked up on Dec-18 but via Fed-ex ECONOMY. It will not arrive in time for Christmas even though i did everything at my end to comply. When I enquired about this with your customer “support” yesterday they have simply said priority shipping normally takes 5-11 days and the estimated delivery of Dec-29 is 5 working days (its actually 6 but that extra day is making all the difference!). Not very helpful at all when you have continually claimed you are all doing everything possible to ensure delivery by Christmas! So why was my delivery not upgraded and sent priority which is what i paid for in the first instance?
    PS For interest of the forum the customer support email turn-around time was 7 hours and it didn’t answer all my queries regarding shipping.

    By Sandy
      December 23, 2008 – 8:42 am   Permalink
  18. I am having the SAME problem, except this is the main gift for my entire family!

    I ordered overnight December 10th, it says “Complete” & had a fedex shipping number – except Fedex never received the package from them.

    I send an email and they say its in “Processing” status.

    By Lauren
      December 23, 2008 – 10:57 am   Permalink
  19. Blurb employees, it would GREATLY help matters if you would allow changes to delivery addresses after orders are placed.

    In addition to your production delays, FedEx is having delays. I ordered a book through you guys which shipped yesterday to my address in Brooklyn. That’s great, except, it’s not coming today like it should and I won’t be here tomorrow when it is delivered.

    I called FedEx to change the delivery address so it goes to where I’ll be tomorrow, but they said they cannot do that, only you guys can authorize the change.

    Just like everyone else here, if we don’t get this book in our hands, we are, unfortunately, empty-handed for Christmas.

    By jasmine
      December 23, 2008 – 2:06 pm   Permalink
  20. I am having the same problem — I’m disappointed I switched to Blurn from Apple — order 5 books for family members just like I did last year (from Apple) “It’s the only thing I look forward to getting” says my Mother-in-law.

    Nope, won’t have it now. Leaving for the Holidays even if it does come in tomorrow. Bummer.

    By Frank Thompson
      December 23, 2008 – 3:38 pm   Permalink
  21. I am as of right now one very unhappy customer. Book was expected to be shipped the 22 and yet it is still in processing. I looked at my account today and they have credited back my next day shipping,. No email no explanation nothing. That’s very nice of them but hello i paid for it because i wanted it right away.So now i am wondering when it shows up, how is it going to be shipped as i thought being the customer that was my choice. ok i had to vent . Will wait patiently for customer service email.

    By Dee
      December 23, 2008 – 6:26 pm   Permalink
  22. I ordered my book on 12/08/08. It was suppose to ship on the 16th shipped on the 22nd with 2 day shipping. I’ll see if it gets here today. I think Blurb needs to offer coupons for people with delayed shipping!!!

    By John
      December 24, 2008 – 7:16 am   Permalink
  23. I ordered my book by the deadline for the two day shipping on, or by Dec. 24th…… I was happy to see that my book was shipped but, the estimated delivery is by 7 p.m. on Dec. 26th! If I had been contacted, I would happily have paid for 1 day shipping, just to get it here by Xmas!! I don’t understand why customers can’t be contacted…..Plus, it is stated in an earlier posted comment by “Kathy” that upgraded shipping would be made in instances where things looked “iffy”. Well, if you don’t ship on holidays, and Christmas is a holiday…duh,…..If an order is shipped on the 23rd of December…..and it has 2 days to get to the destination, that would be December 25th…CHRISTMAS…..on which there is NO SHIPPING that day, then, of course that makes the day of delivery the 26th! If that isn’t “IFFY” enough to upgrade shipping for Xmas delivery, then I don’t know what is! I am disappointed, to say the least…..I’ve had other issues in the 9 months of putting my book together in honor of my 86 year old fathe, (as in downloading the newer version of the Booksmart and then my book not being “compatible” to work with it!), and having to start over from scratch! I didn’t need this too!

    By Sandy Staruk
      December 24, 2008 – 11:41 am   Permalink
  24. This is my first time using your program to create books. However, I have used several other programs in the past. I have to say I am extremely disappointed!

    This time last year my little sister passed away unexpectedly. It has been a really hard year for my family. She was a pastry chef and I thought it would be a nice gift for everyone to combine some of her recipes with a bunch of pictures of her.

    I currently work two jobs, and a couple of months ago I had my first child (a beautiful baby girl). Like many others, money is very tight for us this year. Also, finding the time to create the book was very (especially because of the many technical difficulties I encountered with your program). These books are the only presents I could afford, and I was very excited that I was able to place my order in time for Christmas. I placed my order on the 7th of December. My estimated ship date was Dec. 15. An estimate is supposed to be close. It is now Christmas Eve and my order still reads processing (to me this means they are not even finished). Therefore, I have NOTHING to give anyone tomorrow. Bad weather is not a good enough excuse. I should’ve had my books over a week ago. I wanted the book to be a nice surprise and now I will have to tell my family about the book – just not the same. I know it sounds dramatic, but I have a sick feeling in my stomach and I have shed some tears today because my books didn’t come.

    I am not sure how your company can make up for my situation and the similar experiences of others, but I would hope that you are thinking of some type of compensation to let your customers know that you expect more of your company and its business practices.

    Respectfully Yours,

    Kerry Buck

    Order number 380705

    By Kerry
      December 24, 2008 – 4:32 pm   Permalink
  25. I experienced the same issue. This is a main gift for grandma and Blurb told me that I made the holiday deadline a couple of times. It still shows status of Processing now on Dec. 25. Blurb needs to be more honest with their customers and not just try to get as many sales as they can. Maybe this can be a birthday present now. The only question is will it arrive by November of 2009?

    By Ron
      December 24, 2008 – 10:50 pm   Permalink
  26. Blurb sucks. I suggest Picaboo instead. At least you receive what you ordered. Instead of a wedding album we received an album full of some strangers kid!
    So not only did we not get our wedding album, some poor grandparent out there didn’t get their album either.

    Don’t waste your time or money with Blurb. Might as well flush your money down the toilet. Use Picaboo! They’ve been fantastic.

    By Struan Buchanan
      December 26, 2008 – 4:43 pm   Permalink
  27. I received my 2 books and I love them both…They are Celebrate Sidney. But I also received someone elses order and I am sure they are really going to miss them. The name is Grass Valley Oregon. I got 3 of them..I don’t know what to do and where to send them back. please let me know

    By Nyla Stromberg
      December 26, 2008 – 6:31 pm   Permalink
  28. Like many of you, I also did not receive my order on time. It was ordered by the Dec. 12th deadline and currently shows “Processing.” While I’m frustrated that it didn’t make it, I do have to say that the offer to refund the entire order and still ship the books plays a huge part in the reason I’ll be staying with Blurb. That said, I understand why many are upset and hope Blurb will try to increase staff sizes, add phone support, etc. If the company would like to continue growing as it seems to have, there has to be a way to handle so many orders.

    By Rachael
      December 27, 2008 – 7:41 am   Permalink
  29. I made a book using Blurb and one using Snapfish. The quality, delivery time and service through Blurb was far superior. Thanks Blurb for making my holiday gift giving this year so easy! I was truly thrilled with my books and received them in a timely manner. You will be seeing me ordering more books in the future and I have spread the word about your company.

    By Carol Kunkel
      December 29, 2008 – 12:05 pm   Permalink
  30. I have been trying to order 50 copies of my book but the order entry is miscalculating the shipping costs at $153 rather than the $15 or so that it should be. Customer service does not respond to my inquiry for help. Should I just go elsewhere to get this done or am I doing something wrong?

    By Ron
      December 30, 2008 – 5:55 am   Permalink
  31. I agree that more initial honesty with customers would be helpful. I had no idea when I ordered my books that Blurb doesn’t really communicate with the printers they work with. My estimated ship date was yesterday; when I inquired via e-mail about the status of my order, I was told that it was still at the printers and that Blurb “hopes” it ships soon! I completely understand that the ship date was an estimate, and that different factors can affect the processing of a book. But I think it’s my right as a customer to be notified promptly of any delays and given a new estimated ship date. I ordered my books in time for them to arrive by today, my mother’s birthday, and in time for me to bring them with me on a post-holiday visit to my in-laws’. I would have had them on time as birthday and Christmas presents for three different people. Now I have nothing to give those people, and if and when the books do arrive, they will be close to meaningless–a Christmas/birthday gift several days after the fact has so little impact, especially when it’s a fun “surprise” present of a photo album. I feel completely helpless right now: I have no way of knowing if and when my book will be shipped, and Blurb doesn’t seem to think this is a regrettable state of affairs.

    Although I didn’t order in time for a holiday deadline (I didn’t need my books by December 24!), it strikes me as very odd that Blurb publishes holiday deadlines at all, when they seem to have zero control over when customers receive their books.

    By C. Madden
      December 30, 2008 – 7:41 am   Permalink
  32. I am currently looking for a place to print some books for me. I was told to look into blurb as they do quality work. After seeing all the complaints on this website about lack of honest communication and software not being user friendly, I think I will look elsewhere. Thank you posters for honest opinions

    By Shari S
      December 30, 2008 – 1:27 pm   Permalink
  33. I am writing to say that I just made my first Blurb book and I was very impressed with the software. I’ve worked with both Quark and InDesign and while Blurb bookmaking is not a commercial-grade tool, it is easy to use and has many different layout options and plenty of room to get creative.
    My book hasn’t arrived yet, (I’ve only just ordered it) but I have friends who have got theirs and were thrilled with the result. Meanwhile, I’d like to add my voice to those who are impressed with the software and creative options.
    Thanks Blurb!

    By Sharon L
      December 31, 2008 – 1:33 am   Permalink
  34. I agree there was some confusion about the shipping w/my order too, but my books both came in time for christmas. They are beautiful!! The friends I gave them to were speachless. They are quite possibly the best gifts I have ever given someone. THANK YOU BLURB! For one of the best christmas’s ever!!

    By B,Martin
      December 31, 2008 – 3:14 pm   Permalink
  35. After reading a number of negative comments about Blurb, I felt compelled to let these readers know that my experience was exceptional. I have never done this type of publication before and I can only say that my experience was all I was led to believe it would be. I ordered my two books by the deadline for Christmas delivery and they were delivered on the day expected and I am very pleased with the result. I have seen many other books from other online publishers and Blurb is exceptional quality. The ease of your program is also impressive for those of us who are beginners. I felt very confident when creating my special gift for our two adult children.

    By Sue S.
      December 31, 2008 – 4:53 pm   Permalink
  36. I am really disappointed in your so called better paper. I have never had a problem with the regular paper but now I have paid more and gotten less.

    1. The colors in my photographs bleed.

    2. E

    By BEBE FOX
      January 1, 2009 – 12:15 pm   Permalink

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