January 22, 2014

Luckless with Canvas Prints

I am luckless with canvas prints.

family photo as a canvas print

Back in early November I ordered a voucher for a large canvas print. I decided to go with the 24 x 32 sized canvas since that most closely matched (at least sized wise) our framed wedding photo, whose spot the canvas print would be taking. My goal was to have it, and the accent pieces hung, so our home could feel more lived-in while hosting our families for Christmas.

After some photo ninjaing due to the fact that the resolution of the photo I selected was a hair too small for the 24 x 32, I traded in the voucher on December 1st and ordered the Canvas print. It should have been plenty of time to have the canvas print mounted above the fireplace for Christmas morning.

On December 17th I received a print, a suspiciously small package arrived. A 16 x 20 sized package, which, sure enough, held a 16 x 20 sized canvas print. Domingo was on travel, so I couldn’t deal with it until after Nicki was in bed, which of course was after customer service had gone home for the night. I went to bed frustrated. Frustrated at Cafepress for the slip-up and frustrated at myself for not saving the receipt. Because I had purchased a voucher I could prove that I paid for a large, but I had no evidence that I had actually ordered a large other than the issue with the resolution. I wasn’t sure they would take my word for it.

I called Cafepress the next morning. Since the voucher code showed the price I paid they would order a new print. Phew.

When the 20th rolled around I still hadn’t heard anything about the print. I received a promotional email from them stating that today, the 20th, was the last day to order an item and have garanteed arrival for Christmas. In a panic I called up Customer service to see if there was anyway they could rush the reprint. Alas, there was nothing that they could do, canvas prints take too long to have printed. I was crushed, but I understood.

Three days latter, on the 23rd, I got an email from Customer support. They would not even process my reorder until I sent them a 3 x 5 swatch of the 16 x 20 print. They needed to be sure I wouldn’t benefit from their mistake by having two canvas prints. I was livid. I was not going to have the print I wanted in time for Christmas in part because they were intentionally delaying it. The swatch went out with the mail the very next day, but it wasn’t until January 7th that they began to process my reprint.

When the right size print arrived, well into the new year, I was still left a bit underwhelmed.

Scuff Marks Along the Edges

Despite being suspended inside the box, a 1 inch section along the edge of both the left and the right side of the canvas print had somehow been rubbed to the point of missing ink. It wouldn’t have been noticeable had I ordered a light color background, but white against brown stood out like a sore thumb.

This is where I’m grateful to have had the 16 x 20 print. I really didn’t want to go through the hassle of dealing with customer service and wait another month for a canvas print. Since the 16 x 20 was already destroyed, I thought I would see if I could ‘fix’ the white spots. I used a scissors to scar the canvas, and then drew in on them with Nicki’s crayons. They had about the same amount of ‘sheen’ as the ink, even though the color was slightly off. It made what would have been an eye sore much less noticeable.

canvasprintedge
After coloring in the white spots with one of Nicki’s brown crayons

Red Skin Tone

Here’s where having the 16 x 20 hurt me. The 16 x 20 print job was gorgeous. The 32 x 24? Overly red. If I didn’t have the 16 x 20 to compare, the redness would not have been so noticeable.

The red tone is more noticeable when the eyeball light, an Incandescent bulb that produces a yellow light, is on. If it continues to bother me, maybe I’ll see about replacing the yellow light for a natural light. For now, we don’t have a step latter tall enough.

A New Sarah

What makes me so ragey about these experiences is that I’m being forced to jump through hoops to ensure I’m not cheating them. I get that some customers probably do try and scam these companies, but they’re needs to be a better way to handle them then to treat every customer as a would-be-cheat. This delayed my canvas print by two additional weeks.

Old Sarah wouldn’t have stood for these things. Old Sarah didn’t. New Sarah is tired. New Sarah has to get up early in the morning to go to work. New Sarah wants to spend what little energy she has left at the end of the day on baking and bed time stories.

Part of the reason I’m more willing to let this slide is because I know this canvas print won’t be the one up for all perpetuity. I’d prefer the big living room photo should include all family members and our family is bound to grow at some point. When we’re done having kids and all the kids are fairly recognizable (i.e. not still babies) we’ll get a nicer quality print. In the mean time I shall continue to make do with discount prints.

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Comments

  1. I know how you feel. I ordered a large canvas for our living room wall from Shutterfly…despite your previous experience, I was hoping for the best. The canvas was entirely too orange. We all look a bit oompah loompah-ish. The worst part? Reading your experience with Nicki’s newborn print, and still paying big bucks to have the exact same thing happen to me. I hung it up anyway, because at the end of the day I was too tired to complain (and had other priorities, like you). Like you, I knew it wouldn’t be permanent (we’re expecting in Sept – so surely we’ll have new family pictures again). Still sucks though.

    • That sucks that you had a bad Shutterfly experience as well. It probably would have been better for my mental health to just hang that one up on my wall as well. I have such a hard time letting go of these things, especially when I feel like I’m not being treated fairly. I think it’s the poor customer service that gets me more than the money (although the money part bugs me too).

      If you find a place that does canvas prints well, please do let me know! And congrats on the second baby!

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