Screw You And Your Condescending Customer Service Reps VistaPrint!

Happy Shootin’ DudeAs you can probably tell from the title of this post, I am angry. Livid. With small twitches in my extremities that can only be stilled by breaking something. Unfortunately, I’m pretty happy with the things in my office, so the twitching will have to subside naturally.

[Warning: The following was written in anger. While Brian generally avoids excess profanity in his blog, he doesn’t here. He revels in it. If strong language offends you, dear reader, consider checking back in later for the next installment, which will undoubtedly be cleaner.]

So I just got off the phone with a customer service representative for VistaPrint named Kevin. (Which kinda bothers me because I have a good friend named Kevin.) Thought I doubt that’s his real name, Kevin, I can tell you, is an asshole. And as you would expect from a grade A prick, he’s horrible when it comes to customer service. Here’s an example of the exchange that will cause VistaPrint to lose my business from this day forward.

Kevin the Prick: Hi, what can I help you with?
Angry Brian: Hi, I’m calling because the replacement order for my business cards never arrived. The one I ordered several months ago. And in fact, I’m looking at your website, and it says my order was canceled! I never got any notification of it being canceled, which is fucking ridiculous.
Kevin the Prick: [With attitude] Excuse me?
Angry Brian: [Ignoring attitude, more irritated] The replacement order I put in forever-ago was canceled. I didn’t cancel it. I wasn’t notified that it was canceled. I’ve been waiting forever.
Kevin the Prick: OK, if we can proceed without the swear words I can help you.

You know what Kevin? Fuck you and fuck your company. Customer service is of paramount importance, especially when things don’t go as planned. I think it goes without say you never, ever correct a customer. Especially an angry customer. And especially not when you’re all saddled-up on your high-horse. I don’t care if you wince. I don’t care if you shudder. I don’t care if you’re offended. And I don’t care if I was overly aggressive and a prick myself when spoke to you. You don’t correct a fucking customer. That’s right, “fucking”. Because you know what, when you do that, you lose a customer. You Kevin, you lost VistaPrint all my future business. Congratulations. I’m sure VistaPrint doesn’t mind the costs of my lost business to ensure your ears a G-rated work day.

What makes the whole thing even more asinine is I was using the word “fucking” in the exchange as an adjective; a description of how ridiculous the situation was, not as a verbal assault against Captain Pricktastic. (Who is probably illiterate and the progeny of a lonely goat herder and his smelly flock.) That sort of swearing is even allowed on the radio these days, thanks to Bono‘s televised slip at an award show a few years back.

So you as the reader, are probably thinking “Brian! Don’t say anything until you actually get your order! You won’t get it for sure now!” You know what, you’re probably right. But I don’t care. This is at least the third time I’ve had to contact them with regard to this order, and I have very, very low expectations of ever receiving it. Here’s the time line as it sits presently:

March ’07: Flawed business cards ordered (part my mistake, part theirs).
April ’07: Flawed cards arrive.
May ’07: Notice problems, which includes embarrassing spelling error, and re-order. (Have to pay a small additional fee for re-order, since it was partially my fault. Fine. Again stuck with 21 day shipping time frame. Fine.)
June ’07: Stumble on a confirmation email, and realize I never got these cards. Email customer service. Never get a reply. (I think I sent a second email, but no response to that either.)
July 13th ’07: Stumble on that forgotten confirmation email again. Check the website only to discover my order was canceled. Call Kevin the CSR clown and get pissed.

Some people reading this might also think I’m the one being a prick. Yep, that’s very likely. I was an angry customer. That was my role. They have my money, I didn’t receive the goods. I’d been screwed, and I wanted satisfaction. The CSR’s job was to talk me down with apologies (which are generally only a formality, but an appreciated one) and promises to rectify the situation followed with decisive action.

How do I know all this? I’m a I.T. consultant and I dabble with selling things on eBay. In both scenarios, you have to deal with people who are pissed from time to time. Just this week, an eBay customer failed to read my thorough auction write up (if you’ve read my cigar reviews, you know I’m thorough) and sent a livid email to me to tell me how unacceptable an item was. An item that he paid 50 cents for. The flaws were documented in both text and pictures, but instead of correcting him, I apologized.

Yep, that’s right. I was clearly right, he was clearly wrong. (And I think we both knew it.) But I asked him what I could do to make the situation right. You know what? It worked out beautifully. I got very positive feedback from him, and while I lost a little money on the item (I got to keep most of the shipping expenses), this customer would probably buy from me again! That’s customer-fucking-service, Kevin! Get your thumb out of your ass and grab a damn note pad!

WordPress needs a lion-roaring emoticon. Or maybe an exploding head. *Sigh* OK. I’m done. Happy again! πŸ™‚

[UPDATE: I finally made it to the next level! My mother would be so proud…

Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
hell (8x), asshole (5x), pissed (4x), ass (3x), fuck (2x), gun (1x)]

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  1. abarclay12 said,

    July 13, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    Clearly these people are assoles. I have a friend named Kevin too, but he’s an assole so it didn’t bother me too much.

  2. Brian said,

    July 13, 2007 at 4:36 pm


    Thanks abarclay12. My friend Kevin is of the “gentle giant” variety, and would be very injured if he thought I was bashing him. Though he’s exceptionally funny when acting injured. I’m such a sadist. 😈

    God was this a satisfying post! I better appreciate it now, I have this feeling I’m in for a beating in the comments…

  3. JoeDrinker said,

    July 13, 2007 at 7:15 pm

    Ummmm, online faceless ordering not go according to plan? πŸ˜‰

    If given a choice, I still walk into a brick & mortar shop for services like printing, even if there’s a cost difference. The funny thing is that I used to co-manage a shop that did short run digital printing like Vista and sold it exclusively on the web!

    Although I can’t help get your money back from them, if you feel up to a little experiment, email me your cards and maybe we can work something out.

  4. Brian said,

    July 14, 2007 at 10:20 am

    Yeah JD,

    That’s the problem with the whole online business model. It works like a dream when everything goes to plan. But when it doesn’t, it really sucks. And it’s really hard to replace good customer service with website.

    You know what? I might just take you up on that. I love your graphic art. Well what I’ve seen of it so far. We’ll see how this final transaction with VistaPrint works out. I might be dropping you a line! πŸ™‚

  5. Tiffany said,

    July 15, 2007 at 12:24 am

    Jeebus, everyone’s having customer service issues lately, or so it seems. I hope I don’t catch the bug.

    If it’ll help at all, I’ll stop using VistaPrint too! I’ve used them in the past for business cards, invitations, etc, but the quality always seemed just this side of cheap anyway. Naturally, being cheap, I didn’t really mind, but now I have reason to be supportive friend type and say, “Screw you, VistaPrint, you are teh suhk!”

    Doing what she can to help friend and humanity,

  6. babychaos said,

    July 15, 2007 at 1:01 pm

    There’s me thinking red was as far as it went. I can understand your pique but remember, Kevin has had pissed off Vistaprint punters shouting at him every day, split shifts 0800 – 1400 or 1400 – 2200 for the last seven. He’s probably spitting feathers as badly as you are!

    They are a bit crap though.



  7. babychaos said,

    July 15, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    PS And he does sound a bit prissy…! πŸ˜‰

  8. Brian said,

    July 15, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    Hi Tiffany,

    Thanks for the words of support! Nah, I’m not calling for a boycott or anything. If they’ve been good for you and reasonably priced, don’t feel like you gotta quit using ’em on my account! They’ve been stringing me along too long now for me to do business with them in the future.

    LOL babychaos! I was kind of thinking the guy had a bit of extra padding in his loafers! πŸ˜‰ And with their track record, I could image this guy is up to his eyebrows in unserved customers! He just isn’t terribly good at working with them… If I were his career counselor, I’d advise him to consider another line of work. Manning the phones isn’t for everyone. Abusing customers is best saved for after hours at the pub with co-workers… πŸ˜‰

  9. July 19, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    […] Atlanta, Cigars, Reviews, Lists, News) I just love the way things work out. The day following an immensely unpleasant customer service experience (that I probably over-reacted to), I have on the best customer interactions I’ve had in a […]

  10. Suzie said,

    August 5, 2007 at 7:04 pm

    VistaPrint runs a SCAM where they will enroll you, without your knowledge, into a bogus “rewards” program, charging you $14.95 monthly on your credit card. I made the mistake of ordering business cards from them, only to later see these bogus monthly charges. If you do an internet search, you will see many complaints from people scammed by VistaPrint in this manner. It took many phone calls (and hold time) to VistaPrint who promised, but never delivered, to rectify the situation. I had to deal with it through my credit card company.

    VistaPrint is a SCAM, beware, beware, beware!

  11. August 5, 2007 at 10:25 pm

    Weel done, great blog and great posts!!!

  12. Brian said,

    August 9, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks for the advice Suzie, I’ll keep an eye on my credit card statements! And it’s safe to say that VistaPrint won’t be getting any of my business in the future.

    Thanks for the kind words Mercado Trabalho Consultoria Assossoria.

  13. Hannah said,

    February 5, 2008 at 1:46 am

    Thanks for blowing off some steam for me. Although my CSR’s name was not “Kevin-the prick” …it was a she version of him. I didn’t even swear…I just spoke in a tone of displeasure because I paid for something that never arrived after their promised 21 days delivery. (it’s now the 32nd day) The biatch couldnt resolve anything..didn’t know how…She said she couldnt find my information so I gave her my confirmation information (which I thankfully printed out) Then because she didn’t know what she was doing, the biatch put me on hold for over 15 minutes and then just hung up!!!!!!!!!

    My head was about to explode.

    I’m just about to let them have my money because it’s really not worth the headache and the spiking blood pressure.

    They lost one more customer. >: (

  14. Brian said,

    February 5, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Hannah,

    I’m sorry you had to go through the same circle of customer service hell that I did. Let this be a warning to readers! You may not pay a lot for your business cards (or stationary or whatever), and you will get exactly what you pay for from their customer service department!

    Chin up Hannah, don’t let them keep your money. If you do, they win, and they won’t change their ways!


  15. TJL said,

    April 14, 2011 at 12:17 am

    Yo dude; hilarious blog entry. I’ve got one that’s pretty similar about how much ridiculous monkey cock these donut punchers must chug on a daily basis to achieve the level of customer dissatisfaction necessary for me to take the time to blog about it.

    Anyways; the best part was when I got to the bottom of your page and google ads put a ‘Vistaprint’ ad right there in giant color. Ironic – hilarious – highlight of my day.

    Fuck google too.

  16. pissedoff customer said,

    February 21, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Hi Brian,
    I’ve been Customer Service in a number of businesses. IT being the latest.
    As usual I find that most people who call are already pissed and tend to take it out on the CS rep on the phone. SHOOT THE MESSENGER!
    I do agree with you that VistaPrint is shoddy suckass quality etc.
    Purchased two personalized ball point pens for my wife. One doesn’t work! On both pens the lack of contrast between printing and back ground makes it almost unreadable. I also purchased a return address stamp for her in the same order.

    Forget about it! It can’t be read. The print is rediculously small.
    Cheap shit is the operative here.
    As far as you’re write up here, the language is a little out of line but so what. It in my opinion indicates true feelings. What does look bad is the grammar. Read you post again. I am pissed right now also but I think my grammar is close to correct!

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