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WhiteWall Printing recommended by Leica

Discussion in 'Leica M Forum' started by dalethorn, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    I ordered a print from WhiteWall in early September. That's the company Leica recommends for Monochrom prints, and they place the referral with new Monochrom cameras you order. I followed up a few times but they responded only twice - once to say Baryta paper was difficult to work with, and the second time on Oct. 2 to say my print was shipped. Yesterday after not receiving the print and wondering what happened, I found the package tracing button and tracked it, only to see that there was no attempt to deliver it. The tracking showed that the package was "Held at FedEx location for recipient pickup", then a few days after that "Destroyed at customer's request". And still I have no communication from WhiteWall. I think this is a ridiculous way to do business, and I'm out about $50 unless I can cancel the credit card payment.
     
  2. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    That's pretty crazy. I've never seen "destroyed at customer's request."
     
  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I think that is the same as the postal service's choice of "treat as abandoned". It basically means the customer (WhiteWall in this case since they paid FedEx to deliver it to you) doesn't want to pay the return shipping (after all it's not their photo).

    Something sounds like it went horribly wrong. WhiteWall should have let you know if it would be held at FedEx for pickup instead of being delivered. If they don't satisfy you, then you need to "undo" the transaction through your credit card company.
     
  4. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    It's my first also. I called FedEx and they apologized profusely, saying the box arrived at their facility empty. He didn't say much after that except that the shipper requested it be destroyed. I surmised that FedEx notified their customer (WhiteWall) that the box was empty (another new one for me), and the customer requested it be destroyed, probably so FedEx wouldn't return it to WhiteWall for extra shipping charges. I sent another email early yesterday to WhiteWall, but haven't heard from them.
     
  5. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    I got the impression from FedEx that the only reason it was held is because they knew it was empty, so they couldn't deliver it. And FedEx notified WhiteWall of that early on, who should have notified me, but WhiteWall just dropped the ball. What's bizarre isn't so much the empty box, but WhiteWall requesting the destruction more than a week after they were notified by FedEx, without giving me any notice. It's as if WhiteWall were embarrassed at the snafu and rather than contact their customer (me), they just passed the buck to someone else or shelved it.
     
  6. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    wow that's ridiculously bad service. They have a great reputation in terms of print quality, but they had better make up the poor service to you!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    I hope! I really want to see one of those prints, so maybe they're working quietly behind the scenes to generate a replacement. Then again, the destroy thing was 5 days ago and they're still being very quiet...
     
  8. flash

    flash SC Veteran

    372
    May 6, 2011
    Gordon
    pick up the phone......

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    So even though they have sent emails in the past and are ignoring my current emails, I should call them anyway. To complain that they aren't answering my emails?

    Imagine you are WhiteWall and are ignoring my emails. What are you going to say when I call you? "I'm sorry Dale that we destroyed your package, and excuse us for ignoring your emails".

    I've played that game with a few vendors in the past, but this time I'm going to hope for the best - that they're just confused somehow and will straighten things out, and that calling them would just be confrontational.

    But if I'm missing something, such as I should be doing a better job of begging, please let me know.
     
  10. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Dale, it might just be that there is one person that isn't doing the right thing. Maybe somebody else answers the phone and can take care of it.

    As my Dad used to say...the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
     
  11. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Please don't get me wrong on this - I very much appreciate your input and advice. But you should know that there's a much larger issue here than Dale's lost photo. I need to know whether this is affecting a lot of other people, or just me - and if it's just me, why. I'm not in any hurry. Leica is already aware of this I know, and they're the company who sent me to WhiteWall. So if WhiteWall doesn't respond to further emails, I might petition Leica to quit recommending them.
     
  12. flash

    flash SC Veteran

    372
    May 6, 2011
    Gordon
    Yep.

    How do you know your emails aren't getting caught up in a spam filter? Or there is an IT issue? It's not like they don't have a listed phone number. They're not hiding.

    A few minutes on the phone.... "you have my money. Where is my print?" Or days waiting for an email that isn't going to come so you can prove a point. Your choice.

    Gordon
     
  13. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    The people who take the order, process the order etc. are German, working in Germany. They also get the emails. There is a U.S. phone no., but that won't go to the people who actually are involved. But I could call anyway, since even though my previous emails did go through, the newer ones might now be trapped as spam?
     
  14. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Dale, I am a Customer Experience advocate for a living. Complaining to right a wrong (as opposed to moaning) is an art-form.

    1. Use Linkedin or similar to establish the CEO of Whitewall. Email them directly. Copy Leica CS at minimum.

    2. Tweet your story with the hashtags #whitewall, #leicacamera #fedex That WILL get attention...

    3. Pick up the 'phone. Ask IMMEDIATELY to speak to the person's supervisor.

    However - remember that Whitewall is a small company. You want them to act, not bring down a twitterstorm on them.

    Hope this helps.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Bill, I'm gonna bookmark your advice for future reference :smile:
     
  16. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    #badassbill
     
  17. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    It does, thanks. All of these are doable.
     
  18. KillRamsey

    KillRamsey SC Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2012
    Cambridge, MA
    Kyle
    Regarding the phone-vs-email thing...

    There are some people at work (and some small businesses out there) who just seem to respond MUCH differently to a phone call than an email. I personally prefer emails by a landslide, so don't me wrong here - I'm not endorsing it. Just something I've noticed. These companies frequently:

    - Are very small (which means a few peoples' habits = the company's habits, effectively)
    - Offer some specialized service or product (which means customers come to them without as much work or innovation as more competitive businesses, so their quirks don't punish them to the same degree as they would someone like B&H, etc)

    ...So they have some thing or service that isn't commonly available, and people come to them in sufficient quantities that they don't HAVE to put much work into their customer experience. A quick example, and then a recommendation:

    There's a company in New Hampshire that sells all the best german bicycle generator lights. They have a website, but they don't do web commerce. Their site shows photos of every model, and has a lot of information (the site must have at least 50,000 words... you have never seen prose like this on a commerce website, it's insane), so you can eventually make in informed decision. BUT, it is written by a tiny group of middle aged white engineering type new england hermits who would rather be out randonneuring across the countryside instead of figuring out web commerce. So you have to call to actually place the order. Now when you DO eventually grudgingly pick up the phone, someone's kindly older auntie picks up the phone with the most charming hardcore New Hamp-Shah accent, and kindly processes your order in maybe 60 seconds. But you have... to... call. Moral: as long as I'm willing to overcome my distaste for actually speaking to other human beings, I CAN have a good customer experience with these guys, they just make me jump through their hoops to do it. -shrug-

    So, in this case, you may have a company capable of great work who also might make the occasional mistake. And their bad email-reading-and-responding habits are making a bad experience MUCH worse. It's not a question today as to whether or not you'd pick them to place an order vs someone else -- the money's been spent and you're in it. But it sounds like you think you shouldn't HAVE to call them, and right or wrong, that thought may not be serving your ultimate interest (which is getting yer damned print already). I say pick up the phone, call the US number, don't sound crazy or angry, and assume they're going to bust their butts to fix it like any decent human being would. And then never order from them again.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    Thanks for the advice, but I'm still working on the idea that it's not just for me and one little print. It's for all the other customers too.
     
  20. dalethorn

    dalethorn Guest

    10:33 AM Eastern Time - called their number in Manhattan, New York City. 15 rings and then a message "Nobody available". Hard to believe a struggling little operation would locate themselves in the most expensive real estate in the U.S.