for those that don't know, kinkos is a do-it-yourself type stationery / fax/printing services / mail store. you can go there to print out documents, surf the web for jobs, get papers bound, photocopy, etc. some of this you can do yourself, other things you get the techs behind the desk to do.
this all started when i decided i wanted to get an e-book printed out. it's 300 pages that i don't want to deal with reading on the computer or printing myself as it requires it to be double sided printing *and* folded in half. it's very weird because if you print the double siding wrong, your book will be half upside down, and the pages have to be in a certain order, or it'll be out of wack when you fold it. so i did what any self-respecting twink does with a large document requiring printing... i contact kinkos!
as i've just moved to a brand spanking new city, i went to the kinkos website to find the nearest location. while surfing the site, i find that i can actually send my document through the site to get a quote! yay! i fill in my name and numbers, the special printing instructions, add the document to the upload box and click "send!" off it goes into the electrical ether.
which is literally what it did. after a few days, i decide to call the number for the store that i located nearest me and find out what's going on. i speak with a guy who tells me they never received anything. he then says that the website isn't a reliable way to send information. i scratch my head and think "then why do you have it up??" he tells me that i should email the document and questions directly to their store... that way they're guaranteed to get it.
(note: i never did receive a response regarding my upload.)
in my mind, this is all fine. it sucks that their website offers a service that doesn't work, but hey... i want my e-book! so i email this nice man my document and again specify what i want and all the weirdness that goes with the layout. i specifically state that i'm just looking for a quote at the moment (i don't want to get an email with "hey, we printed that document you sent us and it's going to cost you $100 and your first born kitten!")
within 24 hours i get a response with a price. i'm quoted $15 or so for the printing. i email him back and reiterate the special printing instructions to make sure that this price includes it all. he writes back very quickly and says that the price quoted is the price quoted. ookee. i'm not going to argue. i figure if they do a song and dance later about it being all "special" and stuff, i can use the emails to show that i specified and it's not my fault if they didn't read it correctly. i ask him to go ahead with the printing.
now, logic would say that a company is not going to go ahead and spend time printing out a 300 page document based on a simple email exchange and a "go ahead". i'm assuming i'll get an email or phone call for more information about who i am and possibly even a request to go in and specify in writing what i want done. i don't have an issue with that. i wait a week and i get no more emails. welllll... maybe they just decided to print it based on that "go ahead"... crazier things in life have happened. so i email them back and inquire about the status of my document. and lo, i get no response! i scratch my head and promptly forget about getting my document printed (it's not time sensitive and i was pursuing it because i had time).
a month after my last set of communications with kinkos, i receive an email from howard (the guy that i initially communicated with through email) with a quote attached. ah-buh? why am i getting a quote when i had already received one and had requested the document be printed?
as i'm not overly impressed, i write a rather polite, yet scathing, email to howard, informing him of how i had already received a quote and had requested my document be printed, yet they're a bunch of dingleberries who can't tell their heads from their bums (i didn't quite say that... remember, i was polite!) i also informed him that i had requested this be done a month ago and i've since had my document printed elsewhere (this is a small point to remember as i will comment on it at the bottom). i also said i wouldn't be using the services of kinkos again (a very valid threat as there are other printing companies around, but i'm sure kinkos won't miss the occasional pittance i spend there... it's the principle of the thing!)
i get a response from howard just grovelling at me, apologizing for not doing my order, for making the mistake, for upsetting me, etc etc. i'm literally picturing this guy on his face kissing my feet, it was that desperate. i feel a little ashamed by my scathing email. i email howard back and tell him that the apology is accepted and that based on the customer service demonstrated in his email to me, i'll take kinkos off my "list of places to boycott".
you'd think that would be the end of it eh?
a month later i receive another email from howard. in it, he says that he would love to have the option to vie for my attention and allow kinkos to bid on my printing project in the hopes of garnering my business.
if you're scratching your head and looking rather incredulous, you're mimicking what i was doing when i read the email.
this time around, i sent a rather scathing and *non* polite note to howard, informing him that they're really clueless over there, they've negated the apology sent to me, and ensured i won't be going back to kinkos again. i then asked "politely" that they at least accomplish one thing properly for me... remove my damn email address from their mailing list / address book / whatever, so i wouldn't get any other "offers" to print my document again.
not surprisingly, i didn't get a response. i hope it's the end of howard's attempts to print my document though.
and remember my note about having my document printed elsewhere? well i lied. to howard at least. i wanted him to think that they lost my business for that document at least (which is why the offer to bid on my project makes even less sense). but i had contacted another company that was near my work place. i went through nearly identical steps with them as i did with kinkos... sent it through the website, called a few hours later to discover that their email account can't handle large documents (it's only 3.5 megs you wanks!), got a gmail address to send it to, got a quote back, and then never heard from them again after asking them to move ahead with printing it.
i have a feeling that the only way i'm going to get my document printed is if i physically walk into a print shop with my thumb drive and say "PRINT THIS YOU MONKEYS!" isn't technology and the internet supposed to make things easier??