Due to a terrible few weeks when many rush orders placed with a third–party were bungled by the vendor or delivered late (or both!), and we calculated a significant loss of time and money as we worked with the vendor on our client’s behalf to get reprints, a corrected order, or a refund, we have decided to change our policy on providing free customer support on rush order failures by a third–party.
From now on, any customer service time spent with third–party vendors on rush order failures will be billed to our clients at our regular hourly rate.
We know that rush orders are unavoidable and will continue to do all we can to meet any deadline, without any additional rush charges.
However, we are finding that more and more we are losing time and money responding to the issues that so often occur with a rush order or rush shipping. These issues arise from errors completely beyond our control, either from a client who has put off addressing a project or deadline, or a vendor or shipping company which has not met their promised service. Our hope is to always provide the best service and product to our clients, so we generally step in to do all we can to fix any issue, although we are not at fault and although this customer service work can be time–consuming and costly to us. This cost to us in this lack of fault and high–risk situation has led to this new policy.
Of course, if it was an error or delay on our part that caused the need for a rush, you will get our full, un–billed support until the issue is resolved.
Addressing deadlines and projects well ahead of time will prevent the high–risk rush order. For example, order all your holiday season items such as decor, gift bags and wrap, and stocking stuffers in the fall. That way you are not putting pressure on a vendor to rush a job and they can do their best work, checking and proofing as they go, and packaging it in a quality manner to prevent shipping damage. If your item arrives early and is damaged or not as promised, you have plenty of time to get a replacement or refund without impacting your deadline.
To help prevent rush shipping up-charges, we keep to a fast turn–around time. To help prevent rush orders, our newsletters include calendar reminders of upcoming holidays and other marketing dates of note to help our clients stay prepared and ahead of the game. We are happy to help our clients plan ahead and keep to a schedule. We can track down third party standard lead–times if requested, so a project management schedule can be prepared in advance.
The ultimate deterrent to procrastinating and ending up in rush order territory? The mark–ups for rush orders by third parties are astronomical.