Dear Sir or Madam:
I had one of the worst experiences of my life with Kinko's today and yesterday. I am
complaining and hopefully you will hear my complaints because you have just lost a
customer for good.
I was out of the country and returned on Monday evening. Early Tuesday morning, I called
into the nearest Kinko's (600 W. 116th St., New York City) to try to get a poster printed
for a very important Columbia University Medical Center poster presentation. I was told
that you were able to print it for me by the next morning.
I went to the store to give my file on a flash drive to the store clerk, and then
proceeded to wait about 45 minutes without being told what was happening. Over time,
after asking many questions, I deduced that the poster was not being printed at 116th
St., but was instead being emailed to 72nd St. and then delivered back to 116th. Then I
was informed that my file was unable to be sent to the 72nd St. Kinko's because the two
clerks working at 116th St. were "computer illiterate and unable to attach the file". I
was told to trust them and that someone who knew how to attach the file would arrive
later in the day to send the email. At this point, I have to admit my confidence in
Kinko's was waning. I asked for my flash drive back so I could go to 72nd St. myself to
handle the matter, but was told that they would handle this, and that I could leave and
come back to look at the sample after it was printed. However, the sample was being
delivered from 72nd St, which made no sense to me. I had to ask for my flash drive back
multiple times, and then after wasting time begging for my things back, I was finally
given my flash drive, and I took off for 72nd St.
I went to 72nd St. and was shown the file in the correct format for a 4' by 6' poster
printed on bond paper, and I signed a form saying that the correct format and directions
were repeated to me by the clerk. Everything he said was correct, so I left the Kinko's
at 72nd St. feeling reassured. I returned as instructed at 4pm to proof my poster
sample, and everything looked perfect. I left at 4.15pm, and was told that my poster
would not be ready until tomorrow morning at 8am. This was pushing it already since the
presentation started at 9am, but I was told that it took 24hrs to print at least, and
they were already rushing the job for me.
So I returned at 7.30am to pick up my poster, and was greeted with the horrible sight of
just the bottom half of my poster and no top half. Apparently someone had took it upon
themself to print the poster on a 3' by 6' piece of paper, and completely cut off the
top. As the sample the day before had been perfect, I have NO IDEA how someone could
print out something that looked so drastically different from the original.
Unfortunately, I was informed by the store clerks that the machine printing the poster
was not working anymore, and that they could print the poster again, but not before 9am.
Since my presentation was at 9am, this was completely useless to me. In addition, I
noticed that the poster had a time stamp of 21.45pm from the day before, indicating that
there was plenty of time to reprint the poster if only I been allowed to see it prior to
8am the day of (or if only one of the clerks noticed that just the bottom half of the
poster was printed -- but no one noticed).
This presentation was incredibly important, and I am aghast at the poor customer service,
the shoddy quality, and the lack of internal checks at Kinko's. I am disgusted with
myself for trusting Kinko's to be able to get the job done.
Another co-presenter also commiserated with me. He had his poster printed on Monday as
well, and he unfortunately went to the 116th store. He was told that his sample would be
ready at 4pm to be proofed, and when he arrived at 4pm, he was informed that the printer
for the sample was broken. The next day, at 9am, he looked at the sample and gave the
ok. That night, when he was supposed to pick up the poster, he was told that it was
printed but "not ready yet". Then, he was asked for the specifications of the poster
again (size, colour or not?, laminated?), despite the fact that he was told the poster
was already printed. He was told the poster would be delivered to him the next morning,
in time for the presentation at 9am.
Unfortunately, he was woken up at 1am with a phone call, with Kinko's employees asking
for his address again. He had given it to them multiple times, but repeated it once
more. The poster was delivered to him at 6am. Again, unfortunately, the poster was too
small and not correctly formatted (again, the sample that he proofed looked nothing like
the actual poster). He was lucky in the fact that he received a whole poster, albeit a
small one, as opposed to me, who only had half a poster.
Thank you Kinko's for wasting my time, my tears, and my energy. I understand that this
email is slightly vitriolic, and for that I apologise. However, I also understand that
Kinko's is supposed to provide a service, and I was not given that service. I also had
to deal with rude and incompetent staff, and in the end, I wish I had never set foot in
any Kinko's in Manhattan.
When a service provider makes a customer feel like she would pay to NEVER encounter the
service provided, there is a deep-seated problem within the system.
Thank you for your time. You have wasted enough of mine.
A former Kinko's customer
Monetary Loss: $200.