I'm sorry to say that this post is different.
I know that most of you come here to see a card, be inspired, or just say hello. You don't expect to hear me complain. If that's you, I won't be the least bit offended if you decide not to keep reading. I promise to be back soon with something more cheerful!
As you may know, on September 15 I was thrilled to be named the winner of Papertrey Ink's monthly release night giveaway. Tomorrow will mark 13 weeks since that announcement. That's three months. I was told that prizes usually arrive in 4-6 weeks. That struck me as ridiculous to begin with, considering how quickly I have received prizes from other companies, but I didn't feel I had any right to complain. I was getting free stamps after all, right?!
But 3 months have passed, and I still have not received my prize. A prize that consists of Christmas stamp sets, which I will obviously not be able to use for making holiday cards this year. I even purchased two of the coordinating die sets that were not included in the prize package, anticipating being able to use them before Christmas.
Unfortunately, that's only half the story. I emailed PTI Customer Service after 7 weeks had passed, to politely inquire about whether the package had shipped. Jennifer responded, saying that she would pass the message on to Julie.
Two weeks later, I got an email from Julie saying only "Your prize package was shipped out a while ago. Please let me know if you did not receive it." I also received an email from Jennifer saying that the status had been changed to "shipped".
So of course I was a little concerned. I emailed Customer Service again, asking if they had a tracking number or ship date, thinking I could at least talk to someone at the post office about whether it had been mis-delivered.
Six days later, Julie emailed me to say, "I don't have the tracking number at this moment as I am working from home. I will get that information for you. However, if you don't have it by now, I think there is a problem. I will definitely look into it and get it taken care of. I am very sorry for the delay."
That was two and a half weeks ago, and it was the last update I received.
Mistakes happen. Sometimes things get overlooked, lost in the mail, whatever. But what I will not accept from a company is being ignored and treated like I'm not important to them. I did not pay for these stamps, but they were promised to me nonetheless, and it is incredibly misleading to customers to promote a giveaway that never happens. But more than that, I never expected to be given the run-around by a company I respected and admired.
You all know how much I love PTI products. I promote them regularly on my blog, enthusiastically recommend them to other crafters, and even attended the PTI Stamp-a-faire event last summer. I spend a lot of money on PTI products. But even that shouldn't matter. Every single one of their customers, no matter how much they buy, or whether they are receiving products as a prize, should be treated with the utmost respect. The customer is always right. Unfortunately, I have been given the impression that my issue is of no great concern to them, and that makes me both sad and angry.
I sent one last email to Julie last Thursday, December 8. In it, I explained how frustrated and disappointed I am in the lack of communication and the way this whole thing has been handled. I have yet to hear back from her.
Yes, I have read Nichole's posts on the PTI Forum and her blog enumerating the excuses for why their Customer Service has not been meeting expectations. Most businesses would never get away with that kind of hand-wringing. PTI's customers, and their satisfaction, should be the company's number one priority. If they don't have time to respond to customer complaints or ship packages in a timely fashion, they should hire people that can. I no longer have any sympathy for pleas to respect their space and time while they figure out how to best handle complaints. All I asked for was a simple email; an acknowledgment that I had been heard, understood, and respected.
It was never my intention to publicly complain, either here or in the PTI Forum, about this issue. But since being completely dismissed by Customer Service, I feel I have no other recourse if I want to be heard. I also feel like this is an issue that many of you would want to know about. I've gotten lots of comments and emails asking me why I haven't been using my new stamps, or wondering whether they've arrived. Many of you put your faith and trust in PTI just like I did, so I think you should be aware of what's going on.
You will still see me using PTI products on my cards, because I love them and because I've invested too much money in them not to use them. But I doubt that I will be ordering anything new from them in the near future.
I have closed comments on this post, as I don't want this to become a forum for complaints, either about PTI or about me. I just wanted to express my opinion, and I won't say any more about it here unless there are further developments.
Thank you so much for letting me get this off my chest, if you've made it this far! I appreciate having this space to be able to vent, though I promise not to make it a habit. :)
Thanks again for listening! I hope you'll come back soon for something crafty!