blurb – (lack of) support

I’ve given up on trying to get a decent book from Blurb; their customer support is unresponsive, so I am left with a book which has posterized images, and is unacceptable.

04-04-2007 emailed blurb about posterization including a link to a flickr set with examples; received an automated reply that I’d get a actual reply within 2 days
04-09-2007 blurb replied that higher DPI was better, and offered $10 off my next purchase; I emailed asking again about the posterization problem.
04-13-2007 blurb replied, asking for photos to see if a reprint was warranted. I replied with photos, and pointed out, again, the link to the flickr set.
04-24-2007 I emailed blurb asking about a reprint.
04-30-2007 Still no reply, so I’ve given up.

Thus, I can only recommend Apple/aperture (and iphoto), and Viovio for high quality books, excellent support, and fabulous prices (at Viovio).

This entry was posted in apple, blurb, photobook, viovio. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to blurb – (lack of) support

  1. Yury Kats says:

    Bummer! I was following you blog for a while now and really hoped blurb would come through on this. What is a Windows user to do!? All the online web sites I looked at could not handle non-latin characters, so I was really looling at the blurb’s desktop app to create a photo book.

    Thanks for the great reviews!

  2. Mike Franklin says:


    It is unfortunate that it didn’t work out with blurb.

    I would think that Viovio would work for you, since you can just upload a PDF. There are some suggestions on their site for apps.

    Or you can use their online bookmaking app, which I’ve not tried. You could email customer support to ask if they accept non-latin characters in their app, or just try it.

    good luck!

  3. Stan says:

    Minor nit: I think you have the month wrong in your timeline since May 2007 hasn’t happened yet 🙂

  4. Mike Franklin says:

    all fixed 😀

  5. Lucy says:

    I was disappointed in Blurb’s customer service as well. They seemed very promising, and have more layout designs as well as a very afforable pricing scheme. I, too, got a defective book (printing errors regarding issues with their software). I got the $10 offer towards a new book (why would I order another one before they resolved my issue?) and a promise to respond in 2 days. After one week, the customer service manager asked me to send photos of the book and screen shots of their software on my computer, which I did. Then I got a UPS label to retun my book, and an acknowledgment that it was received, as well as a note to say I’d hear back within a day or two. That was on 4/11, and despite several emails since, they never responded. There is no direct phone line listed, or other method of contacting their customer service. They did not offer a refund either. So I am pretty disappointed in their company at the moment. I’m sorry to hear that you had a similar lackluster experience.

  6. Mike Franklin says:

    wow. that’s pretty bad. the initial note I received included an apology for the delay because they were in the process of training new customer support staff. hehe.

    as I noted in a recent post: the apple reprint had a defect – I emailed apple and within 49 minutes had a full refund, plus offer to reprint (and recharge). no shipping, no mailing. quite impressive.

    you might try Viovio, if you can produce a PDF. they have good size options, excellent prices, and responsive customer support, and their printing quality is nearly as good as Apple’s (i.e. better than everything else I’ve seen).

  7. Cate says:

    So glad I came across your reviews of photobooks! I just now downloaded Blurb’s package, and was going to start tinkering with it. Then, I thought, “I should see if there’s any reviews on this company.” So glad I did.

    So … I’ve never made a photobook. Ultimately, what’s the recommendation?

  8. Mike Franklin says:

    thanks 🙂 nice to know my reviews can be helpful.

    if you have a Mac, then I highly, highly recommend using Aperture, since it’s rather well integrated from photo management, to adjustment to layout to printing. And their customer service is superb. iPhoto on a mac would also work, but there’s less flexibility in layout.

    Otherwise, I might recommend using Viovio. I didn’t use their online book-building app, but I might try it out to see how well it works.. Instead I uploaded a PDF (which I made with Aperture, though you can use adobe InDesign and others), and they printed that. Their customer support is pretty good too – takes a day or two for a response, but they seem pretty cheerfully eager to help.

    my desktop app experience was with Blurb, MyPublisher and Picaboo. Picaboo was miserable. The other two were certainly acceptable apps … but the quality was lacking, and with blurb, the customer support is barely present.

    so … if you have a mac: aperture or iPhoto. If not, try the online book making app at Viovio.

    good luck!

  9. billy says:

    anyone who makes a decision based on 1 review is nuts.
    blurb has excellent reviews and bad ones..

  10. raul says:

    How about Mpix ?, they have another book service, I’m trying to use now, but in my opinion the software is too basic, and the help too.. The cover desing is not clear, I don’t understand how is the way to design it…But I have MPIX prints and the quality is very Good, what about the qualitiy of the book print? .Anyone have some experience with the MPix Book Service?
    Thanks and sorry for my english..

  11. Mike Franklin says:

    well, I didn’t quite know what to make of the reviews, which is why I did a bunch of comparisons for myself. I think that Blurb customer support has problems, whether or not the prints are any good.

    mpix? well, I can try that, too, once I get back home from vacation.

  12. Lango says:

    Don’t trust Blurb. Of the 25 or so copies of the book I built and purchased by others over the last three months, most have experienced binding problems and quality issues. Blurbs return policy and customer support are very poor at best. I even found a phone number to the main office in San Fransico and tried to get somebody to talk to me with no luck. I have stopped using them and do not recommend them.

  13. Emily says:

    I agree, do not use them. I have been trying to contact them about several issues and get no response. The responses I have gotten have been automated and I received one this evening stating they hadn’t heard from me so my question has been CLOSED. One of the issues is that a client had purchased two books, leaving me with a total profit of $145, which I’ve yet to receive. I’m not sure what my next step should be, I’m just thankful they don’t have my card information.

  14. Ed Carreon says:

    Yes, I found their customer support non-existent as well. I have a problem getting their software to read my jpegs (I am on a Mac) and I can find no reference to the problem anywhere.

    I have waited three days for a response but to no avail. iPhotos works flawlessly but they don’t have the larger book formats I seek.

  15. Jane says:

    I’m a bit late getting in on this but I second the recommendation for Viovio! Have had great luck with them over the past two year. Great prices and very repsonsive customer service. I design my pages in Photoshop Elements and upload as a jpeg.

    I think the PDF is just for folks that can’t save a jpeg.

  16. Adam says:

    I wanted to post a comment about Blurb’s support. I have not used any book maker other than Blurb. I am on my third book with Blurb. I am trying to iron out an issue with the photo quality and their support is HORRIFIC! I have been trying to get someone to help me from Blurb support but it is becoming a joke. I email their support with my concern and in turn receive emails saying they will review my concern and get back to me. These aren’t the standard automated responses. I’ve actually had response from support personnel at Blurb. Then two weeks later they email me saying they are still waiting for me to email them like I never did it in the first place. This has happened three times now and it is spanning 2 months and they haven’t done anything. It now appears to me that they are just stalling and hoping I’ll just go away. I would too but I spent soooo dang much time making my last book and I can’t just take the Blurb book to somewhere else to print. That being said this is the last book I will ever do through Blurb and would advise anyone who asked me about Blurb of the same recommendation.

  17. Jarrod says:

    Mine was also atrociously horrible.
    I was to use the book printed by Blurb for my wedding.
    Ended up I was advised by everyone to burn it for the dead to read!

    Oh My GOSH.
    Dark photos, Dents, Spots, Dark Ink droplets, Fake binding, Scratches, Crumpled paper!

    I GIVE UP. AM speaking to Photobook now and they shared that i should have printed with them in the first place.

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