Exceptional customer service really sets Apple apart from any other book printing services I’ve used so far. And while they may not get things sorted out the first time, they always have on the second.
One book I had printed had an ink smear on a page. I emailed Apple: the money was refunded, and they offered to reprint (and recharge) if I so desired. I did, but the second book had a different colored smear on a different page. I emailed Apple again, and 49 minutes later the money had been refunded, with an offer to reprint if I wanted. I did, and the third book came out perfectly.
The refund is key. All other services have offered to reprint (though Blurb took a month), but none have refunded first, then offered to reprint.
Wednesday, I tried to print some softcover books through Aperture and ran into a bit of a problem. I’d only done hardcovers before, and didn’t know where the soft/hard cover option was. I hadn’t reviewed the manual, but I assumed that it was somewhere at the end of the process. It wasn’t, but by the time I realized that, I had uploaded with 1-click purchasing, and had received an email confirming my purchase.
Well, no problem: it stated I had 90 minutes to cancel my order. When I got to my order page, no orders were listed.
No problem: I just emailed support, including a link to a couple of screen captures showing my username in the confirming email, and my username with no orders on the order page. But four hours later I received an automated email that delivery was temporarily suspended because a connection could not be made to luigi.corp.apple.com.
No problem: I figured Apple would just sort things out somehow.
Thursday morning I received a reply from apple, which in part reads:
Thank you for contacting Apple Photo Services Customer Support. I’m very sorry you had difficulty selecting the Softcover book option for your order.
I apologize for the inconvenience, but I am unable to cancel or modify your order at this time. Book and print orders are processed after a 90-minute waiting period, after which Apple is unable to cancel or modify them.
If you need to cancel or modify a future order within 90 minutes from the time of purchase or would like to check the status of your current order as well as your order history, please visit http://www.apple.com/internetservices/yourorderstatus and sign in using your Apple ID and password.
For future orders, please be careful to choose and review your order before finalizing it. Once you open your book in iPhoto, justclick on the Themes icon at the bottom of the screen, and select the Softcover option.
Clearly the person had not read my email, since I’d tried to cancel my order, but couldn’t, and was using Aperture, not iPhoto.
I reviewed the manual and determined that the cover option was selected via one of two similar buttons within aperture. There’s not really any indication that one is selected, other than text no where near the buttons.
I wrote back to apple and explained the problems again, provided an image of the soft/hard cover option buttons for future reference, and then suggested that actually reading the email would be helpful prior to replying.
Friday I received an automated message indicating that my three hardcover books had been shipped.
Saturday afternoon, I received a reply from Apple:
I’m very sorry that you were unable to cancel your order because it did not show up in your order status. I also apologize that we sent you steps to change your book in iPhoto when you are using Aperture.
I have issued a refund for your order in the amount of $154.36…
Again, I apologize for any inconvenience this has caused you. If you have any questions, please reply to this email and we will assist you further.
Thank you for being a loyal Apple customer and have a great day.
I’ve been refunded for books which I have yet to see, for a mistake which is essentially mine.
Pretty amazing, and a key reason why I’ll continue using Apple for any future books (the first being quality, of course).