September 21, 2008

So, By "Overnight" You Mean Something Else Entirely?

It may seem trivial, but for me, the biggest disappointment of this year's Blog World Expo is that I didn't come fully prepared. Many of the peers I'm meeting for the first time are handing out fancy custom business cards with their blog URL, Twitter account, and other services, like LinkedIn or FriendFeed. Meanwhile, I'm left handing out my business cards from the office and having to explain the blog address or that my data can all be found online. And the blame squarely falls on my trusting an "overnight" prints service to do exactly what its name implied.

Early last week, knowing the event was coming, I made custom business cards from, but quickly saw they weren't going to make it on time. So on the 17th, I went to, and used a template I'd built several months ago. Their site said they would start printing as soon as 20 minutes after the order, and with overnight shipping, there'd be no doubt I'd have the cards by the 19th, when the show started, and when I had my first panel.

But... no. This is what "overnight" means to
    September 17th: I make an order and get a confirmation.
    September 18th: They print the business cards. (Allegedly)
    September 19th: The cards ship from their headquarters.
    September 20th: The cards arrive in Las Vegas.
    September 21st: It's Sunday, so UPS is taking the day off.
    September 22nd: The cards are expected to arrive.
That would be five days. Meanwhile, the Blog World Expo will have come and gone, ending today, and my cards will show up to the hotel, no doubt confusing the shipping and receiving department, as I'll be back in the Bay Area. And given the cards are of lesser quality than those of, I'll never need them, so they should just be destroyed. But it sure is frustrating.

You could argue that I should have been better prepared, and had them ready to go earlier, which is true, but I trusted what said in that it would be "overnight" shipped on "next day air", and they would start almost immediately. Instead, I'm left talking around my cards that having nothing to do with the blog and my online presence. Silly, I know, but really annoying. If you're needing true overnight prints, I don't think I'd ever recommend this company.