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Bad print job. Advice needed!

Hi there,
First post so I apologise in advance if I’m in the wrong section.

I need a bit of advice from more experienced sellers. A while ago I designed a business card for a client who was very happy with the result (even left me a tip). I got an email today from the same client telling me that some of the text is barely legible (apparently the font is too clear?) and that she is no longer satisfied with the finished product.

The font in question is white against a dark blue background and looks completely fine on the PDF, It’s legible, even when zoomed out at 40%. Now I understand that it isn’t the same as the actual finished product, but without a proof to check before going to print, there really isn’t a way to know for sure.

So here’s my dilemna: to refund or to not refund. On one hand, I do feel bad for the lady, and I want a happy client, but she tells me the printer has already agreed to redo the batch free of charge as soon as they receive an updated print file. Needless to say, I’ve also agreed to update the design and make the fonts in that area bolder at no extra cost.
On the other hand, I did the job and she signed it off. I’ve used this font on at least 4 occasions for similar jobs and never encountered this problem before, so where does my liability ends? I’m happy to do additional work to ensure that she ends up with a product that she can use but I feel a bit gutted that she would hint at a full refund. She gets her cards and her design for free and I get nothing.
Just wanted to know what you would do in a similar situation.
Thanks in advance for your advice!

In my opinion you have every right to refuse the additional work.
Buyers are given 3 days to ask for revision and it’s their responsibility to check the work before accepting it.

Now, if you don’t mind doing a late revision and it’s not very time consuming then do it.
Make it very clear that it’s a one time good will gesture.

Sometimes it’s easier to just spend a few extra minutes on late revision than spend hours going back and forth with CS. There’s a good chance that buyer disputes end with a refund anyway.

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Hi!

First of all, I’m so sorry this is happening to you… but before I continue with some advise maybe ask yourself these questions:

  1. Did you do exaclty what the client ordered?
  2. Did you use the right colors for print? (CMYK and such)
  3. Do you have experience with doing print jobs and are they good?

If you answer yes to all these questions, it might just be a case of “he said, she said”.
What I do in these kinds of situations is trying to come up with a solution that’s good for both me and the seller.

A full refund obviously isn’t in your best interest, and feels unfair at this point (from the information that I have). That’s why I think your solution to do a quick revision is the best option.

I think you could just ignore the full refund remark at this point, try to get a solution before these types of actions. If the buyer is still not satisfied after that, you might want to consider if your quality is high enough to be offering this service, or evaluate if the buyer is being a bit dishonest and just want your work for free.

I hope this helps in any way!

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what font size did you do the text at?

You have to be careful when doing light/small text on dark backgrounds as the text can fill in.

Another thing to be careful about is choosing colours that are workable in combination. i.e. small text in red against a black background will not be very legible when printed.

Also the stock chosen will make a big difference. uncoated stock will absorb the ink and can effect appearance.

Sorry in advance if I’m stating the obvious.

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minimum of 8 font size to be used for Business card to be clear also do you use a format like this attached PDF (not allowed to upload here)

I use it for US customers and a bit smaller one for the Australian customers.

you will need the business card base and you will never have issue.

Make sure you save the pdf in hig quality if you are using ai

also there is different version for the vista print (but this is not the case here)

always keep your customer satisfied, they always come back.

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I would just tell this customer that you are sorry but this is a print rather than design problem.

I used to have things printed by commercial printers all the time. You go in, hand over your usb-stick, ask if you can have a few samples printed, and if there is a problem, the printer will tell you (in basic terms) what needs fixing at a design level. - Or at least this is how it used to be being a business customer.

If your buyer can’t tell you exactly what the problem is here, it could be anything from them using a home printer and hoping for the best, or a simple case of the wrong paper type being used.

I’d tell them that this is likely a printing matter rather than design issue and that you will need details regarding the exact problem before you can help.

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cyaxrex has a good point.

I have had good design totally ruined by bad print. Not all printers are the same.
Though to be fair the print industry has really improved in the last few years.
Digital printing is amazing now.

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I know using Photoshop for PDF doesn’t allow for CMYK printing, you might have used the RGB printing mode but try to simply do revision to make your buyer happy

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Ok, thanks for all the valuable feedback. Lots to info to ponder about! :slight_smile:

I got to the bottom of the issue after exchanging several emails with the client in question. I can’t go into too much details in the unlikely event that she would stumble upon this thread, but the designs I provided were fine. It was a tech issue on her end, for lack of a better term :stuck_out_tongue:

Case closed, thank you all for your input!

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