Friday, March 9, 2012

My Thoughts on Papertrey

Several people have asked me about Papertrey (A.K.A. PTI) lately, and I'll share my thoughts on this flashpoint issue in stamping.

1. In my long experience, Papertrey has always provided excellent customer service. I once received a set that was missing a stamp, and they sent a replacement lickety-split. I can easily forgive mistakes if the response is appropriate. None of my orders has taken an unusual amount of time to arrive, either. The fact that so many people seem to be having issues makes me sad.

2. Papertrey's product is outstanding. I've ordered stamps, card stock, designer paper, twine, clear card boxes, white treat bags, clear card stock, labels, vellum, and probably other stuff. Without exception, the products I've received have been top quality and well packaged for transport. And as you know, I cannot stamp without PTI's white card stock. Can. Not. Stamp.

3. In the past two years, however, Papertrey has outgrown me. The monthly releases and huge product line completely overwhelm me...it's just too much!!!! 

4. The releases, with their contests and blog hops and such, require too many words to explain...too many rules, too much complexity. I don't bother reading them anymore, although I usually check the sneak peeks on Nichole's blog. I can't help but think the fact that things have become so cluttered and complex has added to the customer service issues...how can anybody keep up with so much?

5. Also, in the past two years I've pretty much stopped checking the PTI designers' blogs, which I used to have in my reader. First, there are just too many of them. Second, as the company's product line has expanded, the DT projects (including Nichole's) have become increasingly elaborate and require more and more product. This makes sense for business but not for me, the CAS stamper who got hooked on PTI because Nichole was so gosh darn inspirational!

6. In their "sneak peek" mentality, PTI has promised certain products and not delivered or delivered late. This is really bad marketing practice. LOTS has to happen on the back end, invisible for customers, in order to build customer confidence in a company. Nichole has tried to share future plans too openly and made promises she couldn't keep. Pulling the old inks for poor quality was a good move, but then she kept saying the new ones would be ready soon. No inks. Now we finally have inks (which I've not tried yet), but it took forever. Better to say a vague "we're working on it" than "they'll be ready in October" and not meet the deadline.

7. The tech side of PTI leaves a lot to be desired. The company tried rolling out one website which failed hugely, and then did it again during the anniversary this February. Uh, soooo not a good idea. The anniversary was already task-saturated with contests and tons of new product and lots of business traffic. Changing how people order during the biggest ordering time of the year was too risky and, given past failed attempts, not a good business move.

I do think that the PTI bashing has taken on a life of its own, turning nasty and spreading like wild fire. Some of it is unfair, and some of the angry rhetoric people are flinging around seems truly excessive to the problem. No company is perfect. I will continue ordering from PTI (gotta get that card stock, after all!), but I understand I'm ordering at my own risk. The product is amazing, and I truly pray they get their customer service and website together soon.

And that's all I have to say about that.

57 comments:

  1. Ditto! I think your line "PTI has outgrown me" says it all. I began ordering years ago, too, when PTI was small, the website easy to maneuver, orders filled quickly. Things have changed so drastically I hardly recognize PTI anymore. It makes me sad, because I really felt connected to them in the beginning. Now I understand --- they're a BIG company. I still love their products, but I have totally streamlined my own PTI-life to looking at the new releases the day of, but ordering anything I want a few days later. My orders have decreased drastically (their new $70 order for free shipping doesn't help!), as has my attention to the blog. They're not CAS in any definition of the word! It's all just too complicated. Again, you nailed it when you said they've outgrown you. And I'm so sorry for that.

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  2. Well, I'm a die-hard PTI customer.I can honestly say that I've ordered some things and after receiving them I was puzzled as to how to use them but that is not the company's fault.

    I enjoy looking at all of the new product and order what I want. PTI is THE BEST in the business, IMHO, because of all of the reasons you state - plus, so many of stamp sets I have include delightful surprises and well-thought-out design work. Like one set working with another set. Or any of the sets where you can "build" something, like a house or snowman or Christmas tree - intricate, thoughtful design work went into each image and sentiment in the sets. I don't mind the $70 minimum. All shipping costs have gone up. If I just want to spend $10, the shipping is still reasonable. If I want to get free shipping, my goodness, I have a treasure on my wish list and no problem reaching the $70 minimum. I really don't understand any PTI bashing nor have I even read any. Not my thing. I've been ordering from them since their very first stamp set came out. In regard to being overwhelmed - are the Stampin'Up! catties overwhelming as well? How about Hero Arts? Or Tim Holtz? I simply cannot say enough positive things about PTI. Quality product. Excellent customer service. Great tutorials, tips, and samples to show us how use their product. And can you think of any other vendor that gives back to the customer as much as PTI? I sure can't. I've been the recipient of their prizes a few times. PTI is my all-time favorite vendor.

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  3. Well Susan, What I do is - look at the posts you have and pick something I like from there :) So I think you are a DT for the CAS people around! :)

    Me being in India means I need to very carefully use the monies to buy the basics - stamps and ink pads. PTI does offer varied possibilities in one stamp set compared to other companies - which I like..

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  4. When they figure out the back-end aspect, it's going to be brilliant! I have hopeful wishes for them.

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  5. sorry, I was the "s" -- posted by mistake. Unfortunately I am still waiting for my anniversary set that I earned in February 2012. While I am truly happy that you had good customer service, I am sure you can understand that promising a product based on purchasing a large amount of product and then failing to deliver after ONE YEAR is fraudulent. White paper? I stamped before PTI, I'll stamp without it.

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  6. Anonymous...I think you meant Feb 2011? Yes, cases like yours are deeply concerning.

    Also, because there is so much going on, people like myself (who have ended up tuning out a lot of the noise) missed the announcement about the new anniversary "points" system. I found out long after that was put in place...I wasn't upset at all, but it illustrates how hard it is to communicate clearly with all your customers when there's simply too much "noise".

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  7. I think it is rather sad that when somebody has an issue, they have to post it for the world. As long as they correct the problem, I don't see it as a problem. I love PTI and will continue to order. I don't always have time to check every blog but I check out the ones I want to and am glad for all the neat ideas I find. If you don't like it, it is your choice to go elsewhere.

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  9. Very, very well said, Susan.

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  10. Interesting. I'm new to PTI and placed my first order on the 15th of October. I only went to their website because I'd seen you and others use stamps I liked. I didn't know about the 15th, but it did take a couple of weeks to get my order, which I thought was very slow. Then I found the other PTI blogs and learned all about the countdown and the 15th ... oh, now I get it. I agree with you that it's too many words and too many layers, but I like the product and am new enough to wade through it and be patient for a while.

    I appreciate that you took the time to post your thoughts as a long-time customer. You did it with class. There is no need for customer complaints to ever get personal or be excessive for the circumstances. I am an avid Complaint Letter Writer (with civility) myself, but my husband's approach to any poor service is quite simple: "the best thing you can do is vote with your feet." I have a feeling that PTI is experiencing this and that they are working hard to hear us and stop the stampede of customers walking away. I hope ao anyway.

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  11. Very well said. I am sad for PTI that they have gotten ahead of themselves, in their ability to build systems to support their business. I don't know what is making them so aggressive in their marketing and growth plans--it might be better to scale back and do a better job on a smaller scale. That being said, I personally have not had any problems with the company, and I adore the product. I love it when you show me CAS ways to use their stamp sets as well.

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  12. I think PTI is full of lovely creative women who are in over their head in a business sense. Plus, you forgot the OUTRAGEOUS shipping costs to Canada, when other companies do it for a fraction of PTI's shipping.

    I hope they get it together, because they do have good product (excellent, in fact) as you say.

    I hope Nichole reads this....

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  13. Ya know, I really agree with your statement,"...PTI has outgrown me." I always look at Nichole's blog, but rarely the rest of the DT. I haven't ordered from PTI in over a year. Yes, I see things each release that appeal to me, but then when I look at the products in their entirety, I get overwhelmed. The multiple stamp sets, the multiple dies, the embellishments....I just want to make a simple, effective card, not collect a lot of things that I may only use a few times. So, rather than sort it out, it is just simpler to not order. I have several PTI sets I HAD TO HAVE when they were being hyped, and yet they sit unused. I think Nichole is a dynamo of creativity and the incredible allure of PTI would die without her. I am in awe of her. I hope things are really not as bad as the bashing suggests. You know the saying about how one person tells ten people and each of them tells ten people, etc...? I fear the very loud bashing by a few (relatively speaking) will sour PTI's reputation. Just my 2 cents.

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  14. I stopped buying from PTI and unsubscribed from many of the dt blogs because it just became too much to deal with. The whole sneek peek mentality just started wearing very thin. I'd really love something and jump on to order it when it became available only to find out that it all sold out at the "party" the night before and I'd have to wait several weeks till more came in. All of the stamp companies seem to be so in love with this idea of temptation - endless temptation! I skip over any blog entries that are these silly sneek peeks now from any of the companies that are doing it. Just show me what you have for sale when it's actually for sale! I love PTI products, but haven't bought any in over a year because I can't stand the way they go about selling. Missed all the brou-ha-ha lately but can certainly understand it as they were definitely headed in that direction (customer service issues that is) even a year ago. I really wish that things across the entire industry would change. The whole monthly release thing has gotten tired and old and the fact that it takes up the whole month with the "push" is definitely not my thing anymore. I'm finding that I can do without more than I thought and I think that the market saturation is making companies much to desperate and it shows in the way they are pushing their products. Just my opinion anyway.

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  15. PS - I don't think you're trashing PTI at all here - showing concern and expressing an opinion in a positive way is good for them if they act on it.

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  16. Carol, I totally agree. I worked in marketing for years and saw the ripple effect of good and bad business practices firsthand. I've wondered if the lack of response from PTI is because such a tiny portion of orders have a problem, so from their perspective, it may not have seemed like a big deal. Now that there are huge discussion threads on forums (their own and others) with lots of drama and bashing in addition to very legitimate complaints, it will start affecting their bottom line.

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  17. Great summary, Susan. I have some PTI sets but as was mentioned above, the shipping costs to Canada are insane! Lucky for me I have a US PO Box I can use. Not happy with the new website...hard to work your way through the hundreds of sets they have.

    Hoping they can take the constructive (and otherwise) criticism and put them to good use as far as improvements go. As we were always told, be thankful for the ones who complain directly to you because for every one that does there are 9 more who don't and it spreads.

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  18. I had heard murmurings about PTI bashing, but I stopped visiting them a while back too. Their DT projects are adorable; I am in awe of their talent, but the whole deal was overwhelming. I'm with you.

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  19. how can anybody keep up with so much?

    That's a great point, Susan. I don't think they are, at all. And it's beginning to show in many ways.

    The creative team may be able to forge ahead with new releases and new products, setting a kind of gold standard in the industry for their innovation and creativity, but the business side seems mired in the increasingly complex logistics of delivering on all of those promises. It's like one of those old Dilbert cartoons, with the marketing team several steps ahead of the engineers. In trying to do everything they want to grow their business, they're struggling to do everything they need to maintain it.

    Something had to give eventually. I think most of us knew that, but it's still disappointing to see such a delightful company flounder publicly.

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  20. Oh! And for those who feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of PTI products and designers, don't skip over Maile Belles. Her CAS projects and stamps are a great contrast to the busy-ness of everything else.

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  21. Very well said, Susan. I've enjoyed reading the comments of others, as well. I'm a bit relieved, actually, as I was thinking it was 'just me' that was feeling so overwhelmed. Design team tips, sneak peeks, new release parties, rules, rules, rules. Another pet peeve - if I try from the start to order a new release item, and it's unavailable on their end, when it's finally available, I feel that their discounts should still apply. Love the quality of the products, just overwhelmed. Thanks for your post!

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  22. You've totally nailed how I feel about PTI, Susan!

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  23. Very interested to read this. I have just received my first PTI order yesterday. I live in the UK and, while I love their stamps, the postage is extortionate compared to many other US based companies and will mean that I won't be able to order very often. I was very impressed with the packaging and general quality though.

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  24. I was one of those unfortunate few who waited months to receive the anniversary set a few yrs. ago. My invoice info of only 2 orders was given in Apr but I was repeatedly told they would 'check if I was on the list'. It really should not have taken 6 months to verify 2 orders! I've worked in a hospital for years & I know about teamwork. Sometimes we just have to do more than our share for the sake of the patient. A few days help in Ohio during that madcap time may have made a difference to those waiting months for an earned stamp set. The high cost of shipping to Cdn. (all that excess packaging is not necessary,IMO)including the 35$ duty at the door doesn't help. My new inkpads were dry but I was told they were not dry, rather that they needed re-inking. After sending me the refills 'at a lower cost', the following week PTI began giving refills free with inkpads. That several people were given a thank you gift irked me as I didn't even get a thank you after all that waiting. It all added up and that did it for me.
    These are just my experiences with PTI and in no way do I mean any disrespect (all this happened with just 2 orders). I wish them the best but I have moved on.

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  25. I live in Australia and, so, have to be quite careful about $ when it comes to ordering supplies from OS. I've ordered from PTI twice. Both times I've been really happy with the product, its packaging and the delivery time. Each time, I saved up enough to get a discount on the postage, so from my perspective, the postage to Australia has been fairly reasonable.
    I don't really follow all the release goings on. I'm just not that interested, but I do still look at the DT blogs. What I'm interested to see are cards made with older sets and cards made with one stamp set. I don't want to have to buy multiple sets to make one card. I do like the way they are revisiting older sets occasionally. It gives me inspiration to use what I've already got which makes me feel good about eventually buying more.
    I've had a small issue with their customer service lately, though, and I have to say, this is indeed an area upon which they need to focus. I don't recall seeing any information about a switch to a new system for qualifying for the anniversary set. So far, when enquiring about that, I've waited several weeks at a time, only to receive identical canned responses which show me that they actually don't really care about helping me or what I've got to say at all.
    Having said that, though, I'll still continue to order from them as I've been happy with the product and delivery so far.

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  26. Susan- I am glad that you haven't had too many problems. I have only ordered from them about 4 times. Three of those orders took weeks and weeks to get. After 5 years in business, you'd think they could better project their needs. The amount of back ordered items the day after a release is totally unnecessary. I have often wondered if this is a company that is run like a part-time job for them. There is fabulous white card stock out there: Neenah Classic Crest Solar White 110lb., or Gina K 120lb. Pure Luxury which is no bleed-through w/Copics, or very heavy, but fabulous Mark's Finest Papers 140lb.
    P.S. I emailed both PTI and Nichole directly with a question approximately 3 weeks ago and have not received any answer-not even one of their usual form letters.
    I have moved on, to companies that answer my questions and treat me well, no matter how big or small my orders are.

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  27. Completely agree with all your points. For those of us overseas, the problems are compounded with the cost of insured postage, the base figure being around $37. So when a package, correctly labelled and of significant value, sits somewhere in Brazil for well over a month (I can see how you could mistake Brazil for Australia!), I really wanted something done but I was told I had to wait - and wait we did!

    As you say, changing a website at the busiest time of the year is astonishing and I am not sure it was for the better. People will lose interest if they can't see quickly and easily what they want.

    I used to absolutely devour every word on Nichole's blog, and a couple of others as they were so inspirational but I find it all abit samey and unexciting - all well and good to have a favourite colour scheme but not all the time. I guess that goes back to what you were saying about too much product, when you have to think up new projects with so many bits, using a favourite colour scheme would be very tempting. Completely agree on the card stock too, it is the best.

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  28. Well said Susan.Exactly how i feel. I followed PTI since its first steps. What bothers me the most is that it used to be a friendly company and it has become too big and impersonal.
    P.S Don t get me wrong, i love the product and Nichole herself (who is an amazing woman), i just miss how it used to be

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  29. I totally agree with all of your points, Susan.

    PTI products are of outstanding quality. The sets are so flexible and beautiful. The matching dies make me very happy because I have less fussy cutting to do. I love the white and cream cardstock, perfect weight and beautiful.

    Unfortunately, the customer service leaves so much to be desired, and that new website is worse than the old one! Shipping costs and time to Australia are so much higher than I have experienced from other US-based companies. And did I mention the non-existent customer service when something goes wrong?

    Usually when I receive such poor service, I go elsewhere, but so far the PTI quality is keeping me interested. I don't buy whole releases, I don't watch the whole DT on the sneak peaks, I keep a wish list and carefully select each time I order. I have a good friend who places the orders (so we share that postage cost), and I have adjusted my expectations down so that if we receive the order within five weeks, I'm excited. :-)

    I hope the business grows up to meet the demand and the quality of the product.

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  30. I agree with every point Susan. I've had this conversation in my head several times. You captured on-line what I have thought many, many times. Thank you.

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  31. i totally agree w/ you i think nichole & the design team are amazing. they can make me want a stamp set i thought i would absolutely have no use for. however it is overwhelming w/ all of the new things coming out. i was somewhat surprised that they would choose the anniversary month to introduce the new website. i think that was asking for trouble. to me the new website is much harder to navigate and i miss being able to see all the stamp sets in their entirety on a page. so i can compare.

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  32. I agree with much of what has been said..Since we are commenting on a C&S blog let me first say I completely agree with Sarah. Maile Belles site is a treasure and not at all over whelming. Her C&S style is very consistent.
    I have not ordered their stamps for several years but have ordered other products with good response. Stamp wise it is waaayyyy to much. I can't find what I'm looking for. I had to go to Maile's blog the other day to find the exact name of one of her sets to order it and it was out of stock. Nichole is very talented but she now also overwhelms me. A lot of their examples are begining to look the same to me.
    I am lucky to have a fairly liberal stamping budget but find it to much work to spend it with them. This would probably change if the point comes when I can more easily view and compare their products.
    I wish them the best and will buy from them again but ...

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  33. Susan, what a well written post.
    I used to order so much Julie remembered my name at CHA (she does the int'l paperwork) and I never had a problem till orders started dwindling
    It's sad to contemplate, but perhaps you've received such great service cause you are well known and probably bring lots of business to them ???
    Whatever the case...it's sad. I ADORE the product.

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  34. I too thought it was just me being overwhelmed with all the product. This discussion and the comments have really helped to clarify some of the concerns I had. Their new website is very hard to navigate. I would really have liked to purchase the anniversary set but was closed out because I did not have enough points. I really thought that was bad policy because I had purchased enough product to qualify for the last two bonus sets. I felt like it was a club in which they did not want me as a member. have to say it made me scratch the rest of my order. I so liked that these stamps are good quality and something made in America. Thanks so much for this post.

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  35. I was blissfully unaware of most of the issues with PTI before today. I have placed two stamp and die orders with them in the last three months, and I did not encounter a problem. On my last visit to their website, I had trouble finding what I wanted because of the new design. There was too much flipping around pages. I ran out of time and did not place an order. I hope PTI can improve on this. I wish them well.

    I became overwhelmed and annoyed with the "sneak peak" mentality about two years ago, and unsubscribed from several blogs for that reason, but not just PTI. My time is too valuable for these teasers. Keep it simple, please. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and providing a forum for polite discussion, Susan.

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  36. i'm not positive about this, but i think you can order the anniversary set anytime until next feb.

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  37. I glanced at your site today, and learned for the first time, of problems at Papertrey!! I am often thankful for my ignorance...and in this case for my relatively great relationship with PTI. YOU started me on my incredible journey with PTI, Susan...a love that has not diminished, but changed over the years. I don't do the challenges, blogs, countdowns, only follow Maile's blog, so my relationship is a bit more removed than some. I HAVE been VERY disappointed, though, with their new website...VERY hard to navigate, and having to hold my orders until items return in stock. Once I waited for the onesie die for MONTHS, and then when IT WAS available, found that a stamp set in my cart was NOW no longer available.....funny now...not so funny then:), but not funny at all, for PTI. I used to fly for People Express Airlines, and it was felt the reason we failed and sold out to Continental after about 3 years was that we became too big too fast...I sincerely hope that the incredibly fast and huge success of Papertrey Ink will only lead to more of the same while remembering that what made them great when they were young and small is absolutely necessary and vital to making them great as they age and grow.

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  38. I love what Maille Belles does with PTI and have wanted to buy but have also been overwhelmed. Thought it was just me and that I was dumb. Good to know I'm not the only one.

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  39. I have not had any problems with PTI but I think that your comments about the web page are right on. And to try and do two things at once - whew. I like their stamps because they are so clean. I think that maybe if they cut down the amount of new stamps each month. Plus I liked the sample cards that go along with the stamps and always looked at them before I bought stamps but now I can't find them on the web site. Bummer.

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  40. good grief!!! i think i could have written your same exact blog post about pti!! i love, love, LOVE pti's white, cream and kraft cardstock and like you I.CAN.NOT.BE.WITH.OUT.IT!! and you are completely spot on about everything else. for the last two years or so i, too, have felt completely overwhelmed by the monthly releases. sometimes i go and look and enter a contest and sometimes i don't. from the get go i never frequented any of the designers blog (i just don't have the time!) i wish that pti would not release as much each month (or even take a break) and get problems fixed, but they don't. this has led to all the nastiness on the forum, warrented or not. pti gets lots of things right, but they get lots wrong, too. i completely agree that nichole promised too much and then was unable to deliver (anyone remember the "perfect match paint"???). but... despite all that i will continue to buy pti's products when i can because i just really, really like them!!

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  41. Amen to everything you said, Susan. I wish PTI, which sells only through its website, would take a break and get its "store" in order. The products are wonderful, but getting them is too often an unpleasant process.

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  42. by continuing to order you are making it more difficult for customers with legitimate customer service issues to be taken seriously. your post would have been so much more meaningful and helpful in the long run if you had taken a stand against a company that engages in some pretty poor (some would claim fraudulent) practices. to be honest, I am disappointed in your post.

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  43. I have heard the grumblings from other, but have not personally had any issues and love the PTI products, so I think your post sums up their issues well. I too find their new website a bit difficult to navigate and since I don't frequent their forum miss the info about the blog hop on their website. But I think the comments on this post are all very put. I too found issues with their int'l shipping when I lived overseas, but also found US addresses to get around that problem. At the end of the day I think their products are outstanding and the cardstock is great and the quality of their dies top notch.

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  44. Well said, Susan.

    Like you, I have never had any problems with any of my orders. And I know that if I order around release time, it may take a few more days for the stamps to make it to my doorstep. No biggie as far as I am concerned.

    I also feel overwhelmed with all of their new product releases, but if I see something I like and can use with my style, I will buy it.

    I personally don't feel the need to go public with bashing comments. It only ends up intensifying everyone else's frenzy, and before you know it, the whole thing gets out of control.

    What announcement about the anniversary set? Guess I missed that one! Like you said, too much to keep up with.

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  45. I have enjoyed PTI's product and service in the past.

    I am disappointed that they would choose a BIG release day to launch their new website; after all, what was wrong with the old store front? Not good business.

    I posted an inquiry and received an answer a week later.

    I like their product, but have significantly lowered my monthly purchase amount.

    I am as overwhelmed with all the 'temptations' and extra stuff that I only tune in when they do the full release of the product before they open the 'store'.

    The only designer blogs I visit are Maile's and Nicole's... since Michelle has gone to do that 'Life' project, I have tuned her out. The others only interest me if I am captivated by what is showcased on Nicole's blog.

    All of what you have written is true Susan.

    I truly LOVE PTI's card stock! I have stopped ordering their ink and some of their other products. I stick to the $5.00 stamp sets and corresponding dies (if I am interested in them).

    I wish PTI would go back to what it was: simple, honest, quick and personal.

    Don't release so much product. Save some for another time and enjoy being creative with less. Look at Gina K's release... short, sweet and easy to partake.

    My 2 cents, Marilyn in Texas

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  46. Hi Susan~ Appreciated your comments on PTI. They came as a surprise and not a surprise. I was not aware of the bashing but I am one who gave in to the need for a rant with them - something I have NEVER done before regardless of the temptation. I did not post it to their website but it took me forever to locate a way to do it privately. The new website was very poorly worked out which is one of the things I mentioned to them with some simple suggestions for improving their chances of customer satisfaction. For the past 2 releases I have had major problems with trying to order. Biggest problem of all is their inability to judge needed inventory for their aggressive push to sell product. Building us up to let us down. And not automatically putting us on a wait list if we want to order is an amazingly dumb move from a marketing standpoint. I have been back 6 times for one of those unavailable releases and there has been no mention of when, if ever, it will be back in stock. I am no longer interested in being put through that kind of frustration no matter how great the product. Their response to my carefully worded and respectful request for help in placing an order was decidedly unhelpful and left me angry and so annoyed I doubt that I will ever try again. As most everyone here has said, it is really too bad.

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  47. "Overwhelming" pretty much covers it. Too much stuff, too much hype. I lost interest. Maile Belles is the only one I follow. At least her cards can be mailed, rather than shipped air freight. PTI cardstock is super and I will continue to order. Never had any issues with customer service.(Fingers crossed on navigating the new website.)

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  48. Good post. Thank you. I agree. I have been "lurking" around your blog for a little while now and it is in my top 3 favorites. I love your cards and your posts make me smile. I am new to stamping, but already know that CAS is the only way for me!

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  49. You make a lot of good points about PTI's positives and negatives. I order from PTI just about monthly, and I have had issues with shipping times in the past (a BIG one with the November release). I've started ordering between release so I have a good shot of getting what I ordered in a reasonable time. I might think we're spoiled by companies like Amazon, but it's not only big companies that can get my order shipped within a couple of days. I don't understand why it takes so long at PTI. You say they've outgrown you, but really, they haven't kept up with their popularity. They have an incredible design team selling the product, but then what seems like an antiquated system behind the scenes to fulfill everything. And while they technically launched their website a couple of days in advance of their big anniversary release, it seems nobody really tested it. To release the website without having the ability to accept or even purchase gift certificates? That's crazy! And that's only one problem. BUT... as you say, their product is amazing. I can't look away. And I can't walk away. I didn't see anything in the sneak peeks that I had to have, but the countdown has only just begun, and it's the DT's use of the sets that usually makes me drool, lol.

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  50. Same as you, I am a CAS stamper and PTI has just gotten to be too much for me. I will, like you, order my CS and a set or two but NEVER at release time. I also love their dies but am finding lots of other companies are carrying the same kind of die! SO I can't just completely walk away, but I have gone from a dedicated once a month order to a few times a year gal.

    PS any companies you would like to recommend to another CAS girl? I dislike coloring all the time...LOL

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  51. Well, you nailed it bang on for me, too, Susan. Love the company and the product, but it has become too overwhelming with the choices and matching dies etc, and it makes me feel like I can't keep up, and can't meet their standards for making the perfect elaborate card. I want cards that can be made in a shorter time frame for the most part, as I don't have the time for the lovely detailed cards they are showing. I am also impressed with how you worded your post, to show concern without bashing the company. I have high regard for your talents!

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  52. Exactly my sentiments on everything right from the company to products to the blog!! When I first started following Nichole's blog I used to love her CAS cards and truly admired her style. However now they seem to be the bulletin board for PTI products.

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  53. Thanks so much for your post, Susan!!! I hear many murmurings and so I wanted to get an opinion from someone who seemed happy with their services. I appreciate your opinion and am glad to read it--I never like to just see one side of the story when making an opinion myself because it's skewed. My DH recently bought me my first PTI set (Simply Jane) for Valentine's Day and he ordered it a week before and it didn't come until the beginning of March. Since I didn't know it was coming, I wasn't too upset! My DH said he called and the CS people he talked to were kind and vague, so is that ok? I dunno. I think I'll definitely order from them again because their products are amazing and I LOVE their designs! :) Thanks again--and I wish others who have commented would realize that this is YOUR blog and you can write whatever you wish. FREE SPEECH, PEOPLE. Feel free to bash, but allow others to non-bash with the same freedom. (Stepping off my soap box now). Happy stamping, Susan!!!

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  54. I have been reading the comments and can't remember who made the comment to the effect that PTI's CS problems were probably such a small percentage that it didn't seem to affect them or was a large problem. PTI sent out an email that said that the backlog of CS emails was large and that they were deleting them and "starting over". That seems like a large percentage of problems and that they were overwhelmed and not able to deal with all the issues.

    What is so strange to me is that many people who have had problems, and the responses on the forum are less than nice, with some stating that the attitude is rude, dismissive similar tones. That doesn't make for good will with your customers and is never acceptable is CS.

    But for me the biggest issue is that you cannot call them, they have no phone number listed on their site to inquire about product or handle CS issues. @Mynnette said her husband "called" them and he spoke to someone. There are many who still have problems that would like to know that phone number that he called so they also can get the same personal attention. Any company that is willing to entertain only happy, praising customers while not willing to pick up a phone and hear an unhappy one speaks volumes.

    There seems to be no rhyme or reason to who gets satisfactory ordering experiences and those who do some times, and those who haven't.

    Other companies have great product and do not have even a percentage of complaints that PTI has. The good will and lack of complaints of these companies speak volumes of their good will TO their customers and how their handle their business.

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  55. I have been reading each one of your statements, and I find all of you have written it very well. All of you need a pat on the back for discussing this issue. I have said for along time, that PTI has LOST the meaning of what the company was originally supposed to be. STAMPS.....or at least that is what I took it as. I guess greed can overtake a person and distroy everything that they have worked for. Alice

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  56. I am a winner of the february release party.
    Part of the prize are stamps, with were withdrawn because of failures and will be released later.
    First it took a long time until the package was shipped. Meanwhile they told me lies about shipping.
    (I received a mail, that all packages are shipped and a few days later another mail saying, that my package is packed now and will be shipped.)
    I also asked, how they would deal with the stamp sets not yet released. No answers. My customers ticktes were just closed.
    At least - we have May now - I became the answer, that since the stamps sets were not released because of false spelling, they were not part of the prize.
    And if I am not satisfied, I can return the part of the prize they sent me ...
    Okay, I am sad about that and other companies deal with such issues in other ways.
    But what really upsets me is how they ignored my questions and suggestions. And some of my postings in their forum were not published.
    So, given the exorbitant shipping costs to Europe ( a lot of companies are far below with their costs of shipping), I won't order at PTI anymore. It is a hard decision for me, because I love some of their products, but I feel treated without respect and I can't accept that.

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Thank you so much for taking time to comment!