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.