After ordering eighteen perfectly fine That's Drama decks from them, I got a few that were messed up. They say it's my fault. I got angry. Am I acting like a spoiled brat here? Are they being rude - or am I being overly sensitive? What do you think?
Jamie Fristrom wrote:
Hey, I had to let you know, my recent order #4303 I was pretty disappointed in the quality. One of the decks is fine - the other three are cut off on various cards in various places. It looks to me like the cuts are encroaching on the supposed safe zone...
These issues are generally caused by improper image formatting. Here are some things to check/change:
1) If you're looking at the proofs, your images should bleed all the way through to the red zone on the cards. The blue zone is an area that may or may not get cut off; it's a good idea to have a background in the same color as your image that bleeds off the page through this area. There are always slight registration errors when the cards are cut, and leaving a big border around your image can make this much more noticeable.
2) It's very important to make sure that your images are the correct size and resolution; otherwise, the software may make adjustments to your images that cause them to print differently than you intended. For cards, your images must be 825 pixels wide x 1125 pixels high, have a resolution of 300 dots per inch, and be 2.75" wide by 3.75" high.
Please verify that your images are the correct size and resolution. If that's not the issue, we'll continue to trouble-shoot from there. Thanks!
For 1, sometimes my art goes up to and touches the blue line but never went over.
For 2, although most of the cards are 825x1125 it seems that my card backs were the wrong resolution. (1089x788) - no idea how that happened. Would that throw everything off? Why were my previous decks, and one deck from this batch, fine, while the other three were off? It's discomforting - I can't just order a deck, look at it, say "that's fine", and then order a bunch. Obviously, it would be nice if the software did a verification step and told me, "Hey, this is the wrong resolution."
You'll want to make sure your art goes through the entire blue area; otherwise, it can throw things off. The way you want to set up your image is so that everything important in the image stops before the blue area so that it doesn't get cut off, but the background should go all the way through the blue area in the proof. Otherwise, the actual image is so small compared to the card that it can get shifted around on the cards, and you end up with some cards like you had where the picture was very off-center. The resolution of the card backs being wrong can also cause issues.
As you might've heard, we are working on a new incarnation of TGC, and in the new version, there will be verification steps like you mentioned, where the software won't allow you to continue with your game unless your images are the right size and resolution. So, we agree that should be part of the process, and it will be implemented in the future so that we can help to keep this kind of thing from happening. Until we are able to implement the new TGC, though, it has to be a manual check on the part of the game creator. I'm sorry, and I know this is frustrating. I hope this information helps, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.
I guess my question is - why not offer me a refund or credit or to replace the broken decks? I'd like to think that's what I'd do for my clients if TGC was my company.
When the situation is caused by an error on our part, we always offer credit. However, in this case, the images that you uploaded to your cards did not meet the specifications that are listed on our website. The instructions given were not followed. There's a lot of great information on our site about file preparation, and these topics are covered extensively there. I'm sorry that you experienced issues with your cards; however, those issues were not caused by anything we did.
So "The customer is always right" isn't your policy.
Okay - never mind the backs of the cards - I'll take the blame for that.
The fronts of the cards are all the correct resolution, and they are cut off. Not just "off center", but cut off. Your cuts are past the blue line.
But here's another thing - the very fact that TGC got one deck right and three decks wrong is proof that it's something TGC did. Seriously, how do you explain that?
Honestly, you just got lucky with the deck that printed acceptably. There are issues with your images, and the chances that your cards will ever print well until those issues are fixed are slim to none. I'm sorry that you are having issues, and I am trying to help you understand what you need to do so that your future orders print the way you want them to. Ultimately, though, you're responsible for what you put into your game, and if it's not done correctly, then it won't print correctly.
Have you even looked at my order history? I've never noticed a problem with any of the previous decks I've ordered, and they all had the incorrect resolution for the Motivation card back. Statistically speaking, the chances of that being just luck are infinitesimal. (Not to mention I hope it would show I've been a loyal client so far, and don't deserve to have fingers pointed at me.)
Please, explain to me how having the resolution wrong on the images for the backs of the cards can mess up the printing on the fronts of the cards - but only sometimes.
Is TGC your company? Is there someone else I can talk to? Because you're going to make me burst a blood vessel. It's not about the money. If you simply can't afford to give me credit - I know your margins must be low - okay: the decks are still playable and they're just for playtesting purposes so far. But I need a real apology ("I'm sorry you're having issues" is not a real apology) and assurance that this won't happen again if you want to keep my business.
Jamie Vrbsky wrote:
Hello Jamie, Heather has updated me on this particular issue. Normally we don't do this, but we'll offer a credit, less shipping, of half the amount of those card decks. In essence we'll pay for 2 of the 3 decks that didn't print or cut properly. I would ask that you please update your cards so that they are the correct resolution before you publish or purchase any more copies. While the system does the best it can to do what it "thinks" you want done, there's room for error in the algorithm which can cause large variances in the printing and cutting of the cards. Sometimes it works great and other times it works terribly. We're working to resolve this in the next iteration of the software so that issues like this are much more infrequent if not eliminated entirely. I hope you find this credit to be a satisfactory resolution and we can consider the issue closed.
Thank you, Jamie
Jamie Fristrom wrote:
Did you read my last e-mail? Can you please read it and answer my questions?
Heather has answered your questions previously. I'm not going to get into the technical aspects of why something works or doesn't work. We've done as much as we can to help in the resolution of this issue. It's up to you as to whether you find it satisfactory enough to continue using our service or not.
So - what do you think? It looks to me like they screwed up, conveniently found something minor wrong with my files, and are using that as an excuse so they don't have to take responsibility for what happened.
Bottom line is I don't feel like I can work with them anymore, since their product is so inconsistent - and don't have to, not when there are so many other POD places that do custom playing cards. Superior POD, Guild of Blades, Victory Point Games, Artscow ...
I've tried out Superior POD and Artscow, btw. Their cards are more consistently sized, easier to shuffle, and don't have little nubs on the edges. But their websites are harder to work with. I did like TGC's website - that's why I stuck with them even though their cards weren't as good.
I think the conversation starts to go off the rails with:
"I guess my question is - why not offer me a refund or credit or to replace the broken decks? I'd like to think that's what I'd do for my clients if TGC was my company."
because it's not directed at what the key concern should be, which is why did so many decks print OK, and then you get some screwed ones. You and they have a joint concern to establish that that's what happened, and find out why.
And then "So "The customer is always right" isn't your policy."
Seems to clearly establish that this is a confrontational venture and not cooperative one any more. So now it's going to be 100% defensive from them, and no progress.
Posted by: Mark Nau | April 25, 2011 at 08:22 PM
I have to say I'm on your side here. So they can print stuff correctly SOME of the time, but when it doesn't print right, then it's your fault? And they never say "yes, your resolution/cropping is right" or anything, just that "your images aren't meeting all the requirements".
I had a similar issue with Sanpfish. I ordered 20 wallets, 10 were fine, 10 had someone's head cut off. I emailed them and got the spiel about "use the right resolution, don't keep important stuff too close to the edges" and I replied and said "yes, I did all those things, but half are wrong," and then they emailed me with a credit and another reminder to follow the requirements. It was SO CLEARLY their error.
It's like the companies will offer a credit because they know they screwed up and want you to go away but they can't possibly admit fault.
I find sometimes picking up the phone works better.. have had issues with Zazzle calendars and last time when I called (it was tough to find the phone number!) they apologized and fixed it right away.
Posted by: Cathy | April 25, 2011 at 09:11 PM
From the looks of it, I'd say that it was probably exactly like they said.
Posted by: InvisibleMan | April 26, 2011 at 07:29 AM
I once worked for a company much like these guys. If there was any question at all about anything, put it back on the customer, unless it was absolutely, 100% our fault. Only if they were a long term, really good customer, and really pushed back hard, would we give in. It sucked having that kind of pressure from above and below. I finally quit working for them after less than a year.
I did a quick search for The Game Crafter on Boardgamegeek.com and found at least two others with the same issues, and a host of "I've heard of a lot of negative experiences with them" type comments. It's not worth the hassle. Jamie, if I were you I'd accept their half-refund offer, cut your losses, and take your business elsewhere.
Posted by: Chris Goodwin | April 26, 2011 at 02:58 PM
I haven't printed cards and I don't know how TGC operates but I have worked with Lulu and it sucked. Basically Lulu is just a middle man, they contract out all the printing to lots of different companies. That means no 2 prints will ever come out the same. It means sometimes something that printed before will not print the next time because it went to a different printing company with different equipment and different bugs. I don't know if TGC has the same problem.
Posted by: greggman | May 01, 2011 at 10:08 PM
Hi there -- I am totally with you. Pardon my implied R-rated language, but Heather is a C word. Rhymes with short baseball hit. Pure and simple, you are now the 6th person, including myself who has had to deal with this attitude from them. And JT is a bully who basically tries to indeed, BULLY people into buying their BS that they are they only game in town, and so they can treat anyone however they choose, because if you don't like it, TOUGH, they have thousands of other TGC fanboys. I am very sorry you had to deal with this. I have made it clear I will never spend another sent with them. I also totally encourage you to post this to some of the forums on BGG, if you have not done so already. Cheers-- PKW
Posted by: Gusmahler2 | July 06, 2012 at 03:43 PM
I had the exact same thing happen, recently. The Game Crafter has never once given me a "perfect" print on anything I order - from a vendor or for myself - but recently I ordered a prototype for a game I'm working on and it was an obvious misprint, and most of the cards were too dark to read despite the fact I used a lot of pale colors. I sent in pictures comparing what it was supposed to look like based upon a previous order, and they told me that while they could refund the price of the booklet (the one thing that printed correctly, I may add) the box and cards fell within an acceptable range of variation. They admitted in that same email that the printer that ran the box and cards had malfunctioned that day, but saw no problem with my product being too dark to read until I told them I wouldn't be using their services anymore. Then suddenly they were willing to compare my images to the digital file, and saw I was in fact right. I don't really trust them to deliver a good product, but unfortunately they are the cheapest prototyping company out there right now, and the only one that accepts vendors. If you order from them again and experience more problems, remind them that Board Games Maker is just a couple clicks away and even if they cost more it's a risk you're willing to take. Despite all their bravado, they are in fact terrified of losing customers because even if they're the cheapest and most popular game in town, they are far from the only one.
Posted by: Joel | August 25, 2017 at 02:09 PM