Update: So a few hours after publishing this post, Kicksend support replied to me apologizing profusely for everything. They re-instated my comment on their blog and offered to give me a full refund for my purchase. It’s unusual that it took a blog post to get their attention however they have assured me that they will fix their user interface issues and that they work hard to satisfy all their customers. Well, so that’s sorted!
Right. So two weeks ago I was really happy to read that Kicksend is now delivering photo prints to India. To my utter dismay, Kicksend misled me to believe that they offer free shipping on orders with over 10 prints. Furthermore, when I emailed customer support about this, they never bothered to respond to me. I had also pointed out some other user interface issues during the order process. That, and I had posted comments on the kicksend blog with my concerns, and they deleted my questions! Wow, censoring a customer – is that good business practice these days ?
Very bad move, Kicksend! Here’s the story.
So what is Kicksend ? It’s a pretty nifty service (and an iPhone app) that you can use to quickly get very high quality prints of your favorite photos.
Excited about the fact that they now deliver in India, I wanted to be one of the first people to try this out. We take so many pictures traveling around the world that an efficient, high quality photo printing partner would work great for us! I quickly logged onto their website and tried ordering some prints.
I was going to order just 3 prints, to test the quality before I’d order more. But the website said:
Choose 7 more photos for FREE shipping!
So I thought, wow, this is really cool. Alright, I’ll add a few more photos. I added 8 more photos, so a total of 11, and went on to enter my shipping details. Unfortunately, when I selected India, the website wouldn’t offer me free shipping even though I added the requisite amount of photos. I went back and forth between the photo upload and shipping pages, it said that I would get free shipping but it didn’t offer it. Finally, I gave up and thought, let me order anyway, but I’ll let them know about the problem. I was quoted $5.39 for 11 prints and $6.56 for shipping.
I placed my order, paid for the shipping and decided to reply to their blog post announcing availability in India to try and bring the issue to their notice. So I went to the Kicksend blog, I navigated to the post with their India announcement, and left this comment:
Great going on the India launch!I just ordered 11 prints. Was going to order 3 but it said add 7 to get free shipping. Added another 8 but when I went to enter my address I still got billed for shipping. I guess the free shipping only applies to US orders or something..
Looking forward to receiving my prints! So glad that Kicksed is finally in India!
The comment was visible on the blog (it was not flagged for moderation), so I figured that Pradeep or someone else would reply in the meantime. I never received a reply from anyone.
A few hours later, I received a welcome email from kicksend customer support saying:
hey ashray – i’m XXREDACTEDXX and i’m in charge of user happiness at kicksend.
I noticed you just signed up and wanted to say hi! please let me know if you need help with anything! =)
two quick questions: how’d you hear about us? and why did you sign up for kicksend?
+1 (650) 336-5817
sent with love!
I thought I’d let them know about the shipping issue, even it was just a user interface issue, they could fix it.
I read about kicksend via Zite on my iPad. It was an article from .. TNW maybe talking about Kicksend now being available for prints in India.
I signed up because I thought it was a cool idea and wanted to check out the quality of your prints. Unfortunately, I was misled during the order process because I wanted to initially print 3 pictures but saw a message saying “Add 7 more to get free shipping”. So I added 8 more pictures for a total of 11.
But then when I went to check out it didn’t give me free shipping. I guess free shipping is only available for US addresses ? Anyway, I went through with my order, it is: #XXXXXX
Also, I had to use a different email address for the order because your form (the field asking for email address next to the credit card number during checkout) would not accept firstname.lastname@example.org as a valid email. It kept saying : “Did you mean email@example.com ?”
It wouldn’t let me submit the order so I finally ended up using firstname.lastname@example.org which is another one of my email addresses.
Hope the feedback helps, looking forward to getting the prints soon!
Thanks for getting in touch!
But again, I received no response. This was 11 days ago!
Then, after a few days, I received my Kicksend photos. Sure enough, the quality was pretty great, the service was fast, but apparently their customer service is REALLY POOR! What happened here ?
I went back to the blog to check if anyone had replied to the comment I had left and to my horror, MY COMMENT HAD BEEN HIDDEN! (marked as moderated) I could no longer see any comments on the blog. So, I left another comment on the blog:
Why did you delete my previous comment here ? It doesn’t sound like a friendly way to do business. I was simply bringing a UI issue to your attention..
This comment has also been hidden. I also sent off an email to Kicksend customer support:
Also, I had posted a comment on this blog post regarding the UI issue I faced:
But the comment was deleted and can no longer be seen. Why would you do such a thing ?
So now, it’s been 11 days since my last interaction with Kicksend. I have received no response to any of my queries. I am happy to have received the photos. They are good quality and shipping was fast. However, given that they censor their users and refuse to reply to any support questions I am sure I will not do business with them again.
I am disappointed that this service would treat one of it’s first India customers in such a way. I thought I’d get free shipping but I was fine with the fact that I didn’t (it might have been a programming/interface issue). But as a programmer and web developer, I thought I’d point out their UI issues to help them but instead I ended up getting censored.
Shame on you Kicksend! It’s one thing to not reply to your customer’s questions and totally another to go out and censor them!
Anyone know any alternatives to Kicksend in India ?