I work at a small print center. A customer came in and
wanted an image the size of a bookmark printed onto a double-sided postcard
flyer (cut full bleed, and with a squashed image due to file proportions
similar to a bookmark), sized 3.5 x 5 inches. I printed a proof for him, but
did not cut the proof out.
He wanted 1000 copies printed and cut by that evening. I got them done at the expense of putting off doing some other projects which I
could have done ahead of time.
Me: Here’s your project. Does this look okay?
Client: They look small.
Me: I can assure you these are 3.5 x 5 inches. I
input the settings for 3.5 x 5 on the printer and then cut around the edges as
Client: They cannot possibly be 3.5 x 5 inches. I am
certain the proof you printed for me earlier was larger.
Me: No, I printed the proof with the exact same
settings… here, I’ll get a ruler.
I find a ruler and measure the postcards. They are within
a millimeter accuracy, due to the cutter having a slight angle when cutting.
Client: I knew it. They are smaller. See, they do not
meet the 5-inch mark. I will not pay for these.
Me: Sir, they are the closest possible I could
make the cuts without the chance of a white border. Our cutter has a slight
angle so very minor size differences are common, and not something we’re really
able to control.
Client: This is amateur work. I asked for 3.5 x 5.
Please reprint them, at the size you printed the proof.
Me: With all due respect, I printed with the
same settings as the proof. The results will be the same if I reprint them.
Client: I will not pay more than $100 for this. They
are too small. I want to speak to a manager.
I call my manager over. The customer explains the issue,
and then I explain to my manager that it’s a cutter issue and not something I
can fix. I demonstrate this to both the customer and my manager by printing a
copy with the same settings as before and cutting it, and lo and behold–the new
copy is also within a millimeter smaller on all sides. But the customer holds
firm, so my manager ends up giving him 50% off the entire order (and with that,
my chances of meeting sales goals for the day vanished). The customer then says
he will be taking his business somewhere else.
One week later, the client returns.
Client: I want 500 of these, with this other
file on the back, and the same file as before on the front. 3.5 x 5 inches. I’d
like a proof as well.
Me: Sure thing. Let me get your file set up, and
then we can get it done for you.
Client: You won’t mess them up like last time, right?
Me: …I will do my best.