Having a need to get some prints done quickly, I employed a print lab that offered the paper I wanted at a good price. Unfortunately, they overcharge for 2-day shipping and also charge a $25 fee for a rush order. Really? $70 for rush processing + shipping? One of these cost penalties is understandable, but the sum of these two penalties was disturbing. Maybe a different lab would do the job without one of these two penalties?
I returned to a lab that I had used a month ago. Speaking with the lab via telephone, they told me I must upload the file within 60 minutes to get it into the processing queue. After consulting the shipper’s web site (UPS), they quoted me only $20 for 2-day shipping and no apparent surcharge for rush processing! But the paper choices are different and the print cost is significantly higher, compared to lab#1. In the end the total cost would be just a bit less, not much. I did login and upload the file, but then I could not seem to place an order. Their website allowed me to upload the file, but then the site navigation was confusing and I could not figure it out. (Which is odd because I had used this site just one month ago.) At this point, I was experiencing a lot of anxiety because of the time pressure.
Returning to lab#1, I completed the ordering process. Then sent a courtesy email to lab#2 because they were watching to receive my rush order (which I abandoned). Ten minutes later, someone from lab#2 telephoned me because he saw the upload and called to help. Sorry, but it was too late.
Lesson 1: When push comes to shove, never ever underestimate website ease-of-use.
Lesson 2: For rush jobs like this, I need to print myself rather than outsource to a print lab (incurring shipping delays, shipping costs, and rush processing fees).