Quid Pro Quo

It never ceases to amaze me how people find creative ways to find revenue sources, but sometimes . . .

I was speaking to a member the other day who asked if I ever heard of a customer (ad agency in this case) “billing back” proofreading charges to the printer because of the time that it took to agency to review the proof for “errors.”  Errors which occurred when the printer attempted to output the file the agency had supplied.  I responded that in my 30+ years of industry experience and checking with PIA affiliates across the United States, the answer was a resounding no!

Many printing firms absorb the cost of file repair and proofing as part of their customer service.  They know that very few files, because of the complexity of the process, ever output correctly (less than 3 out of 10).  Thus, over the years, it’s been easier to fix the files and ensure the customer, who created the entire file, is getting what they need.  And here’s someone saying, “Oh, I didn’t take the time to create the file properly and I want you to fix it.  And here’s my bill.”  Give me a break.  Whatever happened to taking responsibility for your actions?

This next comment is directed to the printer and imaging providers reading this.  It’s bad business for any print provider to bend to this type of business practice and thus create a precedence. Given that industry profits have dropped to 1.5% (based on the 2009-2010 Printing Industries of America Ratio Studies); we don’t have margins to absorb “bill-backs” of this nature.  If customers insist on bill-backs, then insist that files output properly; otherwise they get billed for the fixes.  Quid pro quo.

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