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I used Shutterfly about 15 years ago when one of my teens was a baby. Got a photo book, turned out pretty well. Since then I have used Snapfish and haven't been disappointed.

I replaced my old Android phone last year with a Samsung S9+. It takes better photos than my expensive Canon and is a lot more portable for overseas trips. The photos are extremely vibrant and hi resolution. I have had photos printed at my local drugstore photo department from it with no problem. The only issue I have is size. Because the photos are extra long, it's hard to get them developed in their entirety. I usually just suck it up and edit the photos down to 4x6, but on my most recent trip to Mexico, I had taken a few that I wanted to print full length. I figured out how to crop photos so that two 4x4s can be put together to make the whole length (for scrapbooking it isn't a big deal to have the photo split in two).

I've had the Snapfish app on my phone for a while and haven't taken advantage of their "free" offers. A couple days ago an offer cropped up for a "free" mug. I figured why not give them a try? So not only do I buy the mug with some of my Mexico photos on it, I decide to go all in and get the best of my photos printed as well, since there are "free" unlimited prints on offer too. 4x4 as well as 4x6 means I can get a few of the extra long photos.

So I do it. $27.95 for shipping? Yeah that's not right, but like a *** I opt to suck it up and see how things turn out.

Mug arrives first. The photos on it look kind of dull. I'm thinking maybe it's just the ceramics or glaze or the tiny size of the photos or something, basically an error in translation. I don't complain but I'm not thrilled.

Yesterday my prints arrived. These are photos of Mexico, the most colorful place I've ever been. It's like visiting Miami or the Caribbean, these people are not afraid of color, and flowers everywhere. They looked like a packet of photos I took as a tween in the 80's with a Vivitar. 40 years old and faded. I'm going through the photos and comparing to the shots still on my phone and getting madder and madder. Snapfish wouldn't have sent this. *** Walgreens wouldn't have sent this. It's like they didn't even look at the photos, just ran them through the machine, through them in an envelope and a box and sent them to shipping.

Now I complain. I told them exactly what I thought of the job they'd done.

This morning I get an email in response. Basically telling me it's my fault for not adjusting the settings and sending hi res photos. They were "magnanimous" and credited my account with the shipping and the cost of the mug and offered to redo it once I reduced the resolution and turned off something called VividPics in my account. By the name, VividPics sounds like something made for high color, hi res photos, but no. The email even said it was an "auto enhancement feature". Then how come it didn't automatically enhance my photos?

About the hi res photos:

"We have checked your images and found that they are of a high resolution. When a very high resolution image is printed on a small size/area (a 4x6 photo can't really be considered a small size/ area, can it?) it is compressed, this is why the images look fuzzy and blurry. Please adjust the sharpness of the image in an external image editing software and upload the to your account and use them for your prints and mug."

Why is it on ME to do this? Shouldn't they have made the adjustments on their end? At the very least I believe that anyone with eyes could have looked at those prints, realized something was up, and contacted me to adjust and resubmit the order. Not to mention the site says nothing about special circumstances or adjustments needed. The preview of the prints gives no indication of the end result, so I could not be expected to see that something was off and that I would end up with washed out prints.The instructions given to find this VividPics setting make it clear that it isn't obvious or readily accessible.

You are providing me with a product that is supposed to be of quality, Shutterfly, it is on you to make the necessary adjustment to ensure the order comes out right! Don't tell me to adjust my photos when everyone else seems thoroughly capable of taking my unaltered photos and providing me decent prints! Not to mention what is the point of having a camera that takes hi res photos (which it seems isn't terribly uncommon anymore?) when they can't be printed? What a load of horse crap.

For me this translates to:

Our lab and staff are incapable of handling the photos you take with your camera. Feel free to shop elsewhere.

Thanks Shutterfly. I will.

Product or Service Mentioned: Shutterfly Printing Service.

Reason of review: Bad quality.

Monetary Loss: $27.

Preferred solution: Full refund.

Shutterfly Cons: Quality of prints.

  • Quality Control Management
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