Never Use WinkFlash

If you are looking for an online photo processor, do not choose WinkFlash. Their customer service and return policies are horrid. I’m not even going to bother linking to their site, on the chance someone wants to see their site, or even worse, it gets picked up by a search engine. What I want the search engine to index is “WINKFLASH SUCKS”.


I just got off the phone with them, and after a much heated debate where they refused my refund, I told them that I would never use their services again and I would tell others the same thing.


Here’s the problem:

We ordered our Christmas cards from them. We went through the site’s step-by-step wizard and added the text we wanted. When the cards arrived, they didn’t have any text on them.


I wanted a refund, and I wanted to reorder ASAP. I contacted customer service. The first time, I tried getting through for 2 hours with a constant busy signal. When I finally got through, I was on hold for an hour. Each time a rep would pick up, their voices would be muffled and unable to be heard. They would then dump me back into the queue to start waiting again. This happened to me 6 times! I finally hung up and tried the next day.


Again, after 45 minutes of busy signals, I got through. I explained the problem and reordered. We went through the entire process, and I showed the rep where the wizard asks for the text and then you proceed into the cart, but other than the onscreen display, there is no final confirmation of the ‘what will be printed’ image. There should have been a way to click on the item in the cart and display it. There isn’t. Each time you click on the item on the cart, it restarts the wizard as if you want to edit it, and creates a new item. The thumbnail in the cart doesn’t show the final printed image either.


Even after placing the order, you cannot go back into your order history and display the final image.


However, in order to get a refund, I had to send the original cards back to them (and pay for shipping). Their policy is not to refund shipping costs if the order was completed as expected.


I included a letter with the information they requested, as well as an explanation on why I was due the shipping charges ($8). The order was not as I placed it, it was missing the text.


When the refund came through, it did not include the shipping charge refund (either direction). I just spent 30 minutes of busy signals trying to get through to someone. Got through, was on hold for 10 minutes and finally spoke to someone. She said that they would not refund my shipping charges. The order was printed as it was placed and that is their policy. And I quote “If there was a problem with our ordering process, wouldn’t you think we would have heard about it from the thousands of orders we take?”


Obviously there is a problem with your process. Not only that, but there is a problem with the entire UI in which a customer cannot review the product ordered.


Winkflash you suck. I don’t want a credit for the shipping charges, because I’m not going to ever order with you again. Why should I order and then have to pay shipping again? I want my money back. I spent almost in much for shipping it to me and back to you for a refund then I did for the entire order.


Bottom line: Don’t waste your money on them. They may have inexpensive pricing, but it’s because they cut corners on quality, customer service, and technology.


Now Playing: Megan Morrone and Leo Laporte – Jumping Monkeys December 2007 – Jumping Monkeys 28: Brian Niles of PTA Tech Corner

6 Replies to “Never Use WinkFlash”

  1. Thanks Tracy.. I appreciate the insight… Fine Print or not, I knew they wouldn’t return it under certain conditions.. However, I felt that my situation qualified for those conditions because it was their screwup, and they chose to see it otherwise.

  2. You’re welcome, Duncan.

    I do have to tell you, though, that 99.9% of the time (unless you get very lucky and find a human you can either browbeat/shame into it or who has a conscience and is kindly disposed to help) it really won’t matter how you feel. Their decision will devolve strictly upon what the text of the applicable agreement says.

    That is literally their security blanket and their hammer, if you understand what I’m saying. It is their legal protection against you. Under those circumstances, no headway can be made.

    The best possible advice I can give anyone is this: If you can get an actual voice on the line, you’ll know in a moment or two whether you can get anything out of them. Work with them (they’re valuable, and you want them on your side), and you’ll have your best chances.

    But if you find that’s not the case, get off the phone ASAP and just do whatever you need to complete the issue from your end and get away from it. Get the material out of your hands and back to them, and make word of mouth just as you have here and on any forums or blogs that you can. Tell folks exactly what happened.

    That’s the best – and really only – way you can punish them, and if you just get away from it you’ll save yourself SO much unnecessary headache and heartache.

  3. Oh, and one vitally important thing I forgot: Get it in writing. I don’t care whether it’s via snail-mail (probably the best, as you can get a signature properly, that way) or e-mail … but don’t fail in this – Get it in writing.

    If you do manage to get a concession out of someone that’s perhaps contrary to what a User Agreement or Term-of-Service says, this is your documentation that it actually happened. Do NOT rely on the fact you “talked to someone” on the phone – if there’s no written record or receipt of some sort, it can easily be brushed off as never having happened.

    However, if it is properly written down and you can show it came from the company’s rep, that’s proof you can use to enforce the concession versus management and so on … and if they still fight you, it’s your hammer against them.

  4. I was just about order from them and thought I’d type in winkflash sucks as a preventative. Yours was the first in the results list, but there are many pages after. I HATE bad U.I. and customer service. Think I’ll see about snapfish next.

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