Stephinka’s Reviews: Stamp Company Papertrey Ink Review

As you can see on my blog, I’m a huge Papertrey Ink stamp user and it makes up the most stamps in my stash. Unfortunately, I believe that is about to change. It’s utterly disappointing to have a company you like for their products, whether it is stamps, or dishwashing liquid, or anti-wrinkle cream.. and then you find out they apparently appreciate money so much they don’t even bother about customer service; there is no customer, only money, and there is no service, end of.

Before anyone wants to cry “smack!”, I’m telling you this is just my personal review of this company and I will cover the good points, however few they are. I am a member of their company’s forum and have made many good friends there; some I even met up for a meal or a drink with when they visit Singapore for vacations. If you want to read this personal review of my experiences shopping with PTI…

I love the modern fonts and clean styles of most of PTI’s products, like for example images in Modern Basics and Background Basics: Diamond… Fonts from Asian Fusion and the newly-released Beautiful Butterflies. However..

I always believe good customer service is imperative and probably the core for a company to retain it’s business and now the lack of good CS from PTI is causing it to lose loyal customers such as myself.

PTI basically has 2 people in-charge of CS and yet they have no power or authority within the company to immediately handle your problems. Every email reply takes 3 days to get to when they had 1 CS person, and now with 2 of them, it’s still 3 days.

My personal run-ins with CS was when I received cardstock with corners so bent that I would have to trim them off and generally not be able to use 1 piece for 2 A2 cards: I had to go back-and-forth 3 days in between waiting for replies from a CS personale who tells me after 2 emails she will need to pass the email along to Julie (one of PTI’s owners) and then she had to have me take photos of the damage. All this emailing took around two weeks, and I even had to ask if they have sent it out a week later. Took around 1.5 months to get the cardstock problem settled. Why does this CS officer have no power to get my CS problems fixed and has to go to the head honcho?

Then, they forgot to put something in my order, those Vintage tea dye ink things, and once again I had to tell the CS lady, who couldn’t do anything, and had to pass this info on to Julie (+ few days waiting time), who then said she will send it out. A month passes and nothing arrives so I had to email CS again and she passes it back to Julie (+ few days waiting time) who finally mails out my inks. Same problem, why can’t this CS person get my problems fixed and has to ask the boss? Maybe we should just email the boss, right?

This is the last time I hope I will have a run-in with PTI (unless something goes wrong in my current orders being shipped already): I emailed PTI immediately after payment for a release night order in which I forgot to enter the 5% discount code. Yes, silly, me. Around 4-5 business days later, the new CS guy tells me nope, they can’t credit the discount back to me. Now, I’m not saying PTI has to give it back to me, after all it *is* my fault I forgot to enter it. But the funny thing is every other company I have shopped with and forgot to enter a coupon with would credit me back, whether with a direct refund or shop credit. Once, I received an email from a company writing that there was free express shipping if you bought over $100 worth of their products. The problem was that it wasn’t mentioned anywhere on the email or their site if this offer is extended to internationals, so I spoke to livechat (yes they have a CS personale there on chat 24/7/365) and they actually checked immediately for me (add 2 mins) and told me, nope, unfortunately that is for US-only, and gave me a 10% off coupon for the disappointment it caused me (add 10 seconds). Problem fixed, they didn’t have to throw me person to person and right up to the CEO to get a stupid refund.

Anyone wants to say it is growing pains? Growing pains does not equate to fail CS, as you can already tell with shopping in handmade stores in Zibbet or Etsy, some of those are run by one person only and they can do this ‘customer service thing’, yet PTI continues to fail and disappoint.

Another point… Didn’t happen to me as I wasn’t a customer then, but PTI still owes stamps to customers who were promised them. After a year. And they made the customers compile their own receipts to prove they had spent enough, how screwed up is that??? Please, stop letting them lead you around by the ear, stop buying from them and stop having them think this is OK. It’s not worth it, it’s your hard-earned money, or hey it was tax refund (from your hard-earned money); you should be spending it somewhere where they value you as a customer and make you feel good shopping there.

PTI also sends out ‘fake’ shipping notices, but take days and for some customers, weeks to get those parcels out. Stop lying to people and letting them believe their package has left the warehouse!

And goodness me, I can go on and on about their new website, which was put out too early without being tested… But if you want to check the failure that is the design and how impossible it is to find a set, just go there, I don’t need to explain.

This is a first anniversary of theirs for which I was around to bear witness to (yep, only started stamping/cardmaking in March/April 2011) and I believe it will be the last. I do like Nichole Heady’s designs and how their DT makes everything look good, but there are other companies out there who won’t just treat me like they only want my money, not my loyalty, and it will be those that will be getting my craft dollars. Or I might just only buy secondhand sets so I never have to deal with PTI as a company ;D.. Think that’s a pretty sound idea!


44 responses to “Stephinka’s Reviews: Stamp Company Papertrey Ink Review

  1. Amen, Steph! I’m right there with you. As of today, Feb 23, I still am unable to place an order on their new website. Amazing! I’ve never seen a company with such poor customer service, seriously. Absolutely LOVE the product(s), but that doesn’t make it right. Sad to be leaving, but it must be done.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great day! 🙂

    • *hugs* Just finish using your Rewards points (when you finally can *sigh*) and then make THE exit. No more drama. I think crafting should be a light hobby and certainly does not need all these drama going on at all, let’s go shop happy elsewhere 😀

    • Hi Stephinka,
      I totally agree with you. I returned two of my doily detail dies because they were not cutting any paper at all. But they returned them saying they r fine?? No respect for the customer… Right now also my one order got returned (i do not know how) and keeping my fingers crossed to get it reshipped. AND I M DONE WITH PTI.

  2. Hi Steph, I think your post was well written and not at all a slam. I feel the same way you do about all the issues and it is so frustrating because the product is great. *sigh* But, I agree that the only way they may change for real is for us to stop giving them our money…because I have to agree, they don’t care about the customers, just the bottom line.

    • Thanks Leah, yes, it is sad but very true, and to say its not happening is just lying to oneself. Their improvements are two steps forward three steps back. It should be a peaceful, enjoyable hobby with little to no problems, no drama of waiting for PTI to make their overhaul- it will still be run by those same people, it will never change. It’s time to wise up. Let’s support stores who want us and go the extra mile! I had a backorder from Paper Smooches which I didn’t even notice. Kim sent personal updates to tell me first that I have an item on backorder, and another personal update to tell me it has shipped…. how fantastic!! and when I asked her how long it was going to take she was like “i already ordered a lot and they will be here *really* soon” and one week later my stamps were here!

      Not the usual PTI answer like stamps will be back in 2 weeks. and dies in 3… lies…. you and me know..LOL

  3. I agree with every word you’ve written, Steph.

    I’ve been a PTI customer since the beginning. I’ve spent a lot of money there and I’ve turned a lot of people on to their products.

    No more.

    PTI’s consistent and obvious lack of concern for their customers is astounding. I had an issue with a defective die that never got resolved – Jenn would promise to “check with Julie” and then….just nothing. This went on for 4 months (during which time I only received 4 useless, non-canned responses from “customer service”) until I finally let the issue go.

    The shipping window is another outrage. Why is it that Waltzingmouse can get stamps to Southern California from IRELAND in less than a week, and yet PTI can’t manage to get me a package in less than 14 days?

    The longest it’s taken them to get me a package is 21 days – during which time I was told that my order “probably” shipped UPS, but that they couldn’t provide tracking information for me. Since when does UPS ship without a tracking number?

    The thing that irritated me most about that situation was Jenn’s request at the end of yet another useless email to “let her know if I didn’t receive my package.” Um….isn’t that what I was doing? Letting them know that I had no order 20+ days after it had been placed?!?!

    Sorry, Steph, to rant and rave on your blog, but I’m just so glad to see others publicly expressing frustration about poor treatment from this customer.

    There are many companies who value our dollars – let’s support them, instead!

    • Please do share your experiences! I want to be the change to make PTI release that we’re not pushovers. and we won’t stand for them bullying us and treating us poorly when we can easily go elsewhere! Indeed, her customer service is very, very questionable and to have a lost package from PTI must be hell to deal with. Until the unhappy shoppers all stop waiting and hoping for a proverbial phoenix to rise from ashes, then maybe Julie would wake up.

  4. I have to agree.

    I have been holding onto this since 2009, but my experience with one of the owners ‘Julie’ was nothing short of disgusting..

    i asked for a copy of an invoice as my purchase was stuck in customs, and received NO REPLY after email, after email. I eventually (in desperation) called International Directory Inquiries asking for a phone number for PTI. They had one and asked if I wanted to be connected? I jumped at the chance and it wasn’t until I was put through that I realized that I had been connected to Nichole Heady’s private residence at (wait for it) 6 O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING. I was horrified!!!

    I then received an email from Julie saying that she and Nichole felt VERY VIOLATED, because I had called at 6am and (I quote) “As it doesn’t seem that we are able to ship to you without problems, it may be best if you didn’t order from us in the future”. Another interesting point she made, “We do not have a Papertrey Ink phone number because I work another job during the day and cannot answer the phone or supervise anyone else to answer the phone during the day.”…

    To say that I was horrified by her LACK of Customer Service would be an understatement.. I would NEVER call someone as their private residence and NEVER at 6am in the morning. If I had the chance to do the math and realize the time difference I never would have called.

    However that is all by the by, because I MADE A MISTAKE, but was treated like a parasite for having the audacity to try and contact Customer Service.

    • Oh my God! I am so sorry to hear about your experience and thank you for sharing it with me. Can we get PTISmackIII to get some excerpts please?

      It wasn’t like you stalked them… Telling a customer they violated them is such a no-no in Customer Service… Sure it might have been a little embarassing but that email is TERRIBLE. I can’t believe they tell you to stop ordering from PTI. That is the rudest crap I’ve ever heard. Who do they think they are? They are only here because of customers and you never tell a customer to leave, ever. But I guess PTI doesn’t do customer services so they didn’t get the memo. I’m not in CS but one does have to be to know its a serious faux pas to the MAX. I’m sending you big hugs for the embarassment they caused you and you must have been very distressed by the incident.

      Thank you for stopping by my blog, and you are always free to pop me an email if you want – 🙂

    • Amazing!!! I was going to say that I can’t believe it, but the sad truth is that I actually can. I wish this was posted on their forum and PTI Smack III, but I don’t think it is my place to repost it. I feel that people need to keep hearing the real stories about the people behind PTI.

      It also makes me wish that we could all get that phone # and give them a piece of our mind!

  5. anonymous please

    It has all just gone on for way too long. The excuses have worn thin and the treatment of customers is simply appalling. I am not surprised at the experience, nor the email of the anonymous poster. Too many have remained silent for far too long. I cannot figure out why Nichole does not cut her losses and remove herself with the rest of her dignity. Her talent would help her start over. I wonder if she has invested too much money in the company and in her new mansion and is now a bit trapped?

    • I had the same thoughts, anonymous please… NH could have restarted a stamp and die place elsewhere with inks and a new paper supplier. and yes, a new start up but without the double Js and that set of customer service rules they have. But she might be caught in a contract, or yes, too much has gone into her mansion, built with our money, and can’t go anywhere to escape from the bad press, such bad press she had to close comments on her blog. *shakes head*

  6. Hear Hear, Steph! Well said. I completely agree with you. It really is a let down when you think you’ve discovered something that can be really fun, and a major thing for you, and then you find out the people behind it suck.

    I had a similar situation to the (positive) one you described with I’ve been credited, given coupons after the fact, had shipping combined, defective products replaced, the whole nine yards and all within hours of my emailing them. Same thing with, to the point where the owner (yes, it’s just him that ships everything and handles CS) worked with me one on one to make sure I’d get a preorder item exactly the day I needed it. And I watch a friend of mine (again, just one person) do it over and over again, from creating the product to handling orders and CS impeccably so everyone is happy. It CAN be done if the owner of the company cares about you, the customer, and their business as a whole.

    After 5 years PTI has no excuse for ANY of the issues it has. They know their problems, they’ve been told over and over by customers, and they STILL do not change anything. It’s wrong, and I think it’s time for everyone to move on away from them.

    • Yes indeed, and unfortunately it can happen a lot and I have many other examples but non-stamping related.. So I’ll spare you my long stories, Aeryn!

      I know, I sell my cards, sometimes, and I go the mile, double, thrice the mile to deliver direct to the buyer if i know them in person even once rushing down to pass his orders so it would be given on a relevant date. A customer told me the envelope (regular a2) didn’t fit the A2 card (probably had too much things stuck on) and no blaming her for not testing it earlier, instead I apologised for not trying to put it in first- and then I sent a larger envelope to her workplace, in person at no charge.

      It’s really not so hard to keep your customers happy, and sometimes I do shop in a different, more expensive place just because the owners are nicer. It’s so important for a retail company to get customer service right. And as you mention, 5 years is way too much time for them to try to get it right. The ‘trying’ they are claiming to do now still involves snarky emails I received from CS person to remove her name from this post. Wow…I’ve no words.

  7. I’m sorry that you feel this way. I have had the opposite experience, though. Over the 2 years that I’ve been a customer, all my orders have shipped perfectly and my two CS experiences have gone great.

  8. Well said Steph. I’ve left the forum and used my rewards points as I can’t be bothered with them any more and I’ve spent A LOT OF $$ over there in the last year. I won’t say I will not order there products ever again but I am not getting caught up in all the hype anymore. I can’t believe so many people are continuously sticking up for this type of company and their practices.
    And yes, I love what Nichole and DT make with the great products but it’s not worth it anymore 😦

    • Oh Lou!! You left! 😦 I spent around US2000 since March. Their international postage rate is just crazy and I’m done with that. PTI will not directly get my money. I will buy second hand sets, but order and pay for that shipping? Uh uh. Sadly, I have some rewards points I want to finish using, but dont know how. Perhaps a cardstock order to a shipping buddy, that’s the only thing I can think to do with it. I do hate to lose contact with you, Lou, how else can I contact you? do you Facebook/MSN/Googlechat?

  9. I am with you. My husband feels like I’ve been complaining to him about PTI forever. He wants me to stop shopping there too. I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt through the anniversary and new web site launch, but then a few things caught my attention. There are three owners of the company and two customer service people. When customer service got so backed up (600 emails was one number they threw out, I also saw 900+ somewhere) why didn’t the owners roll up their sleeves and get to work? I know they say they have the responsibilities divided up a certain way, but a backlog is a backlog that should be dealt with in a timely fashion and here we are a week later with that excuse, and yes, it is an excuse, still being the reason. I stayed up to order this release because I didn’t want to wait two weeks to get my order – something I knew would happen if I didn’t order that night. I went to bed at 10:28pm so I ordered early and yet I still have no package. By the way, a friend sent me a package from Nebraska on the 15th shipped USPS which got to me on the 17th. I ordered from Pottery Barn on the 17th and it arrived UPS on the 23rd. So where is my package? Which leads me to their shipping policy. Packages will ship within 48 hours (I think that is what is says), except during a release when it could take up to 7 days (or something like that). So their idea of a policy is to only hold themselves accountable to it 75% of the time. Since they have a release about every four weeks. It just seems to be a lot of excuses with a lot of “thanks for your patience” rubbish thrown in.

  10. While my experience with PTI has only been positive, I feel for those who have been less than happy with the service. I will miss you on the forum, wish you only the best, and will visit you here on your blog.

  11. Well darn…wish I would have found all this out BEFORE I placed an order!
    I placed my first (and last) order with them on 2/18 in the am. The site says shipping within 48 hours….so on 2/23 I wrote about the shipping method used because no notification was sent. I got some bullshit auto response with multiple issues addressed, but nothing of when my order would be shipped. I didn’t think to do a BBB check with all the blogs I see praising this stamp company, or should I say just the Stamps. Oh well….maybe I’ll get to finish my cards next month…LOL. Well…off to find another stamp source.

  12. Hi Steph
    I am one of those unfortunate persons who is still owed their Anniversary sets. I have not spent a penny at PTI since July 2011. During that Feb. 2010 till Feb. 2011 I had spent over $5000.00. I am still getting the run around, and no answers and NO sets. I complained to the BBB and got nowhere still. Unfortunately, I am Canadian so I cannot lodge a complaint with the Attorney General of Ohio. I have become so frustrated with the way Jenn kept lying to me telling me my sets were on their way and now has passed me off to Dave, who has yet to reply to my email of over a week ago. I have stopped promoting PTI and now tell people that I craft with to stay away.

  13. Elsa (non-PTI lover)

    Sadly, I am utterly excited to see that I am not the only person having issues with PTI. I’ve never been a big fan, but I have a relative who is. She sends me a gift certificate to them every year for Christmas and like clock-work, I have an issue using it. I’ve just now gotten around to using the latest gift cert and it has become a huge fiasco. I am so DONE and over this company. I sent a nasty gram to them and I’ll be copying my relative on it in hopes that she doesn’t spend any more of her hard earned money with this ridiculous company. Thanks for letting me rant.

  14. I have had bad problems with them, I got attacked at their FB forum, and when I defended myself, I got BANNED. I spent $3500 in 6 months, yet they treated me like I had a disease… DONE, never again!

  15. I am an EXTREMELY UNHAPPY customer of PTI. When they sent me an email regarding their Paper, Scissors & Superheroes from PTI; it had an address at the bottom of the page – Paper Trey Ink | 3517 Cardiff | Cincinnati | OH | 45209. I used googled MAPS and went to street view and saw a big sign that says, HESKAMP PRINTING CO. I pulled up their phone number online via yellowpages and they said that they do not know anything about Paper Trey Ink and that I must have gotten the wrong number. It’s been almost 20 business days since I placed my order and according to the website, the order had been shipped. My bank has already been charged, however STILL NO PACKAGE!!!! I went to my bank account online and found a phone number 513-871-6770. When I called the number, low and behold, the lady that answered the phone said, “HESKAMP PRINTING, how can I help you?” When I mentioned PAPER TREY INK, she started to stutter and could not respond right away. She said that I must have a wrong number, then hung up.

    I guess it’s time to report HESKAMP PRINTING CO aka PAPER TREY INK to BBB –

    I think I will MAKE A CARD that expresses my feeling about PTI and post it in one of their contest. All I have to do is just change my email address and information.

  16. JCA, I have seen that name on UPS shipping notices before! I saw the name and thought it was something wrong, and when the box got to me, I saw it was PTI! They ARE Heskamp, I am sure I still have the emails!

  17. I was reading all your posts here and yes I have had some issues with this company as well. I, like so many of you love their product but am dissatisfied with their CS. I never received my free anniversary stamp set either and finally just gave up after many emails. I got a defective ink pad that they refused to replace unless I sent the old one back at my expense. That made no sense so I just left that as well. I am thinking that the Heskamp Printing is because the Julie you talk about is Julie Heskamp. So maybe they are all under one umbrella name??

  18. I should also mention that when I had a missing item from one of my orders and I did receive that item after only one return email to them. Got it in a couple of weeks. Also all my orders have arrived on time and efficiently.

  19. its 5am and just found your blog… wanted to add 1 thing: shipping overseas for some mini stamps and dies : $37… INSANE!!


  20. Hi from Sweden!
    I have reported Papertrey ink to BBB in Cincinatti, since they did’nt want to answer my mail or pay for my cost to send a defected die in return. They still ow me 17 dollars. It’s not that much but I do’nt like being deceived. Take care. Do you know of any webpages like your, where they do’nt like papertrey ink. I feel like I have a mission, to tell people of this bad company ; )

  21. I will, as well be filing a complaint. I have been unable to use a $50.00 gift card since February. The first excuse was the website update – I waited a month before trying again. Now it has been another 4 days since the promise that the issue would resolved as soon as possible. I’m through.
    What a shame – great product – poor customer service – the two just don’t mix. I did use paypal for my last order. The instructions to PTI were that I was unable to get my gift card to work and please deduct from the total $$$ (this was done because they suggested it, i.e. PTI) They ignored the comment/instruction). It has been suggested that I contact paypal and see if they can help : – ( : – (

    • Yes, fill in you complaint! We need to tell other people how PTI treat customers, even though their product are great.

  22. Try Stampin Up they have great CS and wonderful demonstrators to be the go-between. Email me a if you would like to try Stampin Up. Betsy

  23. The absolutely INSANE shipping costs for overseas are keeping me from ordering ANYTHING from their products! It seems as if they don’t want to have costumers from Europe – how sick is that? I’ve banned ALL blogs and DT members from my reader. Very poor!

  24. I have NEVER had to deal with such horrible customer service as I have with PTI…unbelievable. They just ignore you or make sure you can’t get on the forum. What I don’t understand is why they don’t hire someone that can fix the problems and get rid of people that don’t give a hoot about there customers. Paper people are very loyal, but don’t mess with us!!!

  25. Wow! What an eye opener! I was going to place my very first order with PTI before I came across your blog. I actually googled “Papertrey Ink reviews” to get reviews on their PRODUCTS, but I surely got more than I was looking for. They do have very nice stamps and matching dies, but it is not worth all the headache and run around you all have been receiving. I surely hope they can get their act together because I really wanted to purchase some items.

  26. I did not heed your warnings or those of countless others who also received terrible customer service from Papertrey Ink. My thought was, “that’s terrible, but it’s their problem, not mine. ” I was so very, very wrong.

    [Background: I had a defective item issue that was similar to, if not exactly like, the defective item issues that other customers were also experiencing and sharing on Papertrey Ink’s customer service forum. However, Papertrey Ink decided that my issue was unlike the others, despite documentary evidence (i.e. photos of the defective item). Papertrey Ink told the other customers to return their defective items for a refund or exchange, but instructed me to keep mine. Approximately two weeks after the complaints starting rolling in, Papertrey Ink finally conceded it was a manufacturing defect. While they posted this “recall” (if you can call it that) on their customer service forum/website, they did not bother to contact or notify customers who they told earlier to ‘go jump in a lake.’]

    There is a big difference between (1) a company that occasionally loses a package or has a manufacturing issue and (2) a company that approaches every customer service issue with suspicion and doubt (i.e. the customer is going to “pull a fast one” on them and abuse their refund/exchange policies) and is not forthcoming with their customers. As you can imagine, I firmly place Papertrey Ink in the second category.

    Papertrey Ink has wonderful designs. No doubt. But they are not the only game in town. The papercrafting industry is large and competition is fierce; even traditional scrapbooking paper companies are designing the producing stamp sets. With so many choices, the consumer should not have to endure Papertrey Ink’s “distrust and conceal” philosophy.

  27. My friend has been trying to order from PTI for three days…she has already registered and ordered last month but now it won’t let her login…this is the most frustrating company I have ever dealt with…they just don’t care!! I love there products but the hassle is just not worth it. I want to order from a company that has a phone number like Spellbinders or Cut@Home now your talking first class. They also don’t try and make you feel like your ripping them off…and guess what! these companies are growing by leaps and bounds…hmmm wonder why ????

  28. Thank you to everyone for your comments! I reallllly wanted to order the Hands of Time product being released for sale in about three minutes. I realize this order will be about $50 plus shipping, but I have read soooo mannny negative comments about that I will learn from everyone’s experience. I do realize there were a few positive comments on this site, but there were many negative comments on many different blogs, etc. Also, I am ordering from Canada and can only imagine the added issues. I have ordered from many U.S. websites and have great success. Thanks for your opinions!

  29. My sister ordered a Christmas gift from PaperTrey Ink and it was never delivered because it was lost in the mail. The postal system marked it as “delivered” and I never received it. We have verified that the address was entered correctly and that everything was correct on our level. One of the PaperTrey Ink owners states “we are not responsible for packages once they are deemed delivered by the post office”. I feel that others should be aware that this is their policy before they place an order.

  30. Nice blog right here! Additionally your site so much up fast!
    What host are you using? Can I am getting your associate hyperlink on your host?
    I want my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

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