I like Shutterfly, for making books, greeting cards, and other photo-themed gifts. My experience with them hasn't been perfect, but they have a good track record, both in general and in customer service when things go wrong. Recently I had a good, and somewhat amusing, experience with the latter.
On November 27, I placed an order for a set of greeting cards. It was shipped the next day. with an expected delivery date of December 5.
My experience has generally been that Shutterfly items arrive earlier than the expected delivery. But not this time.
I had ordered several sets of cards, and the ones that were to be Christmas gifts arrived in plenty of time. This order was for my own use, and there was no hurry, so I did not pay much attention to it. But eventually I realized that December 5 had come and gone with no sign of my order.
So I checked out its tracking, and discovered that it had been travelling via UPS, in partnership with the USPS, and had arrived in Orlando November 29. By 1 p.m. of that day, it was "enroute to USPS."
And there it remained.
I tried to trace it via UPS, but they said it was no longer their problem, since as far as they were concerned, the USPS had it. But no one could give me a USPS tracking number, so that was a dead end. I didn't worry; as I said, it wasn't a Christmas gift, and I could wait for it to make its slow way through the busy holiday traffic.
By December 23, however, I decided that my package was hopelessly lost, and contacted Shutterfly. The Customer Service rep was great, and immediately sent me a replacement order, high priority. It wouldn't arrive till after Christmas, but I was fine with that.
Sure enough, on December 29, exactly one month after the original order had arrived in Orlando, I held in my hand the familiar, bright orange Shutterfly package. The cards looked great, and I was happy.
Imaging my surprise, however, when a couple of hours later the doorbell rang, and I was handed another bright orange Shutterfly package, identical except for the shipping label. Inside were the same lovely cards!
Yes, on the same day that the replacement order arrived, so did the original order! Who knows where it was hiding all that time? As far as Shutterfly's tracking is concerned, it's still "on the way." But someone in the system found it, kicked it loose, and "neither snow, nor rain, nor gloom of night" came through once again.