You did everything right.
You applied the transfer tape with precision so there would be no bubbles. You ensured there were no bits of fluff on the vinyl before applying the transfer tape. You burnished the living heck out of the finished piece with your scraper to ensure proper adhesion to the transfer tape. You trimmed the decals down so there was no tape overhang. You packaged the decals with care, ensuring that they were in a bend-resistant envelope. You even provided detailed step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) with the best proven method so they would have the easiest time applying the decal.
You receive a message from the customer indicating they could not get the decals to work. You look to the internet for any options on what you should do. Surely someone has been in this position before and would have shared some advice for you!
Finding nothing, you discover that resources for sellers on this are limited.
This is why I decided to write this blog entry, as I recently had such an experience.
There are a few different options that you have; each one is viable depending on your situation and circumstances involved:
- Offer them a full refund
- Offer to print them a new set of decals for free
- Offer to print a new set of decals for a discount (materials + shipping is a default, I’d say)
Some questions you should ask yourself in order to help in making an informed decision are:
- Is this one of your first customers?
- Do you normally offer returns? What is your policy?
- What exactly happened with the vinyl? Was it the transfer tape or the vinyl itself? Were the application instructions followed?
- Is part of the decal salvageable so you can just re-print a small portion instead?
- Has the customer ordered from you before?
- If it’s intended for a strange surface application (such as washer/dryer domed doors!), did you put a disclaimer in your listing description about the increased difficulty?
I find it helps to weigh out the pros and cons while thinking about your answers to the above questions. Some people find customer satisfaction to be #1 priority and will go above and beyond for them, which is fine. Some people want to keep things fair to both parties, which is also fine.
The only thing that you should absolutely NOT do, is ignore them, or block them (yes this happens). No matter how established you are, bad business is just that; bad. It takes one angry customer’s review to turn your store upside-down in no time.
Always do your best to come to a peaceful resolution, as your store’s reputation depends on it. If you don’t want to offer any of the above without knowing more, don’t hesitate to respond to your customer with any clarifying information you have; just be tactful and choose your wording wisely.
I’m not going to tell you which option to pick, because this is your store (own it!) and everyone’s situation varies. However, I sincerely hope that this has given you some insight on your options and some things to be thinking of as you find a solution.