Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Creative Memories

As you all know, I love scrapbooking. I am very proud of the albums I have made and hope that the kids will truly appreciate all of the work and love I have put into them. I know they will. They love looking at their albums. The other night when our friend was here, we turned on Wii bowling and I asked Gage if he remembered the first time he ever went bowling. He said he didn't. I proceeded to tell him that the first time he rolled the ball down the alley, he cried and cried because he didn't think he would get the ball back. Scott said he didn't remember that. So, I went upstairs to get the album that this scrapbook page is in. It is such a precious page and the photo of Gage with his face all wrinkled up and crying is priceless. He got a big kick out of it and Scott thought it was pretty cute. I was thinking how lucky I was to have had the camera with me and that I caught that moment on film.

A few years back I learned about Creative Memories offering a new service. Persona Imprinting. They imprint the cover and spine of your albums to personalize them even more. I fell in love with it. Unfortunately, it is spendy. To imprint the spine and cover costs a little more than just the album did to begin with, but when you get them back and see how beautiful it is, it is worth every penny.

I have been working on getting all of my albums imprinted for quite awhile now. I send in a couple at a time, when we can afford it. I have a total of 11 albums imprinted. I think almost all of Emma's are imprinted and not long ago, I started on Gage's albums. I have his first album, which is his white leather album imprinted and his Preschool album imprinted. I have been dragging my feet on his albums for quite awhile because 4 of his albums are from a retired set of albums that were called scenic albums. I LOVE these album colors. Because they are retired, Creative Memories has had a disclaimer on their site that you have to check that you understand, because if something were to happen to your album, they would have to replace it with a new album that is as near to the color as possible. There haven't been any colors that could match these albums if something were to happen. However, I REALLY wanted them imprinted. I decided in late November or December that I was going to bite the bullet and send one in to see how it would turn out. At this time I sent Emma's Daisy Scout Album in along with Gage's "scenic album". When I got them back I was SO HAPPY with the results. At this time I decided I was going to send the rest of them in and yesterday, since I had the afternoon off, I decided to get that done. When I went onto the CM website and the persona imprinting link, I noticed that the scenic album colors were no longer listed in the "retired albums that we accept" list. I'm thinking, "WHAT?" I found their phone number and immediately called them up. The lady confirmed that that is true, they are no longer accepting these albums. I explained to her that I just sent one in last month to have it imprinted and it was the 1st in a series of 4 albums. She apologized and said there was nothing she could do. I was devastated to say the least. I must admit that I even cried. If I had known this was going to happen, I would have sent all 4 of them in together, OR I wouldn't have sent any of them at all. I decided to find their email address and send an email.

This is Gage's "scenic album" that I had imprinted. The color here doesn't do it justice, but it is a meadow green color.

Here are the email exchanges.
(Me)
To Whom It May Concern:

I recently sent in an album to be imprinted, that had been retired for some time. The album was from the scenic series and the color I had imprinted was Meadow. I have had over 10 albums imprinted and have been completely satisfied with the results. I was just online on the Persona web-site, preparing to have my 3 remaining albums from the scenic series (Canyon, Sand and Brook) imprinted and I am no longer able to locate these retired colors in the list of albums. Can you please let me know what I need to do to order to get these 3 remaining albums imprinted.

Thank you so much for your time.

(Them)
Good evening Stacy,

I'm so happy to hear how pleased you are with your Persona Imprinting orders. Unfortunately, we no longer accept the albums you mentioned for this service. This decision went into effect on December 1, 2008. I truly apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.Thank you for taking the time to contact us and please feel free to do so in the future.Enjoy your day!

Marie M.
Consultant Services

(Me)
Dear Mary,

I sure wish I would have known this was going to happen. There was nothing posted on the web-site regarding this decision to no longer accept these albums for imprinting. Had I known, I would have sent all of them in at the same time, or none of them at all. I'm sure this seems like some trivial little matter that I should just "get over", but I have ruined my album set by having one imprinted and am unable to imprint the remaining three. Is there any way possible, that I can get these 3 albums imprinted? I will sign a waiver or whatever it takes. If there is someone else I need to talk to regarding this matter, please let me know. I'm desperate.

Sincerely,

Stacy Stephens

(Them)
Good morning Stacy,
I do understand your concern and frustration regarding this matter. It is certainly not trivial. Unfortunately, we are not able to make any exceptions for you; I even pleaded your case to my supervisor to no avail. Again, I truly apologize for the inconvenience.Thank you for taking the time to contact us and please feel free to do so in the future.Enjoy your day!

Marie M.
Consultant Services

(Me)
Mary,

I don't understand why an exception cannot be made? Isn't this MY risk to make? There was nothing posted on the web-site regarding this decision to no longer accept these albums. As I said before, if there had been a note regarding this decision on the web-site, I would have sent all 4 albums in at the same time, or not at all. It might be a good idea to send out mass emails to your return customers of these decisions so they can make informed ones regarding their albums. It's unfortunate and I cannot even express how sad this makes me. Not that it matters to anyone, but it brought tears to my eyes. All I guess I can say is that I'm sorry I ever started imprinting my albums since all of my completed albums are imprinted (11) and no one will make any exceptions to allow my remaining 3 to be imprinted. I will certainly let everyone I know of the risk they will be taking if they choose to start imprinting any of their albums.

Stacy Stephens

Crap! While I was copying and pasting these emails to my blog, I just realized I called her Mary and her name was Marie......................maybe that's where I screwed up?

(Them)
Hello Stacy,

We apologize for your frustration. This date of the discontinuation was indeed noted to the Consultants in their Scraps Magazines back in May. We apologize this was not communicated better to the customers but we are not able to make any exceptions. If the design of your choice or a particular size of album is not on the albums to be accepted list, we are unable to make any exceptions as of 12/31/2008. Creative Memories has now reconfigured the computer hardware that links to the machines therefore we are unable to switch back to the former designs. If we switched backwards this would be too timely and expensive.We again apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We hope that you are willing to choose another design. If you have any further questions or concerns please feel free to contact us at 1-888-227-6748 and one of our helpful Consultant Service Representatives will be more than happy to assist you.

Thank you and have a wonderful day!

Sincerely,
Tricia V.
Consultant Services
After this email, I saw, perhaps, a glimmer of hope! Afterall, it's not the design I'm having problems with, it's the simple fact that they won't allow me to put a design on these remaining albums. I decided I would call the number and explained the whole story, once again, to another person. When I mentioned the names of the colors of these albums, she abruptly said they were not imprinting these albums and longer. I think maybe the whole department knows my name now. When she said this, I just busted out crying. I think she probably was thinking I am a lunatic. I got nowhere with this and decided to send Tricia an email.

(Me)

Tricia, (At least I got the name right this time!)

It is not the album design I'm concerned about. I understand that the designs change and I use a different design each time I have an album imprinted anyway. I have been imprinting all of my albums and just started working on my son's albums because I have all of my daughter's albums imprinted. I sent in his 12x12 Meadow album (from the retired scenic series) in December and had it imprinted. My plan was to get the remaining albums in this series imprinted and now I am no longer allowed to do this. I was not made aware of this decision by any consultant, and it was not posted on the web-site. There are still retired 12x12 albums being accepted for imprinting, so I don't understand why the color of my albums would have anything to do with reconfiguring computer hardware?

Stacy Stephens

(Them)
Hi Stacy,

Thank you for contacting us back. Again I apologize that we are no longer accepting all of the retired albums for imprinting at this time. The only albums we are accepting are the ones listed on the Persona site.If there is anything else I can help you with, please let me know.

Sincerely,
Sharon L.
Consultant Services

(Me)
I would just like a real explanation of why these albums cannot be imprinted.

Stacy Stephens

I have not yet heard back from this email. They have been very good and quick about responding, so my prayer is that they have gone to a higher leveled person to help me out. In the meantime, I have been looking for websites of other companies that offer album imprinting. I have found a few, but haven't done much with it until I decide I have exhausted all my options with Creative Memories. I know that if I have the album imprinted with another company it will void all guarantees and warranties on my album.
I'm sure most of you (the non-scrapbooking, non-anal retentive readers) think this is silly and I should just get over it. The few of you who are anal scrapbookers, probably know where I'm coming from. I am an ALL OR NONE kind of person. I either want it ALL or I want NONE. I am not going to settle with ONE! I don't know where this is all going to lead to, but if I have to get Rhonda Anderson, one of the Creative Memories co-founders involved, I will! I probably should start googling her name and see if I can find out how to contact her. I'm not ready to give up yet.
Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should do in regards to this problem?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Stacy...Maybe you will make it all the way to Rhonda...

Cheryl Lightle said...

Dear Stacy,

I am sorry that this has caused you so much distress. I personally will have a discussion with Rhonda during our next board meeting to address this issue.

On behalf of Creative Memories, we would like to invite you to our St. Cloud manufacturing facility for a tour. At that time, you will have an opportunity to plead your case to the janitors who clean up all the crap around here. They may listen more effectively than our customer service agents. You may also notice that you are officially on our "black" list and we will only print every other album you request from here on out!

Respectfully,
Cheryl

Kara said...

That stinks! I totally understand how you would feel! Hopefully you are able to find somewhere else to do it for you!

Sherry said...

Dear Stacy,
Whoever responded as Cheryl Lightle is hilarious!! She had me going for a moment!
Anyway, I agree that the color of the album should not matter as long as they are still doing the old 12x12 size. Most of the imprinting is in gold or silver isn't it? And something like that should have been on the website. And it should have raised a flag when you sent your last order in with the Meadow album. I sure hope you get some satisfaction.
I cheated and checked your blog today! Lets visit in person soon!

Anonymous said...

This site offers imprinting and will copy the style of your other albums. best of luck.

http://www.goldstamp.com/

Anonymous said...

I am a CMC. I have been unhappy with CM's business decisions for quite some time. I have been considering de-activating, but I have my customers to consider.

I recently had cause to contact Rhonda Anderson directly. She did respond to me. Her e-mail address is: randerson@antioch.com. She may also respond at randerson@creativememories.com. There was a change in the addresses a while back. To be safe I would send to both addresses.

You could also write to her at the home office address. She usually responds to her e-mails. However, she won't put anything in writing that you can pin her down with. Trust me, the e-mail I got was so vague. Of course, that happened to be just a couple of days before CM filed Chapter 11 (OK, so Antioch, but it's really all the same).

Heather (CMC) said...

I feel for you! Have you tried having your consultant plead your case for you with the home office? It doesn't make sense to me that they are still imprinting some old albums and not others...it is the size that should matter not the color? My advice...check out the other companies that do imprinting without worrying about the warranty on your album. You need to let all this go so you can focus on more important and satisfying things! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I am having the EXACT same fight with Creative Memories. I want to be able to sign a waiver and have my albums imprinted. If CM screws up that is a risk I am willing to take. I have fought with them on the phone for the past week - no go. If I can't use Persona, I have no reason to continue using CM. I recommend that you check out the following website for you imprinting needs. This website realizes that CM is screwing over its loyal customers and will imprint your CM albums for you. www.goldstamp.com Free imprint for new customers. Discount if you ship them your old persona imprinting box. I am so happy now!!! My anniversary trip album WILL be imprinted and CM can kiss my butt.

Cara said...

I am happy to find this blog - but sad at the same time. My consultant decided to quit CM. So she never let any of us know that Persona was retiring some of the albums. Back when they retired the "Masterpiece Leather" album, I bought 5 or 6 of them because that was what I was using for all of my yearly albums. Well, I am finally finishing up my last album and I go to have it imprinted - and I can't. I am TICKED! I have spent so much money with them to have all of my albums imprinted and now they won't match! I even have the same designs for each year. I looked into the GoldStamp website, but they don't offer the same graphic. :( I am so upset! Had my consultant let me know, I would have sent it in immediately. But since she quit in December, she quit sending us any info back in September. :( It is so not fair! I just want the dad-gum imprint! I will sign a waiver. I won't hold them accountable if they mess up. I have emailed them but I have no hope that they will assist me. If they don't, I will NEVER spend another dime with them. Seriously. Never. I will sit back and watch CM and Persona go down in flames with the crap economy. You would think at a time when people are cutting back on their hobby spending, they would go out of their way to make any customer they have happy. :( Sorry to vent. I am just a perfectionist who has spent my hard earned money and now I am completely unsatisfied. Thanks for listening.

Anonymous said...

Check the Persona Imprinting website again. They have starting accepting some retired albums again. (I think many of us were in the same situation, with half of our albums imprinted, and CM finally heard us!) I wish they had just e-mailed or sent a postcard to their customers -- we would have sent a LOT of albums in before the deadline! But I am so glad they changed their policies.

Anonymous said...

Personally I have had three albums imprinted through Creative Memories Persona Imprinting. The embossing foil they used started coming off about 2 years after I had it completed. I was so dissatisfied with the service, and the fact they discontinued the albums I liked the most (found GREAT deals on the retired ones on Ebay), I found a new company. Goldstamp.com. I have had three albums imprinted with them and am VERY pleased with the work, plus I can have "Made with Love by Mom" on the backs of my childrens' albums. Plus they have coupons, and deals for first time customers. I hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I recently had a string of email correspondence with CM Persona related to the new Hot Pink album. They won't imprint it even though it is a brand new album but it was only available for one month. Additionally, they just moved the Green album to "while supplies last" effective 9/1/09 but didn't actually have any supplies. I need two more green albums to complete a set. I was watching every month to make sure it didn't become limited and it didn't matter! I'm very disappointed with CM and will probably begin buying many of my supplies and albums elsewhere. It makes me sad for my consultant. So, I do understand your dillemma Stacy because I also want my albums to match. I was even watching to make sure that they didn't discontinue something because I was prepared to go ahead and purchase the albums! Maybe they will listen to us.

lindy lipka said...

Would you be so kind as to tell me how to know if an album is retired or not? Thanks! lindee11@juno.com

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Cindy M said...

Wow! I'm glad I found your blog. Your situation sounds almost exactly like mine. I ended up sending my retired albums to Goldstamp and now that I see them next to the albums printed by Persona I wish I had found this company before. Their imprints are large and more embossed and everything looks wonderful.... even better than the others!! I thought before that Creative Memories was the only company doing this but it looks like Goldstamp was imprinting CM's albums before CM was. I'm so glad to be able to finish my retired set now and am planning to send my new covers to Goldstamp next. Just my 2 cents.