Hell freezes over: something good at Kinkos

Let me preface this by pointing out that for more than the past decade, Kinkos has been my nemesis. I can’t think of a better example of horrible customer service, pretty much consistently nationwide… definitely around Los Angeles*. Trying to pick out a couple incidents to cite here even gets me riled up.

Anyway, I actually want to applaud Kinkos (now FedEx Kinkos, if yer nasty) for their somewhat new “Print Online” service. Its pretty freakin’ easy: just upload the documents you want printed, choose the Kinkos location of choice, and in an hour to to four hours you’ll get an email back telling you your copies are ready.

The best part about this is that its damn cheap, especially if you’re printing a bunch of individual black and white pages. If you’ve ever printed out a document at a Kinkos, you know it costs about .50/cents a page. Via print online, its only about .11/cents per page. I just printed out all of my tickets for the Book Festival, plus some press applications, and some other items – about 20 pages worth, and it cost me a little over $2.

Not surprisingly, the most painful part of this was the pickup. The typically understaffed, undertrained Kinkos meant I had to wait ten minutes even with only one customer ahead of me in line.

Regardless, at about a dime a page, its probably cheaper to use this service than to print those ink heavy documents on your home printer.

I must say, I feel kinda dirty writing something nice about Kinkos…

*The Kinkos up next to Warner Bros. in Burbank has always done a top notch job on large print orders… a pure anomaly.

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8 Replies to “Hell freezes over: something good at Kinkos”

  1. I’ve had problems with it where the document doesn’t get printed within the promised time and I have to complain to the manager to get them to print it on one of the printers which is sitting doing nothing. That last incident got me off my butt and I bought a duplex networked laser printer for home.

  2. Actually, for the coveted “Most Horrible Customer Service” award, you’d have to admit – Fry’s gives Kinko’s a run for their money …

  3. We use this Kinko’s service for printing color photos for the kid’s homework. Using their color printer means the color ink is always fresh, and we don’t have to have one ourselves.

    They advertise 4 hour turnaround, but when I’ve shown up an hour later, the printout is ready.

    Quick! Easy! Cheap! Works for me.

  4. If you’re printing b&w with any kind of regularity, even just Google Maps directions or Arclight tickets, you really should just shell out and get your own laser printer. You can get an entrly level model for $75 to $100 and your cost will be more like 2¬¢/page, not to mention the added convenience.

  5. Mack: Fry’s horrible customer service is one of the reasons I go there. I hate being assaulted by ‘helpful’ salespeople. If I want them, I’ll get them.

  6. The thing about Fry’s is I can usually manage my way around, and because I’m a sucker for point of sale merchandising, I don’t mind the occasional long check out line.
    But their returns and computer service departments are quite retched.

    With Kinkos, their computers are slow and plagued with viruses, the printers always jam, and all too often more than half of the copiers are out of service… and the ones that work tend to quickly run out of paper.

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