View Full Version : Ethics Question for all Copy Shop Employees

08-06-2006, 04:00 AM
Hey you copy shop workers (or former workers!)
I have an interesting question for you:
Here's a situation: Customer walks up to your counter, holding an original that he wants copied. Let's say a banner or poster. Now, let's also say that there is a big spelling/grammatical error on the original.
Question: Would you tell the customer that the poster or banner had this glaring mistake on it?
I know it's not your job to do so...you did not typeset it, you have no control over what they bring in. It's not your concern...but would you tell the customer that it was wrong?

I think, if the customer was nice, I would ask if they meant for the spelling/grammar to be that way (maybe it was supposed to be funny?)...but if the customer was rude or in a freakin' hurry, I would keep my mouth shut.

What say you, folks? Have you been in this situation before? What did you do? What did the customer do? :confused:

08-06-2006, 04:09 AM
Never been a worker in a copy shop, but in my adventure to rid the world of bad spelling, I would probably point out the error, and double check to make sure they meant it that way...

08-06-2006, 04:15 AM
I would point it out. Then, if they disagreed or still wanted me to print it for some other reason, they had better pay first! :D

08-06-2006, 04:17 AM
Well, I have been in that situation, and I have almost always pointed it out to them. There were a couple of jerks that came in and were jerks from the get go, and sometimes I let their errors go (simply because I figured they wouldn't want to be corrected by a stupid person, you know :devil: .) But for the most part, the majority of Kinko's customers were allright folks. And we genuinely did want them happy with their jobs.

Not only that, but if we just went ahead and asked them if they wanted a chance to correct the error, it would stave off the inevitable argument about whether or not we were obligated to re-run their corrected job gratis later.

08-06-2006, 04:26 AM
I would point it out. Then, if they disagreed or still wanted me to print it for some other reason, they had better pay first! :D

definitely agree with that one, prepay for any obviously incorrect banners that way they won't just refuse to pay and go somewhere else for the corrected version

08-06-2006, 04:47 AM
It would depend on how much I liked my job and how rude/polite the person was.

Usually doing little things like that will build up a stores rep, which is good for the business, and hopefully they will recognise good service and the company will reward you.

08-06-2006, 06:20 AM
This didn't really happen often when i worked in the copy department at my job. For say, business cards, letterheads, envelopes, I would correct the spelling or punctuation error, for example 'Aveneu' --> Avenue. Names, phone/fax numbers, email addies I generally left alone.

Policy is that once the customer completes the order they are to proofread it THEMSELVES one last time before signing the order form and paying. This way if there was any typos, it was the customer's fault and would have to pay for a second order....

Apologies for going kinda :ot: here, but of course we want our customers to be happy and not bitch at US for receiving a wrong order... So (at my store at least) they RARELY pay for a redo that was their own fault. The mistake gets tagged as 'store error,' thus chipping away at OUR profits: The customer gets a full or partial refund, depending on the situation, and a correct order at no/little cost to them. At least we wouldn't let the customer keep the wrong order. A few cards or envelopes if they were absolutely out, but NO full boxes.

BUT we still had to pay the vendor. It ticked me off to no end. The copy department's numbers were in the toilet while all the other departments did fine.

Mixed Bag
08-06-2006, 10:17 AM
Warning them is a no-brainer for me, but then I'm good with spieling [sic].

Remembering to make them pay in advance for something questionable, now, that they didn't teach in school--good for you.

I sympathize with being tempted to make exceptions to the warnings for SCs, though--reminds me how I used to usually point out to businesses that I was undercharged, but wouldn't do so if I had a poor experience there. (As I got older I found I tend to point this out less, especially if I'm a regular, on the assumption that I deserve a volume discount over time or that I'll eventually have a bad experience.) :D

08-06-2006, 05:40 PM
I'd point out the problem, especially for rude and arrogant customers. It would be a great opportunity to say, "Wow, you're an illiterate bozo," without coming right out and using that exact phrase. A pleasantly humbling experience nonetheless.

Besides, you know if they're that annoying when placing their order, just wait until someone else points out the bad news to them. They'll be back to the store, "You let me do this," blah, blah, blah.

08-07-2006, 02:17 PM
Never been a worker in a copy shop, but in my adventure to rid the world of bad spelling, I would probably point out the error, and double check to make sure they meant it that way...

I'm glad i'm not the only one on a crusade for correct spelling and grammar! :lol:

Mongo Skruddgemire
08-07-2006, 02:34 PM
Well I'd point out the error and then let them make the decision of whether or not to go ahead and run the order.

Although once for a really nice customer of mine I actually took it over to the rent-a-computer, scanned it in, made the correction, asked them if they were ok with the correction, then ran it for them at no charge above and beyond the full color copies.

But then again this guy was always nice, brought in at least 3 large print jobs a week, and just had a pleasant manner.


Fera Festiva
08-07-2006, 02:41 PM
I have to deal with photocopying queries on an almost daily basis, as the photocopiers are right by the issue desk.

Over time I've got to the point where if someone asks, I'll point out the errors, but if not, I won't. There's just not enough time to correct everyone's work, and experience has taught me that most people get quite defensive if we do tell them.

*Shrugs* Dunno if that's useful, but it works for me. :)

08-07-2006, 03:22 PM
If I notice the error then yes I tell the customer about it. Most customers are very thankful when you catch a error. But then again I deal with a different type of client. well over 50% of my clients I have had for a minimum of 4 years. I have some clients who are secretaries at law firms who have left one firm and gone to another firm and make the new firm start to use us.

But to answer your question, normally a simple "mmm that spelling doesn't look right to me, let me double check that for you." does wonders. I have found that if you go the extra step than they love you for life and it makes life that much easier.

08-07-2006, 07:30 PM
I'm glad to see that most of the answers have been in favor of helping out the customer.
That's really the better way to go, in my opinion. I hate to see spelling errors, especially on professionally printed signs.
(in my department, there is a line of clothing for the older, but still 'with it' man. On the advertising vendor tag, it has a line about how 'we have the finnest styles'. I'm pretty sure they mean 'finest'...unless they're talking about fish...)
I really wish some copyshop employee had pointed out the error to them...:lol:

08-08-2006, 09:42 AM
On the topic of helping a customer to break the law:


And on the possible ramifications:


Not to be taken too seriously, though... :lol:

08-08-2006, 08:19 PM
Yep...that's what my gaming group would call lawful evil, indeed!
I once drew a holiday card that featured all of the characters on the Disney cartoon, Darkwing Duck. It was my own art, but on the back of the card, above my 'this artwork copyright Enjis' I put a notice that the characters were all copyright Disney.
Well, the first shop I went to took the order, but called me back, and told me they were sorry, but since the Disney indicta was on the card, they could not risk copyright violation by printing my personal holiday cards.
I did not make a fuss about it, as they were pretty much in the right. (even if you are not selling the cards, it is still technically a violation for the shop to make copies.)
So, I went home, stripped off the notice of Disney copyright mark, and took it to my local Kinko's. They had no problem making my cards, and the man on duty even complimented me on the great cards. "My kids love Darkwing Duck!" he said.
Huh. They were nice cards. Disney never found out about 'em.

08-09-2006, 08:08 AM
Not yet... :devil:


08-09-2006, 12:17 PM
We've got a self-service kiosk at our store to speed up customer digital orders. If you've got a memory stick, CD, USB drive or a couple of prints to scan, you can enter the order, edit your pictures, add special features, etc. yourself and then send the order to our machine for printing.

When it comes to the self-service machine at our lab, I generally stand behind the WYSIWYG principle. If the customer didn't adjust the brightness, he shouldn't expect us to. If you're nice about it, I might correct and reprint the picture for free, and I will show you how to do it yourself next time. But don't you dare make the mistake of thinking you are entitled to it because you will be one sorry SC next time if you do.

Anyway, every now and then, I'll get a customer who just doesn't know what she's doing (and I'll admit; our kiosk is not the easiest to use by a long shot), and I'll help walk her through the ordering process (if it isn't too busy). And if she really seems clueless, I'll often give her pictures a once-over on our computer before we print it.

The way I see it, if I have a new customer who doesn't know how to use our equipment, she's a little nervous and probably won't try it a second time if the results don't totally blow her away.

08-10-2006, 04:09 AM
If it is a relatively simple error that can be corrected by matching the typestyle and typing up the correction and covering it up with a little cutting and pasting, then I will point out and fix the error (and if we aren't too busy, as I am the only one who really knows how to operate the computer -- or how to spell, for that matter). Oh yeah, and I'll charge a couple of bucks for the fix.

A lot of times, though, after pointing out the error and offering to make the changes, the customer will say "screw it" and not worry about it. Case in point: A few weeks ago, a movie studio was in town filming a movie, and someone from the crew came in to get copies of handbills advertising the open casting call. The movie had "Santa Claus" in the title, but was misspelled on the flyer as "Santa Clause" ... I asked the guy if he wanted to change it before we ran over 1,000 of these flyers, but he said "nah ... no one's going to notice anyway."

08-15-2006, 12:28 PM
Great, just what the world needs, *another* Santa Clause movie...

08-15-2006, 07:35 PM
Great, just what the world needs, *another* Santa Clause movie...

What? You haven't heard about The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause?

08-15-2006, 07:46 PM
Santa Clause 4: Insanity Clause.


08-15-2006, 07:48 PM
Santa Clause 5: Clause & Effect

:roll: :roll:

08-15-2006, 07:54 PM
Don't give them any more ideas. The 3rd one is bad enough. I just want the series to die already. Either that or do straight to video, which is like dying, only a longer process.

Retail's Bitch
08-15-2006, 08:09 PM
Santa Clause 6: Just 'Clause I Love You!

Santa Clause 7: Clauset case!

Santa Clause 8: The Clause Are Out!

K I'm done... lol

As for telling the person it's spelled wrong. I would.

08-15-2006, 09:50 PM
This is a bit off topic, but with all the bad Clause puns, couldn't resist bring it up....yesterday, at the bar, myself and four other staff members were kind of congregated by the kitchen/restroom area, discussing who would have what section. A gentleman eased by us on the way to the men's room, saying "Excuse me, just trying to get to MY section." We all laughed, and I quickly shot back, "What is that, Section 8?" He got a kick out of it. :lol: