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NSW Problems With Printing Company - Compensation?

Discussion in 'Australian Consumer Law Forum' started by smar9012, 16 July 2015.

  1. smar9012

    smar9012 Member

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    Hi Guys,

    My company engaged a printing company who we have previously worked with (with good results) to print several hundred copies of a mag that we publish. The mag is entirely funded by advertiser money, so the quality of the print is vital to the satisfaction of the advertisers and, in turn, the success of the publication.

    The copies were delivered to us – however, they were digitally printed by the company to cut corners and save money (digital printing is an inferior alternative to the offset printing we ordered). Moreover, some of our advertiser’s ads lacked definition and were difficult to read because the print job was so dark, rendering the issues useless to us. As a result, we were unable to distribute the issues, severely damaging our credibility with our readers and our advertisers (who, as I mentioned, are our only source of revenue for this free publication).

    At this point, rather than seeking a refund and delaying the release of the mag even further, I provided the print company with the opportunity to reprint the copies for us. I advised the director of the printing company that my team would lighten the files to ensure there would be absolutely no issues with their reprint (the phrase “better to be safe than sorry” was used). Some small editorial changes were also made within the updated files to appease our advertisers, who were now irate because the issue was running late. The files were emailed through to the director (we have records).

    The day before the reprinted issues were due to be delivered, the Director of the printing company sent me an SMS message requesting that I pay her the amount owing before she delivered the books. I sent her a return SMS stating that payment would be made on the condition that she provide a money back guarantee if the job did not meet our standards. She agreed and I made a single payment into her bank account.

    The next day the issues were delivered to us. We immediately noticed that the print was dark once again and, upon further inspection, it became clear that the printing company had not printed the correct files. Rather than printing the amended files that were emailed through to them after the initial debacle, they utilised the first set of files.

    Several weeks have now passed and we do not have our mags or our money. Our credibility with our readers and our advertisers has been entirely shot.

    The printer has flatly denied that there are any issues with the quality of the print. Incredibly, she has also completely evaded the issue of having printed the wrong files. She will not take phone calls and will only reply in a flippant manner to emails and SMS.

    I am currently looking into filing an application to have the case heard before the NCAT. We will be seeking a refund for the print job, but I would like to know if we can seek some sort of compensation for the damages incurred to our reputation and standing in the eyes of our advertisers. It will be very difficult to convince them to invest time or money into our product in future.

    Thanks so much for your help!
     
  2. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Hi there,

    What is the value of the print job? Is it less than $40000? If yes, you will be covered under the Australian Consumer Law. And if so, it sounds as though there has been a breach of your consumer guarantees. Consumer guarantees | ACCC
    There is more to say, but first I need to know how much the printing cost was worth.
     
  3. smar9012

    smar9012 Member

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    Hi Ivy,

    Thanks so much for coming back to me on this.

    The print job was under $10,000.

     
  4. Ivy

    Ivy Well-Known Member

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    Okay, good. You are covered by the Australian consumer law as laid out by the Competition and Consumer Act.
    It sounds as though the company has breached their obligations to you twice, so as a starting point you should be eligible for a refund on the cost of printing each time.

    Secondly, broadly you are entitled to compensation for loss. However you need to be able figure out a dollar value for the loss you incurred so that you would be put back to the position you would have been in if the loss had never occurred.

    I suggest that you get in contact with a solicitor to help you figure out what kind of compensation you should be able to claim so that you can present a convincing argument when you go to NCAT.
     
    smar9012 likes this.
  5. smar9012

    smar9012 Member

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    Okay, great - thanks so much for the pointers.
     

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