I managed to complete the most wonderful, annoying project this month! It's wonderful because I love it, it was annoying because "professionals" were involved who botched it up so it was a headache to get it finished properly.
I sorted and organized all of our keepsake school papers so I could bind them into books, one book per school year per kid. Nice idea right? Well, it would have been if Staples wasn't involved. I prefer to do my own binding with the Pro-Click, but unfortunately spines are only available up to 5/8" (110 page capacity). I needed about a 2" spine, so I had to have Staples do it for me. Sadly for me they did exactly what I feared, which was to botch my order! They mis-cut pages, had a few of them hanging outside the spine and even left a page out of the middle of my book! Check out their "professional" binding job...
(the pages aren't even IN the binding!)
They also used spines that were entirely too small...
I mean..... really?
So the covers were under stress and ripping off the day I brought them home.
The best part of all was when the girl who handed me my order knew they'd messed it up but told me flat out that they wouldn't fix it, and still charged me full price. She sent me home with one larger spiral and told me I could re-bind the last book myself at home by hand-twirling the spiral through the holes. (Although she assured me this was no big deal, she refused to do it herself. Never mind that I'd paid the store to do it.) She also told me that I'd have to re-bind the book that they left a page out of if I wanted it put back in. So basically I was instructed to re-bind two out of the four books that I had paid them to bind. And the page they left out of the middle of my book was nearly overlooked and not even returned to me. Not cool, Staples. Not cool.
I paid them $20 for their fine work and took my books home. Why did I not throw a fit or demand a refund or talk to a manager? Well, frankly I was afraid to let them have possession of my books for a moment longer. Who knows what they'd mess up worse trying to fix them, or if they'd lose another page. At this point I thought the books were at least salvageable for me to fix at home, so that was the plan.
It was only after taking them home that I discovered the mis-cut pages. At that point I knew I'd have to deal with the store further since the only "fix" was to trim the mis-cut pages (making them too narrow) and bringing them back to the store to be re-cut with new holes so they could be re-bound. Great.
At this point the store manager was involved, who recognized the abysmal binding job for what it was and refunded my entire order. He had the head of the binding department personally fix my order. Unfortunately even after she fixed it, I was sent home with one spine looking like my dog got ahold of it...
The girl knew that the spine looked wonky, but she assured me it was "functional." (She would have replaced it but she couldn't because this was the last large spiral they had on hand.) She also unknowingly missed a page inside the binding of one book so I still ended up having to remove a spine at home and re-bind it by hand to fix it.
The books are at least bound with appropriately sized spirals now so I can actually turn the pages without the risk of tearing them. I might be a borderline-perfectionist so the wacky-looking spine pictured above definitely bothers me but it is what it is. It was never about the $20 because the pages inside these books have sentimental value. I just wanted the job done right. And the moral of this story is that if you want something done right, you've GOT to do it yourself.
I've mentioned before that I love my Pro-Click binding machine since it allows me to do my own binding at home, and their spines even "unzip," allowing me to add a forgotten page in the middle of a book if I need to. They just don't make compatible spines for larger binding projects like this one. I did contact Pro-Click and leave a customer request for bigger spines (it never hurts to ask). But until they do so I'm trying to find the best option for using non-Pro-Click spines with my Pro-Click so I can bind large projects like this myself at home. If I have success, I'll let you know. In the mean time, only take your precious binding projects to a professional at your own risk! :)