albelli, a review of the fubar photo service

I was alerted to the photo service albelli via slickdeals.net with a

Albelli.com has a free 24-page photo book using coupon code momspaceab81 with free shipping.

The deal sounded too good to be true, in proper form, that seemed to be the case. The short version is STAY AWAY. You’re better off using Snapfish or some other photo service.

So here’s what happened….

The first thing you need to realize is that the albelli service uses Adobe AIR, which is like Adobe Flash, but allows you to run applications from the PC.  Similar to Java Webstart.  This is a MAJOR disadvantage as you’ll read….

In order to make the book, you need to of course “import” the photos.

The albelli program stores the photos on the drive, not on the internet, so I started the album at work and then got home to realize that I couldn’t access the “book”. – PROBLEM #1

I started THE WHOLE PROCESS over again at home, that took about 3 hours to do the full and proper layout for the 24 pages.

Finally, I submitted the book.  There was an error, but the application seemed to let me continue. I then was prompted for my coupon code. I entered it, and it didn’t work. – PROBLEM #2

So, as any normal person would do, I emailed support. There is no phone number for albelli. There was no actual person I could call.  – PROBLEM #3.

It took 6 days for a response – PROBLEM #4.

By the time I got my response, the deal was DEAD. I really didn’t care about the money or the deal, I wanted my book. I would have paid whatever, I had spent about 5 hours making it between my time at work and at home.

I was instructed to go back into the albelli application and re-submit the book with yet another coupon code. Well, the “book” that I had spent 5 hours on, wasn’t there any more. The application had crashed. – PROBLEM #5

I emailed them back and asked them to apply the coupon on their end and I’d call or email my credit card.

I just wanted my book. They lacked the ability to handle this type of request. Instead they offered to just cover the shipping. Oh, did I mention that it took 12 days for that response?? – PROBLEM #6

Finally, I thought, REDEMPTION. They will print and mail my book.  Well, I waited and waited and waited. 16 days later I emailed them to see if it shipped. – PROBLEM #7

6 days later – PROBLEM #8,   I got this email:

I did reset the order for you but when I just checked on it, the file was corrupt when it went down to the server. Can you please follow the directions below and we will get you your book. I am sorry for the delay.

^&*%^&#%#$%# UGH!!!!. That’s the whole problem, I can’t use the application to re-send my book. AHHHH!- PROBLEM #9

So, I just emailed them back this simple statement.

I have to say, your service is flawed. If you don’t have it there it’s
gone.

Brilliant. I cannot recommend your service. In fact, likely by the
time you read this I will have posted a rather opinionated take of
this on my blog: http://methodicjon.com/

-Jon

If it wasn’t CRYSTAL CLEAR, albelli application sucks, customer service is SLOWER then molasses (while at times fair and empathetic).

In the end it’s a waste of time, for the love of all that is holy, DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE.

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