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Feb 09

HP Snapfish logo

Zoom.in logo

I had been planning this online photo service comparison for a long time but frankly time is sort of a luxury these days. Here is a side by side review of Snapfish and Zoom.in India. Please note we used these services in India only.

Uploading – Snapfish sort of scores here with easy and hassle free uploading. Zoom.in was more difficult to work with. Infact i had almost given up on them telling their support that i was moving on as i was unable to upload photos. Even Picasa uploading which was all online was taking forever. Later on i was able to upload the photos. But it turns out things arent tuned for Indian broadband settings. Out of the photos i was uploading , the server would cancel about every 4th photo due to apparent break in connection (first time i noticed this happening on a website). Anyway they should have a better engine which sort of supports resume.

Snapfish [rating:1], Zoom.in [rating:0]


Ordering – Zoom.in uses cc avenue as their payment processors, being a third party their is always a chance of their server not being pinged properly about the payment and your order being delayed. Happened to me once with Tata Sky, they asked me to give a refrence number, it took me 3 days to get the payment reflected and i was without satellite TV till then.

Hp Snapfish on the other hand processes payments itself, which is sort of better for this kind of a thing.

Snapfish [rating:2] Zoom.in [rating:0]


Customer Care – HP Snapfish’s customer care is robotic. I had given them feedback on my first experience and i got a copy pasted reply. I dont even think it was forwarded anywhere. Zoom.in on the other hand has a very warm customer care, infact they gave me extra free prints after i told them of the problems i was facing. Also they tried to help me troubleshoot my problem and asked me to hang on in there.

Snapfish [rating:2] Zoom.in [rating:1]


Order Time – Snapfish overshot their estimated date by three days, Zoom.in were dot on time. Snapfish didnt even offer an apology when i complained about the order not being received 2 days after the estimated date. They replied 3 days later that the order has been delivered. You need to talk to your customer better.

Snapfish [rating:2] Zoom.in [rating:2]


Print Quality – Here Zoom.in had glossier and better looking prints, i had kept one print same in both the albums to compare. HP uses their own print paper which didnt look so good to me, Zoom.in uses Kodak Royal paper which is pretty good. Also the colours were slightly better with Zoom.in

Snapfish [rating:2] Zoom.in [rating:3]


Pricing – To the naked eye, Snapfish looks better in terms of pricing. But a closer look reveals an exhorbant courier cost associated which kind of nullifies the advantage, in fact it adds to the cost making it costlier than Zoom.in. HP does give an album, but they advertise it as free, so i take their word.

Snapfish [rating:2] Zoom.in [rating:4]

Both companies have a promising future ahead of them, just that we seemed to like Zoom.in better than snapfish. Working on their cost and customer service will definitely serve HP better. Zoom.in needs to ramp up its software (uploading) and it would be pretty good then. A lot of prospective customers must be lost by it when people have problems uploading. Also Zoom.in needs to give proper albums with orders, a few of my relatives to whom i had shown my photos were ruing the fact that the photos were not in an album for easy handling.


Final Score

Zoom.in [rating:4] 
Snapfish [rating:2]


Nov 30

HP Snapfish logo
Ok this was a long time in the coming, on being told that HP had launched a photo printing service here in India under the name Snapfish and that they were giving 20 free prints to everyone who signed up for their service, I knew I had to try it.

So I signed up and saw that I already had a sample album and had been credited 20 free prints. Obviously nothing is free in this world , the free prints have the inbuilt courier charges into them, more on that later.

So I uploaded photos from one of our trips to their site, they also had a bulk upload software, but after using HP director, I have a hard time trusting some of the scripts which they use, somehow they are always able to crash my Internet Explorer.

So I ordered for 20 prints which cost me 43.82 rupees ($1 approx. as courier charges), and was given a tentative shipping date. The shipping date came and went, but my order was not shipped, it was shipped around 2 days after the estimated shipping date and this ticked me off. The photo status was printed within a few hours of the order being placed, but their logistics are bad. A letter to their customer care about the need for faster response got a cold robotic reply. Not expected !

So here are the hits and misses for HP Snapfish ::

HITS :

1. Easy to use service
2. Name of HP attached (bound to be good)
3. Cheap in terms of print costs(more on this later)

MISSES ::

This deserves a paragraph really, for one I expected the photos to be printed by HP itself, but to my horror and dismay, I found that HP is actually outsourcing the job to a photographer. Now why the hell would I order from HP again, I could go to the photo shop who sent me the photos and take out HP’s commission. What I strongly suspect is that the Snapfish thing is a photo shop with HP photo paper and a HP photo printer and that’s the way they are working.

Also Rs. 43 for courier is too high by any standard, the package was less than 500gms. It was sent by bluedart who are expensive but I expected HP to negotiate better. I mean futurebazaar charges only 1 rupee shipping on products costing 49 rupees. They too send by bluedart although I am sure their volumes are super huge.

VERDICT :

So all said and done, I didn’t really feel Excited or Nice about using the service. Ordinary Experience. Kind of felt ripped off even after the 20 free prints. Photo quality is good though, the free album isnt.

[rating:3]

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