Bridezilla? or bad customer service?

I’m feeling compelled to write this post as this afternoon a customer has really upset me and has acted in what I consider to be a deplorable fashion, tweeting unpleasant comments about Artcadia.

I’m simply going to blog the emails exchanged which has led to this unpleasantness and I’d appreciate feedback from anyone who feels I have dealt with this situation unhelpfully or unprofessionally.

Preceding the below emails, we’d sent emails back and forth about supplying one of our existing ranges for her stationery, we’d offered a 10% discount and as per usual replied to all emails within an hour. She did ask for a free sample, and we did tell her we charge for samples. We did mention that we would deduct the £4 sample purchase from her invoice should she choose to order.

I’d like to hear from the illustrator who provides the artwork for the products the customer has included in the emails – perhaps they could let me know if they had indeed given permission for us to print their artwork.

To protect the customer’s identity, I have referred to her as “THE CUSTOMER”.

Hi Richard,

Thank you for the quote.

I have another question (sorry!) I see you do customised designs, I have seen a design that I love and would really like to base my invitations on, how would we go about getting a quote for this? As I assume it is based on the detail of the design?

Many thanks



We do offer custom design work, but we couldn’t attempt to recreate someone elses design, we’d always advise contacting the original designer/printer who could do something similar for you.
Kind regards,
Hi Vici,

I have permission from the image owner to use this on my invitations.

Would you be able to do this or not?

Many thanks



If you can send over the image and design you have in mind, we can see what’s possible.
Kind regards,
Hi Vici,

Images attached. Its really quite similar to the other one I selected. I would like to have the owl motif at the top, with the border being as on the frame.

Thanks for your help with this,


(the customer attaches the below images)

We’d need a printable size file and written permission for use of the illustration.
Kind regards,
Hi Vici,

To be honest I think it would be an easier/better experience for me if I looked elsewhere for a printer that is prepared to work with me on this. It doesn’t appear your services are adaptable enough for customised designs, or that you are interested in the business I am offering as I am sure you would be a lot more helpful if you were.

Thanks for your help anyway.



I’m sure you will find a less reputable designer/printer who would be prepared to assist, but without written permission from owner, we would be breaching copyright law and could not assist you on this occasion.
Our custom design service is very adaptable and highly regarded, which is why we’re a stationer who regularly gets commissioned for styling shoots by wedding magazines, planners and bloggers. You will see from the custom design section of our website that we do produce work for customers which both us and they are delighted with. We would never jeopardise our reputation by commercially benefitting from someone else’s work, unfortunately there are companies out there who will, so hopefully you’ll source an outfit that meets with your expectations.
Kind regards,
Hi Vici,

Sorry, I think you have misunderstood me here.

If you read my emails again below, you will see that I have specifically said I have permission from the designer. I work for a large legal corporation so I can assure you I am more than aware of copyright legislation.

I am astounded at the tone of your email; I am a prospective customer, and to respond in that way is totally unacceptable.

I would not choose to go with you now no matter how much I liked your designs, and I will make sure that I publicise this experience so other people know how well you treat your customers.

Thank you for the insight, I am so grateful I found this out before I actually paid you any money for this.



Can you not understand my perspective on this? I simply asked for the written permission (which you claimed to have in your possession. This is something which we’d need by law to undertake the project and to use someone else’s artwork) and you replied in an unpleasant fashion saying that we were unhelpful and didn’t offer an adaptable custom design service. Do you really feel that was necessary? 
Can I ask you, what the name of the artist is?
I don’t feel you have any reason to spread slander about Artcadia, if I see any comments online, please consider that it will be acted upon.
I will issue a refund for your sample purchase immediately, although our service has been professional from the offset and it is your actions which have led to this unpleasantness.
Kind regards,
Hi Vici,

I can most certainly understand your perspective on this, it is the way you have chosen to relay this to me (someone that was prepared to pay you a substantial sum of money for wedding invitations) that has caused me to feel that you do not want my business.

As far as I am aware, I have the freedom of speech to express my experience with you, and please be assured I will use this as much as I wish. This is not a threat, it is simply my right to speak about my experience. I think you will find there are whole sites dedicated to this, tripadvisor is just one of many. It really is your lookout to not only provide amazing products but the service that goes with this, and if you cannot be bothered then you cannot expect to gain customers or good feedback.

Your responses to me have been professional but incredibly unhelpful. You have made no efforts to help me in any way, and you even went so far as to suggest I went elsewhere (We do offer custom design work, but we couldn’t attempt to recreate someone elses design, we’d always advise contacting the original designer/printer who could do something similar for you.)

I do not think I am being unreasonable, I approached you with the complete intention of buying my wedding invitations with you, but the whole experience from the beginning when you insisted I pay for a sample, to this exchange has been painful and has put a very sour feeling onto something that is supposed to be a happy and exciting experience. 



We are approached on a regular basis by brides and grooms saying they’ve seen an invitation elsewhere and can we copy it/print it – We cannot do this, so we always suggest they contact the original designer, sometimes that means they commission the design work else where and come back to us for printing – but this is we have to we ask everyone to do.

I don’t honestly feel I’ve been unhelpful – You’ll note that I always reply to emails quickly and deal with enquiries as best as possible, but sometimes I have to say no to things which just simply aren’t possible.

We do charge for samples, the same applies to all customers – it simply wouldn’t work for us to do it any other way, as we’d spend all day making samples and wouldn’t have time to fulfil orders.
I’m sincerely sorry if you’re upset by this experience, I hope that this hasn’t put a dampener on your plans and things move forward in a positive fashion.
Kind regards and best for the future.


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14 responses to “Bridezilla? or bad customer service?

  1. Lucy

    I don’t think its your bad customer service – I thought the tone of your emails was fine and all you wanted was to make sure the original designer was happy for you to reproduce their work.

  2. Esther

    How very rude of ‘the customer’!!

    I think you’ve been nothing but professional and polite (against all odds)!!

    Well done for biting your tongue!

  3. Sounds a bit like they don’t have permission and are irritated that you won’t go ahead. I would be reassured by the fact that you pointed them to the original designer – it shows that you’re interested in the client getting what they want, even if that means they hire someone else. You were certainly professional from my perspective.

  4. Dee

    omg, that customer is mad!! you were completely professional and helpful. She obviously didnt have permission or why would she need to make such a big deal of it. wouldnt worry about this affecting your business because your invitations are gorgeous.

  5. The customer is being irrational and upset because she can’t get her way. I particularly dislike when someone uses an expression such as “someone that was prepared to pay you a substantial sum of money for wedding invitations” like we all have to bend over to please them without regards for ethics. In no way you were being rude or unprofessional! I wish all designers/printers were that respectful of each others work.

  6. sian

    As a person who works in the retail industry and deals a lot with buyers and sellers I can honestly say that you are one of the best companies that i have dealt with in my 15years in the industry and as my own wedding stationery providers you made it so easy for me to choose my invitations.
    we all know how women can get about their special day but that does not excuse the way the customer spoke to you, if that was her reaction you are actually better off without customers like that! Dont get upset just think of all the possitive feedback you have had!

  7. Bridget

    Bridezillar!!!!!! She obviously had no permission to use the artwork and has tried to bully you into using it! The replies you sent were spot on.

  8. Nicky

    Regrettably from time to time we all encounter poorly mannered customers. We can’t change that. All we can do is act with integrity and sincerity in our approach to our work, which you clearly do given the extent of support shown here and on your FB page. I have a feeling that your frustration about this interaction is more about the fact that you genuinely intended to help ‘The Customer’, who seemed intent on reading the situation negatively no matter what you suggested, rather than the tone of her correspondence. That shows through in your responses. It was her way or no way; and she wanted you to know about! Don’t take it personally. It’s not personal. This is not about your work. And, she is 100% wrong to use an open forum with the deliberate intention of adversely affecting your business. Wrong and mean spirited. If she had a similar conversation with another supplier I dare say she would have behaved just as badly. You acted admirably.

  9. Sophia Davies

    Vici don’t let her comments get to you. You recently did our wedding stationary and we found you amazing! You were nothing but helpful, polite, professional and I felt you totally went that extra mile for us considering what a pain I was for changing my mind all the time! I’ve lost count with how many proofs you did and yet you never complained or asked for extra money from us. You were more concerned with getting it right and us being happy which is more than I could say about other companies we used! A HUGE thank you from the Davies x

  10. Alli

    Vici and Richard,
    From the get go you have both been highly professional and helpful with all our inquiries. Despite being on opposite sides of the world (and the issues that come with that!) we have been so amazed at the great customer service we have recieved and know we are just going to love our invites! I think, unfortunately, in the retail industry, you do get some people who feel that they can treat you badly because they have had a bad day/are not getting what they wanted etc which certainly seems like the case here. We would recommend you guys 100% to anyone and I think that the many many positive experiences of your customers out there will shine over one person who is trying to do the wrong thing.

  11. Frogsy

    Deluded bridzella in my own opinion. It is clear, she was seeing it her own way only! Emotionally charged preparations to your upcoming wedding, can turn you into a “I want, I need” monster. However, this is no excuse for being threatening, and disrespectful to a professional clearly trying to provide a service and providing legal factual info. Rest your case, and keep pleasing people who will appreciate your work, and take it in your stride as an experience. Unfortunately this comes with the industry of sometimes demanding divas. Good luck for the future, and keep up the good work.

  12. Peter Luckhurst

    Sad that people always throw muck to overcome the embarrassment of being caught out .
    Had customers like this before , you have to roll with it and just wipe the dribble off the chin after you have finished shouting in the corner , obviously not ewhere it can be heard by anyone but just so you can keep composed on the job as it were.! dont be put out by ,it just keep the e mails on your file and wait till you have to put them up as a response to some childish and probably spoiled bride to be making unfair accusations publicly !!

  13. It was definitely the customer and not you. As an illustrator I think it is great that you asked for the written permission, I would hate to think of someone ripping off my work and would never do it to anyone else. You were completely in the right and the tone of your emails was spot on, very professional, even though I bet you didn’t always feel like being! I read an article about your wedding changing your life (quite some time ago now), it really inspired me. I am a huge fan and will continue to be so. I don’t think many people will take any notice of the upset customer. xx

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