1. FiestaRed

    FiestaRed

    Messages:
    1,192
    Name:
    Mike
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I've used DS Colour Labs for quite some time now but only today realised how much their delivery service has shot up.

    I was at a club meeting a few nights ago and someone mentioned giving Simlab a try so I thought I'd do my own little comparison of the two companies. I processed a few prints at 15x10 as I normally would and sent them all to both labs. It wasn't until the prints from DS Colour Labs didn't turn up the next day that I realised I had not checked their deliveries. In the past Standard prints from DSCL have always arrived next day but now this is an extra add on cost. The delivery and packaging from Simlab was brilliant and roughly half the price of what would have been the similar delivery from DSCL. Simlab gave me a time slot, the drivers name and lots of helpful communication where there was very little from DSCL.

    Nothing to choose in the print quality but for me, DSCL were badly let down with their delivery costs and poor communication. I know where my orders will go in the future.
     
    sep9001 likes this.
  2. Donnie

    Donnie

    Messages:
    4,101
    Name:
    Paul
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Interesting, might have to give simlab a go.
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  3. Alan Clogwyn

    Alan Clogwyn

    Messages:
    7,147
    Name:
    Richard Alan Jones
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Hmm DSCL First class at £3.99 vs Simlab at £5.50 for by the sounds of it DPD Courier.
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  4. RichieTee

    RichieTee

    Messages:
    1,329
    Name:
    Rich
    I used DS for the first time about a month ago, fortunately I live local to their Didsbury shop so collection wasn’t a problem. The prints took about 16 days to be ready, even then I had to email them to find out what was going on with a response of “they are ready for collection now”. So not sure if they had been sat there all that time or they pulled their finger out after the email?

    Was happy with most of them although a couple of the the metallic paper prints showed small defects.

    Will reserve judgement until the next order In case of a one off!.
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  5. steverob68

    steverob68

    Messages:
    29
    Name:
    StephenR
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I used DSCL when I lived in Manchester and the first lot I got delivered had huge flaws they put down to ‘end of roll’.

    They replaced them promptly and I stuck with them for a while. Like you I did a trial and found a company in Scotland who were more reliable. Just can’t recall who they are at present as I have been printing at home recently. Will have a look back my emails and see if I can find them.
     
    Donnie and FiestaRed like this.
  6. stumac

    stumac

    Messages:
    2,896
    Name:
    stuart
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Loxley?
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  7. FiestaRed

    FiestaRed

    Messages:
    1,192
    Name:
    Mike
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    First Class from DSCL is now £4.99 which is only 51p cheaper than Simlab's Next Day service. Next Day at DSCL has shot up to a whopping £10.99. I've now also been told by DSCL that First Class post can take up to 10 working days, it amazes me they have any customers at all.
     
  8. steverob68

    steverob68

    Messages:
    29
    Name:
    StephenR
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Name doesn’t ring a bell. Will check back emails etc when I get home tomorrow.
     
  9. FiestaRed

    FiestaRed

    Messages:
    1,192
    Name:
    Mike
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Loxley are local to me in Sheffield. Their print prices are THREE TIMES that of either Simlab or DS Colour Labs and their Next Day service is the same as DSCL. Having said that, I've heard lots of good things about them and will try the same prints to compare the quality.
     
  10. Donnie

    Donnie

    Messages:
    4,101
    Name:
    Paul
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Good god, I mean ive not used dscl for over 6 months to be fair but thats awful service compared to the few times ive used them. Think Ill be steering clear :-/
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  11. wave01

    wave01

    Messages:
    1,397
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    Yes
    I use loxley a lot always been first rate
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  12. gremlin16

    gremlin16

    Messages:
    1,678
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    They charge a fortune in p&p even when you collect it from Reddish !!! I questioned this when I called in last time why they charged me £1.50 to put it into a plastic sleeve, the guy just shrugged.

    I also fell out with them when I tried to add one more image to the order. I phoned them within 1 minute of placing the order and they said it was too late. They charged me full whack for postage for the sake of a 50p print. Yes it was my error but how hard is it to put an extra piece of paper into the same envelope?

    I’m looking for an alternative printer but what you gain in one area you lose in another.
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  13. Donnie

    Donnie

    Messages:
    4,101
    Name:
    Paul
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Theyve definitely changed since i used them last.
     
    nigpd and FiestaRed like this.
  14. steverob68

    steverob68

    Messages:
    29
    Name:
    StephenR
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Found the email from 2014! It was a place called Sams Photolab in Aberdeen.
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  15. T_J_G

    T_J_G

    Messages:
    3,526
    Name:
    Tim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    How recently this changed? I normally order from there and get free p and p and it’s normally here the next day.
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  16. ecoleman

    ecoleman

    Messages:
    4,303
    Name:
    Elliott
    Edit My Images:
    No
    This is why i bought my own printer. I Like to print off one or two images but the shipping meant it wasn’t cost effective. Then I’d put the images into a print folder with the though of sending off a load at a time. The folder got forgotten about and I never sent them in.

    With my own printer I can print whenever I want, even if the cost per print is a bit higher, I still save.
     
    wezza13, Bebop and Harlequin565 like this.
  17. FiestaRed

    FiestaRed

    Messages:
    1,192
    Name:
    Mike
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I can't find out recently this was Tim but they don't seem to have let their customers know by email. There's nothing on the order forms warning you the Standard prints service has been changed, not that I can see anyway. I just ordered the prints as I normally would.
     
  18. Donnie

    Donnie

    Messages:
    4,101
    Name:
    Paul
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    No
    It's not just the cost thing though is it? From several reports on here about timescales and poor results it has the feel of someone completely different running the business with lower / different standards.

    Looking at google reviews for both of their shops theres some pretty poor feedback too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
    FiestaRed likes this.
  19. admirable

    admirable

    Messages:
    11,582
    Name:
    Jim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Not taking sides here or standing up for any one lab as I use Sim, Loxley and DSCL, I ordered last Friday from DSCL and it arrived the next day (Saturday). Just looked at the postal cost and it was £3.32 +vat. I will be putting another order in tomorrow so will see how that goes.
    I don't think anything has changed, I think you have just been unlucky with the recent bad weather. DSCL mainly use Royal Fail and I think that is where the change lies, plus most other small mail companies (UKmail etc) just dumped all their mail during the snow onto RM for final delivery as they do not have the storage facilities to hold mail for a few days never mind more than a week. Royal Mail put out a bulletin during the week of the snow stating First Class could take up to 10 days so I presume DSCL have just put this on their website to stop punters moaning about slow delivery.


    This has happened to me too and I was a bit miffed until the guy explained they had processed over 2000 orders so far that day so my order was well gone and too far down the line to manually try and find it.

    My take:
    DSCL are very good and fairly consistent with print quality, customer service and delivery.
    SIM, messed me up a few years ago when I order 100 of the same print and they sent me 90, they argued I was wrong and it took some time for them to send the remaining 10 prints. You can't order from Sim and get next day delivery.
    Loxley, excellent customer service, they will separate and bag individual print orders within one large order if you ask them, they are also very competitive on large format prints...........but they are a touch more expensive.
     
  20. Pietrach

    Pietrach

    Messages:
    630
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Hi can someone explain to me how does Simlabs achieves a correct color reproduction? There does not seem to be any printers profiles to download. or am I missing something? How can I prepare files for this specific lab without icc profile?
     
  21. FiestaRed

    FiestaRed

    Messages:
    1,192
    Name:
    Mike
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    That's not what their website says, the website clearly shows "We aim to dispatch your prints the same day for next day delivery via courier with Internet tracking". This service which even includes a notified time slot costs only a few pence more than DSCLs First Class post which I am now told by DSCL can take up to 10 WORKING days.

    Of all the orders I have placed with DSCL in the past, they have always arrived the next day. Something has changed but I've no idea what it is.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  22. T_J_G

    T_J_G

    Messages:
    3,526
    Name:
    Tim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Snow?

    I always do small print runs as there was never and p and p. Now I’ll just wait til I have a certain amount to print.
     
  23. srhmoto

    srhmoto

    Messages:
    1,535
    Name:
    Simon
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Most of my print orders with DSCL (fine art + standard) are either placed on an evening or a weekend. They have always arrived 3 working days later selecting the Royal Mail first class delivery option, including some I ordered last week. I've always thought their postage costs were expensive for ordering a single print, but like others I just wait until I have a few to get printed and order all at once. This means I'm usually putting in a monthly order.

    Simon.
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  24. thequietman

    thequietman

    Messages:
    709
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Was that not david clark the photographer..recall him from the days of the mpa..was told by a rep recently that he had left the trade..It could be wrong however..
     
  25. Byker28i

    Byker28i

    Messages:
    21,149
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I've used DSCL for years, heavily during my course as all work had to be handed in as prints.
    I never had an issue with the post and packaging costs as the packaging meant I never got any damaged prints.
    DSCL use royal mail first class, which is usually next day.
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  26. steverob68

    steverob68

    Messages:
    29
    Name:
    StephenR
    Edit My Images:
    No
    Couldn’t say. I haven’t used them for a few years but always dealt with them online as I lived near Manchester at the time.
     
  27. stumac

    stumac

    Messages:
    2,896
    Name:
    stuart
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Never knew they had another place . I've been to there lab in Scotland. You learn something new :)
     
  28. admirable

    admirable

    Messages:
    11,582
    Name:
    Jim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    My apologies, what I meant was you can't order on a Friday and get next day delivery.
     
    FiestaRed likes this.
  29. FiestaRed

    FiestaRed

    Messages:
    1,192
    Name:
    Mike
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    As a final add-on, I also sent the same set of prints to Loxley and they arrived back this morning. The Loxley prints were inside a clear sleeve which in turn was inside a simple card envelope. Not a lot of protection when compared to the packaging from Simlab where the prints were wrapped in a clear sleeve that was in a card envelope and that again was well packed between two corrugated plastic boards and then inside a normal plastic for posting.

    All the prints were of much the same image quality and although the Loxley prints were over three times more expensive, I didn't think they were of any better quality or paper wise.. For me DSCL were badly let down by their First Class delivery service which was only 51p cheaper than Simlab's Next Day. Packaging wise, DSCL and Simlab were pretty good and far in front of the Loxley packaging which cost more.
     
    sep9001, Donnie and srhmoto like this.
  30. admirable

    admirable

    Messages:
    11,582
    Name:
    Jim
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    So when did you order the prints? How long did they take?
     
  31. srhmoto

    srhmoto

    Messages:
    1,535
    Name:
    Simon
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I tend to order 16x12 or 15x10 prints from DSCL. All the prints are supplied in a plastic sleeve (with tissue paper over the printed surface if fine art), which is then securely held between two pieces of stiff cardboard, which is then placed inside a stiff cardboard box for posting. Their delivery cost maybe high, but I've never had any complaints (or damaged prints) about how DSCL deliver prints.

    Simon.
     
  32. Sectionate

    Sectionate

    Messages:
    2,294
    Name:
    Nick
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I have never had a problem with DSCL in the past; tried Loxley once but they stuffed me on shipping and whacked an extra fiver on after I had paid for everything. They put it down to the 'prints requiring more packaging than expected'. I have a photo somewhere of what they posted two A3 prints out in - a box you could used to send two pillows and enough stuffing to do a mattress with. They begrudgingly refunded me the additional postage costs after many emails.

    How have you found home printing?
     
  33. Byker28i

    Byker28i

    Messages:
    21,149
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Exactly, P&P is exactly that, post and packaging. I've no issue with the way DSCL package their prints for delivery. The website actually says 1-10 days delivery, which I assume is covering themselves due to delivery issues with Royal Mail. They have on their website

    A Message From Royal Mail - Friday 2 March 2018

    The severe weather conditions affecting the country are continuing to disrupt Royal Mail's services today.
    Our mails distribution network was disrupted by the wintry conditions last night and this has adversely affected on the movement of mail around the country, and hence the availability of mail for delivery today in many parts.
    We'll be out delivering and collecting mail today, but only in areas where access is possible and it's safe for our people to preform them. We'll keep these pages updated with as much information about services as possible.
    We're doing all we can to maintain services at a near-normal level and would like to apologise to customers whose mail deliveries and collections have been affected by the severe weather conditions.
     
  34. Byker28i

    Byker28i

    Messages:
    21,149
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    Have you actually had an order take 10 days?
     
  35. ecoleman

    ecoleman

    Messages:
    4,303
    Name:
    Elliott
    Edit My Images:
    No
    No problems. I bought the Epson SC-P600 and use the Marrutt refill kit and inks.
    I can print the odd print here or there when I want.

    It's also changed the way I think about my photography. Whereas before I would go out and take a load of photos in the hope that one or two would come out alright, I now go out with the aim of coming back with one really good image that I will edit and finish with a nice big print (I complete piece of work instead of a digital file somewhere on a hard drive)
     
    Sectionate likes this.
  36. FiestaRed

    FiestaRed

    Messages:
    1,192
    Name:
    Mike
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I've currently got an order that was sent out 5 days ago that's still not arrived so I'm getting there.
     
  37. Brian G

    Brian G

    Messages:
    1,389
    Name:
    Brian
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    I decided that, for the price of an A3+ printer, Plus the cost of paper, Plus the cost of ink refils, I could buy a heck of a lot of A3 prints, from someone like DSCL, and have someone else waste paper with test prints etc. not to mention the massive amount of space that an A3+ printer takes up (which I have no room for.)
     
    EightBitTony likes this.
  38. ecoleman

    ecoleman

    Messages:
    4,303
    Name:
    Elliott
    Edit My Images:
    No
    I do a test print on a 6x4. Ive never wasted a sheet of a3+ paper yet and I have the space. Sure you can get a lot of prints from a lab for the money but as I said, having a printer and going out for the day with the goal of having a finished product at the end of the day has changed and improved my photography. To me it’s worth mor than just a bit of ink and paper.
     
  39. Brian G

    Brian G

    Messages:
    1,389
    Name:
    Brian
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    If you have the space then you are fortunate, but I simply do not have the room.
    Plus A3+ printers are so heavy and bulky, it makes setting them up and packing them away after use impractical.
    I'm perfectly happy with the prints I get back from companies like DSCL, since they closely match what I see on my monitor screen.
     
  40. Byker28i

    Byker28i

    Messages:
    21,149
    Edit My Images:
    Yes
    What was the delivery, just first class? I tended to use recorded so I knew where they were, but then all my prints were 12x10's. They came ok, but I then checked and sent them to my tutor, which then with the packaging either just fitted through the post office size checker so was cheap, or was just too big so cost a lot more.
     

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