Broken Heritage Makers Heirloom Assurance Promise

Oct 21, 2009 10:19 AM

This article has been copied over to my new blog, Modern Memory Keeper.com
http://www.modernmemorykeeper.com/2009/10/broken-heritage-makers-heirloom-assurance-promise/
I am keeping the original post here to preserve the comments. Thanks, Marina.
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About 2 years ago I created a genealogy book using the Heritage Makers self publishing system. The book was simple to make and I was very impressed with the results. While there was no output other than the book (no PDF file for example), I felt comfortable producing my book with them because they had an "Heirloom Assurance" promise, which stated:

The Heritage Makers Heirloom Assurance assures that your projects will last lifetimes. Torn pages, missed typos, daily wear and tear. Heritage Makers will print a replacement copy for you at only half price.

To receive your replacement copy, you'll need to mail us back your original book (or what's left of it) along with the Heirloom Assurance Form. You can get a copy of the form from your consultant who can find it their Virtual Office Library.


What a great guarantee! Even if you later discover a mistake or damage your book yourself, you will be able to replace the 1st copy for 1/2 price, or simply order more full price copies.

So recently I contacted Heritage Makers as I noticed that the genealogy book I had made was no longer showing in my projects list. I had wanted to print an additional copy as mine was getting very "ratty" as I'd passed it around at the local genealogy society to demonstrate Heritage Makers wonderful work and had used it in my seminar "Organizing Your Family History" taught at both the Vernon and Kelowna genealogy societies.

This is the response I received together with my replies:

Dear Marina,

I sincerely apologize, however, it looks like those books were in the 11.5x8.5 book sizes that were discontinued more than a year and a half ago. Unfortunately, our system does not have the ability to reprint them. I am sorry for this. Thank you so much!

Warm Regards,

Brandi Brady
Heritage Makers, Inc.
Client Services Agent



Brandi
I am sorry but that is completely unacceptable. Your emphasis is on preserving stories and family histories. My book has been damaged and I need to order a replacement.

If you are unable to reprint in a certain size, then the book should have been converted to a new size that you are able to print.

Tell me, how does a customer know that you are discontinuing the ability to print in a certain size? This was never announced. I was aware that I could no longer create new books in that size but not that my existing books were not available for reorder.

It does not give me any confidence that books I might create now may not be discontinued in the future.

Regards,

Marina


Dear Marina,

I apologize, after doing further research I discovered that your projects were actually Classic books. It was announced early in 2008 that the Classic system was being discontinued, as it had become inefficient and high maintenance. All projects needed to be completed before August when the system would be terminated. Then this year in the spring we announced that we would be bringing out a new studio, called Studio 3.0. Because of the complexity of the 3.0 upgrade, we announced that classic projects would not be able to be produced. We encouraged all client to get their classic project recreated in studio or print their projects before the 3.0 was released.

We did send out numerous amounts of communication to ensure all clients were aware of our changes. I sincerely apologize for your frustration.

Warm Regards,

Brandi Brady
Heritage Makers, Inc.
Client Services Agent


Brandi
Do you have access to the old files - is it possible to get a copy of the project in either pdf or image format so that I can recreate the project? As I mentioned, my book is damaged and I cannot read all the text.

Marina


Dear Marina,

I apologize, unfortunately because the old system was terminated, I am not able to access the files at all. I am able to see a list of the names and types of projects you have, but I cannot access them. I am sorry for this.

Warm Regards,

Brandi Brady
Heritage Makers, Inc.

Client Services Agent

Hi Brandy
So let me get this clear, are you saying that you will not honor the Heirloom Assurance?

Heirloom Assurance
The Heritage Makers Heirloom Assurance assures that your projects will last lifetimes. Torn pages, missed typos, daily wear and tear. Heritage Makers will print a replacement copy for you at only half price.

To receive your replacement copy, you'll need to mail us back your original book (or what's left of it) along with the Heirloom Assurance Form. You can get a copy of the form from your consultant who can find it their Virtual Office Library.


Regards,
Marina

Dear Marina,

We do honor our Heirloom Assurance program. However, as explained in my previous emails, to ensure the quality and speed of our system we found it necessary to terminate the Classic system and replace the studio with a newer version. With such large changes, in order to keep our word with our customers we do make many announcements to ensure all customers are aware and can make the appropriate preparations. I sincerely apologize that I am unable to reprint your book for you. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to assist you.

Warm Regards,

Brandi Brady
Heritage Makers, Inc.
Client Services Agent



So it appears that they *only* honour the Heirloom Assurance promise during the current version of their software and that any time they choose to upgrade their software, they will cut off all previous users from this guarantee. In practicality, this means that their guarantee is only good for approximately 18 months (an average software life cycle). Once you are beyond that time frame (which is when most of the damage is likely to occur) you are out of luck.

Hopefully Oprah (Heritage Makers is an Oprah top pick) doesn't damage one of her books 18 months after she makes one!

As for me and Genealogy Buzz, we give Heritage Makers a big "Thumbs Down" or "Not Recommended" rating for preserving your family's history.

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