Fuel: Print on Demand , 292 reviews
FUEL failed to meet our high professional standards and is no longer our exclusive vendor for Fitted Crew T-shirts, 50/50 Hoodies, and 15 oz Mugs. This POD vendor is not worth the effort for the following verifiable reasons:
Their quality control department has been found lacking, their support team inept, and their app full of fatal flaws that will make your business fail. I do not recommend FUEL as a business partner in the POD market.
1) T-Shirts and Hoodies were far too often shipped with misprints, wrong prints, missing prints, wrong product blanks, and wrong product sizes. Customers would get the wrong size print other than what was mocked up. 13" large on the back would be printed 11.5" instead to save ink. Wrong print on the back with the correct print on the front. Inconsistency in specific print location as per the mockup generator. Gildan blanks swapped out for Jerzees blanks without communication or permission or a refund for the difference in blank price. Mugs arrived broken as they were missing protective packaging or were shipped using inferior packaging materials.
2) Fuel would print shipping labels within two days, but production would occur 5-7 days after the order was marked fulfilled - when contacting the shipping agent, USPS/UPS would state they did not have the package in their possession. Fuel also never allowed for size changes when a customer ordered the wrong size as they've already printed the shipping label. Orders couldn't be canceled or changed as a result.
3) Their mockup generator would have color selections for products they did not have in stock or keep stock on. Production times would become up to 12 business days on certain colors and sizes as they waited for blanks to arrive. They would print a shipping label to maintain their production time claim even though their facility still wouldn't have any blanks in stock at any of their printing facilities.
3) Fuel support staff would only politely respond with auto-generated replies - "I'm sorry...." They often ignored requests or questions and I'd have to ask again when looking for order updates on messed up orders or orders that had too long of a production time.
These things happened far too many times and at my expense. My profit margins verifiably decreased 30% after switching to FUEL.
The only thing about doing business with them was their low prices - of which they sneakily increased their shipping fees to increase their profit during COVID-19. They have two packages sent instead of one when customers ordered a T-shirt & a Hoodie combo and claim they were produced at different facilities. (not good for the environment or for our budget). When asked to disclose their facility location as proof, they ignored all requests. I do not believe their print facilities are located in the continental United States as result.
For all of these verifiable reasons, I'm cutting my loss and moving on to a new POD vendor to further grow my graphic design business.
Update 06/27/2022 - Lyman reached out via email and refunded my sample order including shipping. Fuel has also sent out a couple emails regarding production issues and changes - finally. Support remains the most responsive. However while their prices are very good, I remain concerned about quality. They are also adding print facilities to help with their production; however these are third-party printers. It's great they are taking steps with reducing production times however I am apprehensive because by using a network of third-party printers the production and quality will not be consistent (based on my experience with other companies who do not do printing fully in-house).
Pros - Support is very quick to respond; Cheapest shirts and mugs (but many other providers now within 50-30 cents and getting much closer) Cons - Poor print quality; Slow, inaccurate production times; Apparently they don’t stock blanks (I was told by support that they order the blanks each time an order comes in, so 1-2 days is wasted here) Poor print quality. It’s the second worst quality of the 5 major POD providers I ordered samples from; the design was “warped” (very odd, no idea how this could happen on a flat t-shirt) and the edges of the design were double lined/blurry. They’re the slowest and most inaccurate (dishonest, in my opinion) with fulfillment times. It took 13 calendar days (9 business days) to process the sample order and ship it out. And this is when they were publishing updates that their t-shirt fulfillment times were 3-5 business days. When I contacted support for an update they said this is due to the supplier that provides the blanks (the blanks are out of stock). So apparently Fuel doesn’t stock either any or enough blanks, unlike other many other POD providers, and spend 1-2 days receiving blanks for the orders that come in. Support acknowledged their backlog/stock issue but had no plans to fix it until the holidays, so another 6 months before it’s resolved and *hopefully* doesn’t happen again. Support indicated another 1-2 business days before my sample order would ship out and it took 3. I suggested they change their production estimates to 5-8 business days for more transparency and reduce inquiries, but didn’t care to and the next day published another production update showing 3-5 business days clearly knowing this isn’t true or accurate. It'd be much more professional to state accurate times, or note that some orders may take longer due to the stock issues they're having, but they didn't seem to want to acknowledge these issues unless asked, rather than put this on that production status update page or even send an email blast out. So in total I waited 16 days for a poorly printed sample order. I'm very disappointed because I choose Fuel based on a reference from a high-volume seller and quality from that order seemed better. So quality is inconsistent. There are dozens of other POD companies and many with quicker time and/or better quality. I do not recommend Fuel.
Hi there Chris, I appreciate your honest feedback. Our estimated production time is generally corrected for our in-stock items. However, delays may happen if the blank is out of stock. We are taking huge steps to address the production times and quality. I've personally reached out to you.
This app is totally terrible! They never know which orders are late to handle!
Low basecost, low quality!
The only reason they're getting a 2 star is because their prices are really good and I'm hoping the test order I made comes out great as well. It's only been 2 days since I started using Fuel and the headache is present let me tell you. My first issue came from the structure of placing a test order, there isn't any clear instructions on how to do that. There is not button or section where its dedicated towards you placing these kind of orders, its all just in the same place with no detail. Fine, I got through that part but then the most annoying issue I ran into was when my Test order came back with an "error". I messaged customer service and they got back to me the next day with a link to the amount of stock they have. In other words you'll have to personally wake up and check their stock daily and then manually update your items based on the stock they show on their storage link. While you're making the actual product it does not tell you what's in stock and what's out of stock and unlike other drop shippers they 100% allow it to be LIVE and RUNNING on your website without saying a word. What their customer service suggested to me was to replace the color with something similar or another item whenever a customer ordered something that was out of stock. If you don't email them about this they don't inform you either. Again, they do have great prices so I dealt with those issues and updated my items. I thought it couldn't get any worse until today when I noticed I missed out on 4 sales and one of my customers reached out to me letting me know what the problem was. Basically any time an item from Fuel was added to the cart and they attempted to check out it would give them a shipping error telling them they couldn't ship to their area/location. I had to go through Fuel's FAQ section and finally found an answer to this problem, at least I thought I did. Fuel provided instructions on how to resolve this issue by going into my settings and adding fuel to the other shipping settings in your account. I did that but did it solve the issue, no. I also made a shipping profile for Fuel itself and did that fix the issue, no. Now I'm here waiting for a response from customer service but in the mean time I'm going to go look for another drop shipper with equivalent prices even if its a bit higher because these issues and missing out on sales isn't worth a few less bucks. Try at your own risk, Fuel has potential to be great because they do have an advantage with their prices. If they can fix these big issues so many more people would use their services permanently as a first choice, I know I would but right now it only deserves 2 stars and that's me being nice and seeing their potential.
Originally, Fuel's customer service was spot on and responded in a timely manner. However, now they don't even address your questions and simply ignore the parts they don't want to answer.I have many orders which are almost 1 month but they still do not get them out. If not, it's still in pre-shipment status. I got a lot of negative review and refund to my customer as well because of the late shipment. I canceled the application and did not receive a refund
Originally, Fuel's customer service was spot on and responded in a timely manner. However, now they don't even address your questions and simply ignore the parts they don't want to answer. I ordered samples recently and they were horrendous - the design was faded, cracked, and tiny compared to the size of the garment. They didn't even give me a full refund! The only plus is their pricing which is the cheapest I've seen anywhere. I guess you get what you pay for. There needs to be serious improvements in print consistency, quality, and customer service. I was looking forward to working with them but now I have to look elsewhere.
I'm a little angered reading other reviews. My products were not fufilled timely and their excuse was the COVID. 5 weeks to get 9 shirts. And the test orders, once they finally arrived, were not good fits and teh printing at the top end of the shirts was faded.
Lots of great options, but quality and service were not what others are stating.
I love fuel. I use this app mainly for mugs because the price is good and shipping cost is good. I was impressed. The holiday season, was smooth. One issue here and there but it was fixed right away. Communication is fast, shipping is fast. Will be using this as my main POD. Update: During the holiday of 2020, several orders were delayed especially the ones coming out of TX (which majority of my mugs where coming out out), the PA facility wasn't as behind. I ended up receiving bad reviews from customers due to delays, and some demanded refunds. Now Valentines day, customer services reports they are behind on orders. Customer service is quick to reply, but I felt like I get this a lot "I can see the print job is done. This should ship within 1-2 days if everything goes well with quality" but it does not really ship in 1-2 days. (not sure if they take Saturday and Sunday off). Any ways I give this a 2 star due to competitive price and fast customer service, however, for sellers like us to survive in this market, we need to provide our customers their products at a timely manner , not 70% of the time, but 100% of the time.
Definitely not the best experience. 3 out of the 5 shirts I ordered and received were incorrect. It's Day 13 and I'm still waiting for matters to be made right. Fuel could definitely use some adjusting in the Quality Control and Customer Support departments. Both are SERIOUSLY lacking.
Hi Lori! Apologize for your experience so far. It is out of the ordinary for the products that are sent out to have errors like that. We are committed to making this right for you though and have already put in a new order to reprint the errant products. Feel free to send us any issues like this in the future and we will reprint or refund issues if there is ever an error on our end!
This app is undercooked and needs more time in the oven. No custom mockups which means my products will look identical to everyone else who uses this app, inability to adjust sizing of designs on apparel, and no way to import products that already exist in my store. This app provides no value to me in it's current state.
Sorry to hear you had a bad first experience! We do offer custom mockup options and allow you to adjust the sizing of your designs. I emailed you instructions for that.
And we are a new app and do not have the ability to import existing products. We do plan on adding in that functionality and much more as well. Feel free to reply to my email and we can jump on a call and go over the application. I'm here to help.