As a publisher, I want to know exactly when my books will be printed and exactly when they'll be shipped, so that I can set expectations with authors and event organizers who expect the products.
On multiple occasions after I have placed an order, it has been unclear when a book will actually be printed (and thus, shipped). This is because of several factors, such as placing an order on a weekend or not being able to account for a holiday Lulu is observing, or not understanding what place I am in your queue.
Therefore, printing/shipping has been delayed beyond the estimated dates Lulu provides on the Order page ... and therefore books don't arrive in time for planned events, which a) embarrasses the authors/organizers, b) impedes my reputation as a publisher, and c) costs me money to fix.
Moreover, the "estimated arrival" dates are not accurate. Recently, for example, I placed an order in which Lulu said the estimated arrival date would be 9/12 - 9/16. Yet when the books were finally printed and shipped, the estimated arrival date from FedEx was indicated as 9/19 -- three days later! If this holds, it will be unacceptable because it would mean missing yet another event deadline.
The execution around when my orders will be printed and when they'll be shipped is too fuzzy. If I cannot count on Lulu to be crystal clear when items will print/ship, then I will be forced to use another printer.
Thank you for the feedback. We do recognize the desire for exact dates, but as a print-on-demand company we need to use estimates for how long an order will take to print. Additionally, we estimate the transit times that are advertised from the carriers, but unfortunately, once the package is in their hands, this can at times differ than the estimate.
We're always looking for ways to increase the accuracy of our estimates, and will take your feedback into account.