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Lightning Source


Lightning Source Service

Complaint Rating:  65 % with 43 votes
65% 43
Contact information:
Lightning Source
United States
Lightning Source is terrible at customer service and completing a project for their clients on time. Rude, bad attitude, and ignorant. Here are the main problem employees Yolanda Hall (confused), Heather Henderson (clueless), Cassandra Walker (lazy), Dana Sanders (a real ###), & Leslie Sullivan (really stupid) Do yourself a favor publish your book as an ebook, this company single handed will kill print books.
Complaint comments Comments (32) Complaint country United States Complaint category Books
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Lightning Source - Bad Service [1]


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D  2nd of Dec, 2010 by    0 Votes
No way! I work with Leslie all the time and she has taken care of us with excellence. I even needed a rush on submitting a title and as well ordering copies of it once approved to meet a deadline of sales for a local conference all the way on the west coast. Did a great job and still met my deadline!
N  3rd of Dec, 2010 by    0 Votes
Maybe you had a good experience, but I also can say Lightning Source isn't really good at customer service since a while back I dealt with Leslie and she was not helpful or customer service oriented.
A  25th of Dec, 2010 by    +2 Votes
There should be a 'strongly agree' button here too
N  3rd of Mar, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I often handle all self published book designs & layout for my client - who happens to be a prolific writer! Sadly I just happened by a most underhanded marketing arm twist by LSI. They claimed the files should be printed to postscript and then distilled in Adobe. Apart from the fact that this is so 1980s, apparently they ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO CAN DO THIS! So they sent back all the files and some lady affiliated to them reprimands my client for not patronising her anymore for formatting! I think they're a scam...and their work flow (Laser printing) is so dated and inefficient, not the least the totally flopped sub-minus customer service you get for all your trouble.

Do yourself a favour...avoid them like a plague!
N  19th of Nov, 2011 by    +2 Votes
I used to work for LSI between 2006 and 2008. In 2008, I resigned from my job, two weeks before they laid off all American citizens on the company floor, and replaced them with uneducated illegal immigrants. That may be a major source of the problem.
N  29th of Jul, 2017 by    0 Votes
@danwl21 Well I worked at their Australian plant in Melbourne in 2012 and I was promised the world. It never eventuated. The QC process there was crap, I witnessed an unreasonably large percentage of books being despatched which should never have left the premises. Also they started hiring inexperienced employees with no background in Print whatsoever. That was the last straw. At last count there have been 5 of their most important employees who are no longer working there. There is certainly something very wrong with this organization and I would recommend anyone wanting to publish books, stay away from LS Australia!!!
D  29th of Nov, 2011 by    +1 Votes
Yes, there should be a Disagree button. The service I have received has been excellent, as has the products.
I understand the need to have the files formatted correctly for their software.
A  9th of May, 2012 by    +1 Votes
LS at times is very stressfull. It's a shame my books are selling before I have started to market or advertise them.

If your requirements are not common yet still under their contract / manual but "computer says no" then that's bad luck no matter how polite or patient, eventually you might have to complain to get things done. I can only speak for myself, if you are a big publisher or a publisher with 1000 poorly written books with awfull covers that takes any authors money then you might be OK.
N  6th of Nov, 2012 by    0 Votes
A recent post went up on a blog that outlined what LSI did to a publishing company. You can read it here: http://www.aforcg.blogspot.com/ It is clear that LSI does not have a clue with customer serivce, nor do they feel they need to. Their Big Biz Bully mentality is ever so clear in this post. If anyone else has lost money due to them, please post on the blog so a class action lawsuite can exist.
N  27th of Jan, 2017 by    0 Votes
@American for Common Ground I did not see the blog to post to about LSI. Reading public domain information about that company, it would seem that the Ingram Collective has taken measures to protect itself by changing from corporations into "Delaware Series LLC" a kind of structure that protects the assets while allowing any one unit to be bankrupt and discarded, and easily replaced with a new entity without affecting the others or operations. The company can now if it wishes performs any criminal fraudulent actions and simply walk away from it. Everyone should be careful.
N  11th of Nov, 2012 by    +2 Votes
I have been with LS for four years. I had been selling 3 or 4 books every quarter. Not much but I was satisfied. Out of the blue I got a shipment of 57 of my books freshly printed and an invoice for $1012.77! After my jaw hit the floor, I called them up and said WTF? According to them these are returns. AND according to them, for 4 years, I had apparently been pricing my books BELOW printing cost!!! W.T.F???? I checked my pub comps and correspondence and none of what they claimed adds up in terms of the numbers. I disputed their outrageous claim and with every reply to their request for payment, a week or two went by. Hmm. You would think if a printer is owed this amount they would be aggressive in calling and following up with me. This is an unbelievable situation and it is still going on. I will keep this board updated when I can.
A  7th of May, 2013 by    +1 Votes
I sent my application and paperwork in over a month ago. I was told it was lost. I have re-sent this paperwork 2 times now along with a detailed letter of complaint. I was going with LS because I was told they were the best and most professional. I have clients waiting on my book!! Their lack of customer service is costing me money.
Can anyone else recommend a god POD? I'm at truecrimebook.com. Thanks!
A  26th of Aug, 2013 by    0 Votes
The day I've been waiting for has finally arrive, I can now tell LS to stick it where the sun doesn't shine. Not only did I receive terrible customer service over the years, I've had to deal to poor print quality from them, with customers calling to say they received books where the print was so light in some pages they couldn't make it out. This QC issue was never their fault and always some thing we did based on how the files we submitted to them was created, therefore if we wanted replacements to be sent to the customer we needed to pay for the second round to books.
After their last round of c*** customer service I was finally able to locate another POD printer, that not only has better print quality, but came in at the same price per unit as LS. their slightly higher set-up cost (~$20) was offset their lower almost every else cost (unit cost, file change fees (~$20).
My company has been doing business with them for years and place orders for books on a regular weekly basis, and they still treat us to the worst customer service I've had to deal with out of all our vendors. They had yet to provide any helpful service without first having us to compile actual proof they are at fault or it is something their contract requires them to do.
N  27th of Jan, 2017 by    0 Votes
@emilylake When you were getting out I was getting in, and did I learn my lesson. Recently I ordered for two copies of my book to give to the Copyright office, and what I got had ink-brushes on many pages that, were the books not going to the copyright office, I would have returned them to LSI and I told LSI so. That company is the worst printing service.
A  10th of Sep, 2013 by    0 Votes
The customer service offered by Lightening Source is SO BAD they could also be a government department. They keep sending me proofs which have unacceptably low print quality with blurred text through the book and seem unable to tell me why the book looks like its been checked in a puddle. I keep telling that the proof is unacceptable and there response is that they don't know what's going and that I should fix. How can I fix it if they don't tell me what the problem is. They have completely screwed a deadline, lost me a lot of sales and refuse to take responsibility for their inability to print text correctly. And this is now my third horrific experience with them.
N  6th of Nov, 2013 by    0 Votes
I have not received half a dozen monthly publisher checks from Lightningsource. After exchanging about 40 emails they claimed that they had been sent and cashed. I believe that this is not possible as they would have been made out to my company and were never received or cashed by my company. They seem to be trying to drive publishers into a new company that they have set up with a commission structure about 3 times higher for them than Lightningsource. Is anyone aware of a class action against Lightningsource for violation of intellectual property rights by non payment of publishers?
N  27th of Jan, 2017 by    0 Votes
@cheated publisher If you ever find out of a class action law suit, I am in. i will be monitoring this page from now onwards
A  13th of Mar, 2014 by    +1 Votes
Their customer service rates somewhere around the bottom of a mud puddle. I ordered hard cover and paperback books nearly three months ago. They arrived 2 weeks after they were supposed to, and all of the hard cover books had glue issues causing the title page to bunch or pull from the rest of the book. I contacted my service rep and had to pay to send some of the books back for "quality control review". Then, I had to hound the rep for a) a reply on if she received the submitted claim form, b) whether or not the books were getting reprinted, and c) a tracking number. Each of these information requests took 3-5 days for a reply.
The next batch of books they sent me were all printed off center with big white lines around an otherwise full-color book page. It's a bit noticeable when there's a giant line against purple or blue, people! I submitted that paperwork a few days ago and still haven't received a reply. When calling today to ask if they even received it, I was told, "The only person who can help you is your rep, and if it's not broke, then don't fix it." I'm not sure what qualifies as 'not broke' about a couple hundred books I can't sell with an author signing coming up and no product for it.
Thanks for nothing.
A  28th of Mar, 2014 by    0 Votes
It's run like a Soviet government administration, and the online dashboard is not much better, but they do deliver.
A  28th of Mar, 2014 by    0 Votes
It's run like a Soviet government administrative department, and their online dashboard is not much better, but they do deliver. Unlike Amazon and many others that try to whack as much money out of your pockets as possible yet make you work for it yourself, these people don't seem to care too much about money. Just that you will only get instructions and vague information about the procedures and requirements after you started the process, and get overviews that are confusing at best.
N  3rd of Apr, 2015 by    0 Votes
LSI rarely does their remittance on time and when you need to contact your account reps they are always out of the office for 1-2 weeks!
N  27th of Jan, 2017 by    0 Votes
@Arizona39 You are lucky, now they use a faceless persona for the purposes of exculpability. So you wont even have a rep with any kind of name, so nobody in the company actually wrote to you.
N  27th of Jan, 2017 by    0 Votes
@Arizona39 That company once tried to sell itself to Barnes and Nobles apparently, and then backed off. So now they don't pay commissions(?) and may be they are financially strapped and using publishers and authors funds to finance themselves. Publishers would do well to avoid Lightning Source. Just dont do business with them.
D  12th of May, 2015 by    -1 Votes
I also think that their customer service has sunk to an all low point. I had been a client of theirs for years but lately they have no sense of customer service. In the past they given me an account rep with whom I could talk. Now there is not account rep. In my last (and probably final) book with them) they first insisted that I go through their complicated instructions for creating a front, back, and sine for my cover as one total file and refused to have me send them these three parts seperately.. Then I ordered 16 copies of my book last Wednesday because I needed them for Thursday of the following week. Now it is Tuesday (almost 7 days since I placed the order) and they HAVEN'T EVEN PRINTED THEM YET! This is the worst customer service ever. The man I spoke to at LSI had no sympathy for me, simply saying if I wanted the order sooner I should have clicked on priority shipment. Don't use LSI ever.
N  27th of Jan, 2017 by    0 Votes
@Tom Mach I agree wholeheartedly. Dont ever use LSI.
D  26th of May, 2015 by    +1 Votes
the worst company to work for, they treat their employees like slaves. Changing their work schedule like the way they want to like people have no family OR LIFE, never can make no plans, because every week is always something .
On 2008 they laid off all good American employees after that they hired all this ### kisser Egyptian people that they have no life and work 24/7 if they let them .
N  18th of Sep, 2015 by    0 Votes
Here's a little update / thread for ya!

My email to LSI:
1). There was a ten day delay on my uploaded files. I submitted materials on the 8th, did not receive notification until the 18th. What was the delay?
2). The first price listed for 200 copies of this book were 1.86 each. Today they are 2.87 each. What happened in two weeks to double the price? I invoiced out at 1.86 now I have to eat $200 dollars?

Response: Please, contact the Client Service at 800 509 4156.

My next email: And one last thing. I specifically noted in my Instructions that I did not want a proof as well as selecting the 'No' option in the window. Why did I just get an invoice for a proof??? Please see our card on file has been charge and act accordingly.

As a business owner myself, I need to know when my representatives or work is subpar. My livelihood depends on finding errors or misconceptions and fixing them. Working with LSI has become more and more difficult each year. Problems, complaints and instructions seem to be ignored. In a nutshell, you can and have, made my work subpar. Unexplained delays, unanswered emails from the production end... all of this affects my client's perception of my work.

What is the company prepared to do to address these issues? I really would like for this email to be addressed by someone (if not you) that can answer that question. Competition is too thick to be complacent, for my industry and yours.

Reponse: I forwarded your email to the management team of Client Service and they will respond to you. (Still waiting...)

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