I have used West Coast Imaging for quite a while to supplement my own printing capabilities - basically to make prints larger than what I can produce in-house. Their work was always first class. And they carry my primary paper, which few other print shops offer.
Last week I placed an order for a 20x30 print for one of my collectors. I received a call the next day from WCI indicating that they now have a minimum order fee of $250. They suggested that I re-place the order through their sister business that offers lower-end printing, but that company does not carry my paper (this piece is the centerpiece of a very large client order and I want maintain the same paper for all prints that I am delivering).
This was really disappointing to me because there was a certain level of comfort knowing that I could always count on them to deliver a print that meets my quality standards, and that they use the same print technology and paper that I use - so it is easy to predict what they will provide without having to do a series of test prints.
But mostly I am disappointed that WCI doesn't seem to value photographers like me who may not feed them high volumes of work, but do rely on them to rely on them as a supplement for my business. I realize it all comes down to maximizing profit for them but it is still disappointing.
So now I need to quickly find a new print shop that uses Epson printers. Who else is out there that would be on par with the work that WCI does?