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Oracal says....Laminate reflective vinyl

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by DesireeM, Mar 7, 2014.

  1. DesireeM

    DesireeM Member

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    One of my customers is a cab company. We consistently cut reflective vinyl decals for him over the last couple of years. Most of the time they are white-reflective. For simplicity's sake we buy Oracal 5600 reflective white vinyl because it is printable and fleet vehicle grade and since we print a lot of reflective as well it serves both purposes.

    So the customer comes to me with some photos and says that the reflective decals he has that are approx 1year old are losing their reflective finish. Oracal advertises this product as a 7YR product! So I ask him if they've used a pressure washer or car wash and he says of course not...I know he knows better because we do a lot of half wraps and perforated vinyl for the cabs as well...he's well aware of proper decal care and maintenance because he deals with us so frequently.

    So I get in touch with Oracal and after answering a lot of questions via email I get a call from a rep. We discuss the situation and the photos and he defaults to some very convenient assumptions...one being that although the customer claims he didn't power wash the decals he doesn't believe that. I explain to him that this customer knows better and why so he tells me that it's because I didn't laminate the reflective vinyl.....so I tell him that the product specs never mention that 7yr durability is contingent upon lamination. It actually doesn't mention laminating anywhere....he tells me that it doesn't say that because it's obvious and common knowledge. That I'm one of the first people to ever NOT know that. He even asked if I print on it and I said "sometimes" and he said "And do you laminate it...? Not trying to be an ******* but that's obvious too isn't it?" I have never laminated anything that wasn't printed.

    Is it common knowledge to laminate reflective vinyl or is he b.s-ing?
     
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  2. synergy_jim

    synergy_jim Very Active Member

    We laminate every single thing we print on vinyl.… Including reflective.
     
  3. Kentucky Wraps

    Kentucky Wraps Kentucky Wraps

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    Laminating non printed...optional and not a common sense issue.
    Laminating printed reflective...is a common sense issue.
    Reporting that sales rep to a supervisor for being offensive and insulting...common sense issue.
     
  4. Commando

    Commando Member

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    I use 3m transparent control tac for all my print jobs but I have NEVER heard laminating cut decals.
    As with the life expectancy, there are more factors involved than just power washing. For instance the sun will dull a reflective sheeting rather quickly(I have been to ATTSA shows lol).
    From my experience Ora refl sheeting sucks anyways. Go 3M! Nikkolite isn't bad either. Never printed on it but very easy to weed!
     
  5. DesireeM

    DesireeM Member

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    So do we. The point was that these decals weren't printed and he still says that it was common sense that we should have laminated them and that's the reason they failed.
     
  6. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    I call B.S., and if not they need to put a disclaimer on all their regular vinyls as well if lamination is a requirement.

    I've never laminated any non-printed vinyl including Oracal 5600 which I haven't ever had any issues with.
    In fact, I have a fleet of plumbing vans rolling around with blue and red reflective going on 4 years now that still looks wonderful.

    *Now the other issue, is that your customer may be lying or is mis-informed about not power washing.
    Sure, he can say that, but does he personally witness every car being washed?
     
  7. DesireeM

    DesireeM Member

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    And I told him I understood that there are a lot of factors that can cause vinyl to fail. I'd understand if they failed after maybe 4 or 5 years because the product says it's supposed to last for 7yrs.... but when it only lasts 1 year? That's a pretty big gap. That's when he said it's because I didn't laminate them....
     
  8. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    No matter what manufacturer writes in their warranties or guarantees.... if it doesn't spell it out exactly, there is no common sense clause anywhere to hold against you in case of.......... anything.

    In all my years in our shop and any other shop I've ever dealt with, have I ever heard of laminating cast, reflective, translucent, calendared or any other kinda die-cut vinyl, except for certain gold leaf products.... and then an edge seal is considered adequate by the manufacturers..... in their own words.

    Regardless if a vinyl is 5 year..... 7 year or 10 year..... the inks are only gonna last a few years... and some extra when proper rigid laminates are applied. The only time die-cut has been cleared over is when it was gonna be cleared with automotive clear for motorcycle tanks or special paint vinyl combo jobs, but that was liquid.


    I'd ask for that guy and request a 3-way with him and his boss as to what is company policy or not. Common sense or written instructions/policies.
     
  9. DesireeM

    DesireeM Member

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    My customer is the fleet manager so he is the one that delegates where and how the vehicles are washed. He probably doesn't watch each car but like I said before....we do a lot of cab advertising wraps, perforated, decals for this guy. We have a pretty close, easy relationship with him and he knows he isn't supposed to power wash. It's something we've discussed. Could he be lying though? Yes I supposed he could. Even still..... it's 1yr vs 7yrs....that's a really big gap - power washed or not. I think 7 years of hand and hose washing would be more wear than 1yr power washing. Here's a pic of some of the worn out decals...notice only the top part is worn? Not all of them are worn just on the top though. This one is on the front fender.
     

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  10. graphicwarning

    graphicwarning Member

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    Just out of shear curiosity and playing devils advocate for a moment... is it on more than one car and more than one location on the vehicle? I ask... because if it was one car, and on the fender location (only at the top as pictured), would it possible that someone possibly doing some mechanics work under the hood spilled some sort of chemicals on it that would cause it degrade?
     
  11. DesireeM

    DesireeM Member

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    I wish...that would be an easy way to explain it. But no...the worn decals are on either side and the rear of multiple vehicles in different locations. Basically wherever they fit on each vehicle.
     
  12. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Okay, thanks for the picture.

    That's almost just like a problem we're having with the 5600 reflective with no printing on it also and it's only been a year or two. However, ours are even discoloring and we don't use the wet method at all. I forgot all about this ordeal, until your picture. I'm gonna get back into it again.

    I've been back and forth and now your story is starting to sound familiar, except they said nothing about laminating to me. They're telling me they want proof and they will ship material. As I am fully aware they watch this site, I am demanding labor costs also. Their product is failing for no reason of mine... and I have to strip the old cruisers and re-letter them. I will be offering 1/2 my labor costs, unless they balk, then I'll go for the jugular. I'm tired of getting bashed in the teeth for someone else's failure. I have another one like that... going on with a rather large distributor, which if I can't settle it on my own, I will be airing my dirty laundry with them soon right here. I was just on the phone with them this morning and got nowhere. Every person bounces me to the next person and I hafta repeat my story and claim over and over and over and over... and I'm getting tired of it.

    DesireeM, I might be in touch with you and we can start a group action/effort.... if these things aren't settled properly and honestly. We'll get others involved who can prove to us their problems and act as one big class action.
     
  13. DesireeM

    DesireeM Member

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    Gino, that's terrible! My supplier put me in contact with them so I didn't have to chase them too much.

    They are shipping me a roll of the 5600 which I accepted only because I'll have to replace all these cab decals at some point but I told him it doesn't change the fact that his product just doubled in price if I have to laminate it every time. I guess it's better than nothing. He asked me what I was hoping to achieve or get out of all of this and I said I don't want more vinyl. I just want a reason that it failed that makes sense. Some sort of closure which I did not get. Instead I got ********. It would have been better if he had acknowledged their failure to inform the customer of the proper use of their product...some acknowledgment of their fault would have been better than the crap he tried to feed me. Trying to make me think I just didn't know any better....
    I've asked my supplier if they can get me in touch with someone higher up than the rep I spoke to because I want to see if they are willing to back up his story about laminating being common knowledge... If they stand by that fact I believe they would be liable for misleading people by not stating that in the product specs.

    Can you imagine if they had to reimburse everyone for the labor and material costs of this product because it doesn't do what they claim?
    I'll try to keep you updated if I get any further with this.
     
  14. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

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    someone's blowing smoke up your bum.
    you should never have to laminate stock colors.

    thanks for the heads-up tho'. I've only ever used oracal's white reflective, no issues here but I always/only laminate when I print on it.
     
  15. phototec

    phototec Very Active Member

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    WOW- seeing that photo, it doesn't look like power washing at all, more like PRODUCT FAILURE!

    Get with Gino and go after them big time...

    First it was the magnetic sheets failing now reflective, I think all these manufactures are re-formulating their processes to SAVE money, and the end result is PRODUCT FALURE!!!

    Ban together and don't take S__T from them anymore, I can hear the rattle of the pitch forks and muskets now.....
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 7, 2014
  16. FatCat

    FatCat Very Active Member

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    Unfortunately, I'm not surprised someone else isn't getting back to you from Oracal. I had a problem recently with a roll of their 3751 wrap vinyl and it was apparent there was an issue with the roll because colors wouldn't lay down consistently, blotchy streaks, etc. I did get credit for the roll and they did send me a sample 10 yd. roll to try because of my troubles, but nobody ever bothered to reply what was the cause. I keep hearing more and more issues with Oracal's quality and makes me wonder what has changed, they've always been rock solid.
     
  17. mpn

    mpn Active Member

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    Ok, maybe not a mechanic spill, but how about the covers they put over the fenders to lean on? Maybe worn out and is wearing on the vinyl? (shot in the dark?)
     
  18. gabagoo

    gabagoo Major Contributor

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    In the picture it looks like I can actually see the blue of the car through the areas of damage. That's too weird. I have had issues years ago with a brand of reflective that had what looked like mould getting in through the top layer of clear and the colour. I believe that may have been caused by the acid used in no touch car washes, but never really got an explanation
     
  19. graphicwarning

    graphicwarning Member

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    I have been a hardcore Oracal fan for years, and I try not to use anything but Oracal. But lately I have been having more and more problems... contaminated rolls, crushed cores, dirt under the laminate right off the roll, and even sections of missing adhesive on vinyl. I'm loyal, but I'm starting to think I should be asking some questions...
     
  20. DesireeM

    DesireeM Member

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    Maybe but then what's the reason for the failure on the decals on other parts of the car?
    Here's another photo. It's of the trunk area. The "11" is the issue. The "0" is a newer decal because it had peeled off from dirt under the vinyl - that's why it doesn't look like the "1's". The rest of them are newer as well because he had recently replaced them after they lost so much of their reflective properties.
     

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