Vistaprint’s CEO and Founder Trynka Shineman and Robert Keane released a long statement yesterday apologizing for the mix-up that made headlines last month in which anti-gay religious pamphlets were sent to a gay couple instead of the wedding programs they had ordered.
Shineman and Keane first apologized and released an explanation of how the error occurred:
Thank you for your patience as we have been working to investigate the recent incident surrounding the incorrect delivery that was made to one of our customers. We want to reiterate how sorry we are for the pain this caused Andrew and Stephen, and anyone else who has been hurt by this event. We would never intentionally cause any of our customers or partners harm, and we have never been more disappointed to let a customer down.
We want to provide an update on our completed internal investigation. In short, our investigation revealed that this was an unintentional order mix up at one of our third-party partners, not a targeted act by an employee or partner. Two separate orders were printed simultaneously, placed in separate boxes, sealed, and then after sealing were unfortunately mislabeled. Our findings determined that this incident was due to human error, and was without malicious intent or even knowledge that it had occurred. While a fulfillment error like this happens in a minute fraction of customer orders, there is room for improvement and we are working with our partner to make changes. Ultimately, we are responsible for this error and feel strongly that we should be the ones to take accountability for the mistake, and for creating a better experience for our customers.
We would also like to clarify that the content our customers received in error was not hate speech, as it has been characterized. It was a flyer for a religious program, with no references that single out any group or organization.
We have reiterated to Andrew and Stephen how sorry we are about this event and discussed what we, in partnership, can do to help use this incident as an opportunity to make a positive impact on important LGBTQ issues. Andrew and Stephen join us in expressing a desire to move forward and turn this into a positive opportunity for the LGBTQ community and shared the following comments:
“This has been an incredibly difficult experience for both of us. After we filed our case, Vistaprint engaged us in a dialogue and invited us to their offices to apologize and share the results of their investigation. We have always wanted to use this as an opportunity to create greater understanding and acceptance of the LGBTQ community. We’ve accepted Vistaprint’s apology, and will work with them to select U.S. and Australian-based organizations that they will be making donations to in order to further achieve this mission.”
They also said they are taking steps to make amends and show that they support the LGBTQ community:
Vistaprint will make three donations in partnership with Andrew and Stephen to organizations that support LGBTQ causes, two to organizations from the U.S. and one from Australia. One of these organizations is GLSEN, the leading educational organization working on LGBTQ issues in K-12 schools in the U.S. As part of this donation, Vistaprint will create an engagement program with GLSEN, spearheaded by the senior leadership team and our Vistaprint Pride group.
They also said that they’ll form an internal diversity program to open a dialogue with employees about how to best implement policies of equality internally and externally.
They said they’ll also conduct an internal policy review:
We are committed to providing all of our employees with equal opportunities and benefits and took this opportunity to re-look at our policies. To that end, we have committed to participating in the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index for 2019, to ensure we meet the national benchmarks on corporate policies and practices. We are also evaluating our global policies with a focus on meeting the same standards.