I went back and forth on whether to post this, because the anti-Mattel ranting and general negativity around here lately has, well, made running this blog not very enjoyable as of late. But then I remembered part of my original mission statement for this blog (in my head, anyway) was to provide commentary on aspects of the industry that don’t show up on the news sites and so forth. And so, as the Joker might say, here…we…go.
As I wrote about last week, I had a bizarre experience with Mattycollector. Well, on Saturday–which was a very crappy day for me in general for reasons that were not toy-related*–I received an email from Mattycollector informing me my subscription had been renewed and charging me another $50 for the two subs and shipping (the other sub is for a friend). Fortunately both extra Teelas have already been claimed by friends, but I’d much rather have not had to deal with the whole thing at all.
When the whole thing first went down on Thursday, I sent an email to Mattycollector customer service explaining what had happened. Basically, I wanted to make sure my subs hadn’t been canceled and would still be in effect for Scare Glow next month. Here is the text of the email I sent.
Back in May 2009, I ordered the 2009 MOTU Subscription under this order number (I ordered 2 subscriptions). I received my Webstor figures last month as planned and everything went fine.
This month, I received a message that my 2009 subscription had a subscription renewal failure due to a credit card authorization failure.
I quickly ordered two Teela figures in case the issue couldn’t be resolved, with the order number of 4427***.
Then I contacted customer service. They informed me that the October sub orders HAD gone through, with order number 8712***. Since the 4427*** order was already in process, I had the CS associate cancel the 8712*** order.
However, in looking at my order history now, it appears that my 2009 subscription orders are listed as “Order Complete,” unlike my 2010 Subscription Order, which says “In Process.”
My question is this: is my 2009 Subscriptions Order, under the original order ID of 6704***, still active, and will I receive the November and December subscription figures as planned?
Or will I have to go to Mattycollector.com and order those figures myself, because the subscription has been canceled?
My preference is for the subscription to stay the same. I’m also concerned about my 2010 Subscription order (Order Number: 6083***).
Pedantic, nerdy, and confusing? Yes. But I think I could reasonably expect them to figure out what I was talking about.
Here is the answer I received Sunday. I haven’t changed anything about the spelling, wording, punctuation, formatting, or patronizing links to third-party websites.
Thank you for contacting the MattyCollector.com online store.
Please be advice if you are using firewall make sure it is turned off
A cookie is a small file written to your hard drive by some web sites. We require that a cookie be set on your computer so you may access our secure server for processing your credit card transaction, downloading your software, and checking your shippable order status information.
For information on setting your browser to accept cookies, please visit:
I don’t care who’s responsible for this–Mattel, Digital River, or whoever the hell Digital River is outsourcing their CS too. It’s unacceptable. Call me an idealist, but I expect a modicum of professionalism, including proper English, from the customer service of an American corporation, or one working for a large American corporation.
More to the point, the response has nothing to do with the problem, since I didn’t physically make the subscription order–it was an automatic renewal. More importantly, the subscription went through fine last month for Webstor. My browser’s cookies didn’t have a damned thing to do with it.
Look, lots of other bloggers would engage in a frothing, profanity-filled rant in this situation. That’s not my style, and I think such rants make it easy to discount the author as a crank. So I’m just going to tell Mattel calmly and clearly: the customer service on Mattycollector is inexcusably bad and needs to be overhauled immediately. Mattel should be embarrassed by this situation, not standoffish with collectors in their Q&As.
*In fact, the one bright spot of that day was finding a MOC Toynami Thundarr the Barbarian figure for $15 at Comicazi in Arlington, MA…just minutes before my car’s alternator died.