So, here’s an update on my Wind Raider situation.
The long-suffering Dr. Mrs. Ghostal, who ordered my Wind Raider using her own account as as Christmas gift, had to call Digital River to request a replacement. DMG hates making cold calls to anyone, so we were already in a bad place.
We bypassed the standard customer service and called the Escalation Department directly. This probably saved us three to five business days of bureaucratic runaround, but both DMG and I suspect Digital River will soon close down this backdoor and require a ticket number from customer service before allowing someone to talk to the Escalation Dept. This would support what we now believe is an unofficial policy to try to make getting replacements so difficult as to cause the customer to give up entirely.
I had read that the Escalation Dept. often sent out a replacement without asking for a return, but in this case we were asked to box up the Wind Raider and send it back. Here’s where it gets even more frustrating. Rather than simply emailing us a UPS label to stick on the box–or even letting us just bring the damned box to a UPS store–we have to give the box to a UPS delivery person, who will have the label. The UPS person will apparently arrive sometime during business hours in the next three days.
I ask you, who in the 21st century can just sit around at home for three days in case UPS comes by? That’s crazy. Crazy. Even the goddamned cable guy gives you a four-hour window. But more importantly, why the hell am I handing this package to a UPS person at my own home instead of printing the damned label myself?!
When my wife asked about this bizarre policy, the guy told her “this is how we do it,” and that the only other option is to pay for shipping ourselves. Yeah, we’re not gonna do that, thanks. We’re also not going to wait around for the UPS person. We’re just going to leave the box with a note by our apartment door and hope the UPS person figures it out.
Incidentally, once the item has been picked up by UPS, we’re supposed to call customer service back and tell them it’s been picked up. At that point, they’ll supposedly mail the replacement Wind Raider (which I fully expect will have some other sort of problem, be it poor sticker applications or a bent anchor or whatever).
I generally try not to be too cynical about this world, but such an asinine protocol appears deliberately designed to make it as difficult as possible to return a defective item and get a replacement. It contrasts sharply with my wife’s experience with Macy’s recently. She ordered a special mug for her mother for Christmas. The mug came had a crack, so she emailed them asking for a replacement. Here’s what they did: they sent her a replacement mug with a personal email saying they hoped her mother liked the mug–AND they refunded her money. They refunded her money.
Longtime readers of PGPoA will know I’m a fickle bastard and I go through fads. Well, right now I’m not really into MOTUC as much–hence the distinct lack of reviews–and between this, the ongoing QC issues, and the fact that I haven’t even received a shipping notice for my sub Demo-Man/BG Evil-Lyn, if I could cancel my subscriptions to Club Eternia, the 30th Anniversary sub and Club IE, I would.
Full disclosure and mea culpa: When I was more into–or rather obsessed with–MOTUC, I was too willing to be patient with all the Mattycollector crashes, shipping delays, terrible customer service and endless QC problems. I wouldn’t say I was an apologist, but I didn’t get on Mattel’s case as much as I should have.
Now that that era is over. No longer, Mattel. And I know there are fans who hit their breaking point way before I did.