Poe’s Point > A Peek into the Madness of Mattycollector’s Return Policy

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.

Adding this image and link so that it shows up in search results for DR.

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.


Wind Raider review addendum – missing guns


Pic of the Day > P1030893 by kafka4prez


  1. Magneto76

    I’ve had so many problems with Matty since September. First off when my card was declined due to bein canceled I called matty to fix my sub and in their utter brilliance instead of reactivating my sub they started a duplicate sub. That move caused me to receive duplicate orders for the last few months. So i then had to start the ridiculous process of returning items. I would send back the item, wait for 2 weeks then called them. They’re second brilliant move was to only refund the price of the products, not the shipping charges. So more phone calls and more headaches from the poor excuse of customer service. Everytime i called them i tried to get the multiple sub canceled. The response was always the same “we’ll issue you a ticket and you should receive it in 24 to 72 hrs” I NEVER got a single ticket/email from them. It was extremely frustrating when i got my November shipments…4 Swiftwind and 4 Snout Spout at the price of $123 a box. I did as DR said and “refused” the package at the PO. I was told it was the only way to not pay for shipping. That took another 3 weeks to get back to them. I finally received my refund today – minus the shipping charge I was billed when they sent it to me. So i called DR again and got them to initiate the refund for the missing $14. And now i’m waiting to see if they can cancel the duplicate sub before Demo-man arrives. The only reason i’m still dealing with them is because it’s a new year and the old subs should all be gone. I have never had so many problems with a major retail company before. Kudos to you Poe for getting on their ass…. Come to think of it i have no idea if my Windraider has it’s guns. When i get out of the hospital i’ll have to check.

  2. Southzen

    I hate the thought of leaving MOTUC after hanging in hoping that the obvious lies of 'things are being improved" (lets face it, I'm a Hasbro apologist and used to truthfulness behind their statements). ToyGuru making up his own 'more powerful than he-man character' and shoe horning himself in the line made me wince. Swiftwing wore me thiner; then the "shipping delay" (still no shipping confirmation here either Poe). I'm beginning to wish I had left He-man in the 80's. I owe Cobra Commander some apologies for buying into Skeletor's ponzie scheme instead of his.

  3. Braystreet

    I apologize if this has been covered or not, but are the guns removable? They look like the slots are fitted so that friction keeps them in, but I haven't seen anyone say one way or another.

    If they are removable, couldn't they simply ship them to you, since you can prove that you own the set in the first place? I understand shipping a whole new unit when the flaw isn't fixable with a replacement part, such as the anecdote above that someone posted about Roboto's chest, but they could ship you the guns in a plain white letter envelope without spending five dollars total.

    • The_Fun_has_been_Doubled

      They don't have replacement parts to send. They have to send a whole new Item. Or at least that was the way things were back when Scareglows were missing their little keys. Or for something more Recent, Bows without the Heart chest piece.
      I wonder if this new complicated replacement/exchange issue is just related to the larger items and not the figures.

    • I don't think they're supposed to be removable, but not having owned a correct Wind Raider I can't say for sure.

      As for shipping just the replacement parts, that's pretty rare these days–very few companies will do that. However, I've heard rumors that in the case of Swift Wind (and perhaps the Wind Raider), the returned items are actually being repaired/corrected and then repackaged and shipped back out as replacements.

    • Dark Angel

      I just checekd mine for you. No, they are not removable from the outside. The main body of the WR – the green part – is essentially a two-part shell that is screwed together. presumably, these small guns (made of soft, pliable plastic, BTW) are fitted through from the inside prior to assembling the halves. Or, in Poe's case, not.

  4. dean

    Why don't we see many comments like these at the Fwoosh or AFI? Oh, right…

  5. dean

    My name is dean and I have problem. The first step is to admit you have a problem.

    I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more.

    Muck Fattel!

  6. Enigma_2099

    I'd sympathize with you guys, but you KEEP GIVING THEM YOUR MONEY. And that makes it hard to do….

    • dean

      Sad, but too true.

    • Braystreet

      You've never continued to buy from a company after having a bad experience? I notice you're named in the same manner as Marvel's 2099 experiment with future versions of their flagship characters. How on Earth did you manage to avoid ever reading absolutely anything to do with House of M?

      Granted, some bad issues here and there and entirely missing pieces on a fifty-five dollar thing are a different beast. Not to mention throwing poop in Poe's face like some sort of rabid monkey-man-donkey, but I doubt that Marvel could ever do anything to stop you from ever reading their products again, even if they treated you in a similar manner. Why? Because they're you're only source for interacting with your beloved characters, that you've grown up with and even if sometimes they're made unrecognizable through temporary or permanent changes, it is still the only source of it.

      Granted, that's not entirely true in Marvel's case, you've got the films, animation, and Hasbro, but imagine that it were.

      This is it for Masters of the Universe, the only source for anything relating to them. They've got no monthly comics, no big screen adaptations, they've got a crappy deal from a crappy company that charges too much, spends too little, and actively hates the fanbase, but this is it for them.

      You can't judge them for not cutting them off. Could you kill a childhood friend? Could you kill a childhood friend over three dollars or crappy customer service?

    • Enigma_2099


    • Enigma_2099

      The 2099 is a homage to Miguel O'Hara, thankyouverymuch… And if something doesn't interest you, you don't buy it. Hence why I currently don't buy any Spider-Man comics.

      Wait, we're talking about MattyCollector… how the hell did you drag Marvel into this? What, can't come up with enough good things to say about them or something?

      Who's judging? I just said it's hard to sympathize. And that last analogy… what the f***, dude. That doesn't even dignify a response. It doesn't even remotely begin to make sense.

      I'll just end with this…

      "Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it"

      Winston Churchill

  7. Billy Brown

    That is some piss poor customer service. I can't believe that in this day and age they won't simply email you with a packing slip. I recently had a great disappointment thanks to Mattel as well. I have been collecting DCUC figures for a while now and never had too bad of problems with QC so I never saw what everyone was fussing about; until recently that is. I got the entire set of wave 17 figures and Catman from the Batman: Legacy line as a reward to myself for surviving my first semester as both a full time student and full time employee and getting two A's in the process. Catman won't stand, Blue Lantern Flash and the Atom both have to stand oddly, and Lex Luthor's torso is so loose he may as well be a bobblehead. That's 4/8 figures with massive problems and if I'm not mistaken White Lantern Hal Jordan had some too. 50% is not a very good satisfaction percentage. It makes me weary of getting any of the new figures they're going to release that I have been looking forward to. Then again, it's not like there is anywhere else that I can get my DC action figure fix as easily either.

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