Friday, June 19, 2009

Customer service times three

I recently placed an order with Dave and Adam’s Card World that present four different opportunities for customer service from three different companies.  What went wrong and how did things get resolved?  Keep reading and find out.  I know this isn’t a post specifically about cards, but in this day and age when a lot of people have limited budgets for collecting, it’s good to know that if something goes wrong, someone is going to have your back and make things right.

The first problem that I came across was being shipped the wrong type of card holder from D&A.  Things started off a little wobbly and I’m pretty sure that the problem was compounded by the fact that I have the most inept UPS driver in the world delivering to my house.  The main problem to me in this situation to start things off was I wasn’t given a lot of information and that led me to feel that effort wasn’t being put into correcting the situation.

At one point, I got pretty fed up and sent an e-mail stating so and that’s when David from the premier account department contacted me and things got straightened out right away.  David went above and beyond and changed my mindset from being wary of placing another order there to eagerly awaiting the moment that I’m able to afford placing another order and giving them another chance.

Customer Service Grade: A

The next two customer service opportunities presented themselves when I opened two of the Upper Deck boxes from my order.  My 2008-09 Basketball box didn’t come with an autograph (on average).  My 2009 Series 1 Baseball had four packs that only contained 10 cards and was missing an autograph and a dual patch memorabilia card (on average).

I had opened the baseball box first and sent an e-mail right after opening it.  I sent another e-mail after opening the basketball box.  I was given a case number, which I thought was for the baseball box, and was told what I had to send in to Upper Deck.  I included the required items from both boxes along with a letter explaining the situation.

Yesterday I got a package in the mail from Upper Deck which included a Udonis Haslim autograph from 2005-06 SP Authentic and a pack of 2007-08 First Edition.  It’s a nice, on-card autograph that Haslim signed with his jersey number.  This was a perfect way to handle my getting shorted in the basketball box.  The only problem is that there was no sign of replacement baseball cards.  To me, that was the bigger issue since I was missing 40 cards including 2 out of the 3 hits that you’re supposed to get in a box.  I sent an e-mail to Upper Deck’s customer service asking if the baseball cards were coming in a later shipment or not, but I haven’t heard anything from them.

Customer Service Grade: Inc (B+ for basketball portion)

The final customer service opportunity involved the Dwayne Wade autographed mini that I’ve written about here previously.  I would have loved to add the card to my collection, but you couldn’t even really call it a Dwayne Wade autograph due to the shape that the autograph was in.

I started my correspondence with Topps via e-mail and wanted to see what the exchange process would entail since I was wary about sending this card away.  As far as I know, most of my communication was with Danny and he was great.

First, I found out that Topps did not have an exact replacement for this card.  I had a feeling that would be the case and so I wanted to find out what would happen if I sent the card in.  My worst fear was that I would be sent a Dwayne Wade autograph from this year’s Topps Signature and that wouldn’t be acceptable at all.

Through continued communication, I found out that Topps has a department where they determine what a card is valued at and send appropriate substitutions.  I wondered if I could talk to this department and was told to call Topps.  I got Danny on the phone and he went over what he thought some of the options might be if I were sent unopened wax as a replacement.  I had to stress that I didn’t want to be sent Triple Threads which seemed to surprise Danny because “most people ask for that.”

The package arrived on Wednesday via UPS, but I wasn’t around to receive it and so I didn’t get it until yesterday.  As a replacement for my Dwayne Wade autographed mini, I was sent a 2005-06 Topps Style ‘52 Dwayne Wade autographed Comic Card that was numbered to 49.  I was also sent a box of 2007-08 Bowman Sterling.

There’s no telling exactly how much the Wade card that was damaged would have been worth.  Topps goes by book value, but the card was too scarce to be listed in Beckett.  Since it was a tough pull out of a one-per-case rip card, Topps seemed to agree with me that the card was potentially very valuable.

I can easily say that Topps went above and beyond on this replacement.  The autographed card recently sold for $20 on eBay, but I just wanted to come out of this with a Wade auto and Topps granted that request.  The Bowman Sterling box blew me away.  This box sells for around $175 - $200 and if the rookie class that year had been better, it would be a $300 box.

Customer Service Grade: A+

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