Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Revisiting Poor Topps Customer Service

NickYoungRipI forget if I ever posted about this way back when it first happened, but reading Mojo’s Christmas Tragedy post got me thinking about this again. A few years ago now, I busted a box of 2008-09 Topps Basketball jumbo packs. Out of those packs came this Nick Young rip card. Since this was a card of Nick Young, it made the decision of whether or not to rip it very easy to make.

This was actually the second year in a row that I had pulled a rip card from a jumbo box of Topps basketball and I was hoping for better luck than the previous year’s Smush Parker red autograph.  Pulling a red autograph was cool since they’re limited to something around 10 or 25 copies, but it could have been of a better player.


So, I ripped the little tab down the length of the card and took a little peak.  Any basketball fan knows who wears number 3 for the Miami Heat and that player is Dwyane Wade.  I also saw a little bit of silver that got me excited.

After my little peek, I carefully pried open the rest of the rip card to free the Wade card that was inside.  Once I saw what was inside, I was rather distraught. What I found inside wasn’t really anything to be excited about.


This is a mini card, so it was tough to get a large scan of it, but I’ll describe what was wrong with the card.  There was a fingerprint smudge in the autograph which would have come in handy if I were trying to prove Mr. Wade broke into my house, but it doesn’t look good on an autographed card at all.  Second, some of the silver ink from the autograph got rubbed off on the inside of the rip card.  It was a very bad looking version of what should have been a beautiful card.

So, I contacted Topps Customer Support and after exchanging a few frustrating emails, gave them a call. I asked what they could offer me and they mentioned a few 2007-08 boxes (which at the time were collecting dust due to the injury to Oden and lack of Durant autos).  They gave me the choice of one box of product and I went with 2007-08 Bowman Sterling and passed on Triple Threads.

I had and still have a feeling that this card was a 1/1.  No one at Topps could verify what the print run was on the card.  I asked for more than what they were offering, but they told me that it was the wax box or nothing. When I sent the card in, I requested another Wade auto along with the box and they did oblige, but it was an ugly card of a drawing of Wade.

In all this time, I’ve yet to see another of this card or even another card of another player similar to this one. I knew that Topps was screwing me by not giving me more, but I didn’t have a choice with the “this or nothing” ultimatum that they were issuing.

Yes, I did get a box of Bowman Sterling which an interesting break since you get a ton of jersey cards and a couple of autos, but there really isn’t much value in the product. I did get a Wade auto, but they sent the ugliest card possible. They weren’t even willing to listen to me when I suggested that they were undervaluing the card that I had gotten in damaged condition.

The reason that I bring any of this up again is because of the current disaster that is Topps Customer service. I sent in a David Ortiz card with an upside down autograph sticker and got back… a David Ortiz card with an upside down autograph sticker.  Mojo sent in his damaged card and got another damaged card in return. Topps admitted on Twitter that they are completely overwhelmed due to this year’s quality control issues.

Damaged cards and redemption cards are sucking the fun out of the hobby. When you open packs of cards, everything that you are supposed to get should be there and it should be in good condition. You shouldn’t have to wait months for a card to possibly get produced or have to pay money to get a damaged card replaced.  When this does happen, card companies should do a little more to make it up to you.

Ok, rant time is over. I now return you to your regularly scheduled broadcast.

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