I can understand any collector wanting the cards that Upper Deck released to still exist because they did make some nice looking cards, but any company can do that with the right graphic designers and attitude towards cards. I’m wondering how many people who rave about Upper Deck have actually dealt with the company itself?
Back when it was a new product, I opened a box of 2008 Timelines. Unhappy with the ridiculous cards with the huge roller marks down the middle, I sent them in to be replaced. I didn’t get the replacement cards back until June 2009 after contacting them 5 or 6 times about the delay.
In May 2009, I opened two ridiculous boxes of Upper Deck. My basketball box shorted me a hit and the baseball box shorted me two hits and 4 of the packs only contained 10 cards instead of the 20 that are supposed to come in a pack. I sent emails that went unanswered. I got the attention of Chris Carlin via the Upper Deck Facebook page and finally got sent the basketball card that I was shorted. I continued contacting Upper Deck and then finally in January of 2010, I got some packs of series 1 and series 2 as replacements.
I submitted 7 “in stock” redemption cards from my Basketball Draft Edition case on New Year’s Eve. It is now March 2nd and the cards haven’t even been shipped yet. From what I’ve read online, in stock redemption cards are taking around 3 months to be redeemed.
I pulled a redemption card for a Michael Johnson autographed card that was never produced about 18 months after the release of the product. Even though it had been that long and the card still didn’t exist, I still had to wait 45 days before I could file a claim to have that card replaced with something else. Once I filed that claim, I was told that it would be 6-8 weeks until the card was shipped out. So, sometime in June I will most likely get some ugly card with no picture and a sticker auto from World of Sports that doesn’t come close to what the Michael Johnson auto should have been.
Last, but certainly not least, is my current experience in regards to the expired Ken Griffey Jr autographed box topper which is a case hit. I also pulled three other expired redemption cards for Stroke of Genius cards, but those don’t really bother me. I sent an email to Upper Deck about the expired redemptions stating that they were from 2007 Masterpieces and got the following reply:
Dear Valued Customer,
Please send us the following info so we can create a case for you to send in your expired redemption card:
***Please note that all expired redemptions are handled on a case by case basis. Not all expired redemptions will be accepted***
Upper Deck Customer Care
Silly me thought that this meant that they were considering doing something for my expired redemption cards. Today, I got this email:
Dear Valued Customer,
I am sorry to hear you have pulled an expired redemption from our product. Unfortunately, we are unable to redeem your card because it is expired. For more information regarding our redemption card policy please contact customer service at 1-800-873-7332. I am sorry for any inconvenience. I hope you have a great day!
Upper Deck Customer Care
Have you ever read a smarmier less sincere email in your life? I don’t think that I have. Valued? You sure aren’t showing me that I’m valued. Why make me wait before sending this email? Did you not know the redemption dates for your own products? “I hope you have a great day!” Well, possibly if UD knew the first thing about customer service. I work for a company consistently rated as one of the best in customer service in any field and have worked in the customer service field even prior to that. The things that my current company does to make the customer happy is ridiculous sometimes, but it is worth it because you end up with loyal customers. I’m not quite sure what Upper Deck is trying to do here. I’m so glad that I didn’t purchase a single pack of 2010 baseball.
Then there’s the replies from Upper Deck on Twitter to I Am Joe Collector:
just got the run around from @upperdecksports on the phone regarding the redemption. Their story keeps changing.
UpperDeckSports: We've shared before that expired cards cannot be honored: http://bit.ly/i6EtN7 MLB is very tough to help with now. Sorry!
That isn't true, the rep on the phone told me that UD will honor them if the haven't been expired for more than 1 year
UpperDeckSports: Again, MLB is difficult. We don't have a license, no new products & collectors who redeemed on time get priority.
[Note that one hand doesn’t seem to know what the other is doing.]
So which is it?
UpperDeckSports: You can work with the reps, but don't expect that Jeter. That ship has most likely sailed. One of the dangers of older wax.
I tried, but the rep flat out told I get nothing willy wonka style.
[Again, no one seems to know the policies that other people are quoting.]
UpperDeckSports: Then that would be your final answer. Sorry again, but you've got to be careful in busting older product.
so what you are saying is that the process is arbitrary? Great.
UpperDeckSports: More that havent had a MLB license for two years, the cupboard is bare. If you buy MLB product, you do so at your own risk.
[Remember, this is a valued customer being told to buy UD products, even 2010 Baseball, at their own risk.]
So, don’t mind me if I don’t get all nostalgic for Upper Deck and starting throwing pennies into wishing wells hoping that they get their licenses back. Right now, Razor seems like a more reputable company than Upper Deck. I won’t shed a single tear once Upper Deck closes their doors for the last time and is gone from the hobby forever.
Next up for a shiny, happy post: For those of you complaining about a Topps monopoly in baseball, be glad that it’s not Panini. Things could be a lot worse.