Monday, November 21, 2011

The Digital River Styx

As a long time fan of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, I have enjoyed my share of hassles with Matty Collector and Digital River. So far, my issues have been the usual: quick sell-outs, red/white screen-of-death, lengthy shipping times, etc. Now, I have had the pleasure of trying to deal with their customer no-service department.

October's Matty Collector sale actually went relatively smoothly. I was able to get my order through with little trouble, and overall was in and out in about two minutes. A friend of mine (and the host of this fine blog) is a DCU collector, so I ordered him up one of the Legion 12 packs last months so we could save a little on shipping while I ordered my Flipshot. After nearly two weeks (for a package to get from Southern California to the Sacramento area?? Really??) when it finally showed up , his Ultraboy was missing a piece (one of the red boot coverings).

I called Digital River and spoke to a customer service agent. They don't seem to have any clue about what the product is. I gave up trying to explain to her that one of the pieces on one of the figures was missing. After about 10 minutes, the agent finally said "the Ultraboy is missing?", and at that point, that seemed like it would be the closest thing she would understand, so I said, "Sure, that's it." She said they'd fill out a service ticket and someone would contact me within 72 hours.

Three days come, three days go, I hear nothing back. I call the next day, explain what happened, she (a different customer service agent) apologizes, says it looks like a ticket never actually got made, she'll make one, and someone would contact me within 72 hours. Three more days of no response. I call the next day, guy says it looks like no ticket got made, he apologizes profusely, says someone will contact me in 24-48 hours. No contact. I call yet again, the lady now says yes there is a ticket, but it should have been 48-72 hours, not 24-48 hours. Having called four times, I essentially got four different stories. Pathetic.

In the meantime, I had contacted Mattel customer service directly. Their solution was that I pay to ship back my defective item, and they will refund me $180. Apparently I am supposed to eat the cost of shipping both directions as well as tax for their lack of quality control. I understand that it's not a "usual" Mattel controlled product, but I think the fact that they were only willing to refund the flat $180 is really weak.

The next day, I finally hear from someone at DR. Now they want me to ship the entire item back and they will send a replacement. By the a replacement arrives, two months will likely have gone by since the original sale date.

It is unfortunate that, from what I've read around the web, this seems to be par for the course when dealing with Matty/Digital River. Great figures with great sculpts, but just abysmal handling by Digital River. Matty, if you're out there, please find another company to handle the orders. Trying to deal with DR just isn't worth the hassle.